Henrico County VA
Henrico County Opinions

Cabin fever cures - and blessings

The wintry weather we’ve been having lately brings to mind a popular discussion topic at playgroups and mom forums back when I had young children: cabin fever – and how to cope with it.

In Pennsylvania, where we lived when my kids were small, there was no such thing as having too many ideas on how to liven up those long dreary days of indoor confinement. Not only were winters considerably longer and snowier than Richmond’s, but it was the 1980s, and there were fewer entertainment options around.

Getting schooled

Just when you thought Tim Tebow was finally out of the public spotlight, his name is back in it.

The Virginia Senate this week passed the "Tebow Bill," which would allow homeschooled students the opportunity to participate in public school extracurricular activities such as sports and band, among others. The House had previously endorsed the bill as well.

But the bill, much like the short NFL career of the former quarterback whose name it bears, is a disappointment.

Time to give spanking the boot


The fuss about Adrian Peterson has died down in the last month, but the case continues to bother me – and will for some time.

Like a lot of people, I was appalled to hear that Peterson, a Minnesota Vikings football player, whipped his four-year-old with a wooden switch to the point of injuring him.

But that is not what left the lingering bad taste in my mouth, and what discouraged me so much about the whole affair.

What really took me aback was how many people defended him, and how many advocate physical punishment of children.

Bored senseless

“Short Pump is too boring.”

Ever heard anyone say that?

Unless “b-o-r-i-n-g” is a new way to spell “congested,” I never had.

That is, until this week, when an email from Movoto (a website that exists) arrived in my inbox, alerting me to the stark reality that Short Pump is, in fact, the second most boring place in all of Virginia. Well, technically it tied for second with another bastion of boredom – Loudoun County’s South Riding, whose poor residents suffer through sad lives that involve sitting around all day counting how many racehorses and Aston Martins they own.

Announcing Henrico Restaurant Week

Henrico County is home to more than 500 restaurants, and it always seems as if a few new ones are opening each month. Included among their numbers are eateries for just about any taste – from Indian to French, Mexican to Greek, Japanese to Mediterranean – oh, and American too, along with plenty of options in between.

We have wine bars, brewpubs, neighborhood barbecue joints and elegant seafood restaurants. So isn’t it about time we celebrated the unique spots that make Henrico a feast for our tastebuds?

We thought so.

That’s why we’ve created the first-ever Henrico Restaurant Week, which will take place this spring (April 11-19, to be exact). Technically it’s more than a week, because we think you’ll need five weekdays and two full weekends to sufficiently stuff yourself and appreciate the offerings that abound right here in Henrico.

An actual holiday spirit


There are three kinds of people when it comes to Christmas – those who love it; Scrooges and Grinches; and those who fall somewhere in between.

The Christmas-lovers are the ones who hum Christmas jingles year round; who start trying out new holiday cookie recipes in July and beginscouring Christmas stores for decorations in August; who love to flip through holiday-themed magazines; who are thrilled when stores hang ornaments in September; who like to wear those jingly, blinking sweaters; and who savor Christmas shopping as their favorite sport. I have even heard of Christmas lovers who go shopping on Christmas Eve – despite having everything on their lists – just because they want to be part of the "hustle and bustle."

Clearly, these people are certifiable.

Mi-‘Steak’-en anger

A seemingly popular West End restaurant closed this week without warning, leaving its staff unexpectedly jobless and plenty of fingers pointed angrily at its owner.

This was the angle most commonly reported during coverage of the closing of Quaker Steak and Lube on West Broad Street, and while it’s certainly a difficult situation coming a few weeks before the holidays, there’s also another angle that doesn’t get coverage – perhaps because it doesn’t fit the broadcast narrative.

The common cry here is “How could someone do this to his employees – and just weeks before Christmas, no less?! How dare he!”

Letters to the Editor


School overcrowding causes foundation problems

Editor:

I believe the article “Henrico School Board weighs projects” by Citizen Editor Tom Lappas is important to those of Henrico County. I am originally from Henrico but I am currently a student at James Madison University. In my current sociology class, education is a big topic of discussion.

I am sure that it is common sense that a bad foundation of knowledge leads to later struggles with education; however, what some may not realize is overcrowding, like what is occurring at the four elementary schools in Brookland District, is one of the leading causes in a weak foundation. Based on research, boys struggle with verbal skills early on.

The immigration complication

When he was 14 years old, my grandfather left the tiny mountaintop village in Greece where he’d spent his entire existence and walked with several other teens and young men down the mountain – a journey that must have taken a week or more – to the nearest port to board a ship to Athens, then another to New York City.

He never returned to Greece, never saw his parents or three younger brothers again.

I never knew my grandfather, because he died when my dad was just 15, so I never had the chance to ask him: Why?

Why was he willing to make such a painstaking journey at such a young age, giving up everything that he knew in exchange for so many things that he did not. A language. A country. A history. A family.

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Community

Weekend Top 10

Looking for something to do this weekend? You've come to the right place. Below are details about this weekend's top 10 events around town, as selected by Henrico Citizen Events Editor Sarah Story. > Read more.

High Heel Dash for breast cancer in Innsbrook Saturday

Women – and men – are invited to kick up their high-heeled stilettos, pumps and platforms and race to find a cure during Richmond’s debut of the Komen High Heel Dash on Saturday, March 10 at 4 p.m. at The Shoppes at Innsbrook.

Hosted by the Central Virginia affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the High Heel Dash participants will sprint 50 yards in their heels of choice. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest and “best dressed” racers. Race participation is open to the public for a $10 entry fee. Registration is available online at http://www.komencentralva.org or on the day of the race beginning at 3 p.m. Teams and creative costumes are encouraged. There is no admission for spectators. > Read more.

All Henrico Reads book discussions start Thursday

Garth Stein, author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” has been selected as the 2012 author for All Henrico Reads. Book discussions will be held at several libraries beginning March 8 at Tuckahoe Library. The discussions lead up to the AHR main event on April 5 when Stein will discuss the book and sign copies. > Read more.

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Entertainment

‘Monsters U’ proves itself as family gem


Anyone who has seen "Animal House," "Revenge of the Nerds," or any of the countless retreads and spoofs they spawned will surely find something familiar in "Monsters University." Pixar's latest comes from the very same mold, but has been cast in brighter, cuter colors. Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan, the green-and-blue leads of 2001's "Monsters, Inc." (Billy Crystal and John Goodman, respectively) are freshmen at the titular university and face the typical trials and tribulations one would find in any college comedy. Arrogant fraternity jocks, a tough-as-nails dean and a campus-wide scare-off must all be overcome if Mike and Sully are to become the best of friends and blossom into the heroes we know from the original film. > Read more.

Strange brews

Henrico’s first craft brewery opens
Go wash out your already overflowing beer mug, because Henrico's first craft brewery just started pouring last month.

Strangeways Brewing opened its 8,400-square-foot brewery on Dabney Road May 29. The brewery introduced its two flagship beers at about 26 local restaurants Memorial Day Weekend in the form of three bar crawls. > Read more.

A community ‘Kaffeehaus’ in Henrico’s Far West End

Born and raised in good old Europe, I am quite familiar with the traditional Austro-Hungarian tradition of the Kaffeehaus, an institution that represents a lifestyle of relaxing and thinking in a familiar environment with coffee, pastry, news, good service, marble tables, subdued sounds like the click-clack of the coffee machine, mugs and plates, conversations among patrons and with staff and a bit of low volume Johann Strauss music.

And so it was a thrill to find a modern version of a Kaffeehaus right here in Henrico County: The Daily Grind, near Short Pump Town Center. > Read more.

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Alpha Dog Club, located at 8931 Patterson Ave., will host an American Red Cross Canine First Aid & CPR workshop from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The class will use… Full text

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