Thursday, December 18, 2008

Local News: The sent in, the scraped up & the repackaged for holiday gifting..

While local television and print media anchors and reporters keep receiving the unfortunate news of 'no-gigness' as poorly timed holiday surprises, you can still count on us at HV for all the news that's fit to print, and more.

We'll try not to focus on all of the violent crime and craziness that looks to be leading the season, but Gol-Dang!! There's a lot going on around these parts!


Petition for Preservation of Historic Resources in Henrico Makes the Rounds
"The Near West End News" via HV reader "Amy"
Posted by Jonah_H at 6:34AM under RVANews-news

"We are passing along this petition from a NWEN reader in Henrico. Check it out, I know I’ll be signing: You may know, Henrico Co.s 2026 Comprehensive Land Use Plan is in its final draft stages. In over 3 yrs, they have received input from only 365 individuals. That’s less than .12% of nearly 300,000 residents. This is an outreach failure on their part. Instead of revitalizing existing urban areas in need of repair/activity, Henrico Admin encourages developing currently vacant areas, and at cost to the taxpayer. They aren’t effectively assessing increased traffic into the city from the east end. Nor is there consideration for impact on farming, natural and historic resources. From a 1976 county publication listing the county’s historic resources, over 88% have been destroyed. This petition, with Historic Preservation as the platform, requests an extension to adoption of the plan pending further public involvement. They are still taking public comments."

An HV Reader sent in this historic hot tip. Thanks Amy! We see an HV Green Leader Award under someone's tree this year!

Richmond Ranks Low Among Historic Travel Destinations
"National Geographic" thanks to Mister Edwin Slipek, Jr. of Style Weekly

"Virginia: Richmond historic area

Score: 61"

"Richmond has great resources but has done a terrible job of protecting them. Downtown is depressed and unsafe. The battlefields are surrounded by subdivisions. Historic demolitions have destroyed much of the city's unique character. In terms of its historic offerings and their upkeep, Richmond is a jewel, although it doesn't score high on the tourist circuit. The city is doing a fair job of coordinating the various 'islands' of attraction—downtown, Fan District, Shockoe Slip, Church Hill, etc.—but needs to package the whole thing better. The outlook is good, however, since its location and access rate are high. The riverfront revitalization is engaging and offers good services."

Cuts in GRTC bus routes on table tonight
From the "Richmond Times-Dispatch"

Published: December 18, 2008

"People will have one more chance tonight to talk about proposed changes in GRTC bus routes. The informal town meeting will be the third and last community forum conducted by GRTC Transit System on a proposal to eliminate up to nine bus routes in the Richmond area. The meeting is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Richmond City Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 900 E. Broad St.

John M. Lewis, chief executive officer of the transit system, will lead the discussion with an explanation of the comprehensive analysis that GRTC completed this year of its operations. The review, combined with high fuel prices and budget limitations, prompted GRTC to propose the elimination of nine underused routes. The route are: #11-Laurel/17th Street; #13-Main Street/Church Hill; #16 Westhampton; the Lunchtime Express; #20-North Side; #22-Hermitage; #61-Broad Rock Shuttle; #67-Chippenham Express; #65-Stony Point Fashion Park/VCU/Wal-Mart Express."

Richmond slave jail’s foundation found

From the
"Richmond Times-Dispatch"
by Melodie N. Martin

"Hidden for more than a century, the courtyard of round, gray stones and other remnants of Lumpkin's Slave Jail lay exposed yesterday in the corner of a Shockoe Bottom parking lot. Archaeologists have spent the past four months digging 8 to 15 feet down to uncover "an amazingly intact urban complex," which included brick foundation walls, said Matthew R. Laird, principal investigator with the James River Institute for Archaeology in Williamsburg. The dig recovered thousands of period artifacts, including ceramics, glassware, bottles, a shoe and animal bones."

Longtime Richmond TV personalities laid off

From the "Star-Exponent"

"Three of the most familiar on-air faces at WWBT-Channel 12 have been laid off. Longtime sports director Ben Hamlin, anchor Gene Lepley, and Henrico and Hanover counties reporter Rob Richardson are among the seven employees from several departments whose jobs were eliminated Wednesday because of the economy."

Plan riles Philip Morris
From the "Richmond Times-Dispatch"

"Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's proposal to double Virginia's cigarette tax is unfair, the nation's top tobacco company said yesterday, but public health groups called on state lawmakers to quadruple the tax to $1.20 per pack. "We think it is unfair to single out one industry to bear this tax burden," said Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Henrico County-based cigarette maker Philip Morris USA."

Ex-Va museum worker sentenced for artifacts thefts
From the "Associated Press"

"NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) -- A former archivist who admitted stealing Titanic items and other artifacts from the Mariners' Museum will spend four years in a federal prison. Lester F. Weber had pleaded guilty in June to mail fraud, theft from the Newport News attraction and filing a false tax return. The 46-year-old Weber was sentenced Weds. in U.S. District Court in Newport News. Federal prosecutors say Weber and his wife, Lorie E. Childs, sold the stolen artifacts on eBay for $169,959 between 2002 and 2006. Childs was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison for her role in the scheme."

Own a Piece of Henrico History- Historic House for Sale
From "" via HV reader "Cuckoo"

"1st time on market in 20 years. All this & MORE on 2 PRIVATE acres in the West End WOW! OWNER FINANCING POSSIBLE!"

Historic circa 1820 Henrico Home for Sale:

"Penick House" 4815 Belle Glade Dr Richmond VA 23230
4 beds, 3.5 baths, 3,568 sq ft
For Sale: $414,950

An HV Reader sent in this hot historic tip. So thanks go out to the little bird that told us.

"Delivering Dung? Mailing Feces Is Legal, State Says"

Straight from the source of all the best local poop
"Style Weekly"
by Chris Dovi

"“Sending poop … probably constitutes the transport of hazardous materials through the mail,” says Tom Lambert, a legal specialist for the agency. A fair assumption, but U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Cathy Boule offers this advice for committed gift givers, loaded with such holiday cheer that they just can’t hold it: “The bottom line is, yes [poop] can be mailed, but there are a lot of restrictions and guidelines that have to be followed,” Boule says. “We have strict guidelines.”"

Henrico school officials to discuss laptop program, class sizes

From the "Richmond Times-Dispatch"
Published: December 18, 2008

"Henrico County school officials will discuss possibly reducing some class sizes at a work session this afternoon.Also at the afternoon session, board members will discuss the county's laptop initiative. Henrico is in the final year of a four-year contract with Dell Computers to supply laptops to high school students. It plans to post a request for proposals by the beginning of next year and have a contract to replace them by the end of this school year. The School Board also will have its regular meeting at 7 p.m."

[RT-D] "Reader Reactions
Posted by ( dklee ) on December 18, 2008 at 1:12 pm"

"If they separated the west end from the east end, Henrico will have plenty of money to give every student 2 laptops. East end is a joke and an open wound for henrico. I say the west end should vote to form their own county."


The material above all came in from the links shown. Thanks again for the reader write-ins, they're always welcome!

If you have an opinion concerning 'dklee''s take on the East End, please visit the Richmond Times-Dispatch link provided, and take it up with 'dklee' there.
Nuf said?

Our sympathies go out to the gig-free, we're all working double shifts
with our fingers crossed.

Keeping you informed gets tougher and tougher to fit in-
but we'll keep trying, County.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Powhatan County's identity has a foot in the past

History brings big bucks in Va., but so does working as a consultant for billion-dollar-budget counties like Henrico. Tough to track scent in the cold- but the whiff of cash is aloft as some local leaders stand up to plan for the future of their past. Don't let it all blow away.

Even with the economy south and in the wake of local press lay-offs, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has again revamped their online presence. "The paper" still manages to cover some uber-local news through associated spin-off subpages- like Powhatan Today. PT hit the target in Henrico yesterday by linking Powhatan's consultants to our county's current comprehensive plan.

ch- ching ! ch- ching !

M D-C follows the money to Powhatan County
psst! history pays, Mr. Dale

McBride Dale-Clarion, yep- the same Ohio consulting firm working on Henrico's current Comprehensive Plan has tripped a little west to Powhatan, to ask big questions, like

How important a consideration is “the effort to maintain and restore historic sites?” Related Powhatan Today coverage hit the T-D's front page with this headlining statement:

"County leaders: historic preservation must be part of new comprehensive plan"

By Michael Copley

(Powhatan Today) Staff writer
Dec 10, 2008

"Consultants Greg Dale and Roger Walden of McBride Dale Clarion, met with the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission last Thursday to discuss the visions, goals, and objectives of the new comprehensive plan for the county.

The county has hired McBride Dale Clarion to help in drafting the new document.

As stated in the report given to county representatives, the goal of the new comprehensive plan is to ensure Powhatan is a place where “You can see the stars at night, be in touch with the land, and yet be able to work, live, play, shop, and learn without having to leave the county.”

Specific ways of developing, with a mind for keeping Powhatan rural yet prosperous, were debated Thursday evening. At least one aspect of the new plan drew a strong reaction from the Board and Planning Commission members.

Dale asked the group how important a consideration was “the effort to maintain and restore historic sites.”

There was what appeared to be stunned silence in the library conference room.

“[The history] is part of what makes us what we are,” Carson Tucker said plainly.

It was clear at that moment, that for all the debatable issues and opinions, the people elected to serve Powhatan County are passionate and clear on the issues that matter most to them."

get your Powhatan Today coverage here

So was Dale asking a trick question? Only time will tell in Powhatan. One thing's for certain, he sure has changed his tune since he countered Varina resident's overwhelming call for developmental rights programs (TDR and PDR to preserve farmland) in September by hissing: "Do you really want to raise taxes?" or perhaps Copley's only hit the tip of the ice-berg.

Wonder how MD-C scored the Powhatan gig? Maybe their wives came down to visit from Cincinnati.. maybe they all went out looking for "the country" on a Sunday drive and couldn't find any out near Glen Allen. Or perhaps they want their business to sprawl all over Central Virginia?

Let's see now... looking around- Chesterfield County preservation planning has won awards. That county was tapped by none other than 1st Lady Laura Bush for inclusion in the Preserve America program, making Chesterfield eligible for million$ in grant$ and other preservation funding. Yes- million$.

So where do we stand around here?

Listening to the clock tick...

pulling down the zipper on powhatan planning