♦ One of our favorite events, the Richmond Folk Festival, is in full swing. The free, three-day festival has become one of Virginia’s largest events. Participants and visitors come from across the country to spend a day listening to music at Richmond’s historic riverfront. Forty performers will celebrate the diverse cultural richness of America’s musical roots. Go and enjoy the great music, wonderful food, and delightful fall weather.
♦ A round of applause to the Prince George Board of Supervisors. The board is considering a proposal from the county’s director of information technology, Kristen Cherry, to livestream regular supervisor meetings to the county’s website and other sources so the community at large will be able to watch its local government at work. Supervisor Floyd Brown Jr. suggest the board investigate the issue further, get some bids, and make a decision from there. The county’s Board of Supervisors previously broadcast eight meetings back in 2007 and county staff actively uses social media to provide the public with recaps of meetings, updates on votes, and other agenda items of interest. We salute the supervisors for their commitment to open government.
♦ Time for Virginia’s oyster lovers (and everyone else) to celebrate. On Monday, Norfolk’s Lafayette River was declared Virginia’s first waterway to be fully “restored.” The declaration culminates the community’s efforts to improve the health of the river to the point that on Monday, officials declared the Lafayette Virginia’s first waterway to reach oyster habitat restoration goals. To celebrate, officials, city residents, and project partners led by Elizabeth River Project (ERP) and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) formed a flotilla of boats, kayaks, and paddleboards to seed baby oysters on restored reefs in the river. This major restoration effort began in earnest in 2010 when dozens of public and private partners and ordinary citizens joined forces to clean the river and restore wildlife. The results have been incredible.
♦ Happy birthday to the United States Navy. On Oct. 13, 1775, in an effort to stand up to British control of the seas, the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy, which became the United States Navy. In 243 years, the sea service has grown from two armed vessels into the largest, most advanced, and deadliest fighting force the world has ever known. But it’s more than a force for war; for decades, American warships have kept global shipping lanes open, allowing for safe and prosperous trade between nations. All in all, an impressive record. (Read the column by a Navy sailor on our Op-Ed Page.)
♦ Speaking of the Navy, a giant sea monster has invaded Philadelphia’s Navy Yard. No, it’s not a creature from Davy Jones’ locker, but rather an inflatable sculpture titled “Sea Monsters HERE” and it has been installed inside a rusting warehouse known as Building 611. Gigantic tentacles seem to burst out of windows and from the building’s rooftop. Its long purple arms sway in the breeze, creating the sense of a living, grasping creature. Artists created the head-turning display by installing 20 separate inflated tentacles throughout the unused building. The tentacles were the creation of a U.K. street art duo whose work appears often at music festivals such as Chicago’s Lollapalooza. The group was invited to install the work as part of a collaborative project between Group X, an anonymous group of local artists and organizers, and the Navy Yard. The creature will be on display until Nov. 16.
♦ And finally, in the aftermath of another serious storm, signals were out at many intersections throughout the metro area. Predictably, traffic became snarled at several intersections as drivers seemed unsure of how to proceed. It’s quite simple: When traffic signals are not operating, an intersection operates as a four-way stop. That means the driver of every vehicle needs to stop, look both ways, and then proceed. Yes, it may be a slow process, but it is the safest way to ensure traffic continues to flow. And no, even if you are in a huge hurry, you don’t get to piggyback on the car in front of you. That’s how accidents happen.
An inflatable sculpture entitled “Sea Monsters HERE” extends from a rusting warehouse called Building 61 at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. The installation was created by UK-based artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas.