The Broadway musical HAIR comes to Richmond, opening tonight at the Firehouse Theatre on West Broad. The production wants to take you on a trip back to 1967. The cast, actors in their 20s, are playing characters that today would be pushing 70. Jace Smith is the Artistic Director of Firehouse Theatre. Once embarrassed by his own hippie parents, Smith says doing the show has helped him understand who they were and what they went through.
John Ogle began his career in broadcast journalism while still in high school. In nearly 50 years on the radio he has worked as a news anchor for the ABC, NBC, and Mutual networks and as News Director of radio stations in Richmond, Miami, Washington, and New York City. After ten years as News Director of WCXR, Alexandria, John returned to Richmond in 1993 and organized The Richmond Times Dispatch Broadcast News Service. In its 12 year history, the network’s programming was heard on 20 radio stations across Virginia. John retired from the Times Dispatch at the end of 2004 but is still heard daily as a freelance Correspondent on WCVE Public Radio and on the ABC Radio Network.
Articles by John Ogle
The VCU Community Memorial Hospital will officially open at three this afternoon (June 27) in South Hill. They’re calling the event Honoring Our Past. Celebrating Our Future.
John Duval is CEO of VCU Health System. He said it’s a win-win arrangement. Community Memorial has done great work and is a essential part of the community and surrounding counties.
There’ll be reception with live music from the Buggs Island Community Band, and the whole thing is open to the public.
The ongoing debate about vacation rental properties and permits continues in Northumberland County. The question is should the owners of vacation rental homes or tourist homes be required to have a conditional use permit? Last week it was decided that there’ll be a public hearing on a newly proposed “250 foot rule.”
A company from Texas is getting in touch with people in Mecklenburg County about a proposed natural gas pipeline. Houston based Spectra Energy Partners, LP, sent a letter asking permission to survey land where the pipe line might run, north and south, through the county on its way from Pennsylvania, into North Carolina. Spectra stressed that what they’re doing is not connected to the expansion of another pipeline in southern Virginia ..that’s intended to fuel Dominion Powers new plant in Brunswick County.
The City of Petersburg is taking action that could demolish some 30 derelict properties. City Council voted unanimously last week to go ahead with an ordinance that will name seven properties blighted. Eight others are going to be discussed at the next council meeting.
Educators from Virginia and every other state, nearly 9,000 of them, are gathering in Denver tomorrow for the ten day National Education Association’s annual meeting. Meg Gruber, President of the Virginia Education Association said, “...among other things, they’ll be examining the impact of standardized testing.” After 20 years, she said, Virginia’s SOLs are problematic. The NEA, she said, feels assessments need to help teachers improve their practices and help students evaluate their own strengths and needs and the meeting in Denver provides a sounding board.
Fort Lee is its emergency crisis plans and procedures following recent shootings at the Naval station in Norfolk and at Fort Hood in Texas. Through the end of the month all six of the Fort’s gates will be closed for around 15 minutes at a time. Chief James Wilson said this morning at 10:30 the Shop Road Gate will be shut down and the Mahone Gate will close at 9:30 and again at 2 this afternoon.
The Tour of the James will be the first comprehensive photo documentary of an entire river, all 340 miles of it. A raft was launched yesterday by Richmond based Outside Venture LLC at the headwaters of the James.
Justin Doyle is JRA’s Outreach Manager. He explained that the cameras are ten feet above the water’s surface and will capture high resolution panoramic photos every 30 seconds. The Tour of the James was initiated by Envision the James, a collaboration involving JRA, National Geographic, and the Chesapeake Conservancy.
Melody Hackney, Mecklenburg County Assistant Superintendent of School, has released preliminary SOL test scores. Hackney, stressing that the numbers weren’t final and had been calculated by hand, said she was fairly confident they were accurate.
A professor at the VCU Brandcenter says a name change for Washington’s NFL team is inevitable and recommends they change it now. Kelly O’Keefe, a professor of creative brand management, says Redskins owner Dan Snyder may well succeed in an appeal of yesterday’s trademark ruling.
O’Keefe is known for his work in digital marketing, brand strategy and creativity. He said its foolish to continue to invest in a brand with a clouded future. Loyal fans, he believes, will stay with the team whatever they’re called.