In brief: Censure-ship, walker-ship, sinking ACP ship, and more

A bus blocks the curb ramp on Water Street. Kevin Cox A bus blocks the curb ramp on Water Street. Kevin Cox

Summertime and the sidewalks aren’t easy

Walkability is one of Charlottesville’s small-city charms, but sometimes it’s not so easy to get around, particularly if you’re disabled. On July 27 the city listed a dozen sidewalk projects that limit access. And then there are the blockages that aren’t official closings.

Pedestrian activist Kevin Cox spotted a charter bus July 25 blocking the curb ramp on Water Street, which many residents of Midway Manor, a low-income housing development, use regularly. He says CAT drivers have learned to leave the ramp open, but charter bus drivers are not so receptive to the need to keep the ramp and crosswalk clear. Assistant City Manager Mike Murphy, in an email to Cox, says he alerted Police Chief RaShall Brackney to be aware of these blockages.

A downed tree created a pedestrian detour for almost two months on Market Street. Kevin Cox

The tree that’s blocking the sidewalk on Market Street near Holly’s Deli has been down for six weeks. After multiple citizen requests to clear the sidewalk, city spokesman Brian Wheeler says CenturyLink and public works coordinated its removal Tuesday morning, as C-VILLE was going to press.

A pickup encroaches on a Water Street walkway. Erin O’Hare

Wheeler also reminds residents and trash pickup crews that trash cans should not block curb ramps when out on the street.






Quote of the week

“I want to make sure the voices of enslaved Africans are represented at all of the special 400-year commemorations this year. Our collective journeys in Virginia are of larger importance than any one person.” —Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax on his decision to attend Jamestown events other legislators are boycotting because
President Trump will be there

In brief

Censure thwarted

Anti-gay-marriage members of the 5th Congressional District Republican Committee tried to censure their own party member, Congressman Denver Riggleman, for marrying two men in Crozet July 14. The Washington Post first reported the nuptials of the conservative Republicans who were Riggleman volunteers and who asked him to officiate their wedding at King Family Vineyard. The reprimand failed after a closed session at a July 27 committee meeting.

Idea stations out

Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation is rebranding its Community Idea Stations, including WVPT and WHTJ, to VPM, as in Virginia Public Media, effective August 5. According to Commonwealth, national and local programming will be unchanged.

Mission fail

Rusty patched bumble bee. File photo

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out an Atlantic Coast Pipeline permit, and said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had apparently “lost sight of its mandate” when it approved the permit and failed to protect the rusty patched bumble bee, the clubshell mussel, the Indiana bat, and the crustacean Madison Cave isopod, the AP reports.

Tax-free holiday

Time to stock up on backpacks and batteries this weekend during Virginia’s sales tax holiday on school supplies and emergency-preparedness items. Or it might be a good time to buy a new Energy Star washer and dryer, which are also exempt. Tax-free shopping begins at 12:01am August 2 through 11:59pm August 4.

False report

UVA police say a July 20 call to 180 Copeley Road from an alleged victim of an attempted abduction and forcible fondling was false. The claim alleged a dark blue Honda Civic with multiple people fled toward Emmet Street. Police are discussing criminal charges with the Albemarle commonwealth’s attorney.

Charge it

City officials spend $480,000 on credit card purchases during the first half of 2019, according to the Progress’ Nolan Stout. Parks & Rec had the highest bill at $154K, including $27 to Regal Cinemas and a  premium version of Spotify. City Manager Tarron Richardson charged a new $136 phone case and the communications department picked up a $25.50 meal for Councilor Wes Bellamy before a budget work session in March.

Monacan voice

photo Jessica Elmendorf

Karenne Wood, a poet, member of the Monacan Indian Nation, and longtime director of Virginia Indian Programs at Virginia Humanities, died July 21 at age 59. She devoted her life to telling the stories of Native peoples and ensuring those stories are heard.

Wood, who was also a linguistic anthropologist, published two collections of poetry, Markings on Earth and Weaving the Boundary, and edited The Virginia Indian Heritage Trail guidebook.

The mother of two daughters, Wood was an integral voice in the city’s choice to observe Indigenous Peoples Day, and her decades of archival work led to government recognition of a number of Virginia Indian tribes, including her own.

A memorial service will be held at 1pm July 31 at UVA Chapel.

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