A Reiteration Of Opposition To The Monroe Park Conservancy

From email:

Dear Councilperson Gray and other friends

Please find enclosed a petition of over 350 signatures of people opposed to the damage that has been done to the tree canopy of Monroe Park, Richmond’s oldest and most historic municipal park.
During the park’s period of historic significance, there were 362 trees of 26 varieties in the park. When the approved Monroe Park master plan was conceived, the park was down to 155 trees due to natural causes and lack of consistent maintenance and planting. Currently, there are less than a hundred trees in the park, many destroyed through actions violating established city policy. Even after trees that are planned to be planted are put in, there will be approximately one third as many trees as during the period of historic significance. This damage has been caused by a departure from the approved master plan and work documents through piecemeal alterations advocated in the last year by the City of Richmond on behalf of the Monroe Park Conservancy. The resulting damage cannot be corrected for at least a generation even if a comprehensive tree restoration plan were to be immediately enacted.
The approved Monroe Park master plan (2008) was celebrated for its community inclusivity and exhaustive research into the historic value of the park and was assembled by city council appointed community representatives with the assistance of the firm Rhodeside and Harwell at a cost of over 700,000 dollars to the taxpayers of the city of Richmond. It is tragic that it has been recently superseded by such a radical departure.
The approval of a 30 year lease to the the private Monroe Park Conservancy has turned out to be a tragic mistake and has served the city of Richmond poorly.
In closing, may I remind you all that the taxpayers of Richmond have invested well over 4.53 million dollars on this “renovation” and yet are denied legitimate representation on the MPC executive board, even though VCU has three seats and a seat was recently added for Dominion Energy. This lack of community representation violates the spirit of council approved resolution 2014-R64-64. It is notable, councilperson Gray, that both you and the Mayor’s chief of staff are sitting board members of the Monroe Park Conservancy.
It is in the best interest of the city of Richmond to consider dissolving the lease agreement and for city council to appoint a community based board to advise the city on Monroe Park matters.

Sincerely,

Charles Todd Woodson

(Editor’s note- The Sierra Club Falls of the James previously called for termination of the lease)

L’Opossum Featured In Wine Enthusiast

Wine mag Wine Enthusiast gave China Street restaurant L’Opossum this rave as part of a write up on Richmond’s ‘vibrant culinary scene’:

This restaurant somehow merges the concepts of French fine dining, American steakhouse, New Orleans bordello and punk rock club. It’s an experience that transports diners and never loses sight of what’s on the plate. The “cold hot pink soup” is an immaculate beet vichyssoise with blue crab, corn and sorrel, while the crab cakes are the meatiest in town. The jokey names and descriptions of dishes either poke fun at the self-importance of many restaurants or are merely wacky, like the “Darth Grouper Held At Bay By A Rebellious Coalition.” However, that’s part of the mischievous fun here.

“Congratulations, you’re the park!”

An online quiz includes Monroe Park as one of the answers.

QUIZ: Which Ongoing VCU Construction Project Are You?

“Congratulations, you’re the park! You’ve got a cute charm about you and big ideas that you’re ready to share with the world. The problem is that your anxiety has driven you to make changes for yourself that didn’t need to be made. Not to mention you’re not doing much about any of your previous flaws. And this whole debacle has cost over $6 million dollars.”

BBC Article On Tredegar Filmmaker

A BBC News article tells of a new film about the Welsh town of Tredegar, the American iron works named after it, and the filmmaker’s last legacy.

Excerpt:

Six months after his death, a filmmaker’s final work has been completed and it is hoped it will put his hometown, Tredegar, on the map.
Peter Morgan Jones scripted and voiced hundreds of documentaries as well as writing many books about south Wales.
When he died, he was making a film about Tredegar’s namesake in Richmond, Virginia, and south Wales’ little-known influence in the American civil war.
It has been completed and is attracting interest from US television networks.
While the Blaenau Gwent town is famous for links to Aneurin Bevan and the NHS, Mr Jones spent a decade uncovering its role in supplying arms to the Confederate South and rebuilding the USA after the war.

“North Bank / Oregon Hill end plant list”

VCU Field Botany has posted notes on “rampages.us”:

Excerpt:

Here is a list of all the plants I observed on our walk to North Bank (Oregon Hill end), broken up into sections.

Section 1: This section received a lot of south facing sun, had little to no canopy, was heavily disturbed, compacted poor soil, lots of foot and bicycle traffic, and subject to a lot of urban runoff and pollution.

Paper mulberry
privet (everywhere)
hackberry
Johnson grass
blackberry
honeysuckle (abundant)
pokeweed
lespidizia?
mimosa (abundant)
tree of heaven
black cherry tree
sweet gum
black locust
eastern red cedar
sweet potato vine
greenbiar
Virginia creeper
ragwort
dock
hops vine
daisy fleabane
morning glory
trumpet creeper
kudzu (abundant)
osage orange
bradford pear
sycamore
white pine?

The Foundry Series- Civil War, Indian Wars, & Tribal Sovereignty – Thursday

From Facebook event:

Throughout the country’s history, the United States government has had a complicated (and often violent) relationship with tribal nations.

Featuring:

Ari Kelman, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Ari Kelman will explore connections between the United States Civil War and military campaign against Native American peoples, focusing on the case of the Dakota War. That conflict culminated in the hanging of 38 Dakota warriors on December 26, 1862, the largest public execution in the nation’s history, as President Lincoln prepared for the Emancipation Proclamation to go into effect.

Keith Richotte, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
This talk will describe tribal sovereignty and the relationship between the federal government and tribal nations before, during, and after the Civil War.

Cost: $10 Adults, Members: $8
Get tickets by clicking here.

Thursday, November 16 at 6 PM
The American Civil War Museum, 500 Tredegar Street