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East End News

Bills seek to close methadone clinic loophole

Bills introduced this week in the House by
Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond)
and in the Senate by Sen. John Watkins (R-Midlothian) seek to close a loophole which allowed a methadone clinic to open down the hill from Bellevue Elementary School:

Location of methadone clinics near schools and day care centers; exemptions for existing facilities and providers. Provides that licensed providers of methadone treatment that are exempt from restrictions regarding proximity to a school or day care center do not retain the exemption when relocating an existing facility or establishing a new facility.

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kelly Avellino 01/08/2014 at 11:57 AM

hey All,
Kelly Avellino from NBC12—
If anyone would like to chat about the affect of the clinic near the school, please contact me asap at

JessOfRVA 01/08/2014 at 1:30 PM

I haven’t noticed a lot of people loitering nearly as much anymore. Maybe I’m around at the wrong time of day?

Mike 01/08/2014 at 3:16 PM

I drive by every morning between 4:30 – 4:45 and usually see people inside. I also occasionally see some vehicles idling. Very rarely have I seen folks waiting outside like they used to. I belive someone is opening it up early around 4:30…

chpn 01/09/2014 at 8:25 AM Reply
Alex 01/09/2014 at 9:16 AM

At the risk of sounding naive, has anyone from the community approached the clinic operators to ask of they would be willing to voluntarily relocate to an area that isn’t right near a school? I doubt there’s anything particular about that spot that is magical and it’s probably just a matter of helping them find another affordable location.

Or on the other end of the spectrum (hopefully after diplomatic options had failed), I suspect the clinic would be much more open to moving should citizens park outside and keep tabs on who is entering. Posting pictures of their visitors, etc would quickly make them want to find another location. I’m personally opposed to this alternative but I remember the neighborhood near a strip club on the north side doing similar with good results.

Legislative solutions are likely to be clunky and filled with more loopholes. It also sounds like this bill does nothing to solve the issue anyway.

Anne 01/09/2014 at 10:08 AM

At 6:30am Thursday there were cars parked on the grass in Taylors’ Hill Park near the Franklin and 23rd intersection. Another car was idling on the foot path in Taylors’ Hill Park, about a half block into the park. This is the foot path that is accessible from Grace and 23rd.

edg 01/09/2014 at 10:40 AM

What is Taylor’s Hill Park? Is that at the bottom or the top of the hill?

Alex 01/09/2014 at 11:44 AM

The NBC story (and the writeup above) both completely missed the fact that this bill would do nothing to solve the issue that Bellevue faces. I think that’s a huge point that needs to be made clear. This is just knee jerk reactionism by McClellan so she can say she did something. It would prevent it from happening again somewhere else but this clinic would be unaffected.

Anne 01/09/2014 at 12:07 PM


Taylors Hill Park is the park that wraps around Richmond Hill. On Google Maps the boundaries are roughly 23rd, 21st, Franklin, and Grace.

katzenjaammer 01/09/2014 at 11:42 PM

What exactly is “the issue” with Bellevue? Has anyone gone near the school, bothered children or affected classes? Are they panhandling? Are they registered sex offenders?

Honestly the degenerates at Poe’s Pub concern me a whole lot more than the people seeking treatment at the methadone clinic. I for one am happy they can get help…I don’t think they’re hurting anyone.

frankp 01/10/2014 at 10:57 AM

‘Parking’ in Taylor’s Hill Park is totally wackadoodle. There’s plenty of street parking. They should be ticketed. There are often cops chilling in the parking deck behind Farm Fresh, maybe they should be alerted. But do these cars have anything to do with the clinic?
Though the clinic is close to the school, it’s also physically separated from it by the hill and feels like a world away. Is there an evidence that proximity clinic/school causes problems?
The clinic has to be somewhere. Seeking treatment should be honored not shamed.

Michelle 01/10/2014 at 12:12 PM

Katz, how are superior than those that visit Poes?

degenerate escapee from Poe's 01/10/2014 at 1:27 PM

Katz #10, please explain how someone seeking treatment for heroin addiction is superior to the customers at Poe’s Pub. And on what do you base your description of these Poe’s customers – their behavior, their looks, their clothes, or what? In other words, what makes them degenerates in your opinion?

Queen of Church Hill 01/10/2014 at 2:11 PM

Degenerates at Poe’s Pub!?!? I resemble that remark!

degenerate escapee from Poe's 01/10/2014 at 2:21 PM

@14 Are there queens at Poe’s too? Any chance they will be doing drag brunch on Sundays? It would be so much easier to walk there then drive to Godfrey’s…

Mike Britt 01/12/2014 at 6:20 PM

How dare you talk about my family and friends in that way. If you make a statement like that you should use your real name so we could be adults and discuss your problems. Poe’s has been here for twenty years and done more for church hill than someone like you would know. Be a man or a woman and talk to me in person

crd 01/12/2014 at 6:42 PM

katzenjaammer #10, I think you need to make a trip to Poe’s and explain yourself to the owner, Mike Britt, and some of the neighbors.

katzenjaammer 01/12/2014 at 11:52 PM

I tried going to Poe’s to eat, because the food is pretty good. But the last time I was there, I had a well known neighborhood drunk chew up food and spit it on my plate. WHILE i WAS EATING. Lovely. The time before that, I went in the women’s bathroom and the sink was full of vomit. Also one memorable Halloween, when looking for a burger after a stressful family funeral, I was harrassed at the bar by another drunken regular and when I complained, I was advised by the bartender, who I had found sleeping in the back of a pickup truck in front of my house just a few days earlier, that I should just leave. Glad you all had great experiences in this place but I haven’t. In fact I feel sure the same barflies would be in residence if I walked down there right now. Mr Britt, I’d be glad to talk to you but I’m not going there. I don’t like your place and I’d never recommend it to anyone.

What’s the difference between people seeking help at a methadone clinic and career alcoholics at the bar…? Seems obvious to even “someone like me”. Connect the dots.

katzenjaammer 01/13/2014 at 12:01 AM

Furthermore, CRD, I don’t have to explain myself to you or anybody else.

Alex 01/13/2014 at 8:42 AM

@18 – at least you chose a relevant screen name. As you probably are aware, katzenjammer literally means something like the sound of a cat wailing. I’d say that’s a good way to describe your whining about Poe’s.

Either you got the worst luck in the world or there’s a lot more to this story than you’re sharing. I’ve been to Poe’s probably hundreds of times over the years and have yet to have anything like these things happen.

Michelle 01/13/2014 at 10:34 AM

Katz, how about some cheese to go with your whine?

Karen Gauthier 01/13/2014 at 12:06 PM

Good day Church Hillians, et al!

I am not going to comment on the political fervor related to the Methodone Clinic because I have not done enough research to understand the facts – which is what this original post story was to be about. HOWEVER, I am posting on the “degenerates” of Poe’s Pub comment that has taken the focus of the story.

Obviously, the poster either does not realize or does not care, that 99% of the regular customers at Poe’s that they are offending, are their fellow Hill neighbors and would most likely be the same ones to come to their aid, smile, and/or extend daily good wishes to them at any time in our historic neighborhood. As a VERY regular FRIEND of Poe’s, I am highly disgusted and appalled at this one particular posters perpetuation of hate and negative image of our neighborhood in this day and age. I hope that this poster never has to suffer such blatant disregard, disrespect and intolerance. And, I am embarrassed that anyone would attack Mike, Jennifer and the Britt family, their staff, and our neighbors in such a way. Obviously this poster does not have any clue of the double decade support and selfless dedication that Poe’s, it’s owners, staff and family have continually provided to our neighborhood. Not only should they be admired for the fact that Poe’s is a SUCCESSFUL family-owned and operated business enduring the seriously politically charged waters of city government as well as the overall economic struggles of our nation, but for the fact that it is a welcoming place of inclusion, diversity and friendship!! 12 years ago when my family moved to this neighborhood, we were embraced, welcomed and engaged by the Britt’s, the Poe’s staff, and customers. Our daughter enjoyed growing up with the multiple “aunts and uncles” that provided support, encouragement and protection to her and today she is a THRIVING and APPRECIATIVE straight-A’s honors student at college who brings her friends and fellow classmates to Poe’s on a regular basis. We are thankful that we can call Poe’s a second home and know that if anyone of us needs a safe-haven or place to go for help or assistance, we can count on Poe’s.

And, let’s not forget and also understand that the Britt’s constantly volunteer their time and expertise, supporting all of the local festivals and events in our neighborhood, as well as providing their establishment for family and business oriented events, such as membership meetings, birthday, anniversary, sports, and life celebrations!! Poe’s Pub is a cornerstone of our neighborhood and I AM PROUD to be not just a customer, but to be considered a friend and neighbor (defined in Websters dictionary as a “fellow human”)!

So, I encourage everyone that if you have had a bad experience ANYWHERE, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to engage with the management of the establishment to provide the facts of the situation and work for a resolution, VS providing anonymous comments on a webpage to cause harm!! Regardless of whether you are a customer in a retail store, gas station or eatery, if you have a negative experience, you should let the management know—if a manager is not present and the current staff cannot/will not help you, call the next day and ask to speak with or schedule a time to come by to discuss it like adults. NO BUSINESS OWNER or PROFESSIONAL wants a customer to have a bad experience and when they do, most will do everything in their power to rectify the situation and ensure a positive outcome—but they cannot do so if you do not let them know what happened.

In closing, to lump all together and describe the customers, owners and staff of Poe’s Pub as degenerates based on isolated incident(s) without attempting to resolve with the management directly, is shameful and suspect!! I am embarrassed that this post is now recorded and allowed to potentially persuade others to be discouraged to experience such a gem in our neighborhood!!

Thank you!
Karen Gauthier – Church Hill Neighbor and Poe’s Life-long FRIEND

Karen 01/13/2014 at 3:44 PM

Karen Gauthier – well-said!!!

katzenjaammer 01/13/2014 at 5:29 PM

Your insults haven’t improved my impression of Poe’s clientele. In fact, you proved my point better than I ever could have.

Jon Ondrak 01/13/2014 at 6:30 PM

@ Karen Gauthier – ditto.

clay st resident 01/13/2014 at 7:50 PM

Getting back on topic… as Alex points out, this bill does nothing to help the current issue with the methadone clinic near Bellevue since it would be exempted.

chpn 01/23/2014 at 8:04 PM

The Senate version of this bill passed the Senate earlier this week. It has crossed over to the House and is waiting review by the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee.


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