In brief: #counciloutofcontrol, billionaire’s arrearage, Wegmans trail hub and more

Photo Eze Amos Photo Eze Amos

Out of order

Everyone was ordered out of City Council chambers when the April 2 meeting spiraled out of control following public comments from Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler and Confederate statue shroud-rippers Brian Lambert and Chris Wayne. In a closed session, councilors sought legal advice on dealing with disruptive attendees, such as Tanesha Hudson, who is beside the police officer (above) and who continued to interrupt councilors during a discussion about West2nd. “Tanesha, we’re going to have to move you out,” threatened Mayor Nikuyah Walker.

“While it has been better, it has been very difficult to conduct the meetings and have business take place.”—Mayor Nikuyah Walker after clearing the chamber during the April 2 out-of-control City Council meeting

Adoption nightmare

Virginia Media Relations

The abrupt March 20 resignation of former UVA women’s basketball coach Joanne Boyle, 54, for a family matter was because she has to take her 6-year-old daughter, Ngoty, back to Senegal to finalize her adoption, a process that could take months—or years, the Washington Post reports.

Eyes in the sky

Charlottesville will install seven security cameras in a four-block area near City Hall and the Market Street Garage for $54,000. The cameras will not be monitored in real time and images will be stored for 30 days. Former police chief Tim Longo first called for 30 cameras on the mall in 2007, but cost and privacy concerns stymied them.

Scofflaw governor

Billionaire West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is in arrears on property taxes he owes in Albemarle County to the tune of $148,000. Justice bought 4,500 acres in southeastern Albemarle in 2010 from MeadWestvaco for $23.75 million. Justice reportedly has stiffed West Virginia and Kentucky on taxes as well.

Latest U.S. attorney

Thomas T. Cullen, 40, of Roanoke was sworn in March 30 as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, a position that’s been open since John Fishwick resigned in early 2017.

Unhappy hour

Chef Geoff Tracy sues the Virginia ABC for restrictions that prohibit publicizing the price of drink specials at his Tysons Corner restaurants—although he can do so at his Maryland and D.C. restaurants.

Friendly with the feds

“Crying Nazi” Christopher Cantwell, who faces charges from the summer’s tiki torch march on Grounds, has written recent blog posts titled “I Am A Federal Informant” and “Why I’m Talking to the Feds,” detailing his quest for revenge on anti-fascist groups. Adds Cantwell, “Maybe the feds fuck me over. It’s a distinct possibility. But I’m DEFINITELY getting fucked by Charlottesville.”

Pound o’ meth

When Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement officers arrested Ersy Alejandro Hernandez on March 23 on an outstanding warrant for sexual battery, they found 458 grams of meth and 28 grams of coke on him, valued at $15,275 and $1,250, respectively. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute more than 10 grams of meth.

Feeling connected

Albemarle County officials have long preached a doctrine of interconnectivity, but a vision of trail biking and walking is more than just a prayer.

The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, which won nearly $500,000 for the project from VDOT in 2016, has revealed its first look at a “trail hub” that would connect multiple current and future pathways near 5th Street Station—the county’s newest shopping center anchored by Wegmans.

The trail system will be located to the east of Fifth Street Extended and north of Interstate 64, with the newly acquired Biscuit Run Park to the south. The Rivanna Trail to the city’s Azalea Park will border the west.

Local architecture firm Land Planning & Design Associates Inc. has had a heavy hand in designing the project.

“LPDA is enthusiastic about this project, which combines pedestrian connectivity, placemaking, amenity design and recreation planning,” says manager Jessica Mauzy. “[It’s] a key building block in the alternative transportation network in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.”

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