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The Scoop: Week 25, 2012

U.Va. Fallout, Martin Agency Shocker, RVA Emmy Roundup + More.



“This Board has done more damage to the University I love than the 1895 Rotunda fire.” -- Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, in a tweet about the crisis at U.Va., where supporters held a vigil Wednesday night to protest the president’s ouster.

HELLO: And how was your longest day of the year? Or wait, was that Wednesday? Leap Year throws everything off. … Well, a day after or in the midst of the summer solstice, the mom from “Family Ties,” Meredith Baxter, turned 65. Happy birthday, Elyse. … And speaking of a blind item: We hear another “Family Ties” star was in town this week touring the University of Richmond. We can’t confirm or deny, but let’s just say this celebrity has a set of twins who are around the right age to be looking at colleges.

MARTIN AGENCY SHOCKER: Chief Creative Director John Norman and the Martin Agency have parted ways, as surprised staffers learned Wednesday. Last month Media Bistro’s Agency Spy published this memo from Norman, who also was a managing partner, which said in part: “I have decided to take a sabbatical and regroup for a few weeks and spend some time with my family and myself, getting recharged for the remainder of 2012. I look forward to seeing you all in June.” … But yesterday, Norman -- with whom I spent much time for this cover story profile in Style -- tells me he’s departed after two years. Mike Hughes, Norman’s predecessor and fellow managing partner, said it had taken him “11 years to find the person that I thought was right.” Will that now be Joe Alexander, who takes over creative duties? Alexander, who shares his online portfolio here, started with Martin in 1992, worked closely with Norman and was promoted to executive creative director in February. … Watch Style for more on the departure.

RVA NATIVE’S OLYMPIC HURDLE: Chesterfield’s Kellie Wells is taking another shot at the Olympics. There’s more to her story than speed and agility. A fascinating profile in Runner’s World recounts the abuse she overcame as a child, and what sets her apart: "She runs with her heart every time she steps on the track,’ says [two-time Olympic gold medalist Gail] Devers. ’Sometimes she leaves it on the track, but every meet she does her best, and that touches the heartstrings."

CAVALIERS LOOK TO GOVERNOR: How will Gov. Bob McDonnell handle the crisis at the University of Virginia in the wake of President Teresa Sullivan’s ouster? It’s a leadership test. “Gov. McDonnell can be the hero ... or the goat. We're all watching,” tweets Larry Sabato, director of the university’s Center for Politics. … After this week’s resignation of the university’s vice rector, Mark Kington, a former Board of Visitors member and former head of Richmond-based CarMax, Austin Ligon, puts it this way: “The Governor has said he does not want to interfere, but someone must take a leadership role to reverse this travesty.” … The Washington Post shares part of a conference call with reporters. Here’s what Gov. McDonnell has said so far. What do you think?

GAY BIRTHDAY BASH: I asked Kevin Clay, GayRVA.com founder and editor, to share three highlights from last week’s bash marking his site’s three-year anniversary. Clay writes: 1) Crossroads showed up with a 1950s inspired food spread complete with Vienna sausages and meatballs! Oh innuendo. 2) Drag queen Natasha Carrington presented the LGBT Pride Month proclamation from Richmond City Council. 3) 150 pounds of cake may have ended up on Marshall Street afterwards. It's swimsuit season. … Speaking of Carrington, the man under the wig, John Jessie, was named GayRVA.com’s Richmonder of the Year. And it just so happens to be Jessie’s own birthday on Sunday. Maybe he can celebrate at the Unity in Harmony concert Saturday by the Richmond Men’s Chorus.

PLEASE RETWEET: The Social Media Club of Richmond is marking its three-year anniversary with a happy hour on Tuesday, June 26, 5-8 p.m., at On the Rox. Naturally, you’ll find information on Facebook.

BASKETBALL FEVER: True, the seasons are long off. But the University of Richmond has announced its plans to celebrate 100 years of Spider basketball. … Over at Virginia Commonwealth University, coach Shaka Smart starts his summer youth camp next week. … And Rams fans are trying to bring ESPN’s “GameDay” to the Siegel Center this season, which includes this online petition.

DUH MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Former governor and U.S. Senate hopeful George Allen, whose dad coached the Redskins, says he’s glad the team will remain in Virginia: “I don’t want to get into matters that are close family issues, but my father brought the Redskins down what’s now Route 28 41 years ago to Virginia. So I’m happy the Redskins are staying.” We’ll see if Virginia’s $4 million grant to the team, which some Republicans are miffed about, will get more political.

GOOD WITH THE BLUES: The River City Blues Society recently held its eighth annual Blues Challenge, which was won by Andrew Alli and Last Night’s Blues Band. Those musicians go on to represent the group at the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. … And if you’re up for some blues this week, Li’l Ronnie and the Grand Dukes throw a free CD release party at the Holocaust Museum tomorrow, June 22, at 7:30 p.m.

THE OTHER GUYS: Will someone give Greg McQuade a raise? The CBS-6 reporter and anchor brought home three Emmy awards for the station from Saturday’s ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Among Richmond stations, CBS-6 dominated the competition with 12 wins. NBC-12 won six; and 8 News won two, both from the work of A.J. Lagoe, whose take home included an overall award for general assignment reporting. The complete list of winners is here. … Next week employees of the Richmond Times-Dispatch officially say goodbye to Media General and hello to Warren Buffett, with the newspaper deal expected to close Monday. … And happy birthday to radio news jock Jeff Stapleton, of the Virginia News Network and Newsradio 1140 WRVA, who celebrates Sunday.

THREE QUESTIONS IN STYLE: 1) Where do things stand with the parking ruckus on West Broad Street?2) Why is Richmond Shakespeare pulling its main-stage shows from CenterStage?3) How does one of Virginia’s first communities of free blacks celebrate nearly 230 years?

EATING AND DRINKING: Restaurant reviewer Robey Martin says better service would be a big help at On the Rox in Shockoe Bottom. … Are you ready for a vegan-chef showdown? … The Food Truck Court that’s been drawing crowds to the Virginia Historical Society moves to Shockoe Slip on Friday night, setting up beside the Hat Factory. … Watch for our annual Bar Guide, which hits stands next week.


1. Get a blast from the ’90s with Toad the Wet Sprocket at the Short Pump Town Center.

2. Hear Alabama Shakes with Robert Ellis at Friday Cheers.

3. Eat your vegetables. The Richmond Vegetarian Festival comes to Bryan Park.

4. See 50 local arts and cultural organizations all under one roof.

5. Get thee to a gallery.


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