In brief: America’s Dad, Virginia’s tampons, A12’s price tag and more

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine  stopped by York Place for a pizza party with UVA students.
Eze Amos U.S. Senator Tim Kaine stopped by York Place for a pizza party with UVA students. Eze Amos

New contender for America’s Dad?

Senator Tim Kaine stopped by his campaign office in York Place September 21 for a pizza party with nearly three dozen University of Virginia Democrats.

Supporters passed around campaign signs that said “America’s Dad,” although Kaine may have some competition for the title—a spokesman for Bill Cosby told reporters recently that Cosby is still America’s Dad, despite his conviction for sexual assault.

In an exclusive interview on the vital topic of “dad jokes,” Kaine confessed that he groaned when his staff introduced the signs during his 2016 vice presidential campaign. “I kind of found myself in the center of all these dad jokes. And I mean, this is a very dad thing to say, but until I was in the center of them, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a dad joke.”

Urban Dictionary defines a dad joke as an “indescribably cheesy” or dumb joke made by a father to his kids. “We’re in a business where people get called a lot of names, and being made fun of because of my dad quality? I’ll take that,” says Kaine.

Smells of pepperoni and cheese wafted through the air as Hillary Clinton’s former running mate also fielded questions about his favorite type of ’za.

“I will always have Canadian bacon, mushroom, and black olive if I can,” he said. “Not everybody has Canadian bacon. It was more popular back in the day, and with Trump in a trade war against Canada, I’m sure there’s no more Canadian bacon.”

Believe it or not, he was also there to talk politics. As was 5th District congressional candidate Leslie Cockburn, who was preaching to the choir when she said one of her top priorities is debt relief for folks with student loans.

Like his young constituents, Kaine said he believes in climate science, marriage equality, and reasonable rules to “stop the carnage of gun violence.”

“I feel like politics is a lot like a train that’s run away and we need to pull the emergency brake,” Kaine told the crowd of students. And when recruiting young supporters, he said he no longer just talks about the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

“It’s not just that there’s a difference between the two sides,” he says. “It’s that you make a difference.”

As for defeating opponent Corey Stewart? “I feel good about what I see, but we take nothing for granted.”

Quote of the week

“If someone chooses to visit a Virginia Department of Corrections inmate, he or she cannot have anything hidden inside a body cavity.”—Spokeswoman Lisa Kinney tells the AP why women can’t wear tampons or menstrual cups when visiting state prisons.

In brief

Tourism bureau slam

Adam Healey, interim executive director for the Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau, called the agency a “weak marketer,” its messaging “confusing,” and its positioning “dusty” rather than modern, according to Allison Wrabel’s story in the Daily Progress. And he wants to bump the bureau’s advertising budget from around $400,000 to $6 million.

Weekend traffic fatalities

UVA engineering grad student Rouzbeh Rastgarkafshgarkolaei, 27, died on U.S. 29 in Culpeper around 4:50am September 23, when his 2006 Audi sideswiped a Dodge Caravan, ran off the road, and caught fire. Virginia State Police said speed was a factor. That same day, Mary Elizabeth Carter, 19, died when her Mazda crossed the center line in Louisa and struck a Ford F150. Police said she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

Jowell Travis Legendre faces multiple charges. Charlottesville Police

Student assaulted, robbed

A UVA student was robbed and sexually assaulted around 9:30pm September 19 on the 500 block of 14th Street NW, city police said. Louisa resident Jowell Travis Legendre, 29, was arrested the next day and charged with object sexual penetration, forcible sodomy, robbery, grand larceny, and credit card larceny.

Well endowed

UVA’s endowment jumped almost $1 billion in the last fiscal year, from $8.6 billion to $9.5 billion. Even more impressive, the endowment has seen a 10.9 percent annual return over the past 20 years, according to COO Kristina Alimard.

Nuts wanted

The Virginia Department of Forestry is seeking acorns and nuts from 12 different species, mostly oaks, from state landowners. The department wants to plant them at its Augusta Forestry Center for tree seedlings.



Pricey preparations

While Jason Kessler was in D.C., Virginia State Police sent 700 officers to Charlottesville during the
August 12 anniversary weekend that brought out hundreds of anti-racist activists, students, and
mourners, but little to no opposition. The cost?

$3.1 million, according to VSP spokesperson Corinne Geller, who says the department has submitted the bill to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for reimbursement. That number includes: $953,000 for equipment and vehicles,
and $885,000 in salaries (for officers who would have been working anyway). It does not include costs for Charlottesville, Albemarle, and UVA.