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RVA Magazine
RVA Magazine

(804) 349-5890

Richmond, VA

Website

Richmond Free Press
Richmond Free Press

(804) 644-0496

422 E Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23219   Directions

Website

Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond Times-Dispatch

(804) 649-6000

300 E Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23219   Directions

Website

Style Weekly
Style Weekly

(804) 358-0825

24 E 3rd St
Richmond, VA 23224   Directions

Website

OPINION: Time to Deliver
10/16/2021 3:00am

Bon Secours needs to deliver on its promise to East End residents. Bon Secours is on a spending spree in Richmond but only at its hospitals in white, affluent neighborhoods. Meanwhile, Bon Secours is shirking its long-standing contractual obligations to develop new medical facilities in Richmonds struggling, urban East End. Bon Secours signed a contract on July 8, 2013, with the city of Richmond Economic Development Authority in which Bon Secours agreed to build a 25,000-square-foot, $7.5 million medical office building at or near its East End Richmond Community Hospital.The contract also called for Bon Secours to hire 75 new full-time employees at its East End facilities with a payroll of no less than $6.7 million, which equates to an average salary of $89,333 per full-time equivalent worker. In exchange for these promises, Richmond granted Bon Secours a 100-year lease of the very valuable Westhampton School site adjacent to the Bon Secours St. Marys Hospital at an initial annual rent of only $5,000. Eight years later, Bon Secours has built nothing in the East End, despite the small cost of such a facility relative to its other recent area expenditures and has hired few if any of the promised new East End employees.During that same eight years, Bon Secours has spent hundreds of millions of dollars expanding and improving its suburban Richmond hospitals. In fact, in just the past two years, Bon Secours has announced a $50 million expansion and a $34 million operating room upgrade at its Memorial Regional Medical Center in Hanover County, a $119 million expansion of its St. Francis Medical Center in Chesterfield County, and a new $30 million, free-standing 24,000-square-foot emergency-room in Chester. And the Westhampton School site leased to Bon Secours has now been developed with hundreds of new apartments and new office facilities. Whats really going on here Zip code data from the U.S. Census Bureau tells the story. For the code in which Bon Secours St. Francis is located, the population is 79.2 white and the yearly median family income is $89,851. By contrast, in the Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital ZIP code, the population is only 17.9 white and the median family income is $51,528 almost $40,000 less than for St. Francis. The numbers are similar for the ZIP codes of Bon Secourss Hanover facility 91 white, $79,692 median income and St. Marys Hospital 88 white, $68,024 median income. See the American Community Survey at census.gov for that information. And people in the East End near Richmond Community Hospital live shorter lives. Average life expectancy at birth is 63 to 68 years for people who live in the Richmond Community Hospital area. Average life expectancy at birth is 77 to 79 years for those who live near St. Francis and about the same for those living near Memorial Regional and St. Marys. Read the 2016 report from Virginia Commonwealth Universitys Center on Society and Health: societyhealth.vcu.edu/work/the-projects/mapping-life-expectancy.html.As these numbers show, Bon Secours is spending money in high-income areas that are largely white. And Bon Secours is not spending money and doesnt want to spend money at the Bon Secours hospital that is in a less affluent part of town with a small white population and lower life expectancies. The stated mission of Bon Secours Health is to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of our communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved emphasis added. Really If Bon Secours was truly focused on the poor, dying and underserved wouldnt it make sense for Bon Secours to put its efforts and its money in the East End community where poverty is highest and life expectancy is the lowest, rather than in those high-income suburban communities where life expectancies are already 10 to 15 years higher than in the East EndBon Secours announced last year that the new emergency room facility it was building in Chester, a project almost the same size as the promised East End office building, would be completed in only two years. If Bon Secours had built the promised East End project in two years, then that project would have been completed in 2015. In the six years from 2015 until today, $40.2 million of new salary and wages would have poured into the East End. That money would have been spent on housing and clothes and food and those expenditures would have created even more new East End jobs and income as a result. But of course, none of that happened. Instead, Bon Secours put its money in Richmonds richer, whiter hospitals. Bon Secours, when will you fulfill your charitable purpose to bring help to the poor and underserved and perform your contractual obligations to the City of Richmond and Richmonds East End When will you spend the paltry $7.5 million you committed to spend in the East End and hire the promised 75 new employees instead of just pouring money into your suburban locations At Bon Secours, the moneychangers in the temple seem to have driven out the compassionate ministry of Jesus. Michael Schewel is a retired lawyer and corporate executive. He served as Virginias secretary of Commerce and Trade from 2002 to 2006. Opinions expressed on the Back Page are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Style Weekly.

Week of September 8
09/08/2021 3:00am

ARIES March 21-April 19 We need to become more unreasonable but in an intelligent way, says Aries politician Jerry Brown. Yes I agree And thats especially true for you right now, Aries. To Browns advice, I will add this message from Aries fashion designer Vivienne Westwood: Intelligence is composed mostly of imagination, insightthings that have nothing to do with reason. Heres one further suggestion to help you take maximum advantage of cosmic rhythms, courtesy of Aries historian Arnold J. Toynbee: The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.TAURUS April 20-May 20I have become whole and complete, like a thundering cloudburst in summer, wrote Taurus poet Mikls Radnti. I love that metaphor for fullness: not an immaculate icon of shiny, sterile perfection, but rather a primal, vigorous force of nature in all of its rumbling glory. I hope you like this symbol as much as I do, and I hope you use it to fuel your creative spirit in the coming weeks. PS: Keep in mind that many indigenous people welcome rainstorms as a source of fertility and growth.GEMINI May 21-June 20Pandiculation is a word that refers to when you stretch and yawn at the same time. According to my understanding of the astrological omens, you will benefit from doing a lot of pandiculations in the coming days. I also recommend gazing lazily out the window and looking at the sky a lot. Keep your shoes off as much as possible, get a massage or three, and let yourself sleep more than you customarily do. Did you know that sighing deeply is good for your lungs health Heres your homework: Dream up all the things you can do to relax and renew yourself. Its prime time to indulge in generous acts of self-healing.CANCER June 21-July 22 The ancient Roman author Plinys ten-volume Natural History, written in the first century, was a monumental encyclopedia of the natural world, unprecedented in its own time and for centuries afterward. It offered compilations of facts about astronomy, geography, zoology, botany, mineralogy, and many other subjects. There was one big problem with it, however. It contained a great deal of erroneous information. For example, Pliny described in detail many non-existent animals, including dragons, flying horses, and giant serpents that swallowed bulls and snatched birds out of the sky. My reason for telling you this is to inspire you to be extra discerning in the coming weeks. Be especially skeptical of authorities, experts, and other know-it-alls who are very confident despite being inaccurate or erroneous. Its time for you to increase your trust in your own authority.LEO July 23-Aug. 22There are those fortunate hours when the world consents to be made into a poem, writes Leo poet Mark Doty. Thats great for a poet. But what about for everyone else My variation on Dotys comment is this: There are fortunate hours when the world consents to be made into a holy revelation or a lyrical breakthrough or a marvelous feeling that changes our lives forever. I expect events like those to come your way at least twice in the immediate future.VIRGO Aug. 23-Sept. 22Between 37 and 41 BCE, Virgo-born Caligula served as third Emperor of Rome. To do so, he had to disprove the prophecy of a renowned astrologer, Thrasyllus of Mendes. Years earlier, Thrasyllus had predicted that Caligula, despite being well-connected, had no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiaea distance of two miles. Once in power, Caligula arranged to have a series of pontoon boats arrayed across the bay, enabling him to ride his favorite horse Incitatus from one shore to the other across the Bay of Baiae. I foresee the possibility of a comparable turn of events for you, Virgo. Is there a curse you want to undo A false prophecy youd like to cancel Someones low expectation you would love to debunk The coming weeks will be a favorable time.LIBRA Sept. 23-Oct. 22College student Amelia Hamrick studied the right panel of Hieronymus Boschs 15th-century painting The Garden of Earthly Delights. It depicts a hellish scene. Cities are on fire. Weird beasts devour sinful humans. There are demons and torture chambers. Hamrick did what no one in the history of art had ever done: She transcribed the musical score that the artist had written on a mans naked hindquarters. Her work inspired a composer to create a recording entitled 500-Year-Old Butt Song from Hell. In the coming weeks, I invite you to perform feats comparable to Hamrick: 1. Explore the past for useful, overlooked clues. 2. Find or create redemptive transformations out of stressful situations. 3. Have fun telling stories about your past misadventures.SCORPIO Oct. 23-Nov. 21Born on one of the Galapagos Islands, Diego is a giant tortoise who has lived for over 100 years. Hes a member of the Hood Island species, which had dwindled to a population of 15 by 1977. Thats when he and his tortoise colleague, whose name is E5, became part of a breeding program with 12 female tortoises. E5 was reserved in his behavior, but Diego was a showboat who vocalized loudly as he enjoyed public mating rituals. Together the two males saved their speciesproducing over 2,000 offspring in subsequent years. According to my astrological analysis, you could be as metaphorically fertile as Diego and E5 in the coming monthseven if you prefer to adopt an approach more akin to E5s.SAGITTARIUS Nov. 22-Dec. 21The meaning of my existence is that life has addressed a question to me, wrote psychologist Carl Jung. Or, conversely, I myself am a question that is addressed to the world, and I must communicate my answer, for otherwise, I am dependent upon the worlds answer. These are superb meditations for you Sagittarians during the coming weeks. Between now and October 1, I invite you to keep a journal where you write about two subjects: 1. What is the main question that life asks you 2. What is the main question that your life asks the worldCAPRICORN Dec. 22-Jan. 19North Koreas Capricorn leader Kim Jong-un has an amazing rsum. Official reports say he learned to drive at age three and was an accomplished sailor at nine. As an adult, he developed the power to control the weather. Hes a skilled musician and artist, as well as a scientist who developed a miracle drug to cure AIDs, Ebola, cancer, heart disease, and the common cold. Most impressively, Kim is an archaeologist who discovered a lair where magical unicorns live. Is it possible you have unexpressed powers like these, Capricorn If so, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to identify them and start tapping into their potential. Its time to develop your dormant talents.AQUARIUS Jan. 20-Feb. 18Aquarian author Toni Morrison testified, I think of beauty as an absolute necessity. I dont think its a privilege or an indulgence. Its almost like knowledge, which is to say, its what we were born for. I urge you to adopt her perspective during the next four weeks, Aquarius. In my astrological opinion, a devoted quest for beauty will heal exactly what most needs to be healed in you. It will teach you everything you most need to know.PISCES Feb. 19-March 20Poet and translator Anne Carson periodically joins with her husband Robert Currie to teach a workshop called EgoCircus. Its an ironic title, because the subject they teach is the art of collaboration. To develop skills as a collaborator, of course, people must lay aside at least some of their egos needs and demands. In accordance with current astrological potentials, I encourage you to stage your own version of EgoCircus in the coming weeks. The time is ripe for you to hone your creative togetherness and synergistic intimacy.

PREVIEW: A Month Celebrating India at Gallery5
09/07/2021 3:00am

You dont have to be Indian to celebrate India. The subcontinent has been an inspiration for authors, poets and painters for centuries, with even the Beatles taking note, writing the bulk of The White Album in Rishikesh on their spiritual retreat.For the third year running, Gallery 5 is hosting Mother India. Musician and Gallery 5s board chairman, Prabir Mehta, says inspiration came from the fact that the Indian community feels very underrepresented in the arts in this country. As an immigrant, I found it extremely difficult, if not totally impossible most times, to find kids my age who had parents encouraging them to explore the arts, he recalls. As I went through the public-school system and even college, I still found very few Indian people interested in music and art. Mother India kicked off Sept. 3 with an opening featuring Vedic shlokas and blessings for the audience, live music by the Prabir Trio and a Bollywood Night dance party with DJ Carl. Events continue throughout the month as the show, which features local, national and international artists working in photography, video, ceramic and tapestry, remains on exhibit. Dean Whitlock, a local portrait photographer, will be taking photos of guests at the event set against a colorful sari fabric backdrop. Local photographer As a musician, its impossible for me to think of 60s music without the influence of India, Mehta says. Anyone whos read Kipling or a multitude of other authors obsessed with India will recognize the impact of India on western literature. Yoga and meditation, while not considered traditional art, have made huge impacts on Western society as these ancient practices were blended with music and visual accompaniment.Programming for Mother India will include a concert Sept. 11 of carnatic flute and tabla by Raman Kalyan, an award-winning musician who has taught at VCU. Mehta explains Carnatic music as a regional flavor or music. The southern Indian offerings of music include carnatic traditional music, he explains. Carnatic music is usually played in small ensembles revolving around a lead melodic instrument and supported by rhythmic layers created by one or two other instruments.Two Indian cooks will lead a cooking workshop on Sept. 24, sharing recipes and tips for making Bhaji Pav and pilau rice, with each dish paired with a cocktail from Gallery 5s bar. Ticketholders will get a cooking lesson, an opportunity to ask questions, food tastings and a chance to pick up Indian spices for their own kitchens.The Line Within will be Gallery5s first attempt at combining art, music, and yoga. Led by Kat McCroy of 3S Yoga Studios in Church Hill, the Sept. 25 event will involve a segment where participants will draw with their eyes closed, a compelling exercise in linking the mind and body while removing the distraction of sight. A meditation segment provides a chance to reach for a calm and peaceful experience in the mind. Yoga will be used to help stretch the body and become more comfortable with its own abilities, whether beginner or advanced. A soundtrack of calming live Indian scales will be performed to accompany the practice, with a post-meditation mimosa to cap off the experience.A plant party on Sept. 25 will provide a look at a popular and useful flower found in India, the marigold. Among its many uses, it creates a gorgeously vivid yellow dye that will allow participants to create a custom-dyed cotton piece and samples for future dyeing endeavors. India-themed cocktail and snacks will of course be offered as part of the ticket price.Indias perseverance has been a motivating force for Mehta in planning the exhibit. He points to how India has had many other cultures force their way into occupation, only to have Indians accept them, blend the cultures together, and come out it as the worlds largest democracy. Im not sure if our art show goes that deeply into it, but thats certainly a driving force in why the notion of India matters so much to me, he admits. Not just because Im from there, but because of what that subcontinent and its people have done with every hand theyve been dealt. Mother India, forever fusing the ancient and modern together. Mehtas hope is that these events will inspire not only Indian citizens to get involved with the arts, but for others to understand that the Indian community is just as diverse and artistic as any other. These shows, while having a noticeably different look and feel, ultimately highlight how we are indeed all the same, he says. We all love food, art, music, and community, just slightly different flavors and melodies here and there.Mother India runs all month at Gallery 5, 200 W. Marshall St., free. Tickets for individual events available at gallery5arts.org

Palms on the Potomac
09/07/2021 12:00am

Our day trip series heads to charming Colonial Beach, a relaxed small town featuring the second-longest beach in Virginia. For this farewell-to-summer excursion well follow blue highways, the stuff of countrymusic lyrics, those roads less taken that are devoid of Sheets or Wawas. Perhaps well find some mom-and-pop-run oases and meet some interesting folks. Blue highways are no longer shownon maps in blue ink as Rand McNally did when cartographers used red to delineate major thoroughfares. But on a steamy August morning recently, for the third time this year, Style Weekly photographer Scott Elmquist and I are following mostly blue highways for a 90-minute drive to Colonial Beach, which fronts the Potomac River on the Northern Neck. Its a destinationmany Richmonders seldomvisit, though its roughly 60 miles from both Washington and Richmond. On our two previous excursions wed motored west to Scottsville and south to Keysville, respectively. For our excursion to seasonally bustling Colonial Beach, a one-stoplight town once known as Reno on the Potomac,I bring a 70-page Virginiamap book published by DeLorme. Its one of those slightly oversized publications that are full of colorful topographic detail and sold in convenience stores and filling stations. My colleague Scott humors me, but he is fine with a GPS system.We both clutch Starbucks coffees. Is that cheating One thing about blue highways is that you shouldnt expect anything specific, even hot coffee. But you will findsomething, guaranteed.Leaving town we follow U.S.Route 301 north through Hanover County. We cross the PamunkeyRiver into Caroline County and pass through a relentless swampy stretch that continues over Polecat Creek and the Mattaponi River. Veering east at Bowling Green, Route 301 becomes a straightaway through dense forests that define much of the terrain of the Fort A.P. Hill Military Reservation. We comment on the bizarreness of the American military being trained here and dutifully going forth in the name of a Confederategeneral. But then again, the statue of Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill Jr. in Richmond is still a Lost Cause vestige marking a major crossroads at Hermitage Road and Laburnum Avenue.Moving beyond Fort A. P. Hill, within a few minutes we arrive at the all-but-lost town of Port Royal, population 210. Although this burg can easily be missed, it was a thrivingRappahannockRiver port town from the 1600s to the 1800s when tobacco was shipped downstream. To picture the place, imagine what Williamsburg would look like today if the Rockefellers hadnt come along in the 1920s and applied their Standard Oil fortune and fancy Boston architects to its restoration. Here, unexpectedlywe confront traces of another Civil War figure considerably more notorious than A.P. Hill, John Wilkes Booth. He was a 27-year-old actor when he assassinatedPresident Abraham Lincoln in Washington in April 1865. A historical marker in front of a large frame house explains that this wasthe place where Booth was captured after being chased and shot to death 10 days after fleeing the scene of the crime. A creepy exclamationpoint to reading about the violence that occurred here wereabevy of huge vultures perched stoically atop the roof and chimneysof the weathered house, their black coats of feathers glistening in the morning sunshine. Scott and I didnt tarry.Driving five blocks, we exit Port Royal, cross the Rappahannock River and arrive in picturesque King George County. After a brief drive through lush farmlands, we turn east at the village of Edgehill and onto state route 205. Soon we are in Westmoreland County. We arrive in Colonial Beach and although we can see the Potomac River in the distance, we passthrough town to itseasternedge to arrive at a wooded historicalsite, the James Monroe birthplace. Monroe 1758-1831 was the fifth president and a popular one. He spent the first 17 years of his life here on the then-500-acre farm before beginning a life of public service. In light of our fraught political times, its hard to believethat he faced no opposition in his successfulrun for a second presidential term in 1820.We stroll around the stalwart frame dwelling built on the foundations of the house whereMonroe was born. It sits in a grove of trees and is visible from highway 205 beyond a flurry of state and national historical markers. The multiyear restoration is nearing completion by the James Monroe Memorial Foundation. Archeological work was conducted by the College of William & Mary and the ColonialWilliamsburg Foundation executed the architecturalwork. Landscaping and furnishing the place is a work in progress. Of the eight Virginia-born presidents, there is only evidence of what two of their birthplaces actually looked like: this house and the WoodrowWilson birthplace in Staunton. Plans call for replanting orchards and re-creating houses for enslavedpeople and other structures that oncepopulated this 18th and early 19th century farm.Just beyond the modern reception center and museum is a so-called Time Trail, a half-mile, aggregate-paved and oyster shell-deckled walkway. Here we meet an engagingwoman walking her dog. Vivian Lee Messner, with Barney tugging on a rope good-naturedly, says she was named for the famous screen actress, but doesnt explain why her name isnt spelled Leigh like the star of Gone With the Wind.We chat at one of the regular intervals on the trail where large granite slabs and benchesare engraved with information pertainingto Monroes life and times. This path leads to waterand a canoe launch, Messner explains.Since wed introduced ourselves as day trippers to Colonial Beach making ourfirst stop near town, she cheerfully says that shes a 26-year resident of the town. Although born in West Virginia and reared in Framingham, Massachusetts, she says she loves it down here. I love Virginia.When my company, Geico, moved me for a time to St. Petersburg, Florida, I cried. When I heard I was being transferred back here, I went hopping through the office: Yahoo, Im goinghome, I yelled.And this come-here clearly knows the territory. She recounts that in 2017, she ran for the Democratic nomination for a seat in the House of Delegates. While she lost to an opponent who ultimately lost to a Republican, Messner saysshe carried several counties in the primary. Everyone should do it, she says of running for office.When asked for the inside scoop on Colonial Beach, she quickly suggests that there are two schools of thought among the residents. Some people, the old timers, want to keep the town old timey, she says, others want change.Internet access is iffy she adds, while tourism development is always an issue. She explains that there is a publicsculpture project downtown and along the beachfront that has many folkswondering if the money might be better spent on more pressing infrastructure needs.A major issue is that folks from around Washington, D.C., are moving down, buying houses and causing costs to be jackedup, she says. What somehome builders are charging ishighway robbery.We ask for breakfast suggestions. Lennys is where the old timers go, she says,while the Colonial Buzz Espressoacross thestreet from Lennys is more hip.For a county steeped in 18th-century architectureand lore, GeorgeWashingtons birthplace and Stratford Hall, the ancestralhome of the Lees, are near Colonial Beach. Meanwhile, our breakfast spot, Lennys, is a local institution with an authentic midcentury modern vibe. The restaurants shallow A-frame exterior silhouettegives way upon entering to an outbreakofturquoiseblue. Every table and booth in the L-shaped space is filled with a customer mix equally Latina, Black and white. Scott orders pancakes andsausage and I have anomelet.Its late morning, spirits are high andno oneseems in ahurry. Take care, shouts the Rev. K. Lionel Richards, who is dining at a table, to a friendwho is exiting the diner. Adds the Rev. James Johnson while laughing, Its a hardjob but someone has to doit.A few minutes later, Richards, 69, explains that both he and Johnson are pastors of nearby congregations, Mt. Olive Baptist Church and Maranatha Bible Church, respectively. Things are going pretty smoothly considering the COVID, says Richards of his flock and the churchsprograms. People are trying to get back out. We havebetween 30 and 50 attendees at services now.As we leave Lennys, I scan a number of the photographs and newspaper clippings that hang throughout the restaurant. The eatery was opened in 1978 by Leonard Skeens, who operated it until his death in 2007. Today it is run by his stepdaughter, BrandyRobinson, who we observed this busymorning in highgear. One of the newspaper clippings stresses how Lennys has played an important generational role in the life education of scores of teenagers and young people in Colonial Beach. They had their first real jobs there and Skeens was considered a tough task master: His mantra: If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.Leaving Lennys we cross Colonial Avenue, the main road to the beach and a strip of suburbia if only a hint. We stroll onward to Colonial Buzz Espresso and approach a woman and man enjoying a late-morning beverage. They lounge in chairs under stylish blue fabricswaths that are billowing next to the cottagelike coffee house. The friendly pair asks us where we ate breakfast and light up when we tell themLennys.Thats where each of us had our firstjobs,says the woman, who was with her son, and who politely declined to give their names.Finally, on tothe beachAt two and a half miles, Colonial Beach is the second-longest bathing beach in Virginia. The freshly groomed sand extends flush to the concrete boardwalk. Shade trees mostly sycamores and a few specially planted and unexpectedpalm trees offer a shady respite for those without beach umbrellas.We drive along Colonial Avenue to where it reaches River Edge Inn, a large motel at the far western edge of the boardwalk. The walk extends eastward to border the north side of the tight downtown street grid. We examine a piece of realistic,newish-looking sculpturethat depicts two apparent visitors to the beach dressed in late-19th century attire. It is a reference to the towns founding as a summertime escape hatch for Washingtonians in the pre-air conditioning era. Strolling along we notice a number of piers. The town pier and visitor center is on Hawthorn Street. Most of the downtown buildings are one and two stories except for the hulking Potomac Renaissance condos near Irving Avenue. There is an unassuming flair to many of the buildings and the appearance of places that have been patched up and maintained over the years. Little is showy.An exception is the Riverview Inn at 24 Hawthorn St. It is an art deco marvel with curved brick walls and a brightly colored exterior. There is nothing quite like it in Virginia. It looks, well, jazzy. It recalls an era when ColonialBeach was known not always fondly as a gambling destination. So gambling waslegal in Virginia back in the day No, but interestingly the southern border of Maryland extends to the low water mark along the south bank of the Potomac. Therefore, when you go into the water along Colonial Beach, you are wading or swimming in Maryland. Taking advantageof Marylands considerably more liberal gambling laws, savvy entrepreneursbuilt piers from the boardwalk into the water with gambling operations, including slot machines at the ends of the piers.One of the charmingthings about Colonial Beach is walkability. And the number of golf carts rolling through the streets seems to exceed automobiles. We didnt see many cyclists. Among those we meet today on the beach are two day-trippers from Washington, Deja Robinson and James Knighton. Wed heard about Colonial Beach word of mouth and today is my birthday, Robinson says. As shelies on a blanket, her companion eats slices of fresh fruit, apparently purchased before leaving the city at Whole Foods from the looks of a brown grocery bag. Do you know of any beachesnearby that dont have jellyfish asks Robinson with a wince. I didnt have the heart to tell these city folk that those stinging critters come with the territory and they are just as prevalentin the Atlantic Ocean at Virginia Beach, the states longest beach.Colonial Beach is a pleasantly sized peninsula that narrows to four blocks wide as one moves toward its end. At First Street the blocks become residential and from First Street to the Colonial Beach YachtCenter, at the tip, the town looks its best. Dozens of heartbreakingly attractive beach cottages front Irving Avenue, which overlooks the Potomac. With relatively few shade trees, each of the houses reflects the distinct tastesof its builder or owner. For a beach mostly off-the-beaten path for 150 years, there is an understandable, low-key variety. From Victorian cottages to stalk modernity, the houses seem to coexist beautifully. The back streets closer to Monroe Bay Lossing,Bancroft and Marshall avenues are lined with modest-sized showstoppers.One of the largest riverfront cottages is the 1885 Bell House at 821 Irving St., a Queen Anne-style confection that also exhibits rare stick-style tendencies. The latter architectural style, exalting in showy, sharp-pointed carpentry, was more popular in the Northeast. This startling-looking place is a vacation home of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. He inherited it from his father and retreated from Washington here from1907 to 1918. Locals will tell you that Bell experimented while in residence with modest-sized flying machines that were launchedfrom the front, third-story balcony.Colonial Beach has a wide rangeof dining options. One popular spot is High Tides on the Potomac with its Black Pearl Tiki bar that dominates the boardwalk with its Disney-like design and decor recalling the set of the CBS reality show, Love Island.Before departing Colonial Beach, Scott and I decided to drive a few miles to the edge of town and the considerably more sedate WilkersonsSeafood Restaurant, a local destination for 40 years. He visited the salad bar and I had the seafood platter, including a crabcake,whileenjoying the270-degree panoramic view of the water and countryside. It felt like being on a ship and the clientelewas decidedly more Gilligans, in an affectionate way, than Love Island.

Week of September 1
09/01/2021 3:00am

ARIES March 21-April 19 Aries poet Anna Kamienska wrote, Ive learned to value failed conversations, missed connections, confusions. What remains is whats unsaid, whats underneath. Understanding on another level of being. In the coming weeks, I suggest you adopt her perspective as you evaluate both past and present experiences. Youre likely to find small treasures in what youd assumed were wastelands. You may uncover inspiring clues in plot twists that initially frustrated you. Upon further examination, interludes you dismissed as unimportant or uninteresting could reveal valuable wrinkles.TAURUS April 20-May 20After studying your astrological omens, Ive decided to offer you inspiration from the ancient Roman poet Catullus. I hope the extravagant spirit of his words will free you to be greedy for the delights of love and affection. Catullus wrote, Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred then another thousand, then a second hundred then yet another thousand. Ill add the following to Catulluss appeal: Seek an abundance of endearing words, sweet favors and gifts, caresses and massages, help with your work, and fabulous orgasms. If theres no one in your life to provide you with such blessings, give them to yourself.GEMINI May 21-June 20Gemini author Elif Batuman writes that the Old Uzbek language was rich in expressions about crying. There were words for wanting to cry and not being able to, for loudly crying like thunder in the clouds, for crying in gasps, for weeping inwardly or secretly, for crying ceaselessly in a high voice, for crying in hiccups, and for crying while uttering the sound hay hay. I recommend all of these to you in the coming days, as well as others you might dream up. Why Its prime time to seek the invigorating release and renewal that come from shedding tears generated by deep and mysterious feelings.CANCER June 21-July 22 A blogger named MythWoven imagines an alternate universe where I literally go to school forever for free so I can learn about art and literature and history and languages for 100 years. No job skills. No credit requirements. No student loans. Just learning. I have longings like hers. Theres an eternal student within me that wants to be endlessly surprised with exciting information about interesting subjects. I would love to be continually adding fresh skills and aptitudes to my repertoire. In the coming weeks, I will give free rein to that part of me. I recommend you do the same, my fellow Cancerian.LEO July 23-Aug. 22In 2016, the International Garden Photograph of the Year depicted lush lupine flowers in New Zealand. The sea of tall purple, pink, and blue blooms was praised as an elegant symphony and a joy to behold. What the judges didnt mention is that lupine is an invasive species in New Zealand. It forces native plant species out of their habitat, which in turn drives away native animal species, including birds like the wrybill, black stilt, and banded dotterel. Is there a metaphorically comparable phenomenon in your life, Leo Problematic beauty Some influence thats both attractive and prickly A wonderful thing that can also be troublesome The coming weeks will be a favorable time to try to heal the predicament.VIRGO Aug. 23-Sept. 22I often wonder who I am and where is my country and where do I belong and why was I ever born at all, wrote Virgo author Jean Rhys 18901979. I dont think you will be agitated by those questions during the next eight weeks, Virgo. In fact, I suspect you will feel as secure in your identity as you have in a long time. You will enjoy prolonged clarity about your role in the world, the nature of your desires, and how you should plan your life for the next two years. If for some inexplicable reason youre not already enjoying these developments, stop what youre doing and meditate on the probability that I am telling you the bold truth.LIBRA Sept. 23-Oct. 22Several states in the US have statutes prohibiting blasphemy. Saying God damn it could theoretically get you fined in Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Wyoming. In the coming days, its best to proceed carefully in places like those, since youve been authorized by cosmic forces to curse more often and more forcefully than usual. Why Because you need to summon vivid and intense protests in the face of influences that may be inhibiting and infringing on your souls style. You have a poetic license to rebel against conventions that oppress you.SCORPIO Oct. 23-Nov. 21Everyone dreams at least three dreams per night. In a year, your subconscious mind generates over 1,100 dreams. About this remarkable fact, novelist Mila Kundera writes, Dreaming is not merely an act of coded communication. It is also an aesthetic activity, a game that is a value in itself. To dream about things that have not happened is among humanitys deepest needs. I bring this to your attention, Scorpio, because September is Honor Your Dreams Month. To celebrate, I suggest the following experiments. 1. Every night before sleep, write down a question youd like your dreams to respond to. 2. Keep a notebook by your bed and transcribe at least one dream each time you sleep. 3. In the morning, have fun imagining what the previous nights dreams might be trying to communicate to you. 4. Say prayers of gratitude to your dreams, thanking them for their provocative, entertaining stories.SAGITTARIUS Nov. 22-Dec. 21In her autobiography Changing, Sagittarian actor Liv Ullmann expresses grief about how she and a loved one failed to communicate essential truths to each other. I propose we regard her as your anti-role model for the rest of 2021. Use her error as your inspiration. Make emotionally intelligent efforts to talk about unsaid things that linger like ghostly puzzles between you and those you care about.CAPRICORN Dec. 22-Jan. 19I could do with a bit more excess, writes author Joanne Harris. From now on Im going to be immoderateand volatile, she vows. I shall enjoy loud music and lurid poetry. I shall be rampant. Let me be clear, Capricorn: Im not urging you to be immoderate, volatile, excessive, and rampant every day for the rest of your long life. But I think you will generate health benefits and good fortune if you experiment with that approach in the coming weeks. Can you think of relatively sane, sensible ways to give yourself this salubrious luxuryAQUARIUS Jan. 20-Feb. 18While wading through the internets wilder terrain, I found a provocative quote alleged to have been uttered by the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. He supposedly said, My ultimate goal is to look totally hot, but not be unapproachable. I confess that in the past I have sometimes been fooled by fake quotes, and I suspect this is one. Still, its amusing to entertain the possibility that such an august personage as Socrates, a major influencer of Western culture, might say something so cute and colloquial. Even if he didnt actually say it, I like the idea of blending ancient wisdom with modern insights, seriousness with silliness, thoughtful analysis with good fun. In accordance with astrological omens, I recommend you experiment with comparable hybrids in the coming weeks. PS: One of your goals should be to look totally hot, but not be unapproachable.PISCES Feb. 19-March 20If you dont know what you want, writes Piscean novelist Chuck Palahniuk, you end up with a lot you dont. Very true And right now, its extra important to keep that in mind. During the coming weeks, youll be at the peak of your ability to attract what you want and need. Wouldnt you prefer to gather influences you really desireas opposed to those for which you have mild or zero interest Define your wants and needs very precisely.

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Security Guard killed at work in Richmond double shooting
11/29/2021 6:31pm

32-year-old Shevan Rochester was gunned down while working security at Thirst Bistro & Bar when shots rang out. He leaves behind a 5-year-old daughter.

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Richmond woman sets up payment plan with Dominion after falling months behind
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Thousands of Dominion Energy customers in Virginia, who have fallen more than two months behind on payments, are facing disconnections.

Taking advantage of Cyber Monday deals? How to make sure scammers don't take advantage of you
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Thousands of Virginians are taking advantage of deals on this Cyber Monday, but experts urge shoppers to make sure they dont get taken advantage of at the same time.

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