Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court to Hold Graduation Ceremony on December 12

Participants in the Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court will be recognized in a graduation ceremony that will feature Major Odetta Johnson, of the city of Richmond Police Department, as the keynote speaker. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, at the Richmond Police Training Academy, 1202 West Graham Road. The graduation ceremony will mark the completion of an intensive 18-month outpatient program of drug treatment, probation supervision, judicial monitoring and community service for the 11 Adult Drug Court graduates.

 As one of 29 drug courts in Virginia, the Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court monitors non-violent drug-addicted offenders with pending cases in Richmond’s Circuit Court. Volunteer participants must meet all program requirements, which include maintaining gainful employment and abstinence from drugs, alcohol and crime, to successfully complete the program. They are also required to attend regular Circuit Court Adult Drug Court hearings, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and group and individual counseling sessions with licensed substance abuse clinicians. In addition, they must perform community service for the city of Richmond. Compliance with these drug court requirements is rewarded with incentives and non-compliance is addressed with sanctions that include incarceration. This integration of court, probation, and treatment services leads to higher retention rates in treatment, and lower crime and drug use rates following program completion.  

 Unlike the majority of drug court participants in Virginia and the nation, Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court participants enter the program with long-term drug addictions to cocaine or heroin, and lengthy non-violent criminal histories. Moreover, over 98% of the participants are probation violators, and do not receive a reduced or dismissed charge upon graduation – a standard practice among most drug courts. However, the program has been effective in reducing drug use and crime, and is more cost-effective than incarceration due to low recidivism. Drug court participants also pay taxes and child support, and save taxpayers the costs of re-entry into the criminal justice system.

The ceremony recognizing the December 2012 graduates, and the reception following the ceremony, are open to the public. If you would like additional information, please contact Tanisha Moseley at (804) 646-3655.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mayor Jones Holds MPACT Meetings to Discuss Budget Priorities

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the Mayor's Participation, Action, Communications Team (MPACT) will be holding community Richmond Government Budget Planning Session meetings to receive public input on budget priorities in creating the upcoming Fiscal Year 2014/2015 Richmond Government Budget, which will be established in May of 2013.

These meetings are free and open to the public and all Richmond Residents are invited and highly encouraged to attend and participate. These Richmond Government Budget Planning Session meetings are very important in helping to identify which Richmond Government programs and services are important to Richmond residents for their neighborhoods, and the city as a whole. The meetings will include presentations, discussions and input in the following areas:

Operation Service Priorities
·   Streets and sidewalks in your Neighborhood
·   Public Transportation
·   Recycling Opportunities

Police and Safety Priorities
·   Police Protection in your Neighborhood
·   Quality of Animal Care and Control

Human Service Priorities
·   Parks and Recreation Programs and Facilities in your neighborhood
·   Social Services
·   Public Health Services
·   Public Education

Economic Development
·   Employment Opportunities in your neighborhood
·   New Businesses

Tuesday, December 4, 2012; 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. 
Richmond Public Schools - Southampton Elementary School
3333 Cheverly Road; Richmond, Virginia  23225

Tuesday, December 11, 2012; 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.Richmond Public Library - Main Library
101 E. Franklin Street; Richmond, Virginia  23219

Wednesday, December 12, 2012; 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.Richmond Public Schools - George Mason Elementary School
813 N. 28th Street; Richmond, Virginia  23223

Thursday, December 13, 2012; 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.Richmond Public Schools - Linwood Holton Elementary School
1600 W. Laburnum Avenue; Richmond, Virginia  23227

For more information: please visit the MPACT

Friday, November 16, 2012

City & Radio One Toy Drive Concludes This Week With Donation Events at Southside Walmart

~Goal is to fill two PODS with toys for Richmond families in need~

The 9th consecutive City of Richmond and Radio One Holiday Toy Drive culminates at the Walmart Supercenter at 2410 Sheila Lane for three consecutive days; Tuesday through Thursday, December 11 through 13. All Radio One stations will broadcast LIVE from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in front of Walmart to solicit donations of new unwrapped toys to fill two large PODS. Radio One Personalities from Kiss-FM, Ipower 92.1 and Praise 104.7 will be on hand to greet all who donate. Donations of new, unwrapped toys, books and clothing will be accepted, with the greatest need being items for children 10 and older.

“I encourage all residents to take a moment to reflect on those that are less fortunate during this holiday season and donate a new unwrapped toy that will bring a smile to a child’s face this season,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

Donations will also be accepted through December 13 at any city fire station; City Hall, 900 East Broad Street; of any of the Department of Social Services three locations: Marshall Street Plaza, 900 East Marshall Street, Southside Community Services Center, 4100 Hull Street Road, and the East District Initiative, 701 North 25th Street.

Radio One VP/GM Linda Forem states, “Our biggest needs are bicycles and toys for pre-teens. We know we can’t get a bike for every child, but we’d surely like to try.”

Collected toys will be distributed to needy families throughout the Richmond metropolitan area this Friday. Families in need sent letters to the radio station and over 1200 families are invited to participate in the by invitation only toy distribution

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

City & Salvation Army Partner For ‘Feed Richmond’s Children’ Event

The City’s Department of Social Services is partnering with the Salvation Army to host the “Feed the Children” event today, November 7, 2012 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 3300 R Street.

 Selected recipients have already been identified and will receive a food and personal products box containing; a 25 pound box of food items, a 15 pound box of assorted personal care items and a small box of assorted cosmetic items. In order to obtain the items, recipients must have transportation as this is a drive through, pick-up event, bring a picture ID, the voucher and notification letter, and arrive at the specified pick-up time as detailed by their last name:

   By Last Name:       A – E  9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

                                    F – J   10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

                                    K – O  11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

                                    P – T   1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

                                    U – Z  3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

 ‘Feed the Children’ has grown into one of the world’s largest private organizations dedicated to helping people. Last year, ‘Feed the Children’ shipped 133 million pounds of food and other essentials to children and families in all 50 states and in 34 foreign countries, supplementing more than 760,000 meals a day worldwide. Since their founding in 1979, ‘Feed the Children’ has reached out to help children and families in 119 countries around the globe.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vacuum Leaf Collection Begins November 12

The first cycle of the city’s annual Vacuum Leaf Collection Program is set to begin on Monday, November 12.  The schedule is as follows: 

  • Worthington Farms                    
November 12 - 16

  • Northside/Highland Park
November 12 - 23

  • Bellevue/Ginter Park/Washington Park
November 12 - 30

  • Bellemeade
November 19 – 23 

  • Westover Gardens 
November 19 – 30 

  • Newtowne/Carver/Jackson Ward
November 26 – 30 

  • Broad Rock/Brookbury
November 26 – December 7

  • The Fan/Shaffer
December 3 – 7  

  • Westover Hills/Forest Hill/Woodland Heights
December 3 – 14 

  • Museum District
December 10 - 14
  • Church Hill/Fulton
December 10 - 21

  • Stony Point
December 10 - 21

  • Windsor Farm/Univ. of Richmond/Far West End
December 17 – January 4

  • Maymont/Byrd Park/Oregon Hill/Carillon
December 24 – 28

  • Stratford Hills/Willow Oaks
December 24 – January 4

Residents should rake leaves to the property line that is adjacent to their street prior to their scheduled vacuum collection date. Leaves and other debris should never be raked or placed into the street or culvert. Dirt, rocks, metal or branches should be removed from leaf piles as this will prevent City crews from collecting your piles.

Residents who bag leaves should use biodegradable brown paper lawn or leaf bags as they are environmentally friendly and can be recycled with the leaves. City crews will pick up 25 bags of leaves year round on regular trash collection days. There is no limit to the number of bags that will be collected during each neighborhood’s designated leaf vacuum collection cycle.  

City residents can also dispose of leaves by taking them to several locations: East Richmond Road Convenience Center at 3800 East Richmond Road; Maury Street Landfill at 2900 Maury Street; and the “Powerline” at 8600 Huguenot Road at the northwest corner of Chippenham Parkway.

Residents should note that the above schedule may change as a result of inclement weather. The vacuum leaf schedule and information about other city services are available at www.Richmondgov.com.  The schedule is also available by calling the leaf hotline at (804) 646-LEAF (5323).  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Richmond Ballet Season Opens After Triumphant London Debut

As Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia, embarks on its 29th Season, following a triumphant debut in London this past summer, the City of Richmond will recognize the Company with an Open House on Friday, September 7, 2012, at 6:30pm at their studios, 407 East Canal Street in Downtown Richmond. Richmond Ballet is part of the new Arts and Cultural District that will help create “the vibrant district that city officials envision.” The Open House, being held during the city’s monthly First Friday’s recognition, serves as the invitation for all residents to hear about the Company’s recent London debut, first international cover on Dance Magazine and the upcoming 2012-2013 Richmond Ballet Season. Attendees to the event will also have the opportunity to tour the Richmond Ballet studios and meet the Company dancers. 

“It was a privilege to see Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia, make its international debut in London,” states Dance Europe Magazine. “The Company showed themselves to great advantage by presenting such a varied program.” The 2012-2013 Season begins with Colin Connor’s breathtaking Streets and Legends, last performed in 2005 at the Joyce Theater in New York City, coupled with a newly commissioned work by Philip Neal, a Richmond native, former New York City Ballet star and School of Richmond Ballet alumnus. 

Commissioned and performed for the first time by Richmond Ballet in 1997, Colin Connor’s Streets and Legends is a tribute to the essence of a Scot. The ballet is thrilling as the dancers execute the choreography while outfitted in tartan kilts and tattoos. Streets and Legends is set to the invigorating and gripping music of fiddlers Alasdair Fraser and Ashley MacIsaac. “Richmond Ballet is delighted to revive Colin Connor’s Streets and Legends after an eight year rest. It was so popular and we performed it so often that I felt it needed a break. It is now back by popular demand,” expresses Stoner Winslett, Artistic Director of the Richmond Ballet.

One of the integral components to the mission of Richmond Ballet is the presentation of new works. “We are pleased to welcome back School of Richmond Ballet alumnus and Richmond’s own Philip Neal to present his World Premiere, Gargoyles,” adds Stoner Winslett, “After 23 years as a dancer with New York City Ballet, we are pleased to work with Philip as he expands his dance career into new areas.”  

“The images of Gargoyles will serve as a visual springboard for an abstract, dramatic neo-classic work,” says choreographer Philip Neal. “After staging Liebeslieder Walzer for Richmond Ballet last year, I have clear ideas of how I wish to utilize the dancers and I have challenged myself to push the boundaries of typical ballet partnering.” Philip Neal attended The School of Richmond Ballet for six years while growing up in Richmond.  After winning the prestigious Prix de Lausanne ballet competition he became a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet for seven years. Mr. Neal is now the Palm Beach Liaison for Miami City Ballet.

Performances of Gargoyles and Gargoyles take place in the Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre located at 407 East Canal Street. Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Richmond Ballet box office, by phone at 1.800.514.3849, or online at www.etix.com. Single tickets start at $20. Tickets for opening night Choreographer’s Club start at $65 (and include a post-performance reception with the choreographers and Richmond Ballet dancers and artistic staff). 

Thursday, September 27 6:30pm
Friday, September 28 6:30pm
Saturday, September 29 6:30pm
Sunday, September 30 2:00pm
Wednesday, October 3 6:30pm
Thursday, October 4 6:30pm
Friday, October 5 6:30pm 
Saturday, October 6 6:30pm
Sunday, October 7 4:00pm

The 2012-13 Studio Theatre Series is sponsored by Altria Group. Richmond Ballet is grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Crowne Plaza Hotel Downtown Richmond for their continued support.

For more information on the Richmond Ballet, ticket information, or the tour performance schedule, please visit: www.richmondballet.com or call 804-344-0906.

Hannah Wess, 804-344-0906 x246, hweiss@richmondballet.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle Schedule Updated

The City of Richmond advises that the RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle, the monthly grocery shuttle offering transportation for Richmond residents, will modify its schedule to accommodate the new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits schedule. The Virginia Department of Social Services will now issue SNAP benefits on the first, fourth, seventh, and ninth days of the month. The day will be determined by the last digit of a recipient’s case number. The RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle will now operate on the second and ninth day of each month and the third Saturday of each month. 

All pick-up locations will have a final destination at the Walmart SuperCenter at 2410 Sheila Lane. The Shuttle serves the communities of Hillside Court, Fay Tower, Creighton Court, Fairfield, Mosby, Whitcomb, and Fulton. The shuttle service grew out of preliminary recommendations of the Mayor’s Food Policy Task Force. 

The pilot RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle program is focused on areas of the city deemed as food deserts – areas where residents are without access to healthy, nutritional, fresh food. The areas focused on also have a high concentration of poverty and large populations without personal transportation. In June, the City extended the pilot time period until the end of the year. During the current phase of the pilot, the City will measure the need and responsiveness of areas with a large subsidized housing population. The program will also measure to what extent residents may be willing to pay a small fee for such a service; something akin to what people would pay for express bus services for other purposes.

Up to date information and a full schedule of the RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle is available below. Please note that if the second or the ninth day of the month falls on a Sunday, the schedule will be modified accordingly.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

City Encourages Residents to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is June 1 through November 30. Residents should prepare by stocking up on batteries, flashlights, generators, water, non-perishable food and other supplies that you may need during severe weather. Remember, the cell phone towers may go down, so have an out-of-town contact for everyone in your family to contact. Also, keep your medication and important paperwork in a safe place. Now is the time to get ready, before a storm hits! Click here for more information on preparing your family. 

Click here to view the Office of Emergency Management's 'Emergency Preparedness 101' video.

For more information and to download a copy of the Citizens' Emergency Preparedness Guide, please visit the Office of Emergency Management.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

RVA Shoppers' Shuttle Provides Healthy Food Options for City Residents

Mayor Dwight C. Jones has announced that the monthly grocery shuttle offering transportation for Richmond residents will be extended for another six months. The monthly food shuttle will continue to run free of charge on the second and fourth of each month.

The courtesy shuttle is a pilot program that began in February as a transportation support system focused on areas deemed as food deserts – areas without easy access to healthy, nutritional, fresh food.  The areas focused on also have a high concentration of poverty and large populations without personal transportation.

“Providing access to healthy and fresh food options ties right in with the City’s healthy lifestyle focus, and based on the feedback that we’ve gotten over the first few months of this pilot, additional time to track results and measure interest will help us to determine the best course of action for the future,” said Mayor Jones. 

“There are several things we’d like to measure going forward,” said Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Carolyn Graham.  “During Phase One of this pilot, we focused on public housing residents and senior citizens with limited mobility.  For Phase Two, we want to measure the need and responsiveness of areas with a large subsidized housing population. We also want to look at to what extent residents may be willing to pay a small fee for such a service; something akin to what people would pay for express bus services for other purposes. By extending the pilot time period, we can measure and analyze additional data as well as gauge to what degree there may be interest by City Council members to explore supporting such a service in those districts where there is a need.” 

The Shuttle serves the communities of Hillside Court, Fay Tower, Creighton Court, Fairfield, Mosby, Whitcomb, and Fulton.  The shuttle service grew out of preliminary recommendations of the Mayor’s Food Policy Task Force.

Click below for a copy of each bus schedule.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Richmond Ballet Hosts Special Preview Performance Before International Debut in London

Richmond Ballet will make their international debut by traveling to London to perform at the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio Theatre in Covent Garden this month. The trip will mark the first time in its 54-year history that the company will perform overseas. Ballet lovers have the opportunity to preview the works that will be performed in London in a special program being held in Richmond, June 6-9, in the Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre.

“The entire community is proud of the Richmond Ballet for all of their great contributions to the area, and we are especially proud that they will represent Richmond internationally,” said Mayor Jones. “I encourage Richmonders and visitors from the region to attend the special preview performances in a show of pride and support for the Richmond Ballet upcoming London debut.”

Made in the U.S.A.: Traditions and Innovations features four ballets choreographed in America, including two works commissioned by the company as part of its ambitious, ongoing mission to nurture the creation of new works and expand the American ballet repertoire. 

The program opens with Valse Fantaisie, George Balanchine’s joyful tribute to the classical style, with waltz music by Glinka – a whirlwind of continuous movement by one man and five ballerinas. John Butler’s After Eden exemplifies this prolific and versatile choreographer’s trademark combination of classic and contemporary styles through a stunning dance narrative of Adam and Eve after the fall from the Garden of Eden. Ershter Vals was created for Richmond Ballet by award-winning Chinese-American choreographer Ma Cong. Inspired by both Hollywood’s World War II films and the sounds of Klezmer music; its poignant imagery celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. Swipe, the thrilling climax to the program, comes from one of today’s leading American choreographers, Val Caniparoli. Another Richmond Ballet commission, Swipe is an exhilarating fusion of classical and contemporary dance set to a genre-bending electro-remix of Londoner Gabriel Prokofiev’s String Quartet No.2.  

For more information on the Richmond Ballet, ticket information, or the tour performance schedule, please visit: www.richmondballet.com.

PRESS CONTACTS:                                                                     
Pearl Wise-Crawley, 804-344-0906 x285, pwisecrawley@richmondballet.com

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Virginia's Sales Tax Holiday

The week of May 25 - 31 is a Virginia's Sales Tax Holiday to encourage residents to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. During the seven-day period, purchases of items designated by the Department of Taxation as hurricane preparedness equipment will be exempt from the Virginia sales tax. Many of these items are of daily use, such as bottled water, flashlights, batteries, cell phone batteries, etc. Many Richmond retail outlets will carry these supplies and have information regarding this tax holiday, or  visit www.tax.virginia.gov for more information. You may also view a list of tax-exempt items below.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Richmond's Welcome Home Our Heroes Parade, May 19

The parade will kick-off at 10 a.m. at Kensington and the Boulevard and proceed south on Boulevard, ending at the Carillon. 

The parade will provide the Richmond community an opportunity to support and thank our military and their families for honorable and dedicated service to our nation during the past decade.

This event will have a major impact on vehicular traffic and parking along the parade route and immediate area from 5:30AM – 1:00PM on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

Towing Enforcement for the parade route will commence at 5:30AM and these areas are clearly marked by posted Special “No Parking” signage.

The Boulevard will be closed in all directions from Park Ave. to the Carillon from 8:00AM – 1:00PM. 

Please make arrangements to avoid being towed by not being in violation of these special no parking restrictions during this event. 

Please plan ahead if you must travel in this area during this event. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Electronic Recycling Day for Residents

WHO:  Richmond Clean City Commission, Richmond Department of Public Works, and Central Virginia Waste Management Authority

WHAT:  Drop off for all household electronic items, such as computers, monitors, radios, fax machines, microwaves, camcorders, etc.  Fluorescent light bulbs and large appliances cannot be accepted.  

WHEN:  Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE: 1710 Robin Hood Road (corner of Boulevard and Robin Hood Road)

BACKGROUND:  The City of Richmond’s E-Cycle Day offers City residents an efficient and green option to recycle unwanted electronic products. There is a $7 recycling fee for televisions. All other household electronic items will be recycled free of charge. For more information on E-Cycle Day, visit www.RichmondGov.com http://www.richmondgov.com/.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Let's Do Business With the City

Learn more about opportunities for your business and how to become a vendor with the City of Richmond. Space is limited. Please register no later than May 22, 2012.

What: Let's Do Business with the City Workshop
When: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Where: Richmond Police Training Academy
             1202 West Graham Road, Richmond, VA 23220

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mayor Announces 2nd Annual “RVA Fireworks on the James”

Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced today that, for the second year in a row, there will be a free fireworks display on downtown Richmond’s historic riverfront on July 3, 2012. Dominion and MWV (MeadWestvaco) will sponsor the event as part of the City’s 4th of July celebration.

The “RVA Fireworks on the James” (www.fireworksonthejames.com) event will take place on Brown’s Island in downtown Richmond beginning at 7:30 p.m. Dominion and MWV – Fortune 500 companies headquartered along the James River in downtown Richmond – are underwriting the costs of the event. 

The City of Richmond and Venture Richmond will produce the July 3 festivities.

“As we saw from the thousands of people who came to Brown’s Island last July 3rd, this is a very popular attraction,” said Mayor Jones. “RVA Fireworks on the James enhances the City’s 4th of July celebrations and highlights our unique riverfront. Our thanks go to Dominion and MWV – two strong corporate partners -- for hosting another spectacular fireworks display.”  

The event will feature entertainment by local youth performers including SPARC (the School of Performing Arts in the Richmond Community), the Richmond Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Richmond Ballet’s “Minds in Motion.” Additional food vendors will be on Brown’s Island and the public is invited to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to enjoy music during the summer evening and see the fireworks beginning at approximately 9:15 p.m.

“On July 3, in celebration of our nation’s independence, people from across the Richmond region will flock to the banks of the James River for the second ‘RVA Fireworks on the James,’ an extravaganza that showcases Richmond’s local talent, its community spirit and its historic river,” said Thomas F. Farrell, II, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion. “Dominion and its employees are proud to continue our sponsorship of this unique, family-friendly tradition.” 

“We are pleased to sponsor again this year the second annual ‘RVA Fireworks on the James,’ said John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, MWV. “What better way to celebrate our nation’s independence than on our historic city’s beautiful and lively downtown riverfront. Last summer’s event was such fun, we know it will be another great success for 2012!”

Fireworks will be provided by Fireworks by Grucci. Known as the "Top Name in Fireworks in the World," Grucci is a family-owned and operated company headquartered on Long Island, New York, with production and distribution facilities in Virginia. 

The rain date for RVA Fireworks on the James is Thursday, July 5, so as not to interfere with other fireworks events sponsored by the City at Dogwood Dell and at the Diamond. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

City of Richmond Bicycle Commuter Challenge

Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ Pedestrian, Bicycling, and Trails Commission invites the city of Richmond to participate in National Bike Month 2012 in May. The Mayor’s Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Trails Commission and the City’s Bicycle Coordinator Jakob Helmboldt are leading the city’s first Bicycle Commuter Challenge to introduce Richmonders to the benefits and pleasures of commuting by bicycle. Mayor Jones established the Commission in May of 2010 to give advice on ways to incorporate bicycling and walking as viable methods of transportation in the city.

“The Bicycle Commuter Challenge is a great way to encourage our residents and local businesses to engage in healthy activities,” said Mayor Jones. “For those that are cyclist, National Bike Month presents an opportunity for Richmond to be a central resource displaying the benefits of physical activity to increase the health of our city.”

Mayor Jones and the Pedestrian, Bicycling, and Trails Commission will celebrate National Bike Month on Friday, May 18, 2012 for the Bike to Work Day rally at Monroe Park. The City’s Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Trails Program has the goal of making Richmond one of the most bicycle and pedestrian-friendly cities in the country.

“This is an opportunity to encourage everyone to give bike commuting a try and possibly make bicycling a routine, healthy travel option for commuting or running errands. National Bike Month will also see the start of many of the City’s infrastructure improvements including widespread bike parking racks and improved bike routes across the city,” says Jakob Helmboldt.

Participants are encouraged to ride their bicycle to and from work, and report the days commuted at the end of the week for the entire month of May. It still counts if a bicycle is used for part of the commute, such as to join a car pool or ride the bus. Participants can register online starting Monday, April 30, and are able to log their weekly commutes at www.riderichmond.net/bike-month-commuter-challenge. All commutes must be reported on the website by Friday, June 8, and the results will be announced by Friday, June 15.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mayor Jones to Officially Kick-Off Healthy Richmond Campaign

Join Mayor Dwight C. Jones on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center as he officially kicks off the Healthy Richmond Campaign with the ‘Get Healthy – Stay Healthy’ Health Expo and Chick-fil-A Cow Walk. The Healthy Richmond Campaign is a new initiative designed to promote active lifestyles, healthy nutrition, preventative health, sustainability and well being in the city of Richmond. 

The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the Chick-fil-A Cow Walk at Festival Park, located between 6th Street Marketplace and the Richmond Coliseum, and ends at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Come walk or run and get a sneak peek of the new Chick-fil-A Charity Sports Challenge coming this fall. To register for the Chick-fil-A Cow Walk, please visit www.cfasportschallenge.com http://availmarketing.wufoo.com/forms/registration-form/. There is no fee to register, and check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.

The ‘Get Healthy – Stay Healthy’ Health Expo is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the official Healthy Richmond campaign kickoff at 10:30 a.m. Come enjoy a salsa or zumba class, learn healthy cooking tips, receive a free health screening, and meet Dolvett Quince, Ed Brantley, and Bernie Salazar from NBC’s The Biggest Loser. This family fun, free event is open to the public.

“Richmond is a city of opportunity and innovation, and I am excited about our city moving forward in implementing this campaign. We are engaging the community and encouraging residents to proactively embrace the Healthy Richmond concept to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” comments Mayor Jones.

A recommendation of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy, the Healthy Richmond Campaign promotes healthy lifestyle behaviors and participation in various initiatives to improve the health of Richmond residents. The campaign will engage the public with a variety of health promotion and health education activities while encouraging individuals and the community to proactively be a part of the Healthy Richmond concept of getting healthy and staying healthy. 

For more information on the ‘Get Healthy – Stay Healthy’ Health Expo, please visit www.RichmondGov.com/CampaignHealthyRichmond or call (804) 646-0696.

“¿Qué Pasa?” Festival to Spice Up Richmond’s Historic Canal Walk on Cinco de Mayo

A new festival experience is coming to Virginia with “¿Qué Pasa?”, which will bring Latin culture and passion to the historic Canal Walk in downtown Richmond’s Shockoe Design District on Cinco de Mayo.

On Saturday, May 5th, Richmond’s Canal Walk will undergo a community-based transformation to resemble the famous Floating Gardens of Xochimilco for “¿Qué Pasa?,” beginning at 11:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. Richmond’s own Floating Garden boats will offer free boat rides throughout the festival. Bursts of live latin music and performances along the Canal Walk will energize the thousands expected to come to enjoy scrumptious Latin-flavored food, beverages and dazzling arts and crafts during the 150th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo celebrated in a “¿Qué Pasa?” style. The festival hopes to further economic and tourist development to Richmond’s riverfront by casting this one-of-a-kind aesthetic spotlight on the Canal Walk.

“¿Qué Pasa?”, organized by the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (VAHCC) –with the help of Venture Richmond and Mayor Dwight Jones— will highlight the state’s diversity on Cinco de Mayo. “Richmond and Virginia have increasing international influence and presence. The “¿Qué Pasa?” festival will showcase the vibrant Latin American aspect of this growth across the Commonwealth,” said Michel Zajur, Founder of the VAHCC.

Since the first “¿Qué Pasa?” festival ten years ago, Virginia’s Hispanic population has nearly doubled to 633,945, according to the 2010 US Census. “One of the goals of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is to build economic bridges between the Latino community and the community-at-large,” says Zajur. “‘¿Qué Pasa?’ allows everyone the chance to experience Latin American culture right here in Virginia.”

Schools across the state will get into the festive spirit with educational competitions encouraging students to expand their knowledge of international culture and show off their creativity.

For participation and sponsorship, visit www.quepasafestival.com or call the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at (804) 378-4099.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

City Partners with YMCA for Teen Day of Service

The city of Richmond’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor initiative and the YMCA of Greater Richmond are partnering again this year to join the millions of children, teens, and young adults across the world participating in Global Youth Service Day on Saturday, April 21. Global Youth Service Day is an annual campaign that celebrates children and youth who improve their communities through service. Volunteers from the Mayor’s Youth Academy and the YMCA will perform a variety of service projects throughout the city of Richmond.

Service projects entities include; J.L. Francis School, Belle Isle Park, Gillies Park, and Chimborazo Elementary School. The day of service will kick off at the Northside Family YMCA (4207 Old Brook Road) with a pep rally at 9 a.m., and then volunteers will travel to their designated service project sites.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones launched the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program to engage residents in volunteerism, and to promote a new era of collaborative service and volunteerism in the city. Neighbor-to-Neighbor projects have included mentoring children in schools, visiting the elderly, as well as providing home repairs for elderly population, beautification projects throughout the city, supporting various special events, and youth programs to include back-to-school shopping and several others.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program or for a list of upcoming volunteer opportunities, please visit www.RichmondGov.com/NeighborToNeighbor. Once registered, you will receive an email confirmation of your volunteer reservations, including the volunteer location and contact information. If you have any questions or need assistance with registering with Neighbor-To-Neighbor, please call (804) 646-7491.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

East Richmond Road Convenience Center Closed Monday Morning

On Monday, April 16, the East Richmond Road Convenience center operate on a revised schedule, opening from noon until 4:30.  In the morning hours, power will be cut off while Dominion Virginia Power performs maintenance in the area.  
The Convenience Center will resume its regular schedule on Tuesday, April 17, which is 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. 
For more information on City services and schedules, please visit www.RichmondGov.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

City Replacing Some Parking Meters with Pay Stations

On Monday, April 23 motorists parking in the select areas of Richmond’s downtown Central Business District will no longer pay at individual parking meters.  Instead they will be required to use pay stations, which will be located mid-block along certain streets.  The parking meters currently in place will be removed.  

The pay stations will accept credit cards, debit cards, cash and coins. The machines will dispense a receipt that must be placed on dashboard, but visible from the windshield, as verification that cars are parked legally.

Signs will be in place notifying drivers of the pay stations.  In addition, parking enforcement officers will be available in the areas where the pay stations are located to assist those who need help or have questions.  

The locations for the pay stations are: 
  • 800 block of East Marshall Street (south side)
  • 400 block of North 9th Street (east side)
  • 500 block of North 9th Street (west side)
  • 1100 block of East Main Street (south side)
  • 900 Block of West Broad Street (south side) 
The pay stations are being provided by Standard Parking Corporation, which is the company contracted with the City to provide parking enforcement.  

To learn more about City services and programs, please visit: www.RichmondGov.com.

La Plaza Latino Market Opens in South Richmond

The city of Richmond is pleased to announce that La Plaza Latino Market will be opening in Broad Rock Park in South Richmond on Saturday, April 14, 2012. Through a partnership with the City’s Department of Economic and Community Development; the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities; and the Hispanic Liaison Office, the outside market will have a mix of produce, crafts, and food, along with cultural surprises every week. The Merchant’s Club of Virginia, a local Latino business owners association, will be operating the market each Saturday. Other organizations supporting La Plaza include the Sacred Heart Center, the Storefront for Community Design, SunTrust Bank, and the Enrichmond Foundation.  

“A local market in Broad Rock Park has the potential to promote healthy, and active lifestyles, provide an economic outlet for local farmers, artisans and emerging businesses, while encouraging intercultural exchange,” says Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

A “Friends of La Plaza” group is being established, via the Enrichmond Foundation, and will be able to accept tax-deductible donations of materials, equipment and funds to help La Plaza. The Sacred Heart Center is planning to provide a shuttle service to and from the market to areas where residents live that lack transportation means.  
La Plaza Latino Market will be open Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Broad Rock Park, located at the corner of Broad Rock Boulevard and Warwick Road. The market will operate from April 14 through October 13, 2012.  For more information on La Plaza Latino Market, please contact (804) 539-1052.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mayor’s Food Policy Task Force to Hold Community Forum on April 4

~City residents encouraged to attend to provide input on Task Force recommendations~

All City residents are encouraged to attend the Mayor’s Food Policy Task Force community forum to discuss and prioritize recommendations concerning access to quality, affordable, healthy fresh foods in the city of Richmond. The community forum will be held on Wednesday, April 4, at the Carillon at Byrd Park, 1300 Blanton Avenue, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.

Residents are encouraged to come and learn about the action recommendations being developed by the Mayor’s Food Policy Task Force and to discuss the impact that the lack of access to healthy foods has in the community. This forum will help shape the action plan to address identified needs to ensure that the city has a healthy and accessible environment for all.

The Food Policy Task Force is part of Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ Healthy Richmond Campaign that was created to help improve the health of City residents by addressing the disparities affecting access to health care and health resources in the city of Richmond. The RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle that began in February is one of the preliminary recommendations made by the task force.

Seating capacity is limited, so please register by calling Debbie Hinton at (804) 646-5851 or by e-mail Debbie.Hinton@RichmondGov.com.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle Changes Service Times and Destination

The monthly service schedule for RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle has been modified again based upon feedback from participants. The free courtesy shuttle will continue to operate on the second and fourth days of each month; however several pick-up times have changed to allow additional pick-up locations and to change all final destinations to the Walmart SuperCenter at 2410 Sheila Lane. Additional pick-up locations are North 23rd Street and Selden Street; Sussex Street and Whitcomb Street; and Accommodation Street and Gay Street. A full schedule of the RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle is available at www.Richmondgov.com.

The pilot RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle program is focused on areas of the city where residents are without access to healthy, nutritional, fresh food. As the free courtesy service is a six-month pilot project, the City will continue to work with participants to help shape the best scenarios for the shuttle.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ Food Policy Task Force is currently working on recommendations for a comprehensive food delivery system in the city of Richmond. A community meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4 at the Carillon in Byrd Park, 1300 Blanton Avenue, to receive additional ideas on how to help ensure that the city has a healthy and accessible environment for all.

Bus 1: Southside
Bus 2: Fay & 4th Avenue
Bus 3: Creighton/Fairfield/Fairmount 
Bus 4: Whitcomb/Mosby

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mayor Jones Officially Kicks off the Healthy Richmond Campaign

Join Mayor Jones on Saturday, April 28, 2012 as he officially kicks off the Healthy Richmond Campaign at the ‘Get Healthy – Stay Healthy’ Health Expo and Chick-fil-A Cow Walk. The Healthy Richmond Campaign is a new initiative designed to promote active lifestyles, healthy nutrition, preventative health, sustainability and well being in the city of Richmond. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the Chick-fil-a Cow Walk at Festival Park between 6th Street Marketplace and Richmond Coliseum and ends at the health expo at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Exhibit Hall A.
“The city of Richmond is a city of opportunity and innovation, and I am excited about our city moving forward in implementing this campaign. We are engaging the community and encouraging the public to proactively embrace the Healthy Richmond concept to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

For more information, please visit www.RichmondGov.com/CampaignHealthyRichmond or call (804) 646-0696.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

City’s Second Workforce Development Share Site Opens in Church Hill

The City’s second Workforce Development community share site opened today at the East District Family Resource Center. Mayor Dwight C. Jones, City Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille, and Director of Economic and Community Development Lee Downey opened the site with a brief ribbon cutting ceremony.

The share site is the second joint Workforce Development Center in the city of Richmond and will offer services and resources to city residents to better prepare and search for jobs. The first share site at Fifth Street Baptist Church opened in October 2011. The center will partner with RESOURCE, the Capital Region Workforce Investment Board, to teach classes on résumé writing, interviewing and networking skills. Trained volunteers will staff the center and serve as career agents and job coaches for interested residents looking for work.

“We recognize that many of our residents with the greatest needs cannot easily reach these services,” said Mayor Jones. “Share sites serve our communities where the residents live by providing local services and a gateway to access the resources and services of the regional workforce system. This share site is one step closer to building a workforce system that is responsive and serves all of our residents.”

The Workforce Development Center, located at 2405 Jefferson Avenue, is open on Wednesdays and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

City to Host Business Development Mentorship Program Informational Session on March 1

The City of Richmond’s Office of Minority Business Development is seeking small business owners interested in participating in a new Business Development Mentorship program. The Business Development Mentorship Program will be introduced during an informational session at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, at the Carillon at Byrd Park, 1300 Blanton Avenue. The program is designed to help develop the capacity of minority and emerging small businesses. A participating business can expect the following from the mentorship program:

  • A 12 to 18 month relationship commitment with an associate who takes active interest in their business success

  • Consultation in a specific, needed area of expertise

  • Business development suggestions

  • A sounding board

  • One-on-one interaction (by phone or in person) for at least one hour per month

  • A meaningful business relationship with a qualified mentor

  • A match based on an initial assessment of mentee needs and mentor skills

  • Support and monitoring from the Supplier Diversity team to help ensure the match stays relevant and effective

  • Manageable time commitment

For more information or to register for the March 1 information session, call the City of Richmond’s Office of Minority Business Development at (804) 646-3947. Seating for the information session is limited.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cannon Creek Greenway Bicycle & Pedestrian Trail - Phase II Project Presentation

City residents are encouraged to attend the Cannon Creek Greenway Bicycle & Pedestrian Trail - Phase II project presentation on Thursday, March 1, 2012. The presentation and Dove Street Redevelopment Master Plan Update will he held at Overby Sheppard Elementary School auditorium (2300 1st Avenue) from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Presenters include:
  • Whitman, Requardt and Associates (Cannon Creek Trail Project Consultants)
  • City of Richmond Department of Public Works Engineering Division
  • City of Richmond Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority
  • Richmond Raiders representative
The project presentation will review the conceptual design of the Phase II Cannon Creek Trail that will extend from Dove Street north along the east side of the Richmond - Henrico Turnpike to the intersection of East Brookland Park Boulevard. Presenters will also discuss the increase in low income rental units during Dove Street Redevelopment Phase I and the City lease agreement with The Richmond Raiders, and attendees will be able to meet the site plan designer of Dove Street Redevelopment, Doug Coles.

City residents are strongly encouraged to attend this presentation to provide input and to discuss the possible impact to their property.

For more information, please contact Cybelle O'Sullivan-Daniels at (804) 646-7964.