Monthly Archive for January, 2003

I-64 Westbound Blocked

silkyzephyr writes: The police blocked off I-64 westbound (Friday 2:30pm). The resulting detoured traffic backed up Route 250 for six miles. I know this because I drove that far east looking for an alternative route back into C’ville, after shopping at Giant on Pantops. Ended up almost at Zion Xroads, turning south and then coming back past Monticello. What happened today on I-64?

Council Proposes Tax Cut

City Council has proposed a $0.02 real estate tax rate cut, simultaneous with the announcement that property values in Charlottesville have increased, on average, 12.8%. Said Mayor Cox, “The council has grown increasingly concerned about those who struggle with the unfortunate side effect of high assessments – high taxes. We understand that most people in Charlottesville have not seen a comparable increase in their earnings.” This approach will presumably prevent a reaction like the anger in Albemarle over their assessment increases earlier this month. To afford the rate reduction, Council intends to cut operating costs by 5%. The last time that real estate taxes were cut was in 1990, when they went from $1.13 to $1.11. Elizabeth Nelson has the story in today’s Progress.

Eviction Case Dismissed Against Public Housing Resident

Indie writes: The civil eviction case against former public housing resident Joy Johnson has been dismissed, according to The Daily Progress. Johnson was evicted by the Charlottesville Public Housing Authority after drug raids at her public housing apartment resulted in the arrests of her two sons, who were not allowed to be on the property. Has Johson been given a raw deal, and should the public housing authority give her a second chance? Or was the housing authority’s decision fair and even-handed and she should be responsible for what goes on within her apartment?

Debate Over Junk Food in Schools

There’s a debate in Albemarle County over vending machines, and whether or not schools ought to be selling candy and soda to children. On the one side, people point to the revenue raised by the sales. On the other, people point out that soda has absolutely no health benefits, and contribute to a variety of long- and short-term health problems. Braxton Williams has the story in today’s Progress. The school board intends to make a decision in February.

E&P: Media General sites close to requiring registration

JizzMasterZero writes: According to a story on the web site of the trade magazine Editor & Publisher, more and more newspapers are moving to require registration for their web sites. Apparently, papers that have started requiring registration haven’t seen a decline in visitors, and now they can even make money by selling users’ demographic information! Aren’t newspaper publishers great?! Here’s the operative paragraph for Charlottesville readers: “In a report to Wall Street analysts in December, executives from Media General Inc. of Richmond, Va., said: ‘The standard metric for successful Web operations is becoming registered users. We have increased the number of opportunities for our users to identify themselves,’ including registration for e-mail services. A spokesman says the chain plans to step up both registration and paid content this year.” Those are the only specifics for the company, and there’s no word on which papers — the Progress? — it’ll apply to.

Requiring registration to read a website is horrible in so many ways, not the least of which is that it presents a major obstacle to easy use, and therefore drastically devalues links to that site. Worse yet, it’s one more login and password to remember, something that we could all do without. Let’s hope that the Progress doesn’t make this blunder.



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