Remove Flowers and Vases for Cemetery Cleanup

Owners of lots and gravesites in City-owned and operated cemeteries are reminded that according to City Code all flowers, decorations and vases placed on the ground must be removed by March.1. This is to allow the Cemeteries Division of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities to conduct its annual spring cleanup. City-owned cemeteries include Shockoe Hill, Oakwood, St.

Venue magazine, Bristol

Ever since I moved to Bristol in the mid-1980s, I have read Venue magazine, Bristol and Bath's equivalent of Time Out. Around fifteen years ago, I began to write for the magazine as well. Initially, I wrote a few theatre reviews, then did a couple of features, then became editor of the theatre and art sections; from 2004-5 I was editor of the magazine; since 2005 I have continued to contribute in a number of ways; currently I'm Venue's sub-editor. The magazine was founded in 1982 and for more than half of its existence it was a wholly independent publication. Just over a decade ago, it was brought by Bristol Evening Post, the local newspaper, which is owned, in turn, by Northcliffe and the Daily Mail Group.
On Tuesday last week staff and freelancers were told that Northcliffe is to close the magazine as of issue #962 (published on 16 March). This is due to a decline in advertising revenue, rising print costs and a modest fall in circulation. The corporation's 'tolerance' of Venue's commercial performance has, in other words, run out.
Obviously, for those of us who work for the magazine, this is disastrous. However, the response to the news from Bristol and Bath in the last 48 hours has been extraordinary and reveals the extent of the damage the closure will do to the two cities' cultural life as a whole. Over the course of nearly 30 years, Venue has proved itself to be both a champion of local culture in general and an advocate of the kind of independently minded DIY attitude which underpins much of the best of the West Country 'scene' from The Cube and People's Republic of Stokes Croft to Massive Attack and Banksy. Time and again, it has written about artistic endeavours which other local media don't have the resources to cover properly - discussions, demonstrations, talks, poetry gigs, open mic/acoustic nights - and given creative people at the very earliest stages of their career the chance to talk about their work. It has also reviewed countless films, gigs, plays, comedy nights - and been instrumental in passing the likes of Massive Attack and Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory on to a much wider audience. As many have pointed out in their responses to news of the closure, Venue should not be seen as a purely commercial venture: it is part and parcel of Bristol and Bath's cultural life and its owners should have a duty to protect it even when economic times are tough.
The demise of regional publications like Venue, however, is not merely a 'local' concern. It also reflects the growing centralism of UK culture as a whole, its reduction to a mono-centric metropolitan 'culture show' in which the same few voices are heard. How much more thriving would UK culture be, for instance, if every major city had a magazine/forum where its artists and their audience could have their say?
One argument, of course, is that the internet provides what local/regional magazines used to do. The truth is, it doesn't. It provides some information - and it's incredibly disparate. You miss as much as you find. The internet's a card index. You see the spines of the books but not what's inside them - blurbs, but not criticism and review. I'm not saying, by that, that magazines like Venue are always right - but it's the combination of information (all in one place) and insightful writing which makes it.
I'm biased, of course - but to show I'm not the only one, here are some links that'll illustrate what's been happening here since the news of Venue's imminent closure was announced:
Facebook - Save Venue
Facebook - Rescue Venue Awareness Info Page
Twitter - #savevenue

Considering studying in a city? 
Think Birmingham!
Birmingham and its universities have plenty to shout about.          
This app combines high-functionality with expert local knowledge to create the comprehensive guide to academic (and social!) life in the vibrant 
metropolis that is Birmingham.

Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report

The 2010-11 Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum is now available online here.

It provides country/economic profiles of 124 countries which allows cross-country analysis in order to make informed business decisions on how attractive a country is in terms of potential for development in travel and tourism.

Department to Host Panel Discussion on Race

The department will present a panel discussion for Black History Month called, “Outside the Lines: Race in the 21st Century.” It will be held on Thursday, Feb. 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the department’s Hickory Hill Community Center, 3000 E. Belt Boulevard. Serving on the panel will be the president of the Virginia Chapter of the NAACP, Rev. Dr. J. Rayfield Vines Jr.; pastor of Garland

Connect@UCB - New Library Service!

Connect@UCB is an online help desk which you can visit to get support in finding useful information. Simply log on during the advertised hours and a member of staff will be available to help with your enquiry - perfect if you're unable to make it into College! The desk will initially be open: 
Monday to Friday
10am - 12pm & 2pm - 4pm

To access Connect@UCB, you will first need a Wimba Pronto account - information about this software and getting a free account is available from UCBOnline. A user guide for UCBConnect is available from this link.

Learn to Lead Formal Meetings

Does your board or organization need to know the ins and outs of how to run a formal business meeting? If so, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, in partnership with the M. Stanley Ryan Unit of Parliamentarians and the Parliamentary Law Club of Richmond, is offering a one-day workshop on March 5 to teach parliamentary procedures to both adults and youth. The

Take a Valentine's Date to see Richmond's Heron Rookery

The department invites you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a tour of the Heron Rookery in the James River Park. “The courtship behavior of the Great Blue Herons can be eerily similar to that of humans,” says Ralph White, the park’s manager. The guided tour will take place Saturday, Feb. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants are advised to dress for the weather, and although some

City offers Slave Trail Walk to Commemorate Black History Month

The department is offering two opportunities this month to take an interpretive walk on Richmond’s Slave Trail in recognition of Black History Month. These programs offer the opportunity to walk along the same route through what is now the James River Park System that so many enslaved Americans were forced to take in the first half of the 19th century before being placed on the auction block.

Seniors Got Talent?

Are you a senior citizen with talent? If so, then join the Senior Talent Showcase sponsored by the department at its Westover Community Center on March 25. The center is located at 1301 Jahnke Rd., and the fun will begin at 11 a.m. You must have talent and be at least 55 years old to compete in the Showcase competition. Prizes will be awarded along with the opportunity to add “Talent Star”


Tourism is a website containing a comprehensive range of information and articles; daily, weekly and 'Top 10's' travel news is included as well as an e-marketing section. A comprehensive directory provides industry links, events calendar and a festival finder.  There is also a monthly online magazine which regular features on Heritage, Professional, Medical, Transport, Destinations and Events stories; view the archive here.
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VisitEngland e-News Feb 2011

This week, VisitEngland launched a comprehensive business case for accessible tourism in England. The booklet, entitled ‘At Your Service’, reveals a lucrative market worth over £2 billion. Endorsed by the Tourism Minister, the booklet contains an easy to follow ‘Map Through Access’ helping operators to improve their accessibility. Read the booklet here plus case studies.
The annual International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) conference supported by VisitEngland and ABTA was held in January 2011 and provided a great insight into future strategies on tourism sustainability for the UK. For more on the conference and to hear presentations click here.
On 24th January VisitEngland hosted the first in a series of tourism workshops for the newly approved Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). The workshop, addressed by the Tourism Minister John Penrose MP, focused on the positive impact that tourism brings to local economies and opportunities for local growth. More...
A conference was recently held to review ETIP’s (English Tourism Intelligence Partnership) three year programme and identify future priorities. Announcements included the continuation of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) Tourism Intelligence Unit for one year, the creation of a new Day Visits Survey and the extension of David Quarmby’s Chairmanship to July. Read more on the ETIP Conference
The majority of the draft Action Plans will go out for industry consultation next week for a 5-6 week period. The consultation period has been extended to allow the industry the opportunity to review the draft action plans alongside the Coalition Government’s tourism policy expected to be published shortly. More on the Action Plan consultation


For an update on the changing landscape of Birmingham, take a look at this blog post where a number of new hotel projects in the city centre have been highlighted.