City and Leaves and Street Sweeping

I have had a few neighbors ask about the leaf situation and the City.

Here is what I have heard:

Street Sweeping is scheduled to take place in mid-January for Oregon Hill. No parking signs will be places 48 hours in advance.

To be clear, the leaf collection system has changed. Street sweeping is NOT leaf collection. Residents are to rake and collect leave they wish removed and place those bags near their supercans. If a resident wishes to have leaves vacuumed, they will pay a $30 fee. I also like to encourage folks to mulch them with their lawn mowers or put leaves in the flower beds. All residents are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks just like with snow or ice.

Leaf Collection: http://www.richmondgov.com/PublicWorks/Leafcollection.aspx

I hope this helps.

VCU Commonwealth Times: “We’re talking about someone’s life”: VCUarts adjuncts plan a day of action to demand equitable pay

Excerpts from VCU Commonwealth Times article:

VCUarts adjunct professors will stage a day of action Dec. 8 to demand fair pay from the School of the Arts. They plan to hold a rally at the Compass, deliver a petition with more than 900 signatures to the Board of Visitors meeting and demand to have their wages raised for the upcoming semester.

An estimated 120 adjuncts in the No. 1 public art school in the country currently make $750 to $850 dollars per credit hour taught. They are capped at teaching two classes per semester, which means they would make an estimated $9,000 to $10,200 per year, before taxes.

The federal poverty line in the United States sits at $12,082, according the Census Bureau.

For example, in the 2016-2017 academic year, the school had a total budget of $33,659,043. Of that, VCUarts allocated more than $32 million on educational and general expenses. The school distributed $890,000 of restricted university funds, which consist of gifts to the particular departments, investment earnings and more throughout the school.

The organization argues the school should use other funds in the school to properly pay their adjunct faculty rather than turning to raising student tuition.

The organization presented Brixey and other VCUarts administrators with research examining the average cost of living in Richmond and the federal poverty line in the United States — this led them to their suggestion of $2,000 per credit hour taught for adjuncts.

According to Trepanier, Brixey said the school will raise adjunct pay to $1,000 per credit hour for the upcoming semester by tapping into reserve funds, per approval from the Board of Visitors. However, it was never clarified whether the funds were primarily from VCUarts or from the university.

“This is an urgent crisis. The Dean is moving into a new house, but there are a lot of adjuncts that have been homeless within the last year,” the adjunct said. “When we’re talking about equity issues, we’re not just talking about what’s fair and unfair, we’re talking about someone’s life and where they’re going to sleep at night.”

The adjunct also raised the concern of not being able to dedicate enough time to students because of the various jobs art adjuncts often work to pay bills.

“In terms of budgeting time, when a lot of us are working three jobs or have to drive to Virginia Tech the next day to teach, a lot of that does take a toll on the classroom,” they said. “I don’t think it’s fair to the career development of the students.”

Trepanier spoke out because she does not plan to return to VCU after her contract ends in December. She also has other forms of income she relies on, but said that’s not that case for all of her colleagues.

“People are terrified to speak up because they don’t want to lose that little bit of income that they do have,” Trepanier said. “If you eventually want a full-time job, and you go on record and they see that out on media, then schools won’t hire you because you’re a troublemaker.”

From FaceBook event page:

What: VCU Adjunct Fair Pay Rally and petition drop

When: 9am December 8th, 2017

Where: In front of the VCU Cabell Library (bring signs, wear t-shirts) From the front of Cabell Library we will walk as a group and deliver the petition to the VCU Board of Visitors.

If you haven’t signed the petition yet please do so at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/vcuarts-adjuncts-deserve-fair-pay

Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association Meeting Tomorrow

From email announcement:

Hello all,

OHNA will be meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, November 28th, at 7 pm, at St. Andrew’s Parish House. There will be a pot luck beforehand, starting around 6:30 pm.

Re: OHNA elections
OHNA will be holding its yearly elections. I will be stepping down after 8 years as President. I’ve enjoyed my time serving the neighborhood, but I am no longer able to give the neighborhood the attention it deserves due to my grandmother’s health issues.

Please come join us in electing a new president.

Re: December OHNA meeting.
Because of the calendar this year, OHNA’s regular scheduled meeting will fall the day after Christmas. The membership decided to give itself a break this year and cancel the December meeting. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be January 23, 2018.

Thanks
Jennifer

City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Open November 22 – 27

From City press release:

Richmond, VA – The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be open Wednesday, November 22 – Monday, November 27, 2017 as temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities (511 W. Grace Street) during operational hours for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Shelter registration is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For individuals who are not eligible for existing shelter space or if all available beds have been filled, Commonwealth Catholic Charities will provide a referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.

The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter is located in the City’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. The shelter opens each evening at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 6 a.m. Individuals seeking access to the Overflow Shelter must have a referral. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.

City residents are also advised the Department of Social Services provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify. Residents may also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046.

The elderly or residents with disabilities should contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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17th Annual Oregon Hill Turkey Bowl Tomorrow

From FaceBook event page:

this is our 17th annual thanksgiving day soccer pickup game! This game is purely for fun, to work up an appetite, and to run around and act like kids. ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE WELCOME! Super friendly game of friendly soccer!

Tomorrow at 10 AM – 12 PM
316 S. Linden St. 23220 (near what was Grace Arents community garden)

Photo from a previous Turkey Bowl:

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)