Weekly writers



The politics of the pump

The rise in gas prices has given the Democrats yet another sharp stick with which to poke George W. Bush. They should enjoy the advantage while they can, for come the fall we could very well see gas prices moving dramatically in the opposite direction, an October surprise that would be most welcome to the […]

News in review

Tuesday, June 22 Affordable digs in Albemarle Albemarle County has successfully negotiated its first batch of affordable housing in a new development project. Under a rule instituted in February, 15 percent of the homes in a new development must be affordable. But the new policy is flexible, and had yet to prod developers to build […]

News in review

Tuesday, June 15 The Freshman 100 UVA today held a meeting in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom with about 100 local residents to discuss the school’s many plans for growth. Though the lengthy presentation by UVA architect David J. Neuman had the somnolent effect of an academic lecture, several specifics emerged. Neuman said the incoming freshman […]

This is your government on drugs

It sounds a bit like the answer to one of those old late night “so whatever happened to…” questions. Tommy Chong, 65-year-old grandfather, the lesser-known half of the goofy late-’70s burnout comedy duo Cheech and Chong, was convicted of the illegal sale of drug paraphernalia over the Internet (i.e. he marketed a line of glass […]

News in review

Tuesday, June 8 Home Depot off Fifth Street? Albemarle County planners today discussed a new plan for a Fifth Street/Avon Street development, a 92-acre Coran Capshaw venture just beyond the City’s southern border. The development has been substantially reworked, dropping all of the housing units (up to 100) that had been planned under the belief […]

News in review

Tuesday, June 1 What’s that in your backpack? During the fall semester, 425 UVA students will be toting a $2,000 Microsoft Tablet PC, according to a story published in Business Week today. However, the UVA students won’t have to fork over a cent for the notebook-sized PCs, as Microsoft, which has had trouble moving the […]

Moore’s code

In its first weekend of wide release, Fahrenheit 9/11 took in $21.8 million on just 868 screens, making it the highest-grossing documentary opening in history. The movie did equally well in red and blue states where a not-so-silent civil war is raging over America’s representation under the Bushies. While U.S. citizens fret over a terrorist […]

Charlottesville 20

Bankers, experimentalists, runners, bike cops, tortilla experts and many other avowed individuals who choose this place above all others to ply their trades, promote their ideas and otherwise stir up the creative brew that we call home and that others lately are calling No. 1. We don’t really need Frommer’s, Outside or anyone else to […]

News in review

Tuesday, May 25 Justice O’Connor gives props Anna-Marie Gulotta, a senior at Charlottesville High School, has a 4.40 GPA. She’s a youth mentor and abstract artist who developed a solar oven that made her an International Science Fair finalist. Thanks to these and other accomplishments, Gulotta today beat out seven other finalists for the $5,000 […]

News in review

Tuesday, May 18 Turn out the lights Thunderheads rolled through the area around closing time this evening, bringing violent wind and lightning that knocked down power lines. About 9,340 customers of Dominion Virginia Power were without electricity for several hours, according to The Daily Progress. The power outage was practice for Dominion crews, who, according […]

How low can you go?

“I flunked,” Marybeth Wagner jokes as she checks out the nutrition facts on a bag of her favorite cookies, Pepperidge Farms’ Double-Chocolate Milanos, finding that they contain more than 20 grams of fat per serving—far more than the three grams or less she’s shooting for. Wagner and her two daughters are checking the nutrition facts […]

News in review

Tuesday, May 11 Free Clinic has it covered To mark “Covering the Uninsured Week” in Virginia, Del. Mitch Van Yahres today presented a proclamation signed by Gov. Mark Warner to the Charlottesville Free Clinic. Among Virginians ages 18 to 64, 14.2 percent do not have health insurance, according to a study cited by the Free […]

Politics as unusual

There has never been a shortage of partisanship in presidential campaigns, as each party spends millions of dollars to support its nominee and rally its base. Yet while both sides have actively supported their candidates in recent years, there hasn’t been a lot of excitement.    Wake Us When It’s Over is the title of Jack […]

News in review

Tuesday, May 4 Chain saws in Jefferson National Forest? The Charlottesville based Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) today released a report claiming that 313,00 acres of Virginia’s forests could be available for logging and road-building if the Bush Administration reverses a 2001 conservation law, as many enviros are predicting. The forestland at risk, which is […]

News in review

Tuesday, April 27 General Assembly raises taxes The Virginia House and Senate today agreed to a package of tax increases, more than six weeks after the March 13 scheduled conclusion of the General Assembly. Albemarle Del. Rob Bell, a Republican, voted against the plan, which will boost Virginia’s two-year, $60 billion budget by about $1.6 […]

News in review

Blood on the tracks Are the CSX tracks the most crime-friendly spot in Charlottesville? Every community has its proverbial “dark alleys,” mysterious places where boogiemen live.    One of UVA’s scary spots is a half-mile leg of CSX railroad that arcs northeast from University Avenue to Rugby Road. The tracks form a popular, but potentially dangerous, […]

Burning Bush

George Bush strides confidently in the background, looking strong and presidential. As the images taken from his campaign ads referring to the September 11 attacks scroll across the screen, a voiceover intones, “George Bush shamelessly exploited 9/11 in his campaign commercials.” Soon after, we hear the voice of Bush’s former counter-terrorism chief, Richard Clarke: “Frankly […]

News in review

Blood on the tracks Are the CSX tracks the most crime-friendly spot in Charlottesville? Every community has its proverbial “dark alleys,” mysterious places where boogiemen live.    One of UVA’s scary spots is a half-mile leg of CSX railroad that arcs northeast from University Avenue to Rugby Road. The tracks form a popular, but potentially dangerous, […]

News in review

Tuesday, April 6 – Heckling the ambassador Rich Felker, a UVA grad student, spent a night in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail for his role in a Students for Free Tibet protest of a campus appearance by Yang Jiechi, the Chinese ambassador to the United States. Felker, who was released this morning, was arrested while attempting […]

News in review

Tuesday, March 30 We’re No. 61! In addition to scoring big in the much ballyhooed “best places to live” ranking, our area was rated in today’s release of an annual toxic chemical survey from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. First place was definitely not desirable in this list, which tallied the amount of toxic […]

Do the arts mean anything to anybody anymore?

Second only perhaps to God, nothing has been more eulogized in recent decades than Art. Commercial concerns have killed it, we hear. TV is its poison. Vulgarity and an overriding concern for celebrity have castrated painting, poetry, music, theater and literature. Pop is pap. Funders don’t understand art’s Significance. And so on. Yet an inevitable […]

News in review

Attention, Giant shoppers Wal-Mart-fueled benefits dispute comes to local groceries Checkout lines might not be the only lines Giant Food shoppers spot during visits to the two Charlottesville stores this week. Workers from the region’s Giant and Safeway grocery stores will vote on a new contract on March 30, and signs are pointing to a […]

In the middle of the road with Garrison Keilor

“Pray for me in return,” implores Larry Wyler, prodigal Minnesotan, lapsed author, celebrated advice columnist and aging narrator of Garrison Keillor’s most recent novel, Love Me. He’s preparing to confess his life, remarking on his drab St. Paul neighborhood and sketching passers-by in hypothetical missives to Mr. Blue, his writerly Dear Abby persona. He spots […]

Local News

The home front Foster parents open their doors while localities search for cash Evelyn and George Riner want more kids. From the prodigious amount of laundry flapping from sagging clotheslines in their backyard, it would seem their household is already overflowing. In fact, 11 people, nine dogs and eight cats live in the Riners’ house […]

If you bump it why will come

Inside the studio of East Village Radio on the weekend before the New Hampshire primary, the hip hop activists cue up their mental scripts while awkwardly climbing past each other for their turn at the mic. The low-power underground FM station broadcasts from a Manhattan storefront the size of walk-in closet. As is often the […]

Local News

Utility infielder When it comes to local baseball, nobody pitches in more than Darrell Gardner Charlottesville enjoyed a taste of spring sunshine on March 6 and 7, and, fittingly, the Lane Babe Ruth baseball league held its preseason tryouts that very weekend on Darrell Gardner Field at Lane Park on McIntire Road. After the tryouts […]

Local News

Commons grounded Council tables controversial project, promising change is on the way For now, at least, the stretch of Preston Avenue in front of the Monticello Dairy Building will stay as it is—a triangle-shaped island of grass and empty beer bottles, bordered by the convoluted intersection of Preston, Grady Avenue and 10th Street, along with […]