Lisa Provence



Chief Al Thomas said it's not the Klan he's worried about, it's the local response.
Staff photo

Response to KKK: ‘Don’t take the bait’—Chief Thomas

  By the time around 130 people crowded into the fellowship hall at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church June 13, organizers moved the “So Now What” community forum into the sanctuary to accommodate the mass of people coming out on a rainy evening to discuss the impending appearance of the North Carolina-based Loyal White […]

Heather Hill and Amy Laufer are the Dem nominees for City Council, and Joe Platania is most likely the new commonwealth's attorney.
Submitted photos

Progressive setback? Laufer, Hill, Platania move on; Fenwick, Fogel out

The heavily watched June 13 primary in Virginia offered several surprises, most notably record-setting Democratic turnout and Corey Stewart’s near upset of Ed Gillespie in the GOP gubernatorial race. Conversely, hometown favorite Tom Perriello’s race against Ralph Northam for governor was expected to be much closer than Northam’s 12-point win. And in city Democratic primary […]

Joe Draego chastises commonwealth's attorney candidate Jeff Fogel for not removing himself from a case because Fogel yelled at Jason Kessler, right, who filed charges against Fogel's client.
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Draego rebukes Fogel for not recusing himself

Joe Draego was in court today for a charge that he assaulted Showing Up for Racial Justice activist Sara Tansey when he retrieved a phone she allegedly snatched from white-protest organizer Jason Kessler back in February. The hearing in court was pretty routine, but afterward, Draego accused Tansey’s lawyer—commonwealth’s attorney candidate Jeff Fogel—of not acting “in […]

Either Joe Platania or Jeff Fogel will likely be commonwealth’s attorney-elect after the June 13 primary.
Submitted photos

Style and turnout: Platania and Fogel present their cases

Come June 13, Charlottesville likely is going to have a new commonwealth’s attorney, given the unlikelihood a Republican candidate will emerge for the general election in November. That person will be either Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania, who seemingly has the backing of the city’s Democratic machine, or Jeff Fogel, who has captured the support […]

Special prosecutor Mike Doucette and attorney Pam Starsia leave court as a judge mulls Wes Bellamy's legal fees.
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Judge considers Bellamy’s attorney fees

One thing Judge Richard Moore and Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s attorney agreed upon: “If it was possible under the law and there was one person who should pay on this meritless claim, it would be Jason Kessler,” said Pam Starsia, who represented Bellamy when Kessler petitioned to remove him from office for offensive tweets Bellamy made before taking […]

Names not chosen for the former Jackson Park (left): Court Square, Park, The Commons, Memory Park, Little Sorrel Park. For the former Lee Park: Sally Hemings Park, Library Park, Central Park, Festival Park

Emancipation and Justice: Lee and Jackson parks get new names

  Following the disruptions to City Council meetings that have occurred with regularity since the call to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee was first made more than a year ago, councilors voted 5-0 to ditch the monikers honoring Confederate generals Lee and Stonewall Jackson and dub them, respectively, Emancipation and Justice parks. […]

Vernonica Fitzhugh speaks to her supporters before going into court.
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Fitzhugh and Fogel make first court appearances

Activist Veronica Fitzhugh and commonwealth’s attorney candidate Jeff Fogel both appeared in court this morning for their respective assault charges, accompanied by dozens of supporters. The brief 10am hearing was over before some people could get through security and into the courtroom. Fogel represents Fitzhugh, who was charged May 31 with assault and disorderly conduct stemming […]

Jeff Fogel responds to Jason Kessler before the alleged assault of Kessler's buddy.
Eze Amos

Miller’s time: Candidate arrested in mall shout-down

Commonwealth’s attorney candidate Jeff Fogel was arrested in the wee hours today when five police cars came to his house following an alleged assault earlier in the evening outside Miller’s on the Downtown Mall. That was where the latest confrontation between whites-righter Jason Kessler and Showing Up for Racial Justice took place after Kessler dined at […]

Bible in hand and on bended knees, activist Veronica Fitzhugh asks Jason Kessler, whom she's called a "Nazi," for forgiveness.
Staff photo

Kumbaya moments at Lee Park—sort of

Charlottesville religious leaders staged a counterprotest this morning at Lee Park in anticipation of a gathering of Confederate supporters that didn’t happen. And when two foes met amid the hymns and prayers, all was not forgiven. According to a press release, the Confederates were supposed to be at the park at 10am. Members of the […]

At the May 14 candlelight demonstration in Robert E. Lee Park, right-wing activist Jason Kessler was arrested for disorderly conduct for refusing to leave the park and inciting with a bullhorn. Kessler says protestors blocked him from leaving. Photo by Eze Amos

Tactical change: Not your grandpa’s protest

In images from the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, African-Americans in their Sunday best peacefully protested, and when violence occurred, it came from police or from virulent racists. Those are not the optics of today’s demonstrations. Instead, protesters knock cell phones out of people’s hands, blast them with bullhorns, block filming with […]

Attorney Andrew Sneathern says he's "strangely fitted" for the 5th District.
Photo Eze Amos

Standing up: Andrew Sneathern announces 5th District run

Touting his background growing up on a farm and as an attorney, Andrew Sneathern threw his cap into the 2018 5th District congressional race today before dozens of supporters at Champion Brewery. Sneathern, 46, plans to tap into the “unbelievable wealth of power coming from the Democratic party now, something I’ve never seen before,” he […]

The Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP’s president, Janette Martin, took office about the same time as Donald Trump.

Eze Amos

Still relevant? New NAACP president faces charged civil rights landscape

There were times in its century-long history that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was considered a militant organization. Today, not so much. Just last week, the national organization’s board ousted its president and called for a “systemwide refresh.” Janette Martin took the helm of the Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP in January at the […]

Jordan McNeish was playing music on the mall when he heard chanting and encountered a group of white nationalists in Lee Park. Staff photo

The man who confronted white nationalists in Lee Park

The initial police officer on the scene at the May 13 Lee Park demonstration of Richard Spencer’s alt-right gang described between 100 and 150 people carrying tiki-style torches, some of whom were in an argument with a man who was yelling at them to “leave my town,” according to a Charlottesville Police release. That man […]

Bob Fenwick, Heather Hill and Amy Laufer seek the Democratic nomination for two open seats on City Council in the June 13 primary. Courtesy Subjects

EPIC forum: When candidates and townspeople meet

New group Equity and Progress in Charlottesville hopes to piggyback on the progressivism sparked by Bernie Sanders’ campaign last year, while elbowing aside the ruling Democratic party’s stranglehold on local government. EPIC is holding forums to ferret out candidates in local races most closely aligned with its goals of adding affordable housing, and stanching gentrification […]

Protesters gathered May 14th in response to tiki torch-carrying white nationalists assembling in Lee Park the day before.
Photo Eze Amos

Lee Park scene of white nationalist demonstration, counterprotest

A group led by UVA grad Richard Spencer, head of the white nationalist National Policy Institute, converged on Charlottesville Saturday and held a tiki-torch procession that evening that sparked a candlelit counter protest Sunday, along with denunciations from Mayor Mike Signer, Delegate David Toscano and the local Republican party chair. The event thrust Charlottesville into […]

Joe Draego, who retrieved Jason Kessler's phone,  declined to comment on his assault charge, but he was happy to discuss his plans for buying a farm.

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Kessler makes back-to-back court appearances

Blogger and antifa resister Jason Kessler’s weekend was bookended by dates in the Charlottesville General District Court, one in which he claims he’s the victim, another in which he was sentenced for assault. On Friday, May 5, a special prosecutor was named and a court date set to hear Kessler’s charge against Sara Tansey for […]

Sign-carrying protesters against white supremacy chanted outside Charlottesville Circuit Court.
Staff photo

General Lee wins first court skirmish

At the end of a six-hour hearing May 2, a judge enjoined the City of Charlottesville from removing its statue of General Robert E. Lee for the next six months. More than 150 years after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the battle over Confederate monuments continues. Protesters in favor of ousting the statue chanted outside Charlottesville […]

Willie Lamar owned Meadowbrook Pharmacy, one of the last of the independents, for 34 years.

Staff photo

Pharmacy farewell: Meadowbrook closes to make way for CVS

For many of its longtime customers, the letter arrived April 24 announcing the demise of Meadowbrook Pharmacy after more than 60 years at the corner of Barracks Road and Emmet Street. And the sadness at the loss of one of Charlottesville’s two independent pharmacies was not assuaged with news that a CVS would be opening […]

U.S. 250 west near Crozet has new circular traffic patterns coming in the next few years.

Circle theory: Two roundabouts in Crozet’s future

Every few years, the idea to put a roundabout at difficult intersections pops up—and usually disappears. Charlottesville’s former mayor and longtime delegate, the late Mitch Van Yahres, was a big roundabout fan, and he supported the one installed at the airport, one of the few bandied about from the early aughts that actually got built. […]

Water Street Parking Garage

Insurance denied: City footing Lee statue, parking garage legal bills

Since 2016, Charlottesville has faced a larger-than-usual number of high-profile lawsuits, and in at least two cases, its insurance carrier won’t be picking up the tab. And while the carrier hasn’t seen the most recent suit, filed by Albemarle County over the Ragged Mountain Natural Area April 20, that litigation could join the Lee statue […]

Dan Grogan at his Albemarle High polling place uses visual aids to illustrate the “wacky districts” drawn by both Democrats and Republicans.
Photo Groganvision

An ‘insidious’ and ‘invasive’ threat to democracy

It’s the issue former President Barack Obama will focus on, joining people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and HBO’s John Oliver, who consider it the biggest threat to the United States’ representative government. The menace is not one that comes from outside the country, but a homegrown tradition dating back to the earliest days of the republic: […]