Plus, our last budget breakdown
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Today’s Forecast

95º | Partly cloudy | 5% chance of rain | Sunrise 6:30 a.m. | Sunset 7:54 p.m.

You’re a poet and we know it
A stack of books on a wooden porch swing.
Think you’ve got what it takes to turn this newsletter into a poem? | Photo by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels
Calling all readers: In honor of National Poetry Month, you’re officially invited to enter RICtoday’s first poetry contest.

This contest is open to all, and the rules couldn’t be more simple: Turn today’s newsletter into a poem.

We’ll clarify. Using only the words that appear in this newsletter, craft an original poem of up to 75 words. The words do not have to appear in the order they’re found — mix and match how you please. Any word appearing anywhere in today’s newsletter is fair game, including the ones you’re reading right now (we’ll throw some fun ones at you: Pink. Gusto. Enchilada.). If a word appears once, you can only use it once.

The rules:
  • Submit your poem here by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 16.
  • Include a title + author’s name in your submission. Titles are an exception to the rule, and do not need to pull words from the newsletter.
  • Poems, excluding title and author’s name, must be 75 words or less.
The fun stuff:
  • While we’ve placed a pretty big limitation on your poem’s words, the form + direction is up to you — and we can’t wait to see what you all come up with.
  • The Editorial team behind RICtoday will narrow submissions down to a group of finalists based on style, originality, artistic quality, and creativity. Finalists will be announced in our Friday, April 21 newsletter and we’ll ask our readers to vote for their favorite poem. The winner’s poem will be featured in our Wednesday, April 26 newsletter.
  • Pro tip: To make the process easier on yourself, you can print out today’s issue, highlight the words you find most interesting, and cross them out as you include them in your poem.
  • Don’t forget to keep track of your articles (words like “the” or “and”).
Happy writing, Richmond!
Wednesday, April 5
  • UR Symphony Orchestra | Wednesday, Apr. 5 | 7:30 p.m. | Modlin Center for the Arts Camp Concert Hall, 435 Westhampton Way, Richmond | Free | Enjoy the talents of the University’s largest music ensemble as they perform a varied program of classical repertoire.
Thursday, April 6
  • Pollyanna, Dollar Signs | Thursday, Apr. 6 | 6:30 p.m. | Richmond Music Hall, 623 E. Main St., Richmond | $15 | Pulses and Holdover will also play at this night of rock and power punk.
  • Improv: Action Pack | Thursday, Apr. 6 | 7:30 p.m. | Coalition Theater, 8 W. Broad St., Richmond | $5-$10 | A team of veteran improvisers bring you a night of laughs with guest acts.
Friday, April 7
  • After 5 Fridays: Quatro Na Bossa | Friday, Apr. 7 | 6-8 p.m. | VMFA, 200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond | Free | Explore the museum and enjoy the sounds of the Brazilian Bossa Nova band in the atrium.
  • Test Pattern 07: Holland Andrews | Friday, Apr. 7 | 7-10:30 p.m. | Institute for Contemporary Art, 601 W. Broad St., Richmond | Free | Experience work by the vocalist, composer, and performance artist.
Saturday, April 8
  • Spring Market | Saturday, Apr. 8 | 12 p.m. | The Answer Brewpub, 6008 W. Broad St., Richmond | Free | Shop from local vendors, enjoy beer pours, and fill up on Ato’s Sisig & Grill, Eat My Eggroll, and Noah’s Rockin’ Buns.
Sunday, April 9
  • Carytown Egg Hunt | Sunday, Apr. 9 | 12 p.m. | Carytown Shopping District, West Cary Street, Richmond | Free | Bring the family to hunt for eggs in local businesses and find treats and discounts inside.
Sunday, April 30
  • Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival | Sunday, April 30 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, 99 Harry M. Hallman Jr. Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC | Free | This festival pays tribute to Mount Pleasant’s local shrimping and fishing industry with a boat parade, live music, a shrimp eating contest, and activities with the Charleston Harbor for a backdrop.*
Click here to have your event featured.
Fact or Fiction: Debunking 5 common home maintenance myths
An HVAC Unit outside,
The spring season is the perfect time for cleaning and doing home maintenance. | Photo provided by Logan Ellinger and Woodfin - Your Home Team
Let’s filter through the myths and facts, Richmond. The spring season is a great time to start fresh, get organized, and handle some serious cleaning + home maintenance, so we’re teaming up with Woodfin - Your Home Team and HVAC Service Manager, Larry Stone to clear the air by addressing some common spring maintenance myths.

Fact or Fiction: Air filters only need to be changed once a year.

This is fiction. Even the most highly efficient media filters and air cleaners benefit from servicing more than once a year (the amount of service needed depends on its working conditions).

Fact or Fiction: Your HVAC system does not need to have a tune-up before you start using your air conditioning.

This is fact. Your system can start and run without maintenance, but annual equipment maintenance by a qualified HVAC technician is recommended. Proper maintenance ensures that your cooling equipment is operating properly, safely, and efficiently (which can reduce energy bills). Schedule a tune up.*
News Notes

  • 88º | Mostly sunny | 8% chance of rain
  • The trickle down of special elections is over. The governor is not calling a special election to fill the former seat of Del. Lamont Bagby, recently elected to the Virginia Senate. Get more details. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
  • Henrico, Goochland, and Hanover residents who recycle should look out for new 95-gallon carts to be delivered between May 15-June 30. Starting in July, all recyclables must be placed inside the official CVWMA carts for collection.
  • If you live, work, or visit along the Route 60 corridor, Chesterfield County wants to hear from you. The county is trying to identify transportation needs and possible improvements in that area. Head to the website to learn about the study and submit your feedback.
  • Up All Night Bakery is shifting its retail operation from Lakeside to its storefront in Bellevue. The bakery will maintain the Lakeside shop for wholesale production through this year. Both locations will be closed Monday, April 10-Friday, April 14 for the move.
  • The neighborhood around Hardywood Park Craft Brewery near the future Diamond District is set to grow even more. A DC-based developer filed plans for a 314-unit building called The Porter. The new complex would rise near the corner of Ownby Lane and Hermitage Road. (Richmond BizSense)
Try This
  • Get a preview of this month’s First Friday exhibit at a community mixer tomorrow from 5-8 p.m. at Gallery5 in Jackson Ward. The Downtown Neighborhood Association is hosting the party which promises snacks, drink specials, and live music by Classical Revolution RVA.
  • The Byrd Theatre is hosting the first-ever Richmond Animation Festival on Sunday, April 30. An $8 ticket gets you access to the animated shorts program at 5 p.m. and the 7 p.m. screening of the feature film “Cryptozoo,” followed by a Q+A with the filmmakers.
Feel Good
  • Maymont Farm is welcoming five new kids on the block plus three chicks this week. The baby goats are visiting from their Hanover home for a few weeks, while the little chicks will join Maymont’s flock. Meet the animals during normal hours or at the Dominion Energy Family Easter event this Saturday.
  • The Altria and Carpenter theaters both made Pollstar’s 2023 Q1 list of top theaters. The Altria was placed at No. 26 in the world while the Carpenter Theatre came in No. 49 in the world. The two venues were the highest ranked in Virginia.
Featured Job
Budget Breakdown: City employees
See what the mayor’s proposing for the city’s 4,000+ employees. | Graphic by RICtoday
We’re wrapping up our series on Mayor Stoney’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2024 with the numbers relating to city employees.

The budget proposal includes funds to increase salaries and provide more benefits.

Context: Since City Council approved a collective bargaining ordinance for city employees in July 2022, all five designated units — police, fire and emergency services, labor and trades, professional, and administrative and technical have filed for union elections.

The FY24 plan includes an 8% salary increase for all non-sworn employees as well as an $18 minimum wage. Here are some more figures:
  • $1.4 million towards a First Time Homebuyer’s Assistance program for city employees who want to live within city limits
  • $650,000 to establish a Tuition Assistance Program
  • $500,000 to continue the language incentive program for employees who provide multilingual services
Click the button to see our funding breakdowns for housing, education, and services.
The Wrap
Robin Schwartzkopf in a red button down shirt Today’s edition by:
From the editor
I hope you’ve been enjoying the spring weather. I love seeing the blooming dogwoods on my walks — they are the official flower of Virginia, you know.

Missed our last newsletter? Abraham Lincoln landed in a rowboat near what’s now Bottom’s Up when he visited in Richmond in 1865. Get the full story.
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