Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Score

Posted on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 1:00 AM

+7 Opening ceremonies attract nearly 12,000 people to Brown’s Island for pomp, circumstance and a free Richmond Symphony concert. The crowd was enthusiastic, diverse, and a reminder that only professional cyclists should be seen in spandex.

0 A grandiose Gov. Terry McAuliffe offers a welcome at the ceremonies, trumpeting Dwight Jones as the greatest mayor in America. And by America he means the stage they shared on Brown’s Island.

+4 The Dutch team’s stolen racing bike, valued at more than $10,000, is recovered by Richmond police, who arrest a man in connection with the theft. He’d better be glad the Dutch team didn’t catch him. Have you seen those arms on Tom Van Asbroeck?

-3 A man crashes into a bike barricade while speeding back and forth through Monument Avenue in a Camaro. We’re used to horsepower on Monument, but this is taking things too far.

-4 Jokes quickly circulate about the misspelling of a banner flown by a plane over race crowds that reads, “Confederate Heros Matter.” Which explains the T-shirts we saw that said “Heritage not hat.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Score

Posted on Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:00 AM

-4 The Labor Day weekend brings cookouts, back-to-school preparation and the unofficial end to summer. But if you’re worried you won’t have the heat to complain about, stay positive: The winter of our frozen discontent is right around the corner!

+1 City Council holds its annual retreat at the University of Richmond, hearing presentations and discussing broad goals for the coming year. First order of business: new chairs. Ya know, the swively ones with lumbar support?

+1 Speaking to the local Retail Merchants Association, the Federal Reserve Bank’s Jeffrey Lacker makes bullish economic predictions and pushes for higher interest rates. But he’s still perplexed about why Justin Bieber cried at the VMAs.

+2 Philanthropists Bill and Pam Royall put their Cary Street Road mansion on the market for $3.95 million, Richmond BizSense reports, citing it as the most expensive listing in the city. But will Pam be able to get Bill to part with his ratty old Barcalounger?

+3 Richmond breweries Hardywood, Midnight Creek and Lickinghole Creek win golds at the Virginia Craft Brewers cup competition, with the Answer bringing home best in show for its India Pale Ale. Yet mysteriously, this remains the city of PBR.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Score

Posted on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 1:00 AM

-2 A nationwide egg shortage sends prices climbing at grocery stores across the area. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has already curated a few Eggland’s Best into its Fabergé collection.

+1 Hordes of college freshman move into dorm rooms at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Union and the University of Richmond. Welcome to town, kids! The sooner you come to terms with the fact that you’re never leaving, the better.

+4 Gwar B-Q and its three days of raunchy revelry bring out thousands of fans celebrating the 30th anniversary of Richmond’s most well-known heavy metal band. You can never go wrong with phallus-shaped brisket.

+6 With training camp coming to an end, the Washington Redskins pack up for home. Monday’s final practice was closed to the public, so there was only a slight drop in attendance.

+3 The indie film “Cop Car” opens in Richmond, starring Robious Middle School student Hays Wellford alongside Kevin Bacon. Yes, soon we’ll all be playing the Six Degrees of Hays Wellford game.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Score

A weekly rating of the city zeitgeist.

Posted on Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 1:00 AM

-4 Redskins Training Camp's opening day kicks off to low attendance, with the Times-Dispatch noting a bigger turnout for the Richmond Flying Squirrels game. And frankly, who doesn't prefer an inoffensive rodent mascot and a few cold beers?

+2 A federal judge rules that Virginia is within its rights to stop issuing specialty license plates that bear the Confederate battle flag. But don't worry, painting your car orange and making your horn play "Dixie" are still completely legal.

+3 Competing at the World Games with Special Olympics Virginia, Richmond athlete Mary Davis wins medals in boccie, with D.J. LaMarr landing a gold in unified play. Meanwhile, we broke out in a sweat trying to pry open the plastic packaging on our Fitbit.

+1 Richmond sky watchers experience a blue moon. Add in a few yellow moons, pink hearts and purple horseshoes and you have something magically delicious.

+6 Thousands of fans geek out at the weekend's Wizard World Comic Con, which draws a pop-culture mash-up of superheroes, storm troopers, video-game characters and William Shatner. It's events like these that remind us Spandex isn't for everyone.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Score

A weekly rating of the city zeitgeist.

Posted on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 1:00 AM

-4 The city puts final plans into place for Redskins Training Camp in Richmond, which starts Thursday. And don’t worry, our tax dollars aren’t going to waste. They’re helping Dan Snyder finally get his yacht’s toilet seats upgraded from gold to platinum.

+1 On a trip to the Outer Banks, a Richmond couple stirs up media attention by walking into the ocean using homemade shark cages for protection. Ironically, they accidentally stepped on a gross piece of cold seaweed that had them screaming like banshees.

-1 The owners of Newsradio 1140 WRVA dump its FM simulcast, replacing it with Richmond’s fourth country radio station, Big 98.5. When Jason Aldean gets more airtime, it’s the people with ears who suffer.

+3 NBC-12 reports on Bojangles’ customer James “J.J.” Minor III, who returned about $4,500 in cash that he accidentally received in his box of chicken from the drive-thru. But there was no way he was giving back that extra packet of delicious honey-mustard sauce.

+5 The governor announces that $2 million in state and local incentives will help an expanding Hardywood Park Craft Brewery to open a $28 million complex in Goochland County. Note to Hardywood: You’re officially banned from declaring any more shortages of Gingerbread Stout.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Score

Posted on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 1:00 AM

+2 Midlothian High School graduate Savannah Lane, a student at U.Va., is crowned Miss Virginia 2015. We’re not saying the competition gets heated backstage, but we heard a jealous rival switched her eye shadow from midnight blue to moonlight indigo.

-5 In the midst of debate about Confederate symbols across the country, the Jefferson Davis statue on Monument Avenue is vandalized. Instead of defacing public property, can’t we all just blow off steam in heated arguments on Facebook like adults?

-1 Former VCU men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart and his wife put their house in the Fan on the market for $1.49 million, Richmond BizSense reports. And if you act now, they’ll throw in the custom-made black and gold claw-foot bathtub.

-3 After being ranked No. 1 four years ago, Virginia falls off CNBC’s Top 10 list of the best states in which to do business. On the upside, a few lists still rank us quite highly for craft cocktails and pimento cheese.

+1 Two cranes are used to lift a 43,000-pound SR-71 Blackbird aircraft, which is moving from the Virginia Aviation Museum to the Science Museum for the 2016 exhibition, “Speed.” Does this have something to do with the announcement of “Top Gun 2”? If it doesn’t, can it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Score

Posted on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 1:00 AM

+4 Thousands of meat enthusiasts strike out across town for RVA Burger Week deals at 31 local restaurants — which, coincidentally, starts the week after the Richmond Vegetarian Festival. And the cows thought they were getting a reprieve, heh heh.

-3 Richmond experiences its first official day of summer, just in time for a heat wave to hit. Now those work-shirt pit stains are “official.”

+2 Attorney General Mark Herring helps mediate a complex agreement to keep Sweet Briar College open, at least for now, using donations pledged and money from the endowment. To further save money, diplomas will be printed on recycled diplomas.

-1 CBS-6 reports on the police discovery of 30,000-plus marijuana plants in Patrick County — the biggest outdoor crop of pot ever found in the state. Which explains why Patrick County was recently declared the Pringles Capital of America.

+7 In the wake of the Charleston tragedy, Richmond gospel musician Marcus Stanley, who is black, makes worldwide headlines for posting a message of faith to the shooter’s Facebook page, expressing love and urging him to seek forgiveness. A song worth singing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Score

Posted on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 1:00 AM

+4 In the midst of a heat wave, dozens of food vendors find new ways to elevate crispy pork through their offerings at the Richmond Bacon Festival in Shockoe Bottom. As a bonus, when the fryers got full, cooks could throw slabs of raw pork on the cobblestones.

-3 The Byrd Theatre is forced to switch back to its old 35 mm projector while it works to raise money for a new digital one. In a show of solidarity, Carytown is now open only to horse-drawn traffic and men wearing neckties. -3

-5 Budget cuts threaten teacher jobs in the Richmond Public Schools, triggering a protest at City Hall from a group of students at Open High. Oh well, kids, if the money ain’t there, the money ain’t there. Besides, City Hall has more important things to consider, like. ...

+1 The Washington Redskins announce their Richmond training camp schedule, which starts Thursday, July 30, and runs through Aug. 17. We suggest setting aside some time to get out and enjoy the practice sessions. The team’s way more entertaining when no one’s keeping score.

+2 VMFA’s colorful and serene exhibit, “Van Gogh, Manet, and Matisse: the Art of the Flower,” heads into its final week on display. And while we enjoyed the masterpieces, we had to wonder: When do vases get their turn in the spotlight?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Score

Posted on Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 1:00 AM

-7 A one-time local business giant, Health Diagnostic Laboratory, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, owing $73 million to more than 30 creditors. So if you received any blood-testing gift certificates for Christmas, looks like you’re out of luck.

+3 National Doughnut Day causes apparently sugar-starved Richmonders to create traffic jams and long lines for special deals. The only doughnut shop that seemed to be empty was the RVA Diabetes Hut, which is closing down to re-brand.

+6 Speaking of lines, tens of thousands of festival-goers fill a stretch of Broad Street for food samples from restaurants across town at Broad Appétit. And then diners in the know took a short jaunt west for the After Dinner Monu-Mint.

-1 CBS-6 reports on the crash of the General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which results in no injuries, on Interstate 64 near Short Pump. An anonymous source going by “Daisy” tells Mark Holmberg that the driver lost control while speeding to a jean shorts sale at H&M.

+5 Such stars as Jason Mraz and Sara Bareilles join 200 young performers of all abilities — both typically developing and those with special needs — for SPARC’s touching Live Art show, which entertains an audience of thousands. Next year, can we get some Kleenex with our tickets?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Score

Posted on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 1:00 AM

+4 Food festival season gets well underway, with the hungry hordes filling up on Greek delicacies and Beer, Bourbon and BBQ. Yes, friends, ’tis summer in Richmond. The season of beer bracelets and meat sweats.

+2 Richmond International Airport announces that its passenger count in April hit 300,491 — an all-time record for that month. And that even includes April ’94, when Richmond’s homicide rate was scaring people away to such safe havens as Detroit, Chicago and Washington

-5 Hate appears to rear its ugly head at Amazon’s Chesterfield warehouse, where a 24-year-old employee tells GayRVA.com that he was attacked for being gay by a co-worker — who is fired by the company and being investigated by police. What year is this again?

+6 In a weekend of concerts by Foreigner, Lee Brice and the Wailers with Rusted Root, Innsbrook After Hours kicks off its 30th anniversary season. It’s been around long enough to see bands evolve from new to retro to hey, it’s about time for a comeback tour but my joints hurt.

+1 Raising money to help build a school in Kenya, the Aquarian Bookshop holds its Psychic Festival, offering such services as psychic, astrology and palm readings. Wouldn’t it be easier to skip all the fundraising hassle and look into the future for Powerball numbers?

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