Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Score

A weekly rating of the city zeitgeist.

Posted on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 3:24 PM

+7 Richmond kicks off the holidays with Thanksgiving celebrations, charity events and Black Friday spending. ’Tis the season of giving, sharing and throwing your unopened credit-card bills in a big pile while you drown your sorrows in $4 peppermint-mocha lattes.

+1 In the midst of a peak season, Short Pump Town Center launches a system that tracks the mobile-phone whereabouts of shoppers in the mall — then cancels the plan after mixed reactions. Apparently Richmonders don’t want anyone to know how often they visit Auntie Anne’s Pretzels kiosk.

+3 Mannheim Steamroller comes to town for a Christmas-music performance, just four days before a Tran-Siberian Orchestra show. Yes, Virginia, there is a place for mixing Handel’s Messiah with lasers.

-5 Gov. Bob McDonnell prepares to release his two-year budget later this month by taking expense-cutting suggestions from state agencies. But his biggest puzzle is how to get to the White House before Virginia goes bankrupt.

0 In one of the state’s most popular football rivalries, Virginia Tech hands the University of Virginia a crushing loss of 38-0. They might as well have been playing VCU.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Score

A weekly rating of the city zeitgeist.

Posted on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 1:50 PM

-4 In their mucked-up plan for a new city jail, Richmond officials fail to get their changes approved by state officials, meaning they must go back to the drawing board. What if we just lock everyone in one hot, overcrowded room until they can get this done?

+7 Conservative broadcast personality Glenn Beck’s radio show joins the Richmond Outreach Center’s 10th annual Thanksgiving Dinner, which serves meals to about 1,500 inner-city youth. Finally, a Beck conspiracy that makes sense.

-6 The T-D reports that a house fire in the Museum District is leading authorities to suspect it as a meth lab. One other clue was the new addition to Richmond’s food-blogger scene, Slow Cookin’ with Cold Medicine.

+2 The University of Richmond announces the launch of a nationwide search for a new football coach. We know a few from upstate who won’t be applying.

-5 Gov. Bob McDonnell announces that there will be no Capitol Christmas-tree-lighting event his year, because it conflicts with Steven Spielberg’s production of the Lincoln film. Can a ceremony on Ray Boone’s front lawn be far behind?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Score

A weekly rating of the city zeitgeist.

Posted on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:44 PM

-2 Out of Election Day, the state Senate comes out tied, with 20 Republicans and 20 Democrats, leaving tie-breaking votes to someone who isn’t even a senator — Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican. He hasn’t felt this special since he got to be in the Buena Vista Labor Day parade. +4 Throwing a twist into the Occupy Richmond protest, Richmond Free Press Publisher and Editor Raymond H. Boone offers his yard for an encampment — right next door to the mayor’s house. This is actually the premise of a new CBS fall sitcom called “Everybody Loves Boone (Except 1 Percent).” +2 Maggie Walker sophomore Samantha Marquez, who came up with 3-D organized cell structures called celluidosomes, is inducted into the National Gallery for America’s Young Inventors. She beat out the submissions of several 16-year-olds who believed they’d engineered the first Mountain-Dew-can bong. +3 Justin Timberlake comes to town as the date of Cpl. Kelsey De Santis to the Marine Corps Ball at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. That whimpering sound you heard was Joey Fatone, alone with a TV dinner. -1 Some Richmonders get caught up in the mystical date 11-11-11, wondering what wonderful or horrible things would happen. It was like Election Day all over again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Score

A weekly rating of the city zeitgeist.

Posted on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 1:50 PM

0 After being kicked out of Kanawha Plaza for illegal overnight camping, participants in Occupy Richmond decide they’ll move to Monroe Park. If they get kicked out there, they have their eyes on Mayor Jones’ oceanfront condo in Palm Beach County.


+6 Theatre IV and Barksdale Theatre land a $2 million gift for the historic Empire Theatre from philanthropists Sara Belle and Neil November. Let’s just hope that when Broad Street becomes Broadway, there will be no revival of “Cats.”


+3 After a long delay, the city releases a consultants’ study of the Shockoe Bottom area. The key to revitalizing Shockoe is honoring its historic alcohol-based economy, the mayor declares, promising every Richmonder access to raspberry shooters.


+7 The Federal Emergency Management Agency changes its mind and grants disaster aid to Louisa County residents whose property was destroyed by the Aug. 23 earthquake. Richmonders who apply for aid must show proof of toppled lawn chairs.


+2 We turn back the clocks for the end of daylight saving time. As Richmond is wont to do, it focuses less on the hour gained and more on last season’s hour lost. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Score

A weekly rating of the city zeitgeist.

Posted on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 1:03 PM

+8 Richmond celebrates Halloween, a day for children to roam the streets for candy while their city pulls tighter its own mask, cowering from its identity, if true identity exists, the realization of a lost search for meaning, ensconced in unreality, frightened of revealing everything — and nothing. Plus, there’s candy corn.

0 Members of Occupy Richmond search for a way to keep their protest alive a day after their 15-night encampment at Kanawha Plaza is ended by police in a 1 a.m. raid that ends in bulldozers. Leave it to the Man to resolve conflicts with heavy machinery.

+4 On the upside, there are no injuries or violence reported during the overnight shutdown of Occupy Richmond’s camp. Well, except for that one guy who suffered the s’mores marshmallow burn.

-5 Peggy Baggett resigns her long-held post as executive director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She declines to say what she’ll do next. After working with nine Virginia governors, hundreds of General Assembly members and countless nonprofit administrators, she’s spent enough time in Disneyland.

+9 After being missing for five days, spawning intense local concern and thousands of volunteer searchers, Robert Wood Jr., an 8-year-old autistic boy, is found alive and well near a quarry in Hanover County. That kid’s gonna have a good Thanksgiving.

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