Henrico County Opinions
When the lights go out – even when they’re still on – turn to books, bikes and board games
By Patty Kruszewski, Citizen Managing Editor 08/11/2016 Family Forum
On June 16, Richmond experienced extensive power outages after a summer storm with high winds.
Falling trees demolished cars and homes, blocked roads, and can-openered roofs -- adding water damage to structural collapse. Hospitals scrambled for extra generators. Businesses lost thousands of dollars in refrigerated and frozen goods. Insurance adjusters flocked to town from all corners of the state to handle claims. Worst of all, a Richmond resident suffered serious injuries after being hit by a falling tree -- and a beloved Godwin teacher lost his life at an intersection with non-functioning traffic signals.
As the power outage dragged on for days, the hardship stories multiplied. It seemed half the town was futilely search for ice, sweltering without air conditioning, or busting the budget eating all their meals in restaurants. > Read more.
By Patty Kruszewski, Citizen Managing Editor 05/12/2016 Family Forum
My brother Paul and I recently were discussing the “good old days,” and his belief that the Fifties was the best decade ever.
While Paul cited the era’s prosperous economy at the top of his list, he also alluded to another favorite theme of Fifties fans: the social and cultural climate. The decade was a happier time, fans say, because life was simpler, families were closer and marriages stronger. Many of my 50’s-born peers speak nostalgically of the way we romped in the great outdoors by day and shared meals with our families by night, then bonded in our ritual gathering around the TV set. > Read more.
By Patty Kruszewski, Citizen Managing Editor 03/21/2016 Family Forum
My daughters and I grew up in vastly different families, so it's not surprising that we hold differing opinions about family dynamics. One of the areas in which we part ways dramatically is the value we place on good parenting.
If there is one fundamental belief that I developed as a result of my upbringing, it is that parenting is the most important role anyone plays in life.
I don't care how accomplished or otherwise wonderful a man or woman is when it comes to career, athletics, academics, or social relationships – if that person doesn't strive to give his or her children the time, attention and love that children need, then that person lacks character in my book.
My oldest daughter, on the other hand, told me recently that she thinks a person can be a lousy parent – yet still be a good person. > Read more.
My three girls had it so much better than I did in so many ways.
They enjoyed academic opportunities, enrichment programs, and even a choice of schools to attend that I could not have imagined in the regimented, one-size-fits-all schools of my own era. They had the chance to participate in recreational sports and school athletics that didn't exist for girls in my pre-Title-IX school years. And they had a mother who was involved in their lives and passionate about raising them to grow up to be confident, capable, compassionate young women.
There's only one way that I can say I was one-up on my daughters. > Read more.
I once thought that raising my children was the hardest work I had ever done or would ever do.
Raising my three daughters was so physically, mentally and emotionally taxing that I often fell asleep at 9 p.m. when they were young – the instant I had them tucked in bed.
By midmorning, I was always drained of mental and physical energy (quite literally "drained" in the days of nursing infants on demand), and almost crazed with exhaustion by nighttime. There was never enough sleep, and there were never enough breaks. > Read more.
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.
> Read more.
'Tebow Bill' is a mistake
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.
> Read more.
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. > Read more.
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Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.
The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.
Three local churches are holding events on Saturday: A Fall Veterans and Community Health Fair and Blood Drive at Antioch Baptist Church in Varina; a Fall Children’s Consignment Sale at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in the West End; and a Community Day event at Fair Oaks Baptist Church in Highland Springs. Two events are also planned in Henrico for history buffs: A tour of New Market Heights and a commemoration of the battle for Fort Harrison. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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CalendarThe Havana Cuba All-Stars will present “Cuban Nights” at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts, Alice Jepson Theatre. The All-Stars stay true to an… Full text