In brief: Take it or leaf it, when racists call, Facebook reprimand and more

In brief: Take it or leaf it, when racists call, Facebook reprimand and more

Drawing lines in the leaves

It’s that time of year, when the natural cycle of trees becomes a source of controversy, lighting up Nextdoor. One neighbor’s decision to let them lie to decompose and enrich the soil—either through environmental conscientiousness or sloth—is another’s annoyance when leaves drift into a meticulously raked yard.

Some go the mowing route to speed the breakdown of leafy matter into compost, while other city dwellers, who receive a free roll of plastic bags, rake and bag and send everything off to Panorama Farms. Or they corral the leaves to the curb to be sucked up.

It’s enough of an issue that the city is conducting a survey at to see what citizens think of its collection method.

Here’s what we learned from city leaf guru Marty Silman:

  • Both bagged and loose leaves go to Panorama Paydirt for composting.
  • The city distributes 25 plastic bags per resident, and anticipates passing out 350,000 this season, at a cost of $50,000.
  • The bags are not compostable nor are they recycled, but they can be returned if you don’t want them, to 305 Fourth St. NW.
  • Last year the city collected an estimated 98 tons of bagged leaves and 145 tons of loose leaves.

Quote of the week

“I didn’t respond to request for comment because I think these reporters are, a lot of them, not all of them…but the majority of these reporters, they have ill intentions and it’s not how I roll.”—Mayor Nikuyah Walker on Facebook Live in response to a Daily Progress article about councilors’ credit card spending

In brief

Racist robocalls

Idaho white supremacist group Road to Power again targeted Charlottesville residents with racist, anti-Semitic calls as jury selection for the James Fields trial began. The same group slimed the area with calls around the August 12 anniversary.

Love refiles civil suit

Sharon Love, the mother of deceased UVA lacrosse player Yeardley Love, has refiled her $30-million wrongful death lawsuit against George Huguely, her daughter’s former boyfriend who was convicted of second-degree murder in 2012 and sentenced to 23 years in prison. In June, Love dropped the case, called a nonsuit in legal terms, which gave her six months to refile.

Having his say

A memoir from City Councilor Wes Bellamy, who was vice-mayor when he called for removal of the city’s Confederate statues, will be available January 1. Monumental: It Was Never About a Statue covers the year before and after white supremacists came to town to protest removal of the statues. Says the book’s press release, “Step into his shoes and read what it felt like to be in the midst of a war for the soul of a community.”

Booted from Facebook

Former C-VILLE editor and Summer of Hate author Hawes Spencer was banned from Facebook for 24 hours November 30 for posting memes that will be presented as evidence in the murder trial of James Fields. Fields posted the images of a car driving into a crowd on Instagram three months before he did so in Charlottesville.

This is the image that got Spencer banned from Facebook for 24 hours.

Going rogue

Virginia students at the largest evangelical Christian school in the country have created an independent news website, the Liberty Torch, after Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. vetoed a negative article about Donald Trump in 2016 in the school’s official newspaper, the Liberty Champion, and said the school administration must approve student articles.

New office

County officials announced last week the creation of the Office of Equity and Inclusion under director Siri Russell. The office formalizes the county’s strategy to engage in work that promotes equity, using data to assess equitable access, according to Russell. 

New leader

Legal Aid Justice Center’s director of litigation and advocacy Angela Ciolfi will take on a new role as its executive director this month. She succeeds Mary Bauer, who left recently for a job at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Ciolfi is now suing the DMV and asked a judge for an injunction to stop the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses, often for offenses that have nothing to do with driving. 

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