Henrico County VA

County’s first dog park being planned at Dorey Park

Canines of Henrico County soon will have a new place to roam.

Henrico County's first public dog park is scheduled to open in Varina's Dorey Park later this year.

The dog park will be located on about one acre of land near the pond at the park, on the opposite side of a gravel parking lot. Construction is expected to begin this month, with completion anticipated by late September, according to Al Azzarone, parks planning supervisor for the Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks.

"We've been receiving citizen requests [for a dog park] for a number of years," Azzarone said. After Varina District Supervisor Jim Donati received some of those requests himself, he asked county officials to look into the concept of putting a dog park at Dorey. They studied the site and determined the best location for such an area.

The spot they selected is mostly wooded currently but will be partially cleared in the coming weeks to allow for the construction of the dog park. Officials hope to keep several larger trees in place. A footbridge will be constructed over a ditch to connect the park to the parking lot.

“I’ve had a number of calls and requests from people for something like this, “ Donati said, “especially from those who live in dense neighborhoods or townhomes. They really don’t have anywhere for their dogs to run safely.”

The dog park will include two separate areas – one for large dogs and one for small dogs – and double-gated entrances to each side, to allow dogs to enter and be unleashed in a holding area prior to entering the park.

There also will be sufficient space around the perimeter of the park for visitors to walk their dogs as well, if they choose not to enter the fenced-in portion.

The facility will be enclosed by 6-foot tall black vinyl fencing, Azzarone said, and will include a number of features. Among them:

• water dispensers on each side for dogs;

• play equipment for dogs;

• bag dispensers and trash cans to collect and dispose of dog waste;

• seating areas for visitors.

Officials also are considering a way to construct a shallow water pit that dogs could wade in during warm months, Azzarone said.

The project will cost about $155,000 in total; it required that water lines be extended from the restrooms at the park across the main road to the new site, Azzarone said.

Because the addition of the park falls within the purview of the Dorey Park master plan, no official action by the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors is necessary to permit its construction.

However the Board of Supervisors will consider an ordinance amendment at its Aug. 9 meeting that would allow dogs to be off leash in the dog park – a necessary step before the park can open.

Requests for dog parks have come from other parts of the county as well, Azzarone said, and it is possible that additional parks could be considered elsewhere in the future.
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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