Monthly Archive for June, 2003

Alb. Police Accuse Deputy of Impeding Probe

An Albemarle County sheriff’s deputy suspected of making up a story of how he was shot in March (see the recent story and discussion for details) has now been accused by Albemarle police of falsifying information and impeding the investigation, WINA reports. Steve Shifflett resigned from his job as a deputy when the charges became known. The timing of all of this is not particularly good for Sheriff Edgar Robb, who hired and has since defended his hiring of Shifflett, since Robb is currently running for reelection. 07/01 Update: Reed Williams has a story in today’s Progress, in which it’s stated that whether there is an investigation into this bizarre case is in the hands of Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos. Sheriff Robb says that he knew full well of Shiflett’s history at the time that he hired Shiflett, concluding that he’s “read to put this behind us.”

Express Car Wash Sues Charlottesville

Henry Weinshenk’s Express Car Wash has, with the help of The Rutherford Institute, filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Charlottesville over last year’s water restrictions, WINA reports. As a refresher, on September 17, emergency water rationing was put into place by the city when the water supply was forecast to be exhausted in 80-100 days. As the first step, outdoor water usage restrictions were put into place, followed by raising the price of water and ordering car washes to shut down. On September 20, Weinshenk announced that he had no intention of ceasing operations, believing that it was reasonable to use the dwindling water supply to wash cars. After being met with heavy criticism, Weinshenk issued a press release three days later, announcing that they had switched to a water-free system of cleaning the cars, thus remaining open throughout the drought. According to a press release by The Rutherford Institute, they are seeking to have the drought restrictions declared unconstitutional, plus damages. “Local businessmen should be able to operate free of fear that they will be arbitrarily shut down by government officials in times of duress,” declares Rutherford president John Whitehead in the release. Was this a case of unfair targeting, or was it a reasonable restriction in a time of emergency?

PEC’s “Clarion” Opposes Sprawl

Homes throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle County have recently received a four page newspaper-styled anti-growth mailing, entitled “The Albemarle County Clarion,” released by the Piedmont Environmental Council. The first of a few planned mailings on the topic, The Clarion describes itself as “sounding the alarm” on growth, warning of “the suburbanization of the rural area” in the county. The publication argues that sprawl can be stopped, and that preservation of rural areas is necessary, pointing out that county zoning plans for 50,000 new homes and 120,000 new people in Albemarle. Developer Wendell Wood says that the publication is factually inaccurate, and Chamber of Commerce president Timothy Hulbert dismisses it as a fund-raising piece. Given all of the developments planned in Albemarle, it’s clear that dramatic change is the plan for Albemarle; is this a bad thing? Are efforts to end growth a good idea? David Dadurka has the story in today’s Progress.

Vespa Dealership Opens

With the extensive advertising and promotion over the past couple of months, it would be difficult for anybody to have missed the recent opening of a Vespa dealership in Charlottesville, on Preston. Owner Colin Dougherty believes that the Italian scooters are a natural for Charlottesville, because, he asserts, “traffic is almost as bad as it is in Philadelphia.” The dealership has only sold 10 of the $3,000+ machines in their five weeks of operation. Does Charlottesville want Vespas? James Fernald has the story in today’s Progress.

Big Construction Plans for UVa

Indie writes: The University of Virginia has an ambitious plan to build up its campus over the next few years. Included in its expansive plan is a goal to boost undergraduate enrollment by 400-500, possibly 1,100. See the full story in The Daily Progress.

They estimate that $1B will be spent during this expansion over the next few years, creating 1,400 jobs. They intend to physically expand UVa, heading to 9th and 10th Street and across JPA.