May 2017 Briefs


Robin Starr - photo 2 (1)








Richmond SPCA CEO Robin Starr.

Richmond SPCA Robin Starr  

Receives Maddie Hero Award

Robin Starr, who heads up the Richmond SPCA, is one of fifteen animal welfare leaders nationwide to receive the prestigious Maddie Hero Award, which comes with a $10,000 grant.  The award recognizes and honors the “top dogs” in communities that are not only advancing the welfare of companion animals in the United States, but are leading the way with their innovative ideas, progressive thinking and lifesaving actions.

Robin wins this award as she celebrates her twentieth year as CEO of the Richmond SPCA. In those two decades, Richmond’s approach to animal welfare has been transformed thanks to her leadership in bringing the no kill model to Central Virginia. Under her leadership, the Richmond SPCA has developed and delivered the crucial programs and services needed by our community to reach a citywide live release rate now in excess of 90 percent.

“Robin epitomizes the very best of no-kill leadership,” says Mary Ippoliti-Smith of Maddie’s Fund. “She has successfully led the Richmond SPCA to unprecedented levels of lifesaving and works tirelessly to expand that safety net of care throughout the Richmond Metro area.  Not content to rest on her accomplishments, Robin continues to challenge herself, her team and her community to champion the cause of all pets.”

The award was made to Robin by Maddie’s Fund®, a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday® co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $187.8 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter medicine education, and pet adoptions across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie’s Fund after their miniature schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them much joy. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

An edible garden.

Edible garden on a previous Bellevue Garden Walk.

Bellevue Garden Walk

Slated for May 21


Get a look at your neighbors’ gardens without trespassing.

The annual Bellevue Garden walk will be held 2 to 6 pm on Sunday, May 21. Brochures with maps highlighting featured gardens will be delivered to every home in Bellevue just prior to the event. Watch for them on your front porch.

Belleviewers love their gardens, and love exhibiting them in their full and naked glory. Resident there have been hosting this garden walk for more than twenty-five years, and as always it’s free.



UPS's proposed apartment complex on one of Northside's last open green spaces.

Architectural drawings for high-density housing on the Westwood Tract.


Derailing the Seminary’s

Runaway Development

Residents of Ginter Park and Sherwood Park recently filed suit in Richmond City Circuit Court to stop the building of a 301-unit suburban-style apartment project on one of the few remaining green spaces in the city’s North Side. The development, to be called the Canopy, will be located on a portion of the Westwood Tract, across Brook Road from Union Presbyterian Seminary.

The suit claims that the city has misstated the zoning on the tract, which was enacted in 1953 to permit student housing, but to prohibit commercial residential development. The Northside residents cite 1953 zoning documents, which the city claimed were not available when they gave permission for the massive project.

The suit claims the Westwood Tract is subject to a 1953 rezoning ordinance which states, “that use of the entire Westwood Tract is limited to ‘institutional’ uses, [and] that the proposed Canopy at Westwood use is not an ‘institutional’ use.” Therefore, the complaint says, the building permits for the multi-family project “should be enjoined both preliminarily and permanently.”

About CharlesM 269 Articles
North of the James, is an award-winning general interest publication with a regional focus that has been serving the region for over 20 years. North of the James presents business profiles, book and restaurant reviews, a calendar of events, and much more

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply