Lisa Martin



Recent low water levels in the Sugar Hollow Reservoir caused some community members to voice concern. Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority’s Bill Mawyer says the company’s strategy allows the reservoir to drop 19 feet below the top of the dam before transfer of water to Ragged Mountain is suspended. Photo by SkycladAerial

The cost of maintaining our water system

Bill Mawyer often asks a question that few can answer: Do you know where your water comes from? “Frequently in our business, people are shocked by the amount of time and money it takes to maintain a reliable water system,” says Mawyer, executive director of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, the agency charged with […]

Orangetheory studio manager Kelsie Floyd works with gym members to get them “in the zone”— 84 to 91 percent of their maximum heart rate—for at least 12 minutes during every workout. Photo by Eze Amos

Boutique gyms offer individual attention

For a town its size, Charlottesville is bursting with fitness club choices. “We really have a big city-level of unique offerings here,” says Claire Mitchell, co-founder and owner of treadHAPPY, a treadmill-based fitness studio located off West Main Street. In contrast to “big-box” clubs like ACAC or the YMCA, boutique, or niche gyms, like treadHAPPY […]

Emancipation Park. Photo by Jack Looney

Park design experts start from the ground up

What should a public park contain? Swings and slides, shaded benches, a grassy picnic spot? Should there be gestures toward the region’s history, ecology and culture? Could a park be a place of encounter, of healing? In June, following their decision to remove statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from park grounds, city […]

Kennedy Mason, Madison Cornwell and Eden Radifera meet with their teacher, John Worozbyt, about their “Diversity Makes Us Stronger” campaign at Burley Middle School. Photo: Robert Radifera

Leading by example: Kids learn to be the change

Upon their return from the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., in January of 2017, local moms Kristin Clarens and Amanda Sovik-Johnston felt empowered, but also challenged. “We were just emerging from the super-foggy days of having newborns and realized that we wanted to re-engage in our community,” says Clarens, an attorney. “It felt like a […]

Ragged Branch owner Alex Toomy runs a two-part operation at his southern Ivy distillery: bottling bourbon and raising cattle. The Black Angus cows feed on a mash mixture post-distillation, resulting in beef that pairs well with, go figure, straight bourbon whiskey. Photos: Jen Fariello

In good spirits: Ragged Branch is ready to pour

On a picturesque, 92-acre hillside ranch in southern Ivy, native Virginian Alex Toomy and two partners have launched an enterprise centered on a perfect pairing: bourbon and beef. Craft distillery Ragged Branch, now open for business after five years of preparation and two more of whiskey-aging, is poised to make its mark on the Virginia […]