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Re: “BridgePark and Beyond: The bold plan to reconnect downtown, Manchester and the riverfront

Seems very grand and expensive--and would seem to involve a LOT of walking, and to what precisely? What would be the attractions, beside the river? Yes, people could see the river, but beyond that what would be the attraction? New York's High Line is in the heart of New York; you can walk a few blocks and hop off and there is much to see and do. That wouldn't be the case with this idea. The bridge is excessively large and in a perfect world should be repurposed (just as in a perfect world there would be no interstate highway running atop and halfway ruining Shockoe Bottom) but I'm not sure this is the answer. People like to promenade /along/ rivers, preferably close to shops and restaurants. This seems more akin to a mile of walking to reach a food truck. Is that overly skeptical?

13 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by kazoo on 12/05/2018 at 7:28 PM

Re: “The Kids Are Still Waiting

Where comes this idea that the Richmond Public Schools need to be "fixed" immediately? You try to make incremental improvements, and certainly new schools have been built and are being built--incrementally, gradually. Richmond Public Schools have been mismanaged for decades, with some officials who are incompetent or corrupt, or both--and it's always been the most financially INEFFICIENT district in the state. RPS spends more per student than any district in the state--and has for years. And yet it is always asking for more money--money that will be wasted by incompetent administrators. This is a system that nearly ruined Binford--a middle sitting in the heart of the Fan District. It was nearly closed a year or two ago. It takes a special kind of incompetence to screw up a school that should be the best middle school in the city.

Yes, the system needs more new schools, but taxpayers are tired of hearing all this bleating about how RPS needs more money. Funding isn't the biggest problem with RPS. I read elsewhere that RPS wants to build three new "themed" high schools. I'm wondering what a themed high school is. It sounds like more hand-holding for kids--much like Binford now has an "art-integrated" curriculum. I like art, but I don't think an arts-oriented curriculum is the way to educate kids for the 21st century, in which expertise in STEM subjects will be vital. It strikes me as a way to make learning less demanding. And of course every new superintendent comes in asking for more money. With RPS it's always: "We're really not very good at what we do--but please give us more money." I respect the teachers; it's the RPS administration, and parents who do not get involved with with children's education, who are the problem.

Posted by kazoo on 12/04/2018 at 8:40 AM

Re: “Mayor Stoney Receives Letter of Support for Renaming Boulevard From Former New York City Mayor

Ashe was an outstanding guy--but last I checked there is a monument to him on Monument Avenue plus a building named after him /on the Boulevard/. Stoney and others who support this idea have failed to acknowledge these facts or explain why we need /another/ Ashe memorial.

Posted by kazoo on 11/30/2018 at 8:40 AM

Re: “Newcomer Abigail Spanberger Takes 7th District Seat from Dave Brat

A most welcome victory, IMO. Brat was an off-putting extremist--a supply-sider who, like most hard-right conservatives, is fine with doing favors for the wealthy and corporations but doesn't think the disadvantaged deserve any government help. Also an NRA supporter. Beyond that, he was a pedantic putz who wanted to lecture people on the economy because he formerly taught economics at Randolph Macon--acted like he was Alan Greenspan. The Dems flipped three congressional seats in Virginia, which was big--if you're a Democrat!

9 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by kazoo on 11/09/2018 at 10:59 AM

Re: “OPINION: The Stone Brewing Bistro: a Good Deal for Richmond

Good story. This is the third piece I've read here on the project--but only the first to note that the building, in fact, is NOT historic and not qualified to be on the National Register. Interesting that Mr. Goldman failed to mention these points. Put a nice bistro/restaurant on the property and it will generate tax revenue for the city.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by kazoo on 11/05/2018 at 1:57 PM

Re: “OPINION: Why give Stone Brewing a landmark to destroy when a developer will pay us to preserve it?

Every old building "has a story to tell." That doesn't make every old building a "landmark." The Old City Hall was/is a lot different from this terminal building, which has never been more than a old warehouse. No one gave a damn about that building for decades--just like the Bottom--but when someone proposes to do something, even if it just knock it down and replace it with something nicer, the activists all surface to protest the destruction of a "cherished artifact" that, in truth, has never been cherished.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by kazoo on 10/29/2018 at 4:21 PM

Re: “OPINION: Why give Stone Brewing a landmark to destroy when a developer will pay us to preserve it?

Ms. Dotts makes some good points, asks some good questions, which the city should answer. My question is, if Bon Secours and Stone want to break the terms of a contract with the city, aiming to demolish buildings that they'd agreed to preserve, what should be the consequences? The tenants should compensate the city, should they not--especially in the case of Westhampton School? Bon Secours was given a sweetheart deal to preserve one (or both?) of the buildings. If that obligation is not fulfilled, then, as mentioned, what is the recompense?

RE the Intermediate Terminal, it seems to me that the term "landmark" can be very loosely defined when it comes to old edifaces and property/development disputes. To me, the terminal is little more than a very old and ugly warehouse on stilts that is close to falling down. Let's be candaid: It's been a vacant eyesore for years--but now, suddenly, when it is threatened with destruction, Ms. Dotts wants to define it as some beloved vestige of Richmond past. Is it really? If it is turned into a restaurant, whether by Stone or someone else, what exactly is being preserved? Everything, apparently, needs replacing. What is there that merits preservation? This smacks of the opposition we heard to the downtown baseball park in Shockoe Bottom. The Bottom had been an unattractive, even seedy area for decades--recently revitalized. Nobody really cared that slaves had been traded in the area a long time ago. You can operate all sorts of sketchy businesses in the Bottom--such as strip clubs and nightclubs where shootings occur regularly--but talk of building a baseball park in the area and suddenly people are shedding crocodile tears about the need to preserve. Very convenient. If you want to improve certain buildings or areas, deals have to be made.

There should be preservation term limits, IMO. If something is so valuable that it merits preservation, wonderful--but then somebody or some organization must step up and do something with the property within a reasonable period of time. If a property sits unused and unwanted for decade after decade, then it is probably time to tear it down. If the city can find a way to redevelop it (via Mr. Cable) that will turn the site into a taxable property, then, yea, I suppose that is an idea worth exploring--but there is the matter of the contract with Stone. Any restaurant on the site is going to generate sales tax revenue for the city, which is more than the city is getting now.

41 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by kazoo on 10/23/2018 at 1:20 PM

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