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Commonwealth’s attorney event likely to feature one candidate

A Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney candidates forum that was scheduled to occur Thursday, Oct. 27 is likely to include only one candidate after one withdrew and another said he had never been invited.

The event was billed as a debate by officials with Republican nominee Matt Geary's campaign, but independent candidate Bill Janis said he never received an invitation to the event and had only learned of it through an e-mail press release that arrived at 2:34 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 24.

“No one associated with the Janis campaign was ever contacted about or invited to an alleged debate," Janis spokesman Ray Allen said in a press release. "Period.  We received the same press release that members of the media received from Mr. Geary’s campaign announcing his so-called debate.  If one reads the release closely he admits in the release that they never talked to or communicated with us in any way."

Democratic nominee Shannon Taylor originally had said she would participate but late this afternoon announced she was backing out after learning that Janis had not been invited. In a press release, Taylor said that she had told Geary to invite Janis and herself in a formal fashion.

“I have the series of text message exchanges between Matt Geary and me all the way back on October 17 in the early morning where I informed him, in no uncertain terms, to make sure an invite was extended to Mr. Janis and documented," Taylor said in the release. "Moreover, two days later, on October 19, in response to a text from Mr. Geary outlining logistics for a debate, I explicitly texted him to please write a letter to both of us so I can respond to both of you. I am dismayed and disappointed that my advice was apparently not taken."

Citizen Publisher Tom Lappas was scheduled to moderate the event, but also withdrew after learning that Janis apparently had not received an invitation.

In Taylor's release, she suggested that the three candidates work together to find an agreeable time to hold a forum or debate prior to the Nov. 8 election.

"The citizens of Henrico deserve to hear from all three candidates," Taylor said. "Keeping Henrico citizens safe is a very important responsibility and the residents of Henrico should get to hear from all three candidates before they go to the polls to make their decision. “

Geary still intends to appear at the event, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors Room at the western government center, and answer the five questions that Lappas had prepared to pose to each candidate.
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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