Atkins



The little Frenchman who could

The little Frenchman who could

Dear Ace: Forgive me, Professor Atkins, but my American history is spotty. Basics I got. Jefferson? Check. Madison? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Monroe? Old news. But what about this Claudius Crozet I’ve been hearing about? With a town (and a pizza joint!) named for him, he must have been someone pretty special. But special how, when […]

Gift horse

Dear Ace: The Foxfield Races designates a charitable organization to receive proceeds from its semiannual steeplechase races, but how much are the Foxfield folks actually giving to charities?—Horace O. Coors. Horace: Boy, you’re even more cynical than Ace, huh? Still, Ace supposes you have some justification. Those white-glove-wearing, julep-sipping, portfolio-having derbyites over at Foxfield surely […]

More tourist trappings

More tourist trappings

Dear Ace: What’s this about Monticello and UVA being declared a UNESCO “World Heritage Site”?—Hester E. Buff Hester: Sounds prestigious, huh? It is. This ain’t “world’s greatest grandpa” here; being a World Heritage Site is a pretty big deal. So who decides which sites get to bear that designation and how do they decide? Is […]

Walling woes

Walling woes

Dear Ace: Recently, I was driving past the Old Trail development out in Crozet and saw that they’d built a tall screening fence along Jarman’s Gap Road. I noticed that the fence-side is facing Old Trail and the post-side is facing the road. I always thought when you built a fence, your neighbors were supposed […]

Chances are…

Chances are…

Dear Ace: I know gambling is illegal in Virginia. Is online gambling O.K.? —Tex S. Holdem Tex: Kenny Rogers’ rotisserie chicken chain may have gone belly-up, but his wisdom springs eternal: You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run. But […]

Capital campaign

Capital campaign

Dear Ace: I’ve heard that Charlottesville was briefly the capital of Virginia, but no one seems to know any details. Was it? —Dom Inion Dom: So you’re not satisfied that this is the best place to live in America? You’re not content living in the place where that woman who claimed to be Anastasia made […]

T.J.'s b-day

T.J.'s b-day

Dear Ace: I noticed that UVA and Monticello are commemorating Jefferson’s birthday on Friday, and I got to wondering: How would Thomas Jefferson have celebrated?—Celia Brating Celia: Images of T.J. in a pointy hat, hopped up on Sprite and Doritos, tearing open presents with abandon and harassing a party clown are certainly tempting to conjure, […]

Court date

Court date

Dear Ace: I thought the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court building was supposed to be finished by now, but every time I drive by it, it’s still under construction. What’s the deal?—Joe V. Hall Joe: Oh, no worries. The Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court is still open for business. You can still press charges against […]

A county by any other name?

A county by any other name?

Dear Ace: What’s an Albemarle anyway? How did the county get its name?—Al B. Marlow Al: If nothing else, it’s certainly a mouthful for outsiders: Ace has heard every pronunciative variation on our fair county’s name from the common “Al-Burr-Marle” to some unholy, mush-mouthed amalgamation involving albums, Arlo (Guthrie, Ace presumes) and marbles. But lest […]

Ma’am I am

Dear Ace: I hail from New York City, where we reserve the word “ma’am” for women over 60. I’ve noticed that in Charlottesville, pretty much any female can be “ma’am.” Why the difference?—Thea Soros Thea: If that’s the only difference you noticed between New York City and Charlottesville, Ace suggests you pay a little less […]

Code red, white and blue

Code red, white and blue

Dear Ace: On a recent trip to Richmond, I noticed that all the state buildings were flying the Commonwealth flag at half-staff while the U.S. flag was at full-staff. Isn’t this a deviation from flag-display protocol?—Fannie Flagg Fannie: No offense, but prior to receiving this question, when Ace heard phrases like “deviation from flag-display protocol,” […]

Walk this way

Walk this way

Don: To answer your question, Ace went straight to the source: the Code of Virginia (for Ace’s less legally inclined readers, that’s the big book of laws that breaks down what you can and can’t do in the Old Dominion). Unfortunately, Ace got a little distracted once he flipped to the section on traffic violations. […]

Mr. Jones and me

Mr. Jones and me

Dear Ace: I heard the John Paul Jones Arena was not named after the well-known naval hero of the Revolutionary War, but inside the arena, they have engraved one of his famous quotes,

In living color

In living color

Dear Ace: What’s with there only being one High Definition TV channel in Charlottesville? I’ve got this kick-ass TV, and I don’t have anything to watch on it!—Cuckoo Channel Cuckoo: Ace knows how you feel. Why bother even watching “Flavor of Love” if you can’t make out every last pore on Flava Flav’s nose? And […]

Hoos in the Super Bowl

Hoos in the Super Bowl

Correction appended Dear Ace: I was a little sad that, for all the local press, former Virginia running back Thomas Jones couldn’t lead the Bears to victory on Sunday. How many Wahoos have been able to claim Super Bowl glory?—Lacy Supp Lacy: What’s new, pussycat? For Thomas Jones, crushing disappointment. But hey, chin up: There […]

Short timers

Short timers

Dear Ace: Why is February the shortest month?—Cal N. Dar We all remember the old rhyme: “Thirty days hath November, and please don’t forget September. But if April and May were candy today, we’d all have a happy tomorrow.” Or wait. Ace is a little confused. But there’s one thing he does know: February is […]

Snow in Charlottesville.

Flurry of activity

Dear Ace: The kids’ so-called winter break ended recently, and it got me wondering about snow days. No, not will we ever see the frosty precipitation again (I saw An Inconvenient Truth!), but, in the event that it’s coming down outside, who decides when to call a snow day and how do they make the decision?—Cab N. Fevre

Site unseen

Site unseen

Dear Ace: I hear that the City of Charlottesville keeps getting awards for its website, yet I cannot even locate basic recycling info on there. What’s the deal with these contests? Are they a field of one?—Marie Internette Dear Marie: You heard right. This fall, www.charlottesville.org was given the Pinnacle Award by the National Association […]

Getting schooled

Getting schooled

Dear Ace: From what I hear, we have some really good primary and secondary teachers in our town. What can you tell me about them?—Ed U. Kator Dear Ed: It’s no coincidence that Charlottesville has turned out some pretty high-profile people—think of Rob Lowe or DMB or the kids of any of the celebrities who have […]

It wasn’t me

It wasn’t me

Dear Ace: I heard that police officers don’t have to write citations for every traffic accident. Is that true? What kind of discretion do they have?—Rex Carr Dear Rex: You and Ace are on the same wavelength: His car insurance premiums are pretty deadly, too. So what are the odds of making sure that fender-bender […]

The friendly skies

Dear Ace: I recently read about an American Airlines flight being grounded because a woman lit a match to cover up an unpleasant smell. After my giggles subsided, I got to wondering: How secure is the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport anyway?—Joan Jet Dear Joan: Ace wouldn’t know. He’s been boycotting air travel since airlines started banning smoking […]

Leaf lessons

Dear Ace: I never raked my leaves. Will I get in trouble?—Lee Z. Bones Dear Lee: So you’re that guy on the block, huh? Lawn left unmowed, newspapers dating back to 1982 piled in the yard, broken beds on the porch, holiday decorations left up year-round? Well, no worries: Ace is on the beat. He […]

Survival skills

Survival skills

Dear Ace: The mumps outbreak, year-end Y2K flashbacks and too manyepisodes of “Jericho” have me thinking about emergency preparedness. Where doI go for info in case of a catastrophe?—Calamity Jane Dear Calamity: Zombie outbreaks, alien invasions, roving gangs of bitter George Allen campaigners…there are a lot of things that could go wrong in Charlottesville, and […]

Mounds of food at T.J.'s little mountain

Dear Ace: As the holiday season rolls around, I’m finding myself curious about the history of ham glaze, green bean casserole, etc. What would’ve been on Jefferson’s dining table during a Christmas feast?—Felix Navidad Dear Felix: Boy, you’re just insatiable, huh? Ace is still trying his damndest to polish off the last of those Thanksgiving […]

Blog bounty

Blog bounty Dear Ace: Recently, I was trudging through the so-called blogosphere and decided to do a search for “Charlottesville” on Blogger.com. I was astounded tosee over 60,000 results! Why so many Charlottesville blogs?—Ana Z. Webb Dear Ana: Yes, the hippest media buzzword of 2004 has swept our fair city. Ace is not terribly fond […]

Memory lane

Dear Ace: What was the Lafayette Theater? I have heard about it but don’t know what it was, where it was or when it was. Makes sense that we’d have something named that around here, since T.J. and the Marquis were great friends. Could you fill me in?—Frank O’Fohn Dear Frank O’ Fohn. Ah yes, […]