The unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections show Stephanie Lynch with a solid win in the special election to replace Parker Agelasto as the 5th District representative on City Council.
Lynch won 27.7% of the vote and took 6 of the 7 precincts in the 5th District, with former 5th District School Board representative Mamie Taylor winning precinct 509. Taylor, Thad Williamson, Nicholas Da Silva, Chuck Richardson, and Jer’Mykeal McCoy were bunched together for 2nd-6th with between 15.6% and 11.1% of the vote.
Agelasto announced in April that he would resign the office on November 30, 2019, due to controversy surrounding his residency after he moved out of the 5th District. Lynch’s term will run through the regular election in 2020, when the seat will be on the ballot again along with all of the other City Council seats.
According to VPAP, as of the most recent reporting deadline the candidates had raised just over $100,000 collectively for the election. Williamson took in just over $30,000, with winner Lynch right behind him at just over $29,000. Second place finisher Taylor reports having raised just $2,800.
Lynch is a 15 year resident of Richmond and lives in Woodland Heights. She received an undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies and Psychology, with a minor in African American studies, and holds a Masters in social work. She has worked as a social worker [Linked-In] and community activist and is currently the director of government affairs, strategy and development for Good Neighbor.
Thanks again to John Murden for putting together this analysis.
Critters of the Week
A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by SPCA or RACC.
Where Spotted: Bryan Park
Common Name: Blue Jay
Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata
Length: 8.7 – 12 in.
Weight: 2.3 – 3.8 oz
Wingspan: 13–17 in
Quick Facts (Courtesy of the Cornell Lab)
- Thousands of Blue Jays migrate in flocks along the Great Lakes and Atlantic coasts, but much about their migration remains a mystery. Some are present throughout winter in all parts of their range. Young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, but many adults also migrate. Some individual jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year. No one has worked out why they migrate when they do.
- The Blue Jay frequently mimics the calls of hawks, especially the Red-shouldered Hawk. These calls may provide information to other jays that a hawk is around, or may be used to deceive other species into believing a hawk is present.
- Tool use has never been reported for wild Blue Jays, but captive Blue Jays used strips of newspaper to rake in food pellets from outside their cages.
- The pigment in Blue Jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.
Kurt Cobain at Richmond SPCA
With the food out it’s less dangerous
Here we are meow, entertain us
I feel frisky and outrageous
Here we are meow, entertain us
Age: 8 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
To reduce visitor traffic, during the COVID-19 outbreak they are scheduling adoption appointments beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Please leave your phone number in a voicemail or email and an adoption counselor will call to set an appointment for you to meet with a pet. Email the adoption center or call 804-521-1307.
Resident Tests Wayside Springs
Spoiler it’s not spoiled.
Wayside Springs is one of the few natural springs that still accessible to city dwellers. It’s located down a set of stairs where Prince George Road hits New Kent. The stone staircase that leads to a landing area featuring two pipes gushing spring water was built in the 1930s and a cornerstone in the wall is inscribed with 1895. A cool oasis in the city.
Mark Holmberg had a short story back in 2017 about this spot and some of the other local springs.
Meanwhile RTD has this story on the spring in Byrd Park and this story from 2008 about signs warning that the water might not be safe. The article goes on to say, that the signs went up since they had stopped testing not that they had found anything wrong.
Resident Matt Sprinkle was curious about the water that comes from Wayside Springs so he purchased a WaterSafe well testing kit and went work. It should be mentioned that this is an over the counter testing kit and is not “official” in any way shape or form.
Ran these last week a few days after the big rains, and still, the only contaminant to note is the Nitrate, which is still well below a concerning level even for ordinary drinking water. (Cured sausage is way higher in nitrates and nitrites.) So, not a definitive thing, but helpful nevertheless to know that it’s within normal parameters for safety. Drink up.
The results and tip of the virtual hat to Matt for sharing the results.
Southside Allies March for Racial Justice on Friday
With the support of Justice RVA, they are calling on ALL Southside allies to show up for racial justice and Black lives at a peaceful action, which will be meeting Friday, June 5th at 5PM by the Stone House in Forest Hill Park.
With the support of Justice RVA, we are calling on ALL Southside allies to show up for racial justice and Black lives at a peaceful action, which will be meeting Friday, June 5th at 5PM by the Stone House in Forest Hill Park.
We are joining together with all of our privileges to serve as the megaphone for those whose voices have been ignored and silenced. We are gathering to raise awareness of both the Civilian Review Board and Marcus Alert policy actions, which local Black leaders have been pushing for since the unjust murder of Marcus-David Peters by a RPD police officer. We must put pressure on our local leadership, including our city council members here in Southside, Mayor Stoney, and Governor Ralph Northam. We want #policiesnotapologies and we want to show support to make it clear that #blacklivesmatter!
Starting at 5PM we will be arranging ourselves to spell out #MarcusAlert for a drone photo. Afterwards we will be collectively marching to a TBA destination and back.
This will be a peaceful protest that all of our neighbors (especially white people) are encouraged to join, including families! We must also be mindful of each others’ health, so we are encouraging social distancing and that you wear a mask. Bring water to stay hydrated, painted signs, and I know there are musicians in Southside so bring your instruments to make some noise!
What you can do today, or if you are not comfortable coming out due to COVID-19 ——>
Sign the #MarcusAlert petition: bit.ly/marcusalert
Report Police Misconduct to the RTAP Hotline: (804)420-9296
Support the community organizations that are doing long-term work on police transparency, accountability, and abolition:
Richmond Transparency and Accountability Project
Richmond for All
Southerners On New Ground