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Re: “Closing Time

Sad development--we like Pearl. I love the PR-speak in these "coming soon" press releases.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by kazoo on 08/29/2019 at 6:31 PM

Re: “A Billowing Sail

Finally, a downtown Richmond building that is not a boring rectangular design. I never thought it would happen. Nice to see even a modicum of architectural creativity.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by kazoo on 08/29/2019 at 6:28 PM

Re: “Flipping the Script

We need far tighter gun regulations in America if not a total ban on handguns and assault/semi-assault rifles--no manufacture, no import, no sale. Get them all out of homes and off the streets and America will be a much safer place--and, no, I don't buy the argument that criminals will still find ways to get guns. The pro-gun nuts argue that they need guns for self-defense--but that is a mythical argument hatched long ago by the dishonest NRA to promote gun sales. The chances of anyone needing or using a gun for self defense are miniscule; a gun owner is far more likely to shoot himself or someone innocent than shoot some "bad guy" with a gun.

And there is this point: There are a VAST number of maladjusted/troubled people in this country--and that fact combined with the disgustingly easy access to guns is a very bad combination that has given us the frequent mass shootings that see young students and many other innocent people slaughtered. It's intolerable. The gun crowd says we need to get more treatment for disturbed people. Yea, good idea--but it's not really going to happen. Most people with mental issues of one kind or another--which could range from depression and anger issues to drug addiction or psychosis, and more--are never diagnosed much less treated. One reason is that many health-insurance plans don't cover psychological treatment/counseling or have very limited coverage--and of course many tens of millions of Americans don't even have health insurance to start with. The gun crowd likes to trumpet this idea that gun owners are "responsible." In fact, many guns owners are not responsible--and, beyond that, nobody's mental state is constant. Everybody is a "responsible gun owner" until he is not; until he snaps and starts shooting people. We've seen that time and time again.

3 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by kazoo on 07/27/2019 at 5:21 PM

Re: “Review: “Once Upon A Time in … Hollywood” is the most personal film of Tarantino’s career

It's a reasonably entertaining movie--excellent soundtrack, good performances by all, a cool slice of life in crazy 1969 Hollywood. But it's also rather slow and too long and, above all, doesn't have much of a story; there is not much narrative thrust to the movie, which rambles along and, IMO, spends way too much time showing viewers Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) acting or getting ready to act or fretting about his acting. Tarantino could have easily chopped at least 15 minutes from the movie and lost nothing, as there's not much plot. The ending is very Tarantino, meaning over the top. I was glad to have seen it--a good but not great film.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by kazoo on 07/27/2019 at 5:05 PM

Re: “OPINION: Hope for Schools

As Bill S points out, you can't diversify a system in which roughly 75 percent of the students are African American/Hispanic. (According to RPS numbers, 70 percent of elementary school students are AA/Hispanic, and 75 percent of RPS middle-school students are the same. I assume the high-school ratio is similar.) So I fail to see how moving around a small number of white students is going to accomplish much of anything. And let's note that school rezoning has been tried many times, in many places, including here, and as far as I know as not helped improve the rezoned schools much at all. Charlotte is one example: It implemented a major rezoning a few years ago and it did not work--there are articles on the topic. By the way, Fox School is 35 percent AA/Hispanic and 65 percent white. That's a reasonable level of diversity--not perfectly balanced, of course, but reasonable--and its racial ratio may be one reason Fox has performed well over the years for /all/ its students (and the same applies to Mary Munford).

Diversity/segregation isn't the real problem with urban education, as everyone knows. The real problems are poverty and family instability, the latter often an outgrowth of the former. The instinct to value education starts in the home and is cultivated in the home. If a kid comes from a poor, broken home, he or she will likely have school/education problems--whether the kid is black or white--and his issues aren't going to be solved by sitting next to a kid from a different race. The problem of urban education is the problem of urban poverty and family dysfunction. Cities, all of them, need more good jobs for semi-skilled people. A job and more income promotes individual responsibility and the pass-through effect is increased family stability, which in turn promotes stable, focused kids who are likely to do better in school. Cities need more middle-class families--black, white, Hispanic, whatever. That is the key to improving the schools--that and building new schools, which RVA has been doing. I'm pretty sure that if the median income of the African American families in RVA was 20 percent higher, the schools would be seeing improved academic performance. There is a definite correlation--it's been shown. But of course what does the school system do while waiting and hoping for economic boom that would lift all boats? It fiddles around the edges....

I'm not opposed to diversity in schools--and I recognize that segregation has been an problem over the years. It's also a reality that no parents want their kids to be moved from a good or relatively good school to one that is farther away and has a poor reputation. Yes, people will resist that--just as busing was resisted a long time ago. All you end up doing is driving middle-class families out of the city, and that is the last thing any city should be doing.

16 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by kazoo on 07/23/2019 at 10:22 PM

Re: “Private Players

This whole project seems a bit...what? So the city put out a call for proposals to redevelop a major area within RVA and there was not one other interested party--one the one proposal led by a prominent RVA-based businessman? That beggars belief. And while the NH Foundation wishes to function as a non-profit, we can assume that the principals are interested in making money and would do so via ownership or investments in hotels, restaurants, office-buildings associated with the project, should they get built. And doesn't the NH proposal involve the city taking money from its general revenue coffer to pay off the bonds, meaning that there would be less money for city services for an extended period. Is that correct or no? Questions...

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by kazoo on 04/15/2019 at 1:27 PM

Re: “What About the Boulevard?

Jennifer Mitchell, director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, says that keeping both Staples Mill and Main Street Station "turned out to be the best combination for Richmond."

Really? This is the laughable statement that shows how clueless the Dept of Rail and Public Transportation is. Richmond essentially doesn't have a viable train terminal. There is very limited service to Main Street Station, which is in a location with almost no parking. Most of the train service to Richmond goes through Staples Mill station--but Staples Mill is in Henrico, not Richmond, and Staples Mill is an absolutely pathetic terminal. It's about the size of a Pizza Hut--way too small--and parking is very limited. It's an embarrassment and has been for decades. So we have two terminals serving Richmond--one that doesn't get many trains and has no parking and the other an old bandbox that is not worthy of Ashland much less Richmond.

If the city and state had their act together, they would make the former Broad St. Station Richmond's main train terminal again--fixing the track situation or whatever is necessary to make it so. Why? Because it WAS originally designed and built as Richmond's train terminal. It is beautiful, and in a PERFECT location--about halfway between downtown and Henrico. There is a pickup/dropoff lane, plus parking. It would also be an ideal transit terminal if the area around the Diamond ever gets developed, which will happen.

20 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by kazoo on 03/20/2019 at 8:00 AM

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