The Senate of Virginia’s Privileges & Elections Committee held a vote today on whether to remove UVA Board of Visitors Rector Helen Dragas from the block of nominees to be confirmed, and the motion failed, on a 12–3 vote. That means that her confirmation will be bound up in the confirmations of lots of other nominees, which is to say that it’ll quite certainly pass the Senate. Although Sen. Creigh Deeds voted against Dragas and pleaded with other senators to do likewise, Albemarle’s other senator, Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), voted in support of Dragas. This same process still has to repeat itself before the House Privileges and Elections Committee. The only local legislator on House P&E is Del. Steve Landes (R-Weyers Cave), who opposes Dragas’ reappointment.,
The University of Virginia’s enormous, under-construction sports practice facility on Emmett Street caught fire yesterday, every area media outlet reports, sending up an enormous column of black smoke that was visible all over town. A layer of rubber atop the roof appears to have been lit by a contractor’s errant blowtorch, starting a fire that spread over a good chunk of the roof and created a challenging situation for responding fire crews to deal with. The $13M structure was slated for completion in August of next year, though presumably that will be pushed back now.
Playboy has named UVA the top party school in the nation, the AP reports. (Well, Playboy reports, but the story isn’t available online. I checked.) The university isn’t thrilled with the designation. It’s trailed by University of Southern California and University of Florida. This might make it tough for students to push back against city efforts to deal with noisy parties.
City Council is considering quadrupling fines for noise violations, Graham Moomaw writes for the Daily Progress, in an effort to deal with noisy parties around UVA. Currently the top fine is $250, which apparently is treated as the cost of throwing a big party by some students. The proposal is to move the offense from a Class 4 misdemeanor to a Class 2 misdemeanor, which would allow a fine of up to $1,000 and, theoretically, six months in jail. (Six months in jail is inherent with a Class 2 misdemeanor—increasing the fine means raising the possibility of jail time.) For somebody convicted twice in a one-year period, that’s a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is a fine of up to $2,500 or a year in jail. A city representative says that they don’t intend to pursue jail time except for people who demonstrate no interest in complying with the law. Council will take up the issue on Monday night.