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Weekday tolls to rise on 895

Weekend prices remain unchanged
The new year will bring a weekday toll increase to the Pocahontas Parkway, effective Thursday, Jan. 3.

Two-axle vehicles such as cars, SUVs and pickup trucks passing through the Pocahontas 895 main plaza will pay an extra quarter for weekday travel, although tolls will remain the same for two-axle vehicles passing through the Main Plaza on weekends.

On weekends, the main toll plaza rate for two-axle vehicles will be continue to be $2.75, which is the current rate. During the week, two toll prices will be charged at the main plaza – a commuting rate of $3.25 from 6 and 9 a.m. and again from 3 to 6 p.m. – and a rate of $3 at all other times Monday through Friday.

Tolls also will go up a quarter, to $1.50, for customers traveling between Interstate 295 and Pocahontas 895’s two ramps – the Laburnum Avenue exit and the Airport Connector exit -- who do not pass through the Main Toll Plaza.

Tractor-trailers and other large vehicles passing through the Main Toll Plaza will pay $1.00 for each axle over two, at all times. For example, a 3-axle vehicle paying at the Main Plaza will pay $4.25 and a 4-axle vehicle will pay $5.25, at all times. This large-vehicle rate is an increase of 25 cents over the 2012 price.

The scheduled increase will fall short of the maximum permitted by an agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), said a spokesperson for Transurban, the company that manages Pocahontas 895. Funds for operation and maintenance of the road – including support road operations such as a micro-surfacing program to preserve and extend pavement life, security cameras along the roadway and in the Main Plaza area, and sensors on the bridge to detect wind, temperature and precipitation – come solely from user fees in the form of tolls, and not from federal or state taxes.

For details, including full details of toll price increases, visit http://www.pocahontas895.com
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

Film industry training program planned for this weekend

The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.

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.

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