Away went the manger

Dear Ace: I’m a Charlottesville native who moved away for 10 years during that time a controversy over the Nativity Scene at Lee Park began. I’m wondering, what became of the statues/figures/stable/fencing, etc.?—Mary Anne Joseph Mary Anne: Oh, how Ace loves a controversy. If there’s a conversation brewing about genetic engineering, Ace will be there. […]

Pringle bells

Dear Ace: What are the best items to donate to the food bank? Some people patronizingly donate uber-healthy items that they think the recipients should eat; I like to drop in a 3 lb. can of SpaghettiOs for the kids. What to do?—Gerald Food Gerald: You know, this question sounds suspiciously like you’re wanting Ace […]

When doves cry

Dear Ace: I saw that a local school was offering chances for locals to get hunting licenses. Where does one go hunting in Charlottesville? Or, where do hunting enthusiasts in Charlottesville travel to?—Tara Palin Tara: It would probably be a cheap shot to go through the duration of this article and drop all of Ace’s […]

Hoo are you referring to?

Dear Ace: I saw that a company called Cavalier Films produced a new movie that’s premiering at the Regal theater Downtown. Are they affiliated with UVA?—Phil M. Buff   Phil: It’s easy, in this town, to think that anything with even the slightest hint of orange (and/or blue) is something UVA has its hooks in. […]

It's in the cards

Dear Ace: I heard Shenanigans is outselling Toys R Us! Can it be true?—Meryl Lynch Meryl: At first, Ace thought maybe this was a rouse. A rumor. Idle gossip, perhaps. Or maybe just a flat-out lie started to stir up trouble. (He’s nothing if not a dubious investigator.) And so, after a straight shot of […]

O brother, who art thou?

Ace: I’m gonna have to ask you again. Who is “Rives” of Rives Park?—Parker Nosey Parker: Ace has never told you this, but he has a brother. A younger brother, to be exact. One who is mildly successful in his own right; he has a job, he’s in decent health, and he always drives the […]

Don't leaf me

Dear Ace: Based on trends from the past few years, what’s the projection for leaf peepers this year? I think it’s going down.—Ray King-Leeves Ray: Last week, with cold weather quickly approaching, Ace busted out his fall wardrobe and carefully packed away (read: threw stuff in a box) his spring/summer accoutrement. Mother Atkins bought him […]

The cat in the hats

Dear Ace: Who is “Rives” of Rives Park?—Parker Nosey Parker: In these uncertain political times, it’s kind of comforting to be reminded of Virginia’s—and Charlottesville’s—rich historical, you know, history. It’s also kind of comforting for Ace, on a personal level, when he’s able to dispense a morsel of his intelligence simply by reaching into his […]

Hearing it through the Vineyard

Dear Ace: A few months ago, you said you’d investigate the possibility of there being a “Vineyard Church” in Charlottesville. Ever find out anything about it?—Dee Cantor Dee: Ace has never considered himself a religious man. In fact, in the August 12 article to which you refer, Ace specifically remembers shying away from any denominational […]

Zap dance

Dear Ace: Is there a place in Charlottesville where you can get laser tattoo removal? (Not that I want to or anything…)—Tom E. Lee Tom: For years, Ace wore only pants. Never Bermuda shorts, never running shorts, never even a bathing suit. He’d never moon passers-by, never undress with anyone in the room (unless it […]

Don't throw it all away

Ace: I overheard someone talking about “freecycle” the other day. What is it? Some sort of biking initiative?—Stu Wheeler Stu: In his later, ahem, 30s, Ace assisted a professor of private investigationism at a local university. From time to time, he would notice a group of hipster students assembling themselves on campus. There, in a […]

Creep year

Ace: I was driving down Market Street the other day and noticed that the creepy sculpture on the corner of Market and High streets is missing! Any idea what might have happened to it?—Shirley Holmes Shirley: When taking a spin in the Acemobile, your trusty reporter tries not to let his eyes avert from the […]

No kiosk in Keswick

Hey Ace: What happened to that newsstand that used to be on the Downtown Mall? Didn’t that guy who bought it want to turn it into a bar?—Rhea Porter Rhea: Ace is always skeptical when someone wants to buy something with the intention of turning it into a drinking venue. Seems to Ace all those monies […]

Word problem

Dear Ace: Where did the “Venable” in Venable Elementary come from? Doesn’t that word mean you’re really, really old?—Justin A. Child Justin: It is a curious thing, linguistics. Just a few letters and the entire word can change meaning. Of course, it is even more curious, perhaps, that one does not know the origin of […]

Getting colder

Dear Ace: You know that large digital display on 29N near Fashion Square Mall that shows the temperature? Is that thing accurate? When was the last time the temperature was calibrated?—Urma Stat Urma: Why yes, actually. Ace knows exactly the display of which you’re speaking. In fact, he can be seen on that side of […]

Home is where a Depot isn't

Dear Ace: There seems to be a Home Depot lurking around town somewhere. I get applications in the mail for their credit cards, frequent sales flyers, etc., but always without an address. I have one question: Where the hell is it?—S. Crue Driver S.: If Ace had a hammer, he’d hammer in the morning. And […]

Ark de Triumph

Dear Ace: Where can I go in Charlottesville to buy a boa constrictor/talking parrot/ferret/alligator/elephant/etc.?—Zoe KeeperZoe: Let Ace first address the issue of putting the words “exotic” and “ferret” in the same sentence. Ferrets, faithful reader, are not exotic. They sleep 14-18 hours a day and, according to Ace’s trusty source (thanks, Wikipedia!), include raisins among […]

No contest

Dear Ace: In light of the “Best Of” voting, I was wondering: What’s the best church in Charlottesville?—Evan Lee Evan: Ace was really hoping he’d be assigned to cover “Best Place to Stumble Home From At 4am” this week, as he’s already been preparing for that assignment a hefty portion of his adult life. Alas, […]

The few. The proud. The marine life photos.

Dear Ace: The photos hanging in the trees on the Downtown Mall were really cool. Where did they go? And can I get one?—John I. Candy John: If anyone’s getting one, pal, it’s gonna be yours truly. Those photographs were awesome, and Ace thinks one would look perfect hanging above the fireplace in his bedroom […]

Feeling blue and orange

Dear Ace: Ever notice that the school colors for the University of Florida are strikingly similar to the school colors for the University of Virginia?—Allie Gater Allie: Yep, Ace noticed. Next question. Oh, calm down. Ace is just pulling your leg. Though, he would like to point out that that isn’t actually a question he […]

Free Willie association

Dear Ace: Do you think maybe Willie Nelson is stalking us?—Perry NoydPerry: Ace has never been a man to buy into conspiracy theories, but for quite some time now, he’s often found himself looking over his shoulder in dark alleys. Shredding unwanted documents he gets in the mail. Separating his whites and darks (hey, he’s […]

The missing sync

Dear Ace: Synchronization of traffic lights between Rio and Hydraulic roads seemed to work well for a while, but now I notice that I frequently have to make stops at one or more lights down there. Have these lights become, as Kurt Vonnegut would say, “unstuck in time”? Can Ace determine the truth behind this […]

Still waters run thick

Dear Ace: I saw the article in The Daily Progress about algae working its way into our tap water as of late. Should I be afraid?—Al G. Green Al: Look, man, this ain’t no advice column. Ace can no more tell you to be scared of a little algae than he can tell you that it’s […]

Get smart

Dear Ace: Is there anything you don’t know?—Harry Stottle Harry: Ace does not walk blindly through life. He keeps his eyes peeled, his ears open and his hands to himself (unless encouraged otherwise, of course). This acute awareness prevents him from missing much and, consequently, he’s acquired a goodly amount of useful (and less-than-useful, natch) knowledge. […]

Man on Third

Dear Ace: What’s the deal with Third Street access being restricted to pedestrians only? It seems like there’s vehicle access, but I’ve always been told to move when I park there. There’s nowhere to legally park for loading after 6pm, except at the far ends of the Mall. That is no help at all if […]

The seven year scratch

Dear Ace: Our well-known local author, Rita Mae Brown, writes about cats solving mysteries. There is another woman named Lilian Jackson Braun (note the spelling) who also writes about feline sleuths. Two women whose last names are so similar writing mysteries starring cat detectives—is this the most mind-boggling coincidence ever, or what?—M.E. Yow M.E.: Ace […]

On message

Dear Ace: I was walking from the Inn at Court Square the other day and noticed on the back of The Paramount Theater a phrase was painted: “The Friendly Paramount.” Where did it come from? And what does it mean?—Bree K. Wall Bree: Ace suspects you’re unaware of the many levels to your question. In its […]