Governor’s Transportation Plan Hits Roadblock

By Whitney Spicer and Alix Hines, Capital News Service

All 20 of Virginia’s Democratic senators — including Vienna-area Sens. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) and Janet Howell (D-Reston) — voted against Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation plan late Tuesday, effectively blocking the Senate’s version of the proposal for this legislative session.

The move makes it less likely Gov. Bob McDonnell will pass a transportation package in his last year in office.

While the House amended and approved a version of the plan, HB 2313, earlier Tuesday, sending it to the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Democrats “vowed to block any proposal that generated less than $1.2 billion a year in new roads money,” the Washington Examiner reports. Continue reading “Governor’s Transportation Plan Hits Roadblock”

In Richmond, Vice President Biden discusses guns

By Katherine Johnson
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Vice President Joe Biden held a roundtable discussion about gun violence Friday at Virginia Commonwealth University, saying “we cannot remain silent” on the issue.

The discussion was closed to the public, but in his closing remarks, Biden said the panel discussed universal background checks, gun safety, gun trafficking and the “need to expand mental health capacity across the country. We talked about access, and we talked about resources.” Continue reading “In Richmond, Vice President Biden discusses guns”

Food Day promotes sustainability at VCU

Students, experts and activists gathered to promote healthy, sustainable dining and to learn how to eat well on a budget during three days’ worth of events for National Food Day.

Representatives from VCU, the Fulton Hill area and other organizations working across the city met on Oct. 22 to discuss access to healthy food in Richmond in a “Food Justice in Our Community” panel discussion.

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VCU Qatar student compares campuses after visit to Richmond

After seeing VCU’s Monroe Park Campus, VCU Qatar student Marianne Bermejo noted that there are vast differences between VCU’s Richmond campuses and her home campus at VCU Qatar.

VCU Qatar is made up of around 250 students, she said. This is a far cry from the Richmond campuses that enroll over 31,000 students. Bermejo explained that all majors are housed in a single building at the VCU Qatar campus, which is located in an area known as Education City in the country’s capital of Doha. Education City houses satellite campuses from a number of American universities, including Georgetown, Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon.

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Food Day is Coming

Kids at Richmond Public Schools will have a chance to see if they like kale chips as part of the community’s second annual celebration of Food Day on Wednesday (Oct. 24).

“Richmond Public Schools have put together a menu of options that different schools can select from, says Stacy Luks, a member of Slow Food RVa’s leadership board and the coordinator of Richmond Food Day 2012. “They are going to be doing kale-chip tasting on Food Day, if not the whole week.”

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Fighting cancer, one relay round at a time

EDITOR’S NOTE: This semester has partnered with VCU’s School of Mass Communications “iPadJournos” mobile and social media journalism project. Those VCU students reported the following story.

By Alix Hines and Tina Irizarry (Special to

RICHMOND, VA – Shaun Kelley has already survived one round of cancer, but is now battling the disease again. To support his own and others’ fight against cancer, he came to VCU’s Relay for Life event on Saturday with his daughter Adrienne Wass and his wife Sue.

The VCU organizers counted more than 50 teams and 505 participants who walked the track one round at a time at West Cary Street. At the end, the organization had raised $37,000 for the American Cancer Society, just short of its annual fundraising goal of $40,000.

“The participation of all the youth is very special, because I think young people now are more aware of cancer and the possibility of getting cancer. You hear more on the news about children having cancer and young people having cancer,” Kelley said.

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Downtown garden to produce fresh produce for soup kitchens

EDITOR’S NOTE: This semester has partnered with VCU’s School of Mass Communications “iPadJournos” mobile and social media journalism project.  Those VCU students reported the following story.

By Alix Hines and Tina Irizarry (Special to

RICHMOND, Va. – W. B. Braxton-Bantu had a “meager meal” for breakfast at Conrad Soup Kitchen on a recent Sunday morning. It consisted only of a small portion of oatmeal and a cup of coffee. He said that it’s difficult for soup kitchens to provide fresh fruits and vegetables.

Braxton-Bantu is just one of the hundreds of people living around Richmond without knowing where their next meal will come from and how nutritious it will be. But Green Unity, a VCU student organization, wants to change that. The students are planning a community garden next to the Larrick Student Center on the MCV Campus that will provide fresh produce to the Central Virginia Food Bank and local soup kitchens.

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