Monthly Archive for April, 2006

Stones Thrown in Council Race

Things are getting a bit snippy in the Council race, John Yellig writes in today’s Daily Progress. Republican candidate Rob Schilling is upset and on the defensive, accusing Democratic candidates Dave Norris and Julian Taliaferro of attacking him and claiming their campaign mailings and automated phone messages are a violation of campaign finance law, while disagreeing with their portrayal of him as an absentee councilor in their radio ads. (You can hear the ads on Jim Duncan’s blog and make up your own mind.)

The central point of contention is Schilling’s approach to the budget: he’s voted against every annual budget during his term on Council, demanding reduced spending, but never proposed any service cuts. He uses this position to claim credit both for popular services and for lower taxes; he’s trying to have his cake and eat it, too. The Democrats’ assertion that his votes against the budget are votes against funding all city services — schools, public safety, etc. — is no less logical than Schilling’s claim. When a congressman votes against funding the War in Iraq, isn’t he failing to support the troops? So what do we call it when a city councilor votes against funding the police?

Yellig’s got details about the rest of the points of contention in his article. The good news is that there’s only another 48 hours of this to go.

Blog Carnival: Duane Gran Hosts

With the weekly blog round up gone mobile, Duane Gran hosts this week’s Charlottesville Blog Carnival:

[Jim Duncan] wrote this week about the various policies surrounding connected communities in central Virginia and Trish writes about the propensity of developers to burn organic refuge when clearing space.

In political news, the big fuss around town is the May 2 elections, with voter guides from Charlottesville Tomorrow and The Daily Progress (by way of cvillenews). Additionally, Brian Wheeler’s Charlottesville Tomorrow has a podcast of 4th City Council Candidate Forum. If local politics aren’t your thing, The Hook notes that Cindy Sheehan will be coming to town, but I expect that it won’t please our more conservative bloggers like Whitney Blake, who has been recognized for sowing “chaos, dissent, and apathy.”

Social justice made big news with the Living Wage campaign at UVa, but David Swanson puts it into larger perspective. C’ville News covered the unveiling of the free speech monument while also stimulating a pretty good discussion on the site. Who needs chalk? We have weblogs.

Too much time on your hands? Sean Tubbs would like a volunteer to help with our local podcasting network and Jennifer suspects that The Paramount will need volunteers next year.

Local cartoonist (comic-maker?) Jen Sorensen has taken up the issue of food safety laws in her latest strip.

In school news, School Matters discusses the value of teenagers serving on school boards and Dean Jeannine talks about the implications of a account in the admissions process.

Finally, if you enjoyed not paying extra for the bandwidth used in this posting (which is made with 100% recycled zeros and ones) you may wish to follow the advice of Bleeding Edge Tech and try to save the internet.

Next week’s host will be Jim Duncan. Want to host? Contact me.

Candidate Endorsements

School Board and City Council elections are on Tuesday. I have to admit that I don’t even know enough about the School Board candidates to even pick from amongst them. For City Council I favor Dave Norris and Julian Taliaferro, of course. Dave, in particular, I’ve known for years and admire greatly. It’s rare that such a fine human being can be persuaded to run for office. But I live in Stony Point, so I don’t even have a vote.

But that’s just to stir y’all up into writing something of your own. Who do you support for City Council and School Board, and why? I get the sense that a lot of people don’t know one School Board candidate from another at this point, so a compelling argument could well yield a good number of votes.

“Right Now” Podcast

WINA has been running a new local show from 4pm-6pm, “Charlottesville Right Now,” for the past couple of months. Now it’s being podcast by Sean Tubbs’ Charlottesville Podcasting Network, broken into bite-sized pieces by topic. This is WINA’s first podcast. WNRN has been podcasting “91 Seconds on Film” and “Wake-Up Call” for some months now.

C’ville Traffic Lights Getting Synched

After I asked what the funny antennae on the traffic lights are here on, Mayor Brown broke the news that traffic would be getting synchronized. In Monday’s Daily Progress, John Yellig explained the plan for lights to get synchronized across the city, and it sounds pretty impressive.

Right now West Main is synched up, but soon Emmet and Preston will likewise be synched up. Three employees will sit in the city’s Intelligent Transportation System Center on Fourth Street, watching traffic on closed-circuit TVs, and adjust the lights in real time during peak traffic hours. Later in the four-phase, $2M project, all 69 traffic signals in the city will be wired into the ITS. Councilor Kevin Lynch wants to see the buses wired into the system, giving them priority at traffic lights.

I, for one, welcome our new traffic overlords.



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