Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association Meeting Tomorrow

From email announcement:

Hello all

OHNA will be meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, June 27th, at 7 pm, at St. Andrew’s (In either the Parish House or the Little Chapel. Need to find out.).

And on Wednesday, June 28th, Mayor Levar Stoney, will be holding the 5th District Community Community Meeting at the Randolph Community center at 1415 Grayland Avenue.


Urban Lit Fest ’17

One thing easy to love about Richmond is its rich, independent, literary life. There is a wide spectrum, from this neighborhood and all over, well-known and not so-well-known.

Tomorrow, help celebrate that at the Main Richmond Public Library downtown for Urban Lit Fest ’17. The Richmond Public Library will be hosting their second annual celebration of Richmond’s independent authors.

Meet 50 authors, find the latest, greatest locally grown urban fiction, poetry, and memoir. Enjoy readings, discussions, and find out how to “make it” as a self-published author.

Workshop Schedule:
10:30 Live Streaming Strategies for Authors
11:30 Self-Love and Walking in Your Purpose
12:30-1:00 Panel Discussion
1:00 Books are a Business
2:00 How to Turn Your Book into a Best Seller
3:00 The Poet Tree Workshop
4:00 What is Urban Fiction?
4:00 Introduction to Self-E

Workshops are free and open to the public. Registration not required but space is limited.

Marking the 1st year of Small Richmond!

From post:

This week is the 1st anniversary of the launch of Small Richmond, a collection of 16 independent online new sites covering the city.

It’s nothing fancy, but we think it’s a great way to get your most local of news.

Check out the site for your daily feed, and follow Small Richmond on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact John Murden at murden@gmail.com or (804)564-1360 to suggest a site for inclusion, if you would like to set up a community blog for your area, or for more information.

Reminder: The reason why this community news site was hastily started back in 2007 (with John Murden’s help) was in response to slanted coverage in the local corporate media about VCU encroachment in Oregon Hill and to make sure neighborhood leaders had a platform to respond.

Oregon Hill and Randolph Neighborhood 5th District Cleanup

From 5th District City Council Liaison Amy Robins:

Hi OH neighbors! Your neighborhood cleanup is this Saturday from 9am-12pm.
Jimmy Blackford is going to need 4-5 volunteers to help in the alleys with the city waste truck. He’ll be meeting you at Pleasant’s Park (Albemarle & S. Laurel).
Councilmember Parker Agelasto & I will be meeting everyone else at Idlewood & Harrison along with Randolph neighbors. (This is the official neighborhood line.) We will tackle litter pick up, graffiti removal, and I’m trying to line up some more Tree Stewards for clearance pruning.
Being the dork I am, I normally have a birthday cleanup. This year since the dates were so close together I decided to leverage the volunteers into this one event. After the cleanup (~12:15pm), we’ll be doing a quick pot luck in P. Jones Park (Idlewood & Temple) in Randolph. Bring a swim suit if you like, it’s right next to the Randolph Pool and there is a playground for the little ones too.
My wife & I will provide water, plates, napkins, condiments, hotdogs, buns, and birthday cake. If you can bring a dish, chips or whatever please do. If you can’t, don’t let that hold you back from swinging by after volunteering!
I hope to see you at some point on Saturday!

From Cherry Street neighbor Jimmy Blackford:

William Byrd Center finally mowed the grass in their overgrown lot (& the baseball field, too!). So we can keep up the momentum with this Saturday’s Oregon Hill Alley Cleanup. Can you join us at 9 am Sat. 6/17 at Pleasant’s Park? We’ll go thru the alleys with a city trash truck to gather all the discarded furniture etc. If that’s not your bag, join us anyway & we’ll give you a trash bag & grabber fior you to pick up litter in the neighborhood. We’ll meet at the park at S. Laurel St & Albemarle St.

Also, here’s the link for the FaceBook Event Page.

Editorial: Free Press Article On Monroe Park Both Vindicates and Condemns City Council

There was a great piece of reporting this week from the Richmond Free Press on Monroe Park financial wrangling. From reporter Jeremy Lazarus:

After telling City Council in December that the projected $6 million Monroe Park project — half to be paid by private donations — had adequate funding, the city’s chief administrative officer, Selena Cuffee-Glenn, quietly shifted $833,569 to the project in recent months from reportedly unused capital funds.

The shift was made without notice to City Council and was disclosed as the result of queries from Councilman Parker C. Agelasto, 5th District, and the council’s budget staff.

Mr. Agelasto also was surprised to learn that nearly half of the money shifted, $394,000, was listed as coming from two paving projects in his district that already had been completed and paid for — one involving Allen Avenue and the other involving paving at Meadow Street, Colorado Avenue and Harrison Street.

As the article mentions, this vindicates City Council’s amendment to Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s proposed budget that requires the administration to seek council approval before shifting funds between programs in major departments. Despite some previous editorials’ characterizations, City Council is not ‘overreaching’ by trying to get a handle on the City’s finances. (Special appreciation to 5th District Councilperson Agelasto for his dogged questioning.)

On the other hand, these revelations reflect City Council’s poor judgement in turning historic Monroe Park over to the Monroe Park Conservancy in the first place. Many citizens and the Sierra Club Falls of the James have previously called for a termination of the Conservancy’s lease and a return to public investment and public oversight of renovations of this public park. Many are questioning why corporations seem to have special tent rights for park use. While it’s too late to save many park trees, it’s not too late for City Council to do the right thing.

The Foundry Market At Tredegar This Sunday

The American Civil War Center at Tredegar Iron Works is hosting ‘The Foundry Market’ from 12 pm to 4 pm this Sunday (and also June 11).

From event description:

The American Civil War Museum’s Foundry Market is an artisan craft fair with an emphasis on handmade, local products. We’ll have vendors from across the state, demonstrations of craftsman at work, and food trucks.

Bring the whole family down for a Sunday at Historic Tredegar and imagine what our bustling ironworks might have been like 150 years ago.

Beego Handmade
Flourish Creative
Liberatus Jewelry
Matthew Pellman
Morris and Norris
New Custom
Nicholas Creek Forge
Paper Rose
Petite Shards Productions
Renan Banjos
Robin’s Egg Jewelry
Ruby Belle Adornments
Sew Brave Designs
The Bird & Elephant
The Timbered Wolf
The Wild Wander

….and more!

‘Dirtwoman’ Documentary Benefit

There is documentary being filmed for one of Oregon Hill’s most infamous progeny and Richmond’s most famous drag queen, Donny Corker, aka ‘Dirtwoman.’ In order to raise funds and capture memories, the Sound of Music studio, now in Scott’s Addition (1710 Altamont Ave.), will be holding ‘Dirtwoman Toast’ on Sunday, May 21, at 7 pm. The admission cost is $10.Part of the proceeds will go to producing the documentary and part of them will go to Corker to help defray medical cost hardships.

Excerpts from recent Style article:

Everyone over a certain age has a Dirtwoman story. Corker’s antics as Richmond’s most well-known 400-lb. drag queen are legendary, from the 1993 pin-up calendar to running for mayor, to his years as Mrs. Claus at the annual Hamaganza. Just as noteworthy is Corker’s pre-Stonewall role-modeling: He’s been unabashedly out as gay since he was a teenager.

In the works is a documentary about Dirtwoman that began 15 years ago on the occasion of Corker’s 50th birthday with an event at Caffeine’s featuring go-go boys, drag queens and people sharing their own Dirtwoman tales. Now at 65 and with major health issues, Corker’s life story is on track to finally be completed by local video producer, Jerry Williams.

“This is the culmination of my 45 years as a video producer and director,” Williams says of the passion project. “I’ve never had a story that I was willing to commit a year of my life to making, but this is it.”

For those who missed Dirtwoman’s glory years, the Toast is also an opportunity to hear anecdotes from a life so colorful that even John Waters’ biggest star, Divine, was a fan. And for those curious about how the name Dirtwoman originally came about, let’s just say it involved some inappropriate behavior in the back seat of a cop car and leave it at that.

From the FaceBook event page:

The TOAST is being held to compile stories from Donnie’s fans for the documentary. Everyone who attends will be invited to spend a few minutes on stage with Donnie to pay tribute and share their favorite memories. There will also be a special “private” studio for people who would prefer not to go on stage. People are encouraged to bring any pertinent photos or other memorabilia.
To have an idea of timing, Williams requests that people who want to speak, please email him at TVJerry@TVJerry.com.