The recent dust-up concerning the fate of the Arthur Ash Jr. Athletic Center is, in the words of the great baseball philosopher Yogi Berra, “déjà vu all over again.”
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is once again pitching a big can’t-lose — this time promising a brand new mini-city complete with state-of-the-art baseball stadium, restaurants, retail shops, microbreweries, and apartments for both the rich and unrich.
Because those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it, I am obliged to offer this sad and shameful history lesson about a 2012 “big can’t-lose deal” involving previous Richmond City Mayor Dwight C. Jones, the pro football team now known as the Washington Commanders, the Bon Secours Health System and the city’s Economic Development Authority.
Basically, they stole the Westhampton School property.
Blinded by the glitz of Washington team owner Dan Snyder’s PR folks and many local cheerleaders, the very people charged with protecting Richmond’s public-school children decided to sacrifice them instead. Continue reading