Monthly Archives: May 2010

Back By Popular Demand

Rachel DePompa – bio | email

The blog is back. It didn’t really go anywhere. I’ve just been lazy in posting lately. I blog when I have free time at work, which is becoming more and more infrequent. This month has been crazy busy. It’s sweeps and after tomorrow I will have had 4 special reports air this month. Excuses, Excuses… but I promise to make an effort to get back to the blogging this week. And, with that said, on to the politics of Richmond…

The Budget: City Council passed the budget Monday night in an 8 to 1 vote. Councilman Bruce Tyler was the lone holdout, but his vote was more a protest to an item left in the budget. Overall, the budget is about $50,000 dollars more than Mayor Dwight Jones had submitted to council. A council spokesperson says total expenditures in the budget were cut by $5.2 million. ($4.6 million is the result of state cuts to education) The council also restored funds for the Spanish Immersion program; a popular class in certain elementary schools where students learn math and science in spanish. The budget lists several interesting expenditures, that I’m already looking in to for a future story. Can’t say more than that yet, because my competition reads my blog!

Mayor’s Response: Last night, Dwight Jones was touting “how few changes” the council made to his budget proposal.  He said, “I am pleased to that City Council has embraced our outcomes-based budgeting plan with an overwhelming vote.” He went on to say, “This outcomes-based approach will allow us to more thoroughly shape a vision for the future of the city.”

Night Club Ordinance: The mayor and several council members introduced a new ordinance to help the city better regulate problem night clubs. It’s basically a dance hall permit, which other localities already have in place. It applies to businesses where dance floors take up more than 10% of the business.  If approved, the ordinance would require establishments to obtain a $100 annual permit. The permit could be revoked after an administrative hearing if the business is deemed a public nuisance. Club owners and event promoters would also have to pass criminal background checks. The ordinance would also establish requirements for security. So, how do businesses in Richmond feel about the ordinance???? Looking for those answers now. Let me know what you think of  the plan.

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Filed under City Hall Talk, Night Club Ordinance

Random Thoughts on the UVA Lacrosse Murder

Rachel DePompa – bio | email

It’s been more than a week since I sat outside Yeardley Love’s apartment in Charlottesville wondering what happened. I finally felt comfortable sitting down today to process my thoughts. I’ve covered a lot of tragedies and murders over the last decade, and for some reason the acts of violence on college campuses hit me hardest. Maybe it’s because I still yearn for the days of being a carefree student at the University of Maryland. Maybe it’s because covering the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, left an undefinable hole in my heart. Maybe it’s because college kids are literally on the cusp of adulthood. Whatever the reason, my drive to Charlottesville last Monday was sad.

At the time, I knew that a student athlete was dead. I had no idea it was a woman; that she played lacrosse; that she was a fourth year, three weeks from graduation. I had no idea her ex-boyfriend was in custody. I had no idea he too played lacrosse, was a fourth year just weeks from graduation. All of that information makes the story all the  more heartbreaking; but it also shines a great big light on a topic people often whisper about, gossip about, but don’t always take seriously. Domestic violence issues in young relationships are now in the limelight. And if that’s the one thing that helps us make sense of this terrible tragedy, so be it.

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Filed under Crime, UVA Lacrosse Death