Barefoot is history
The executive director of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society has resigned less than two years into his tenure. Coy Barefoot, a well-known local author and media personality, was hired in March 2018 after his predecessor Steven Meeks resigned amid questions of mismanagement.
Barefoot told at least one person, who later described the conversation to C-VILLE, that his pay was being cut among fundraising difficulties. Shelley Murphy, who’s serving as interim executive director, declined to comment on why Barefoot resigned, and C-VILLE was unable to reach Barefoot by press time.
“ACHS has accepted the resignation of Mr. Coy Barefoot, with appreciation for his work as Executive Director over the past 18 months as well as his contributions to our understanding of local, state, and national history over the past 3 decades,” the society wrote in a Facebook post.
In February, the historical society was granted a three-year extension of its subsidized lease by City Council. According to the January 22 meeting agenda, the city agreed to rent the society its space in the McIntire Building across from Market Street Park for $750 per month, costing the city $105,090 per year when compared to market value. The city has the option to cancel the lease after this year.
Per the February 4 meeting minutes, Mayor Nikuyah Walker had suggested a one-year lease instead, so the agreement could then be discussed with the new city manager, but Barefoot pushed for a three-year commitment in order to meet the requirements of a grant.
Rise in crime reports at UVA
Reported incidents of burglary, rape, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking increased at the University of Virginia from 2017 to 2018, according to the school’s annual safety report. A total of 141 incidents were reported to the University Police Department, including 28 rapes—with 20 occurring in student housing.
The rise in reported sexual assault and domestic violence can be attributed “in part to outreach and education efforts by many University offices,” says University Spokesperson Wes Hester. The University has worked to make the reporting process more accessible by allowing students to submit a Title IX complaint over the phone, in person, or through the online Just Report It system.
The University’s new LiveSafe safety app also allows students, faculty, and staff to report incidents, suspicious behavior, and emergencies; communicate with police officers; and alert a friend when they have arrived safely at their destination.
In the coming weeks, the University will be publishing its AAU Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey results, as well as updated Title IX statistics.
Quote of the week
“Ironically, the reporters covering the area’s affordable housing needs don’t even make enough to live here.” — Nolan Stout, the Daily Progress’ local government reporter, in a statement about the unionization of the paper’s journalists
Read all about it
The staff of the Daily Progress has announced its plans to unionize, citing poor pay and increased workloads. Since the Daily Progress was acquired by billionaire Warren Buffett’s BH Media Group seven years ago, staff has noticed cuts across the board. The union, Blue Ridge Guild, hopes to increase the bargaining power of the staff, and gain greater pay equity and better working conditions. The union will either be voluntarily recognized by BH Media, or it can seek recognition from the National Labor Relations Board.
This winter, the Department of Neighborhood Development Services will conduct a survey of the 10th and Page neighborhood. Funding from both the state and city will back the study of the historically black neighborhood—one of the last in the area to be surveyed. The project brings with it the possibility of a historic designation, which could result in increased funding to the neighborhood.
New York real estate mogul David Walentas and his wife, Jane, have donated $100 million to UVA, with $75 million going toward scholarships and fellowships for first-generation college students, according to a university announcement. Walentas, who attended UVA (Class of ‘61) on an ROTC scholarship, was the first in his family to go to college, and told the Washington Post that UVA “completely changed” his life. The university plans to roll out the program by 2022.
That’s a mouthful
UVA announced on October 11 that it has established the Democracy Initiative Center for the Redress of Inequity Through Community-Engaged Scholarship—or the Equity Center, for short. Headed by law professor Dayna Bowen Matthew, the center seeks to bolster town-gown relations and address racial and socioeconomic inequity through sustained collaboration between the university and its surrounding community. The Equity Center plans to open its doors November 14 or 15.