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Church Hill Reunion 2015 is this Saturday

From JJ Minor:

The Church Hill Reunion will take place on this Saturday, September 12, 2015 at George Mason Elementary School (Ethel Bailey Furman Park) from 12pm – 6pm. Looking forward to seeing all of my family and friends. Please share this information.

There ain’t no party like a Church Hill Party. Straight Outta Church Hill…

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Ryan Ramsey 09/09/2015 at 9:23 AM

Seeing this post makes my heart sink. This event has a history of not only trashing the immediate blocks around the park, but potentially sparking violence from rowdy participants (I can recall two years where shootings ended this event early, including a shooting on my block last year).

The amount of cleanup and trash generated from this event is sickening. What would help is having the cleanup crew extend out 2-3 blocks in each direction to pick up trash after the event ends at 6 PM. Security for the event should also be heavily increased.

I love a community event and neighborhood gathering, but the organizers do not take into account the impact on the adjoining neighborhood.

jamie 09/09/2015 at 12:50 PM

Oh Lawd…there should be a law against it. Be vigilant people. Call the police at the hint of anything off-color!

Philip 09/09/2015 at 12:52 PM

I sent a note to Dept of Parks and Rec with the city to inquire about the event – permits, staging, etc. Will let you know if I hear anything back. Last year, there was a City of Richmond stage that was brought in for the event.

CD 09/09/2015 at 1:15 PM

I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic on not, Jamie.

jamie 09/09/2015 at 1:31 PM

@5…Sarcastic? not one word was meant as sarcasm. This event wreaks havoc on the neighborhood. The attendees have no respect for the area hosting the event…loud music, trash everywhere (not just on the property but thrown into yards blocks away) public urination on private property, obnoxious behavior, shootings. Who needs this mess?

Has anyone lodged formal complaints about this event in prior years? I can’t believe permits get issued for this.

wobobee 09/09/2015 at 4:46 PM

Great. Can’t wait to find shit and toilet paper at my alley gate again this year.

chpn 09/10/2015 at 7:25 AM

Organizers have said that volunteers will be out on 9/13/15 at 10AM to assist with picking up trash at George Mason Elementary School.

formerlibbyhillresident 09/10/2015 at 10:27 AM

When I owned property across the street, I always expected to be picking up the trash left behind the next day. Wrappers, bottles and even dirty diapers. Down home, indeed.

Julia H 09/10/2015 at 12:04 PM

Clean up the next day is unacceptable! It should be cleaned up as soon as the event ends! Leaving trash overnight, food and drink containers at least will attract rodents, etc! If it falls in the storm drains, it pollutes the James! I urge anyone concerned to call the City Health Dept, the permit office, Parks & Recreation, etc!

jamie 09/10/2015 at 12:57 PM

Julia H…I hear you loud and clear.

Here’s some interesting information about one of the organizers…

James E. “J.J.” Minor, III
of Richmond, Virginia

Appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in July 2015. Mr. Minor serves as a Project Analyst for both Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities and the Department of Economic and Community Development. Mr. Minor’s responsibilities include compliance with MS4 Environmental Compliance Reports, creating public education and outreach programs for storm water management and pollution reduction in the James River and Chesapeake Bay. Mr. Minor attended Virginia State University.

Maybe he should start by conducting some public education
and community outreach for the attendees of the event he’s helping to organize.

Should we send a note to McAwful?

Sloan 09/10/2015 at 2:24 PM

Interesting, Jamie.. Just curious…where did you find the information about Mr. Minor?
Appointed by the Governor?

L B 09/11/2015 at 12:09 PM

Here we go again. I live closer to Libby Hill/St. Patricks, so I always have problems whenever there is something there, such as High on the Hog and the Irish festival. Trash, more dog poop than usual, and I have seen people peeing against houses/garages. It has gotten better, I guess since the neighborhood is changing so people have more respect for the residents, but it is still bad. However, this is the one that gets the complaints? Not the other gatherings? I guess I need to find out who to complain to with the bike festival and Hogtober coming up, because I think it will be more of the usual. Wish there could be a law against those gatherings too.

@Church hillian 09/11/2015 at 12:14 PM

jamie you sound racist if you dont like black people move also the irish fes. Is 10 times bigger 10 times mor trash 10 times more drunks and no parking

@Church hillian 09/11/2015 at 12:16 PM

i dont like to get on here any more cause of comments like that

Josh 09/11/2015 at 12:23 PM

I have contacted everyone that I can think of about this unwanted event and no one has replied. I’m praying that it pours rain from Noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday so that those of us who live here will be spared the aftermath and potential danger to ourselves.

CD 09/11/2015 at 12:37 PM

I don’t really go to any of the festivals up here, but I like the energy around them and I like the idea of people getting together and having a good time.

The Reunion is a long-running event that predates most of any of yall moving into the area, I bet. Your complaints come across just flat out racist.

wobobee 09/11/2015 at 1:16 PM

The Irish Festival consistently provides an adequate number of trash cans and port-o-potties for their event. They also do a pretty good coordinated clean-up afterward. I have lived in Church Hill for nearly ten years and I have never seen the Church Hill Reunion provide any of these things. THAT is the problem. I’m talking piles of trash, sitting for weeks. I’m talking about a hundred people using the alley behind my house as a toilet. It’s not about race, CD, it’s about event planning. Though some people suck at articulating it, that is where these complaints are coming from.

Ryan Ramsey 09/11/2015 at 2:09 PM

wobobee: you hit the nail on the head. The comments on this event are not about race, it is about a poorly excecuted event where security, litter bins and bathroom facilities are sorely lacking. I’m tired of picking up a part of the mess afterwards.

My e-mail to the Parks & Rec. Director and Ms. Newbille remain unanswered too (although in fairness I sent the message at 9 PM last night). I hope to hear something at some point.

It would also be nice if the blocks around this event were notified at least 2-3 weeks ahead of time about the time and date of the event.

Jamie 09/11/2015 at 2:18 PM

@14 Church hillian.

Sounds to me like you have a guilty conscience. Please enlighten me how any potion of my comment was directed toward any particular race? If you’re going to throw around the race card, you should be prepared to defend your implication. I suspect that may be a loss for you though.

I could care less if you’re black, blue, white or green… Bad behavior is bad behavior no matter how you want to make excuses for it.

The commenters that have expressed frustration with this event are only asking the organizers to ensure the attendees respect the property of the people who actually live in the area of this event. The lawless and downright criminal behavior will not be tolerated from this or any other group.

chpn 09/11/2015 at 2:50 PM

@Ryan – FWIW, the reunion seems to be 2nd Saturday of September every year

L B 09/11/2015 at 3:52 PM

Well I have tolerated the crap from events being held at Libby for many years. And I do live within that 2-3 block radius of the park, and not much farther from St. Patrick’s. I will admit that it is getting a little better (although almost event I see at least one person peeing, only once pooping, though you claim there are port a potties), but only because people may know someone that lives in the neighborhood now, instead of treating it like the trash people thought it was 15 years ago. It does feel like whenever certain gatherings are announced there are nothing but negative comments, while others get only positive comments, although the concerns are the same. Instead of groaning and saying not again and being generally negative, why not try to contact the city and organizers and express your concerns. That’s what I plan to do about all the activity for Libby Hill in the next couple of months. Hopefully they will make an announcement about respecting the residents during the bike race.
For me, there is a way to express concern without it coming off as “those people”, whether race, class, or something else, even if it is not was posters intended.

Ziti 09/11/2015 at 5:16 PM

Maybe some post-mortem photo documentation of these events would help make the case about which ones need to do a better job of sanitation.

BC 09/11/2015 at 5:30 PM

Maybe it is poorly organized, but you shouldn’t try to end the event because of a few unlawful citizens. There are people who gather at this event to remember the times we had during our years in Churchill. You can’t control how people act. There should be security present.

Nascar is this weekend. Have you ever seen the trash left by them. I have. The trash is never picked up until the next day. The neighborhood is littered with trash, noise and intoxicated people, riding up and down the street screaming out of their cars waving their flags. No one is asking to end this event and the police look the other way at the unlawfulness happening. But this is big money Nascar.

mary anne 09/11/2015 at 8:21 PM

Well said CD, LB & BC! I hate the trash too but this is a reunion party so presumably the people attending this event have ties to this neighborhood that are probably far deeper than most readers of this blog. Calling the police if you see anything “off color” is a bit presumptuous. Haven’t you ever been drinking and having too much fun to notice how loud & rude you’ve been to people living nearby? Ask yourselves why they are no longer living here in church hill. Perhaps the cost of living here got too high for them to afford rent & forced them to move elsewhere? I know this is how my house came on the market 10 years ago. How would that make you feel reading some of these insulting comments if you had to move because your neighborhood was gentrified. That coupled with neighbors urging everyone to call the police for anything “off color” might make me less respectful in my merrymaking. I’m not saying there is any excuse for peeing in somebody’s front yard – believe me, it happens on a regular basis where I live thanks to the parties that are held every weekend at the Masonic Lodge across the street. I am saying some people jump to conclusions and hurl hypocritical accusations when they probably never interact w/anyone outside their

mary anne 09/11/2015 at 8:26 PM

Well said CD, LB & BC

Dyvonne King 09/12/2015 at 12:01 AM

Volunteers will be onsite on Sunday morning as there will still be people there after we wrap up at 6 pm. We’d like to get up as much trash as possible. The city won’t pick up the cans until Monday. I’ll be sure to post pics after the volunteers are done!

Julia H 09/12/2015 at 10:24 AM

Concerns about this festival have nothing to do with race! It is about a lack of event planning and behavior of attendees! Comparing this festival to NASCAR or the Irish festival deflects from the issue here! Comparisons do not win arguments! I hope those willing to come out in the rain, have a great time! Yesterday, I counted 28 superbins available for trash! I hope the event organizers will be conscious of the neighbors this year

Carolyn Loftin 09/12/2015 at 2:16 PM

I hope that anyone posting negative comments are also conscious about the effects of certain social classes moving to a once highly neglected area, in which the majority of the attendants of the reunion only occupied, but can no longer afford because Church Hill is the “it” place to live. Notice that I didn’t hide my real name mainly because I’m not here to condemn, I’m simply urging all to handle things with a little more humility. I am not in favor of one side or another. I just hope that one day each of you can reflect/look back at your own comment(s) and recognize how it could have been stated with a little more grace in mind… #NobodyIsPerfect

Imani clark 09/12/2015 at 2:48 PM

Everybody that is talking shit but u stay in church hill if u don’t like it get out lord it’s not hard tired of hearing the same thing church hill is my home I’m from church hill ??????

Julia H 09/12/2015 at 9:51 PM

Update-drove by park around 9pm and the litter is at a minimum!! It is hard to see in the dark but I think it ended up working out ok for surrounding neighbors! 🙂

Dyvonne King 09/13/2015 at 11:28 AM

I’m at the park now and don’t see any litter. Julia H it really doesn’t work out if the event causes so much strife.:(

Florence archer 09/13/2015 at 2:12 PM

church people how do you sound ???????? dont worry wait soon it will be all yours an how you want it to be, we will all be gone so that you can enjoy your new Rome . for this deeper than you think.

AP 09/13/2015 at 9:00 PM

Florence you’re right, this conversation reflects something deeper. “You have to know the past to understand the present.” If you’re interested in learning more, I’d recommend these:

1. TED talk about being a neighbor in Church Hill.

2. Richmond Hill’s fall class on Race-

3. A book on the history of Richmond- “Unhealed Richmond” by Ben Campbell

jamie 09/14/2015 at 8:50 AM

@34…Oh wow…here we go. The comments posted here were strictly related to bad behavior, plain and simple.

1. Throwing trash on city or private property- wrong
2. Urinating in public- wrong
3. Shooting guns in a populated area-wrong

Glad things were better managed this year. It’s incredibly ridiculous how people try to rationalize, minimize, or otherwise make excuses for the actions people are complaining about. This has NOTHING to do with race- I don’t think these behaviors are acceptable by any race.

wobobee 09/15/2015 at 10:13 AM

Yes, I agree this does go deeper. But many people complaining here are not calling for the end of the event. They are simply asking for better management. Imani and Florence, do you think your neighborhood should be trashed? Do you think a garbage and glass-strewn Church Hill is the unavoidable result of this event? It is not. With better planning, the Church Hill Reunion can be safe and clean for everyone. EVERYONE deserves to live in a clean environment. And the fact that many long-time residents of the neighborhood do not expect or demand a clean environment is a sad consequence of this deeper history.

L B 09/15/2015 at 3:46 PM

That’s the thing, though. Somehow the Reunion is responsible for things that happened several years ago, under different management. This year appears to have been a success. So I will save this post on my computer, and next year maybe when John posts about the reunion we will not have so many negative comments, since #28 does not want comparisons to other events that were once not quite as organized and clean. Your comparison will be the 2015 Reunion, not the 2012 or whenever one, because that was the distant past with different people running it.

wobobee 09/16/2015 at 12:07 PM

LB: A success? It rained all day and the few people who did show up got to enjoy the tension of an increased police presence due to fears of retaliatory violence for the double homicide that took place in the area just two days before. From your South-of-Broad home, you obviously have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on north of M Street. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this event next year!

L B 09/16/2015 at 10:49 PM

Please do not assume you know where I live. Know that you can cross Broad street when you talk about 2-3 blocks from Libby Hill. And I’m only responding to the poster who said that it looked clean, which would be a success seeing as though the first posts were complaining about trash strewn about the neighborhood. And since I have been in this neighborhood a lot longer than most posters, I do know a lot of the people that would have been at the reunion, which is why I usually go, including knowing and hanging around people north of M street.

Ryan Ramsey 09/21/2015 at 1:06 PM

As a follow-up, the trash from the event was far less this year when compared to 2014. I want to thank everyone who used the trash cans at the event or helped pick-up the trash on Sunday. I still had some extra pick-up of trash on my block and along M Street (the gutter pans were ignored for trash pick-up). I also didn’t encounter or hear of any violent activity during the event.

I’m not sure anyone can use this year’s event as a measure to rate next year’s reunion. As wobosee stated, it rained and attendence appeared to be 1/4 to 1/3rd of what it normally would be. Had the normal attendence figures been reached, the 4-portable bathrooms and the 20 trash cans in the park would not have been sufficient. There is still room for improvement in planning this event.

DAC 08/10/2016 at 8:28 AM

I understand about the trash and the lack of sufficient security. It’s not pretty, but for many years before a lot of you became residents, we didn’t have all this confusions or concerns. This event used to be all day til 8pm with no incidents. That’s because we old school who been here 30 plus years know how to conduct ourselves and have fun, see former classmates and neighbors reunited. We didn’t see all of these negatives until certain types of our youths want to use it like gangster land. If these youths don’t want to respect our event, they need to stay home or have them search or something to curtail these negatives. As I mentioned it’s some youths.


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