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.

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

Black History Month celebration scheduled for Feb. 10 in Glen Allen

Henrico County will celebrate Black History Month with an afternoon of musical reflection, portrayals and historical interpretation beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 in the auditorium at The Academy at Virginia Randolph, 2204 Mountain Rd. in Glen Allen. Admission is free.

This program aims to highlight two anniversaries in the history of African Americans and the United States: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington. Opening the event will be musical selections offered by One Voice Chorus, a diverse community singing group. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy a night out on the town this weekend with performances by The Desiree Roots Trio, Jim Avett, Richard Becker and Ellen McDaniel-Weissler. You can also catch a movie at Henrico Theatre and a “Matinee with Miss Maggie” at the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Art, with spirit

The work of local artist KB Joseph is on display at The Daily Grind Coffee House and Café in Short Pump for a three-month period as part of owner Sam Jarrar's ongoing effort to spotlight the works and talents of local visual and musical artists.

Joseph, a James Madison University graduate, has won multiple awards for her work and publications in The Virginia Art Education Association Magazine and The Visual Arts Center of Richmond. Her style of movement and “hidden” imagery involves artistic movements such as futurism, cubism, abstract expressionism and even graffiti. > Read more.

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Entertainment

From many, one voice

Members of the Shenandoah Valley Children Choir with conductor Jo-Anne Van Der Vat-Chromy perform at the St. Michael Catholic Church in Glen Allen during a jazz concert of the One Voice Chorus.

The concert, entitled “A Little Jazz’ll Do Ya !” entertained the audience with “cool contemporary and classic jazz favorites (including J. Hendricks, G. Gershwin, A. Jobim and R. Rogers). It was a joint performance of the One Voice Chorus, the Russell Wilson Jazz Combo and the Shenandoah Valley Children Choir. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Don’t give Dad another tie. Give him an experience to remember! Dads who like beer and meat will love the inaugural Moo and Brew taking place tomorrow. Dads who like cars will appreciate the 45th annual Richmond AACA Car Show and Swap Meet at RIR. Dads who love ice cream are sure to enjoy Walkerton Tavern’s ice cream social on Sunday. And Dads that just need a little down time can relax with music, food and family activities at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Hardball, the hard way

‘Million Dollar Arm’ inspires with true story of Indian pitchers

Million Dollar Arm is your traditional sports flick. It’s based on a true story, so if you’re curious, have access to Google, or follow baseball to some degree, you may know Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh. In 2008, they were victorious on the Indian reality series Million Dollar Arm and won the opportunity to train for a shot in the major leagues.

But Million Dollar Arm isn’t so much the story of Dinesh and Rinku as it is J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm), the scout who first came up with the idea to take baseball (or, at least, a baseball-themed reality show) to Southern Asia. Because this is a Disney pic, and that is the typical Disney sports formula. Consider Miracle and Remember the Titans, two incredible athletic stories that were less about the athletes, and more about the coaches – played by Kurt Russell and Denzel Washington, respectively. But that’s not such a bad thing, because Million Dollar Arm benefits from the endless charm of Mad Men star Hamm. > Read more.

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The Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce will host Business After Hours, a casual after-work social featuring tabletop exhibits and refreshments, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Torque Club… Full text

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