There is a public discussion about the proposed Richmond Public Schools (RPS) rezoning as it impacts various neighborhoods in the area including but not limited to, Westover Hils, Forest Hill, Woodland Heights, and Springhill. The meeting takes place tonight, September 30th, at 6:30 PM at the Woodland Heights Baptist Church, 611 W 31st Street.
Three of the four proposed options rezone all of Woodland Heights and Springhill neighborhoods from Westover Hills Elementary to Blackwell Elementary. The last option (option B1) sends all of Springhill to Blackwell and breaks Woodland Heights into two, sending some children to Westover Hills and others to Blackwell.
Dr. Sapini has been invited to join in the discussion in advance of the public hearing hosted by RPS on October 10 at the Southside Center. Rezoning information is available at https://www.rvaschools.net/2020-2021-rps-rezoning. RPS also has a feedback form for public comments at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScksXtKGye5aLOle-fm1Ov5MtK_9efzfZgx8VNvnyG1PV0QDg/viewform.
Fatal Accident at Dillard’s in Stony Point Fashion Park
The victim was a maintenance tech working on the escalator.
Details from Richmond Fire Department
WORKING INCIDENT: At approx. 9:52a, crews responded to the Dillard’s store at 9208 Stony Point Pkwy for the report of a man who fell down the escalator shaft. Once on scene, they found the victim unresponsive. He was pronounced dead by medics with the @RAAEMS. pic.twitter.com/85RLNIsfLk
— Richmond Fire Department (@RFDVA) January 19, 2022
James River Park System has a new Superintendent, Giles Garrison
Giles Garrison was previously an Executive Director for both Groundwork RVA and Storefront for Community Design.
The new Superintendent of the James River Park System is Giles Garrison. Learn about what makes her tick in own words and in a video from Friends of James River Parks.
Time vs. Day 1
35 million years ago the James River was formed when a massive asteroid hurtled into what is today the Chesapeake Bay, shooting cracks through the Earth’s crust and forming the topography of our state. Water plumed into the air and cascaded across the land, eventually streaming into a three-hundred-and-forty-mile river that runs from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western Virginia, through Richmond, on its way back to the Bay.
15 thousand years ago, mastodon and massive prehistoric beavers roamed the fall line where you and I live. In that time, enormous quadrupeds ruled Richmond’s roost, and humans made their way in tiny nomadic families that survived by their spears and their wits.
416 years ago, two worlds collided when a ragtag group of English colonists found their way to the river’s mouth and sailed into what was then known as the Powhatan River, named for the Chief who maintained a sweeping alliance of diverse Native American societies spanning from the falls East to the Tidewater.
13 years later in 1619 twenty men, the first Africans in British America, stepped from that river onto land at Point Comfort. They were forcibly brought to Virginia by European traders to become the labor in the Giles campingcolony’s brutal plantation economy.
The James River tells the story of the people who lived America’s tumultuous and violent beginning.
What stories does the James tell us today? I bet you have one.
30 years ago, during a winter like this one, my brother and I set out to pull a log out of the James River at Flat Rock, which is what we called the big flat rock under the Nickel Bridge. What I remember is that while we were extremely professional, we quickly were in water up to our waists and our parents decided we had better head home. Stu and I took the log with us, all the way up 42nd Street to our house on Springhill Avenue. My stepdad made us each Honorary River Rat Club certificates which we hung on the kitchen wall.
The James River Park System is many things to Richmond, and it has been many things to me. My favorite time of year is when the paw paws turn yellow and seem to hover in the air over the Buttermilk Trail, making you feel transported to a magical place. Sometimes when I walk along parts of the Pipeline or the trails at Ancarrows Landing, I feel the hauntedness of the James River, the experience of acute loss that occurred here for Richmond’s African-American forebears. This is a part of our origin story.Giles overlooking the T-Pott bridge
The story continues to unfold. Running the Park’s trails and climbing Manchester Wall have been some of the most joyful times in my life because they happen in a place that is completely unique to Richmond and for all to enjoy. The James River Park System is place where you can lose yourself and find yourself, in company or on your own, always in nature. Today this Park, and all of our parks, are places where reconciliation and reconnection are possible.
When I think of the footsteps I follow on day one of this amazing job, I feel a great sense of humility. Ralph White, a true river spirit in tall white socks, sits among the pantheon of great Richmond leaders this city has seen. Nathan Burrell, superintendent #2, was a hands-on reformer and has long been a role model to me, and I hope will continue to be a mentor. Bryce Wilk, our most recent Superintendent, is a rising star in Richmond’s Parks Department and continues in the role of Manager of Southern District Operations. I’m overjoyed to step into the #4 spot as a Superintendent in this sacred place, and to work with you, Reader, to leave it better than we find it.
I hope we’ll be talking, whether it’s in the Park or in an email. I’d love to hear your river story. You can email me at [email protected] or post a picture on Instagram and tag @rvaparksandrec, @jamesriverpark, and @jrpsrichmond.
Thanks for sharing, happy New Year to you, and be safe out there.
I’ve been reading The River Where America Began, by Bob Deans. Most of the history above is drawn from that book, which a great read about the James River and its people over time.
Change Coming to Positive Vibe Cafe
A new restaurant will be taking over Positive Vibe Cafe but still provide hands-on training for those with physical and development disabilities.
Well as we kept struggling to find a safe time to open The Cafe this past year, a new option has appeared. We were contacted by a west end restaurant (to be named soon) in October that was unhappy where they were located and interested in partnering with us at our location. Our Board met and we have decided to accept their offer, as long as our Training Program would continue at the location. Of course, our nonprofit mission was always focused on providing training for young adults with disabilities and that will continue. We look forward to this partnership and wanted to let everyone know the good news. The name of the restaurant and more details to follow. Stay tuned….
The Positive Vibe Café (2825 Hathaway Road) has been providing hands-on training & meaningful employment in food services to individuals with physical and developmental disabilities for the past. Founded in 2002, since 2004, Positive Vibe Café has trained over 1500 students, all with scholarships.