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Re: “Wage Wedge: Good Intentions Yield Unintended Consequences When Supply Meets Demand

I'm trying to write a comment here that doesn't contain the words f..., you, Mr., and Katz simultaneously. He says he is trying to be respectful in his language toward fast food workers, but his is not being so. In Denmark, fast food workers earn $20 per hour. Denmark is doing just fine. A fast food CEO or VP would be doing just fine if they earned $1 million instead of $2 million, or $10 million instead of $20 million. The US won't collapse if a worker at a fast food place can earn enough to pay their bills, or perhaps pay for community college so they can gain skills they allegedly don't have. As for the salt, if you can't understand them over the drive thru speaker, why would you expect them to understand you over the same sound system.

4 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 05/21/2016 at 9:00 PM

Re: “LETTER: Latino Students Spark Discussion

For Mary's letter - I too am hopeful for something like even the small bit of regional cooperation you suggest.

For Tracye's - Oh, please. The Hispanic population already works way harder as a group than, say, American born people of European descent. The resources you suggest are inexact translations at best. It takes years for a person to learn any language well. And, as you know, the reasons why people from northern Central America come to our city to be our brothers, sisters, and colleagues range from simple greed and gang violence through military and state persecution to the historic and current US foreign policy meddling that lays the substrate for all of it. I apologize to my Latino and Latina neighbors that they even have to face attitudes such as those expressed by you. It certainly won't help them, and it doesn't help our fellow humans.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 10/01/2014 at 10:19 PM

Re: “Shockoe Standoff

With all due respect to Mr. Bates, great cities do great build good (or at least safe) public schools, build great bike paths and multimodal transport, and have lots of nice festivals, to name three things. Right now I'm in Montreal, which has great bike paths, is easy to get around, and has festivals galore, to pick three things. A stadium is not one of those things. It was pointed out that Montreal paid off the debt on its stadium, built for the 1976 Olympics, in 2007. That stadium now sits empty 365 days per yer, its only activity being paid trips up its uniquely inclined tower. Even the Montreal Alouettes CFL team plays at a new stadium about eight miles away. This is the fate that awaits Richmond if we follow the vision of Mr. Bates and Mr. Jones. We cannot afford a stadium anywhere; we especially cannot afford one in the Bottom.

Montreal is reminiscent of Richmond, if a bit bigger.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 07/27/2014 at 6:44 PM

Re: “Shaky Ground

Jack Berry has explicitly ruled out using Brown's Island as the main stage of the Folk Festival or as a site for other large events. We're not sure why. Do you really assume Venture Richmond will do the right thing without being pushed to the edge? So far they've given no indication that the answer is yes.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 02/01/2014 at 10:31 PM

Re: “Shaky Ground

Hi Jeff -
1.Scott is reasonable here. For years he has given us documentation and reported conversations that indicate that Venture Richmond will not do the right thing at all unless they are held publicly accountable. They got this project on the agenda of the Urban Design Committee and the Planning Commission with little or no public notice. Had our city councilman not been doing his job, we would have been blindsided. I know this sounds hyperbolic; blacks didn't get a real vote in the South and LGBT folks didn't get marriage in some places without demanding it and working for it. We won't get the amphitheater se want without working for it, either.

2. On sound levels - if levels are 120 decibels 10 feet from the speakers, they are 92 decibels at the nearest corner of the Overlook 600 feet away. They are 77 decibels, like a very loud conversation, in the center of the neighborhood 1900 feet away. The decline is logarithmic, going down 20 decibels for each power of ten distance from the sound source. Venture Richmond will do sound studies at the Folk Festival, according to an architect working with them. Venture Richmond has been completely opaque about this.

3. I suspect the reason you haven't seen the Venture Richmond side of the amphitheater business is that they are so busy spending taxpayer money promoting a Shockoe stadium, dealing with the Folk Festival, taking over Monroe Park, running their mobile vacuum cleaners through downtown, and all the other things they do that PR for the amphitheater has slipped through the cracks.

Southside - right now the compromise is going one way. We're willing to work things out. Venture Richmond has given no such assurances. Hence the hosility, hence this back page. The ball is in their court on this one. We want an amphitheater too, just one we can live with day after day. This isn't like moving into the racetrack area knowing they drive around loud cars but demanding noise limits, or that kennel in Henrico where they're not doing anything they haven't done for 40 years, the dogs haven't bitten anyone, and suddenly the neighborhood wants to zone it out of existence. Venture Richmond is putting something next to real people who have lived here for years and decades. They need to work with us. We're willing to work with them.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 02/01/2014 at 8:09 PM

Re: “Shaky Ground

A couple of clarifications on the previous comment: Keeping the amphitheater below the canal would limit the size of events and the impact on the neighborhood. It has to be family-friendly both in impacts and in programming. Also, 15 events is overly reasonable - ten or eight might be a better place to start.

What Venture Richmond wants to do outside of the Folk Fest is against the zoning of the city-owned parcel, though Mr. Berry of Venture Richmond stated at the Planning Commission that he intends to apply for rezoning.

The point remains: Using zoning laws, historical guidelines, and regulations to shape our neighborhood doesn't make us bullies; it makes us equal negotiating parties (though this is a corporation that is trying to opt out of paying taxes on a parcel versus actual people who have lived here for years, often decades). Venture Richmond has not given us that respect to this point. I'm not sure they would talk to us even if we did approve those conditions in a formal meeting.

OHNA approved an official communicaton to the city stating that the amphitheater should be limited to below the canal. This would help with noise levels also. The canal is important because any piece of land should be used as many ways as possible without violating basic values. If they do what they propose with the canal, it will not be able to be refilled without major work and expense. Do it correctly now, and a lot of trouble is saved down the road.

I think the main divide on this thread is not between those who want an amphitheater with reasonable restrictions and those who don't. I think we all want something cool there. The divide is between those who assume that Venture Richmond will do the right thing and be a good neighbor and those who don't assume such. Without the points raised in this article, Venture Richmond has no incentive to do the right thing. Now at least they have a chance.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 02/01/2014 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Shaky Ground

Town Bully, I fully agree with you. All of us want something there. I have not met a so-called diehard on this issue. The point is that Venture Richmond has explicitly refused to accept limitations at this point. Jack Berry told us when he came to OHNA, "There will be no parking plan." He refused to commit to any limits. When I asked him if 100 events there were a possibility, he didn't say yes or no. This is what has fueled our fear. I have always said I don't mind occasional inconvenience. Like you, I signed on for some noise, etc. when I came here. I did not sign on for nightly noise and parking issues.

The point of the article is that the compromise is going one way right now. The Overlook has led the way in putting down very reasonable conditions. If OHNA doesn't sign on to them at our next meeting when one of us proposes it, then you have your diehards. I don't think that will happen.

With limits on sound levels and with ways to keep 2000 cars out of the neighborhood (shuttles as with the Folk Fest, renting the MeadWestvaco parking deck), as far as I'm concerned they can schedule things at the amphitheater 24-7. Venture Richmond have refused to tall about any of these things for nearly a year. That's why the article and rest of this backlash.

Posted by johnrichmond5007c6 on 02/01/2014 at 8:33 AM

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