City-of-Richmond

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Anybody know what’s up with these new City of Richmond vehicles? It has these weird things on each side where a gas tank should be (maybe it’s electric?) and 2 camera like things on top. I pulled up behind it in Shockoe Slip and, judging from the angle of the cameras, it was scanning LICENSE PLATES!

For some reason I think they are trying to log everyone’s plates on the street and match them up real-time to payment records from the new rip-off Pay-To-Park stations. Glorified, digital, environmentally friendly meter maids?!? Maybe…

I would love some feedback if anyone has any info. 

Public Forum on the Monroe Park Closure and situation of groups providing services to the homeless

Wednesday, February 11th, from 5:30-7:30pm, at the Altria Theater (formerly the Landmark, 6 North Laurel Street, Richmond VA), the City of Richmond is holding a forum. The focus of the forum is what is going to happen in regards to service provision (food and clothes distribution, etc) which usually happens in Monroe Park after the park is closed for renovations. 

Monroe Park is a major gathering place for people who don’t have anywhere else to go during the day, which includes a large contingent of the homeless population- it’s public, has seating, and has bathrooms (though the bathrooms close in the winter, thanks to a campaign from ASWAN and assistance from city council members Agelasto and Newbille, there are currently Port-a-John facilities available). The Monroe Park Conservancy, a private nonprofit which has taken on management of the park in order to do renovations, plans to close the park in its entirety while those improvements happen. A timeline for construction is not yet available, but it will likely take months, during which time the homeless and the organizations that provide services to them will have to find somewhere else to be. 

The position of ASWAN, Richmond’s homeless self-advocacy organization, is that a legal homeless camp should be established while the park is closed. This will give people somewhere relatively safe and central to go, and will also make it much easier to provide services. 

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Steveston Fire Hall by HCMA Architecture + Design

Emergency services personnel are society’s truest public servants and critical to the health, safety and resilience of the community. After extensive study, the City of Richmond decided to transform the Steveston Fire Hall into a new state-of-the-art facility.

See more here: http://bit.ly/1MKwK56

styleweekly.com
The Death of a Warmly Remembered Homeless Man Brings a Bleak Reminder to Richmond

Style Weekly’s Leah Smalls reports on the death of Irving “Peanut” Ward, a homeless man well-loved in his community who died of hypothermia at the beginning of January.

Exactly why he wasn’t at the City’s emergency shelter, only blocks from where his body was found, is up for debate- some say he didn’t go because of the poor conditions of the shelter, which keeps the lights on all night, provides thin yoga-mats and aluminum camping blankets on a first-come first-served basis, and leaves many sleeping sitting up in wooden chairs. Many of his friends say he was in fact refused entry.

Please read this article. It’ll give you some insight on the state of the safety net which is supposed to exist for the homeless in the city.

  • AdrienneChainey
  • Monica Quesada Cordero
  • Monica Quesada Cordero's Album
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Adrienne Chainey, junior at Salesian High School, won second place in the high school division of Richmond Writes! 2011 competition with her poem “What I give to you”.
On March 2, she recited her poem to the mayor of Richmond, Gayle McLaughlin, during the Meet with the Mayor monthly meeting at the M.F. Whittlesey Community Room at the Richmond Public Library.
“I wanted to give a more deep and more personal present to the latter generations,” said Chainey about her poem. “I know a lot of people tend to not have hope in themselves … I wanted to give them hope [to strive for] what they want to achieve.”

Music in the podcast by Jason Shaw, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR (freemusicarchive.org)

nbc12.com
Sources: Interim director of Richmond DSS resigns

Richmond’s interim director of the Department of Social Services resigned Friday, according to sources.

Tonya Vincent was named to the post and was expected to help clean up the department after it was plagued by issues, including allegations DSS was putting children in harm’s way.

Instead, Vincent was appointed as Virginia’s Deputy Director of Public Safety and will not be returning to Richmond Police, as originally planned, according to sources.

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones’ administration has yet to say who is taking over the post.

~ WWBT TV NBC12

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3north Principal Jay Hugo (far left in middle photo) joined dignitaries on the stage today for the groundbreaking of the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.  Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones thanked Jay and 3north in the ceremony for the firm’s guidance and leadership throughout the site selection, planning and design process. With Peter Bernard, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia Health System (at podium), Jay unveiled the rendering for the new facility slated to open this summer.

Pictured above with burgundy and gold shovels are Jay Hugo, Drew Gould-Timmons Group, Richard Johnson-Chairman of Economic Development Authority of Richmond, First Lady of Virginia Maureen McDonnell, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Bruce Allen-Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Washington Redskins, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, Sister Anne Marie Mack of Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Charles Samuels-President of Richmond City Council and Peter Bernard.

More info here on the Redskins website and the Times-Dispatch story here

change.org
Update: Richmond Water Rates

Link is to the original Change.Org petition against the plan to raise Richmond’s water service rates to $49.99 a month.

Here’s the update from the petition starter, Scott Burger:

Hi, first of all, thank you so much for signing the petition. It now has over 1200 signatures.

It is getting through to City of Richmond leaders that citizens are demanding reform. This is good news, because it means that this petition is making more of an impact then 5 years ago when I first publicly spoke to City Council on this same subject.

It is worth noting that the City’s Department of Public Utilities is now seeking a consultant for cost of service analysis.

http://cityhallreview.com/2012/08/03/city-selects-consultant-for-utilities-cost-of-service-analysis/

But I am not ready to declare victory yet. We need to see more action.

You may recall from the original petition statement:

The city does not need to hire a consultant or to commission a study of its water/sewer rates because the solution to this problem is simple: all Richmond needs to do is to adopt the rate schedule used by Henrico County, which buys water from Richmond. Henrico’s water/sewer rates are equitable and promote conservation.

Please keep sharing the online petition with your neighbors. Please keep demanding reform.

Thanks,
Scott”

wpo.st
Virginia for the Win: Richmond’s mayor out Trumps Trump #vapol
He may be the perfect running mate.

Have we found the perfect running mate for Donald Trump?

You decide.

Article Eight of the Constitution of Virginia is an effort to make-up for generations of segregation in public education. It acknowledges the commonwealth’s obligation to give every child a “[p]ublic school of high quality.” Roughly four generations of K-12 students have completed their educations since that Article’s adoption.  The promise has never been kept, and for many it is slipping further away.

One reason: Increasingly, children are attending decrepit schools.  A 1995 Government Accountability Office study found U.S. schools needed $112 billion in repairs. By 2000, the Clinton administration argued that little had changed, and that the average public school “was built 42 years ago. About one-third of public schools were built before 1970 and haven’t been renovated since at least 1980.”

A later study by Glen Earthman, Virginia’s leading expert on old school buildings, showed these aging facilities damage student health, especially poor children. He estimated attending such facilities from kindergarten through 12th grade results in losing one year of educational learning.

In 2013, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell ®, at the urging of one of the authors, did the first-ever state survey of Virginia’s roughly 2,000 school buildings. The results were shocking. The average K-12 student attended a school facility considered obsolete by federal standards used by both Republican and Democratic presidents.

Click on the headline to read the full story.
~ The Washington Post

MAYMONT PARK AND MUSEUM is a bequest of Major and Mrs. James H. Dooley to the City of Richmond.  It was formerly their private home.  The park extends over ninety-five acres, through hill and dale.  Five hundred varieties of shrubbery and plants, many of them foreign, adorn the grounds.  Rustic bridges, grottoes, bamboo fences, add to its rustic beauty.  The Italian garden with its wealth of blooms is gorgeous in brilliant colors.  The pagodas are real Japanese.

richmond.com
Police body cameras being rolled out in Richmond

The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Louis Llovio reports on the RPD’s body camera test. The Richmond City Police are outfitting forty officers with body cameras in a limited pilot program. After thirty days, the program will be evaluated and decisions made about expanding use of the cameras, which are designed to record interactions between police and civilians to create a video record.