Tuesday, September 19, 2017

City to Hold Preparedness Day Sept. 23

Mayor Levar M. Stoney is pleased to announce the city of Richmond’s first Preparedness Day. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Fountain Lake at Byrd Park and will include a multitude of Emergency Support Agencies and partners.

“Different times of the year present different risks and hazards, and being prepared just makes sense,” said Mayor Stoney. “This event will help residents make a plan and stay informed in case of emergency situations.”

Preparing in advance is one way residents, area businesses and visitors can minimize the impacts from a disaster, and shorten the recovery time on their homes, families and selves. Residents will be able to take part in Hands Only CPR training through Richmond Ambulance Authority, identify items of importance for their Family Emergency Kits through the Office of Emergency Management, tour the city’s Mobile Command Unit and Emergency Communications Vehicles, as well as meet representatives from both internal and external agencies dedicated to helping our city prepare, respond and recover from disasters that impact our community.

Additional agencies will include: Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Public Utilities, Fire, Police, City of Richmond Health District, Sheriff’s Office and partners such as GRTC, WRIR Radio and the American Red Cross. Participants will not only be able to identify ways of preparing themselves but will also have an opportunity to identify ways they can support their neighbors through volunteering with the city of Richmond’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

It is never too late to listen to sound advice and best practices when it comes to safety. Whether you are just beginning to consider ways of planning and preparing or just want to refresh your ideas and walk away with a renewed determination, Preparedness Day is the event to attend.

City of Richmond – Preparedness Day
Fountain Lake at Byrd Park
Saturday, September 23
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Give a Day RVA is Sept. 23

On Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, the city of Richmond will be participating in a regional day of service called “Give a Day RVA” along with the surrounding counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover, Powhatan, Ashland and Goochland.

“Richmond residents are part of our region’s success, and we welcome this wonderful opportunity to join our neighboring jurisdictions in volunteering for our regional community,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney.

On this day, more than 1,300 volunteers will make a difference at one of more than 55 organized volunteer opportunities across the region. Projects will run from 9 a.m.  – 1 p.m. 
Once projects have been completed, volunteers are invited to join HandsOn at the RVA Street Art Festival. The Street Art Fest occurs throughout the weekend of Sept. 22 - 24 and HandsOn will be on site Sept. 23 with a free treat and fun activities for volunteers. Attendees will come together to celebrate Richmond’s vibrant arts scene, enjoy beautification through public art, food, music, craft vendors and more.

Background: HandsOn Greater Richmond (HandsOn) called on RVA residents to volunteer for this region’s largest day of volunteer service.

Volunteers chose from a variety of ways to give a day and give back – from painting and gardening to neighborhood cleanups and facilities improvements. Give A Day RVA will also feature Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects and “Drop-In” projects, so volunteers who can’t attend in person or can’t commit all morning can still participate.

Give A Day RVA is not only an opportunity for resident volunteers to make an incredible impact on the region, but a catalyst moment to move the Richmond Region forward as we work together to achieve our shared future.

For more information contact Paul.Manning@richmondgov.com or call 646-6528.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

RVA Bike Share Ready to Roll

Mayor Levar M. Stoney will launch the RVA Bike Share program on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 9 a.m. at Kanawha Plaza and lead cyclists on a 2-mile ride from across the Manchester Bridge to the T.Tyler Potterfield Bridge, ending at Brown's Island.

“Bike sharing programs are a community transportation service and desired amenity provided by forward thinking and environmentally conscious cities,” said Mayor Stoney. “I am proud Richmond is now among those leading in this regard.”

Richmond has teamed up with Canada-based Bewegen Technologies Inc., an industry bike share leader, to supply the bicycles and docking stations.The equipment will be maintained by Corps Logistics, a Baltimore-based firm owned and operated by military veterans.

The initial phase includes 220 8-speed bikes and 20 docking stations located throughout the city. A second phase is expected to be implemented in the coming months, doubling the fleet and including electric assist PedElec bikes, making it easier to ride uphill. These hi-tech bicycles will be equipped with a color screen, live GPS and can be unlocked through a mobile app.

RVA Bike Share is a public-private initiative, and Mayor Stoney has written a letter to encourage Richmond’s corporate and business leaders to engage in sponsorship opportunities necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program. Click here to read the mayor’s letter.

Plans for RVA Bike Share have been in the works since 2012. The city was awarded a $1,064,000 federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant in 2014 to start the program, supplementing $280,000 in capital improvement funds made available by the city.

One-way trip and daily passes will be available as well as weekly, monthly and yearly memberships. For more information about RVA Bike Share, pricing, membership and sponsorship opportunities, please visit rvabikes.com.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Your Better Bathroom Is Closer Than You Think

Image of a bathroomBathrooms are by far the largest water users in the home, accounting for 60 percent of all indoor water use. Whether you are making simple fixes with your fixtures or tackling a bigger remodeling project, a better bathroom that saves water in style is closer than you think!
There are more than 24,000 WaterSense labeled models of bathroom fixtures available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and prices to help you create your dream bathroom that also saves water, energy, and money. These fixtures include tank-type toilets, showerheads, sink faucets, faucet accessories, and even flushing urinals for residential bathrooms. A bathroom remodel that replaces older, inefficient bathroom fixtures with WaterSense labeled models provides water savings and satisfaction, since WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models.
Not ready for a full remodel? Dip a foot in the water with these simple “bath hacks” that result in serious savings:
  • Flip that flapper. Most people don’t realize that the rubber flapper in their toilet tank wears out over time and can cause water to be wasted down the drain. Replace that old flapper for a few dollars and put an end to silent toilet leaks.
  • Put a little air in your flow. WaterSense labeled faucet aerators reduce water use in your bathroom sink by 30 percent without a noticeable difference in flow. If your sink already has an aerator, it might be time to change it out for a new, labeled model.
  • Swap out a showerhead. WaterSense labeled showerheads are not only independently certified for spray force and flow, they save water and energy used to heat the water. You’ll clean up every time you wash up!
Learn more to get your better bathroom

Climate Alliance States Have Significant Leverage

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a group of more than a dozen states set on upholding the Paris climate accord goals despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement in early June.

Even with the United States officially out of the Paris accord, some are optimistic that the U.S. can still meet the Paris targets, even without the support of Washington.

For the U.S., that means reducing emissions by 26 percent by 2025, based on 2005 levels. But meeting the Paris targets will likely also mean higher energy costs and tougher regulations.

“Even before the announcement about the Paris Agreement, it was going to be very very difficult,” said Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements.

Collectively, Stavins said, the climate alliance states — including New York, Massachusetts and Minnesota — represent about one-third of U.S. gross domestic product, which gives the alliance some significant leverage.

“The most important thing that these states can do is to link their policies together,” Stavins said. “That will bring down the cost for all of them.”

“The 14 or 12 states that are part of the coalition represent a small and a declining share of total U.S. emissions, because these are the states that have been out ahead already,” Larsen noted.

In addition to the states, over 300 cities are also pledging to help, many of which already have projects underway, such as Richmond, Virginia’s, new $49 million bus rapid transit line, scheduled to open later this fall.

“Just like getting on to a metro train, it's the same thing as that. The signals will all be timed to favor the bus, so the bus is not waiting with traffic like the cars are,” said Alicia Zatcoff, Richmond’s sustainability director.

Developing public transit will help take cars off the road, but without support from Washington, can states still pull the rest of the country along to reach the Paris targets?

“From my vantage point, I think the answer is yes,” Zatcoff said. “We’ve already reduced our emissions 15 percent, and we’re really just getting started.”

Full story here. https://www.marketplace.org/2017/07/18/sustainability/climate-alliance-states-have-significant-leverage

Six Richmond Groups Win Keep Virginia Beautiful Awards

Keep Virginia Beautiful awards grants of $500 to $1,000 for projects in four categories each year: Community Beautification and Greening, Litter Prevention, Recycling, and Cigarette Litter Prevention. In addition, this year there were five bonus grants of $2,000.

A panel of experts review the applications in May and announced the 30 Grants in 30 Days recipients during the month of June. This year's local winners were:

Keep Hopewell Beautiful, Hopewell for Beautification
Richmond Guardian Angels, Richmond for Beautification
Robious Elementary PTA, Midlothian for Recycling
Linwood Holton Elementary PTA, Richmond for Recycling
Richmond Clean City Commission, Richmond for Litter
Friends of Pocahontas State Park, Chesterfield for Beautification
Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program, Richmond for Recycling
Renew Richmond, Richmond for Beautification
Groundwork RVA, Richmond for Litter

Friday, June 30, 2017

How are Richmond's climate resiliency efforts going?

How is Richmond doing with sustainability?