Henrico County VA
Henrico County Opinions

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.

Heroes of the classroom

The highlight of my eighth-grade year at my Northern Virginia middle school was landing in the social studies class of the incomparable Mr. Hart, a teacher whose reputation for pure awesomeness was well-established long before I entered his classroom for the first time.

Middle-schoolers seem, on average, to be less than enthralled with history, for reasons I never fully understood when I was one. Me? I couldn’t get enough of it.

And as I quickly learned, everything I’d heard about Mr. Hart was true.

School calendar overhaul long overdue


It's a 19th-century anachronism, and long ago stopped serving its intended purpose.

It has failed to keep up with social change, continues to stifle progress, and acts as a major obstacle to growth and improvement.

It makes no sense whatsoever in the 21st century, yet continues to exist because of bureaucratic inertia, resistance to change, and the attitude "we've always done it that way."

It wastes space, time, manpower and – most of all – it results in the waste of millions of young minds.

Yes, I'm talking about our antiquated and inflexible school calendar.

The right to vote – or not

Another election is in the books. Did you vote?

If you did, you’re to be congratulated.

If you didn’t, you’re to be castigated automatically as a thoughtless jerk and a horrible citizen.

Or so it seems in certain circles.

I don’t happen to hold membership in those circles, however.

At a crossroads

A pedestrian attempting to cross West Broad Street at Gaskins Road was struck by a car and seriously injured on Monday night. Immediately afterward, some in the community began calling for increased safety measures at the busy intersection, which serves some 36,000 vehicles a day.

But is fixing the problem of frequent accidents at a busy intersection as easy as that? And in this case, is there truly a discernible and recurrent problem that needs to be fixed at all?

A shot in the dark

A man was shot and killed in Canada on Wednesday, and his death brought the entire nation of 35 million to an emotional standstill.

A man was shot and killed on Laburnum Avenue in Henrico County Monday, and this may be the first you’ve even heard about it.

As a nation, we long ago became numb to the impact of gun-related violence and homicide. It’s simply an expectation now – one that hardly surprises us even when it is particularly awful and cruel, as a host of school shootings have proven in recent years.

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Community

Capping the season in tune

The "Knitters of Cedarfield" made their annual donation of knitted caps to the Henrico Christmas Mother Dec. 5 at The Hermitage at Cedarfield, presenting 110 caps to be used by needy families.

The gift presentation was followed by a program of holiday music, performed by members of the Greater Richmond Chorus, who chose Cedarfield resident Russell Johnston as the impromptu subject of their affections during a "Santa Baby" number. > Read more.

Donations needed for ‘Saxon Shoes for the Needy’ program

Over the next two weeks Saxon Shoes will wrap up their 2012 Saxon Shoes for the Needy program. Donated shoes will benefit deserving area families through the programs of The Salvation Army ARC, 2601 Hermitage Rd. All participating individuals, organizations and families must bring their shoe donations to Saxon's Short Pump Town Center location, 11800 W. Broad St., by Dec. 24. For more information, visit http://www.saxonshoes.com > Read more.

Salvation Army’s Christmas Center opens at VCC Dec. 13

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the Salvation Army of Central Virginia will begin the distribution of toys, clothing, coats, bikes, books and other items to those in need this holiday season. The Salvation Army’s Christmas Center is located at Virginia Center Commons in the former Dillard’s, 10101 Brook Rd. A ceremonial ribbon cutting will take place at 8:30 a.m. to mark the Christmas Center’s grand opening. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

Auditions for ‘Nutcracker Sweet’ planned Saturday

Auditions for PDM Productions, Inc.’s “The Nutcracker Sweet” will take place Saturday, Sept. 15 at Deep Run High School. The audition is open to the community and dancers and actors of all ages and abilities are invited to participate. Roles are available for dancers, actors, non-dancers and beginner dancers, ages five and up.

Participants need to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled audition time. Registration will be in the cafeteria. Those auditioning should be ready with hair pulled back, wearing appropriate dance attire and footwear, warmed up and prepared to dance. > Read more.

CACGA, Regency Square partner to offer classes

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen and Regency Square Mall are partnering to bring art classes designed by the center and taught by center instructors to the mall.

Classes will begin in September with one adult and one youth class (for grades 1-6) each month. For adults, classes are offered in visual arts, fiber arts, jewelry making and confectionary arts. For youth, classes are offered in visual arts including classes in drawing, cartooning, pastels and watercolors. > Read more.

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The Beacon Theatre, 401 N. Main Street in Hopewell, will present Delbert McClinton. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at http://www.thebeacontheatreva.comFull text

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