Pete Souza will discuss The Way I See It, a documentary showing on MSNBC on October 16, about his eight years photographing Barack Obama. A  conversation with Souza and former deputy secretary of labor Chris will be available through virginiafilmfestival.org for a limited time beginning October 21. Image courtesy of VAFF.

Souza’s shade: Documentary recalls a world not so long ago

Four years ago, former White House chief photographer Pete Souza wouldn’t have imagined he’d be the subject of a documentary and an Instagram superstar. “We hadn’t elected Donald Trump four years ago,” reminds Souza in a phone interview. Three years and 10 months ago, that had changed. Souza began posting photos of former President Barack […]

To help the many families who cannot afford private tutors or school, Direct Learning Solutions is opening a new learning center in Stonefield.
PC: Eze amos

Hard decisions: New learning center comes to Stonefield, as controversy reignites over in-person instruction

Beginning next month, Albemarle County Public Schools will bring kindergarten through third grade students back to classrooms for in-person instruction two days a week. That’s frustrated some teachers who maintain that the safety concerns outweigh potential benefits. Meanwhile, off-site learning centers aim to assist with childcare by hosting virtual learning. As local schools began the […]

Geri Greenspan says she’ll miss the camaraderie of the in-person 5K, but that ultimately, running is about supporting the shelter. Photo: Zack Wajsgras

In the running: Shelter for Help in Emergency fights on

By Laura Drummond The phone has been ringing a lot at the Shelter for Help in Emergency. Since the pandemic began, SHE, which provides safe housing and other services for domestic violence victims in the Charlottesville area, has received approximately 50 percent more hotline calls than during the same time period last year. SHE has […]

The Virginia Department of Health terminated the Charlottesville Free Clinic’s Rose Hill Drive lease, so the facility is moving to the Wellness Center, eight blocks down the road, on Preston Avenue.
PC: Zack Wajsgras

Charlottesville Free Clinic finds a new home

For the past 24 years, the Charlottesville Free Clinic has provided no-cost physicals, prescriptions, mental health services, dental care, and more for the uninsured and underinsured from its Rose Hill Drive facility, which it has long shared with the Thomas Jefferson Health District. But in May, the Virginia Department of Health announced it was terminating […]

Activists call for defunding the police at a rally outside the police station in June.
PC: Eze Amos

In brief: Keeping the pressure, breaking the law, and more

Defunders keep fighting “Does abolition really mean ending the police? Yes.” So said community organizer Ang Conn, as she spearheaded last Wednesday’s Zoom conversation on policing, hosted by Defund Cville Police. Over 80 community members joined in on the call. The group hopes to keep the pressure on as the summer of protests moves into […]

The Van Yahres Tree Company treats ash trees at Monticello to guard against the invasive emerald ash borer. Credit: Van Yahres Tree Company

Ash disaster: Local ash trees face their own pandemic

As if COVID-19 weren’t enough, central Virginia is fighting another plague, only this one—the emerald ash borer—threatens our trees. The beetle may look like a tiny jewel— it’s a bright metallic green, small enough to sit on a penny— but it’s been scything down local ash trees like a malevolent Paul Bunyan.  “No ash tree […]

This cartoon, first published in 1812 in the Boston Gazette, shows Massachusetts legislator Elbridge Gerry’s district drawn in the shape of a salamander—a “gerry-mander.” We’ve been using the term ever since.

Party lines: A close look at the controversial gerrymandering amendment that could define a decade of Virginia politics

“As early as the middle of the seventeenth century, the government of Virginia was a government of the tobacco planters, by the tobacco planters, and for the tobacco planters. Restrictions on the suffrage and distribution of representative seats secured their political dominance,” writes historian Brent Tarter in his 2019 book Gerrymanders. Four hundred years later, […]