Monthly Archive for September, 2007

Spivey Sentenced

One year after he was first accused and three months after he pleaded guilty, former CHS choir director Jonathan Spivey has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, Rob Seal reports for the Progress. (He was actually sentenced to twenty years, but the remainder was suspended.) When released he’ll be on probation for five years and have to register as a sex offender.

Local Farmers Arrested for Labeling Offense

The couple who run Double H Farm, in Nelson, have been arrested for using non-approved labels as price tags, Dave McNair writes for The Hook. The couple, in their 60s, had their farm swarmed by ten Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services agents, a state trooper, and the Nelson County Sheriff before they were handcuffed and hauled away in separate cruisers. Their Double H pork products were seized from restaurants across the area, destroyed by soaking them with bleach. Double H’s owners are well-known advocates for the rights of family farmers, which has surely earned them no love from state regulators.

I know a fair number of people in the farming and livestock business. They are all terrified of harassment by the state, which appears to both loathe family farms, actively seeking out piddily reasons to bust them. Locally-produced food is a strong interest of mine, and I’ve encouraged some of these food producers to speak out, but they’re all terrified that if they do, VDA&CS will invent a reason to shut them down. Now I see why.

This is going to get ugly — the Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association will make sure of that. I wonder if any members of the General Assembly will have the good sense to introduce legislation to support family farms and stop this harassment on the part of state regulators.

BoS Candidates’ Campaign Finance Reports

The Virginia Public Access Project has BoS candidates’ latest campaign finance data up on their site now. In Rivanna, Democrat Marcia Joseph is out-raising incumbent Republican Ken Boyd, $24k to $18k. In White Hall, incumbent Republican David Wyant is out-raising Democratic challenger Ann Huckle Mallek $29k to $20k (thanks to a $10k contribution from one of his appointees). And in Scottsville, incumbent Democrat Lindsay Dorrier is significantly out-raising his two independent challengers with $14k — Kevin Fletcher has raised $575 and Denny King has raised $5k. Lists of individuals contributions greater than $100 are available for all of the candidates, and there are some interesting numbers in there.

There are reports for the City Council races, too, but the lack of Republican candidates and the minor role that money will play in that contest makes the money a lot less interesting.

Patrick Michaels Resigns

It was one year ago that City Councilor Kevin Lynch exposed UVa’s Patrick J. Michaels as fraudulently claiming to be Virginia State Climatologist. Now comes word that Michaels quietly resigned his position at the university this summer, Bob Gibson reports in today’s Daily Progress. Lynch’s reporting led to national coverage of Michaels’ conflict of interest (he received extensive funding from the energy industry while denying global climate change) and resulted in Governor Kaine’s request that he stop calling himself the state’s climatologist, since he held no such position. The 57-year-old Michaels has negotiated a retirement package with UVa, and will continue to hold a position as a part-time research professor…on leave.

Woman Wrongly Jailed for a Month

Dave Norris' Swearing InFrom the “What The?!” files comes the story of Jennifer Dowell White, who was held in the jail for a month for no apparent reason, Lisa Provence reports for The Hook. She appeared before a city grand jury on August 20, who was considering indicting her for obtaining money under false pretenses, but they decided not to. Nonetheless, she was held in jail until just yesterday, the apparent fault of Charlottesville Clerk Paul Garrett. Her attorney had repeatedly requested a copy of the indictment that would presumably be required to keep White in jail, but Garrett wouldn’t send it — the paperwork had apparently been lost in his office. Garrett declined comment.

Garrett was last in the news back in April, when he was caught obtaining $52,000 from the state by lying about getting his office’s records online. Garrett, a Democrat, was most recently reelected in 2003.

9:30pm Update: I see that Henry Graff reported on this for NBC 29 and did get a comment out of Paul Garrett. He said that he wasn’t necessarily the obstacle, that “there are various ways that could have been addressed,” though not knowing anything about the legal system, it’s all greek to me.



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