Author Talk At Library Tomorrow: Climate of Capitulation

From FaceBook event page:

Tomorrow at 6:30 PM – 8 PM
Richmond Public Library (Main Library)

Vivian E. Thomson’s “Climate of Capitulation: An Insider’s Account of State Power in a Coal Nation” looks at environmental policy making at the state level and offers a comprehensive analysis of the often entrenched biases toward coal and electric utilities in states’ air pollution policies.

Vivian E. Thomson is former Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Virginia, where she also directed the Environmental Thought and Practice BA Program. She has been an air pollution policymaker at the US EPA and in Virginia. She was also a Fulbright Professor of American Studies in Denmark.

Books will be available for sale at this event, but attendees may also bring pre-purchased copies to be signed.

This event is sponsored by the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Belonging: Oregon Hill Art Show At St. Andrew’s

From announcement:

Featuring the fine art and photography of St. Andrew’s parishioners and artists from the Oregon Hill neighborhood. Join us for the opening reception Friday, October 20th from 6:00-8:00 pm. The art will be available for viewing Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00-4:00 pm from October 21-November 12. Free. Donations accepted with gratitude. For more information visit standrewsoregonhill.org or contact Celal Kamran.

Enjoy The Folk Festival But Don’t Park In Oregon Hill

There will be restricted parking in Oregon Hill this year for the this year’s 13th Annual Richmond Folk Festival.

Councilperson Parker Agelasto announced this at last night’s City Council meeting and OHNA President Jennifer Hancock confirmed that they are going over plans now.
Some portions of the neighborhood will be password protected for residents and some barricaded streets will be in effect.

While many neighbors are thankful and relieved to hear this, it is somewhat curious. With the roundabout construction, the route through or into the neighborhood is going to be congested anyway. There have been a few complaints from Southside residents about the lack of a Folk Festival bus shuttle to/from Southside. While the schedule is definitely rich in fantastic talent that should not be missed, there are no huge, blockbuster, headliner names. The Tredegar Civil War Center construction will also take up a lot of space that was previously used for the Festival.

In other words, while folks should look forward to attending the Richmond Folk Festival and expect to hear some great music, and certainly encourage others do so also, it seems like it will be purposely smaller this year. It’s a good year to use mass transit or ride bicycles to the Festival.

Little Mexico To Hold Relief Fundraiser For PR/Mexico Disaster Victims

While its not in the neighborhood, I know many neighbors who enjoy the close by Little Mexico restaurant.

From the FaceBook event page:

Hi guys, its Nivi, as you all know there’s been alot of things going on right now. Rosio & I wanted to do our part & throw a little fundraiser to raise/collect donations (whether money or necesities) for Mexico & Puerto Rico.

TUESDAY, OCT 10 from 3PM to 7PM, Little Mexico will take a percentage of the proceeds made during this time and date will be donated to United for Puerto Rico & Omaze to help the victims of the hurricanes in Puerto Rico and earthquakes in Mexico, as well as accept items (LIST BELOW) that are gonna be sent to PR. Unfortunately I havent found anyone whose going to be shipping to MX to send items, so if anyone knows PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

This is something that is very personal to me, as I’ve had very little communication with family but I’ve been made aware of family members who have lost their homes completely and/or belongings. Hope to see ya’ll there! Anything is appreciated!

If for any reason you can’t make it to the event and/or would like to make an additional donation, you can donate online to the websites or donate to a little fundraiser I’ll have open on FB until OCT 11TH! These orgs aren’t an option so I put it under my name and I’ll personally donate the funds to them!

https://www.facebook.com/donate/347360749039938/
https://donate.omaze.com/mexico
http://www.unitedforpuertorico.com/

—-LIST OF ITEMS THAT CAN BE DONATED—-
Water, Canned Food, Batteries, flashlights, water purifying tablets, first aid kits, bandages, small tool kits, hygiene products, sewing kits, small fire extinguishers, manual can openers, wrenches to turn off gas lines, battery-operated radios, garbage bags, dish soap, disinfectant, paper cups, plates, napkins, latex gloves and work gloves, baby wipes, sterile eye wash, sun screen, hand sanitizer, antibiotic ointment, adhesive tape and prepackaged tarps

Questions For Utility “Cost of Service” Meetings

Tonight is the first of four meetings the City of Richmond Department of Utilities is holding. This one starts at 5:30 and is being held at the Byrd Park Roundhouse (700 S. Davis Avenue).

“Ratepayers are encouraged to attend one of the sessions to learn more . There will be opportunities to ask questions.”

Here are some sample questions:

No alternative site for Chesterfield’s 2 million gallon water tank was considered other than Richmond’s Larus Park. The Dept. of Public Utilities claimed that the site was chosen because of its high elevation, but topography maps indicate that the entire Huguenot corridor is at the same elevation or higher? Will a site outside of Larus Park be selected for Chesterfield’s water facility?

How does selling water to the County at 74 cents per ccf (748 gallons) promote conservation?

Does not selling water to the county at a fifth the rate that City residents must pay put City businesses at a competitive disadvantage? (County pays 74 cents per ccf, while City residents pay $4.04 per ccf.)

If Chesterfield’s proposed 2 million gallon water tank is located in the County instead of in the City’s Larus Park, would not the relieve the contract provision that the City must pay the County for the $10 million water facility if the County does not renew the lease?

According to the latest City filings with the Va. Dept. of Environmental Quality, it is anticipated that the demand for water in the region may outstrip supply in about five years. But the proposed contract with Chesterfield County would lock in the ridiculously low price of water at only 5% over the City’s actual costs (currently at 74 cents per ccf) until 2045. Is it not reckless to lock in such low rates when we have there is not an unlimited water supply from the James River?

Richmond customers must pay a minimum monthly water/sewer service charge of $32 even if no water is used. This is one of the highest minimum water/sewer service charges in the country that places a disproportionate burden on water customers who conserve water and use little water. When will the Dept. of Public Utilities lower the base service charge to offer a reasonable rate to those who conserve water?

The Richmond Dept. of Public Utilities charges Richmond customers a payment in lieu of federal income tax on the water bill that is put into the city’s general fund. No other locality in Va. charges a federal income tax surcharge on the water bill. Will DPU remove the federal income tax surcharge on the water bill?

Other localities encourage conservation by offering customers a discounted volume rate for those using 3 ccf or less. When will the Richmond Dept. of Public Utilities initiate rates that encourage conservation?

The public was excluded in the selection of Larus Park for Chesterfield’s water facility and the public is not involved in setting water rates. When will the Richmond Dept. of Public Utilities start involving the public in these important decisions?

The city residents own Richmond’s utility but are frustrated to see that the utility showers the counties with low rates while city residents pay high water rates. As a result, Richmond with high rates is surrounded by localities, which purchase water from Richmond, that have remarkably lower water rates. Richmond residents are tired of hearing the utility trying to explain this away by saying that Richmond has rusted water pipes. When will Richmond’s residents start seeing a benefit of owning the utility in lower rates from their utility?

Richmond has a much higher poverty rate than the surrounding counties, yet the city-owned utility sells water to the county at a fifth of what Richmond residents must pay for the necessity. When will the city initiate like Petersburg a base life-line rate so all residents who conserve water will have basic service at a low rate?

When will we see solar panels on utility facilities? What does the utility use now for backup power and disaster recovery?

Yet Another Reminder of Construction and Road Closing

As appeared in the Fan District Association‘s newsletter:

Construction and Road Closing
Starting Thursday, October 5, 2017
The Department of Public Works (DPW) will start construction on the Idlewood Avenue, Grayland Ave, and RMTA on-ramp roundabout. The work is expected to last 120 days. During that time the road will be closed. “Resident and emergency access along Idlewood Avenue shall be maintained at all times. In addition to the roundabout, the project includes:
• Landscaped islands
• Pedestrian crosswalk markings
• Handicap ramps
• New signage
The improvement will reduce vehicle and pedestrian conflict points, provide slower operating speeds for motorists, and shorten the crossing distance.
The project does include up to three (3) weekend closures of the 195 off ramp, including a detour. After all hardscape is installed, the site will be landscaped, stabilized and the erosion measures will be removed. At completion, Idlewood Avenue will be converted to a two-way traffic between Harrison Avenue and Cherry Street.”
If you have questions/concerns, please contact Jian Xu, P.E. at 804-646-5402 or the city’s field inspector, Ned Bailey at 804-646- 1553.