Oregon Hill, Randolph, and Uptown Neighborhood Litter Cleanup Scheduled For February 17th

RVA Clean Sweep is organizing an area clean up and litter pickup on Saturday, February 17 from 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM. Volunteers are meeting at Clark Springs Elementary (1101 Dance Street).

From FaceBook event page:

• What we’ll do
Clean Sweep is partnering with the Capital District of Circle K International for this three neighborhood cleanup. They are provide a larger group of volunteers and we need a handful of local residents to help guide the volunteers through the neighborhoods. Oregon Hill: Idlewood, Cumberland, Belvidere
Randolph: Idlewood, Allen, Harrison/Colorado
Uptown: Parkwood from Harrison to Meadow then back down Grayland

• What to bring
Please bring water bottle and wear layers.

• Important to know
There will be staged drop off points through the cleanup area. Details will be provided the day of.

RVA EFF Extended

Usually today is the last day of the RVA Environmental Film Festival. The Virginia Environmental Film Contest entries and winners will be screened at the Byrd Theatre this afternoon (along with two excellent features).

However the festival keeps growing and there are at three events next week that extend the film festival. So, tomorrow night, come enjoy short films and a filmmakers’ forum at the VCU Grace Street Theater.

For the full schedule, go to www.rvaeff.org. As always, these events are free and open to the public.

Going West…

Other neighbors beat me to this, but many are enjoying the novelty of turning west off S. Cherry onto Idlewood now that it is two-way again and with the new Idlewood Roundabout(!):

IMG_2594 from Scott Burger on Vimeo.

I invites others to suggest a soundtrack for the video, but click here for my favorite.

And just to give a complete experience, here is another video coming off the Expressway:

IMG_2600 from Scott Burger on Vimeo.

It’s something we have waited many years for, so please excuse the giddiness.

Thanks to all the people who made this happen, past and present officials, most notably, Councilperson Parker Agelasto.

In the meantime the City sent out this press release:

Crime Report

From CommunityCrimeMap.com:

THEFT FROM MOTOR VEHICLE
1XX S LAUREL ST
Feb 7, 2018 at 9:28 am
Data provided by Richmond Police Department

HIT AND RUN
6XX W CARY ST
Feb 6, 2018 at 3:27 pm
Data provided by Richmond Police Department

HIT AND RUN
2XX S LINDEN ST
Feb 5, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Data provided by Richmond Police Department

“Hellfighters and Sons of Freedom” At The Virginia War Memorial Thursday

From the Virginia War Memorial website:

The 369th Infantry Regiment was the first African American regiment to serve with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. Known for their toughness in battle, they were nicknamed the “Hell Fighters” by the German army because they never lost a man through capture, lost a trench or a foot of ground to the enemy.

Join the Virginia War Memorial Executive Director Clay Mountcastle, as we commemorate the start of both Black History Month and the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI. During his presentation, Clay will share the fascinating often untold, stories of these war heroes and many more, as he examines the larger role African-Americans played in The Great War.

Thursday from 5-7 pm, presentation starts at 6 pm. It’s free to attend but registration is strongly encouraged.

RVA EFF Kicks Off Tonight

The RVA Environmental Film Festival (RVA EFF) kicks off tonight at the Science Museum of Virginia. It goes on all this week and part of next week at venues around the area. All the shows are FREE (thanks to generous sponsors)!

Please take the time to look over the full schedule by going to the website.

Tomorrow it will be at VCU in the afternoon and then at the Main City Public Library in the evening.

More Street Closings

The City sent this message:

Note: Due to weather conditions, Idlewood Avenue and the off ramp will remain closed until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6.

For Immediate Release
February 1, 2018
For more information, contact:
Paige Hairston – (804) 646-3659

Street Closure – Idlewood Avenue and Belvidere Street Off-Ramp
WHO: City of Richmond Department of Public Works

WHAT: Street Closure

WHEN: Starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, January 29 through ending at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6

WHERE:

· Idlewood Avenue from Harrison to Cherry streets and

· Belvidere Street off ramp at the I-95 Downtown Expressway

BACKGROUND: The aforementioned areas will be closed to complete the final stages of paving and to convert two-way traffic and pavement markings for the roundabout construction at the intersection of Idlewood Avenue, Grayland Avenue and the I-95 off ramp. Please use caution and follow the detour signs.

###

In addition, as related by neighborhood association president Todd Woodson:

The following message was just received from the location manager of the Showtime TV series Homeland:

“The 2nd Street downtown exit off the Lee Bridge and S 2nd Street between S Pine and Spring St will be closed next Monday, Feb 5th from 4am until about 2pm.The bike path going underneath the Lee bridge from Oregon Hill will remain open.”

A bit cryptic with the 2nd street location between Pine and Spring but you get the gist. The show must go on!

Thanks, Todd.

More Depressing Local Politics – Taxes & Water

An email has been circulating which reportedly calls for a boycott of restaurants that are resisting Mayor Stoney’s meals tax increase proposal. I would hope that Mayor Stoney would disavow this email and tactic, but perhaps he does not recall how bitter the last meals tax increase debate was. The Virginia Performing Arts Foundation and Center Stage backers told City Council that they would personally lobby to rescind the increase once the Carpenter Center was fully renovated. They dishonorably lied, and on top of that, the City has had to continually bail out that private project. Now, once again, citizens are being told it is ‘for the children’ and must hurry and approve a meals tax increase.

We were hearing about an impending tax increase this past October, but it is becoming more obvious that this current proposal is more about distracting from the original Put Schools First referendum, which received overwhelming support from Richmond voters. I urge folks to continue to support the referendum in the General Assembly.

Sadly, there are still dishonest people spreading disinformation about the original referendum. Two very important points for people to understand- One, If the referendum had included language about raising taxes, it would not have been allowed on the ballot. Two, the referendum language does require the City leadership to first come up with a plan to modernize ALL the schools without considering a tax increase in their budget wrangling, HOWEVER, that does not preclude the City leadership from coming up with a second plan that does include a tax increase.

What’s even sadder is that the City leadership continues to ignore other income sources. Consider the Larus Park deal. What a waste of an opportunity to fairly increase revenues. Why is Mayor Stoney going to lease park land to Chesterfield County for only $1.00 per year? Why is the Mayor not willing to increase the mark up on the water sold to the counties from 5% to 10% (from $0.035 per ccf to $0.07 per ccf). So what if Chesterfield has to raise it’s water cost to $1.88 per ccf, Richmond residents are paying $4.04 per ccf. We have covered the need for water utility reform here before, yet City leadership would rather we hurry up and support another(!) ridiculous meals tax increase.

Speaking of the Larus Park deal, its worth watching City Council Monday (if they can get their microphones to work this time) and see how they handle it. The deal is a lose, lose, lose, for City parks, water reform, and residents, but evidently it is a City leadership priority that Chesterfield County get its cheap water.

A scorecard of sorts:

There are five ordinances and one resolution (some are relatively good and some are bad) regarding the Larus Park issue that are to be considered at the special February 5th City Council meeting:

Ordinance 2017-208: this ordinance authorizes utility PILOT money for the purchase of the 18 acres

Ordinance 2017-209: this is the “stinker” ordinance that allows Larus Park to be leased to the county, along with the lease agreement that is unfavorable to the city

Ordinance 2017-221: this is the ordinance that declares a public necessity to purchase the 18 additional acres

Ordinance 2017-253: this is the “stinker” ordinance that states that “not withstanding” city code section 8-2 (c) [which specifically prohibits leasing Larus and other parks] the city is leasing Larus Park

Ordinance 2017-254: this is the “stinker” ordinance “notwithstanding” city code section 8-2 (c) AND city code section 8-57 granting easements by the county to work in Larus Park [passing this ordinance would mean that all of the city parks are just one vote away from being sold]

Resolution 2017-R097: this is the “excellent” resolution to authorize the conservation easement on Larus Park.