Henrico County VA

Survey from students: No guns on campus

Eight out of 10 college students in Virginia are against allowing guns on campus, according to a statewide survey conducted by the advocacy group Virginia 21. The organization, which represents young adults in Virginia, has been surveying college and university students about hot-button issues that may crop up during this year’s legislative session.

One such issue: whether guns should be permitted on campus. Some Second Amendment advocates say armed students could protect themselves against school shootings like the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007.

Nearly 8,000 students took the Virginia 21 survey, and 83 percent of them said they do not want guns on school property, especially in dormitories. Seven percent of the respondents were unsure about the issue; the others supported the idea of letting guns on campus.

Tom Kramer, executive director for Virginia 21, said students’ main concern is dorm rooms.

“We don’t want guns in our dorm rooms. That’s one of the things we are most worried about. Could you imagine your roommate having a gun and you not knowing about it?” Kramer said.

“Freshmen don’t even get to pick who they room with. Do they have a right to know that? That is what really bothers us about a gun bill.”

At this point, no bills have been proposed in the 2013 General Assembly to allow guns on school property. However, such a proposal was filed last year.

Kramer wants to make sure the measure doesn’t come up again. “If there is one, we are going to basically call all of our chapters up to kill the bill,” he said.

According to other preliminary results of the Virginia 21 survey:

• 60 percent of students say they are unaware what their student loan payments will be upon graduation.

• 40 percent of students did not know about career center services on their college campus.

Virginia 21 will announce the complete results of its survey, including responses to topics involving tuition and textbooks, at the group’s Lobby Day on Jan. 29.

Students and other young voters from across the state will attend the event to urge legislators to hold down tuition while maintaining the quality of education. The group expects 80-100 supporters.

For details about Virginia 21 or its Lobby Day, visit http://www.virginia21.org
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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North Park Library, 8508 Franconia Rd., will host Scare-O-Thon: Escape from Undead Island at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening of interactive games, terrifying treats and prizes. For middle and high… Full text

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