2010 in review: Q1

Instead of highlighting our biggest and/or best stories of 2010 through a great big list, we’re breaking things down quarter by quarter. This will hopefully make things a bit more digestible and give us a chance to point out some little gems that might have gotten missed amongst the “SNOMG UKROP’S” hullabaloo. So here we go: Q1

Like we mentioned in yesterday’s photographic tribute to 2010, we’re going to take some time this week to highlight this year’s biggest and/or best stories. Rather than giving you one long, exhaustive list, we’re breaking it down by quarters. This will hopefully make things a bit more digestible and give us a chance to point out some little gems that might have gotten missed amongst the “SNOMG UKROP’S” hullabaloo. So here we go: Q1 (that’s January, February, and March, fyi).

Right before Christmas of 2009, the Ukrop’s finally admitted they were selling. Cartoonist Chris OBrion stretched the Ukrop’s conversation (and inevitable debate) right into 2010 with the question “How do we memorialize Ukrop’s?”

As is customary when a new year begins, we spent some time in January reflecting on how Richmond did during the previous year, paying particular attention to Richmond’s homicide rates in 2009. Our audience’s love for chartsandgraphs also became quite, quite apparent.

January also saw the opening of Strange Matter, a place that offered shows, cheap burgers, and access to arcade games for just 25 cents a pop — AKA “heaven” for many. And in the world of local music, Dean over at RVAJazz was gearing up for the 2010 RVAJazzfest.

In local pop culture news (which I guess is a thing?), we opened up nominations for the RVA Internet Awards in mid-January (ohhhh the people that came out of the woodwork with THAT one), we created Ask the Gene Cox Oracle, and VCU student Caressa Cameron was crowned Miss America.

We wasted no time getting right down to business in February, tackling two key issues head-on: health insurance mandates and making out.

Then we got some snow. And then it took forever for the snow to go away because the city had some…problems. The following week it was announced that Giant-Carlisle had acquired 25 Ukrop’s stores. The-Stores-Formerly-Known-As-Ukrop’s would sell alcohol and be open on Sundays. Heavens to Betsy!

After the double-punch of poor weather and the prospect of FOR REAL having to say goodbye to Ukrop’s, our spirits were lifted to high heights by a very special flying squirrel, public expressions of love for this city, the bestowing of local Internet honors, and a really sweet bike show.

And then we talked about school budget cuts. WOMP. But there were more chartsandgraphs. YAY!

March started off just fabulously with the debut of our Weather section, headed up by the wonderful Weather Dan (who is just about dead after tracking last weekend’s storm, the poor guy).

Believe it or not, Ross The Publisher contributed two, count ’em two, non-chartsandgraphs pieces in March. First he talked about kids and video games; then he told you where to drink beer in the city as part of our St. Patrick’s Day guide. And then, for about two weeks after publishing those pieces, he would often sigh, get a dreamy, far-off look in his eye and say, “Guys, remember when I wrote those two awesome things? Let’s talk about how awesome they were.” And he would make us. (Kidding!) (Sort of!)

Patrick Henry School was a big topic of conversation in March as it conducted a lottery for slots for the first class of kids to walk through its doors. The actual location of those doors was also a bit uncertain for a while there.

And as a few folks in Richmond were campaigning to bring Google Fiber to town, Ukrop’s twisted the knife in our collective Richmond heart by releasing the schedule outlining when their beloved grocery stores would be converted into MARTIN’S stores.

Next Wilco came and people got all mad about how Richmond audiences can be sucky, but then we ran pictures of the 10k and everyone was like, “Oh, Richmond, I guess you’re not so bad.”

Tune in tomorrow for Q2 (AKA April through June)!

(Image by Johnny Hugel, originally published in Hey, hey, hey, it’s the 10k!)

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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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