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RiverRock Pop-up Concert Happening at Forest Hill Park

49 takes the stage at 2pm followed by the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio.

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Dominion RiverRock is happening this weekend but it’s not like previous years. The events are spread out and there is no massive concerts or events on Brown’s Island. You can check out the events on the previous link. You should also give the Dominion RiverRock Facebook and other social media accounts a follow to get word of pop-up concerts like the one taking place at 2 pm in Forest Hill Park.

From 49’s Facebook:

Surprise show announcement! Join us tomorrow at Forest Hill Park in Richmond VA for River Rock Festival!
49 takes the stage at 2pm followed by the great Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio 🎹 Join us in the park for a free, socially distant, outdoor show. Sure to be a great time!

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

Downtown

Virginia House votes to repeal Clean Cars law

Republicans in the House of Delegates passed legislation Wednesday to repeal a law tying Virginia to California vehicle emissions standards that are set to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035. 

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By Charlie Paullin

Republicans in the House of Delegates passed legislation Wednesday to repeal a law tying Virginia to California vehicle emissions standards that are set to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035.

Along party lines, the House of Delegates voted 52-48 to pass House Bill 1378, carried by Del. Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham.

Wilt’s bill faces a rocky road in the Senate, where Democrats have killed several Republican bills aimed at the same goal. Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, has said any bill to repeal the California emissions law that comes over from the House will meet the same fate.

Democrats struck down several Republican efforts to roll back or delay the enactment of climate laws including the more stringent vehicle emissions standards during the last General Assembly session.

In 2021, the General Assembly passed legislation that coupled Virginia vehicle emissions regulations with those set by the California Air Resources Board, a set of rules often called the “Clean Car” standards. Last year, CARB issued a new rule that will require that all new cars sold in the state be zero emission beginning in 2035.

The 2021 legislation Virginia enacted was one of two options the state has when it comes to regulating tailpipe emissions: either continue to follow the federal standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or follow more stringent regulations set by California.

The Clean Air Act allows states only two choices on vehicle emissions regulations to limit the number of standards that manufacturers must adhere to. California was granted an exception to set its own standards to address smog issues. Over a dozen other states have also chosen to adopt the Golden State’s rule.

Wilt and Republicans argue the California standards place burdensome cost demands on Virginians and say the 2035 target is unrealistic. EVs will also put a strain on the grid, Wilt said in a floor speech Wednesday.

“The free market is driving this, I would dare say as fast as they can,” Wilt said, noting manufacturers’ plans to electrify their fleets. “I think we’re all on board, there’s just a distinct difference [on] how we want to go about it.”

But Del. Rip Sullivan, D-Arlington, said Virginia’s adoption of the Clean Cars standard positions it as a leader in the “acceleration” toward electric vehicles.

Passing Wilt’s bill sends a message that the state doesn’t want to lead “or, worse yet, can’t compete,” Sullivan said.

Del. Alfonso Lopez, D- Arlington, contended that data centers, which have proliferated in Northern Virginia, are already putting demands on the grid.

Earlier Wednesday, a House subcommittee advanced a bill by Sullivan that would set up a $25 million fund for the establishment of charging infrastructure outside of highway corridors. Sen. Dave Marsden, D-Fairfax, has a similar bill in the Senate that is scheduled to be taken up Thursday.

“We want every part of Virginia” to be part of the transition, said Sullivan in the subcommittee meeting.

Similar proposals were put forward in 2022 but failed to pass the General Assembly or make it into the budget.

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Community

Climb a Tree in Fonticello Park this Saturday

The Friends of Fonticello Park have teamed up with Riverside Outfitters to get folk up close and personal with the trees in the park.

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From Friends of Fonticello Park

Come climb with us at @riversideoutfittersrva ! Tree climbing is an exciting and special way to get to know your favorite park trees from a new perspective!
Details:
🌳Participants must be at least 6 years old and have their waiver signed by a parent/guardian. Minors must be accompanied by an adult throughout the event. Adults can climb, too!
🌳 Climbers will take turns climbing one at a time and are always belayed by an instructor. Helmets and harnesses must be worn and are provided.
🌳 When not climbing, feel free to enjoy some fun tree-related arts and activities.
🌳 Dress comfortably and for the weather. Wear closed-toed shoes and bring a water bottle and any snacks and medications you may need. We will have a full water cooler for refills.
Fill out the required waiver online here to reserve your spot:

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Community

James River Association is Recruiting Students for the Adventure of a Lifetime

The James River Association (JRA) is currently seeking student and teacher applications for James River Leadership Expeditions (JRLE), a year-long program for high schoolers interested in advocating for the James River.

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The James River Association (JRA) is currently seeking student and teacher applications for James River Leadership Expeditions (JRLE), a year-long program for high schoolers interested in advocating for the James River.

Photo Credit: JRA

The program is segmented into four sessions running from July 2023 through May 2024, and it provides students with the opportunity to enjoy river-based education, build new friendships, develop leadership skills, and carry out a community capstone project. JRA will accept 30 students in the 2023-24 program across the James River watershed.

JRLE kicks off during the summer with Session One, perhaps the program’s most beloved experience: a week-long, overnight paddle adventure on the James River. These trips are divided into three excursions covering the Upper, Middle, and Lower James.

Photo Credit: JRA

Throughout the trip, students learn technical skills like how to canoe and camp overnight and they receive further education through unparalleled access to local culture, history, and environmental teachings. They also experience a highly unique setting that gives them the chance to build confidence, self-esteem, and relationships with their fellow participants.

Nash McDowell, a JRLE alum who previously participated in the program, has this advice for students considering the program: “If I could tell students one thing, it’s that you will never experience something like this again. The James River Association is offering an incredible experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. To spend one week on the James River, technology-free, with good company, is something very hard to find. When the opportunity presents itself, take it.”

Continuing into the school year, JRLE’s second session offers an overnight brainstorming event where students discuss community capstone projects together. The third session consists of a working group complete with games that tap into personality styles, self-awareness, public speaking, and relationship management. The program ends with session four, a leadership launch and environmental symposium, where students can present their capstone projects and celebrate their accomplishments for the year.

“Through James River Leadership Expeditions, students learn they are capable of far more than they realize,” said Genevieve Wall, Senior Environmental Educator for JRA. “The experiences and relationships they build throughout the program help provide skills and awareness they will develop and use for years to come. As educators, we are honored to be able to sow seeds of knowledge, understanding, and connection to the James River through this unique and life-changing program. We look forward to welcoming new river stewards of tomorrow to our 2023-24 season.”

Photo Credit: JRA

The James River Leadership Expeditions program is made possible in part by generous support from the Luck Companies Foundation Fund. To learn more about JRLE and apply, visit https://thejamesriver.org/students-of-the-james/james-river-leadership-expeditions/.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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