Henrico County VA

Supervisors fail to reach conclusion on dog parks

Following its second work session on the topic, the Henrico Board of Supervisors remains undecided about whether to alter a county ordinance in order to permit private dog parks.

Board members discussed the matter Dec. 11 but failed to reach a consensus about whether to move forward with it. The matter arose initially when the Wyndham Foundation inquired about the possibility of building such a park within its community, citing interest from residents who responded to a survey.

County officials do not recommend that the board authorize the establishment of private dog parks, County Manager Virgil Hazelett told the board. But if the board chooses to permit them, officials recommend that it does so with the same standards that apply to public dog parks – except within multi-family housing communities, where standards could be relaxed.

During the Dec. 11 work session, county planners told supervisors that they would recommend private dog parks in single-family communities be at least one acre in size with 400-foot setbacks on all sides and a five-foot fence around the perimeter of the park.

But within multi-family communities, planners would recommend that such parks need be only a half-acre at minimum and be located within the interior of the development, though not necessarily subject to setback requirements.

The Wyndham Foundation felt that the standards proposed by planners were too restrictive and not appropriate for their concept of a dog park, Henrico principal planner Ben Blankenship told the board.

Henrico’s first public dog park opened in October 2011 at Dorey Park. Another one is being considered at Short Pump Park, Three Chopt District Supervisor Dave Kaechele said.

Board Chair Dick Glover appeared visibly agitated during the discussion last week, suggesting on several occasions that the board should either act or quit talking about the matter.

“This is, what, the third meeting that we’ve had on this?” Glover said. “And we’re no farther along than we were when we started.”

Kaechele is expected to meet with Wyndham officials again to determine whether supervisors will take any action on the matter or not.
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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Sandston Library, 23 E. Williamsburg Rd., will host a Scarecrow Party for ages 3-9 at 3:30 p.m. Celebrate scarecrows through stories, songs and a craft. Come dressed as a scarecrow.… Full text

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