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.