Henrico County VA
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The death of a journalist

I didn’t know James Foley, the American journalist who was brutally executed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) this week.

I had not read any of his coverage from Syria, where more than 170,000 people have been killed in a brutal Civil War. I had not watched any of his video reports from Afghanistan, where he was embedded with US troops during combat, or from Libya, where he spent 44 days in captivity after being taken by troops loyal to dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

I didn’t know James Foley, but I do know one of his cousins.

Henrico’s grocery wars

By the time you finish reading this column, another grocer will have announced plans to open a new store in Henrico County.

Ok, maybe not quite. But doesn’t it feel that way?

Since last fall:
• Kroger has opened its newest “superstore” on Staples Mill Road at Hungary Spring Road;

Would you like extra tax with that?

Are you paying too much when you buy food or drinks in Henrico County?

Maybe.

Some Henrico consumers have been charged the county’s new 4-percent meals tax on items that shouldn’t have been taxed. Beverages purchased by themselves, for example, are not taxable under the new ordinance, which took effect June 1.

Justice unserved

A 23-year-old mother whose negligence caused the deaths of her two young children last year is a free woman, thanks to an unconscionable decision by a Henrico judge last week.

Judge Gary Hicks decided that 72 days in jail last year was enough for Chester resident Brittney Downing, who intentionally left her three-month-old daughter and 20-month-old son in her car last May, while she worked an eight-hour job at the Comfort Suites hotel at Virginia Center in Glen Allen.

Cemeteries: for reverence or recreation?


When the story broke recently about an uproar over an Easter egg hunt in a Norfolk cemetery, I took more than a passing interest.

You see, I spend a lot of time in a cemetery these days. My daughter Lanie is buried at Hollywood, and I visit her grave and walk the cemetery at least three times a week.

I am partial to the place -- you might even say possessive. I think of it as my cemetery, while realizing that I actually share ownership with thousands of area residents, tourists, and descendants and relatives of the interred.

Cooking for a vegetarian wanna-be

You know your 13-year-old child is truly growing up when he announces his plan to become a vegetarian, effective immediately.

“But you like meat,” I pointed out.

“True. But I don’t like the idea of eating animals.” He rubbed his belly sentimentally. “It doesn’t make me feel good.”

Apparently, meat of the porcine and bovine variety particularly bothers him. And poultry doesn’t sound too appetizing to him either. (Fish we can slaughter at will.)

Cross-country walker hits the lucky seven

During Memorial Day weekend, I imagine that many of you went to cookouts, ate hotdogs, visited the beach, boated on The River, attended memorial services and rode or walked in parades.

If not for a broken vase and a laceration requiring seven stitches, I might have done the same.

Instead, I spent part of my weekend involved in a personal memorial observance, and in a small, ragtag, but meaningful parade along the streets of Henrico.

My Memorial Day journey began when George Throop of Vancouver, Wash. – nearing the end of his own 4,500 mile, three-year walk across America – crossed the Huguenot Bridge into Henrico County and headed for Richmond along River Road.

‘Cromagnon Mom’ pleads for higher driving age


Among some of my parenting peers, I am sure I was considered overly permissive in my child-rearing.

I was not strict on bedtimes; I let my girls get crazy dirty, wear jeans and t-shirts and do other 'unfeminine' things. On occasion I even let them listen to rap music, or join me at Legend Brewing for movie night.

But to my own three kids, I was always Cromagnon Mom – especially on the topic of teen-age driving.

Coming to grips with postpartum depression

Sleep-deprived and overwhelmed, I warmed up a bottle and sat down to feed my son. At just four weeks old, my first-born had proven to be worth the wait. I glanced at the clock - it was 3 a.m. – and as I started to drift off, my eyes focused on the closet door.

I wonder what sound his head would make if I slammed him against the door?

I needed help.

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Community

Ninth-annual Filipino Festival scheduled Aug. 8-9

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 8200 Woodman Rd., will host the ninth-annual Filipino Festival from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 8 and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 9.

Attendees will enjoy hallmark Filipino cuisine, entertainment and exhibits from local and regional Filipino talent, vendors, hands-on crafts and games for the kids and more. > Read more.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


This weekend in Henrico, you can learn about fall herbs or mad science. Enjoy some laughs from West End Comedy or Three-Penny Theatre’s production of “The Rivah Home Companion.” For music lovers, Jennifer Nettles is in concert tonight and the fifth annual GWAR-B-Q takes place tomorrow at Hadad’s Lake. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > 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.

Weekend Top 10


Learn something new this weekend! Study the art of origami or discover some new southern slow cooker recipes. Find a career that makes you happy or learn how to relieve stress. And did you know that one donation of blood can help support up to three patients’ lives? For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave., will present Flowers After 5 on Thursday evenings through August. Stroll through the gardens and enjoy wine, music and dining al fresco. There… Full text

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