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.

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.

Why I walk to fight Alzheimer’s

People have asked me why I am involved in the Walk to End Alzheimer's. The answer is simple. I will Walk this year and every year, in memory of my grandmother, Edith (Mimi) Bartkowiak.

Mimi passed away on Aug. 16, a mere eighteen days past her 87th birthday, from Alzheimer’s disease. She was truly one of a kind. I know we all say that about our grandmothers, but it’s true. There was, and never will be, another Mimi. She was an amazing woman.

Mimi was compassionate.

Modern parents have it soft (or do they?)


By the time my first child was born, I assumed parenthood couldn’t hold too many surprises. Between caring for three younger siblings, monopolizing my neighborhood babysitting market, and coaching youth sports for the previous two decades, I had more experience with children at age 28 than some adults accumulate in a lifetime.

But I was still in for a shock when my daughter arrived.

I never anticipated the bone-deep, sapped-of-all-life weariness I would feel after a day of being home with her (and later her two sisters).

I never dreamed how mentally cruel motherhood could be: how my children would not only dominate my every waking thought, but seize my subconscious and induce crazy, irrational nightmares about them as I slept.

Henrico’s best

Next week, the Citizen’s third annual Henricopedia magazine will appear in print copies of the paper and elsewhere throughout Henrico County.

The magazine is designed as a resource about all things Henrico – a handy reference whether you’re looking for the number of a county agency or seeking a community organization to volunteer with. . . whether you want to register your child for youth baseball or find a new Italian restaurant to try on a Saturday night. . . whether you’re seeking a senior living community for your parents or a church to attend nearby.

The Henrico that most don’t know

Significant portions of the history of this nation were written, erased and written again in parts of Henrico County that most Henrico residents have never visited.

If you’re among them, this weekend presents an opportunity to change that.

The county will host what Henrico officials are calling the largest event they've ever staged – a reenactment of the Civil War Battle of New Market Heights in Varina, which took place almost exactly 150 years ago.

The Citizen at 13


Thirteen years ago tomorrow, the Henrico Citizen published its first print edition. It was nine days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and in retrospect, probably the absolute worst time to start a business of any type.

Of course, I hadn’t planned to launch the Citizen nine days after unimaginable national tragedy. The truth is, I never expected to own a newspaper, or any other business for that matter – much less to start one from scratch.

But the simultaneous beauty and uncertainty of life – for better or worse – is that there are some things you simply don't plan for.

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Community

Hands-on duties

More than 1,000 volunteers from throughout the region gathered last month as part of HandsOn Greater Richmond to complete more than 60 projects.

The event is a program of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence.

In Henrico, a group of Target employees (pictured) undertook a project at Fairfield Middle School to help re-plant the school's community garden and paint the outdoor shelter. > Read more.

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > 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.

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


The Dominion GardenFest of Lights Grand Illumination takes place tonight at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden! This year’s theme is “A Legacy in Lights: 120 Years from Bicycle Club to Botanical Garden,” which celebrates the Garden’s history. You can also celebrate Thanksgiving again – tomorrow at Henricus Historical Park. More great events – Lavender Fields Herb Farm and Wilton House Museum will both host their holiday open house events this weekend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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Calendar

Twin Hickory Library, 5001 Twin Hickory Rd., will host a Movie Sing-a-Long In Your Pajamas at 2 p.m. Watch “The Snow Queen,” a 2013 movie inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s… Full text

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