Posts Tagged ‘oregon hill’

Venture Richmond is again trying for a project residents don’t want. Here is more from Oregon Hill resident Scott Burger:

Hi,

I want to apologize in advance if I seem particularly agitated or distracted these days.

I am trying to stay cool with this Venture Richmond proposal, but yesterday someone who I thought was my friend suggested that if Oregon Hill residents did not like the Venture Richmond plan, maybe we should just all move to Short Pump, because right now, we live near “RVA’s main event location”. I have to tell you, I am not moving to Short Pump, but if things keep up, I know there will be serious pressure from my wife to move to southern NJ.

As my neighbor Matt stated, As it is, I live in the MIDDLE of Oregon Hill and I can hear concerts at Brown’s Island INSIDE MY HOUSE. Now they want to put an amphitheater closer than that? Really?! The city won’t even give me a permit to put a toilet in my garage, and Venture Richmond gets to ruin the quality of life for an entire neighborhood?

If you can, I would certainly appreciate anything you can do to influence the Planning Commission before Monday. Here’s more about that:

The Planning Commission on Monday will be considering the “location, character and extent” of the use of City of Richmond property as part of the proposed project.  (Venture Richmond has yet to apply to have the property rezoned.)  We can address the fact that this is the wrong “location” for the amphitheater, because it will harm the canal and negatively impact the neighborhood and War Memorial with major parking and noise problems.  It is also important to address the “extent” of the project, since if the project is confined below the canal it would avoid damage to the canal and the parking and noise problems would be reduced.

An amphitheater is not a permitted use in the area above the canal (zoned R-03 — residential office).  We must not allow that area above the canal to be rezoned, because once it is re-zoned Venture Richmond can put an amphitheater there “by right.”  Unless Venture Richmond applies for a “conditional” rezoning (which is unlikely) there will be no restrictions other than the general restictions under the zoning category.

If the venue is confined to the area below the canal it will avoid the need to damage the canal, and the volume and parking problems would be reduced.
Venture Richmond already operates Brown’s Island, and their main stage should logically go on that island where the noise and parking is less problematic.

Secretary of the Planning Commission: Lory.Markham@RichmondGov.com

More background (and a lot of important history):

http://www.oregonhill.net/2013/09/03/60-pages-on-venture-richmonds-amphitheater-proposal/

Hope you all are doing well.

Thank you,

Scott Burger
scottburger@me.com

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Wednesday, September 7th, 8PM – at the Flying Brock Library (our friends) in Oregon Hill at 506 South Pine Street. We will be doing our usual Open Hours from 4-7:30 then biking on over to the Flying Brick for this event. Join us!

After a series of murders at the hands of the police last Winter, the city of Seattle was the ground for a surge of revolt beyond the control of both managed protests and state repression. After a long period of quiet, people broke years of inertia to interrupt the lie of social peace–and anarchists played a critical role in fueling the fires.

Two participants in these events will present their analysis of anti-police tension, the forces that maintain social order, and the strategies and tactics used by anarchists to deepen social rupture.

Afterward, we will have an open discussion about ongoing struggles in Seattle and Richmond, and potential points for future conflicts.

As always, Flying Brick events are sober unless otherwise noted. Please don’t bring any drugs, alcohol, or show up intoxicated. Thanks! Hope to see all of you there!

Channel 8 news aired a piece tonight in response to Todd Woodson’s  inaccurate post on oregonhill.net – Unfortunately the news coverage did little to correct the many errors and problems in Todd’s original post.

While they had the opportunity to show both sides of this issue, Rochelle Dean, or some editor at Channel 8 news clearly decided not to. Rochelle Dean actually contacted Food Not Bombs today, and came to the Wingnut to interview Eric Scott about this situation. She recorded a lengthy interview with him, and then also engaged in conversation about the issue with 2 bystanders. Eric got about 10 seconds in the actual news coverage, while Todd Woodson received much more.

Todd Woodson is only mentioned in this ‘news’ piece as an Oregon Hill resident, not a member of the Monroe Park Advisory Council, the group pushing for a particular set of renovation plans that are clearly part of a gentrification agenda. That would pretty clearly be a relevant aspect to mention in this story.

Also, the fact that the time stamp on Todd’s photos does not match the day he says he was there, as mentioned in a previous Wingnut post, was not included in Channel 8’s story. That discrepancy deserves acknowledgement. (more…)

This article was posted on the Oregon Hill neighborhood website by Todd Woodson. He gives his perspective on the Monroe Park Advisory Council and the history leading up to their current renovation plans. What is more interesting than the article itself is the comments. Online Commenter ‘Michael’ does a really nice job of arguing the reasons for keeping Monroe Park open during renovations.

‘Michael’, who is not associated with Food Not Bombs or other programs in the park  says:

“Renovations are done to important city infrastructure in segments ALL THE TIME. We don’t close the entire Fan District to address water pipes and repaving and whatever else has been worked on in the city. The park is an important resource to a lot of people, it would be very sad for it to be completely closed off for 18+ months.

As I understand it, the park has been used for feeding programs because of its openness and central location. It is a gathering place, a public space where people who aren’t as fortunate as you and I can go to gather their wits without having to deal with being constantly observed and shuffled about by owners of a building. It is a free space in a central location with public facilities, with lighting and nature and a variety of patrons. Its a special place that should not be shut down in the opinion of quite a many number of people who are tax-payers and concerned citizens.

Why not fight for this or that? I’m not in the business of deciding what is better for other people. This is a public place that others CHOOSE to utilize. We don’t have to bus people in and out, no one has to maintain a building, no one has to be shut away from the public eye, this is a public space and in my heart I believe it should remain that way. Want to renovate? Great, do renovations in the park, but find a way to do it without closing it down and locking people out. (more…)

Charles Samuels and the Monroe Park Advisory Council are putting a lot of energy into telling people that the renovations of Monroe Park must be done all at once with the entire park fenced off for the duration. The cite money as one of the major factors of this. And they have also frequently insisted that it is basically impossible to do the construction in stages. At last night’s meeting they even had Glenn Telfer, an engineer from Draper Aden Associates, get up and speak to the need to close down the entire park to do the necessary renovations.

However, I (Mo Karn) went up to Glenn Telfer after he spoke and asked him about the possibility of doing the renovation of Monroe Park in stages. He said it was of course possible, though potentially more costly. But plans for a staged renovation keepig a section of the park open the whole time could be made. He said if the City of Richmond wanted such plans drawn up he or his firm would.

If you think about it, lots of utility work and construction on public use areas is done in stages. Take roads for example. When a highway like 64 has to be repaved, they do not just shut down the entire highway to repave it at once. They repave roads in stages. Yes, it takes longer and can cost more money to do this work in stages. However, VDOT and the City of Richmond frequently do important renovation work in stages because they are balancing the financial cost with the human cost. It would be incredibly inconvenient for entire roads to be shut down for repaving, or entire lengths of roads shut down at once for working on water mains or what have you.

Public works projects are commonly done in stages, at a slightly higher cost, because the idea is to avoid inconveniencing people too much during renovations. It is possible that the only reason this has not been the suggested method of construction in this case is because the folks making decisions about the Monroe Park plans do not place value on the people they will be inconveniencing the most. At best this is an oversight on their part. One which we wish to point out.  The people who use Monroe Park ARE valuable. It would be incredibly harmful for a variety of reasons to shut down the entire park, just like it would too harmful to shut down all of Chamberlayne to re-pave it. The park is used by a lot of different people and has developed many different types of community and connection through the interactions of people in that space. Not only will homeless people be inconvenienced, but also VCU students, Oregon Hill residents, and many others.

The engineer at the meeting also mentioned that they were dealing with some unknowns in terms of what exactly is under the park as utilities.  This makes it seem even more important that a section of the park remains open. Unknowns might make the renovations take much longer than the projected time period. Who knows, this might even turn into some Big Dig fiasco. The unknowns and lengthy time period make it vital that a section of the park remain available. If not we may have VCU students who miss out on using the park for years of their Richmond experience, homeless who can’t connect to other homeless or any homeless services, and a city missing a vital greenspace.

Other things to consider are that Monroe Park has the only public restrooms and drinking fountain in the area. If these will be unavailable, there need to be others made available and well advertised.  If not, where will people go to the bathroom without risking trespassing or public urination charges? If there is not a supply of public drinking water how will people with little or no money stay hydrated through a hot Richmond summer? (more…)

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective is working in the Southern Barton Heights neighborhood to help facilitate community autonomy and solidarity. One of the things we have noticed and heard is that the community needs a place to come together. For those not familiar with the area, it is lacking in businesses or public spaces. There is 1 bar, 2 corner stores, and a garage. The area barber shop closed down months ago. Aside from the churches and the mosque in the neighborhood, there are not any public community spaces. There is no place for people to come together indoors to have casual conversations, play games, learn from each other etc. The Wingnuts have been trying to work on purchasing a second building for use as a community center. We have so far not had much luck- encountering people trying to hoard properties in order to get a much larger amount from people actively gentrifying/developing for profit, and banks who cater their sales to developers who purchase dozens of properties at once.
Our solution in the mean time is to start having open hours at the Wingnut. The Open Hours model is one similar to that of many radical spaces, including Oregon Hill’s Flying Brick Library. Our intention with open hours is not to compete with the Flying Brick, but to provide a more local space for our community to come together. We have tabled with fliers advertising the Flying Brick and found that while people in our neighborhood were interested in the idea when we explained it to them, Oregon Hill is too far to expect folks to go just to check out something they are unfamiliar with like a radical library. The history of Oregon Hill as a white neighborhood, with some avidly racist inhabitants, also makes the area less appealing to people from our neck of the woods.
Open Hours are just that- open. You are welcome to come hang out, look at books, work on a project, drink tea, talk, do your homework, write, play a game etc. You don’t have to want to engage in a particular activity to come use the space. Open hours are intended to create a community space. For both the Southern Barton Heights and the radical/anarchist community.
If you want to volunteer at open hours, get involved, donate supplies or books or snacks, just get in touch. We would love your participation! wingnut_collective@yahoo.com or 804 303 5449 or 2005 Barton Avenue

What can you expect to find at Wingnut Open Hours:

Wednesdays from 4pm-10pm
Fridays from 4pm-10pm

Radical Lending Library- (more…)

The Oregon Hill community blog posted about the Richmond Zine Fest and had pictures of the Wingnut table and the Flying Brick table.

http://www.oregonhill.net/2010/10/17/richmond-zine-festival-yesterday/