Henrico County VA

Henricocopolis Soil and Water Conservation District Board

1.Why should residents of Henrico County elect you?
I understand the business side of conservation. I’ve written extensively on how Virginians are profiting by protecting natural resources, including a monthly column for Virginia Business magazine on green building. I also know the hands-on of water pollution and erosion control. I trained and lead work crews in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest, and have organized and run tree planting programs, and I have a degree in Environmental Studies from UCLA. And I’ve been a teacher for more than 10 years. I designed and taught conservation outreach programs in rural, suburban and inner-city schools. I know how to partner with school systems, and how to engage students. I do it every day as an assistant professor at VCU.

2.What will be your top focus if elected? I’ll start with workshops for real estate developers. From green roofs, which can cut storm water runoff by more than 50%, to landscaping with native species that don’t need irrigation or pesticides, there are smart ways to make money while conserving resources. And it’s time Henrico held conservation easements. The cheapest way to preserve soil and water quality is by protecting green space. That’s why Soil and Water Conservation districts have the authority to hold easements; so they can help land owners voluntarily preserve fields and forests.

3. What is the most important responsibility or most critical issue facing the Henricopolis Board? How would you propose to address it? Land loss. In the last five years, the Richmond region built on or paved over 59,000 acres of green space; that’s faster than Northern Virginia or Hampton Roads. If we continue at this pace, we’ll lose more green space in the next 20 years than we did in the last 400. Open land is essential to healthy water, and healthy soil. That’s where the voluntary easements come in (see above).

4.How will you involve citizens in matters of government? Perhaps the most surprising thing about discussing the Soil & Water Conservation District is how many friends and neighbors reply, “What’s that?” There are free and low-budget ways to increase public awareness , including editorials, press coverage, and a richer internet presence. My work has generated contacts across the Richmond region. I enjoy public speaking, I write for a living, and I am eager to use these tools on the board.

5.What’s your favorite way to spend the weekend? Doing ANYTHING outside with my husband and daughter. Lately, our weekends have been spent splitting up the oak that Hurricane Irene pushed onto our porch. Our next project is building a tree house with the ruined porch boards.

6. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of? Residents of Osborne Turnpike neighborhood association (ROOT), the East End High School Design Committee, Varina Beautification Committee, VCU’s Sustainability Committee, Envision Henrico, the Partnership for Smarter Growth, and the Virginia League of Conservation Voters

7.Additional information: Henrico’s long-term economic health depends on responsible stewardship of our resources. But for most of us, that’s icing on the cake. I’m running for a four-year unpaid public service position because I know what soil and water conservation mean for the health of my child…and yours.

1. Why should residents of Henrico County elect you? First of all, it is a honor to represent Henrico in any way. We have lived in Henrico since 1965 and I firmly believe we are the best run county in the state and probably the country. I have served on the board since January 1, 1992 and have served as director,vice chair and chair and on various committees. Soil and water districts were established by President Roosevelt and are the only publicly elected officials who serve non gratis. There are 47 districts in Virginia and Henricopolis represents Henrico only.

2. What will be your top focus if elected? (See below.)

3. What is the most important responsibility or most critical issue facing the Henricopolis Board? How would you propose to address it? The most important responsibility facing our board is to consistently provide information to the citizens on conservation practices through our several programs which include school programs, rain barrel workshops, farmers meeting, cost share for our farmers, Arbor Day and several other programs working with our various partner agencies. We are funded by both the state and county. 

4. How will you involve citizens in matters of government? We publicize all meetings and invite the public at times to help us in long term planning meetings. I personally encourage all  people to conserve all our natural resources and would like everyone to recycle.

5. What’s your favorite way to spend the weekend? On the weekends I prefer to work in the yard or take one day trips.

6. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of?
I am retired and do not belong to any professional organizations. I do belong to two private, mainly outdoor groups.

7. Additional information: As an old Boy Scout I would like everyone to respect the environment – i.e., do not litter!

(No response received)

1. Why should residents of Henrico County elect you? Thirty years ago I was elected by write-in ballot to this same position and re-elected four times and then did not seek re-election. Now 15 years later, seeing a lack of leadership and experience in what many may refer to as an agricultural best practices advisor, I believe it can and should be much more. I have reviewed the field of candidates, all are seem to be inspired individuals desiring to do the right thing. They will spend years “learning the ropes”, yet, new blood and ideas are beneficial. To be truly effective as a district board we need leadership and experience, the public will get what they vote. I have learned, leading a public charity, to make measurable change, it takes work. I grew up in a greenhouse, taught horticultural tech at JSRCC, through construction built some of the first erosion and sediment control projects in Henrico County, supported passage of the Chesapeake Bay Act and as district director bought school books for HCPS, like “Brother Eagle, Sister Sky”, instituted Arbor Day tree plannings, spoke at numerous school, public, civic and community meetings, mentored Eagle Scouts and much much more. I became one the foremost district directors in Virginia leading training for the construction industry on construction site management practices and was a state executive board member.

2. What will be your top focus if elected? Over a number of years, I have been closely involved in wetland projects. Having been in the real estate and construction industries for nearly four decades, I, like other visionary project developers absolutely understand the cost effectiveness of “green” – LEED – approach to projects. Adaptive reuse in construction, using the latest and greatest products and practices to save energy (operating cost efficiencies), is important.

3. What is the most important responsibility or most critical issue facing the Henricopolis Board? How would you propose to address it? (See above.)

4. How will you involve citizens in matters of government? (No answer.)

5. What’s your favorite way to spend the weekend? (No answer.)

6. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of? I am deeply involved in many cultural activities. One is competitive sailing, more than 22 major events per year. This puts me in close contact with the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers. As I call it, God’s blessed natural playground. It’s only on loan to us.

1. Why should residents of Henrico County elect you? Three reasons: 1) Conservation. All SWCD directors should demonstrate a strong personal conservation ethic, and I do. I handled landowner outreach for Capital Region Land Conservancy, helped start an ad hoc citizen group (Envision Henrico) that successfully advocated for including Smart Growth principles in Henrico’s 2026 plan, and am becoming qualified as a river monitor. 2) Capability. The SWCD board runs and promotes voluntary conservation programs with the help of a small staff. I hold a B.S.in Biology (Davidson College) and a M. Ed.in Adult Education (VCU). I earned certification in public relations (APR ‘99) and am an alum of Leadership Metro Richmond (‘96). I’ve managed budgets and work plans as a corporate program manager and an executive director. I’ve raised money, designed marketing campaigns, met goals, and supervised staff. I know the importance of accountability and of delivering results. 3) Commitment. I am prepared to commit the next four years to maximizing the effectiveness of Henrico’s SWCD.

2. What will be your top focus if elected? Water quality. Despite some progress due to many good efforts, much money, and increased regulation over the last decade, we just can’t take our eyes off the health of the James and Chickahominy rivers and their tributaries. Each of us must do more to stem the tide of chemicals, bacteria and sediment that threatens our waters. Farmers, homeowners, golf courses, and lawn services can manage pesticides and herbicides more responsibly. Those with water frontage can ensure appropriate buffers against erosion and runoff. Homeowners can monitor and maintain stormwater and septic systems to function as designed. We can all be more mindful of purchasing products that will end up down the drain. And we can take time to properly dispose of everything from pet waste, to waste oil, to outdated medicines. And not because anyone requires us to, but because we know it’s critical to do our part. Henrico’s SWCD is ideally suited to mobilize our community for the protection of our historic rivers as well as the Chesapeake Bay.

3. What is the most important responsibility or most critical issue facing the Henricopolis Board? How would you propose to address it? It’s time for this board to engage new perspectives and explore its full potential as a conservation agent for Henrico’s citizens. New associate directors can be appointed to represent a wide spectrum of stakeholders -- from suburban homeowners to new farmers to progressive developers. Committees need reactivating. Smart communication strategies should be employed, new conservation partners pursued.

4. How will you involve citizens in matters of government? In addition to adding new associate directors, it’s time the SWCD board engage stakeholder groups in serious dialog – at meetings of civic, business and homeowner associations and churches. More specifically, the input of a broader sector of Henrico farmers is needed. Finally, on the most fundamental of levels, SWCD agendas and minutes should be posted and made easily accessible online.

5. What’s your favorite way to spend the weekend? There is nothing finer than the company of a good dog and the Chickahominy River on a glorious fall afternoon.

6. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of? GED instructor – Henrico Adult Education; elder, Sandston Presbyterian Church, Key volunteer, CARITAS; Active Life Running Club; Chickahominy YMCA; Chickahominy River monitor.

7. Additional information:
Nicole Ellis and I are campaigning together. Check us out at http://www.voteellisandwilson.com

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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Weekend Top 10

For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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.

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Sandston Baptist Church’s annual Fall Festival will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be food, games, Trunk or Treat and more. For details, visit http://www.sandstonbaptist.org Full text

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