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Earth Day Challenge helps homeowners conserve energy

The Richmond Region Energy Alliance (RREA) and the state’s Virginia Energy Sense program recently launched the Earth Day Challenge with 16 other organizations to help Richmond-area residents make their homes more energy efficient.

To enter the challenge, which runs through Earth Day on April 22, homeowners will conduct a free online energy assessment that will instantly recommend ways they can save energy at home. Participants in the Earth Day Energy Challenge will be entered into a drawing to win one of five free in-home professional energy assessments donated by RREA’s pre-qualified contractors.

Professional home energy assessments, which can cost between $300 and $400, will help identify potential energy wasters in a home — especially those in tough to spot or difficult to access areas like crawl spaces and heating and cooling ducts. The home energy assessment allows the homeowner to prioritize the most cost-effective energy improvements to lower energy bills and live in a more comfortable home.

Andy Farmer, manager of the Virginia Energy Sense program, said, “There are a lot of options to make your home more energy efficient, ranging from many low- or no-cost do-it-yourself improvements to the kinds of repairs that professional contractors can assist with and help deliver big energy savings. This challenge is a great way for Richmond residents to begin to better understand their energy usage and take steps to value their power.”

Richmond homeowners can enter the challenge at RREA’s website, http://rrea-va.org/earthday .

To be eligble, participants must be 18 years of age or older, own a home and live in the city of Richmond, Town of Ashland, or the counties of Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield, New Kent, Powhatan, Goochland or Charles City.

Area homeowners will also have the chance to participate in the challenge by visiting RREA’s booth at the Earth Day Festival in Richmond on April 21.
Community

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.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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The Henrico County Community Author Showcase, a new program that connects writers and readers in the community, will begin at 7 p.m. and continue on Thursdays at various libraries. Vivian… Full text

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