Henrico County VA

Milestones

Navy Midshipman Peyton B. Walsh, son of Mary O. and Patrick B. Walsh of Glen Allen, recently completed Plebe Summer while attending the U.S. Naval Academy. Plebe Summer is the summer training program required of all incoming freshmen to the naval academy. Walsh will go on to complete the academic year as a midshipman. He is a 2010 graduate of Deep Run High School.

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Andy Pham, a graduate student in packaging science at Clemson University, recently demonstrated the latest in consumer eye-tracking technology at the 2011 PACK EXPO trade show in Las Vegas, Nev. Pham, of Glen Allen, was among a group of students participating in the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics’ exhibit, “The Consumer Retail Experience by Clemson University.” Visitors to the exhibit put on digital eye-tracking glasses that recorded their eye movements at 30 movements per second and showed on a computer where they looked and what attracted their attention. The experiment took place in a simulation of a small mini-mart, complete with shopping aisles, shelves of boxes and items commonly found in a grocery store. When participants finished shopping they received a computer printout of a "heat map" showing what they looked at. The team is searching for trends in packaging design elements that impact the perceived quality of products. The 2011 edition of PACK EXPO Las Vegas was the largest to date with more than 25,000 visitors, including 1,600 exhibitors, and approximately 630,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

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Two members of the University of Richmond faculty recently won 2011 Theresa Pollak Prizes for Excellence in the Arts. Myra Daleng, director of dance, won the Lifetime Achievement Award and Tanja Softic, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History, won in the fine arts category. Daleng has been director of dance at Richmond for 27 years, administering the dance program and teaching ballet, jazz, modern, tap, choreography and kinetics. In 1985, she founded University Dancers, a student performing ensemble, and has been its artistic director for 25 years. Softic’s prints, drawings and paintings address factors of cultural hybridity that shape the identity and world view of an immigrant: displacement, longing, translation and memory. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Sarajevo and earned an M.F.A. in printmaking from Old Dominion University. The awards are named for painter Theresa Pollak, who graduated from the University of Richmond before founding and teaching in the fine arts programs at Virginia Commonwealth University and her alma mater.

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell recently appointed the following local residents to state boards and commissions: Board of Veterans Services – Don Lecky of Richmond, president and CEO of Westminster Canterbury; and Soil & Water Conservation Board – Thomas M. Branin of Henrico, vice president of CCM, Inc.

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University of Richmond President Edward L. Ayers recently was selected to lead a reading-and-discussion program exploring the Civil War’s impact on modern American culture. Organized by the American Library Association (ALA) and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the “Let’s Talk About It” program will present a series of five discussions at each of 65 community libraries from coast to coast. They will be led by local American history and literature scholars over the coming months. Ayers, a scholar of the American South, was named by the ALA as the national project scholar and chose the texts to be used to teach the theme, “Making Sense of the American Civil War.” He also edited an accompanying text, “America’s War: Talking about the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries,” an anthology of historical fiction, speeches, diaries, memoirs, biography and short stories that frame the discussion series.

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Navy Seamen Jonathon D. Brush, son of Selina C. Brush of Glen Allen and Jeffrey D. Brush of Henrico, and Justin A. Mulligan, son of Leann Jacobs of Henrico and David Mulligan of Powhatan, recently reported for duty at Navy and Marine Intelligence Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. Brush is a 2009 graduate of Hermitage High School and joined the Navy Reserve in July 2011. Mulligan is a 2002 graduate of Powhatan High School and joined the Navy in July 2011.
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

Brews and bites done right

Urban Tavern’s big, bold themes impress

The Urban Tavern opened in August, replacing the former Shackelford’s space at 10498 Ridgefield Parkway in Short Pump. Because of local and longtime devotion to Shackleford’s, Urban Tavern has some big shoes to fill.

Without any background information, I headed to the restaurant for dinner on a Wednesday night, two months after its opening.

On a perfect fall evening, four out of eight outdoor tables were taken, giving the impression that the restaurant was busier than it was. On the inside, a couple tables were taken, and a few folks were seated at the bar. > Read more.

A terrible, horrible movie. . . that’s actually pretty good

‘Alexander’ provides uncomplicated family fun
It’s not surprising in the least that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day doesn’t much resemble the book it’s based upon.

Judith Viorst’s 1972 picture book isn’t exactly overflowing with movie-worthy material. Boy has bad day. Boy is informed that everyone has bad days sometimes. Then, the back cover.

In the film, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-ness is blown up to more extreme size. Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) has a bum day every day, while the rest of his family (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey) exist in a constant bubble of perfection and cheery optimism – to the point that the family is so wrapped up in their own success that Alexander’s being ignored.

So on the eve of his 12th birthday, Alexander makes a wish: just once, he’d like his family to see things from his perspective; to experience the crushing disappointment of one of those no good, very bad days. Once he has blown out the candle on his pre-birthday ice cream sundae, his family’s fate is sealed: one full day of crippling disasters for all of them. > Read more.

Deep Run HS plans fall musical

Tickets for Deep Run High School’s fall musical production – Aida – will go on sale Nov. 3. The Elton John-Tim Rice pop opera, inspired by Verdi’s classic opera, tells the story of enslaved Nubian princess Aida, who falls for captain of the guard Radames, who is betrothed to the Egyptian princess.

Performances will be held Nov. 13-15 at 7 p.m. each day. > Read more.

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The Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond will stream National Theatre Live’s “Skylight” at 2 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music. The production… Full text

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