W. Cary Street Mugging Last Night; Suspect Arrested

WTVR is reporting on muggings and arrest last night

“The first incident took place on the 600 block of West Cary street. A student was approached by a suspect armed with a firearm who demanded property. The suspect fled with the property,” a VCU Police spokesperson said. “The second incident took place at Shafer and Franklin streets. Two students were approached by a suspect with a firearm who demanded property. One student was struck with the weapon and sustained minor injuries.”

The third incident was reported on the 900 block of Park Avenue.

“Two students were again approached by a suspect armed with a firearm who demanded property. Both students were assaulted and sustained minor injuries,” police said.

Richmond Police located the suspect along the 400 block of North Harrison Street and arrested him at about 4:22 a.m.

“The property taken by the suspect was recovered when the suspect was arrested,” police said. “VCU Police, working in concert with Richmond Police, are committed to the safety of our students, faculty and staff.”

Save Downtown Train Service!

(ed. note- I don’t usually like running two editorials in a week, but there is a deadline involved here.)

I am strongly in favor of keeping two passenger rail stations for Richmond area, one being downtown’s Main Street Station, the other being Staples Mill. I reiterate that I am strongly in favor of keeping Main Street Station as a passenger rail station, for resiliency, convenience, and other reasons. I don’t want to lose service to downtown. I have felt this way for a long, long time.

Former VCU President Trani is promoting a plan to stop using Main Street Station and consolidate everything at one brand new station at Boulevard.
Trani’s allies are doing this fait accompli thing, where they are basically suggesting that citizens’ opinions like mine are pointless because decisions have already been made in favor of Trani’s plan. I doubt that and resent this politrick.
Those of us who have dealt wth VCU’s Trani in the past know this tactic all too well.

Anyway, I strongly urge all of you to make your opinion known (even if you don’t agree with mine). It’s not too late. Please go to www.vhsr.com/DC2RVA and spend a few seconds submitting your own comments to let Virginia state officials know your opinion. Virginia and the Federal Railroad Administration are requesting comments from the public before November 7th.

One neighbor submitted this comment:

Dear DRPT and FRA:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the federal DC2RVA high speed rail study.

I would like to devote my comment in support of keeping the Main Street Station as a key rail station in Richmond. After all, the planned Pulse route goes right by Main Street Station, and multi-modal transit was part of the consideration for the Pulse route.

Millions of tax dollars are being spent on the Pulse bus route, and it would be absurd to now change the location of the Richmond rail station so that it is not served by the new Pulse route.

Millions of tax dollars are also being spent to renovate the train shed behind Main Street Station. The original pitch for renovating the train shed was that it would help Main Street Station. Now that millions of dollars have been spent on the train shed it would be absurd to change the location of the Richmond rail station to exclude Main Street Station.

Richmond needs an iconic entry point by rail, and the Main Street Station is just such a landmark building. It is in a convenient location and within walking distance for a vast number of residents. It is also at a prominent destination point near the Va. State Capitol, VCU, Shockoe Bottom, etc.

Thank you for considering my comment devoted towards keeping Main Street Station as an important Richmond rail station.


Dinamo’s Hurricane Maria Benefit

From The Apple Cart:

Hate hurricanes, love pizza? On Sunday, October 29th from 5:00 to 9:00 pm, Dinamo will host a benefit for Hurricane Irma relief. Live music, pizza, doggza*, wine (provided by the good folks at Free Run) and beer! The standing-room-only benefit will offer pizza and doggza by the slice (or dog, as the case may be), and 100% of profits will go directly to Sister Islands in St. Croix.

*What is Doggza, you ask? I ASKED THE SAME THING! According to Dinamo FOH manager Abi Huntington, “Think personal pan pig in a blanket. A Sabrett hotdog baked in pizza dough with provolone served with mustard.”

Solar School Politics: Sturtevant, Carr, and Magruder

In case you did not know, Glen Sturtevant is Oregon Hill’s state senator for the General Assembly.

This morning, his name appeared on a Richmond Times Dispatch editorial about the Put Schools First/Richmond School Modernization referendum that will be on the ballot on November 7th. (interestingly enough, this column appeared briefly a week or so ago on the Times Dispatch website with Delegate Loupassi’s name instead of Sturtevant’s.)


This summer, dozens of citizens — spurred by the Richmond Crusade for Voters, the Sierra Club and others — braved 100-degree temperatures to gather signatures to put an end to the past six decades of government inaction. A record number of Richmonders — 15,000 — personally signed the petitions needed to get the school modernization initiative on the ballot. It should be crystal clear to all elected city officials that the citizens are tired of talk and want action. The charter change is very simple. It asks the mayor, after consulting with the City Council and the School Board, along with allowing for public input, to develop a fully funded school modernization plan for consideration within six months of the charter change becoming effective.

Although the editorial lauds ‘bipartisanship’, local Democrats continue to be less than welcoming to this grassroots referendum. In contrast, the Richmond Green Party has endorsed the referendum. From their press release this past July:

The Richmond Greens recognize that the decades of neglect and mismanagement of Richmond’s public school system is not solely the fault of the City of Richmond or Richmond Public Schools alone. The actions (or inactions, in some cases) by the Virginia General Assembly have exacerbated the issues affecting our public school system. However, we believe that anti-poverty initiatives need to include the modernization of school facilities to ensure our children have a better opportunity to unlock their utmost potential.

The modernization of our school buildings is not only essential to a quality education, but also promotes economic, racial, and environmental justice. Modernizing our school buildings will give the City the opportunity to invest in solar power and other “green” technologies to help reduce operational costs and combat climate change. It will also free students from the distractions of leaking/falling roofs, pests, and health issues (e.g. mold contamination) that seem to be exclusively present within school facilities mostly attended by African American students. And finally, Mayor Levar Stoney will have the chance to prove his commitment to enhancing education for children in every zip code of the City.

The Richmond Greens support the Put Schools First petition drive and will provide our support whenever possible. Efforts are currently underway to help our candidate, Montigue T. Magruder, win his House of Delegates race. As we inform the public of his candidacy, we will continue to inform voters about the Put Schools First petition to raise help raise awareness. We would like to extend our thanks to the Richmond Crusade for Voters and Sierra Club for leading the petition drive and would like to work with them on future endeavors.

So, a couple of things to watch:
Will Delegate Betsy Carr continue to say that she has not read enough to take a stance on the referendum? She will be at a neighbor’s house this Wednesday as part of a meet’n’greet. Magruder has one scheduled for Nov. 1 at the Bits and Pixels store in Carytown. Will the corporate media continue to largely ignore the political race here between Democratic Carr, Green Magruder, and Libertarian Crocker? (Both Magruder and Crocker support the referendum).

If the Put Schools First/Richmond School Modernization referendum passes this November, will local environmental and faith-based groups join the Sierra Club Falls of the James in calling for energy conservation, green building, and solar roofs to be part of Richmond school modernization?

We know that Dominion and the Richmond Children’s Museum are partnering to put small, ‘experimental’ solar on a few school roofs, but citizens should be demanding that Richmond install large,’working’ solar arrays on public schools (and elsewhere). Other Virginia localities are in the process of doing so now, often at their students’ urging.

Trash/Recycling Pickup Tomorrow

This Wednesday is a “Red Wednesday”, which means trash and recycling pickup. Ideally, rolling recycling containers are stored and deployed in the back alleys along with trash cans. Please make sure you pick up containers after pickup tomorrow night.

If you have not done so already, don’t forget to sign up for your Recycling Perks.
In order to take your recycling to the next level, read this: 10 ways to improve your recycling.

In recycling news, Chinese industry is readying itself for exhausted batteries from a surge in electric vehicles.

OHNA Meeting Tomorrow Night

From announcement:

Good evening

OHNA (Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association ed.) will be holding its monthly meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, October 23rd, at 7 pm at St. Andrew’s Parish House.

One of the neighbors is attempting to revive the OHNA pre-meeting potluck. If you wish to participate, email me. I will be opening the door to the Parish House at 6:30 pm for the potluck.

I’ve had some interest from political candidates about attending, but no solid confirmations.