Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe traveled to Richmond today to announce plans for his administration's transition into office. Among those who will lead the effort are two city Democratic politicians: Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and Delegate Jennifer McClellan.
McClellan will co-chair McAuliffe’s transition committee, charged with helping fill cabinet and other administration members. “I’ll be advising and giving input, helping make the decisions and getting people and resumes together and figuring out how to get his agenda in place,” she said after the announcement.
Jones will co-chair the inauguration committee with author John Grisham. The committee’s role is to raise money to pay for the event.
”We will do everything we can to put together an event that represents the values of our wonderful state and the values of our new governor,” Jones said. “We take our positions as the capital city very seriously, and this is an opportunity to showcase the fact that we are a capital city, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Both McClellan and Jones said they were asked yesterday if they would fill the roles.
Terry McAuliffe didn’t beat Ken Cuccinelli quite as handily as some polls predicted. Never at doubt was that the Democrat would easily take Richmond. City-wide, McAuliffe won with 73 percent of the vote to Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s 17 percent, and Libertarian Robert Sarvis’s 9.3 percent.
McAuliffe may have won all but three of 66 precincts, but that doesn’t mean he is equally well loved across the city. Here’s a map shaded to show the relative intensity of support for McAuliffe across Richmond. Click any precinct to see the breakdown of votes.
(In case anyone's curious, here's a map showing which Richmond precincts most heavily favored Libertarian Robert Sarvis.)
Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody easily won reelection against three challengers with over 60 percent of the vote. Despite a handful of lawsuits, inmate deaths, and concerns about nepotism, the result isn’t unexpected. During an interview with Style back in August David Hicks, the mayor’s chief political adviser, said those transgressions ultimately wouldn’t matter to voters:
The average citizen doesn't care about the jail as long as no one's breaking out and no Abu-Ghraib-style torture is happening, Hicks says, and Woody's safe on both counts.
"Has Woody taken some hits? Absolutely," Hicks says. "Given the context, do they matter? No, probably not. Do we believe anyone else running could do better under the circumstances? In my opinion, it's not even close.
"Anyone can beat up on an incumbent, but it's harder to then convince people to also vote for you."
Veteran San Francisco band The Size Queens recently contacted Style Weekly with the opportunity to premiere a song they recorded that, as member Adam Klein tells me by e-mail, would be "perfect for this governor's race, since it was written with the current governor in mind. While it's not explicit, I do think that listeners, especially your readers, might be tickled and frightened by the song."
So if you're on the fence about which candidate to vote for on Election Day -- the bad one or the horrible one -- go ahead and check out this evocative new song, "The Governor's Estate." Maybe it will help. It certainly can't hurt. Don't let the name fool you, the Size Queens are gentle here.
From the e-mail:"San Francisco’s The Size Queens urge Virginians to take their IDs, proof of residence, dental records if need be, medical insurance cards (as long as it doesn’t mention the ACA), bribe money, faux Tea party shirts -- whatever it takes to get past the gatekeepers in this modern democracy, and VOTE!
The Governor’s Estate was written and recorded long before the race grew national, but the allegations of Governor Bob McDonnell’s theft of cutlery at the Governor’s Mansion brought about a particular loathing for Grinch-like hoarding during the recession. The song is, of course, about serving the powerful, which I suppose we all must do. But for The Size Queens, this election began to take on other aspects of the state apparatus, from incarcerated labor to minimum wage laws. Hygiene (women’s) and lilacs just seemed to weave their way into the song, inorganically, of course. We hope the stateliness of the harpsichord and strings will evoke a sense of dainty servitude in the big house.
The Size Queens began writing and recording with long-term, rotating band members. After the untimely death of long-term collaborator and drummer, Tim Mooney (American Music Club, Toiling Midgets, Sun Kil Moon), they took on Wally Sound as their new producer. “The Governor’s Mansion” from the forthcoming CD, "Save The Plant!" was written by Adam Klein and Michael Mullen. Mullen plays piano, strings and harpsichord. Adam sings. Wally Sound plays bass and aerosol sprays, while Ethan Gold plays drums. Other members of The Size Queens include Danny Pearson (American Music Club); Hannah Marcus (known for solo albums Black Hole Heaven and Desert Farmers, as well as her work with The Wingdale Community Singers [ed. note: which also featured novelist Rick Moody]) Carlos Forster (Family Trees produced by M. Ward and former songwriter for For Stars); John Murry (of The Graceless Age) sings and plays guitar) bass by Mike Carnahan (The Green Door) and Ari Gold on drums."
The Size Queens have worked with a number of literary magazines to premiere songs and videos over the past couple of years and their forthcoming CD is due out in December. Klein is also the editor of a new anthology of Afghan authors, "The Gifts of the State: New Afghan Writing" from Dzanc Books.
Help Ken Cuccinelli through a maze so he can file an injunction against a climate scientist. Make sure Terry McAuliffe gets to a fundraiser on time. Scan word searches for key terms like Greentech, sodomy and Jonnie Williams.
That’s right, the Virginia General Election 2013 Activity Book you didn’t know you were waiting for is finally here, courtesy of Richmond librarian and graphic designer Taber Bain. Print out enough copies for the whole family and pick up some crayons on your way home from work.(Full page view here.)
TEDxRVA is coming back to Richmond in March. But instead of nailing down a specific theme for this year’s inspirational speaking event, the group boldly stepped outside the box (or something) and decided to opt for just a prefix, “re-”, and four underscores. As in, TEDxRVA: re_____. Really.
"'Re____' is more than a theme," says the talk's producer, Andy Stefanovich, in a press release announcing the event. "It's an invitation, an action. It is a call for our community to lean in and bridge the gap. 'Re____' leaves a space for you to add your voice to the conversation. Reconsider, reimagine, react, repair, realize ... there is no one word that can capture the future of our community, so we're leaving it open to interpretation."
Or perhaps the planning committee just had a difficult time agreeing on a theme. Whatever the case, we created this app with the help of Wikipedia's list of 1,015 words that begin with re, which should help participants expand on the theme. You are encouraged to post your favorite suggestions in a comment below.
*App by Ned Oliver, Taber Bain and Ed Harrington.
At the end of October a crew from the Daily Show was on hand for the final debate between gubernatorial hopefuls Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli. Last night, the show aired the resulting spot. Enjoy.
A new parent group hopes to link individual efforts at Richmond schools to help effect change system-wide.
The RPS Action Squad launched a blog this week deeming itself “The squeaky wheel for RPS parents.” The idea came to nonprofit consultant Sarah Milston and Bill Conference co-founder Sam Davies when they discussed how a traffic safety issue at one school was solved quickly while a similar problem at another school remains unfixed.
“I was lamenting that we solve problems for our individual schools rather than asking the question, ‘How does this affect all our schools?’” Milston says.
Milston says the Action Squad will give others the networking abilities to help parents who see issues at their schools but are unable to follow through. Finding solutions boils down to “having the free time to bother people,” she says.
“The parents who don’t have means don’t have that luxury,” she adds, “and problems in their schools go unsolved.”
The Action Squad’s first project is a survey of whether RPS schools have safe walking routes for students. Milston sent an email to elected officials, the Richmond Police and the City Administrator asking them to drive by schools to observe and report back.
VCU may have the nationally ranked basketball team, but University of Richmond has the sweet new digs.
A press conference today unveiled the nearly completed $17 million dollar renovations to the Robins Center, an impressive combination of four huge videoboards surrounded by brick columns, new LED lighting, hospitality suites, redone seats, and a dark blue painted ceiling. It’s much brighter, louder, and more intimate -- losing around 2,000 seats to put capacity at just over 7,000. That means if you haven’t gotten your tickets for the VCU – Richmond game, you could already be out of luck.
The Spiders’ season starts Nov. 8 at home against Delaware and they play their first Big 10 opponent at home this year, with Minnesota coming to town. Those hoping for a return to the old concert days, when bands like The Kinks played the Robins Center, may be disappointed to learn that basketball is the number one priority here. But Coach Chris Mooney is loving it -- he tells Style that he’s excited about their new homecourt advantage and the off-season progress of his players, especially athletic forward, Terry Allen.
Mooney says the only thing he's worried about is that players might come out "too excited" under the glare of these bright new lights.
Here are some stats for you to ponder:
The Robins Center
- Opened in 1972, built by the E. Claiborne Robins family
- Cost $12 million to build ($65.9 million in 2013 dollars)
- Has hosted Spider basketball for 41 years
- Hosted a Presidential debate in 1992 between George Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot
- Hosted address by President Barack Obama in 2011
- Hosted speech by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993
- Hosted the Kinks on March 28, 1985 for a concert that featured the songs "Around the Dial," "Living on a Thin Line," and closed with "You Really Got Me"
- Phase 1 will cost $17 million and focus on the interior of the arena and restrooms
- Seating capacity will be lowered from 9,071 to approximately 7,000
Size Of video boards:15 feet high x 33 feet wide
Resolution of each video board: 984 pixels wide by 456 pixels high
Square footage of each video board: 483
Total square feet Of video boards: 1932
Distance of video boards from court: 74 feet
Tons of new structural steel: 30
Number of new bricks: 20,000
Tons of concrete removed: 25
Yards of new concrete poured: 120
Square footage of hospitality space added: 7,600
Height of hospitality level above the court: 43 feet
Number of additional toilets: 25
The Kinks have been considering reuniting in recent years, according to Rolling Stone magazine. They have not played the Robins Center since 1985
Seriously. It’s combo customer-appreciation day and HIV-mobile-testing event -- the result of an unlikely partnership between a gas station owner and the Richmond City Health District. There’s free food, drinks and an inflatable bounce house. But most importantly, the first 100 people to get tested for HIV leave with a $5 gas card.
It’s Saturday between 2 and 6 p.m. at the Exxon Food Mart at 2607 Chamberlayne Ave.
Why? According to a statement, the gas station’s owner, Asmat Ali, loves his customers and wanted to show it.
Pamela Price of the health department says the gas station is located in an area of town that has a high prevalence of disease, and Ali hopes to “raise awareness about protecting their health.”