1st District Newsletter
October 2016
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NEWS ROUNDUP
We are changing the News Roundup feature due to some non-delivery issues we are having by including so many hyperlinked news stories.

Therefore, we have listed all the news stories in this space but  this single link will take you to my web site with all of the individual links to stories listed below.


CITY HALL
A New Ballpark for Richmond 

Richmond schools funding formula likely won't materialize by end of year

Richmond hopes to streamline leaf collection this year, adds extra pickups in high leaf areas

Shots fired during break-in on Grove Ave. in Near West End home

VCU and Flying Squirrels in early stages of talks to construct $55 million baseball stadium

Richmond schools disappointed by accreditation ratings but say a turnaround is coming

International biking event slated for Virginia; organizer says meetings scheduled with Richmond officials

As Jones' term winds down, mayor, McAuliffe, McDonnell reaffirm commitment to Lumpkin's Jail project

Richmond commonwealth's attorney, city auditor eyeing former city tax worker

Agency needs help sheltering homeless at Christmas

"With elections looming, Richmond school system pushes for action on funding before end of year

New GRTC Transit route structure to favor ridership over coverage

Richmond heading toward another miss on deadline for financial report


ELECTION 2016
Richmond mayoral candidates trade jabs on stadium for third day in a row

Stoney participated in ballpark talks as recently as last week; Morrissey pounces

Morrissey leads in new mayoral poll, but nearly 40 percent of Richmond voters undecided

Richmond mayoral candidates agree schools need a turnaround, but not on how to pay for it

Only televised Richmond mayoral debate prompts sharp exchanges between candidates

County officials caught off-guard by ballpark talk; Richmond mayoral candidates at odds over funding

Aide: Morrissey will be 'real first black mayor of Richmond'

In first attack ad of campaign, Mosby says she wouldn't trust Morrissey with her daughter

Morrissey says he now favors altering - not removing - Jefferson Davis statue

At forum, Richmond mayoral hopefuls hear from millennials

Richmond mayoral hopefuls debate city's criminal justice system

Anti-Morrissey movement grows heading into final month of Richmond mayoral race

Political Arts: Richmond's Mayoral Candidates Share Their Arts and Culture Platforms 

Meet the People Behind the Curtains of Richmond's Mayoral Campaigns 

Wilder's Shadow: Richmond's Mayoral Election Is Missing a Superstar Candidate 

Joe Morrissey pledges to continue campaign amid allegation of sexual impropriety

Holmberg: Musings on Morrissey as mayor
Henrico judge releases Joe Morrissey law client from jail amid allegations of sexual impropriety

Mayoral candidates react to new Morrissey story

Two weeks ahead of the election, Richmond mayoral race starts to turn nasty

PolitiFact Va.: Joe Morrissey hits and misses in claim about Redskins' training camp

Mayoral candidates react to new Morrissey story

Four questions for the candidates for mayor of Richmond

Financial mess underscores the need for a solid mayor


MISCELLANEOUS
Beijing on Grove to replace Blue Goat in Westhampton

A look inside UR's new Queally Center
New construction begins at old bus barn site

VMFA completes project to digitize expressionist art

Grammy-winning singer Jason Mraz pays tribute to his hometown roots

Fabergé jewels return to VMFA in redesigned exhibit

University of Richmond announces changes to sexual assault response

Richmond Folk Festival draws crowd despite rain

Harry Merrill Ward, professor emeritus of history at University of Richmond, dies


Belmont Library Celebrates 60 Years in the Neighborhood!

Congratulations to the Belmont Library which recently celebrated 60 Years in the Museum District! The oldest branch in the city's system, Belmont underwent extensive renovations in 2011 that improved lighting, that make the library  much brighter and more inviting. New windows in the front of the building take full advantage of the neighborhood view. The branch also features upgraded technology and a refreshed collection of books and DVD's. Stop by soon to enjoy all of what the new Belmont Library has to offer!

Also note that the West End Library is closed and currently undergoing renovations and should re-open in the summer of 2017. 

Don't Forget to Vote on November 8th!
 
Polls will be open (and schools will be closed) on Election Day Tuesday, November 8th from 6:00am to 7:00pm. Lookout for pedestrians and parking restrictions near polling places. 

A photo ID is required to vote at the polls. Please verify your voter registration, polling place, and the types of photo ID that are acceptable BEFORE election day by visiting elections.virginia.gov. Free photo ID's are available to persons who do not have an acceptable form of ID.
 
If you have questions or need more information, please call 646-5950.


Reinhart Guest House 
Wish List
As we head toward the holiday season and giving thanks, please remember The Evelyn D Reinhart Guest House is always in need of donations to help us provide for our guests at St. Mary's Hospital. Whether you can help with items for the kitchen and pantry to toys for children, any donation is appreciated. Below is a list of the top 10 items they need. Thank you for your support!


 

- Toilet paper

- Paper towels

- Laundry detergent

 - Kleenex (square and rectangle boxes)

- Individual sized snacks, especially healthy (granola bars, applesauce, pretzels, pudding, jello)

- Coffee Supplies (k-cups, sugar, creamer)

- Juice boxes, bottled water

- Heavy duty trash bags

- Cleaning supplies (windex, disinfectant wipes)

- $10.00 gift cards (Target, Walmart, Martins, Kroger, gas, movie, etc.)


Like me on Facebook
Get regular updates and news on my 1st District Facebook page!
  (You don't need a Faceb ook account to get the updates!)

1st District Twitter Picture of the Month
RT @RPDLtDave: After a long time without a home. Thank you to all involved! #RVA
Police Memorial Statue in Byrd Park is rededicated in its new location. #rva

1st District Most Clicked
A fun feature each month to show the top 3 most clicked links in the previous  month's E-newsletter! 

September 2016

Follow me on Twitter
Updates & Retweets! 
Keep up to date with my Twitter feed for news, updates and retweets from other city officials and departments  and personalities around RVA! 

View my profile on LinkedIn

Link Up on LinkedIn 
Follow updates on social network for work professionals, aka " the safe-for-work social network." 


Farmers' Markets 
in the First
There are two convenient farmers' market options for the 1st District. 

Tuesdays you can visit Grow RVA's Farmer's Market and Food Trucks from 4-7 PM in the surface parking lot next to The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design located on Monument Ave at Robinson Street. Come on out, shop for local produce, meats, eggs, sweets and eat a great dinner!

On Saturday's you can visit The Farmers Market at St. Stephen's from 9:00am-noon. There are more vendors than ever this year with a focus on local farmers and producers. Come enjoy the live music, activities for children, cooking demonstrations and more at the market.



Find A Missing Pet

Richmond Animal Control (RACC) has a site that provides descriptions and photos of each stray animal housed at RACC. Enter basic descriptive information (date missing, breed, color) and search through the database of animals in our care. Additionally, users can post found animals that are not residing in the shelter. Users can view both lost and found animals with a quick search. 



RPS Schools App

There is a Richmond Public Schools app on iTunes and Google Play that parents can download so that they can receive information via their phones (search for "Richmond Public Schools"). The application includes links to news, menus, social media accounts, calendars, the RPS directory and more.


 
Click here to learn more


UPCOMING MEETINGS

City Council Meetings
-- Mon., November 14  - 6:00pm

Next 1st District Town 
Hall Meeting
--  Tue., November 15 -  6:00pm

If you have not already done so, you might consider joining the neighborhood social network called NextDoor. It is a great way to connect with your neighbors to meet, talk online, and share information that can make your neighborhood better and safer. 

Many people are using Nextdoor to spread word about suspicious activity or break-ins, organize a neighborhood watch group, find a trustworthy babysitter or handyman, requesting help in looking for missing pets, and find nearby neighbors! 

You can join from your laptop or download the app and stay connected with neighbors through your phone or iPad.   


Track Crime Online


RAIDS Online helps make it much easier for you to keep track of crime anywhere in the city and communicate with officers.

 

Get updates for your neighborhood within a certain radius of your address, get email alerts, as well as report crimes or issues in your area and improve communication between the public and the department. You can also analyze the data you select via a map, graphs and analytics, as well as a data grid and data layers.


 
Click here to see a video tutorial


SeeClickFix App
You can always email us or call to report them, but you can also download the handy SeeClickFix app for your phone that lets you report potholes and other issues such as non-functioning street lights, bulk pick ups, etc. Look for the   SeeClickFix in your app store 

Reporting Neighborhood Issues
There are multiple ways that you can report neighborhood issues that you need us to address. 

1. You can call my office (804-646-5349) and speak to either me or my liaison, Eli.

 

2. You can log on and use 

SeeClickFix to report issues such as potholes, non-functioning lights, bulk pick up requests, etc. 

 

3. You can also log in to the 

Citizens Request Service (CRS) to report more serious needs (or again, call my office).


If possible, please send us a picture(s)  with your request for service or issue. Many times, a picture snapped with your cell phone goes a long way to helping us relate your request to City staff so they can easily identify the issue and correct it!

Important Numbers

Police Sector 311
Sector Lt. Nathaniel Bynum
804-646-1945 -  E-mail

Finance Department  
804-646-6452

West End Library
CLOSED for renovations
804-646-1877
Belmont Library
804-646-1139


Contact Me
804-646-5349 (Office)
804-592-1060 (Cell)
900 E. Broad St. Ste. 303
Richmond, VA 23219

Eli Wong, Council Liaison
804-310-1738 or

Social Media 
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Committee Assignments:
- Government Operations (Chair)
- Land Use, Housing & Transportation
- Organizational Development
1st District City Council Race
The 1st District will select a new City Council representative on November 8 from among three able candidates. They are:  Andreas D. Addison, a 34-year-old former city employee, Jonathan M. Cruise, a 33-year-old IT worker, and Harry H. Warner Jr., a 55-year-old nonprofit consu ltant.

The Times-Dispatch ran a Q&A with the candidates on the following questions. 

- What prior government/civic experience do you have?
- What do you believe is the biggest difference between you and your opponent(s)?
- Name one way you plan to improve city schools.
Name one way you plan to improve delivery of a basic city service.
- D escribe an ordinance or resolution you hope to pass in your first term on the council.
Outside of citywide concerns about schools and basic services, what is the biggest issue facing your district? How do you hope to address it?
What initiatives/actions of the current mayor and City Council do you support?
- What initiatives/actions of the current mayor and City Council do you oppose?


Leaf Collection Schedule Set  
There have been some much needed changes to the Vacuum Leaf Collection Program this fall.  

Collection in the Museum District will take place the week of November 28 through December 9. 

The areas west of I-195 will be collected according to the following schedule: 
November 28-30: University of Richmond / Three Chopt area
December 1 - 6: Westhampton, Stonewall Court, Colonial Place
December 7-16: Willow Lawn, Sauer Gardens, Malvern Gardens
December 3-17: Wilton, Windsor Farms

During your neighborhood's vacuum collection, you can dispose of up to 20 bags of leaves. The leaves must be bagged and ready for removal when City trucks arrive. The remainder of the year, six bags will be removed on regularly schedule solid waste collection days.

The city will offer city residents up to five biodegradable bags for leaf disposal o n Saturday, November 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at  Parker Field located at 2720 Hermitage Road (across from the Diamond). 

Public Works would like to offer some reminders as it relates to the scheduled collection :
  • Rake leaves to your property line. Do not rake leaves into the street.
  • Leaves must be placed out for collection by the start date indicated for your route.
  • Keep leaf piles less than 2 feet in height.
  • Keep leaves away from ditches, pipes, and culverts.
  • No dirt, rocks, metal, or branches
Wintry weather can adversely affect the collection schedule as it did last year when crews have to put their snow removal equipment on the same vehicles that collect the leaves.


Richmond Marathon on Saturday, November 12th - Road Closures   
 
The Richmond Marathon takes place Saturday, November 12 and several roads in the district will be affected/closed in the morning and early afternoon that can make getting around a challenge.

--Monument Avenue westbound between Boulevard and Chantilly St. will be closed from 3:00 am to 10:00 am. No parking will be allowed from 3:00 am to 10:00 am.

--Westmoreland St. between Monument Ave. and Grove Ave. will be closed from 7:30 am to 10:00 am.

--Grove Ave. westbound between Commonwealth Ave. and Maple Ave. will be closed from 7:30 am to 10:00 am.

--Maple Ave. from Grove Ave. to Cary St. will be closed from 3:00 am to 10:00 am.

--Cary St. from Maple Ave. down the hill across the Huguenot Bridge will be closed from 4:00 am to 11:00 am.

--The Huguenot Bridge will be closed to all traffic from 3:00 am to 11:00 am.

--Boulevard from Main St./Ellwood to Broad St. will be affected between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.

The marathon begins at 7:45 am and roads will be affected for several hours. Nearly 7,000 runners will compete in the full marathon. Residents should be on the lookout on Friday night and Saturday for No Parking signs and restrictions along the routes and runners on race day!

You can view the map and get more info here.

Public Safety Update
Armed Burglary in Colonial Place 
Last week a serious incident took place in the 4200 block of Grove Avenue in Colonial Place. The Richmond Police Department released the following information: 

"At approximately 6:25 a.m., a resident of a home in the 4200 block of Grove Avenue heard glass break. As the resident checked the home - an unknown male was discovered inside. When encountering each other the suspect fired shots at the resident. The resident was able to get away and call police. The suspect, described as a black male with dark jeans and dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, fled the home. There were no injuries.

Detectives believe the initial motive was burglary.
The area is popular with joggers and a well-travelled corridor in the morning hours and detectives ask anyone who saw suspicious activity or this suspect to call detectives with the information.

Any homeowner or business owner with surveillance equipment in the area is also asked to call detectives so the video from this morning can be reviewed.
Anyone with information is asked to call Major Crimes Detective Margaret Smith at (804) 646-0744 or Major Crimes Detective Sergeant Claude Picard at (804) 646-4060."

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Packages on Porches 
As holiday season approaches and online packages begin arriving, be mindful of packages that are delivered to their homes during the holiday season and take precautions to minimize the risk of theft. 

In recent years thefts have been reported especially around the holidays. Police recommend that you request that packages be delivered to your workplace during the day or that you request of the delivery service that packages be left to the side of your porch where they are not easily visible from the street. You can also talk with  your mail carrier to give them the heads up or sending your packages where you know  someone will be. 
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Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries
Sunday, November 6 at 2:00am, marks the end of daylight savings time. The City of Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services would like to remind citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks.
 
Changing smoke alarm batteries at least twice a year, testing those alarms monthly and reminding others to do the same are the simplest, most effective ways to reduce tragic fire related deaths and injuries.  Earlier this week across the U.S. there were 21 fire-related deaths reported in a 72-hour period. Generally, the most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms continues to be worn out or missing batteries. 
 
The Richmond Fire Department wants to make sure that all Metro Richmond residents change the batteries in their smoke alarms this weekend when they change their clocks. Any city resident that requires assistance with their smoke alarm can call (804) 646-1526. 

Tiber Project Back on Track?   
 
RichmondBizSense.com has been following the Tiber saga closely and has the latest in a recent story

"A federal judge has given the green light to send a stalled West End condo project back into the hands of an embattled builder and his financial backer.

The approval of the sale marks a prelude to the conclusion of the bankruptcy case for Tiber Partners LLC. The group was formed in 2012...to build 15 high-end condos at the corner of Libbie and Guthrie avenues. 

Libbie Guthrie, which owns the $6.27 million loan on The Tiber originally issued by Middleburg Bank, was the stalking horse bidder in the auction process for the property. An auction scheduled for earlier this month was cancelled when no other bidders stepped forward.

The terms for the pending sale include a credit to Libbie Guthrie of $2.9 million toward the loan it owns for The Tiber. Additionally, Libbie Guthrie will pay $1.8 million to condo purchasers either in cash or toward the purchase of a unit, $290,000 in cash for the estate, and about $50,000 in taxes.


Oliver Properties Going Up! 
The former Hill Davis building site at Kensington, Patterson, and Thompson is transforming fast as construction is ongoing that will bring 50 new apartments in four three-story buildings.  The apartments will be a mix of one- and two-bedrooms ranging from 615 square feet to about 950 square feet.

Oliver Properties also owns the Kensington Place apartments just south of the site and the Patterson Place apartments just north of the site. 

Click here to learn more and follow on Facebook.


Richmond Public Schools
Mary Munford's Community of Caring
Mary Munford's Community of Caring supports Munford families in need and Richmond Public Schools students who are experiencing housing instability and homelessness. 

Our year-long project is the collection of non-perishable food (like granola bars and pop-top canned goods) and hygiene items (like toothpaste, shampoo, and detergents). Please bring your donations to the school or send them with your students to put in the big blue bucket in the school lobby. Thank you for your help!!
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Albert Hill Weekend Food Packs 
Albert Hill Middle needs volunteers to distribute weekend food packs to students. Many students rely on meals provided through their school during the week. AHMS is now part of a special program that sends food home with children on Friday afternoons so they have weekend meals. If you are interested in helping on Fridays from 1:45-3:00 PM, contact: PTA president Anne Ewald or teacher Melinda Lawson
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Albert Hill Sign Under Construction
At long last, the Albert Hill sign is fully funded and under construction thanks to PTA fundraising efforts and generous donations from the FAN District and other donors. A special thanks is extended to PTA President, Anne Ewald for her work on this lengthy project. We are excited to use the sign to inform all about the great things happening at Hill!
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November Chipotle Fund Raiser for TeeJay
Head to Chipotle on Monday, November 7 from 4-8PM and tell the cashier you're supporting the cause and Chipotle donates 50% of the sales to the Thomas Jefferson High School PTSA!
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Volunteers to Hang Dry Erase Boards in Classrooms at TJ
The TeeJay Vikings Fund (Thomas Jefferson High School non-profit agency founded by alumni) plans to install 50 dry erase boards on Saturday, November 12. They need 20 volunteers, 10 groups of 2, to carry out the installation. Each group will be responsible for 5 boards. They plan to work from 8 AM to Noon. The level of experience is minimal. To perform the work each group will require: at least 1 drill, cordless or electric with a 10 foot extension cord, and Philips head screw driver drill attachment and hand held. Please contact Warren Pierce: phone 804-986-8445.

Town Hall Meeting Tue., Nov. 15
Please join us for our 1st District Town Hall meeting Tuesday, November 15 from 6:00-7:30 pm at Albert Hill Middle School (3400 Patterson Avenue). 

We will discuss a variety of District and City issues, including the election, many City issues, as well as our regular updates from Police, Fire, and School Board representative Dawson Boyer. This will be my final town hall meeting as your Council representative. It has been an honor to serve you these last four years.

If you have any questions prior, please contact my office at 804-646-5349.

Natural Gas Rates Increase
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) recently announced an increase in the price of the purchased gas cost (PGC). This is a PGC increase of $0.325 to $0.450, which by law, extends this cost to customers. The average residential natural gas customer who uses 70 Ccfs (100 cubic feet) of natural gas per month will see an estimated $8.75 increase in their monthly bill. Other components of the natural gas bill - the distribution charge and customer charge - are unchanged.

At the time of this release, DPU's PGC rate is less than or equal to surrounding natural gas franchises. According to DPU Director Bob Steidel, "This increase is largely due to increased demand in the natural gas market. By law, DPU passes along the cost of the natural gas purchased and delivered to customers, dollar for dollar without any markup."

Across all energy sectors (electricity, heating oil, propane), natural gas remains the most efficient and economical choice of fuel for home heating, water heating, cooking and clothes drying. DPU offers information and programs year-round to encourage customers to better manage their utility bills and seek assistance before bills become unmanageable. DPU also encourages customers to consider enrolling in the Equal Monthly Payment Plan in order to avoid large seasonal fluctuations in their monthly bill.


Fabergé and Russian Decorative Arts Collection Returns to VMFA
After an international tour, VMFA's renowned Fabergé Collection has returned to the museum and the new exhibit reopened last week. Five new galleries showcase 280 Fabergé objects and other Russian decorative arts. The galleries feature both innovative displays and a range of interactive components designed to inform, engage, and delight.

In 1947 Lillian Thomas Pratt bequeathed to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts her remarkable collection of more than 400 Russian objects, including five Imperial Easter Eggs and approximately 170 additional works from the House of Fabergé. 


Full Circle: Beijing on Grove Replacing Blue Goat 
What was old is now new again for a Westhampton restaurant as a Chinese restaurant will return to the site of the original Peking restaurant, a neighborhood favorite for decades. RichmondBizSense has the story

"After nearly five years of business, the The Blue Goat restaurant at 5710 Grove Ave. is set to close temporarily to become the Beijing on Grove, said Chris Tsui, whose Richmond-based EAT Restaurant Partners owns the establishment.

Beijing on Grove is a throwback to the early 1980s when Tsui's father took over Peking, a popular Chinese restaurant that operated in the same space and became affectionately known in the neighborhood as Peking on Grove.

"We're going to change the design of the restaurant to make it look like an upscale Chinese restaurant," Tsui said. "The layout, lighting, colors, furniture...all of that is going to change when we reopen the restaurant."
Beijing on Grove could be operational by mid-January 2017, he said."


Mapping Inequality at University of Richmond 
The University of Richmond's  Digital Scholarship Lab has released " Mapping Inequality," the largest collection of maps produced by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) in the 1930s.

It is a fascinating look at the  interplay between racism, administrative culture, economics, and the built environment. Redlining is the practice of denying financial or other services like mortgage financing to residents of certain areas based on the race or ethnicity of the people in those areas.

Visitors can browse over 150 interactive maps and roughly 5000 individual area descriptions to get a view of Depression-era America as developers, realtors, tax assessors, and surveyors saw it-a set of interlocking color-lines, racial groups, and environmental risks.

"These maps are the go-to example used every week, nearly every day, by journalists and scholars in analyses of redlining and its consequences," said Rob Nelson, director of the Digital Scholarship Lab.

The HOLC surveys graded mortgage risk in large part based on race. For instance, Richmond's Byrd Park neighborhood received a C rather than B rating because of its proximity to an African-American neighborhood.

These new maps, which are now available open access, are part of the American Panorama project, a historical atlas of the United States for the twenty-first century that garnered national attention. The Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted the project as one of its nine tech innovators for 2016, which we featured in the April 2016 1st District newsletter


Richmond, Virginia is transforming from parochial to cool, and one of the East Coast's most intriguing cities 
The New York Daily News gave RVA a great write up about how our city is fast becoming known as a great place to visit for so many reasons, old and new, and gave a shout out to my friend and neighbor Mike Yavorsky at Belmont Food Shop!

"While there's a pronounced Southern languor here, the city's cultivating its own mellow buzz, a kind of counterculture vibe tempered by genteel character and aw-shucks self-awareness. Like many midsize cities, its cost of living and quality of life are drawing culinary and cultural talent who may have once fled to New York or Los Angeles. And they're transforming Virginia's capital city from a parochial, roll-up-the-sidewalks burg to one of the East Coast's most intriguing places to visit.

After recharging, I headed out to the Museum District neighborhood and dinner at Belmont Food Shop, another perfect emblem of the new Richmond. What looks like a well-worn neighborhood joint is actually a new gem from chef/owner Mike Yavorsky, who returned to his hometown after cooking under New York giants like Daniel Boulud and Floyd Cardoz. Yavorsky's deceptively simple plates - meltingly soft short ribs, flawless gazpacho, exemplary roast chicken - lands him squarely in their company."


Mail Updates
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