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HOLMBERG: RVA, the city that can’t shoot straight

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RICHMOND, Va. - So here we go, another year drifting away bickering about another ballpark proposal.

Fighting, yelling, protesting.

Two sides not giving an inch.

And another classic aim-and-miss for the city can’t shoot straight.

Okay, so the last thing we really hunkered down and pulled the trigger on  – the Canal Walk -  hasn’t turned out so great.

Ditto for the Sixth Street Marketplace and Richmond Centre conventional hall – big visionary plans that missed the mark so badly, they were literally torn down.

This is the same erratic aiming that brought us the Arthur Ashe Jr. Recreation Center, which is basically useless for tennis and just about everything else.

We kind of shocked ourselves and whisked the Redskins training facility here, but we’re still whining about it, wishing it hadn’t happened.

Meanwhile cities like Charlotte and Wilmington and Charleston and San Antonio have found ways to take aim on a strong development plan,  hit the target and grow their cities in health and stature.

It’s like there are just too many people here with just too many reasons not to do anything.

Is it race? Is it class? Is it Virginia Commonwealth University bringing in so many idealistic students who must protest something?

Is it just bad leadership?

Mayor Dwight Jones has managed to build the first city schools in the last three decades. He’s managed to build a new city jail – something that has been desperately needed for that same 30 years.

Crime is back down to 1970s levels. Folks are moving back in the city in droves. The streets are alive again. Restaurants, even a 7-Eleven downtown! A Whole Foods is coming to mid-town, for crying out loud!

New construction, apartments, houses, condos. T-cranes!

There’s money and energy  and confidence here.

It’s high time we decide what Richmond is going to look like. Define it, take aim, and hit it.

Just drifting along is not taking aim.

Even if we’re really good at it.



  • Clutch Martin

    Sports venues don’t always work out fiscally, neither are slick convention centers. The facts are out there, and plenty of cities have wasted millions on pie in sky projects.

    Invigorating the infrastructure is probably a better route.

  • me

    Think there was a Richmond Master Plan once upon a time.
    Think The Richmond Leadership nullified it.
    Think Leadership decisively chose who they actually served:
    Party’s Donor’s/Lobbyists/Contributors/BigCorps/BigFriends’
    Tax Exempt Exclusive Special Interests to Our Money,
    quashing Public’s Say.
    Odd, the City Attorney and Consortium Governance Lawyers
    summarily disregard US IRS Tax Codes on Tax Exempts are
    forbidden to Engage in “Politics”.
    What’s Laws Got to Do With IT, IF it is PC?
    What’s Party Corruption and GIFTGATE(s) Got To Do With IT,
    if it IS PC?
    What does Oath of Office for Elected Public Officials Got To
    Do With It, if it is PC?
    Never try hold a Democrat actually Responsible for their
    decisive actions and decisions; They REFUSE, and will
    run, hide, escape, evade and BLAME everyone else.
    Their LovingRichmond Governance Scams permeate
    Their Positively(?) Richmond.

  • Far West Ender

    The Three P’s: Police the streets. Pave the streets. Provide parking. If these three are done effectively, then the people will provide their own fun and games and commerce. The main problem with the schools? Not the buildings. The upper administration will not do anything about unruly students ruining the work environment for their teachers and the learning environment for their classmates. Remove the unruly students from the classrooms, and watch the remaining students flourish, even if their classrooms are not sparkling and state-of-the-art.

  • Laura

    I agree with the infrastucture. Streets are horrible. Beautification is horrible. No welcome signs. Building buildings when there are so many still vacant. I wont complain too much as Richmond has come a long ways in the last couple of years. But I just have to say that Richmond is not very inviting. People complain about crime but there will be crime in any city you live in. You can’t escape that in a city. The article says crimes is back to 1970’s levels but the way crime is reported on this site you would think we were back in the early 90’s…and if you dont have any common sense you will be sheep and believe what the media wants you to. They report in ways that shape the mind of society. They want you to live in fear and drama. Further, Richmonders dont support things like other cities do. Concerts here dont sell out, etc. Despite all this, I think Richmond is on its way.

  • manalishi

    Most posts here (including Mark’s script) are right on target. Problem is there isn’t a democrat on this planet that can get an honest job done. It’s a terminal character flaw.

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