RICHMOND, Va., — Members of Richmond’s LGBTQ community are calling for a driver to turn themselves in after the city’s first street art was vandalized.
Philip Crosby, the Executive Director of the Richmond Triangle Players, said he witnessed a reckless driver doing donuts on the pride mural outside his theater just before 3 p.m. Monday.
“We heard this squealing noise outside and looked up,” Crosby explained. “At first we thought he was skidding and about to have an accident. Then, we realized he was purposely running donuts on the intersection.”
Dustin Galbraith said he watched the aftermath of the vandalism outside his pool maintenance company.
“There was smoke all built up in the area and then took off down the street afterwards,” Galbraith described.
The driver left behind large black circles on the artwork at the intersection of West Marshall Street and Altamont Avenue.
The pride flag was painted in 2018 for the theater’s 25th anniversary in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood.
Crosby feared if the driver targeted the artwork for what it represents.
“This is the first public street art celebrating the LGBTQ community in Richmond. To have someone purposely deface it — you kind of wonder if that’s on purpose,” he stated.
City Councilwoman Kim Gray, who Crosby credits for helping get the art installed, committed to repairing the artwork.
The Richmond Triangle Players have been an integral part of the Richmond community for more than a quarter century and have been leaders in promoting diversity. Their strong commitment to the City’s LGBTQ community is exemplified by the Rainbow Crosswalk painted last year in front of their theater in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood. One individual’s senseless act of vandalism will not deter our commitment to equality and diversity. I pledge to work with the Triangle Players and the City administration to take whatever immediate action is necessary to restore and repaint this crosswalk.
Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association President Trevor Dickerson said in a statement:
The rainbow mural outside of Richmond Triangle Players at the Robert B. Moss Theatre (RTP), which the boards of both the theatre and SABA worked together to have approved and installed, is the first of its kind in the city and serves as not only vibrant street art, but as a symbol of our neighborhood’s diversity and inclusiveness. It is not known at this time whether the driver of the vehicle targeted the mural for its connection to the LGBTQ community or not, but we stand with our friends at RTP in solidarity regardless, because hate does not have a place in Scott’s Addition. We hope to find the individual responsible for defacing this piece of public artwork soon.
A Richmond Police spokesperson said they were aware of the vandalism and are investigating.
A witness provided police with a photo of the suspected vandal speeding down toward the Arthur Ashe Boulevard.
Crosby said it will take thousands of dollars to repaint the intersection, which was funded through private dollars.
“I hope he gets caught,” Crosby said. “I’d like to see him clean it off with a toothbrush is what I’d like to see.”
Amy Walton walked away with one question after attending an event organized by the Okie Mod Squad, a group of midcentury modern architecture and design enthusiasts who documented Oklahoma City’s MCM gems: “Where the hell is something like this in Texas?”
Buildings of the period, defined by sleek lines and minimal ornamentation, are threatened by development and decay despite being relatively recent history.
Shortly after the trip to Oklahoma, Walton teamed up with statewide preservation organizations to create modTEXAS, an Instagram crowdsourcing campaign. Texans are encouraged to photograph and share midcentury modern homes, commercial buildings, signs, furniture, and decor using the hashtag #modtexas. When paired with a geotag, the photos create a midcentury modern map of the state.
The tag has been used nearly 2,000 times already. Scrolling through its history on Instagram, you’ll find gems like the Bass residence in Fort Worth and the Good Luck Gas Station in Dallas.
“We are on the cusp of the pivotal 50 years of midcentury modern design,” some of which is threatened by neglect and development, Walton says. “Our goal is to whip up a frenzy of people in Texas who love midcentury modern architecture by crowdsourcing content, and hopefully spearheading more volunteers for the sponsors.”
She compares using Instagram as a platform to a new parenting trick to help kids eat healthier. “Parents are now using spinach in cake. I’m using Instagram as a shiny ball in that way,” she says.
modTEXAS’ statewide collaborators include Preservation Dallas; the Texas Historical Commission; the North Texas and San Antonio chapters of Docomomo, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the midcentury modern aesthetic; and American Institute of Architects chapters in Corpus Christi and Dallas.
A geographic gap still exists, per the CandysDirt map. Metropolitan regions and mid-sized cities dominate the coverage, leaving rural areas and their threatened history in question. Walton may face more than an outreach barrier, however. Some communities in Texas, including on the southern border and in East and West Texas, lack basic Internet access and are less likely to have eagle-eyed Instagram users.
Other Dallas-area groups have advocated for architecture and historic preservation for years. AIA-Dallas and Preservation Dallas have hosted themed tours for years, including of midcentury sites in downtown and on annual home tours.
Elsewhere online, Roadside Architecture, a 20 year labor of love by Debra Jane Seltzer of California, is chock full of photos of commercial buildings and roadside attractions, including midcentury architecture in Texas. The site fills in some gaps, featuring structures from Amarillo to LaPorte on the Texas Gulf. But some regions lack even a full-time historic preservation organization, leaving many highlights ripe for neglect.
Walton suggests creating awareness could also make tourism bureaus aware of the robotic benefits of architectural tourism, too. Devotees of Wright and other architects travel the country just to see a singular site.
Ultimately, though, the goal is just to get people involved in preservation and “sharing the joy of design.”
But civic engagement may not be enough to save them. In June, the Dallas City Council gave the Dallas Theater Center control of the Kalita Humphreys Theatre, the only performing arts space in the U.S. designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. But preservationists, including Walton, were disappointed by the move, preferring the city and other local groups invest in rehabilitating the Turtle Creek theater to make it not just a performing arts center but a tourist destination, an architecture fan’s dream. The Dallas Theatre Center, which commissioned the building in 1959, will now need to appoint a 13-person steering committee to overhaul a master plan to restore the theater. Their lease lasts five years.
While the Humphreys is still standing, even if in desperate need of repairs, others have not been so lucky. The former Great National Life Insurance Building, built in 1963, was recently torn down. Architects and critics referred to the garden-style complex as one of the most important and innovative in Dallas. Set away from Mockingbird and Harry Hines, the concrete and stone complex was best known for its aluminum brise-soleil, shading the inside from the harsh Texas light.
Like other midcentury sites, those highlighted by modTEXAS frequently appear on local preservation groups’ annual most endangered lists. Preservation Dallas’ 2018 list included more than two dozen schools that the district is considering replacing due to how old they are. (Plans were later scrapped by Dallas ISD to tear down a handful of elementary schools, though not for aesthetic purposes.) Historic Fort Worth’s 2019 list includes downtown’s round convention center arena, which is often compared to a spaceship.
“Midcentury modern is often not considered ‘historic’ or unique enough to leave intact or even restore for future generations. They’re considered recent history,’ a term that’s often used to detract,” according to the website MidCentury.org. The term easily allows city staff to pave the way for demolition and give properties to developers, even if public and private grants to exist to help with costly rehabilitation.
In the case of a project like Walton’s, the photos may be all that is left to chronicle an extraordinary time for architecture in the state.
Even though Jack White had a concert to play in Washington, D.C., this weekend, he and his rock band side project The Raconteurs got the chance to catch a baseball game while they were in town.In the midst of the Help Us Stranger tour — their first North American tour in over a decade — the four-piece decided to catch a baseball game ahead of their show in Washington, D.C.The mid-afternoon game between the Washington Nationals and the Milwaukee Brewers, however, took place on the same night as The Raconteurs’ Saturday performance at local venue The Anthem.
Over 600 Branch County Consumers Energy customers lost power, and a wind gust of 47 miles per house was reported at the Branch County Memorial Airport
Monday, August 19, 2019 5:55 a.m. EDT by Ken Delaney
COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) -Two rounds of strong storms went through Branch County Sunday. While farmers got some much needed rain with unofficial reports of one to two inches being measured throughout the county, the strong winds from the second round of storms that went through early Sunday night knocked down trees and power lines which resulted in power outages.
The Branch County Memorial Airport recorded a wind gust of 47 miles an hour at 7:05 p.m..
Nearly 1,300 Consumers Energy customers in the Colon area lost their power, while another 661 customers were affected in Branch County.
Crews were able to restore power to just about all Consumer’s Energy customers in Branch County during the overnight hours.
The Branch County Road Commission responded to five reports of road hazards in the hour after the storm went through.
Several trees were knocked down in Coldwater, with one falling on a house in the 100 block of North Hudson Street. Wires were also reported down in the 100 block of East Pearl Street.
Ken has been a familiar voice in Branch County for a quarter century with AM 1590 and FM 95.5 WTVB, coming to Coldwater in 1984 after graduating from Central Michigan University. Ken Delaney has been a fixture in the Branch County community for over 30 years. He is Market Manager, Program Director and morning show host for WTVB-AM/FM in Coldwater, Michigan, a division of Midwest Communications, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Central Michigan University in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts, with a minor in Political Science. He is a three-time winner of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Broadcast Excellence Award for On-Air Personality. Ken has served as the Co-Chairman of the Tibbits Opera House Restoration Capital Campaign, and is currently the Varsity Boys and Girls Soccer Coach at Coldwater High School. He also served 8 years on the Board of Trustees of the Community Health Center of Branch County and is past-Chairman of the Branch County Republican Party. Other community leadership roles have included the Branch County Historical Society Board of Directors, Safety Director for Branch County AYSO Soccer Region 1289, Branch Family YMCA Committee, Branch County Chamber of Commerce Car Show-Swap Meet Committee Chairman, Branch County Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee Chairman, Family Services Network Board Member, the Branch County 4-H Foundation Board of Directors, and the Branch County SAFE Kids Committee. Previously Delaney has served as President of Coldwater Community Theatre, Vice President of the Coldwater Sister City Festival Committee, and Chairman of the Committee for Branch County Seniors Millage Campaign. Other committees he has served on include the Coldwater Community Schools Technology Committee, the Coldwater Community Schools Elementary Feasibility Committee, the Branch County Local Emergency Planning Committee, the Tibbits Opera Foundation Board of Directors, the City of Coldwater Multi-Purpose Recreation Center Committee, and the Community Action Agency Walk for Warmth Committee. Ken’s wife Christine is the Executive Director of the Tibbits Opera Foundation in Coldwater, MI. Their son Jason is in the masters program at the University of Central Florida and son Sean is a senior at Coldwater High School in Coldwater.
By 7.30am all the cod at Peterhead fish market had been sold, snapped up by competing buyers wearing thick fleeces, woolly hats and rubber boots against the chill of the vast indoor warehouse.
A gaggle of middle-aged men clutching books of brightly coloured “tallies” followed the auctioneer alongside crates of glassy-eyed fish nestling in ice. With a curt nod or a swift hand gesture, the price was settled, tallies thrown down to indicate the fish’s new owner, and the group moved on. It took less than 10 minutes to dispose of the night’s catch.
Most of the fish would be heading south, to England or mainland Europe. The Scots are not big cod eaters, preferring haddock with their chips. This dates, apparently, from pre-refrigeration days: haddock is a fish best eaten really fresh, whereas cod is tastiest a couple of days after being caught.
The Peterhead buyers were cagey about naming their customers, but the fish they purchased was destined for supermarkets, fishmongers, restaurants, and a few of the classic takeaway chippies that are a national institution. But all this could now be under threat: a report published last month by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (Ices) revealed that North Sea cod stocks had fallen to critical levels. Warning that cod was being harvested unsustainably, it recommended a 63% cut in the catch – and that’s on top of a 47% reduction last year.
Independent auditors are reviewing the Ices report, and by late September they will announce whether the fisheries can retain their Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificates of sustainability – issued only two years ago – or whether those certificates will be suspended. Depending on the decision, North Sea cod could soon be off the menu.
At Peterhead, Europe’s largest white-fish port, the cod haul was small, perhaps half the amount of the previous night, causing a buyers’ scramble. “It fluctuates,” said an official, shrugging his shoulders.
Stuart Cowie, who has been in the industry for 20 years, said everyone was worried about the Ices advice. “There are too many merchants and too few fish.”
But Will Clark was more sanguine. The managing director of Wilsea had bought 37 boxes of cod that morning, he declared after consulting a small black notebook. The fish would be heading down “the spine of England” – the Midlands and London, which were “strong cod-eating areas” – and across the Channel.
“The fish will be with my customers by 1am or 2am, and in the shops by 7am or 8am tomorrow. People will be eating it anywhere in Europe by tomorrow lunchtime.” North Sea cod, he said, was “well managed. All stocks go up and down. It’s a concern, but we’ve been here before.”
And indeed we have. North Sea cod stocks were once plentiful but plummeted – and came perilously close to collapse – between the early 1970s and 2006. A “cod recovery plan” sought to restore stocks to sustainable levels by limiting fishing days, decommissioning boats, banning catches in nursery areas and putting larger holes in nets to allow young cod to escape.
In what was seen as a significant achievement, the stock rose fourfold between 2006 and 2017, when the MSC – on whose guidance big retailers and many consumers rely – awarded three fisheries sustainable status. The MSC’s distinctive blue label with a white tick was a huge fillip to the industry.
The UK consumes about 115,000 tonnes of cod each year. Only 15,000 tonnes comes from the North Sea, with the rest imported mainly from the fertile grounds in the Barents Sea and around Norway and Iceland. But the species is of huge symbolic importance to the UK fishing industry, which employs about 24,000 people – more than half of them working in Scotland.
Ices, an international organisation of scientists from countries bordering the North Atlantic, advises governments and the industry on stock levels and the sustainable quotas that can be fished without endangering future stocks.
It sounded a warning last year with its recommended cut in the cod catch of 47%, but this year’s assessment – based on extensive scientific research – warned that levels were dangerously low and another two-thirds reduction was needed.
“It is unclear what the reasons are for this; further work is required to investigate climate change, biological and fisheries effects,” the report said.
Environmental organisations point out that cod has been fished above its maximum sustainable yield in recent years, meaning the fish are taken from the sea faster than they can reproduce.
The species is not breeding as fast as it used to, too many unwanted “juvenile” fish are caught, and the practice of “discarding” – throwing dead fish back into the sea to keep within quotas – continues despite being banned.
With the end of the cod recovery plan, fishing vessels are now entering sites that have not been trawled for more than a decade, causing damage to the ecosystem, they say.
“This is a fishery that was on the road to recovery, but failures to reduce fishing pressure have led to serious overfishing and a reversal of fortunes for cod,” said Samuel Stone of the Marine Conservation Society.
“It’s a very harsh lesson, but this is why we need legally binding commitments to fish at sustainable levels, to effectively monitor our fisheries and to take an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. We have to properly protect our fish stocks for the benefit of our seas, coastal communities and consumers who expect sustainable seafood.”
The Marine Conservation Society, WWF and ClientEarth jointly wrote to the environment secretary on the day Ices published its advice, calling on the government to take urgent steps to secure the future of North Sea cod.
“As the country with the largest share [about 40%] of the North Sea cod quota, we require the UK to play a leading role in introducing emergency measures that minimise fishing mortality and maximise spawning potential. Only by doing this will the stock be enabled to recover,” their letter said.
Ices is an advisory body with no legal authority. Its advice will be the subject of negotiations between the coastal nations bordering the North Sea to determine the “total allowable catch”, or quota, for cod next year.
Brexit is a further complicating factor, of course. In the 2016 referendum campaign, the fishing industry became a symbol of the Leave campaign, which claimed it would be a clear beneficiary of its “take back control” message.
The EU common fisheries policy was held up as an example of European bureaucrats dictating to the UK fishing industry what it could and could not do in the country’s coastal waters. But marine experts point out that fish do not respect national boundaries, and therefore the industry needs coordinated international management.
“Species like cod are ‘shared stocks’,” said Phil Taylor of Open Seas, which works on protecting and recovering the marine ecosystem.
“After we leave the EU we will have greater control of how fishing takes place at sea. But the buck will then land squarely at the feet of UK and Scottish ministers. We may have greater control, but we will also have greater responsibility and accountability.
“It will be completely within the gift of our ministers – whether they take a short-term, smash and grab approach to fish stocks or manage these fisheries more fairly to protect the environment and yield the best long-term profit from the system. We require an urgent transition towards more sustainable seafood.”
Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said the industry was “100% committed to sustainable fisheries for the very obvious reason that anything else would spell the end for hundreds of businesses that sustain so many of our coastal communities”.
The latest challenge on cod stocks could be overcome by “responsible, practicable measures”, he added. “It will not be easy, and many sacrifices will have to be made along the way. But we will succeed, and when this country is no longer in the common fisheries policy we will be able to set our own more meaningful and stringent sustainability goals and ensure that it is our fishing boats that will have first call on quota.”
The MSC acknowledged that the drop in cod stocks was “disappointing news” for the industry. But, said the MSC’s Erin Priddle, “it is imperative that effective measures are introduced to secure long-term sustainability of this iconic and ecologically important fishery … protecting North Sea cod for this and future generations must be a key priority for all involved”.
Consumers, said the MSC, could continue to eat cod it has labelled as sustainable. If the auditors decide next month to suspend the certificates, the change would come into force towards the end of October.
The impact of such a move will be felt mainly in supermarkets, fishmongers and restaurants where sustainability is an important factor for conscientious consumers. In the nation’s chippies, 90% of the cod served is imported. “There will be less UK-caught cod, but even before the Ices advice, we’ve always imported most of the seafood we eat,” said Aoife Martin of Seafish, which supports the UK seafood industry.
A “huge variety of amazing seafood species” was caught by UK fishers, she said, but about 80% was exported. Monkfish, scallops, lobster and crab were in demand in Europe and Asia – “Koreans love UK whelks” – but “either we don’t catch the fish we want to eat here in the UK, like tuna, or we don’t catch enough to meet demand, such as cod”.
According to the National Federation of Fish Friers, one in five Britons make a weekly trip to the chippie. But big hikes in the price of fish in the past few years are putting the industry under pressure.
“Every day shops are going up for sale. A lot are really struggling, but it’s tight for everyone,” said Andrew Crook, the federation’s president.
The first fish and chip shop is believed to have been opened by Joseph Malin, a Jewish immigrant, in east London around 1860. Another businessman, John Lees, is also credited as a fish and chip pioneer, selling the dish from a wooden hut at Mossley market in Lancashire as early as 1863.
It soon caught on. By the 1930s, the number of fish and chip shops across the country had reached about 35,000. In The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell credited the ubiquity of much-loved fish and chips as one of the factors in averting revolution.
During the second world war, the government ensured that fish and chips were never rationed. Winston Churchill described the constituents of the dish as “the good companions”.
Traditional takeaway fish and chips, seasoned with salt and vinegar and eaten with fingers out of newspaper wrappings, sometimes accompanied by a pickled onion, have long been superseded by polystyrene cartons, plastic forks and sachets of sauce.
Now the dish is also served in miniature portions at glamorous parties, and it has a place on the menus of expensive restaurants as well as pubs and seaside cafes.
Fish and chips is ingrained in the nation’s identity, said Crook.
“You remember eating fish and chips with your grandparents on the seafront in Blackpool or Margate, but you don’t remember your first kebab. There’s a romance to it, and a sense of theatre, as well as being a comforting and nutritious meal.”
The looming Ices decision on cod could, however, take its toll. At a cafe in Peterhead run by the Fishermen’s Mission, Kyle Wood said that if cod was deemed unsustainable, “supermarkets will take it off their shelves”. “There’ll still be fish and chips, but there’s bound to be an impact on price and availability,” he said. “It will be a big struggle for the industry.”
One thrilling aspect of seeing Jackman in the flesh is the way he can glide from high-octane showstoppers into a spontaneous, intimate rapport with the audience.
The show is a carousel of visual and sonic splendour – rock-concert style lighting and video projections, a stellar live orchestra, and not one but two choirs – yet the moments when Jackman stops the ride to tell honed personal anecdotes, or engage in playful banter with fans, command the highest form of charismatic authority: he makes you feel, in a stadium of 12,000 others, like you’re the only person in the room.
His infectious love of Broadway provides many highlights. One set-piece combines songs from Les Miserables, with Jenna Lee-James soaring through I Dreamed A Dream. Another more pop-oriented sequence, dedicated to New York, time-travels from Frank Sinatra’s signature tune to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind.
Jackman reprises a mega-medley of Peter Allen songs – flouncing across stage maracas in hand for I Go To Rio; sitting down for his heartfelt acoustic version of Tenterfield Saddler. He sings as Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, swells into a huge choral number with You Will Be Found from the musical Dear Evan Hansen, and jazzes up classics such as Sing Sing Sing, Luck Be A Lady and Mack the Knife.
Although he seems pleased to have relinquished the role of hyper-masculine mutant Wolverine after 17 years, the star still enjoys mocking those who see musical theatre as an effeminate pursuit. They can stick Jackman’s furious tap-dancing routine (to Acca Dacca’s Thunderstruck, no less) in a pipe and smoke it.
Not all the glory belonged to Jackman. Keala Settle’s rendition of This Is Me from The Greatest Showman raised the arena’s retractable roof; the uplift soared into the stratosphere with her single Harder. And the Indigenous performers in the show anchored and deepened the last homecoming sequence by preceding it with Aboriginal language, music and song.
The show’s rousing farewell – split between From Now On and I Still Call Australia Home – proved a splendid finale for a star performer who seemed as delighted as his audience to be back on native soil.