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Mark Holmberg 

Mark Holmberg for his unique perspective of the city.

A square and somewhat sinewy kiss goes to Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Mark Holmberg.

He's got legs, an incisive eye and an ample heart. Whether he's chewing the fat with downtown down-and-outs or keeping the undulating and often grisly street beat, it seems Holmberg always has his antennae up, poised to pounce on stories that linger long after the ink fades. In the last year he's asked tough and poignant questions of Richmond Police and city leaders about why crime has spiked and what they plan to do about it. His fairness -- at times, perhaps, self-deprecating -- seems to trump the race card even when it's the readiest at hand. And he makes it a point to say that anyone who wants to see Richmond from his perspective, from its ugliest incarnations to its soulful winning best, is free to call him up and ride along sometime. Would that some rosy-eyed city boosters would take him up on the offer.

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