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
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will host a candlelight vigil of remembrance and hope Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the University of Richmond, outside the Cannon Chapel. The public is invited to attend and join MADD to honor victims of impaired driving crashes, while helping to remind the community to be safe during the holidays. > Read more.
Among participants at the Seventh Annual Coordinators2Inc Golf Tournament and awards luncheon Oct. 3 were (from left) Rebecca Ricardo, C2 Inc executive director; Kevin Derr, member of the winning foursome; Sharon Richardson, C2 Inc founder; and Frank Ridgway and Jon King, members of the winning foursome.
Held at The Crossings Golf Club, the tournament will benefit placement of children from Virginia's foster care system into permanent families through Coordinators2. > Read more.
Event will help kick of Marine Corps' 'Toys for Tots' campaign
All 140 A.C. Moore locations will serve as drop-off centers this year for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, and all toys collected will stay in the local communities served by the stores in which they are donated.
On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Willow Lawn location will kick off the month-long program by hosting a "Make & Take" craft event for kids. Children ages six and older will be able to make a craft and take it home with them. Representatives from the Marines will be in-store to teach customers about the Toys for Tots program. A.C. Moore team members will be on site to help with the crafts. > Read more.
The Dominion GardenFest of Lights Grand Illumination takes place tonight at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden! This year’s theme is “A Legacy in Lights: 120 Years from Bicycle Club to Botanical Garden,” which celebrates the Garden’s history. You can also celebrate Thanksgiving again – tomorrow at Henricus Historical Park. More great events – Lavender Fields Herb Farm and Wilton House Museum will both host their holiday open house events this weekend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6,’ lovable robot Baymax delight
It may be time for Olaf to step down as our nation’s reigning cartoon character. Big Hero 6, the latest animated feature from Disney, contains a challenger to the throne: Baymax (Scott Adsit), another lovably chubby white wonder, who will bring joy to children’s hearts and invade every home in America inside a six-foot pile of Disney merchandise.
Big Hero 6 (based ever so slightly on a Marvel comic of the same name) is the story of Baymax – and also his closest companion Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter). And then also their four friends, all of whom join together to form the titular superhero team.
At first, though, it’s only Hiro, a young boy and an engineering prodigy, who’d rather spend his time in underground robot fight clubs than do something productive with his gifts. > Read more.
Bella’s feels – and tastes – like Italy should
Short Pump is known for its share of chain restaurants and strip malls, but diners looking for something more distinct can certainly find it without heading downtown or to nearby Charlottesville.
In fact, local husband-and-wife restaurateurs Valeria Bisenti and Doug Muir brought a taste of Charlottesville (and Italy) to Short Pump when they took a chance and opened Bella’s second location in the same shopping strip as Wal-Mart and Peter Chang China Cafe. (Bella’s original location is on Main Street in downtown Charlottesville.)
For a local Italian restaurant, Bella’s is as “Mom and Pop” as its gets. Valeria is Mom, and Doug is Pop. Since its opening about six months ago, diners have been eating rich comfort foods and drinking Italian wines. > Read more.
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