2015 in review: Q1

Our favorite articles from the first three months of 2015. And what months they were!

Photo by Trevor Dickerson

It’s time to look back over our year of putting a ton of content up on the RVA webs! It’s a particularly meaningful year for me, as it is my first as full-time Managing Editor. I’ve learned a lot, particularly that man, you have GOT to stay on top of your email or the mass of unanswered messages will become a living, breathing thing that haunts your dreams.

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January brought with it the Mayor’s State of the City address at the shiny and new Huguenot High School. He didn’t lay out a whole lot of concrete plans, just a plea for us all to keep in mind what’s important (public schools, reducing poverty, attracting employers, investing in infrastructure, and investing in local employees) and what isn’t (insert your own opinions here, I’ll save mine).

VCU also gave their “State of the” address, and new RPS superintendent Dana Bedden announced the Academic Improvement Plan.

Plus, who could forget McDonnell’s sentencing!

Beloved local independent radio station WRIR celebrated their 10th anniversary, and Andrew Cothern rounded up their thoughts, feelings, and anecdotes about it all! In other Beloved Richmond Things news, it was announced that the Westhampton Theater would close at the end of this year, and later on, we got a lot of stories from Westhampton employees past.

January also marked our first-ever Fitness Week, which taught us much about different ways to be fit in body, mind, and soul and will return this year as an expanded Fitness Fortnight.

We got really into the Richmond International Film Festival. Like really, really into it, and we plan on doing the same IF NOT MORE SO this year, so hold on to your rear ends!

Speaking of film, VCUarts helped shoot a real film, directed by Angus Macfadyen, which has yet to be released, much to my disappointment. I cannot wait to see this RVA version of MacBeth.

Ramen took over Richmond, and we welcomed it with open mouths!

Our most-read story in January

Early Bird Biscuit: Out of time, out of this world, a Nathan Cushing joint! Solely because of our efforts, Early Bird has now done so well that they are moving to an expanded location in the Fan. JK, JK.


Our best headline

An unfortunate juxtaposition on Westmoreland Street by Trevor Dickerson.

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Photo courtesy The Valentine


Alfred Durham became our new Chief of Police!

We urged everyone so hard to vote for Shaka Smart in the ESPN Infiniti Coaches Challenge.. We’re sure glad that FRIENDS got a lot of money from that, but…sad. #thanksshaka

It turns out you can spend many, many hours elbow-deep in historical photos at the Valentine, and I suggest you do so. This project allowed me to locate a trillion amazing photos that we used to celebrate Black History Month.

That very month closed with a party that I started out just wanting to promote but insteady I ended up engrossing myself in history. You are hereby invited to engross your own self.

Valentine’s Day came and went, as it always does, and hopefully many people used Andrew Cothern’s advice for making mixtapes. And we certainly hope you got a chance to listen to Dr. Katherine Bettin talk to us about love and relationships in her trademark soothing way.

As Trevor Dickerson reported–with much useful information–University of Richmond announced its 10th president, Ronald Andrew Crutcher.

Amanda Gibson did this fascinating and highly instructive piece on opportunity cost around your family’s finances, and Grand Martin gave us a look into the history of the Byrd Park temperance fountain. Not to be outdone, Hayley DeRoche contributed this article about how effing frustrating it is to get fair maternity leave.

Our most-read story in February

Best Supporting Commonwealth: Virginia in a starring role. We definitely got way into films in Q1.

Our best headline

Don’t get too attached to running water by Richard Hayes.

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I talked a lot about how the boys in my family went to–and are now obsessed with–a particular summer camp in upstate New York. Turns out, a lot of people can relate!

Stephanie Ganz sat down with three new food people who now seem like OLD food people, they’re so established. I guess never say never in the food world, though, right?

A new grocery store!! A new grocery store!! Trevor Dickerson gave us the goods on Aldi.

VCU won the A10 tournament, but (speaking of downers) didn’t last too long in the NCAA. However, our brick brackets were pretty fun to look at. Things would continue to go downhill for the Rams in April, when Shaka Smart broke everyone’s hearts and left Richmond, vowing never to return. In true jilted lover fashion, everyone now revels in any of his perceived failures at University of Texas.

How much do we love Josiah Lockhart!? His piece about the sad, sad face of meat and the breeding of animals made us want to elect him Person in Charge of Whatever Will Change This. Josiah is now in Scotland, which is pretty sad for us!

Stephanie Ganz and I went to the 2015 Ipanema Beer Dinner and may or may not have made fools of ourselves. My notes deteriorated over the course of the evening.

Reddit sure thought this Spring Mulch Spreading Party at Triangle Tot Lot headline was funny, and enjoyed talking about what a lame party that would be! It took us a minute to figure out why we had a huge traffic spike, but there it was. Mulch jokes.

We got two new state songs, after a bitter competition! One is clearly superior to the other, if you ask me, but nobody did, really.

This native plant article we did has been mentioned in our office approximately 100 times since.

Oh, that French Film Festival really stole our hearts! As did the VMFA’s Art of the Flower exhibit.

Our most-read story in March

The Irish had a rough time in Richmond, reported Grant Martin, which he didn’t quite mean to ruin your St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, I remember him asking if we really wanted to publish this, because it was kind of a downer. To which I said, “Let us give the people downers!” or something. Anyway, there it is.

Our best headline

Raccoon tests positive for rabies ends up being strangled by 75-year-old woman by Richard Hayes. Stranger than fiction!

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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