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PARKED FOR GOOD? Proposed budget to cut deep into county park programs



special correspondent

his year’s county budget is not a walk in the park for Chesterfield County Department of Parks and Recreation. The department is slated to experience approximately $1.6 million in proposed cuts from the budget, and because of that several programs and events would permanently be nixed. Plus, some historical sites would become a memory of the past without alternative funding. “The budget has to be reduced somewhere,” said Michael Golden, director of Parks and Recreation. “My concerns are -- as far as parks and recreation – one, we have several staff members who will lose their jobs, and, two, we have a lot of very good programs we have offered over the years that we won’t be able to offer anymore,” he said. Projected cutbacks in programs provided by Chesterfield have resulted in the cancellation of landmark tours, lectures, skill-teaching classes, and youth and adult programs that cater to all ages, all socio-economic backgrounds and persons with disabilities. According to Golden, the department is currently looking for different ways of generating revenues, which include increasing fees for existing programs such as camping, canoeing, youth programs, and adult programs. “We are currently creating alternate proposals on how the budget will be reduced. What we are talking about now might be changed between now and April,” Golden said, referring to the date that the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors will meet to confirm the incoming FY2011 budget. Elimination of the outdoor adventure and nature programs is currently on the table. That means the closing of Rockwood Nature Center at Rockwood Park and the challenge course as well as all boating, hiking, outdoor/conservation education and skills development programs and classes. Rockwood Nature Center hosts approximately 22,800 visitors annually. The department will look for different uses for the center; PHOTO BY ELIZABETH FARINA otherwise it will stay empty. Rockwood Nature Center is only one of the multiple educational programs that are on the cutting board for None of the proposals are final until the April decision, but currently the FY2011 budget. The county’s Parks and Recreation Department is looking at different alternatives to keep the department has cut some adults programs, which include five fullprograms afloat through community initiatives and other organizations.


see PARKS page 4


Hop into this year’s Eggstravaganza




Dr. Lauranett L. Lee, Curator, African-American history at the Virginia Historical Society, presented the history of African-American churches in Chesterfield County. It was the focus of an African-American History Month program held Sunday, Feb. 28.


Midlothian resident Faye Holland, right, and Sherri Sledd are the co-chairs for this year’s 2010 Eggstravaganza, which will be held March 20.


courtesy of Easter Seals Virginia

aster Seals Virginia has kicked off the countdown to its annual signature Richmond event to benefit services provided to ensure that all people with disabilities and special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. The 2010 Eggstravaganza season was kicked off at a 4th Friday reception at Art Works Inc. on Friday, Feb. 26. The reception offered a peek at local artists’ “eggart” entries, which ranged from sculptures and paintings to photographed works, including a photo tree that was created by a camp participant. The eggs will roll over to a preview party at William Jeffrey’s Jewelers on Thursday, March 4, from 5:30-9 p.m. There will be spirits and refreshments, a silent auction, and a showcase of new jewelry lines and gifts. Ten percent of the sales from the evening will benefit Easter Seals Virginia. There is no charge to attend the preview party, but those interested must RSVP by calling William Jeffrey’s at 264-2600. The public is also invited to the black-tie “Easter Finery” event, another Richmond event to benefit Easter Seals Virginia. It is a black tie (or “Easter Finery”) event with a cocktail buffet and an open bar. Since Easter Seals enjoyed having the event at La Diff last year, the group will once again hold “Easter Finery” at the downtown retail store. Music will be provided by AAA Disc Jockey. Then it’s on to the hunt: a search for hidden eggs decorated by children who participate in Easter Seals’ programs and VCU students, and filled with great prizes, ranging in value from $25 to cash prizes of $100. Everyone gets a prize. Next, it’s on to the live auction where “eggsceptional” packages will be auctioned off with an accompanying special collector egg designed and created by Richmond artists. Buyers can become the proud owners of great artwork, and purchase unique party and dinner packages, trips, airline tickets, fine jewelry, wine tastings, golf packages and spa packages. Tickets are $125. For more information, to donate items, to participate as an artist or to purchase tickets, contact the Easter Seals office at (804) 287-1007 or visit online at

Event recognizes role of churches in the community BY LATIKA LEE


special correspondent

he history of African-American churches in Chesterfield County was the focus of an African-American History Month program held Feb. 28 at First Baptist Church of Midlothian. The program, presented by the African-American History Committee of the Chesterfield Historical Society (AAHC), recognized the formation and establishment of the early black churches organized during slavery, throughout the mid- to late 19th century and early 20th century in Chesterfield County. As the beat of the Djembe drum sounded the call to worship, the Rev. Herbert C. Townes, Associate Minister, Mt. Sinai Baptist Church offered a prayer, “We gather in this place, in the spirit of our ancestors and our native land.” AAHC committee member Mrs. Charlene Anderson said, in reverence, “We remember and give thanks to our forefathers and mothers who were brought from foreign lands. We remember the ‘invisible church’ where enslaved people could steal away for a moment to briefly set aside the oppression of plantation life to worship a God of liberation and freedom.” The commemoration featured Dr. Lauranett L. Lee, Curator, African-American history at the Virginia Historical Society. Dr. Lee’s talk, titled “Influences of Church, Family and Community in Chesterfield County,” weaved together a story of faith, family and fellowship.


“Chesterfield’s geography and limited resources for African Americans contributed to the closeness of its people. It’s also in our gathering here today that contributes to its closeness,” Lee said to the members to the 15 different African American churches represented in the standing-room-only sanctuary, with many attendees sitting in the overflow rooms. Lee explained that the story is not just about buildings but also about the establishment of community during a very difficult period in history. Many churches united to serve as venues to raise funds in order to build schools and other churches pooled resources or used their sanctuaries as school classrooms. “The stories we tell are about the people who inhabited those buildings ... they make up the life and blood of our stories,” Lee said. Many of the churches were founded in “brush arbors,” an African-influenced religious practice. “This term was known to denote clandestine religious meetings held in wooded areas or remote cabins in Africa. The brush arbors represented the best areas for religious meetings because they offered a “safe-haven” for enslaved Africans to communicate with God. It was a sanctuary for praying, healing, sacrifice and purification,” Lee said. At the request of the AAHC committee, Lee quizzed the audience on their knowledge of the county’s churches. “Name the church that has given birth to six other churches,” she said. see HISTORY page 6

2 || March 4, 2010 ||

Question of the week:

March celebration at Monacan High School “Performing Arts in our Schools Month”

March is known to come roaring in like a lion and go out like a lamb ... what will you do to prepare if a snowstorm hits us again? EDITOR Elizabeth Farina

“Keeping fingers crossed for spring rain, rain, rain. No ice, no snow. No freezing temperatures. Just rain - if any precipitation.


“Stay home and stay warm.”

SALES Brianna Maag

“I am just hoping we don’t get anymore! Here or in New Hampshire where my parents are; they just got power back after being out for four days.”

The Monacan Singers take a break from singing Valentine’s. Jevon Dabney, Nathan Ropelewski, Kerry Mitchell, Erin Waters, Allie Carter, Ayana Butler.

SALES Sara Snyder

“Orchestra isn’t just a class, it’s a passion. It has given me confidence, a reason to come to school, and the greatest appreciation for music.”


This month Monacan students share what music and theater have meant for them in school. Here is what the students’ notes on the bulletin board say:

“When there is a group of kids all working together for the common goal of creating a piece of music, we become great friends, and it improves our teamwork skills.”

“Make sure my husband doesn’t get his truck stuck in our ditch again so we can go to a hotel if our power goes out.









“In theater I feel like I have talent. I feel like I can do something creative with myself.” - courtesy of Monacan Chiefs




Students participate in naturalization ceremony


VOL. IV, 5 edition th

courtesy of Katey Hall Perdue

Greenfield Elementary School students Chang “Charles” Lim and Georgina Walmsley with her older sister Samantha Walmsley, a Robious Middle School student, were honored to be part of the 95 children between the ages of 5- and 17-years-old representing many countries from all over the world who took part in a naturalization ceremony at the Virginia Beach Aquarium on Jan. 29. After the children pledged the Oath of Allegiance and received their Certificates of Citizenship they were given the opportunity to tour the aquarium.

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Disclaimer: All data are based on the publicly available Chesterfield County Police Department daily arrest and crime releases and are reported according to Federal Incident Based Reporting rules.

23112 Feb. 25

15500 block of Fox Club Wy. Victim reported property was stolen from his unlocked gray Volvo 850 GLT.

Feb. 23

4600 block of Commonwealth Centre Py. Victims observed the described suspect, standing outside the store, exposed.

Feb. 21

Known suspect forced entry to the listed residence through the garage and rummaged through the interior. The police responded, but were unable to locate the suspect.


Feb. 20


Feb. 19

2200 block of Planters Row Dr. Suspect(s) gained entry to the residence by unknown means as no signs of force were found, and removed property from inside.

23114 Feb. 21

1300 Exbury Dr.

7600 block of Belasco Dr. Unlocked and running 2008 Nissan Altima reported stolen.

Feb. 24

5300 block of Fox Lake Tr. Unlocked Chrysler Town and Country entered and property was stolen.


Feb. 21


Feb. 25

11400 block of Great Willow Dr. Property stolen from construction site.

11100 block of Wiltstaff Dr. Attempted forcible entry to the victim’s residence through the rear doors.

11900 block of Bailey Bridge Rd. Forced entry to the concession stand through the front window and property removed from inside.

ered items missing from inside. No signs of force were found.

900 block of Adkins Rd. GPS reported stolen from victim’s locked 2006 Chevrolet van. 8600 block of Hull Street Rd. Unknown suspect(s) entered the residence and moved items around inside. Nothing inside appeared to be missing.

‘Pothole Blitz’ seeks to repair Virginia’s roads

“All Virginians can be a part of this Pothole Blitz so we can work together to improve everyone’s safety and comfort gap in the state budget isn’t the only hole Virginia as they travel through our great commonwealth,” McDonnell officials are trying to fill. They’re also trying to plug said. potholes that harsh winter weather has left on roads To report a pothole, call 800-367-7689 or visit Virginthroughout the commonwealth. Gov. Bob McDonnell is asking Virginians to help the Did you know? Virginia Department of Transportation in a “Pothole Blitz” aimed at repairing the damage. Q. Who’s responsible for fixing potholes? “Motorists traveling across Virginia know best where the A. The Virginia Department of Transportation is reworst potholes lie,” McDonnell said. “We want citizens to sponsible for patching potholes on the 58,000 miles of help us identify potholes as they form so that VDOT crews state-maintained roadways in the commonwealth. If the can quickly be dispatched to make repairs.” pothole is on a city street, call the local department of McDonnell directed VDOT to focus on the Pothole Blitz public works or city hall. If the pothole is on an Arlington during March. or Henrico county road, call the public works department Crews already have begun work to repair potholes but in that county. (Those are the only two Virginia counties have faced setbacks because of repeated snowstorms. Continuous freezing and thawing have greatly weakened roadway responsible for maintaining their county roads.) Q. What makes a pothole? pavement – and potholes have been forming faster than A. Potholes are created when moisture seeps into the crews can repair them. “Potholes are a roadway hazard and a nuisance for every pavement, freezes, expands and then thaws. This weakens person driving our highways,” McDonnell said. “We are the pavement. Traffic loosens it even more, and it eventugoing all-out to repair these pavements and make traveling ally crumbles and pops out. safer and more comfortable for Virginians.” Q. How are potholes repaired? As part of its battle plan, VDOT is prioritizing pothole A. The pothole is carved out with a jackhammer or patching depending on where the potholes are located and masonry saw to create a neat rectangle. When the excess how severe they are. Crews are assigned routes and work their way along, filling potholes as they go. On average, crews asphalt is removed, an adhesive is applied and asphalt have been able to repair potholes on high-traffic roads within is added in layers. It is leveled off and compacted with a pavement roller. In some counties, VDOT uses “pothole four days, state officials said. killers,” which are machines that fix potholes quickly without VDOT employees remain on guard against potholes but closing the road. - Source: VDOT need other people to keep a lookout, too. BY SAMANTHA DOWNING


Capital News Service

Avoiding U.S. Census scams


courtesy of Tom Browning

he official U.S. Census, which is conducted every 10 years and is described in Article I, Section 2 of 2300 block of the U.S. Constitution, calls for an accurate count of Tuscora Rd. people living in the United States and is used as a Suspect(s) pried gauge in the allotment of each state’s seats in the House of Feb. 20 a locked side Representatives and in the allocation of funds to citizens in 100 block of Volwindow in an need. The first official Census was conducted in 1790 under lie Rd. attempt to gain Thomas Jefferson, who was the Secretary of State. That cenentry to the resi- Suspect entered sus, taken by U.S. marshals on horseback, counted 3.9 million an unlocked inhabitants. Since that time, the Census has been conducted dence. garage and every ten years. removed items While participation is safe, a certain level of caution is Feb. 23 from inside. Sus- necessary when divulging personal information. Citizens 7700 block of pect also entered need to clearly differentiate legitimate U.S. census employee Bannockbarn communications from fraudulent activity. several vehicles Dr. It’s important for people to be on guard against predain the same area Unknown tory individuals and organizations who piggyback on official and removed suspect(s) gained items from there U.S. Census activities with their own copy-cat schemes to entry to the solicit private information. As the Chief Security Officer as well. A witof America’s leading physical security services company, I victims’ apart-

Feb. 24

believe it is vital to ensure that the American public understands the importance of participating in the U.S. Census while not becoming victimized by con-artists. The Census Bureau seeks to determine household information pertaining only to each occupant’s age, address, phone number, gender, race, birth date and marital status and whether you own or rent your home. You can view the questions at:, although no census information will be taken via the Internet. Information requested beyond the information on this form is likely being perpetrated by scam artists. The Census Bureau employs thousands of trained federal employees to conduct surveys in person, over the phone or via the U.S. mail. Requests for Census information will be labeled from the U.S. Census Bureau as “Official Business of the United States.” A notice from the Census Bureau will be mailed prior to receiving forms, phone calls or visits from Census workers. Americans will be asked to complete and see SCAMS page 5

ness observed ment through the the suspect and front door and called police. removed property from inside. No 100 block of signs of force Wadsworth Dr. were found. License plates 7700 block of Bannockbarn Dr. Victim returned home and discov-

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his year, you may be sick of the hearing about two things: snow and the state budget. One had a big impact temporarily, but the other will have an impact for longer than a winter season. The Board of Supervisors decided last week in a 4-to-1 vote not to advertise for an increase in the tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year even though housing assessments -- the county’s dominant source of tax revenue – have decreased. Were you surprised at the decision? Why or why not? In this situation, surprise isn’t really the best word. There appears to be a hesitation to increase anything these days (with the exception of energy and food costs). The budget numbers are being plugged into various scenarios at county departments in way that’s reminiscent of the last scene in 1983 movie “War Games” where the Uber computer realizes there are no winners in tic-tac-toe and Armageddon doesn’t happen. In real life, this is the end of some of the county’s well-known and beloved programs, and it’s not a game for anyone involved. For example, the Chesterfield Senior Center persevered without a place to call home before the upcoming proposed cuts. The group, which offers weekday activities for seniors, finally found two local churches for meeting places. The group’s members get together for activities such as yoga, card games and afternoon movies. The financial cuts will impact this resilient group of residents who have been through the many other recessions our country has seen. It is hopeful they will once again weather the economic downturn. The Rockwood Nature Center may also be closed due to budget cuts. Its simplistic cabin housing little critters native to our area has provided a lot of laughter for kids and parents. My five-year-old loves the place as much as I do, and asked me what will happen to the animals. Simply said, I told her that they don’t know or care that they’re possibly up for eviction, but they will find another park. If the center welcomes more than 22,000 visitors each year, why not start charging for amenities or ask for a “suggested” donation like nearby Maymont? That’s just a random suggestion for consideration for any “free” quality-of-life amenity offered through the county. What’s your random suggestion for consideration? What programs, departments, and other county resources do you want saved from the budget cuts? And if the budget was only a dollar, how would you spend it? Let us know. E-mail editor@ or drop a note in the mail.




he Chesterfield NAACP issues this statement in response to the Chesterfield School Board’s decision to terminate the Perrymont Middle School program for at-risk students as part of the proposed budget

In the Feb. 25 article “Fleet shows more to managment than wrench-turning time” Prab Rao was misidentified as director. His official title is Fleet manager. We regret the error.

cessful at the assigned school in their respective attendance zones. The Chesterfield School Board voted last week to return these same students to the very schools at which they failed to make satisfactory progress without offering any plan cuts. as to how these students would achieve success. The Board Perrymont Middle School is an alternative school that made this decision at the same time it was reducing and serves students who have fallen significantly behind academi- eliminating other support services, math coaches and readcally. The objective of the program is to prepare students in ing specialists for the most needy and vulnerable students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades who are significantly be- the school division. hind in academic and behavioral fundamentals to enter and The Chesterfield NAACP cannot support the Chesterfield complete high school. The program of instruction includes School Board’s budget priorities and the termination of the following components: programs intended to serve the needs and interests of eco• The focus is on reading, writing, and mathematics; hisnomically disadvantaged students and youth who have not tory and science instruction is embedded in instruction in achieved academic success in the traditional classroom. The reading, writing, and mathematics; termination of the Perrymont program is one more example • Students are taught study skills and self-management of the Chesterfield Board’s misplaced spending priorities, skills; which favor the most academically successful students edu• The school day is longer (6 ½ hours); and cated in the county’s center-based gifted schools and regional • The pupil-teacher ratio is currently 12:1. Governor’s Schools. The students presently in attendance at Perrymont Middle The Chesterfield School Board should reconsider the terSchool are there because they were not academically sucmination of the Perrymont program. If these students are to be returned to their home schools, the Board should require an annual report on their progress until each child presently in attendance at Perrymont graduates with a diploma to MIDLOTHIAN: drop your letter in ensure that they do not add to an already too high county the mailbox to dropout rate. The Chesterfield NAACP would advocate for the terminaPO BOX 420, MIDLOTHIAN, VA 23113 tion of the annual million-dollar expenditure on the regional or e-mail Math and Science Technology Center in Richmond prior to the closing of Perrymont Middle School. The Math and EDITOR@MIDLOTHIANEXCHANGE.COM Science Center is a luxury that does not contribute in any All correspondence submitted for publication must include measureable way to the academic achievement of county first and last name, and for verification purposes only, a students. street address, and phone number. Letters may be edited Arthur Almore for clarity, grammar & space. Deadline for letters is noon on Chesterfield NAACP Monday prior to publication date.

House, Senate negotiate over budget BY AMELIA REDDINGTON Capital News Service


ouse and Senate negotiators this week will try to work out the differences in the state budgets passed by their respective chambers to close a $4 billion shortfall. The House of Delegates and the Senate approved their budget bills on Thursday. The Democrat-led Senate passed its budget on a 30-10 vote, with the support of nine Republicans. The Republican-led House approved its budget on a 61-38 vote, with no Democrats supporting it. Because of the economic downturn and a decline in tax revenues, both proposed budgets for the next two years would cut state spending. However, there are significant differences in how the competing plans fund core services. Democrats say the House budget cuts too deeply by taking from public schools, health care and social services. They say it would force local school districts to lay off teachers and other employees. “I’d rather resign my seat than vote for a budget that cuts this from education and does away with this many jobs,” Delegate Ward Armstrong, D-Martinsville, said. “I could not go home.” Delegate Lacey Putney, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, defended the document. “I believe that the budget before us today strikes a sensible balance between meeting the core commitments that we as politicians like to talk about and the burden placed on the taxpayers who must foot the bill,” said Putney, an Independent from Bedford. To avoid deeper cuts

to education, health care and law enforcement, the Senate budget proposal would raise fees for various services and impose taxes on online businesses. The fee increases would generate more than $300 million. For example, people convicted of drunken driving would have to pay an extra $50 to get their driver’s license reinstated. Putney said the budget debate reminds him of the saying, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” The equivalent saying in the General Assembly would be “everyone wants a balanced budget, but nobody wants to cut it,” he said. Although there are differences between the House and Senate budgets, there also is common ground. For instance, they both would reduce the state’s contribution to pension plans for state and local employees by $508 million over the next two years. Lawmakers have until March 13, the last day of the legislative session, to fashion a budget on which they can agree. Gov. Bob McDonnell said he believes the House and Senate will work together to meet that deadline and to approve a budget that cuts spending and doesn’t raise taxes. McDonnell has outlined three priorities for the biennial budget: • It must be done on time. • It must not contain any general tax increases. • It must fund his job creation and economic development proposals. McDonnell said he is pleased that both budget plans achieve the last two priorities. “We will not forget that


the reductions we make will mean hardships in the near term for many of our citizens,” McDonnell said. “There are no easy choices in closing the $4 billion budget shortfall that is unparalleled in Virginia history.” A conference committee of four delegates and four senators will attempt to craft a compromise budget acceptable to both the House and Senate. The House members of the conference committee are Putney; Republican Delegates Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights, Chris Jones of Suffolk, Steve Landes of Weyers Cave and Beverly Sherwood of Winchester; and Democratic Delegate Johnny Joannou of Portsmouth. They were appointed Friday by House Speaker William Howell. The senators on the conference committee are Democratic Senators Charles Colgan of Manassas, R. Edward Houck of Spotsylvania, Janet Howell of Reston and Richard Saslaw of Springfield; and Republican Senators William Wampler of Bristol and Walter Stosch of Glen Allen. “I’ve seen some difficult budgets, but never one as tough as this,” said Colgan, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee and has been a senator since 1976. Putney agreed with that assessment. “In my 49 years as a member of the House, I have not seen a budget situation this bad,” he said. Putney said Friday that he hopes the conference committee will begin meeting “early as possible next week.” To see how your elected official voted, visit online at

from PARKS page 1 time positions and four part-time positions. The programs provide maintenance and support for the adult leagues such as basketball, volleyball, flag football, soccer, and softball programs. Athletic Manager Bill Carlson explained that the 15-week programs were reduced to seven so the season could be wrapped up in time for the possible decrease. “There are certain fields that will not be shut down because they are used by other organizations such as Robious Middle School and youth leagues, but fields such as Warbro Athletic Complex, Bird Athletic Complex and Lowe’s Soccer Complex might shut down,” he said. Currently the department is working on continuing programs and events through the help of other non-profit and private organizations. The department has discussed reaching out to athletic leagues for use of the fields in return for maintenance and upkeep of the facilities. In general, there has been a $60,000 reduction in maintenance of grounds and facilities. “This is just one option that might happen. Again, it might change,” Carlson said. “The response I get with everyone that I work with is the same response most residents have. For example, people who are involved with softball, they live and sleep it,” Carlson said. “They can have a play at third base where a person has been called out and 10 years later they still have that same ‘Could you believe that happened?’ Across the board, they are very confused about what is going to finally happen. They read the paper and hope for the best,” he said. The proposed cuts also have led the department to reach out to Chesterfield Historical Society to take care of county historical sites such as Magnolia Grange Plantation, Castlewood, and the County Museum. The Department of General Services maintains these buildings and, according to Golden, they won’t let the sites deteriorate, but the frequency of maintenance will go down. The current proposed budget eliminates funding completely for the sites’ historical programs, which is $446,300. The elimination of funding for the historical programs would critically impact the Chesterfield Historical Society, a non-profit organization that operates at Castlewood. “Once you close a historic site the chances of it opening again are minimal ... The county government holds these buildings in trust for Chesterfield citizens. It’s in the interest for the people of Chesterfield County to keep these buildings operating,” said Liess van der Linden-Brusse, president of Chesterfield Historical Society. “How parks and recreation affects us is that they have five people – two full-time, three part-time – who have been working with us to run these historic sites and some of the

programs,” Brusse said. “All five positions are being eliminated so basically what that means is that we are going to be shut down. It’s not like the libraries where they cut back the hours but are still open. With us they are planning on closing us down.” Instead of allowing this fate to fall on the society, the organization’s Board of Directors has allowed Brusse and the past president to negotiate with the county on an alternative proposal. In the proposal given to the county, the Historical Society is willing to subsidize three part-time salaries for the next two years in order to stay open. The hope is that the county will accept their proposal and they will continue normal operating hours and continue to host at least 50 percent of the 85 annual events that they host with Chesterfield Parks and Recreation. “We don’t have a Welcome Center here in Chesterfield. The only thing we do have are these historic sites within walking distance of each other that can act as a Welcome Center. Why close them down?” Brusse said. “History is who we are. History is an obligation we have to the future, and you can’t just wipe it out.” The department’s proposed cuts in capital may lead to more than overlooking maintenance of softball fields and park facilities. Acquisitions of new land would be put on the back burner and so would the leasing of a new community center for senior citizens, Golden explained. The proposed budget for senior citizen programs is an estimated $250,000. The proposal is currently to cut all instructional programs except for those at community centers. It also would discontinue the leasing of space at two churches that currently house senior programs through the week. The senior citizen programs have about a dozen volunteers. However, without much help from Chesterfield government, the worry is that these organizations will not be viable, said Golden. Also, annual events such as Fourth of July fireworks at the County Fairgrounds and the Parade of Lights down the James River would be put on hold because there aren’t enough funds. Instead, the department is hoping that groups such as the James River Advisory Council can pick up where county funds are no longer available. “If the county has a lesser role in helping many of these organizations it may be harder for them to have enough volunteers. The concern is that if the county government isn’t involved to some extent, [these programs] may lose some of their viability,” Golden said. “So it’s not just what the county can’t do, but what the community [can’t do if] they don’t have the assistance.” || March 4, 2010 || 5


Chesterfield County Public Library hosts “Writers Workshop 2010” at Central Library at 9501 Lori Rd. Chesterfield. The session will be held from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Registration and payment are required. The $30 nonrefundable registration fee includes a box lunch and is

MARCH 12-13

VaHomeschoolers is pleased to announce the 2010 Conference and Resource Fair set for March 12-13 at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Noted homeschool author and advocate Linda Dobson will present three exciting sessions. Other highlights include practical

The Chesterfield Women’s League will meet at Foxfire Club House, 5532 Light Parkway, Moseley 23120. A certified personal trainer will be leading a discussion about exercise and nutrition. Doors open at 9:30 am. Guests are always welcome. Refreshments are provided. For more information please contact Carolyn at: (804) 745-6070. Saint Patrick’s Day concert with Adam Miller, one of the premier autoharpists in the world and one of the great interpreters of American folktales and folksongs from 7-8:30 p.m. at Central Library in Chesterfield. Join him in a celebration of the Irish roots of American folk culture. This program is recommended for adults and teens. After the performance, Miller’s recordings will be available for purchase and autographing. Registration is required and begins March 3. Please register online at library. or by calling (804) 748-1603.

more events online at


to enter your home. The representative can provide you with supervisor contact information. You can also call the regional office phone number for verification or the Census Bureau. •Civility is Central to Census – U.S. Census employees are instructed to be civil with every citizen or non-resident that they contact. If you come across an official who is acting in an intimidating or aggressive manner, you have the right to refuse to divulge information and to report this person to the authorities. Census workers are bound by law to keep your informa-

tion confidential and are not permitted to share it with anyone. If you prefer not to share your information in person, complete and return the form you receive by mail from the U.S. Census Bureau. For more information, visit the United States Census at and the Better Business Bureau at About the author: Tom Browning is Chief Security Officer and Vice President of Compliance at AlliedBarton Security Services, www.alliedbarton. com, the industry’s premier provider of highly trained security personnel.

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money or a donation. Steer clear of anyone purporting mail back the 10-question to be with the Census Bureau census form when it arrives who asks for monetary donain mailboxes around March tions. Similarly, the Census 15-17. Bureau will not request The following tips will passwords or access to bank help you recognize frauduaccounts, credit cards and lent activity or unofficial data other financial information. collections to keep predators •Be an ID Watchdog – If at bay while ensuring your a census worker visits your valid participation in the home, ask for identification. important census process: It is the duty of every U.S •Don’t Get Social – The Census employee to provide U.S. Census does not request their identification to every your social security number person that is being visited. so do not divulge this infor- All Census workers carry mation to anyone claiming to official government badges be a U.S. Census representa- marked with their name. A tive. Census taker will never ask •Avoid Phishing Trips – The U.S. Census is not conducting any surveying via the Internet so any e-mails or other electronic communications received are fraudulent “phishing trips” that should be immediately reported as spam and deleted. “Phishing” is the unlawful practice of attempting to acquire private information such as usernames, passwords, social security numbers, bank account and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy person or organization in an e-mail or via instant messaging. Often the “phishers” direct you to enter this private information at a fake Web site that looks almost uniform to the back legitimate one. Indians bounce estone with win over Blu •Don’t Pay Cents (or Dollars) for Census – The Census Bureau never asks for Will schools, BOS face

from SCAMS page 8


he arts are often ignored in politics, but that wasn’t the case at the Virginia Capitol last week. On Thursday, artists from across the state waited outside the House of Delegates Chamber, making a line that sprawled over two floors and around the stairs. Their message to legislators was clear, indicated by a simple name tag on their shirts: “Save the Arts.” The artists converged on the Capitol to oppose a Feb. 21 recommendation by the House Appropriations Committee. The committee voted 15-7 to cut next year’s funding for the Virginia Commission for the Arts by 50 percent and to eliminate the agency by July 1, 2011. The commission currently receives more than $4 million a year from the state. It uses the money to provide grants to arts groups throughout Virginia. On the other hand, the Senate Finance Committee adopted the proposed budget submitted by former Gov. Tim Kaine. It would continue funding for the Virginia Commission for the Arts. House and Senate negotiators now are trying to come up with a compromise state budget for the next two years. Thursday was Arts Advocacy Day, organized by a group called Virginians for the Arts. The organizers said they were delighted with the turnout. Beth Temple, a board member for Virginians for the Arts, said she hopes the event will make a difference in whether the Virginia Commission for the Arts survives. “I think we can demonstrate the arts have had an effect in almost every legislative district,” Temple said. “We are trying to get our legislators to understand the economic importance of art – not just the aesthetic importance.” Many arts groups already are struggling because the economic downturn has hurt their finances. David Briggs, a member of the board of directors of the Signature Theatre in Alexandria, said the theater has simplified productions and cut staff because of a decrease in funding. Briggs also said such cutbacks have a ripple effect on the local economy. “When a theater is dark and there is a restaurant next door, the restaurant is not as busy,” Briggs said. Heidi and Sam Rugg of Barefoot Puppets in Richmond brought their children to the Capitol for Arts Advocacy Day. They said their puppet-show audiences have declined since the recession. Heidi Rugg said she was puzzled by one thing: “We’re standing in this beautiful building, with beautiful architecture and art, and politicians can stand in this building and want to cut the arts?” she asked. “I can’t wrap my head around that.” Meanwhile in the House Chamber, delegates debated proposed budget cuts on everything from health care and education to the arts and parks. Legislators must cut $4 billion in spending to balance the state budget. The House voted 61-38 Thursday to approve a proposed budget containing the House Appropriations Committee’s recommendation to slash funding for the Virginia Commission for the Arts. In a speech on the House floor, Delegate Lacey Putney, I-Bedford, said he had not seen such a grave budget situation in his 49 years as member of the House. “I am reminded of the quote that ‘Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die,’ ” said Putney, chairman of the Appropriations Committee. “I guess the budget equivalent of that saying would be that everyone wants a balanced budget, but nobody wants to cut it.”




Capital News Service


International and Independent Film Series presents “Troubled Water” at Midlothian Library branch on Coalfield Road in Midlothian from 7-9 p.m. The collection of films from around the world includes both feature-length narrative films and documentaries, as well as short films, all of which have been featured in the world’s top film festivals, such as Cannes, Berlin, Sundance and Tribeca. This month’s film will be “Troubled Water.” These films have not been rated and are for adults aged 18 and over. No registration is required.

Surf’s up and St. Edward-Epiphany School is calling all alumni, parents, supporters and friends to enjoy a little fun in the sun at its 18th annual auction and community gathering. The “Sees in the Sand” event will be held at the St. Edward activity center, from 6:30 until 11 p.m. A silent auction kicks off the event, followed by a live auction and $500 cash raffle. Cost for the event is $35 per person. A list of auction items can be previewed after March 1, on the school website at For information or to register for the event, visit the website, or contact Andee Moore, event chairwoman, at (804) 641-1388. The St. Edward activity center is located at 10701 West Huguenot Rd., in Bon Air.



The Cosby Titan Band, in conjunction with the bands of Swift Creek and Tomahawk Creek middle schools will present their annual “Pyramid Concert” on Thursday, March 4, in the Cosby Theater. The show begins at 7 p.m. and admission is $5 per seat. Tickets are available the week of the concert and at the door as supplies last.

“How To” sessions: Economics, Writing, Geography, Creative Arts, and Reading, “Getting Started” Workshops,“ Homeschooling Teens and College Preparation, Lapbooking, and sessions dealing with challenges. For more information, visit http://www.vahomeschooler. org/conference/2010/



due no later than Friday, March 5. Only cash or check payments will be accepted. Registration forms are available at all Chesterfield County Public Libraries or may be printed from our Web site Please call (804)7176381 for more information.


com. Subject line: EVENT

SUB 03/03 & 04

E-mail your event to editor@midlothianexchange.

Arts advocates fight for funding at the GA

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6 || March 4, 2010 ||


Gordon Elementary School holds “Hoops and Hugs for Haiti” All of the children participated in various activities at the mid-February event to show their concern and compassion for the country of Haiti. Students and faculty wore red and blue clothes, the colors of the Haitian flag, to show support. The students went to the gym and put monetary donations into a Haitian “hoop” and then hula hooped to Caribbean music. They then continued on to the art room or music room where they created ban-

Junior Woman’s Club Cinderella Dreams project collecting now


courtesy of Midlothian Junior Woman’s Club

ners and Valentine’s cards to send to their peers in Haiti. Terri Cooper and Terry Poland added that the students raised $3071.61 and made over 100 of the cutest cards you have ever seen! We are so proud of our children and their families for doing this! The money will be sent to The Clinton Bush Haiti fund from W. W. Gordon Elementary.

from HISTORY page 1

t’s a Cinderella story. You’re invited to the big dance, but have nothing to wear. It happens…and not just in fairy tales. This year the Midlothian Junior Woman’s Club and Melissa Chase of Cox Radio will play Fairy Godmother to girls needing dresses for their special nights. The Cinderella Dreams project provides prom dresses for area high school girls, lifting the financial burden of parents and teens on a tight budget. Starting Feb. 8 and continuing through March 8, gowns and accessories are being collected at Richmond area YMCAs and Puritan Cleaners. Donated gowns should be from 2005 or later and in new or like-new condition. Accessories should also be in new or like-new condition. The collected dresses and accessories will be available at a shopping event where girls can try on and select their favorite dresses -- all for free. A donation of $5 is suggested. To “shop” for a dress, girls can come to the Village Market Place Shopping Center at 13172 Midlothian Turnpike in Midlothian, on Friday, March 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Girls will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more about this year’s Cinderella Dreams project and to find out how you can help make prom magical for a girl in need, go to www.cinderelladreams. net or contact Beth Fitzwater, the 2010 Cinderella Dreams project chairwoman, at (804) 218-1429.

Founded in 1846, First Baptist Church of Midlothian is recognized as the oldest African American church in Chesterfield County. It was organized by the large slave and free black population that worked for the local coal mining companies. The first church was built on the property of the Grove Shaft Mines and was originally named the First African Baptist Church of Coalfield. Lee continued with questions about other churches in the community. With the calland-response style of worship known in African American churches, the congregation shouted answers upon hearing their own churches’ facts. She also examined Virginia legisla-


tion and its impact on enslaved and free African people’s ability to gather to worship. African Americans were not allowed to assemble publicly, as prescribed by law. Lee’s research has documented education, black businesses and community life, including the history of black schools, during segregation. Many visitors in the audience had attended either the former Hickory Hill School or Carver High School. Also recognized was the late Brenda Friend Briggs, a founding AAHC member who was posthumously honored by the AAHC chair Cornelia Owens Good. Beulah Baptist Church member Mrs. Lula Walker Jones, who was born in 1903, was also recognized for her enduring life. Chesterfield County Deputy County


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Cosby advances to state tourney BY SARA PAGE


t took a little time for the Cosby girls’ basketball team to readjust to the size of the Siegel Center floor during Thursday night’s semifinal game, but once they did, there was no doubt they were back where they belonged. The Lady Titans poured in 12 points in three minutes to start the second quarter and never trailed again as they earned a bid to the Central Region final and the VHSL Group AAA quarterfinal games with a 76-44 decision over Highland Springs. “I feel like we had a slow start. We weren’t playing the best defense in the first quarter and we were just kind of sluggish,” Cosby guard Andrea Bertrand said.“We haven’t played on a big court like this [this year]. It was a shock, I know, to me. “Second quarter I think we really stepped it up, and we knew if we don’t play better, this is going to be a lot harder than it needs to be,” Bertrand continued. The second quarter run proved to be a total team effort. Kelsey Conyers started things rolling with a defensive rebound that put the Titans on a fast break. She dished to Becca Wann under the hoop for a short jumper. Wann added another two to her totals off a fast break with Jazmin Pitts and picked up two assists on a pass from the top of the key to Pitts in the paint and a beautiful bounce pass to Pitts 30 seconds later. Pitts picked up six points and a blocked shot. “At the beginning we were giving them a lot of secondchance shots, and when we came in at the end of [the first] quarter, coach [Rachel Mead] lit a fire under our

butts and said,‘You better box out,’. I think when we ended their second chance shots, that helped us on our fast break and that’s when we got the majority of our points,” Wann said. Wann ended the evening with a triple-double. She scored 23 points, handed out 10 assists and hauled in 17 rebounds. Bertrand added 28 points, and Pitts ended with 15 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. Jazzmin Dabney led Highland Springs with 13 points and Kyra Coleman put up 12. The win sets up a showdown in the Central Region final between two teams that are undefeated in the state of Virginia. Cosby will take on Thomas Dale, which was a 75-49 winner over Huguenot in Thursday’s first semifinal matchup, Monday night at 6 p.m. at the Siegel Center. The Knights are 25-0 entering the game while Cosby is 25-2 having lost two games at a winter break tournament in Tennessee. “It’ll be a lot of fun. It’ll be a war,” Mead said.“I think it’ll be the last man standing. It’ll be a lot of fun.” “Their shooters – Alyssa Frye, Andrea Hobbs -- and of course you have Ka’lia Johnson, who you can’t really stop her from scoring, but you can definitely slow her down – those are probably going to be our main focuses right now,” Bertrand said. A final score was not available by press time. The Central Region champion will host the Eastern Region runnerup while the Central Region runner up will travel to the Eastern Region champion host site. The VHSL Group AAA quarterfinals begin Friday and PHOTO BY PATRICK DOBBS Saturday and move back to the Cosby’s Jazmin Pitts serves up a rejection notice on a Highland Springs shot. The Lady Titans advanced to the Central Region Siegel Center on Wednesday. title and the VHSL Group AAA tournament with a 76-44 win over the Springers.

Lautzenheiser shines at state BY BRIAN J. FRENCH


Media General News Service

ne of the unique features of a large track meet is that one person can beat a whole team if that person does well in a lot of events. Midlothian’s Kathleen Lautzenheiser was not the only Trojan to score in this weekend’s Group AAA state meet at the Boo Williams Sportsplex, and she wasn’t the athlete to score the most points (that honor went to Shakeela Saunders, who had all 41 of Great Bridge’s points to place second as a one-woman team). But Lautzenheiser was a big reason why Midlothian finished third with 35 points, behind champion Western Branch (78) and Great Bridge. Lautzenheiser opened the weekend by winning the 3,200meter relay Friday with teammates Claire Benjaman, Marie Johnston and Amy Witt, running the anchor leg to lift the Trojans to a time of 9 minutes, 20.43 seconds to beat second-place West Springfield by more than eight seconds. She came back Saturday to capture the 1,600 despite only having the fifth-fastest seed-time heading into the race. She turned a 4:55.72, besting her seed-time by more than 12 seconds and defeating Ariel Karabinus of Osbourn Park by more than three seconds. Lautzenheiser finished her day by placing second in the 3,200, losing the lead late to Sophie Chase of Lake Braddock and falling by .58 seconds. Still, it was enough for her to have a hand in 28 of the Trojans’ points, and her individual output of 18 would have tied Phoebus for 10th were she a team unto herself. “I was going for a personal best” in the 1,600, Lautzenheiser said, “and I got it by two seconds. I’m pretty excited about that. There’s a lot of competition here, and there’s a better running environment.” After an unexpectedly fruitful

first day of the meet Friday, when area teams won four individual state titles, the Central Region had a quieter day Saturday. The only other individual champion yesterday was Henrico’s DreQuan Hoskey, who won the 55 hurdles in 7.53 to beat Lakeland’s JaQuan Demiel, who had a 7.61. That was an improvement of .17 seconds from his Central Region meet-winning run at the Arthur Ashe Center. “Today, I was more focused,” Hoskey said. “I was more into the race today. I knew I had to bring it harder.” Cody Snyder of Lee-Davis was second in the 1000, and Nikki Nunn placed second in the long jump. Third-place finishers included Quintin Fulgham of Thomas Dale (long jump), Marie Johnson of Midlothian (1,000), Anthony Finney of Varina (300) and Deep Run’s Madalyn Nuckols (3,200). Nuckols was also fourth in the 1,600. Western Branch swept the boys and girls titles, but while the girls won with plenty of room to spare, the boys had to survive a remarkable comeback by Landstown in the meet-ending 1,600 relay. The Eagles, who needed to win the event to pass the Bruins, saw their title hopes dashed when their third-leg runner fell on the backstretch shortly before he was to hand off the baton. But anchor leg runner Darrell Wesh, whose 6.30 in the 55 earlier yesterday was the fastest time among high school runners in the country this year, almost topped that by quickly making up ground on Booker T. Washington’s Jermond Colston and Bethel’s Eric Thomas to set up a scintillating backstretch run to the finish line. Booker T. Washington finished first with a time of 3:26.21, followed by Bethel at 3:26.28 and Landstown at 3:26.31. Brian J. French is a special correspondent for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Final tournament highlights Medford season BY SARA PAGE


oos and aahhs were audible in the James River High School gymnasium last Thursday as a group of students carried a large, purple contraption onto the basketball court. It stood on a pyramid shaped base and extended about 10 feet in the air. The arm terminated at a round end. The contraption is called the “Flame Thrower” in honor of James River’s Medford League basketball team “Rapid Fire.” It was designed by students in the school’s First Organization and Robotics Club and was inspired by a catapult. With the arm extended straight out and flat, athletes load a basketball into the round end. The athlete then holds the attached rope and tugs. The amount of force applied to the rope determines how far the basketball flies when the arm moves into the standing position. “This is a first generation design,” club president Katy Waters said. “We’re currently working on a new, more accurate design that would be more flexible to the needs and abilities of the individual athlete.” The Flame Thrower has been in use for two seasons. During regular season games, the Flame Thrower is brought onto the court at halftime. “We do what we call comp shots,” explained Randy Early, teacher of students with moderate intellectual disabilities at James River High School and coach of Rapid Fire. “At halftime, the students who don’t normally get in the game shoot free throws using the Flame Thrower. For each shot they make, both teams get one point so that the students feel like they’re contributing but we don’t change the scoring margin.” The Flame Thrower is used at all Rapid Fire home games. Thursday’s demonstration was part of the


James River took on Meadowbrook in the Medford League final last week.

Medford League finals, which featured six teams in three shortened exhibition games and culminated in the championship game between James River and Meadowbrook. James River pulled out a thrilling victory in front of a packed house

and showed off their basketball talent. The event also showcased the support that the Medford League has received in the area. James River students packed see MEDFORD page 8

8 || March 4, 2010 ||



Fritz recounts ‘A Moment with a Legend’ BY SARA PAGE


riting is like NASCAR. It takes time to develop; it’s sometimes painful; and it can often feel like you’re going around in circles. And, once you get your first piece published, it feels a whole lot like crossing the finish line. Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz now knows that feeling. “I’m extremely pleased about it. Shocked a bit but pleased,” Fritz said. Fritz joined the ranks of published authors last month with the release of “Chicken Soup for the Soul NASCAR,” the latest in the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series. The book contains 101 stories from folks in various parts of the business from track presidents to drivers and their families and friends. The stories range from funny to touching. Fritz’s story, “A Moment with a Legend,” falls closer to the latter. Beginning on page 15, Fritz recounts his only meeting with the founder of NASCAR, Bill France Sr., and recounts how that meeting touched his career. The then aspiring NASCAR public relations and marketing professional was told simply that “NASCAR is all about family.” Full story online at PHOTO COURTESY OF MCDONALDS

Cosby’s Becca Wann and Jazmin Pitts were recognized for being nominees for the McDonald’s High School AllAmerican team this year. McDonald’s supervisor Rick Neville, right, presented each athlete with basketball gear and gift certificates on behalf of local owner/operator Dave Traub.



Clover Hill is one of the newest additions to Medford League teams this year.

Over Valentine’s Day weekend, Elby Omohundro, a fourth-grader at Robious Elementary School, competed at the 2010 AAU Northeast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Harvard University in Boston. Elby competed in three events in the Bantam Division (long jump, high jump and 400-meter run). Elby won both the long jump and the high jump and set meet records in both events. In the 400-meter event, he came from behind in the last 20 meters, lunging across the finish line to win a third-place PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLAN CARMODY medal by only three hundredths of a second. Elby now Robious Middle School won the 2009-2010 Chesterfield holds three AAU Northeast Conference records. He set the Sub-Bantam Division long jump record in 2009. County Middle School Boys Basketball Championship with a win over Fallen Creek Middle School.

to play. The southern division the gymnasium all mornadded three new teams this ing, cheering on the athletes. year and now features eight The pep band kept the event teams from Monacan, Marocking and the student toaca, L.C. Bird, James River, government association lined Clover Hill, Meadowbrook the sidelines and provided and Prince Edward high a tunnel for the athletes to schools. Athletes typically run through. According to play their games during their Early, the atmosphere was in- lunch periods on Thursdays. dicative of all regular season games for Rapid Fire. “We have had amazing support from the James River community and the SGA,” Early said. The cheering turned to a roar when Rapid Fire was introduced prior to the championship game. As the final athlete ran through the tunnel, the stands erupted into the well-known “Go Rapids” cheer. The Rapids used a bit of a height advantage to pull out a two-point victory then posed with their trophies as an impromptu dance party broke out on the gym floor. “Every team went home with a trophy and T-shirts,” Early said. “We had a couple of students in the Leadership program use their senior projects as fundraisers for this event so that we could purchase the trophies and shirts.” The league is designed for students with intellectual disabilities and features two geographic divisions: one north and the other south of Indian Cuisine the James River. It was developed in the mid 1980s by Z.T. Medford with the goal of giving anyone who wants to play basketball the chance Bring this ad in for 15% OFF (Fri. Sat. & Holidays not included). Expires 3/31/10

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Virginia Dance Festival PHOTOS BY BRIDGET HAZEL

The 11th annual Virginia Dance Festival was held at James River High School on Saturday, Feb. 27. The benefit, created from the vision of Jessica Morgan of Jessica Morgan School of Dance (pictured lower right),

benefited The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Richmond. Both performances of the dance festival with a silent auction has raised over $115,000 for the Richmond Children’s Hospital in the last ten years.

A wide genre of dance performances ranging from Hip Hop to the classic Swan Lake excerpt delighted the audiences at the two shows.

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Local artist Carolyn Schallmo shares her technique with a young visitor during the 4th Friday reception at Art Works, Inc.





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Midlothian Exchange – 03/04/2010 © 2010 by Richmond Suburban Newspapers. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may not...


Midlothian Exchange – 03/04/2010 © 2010 by Richmond Suburban Newspapers. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may not...