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

July 15, 2012

Soundboard 7-13-2012 - Charlottesville's news straight from the source

Soundboard

Soundboard: Charlottesville's news straight from the source

A collaborative local news radio program by WTJU 91.1 FM, Charlottesville Tomorrow, and C-Ville Weekly.

Each Friday from 4-5 PM, tune in to hear area journalists and guests discuss local news, culture, and community issues in the Charlottesville area. Whether we're talking about city politics, scientific innovations, or the local music scene, you'll get to hear in-depth discussion about stories that matter.

Soundboard is co-hosted by WTJU's Lewis Reining and Charlottesville Tomorrow's Jennifer Marley.

Podcasts may be downloaded from this website, via RSS, and via Charlottesville Tomorrow on iTunes.

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20120713-Soundboard

The July 13 show features contributors Giles Morris, Laura Ingles, Ryan McCrimmon & Graelyn Brashear (from C-Ville Weekly) and Sean Tubbs & Ian Lamb (Charlottesville Tomorrow) discussing: 

Soundboard is produced by Robert Packard and Nathan Moore. We hope you enjoy it, and we look forward to your feedback!

 
Wtju-logo

CvilleTomorrow_OffcUse_x750

 
 
Cville-weekly-logo

July 07, 2012

Soundboard 7-6-2012 - Charlottesville's news straight from the source

Soundboard

Soundboard: Charlottesville's news straight from the source

A collaborative local news radio program by WTJU 91.1 FM, Charlottesville Tomorrow, and C-Ville Weekly.

Each Friday from 4-5 PM, tune in to hear area journalists and guests discuss local news, culture, and community issues in the Charlottesville area. Whether we're talking about city politics, scientific innovations, or the local music scene, you'll get to hear in-depth discussion about stories that matter.

Soundboard is co-hosted by WTJU's Lewis Reining and Charlottesville Tomorrow's Jennifer Marley.

Podcasts may be downloaded from this website, via RSS, and via Charlottesville Tomorrow on iTunes.

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20120706-Soundboard

The July 6 show features contributors Giles Morris, Ryan McCrimmon & Laura Ingles (from C-Ville Weekly) and  Brian Wheeler & Ian Lamb (Charlottesville Tomorrow) discussing: 

Soundboard is produced by Robert Packard and Nathan Moore. We hope you enjoy it, and we look forward to your feedback!

 
Wtju-logo

CvilleTomorrow_OffcUse_x750

 
 
Cville-weekly-logo

July 06, 2012

Council seeks answers to job creation challenges

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Friday, July 6, 2012

The Charlottesville City Council took up an important question at a work session on Thursday — what can local government do to encourage more employment to lift more people out of poverty?
 
20120705-orange-dot
The Orange Dot project was named after the color code for regions of the city that have low median incomes. (Source: Orange Dot project)
“It requires a community to foster the infrastructure needed for job creation,” said Ridge Schuyler, the co-author of a 2011 study called the Orange Dot Project which reported that nearly one-third of Charlottesville households do not earn enough to make ends meet.
 
Charlottesville has an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent, but City Manager Maurice Jones said the city is committed to address the chronically unemployed and underemployed.
 
“We believe that tonight’s work session is an important step forward as we continue to address concerns about the future of job creation,” Jones said.
 
“The whole council is concerned with this general area and we are hoping to come up with steps today to get more good-paying jobs,” Mayor Satyendra Huja said. “A good job is the best economic development opportunity there is.”
 
The council was briefed on the Orange Dot report, as well as another study from the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development that identified specific industries appropriate for Charlottesville.

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20120705-CC-Job-Creation

Continue reading "Council seeks answers to job creation challenges" »

July 01, 2012

Love in a jar, jobs in the community

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Sunday, July 1, 2012

On Saturday mornings, you will find at least two of them at the Charlottesville City Market. The four women of the Vinegar Hill Project Women’s Canning Cooperative have dedicated themselves to canning local food and teaching others the craft.

As they grow their new business, they hope the love they put into each jar (it’s listed on the ingredients) will lead to job opportunities for other local residents and an appreciation for the businesses lost when Vinegar Hill was razed in the name of 1960s urban renewal.

20120616-canning
Credit: Sabrina Schaeffer, The Daily Progress
Vinegar Hill Project Women’s Canning Cooperative: (L to R) Mary Burton, Denise Arnold, and Viola Friday

Albemarle resident Viola Friday moved to the community in 1970. She retired from a position in the pediatric billing office at the University of Virginia Medical Center in 2009. It was the canning cooperative that brought her back to work.

“It’s pretty exciting and I am learning a lot about canning,” Friday said. “My mother canned … but then she stopped while I was young and I didn’t really get into it.”

After each City Market, other vendors donate leftover food suitable for canning. On one recent Saturday, the co-op was selling apple sauce and peach preserves from the previous week’s market leftovers.

Growing up in Louisa, Friday said her family would visit Vinegar Hill in downtown Charlottesville each week.

“Vinegar Hill was an African-American community, and there were 29 businesses on Vinegar Hill,” Friday said. “We are African-Americans, and I just think it’s a good idea to use that name to bring back the Vinegar Hill business [tradition].”

Continue reading "Love in a jar, jobs in the community" »

June 24, 2012

County holds roundtable to discuss ways of streamlining the development review process

DailyProgressBy Ian Lamb
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Sunday, June 24, 2012

Members of the development community, environmental leaders and Albemarle County officials came together last week to discuss proposed changes to the development review process. The adjustments are intended to streamline the process by which projects are reviewed.

20120613-Alb-CompPlanA collection of plans and requirements guiding development in Albemarle County

“It’s really about trying to shorten those timeframes, avoid those regulations that are not necessary, continue to maintain opportunities for the public to be involved and, overall, to maintain community quality,” said Wayne Cilimberg, Albemarle’s director of planning.

The hope is that the proposed process would provide clear expectations of the applicants and, in doing so, not only render decisions by the county in a more timely manner, but reduce the number of application re-submittals, which cost projects time and money.

“Because our application requirements are not tightened down, we find that there are things that are not provided [by the applicant] that are needed, but we’re not hearing about it until 46 days into the process,” said Cilimberg, regarding the inefficiencies of the current process. “We really would want to avoid that.”

The proposed review process for proposals that go before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors would require applicants to submit a pre-application form with basic information about the project. Applicants would then be required to attend a pre-application meeting with county staff to identify areas of the initial project proposal that may require modification.

Continue reading "County holds roundtable to discuss ways of streamlining the development review process" »

June 21, 2012

Green business competition winners announced

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, June 21, 2012

A contest to encourage environmentally friendly and energy efficient practices at area businesses concluded Thursday as the winners of the Better Business Challenge were announced. 
 
20120621-paramount

“This is the culmination of a year-long effort to bring awareness to environmental stewardship,” said Teri Kent, manager of the Better Business Challenge. “We wanted to galvanize the business community.” 
 
In all, 106 area businesses and nonprofits entered the competition last June. Ten volunteer judges reviewed all of their efforts and handed out 14 awards on the event’s “green carpet” at the Paramount Theater
 
Kent said the challenge was an opportunity for participants to save money by integrating environmentally sustainable practices into their operations. 
 
The Blue Moon Diner won the “Restaurant Superstar” award for their efforts to increase recycling and composting. They also replaced their dishwasher sprayer with a more efficient model. 
 
“We have always welcomed input from our customers, but the Challenge has directed those suggestions in ways that have really helped inspire us to action,” said Laura Galgano, the diner’s owner. 
 

Continue reading "Green business competition winners announced" »

June 14, 2012

Albemarle says shorter can be better when it comes to comprehensive plans

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, June 14, 2012

As a planner in Albemarle County for the past 15 years, Elaine Echols is one of the most knowledgeable officials guiding the locality’s update of its comprehensive plan. While changes happen each year, a major rewrite hasn’t happened since 1996, shortly before Echols started her job.

However, the plan she was handed as a new employee fit in a single three-ring binder. Today, she can only show community groups photos of the comprehensive plan. That’s because it’s too cumbersome to carry around.

20120613-Alb-CompPlan
Elements of Albemarle County's Comprehensive Plan in June 2012
Credit: Elaine Echols

“I took this picture yesterday, and I’m not sure it’s inclusive of everything, but this is our comprehensive plan,” Echols said Wednesday to a meeting of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club. “You can see why it needs to be reduced in bulk.”

“We have master plans, a biodiversity report and recommendations, open space plans … the neighborhood model and historic preservation,” Echols observed of the stacks of material. “We’ve got a lot of plans where the substance doesn’t need to go but the form needs to be changed.”

Albemarle is reaching out to various stakeholders to get them involved in the effort. A similar process is under way in Charlottesville and both localities are working in concert with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. The TJPDC received a three-year $1 million federal grant in 2010 grant for what is known as the Livable Communities Planning Project.

Tom Olivier is the chair of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club. He followed up Echols’ presentation from the perspective of a long time environmental advocate in the community. He said he agreed having a more accessible plan was a “completely reasonable goal.”

“A plan should not be highly specific,” Olivier said. “It ceases to be a plan if it is so detailed that people can’t find the principles readily.

“At the same time, when text is reduced, it’s very easy for nuances and small bits of text which nonetheless involve key commitments, to get changed or eliminated,” Olivier warned. “We need for citizens with knowledge and commitment to be involved and look at the drafts as they are brought before the Planning Commission.”

Continue reading "Albemarle says shorter can be better when it comes to comprehensive plans" »

June 08, 2012

Panorama Farms to begin hosting weddings

DailyProgressBy Ian Lamb
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Friday, June 8, 2012

An Albemarle County favorite for compost, cross country and camping is moving toward a new cause — marriage.

The county’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to grant Panorama Farms a permit allowing special events such as weddings to be held on the farm.

Panorama-barn
The barn at Panorama Farms. Photos provided by Margaret Murray Bloom.

The permit launches a new business for Panorama Farms, owned by the Murray family since 1953, as they join a growing event venue industry in the county’s rural area. The 700-acre farm, located between Earlysville Road and the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir, is already known in the community for Panorama Pay-Dirt, its compost farm, as well as for hosting both the A.R.C. Natural History Day Camp and cross country races.

“We have tried to find new uses for the farm and kind of go with the times,” said Panorama’s events manager, Margaret Murray Bloom. “At this time, the wedding business is thriving in the county.”

From hay to livestock to active campers, the barn is evolving to include a functional wedding site complete with bridal dressing rooms, a “luxury restroom trailer,” and picturesque ceremony locations.

The idea for using the existing 19th-century barn as a venue grew out of several private weddings held there over the years. After family members’ and friends’ weddings, the Murray family decided that it was time to share the site with the public.

Continue reading "Panorama Farms to begin hosting weddings" »

June 06, 2012

Supervisors approve fast-track process for targeted industries

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has indicated it will adopt a fast-track review process for industrial development proposals that would bring measurable economic benefit to the county.
 
“I think this is just another step in the right direction,” said Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd, an advocate for making it easier for companies to navigate the county’s community development review process.
 
“You all understand what this board wants and what the community wants and none of it gets through without coming to us for final approval anyway,” Boyd said on Wednesday.
 
20120606-BOS


In January 2010, the board adopted an economic vitality action plan to study the county’s policies to find ways to streamline the process. One of the recommendations was to reduce the amount of time it takes for an applicant to obtain a rezoning or a special use permit.
 
“To encourage the start-up, expansion and relocation of targeted industries, many localities offer some sort of priority plan review,” said Lee Catlin, the county spokeswoman. “They find that used strategically, priority review for projects that meet defined strategic criteria can be an effective tool.”
 
To identify companies that would be suitable candidates for fast-tracking, the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development conducted a $150,000 study that recommended Albemarle pursue biotechnology, financial services, information technology and defense security companies.
 
Catlin said the fast-track process would be reserved for targeted firms that meet additional criteria such as producing a minimum of 25 new jobs within a year, bringing in a minimum of $1 million in capital investment and generating 50 percent of its revenue from outside the region.

Continue reading "Supervisors approve fast-track process for targeted industries " »

May 29, 2012

Placemaking: Ann Marie Hohenberger

 

20120426-Placemaking

Our 2012 annual community conversation took a look at the concept of placemaking and the  findings from the Knight Foundation's Soul of the Community project which reveal how attachment to place drives economic vitality – and how understanding those attachments can direct the ways in which a place chooses to change and grow.

This series features reflections from community members who attended the event. We hope their stories will inspire you to define your version of this community’s narrative and use it as a lens through which to view decisions that will impact the character of this community.

Name: Ann Marie Hohenberger Annmarie7
Age: 34
City/County resident? City
Occupation: Freelance business writer; server at Hamiltons’ downtown
How long have you lived in Charlottesville? 17 years

Why did you come here? 
I went to UVA as an undergrad. I visited on a spring day and immediately fell in love with the natural beauty here.

What do you love most about where you live?
I love “small city” life. I can bike almost anywhere I need to go, but I can still live on a tiny, quiet street with a view of Carter’s Mountain. Every day there’s an incredible variety of events - music, theater, community meetings, clubs & activities - and no matter what I choose, I’ll probably run into someone I know.

My favorite thing about this area is the enthusiasm for local food. As an aspiring urban homesteader, I’m so grateful to talk with farmers at the market and start learning all the things I missed growing up in the suburbs. Then I can go to a restaurant and glean ideas for cooking with pastured meats and seasonal produce.

Any takeaways from the Placemaking event?
One statistic that particularly stood out from the Soul of the Community studies was that, on average, 40% of people felt no attachment to their community. That sounds like a massive, widespread failure to serve everyone’s needs, rather than just the needs of certain segments. What a loss for the community to have so many people uninvested in the well-being of their neighbors and neighborhoods. 

Continue reading "Placemaking: Ann Marie Hohenberger" »