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Richmond Biz-Sense Reporting Big Changes for Westover Place Shopping Strip on Forest Hill Avenue

Rumors of development at this spot have circulated for years. They are rumors no more.

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Westover Place Shopping Center (5069 Forest Hill Ave) which I will always refer to as that spot Stories used to be at is heading for the wrecking ball. It should be noted that there is no mention of what is to become of China’s Best. To be honest I don’t think it’s China’s Best but it was acceptable Chinese takeout that was nearby.

Richmond BizSense.com has the details.

Local developers Michael Plotkin and Nolen Blackwood have filed plans for a three-story building that would rise on the current Westover Place shopping center site at 5069 Forest Hill Ave.

Plans call for a 30,000-square-foot structure with 30 apartments above a 7,800-square-foot ground floor commercial space, with 47 total surface parking spots around the building.

The drawings above look like pretty much every other new development that has popped up in recent years. I wish the parking were in the back like the Standard/Veil building across the street. The parking in front continues that strip mall look and provides yet another chance for pedestrians and cars to meet in an unfortunate manner.

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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.

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Dive In For Shark Science This Summer

Learn about Baby shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo. Baby shark! Mommy shark doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo. Mommy shark! Daddy shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo. Daddy shark!

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Sharks are one of the oldest and most successful predators ever to have lived, but their millions of years of existence still haven’t given humans enough time to overcome fears about the misunderstood animal. In a new touring exhibition on display at the Science Museum of Virginia beginning May 28, guests will learn that sharks have more to fear about humans than we do about the fascinating aquatic creatures.

In “Planet Shark: Predator or Prey,” guests will trace millions of years of evolution, come face-to-face with the great white shark, learn the true impact of the shark fin trade and gain a new level of respect for sharks of all shapes and sizes. The exhibition features shark models cast from real animals, a collection of real teeth and jaws, and extremely rare fossils — some up to 370 million years old.

“Often, what we don’t understand, we fear,” said Virginia C. Ellett Director of Education Timshel Purdum. “The fact that sharks are mysterious combined with decades of media hype has made us scared to dive into their underwater world. In this exhibition, guests will see that sharks are majestic, diverse, powerful and supremely adapted for their environment. Most importantly, they will see that humans are the real threat through practices driving dozens of species to the brink of extinction.”

Photo provided by Science Museum of Virginia

Created in Australia by Grande Experiences and an international team of experts in sharks, marine biology and oceanographic cinematography, “Planet Shark: Predator or Prey” is the only comprehensive shark experience to tour the world. An immersive walk-through gallery utilizes cinema-quality SENSORY4™ technology and features 45 minutes of incredible high-definition underwater footage of sharks in their natural habitats.

“Learning about jaw-dropping shark adaptations and incredible behaviors will go a long way toward helping guests face their fear,” said Purdum. “We’re celebrating all things shark this summer, and I’m confident our enthusiasm for these amazing animals will not only entertain, but also change perspectives.”

Whether they are filled with fear or fascination, the innovative out-of-water shark experience will have guests hooked from start to finish.

Photo provided by Science Museum of Virginia

To complement the exhibition, the Science Museum is offering ocean-themed demos and educational activities throughout the building and hosting Science After Dark events and Lunch Break Science presentations. In addition, the Science Museum is showing the giant screen film “Great White Shark” in The Dome this summer and is hosting “JARS: Sharks on Loan,” a touring exhibition featuring dozens of shark specimens in jars from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William & Mary.

During regular Science Museum operating hours (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), admission to “Planet Shark: Predator or Prey” is available through a combination ticket that includes access to the exhibition as well regular Science Museum exhibits. Admission is $21 for adults; $18.50 for youth (ages 6 – 12) and seniors (ages 60 and older); and $15 for preschool-aged children (ages 3 – 5). Discounts are available for teachers, military personnel and EBT cardholders. Science Museum members receive free admission to the exhibition. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets at smv.org.

Not only is the Science Museum reopening seven days a week when “Planet Shark: Predator or Prey” debuts, but to give guests even more chances to see the exhibition while it’s in Richmond, the Science Museum is also offering extended hours June 3 through September 2. On Fridays, the Science Museum will remain open until 8 p.m. “Planet Shark: Predator or Prey” will be the only experience open after 5 p.m., and admission is only $10 during those evenings.

Planet Shark: Predator or Prey” is on display at the Science Museum through September 5. It was created and produced by Grande Experiences and is generously sponsored locally by Markel and GEICO Philanthropic Foundation. Shark-related summer programming in “The Forge” is sponsored by Brandermill Animal Hospital. Educator-led cart activities this summer are sponsored by The London Company.

Photo provided by Science Museum of Virginia

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Suspension Bridge to Belle Isle Closed Today

The bridge should be completed by the weekend.

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The suspension pedestrian bridge to Belle Isle is temporarily closed due to concrete falling from Lee Bridge.

The closure took place Wednesday after city officials received reports of concrete pieces being found on the pedestrian bridge.

“It was concluded that the concrete pieces fell from an open joint of the Lee Bridge. Consequently, the pedestrian bridge located directly under the open joint had to be closed in an effort to protect the public,” a release said.

While the engineers say there is no serious danger they’re putting in a scaffolding protection system along some stretches of the bridge. The installation is taking place today (Thursday) and is expected to be done Friday.

Dominion RiverRock is this weekend and temperatures are in expected in the upper 90’s so usage of the bridge and Belle Isle will be at a season-high.

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Drink Beer and Help Friends of James River Parks

Raging James Pilsner is the latest release from Legend Brewing and a portion of each sale will got to Friends of James River Park.

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Friends of James River Park announced their latest partnership today and it’s tasty.

Legend Brewing Company is the oldest operating craft brewery in Virginia. As their Vice President of Operations, Dave Gott, told us, “It’s important that you be a part of the community – not just IN the community.” Legend has hosted our board meetings and annual get-togethers. On any given weekend (and often any given day) their parking lot is full of cars carrying kayaks and bicycles, and their patio is crowded with people who have spent the day enjoying the James River Park System.

Given their proximity to the James River and our Park, we were elated when they floated the idea of creating a special beer for our organization. Raging James Pilsner is their newest release, and a portion of the sale of each can will help us continue our efforts. Legend has supported Richmond for almost 30 years, and as we approach 50 years of commitment to the Park, we’re honored to partner with them on this.

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