News & Views 5.3.2012

New PHA Show – Rent vs. Buy

“Rent vs. Buy” is Piedmont Housing Alliance’s newest show airing Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. on Charlottesville Public Access TV (CPA-TV) Comcast Channel 13 and live streaming at  A recent article stated “If you’re trying to save money, you may want to consider buying a home. As contradictory as that may sound, renting cost 15 percent more than owning a home at the end of 2011, according to research by Deutsche Bank cited by The Wall Street Journal.” In Virginia, home prices have declined over the last year, and mortgage rates are low, according to the Virginia Association of Realtors, making it a great time to buy.
But how do you know if buying a home is right for you? What are the benefits of renting? Why should employers care about their employees housing situations? What resources can help you assess your housing situation and make the best decision for you? Why is credit important? Are there funds to help make housing more affordable? How can housing counseling help for all types of housing? Guests Andrea Copeland, Director of Member Education Services with the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Shelley Murphy, Director of Program Services with Piedmont Housing Alliance, answer these questions and more. Tune in to find out if buying a home may be right for you. 
This show is part of PHA’s regular series on CPA-TV, “Building Dreams, Creating Wealth,” exploring topics related to its mission.  The series includes informative discussions on money management, home ownership, foreclosure prevention, affordable housing, equal housing opportunity, and more.  For show suggestions or to view previously-aired programs, email
The show also fits with PHA’s educational campaign for 2012 to help individuals and families reduce their debt and improve household financial health. PHA offers one-on-one housing counseling and monthly group education classes (held evenings and lunch hours). For a schedule of classes or to request a housing counseling intake form, contact PHA at (434)817-2436, email, or visit
Piedmont Housing Alliance is a regional nonprofit organization that creates housing and community development opportunities for very low to moderate income families and individuals, teaches financial literacy and management, home buying and home ownership skills, and advocates for affordable housing policies and programs in central Virginia.  For more information, contact Karen Reifenberger, Deputy Director, at (434)817-2436 x 106 or 
Legal Aid Justice Center’s Abigail Turner Receives Award
The Virginia State Bar’s Access to Legal Services Committee announced that Abigail Turner, Litigation Director at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, has been selected as recipient of the 2012 Virginia Legal Aid Award.
The award was created to recognize innovation and creativity in advocacy, experience and excellence in service, and impact above and beyond the recipient’s service area.
“Abigail has fought for justice for nearly 40 years. This award celebrates her enormous contributions to our advocacy community and those we are privileged to serve,” said Executive Director of the Legal Aid Justice Center Alex Gulotta.
 Abigail Turner began her work with the Legal Aid Justice Center in 2006 as an attorney with the JustChildren program. She was named Litigation Director in August 2008.
Turner is a 1966 graduate of Auburn University, earned a Master’s degree in economics from Ohio State University in 1968, and received her law degree with honors from George Washington University Law School in 1975. She practiced plaintiffs’ civil rights law with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and then with the Legal Services Corporation of Alabama from 1975–1989.
 Turner partners with other attorneys at the Legal Aid Justice Center on legal initiatives and lawsuits. This type of collaboration allows her to teach less-experienced attorneys how to construct a lawsuit and identify appropriate legal claims, how to move negotiations to an agreement, and how to manage complex issues in the courts. The mentorship she has provided has significantly increased the litigation capacity of the Legal Aid Justice Center.
Literacy Volunteers Looking for Tutors
Have you ever considered tutoring an adult in reading, writing, or speaking English? Students come from a variety of backgrounds, and they are all hoping to acquire the skills they need to independently pursue their life goals, support their families, and be active in the community. A current waiting list of students needs your help. No teaching experience is necessary. Register today! Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle will be holding its New Tutor Training on Saturday, May 19, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 pm AND Monday, May 21, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (both sessions required). Call 977-3838 for more information or to register.
Action! The Virginia Film Festival’s High School Director Competition 
The Virginia Film Festival announced today that it is expanding its acclaimed Community Outreach and Education programs to include a new high school filmmaking competition.  The Virginia Film Festival is presented by the University of Virginia’s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
Action! The Virginia Film Festival’s High School Director Competition will welcome submissions from rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders from throughout the Commonwealth. The Grand Prize winner for the competition will be awarded a check for $1,000. Each of two runners-up in the competition will be awarded $500. All three winning films will receive a special screening at the upcoming 25th Anniversary Virginia Film Festival, scheduled to take place from November 1-4, 2012, along with one Participant Badge providing access to VFF screenings and the VFF Filmmakers and Sponsors Lounge.
This new competition is the latest addition to the Festival’s acclaimed Community Outreach and Education program, which also includes the Young Filmmakers Academy, a filmmaking initiative for elementary and middle school students. Other highlights of the program include the annual Family Day festivities and special middle and high school screenings both during the Festival and throughout the year.
“We are very pleased to announce this new initiative and to provide high school students from throughout Virginia a chance to flex their creative muscles as filmmakers,” said Virginia Film Festival Director Jody Kielbasa. “Community outreach is a critically important part of our mission as an organization. And, especially as we celebrate this important milestone year, we see this competition as adding another layer of involvement and interaction that we think is a win-win for everyone involved.”
 The rules include:
  • Students may submit a single application per person or team. Teams may consist of no more than two Directors. There is no limit to the number of participants performing in or contributing to the film.
  • All films must be the original work of the students submitting them.
  • Films are limited to five minutes in length, including credits.
  • Films must include a relevant theme and may not include profanity, graphic violence of sexual content.
To apply, students must send a completed official entry form plus three (3) DVD copies of the submission film. All copies of the film must be provided on a standard DVD, which can be played on a DVD player, and not only on a computer. Applications and complete rules for entry can be found at  Completed applications must be postmarked by August 17, and winners will be notified by the VFF staff by September 28.
For more information, contact Jane Freeman, the VFF’s Community Outreach and Education Coordinator, at
SHERLOCK UNLEASHED Party to benefit WVPT and The Paramount Theater
WVPT Public Television and The Paramount Theater are joining forces to co-host the Sherlock Series 2 Premiere Party on Sunday, May 6th, 2012 with a simulcast of the program,  free and open to the public, beginning at 9:00 p.m. 
In addition, a reception and fundraiser will be held, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the reception are $50 and proceeds will benefit the missions of both nonprofit organizations.
Tickets are available through the Paramount Box Office, Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. or call (434) 979-1333. You can also purchase tickets to the reception online at
Event Sponsors are Roy Wheeler Realty Co. and Charlottesville Town & Country Homes.
PCA Announces Upcoming Spring For The Arts Event
Spring For The Arts is an annual celebration to support Piedmont Council for the Arts (PCA), with a silent auction, gallery exhibition, and live performances! This year it will take place on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at CitySpace (100 5th Street NE on the Downtown Mall).
The silent auction features original artwork by Dean Dass, John Borden Evans, Kristin Reiber Harris, Tim O’Kane, and other local artists. Additional auction items include tickets and arts-related items from the American Shakespeare Center, Chroma Projects, Leah Stoddard Consulting, Live Arts, LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, Virginia Film Festival, Virginia Arts of the Book Center, Wintergreen Performing Arts, and more!
Guests will also enjoy a gallery exhibition and live performances by Beleza (formerly Beleza Brasil) and the Charlottesville Ballet, with signature drinks and hors d’oeuvres by Harvest Moon Catering and wine selections from Market Street Wineshops. Free ‘Spring For The Arts’ cocktails will be available with dinner at Commonwealth Restaurant after the event.
$40 for PCA members; $60* for non-members
*Includes a complimentary one-year membership for new members. Tickets available at

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