In brief: Fear and legal gun-toting, Bella’s fallout and more

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An apology—and a boycott

Doug Muir, the UVA lecturer who compared Black Lives Matter to the KKK in a Facebook post, apologized, saying he was unaware of the Klan’s violent history. His one-week leave from the engineering school ended October 17. Meanwhile, local groups, including the NAACP, staged a protest October 14 at Bella’s, the restaurant he owns, to say that his brief leave of absence wasn’t enough for reconciliation. Among protesters was Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, who is known for his engagement in the local African-American community.

Armed protesters freak out volunteers

Two heat-packing Trump supporters stood outside Democratic 5th District candidate Jane Dittmar’s office October 13 for nearly 12 hours. Her opponent, Tom Garrett, responded with a tweet: “I’m confused. Are you pro 2nd amdt or pro call 911 when someone is legally carrying and abiding by open carry laws in VA?”


Dittmar denies DUI

Blog reports appearing October 17 accused Dittmar of being charged with driving under the influence with children in the car after a 1999 crash. “My DMV record has never had a DUI violation and I have never been convicted of a DUI violation,” says Dittmar in a statement, which denounced Garrett for attempting to retry a case settled 17 years ago.

AdvanceAmericaRobbery_10122016_2New look in robbery attire

A motorcycle helmet-clad man wearing a neon reflective vest and a bandanna over his face—but without a weapon—held up Advance America’s Pantops payday loan office October 12 and escaped on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Bummer for state employees

A $1.5 billion shortfall means raises will be nixed for state employees, including already shorted state police, who are leaving in droves for higher-paying jobs. And the Library of Virginia takes the bulk of the state’s layoff of 26 employees.

But a bonus for county employees?

Preliminary figures released in an unaudited financial report in Albemarle County show that there could be an $8.6 million budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year, partially due to increased collections in sales, food and lodging taxes. Betty Burrell, the county’s finance director, tells Charlottesville Tomorrow the money will be used for “one-time expenditures.”

A presidential candidate’s visit

The Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson appeared on “American Forum,” filmed by UVA’s Miller Center October 17. He said he seeks equal representation for the younger generation, which is “really getting screwed in what’s happening” with health care, Medicaid and Medicare. “We’re sending you to war,” he added.

Get thee to a polling place

gail wileyAll people are not created equal in their ability to get to the polls on election day, and that’s why Car2Vote is offering to transport them. “We’ve seen how grateful some of our marginalized citizens are to get help to get to the polls,” says founder Gail Wiley, who has been delivering voters since 2010. The nonpartisan service has around 35 volunteers, and the League of Women Voters, city and county registrars and local Dems are referring people who need a ride to Car2Vote.

Call 260-1547 (Spanish language line is 260-1548) for free rides for:

  • Voter IDs
  • Early voting, if qualified
  • Absentee ballot application
  • Election day voting

Republicans have their own volunteers who offer rides: Call 973-5499.

Quote of the week

“We’re not a threat to anybody. The only threat is ignorance, and ignorance breeds fear.”—Trump supporter and armed protester Daniel Parks tells the Newsplex outside the Jane Dittmar campaign headquarters in Fluvanna.

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