Henrico County VA
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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.

Peeling off the labels

We live in a society that increasingly seems to demand that all actions, thoughts, beliefs and individuals be labeled in no uncertain terms, one way or another.

It wasn’t always this way. What changed? When did we become so dependent upon – and determined to identify – finite labels for everything and everyone? It’s truly not our best look. And not the healthiest way to exist.

A messy food fight

Ten people were arrested yesterday on Mechanicsville Turnpike in Henrico County while protesting working conditions for fast-food industry employees. The arrests were among more than 700 nationwide as part of a movement called “Fight for $15” designed to call attention to the issue, as workers seek improved conditions, the right to unionize and $15-per-hour wages.

Unfortunately, the method by which they chose to make their point was as misguided as their key demand.

Let’s all go back to school

School will be back in session in Henrico County and throughout Metro Richmond on Tuesday, which apparently means that not only has summer started, but now it’s also over.

That was fast.

The public school system is a source of pride in Henrico and should be. It’s one of the best in the state by many measurements. But it’s not perfect – no system is.

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 supervisors erred in reviving public prayer

Henrico County’s Board of Supervisors recently resumed its practice of permitting religious leaders to engage in a moment of public prayer prior to its twice-monthly public meetings.

This is an unfortunate mistake – and one that is surprising, given Henrico’s progressive nature.

The board reintroduced the invocation practice – which it had eliminated in 2012 and replaced with a moment of silence – following the U.S. Supreme Court’s May decision that the Town Board of Greece, N.Y. was not violating the Constitution by allowing similar prayer offerings prior to its public meetings.

Letters to the Editor – Aug. 14, 2014

Not everyone thrilled about Capital Trail construction

I enjoy reading your paper but was taken back by the article in a recent issue, "Capital Trail taking shape in Varina," by Eileen Mellon.

Lessons in parenting (Year One)

My son turned one year old Wednesday.

This means that I can officially join the legions of parents everywhere who say (and truly mean) 'It goes so fast.'

By “it,” of course, I am referring to “money for diapers,” though it’s fair to say that it also could apply to time.

Henrico County: Hardball hotbed

Major League Baseball’s trade deadline spurred a flurry of moves yesterday, as contending teams made deals to improve their chances of making the playoffs and, ultimately, winning the World Series.

Here at home, Henrico County officials were busy making a baseball-related move earlier this week, too, but in their case it was an extension rather than a new acquisition.

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Community

Weekend Top 10


If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, a film playing at the Byrd Theatre on Saturday may be just for you. Also taking place this weekend: several Henrico libraries are offering family-friendly events and the Latin Ballet of Virginia will perform “Legend of the Poinsettia” at CACGA. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


The new year is off to a great start! Catch a movie at Twin Hickory Library or Henrico Theatre, laugh at the Funny Bone or enjoy a classical or country concert – all events taking place this weekend in Henrico! For all our top picks, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Henrico residents have a variety of performances to choose from this weekend: The Rinard Family at Henrico Theatre, The Hot Seats at Ashland Coffee and Tea and shows at Mystery Dinner Playhouse, Swift Creek Mill Theatre and Children’s Theatre of Virginia. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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Entertainment

Glen Allen’s party-starter

JJ’s Grille offers comfort, entertainment

The dance party (mostly for Baby Boomers) was on during a recent Saturday night at JJ’s Grille on Staples Mill Road in Glen Allen. An hour before the start of the live music at 8 p.m., it was difficult to get in and sit down at a table to have a bite before the party.

When the five members of the featured band “The English Channel” arrived they were greeted like friends and people started to drift towards the small area near the window front of the grill that later served as a dance floor. And when the band started the first of its 1960s and ‘70s pop tunes, the dance floor was filled in an eye blink. It stayed like this for the whole set – two hours of Beatles, Rolling Stones and other sing-along and dance-along tunes pleasantly presented with skill and perfect volume for the now-small space. > Read more.

The many needy lives of Walter Mitty


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and its hero, Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) have something in common – they both just want to be appreciated. But Walter just seeks the affection of a single person: his unrequited office love, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig).

Walter Mitty wants to be loved by all: the young, the old, the comedy fans, the drama fans, and every single human being in between. And unlike the living, breathing Walter, Walter Mitty‘s neediness is its undoing. > Read more.

Potbelly opening in March


A Chicago-based sub chain has bellied up to the Richmond market to open its first shop in Henrico County.

Potbelly Sandwich Works is slated to open in the Colonnades West shopping center on West Broad Street in Glen Allen in mid-March. The shop serves up subs, sandwiches, salads, soup and milkshakes and since opening in 1977, has expanded to close to 300 shops across the U.S.

David Duke, primary owner of the local Potbelly has been hungry for a piece of the Henrico restaurant scene for some time now. > Read more.

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