In brief: Feeding hungry bellies, prison censorship and more…

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In brief: Feeding hungry bellies, prison censorship and more…

The fight against hunger

September is Hunger Action Month, when people across the nation raise awareness for empty bellies by supporting the country’s network of food banks. Locally, we have two main groups fighting the good fight—the Emergency Food Network and the Thomas Jefferson Area branch of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Here’s a look at those organizations and how much food they’re able to put on the table.

Emergency Food Network

  • Serves 1,625 individuals in 470 households each month
  • On average, that’s 131 seniors, 781 adults and 712 children
  • Each three-day supply of food includes: cereal, canned vegetables, fruits, beans, tuna and chicken, soup, macaroni and cheese, rice, bread, milk, margarine and cheese. Clients can add peanut butter and fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • EFN gave the Boys & Girls Club $8,462 in grocery store gift cards in 2016
  • EFN donated $32,134 to community groups
  • All city and county residents are eligible to receive help once a month

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

  • Serves 22,826 people in the Thomas Jefferson Area branch each month
  • Distributes 3.4 million pounds of food in that district annually
  • Food donated through community drives makes up about 3 percent of the food it acquires
  • The local district covers Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Orange, Greene and Madison counties and Culpeper

Tim Heaphy’s legal bill

Tim Heaphy. Photo courtesy U.S. Attorney’s Office

Charlottesville hired former U.S. attorney Heaphy to investigate the city’s handling of three white supremacist gatherings this summer. The Republican Party of Virginia immediately questioned that choice because Heaphy has made donations to Democrats, including $200 to Mayor Mike Signer. The city will pay Heaphy’s Hunton & Williams law firm $545 an hour with a $100,000 cap for the initial assignment.

March on, march off

Virginia State Police suspended the permit of those participating in the March to End White Supremacy from Charlottesville to D.C. September 1, citing rain and traffic, but event organizers say they’re marching on (alongside actor Mark Ruffalo, who joined them August 31). Their journey was temporarily halted on day three, August 30, when organizers received threats of an armed person waiting at the end of the route in Madison.

Quote of the Week:
“I feel guilty. I am ashamed. …As a white man, I think it’s my job to stand up and say no, you’re not going to do that anymore.Thomas Freeman after he pleaded guilty to blocking the KKK from entering Justice Park

Another lawsuit

Robert Sanchez Turner, 33, filed August 28 for an undisclosed amount against the city, Police Chief Al Thomas and Virginia State Police superintendent Steven Flaherty for an alleged “stand down” order during the August 12 rally, in which he says he was struck in the head and pepper sprayed with no police intervention. He is represented by Verona-based Nexus Caridades Attorneys.

Humanists allege prison censorship

The American Humanist Association filed suit against the Virginia Department of Corrections for banning its July/August issue of the Humanist for nudity because it has a small photo of Rubens’ 17th-century painting “The Garden of Eden.” This is the seventh suit civil rights attorney Jeff Fogel has filed against the DOC for censorship, and the plaintiffs have prevailed in the earlier actions.

Pay to park in effect

The city’s six-month pilot meter program kicked off September 5 for 105
spaces on streets immediately around the Downtown Mall. Potential parkers will find either individual meters or kiosks. All accept cash or credit.

  • Costs $1.80 an hour from 8am-8pm, Monday through Saturday
  •  Two-hour limit
  • First hour free in Market Street Garage, then $1.50 an hour
  •  Merchant validation ditched in Market Street, still available in Water Street Garage
  • City offering a one-week grace period before ticketing begins

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