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Why Richmond, Why?!? Helicopters, Drinking in the James and More

leave a comment » : Why Richmond, Why?!? Helicopters, Drinking in the James and More

It’s summer, its hot and its a great time to catch up on the hard-hitting reader questions.

Why does the main DMV on Broad St. have a helicopter pad behind the building? – D.R.

I’ve noticed that before and not wondered why it was there, but it seems odd now that you mention it. I hope it wasn’t built so Dan Snyder (super-rich owner of the Washington Redskins) could drop in to check out the new Redskins Training Center being built across the street.

“The helipad behind DMV headquarters on Broad Street serves as a landing area for the Commonwealth of Virginia and is the only landing area in Richmond not dedicated to medical use,” according to Sunni Brown Blevins, public relations and media liaison with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (yes, she used to be a reporter and anchor for NBC12). She said the helipad has been around since the late 1980s, so we can’t pin that on favoritism for the Redskins.

“With Richmond being the capital of Virginia, you can imagine lots of folks have used it for a variety of reasons over the years including the President of the United States and the Governor of Virginia. The landing area also serves as a backup for VCU Medical Center,” she said.

Why is it illegal to drink beer if you are sitting in the James River and not on land (city property)? – C.K.

OK, this is similar to a question brought up in a recent Why Richmond, Why?!? column pointing out the the river itself isn’t owned by the City of Richmond. Sitting in the James isn’t the same as being 12 miles off the coast of the United States in international waters or even like the theoretical escape from police by driving over a city/county/state line. You’re still in the park and you are still in the city. People have to follow the same laws and rules that apply in that locality, even when they are in the water. Not to spoil all the fun, but that goes for doing/selling drugs, getting naked, having sex, committing crimes and pretty much anything else you shouldn’t do when you are on land.

I saw today, and have seen at other times, people walking around in the Fan, around the Museum District, with blindfolds on and using white canes. I saw them this morning around 9am at around Grove and Hanover. They are clearly not blind. What are they doing? – S.B.

I’ve seen those folks as well and my friend Nathan Cushing at RVA News did a wonderful story on that recently. Those are students from the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired developing skills in blindness and developing confidence in those skills, according to the article.

Why does Richmond purchase and plant extremely small trees with tree gators? I appreciate the effort in planting the trees but what is the purpose of the tree gators ($20) if no one ever puts water in them. I live in Richmond but I work in Fredericksburg and Fredericksburg has a truck that does nothing but drive around the city filling these water bags. What does the city of Richmond have? Do they subcontract this out? I see lots of bags and lots of trees but in my 7 years living in the city I have rarely seen any of these bags filled with water. If the bags aren’t being utilized why not use that money to buy larger trees? – B.W.

Thank you for asking. I love trees and I included this one because I enjoyed the rant, but also wanted to give credit to Richmond Tree Stewards, who dedicate so much time to care for the city’s trees. “Tree Stewards work closely with Urban Forestry and with other organizations interested in the health of our community forest,” according to their website. They are the cheerleaders behind having citizens act as the backup to the City of Richmond when it comes to watering trees. Anybody interested in volunteering to help should start with the Tree Stewards.


Written by vaphc

June 18, 2013 at 6:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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