Category: Harrisonburg Issues
A silent crowd marched through downtown Harrisonburg with a single voice on Monday. Hands pointed skyward in unison at a community prayer event earlier that evening. And hundreds more gathered Wednesday evening in an online town hall to hear calls to action. Racial justice advocates across Harrisonburg — all of different races, ethnicities and ages — have mobilized peacefully and en masse in the past week. They have employed a variety of tactics to protest systemic racism and police brutality, to pay respects to George Floyd and other black Americans killed by police and to call for change.
Superintendent Michael Richards told the School Board Tuesday that the city schools might rely on a hybrid system of remote and in-person learning in the fall, but school officials are waiting for the state to release guidelines for reopening schools.
Out of necessity, restaurants adapt public spaces for outdoor seating. Will that spark a broader conversation for the future?
After expanding outdoor seating to the adjacent parking lot, Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint and Billy Jack’s Shack have hosted more guests outside while maintaining six-feet of distance between tables. And, in the process, it’s inspiring a wider conversation about reimagining public spaces in downtown Harrisonburg through the pandemic and beyond.
Decriminalization of marijuana possession won’t necessarily affect those already caught up in the system
Simple possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is set to be decriminalized in Virginia on July 1. But that won’t prevent Harrisonburg resident Christopher Jones, a cook at O’Neill’s Grill, from being sent to jail later that month if it’s what the prosecutor seeks.
About 300 people, donning face masks and holding signs, gathered at Court Square in Harrisonburg on Friday evening to speak out against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, who died Monday after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.
In May, I’ve had minimal part-time work, so I’ve spent hours in the mountains. It’s all been at one place, Hone Quarry Recreation Area (in the George Washington National Forest), a gem for its diversity of flora and fauna. My personal project of noticing and learning the names of plants, insects, birds, and other creatures there has provided purpose. It has also been a source of solace and joy.
Concern about the spread of COVID-19 in area poultry plants came to the forefront of Tuesday’s Harrisonburg City Council meeting, as 12 city residents representing a variety of grassroots organizations petitioned the council to ask Gov. Ralph Northam to dial back reopening of businesses in order to protect workers.
Fundraisers have been canceled or postponed, and normal operations are but a memory this spring for nonprofit agencies serving Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Still, leaders of several say they remain solvent and able to perform their missions as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on.