News & Views 5.10.2012

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Governors Allen, Kaine Appeal to REALTORS® as Advisors on Housing Issues
On the morning of May 2, the Richmond Association of REALTORS®, in cooperation with the Southside Virginia, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville and Williamsburg Associations of REALTORS®, hosted a joint appearance with former Virginia Governors and Senatorial candidates George Allen and Tim Kaine at the Hilton Short Pump. The event drew more than 200 REALTORS® to hear each candidate’s platforms and approaches to fostering a healthy housing industry.
 
“Housing is right in the center of economic recovery,” Tim Kaine stated, while discussing his ideas for strengthening the U.S. economy and reducing the federal deficit. Some highlights of the platform he discussed included a focus on infrastructure development, promotion of capital accessibility for business start-ups, strategic budget cuts to reduce the deficit, increased utilization of military veterans’ skills in the workforce, and a higher level of interparty cooperation.  “We had to make large budget cuts during my term as governor,” he said. “And that taught me how to do it well.” “I want to get thinner, but not weaker,” he added. Kaine proposed making two to three dollars of budget cuts for each dollar of revenue, based on prioritization and performance data. He reassured the REALTORS® in attendance of his commitment to protect the mortgage interest deduction—an issue that has been weighing heavily on advocates for homeownership. Kaine credited REALTORS® as experts on the housing market and appealed to the REALTOR® community to act as his ‘educators’ on issues affecting the real estate industry.
 
Former Governor George Allen took the stage second, opening with the remark, “I love working with REALTORS®, because they always have their fingers on the pulse of the community.” He referred to REALTORS® as his advisors and partners. “Listening to REALTORS® helps me to be a better public servant,” he added. Allen then explained how the promise of the American dream can be restored by creating more jobs. The platform he discussed weighed heavily toward tapping further into the country’s available natural resources, reducing taxes for businesses and offering choices in taxes and healthcare. “We want to send a message to the world that America is open for business again,” Allen said. “I aim to provide the political will to unleash our resources and create an industrial renaissance,” he added. Allen then explained his positions on tax and healthcare reform. “I want to give taxpayers the choice to either stay with the same tax code or move to a flat rate tax,” he said. He voiced his determination to repeal ‘Obamacare’ and touted the benefits of a health savings account, emphasizing its merits of choice and personal responsibility.
 
The event was hosted as a benefit to the region’s REALTOR® association members, as a way to help them remain informed and engaged in legislation affecting their industry.
 
Tonight’s ‘Tales from the LEAP’ Open to REALTORS®, Associates
5-7pm, Thursday, May 10 at 
ecoREMOD – The Energy House
608 Ridge Street
Charlottesville, VA  22902
 
If you want to see a blower door test and be eligible for a free home energy assessment for yourself or a client, this is the event for you. Hosted by CAAR’s Home Energy Performance team, this free event combines energy efficiency resources and tools with light refreshments and more fun. Learn about available programs, rebates and financing to achieve maximum home performance. Hear from Cynthia Adams of Local Energy Alliance Program and Laura Fiori, LEED AP, BPI Certified Building Analyst of Key Green Energy. See a blower door test—the industry standard measurement for air leakage rate. Bid in a silent auction for a rain barrel. Donated by Virginia R. Rockwell of Gentle Gardener Green Design, this new rain barrel can be installed for a rebate of $30, and will conserve water and lower costs. The proceeds benefit the Seniors Safe at Home campaign, CAAR’s partnership with Albemarle Housing Improvement Program and Blue Ridge Home Builders Association to help five to 10 local senior families make emergency repairs to stay safe, warm and dry in their homes. RSVP to katie@caar.com.
 
8th Annual Spring Dance Gala
Albemarle Ballet Theatre and the Studio for the Performing Arts present their 8th Spring Dance Gala at PVCC’s Dickinson Theatre on Saturday, May 19th at 6pm. 
 
With a unique happy ending, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” meets “West Side Story” is set to a mix of ballet, contemporary, jazz, and modern dance. Cool rats in black derbies and jackets with tails “and tails,” invade Hamelin with mischievous antics until the hero saves the day. A prelude will be performed by guest artists Nicky Coelho of James Sewell Ballet and Veronica Hart of Charlottesville Ballet and ConcorDance Contemporary. Proceeds from this 1½-hour production, underwritten by Charlottesville Self Storage at Crozet and Monticello Media, will go to SFTPA’s local need-based scholarship program.
 
At $12 for adults and $9 for children, students, and seniors, seats for this live family show will not last. Tickets are available at www.aballet.org/Tickets, ABT in Crozet, PVCC on the day of the show, or call 434.823.8888.
 
The Albemarle Ballet Theatre provides ballet, jazz, and modern dance instruction for recreational students and aspiring professionals of all skill levels from ages 3 to adult. Many of their dancers study at top summer programs such as American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, and Kirov, and Gelsey Kirkland Academy. ABT’s professional artistic staff works under the direction of Sally Hart, a former Joffrey Ballet dancer who has been teaching locally since 1992. The Studio for the Performing Arts is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization whose mission is to provide need-based scholarships to local dancers for selected ABT programs and to produce high quality, family-oriented, affordable dance productions in the Albemarle-Charlottesville area. With the help of local businesses and community members, they have provided over $50K in scholarships since 2005.
 
Mentors Honored by Virginia State Alliance of Big Brothers Big Sisters
Virginia State Alliance of Big Brothers Big Sisters honors 2012 Big Brother of the Year, Bill Kelley and Big Sister of the Year, Heather Welsh on Thursday, May 10th at 6pm at the CitySpace in Charlottesville, Virginia. Annually, member agencies of the state alliance are encouraged to honor mentors for their commitment and respectively nominate their winners to the state for further recognition. The Alliance consists of thirteen individual Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) agencies throughout the state.
 
Big Brother Bill Kelley has been matched with Little Brother Marcel for eleven years. A mentor with BBBS of the Central Blue Ridge for over a decade, Kelley recognizes Marcel as a family member, noting that even as their commitment to the program ends when Marcel turns 18, their bond is lifelong. Matching and Outreach Coordinator Tosha Russock shares, “We consider Bill and Marcel a team. Bill has been such a great example of leadership, showing his support to our agency over the years of their match. Mentoring is infectious; we have watched Marcel develop into a young man who is now acting as a mentor to Bill’s grandchildren. Their relationship is what you hope for.”
 
Big Sister Heather Welsh has been a mentor for eight years to Amanda. Early in their experience, Welsh used to go by her Little Sister’s house and leave notes on the door the day before an outing, just to remind Amanda that Welsh was committed and cared about their time together. Juli Ferrell, Executive Director, shares “Heather has great goals for her little sister, guiding her to finish school, learn how to drive and make plans for her next stage in life. Mentors impact children and may not realize that their commitment is remembered by adults who were once part of the program. I can see Heather and Amanda sharing stories for many years to come.”
 
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Bigs meet with their Little Brother or Little Sister for about two hours each week to share activities that focus on fun and positive youth development. Serving about 100 children in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville, they still have a waiting list of 100 more children. To learn more about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, contact info@bbbsocbr.org or call 434-244-0882. More information is available at www.bbbsocbr.org.
 
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