YEAR IN REVIEW: July

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Committee reports on nurturing Chesterfield’s older communities

“New growth and development has long been the dominant issue that has defined Chesterfield County. However, Chesterfield County is no longer a new suburban community.” -- From The Path Forward: Sustaining Chesterfield County’s Older Communities, a report presented to the Board of Supervisors as a result of work done by Chesterfield’s Sustain Our Communities Committee (SOCC).

The report suggests:

  • That communities need to have the ability to self-help through community organizations, professional staff assistance and leadership training.
  • Expanding neighborhood cleanup efforts and creating a pattern book that would suggest ways to modernize homes that are beginning to age.
  • Targeting physical and social resources and nonprofit funds to critical neighborhoods, focusing private and public resources on housing rehabilitation and expanding community policing.

Residents jump, waitress to raise money for MS

A group of children raised $178 for the National MS Society with a jump-rope-a-thon in July at the Stoney Glen subdivision pool. The Team 4Strong fundraising team also waitressed at Howlett’s Restaurant to raise money.

Rep. Forbes opens Chester campaign office

U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes opened a campaign office in Chester in a building located at Harrowgate and Old Hundred roads. Forbes’ defeated Democrat Dr. Wynne LeGrow, a retired Emporia physician, in the November election. After the election, Forbes moved his office to the Courthouse area.

A CMS sing of a different color

At Chester Middle School in July, a crew painted the school’s blue sign with the maroon of Thomas Dale High School, a symbol of the building’s transformation to the ninth-grade academy for Thomas Dale.

Team Chesterfield participates in ICG

While in Bahrain for the International Children’s Games, Chesterfield athletes, coaches and volunteers visited a historic palace in Manama, Bahrain. At the games, athletes participated in events with students from around the world.

Commission recommends denial of landfill request

After more than a dozen residents shared concerns about the proposal, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended denial of a request from the Shoosmith Bros. Inc. landfill.

“Listening to these folks tonight … they have concerns, and that’s who we represent, are the people of this county,” Matoaca Commissioner F. Wayne Bass said, drawing applause from the audience.

The Shoosmith Bros. Inc. landfill, located just off Iron Bridge and Lewis Roads, was started in 1976 and permitted for 200 acres of the 600-acre site. In 1997, Shoosmith sought to add 200 acres to the landfill and made 24 proffers during that application and approval process.

The company sought changes to two of those proffers and one covenant to allow: The acceptance of out-of-state trash in the new section of the landfill; landfill and quarrying operations in the quarry at the same time; and the addition of more waste to an area of the landfill that has been capped.

Thirteen residents spoke in opposition to the request, and most complained about the landfill’s odor.

Tim Vermaaten, an Arbor Landing resident, said complaints about the landfill’s odor continued to roll in. When it’s hot, the landfill blames the odor on the heat, he said, and when it rains, the rain is to blame.

“Nothing has been done to mitigate the odor problem,” he said. “All they have is nothing but excuses.”

George Allen kicks off Tavern Talk

Former U.S. Sen. George Allen held a book signing for his book What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports as a prelude to Tavern Talk, the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia’s fundraising project. Asked whether he would announce a run for the Senate in 2012, he said:

“Perhaps. A lot of folks have been encouraging me. When you look at what is going on in Washington, everything looks to be against us. Right now, I am helping out folks running in 2010.”

Community steps up to help Chester sisters

In the wake of the June 23 shooting that left them essentially parentless, offers of aid for Chester sisters Cherry, Hanna, Vanessa and Molly Parker rolled in.

“We hope we can keep the interest going, because there’s a lot that they need to take care of,” said Barbara Schecter, a River’s Bend resident who helped organize a yard sale to benefit the sisters.

The sisters’ father, Richard E. Parker, 56, shot and killed their mother, Cindy M. Parker, 45, in the parking lot of a local restaurant during a domestic dispute, according to information from police. He also shot Michael Dudley, 18, a recent Thomas Dale High School graduate who attempted to intervene.

Schecter got involved in the effort after she saw an article detailing the sisters’ situation in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

 “I think most of us here in the neighborhood thought family had stepped in” to help the Parker sisters in the wake of the shooting, she said. But in the article, she said, she read the sisters had no help, no insurance and were faced with selling their home in River’s Bend. “It just kind of struck a note with me.”

In the days after the sisters’ situation was made known, a host of people offered assistance. One homeowner offered to pay their electric bills for six months, and someone else agreed to donate $800 a month to the sisters indefinitely, she said. Volunteers also helped do work around the house.

Voice of local sports is quiet

If you are a fan of local sports and didn’t know Terry Sisisky, you at least knew his voice. But on Thursday, July 22, 2010, Terry’s voice fell silent. Terry Robin Sisisky died at home with his family and loved ones around him.

Terry, 58, affectionately known as the “T-man,” spent 35 years broadcasting high school, collegiate and tournament sports in Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights. He was the voice of VCU Men’s Basketball for 27 years, VCU Women's Basketball and VCU Baseball games for 15 years, as well as Petersburg High School Basketball. For 16 years, Terry broadcasted the Boys Invitational Baseball (BIB) Tournament for the Colonial Height Optimists on local radio station WGGM.

Terry was inducted into the Richmond Broadcasters Hall of Fame in May 2006. He received the Frank Soden Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the VCU Athletics Hall of Fame, as well as the VCU Baseball Hall of Fame.

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