Henrico County VA
Henrico County Opinions

Getting schooled

'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.

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

Daughters of American Colonists chapter clips $1M+ in coupons for troops

Members of a local organization gave their scissors a workout last year, clipping more than $1 million worth of coupons to benefit military personnel.

The Pocahontas Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Colonists, clipped 735,479 manufacturers’ coupons valued at a total of $1.12 million throughout 2014 as part of its Coupons for Military Families Program. Program chair Carole Featherson recently shipped the coupons to U.S. military bases overseas, where they can be used in base stores.

The National Society Daughters of American Colonists is a women’s genealogical and patriotic society whose members are descended from a man or woman who rendered civil or military service in any of the American colonies prior to July 4, 1776. > Read more.

VCU to offer free dental services for children in need Feb. 6

On Feb. 6 – "Give Kids a Smile Day" – the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry’s Pediatric Dentistry Clinic will provide free services for local children in need of dental care who do not have dental insurance.

The clinic will be open Feb. 6 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Wood Memorial Building, 521 N. 11th Street, Richmond.

The Department of Pediatric Dentistry will provide exams, cleanings, X-rays, fillings, extractions and minor restorations for children from birth to age 18. The Pediatric Dental Clinic has 14 chairs with two suites for general anesthesia and two rooms for oral sedation and specializes in dental care for medically compromised and special needs children as well as otherwise healthy children. > Read more.

Henricus to portray ‘Arnold’s Raid on Richmond’ Jan. 31


The Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield this weekend will portray "Arnold's Raid on Richmond," which took place in 1781 when British General Benedict Arnold took his small British and Loyalist forces and raided Richmond as Governor Thomas Jefferson watched from the safety of Manchester.

The event will take place Jan. 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Period-dressed historical interpreters will occupy the bluff overlooking the James River.

Visitors are invited to join the American militia, British regulars, Hessians and Loyalists in camp. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


The Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks has some great activities planned this weekend. The Eastern Henrico Recreation Center will host “Generation Z – Let it Snow;” an Introduction to Fencing workshop; and “Art Sparks in the Park.” On Sunday, the Henrico Hiking Club – designed to offer a beginner hiking experience for participants with little to no previous experience at different local parks – will meet at Crump Park. The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is also busy this weekend – hosting Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys tonight and the 6th annual Bluegrass Marathon Jam tomorrow. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Embraceable for all ages

Appeal of ‘Paddington’ spans the generations

Quick: disregard every moment of Paddington you’ve seen in any trailers or commercial spots. All gone? Good.

The marketing for Paddington has been monstrously off-message, portraying the classic children’s book bear as an earwax-licking, bathtub surfing, ursine Bart Simpson. The kind of Paddington bear who soils the good name of classic English kid’s literature; the bane of parents everywhere, dragged to a movie that offers nothing but groans of disgust and bear-fart humor.

Paddington is nothing like that. It’s wonderful and wonderfully inventive, peppered with dry British wit, intellectual depth and the kind of cuteness most animated films can only dream of. Really makes you wonder why they put so much bear-earwax in the commercials, doesn’t it? > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Henrico has so much love to offer this weekend! Southern Season’s weekly program “Fridays Uncorked” will feature Valentine’s Delights. Bon Air Baptist at the Village will host a Night to Shine party for those with special needs. Shady Grove Coffeehouse will present a special Valentine’s Day concert featuring the award-winning folk musicians Sparky and Rhonda Rucker. The ACCA Shriners Klown Unit will host a Valentine’s Dance at the ACCA Temple. Another date night could be at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen where you can watch the Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks’ 29th annual One-Act Showcase. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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On the Air Radio Players will present “Here Comes Mr. Jordon” at 7:30 p.m. March 3-4 at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Rd. This live radio… Full text

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