Other News We Heard Last Week


Don’t throw it all away: Last Tuesday (a.k.a. Earth Day), UVA pitched in with displays, games and events, including a Dumpster Dive, which revealed how much garbage could have been recycled.


Tuesday 4/22

Residents question Hope shelter

Two residents of the 10th and Page neighborhood, where the Hope Community Center is located, urged councilors Monday night to take a closer look at the homeless evening shelter in the residential neighborhood. Cited for a zoning violation in February, the city ruled on April 17 that Hope could continue while it applies for a zoning amendment. John Gaines, a resident of Ninth Street NW, said residents need answers to questions concerning safety and property values.

Wednesday 4/23

Community Food Center in the works

The most exciting news to come out of yesterday’s UVA student presentation on Charlottesville’s “glocal” (“global” plus “local”) food system is that Kate Collier of Feast! is trying to organize a local Community Food Center for the area. “It will hopefully be a two- to three-year project,” Collier explained on Tuesday afternoon after the students were finished. As she pointed out, demand is outpacing supply as places like the Charlottesville Chipotle and the Jefferson Area Board for Aging use more and more local products.


Kate Collier of Feast! is trying to organize a local food co-op.

Thursday 4/24

General Assembly passes budget

State lawmakers reconvened yesterday to take final action for the 2008 General Assembly regular session, passing a two-year, $77 billion budget and giving Governor Tim Kaine the power to appoint his own nominee to the state Corporation Commission, according to today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch. The budget goes into effect July 1.

Friday 4/25

Today is the Day of Silence

The Day of Silence, a protest effort begun by UVA students in 1996 and taken on by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) as a national educational tool, is raising the ire of a few folks. According to The Orlando Sentinel, some Florida students that plan to skip school today for the purpose of protesting it will not be given excused absences. This in turn has pissed off some nasty nonprofits like the Liberty Counsel, which posted a press release on its website urging students to counter-protest by “wear[ing] white and to distribute flyers promoting sexual purity.”

Saturday 4/26

NFL drafts three Hoos

While other UVA undergrads were getting drunk in a field, football phenom Chris Long was donning a St. Louis Rams hat after being selected second overall at the NFL Draft. The defensive end wasn’t the only Cav tapped in the first round: Branden Albert, a lineman expected to move to left tackle in the pros, was taken No. 15 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. Tom Santi, a tight end, was taken in the sixth round by Indianapolis.

Sunday 4/27

UVA men drop second straight title to Duke

The Duke men’s lacrosse team had the psychological edge from Thursday night onwards, when their entire attack unit was named to the All Atlantic Coastal Conference team during a ceremony to kick off the weekend’s 2008 ACC lacrosse championships at UVA. Despite a handful of goals from midfielder Brian Carroll and attacker Ben Rubeor, both appointed to the All-ACC squad, the Cavaliers dropped Sunday’s championship match to Duke for the second consecutive year. Undeterred in the face of psychological warfare, the Lady Cavs lacrosse team upset the University of Maryland on the same day to win their third straight ACC title. Maybe they can train the men’s team this summer.

Monday 4/28

Richmond Plan 9 still alive

Today the Richmond Times-Dispatch, prompted by news of Plan 9’s Corner location being slated to close, checks in with the Plan 9 store in Carytown—that hip part of Richmond where people are sufficiently enamored of music on vinyl to prop up a record store in the age of the iPod. Jim Bland, who owns the Richmond-based chain, tells the T-D that the Corner store has struggled in recent years, but his Carytown general manager says that store is “hanging in there strong.”

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Gone baby gone: Last Wednesday, The Downtown kiosk, once situated in front of CVS, was driven away down Second Street SE. to be scrapped.


Tuesday 4/15

Area shotputter headed to Olympics

Less than four months before the Summer Olympic Games open, NPR profiles one of America’s top medal hopes, Adam Nelson. “[O]ne of the greatest shotputters in U.S. history,” NPR reported on Monday, “[h]e is the only American track and field athlete to win a medal at every major outdoor championship since 2000, including Olympic silver medals in 2000 and 2004.” The Darden business student and Charlottesville resident recently passed on qualifying for the track and field indoor world championships because he was busy practicing for the Olympics on UVA’s campus.

Wednesday 4/16

Octagon Partners to build in Culpeper


A year has passed, but Wednesday’s memorial service at UVA showed that the emotional wounds from last year’s shootings at Virginia Tech are still fresh.

Condo sales plummeted in Albemarle last year, declining 66 percent, but Charlottesville-based Octagon Partners is betting that Culpeper’s downtown historic district will be different. The company is investing $10 million to remake a 1920s warehouse into a 22-condo complex, with retail space on the ground to boot. Prices for Waters Place will range from $243,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $489,000 for a three-bedroom penthouse. Developer J.P. Williamson, of “Lake Hollymead” fame, is a partner with Octagon.
 
Thursday 4/17

UVA holds memorial service for Virginia Tech

The first anniversary of the Tech shootings was commemorated yesterday by a memorial service that featured speeches by Student Council President Matt Schrimper and Patricia Lampkin, vice president for student affairs. “It was a tragedy not in some far-off spot of the world or unknown area of the country, but one that involved, for many of us, people we knew and a place that we knew,” said Lampkin, according to UVA Today.

Friday 4/18

State launches wine distribution company

Yesterday, Virginia launched a state-subsidized wine distribution company to help small vineyards in the state, reports The Washington Post. Since a 2005 federal court ruled that they could no longer distribute their own wines, small winemakers have struggled. “If it works really well and smoothly, it should be almost as good as direct distribution,” Lew Parker, owner of Willowcroft Farm Vineyards in Loudoun County, tells the Post.

Saturday 4/19

NBC29 goes hi-def!

Think that the carefully combed coiffure of NBC29 weekend anchor Matt Talhelm seemed particularly crisp at 6pm? In a press release issued hours before the premiere, NBC29 announced that the station would unveil Central Virginia’s first local news broadcast in high definition digital video, the culmination of five years of work and $3 million. No longer will you lament a vaguely fuzzy screen while getting the weather from Eric Pritchett or David Rogers! Your screen’s resolution will be sharper than reporter Henry Graff.
 
Sunday 4/20

Times reveals hasty origins of AccessUVA

Apparently, AccessUVA wasn’t a premeditated work, The New York Times reports today. An article details an October 2003 Board of Visitors meeting where UVA President John Casteen was handed a press clipping on UNC’s decision to cover the full cost for students whose families earned less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level. The Times writes, “The program touched a nerve with Mr. Casteen,” the son of a shipyard worker. During the meeting, he ordered financial aid staff to put together an even better program, which was announced four months later at the next BOV meeting.

Monday 4/21

McDonough grabs some Earth Day press

Yesterday’s New York Times magazine, in its Green Issue, gives a nod to Charlottesville-based architectural visionary William McDonough’s “Cradle to Cradle” certification—a designation awarded to products that satisfy the philosophy, which McDonough is quoted summarizing thus: “Waste is basically stupid.” Vanity Fair’s current issue is also “green,” and includes a long profile of McDonough, calling him “a harbinger of a movement to redesign design itself.”

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Last Saturday, as Katie Couric and Governor Tim Kaine looked on, the West Parking Garage at the UVA Hospital was demolished to make way for the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center.

Tuesday 4/8

Goode ties Iraq death count to illegals

Our dear U.S. congressman, Virgil Goode, has never been shy about heaping opprobrium on illegal immigrants, but today’s version of the “Goode News”—a weekly newsletter he puts out—takes his vitriol beyond the limit of Goode taste. “Over the last five years, 4,000 U. S. soldiers have died fighting for freedom from Islamic extremists in Iraq,” Goode writes. “…However, the untold story that the media does not focus on is the number of persons in the United States who have been killed by illegal aliens.” He then goes through a patently flawed math exercise to “show” that in 2004 “three times the number of Americans were murdered at the hands of criminal aliens than died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11.”

Wednesday 4/9

UVA’s Zoll picked in WNBA draft

UVA women’s basketball point guard Sharnee Zoll, the ACC’s all-time assists leader, was drafted in the third round of today’s 2008 WNBA draft. The Los Angeles Sparks made Zoll the 29th overall pick, according to the UVA athletic website. While at UVA, Zoll broke former WNBA star Dawn Staley’s 16-year-old ACC career assists record and was also a three-time all-conference selection, leading her team to the second round of this year’s NCAA tournament.

Thursday 4/10

Scalia awarded TJ medal

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia visited UVA Law School today. Making the case that judges should adhere more closely to the letter of the law, Scalia “noted that both the Declaration [of Independence] and the Jefferson-authored Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom mention a deity,” according to the Daily Press coverage. Scalia’s visit was not just a stop in some kind of “God made this nation” cross-country tour. He was in town to receive the Thomas Jefferson Medal in Law, the top external honor at UVA.

Friday 4/11

PACEM honors its volunteers

“We are all worthy of love,” PACEM Executive Director Dave Norris told a crowded foyer of the JPJ Arena on Friday night. The couple hundred there erupted in applause, and the mayor joined in. They were all assembled to recognize the many volunteers that serve the homeless through the winter months and beyond. Hors d’oeuvres, music and cans of cookies were balanced by a disappointing announcement. Director Tom Shadyac would not be coming as announced—his father was ill. The show went on anyway, with First Presbyterian pastor Sam Massey awarded the Golden Pillow for his longtime work for the homeless. “I wish that nobody was receiving this award,” he said. “I wish there was no PACEM.”

Saturday 4/12

Couric Cancer Center going up

As rumors of her departure from CBS swirled, Evening News anchor Katie Couric attended the groundbreaking of the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center, the $74 million facility planned for the corner of Jefferson Park Avenue and Lee Street and named for her sister, the late Virginia senator. Couric joined Governor Tim Kaine and UVA President John Casteen for the hour-long, invitation-only event, during which the Cavalier Marching Band played the “1812 Overture” while an excavator “invaded” a wall of the West Parking Garage currently at the site. The center is slated to open in 2011.

Sunday 4/13

Red Light lands Roanoke amphitheater deal

Roanoke has selected Charlottesville-based Red Light Management to develop and manage an outdoor amphitheater at the former Victory Stadium site. Red Light, a part of Coran Capshaw’s music empire, will be responsible for completing a feasibility study, designing the facility and operating the amphitheater once it’s completed, reports the Roanoke Times. Though Roanoke officials declined to comment on specifics, they have said in the past that they envision a 7,000-seat facility that might eventually become part of a river-front park. Consultants estimated last year that the project could cost $12.6 million.

Monday 4/14

Median sales price keeps rising

Here’s the quickie version of the first-quarter market report just out from CAAR (the Charlottesville Albemarle Association of Realtors). There are tons of houses on the market—3,673, to be exact. Many of those have been for sale for ages. Sales are down 27.4 percent from the first quarter of 2007. Still, the median sales price for the market area is up 3.9 percent. Albemarle County in particular saw median prices rise nearly 18 percent.

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The Bank of America branch on University Avenue turned into a crime scene after it was robbed last Tuesday afternoon. Just minutes after the incident, police picked up the man they believe did the deed: Boston, Massachusetts, native Robert Morrison, who is currently being held in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

Tuesday 4/1

Football player allegedly swipes plastic

April Fool’s Day brought a press release from the UVA Police that we can only imagine the brass in the athletics office dearly wished were a joke. J’Courtney Williams, noted redshirt freshman linebacker for Virginia, was charged with credit card theft and credit card fraud. The charges are in connection with a March 10 larceny incident at the Aquatics and Fitness Center. (Williams had also been arrested for pot possession on February 15, and according to The Roanoke Times, placed on probation February 25.) UVA Head Coach Al Groh announced the next day, April 2, that he was kicking Williams off the team—a swift fall for a player who was a top prospect in UVA’s 2007 signing class.

Wednesday 4/2

DMB and others praised for going green

At last, a possible explanation for why our city attracts members of the Grateful Dead and Phish: The Charlottesville Pavilion, Coran Capshaw and Dave “Savin’” Matthews Band received high praise in The Virginian-Pilot for their efforts in an increasingly eco-friendly music world. DMB, dubbed “one of the greenest acts working today,” gets props for tracking its carbon dioxide emissions and eating local and organic while on the road, and Pavilion manager Kirby Hutto says that Capshaw’s house of music would rather raise drink prices than use wasteful cups.

Thursday 4/3

Festive atmosphere at county budget hearing

More than 200 people crowded the Albemarle County Office Building Wednesday evening to let Supervisors know their taxation preferences. The Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance (ATTA), led by former county GOP chairman Keith Drake, bore neon orange signs proclaiming “68¢,” while a contingent of Albemarle County Public School supporters wore stickers to show their support for fully funding schools. The county is considering a new tax rate of up to 71 cents and will make a decision on April 9.

Friday 4/4

Money for 250 Interchange falls short

The Daily Progress reports today that, while a committee of city residents and officials has chosen a design for the future interchange at the 250 Bypass and McIntire Road, there’s one wee problem: The city has $29.6 million gathered for the project, but the cost of the design is estimated at $35 million. “It is certainly a challenge,” Owen Peer, a consultant on the project, told the Progress. He also added that refinements to the design could cause the projected cost to go down. Or up. City Council is expected to vote on the design in April. Anyone got $5.4 mil they can spare?

Saturday 4/5

Former ambassador dies at UVA hospital

An obituary for David Newsom—a 90-year-old former U.S. ambassador and veteran of the State Department during the Iranian Hostage Crisis—ran in the New York Times, noting Newsom’s death at the UVA Medical Center. Newsom was a critic of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration and its wide support of the admission of Iranian Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to the U.S. for medical treatment in 1979; the Shah’s admission preceded the start of the Iranian Hostage Crisis by roughly three weeks. Newsom capped his political career as the first recipient of the Hugh S. and Winifred B. Cumming Memorial Chair in International Affairs at UVA, which he held from 1991 to 1996.

Sunday 4/6

Gibson’s final DP column

Bob Gibson’s last effort for The Daily Progress, ironically titled “This isn’t a goodbye column,” appeared today. After 31 years with the paper, Gibson will be executive director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at UVA as of April 21. The content of the column ranges from the expected and cozy (read: boring): “The past 31 years have been wonderful here at this newspaper. It’s hard to leave the people you love,” to the clever and insightful (read: typical Gibson): “This state produces former governors faster than any other, which tends to create a traffic jam of would-be senators.” So, goodbye, Bob. Or is that hello?

Monday 4/7

Clinton boots Penn; Sabato reacts

Local talking head Larry Sabato weighed in today on NPR’s Morning Edition regarding the departure of senior strategist Mark Penn from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. According to the AP, Penn was forced out on Sunday after meeting with Colombian officials to advance a trade deal, which Clinton opposes. He had also been known to come into conflict with other high-ranking members of the campaign. Sabato told NPR that Penn was lucky to have lasted as long as he did and that Maggie Williams, campaign manager, likely had a hand in his ouster.

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That’s a lot of bull: The John Paul Jones Arena was transformed into a Western ranch last Saturday night for the Professional Bull Riders Charlottesville Invitational, part of the national Enterprise Rent-A-Car Tour. Forty riders matched up with bulls that weigh up to 2,000 pounds.

Tuesday 3/25

GOP firms up ’09 ticket

State Attorney General Bob McDonnell had the Republican gubernatorial nomination handed to him after Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling announced yesterday that he won’t seek the governor’s office. But the intrigue on the Democratic side will only get hotter in coming months, with Charlottesville’s state Senator Creigh Deeds battling NoVa state Delegate Brian Moran. The news from Bolling also means that the state attorney general race will be wide open for both parties. No candidates have been officially announced, though many pundits peg Albemarle Delegate Rob Bell (R) as a prime contender.

Wednesday 3/26

Singletary falls flat 


Two days after scoring 8 points in the last 30 seconds, Sean Singletary fell flat against Bradley in his last college game. The crowd cheered anyway.

Two days after stunning ODU with 8 points in the last 30 seconds, Sean Singletary falls flat against Bradley in the College Basketball Invitational. Even though UVA goes up by 14 points in the first half, Bradley squelches the Cav’s flame, as Singletary only musters 17 points. Instead, the senior point guard left the game with less than a minute to play and his team down by double figures (they would lose 96-85). Regardless, Singletary was treated with a standing ovation by the small crowd for his last-ever collegiate game.

Thursday 3/27

Daily Progress debuts new site

The Daily Progress’ website got a redesign Thursday, and they picked a good day to do it (see Courts & Crime). Gone are the laundry list of links. In their place is a rotating box that displays four sections: News, Sports, Lifestyle and Entertainment. With launches like these, there are always bugs. The RSS feeds seem to have some trouble, and it does take a little more digging if you’re searching for something in particular (where the hell is Bryan McKenzie?!), but overall, the DP’s new site is a lot easier on the eye.

Friday 3/28

The Eagles to swoop into JPJ

John Paul Jones Arena announced this morning that the Eagles will be coming to town on May 21. Since coming together in 1971, the L.A. band has racked up five No. 1 singles, four No. 1 albums, a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, five Grammy awards and the U.S.’s best-selling album of all time with 1976’s Their Greatest Hits. After disbanding in the early ’80s—too much cocaine, perhaps?—they reunited in 1994 to tour and released a subsequent live album. 2007’s Long Road Out of Eden is the band’s first record of new material since 1979. Tickets for the concert go on sale April 4 at 10am.

Saturday 3/29

Lessons from the Ten Miler

A record 2,525 runners took off at the start of the 33rd annual Charlottesville Ten Miler on a chilly, 50-degree morning; the first finisher, 24-year-old Charlie Hurt of Scottsville, crossed the line 51 minutes later. Top finishers in other age groups came from as far as Richmond, Virginia Beach, Baltimore—hell, 30-year-old Kevin McGee came from Albuquerque to run. CvilleTenMiler.com puts the number of “finishers” at 2,111, meaning more than 400 runners failed to cross the line. We suspect foul play from Albuquerque.

Sunday 3/30

The stuff of legends

UVA-baseball-player-turned-Major-League-wunderkind Ryan Zimmerman continues to cement his place in Washington Nationals lore. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Zimmerman hit a walk-off homer today to give the Nats a win in their first game in their new $661 million stadium. “There’s something about him,” said Zimmerman’s teammate, Dmitri Young, in an ESPN.com article. “We’re starting to see greatness prevail.”

Monday 3/31

Jefferson cemetery symbolizes ongoing unease with Hemings

In today’s installment of his This Land column in The New York Times, Dan Barry visits Monticello to investigate everyone’s favorite local race-related conundrum—the relationship of Thomas Jefferson to his slave, Sally Hemings. Barry focuses on the efforts of both Jefferson and Hemings descendents, at a reunion last year, to gain entry to the Jefferson family cemetery. Their request was denied by the Monticello Association, Barry reports, out of concern for the grass, which “had taken years to grow.”

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Ashley Mauter, who was rescued by Charlottesville firefighters from a house fire on Lewis Mountain Road on March 18, 2007, joined the firefighters who were involved in the rescue last Tuesday to mark the one-year anniversary, talk with the media and warn citizens about the importance of smoke detectors in their homes. Mauter’s boyfriend, Brett Quarterman, died in the blaze.

Tuesday 3/18

CHS principal selection narrowed, then finalized

The Charlottesville City School System came closer to finding a new CHS principal after Monday night’s meeting with parents, teachers, staff and students at the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center. On the stage were two candidates (narrowed from a list of more than 20) who gave opening statements and then submitted to written questions from the roughly 60 people in attendance. The audience also gave their thoughts and impressions, and on Friday their wishes were revealed when CHS announced that Thomas W. Taylor (currently an assistant principal in Virginia Beach) has been selected as the new principal, effective July 1.

Wednesday 3/19

UVA wins meaningless game…barely

It was a night full of the excitement that only the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) can bring. To quote Whitelaw Reid of The Daily Progress, UVA “played one of its most lethargic, uninspired games of the season before getting its act together.” Still, UVA won its first-round game against the University of Richmond 66-64, making a forgettable season a little less forgettable.

Thursday 3/20

VQR nominated for national awards again


“It’s remarkable what we’ve been able to accomplish,” says VQR Editor Ted Genoways. His magazine is up for three national awards, including one for General Excellence.

The Virginia Quarterly Review has garnered three nominations for the American Society of Magazine Editors’ National Magazine Awards, and will be vying for a win with the likes of Gourmet, Print and The Georgia Review. “We have an annual budget that’s smaller than what Vanity Fair spends on their Oscar party and a staff of only five people,” Editor Ted Genoways says on the VQR website, “but we’ve been able to put out a magazine that is consistently among the best in the country.” The winners will be announced May 1 in New York City.

Friday 3/21

Downtown Transit Center snags LEED certification

The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Charlottesville’s Downtown Transit Center with a gold LEED certification. LEED? That stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a rating system for green building. The Transit Center includes various design elements that help keep environmental impact low, including a “cool roof” system, waterless urinals and a geothermal heat pump system. “This huge achievement is just the beginning…,” says Kristel Riddervold, the city’s Environmental Administrator. The LEED certification system also includes a platinum level.

Saturday 3/22

Problems with green bill

House Bill 239 was the great green hope of 2008: Signed into law by Governor Tim Kaine on March 4, the young law expands the definition of what makes a building “energy efficient” to include a number of different government-sponsored systems of evaluation, and offers the tantalizing possibility of tax breaks for any building that proves itself 30 percent more efficient than listed in the Virginia Building Code. However, the General Assembly has yet to pass a rule to regulate the lower tax rate for certified efficient buildings. The Daily Progress reports today that tax breaks will not be awarded before 2009.
 
Sunday 3/23

Klarman talks race

Since Barack Obama’s speech last week, even C-VILLE’s editor is talking about race. So it should come as no surprise that The New York Times is quoting UVA law Professor Michael Klarman today on the subject. “Nixon talks about ‘law and order,’ which is a code term for the urban race riots and rising crime rates,” said Klarman in a piece that breaks down politicians’ speeches for their intended message on race.

Monday 3/24

Was TJ like Obama’s pastor?

A letter to the editor of The Boston Globe, written by one Nancy Kaplan and published today, draws a surprising comparison between the recently controversial rhetoric of Barack Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright (“sound bites cherry-picked from Wright’s voluminous writings and sermons,” says Kaplan) and certain select commentary by our own Thomas Jefferson. Here’s TJ on slavery: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.”

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The sky over the practice field next to Klockner Stadium rained UVA students, staff and faculty members last Tuesday, as The Golden Knights, the U.S. Army’s skydiving demonstration team, made tandem jumps with the lucky 10 who were selected from a pool of volunteers. Pictured here are student Taylor Richardson and Golden Knight Bill Vansoelen.

Tuesday 3/11

Van Halen postpones again

A press release from John Paul Jones Arena says that Van Halen, scheduled to play at the venue Tuesday, March 11, has once again pushed the date back “so that Eddie Van Halen, who is currently under doctors’ care, can continue medical tests to define a course of treatment.” The Charlottesville show is the first of a slew of dates extending through April 15 that the band will reschedule, according to the release. The tour will start back up again on April 19 (we’ll believe it when we see it), and new dates will be announced soon.

Wednesday 3/12

Report downplays student drinking

James Turner, executive director of UVA’s National Social Norms Institute, noted in an L.A. Times travel blog that a U.S. government survey (funded by Anheuser Busch companies) found that 81 percent of 18- to 22-year-old undergraduates do not drink heavily. “Sadly, partying youth will always be more newsworthy than those volunteering for Habitat for Humanity,” Turner wrote in an e-mail. “But the more we portray positive and accurate images of how college students spend their free time, the more young people will realize that unhealthy behaviors are the exception, and not the norm.”

Thursday 3/13

UVA grad tied to Spitzer case

The New York Governor Eliot Spitzer prostitution-ring debacle is making waves even down here in Virginia. According to the New York Daily News, UVA graduate Tameka Lewis’ family is completely baffled by the fact that federal prosecutors charge that she was a booking agent for the Emporers Club VIP. The Daily News quotes her uncle in Harrisonburg as saying, “She’s just too clean. Even when she does the dishes, she puts on gloves. It just doesn’t make any sense.” Lewis is currently free on bail. 

Friday 3/14

Media General stations to sign off?

Today Media General—the ailing parent company of The Daily Progress and other newspapers—announced it will sell two TV stations to Hoak Media Corporation as part of what Media General President and CEO, Marshall Morton, calls MG’s “strategic plan to divest five stations.” Media General reported that January revenues were off from the same month last year and shares of the $337 million company were near their 52-week low at the close of business today: $14.76. 

Saturday 3/15

Cav Daily cartoon sparks outrage again

On Thursday, The Cavalier Daily ran a comic strip by UVA students Eric Kilanski and Kellen Eilerts that portrayed Jesus being crucified while bombing as a standup comic at open-mic night. “What’s the deal with these crosses?” he asks. “Go back to Bethlehem,” shouts one heckler. The comic of course raised the ire of some campus dwellers, and once again, The Cav Daily found itself in the midst of another cartoon controversy. In September, cartoonist Grant Woolard was forced to resign after the student paper published his cartoon “Ethiopian Food Fight.” On Saturday, The Cav Daily announced it will be reviewing its comics policy.

Sunday 3/16

Singletary to play again

The UVA men’s basketball team made an early exit from the ACC tournament, losing in the first round and canceling hopes of an NCAA tournament bid. With a record of 15-15, the Cavs were even snubbed today by the NIT (a.k.a. the “Not Important Tournament”). And yet there is life after seeming death: Sean Singletary will play again at the John Paul Jones Arena on Tuesday, March 18, taking on the Richmond Spiders in the first round of the inaugural College Basketball Invitational.

Monday 3/17

Overton McGehee, director of the Charlottesville branch of Habitat for Humanity, is a happy man. His group just got a $1 million donation.

Big donation for Habitat

It’s a good Monday to be Overton McGehee, director of the Charlottesville branch of Habitat for Humanity: A $1 million donation from area philanthropist Hunter Smith, the largest in the group’s 15-year history, became public this weekend. McGehee told WCAV that the gift will support matching funds for six houses at Habitat’s Nunley Street project, plus the transformation of two trailer parks, Sunrise and Southwood—all three being examples of Habitat’s strategy toward mixed-income development

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Last Thursday was the first day of the Senior Champs Swim Meet at the UVA Aquatic and Fitness Center. Roughly 800 swimmers made smooth entrances into the water over the course of the four-day event, including several who have qualified for the Olympic Trials.

Tuesday 3/4

UVA punt returner charged with larceny

Two-and-a-half years after coming to UVA to cover receivers and evade would-be tacklers, Michael Antwain Brown, Jr. is charged with one count each of grand larceny, possession of stolen property with intent to sell, altering serial numbers and possession of marijuana in connection to a February 6 report of larceny from a vehicle at the Central Grounds Parking Garage. According to a University Police press release, the victim reported four items stolen from his vehicle valued at more than $3,400.
 
Wednesday 3/5

It’s on: Perriello versus Goode


UVA sociology grad student Carey Sargent feels that Charlotttesville, in contrast to Richmond, has “a tighter, more positive local music scene.”

It’s official: Democrat and Albemarle native Tom Perriello will challenge six-term Republican incumbent Virgil Goode for his fifth-district congressional seat on November 4. “The people of our district want leaders who share their values and will fight day and night to create good-paying jobs, make sure every family has access to a doctor, and get America’s national security back on course,” said Perriello in a press release. According to Bob Gibson of The Daily Progress, Goode still holds a lead in money but was outraised by Perriello in the fourth quarter of last year. 

Thursday 3/6

More press for Carey “Dr. Rock” Sargent

Carey Sargent, the UVA sociology grad student who studies music scenes in Charlottesville and Richmond, and who C-VILLE dubbed “Dr. Rock” in a February 5 profile, is featured in the new issue of Richmond’s Style Weekly. Writer Brent Baldwin notes that Sargent sees a marked difference between the two cities when it comes to her topic of choice: “Sargent feels that Charlottesville has a tighter, more positive local music scene, although it’s always in flux, with students coming and going.”

Friday 3/7

Local high schooler wins NAA YouTube contest

The Newspaper Association of America Foundation announced this week that 19-year-old Danny Vigour, a high school senior from Tandem Friends School, won the organization’s “Driving Newspapers” YouTube video contest. According to the press release, Vigour is currently working on a video yearbook for his school and plans to attend a four-year film program after he graduates. “The video I produced stemmed from actual conversations I had with my peers about the purpose newspapers had in their lives,” he says of his winning entry.

Saturday 3/8

Schoenewald to replace Drake as GOP Chair?

At the conclusion of the monthly Albemarle County GOP breakfast at the Golden Corral Steakhouse, First Vice Chairman Christian Schoenewald left to prepare a press release that he sent to local media sources around 1pm. The speaker for March, County GOP Chairman Keith Drake, had just announced during breakfast that he would not pursue re-election as chairman, opting instead for a gig as chairman of the Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance. Schoenewald’s release ends as the breakfast did —with his announcement to seek the chairmanship vacated by Drake.

Sunday 3/9

Singletary gets 2,000 points

The score was classic Sean, a full-speed layup drained as if the much larger Maryland defender trying to stop him weren’t there. But what made the 14,154 in the John Paul Jones Arena give a standing ovation was the fact that it gave point guard Sean Singletary 2,000 career points. Before tonight’s final game of the regular season, a 91-76 win against the Terrapins, Singletary’s jersey was retired as his father, brothers and teary-eyed mother looked on.

Monday 3/10

Charlottesville under Tibetan flag

On this date in 1959, the people of Tibet rose up against Chinese occupation. They weren’t able to drive the Chinese from their capital, Lhasa, and in the run-up to this summer’s Beijing Olympics, Tibetan refugees around the world are trying to draw attention to their nation’s plight. Here in Charlottesville, that effort takes the form of the Tibetan flag flying over City Hall—a measure voted on by City Council in honor of Tibetan National Uprising Day—plus a march along Main Street and past the Rotunda. 

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Dispense with the Old: A new season has begun for Phil Gosselin and the rest of the UVA baseball team, who racked up a 7-3 victory last Wednesday against Old Dominion.

Tuesday 2/26

NFL backs down from churches

Last year, the NFL told an Indianapolis church to cancel a Super Bowl party because it planned to show the game on a 12′-wide screen, violating the league’s policy against “mass out-of-home viewings” on screens larger than 55". This year, the Rutherford Institute pushed back by enlisting the support of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). On February 19, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) stating that the NFL would not object to religious organizations showing the big game as long as the viewings are free.
 
Wednesday 2/27

Mountain lion terrorizes Crozet

State gaming officials have told some residents in Crozet not to go outside for fear of a mountain lion attack, but so far, only a few dog food bowls and trash cans have been disturbed, according to WCAV-Channel 19. “From its nose to its rump is about five-foot long,” Marlene Humphreys said of the presumed villain. Just a few weeks ago, Humphreys watched as the mountain lion tried to claw its way into one of her bedroom windows. Now she is waiting for the state gaming department to catch the cat. “I’m praying,” she said.
 
Thursday 2/28

Van Halen reschedules concert


Stop yer cryin’, Jamie. Van Halen’s comin’ for a make-up concert on March 11.

Van Halen postponed their February 22 gig at John Paul Jones Arena, but fans need not fear: The band will return to make up the show on March 11. Tickets and parking passes from February 22 will be honored on the new date, according to JPJ’s press release. If you already have tickets and can’t rock out on a Tuesday night, you can still get a refund at the point of purchase. And, if you haven’t snagged your ticket yet, they are still available, so grab a few and get ready to run with the devil. 

Friday 2/29

UVA’s McIntire School No. 2

The March 10 issue of BusinessWeek ranks UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce at No. 2 in undergraduate business schools. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School took the first slot, but UVA is hot on its heels. “In several of the measures we use to determine our ranking, the two schools were virtually the same,” says BusinessWeek. UVA received the highest ratings from students out of all of the 96 schools ranked, based on the “fact that graduates’ average starting salary increased by $5,500—or more than 10%—to $58,000.”

Saturday 3/1

Car business booming at Colonial

Auto sales are down, but not at Colonial Auto Center. That’s according to an AP story that quotes Colonial’s president Kip Rowe, who says that sales of foreign brands will save his company from lower February numbers than it posted in the same month last year. Overall, the auto business is expected to be down 7 percent compared with a year ago—one more piece of evidence that a recession is indeed upon us.

Sunday 3/2

Former local comedian drinks absinthe

Back from a trip to Los Angeles, 27-year-old Trevor Moore, former host of local public access comedy show, “The Trevor Moore Show,” and currently one of five members of New York-based sketch comedy troupe, The Whitest Kids U’Know, decided to introduce his colleagues (and New York Times columnist Amanda Stern) to a few rounds of absinthe. What Moore forgot is that, in the U.S., the hallucinogenic drink is sold without grande wormwood, which robs it of its mystical effects. Cue the laugh track.

Monday 3/3

The juice is loose

The national media spent much of February expressing its shock (and titillation) about JuicyCampus.com, a website started by a Duke grad to air dorm room gossip publicly and anonymously. But the hits keep coming as lurkers scope the site following a Washington Post column by Marc Fisher. Fisher contacted several UVA students labeled promiscuous by anonymous posts, and he discovered that none of them “saw any purpose in trying to silence the site.”

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Tim Gunn, on-air mentor to designers on the TV show “Project Runway” and all-around fashion guru, mingled with fans after his talk last Tuesday at Old Cabell Hall. Gunn was booked as a speaker by the Class of 2008’s Fourth-Year Trustees. Roughly 800 people attended the event.

Tuesday 2/19

They want you!

The Virginia Defense Force’s 3rd Brigade will activate another battalion to serve in Charlottesville, as well as the surrounding areas. According to today’s Staunton News Leader, the increase could mean as many as 150 new state troops for times of emergency. Many of the new 13th Battalion troops will merely be transferred from other units, but some locals will fill out the ranks of the all-volunteer force. Want to join up? Just make sure you’re between the ages of 16 and 65 and a legal resident of Virginia and then you can serve the Commonwealth.

Wednesday 2/20

What am I doing wrong?

Today’s Daily Progress reports that 31-year-old Artis Wayne Keyton, Jr. was arrested Tuesday on charges of arson and vandalism, after allegedly trying to set fire to the house on Bolling Avenue where he lives with his mother. According to the Progress, Keyton poured gasoline over the house’s cinderblock foundation to light it, unsuccessfully. The incident apparently followed a domestic dispute, which we can only assume went something like this: “Concrete is not flammable!” “Yes it is!” “No it isn’t!” “Oh yeah?” 

Thursday 2/21

One of their own

NBC29 reports that criminal and internal police investigations have been launched against a longtime Albemarle County police officer, Jeffrey Turner, in a case that began with a February 10 911 domestic violence call from his house in Crozet. When police arrived, they found enough evidence to arrest Turner. County police told NBC29 that they’ve dealt with “situations like this” in the past, and that the officers involved were removed from the force. If charged, Turner faces a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.  

Friday 2/22

Van Halen concert postponed


And the JPJ will not rock: Van Halen postponed their February 22 gig.

There will be no “Runnin’ With The Devil” or getting “Hot For Teacher” tonight. Van Halen, who was scheduled to play at John Paul Jones Arena, will instead likely reschedule the show for May or June, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Tickets for tonight will be honored then, and refunds will be available at the point of purchase. JPJ’s press release does not give a reason for the postponement. The band’s February 25 concert in Duluth, Georgia, was also scuttled—but we feel safe in assuming that Diamond Dave is still madly grinning, whatever the issue.

Saturday 2/23

UVA gals perform swimmingly

The University of Virginia women’s swimming and diving team—a squad composed of 11 freshmen—blew away their competition in the Atlantic Coat Conference championships, capping the four-day tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, with a score of 800. (The University of North Carolina was second with 572 points.) On the final day of competition, freshman Liz Shaw took first place and broke her previous conference record in the 200-meter butterfly stroke, and a Cavalier quartet took first place in the 400-meter freestyle relay.

Sunday 2/24

I’ll show you…by crossing the border

Several locals say they will address the plight of immigrants by trekking across the border themselves. Virginia Leavell, Sue Frankel-Streit and Jeff Winder are planning to start somewhere in Mexico and cross the desert into the U.S., carrying food and water for what they anticipate will be a three-day trip in April, according to today’s Daily Progress. “Yeah, I’m worried, but this is bigger than me,” said Leavell.

Monday 2/25

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

Virginia’s 16 superdelegates are elected officials (Senator Jim Webb, for one) and party members who can vote for whichever candidate they prefer at the Democratic convention this summer, but are under considerable pressure to make a public endorsement now. According to the Daily Press, Obama and Clinton have been working the phones, but most Virginia superdelegates interviewed by the Press echoed Jim Leaman, Virginia AFL-CIO president, in saying that by the time the convention rolls around, they expect the nominee to be apparent.

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A 90-82 defeat at the hands of North Carolina last Friday was one of the few ACC disappointments this year for Aisha Mohammed and the rest of the UVA women’s basketball team.

Tuesday 2/12

Obama gets posthumous endorsement

Former Del. Mitch Van Yahres has endorsed Barack Obama from the dead, reports Bob Gibson of The Daily Progress today on his blog. The Democrat and former Charlottesville mayor died Friday after complications from surgery for lung cancer, but Van Yahres’ family members placed a note in his obituary asking his friends “in lieu of expenditures on flowers and the like, to make a healthy and significant contribution to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama or, if they insist, the charity of their choice.”

Wednesday 2/13

Obama, McCain sweep Potomac primaries

Roughly 35 percent of registered Charlottesville voters turned out in the freezing rain on Tuesday. Barack Obama carried every city precinct, winning 5,563 votes to Clinton’s 1,805. Overall, Obama took the Commonwealth by a convincing margin, winning 64 percent of the votes. Hillary Clinton won just 35 percent in spite of a last minute visit to Larry Sabato’s politics class the day before. The Republican vote was much closer in the city. John McCain won 596 votes to Mike Huckabee’s 312. Ron Paul came in third place with 144 votes. 

Thursday 2/14

Downtown store raided by federal agents

Sexshuns, a sneaker and apparel store on the Downtown Mall, was raided by federal agents yesterday, and the 39-year-old owner of the store, Reynold George Samuels Jr., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Charlottesville on drug, firearm and video bootlegging charges. Seven other people were indicted along with Samuels. The U.S. Attorney’s office alleges that Samuels was the leader of a ring that, since December 2001, had distributed cocaine, crack and pirated DVDs throughout western Virginia. Because Samuels is already a convicted felon, he faces life in prison if convicted on these new charges. 

Friday 2/15

Public smoking ban fails again

Proposals to ban smoking in public places such as restaurants, stores and offices came to a dead end once again in the Virginia House of Delegates, reports The Washington Post today. The House’s General Laws Committee set aside four bills aimed at banning smoking yesterday in addition to eight similar ones that were shelved last week. Democratic Governor Tim Kaine, who supported such a ban and had hoped to see it implemented during the legislative session, said that he was “not surprised.” According to the Post, two-thirds of Virginia restaurants ban smoking already.

Saturday 2/16

Dems turning their backs on immigrants?

Are state Democrats now marching to the same beat as the Republicans when it comes to immigration? Three speakers at the Albemarle/Charlottesville Democratic Breakfast exhorted local Dems to keep supporting basic rights for immigrants in the face of more than 100 bills in the General Assembly—some introduced by Democrats—officially geared to make life tougher for illegal immigrants but which would make life tougher for legal immigrants as well. Asked Peter Loach, a member of the Governor’s Virginia Latino Advisory Board, “What happened to the progressives’ outrage?”

Sunday 2/17

“Grumpy Old Politicos”

New York Times columnist Frank Rich reviewed speeches of both John McCain and Barack Obama following their victories in the Chesapeake primaries. Rich notes that McCain was swamped by “a collection of sallow-faced old Beltway pols,” including former Republican senator George Allen, whose presidential hopes were dashed by a racial comment. With Obama claiming 52 percent of the white votes in the Virginia primary, Rich writes that Allen “is the foreigner in 21st century America.”

Monday 2/18

Capshaw’s Seven Oaks Farm for sale


Coran Capshaw is getting rid of his historic house. Does this mean he’s moving out of Charlottesville?

Well, look what popped up in Sunday’s Daily Progress, page B7, just across from George Will himself. It’s an ad for Coran Capshaw’s nationally registered, Greek revivaled, 100-acre Seven Oaks Farm. Whether the fact that the Charlottesville mogul’s 16,870-square-foot home is up for sale means Capshaw plans to leave the area is unclear. Maybe he just needs a bigger pool house.

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Rhyming for a reason: Last Friday, protesters gathered in front of Allied Cash Advance on Emmet Street to voice their concern over the practice of payday lending.

Tuesday 2/5

UVA historian implicated in 9/11 commission cover-up

A new book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, claims that Philip Zelikow, a UVA historian and former director of the Miller Center who was hired to be the 9/11 Commission’s executive director, worked behind the scenes for the White House. As a longtime friend of Condoleezza Rice’s (the two had worked for the first President Bush and had co-authored a book), Zelikow repeatedly went to bat for Rice and the White House, according to author Philip Shenon, so much so that one investigator even threatened to resign.


According to a new book, UVA historian Philip Zelikow advocated for his friend Condoleezza Rice as head of the 9/11 Commission.


Wednesday 2/6

Second student arrested for gun-toting

Following Monday’s arrest of one Walton Middle School student in connection with a pistol seized from a locker on February 1, a second boy was charged on Tuesday, according to Albemarle County police. As both students are under 14, police are especially tight-lipped about what particular charges have been brought. In a letter to parents dated Monday, principal Betsy Agee explained that on Friday, one student had brought the pistol onto school property, then passed it off to another. School officials were notified about the gun that evening; they in turn called police. [Read more about the arrest on here.]

Thursday 2/7

Royal treatment for King Family Vineyards

The February issue of Wine Business Monthly contains some great news for King Family Vineyards in Crozet. The magazine puts King in the top 10 “Hottest Small Brands of 2007.” Not only was it the only winery of the 150 or so in Virginia to be picked, but it was also the only winery on the entire East Coast to be picked. The magazine describes the winners as having “achieved success by delivering on quality,” and having “emerged as leaders within the region they represent.” 

Friday 2/8

Teachers will get raise

County teachers can breathe a sigh of relief, for now, as the School Board unanimously approved a $151.7 million operational budget Thursday night that incorporates teachers’ annual 4 percent increase. Meanwhile, the Board slashed various programs to meet a diminished county revenue. $400,000 was cut out of central office operations and $500,000 from the school bus replacement fund. Despite the cuts, the school budget exceeds projected revenue by $1.3 million. “We are trying to be as efficient as possible with our operations,” says chair Brian Wheeler.

Saturday 2/9

Because basketball sucks…

There’s no wrong way to write a UVA football press release, especially if the occasion is to announce the schedule for the 2008 season. And, from the looks of the schedule, there’s an awful lot to get your oversized foam fingers in a twist over: eight teams that made trips to bowl games in 2007, a home opener against the University of Southern California Trojans, and, according to the release, games against “three bowl championship subdivision non-conference opponents.” Er, yay? Season tickets go on sale February 22.

Sunday 2/10

Breezy apocalypse

Traffic lights go dead and chaos erupts on area highways today after high winds knock out power for thousands of customers. In the county, several brush fires rage after sparks from downed power lines are fanned by the 54-mile-per-hour breeze. Oakencroft wine lovers are especially tense—crews have to contain a fire threatening the vineyard, according to The Daily Progress.

Monday 2/11

Dubious honor

UVA has made a top 10 list that, we imagine, hardly inspires pride around the academical village. According to the Universities Weblog, a Reader’s Digest campus safety report puts UVA in the top 10 schools for forcible sex offenses, based on data from 2005. In that year there were 20 sex crimes involving force at UVA, the same number as at Vanderbilt University; the University of California-Davis topped the list with 34 such crimes in 2005.

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And the sand played on: Last Saturday, the John Paul Jones Arena was teeming with leaping, scantily clad women and men, and a crowd itching for summer, as the AVP Crocs Hot Winter Nights Tour brought pro beach volleyball to town.

Tuesday 1/29

Population boom surrounds Charlottesville

Virginia’s population reached 7.7 million people on July 1, making the state the 12th largest in the nation, according to figures released by UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Although it’s an increase of more than 633,000 people since 2000, the rate of growth has actually dropped in recent years, reports the Associated Press, with the city of Charlottesville seeing  the least amount, as it grew  from 40,099 residents in 2000 to 41,274 in 2007. Meanwhile, the surrounding area boomed, with Fluvanna, Orange and Louisa counties realizing the highest population increase.

Wednesday 1/30

UVA’s Darden in Top 100

The Financial Times has ranked UVA’s Darden School of Business 33rd in the world and 16th in the U.S. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business was ranked No. 1. Of course, this may not be news Darden wants to trumpet. Its world ranking in 2008 dropped from 26th in 2007. In 2006, Darden was ranked 24th.

Thursday 1/31

New job tolls for Bell?


Though Rob Bell hasn’t announced he’s running for Virginia Attorney General, he has already raised $300,000, more than any other potential candidate.

In today’s Washington Post, Staff Writer Tim Craig puts Delegate Rob Bell, who represents much of Albemarle County, at the top of the list of five Republicans who are possible candidates for Virginia Attorney General. According to the article, Bell has an early advantage because he has raised, as of December 31, $300,000—the second candidate on the list has only $74,000 in his coffers. “The former prosecutor has a reputation for using his seat on the Courts of Justice Committee to push for laws to crack down on crime,” Craig writes, “but some activists say he goes too far in wanting to lock people up.”

Friday 2/1

Rutherford to move on NFL lawsuit

John Whitehead, president of the Charlottesville’s Rutherford Institute, has been itching to sue the NFL over its ban on big-screen Super Bowl church parties. The Washington Post reports today that he has set his sights on an Alabama church as the centerpiece of the lawsuit. While smaller screens limit the size of an audience, screens larger than 55′ infringe on the copyright of the telecast. “It’s ridiculous,” says Whitehead in the Post. “You can go into these stores now and buy 100-inch screens. The law is just outdated.”

Saturday 2/2

State delays Wise plant

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has added a second public hearing and extended its public comment period for Dominion Power’s controversial proposed coal-fired power plant in Wise County. The second public hearing is scheduled for February 19 in Richmond. The original hearing will be February 11 in Wise County. The public comment period has been extended by 15 days to March 12.

Sunday 2/3

TJ, the self-serving swindler

The patron saint of Charlottesville is taking several more blows to his reputation thanks to a new book, Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson, reviewed in today’s Washington Post. The book portrays the post-presidential Jefferson as “an irresponsible, impractical, self-serving and self-deluded man who rarely lived up to his ideals.” In one particularly nasty episode, a friend and Florentine horticulturalist had Jefferson look after his American holdings, “only to find out that the Sage of Monticello had sold them and loaned himself the proceeds to continue his architectural experiments.”

Monday 2/4

Blue scare

Frothy-mouthed carpetbagging liberals are raising their skinny fair-trade lattes in a toast to the news that Tom Perriello, Democratic challenger to Republican Congressman Virgil Goode, raised more money than the incumbent in calendar year 2007. Meanwhile, Goode is spinning the numbers by telling the Danville Register & Bee that New Yorkers, Californians and Charlottesvillians (august company, no?) are behind the $266,665 Perriello raised last year; Goode himself pulled in $165,010.

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Last week, a 100-year-old red oak tree between New Cabell Hall and Jefferson Park Avenue was removed. University officials made the decision after a recent inspection found that the tree had extensive trunk and root rot and could pose a potential hazard.

Tuesday 1/22

Baseball bat bill strikes out

A bill that was introduced to ban the use of aluminum bats in favor of wooden ones in games at Virginia’s public high schools is being held over for a year’s worth of study, reports today’s Daily Progress. The Charlottesville-based Virginia High School League opposes the proposed ban, but Dr. Vito Perriello, a Charlottesville pediatrician who chairs their sports medicine advisory committee, said more study of the different bats makes sense. “There certainly is anecdotal information that made people feel that the aluminum bats are more dangerous,” he said.

Wednesday 1/23

UVA first in black enrollment

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that UVA tied Columbia University for first place in black student enrollment—11.4 percent of UVA’s current first-year class—at “top-ranked” universities. John Blackburn, UVA’s dean of admissions, told the Times-Dispatch that he expects those numbers to grow now that UVA dropped its early decision deadline. “We won’t really know how successful it was until we get to the summer when all the financial-aid packages are worked out,” Blackburn said in the story. “But we hope to see an increase of low-income students, many of whom are black.”


John Blackburn, dean of admissions for UVA, says he expects the number of black students to grow in the coming years.

Thursday 1/24

Gun control shot down

Survivors of last year’s shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech have been dealt a blow in their effort to close the gun show loophole. The Washington Post reports this morning that a Virginia Senate bill, which would have required background checks for buyers at gun shows in the state, was defeated yesterday in committee. The Post quotes Gordon Hickey, a spokesman for Governor Tim Kaine, who had made the bill a priority, as saying, “This vote indicates that some believe a felon should be able to buy a gun at a gun show.”

Friday 1/25

Free the sangria

Nearly a quarter of a century ago, the state outlawed the serving of any concoction that mixes liquor and either wine or beer, the Associated Press reports. Frances McDonald found out the hard way when his Alexandria restaurant was fined $2,000 for serving sangria in 2006. McDonald has filed an appeal to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board and will go to Richmond to urge state legislators to lift the ban.

Saturday 1/26

Camblos rambles on

When Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney Diana Wheeler made a plea bargain with a witness and withheld it from defense, Circuit Judge Daniel Bouton had no choice but to throw out a guilty verdict against James H. Long, Jr.—convicted of first-degree murder in September 2006—and start over. To replace her, Wheeler opted for someone who knows a little something about starting fresh: Jim Camblos, defeated in his bid for the Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney seat by Denise Lunsford. His first case as assistant prosecutor for the city of Waynesboro begins on February 18.

Sunday 1/27

Person killed in house fire

With cold weather often comes unfortunate fire accidents. One person was killed in a blaze that broke out at about 7:45pm on Saturday evening, an Albemarle County press release announces today, though the person’s name was not released until autopsy results came back. No word on what started the fire, which torched a townhome at 147 Woodlake Dr., between W. Rio Road and Route 29. The dead person was found on the second floor.

Monday 1/28

Mormon leader dies; no connection to C-VILLE cover story

Gordon B. Hinckley, 97-year-old president of the Mormon Church, died in Salt Lake City on January 27. President for 12 years, Hinckley’s major legacy, according to The New York Times, was as a talented PR man who changed the church’s logo to emphasize the words “Jesus Christ” and, in turn, the Mormons’ connection to other Christian denominations. Given that the church is now the fourth largest in the U.S., we gotta tip our hats to that strategy. In fact, on page 18, we do: Jayson Whitehead explores Mormonism’s rise here in our backyard—a coincidence, we swear.

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Last week, new bike racks were installed in Washington Park, the result of a design contest sponsored by the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation and ArtInPlace. Afton-based artist, Bill Hess, designed this one.

Tuesday 1/15

MySpace agrees to greater policing

In a move advertised to improve youth Internet safety, state Attorney General Bob McDonnell announced that MySpace has voluntarily agreed to make several changes to its site, including allowing parents greater control over their children’s e-mails. “This is the way we keep children safer online, by working for progress and improvements with technology leaders,” McDonnell said. In 2006, the 2009 Republican candidate for governor also set up his Youth Internet Safety Task Force.
 
Wednesday 1/16

Louisa to Charlottesville: You gave me gangs!

In response to gang-related graffiti that’s been popping up around the county, the Louisa sheriff’s office announced that it has formed a seven-member gang task force to try and keep gangs from getting a foothold in the county, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch. Major Donald Lowe said that he suspects Louisa’s gang-related problems are coming from Charlottesville and Albemarle County. “We want people to know that we’re not going to put our heads in the sand waiting for this to become a problem,” he said.

Thursday 1/17

Snow. Cameras. Action!

Anticipating today’s winter storm, the City of Charlottesville held a press conference yesterday to unveil two new strategies to cope with such situations. Twelve traffic cameras are now installed around the city. ”We can actually look at 12 different intersections around the city in real time with the conditions,” said Judith Mueller, director of the Department of Public Works. Also, every city plow truck has been equipped with GPS technology, so that crews know which streets have been plowed and which streets haven’t.

Friday 1/18

Where’s the quarterback?

True freshman quarterback Peter Lalich had better mature quickly. The UVA Athletics Department announced on Thursday that four of the school’s football players will not be returning for the spring semester, including starting sophomore quarterback Jameel Sewell and starting cornerback Chris Cook. “Privacy laws prohibit any additional comment or release of information regarding this matter,” states the Athletic Department’s press release. The Daily Progress speculates that all four players won’t be around in the fall, either.

Saturday 1/19

Body counting

How many soldiers are dead in the Culpeper National Cemetery? Answer: All of them! As of 2006, the number of interments at the Culpeper veterans cemetery totaled more than 10,000 across roughly 30 acres and, with a total of nearly 737,000 veterans in the state, more than a few will buy the farm within a few miles of Culpeper. The Associated Press reports that Terance Rephann, an economist at UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, completed a study that recommends a new veterans cemetery in Nelson County and a 50-mile “service-area boundary” for determining a dead veteran’s final destination.

Sunday 1/20

Immigrant bills assailed

Undocumented workers aren’t likely to speak up in public places where their legal status can be readily questioned, so they’re not likely to speak out against the plethora of bills in the state General Assembly that would make their lives more miserable. That’s where Tim Freilich, director for the Charlottesville Legal Aid Justice Center’s Immigrant Advocacy Center, comes in. He was quoted in The Washington Post today, calling out legislators for bills that “directly attack Virginia’s lawfully present immigrants,” as well as those who aren’t.

Monday 1/21

Corn not growing? Plant more corn!

The Associated Press reported today that Virginia corn, soybean and cotton crops declined in 2007. The National Agricultural Statistics Service pinned the blame on dry weather and the decline came despite the fact that state farmers planted more corn in 2007. In fact, 2007’s corn acreage was the highest on record since 1933, partially thanks to speculation that ethanol will become the the 21st century’s oil. The AP didn’t mention the effect that monoculture farming could have had on production decline.

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Tuesday 1/8

Kaine proposes smoking ban

Governor Timothy M. Kaine will propose legislation with the start of tomorrow’s General Assembly for a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants. “The scientific evidence about the health risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke is clear and convincing,” Kaine said, standing in a restaurant in Virginia Beach. The Department of Health estimates that secondhand smoke is responsible for 1,700 state deaths per year and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids estimates that the Commonwealth spends $124.9 million a year on problems related to secondhand smoke exposure.

Wednesday 1/9

Albemarle native wraps up Democratic nomination

Four months of fundraising has made Albemarle county native Tom Perriello the Democratic challenger to Virgil Goode, The Daily Progress reported today. Perriello has raised more than $263,000 since September, setting the stage for a run at the 5th District Congressional seat that Goode has held since 1996. 

Thursday 1/10


UVA School of Architecture professor Bill Lucy is taking a permanent sabbatical from his post as chair of the city Planning Commission.

Change is afoot

Charlottesville Tomorrow reports that city Planning Commission Chairman Bill Lucy, a UVA architecture professor who has served on the commission for more than three years, will leave his post in March as part of a sabbatical. The website quotes Lucy as saying, “I have accomplished most of the goals I had in mind, and the City Council had in mind, when I was appointed.” And a press release today from Charlottesville City Schools announces that CHS Principal Kenneth Leatherwood will become a coordinator with the system’s Human Resources department at the end of the school year.

Friday 1/11

General Assembly to take on illegal immigration

More than 100 bills pertaining to the illegal immigration issue have been introduced in the first two days of the General Assembly, reports The Washington Times. “It is evidence of the fact, in the last year, the issue has become of heightened interest in the public consciousness; there is no question about that,” said Claire Gutrie Gastanaga, a lobbyist for a coalition of Hispanic organizations. She pointed out that only 53 such bills were introduced in the last session. Democrats in the Virginia Senate listed the issue as one of their top six legislative priorities, but some Republicans doubted that assertion. “I hope they want to take the issue seriously, and we will see this year,” said Republican Delegate Jackson H. Miller. “Last year, they were not serious about it.”

Saturday 1/12


On January 12, Adam Rogers (pictured), along with Josh Van Horne, held a workshop at The Bridge on how to short-circuit audio devices to create new musical instruments and sound generators.

Tourism? More like bore-ism

Today’s Lynchburg News & Advance revisited recently published tourism numbers from Monticello (441,739 guests in 2007, the spot’s lowest total in roughly 30 years) and then, presumably to add insult to Charlottesville injury, threw in a few Lynchburg sites for comparison, including “Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest,” which attracted nearly 2,000 more guests during the last year. Most sources in the News & Advance attribute declines to increased fuel prices and fewer field trips, but Lynn Beebe, president of Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, says her spot’s increase might be attributed to “growing public interest in ‘conversation’ events featuring historical actors.” More T.J. puppets, Monticello!

Sunday 1/13

McCain wants our money

Clinton, Obama and Kucinich have already been here, and now it looks like a Republican will try his luck. Charlottesville Newsplex reports today that John McCain will hold a fundraiser at the Paramount on February 10, two days before the Virginia primary. A mere $1,000 gets you into a private reception, while $100 is necessary for the speaking event only.

Monday 1/14

What’s the frequency, Martha?

This morning, radio listeners awoke to a brave new world, at least on the 103.5 FM frequency. That’s WMRA, the NPR station based in Harrisonburg, and from now on it will air more talk programming during the middle of the day, rather than classical music. Major NPR news shows “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” will still air at the usual times; now they’ll be joined by an hour of BBC news, plus “On Point,” “Fresh Air” and “Talk of the Nation.”

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Tuesday,  January 1

Kaine stumps for Obama


Virginia Governor Tim Kaine stumped for Barack Obama (pictured) days before his Iowa victory.

Days away from the Iowa caucus, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine joins presidential candidate Barack Obama as the Senator travels from Sioux City to Council Bluffs, reports today’s Baltimore Sun. Along the way, he is introduced by Kaine, who received help in his 2005 election bid from the Illinois Democrat and returned the favor when Obama made stops in Virginia last year, including in Charlottesville on October 29. “If he were our candidate, we could get the 13 electoral votes in Virginia,” Kaine said in Sioux City. “We could put the Virginia votes— and other state’s votes—in the Democratic column and win this race. Virginia is a red state, but we’ve got a lot of independents and a lot of moderate Republicans who don’t like what the Republican Party is doing.”

Wednesday, January 2

Viagra for women

UVA researchers are currently testing a testosterone-laden ointment called LibiGel which is intended to boost the libido of women who have lost interest in sex, reports Radar Online. Rubbed into the upper arm, the drug would provide users with 24 hours of sexual interest. While it is currently being prescribed only to women who have had both ovaries surgically removed, LibiGel’s manufacturers hope that it will eventually be made available to the roughly one-third of all American females who complain of having a low sex drive. The maker, BioSante Pharmaceuticals, recently received a $3.5 million cash infusion to facilitate development after a clinical study showed that the drug “increased the number of satisfying sexual events by 238 percent,” from 2.1 to 7.1 events per month.

Thursday, January 3

Landmark on the auction block

Norfolk-based Landmark Communications confirmed media reports late Wednesday that it had hired two national investment firms to “assist in exploring strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of the company’s businesses,” reports today’s Virginian-Pilot. Parent company to that newspaper and employer to more than 9,000, Landmark was founded by Frank Batten, Sr., who gave UVA $100 million last April. The decision to sell the company was made by Batten’s son who took over leadership of the media company in 1998. “There was consensus among all of the family members that this was the right course of action to explore,” said Frank, Jr. Company revenues topped $2 billion last year for holdings that include The Weather Channel, one of the last privately owned cable channels. It is estimated that the channel could fetch more than $5 billion.

Friday, January 4

UVA basketball flounders in Cincinatti


Despite a blowout against Xavier, Sean Singletary defended the UVA men’s basketball team’s character.

The UVA men’s basketball team lost 110-76 to the Xavier Musketeers on Thursday, The Daily Progress reports. Xavier’s score was the highest that the Cavs have allowed in a game under head coach Dave Leitao, who is in his third season. “Obviously when you have a recipe for disaster, then a train wreck happens and that’s what tonight was about,” Leitao said. Captain Sean Singletary acknowledged that it was a tough loss, but tried to stay sanguine. “It’s pretty embarrassing, but you can’t fold under these types of situations and adversity,” he said. “We need to come out on the positive end of it. We have enough character to turn it around.” The Cavs will face 9th ranked Duke on January 13 in Durham, North Carolina, for their first ACC match of the season.

Saturday, January 5

Goode? Well, they’re grrreat!

Tom Perriello and Dave Shreve, in competition with one another as Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, arrived in Danville with a unified message: Goode better get while the getting is good. The Danville Register & Bee took time to speak with both candidates about Virginia Fifth District Rep. Virgil Goode (who has held the seat for 11 years and had raised more than $350,000 according to third quarter reports from the Federal Election Committee). Perriello, who is a lecturer at the UVA Law School, is listed in the same report as having earned more than $110,000 in campaign contributions, although an e-mail from his campaign claims he has earned more than $250,000.

Sunday, January 6

Former sheriff passes away

George Bailey, former Albemarle County sheriff, died January 4 at the age of 80, The Daily Progress reports today. He shared both the name of the It’s a Wonderful Life lead character as well as the local notoriety—the DP writes that “just about everybody” knew him. Bailey was sheriff from 1970 to 1987 and served concurrently as the first Albemarle County Police chief in 1984. He stayed up on politics right to the end. “Even at 80 years old, he still had valuable insight,” says Chip Harding, newly elected county sheriff. “There was never a dull moment with George. He was a character.”

Monday, January 7

Greek goddesses headed home

Demeter and Kore—or at least two 2,500-year-old sculptures of those two Greek goddesses—are to return to Italy after a stint at the UVA Art Museum, reports the website insidehighered.com. The two acroliths were excavated in 1978 in a Sicilian Greek city, then made their way into the private market; in 2002, they were donated to UVA with the condition that they be repatriated after five years. Officials at UVA told UVAToday that returning the sculptures is a gesture of support for proper stewardship of archaic artworks. They’re also planning a sendoff party on February 2—not with cake and balloons but with a gaggle of scholars discussing the antiquities market and preservation of archaeological sites.

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Tuesday,  December 25

Former UVA coach’s team beats Maryland

Ten years after being fired as UVA’s men’s basketball coach, Jeff Jones is celebrated in a John Feinstein column in today’s Washington Post. On December 22, Jones’ current team—American University—traveled the short distance from their home in northwest Washington, D.C. to Maryland’s Comcast Center, where they beat the Gary Williams-coached Terrapins by the score of 67-59. "Realistically, Jones’ last chance to take a team into Maryland and win went by the wayside the day he left Virginia," writes Feinstein. "But there he was, being congratulated by Williams after his kids played with all sorts of poise down the stretch."


Getting into UVA is getting harder for out-of-state applicants.

Wednesday, December 26

UVA still a long shot, and getting longer

Even though UVA recently went out touring with Harvard and Princeton in an effort to open its doors to more low-income high school students, a story in today’s Norfolk Examiner says UVA is becoming more and more of a long shot for out-of-state, public-school applicants. "The University of Virginia, a school considered notoriously difficult to get into from out of state, is among those schools becoming more and more unreachable," writes Courtney Mabeus in the Examiner story. "In 2006, the school offered 107 students out of 319 public school applicants a spot in that year’s freshman class." Of those 107 students, 33 enrolled. This year, 378 public schoolers applied to UVA, and 105 were accepted. Thirty-one enrolled, down two from last year.

Thursday, December 27


Benazir Bhutto’s local visits revealed her strong character and drive for peace and understanding, bloggers say.

Search for missing PVCC graduate continues

Authorities resumed their search today along the Des Plaines River in Illinois for a missing woman who graduated from Piedmont Virginia Community College, reports the Chicago Tribune. Anu Solanki, 24, has not been heard from since Monday afternoon when she left her workplace in the Chicago area. Solanki came to the U.S. from India about 10 years ago with her family, who stayed with relatives in New Jersey for two years before moving to Charlottesville, where much of her family still lives. After graduating from high school, Solanki received an associate’s degree in biotechnology from PVCC. On Monday, Solanki had planned to place a broken idol of the Hindu god Ganesh in the river, family members and friends told the Tribune. "Everyone’s sad right now. They’re praying," said her cousin Alkesh Patel. "You have to play that waiting game."

Friday, December 28

Local bloggers remember Bhutto

The assassination of former Pakastani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has evoked strong reactions across the world, including on a couple of local websites. Charlottesville-based political blogger Rick Sincere recalls meeting Bhutto in a Fairfax townhouse and calls her "one of the most authentic political leaders I have ever met." The Charlottesville Podcasting Network responded to Bhutto’s death with a recording of her 2002 speech at Roanoke College, a year after September 11. "The world is a very different place than what we had dreamed of when the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended," Bhutto said at the beginning of her speech. "The era of peace for which we prayed became a time of war." She then discussed the difficult times that Pakistan and the Middle East faced and emphasized that the 2001 terrorist attacks did not represent the majority of the Muslim world.

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Tuesday, December 18

One vote for solid waste

Only one member of a five-person board was able to vote to fund solid waste services in the city and county, reports today’s Daily Progress. Because of conflict of interest concerns, four of the five members abstained, allowing local builder Michael Gaffney to offer his own motion, second it, and record the only vote. Both the county Board of Supervisors and City Council have already ratified the agreement, which funds solid waste services until the RSWA devises a long-term strategy.  

Wednesday, December 19

Starr Hill to go national

Starr Hill Brewery is going big time with the help of some folks in St. Louis. The Charlottesville beermakers announced a distribution deal with Anheuser-Busch, which means six-packs of Starr Hill will be appearing in coolers nationwide in the next five to 10 years. Starr Hill Brewmaster Mark Thompson told C-VILLE that Anheuser-Busch acquired a minority stake in Starr Hill as part of the deal, though the local brewery will maintain control. All operations, Thompson said, will remain in Crozet. The expansion will have three phases. In 2008, distribution will expand statewide in Virginia. In three to five years, the mid-Atlantic will start seeing Starr Hill. And in five to 10 years, the brew will be nationwide.

Thursday, December 20

Local dairy barn burns


Kathryn Russell, seen here with her family last July, suffered a blow when the dairy barn at her Majesty Farm burned down.

We were sorry to learn today that the dairy barn on Kathryn Russell’s Albemarle County Majesty Farm, which was featured in a July 2007 C-VILLE cover story, has burned down, according to an e-mail to the E.A.T. Local listserve. Though no people were hurt, two baby goats and some poultry were lost, as well as, among other things, all her milking equipment and supplies. Let’s hope some generosity will flow their way this holiday season.

Meth-odical police work

Any area meth addicts wondering about dwindling supply can blame United States Attorney John L. Brownlee, who announced today the successful completion of a methamphetamine conspiracy prosecution that has resulted in 24 convictions. In 2005, a wire-tap investigation was carried out by numerous enforcement agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, that targeted two sources of supply responsible for distributing multipound quantities of meth in the areas surrounding Waynesboro, Charlottesville and Crozet. Over a six-month period in 2006, agents made multiple arrests resulting in the seizure of more than four pounds of methamphetamine (with an estimated street value of $150,000), $20,901 in U.S. currency, six vehicles, several firearms and a $208,000 residence.

Friday, December 21

Mallek to appoint Loach

The Crozet Gazette reports in its December issue that incoming Albemarle County Supervisor Ann Mallek, who defeated incumbent David Wyant, will appoint Tom Loach to the county Planning Commission. "He has shown tremendous devotion to Crozet and he has tremendous background on the issues," Mallek told the Gazette. "He wants data and real facts about things. He will represent the community well, especially in the review of the Master Plan." Loach was originally running against Mallek for the White Hall district seat, but dropped out of the race in June. The volunteer firefighter has long been involved in trying to make sure Crozet’s infrastructure is able to support the area’s development. In a December 2005 cover story, Loach told C-VILLE that the county does a fine job of planning development, but "the implementation sucks" and that "growth area residents need to wake up and smell the coffee."

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Tuesday, December 11
Squirrel shuts down Charlottesville

Charlottesville, we have a squirrel problem. In addition to absconding with all our nuts and generally chattering loudly, squirrels have now attacked our power grid, depriving 1,400 buildings in the Downtown area of electricity from early Monday morning into mid-afternoon, reports The Daily Progress. Apparently, a squirrel got wedged between two power lines and was electrocuted, causing the electricity on the wires to be interrupted. "It’s very unfortunate for the little squirrel," said a Dominion Power spokesperson, "but this is not an uncommon thing."

Wednesday, December 12
Wanted: one large trophy case


UVA defensive end Chris Long can’t stop the awards from rolling in. The latest: He was named to the Associated Press’ All-America first team.

The awards just keep rolling in for UVA defensive end Chris Long. After garnering enough votes to finish 10th in the Heisman race (a contest that’s perennially content to ignore defensive players), Long has been named to the Associated Press’ All-America first team, as reported by…well…the Associated Press. The honor comes after Long won the Dudley Award, given to Virginia’s top player and the Ted Hendricks Award for being the best defensive end in the country. Now if UVA could just sell those Gator Bowl tickets.…

Thursday, December 13
Highway to hell

On the same day that Creigh Deeds announces he is running for governor, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) releases a report that paints a dire picture of the current patterns of growth in Virginia, linking the energy costs of suburban sprawl to global warming. Transportation accounts for 43 percent of all energy consumed in Virginia, calculates the SELC’s Trip Pollard, and a lot of that gas is guzzled to get people to work from outer suburbs, which were built on cleared forest and farm land that would have mitigated all those CO2 emissions. Bleak! But Pollard says that the Commonwealth can cool it with compact development, green building, cleaner fuels and more money for alternative transportation.

Friday, December 14
Ex C-VILLE writer shows a pit bull the love


Dog lover and former C-VILLE staff writer Nell Boeschenstein is getting the word out that pit bulls aren’t born mean.

Nell Boeschenstein, former C-VILLE staff writer, current graduate student at Columbia University, and the brains behind this newspaper’s ever-popular "Hit This Site" column, has a new article on the website The Morning News about 1) her determination to adopt a pit bill and save it from possibly becoming one of "the victims of some of humanity’s worst habits"; 2) how badly she misses Crystal (that would be the pit bull), who’s living for now with Nell’s parents in Charlottesville; and 3) many other related things wrapped in Nell’s sparkling writing style that anyone would be plain crazy to miss.

Saturday, December 15
Don’t meddle with his pedals

Fifty-six-year-old cyclist Fred Wittwer dealt with more than the usual troubles that ail local bicyclists on Saturday as he competed in the 2007 Cyclocross National Championships in Kansas City. The cycle-centric website Pedal Pushers Online reported today that Wittwer, a bicycle racer that competes as part of the Charlottesville Racing Club, raced against riders in three age groups in addition to his "Masters Men 55-59" division, not to mention a snowfall that froze the surface of the outdoor race track. "On the last lap, I didn’t have any brakes," Wittwer told Pedal Pusher following his first place finish in his division. "My rims iced up so when I hit the brakes, I just kept going." Wittwer bested the 43 other cyclists in his division, finishing the 12.4 kilometer race more than 40 seconds ahead of the pack with a time of 43 minutes and 34 seconds.

Sunday, December 16
How it works


Local author Jennifer Ackerman found herself in the pages of the New York Times Book Review for her new book, Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream.

Today, The New York Times Book Review takes a look at Charlottesville author Jennifer Ackerman‘s new book, Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream. The review calls the book "an enthusiastic tour through 24 hours in the life of a typical human body" and highlights a couple of interesting facts: The majority of people are the most mentally acute three hours after waking, and the liver detoxifies best between 5pm and 6pm. (Plan your day accordingly.) While Dunn emphasizes the book’s welcoming, accessible language and useful explanations, she says that Ackerman’s personal anecdotes and literary references are sometimes out of place. In addition to being a writer, Ackerman also serves as president of the Charlottesville High School Orchestra Boosters.

Monday, December 17
Power out; no squirrels involved

Locals woke this morning and cast a wary eye on downed trees and damaged roofs—the results of the previous night’s blustery winds, with gusts up to 50 mph. Some locals also woke to find themselves out of power. According to The Daily Progress, 2,800 Dominion Virginia customers lost electricity because of the wind. But the all-knowing weather.com promises that we’ve seen the last of the blasts. And it could have been worse: The wind is a remnant of the big snowstorm that [choose your verb: hammered? pounded? blanketed?] the Northeast over the weekend, and those people are hurting, what with up to 20" of snow and temperatures in the teens. Makes a blinking alarm clock seem tame by comparison.

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Tuesday,  December 4
Yankees play Hokies

The New York Yankees will play an exhibition game at Virginia Tech on March 18, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. As part of their spring training, they will take on the Hokies at 3pm in English Field. "Since the tragedy of last April 16, the Virginia Tech family has shown great strength and resilience and have committed themselves to the healing process while looking ahead to their future," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Monday. "We bring the New York Yankees to Blacksburg this spring to celebrate the start of a new year for the Virginia Tech family and ours."

Wednesday, December 5
Goode: Happy b-day, General Lee!


Virgil Goode loves Robert E. Lee and got an award for saying so.


The Washington Times reports
that Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode is set to deliver a speech at the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ (SCV) Jefferson Davis Camp 305 Christmas party. The speech is on Robert E. Lee, that heroic Southern figure who just happened to find himself on the wrong side of history in a very, very major way. For coming all the way across the Potomac from his Capitol Hill office, Goode is presented the Stephen D. Lee Award on the 200th anniversary of the other Lee’s birthday. That birthday, for the SCV anyway, is cause for celebration and a look back at the bad old days.

Thursday, December 6
Can’t wait for warm weather


The Charlottesville Marathon is one of the 10 best up-and-coming marathons in the country, says Runner’s World magazine.

In its January issue, Runner’s World magazine names the Charlottesville Marathon one of the 10 best up-and-coming marathons in the country. This accolade follows on the heels of Trail Runner magazine recognizing the Great Eastern Trail Run, which goes through the Blue Ridge Mountains, as one of the top trail series in the country, and Golf Digest naming the golf course at Spring Creek Golf Club in Charlottesville as "Best New Public Under $75." To all this great news we have just one thing to add: The dentist and doctors’ offices around town need to start offering more reading material than just People and Time.

Friday, December 7
Locals up for Grammys

The Grammys are announced and a couple of local names are in the mix. Christopher King, a resident of Faber, is nominated in the category of Best Historical Album for his co-producing and remastering work on People Take Warning! Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs, 1913-1938, a three- disc collection of tragic folk songs from the early 20th century. His nomination is nothing new, though, as he has received them three times before and actually won in 2003. Chris Daughtry, Fluvanna High alum and "American Idol" fourth place finalist, receives four Grammy nominations for his work on his eponymous album, Daughtry, one of the best-selling albums of 2007.

Saturday, December 8
Winning and losing

The sports programs at Albemarle County Schools are vacillating between triumph and grief as they come to terms with a big win and a major loss. The Monticello High football team won the Virginia AA Division 3 state championship in Lynchburg today, defeating Richlands 36-22 for the first football state championship for Albemarle County public schools. But the high would be deflated the next day as Albemarle High swim coach Kyle Wilson collapsed and died at a Sunday morning meet in Annapolis, Maryland, reports NBC 29. No word on the cause of death.

Sunday, December 9
Council, don’t preach


"Contrarian Christian" John Whitehead is featured in The Washington Post for a Fredricksburg lawsuit.

The Washington Post Magazine details the history of Rutherford Institute Founder and President John Whitehead in a story about a lawsuit filed by Fredericksburg City Councilman Hashmel Turner, an ordained preacher in the First Baptist Church of Love. After Turner concluded a prayer to open a City Council session with the words "In the name of Jesus Christ, we thank you for what we are going to do," the Council passed a formal ban on the invocation of any specific religious figures, to ensure that parties offended by Christ, Buddha, Vishnu et al. would not file suit against the city. The Post calls Whitehead "as much a contrarian as a Christian," and bills his mission as the prevention of a "bland, state-sponsored ‘civil religion,’" then lists a few of Whitehead’s greatest hits. Turner’s lawsuit, filed 14 months ago, is yet to proceed.

Monday, December 10
Another big old show at JPJ

A big announcement today for fans of country radio: Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban (a.k.a. Mr. Nicole Kidman) will play the John Paul Jones Arena on April 10. It’s a high-powered bill: Each performer is a Grammy winner, and each has a recent No. 1 album. What’s more, the press release announcing the show promises "12 No. 1 songs, 7 for Urban and 5 from Underwood." (Don’t you just hate those Arena shows that are all littered up with No. 2 songs?) Tickets go on sale to the general public on December 15.

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Tuesday,  November 27
Kucinich is coming

Diminutive Democrat presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich will make an appearance in Charlottesville on December 7. OpEdNews.com reports that an intimate "face-to-face" meeting will first be held in Room 235 of the County Office Building at 7:15pm for those able to cough up a minimum of $500. Thirty minutes later, the main event will take place in Lane Auditorium for the relatively cheap price of $10 for students and $20 for general admission. A picture with the candidate will cost an additional $30. [Read C-VILLE’s interview with Kucinich here.]

Wednesday, November 28
Groh won’t go; fans fuss

After Tuesday’s announcement that Al Groh not only won the ACC Coach of the Year award but was granted a one-year extension of his contract, the Virginia faithful are busy bickering this morning on TheSabre.com about whether the honors were deserved. "Al earned and deserves this award. And I still can’t stand him," one fan writes. Others grumble that a contract extension makes no sense given Groh’s 1 and 6 record against Virginia Tech. Elsewhere on the site, Groh himself declares that he coaches not for contracts but "for the players," yet also acknowledges that opposing coaches have been able to use Groh’s job insecurity to boost their own recruiting efforts.

Thursday, November 29
DMB bassist’s house burns

Dave Matthews Band bass player Stefan Lessard had to perform an unfortunate fire dance this morning, as he and his son escaped a 7:30am house fire at his home on Morgantown Road, reports the Charlottesville Newsplex today. A team of 40 firefighters worked to control the blaze, which got out of hand quickly because of the 3,000-square-foot home’s cedar exterior. Investigators think the fire started on the first floor, but have yet to speculate on the cause.

Friday, November 30
Gun-purchasing ban list more than doubles

The Associated Press reports today that the number of mentally ill included on a list that bans them from buying guns has more than doubled in the past five months. U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced that in July, 174,863 names were in the federal database, while there are now 393,957. Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people and himself on April 16, would likely have been unable to purchase the firearms he used in the massacre if a 2005 court order calling him a danger to himself had been submitted to the database. Thirty-two states reported names to the database, while the remaining 18 are not legally obligated to do so. Virginia has traditionally submitted the most names to the database.

Saturday, December 1
Too smart for his genes

Enlightened caution, thy name is Eric Turkheimer. The University of Virginia psychology professor recently weighed in on the raging debate over intelligence and genetics that started with Nobel Prize-winning biologist James D. Watson’s claim that African Americans are less intelligent than members of other races and has since moved onto the Web, where William Saletan, a senior writer at culture and politics website, Slate, recently issued an apology for a series of posts on the subject. Saletan wrote on Slate that he "thought it was important to lay out the scenario’s plausibility," but discovered in the wake of a strong response that some evidence for his opinions stemmed from J. Philippe Rushton, the president of a research firm named Pioneer Fund that has donated $70,000 in support to a segregationist group called New Century Foundation. In comments to The New York Times, Turkheimer mentions the close and complex links between an individual’s genetic structure and environment as evidence enough to make the debate "fundamentally impossible to settle."

Sunday, December 2
UVA will watch ball drop in Jacksonville


Will Al Groh, this year’s ACC Coach of the Year, be able to lead UVA to victory in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida?

The Wahoo faithful found out where they’re spending New Year’s tonight: Jacksonville, Florida. The 9-3 UVA football team will play Texas Tech in the Gator Bowl on January 1, the first major bowl game for the Cavs since appearing in the 1998 Peach Bowl (a close loss to Georgia). Message boards lit up with chatter about where to stay. Those traveling Hoos are hoping this Gator Bowl appearance won’t be like the last one: In 1991, UVA got blown out by Oklahoma 48-14.

Monday, December 3
Springsteen tickets on sale Friday


Open up your wallet: Here comes Bruce to Charlottesville.

Get those Internet clicking and/or telephone dialing fingers ready, Charlottesville. Tickets for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s April 30 concert at the JPJ will go on sale Friday, December 7, at 10am, say JPJ officials. But be ready to shell out some dollars. Tickets are priced at $67 and $97. All floor seats are general admission. Tickets are available at the JPJ Box Office, Plan 9 stores, and on the JPJ and Live Nation websites.

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Tuesday, November 20
Alleged killer confesses

One of two men arrested for the murder of 26-year-old Jayne Warren McGowan has revealed his role in her death, reports today’s Daily Progress. According to a police search warrant affidavit, 18-year-old Michael Stuart Pritchett said that he and his 22-year-old cousin, William Douglas Gentry, planned to rob McGowan and knocked on her door. McGowan answered, saw their intent and said, "No," and backed toward the couch where she was shot by Gentry. While Pritchett was in another room, he said he heard more shots and then returned to the living room to also shoot her. [For more, read C-VILLE’s article on the McGowan murder from this week’s issue.]

Wednesday, November 21
Born in the JPJ


The Boss will bring his Magic to JPJ on April 30.

April 30, people: Mark it down. The Boss is back with the E Street Band, and the whole lot of them are coming to Charlottesville. Bruce Springsteen announced yesterday the dates for his 2008 tour, and the John Paul Jones Arena is his last stop. The Jersey rocker and the band that made him famous will play the JPJ on April 30. The sale date for tickets has yet to be announced. Springsteen and the E Street Band are touring on the back of their new album, Magic, the Boss’s 23rd release. According to Rolling Stone, the new album is "in one way, the most openly nostalgic record Springsteen has ever made."

Thursday, November 22
Coming to…cough…to get you!

Geez, can’t a guy cough without a reporter recording its phlegmy-ness? Apparently not if you’re UVA defensive end Chris Long and the biggest game of your life is three days away. The Associated Press has a brief but in-depth story on Long’s case of strep throat. Midway through Monday’s practice, Long headed home, feeling too sick to work out. As for Long’s status in Saturday’s game against arch-rival Virginia Tech, UVA coach Al Groh says the Cavs are taking a "wait and see" approach. Reporters tried to contact Long Tuesday, but like any quarterback killer trying to shake off an illness, Long was too busy lifting weights.

Friday, November 23
Va GOP: No nookie education


Attorney General Bob McDonnell is puzzled by Governor Kaine’s elimination of abstinence-only education funding. Well, all that evidence that abstinence-only education doesn’t work is confusing.

The Washington Post reports that state Republicans are calling for Governor Tim Kaine to reinstate funding for abstinence-only education. In October Kaine pulled $275,000 in matching funds for abstinence-only programs, the Post reports. "The research shows programs that are abstinence-only are not successful," Kaine said. "The budget will not have funding for abstinence-only programs. If the people look at the research, the answer is pretty clear." Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and other Virginia Republicans are apparently not those people. "He is a Catholic, and I am a Catholic, and I know our church teaches abstinence," McDonnell said. "I am puzzled by his decision."
 
Saturday, November 24
Not-so-brotherly love

The UVA men’s basketball team was off to a fiery five-game winning streak before their trip to the Philly Hoop Group Classic to play against Seton Hall. The Cavs had made short work of a couple of teams with names that sound like those of the feeble kids that get picked on in grade school (Drexel, an exhibition against Carson-Newman) and even rocked the knee-socks of the serious hoopsters from Arizona. Whether word of a Cav football loss reached and disheartened the team or it was just a bad karmic day for UVA, Seton Hall maintained an 8-point lead through the latter half of the game and tacked a few on at the end to hand No. 23 Virginia squad a 74-60 loss. The Cavaliers, still undefeated at home, take on Northwestern in Charlottesville on Tuesday night.

Sunday, November 25
Freud: Psych’s loss, literature’s gain


Mark Edmundson, UVA english prof, has no problem loving Freud, even if psych departments are throwing over psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis is dying in campus psych departments but flourishing in just about every other discipline, reports today’s New York Times. Among those: the English department, and the Times quotes UVA English prof Mark Edmundson on the place of Sigmund Freud in the pantheon. "Freud to me is a writer comparable to Montaigne and Samuel Johnson and Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, writers who take on the really big questions of love, justice, good government and death," said Edmundson, who has gotten a lot of attention (including from C-VILLE) for his recent book, The Death of Sigmund Freud.

Monday, November 26
Party parents free to go

This weekend’s Washington Post contains an interview with Elisa Kelly, the local woman who along with her ex-husband George Robinson was sentenced to jail time for serving alcohol to her teenage son and his friends. The notorious 2002 party had originally earned the couple an eight-year sentence, but it was reduced to 27 months—which many observers still considered too harsh—and they were released on parole before Thanksgiving after serving five months. Kelly told the Post that because of other inmates’ resentment over the media attention her case attracted, she ended up serving part of her sentence in solitary custody, during which, she tells the Post, "I wanted to blow my head off."