Richmonders are more interested than ever in keeping up appearances 

City seeks clean minds

Judging from a recent public forum held by the Clean City Commission, judging Richmonders are more interested than ever in keeping up appearances — especially when it comes to fighting litter and unsightly environs. City officials were surprised and elated in November when more than 50 people turned out for the first Pride in Richmond forum, says Billie Raines, coordinator of the city's Clean City Commission. "This was the first time we did [it]," says Raines. "Previously, we have presented awards to businesses for making improvements to the environment, but this was completely different. We invited citizens and businessmen to sit down and brainstorm about how we could make Richmond cleaner and more beautiful." Topping many lists: a new Gateways Project that aims to improve what visitors — and citizens — see when first arriving in Richmond from I-64, the Boulevard and other arteries into the city. The city is forming a citizen task force to work with its Clean City Commission to help assess and target cleanup missions throughout the area. The public will be able to address concerns and get involved at the Pride in Richmond Forum on Thursday, Feb. 1, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Carillon at Byrd Park. Items to be discussed include: banning street vending boxes for any non-newspaper item; simplifying signage throughout the city; and cleaning up grafitti on Broad Street.

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