In Today’s News

Farmers’ market comes to VCU

Starting today, VCUarts Depot and the Office of Sustainability will host a farmers’ market on the second floor of the Depot. It will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offer fresh fruits and vegetables from SAMM and Field of Dreams Farms.

Police investigate series of car break-ins

Several car break-ins have occurred over the last few days at YMCA locations in Richmond and Fredericksburg. Police are currently investigating the break-ins but urge car owners to lock their cars. Police said that the burglars broke through the side glass windows and stole money and other belongings.  

Faith, community leaders urge state to fight crime with money

Richmond community members and faith leaders gathered yesterday to ask the Attorney General to designate more state money towards combating crime and helping teens stay out of trouble. The group asked for more money to be given towards public education. According to WRIC the group said that, “they can’t solve these issues alone; they need assistance from state leaders.”

Richard Spencer plans speech at University of Florida

Gov. of Florida Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Alachua County in North Florida in response to the University of Florida hosting white nationalist Richard Spencer. Spencer is expected to speak this Thursday at the university. The University of Florida president Kent Fuchs advised students to avoid Spencer’s event.

Harvey Weinstein Resigns, company terminates his employment

Harvey Weinstein, the former co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, resigned from the company’s board yesterday in response to allegations of sexual harassment. The company terminated Weinstein after the allegations first surfaced. A majority of the company’s board members also resigned after the allegations became public knowledge.

Open forum addresses concerns about D.C. to Richmond high speed rail

Picture from: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/urban/richmond-va.htm

An open forum hosted by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transport helped assuage the fears local activists and community members. In its current proposal, the DRPT and the Federal Railroad Administration are considering creating two stations in Richmond for its rail from Richmond to D.C., one at Main Street Station in Shockoe Bottom and another around Broad and Boulevard in Scott’s Addition.

Whenever construction is talked about in Shockoe, local activists are concerned about the effect it could have on historical sites, such as the site of Gabriel Prosser’s execution and the Lumpkin’s Jail site. Indeed, many of the speakers expressed a preference for the Broad/Boulevard location over that of Main Street Station.

A longtime advocate for the Shockoe Memorial Park and a representative for the Defenders of Freedom, Justice and Equality, Ana Edwards spoke on the issue of building in an area so rich with history.

“There is consideration that there’s been a longstanding campaign for Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park,” Edwards said of DRPT’s efforts. “Our concern when we heard there was going to be a high speed rail coming into the city and into Shockoe was the impact it would have on what we wanted to see.”

The current two station proposal would see the area of expansion into burial grounds minimized, but would create the need for parking decks, another issue for some speakers such as Richmond resident Luca.

“I spoke with Claire during the open house and she explained to me that one of the changes would be a three story parking garage on a lot that’s slated for the proposed memorial park,” said Luca. “I guess I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact there’s all these folks here advocating for this park and a parking garage is even being considered.”

Former VCU president Eugene Trani joined those advocating for the Scott’s Addition location as the sole station, but kept his reasoning more economic.

“I’m 77 years-old so I’m not going to be here to see what happens, but I think there should be one station in the Richmond metropolitan area and it should be on Boulevard,” Trani said. “The area already has plenty of space and entertainment, and I believe just announcing the station would help the area develop faster.”

Though they did not speak during the forum, yielding the floor in its entirety to members of the public, a representative for DRPT did say they are planning to avoid all historical and archaeological sites, of which Shockoe has many.

Those unable to make it to the forum still have the option to provide comment by November 8th via an electronic form. http://www.dc2rvarail.com/contact-us

VCU Volleyball vs. La Salle

Sweet 16!

By: Ben Malakoff

The Rams volleyball team was looking for their nation leading 16th straight victory at home this past sunday against La Salle. The first set went back and forth with both teams trading points. However, about halfway through, VCU went up quickly 14-9. When the score hit 19-14, in VCU’s favor, La Salle took a timeout. The Rams ended up taking the set 25-15, hitting .364%. During the second set, the kills kept coming for VCU going up a quick 12-6. 2 kills later for the rams, La Salle took another timeout. VCU ended up winning the set 25-17 and taking a quick 2-0 lead in the match. Vicky Giommarini already had 10 kills. After the break, La Salle comes out firing, taking a quick 8-4 lead. However, the rams were not going to give up their strong start., retaking the lead 12-11. After trading points back and forth, VCU took control and won the set 25-19 and taking the match 3-0. Giommarini led her team with 12 kills. The Rams had a .307 kill percentage and improved their record to 19-2 and 5-0 in the A10. La Salle moved to 10-11 and 1-5 in the A10. The Rams look to continue their winning streak against George Washington this friday at 7.

VCU Volleyball vs. Duquesne

And the Streak continues!

By: Adrian Teran

The VCU Women’s Volleyball team defeated the Duquesne Dukes this Friday night at home at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. The Rams have now won 15 straight games, four of those being Conference games. They won this match 3-0, making it their 10th sweep of this winning streak. Led by sophomore, Gina Tuzzolo, who led the team with 11 kills, the Rams took an early lead in the first set and dominated in a 25-17 win. The next two sets did not come as easy for the Rams. After a slow start, they found themselves down 4-8 in the second set, but eventually came back to take a 15-12 lead. Stellar defensive play from both sides resulted in a close back and forth. Led by senior libero Rebekah Strange, VCU eventually took control of the set and won it 25-21. The third and final set was even closer. With another slow start, the Rams found themselves down 6-11. After some sloppy play from the Dukes, VCU fought their way back and tied the set up at 15-15. Both sides played hard and the Rams found themselves down 23-22. But VCU kept their cool and their discipline and senior Rebekah Strange ended the game with a service ace. The third set went to the Rams 25-23. The Sophomore combo of Gina Tuzzolo and Vicky Giommarini led the team with a combined 21 kills and Senior Rebekah Strange had a game high 10 digs. The Dukes really made the Rams work for this win, forcing them to crawl and fight their way back in final two sets. Congratulations to Coach Jody Rogers who also recorded her 500th career win. VCU Rams are now 18-2 for the season and 4-0 in their conference. The Rams look to add to the nation’s longest win streak this Sunday as they continue conference play. They will face the La Salle Explorers October 8 at home at 1pm.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. St. Joseph’s

Rams shut out the Hawks

By: Ben Malakoff

The women’s soccer team came out at sports backers stadium with lots of energy this past thursday to take on St. Joseph’s. The rams started with a lot of early chances but continued to miss the net. The momentum felt a brief shift with an abrupt corner kick for St. Joseph’s. As the game progressed, the goalies, Sanderson for the Rams and Bendon for St. Joseph’s, were the most valuable players. Perhaps the best opportunity for St. Josephs came in the final seconds of the half where a shot went just a bit high of the net. At the half, the score remained 0-0. Near the 60th minute the crowd became lively. VCU started on an offensive push while St. Joseph’s was forced to push back. However, after more strong defense, the score remained 0-0. In the 77th minute, Alyssa Tallent took control for the Rams and finding the back of the net. Her third goal of the season put VCU up 1-0 with 13 minutes left in the match. The strike was assisted by Lyndsey Gutzmer. Afterwards, it was all VCU. St. Josephs could not bring the ball to the net and Audrey Sanderson was able to reward her team with a shutout. The Rams improved to 6-3-3 and St. Joseph’s moved on to 6-5-2.

Cary St. Gym evacuated due to pool fumes

By Alan Booth and Julie Rothey

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Cary St. Gym was evacuated this morning due to potentially hazardous fumes in the pool area around 10 a.m. Cary Street was closed between Harrison Street and Cherry Street.

Richmond Fire Department responded to the alarm, and gave the all-clear at 11:30 a.m. The gym and pool are both now open. The pool is safe to use.

The alarm was triggered by a VCU Rec Sports employee when a combination of residual chemicals and chlorine added to the system two days ago produced an unknown odor. Deputy Fire Marshal Earl Dyer confirmed that the chemicals never posed a risk to students using the pool.

VCU Senior Merin Duke was using the pool at the time of the alarm. Duke was ushered by lifeguards out of the gym. Later, once staff was alerted that the alarm was not a drill, students were moved across the street.

“All of my books for today, my wallet, my keys, and my phone, and my clothes are all in the gym,” Duke said while waiting for the building to reopen. Lifeguards provided her and the other students in bathing suits with robes.

Duke said evacuees were given frequent updates, and were told there were chemicals in the pool that could potentially cause an explosion. While rare, pool chemical explosions can occur when chemicals are mixed or added improperly.

The Richmond Fire Department’s HazMat team entered the building around 11:20 to assess the situation. The team used only their personal protective equipment and breathing apparatuses, instead of their full chemical entry suits.

Dyer stated that after testing, the HazMat team concluded the odor was caused by the interaction of chlorine added two days ago with residual chemicals in the filtration system’s pipes. The pool’s chemical balance is managed by head lifeguards using an array of pre-mixed chemicals to correct pH and chlorine levels.

The Fire Department gave the all-clear to re-enter the gym at 11:30. The gym was reopened by VCU just fifteen minutes later, though the pool itself remained closed until 12:30.

Despite the unexpected evacuation, Duke praised the VCU Rec Sports staff for being “very friendly, giving [students] frequent updates, as much information as they could,” and thought that “they did an A+ job.”