In brief: Soviet-era propaganda, a landmark vote and a grisly death

The Rotunda at UVA. Photo by Ibn Batuta The Rotunda at UVA. Photo by Ibn Batuta

Dollars and sense

A story published December 7 in UVA Today boasted that minimum wage for the school’s new hires has increased by more than 16 percent since 2011, and President Teresa Sullivan and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Hogan presented this milestone to the Board of Visitors earlier this month.

The current minimum wage for newly hired, full-time staff at the university is $12.38 per hour, which beats the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and an estimated $11.86 living wage in Charlottesville, according to the report.

“This article reads like classic Soviet-era propaganda,” writes former mayor Dave Norris on Facebook, citing what he called a gross mischaracterization of a living wage in the city.

While, sure, data collected by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that $11.86 is the living wage in the city, Norris points out that that’s for a single adult, when “many hard-working and low-wage UVA employees have children.”

According to MIT’s living wage calculator, that number for a household with one parent and one child is $25.40 an hour and $30.06 for an adult and two little ones.

Norris says no one’s asking the university to raise its minimum wage to 30 bucks an hour, “but maybe stop patting itself on the back so vigorously when the best it chooses to do for the workers who make the university function is $12.38.”

Concludes the former mayor: “Try harder, UVA.”

Landmark vote

The Landmark Hotel. Photo: Ashley Twiggs

City councilors voted 3-2 at their December 18 meeting to not give John Dewberry a $1 million tax break over 10 years on his planned reconstruction of the Downtown Mall’s derelict Landmark Hotel. The Atlanta-based developer has promised Charlottesville he’ll turn the eyesore into the luxurious Dewberry Hotel.

Song of August 12

Southern rockers the Drive-By Truckers released “The Perilous Night” in November, with the lyric, “Dumb, white and angry with their cup half-filled, running over people down in Charlottesville.” Proceeds from the single will go to Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, according to the Roanoke Times.

What’s with West2nd?

The Planning Commission okayed higher density for the Keith Woodard project that will be the future home of the City Market December 11, but refused to approve new designs for the L-shaped building, reports Charlottesville Tomorrow. Woodard won a competition for the project in 2014, but earlier this year said that design was financially unfeasible.

Parking petition

At press time, 738 people had signed an online petition written by Jennifer Tidwell to nix the new parking meters installed around the Downtown Mall over the summer. “Plain and simple, we do not need them,” it says.

Grisly death

Police say Bethany Stephens, a 5-foot and 125-pound Goochland native, was mauled to death by her two pit bulls over the weekend as she was walking them through the woods near her home. When her father found her body, it was being guarded by the canines, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Quote of the Week:

The weight of the urn in my arms was about the same weight she was when she was born… I flashed back to the day they put her in my arms when she was born, and I sat and held her for a long time. —Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, in a December 14 Daily Beast interview

Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, walks into Charlottesville Circuit Court to see the man charged with killing her daughter for the first time. Photo by Eze Amos

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