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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.

Time to give spanking the boot


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.

Bored senseless

“Short Pump is too boring.”

Ever heard anyone say that?

Unless “b-o-r-i-n-g” is a new way to spell “congested,” I never had.

That is, until this week, when an email from Movoto (a website that exists) arrived in my inbox, alerting me to the stark reality that Short Pump is, in fact, the second most boring place in all of Virginia. Well, technically it tied for second with another bastion of boredom – Loudoun County’s South Riding, whose poor residents suffer through sad lives that involve sitting around all day counting how many racehorses and Aston Martins they own.

Announcing Henrico Restaurant Week

Henrico County is home to more than 500 restaurants, and it always seems as if a few new ones are opening each month. Included among their numbers are eateries for just about any taste – from Indian to French, Mexican to Greek, Japanese to Mediterranean – oh, and American too, along with plenty of options in between.

We have wine bars, brewpubs, neighborhood barbecue joints and elegant seafood restaurants. So isn’t it about time we celebrated the unique spots that make Henrico a feast for our tastebuds?

We thought so.

That’s why we’ve created the first-ever Henrico Restaurant Week, which will take place this spring (April 11-19, to be exact). Technically it’s more than a week, because we think you’ll need five weekdays and two full weekends to sufficiently stuff yourself and appreciate the offerings that abound right here in Henrico.

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.

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.

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Community

Weekend Top 10


A favorite pre-cursor to spring takes place on Saturday at Dorey Park – Henrico’s annual Kite Festival! Another spring activity is the Richmond Home & Garden Show. More weekend ideas: A Cappella music, the Henrico County Adventure Series and Judy Collins. For all our top picks, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There are some great performances taking place this weekend in Henrico: Le Hot Club, the Shanghai Quartet, fiddle and banjo duo Alan Jabbour and Ken Perlman and the fourth annual Richmond Bluegrass Marathon Jam. And don’t forget Fido! The Henrico Humane Society’s Pet Expo is on Saturday. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


If you’re looking to extend the Valentine’s Day celebrations, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is offering Orchids Galore and a chocolate workshop. You can also take your Valentine to a show at Henrico Theatre – Gaye Adegbalola performs Friday and Theatre IV presents “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad” on Sunday. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > 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


This weekend has something for everyone in your family – whether it’s improv comedy with ComedySportz or West End Comedy, or an inspirational concert from the Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company! Families will also enjoy music, games and crafts at Hidden Creek Park or reading to a therapy dog at Glen Allen Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Northside comfort

Brookside offers many local options, but lacks some flavor
Brookside Grille and Bar comes with a simple mission in mind: to provide great dishes prepared with the finest ingredients using as many local products as possible. When I hear “local products,” I get excited; I’m a native Richmonder, and it’s important to me.

Located far north on Brook Road, Brookside Grille & Bar takes over what used to be Lucille’s Southern Cuisine. Advertised as “coastal comfort food,” I wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but I wasn’t expecting something healthy.

I had glanced at the menu online before heading to the restaurant hungry on a Sunday night. I knew my choices were broad – burgers, soups, seafood, and more. > Read more.

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Lavender Fields Herb Farm, 11300 Winfrey Rd. in Glen Allen, will host a “Raised Bed Gardening” class from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Learn about soil conditioning, crop rotation, ongoing… Full text

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