Archive | January, 2018

GRTC Pulse hopes to start testing rides by April

Posted on 25 January 2018 by admin

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RICHMOND, Va. – Almost 500 days have passed since the GRTC Pulse (Bus Rapid Transit) project broke ground in August 2016.

Close to 50 people attended a community meeting Wednesday at the Broadberry,  where leaders announced that GRTC hopes to begin testing routes on April 1.

When testing starts, some barrels and construction will be removed and transit-signal lights will be tested. This  phase includes outreach and signage in addition to observation and testing.

GRTC needs 90 days to test routes, they said, and on that timeline, a July 1 launch is possible. Contractually, the project must be done by June 30, 2018. They could finish earlier.

Ten new 40-foot buses running on compressed natural gas will operate along the route when it is complete. The modern buses will have 38 seats as well as room for 15 standees. Bike capacity in the front will be slightly increased to hold three.

There will be 3.2 miles of dedicated bus lanes over the 7.6 mile route that stretches from Rockett’s Landing to Willow Lawn. The buses will run every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 15 during off-peak hours. There are 14 station locations; five median and nine curbside.

In the fall the project gained speed as construction moved above ground, according to Carrie Rose Pace, Director of Communications. Recently, close to 50 crews have been working day and night, according to Rose Pace.

“Most of the work that you saw last fall through this year was a lot of utility work, making sure that underneath was ready to go — and now that we’ve got all that taken care of, we are able to do all of the above ground work,” Rose Pace said.

Continue reading on WTVR.com. 

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Lakeside resident frustrated by coyotes living near house

Posted on 25 January 2018 by admin

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HENRICO, Va. – There have been multiple coyote sightings reported around the Lakeside community in the past few weeks.

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) confirmed that they’ve had previous reports of coyotes in Lakeside and emphasized that coyotes can be found all over the Commonwealth. Lieutenant Shawn Sears, with Henrico Animal Control for 21 years,  said that sightings in Lakeside have been reported, but none are confirmed, and there have been no incident reports.

In the past few weeks residents reported seeing them on Ingleside Avenue, Penick Road, Fernwood Street, Dellwood Street, Woodman Road and near Glenside Avenue and Staples Mill. Going back a few months, the roaming animals were reported seen off Hilliard Road, Wilmington Avenue and near the entrance to Bryan Park, at Parkway and Westlake. Lt. Sears said that along Interstate 295 and Route 1 in Glen Allen is a popular place for coyotes, as well as part of east Henrico and Short Pump.

Lt. Sears said that they get calls about coyotes everyday, but most calls are actually about foxes, and that people often confuse the two animals.  He also explained that the both foxes and coyotes call back to one another when hunting and the “howling” often attributed to a coyote could easily be from a fox.

Wendy Fletcher had wildlife experts confirm that the animals she has seen near her house are coyotes. She said that there are about six coyotes living in the woods of the vacant property next to her home, which is adjacent to Lakeside, and off Glenside Avenue. She’s frustrated that no agency can do anything to remove the animals, and worried about her pet beagle.

The option she has is to call a  licensed trapper or a critter removal service.

“If someone’s dog was loose out here they would be out here in a minute to get it,” Fletcher said.

Continue reading on WTVR.com. 

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Chapter 107: Learning to fly

Posted on 16 January 2018 by admin

In July 2017 I became FAA Chapter 107 Certified, as WTVR CBS 6 begins adding drone cameras to the field. First, there is learning all of the information to pass the test, but then one still has to learn to fly.

I started flying in September, about once a week.

Here is a reel of the past four months of flight.

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Grand opening date set at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery: West Creek

Posted on 16 January 2018 by admin

GOOCHLAND, Va. — There are a lot of numbers behind the new West Creek Hardywood Park Craft Brewery — a 60-barrel brewing system in a 55,000-square-foot brewery with a 4,000-square-foot taproom on 24 acres in Goochland — but one of the most significant may be 28, the number of breweries established since the first Hardywood opened in 2011. At the time there were only three other local breweries; barely six years later there are 32 total, and that’s not counting local cideries.

On Monday, Jan. 8, Gov. Terry McAuliffe joined Hardywood co-founders Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh in a ribbon-cutting ceremony; the last one on the schedule as governor for staunch craft beer advocate McAuliffe.

McAuliffe was there in November 2015 for the ground breaking ceremony of the $28 million dollar project, which will add 60 jobs and triple their current output on Ownby Lane, starting first with 35,000 barrels of annual brewing capacity.

[Related: Take a look at the West Creek Hardywood facility]

Though McAuliffe did not sign SB 604, which gave breweries the ability to sell beer for on-premise consumption without having a full-service restaurant, he has been a champion for the agriculture benefits of the resulting craft beer boom.

Hardywood, who helped lobby for SB 604, said that their commitment to incorporate local grains, hops, fruit and other products in their beer has made them the largest purchaser of Virginia agricultural products in the brewing industry.  For example, Murtaugh said 20 pounds of Casselmonte ginger was used in the first batch of acclaimed gingerbread stout; the last batch required 1,000 pounds of the Powhatan-grown rhizome.

The new Hardywood Brewery is a 55,000-square-foot brewery with a 4,000-square-foot taproom on 24 acres in Goochland Photo by Kate Magee

Several years ago, Hardywood hired Kate Lee, a 12-year veteran of Anheuser-Busch, to oversee the quality assurance program, offering her experience as Hardywood increases production at the new West Creek site. Pedigreed brewers from New York, California and Oregon have joined the team of 60 employees.

The 60-barrel BrauKon brewhouse will initially be dedicated to brewing flagship beers Singel, Pils and VIPA, and its Virginia Roots series of beers brewed with Virginia ingredients.

The facility will include a public taproom, mezzanine, conference room, outdoor patio and beer garden, food truck plaza,bocce courts and a natural amphitheater for live performances. The taproom offers views of the brewing process, including the brewhouse, fermentation hall, quality assurance lab, ingredient processing area and packaging warehouse.

A soft opening is planned for February 2018 and the grand opening of the brewery will be April 6-8, 2018.

Hardywood joins three other Goochland breweries: Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Midnight Brewery and Kindred Spirit.

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