In brief: Farmington fracas, scooter-ville, white supremacists’ lawsuit and more

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Fox News' Tucker Carlson wanted to beat a man whom he alleges called his 19-year-old daughter a "whore" at Farmington Country Club. 
Gage Skidmore Fox News’ Tucker Carlson wanted to beat a man whom he alleges called his 19-year-old daughter a “whore” at Farmington Country Club. Gage Skidmore

Farmington feud

Farmington Country Club revoked Juan Manuel Granados’ membership following his spat with Tucker Carlson, who has admitted that his son threw wine in Granados’ face. Granados, represented by celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti, is now threatening legal action. It won’t be the first time: Granados reportedly successfully sued the Roanoke Athletic Club for revoking a family membership from him, his partner, and his daughter because it didn’t recognize gay couples with children as a family.


Quote of the week

“It took enormous self-control not to beat this man with a chair, which is what I wanted to do.”—Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a statement on an encounter with a man who allegedly called his daughter a “whore” at Farmington Country Club in October


Knock ’em all down

The two statues that grace West Main Street are of westward-looking explorers, men of the frontier. The Meriwether Lewis and William Clark sculpture at the Ridge-McIntire intersection features Albemarle-native Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea, the Shoshone woman who served as guide during the 1803-1806 expedition up the Missouri River to the Pacific. Another piece from the hands of Charles Keck, it was dedicated in 1921 and has been the source of controversy due to its depiction of Sacajawea crouching behind the men. A plaque commemorating her contributions was added to the monument in 2009. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto
Rammelkamp Foto

In case you haven’t had enough statue drama, Mayor Nikuyah Walker is now advocating for the removal of the Lewis and Clark monument on West Main Street. It shows the two explorers standing pompously over a cowering Sacagawea, though they actually have the Shoshone woman to thank for showing them the way. A plaque commemorating Sacagawea’s role was added about a decade ago after a previous effort to have the statue removed.

Haters want protection, too

Jason Kessler and white supremacist groups Identity Evropa, National Socialist Movement, and Traditionalist Worker Party are suing the city, former city police chief Al Thomas, and Virginia State Police Sergeant Becky Crannis-Curl for allegedly violating their First and Fourteenth amendment rights by failing to protect them during the first Unite the Right rally.

Human remains found on parkway

The John Warner Parkway trail was closed November 8 after human remains were found. The identity of the body, which is with the medical examiner’s office, is unknown.


Ready or not, here they come

Getty Images

City Council unanimously approved a “dockless mobility” pilot program last week, meaning people on electric scooters will soon be zooming around town. But similar programs haven’t worked out well for surrounding cities.

“Electronic scooters introduce a mode of transportation that address what many refer to as the ‘first mile’ and ‘last mile’ problem,” says Vice-Mayor Heather Hill, for short trips that don’t merit driving, but are beyond a short walk.

Scooter drivers will download an app onto their smartphones and unlock the two-wheeler by scanning its code with their phones. Most companies charge a $1 unlocking fee, and an additional 20 cents per minute, according to the proposal.

The city hasn’t announced which brand it’s contracting with yet, but popular scooter company Bird has already set up shop in Richmond and Harrisonburg.

In the former, the city’s Department of Public Works almost immediately impounded as many scooters as it could because they encroached on the public right of way, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. And in the latter, a student has started a petition to get them banned.

“As the ride-sharing company dumped hundreds of scooters in various locations across our city, they left us to decide where we leave them,” writes petitioner Nathan Childs. “The decent thing to think is, ‘Oh, a bike rack will do just fine,’ or ‘I definitely shouldn’t leave this in the middle of the sidewalk.’ However, these scooters have brought out the worst in us.”

Scooters are required to follow certain parking restrictions, but “they can be knocked over, moved, or just incorrectly parked,” according to the proposal presented to City Council.

Adds Childs, “I have stumbled over several littered Birds, dodged countless oblivious riders, and moved too many scooters out of the way. If anything, we don’t deserve Bird scooters because of how we treat property that anyone can use but for which no one is responsible.”

Says Hill about the new fleet of approximately 200 scooters coming to town this month, “What remains to be seen is if there is a strong enough need in a city of Charlottesville’s size, and the impact dockless scooters and bikes have on the quality of life along our city streets.”


By the numbers

Room for improvement

Nationwide, voter turnout in the 2018 election was the highest in a midterm election in half a century, according to the Associated Press. In Charlottesville and Albemarle, participation shot up by more than 20 points compared to the 2014 midterms. But that still lags behind turnout in a presidential election. In the end, more than 30 percent of voters didn’t cast a ballot for who is going to represent them in Congress.

Charlottesville turnout

  • 2018 midterms 67%
  • 2016 presidential election 78%
  • 2014 midterms 41%

Albemarle

  • 2018 midterms 68%
  • 2016 presidential election 74%
  • 2014 midterms 46%

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