WELCOME

  • Charlottesville Tomorrow
    News Center

    The articles on this blog were published during 2005-2012. All of this content has been moved to our new website at www.cvilletomorrow.org
    © 2005-12 Charlottesville Tomorrow
    Our photos have some rights reserved.

Categories

« September 2011 | Main | November 2011 »

October 30, 2011

Bike expert advises area cyclists on how to improve bike network

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Sunday, October 30, 2011

One of the country’s leading experts on bicycle infrastructure offered area cyclists advice last week on ways to maket cycling safer in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. 

“Go ahead and think bold,” said Mia Birk, the author of “Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet.”

20111027-birk
Mia Birk (Photo: Heather Higgins)

Birk is the president of Alta Planning and Design, a firm that specializes in developing bike trails and greenways. She served in the mid-1990’s as the Bicycle Program Manager for Portland, Ore. 

Nearly 8 percent of commuters bike to work in Portland, the highest proportion of any major U.S. city and 10 times the national average. In Charlottesville, 2 percent of commuters use a bike, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey. 

“This idea that people just woke up in Portland and started riding a bike is a myth,” Birk told an audience of cycling enthusiasts at Lane Auditorium. “We’ve been on a really long journey.”

Birk explained that Portland was a very automobile-centric city 20 years ago. 

“Portland was built around the streetcar, and then the automobile came in full force after World War II,” Birk said. “Highways were built in all directions, ripping through many old neighborhoods.”

Continue reading "Bike expert advises area cyclists on how to improve bike network" »

October 29, 2011

Albemarle Supervisor candidates on growth area expansion

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, SECOND IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comShould the board consider boundary adjustments for Albemarle County’s designated growth areas to create new locations for business on land currently zoned as rural areas?  Does it matter if the land is in the watershed of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir?


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) – Incumbent

Well, to the first question, since my joining the board the designated growth area has actually [been] reduced by legislative process and by our master planning efforts.  Additionally, a large section of the growth area has been rendered unusable for growth when the state took over the Biscuit Run property as a park. 

We are currently updating our comprehensive plan and studying land use needs, particularly as it relates to the economic vitality action plan and light industrial zoning.  These changing opportunities and needs are why I believe that we need to have an open mind regarding the growth area boundaries and not treat the growth area as something that is absolutely sacrosanct. 

I think it does matter [if the land is in the watershed of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir].  We have already taken efforts to protect our watersheds with the setbacks, so we certainly would have to take a very close look at that.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) – Challenger

I am not comfortable at this moment expanding the boundaries of the growth area. 

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisor candidates on growth area expansion" »

City Council candidates on their qualifications

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com
In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, SECOND IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comPlease describe your past experience that qualifies you to be on City Council?

 


Scott Bandy (I) – Challenger

I started out on a platform of not being experienced, so I’m not going to claim any titles or accolades or any experience as far as that goes. It’s up to the voters, you know, from what they find out whether I’m qualified or not. I’m just running as a plain citizen. That’s how I want to be perceived and if honesty accounts for anything, that would be a consideration for the voters to mull over.

 

Brandon Collins (I) – Challenger

I am a lifelong resident of the City of Charlottesville….I have always considered Charlottesville a great place to raise my daughter.  Having grown up here and lived here, I have seen some of the great things about Charlottesville and some of the worst things about Charlottesville and I think I can relate to a lot of the folks out there that are struggling, that are suffering, and that have been through hard times. 

What basically qualifies me to be on city council are my politics, and that is that I place the needs of human beings and people over the needs of developers, or markets, or business.  That’s where I am coming from politically, and I think that it’s ultimately what we should all look for in a city councilor—somebody who is looking at the people of Charlottesville, the residents of Charlottesville, rather than other interests.

Continue reading "City Council candidates on their qualifications" »

October 28, 2011

Albemarle Supervisors candidates on county rural areas

Web-exclusive

County-candidate-banner

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, FIRST IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com How will you support preserving the rich agrarian tradition and texture of our rural areas? 

 


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) – Incumbent

Protection of our rural areas is very much a priority with all of our citizens here.  I have, and I still do, support the [Acquisition of Conservation Easements] (ACE) program during times when the local economic engine is humming, so to speak, and when there’s money in the coffers to support it.  In recent economic times my emphasis has been based upon support of our agribusiness and our improved ordinances allowing for more farm markets, local food sales, and success of our wineries.  All very positive, free-market means of maintaining a vibrant rural economy.  Protecting our rural areas will continue to be a high priority of mine, along with protecting personal property rights.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) - Challenger

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisors candidates on county rural areas" »

University under fire for use of coal

DailyProgressBy Kurt Walters
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Friday, October 28, 2011

The University of Virginia has come under increasing pressure over its heating plant’s use of coal, which clean energy advocates say is a dirty and dangerous type of fuel that harms public health and hinders the university’s efforts to be a leader in sustainability.

20080308-UVAOn Wednesday, student advocates hosted a day-long “Camp Out for Clean Energy,” which organizers said featured up to 70 students and community members coming to sign petitions to university President Teresa A. Sullivan, listening to live music and hearing an address by John Cruickshank, chairman of the Sierra Club’s Virginia chapter.

Thirty participants also stayed overnight in tents set up in the university’s McIntire Amphitheater, a move they said was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“It was a fun event — a good way to raise awareness while still having a pretty good time,” said Chris Linsmayer, an organizer of the event.

The Sierra Student Coalition club at UVa, which is focusing on a “Beyond Coal” campaign, put on the event. Organizers said they hoped to get Sullivan to set a concrete date by which the university will no longer burn coal.

“The immediate goal is to get President Teresa Sullivan of UVa to set a commitment date to retire the coal plant,” Linsmayer said.

Students said they wanted to see the university switch to renewable energy for its heating and cooling needs.

“I would say the next best thing would be to use solar, geothermal or wind to produce electricity,” said Kenneth Hawes, president of the SSC club.

Continue reading "University under fire for use of coal" »

Local planners collect public input on land use and transportation

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs & Kurt Walters
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Friday, October 28, 2011

The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission held the second of six workshops Thursday to obtain public input on its “Many Plans, One Community” initiative.

20111027-workshop
Citizens were asked to mark up posters with notes

The workshop, focusing on land use and transportation, is part of a $1 million regional planning grant awarded to the TJPDC by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Part of the project involves the coordination of Charlottesville and Albemarle County’s comprehensive plan reviews.

“The main thing about [these workshops] is to give people a chance to interact with what is in the plans now and say what they like and what they don’t,” said TJPDC executive director Stephen W. Williams. “They’re generating the kind of interest and discussion we’re looking for.”

Williams said he was pleased with the public response at the workshop, which drew nearly 100 citizens to submit their views on the different entities’ current plans for transportation and land use.

“It’s not really ‘are we directing growth to support transportation or directing transportation to support growth?’ but ‘are they going hand in hand?’” said Summer Frederick, the manager of the TJPDC’s livable communities project.

Continue reading "Local planners collect public input on land use and transportation" »

October 27, 2011

Live audio streaming of Mia Birk's lecture on improving bicycle infrastructure

 

Donate_white Can you help with a small gift to keep this broadcast ad-free

Charlottesville Tomorrow will be streaming a live audio broadcast of cycling activist Mia Birk's seminar on improving bicycle infrastructure in the Charlottesville-Albemarle region.

Mia Birk is a nationally renowned speaker in non-motorized transportation, and her talk with focus on the dramatic and enlightening behind-the-scenes story of how a group of determined visionaries transformed Portland, Oregon into a cycling mecca and inspired the nation.


Broadcast starts at 7:00 pm on October 27, 2011


Stream videos at Ustream

October 26, 2011

Developer and MPO seeking grant for JPA/Emmet intersection improvements

By Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

JPA-emmet-improvements-sche
A schematic of the planned intersection improvements adjacent to the new Oakhurst Inn and Apartments

The developer of a new bed and breakfast in Charlottesville has received the support of the Metropolitan Planning Organization to pursue a state grant to pay for improvements to the intersection of Emmet Street and Jefferson Park Avenue.

When completed, motorists heading down JPA towards the University of Virginia Medical Center will have to pass through the traffic signal, improving conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.  The grant would facilitate the redevelopment project.

“It will be a lodging business right next to the university, and I think this is a good way to fund some much needed renovations to these buildings,” said Bill Chapman, the developer of the Oakhurst Inn and Apartments and co-founder of C-Ville Weekly

The project will consist of a new 36-unit apartment complex, a renovation of an existing 5-bedroom house, and the conversion of three buildings into a 27 room bed and breakfast.

The Charlottesville Planning Commission granted a special use permit for the project in December 2008. One of the conditions was that Chapman design improvements at the intersection and pay for its construction. 

Continue reading "Developer and MPO seeking grant for JPA/Emmet intersection improvements " »

RWSA to advertise bids for new Ragged Mountain dam

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday. October 26, 2011

The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority will advertise construction bids for firms to build an earthen dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir.

"I think it's very important that we go to bid because of the climate for construction prices and to get this in as low a price as we possibly can," said Michael Gaffney, the chair of the RWSA.

The RWSA will advertise for bids on Tuesday and they will be opened on Dec. 8. An award could be made as early as the board's December meeting.

A total of 15 firms have applied to be pre-qualified for the process. Schnabel Engineering, the firm that designed the dam, will review the bids.

However, the project will not proceed to its next step until Charlottesville and Albemarle County agree on the percentage each jurisdiction will contribute towards the cost of the dam, as well as other components that would add to urban water storage and maintain the existing distribution system.

Continue reading "RWSA to advertise bids for new Ragged Mountain dam" »

October 25, 2011

City Council candidates on ward-based elections

Web-exclusive
City-candidate-banner
In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, FIRST IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comWould you support switching from at-large seats to ward-based representation for elections to Charlottesville City Council? Why or why not?


 

Scott Bandy (I) - Challenger

"Boy, you know how to ask them, I’ll give you this.

It’s past high time that we switched from an at-large system to a ward-based system. I’m of the opinion, I don’t care what kind of configuration, as long as part of it is ward-based. Do a half and half, some sort of configuration of some at-large, and some ward-based, or do it completely ward-based but we need to move in the direction of representation from wards. This is how citizens’ interests are best represented.

My own area that I come from, Fry’s Spring, for a long time, one of the, it’s sort of like running, something akin to a running competition and a running joke between the difference between Belmont and Fry’s Spring. Well, for the first time in ages, this election has had three candidates and one of them whose background has been questioned and I won’t allude on that, three candidates that declared from Fry’s Spring to run at large. That’s ridiculous!

Why can’t we get a representative from… divvy up the city in an acceptable way, whether it’s a representative from Fry’s Spring, whether it’s a representative from Belmont, whether it’s a representative from Venable, or Woolen Mills. Find a way to divvy the city into an acceptable ward-system so that the citizens are better and honestly represented."

 

Brandon Collins (I) - Challenger

"I considered this a lot when I was first crafting my platform and it’s not in my platform right now.  I would like to see the amount of people on council expanded--the amount of people on council—I think that would be healthy for us. I do have cautious support for a ward-based system, but there are some critical things that need to be straightened out before I would fully support that.

Continue reading "City Council candidates on ward-based elections" »