Henrico County VA
Henrico County Opinions

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.

The crisis that isn’t

Getting run over by a cow.

Receiving a bite from a poisonous spider.

Becoming infected with MRSA.

Suffering a bunk bed accident.

Being legally executed.

No, these aren’t all just things I’d rather do than watch Dancing With the Stars – they’re actually things that are, statistically, far more likely to kill you than Ebola.

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Community

Milestones

Henrico resident Saumil Bandyopadhyay, a junior at Maggie Walker Governor’s School, recently won first place in the research competition at the International Space Olympics held in Koroley, Russia. His project, “Eye in Space: Dual Detection of Infrared and Ultraviolet Emissions with a Novel Nanowire Multispectral Photo-detector,” will be published in a science journal. > Read more.

New community calendar system provides centralized location for events

The Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (RMCVB), CultureWorks and local cultural attractions recently launched a new community calendar system that offers event organizers one centralized location where they can list their events online for publication. Likewise, media outlets now have the ability to collect event information from a single source and include it in their calendars. > Read more.

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.

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Entertainment

Chinese New Year celebration at Deep Run H.S. Jan. 22

The Organization of Chinese Americans will host the Richmond Lunar New Year celebration on Sunday, Jan. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Deep Run High School, 4801 Twin Hickory Rd.

The celebration, in honor of the Year of the Dragon, will feature classic Chinese dances and cultural performances by local ethnic Chinese groups, cultural exhibits, arts and crafts, children’s activities, vendor booths and more. > Read more.

Israeli Film Festival highlights JCC’s cultural offerings

Thousands of people zip by the Carole and Marcus Weinstein Jewish Community Center on Monument Avenue every day. It’s a good time to slow down for a closer look.

Step inside and you’ll find one of the area’s most vibrant cultural arts communities, with a theater company, speaker’s series, film festival, concerts, authors and more, all celebrating many aspects of Jewish and culture.

“We have tons and tons and tons of events, said Orly Lewis, Director of Adult Services and Cultural Arts. > Read more.

Restaurant watch

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