Monthly Archive for July, 2006

Meyerhoff’s Local Connections

28-year-old Jack Meyerhoff lived in Charlottesville for a time, attending PVCC, when he was arrested for committing acts of ecoterrorism in Oregon with others from the Earth Liberation Front. In this week’s Hook, Lisa Provence looks into Meyerhoff, discovering that he moved here to be with his girlfriend, Lacey Phillabaum, who briefly wrote for C-Ville Weekly and freelanced for The Hook. Meyerhoff has pleaded guilty to 54 counts of arson and conspiracy, which may earn him almost sixteen years in prison.

UVa Prof Takes Money from Utilities

Climatologists agree that fossil fuel emissions are worsening global climate change. Except for UVa Professor Environmental Science Patrick J. Michaels, who I can only assume is a never-ending source of embarrassment to the university. Today comes the news that Michaels is on the payroll of power companies, having accepted $100,000 from one power company and planning to accept another $50,000 from another. Burning coal significantly harms our environment, and power companies are desperate to cover up that message, hence the sponsorship of Prof. Michaels. He says that he sees no conflict of interest in accepting the money. To the extent to which he claims to be a scientist, there’s a clear conflict. But if he would confess that he’s simply a lobbyist, it’d be business as usual.

Jennifer Interviews Parks & Rec Director

C’ville blogger Jennifer has done something unusual for a local blogger — an interview. With a little guidance from the Daily Progress‘s Bob Gibson, she talked with Parks & Recreation director Michael Svetz about the recent cut in pool hours. It turns out that there’s a lot more going on than the change in hours, including systemic classism in the pools system and inefficiencies in the existing pools. Patrons of city pools will want to read this.

It’s really great to see local bloggers doing research into local matters.

Rick Turner to Retire

Embattled UVa Dean of African-American Affairs Rick Turner has announced that he’ll be retiring at the end of the month, the AP reports. He was suspended two weeks ago after pleading guilty to lying to federal investigators in a drug investigation, though the details of that matter are a mystery. Presumably they’re not pretty, given Turner’s decision; on the other hand, he’s 65, and perhaps he figured it was simply time to go.

A lot of the fire was taken out of his role at UVa when the school named a Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity last September. Prior to that Turner was known for his work at UVa and within the community, as the head of the local NAACP chapter, often issuing fiery charges of racism at anybody unlucky enough to find themselves on the wrong end of his standards.

4,400 Pot Plants Seized Near Scottsville

In a ginormous bust, state and local officials seized 4,400 marijuana plants from a garden behind a guy’s house just outside of Scottsville, Rob Seal reports in today’s Progress. Gary Peck, 51, had a patch of bamboo with a 10′ by 10′ area carved out in the middle to grow the plants. I figure that’s 3.2 square inches per plant, or 1.8″ by 1.8″ — I wish I could grow things in my garden at that density. Peck has been charged with manufacturing with intent to distribute. Police are carefully drying it to…uh…preserve it.