Weekly writers



Fishbowl

Hipsters unite It’s a small, cool world after all on Friendster.com Last week graduate student Peach Friedman was waiting to buy a cup of coffee when musician Lauren Hoffman appeared in line behind her. “Hey, I saw you on Friendster,” Hoffman said. “Friendster” has recently entered the local lexicon to define a member of the […]

Fishbowl

No scrubsA nursing shortage prompts Martha Jeff to pass the hat In a direct-mail fundraising letter dated April 2003, Martha Jefferson Hospital asked the good people of Charlottesville and Albemarle to make a donation to its Nursing Care Fund, one among dozens of charitable funds at the Downtown hospital. Following the request it stated, “There […]

Fishbowl

The war at homePeaceniks and housing advocates visit Council The high drama of foreign affairs made a rare appearance in the theater of local government last week. An army of war protesters from the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice invaded City Council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, January 21, demanding that Charlottesville join more than […]

Fishbowl

"All politics is local." It’s a famous declaration from longtime Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil. Had he been speaking about Charlottesville and Albemarle County, he might have added a corollary: "and local politics is boring." That seems to be the consensus anyway, since only about a quarter of all registered voters in the City […]

Loving Spoonfuls

Gearharts Fine Chocolates’ Maya Holy cow. That’ s the initial reaction to the flavor explosion when you nibble the Maya. Underneath the layer of cocoa dust, the tiny dark chocolate nugget first offers a faint, smooth orange taste quickly overpowered by the spiciness of cinnamon. But that’ s just a precursor to the earthy zip […]

Fishbowl

Pole vault Teacher surmounts her Mormon upbringing to teach burlesque – and other dance moves The pole juts seven feet straight into the air from atop a 4’x4′ wood-and-ceramic-tile platform. A lithe, limber Brooke Shields lookalike in 5" heels, stockings and tight gym shorts and matching bra, swings suggestively around the brass fixture. She crooks […]

The Reel Deal

In American Motel, a short film by local writer and director Alexandria Searls, a man uses a piece of string to illustrate for a young woman the various connections, or "lines," in life. Gently, he wraps the string around her neck, her feet, a lamp on the wall, etc. Then he tugs. "Pull on one […]

Fishbowl

Smart guy UVA’s Eric Turkheimer makes sense of race, class and IQ Guess what? Children in poor families face more obstacles in their intellectual development than children from wealthy families. Sounds like common sense, you say? Maybe, but this apparent no-brainer is being hailed as big news in psychology’s ivory tower. The November issue of […]

Fishbowl

How many lawyers, judges and City officials does it take to tear down, er, preserve a wall? Marybess McCray Johnson is stuck between a wall and a hard place, you might say. Johnson is under court order to tear down the northern wall of her building at 224 Court Square, which is also the southern […]

Not Necessarily the News

We know a lot more now about the dangers and disasters of U.S. empire building in Iraq—the ongoing bloodshed on the ground, expansion of terrorist activities, the huge budget-busting costs of occupation, the stretching and undermining of the military and the increased sense of fear and insecurity that many Americans feel as a result of […]

Fishbowl

Grounds swell Officials give UVA props for the North Grounds Connector Road The 1.3 miles of eastbound lanes on the Route 29/250 Bypass between the exits for Route 250 and for Barracks Road are as mundane as roads get around here. Two blue rectangular highway signs indicate food (Taco Bell, Ruby Tuesday’s and Arby’s) and […]

News in review

Tuesday, September 21 Water, water everywhere About 75 residents gathered tonight at Monticello High School to hear new RWSA director Thomas Frederick outline five different options for expanding the region’s water supply, including projects to expand local reservoirs, dredge sediment from the South Fork Rivanna reservoir, and pipe water from the James River. This winter, […]

Fishbowl

Wheels keep on turning The City tackles traffic from signals to bikes to gnarly street crossings Mixed signals Whenever City and County officials talk about traffic, the message is always an ode to regional cooperation. The traffic problem is bigger than any one jurisdiction, they say, so Charlottesville and Albemarle have to work together for […]

Fishbowl

Reflecting the past New African-American newspaper dusts off a 70-year mission When Thomas J. Sellers founded the Reflector, a weekly newspaper for African-Americans published in Charlottesville between 1931 and 1935, he wrote that his aim was not to cover all the news but to "reflect the progress of our community and Race." Seventy years later, […]

Fishbowl

Eyes on the prize As they consider housing, libraries and rising costs, can Jefferson School’s guardians stay on task? After a year of meeting several times a month, the Jefferson School Task Force may have to go back to the drawing board. This month, the group is supposed to finish planning for the future of […]

While the getting’s good

Labor Day is a bittersweet holiday, a day off for many but also the occasion to bid summer goodbye. Out with the cool of ice cubes on the tongue, in with the earthiness of pumpkin in the belly. So long, head-in-the-clouds; hello, nose-to-the-grindstone. But before we all break out our flannels, remember that summer’s end […]

Fishbowl

Eyes on the prize As they consider housing, libraries and rising costs, can Jefferson School’s guardians stay on task? After a year of meeting several times a month, the Jefferson School Task Force may have to go back to the drawing board. This month, the group is supposed to finish planning for the future of […]

Why do you think they call it work?

Since its birth on September 5, 1882, Labor Day has provided every workingman and woman at least three crucial with things: an excuse for a picnic; a chance to sit in shore-related traffic; and an occasion to complain about work. For the al frescolunching and OBX traveling this Labor Day, you’re on your own. But […]

Fishbowl

Room for improvement The City and County thump for tourists, but where will they stay? On August 6, officials from the City, County and Virginia Department of Transportation broke ground on the long-awaited Court Square renovation project, designed to attract tourists to the 150-year-old historic area north of the Downtown Mall. Not discussed that morning […]

Fishbowl

It’s a small world The cute Mini Cooper becomes Charlottesville’s pet car du jour It looks at you with the sad eyes of a puppy, its side mirrors like stubby ears yearning to be stroked. It lets out a sigh when you fire the ignition, and whistles as you back out. And you’re hooked. So […]

We’re with the bands…

Fall. The leaves change colors. The sleeves get longer. And enduring sad girls with guitars replaces tubing on the James as the recreational activity of choice. The new cultural season is almost here, and C-VILLE has selected the best bets in music, art, stage, film and more to keep you busy from now until December. […]

Fishbowl

Be afraid, be very afraid County police flex the military metaphor Albemarle County Police Sergeant Peter Mainzer’s eyes lit up as he gazed on the black weapons issued to the department’s SWAT team––the .40-caliber submachine gun, the heavy bullet-proof vests, gas masks purchased with a Federal Homeland Defense grant. “Most of our operations are to […]

Saturated Fat

Hazardous waist Super-sizes and not-so-super exercises have born one nation under lard It’s a fat, fat world. More than 60 percent of all American adults are categorized as overweight or obese. And Virginia is expanding right in line with the trend. According to the Virginia Department of Health, 36.7 percent of adult Virginians are overweight […]

Fishbowl

Sounds of silence Hiding from cars and John Ashcroft In the middle of McIntire Park, there’s a cluster of trees where you can settle into the green grass and lose yourself in the sounds of swishing leaves and chirping birds––provided you can sneak past the watchman who insists that stretch of the green space is […]

Fishbowl

Making the green grade Local pols score on environmentalists’ report cards Call it the age of the report card. Children have to pass a standardized test to graduate from school, Top 10 lists abound for everything from all-time movies to worst hairdos of the past century, and TV shows live and die by the ratings […]

Fishbowl

Lining up the shot Court Square Ventures brings unwatched college sports to the tube Chris Holden might have been a rock star. There’s a glimmer in his otherwise sober eyes when he remembers trying to put himself through medical school playing late-night gigs in a piano bar—the name escapes him—somewhere in downtown Richmond. “I would […]

Dirty Secret

All that separates Tina Awkard’s front lawn from a chemical graveyard is a few hundred feet and a chain link fence. Yet Awkard, who moved here with her children three months ago, wasn’t aware that the “waste and lagoon treatment center” next door is a toxic dump with a file at the Environmental Protection Agency […]