Monthly Archive for December, 2004

Local Woman Survives Tsunami

Charlottesville chiropractor Irv Cox received an e-mail from his daughter, Stephanie, telling the remarkable tale about how she survived the tsunami when it struck Railay Bay, where she was on a docked ferry. She and her fiancee, along with a growing crowd of people, fled ashore as a trio of gigantic swells nearly overcame them, escaping to the jungle before being evacuated the next day. John Yellig has the story in today’s Progress.

Spurzem: Albemarle First Should Sell Out

Real estate developer Richard Spurzem, the single largest shareholder of Albemarle First Bank, has formally proposed that the bank sell out to a larger bank. The bank was founded in 1998, at a time when local banks were all being bought up by national banks, at the same time as Virginia National Bank. While VNB has added locations and grown steadily, Albemarle First has lost value, with last year’s Ivy Industries $2.4M check kiting scandal doing nothing to help. Shareholders may end up casting a vote on the proposal at the annual meeting in May. David Hendrick had the story in Saturday’s Progress.

Sullivan (on Blenheim) Looking for Grinch Award

dsewell writes: This week’s cover story in The Hook details another lovely imbroglio that Thomas Sullivan is getting into with his neighbors on Blenheim Road, in this case with the long-established Lower Sherwood Llama Farm. He’s not only grabbing their name, he’s demanding they remove their sign.

I’ll admit my bias on this story: I came to know Paige McGrath and her mother JoAnn through their work on the Wes Clark campaign (Paige’s “Llamas for Clark” walking llama signboard on the Downtown Mall was the high point of the local campaign). But politics aside, they’re good folk, active in the llama farming community, exhibitors at the county fair–basically, being good citizens of rural Albemarle. Whether or not the letter of the law upholds Sullivan’s actions, he’s playing the petty tyrant. (Of course, he’s hardly the first owner of a large estate in Albemarle County to be gifted with more money than scruples.)

Dave Cupp Leaves WVIR on Friday

As has been long planned, Dave Cupp is leaving WVIR 29, and Friday will be his last day. His been with the station for 26 years, and served as news director for a mighty long time, but is leaving to follow his wife to Cambridge, where she’s worked at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for the past couple of years. Cupp’s departure comes a a little over a year after the departure of Robert Van Winkle, another WVIR veteran, who is now with WBBH, WVIR’s Florida sister station (both are owned by Waterman Broadcasting). As has been noted repeatedly, WVIR is hemorrhaging talent, and their new competition from WCAV (CBS 19) and WVAW (ABC 16) isn’t going to make things any easier, to say nothing of the proposed Fox station and the elusive WCVL cable station. John Yellig has the story in today’s Progress.

County Office Building to Have Green Roof

Albemarle County has received a $23,450 grant from the Virginia Department of Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program to fund the installation of a green roof on the county office building. (The structure need to be re-roofed, anyhow.) Rather than using traditional roofing materials, the new roof will essentially be a lawn on top of the standard rooftop. Green roofs have become popular for environmentally-friendly construction, because they keep the structures cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and handle runoff that would otherwise have to be dealt with through channelling. It won’t be whole roof, just 20%. Replacement will be done next summer. Liesel Nowak has the story in today’s Progress.



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