In brief: Rogue crosswalks, alt-white hot spot and more

In brief: Rogue crosswalks, alt-white hot spot and more

Where the sidewalk ends

A young man in cargo shorts and a gray T-shirt sprints across an unofficial crosswalk between Donut Connection and the Standard on West Main Street. He pauses to let a silver car speed in front of him and then darts to the closed sidewalk on the other side to dodge a CAT bus. There, he waits at a bus stop.

Two major construction projects—the Standard and Marriott’s Draftsman Hotel (part of the hotel chain’s Autograph collection)—within two blocks of each other on West Main Street have caused a mess of traffic cones, bike lane merges, detours and closed sidewalks.

Shipping containers are repurposed as pedestrian walkways on construction-heavy West Main. Staff photo

So here are some tips to ensure that you, too, won’t get steamrolled by a bus while playing human Frogger across the streetscape.

  • Outside of the now-closed Starr Hill Restaurant and Brewery, a sidewalk-closed sign directs walkers to take a detour across the street. It also warns that the bike lane closes here and cyclists will merge with traffic.
  • As you continue walking past businesses such as World of Beer and Donut Connection, you’ll see a makeshift crosswalk that offers a path to a bus stop on the other side of the street, though that sidewalk is technically closed. City spokesperson Miriam Dickler says the city is looking into this and suspects a private citizen created this “crosswalk.” If so, crews will paint over it soon.
  • If you don’t cross and you continue moving forward, outside of the Draftsman Hotel you’ll notice another sidewalk surprise. A ramp leads you through a tunnel of hollow shipping containers and down an exit ramp. Get through here and you’re in the clear.



Pop-up crosswalk on West Main is just one of the pedestrian perils awaiting. Staff photo





Yet another one

The Patriot Movement of Greenville, South Carolina, has decided to support the August 12 alt-right rally with a 1Team1Fight Unity family day at Darden Towe Park. Organizer Chevy Love sends a mixed message that she’ll be there for brothers and sisters in Lee Park, but she says she does “not stand for racism” and would not “promote an event that has anything to do with hate groups,” according to the Daily Progress.

Dubious distinction

The Anti-Defamation League labeled local Jason Kessler a “white supremacist” July 18 in its list of key figures, “From Alt Right to Alt Lite: Naming the Hate.” Kessler responded on Twitter that ADL is a “Jewish supremacist group.”

“If you want to defend the South and Western civilization from the Jew and his dark-skinned allies, be at Charlottesville on 12 August.”Michael Hill, League of the South president, on Twitter

Most dramatic escape

Matthew Carver. ACPD

Matthew Carver, 26, who made news a couple of weeks ago for a Crozet carjacking, kicked the window out of a moving patrol car while shackled and handcuffed on Route 20 en route to the local jail around 7:20pm July 21. He was on the lam for about 14 hours before being recaptured in Mill Creek.



Kiosk botch

The auto pay kiosk for Albemarle County taxes went on the fritz and dinged 152 on-time payments made before the June 15 deadline as late, and sent notices with late payment fees. Those have been corrected, reports the Daily Progress, but workers processing the county’s lock box payments also entered the wrong dates, making a similar number of tax-paying citizens late.

Homicide victim ID’d

Two weeks after Albemarle County’s first homicide of the year on July 4, police identified the victim July 20 as Marvin Joel Rivera-Guevara, 24. He was found in Moores Creek, and police held off releasing his name until it was confirmed by the state medical examiner’s office, but a GoFundMe account identified him in trying to raise $10,000 to send his body back to El Salvador.

Pipeline nears project approval

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental impact statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline July 21, which said the proposed 600-mile, $5.5 billion natural gas pipeline will have a “less than significant” impact on the environment.

“The [final environmental impact statement] paints a terrifying picture of a bleak future,” says Ernie Reed, president of the anti-pipeline group Friends of Nelson.

According to Reed, the ACP will eliminate almost 5,000 acres of interior forest habitat and destroy 200 acres of national forests and nearly 2,000 waterbody crossings along its path from West Virginia to North Carolina. “And all this to give Dominion and Duke Energy enough gas to burn our way into hell,” he adds.

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy are the major companies backing the ACP.

“Over the last three years, we’ve taken unprecedented steps to protect environmental resources and minimize impacts on landowners,” says Leslie Hartz, Dominion Energy’s vice president of engineering and construction. She says her team has made more than 300 route adjustments to avoid environmentally sensitive areas. “In many areas of the project, we’ve adopted some of the most protective construction methods that have ever been used by the industry.”

FERC could approve pipeline plans as early as this fall.

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