Monthly Archive for August, 2002

Det. Robinson Convicted for Assault

Albemarle detective K.W. Robinson has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for his August 2001 assault on recently-acquitted suspect Corey Faison while Faison was in custody and undergoing interrogation. The judge described Robinson’s attack on Faison as “pure assault and battery, any way you look at it.” Rejecting Robinson’s defense that the beating of Faison (which required medical attention at a hospital) was reasonable force with police guidelines, Judge R. Edwin Burnette Jr. said: “If that is the case, then I fear for all our safety.” Adrienne Schwisow has an extensive story in today’s Progress that provides much more information.

Council to Install Stocks on Mall

In response to Matthew Farrell’s recent letter declaring himself to be “Downtown Charlottesville’s Leading Public Intellectual,” reader Valerie L’Herrou has provided an article on City Council’s controversial new plan to install stocks and pillories on the Downtown Mall in an effort to curb “Downtown Charlottesville’s Leading Public Nuisance.” (Remember, folks, Jefferson with a moustache means satire.)

City Council to place stocks and pillories on downtown mall

Denies “leading public nuisance” a factor in decision

In a surprise announcement which stunned much of the city today, Charlottesville Mayor Maurice Cox announced that a federal law-enforcement grant would be used to purchase stocks and pillories, to be placed on the downtown mall for the punishment and deterrence of “public nuisances.”

Cox denied that recent antics by self-proclaimed “leading public nuisance” Matthew Farrell had anything to do with the decision. “The city applied for this grant two years ago. We need to use the funds now or we will lose them. The decision had already been made.”

Others were not so sure. “I think the mayor is being disingenuous,” said one downtown coffee drinker, who asked not be identified. “The word on the street is that Farrell is the reason they’re getting those stocks. After all, look at what they’re defining as a nuisance–mannered behavior and over-dressing. And I, for one, will be among the first to throw a rotten tomato at that cream-colored suit.”

Charlottesville’s social-justice community was outraged by the decision. Demonstrators gathered on the corner of Main Street in front of the Federal building, carrying signs reading “Just Say No to Stocks (and bonds)” and “City Council: selling out lock, stock and barrel.” One demonstrator explained, “see, it’s like the stock market, their stocks aren’t worth anything on the world market, so they’re like, dumping them here in small-town America. It’s part of the evil spread of global capitalism.”

Informed of the criticism, City Councilors took it in stride. “It’s about time we had some sense of law and order in this city,” said Republican Councilor Rob Schilling. “Now maybe we’ll see less graffiti. And I’m glad that council was able to agree that linen suits and bowties are grounds for the pillory. Over the next year, the ordinance will be expanded to require anyone wearing Hawaiian shirts, designer clothes, or any item of clothing or hairstyle costing over $100 to be placed in the stocks.” Asked about length of hair, Schilling replied, “come on, I may be a Republican, but I’m not unreasonable. Naturally, any hairstyle popular after 1964 and before 1975 will be exempt from the ordinance.”

Downtown merchants and stylists expressed displeasure with the ordinance. “We don’t have a single item of clothing that costs less than $120,” complained one retailer. “This will really dampen the economy of the mall.”

“Matthew Farrell’s hairstyle was on the verge of becoming really popular,” complained a salon owner. “And it needs to be trimmed every few days to look right. Even women were coming in to ask for that cut. I predict several salons will close down.”

Professional commentators were quick to add their two cents. “Charlottesville likes to consider itself a progressive city,” pontificated perennial pundit Larry Sabato. “So naturally this seems shocking to many. However, we must remember that Charlottesville is a colonial-era city, and it retains its colonial character in many ways. The ubiquitous use of bricks for building material, for instance. And we can see in this decision some of the tension between the revolutionary colonists, who favored the ‘natural look’ in fashions, and the loyalists, who preferred the ‘dandy’ look of powdered wigs and lace cuffs.”

Others contended that the “Farrell nuisance” was likely to be a short-lived fad. “Hey, another summer like this one, and he’s going to trade those suits for shorts and flip-flops,” one flippant observer remarked. “That, or he’ll die of heat stroke. Either way, we’ll be rid of him — and there won’t be any need of the pillory.”

PKS Frat Suspended for Alcohol

UVa’s chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma has had their charter suspended by the national PKS for alcohol violations. The organization’s charter bans possession of alcohol in the frat house by anybody, regardless of age. (I wonder what he’s got in that cup, standing behind that bar?) Said the director of PKS chapter services, “they were not willing to follow the rules…they pretty much forced our hand.” Eric Swensen has the story in today’s Progress. 09/04 Update: The folks at Phi Sigma Kappa point out that they are not, in fact, Phi Kappa Sigma. Turns out I linked to the wrong site. Apologies all around.

UVa Raises Salaries Despite Budget Cuts

A new weblog, WahooPundit (“The first weblog by and for students of the University of Virginia”), reports that faculty salaries have increased, despite Governor Warner’s order to universities to cut spending due to the budget crunch. WahooPundit claims that their analysis of the Annual Survey of Faculty Salaries shows a 0.38% increase in salaries across the board, which seems reasonable. However, says WahooPundit, the top 50 professors accounted for an impressive 95% of the raises, with increases of tens or hundreds of dollars.

Plane Crashes in Greene, Body Recovered

The pilot of a light aircraft from CHO was found in the wreckage of the plane in Greene last night. Kenneth Clarry, of Albemarle, was killed on Sunday when his plane hit the side of a mountain near Saddleback Mountain in the Shenandoah National Park, north of Rt. 33. The plane was located, and his body recovered, by a search crew last night. Clarry had been on a three-hour solo practice flight. The FAA is investigating the cause of the accident.



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