VCU Brings Peace to Carver 

Karen Shugart’s article about Carver’s Crossroads is just more tail-wagging-the-dog journalism. The 13 votes against the Gilbane proposal at the Carver Civic League meeting were just that: 13 elder ladies who dislike Virginia Commonwealth University, students and anything else who breathes. Somehow, those 13 have weaseled their way into the consciousness of decision makers and reporters, acquiring mythical proportions, completely irrelevant to good sense and the consensus of the other 2,000-plus Carver residents.

Ms. Shugart failed to interview me. Having lived in Carver for 24 years as a landlord and civic activist, I bring expertise in residency and the rent game. Before VCU had a presence north of Broad Street, I had three drug dealers and a cat house on my block while contiguous behind my building, 25 homeless people camped for a winter. There was constant noise, rape, murder and plunder. The city cops wouldn’t touch them. With VCU, especially Police Chief John Venuti, there is now peace in my valley. I love VCU and all that it brings.

As to the density question, Gilbane surely wouldn’t build something that is not rentable, thus losing money. The city’s Planning Commission and its bureaucrats are part of City Hall; the same who would consider putting a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom, and other tomfoolery, not to be taken too seriously. I’ve lived in China, they don’t know what dense is. And I love China.

I can only invite those 13 elders to move to Petersburg and live amongst their own. Leave the rest of us to enjoy the bounty of good living in a thriving metropolis.

Sam Forrest




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