Monthly Archive for April, 2008

Hope Community Shelter Closes

Just last week C-Ville Weekly wrote about Josh Bare’s efforts to keep open the Hope Community Center homeless shelter, set up to take the place of COMPASS’ efforts. (I think it was last week. Mysteriously, C-Ville Weekly provides no dates for stories on their website. Or authors, so I can’t tell you who wrote it.) Accused of violating zoning regulations, the city told the shelter that they’d need to shut down unless they got an amendment to zoning regulations to accommodate them. Today Jayson Whitehead writes on C-Ville Weekly’s new blog that the shelter is shutting down, unable to comply with the fire code, with no path forward in their relations with the city, and facing increasingly unhappy neighbors. This will leave 45-60 regular residents without a place to sleep.

Mac McDonald Quits

McDonaldMac McDonald has quit his gig as the radio announcer for the Cavaliers, effective yesterday, NBC 29 reports. It seems like it was just yesterday that he came back from last time he quit — he left the job in 1985, returning in 1996. The football and basketball announcer says he wants to “pursue other opportunities.” He’s long been billed as “the voice of the Cavaliers,” a clever form of job insurance that presumably leaves CBS Collegiate Sports Properties in a tight spot. For more information, see the company’s press release.

Organic Vegetable Seedlings?

Green TomatoGiven the climbing price of food, I’m looking to expand the household vegetable garden this year beyond the seeds that we planted back in February. We’ve looked around, but the few places we’ve checked are devoid of organic labeling. Organic isn’t a particularly big deal to me in the food that I buy, but the stuff that grows in my own garden I like to keep away from the ol’ Miracle Grow. Can anybody suggest a nursery in the area where I could stock on up tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, etc?

Food Prices Climbing

Lori writes:

Last night, we were up at Christian’s on Pantops. The signs were all gone and they had little hand written signs announcing that the individual slice prices were going up by a quarter and $1.00 for a pie. I know that there was an article in Sunday’s Progress about Bodo’s raising their prices slightly (and still losing money on it). One of my friends thinks that the farmers are going to be making money, money, money but they don’t seem to remember (or know) how much gasoline is used.

(I’m suddenly remembering reading about the days of the Weimar Republic where people walked around with wheelbarrows full of money so they could buy a loaf of bread.)

It’s not just Christian’s, of course — prices are going up everywhere. Seth Rosen wrote about this in a pair of articles [1, 2] in the Progress this weekend. Bodo’s is taking the cost their bagels up $0.10/apiece, since the price of flour has tripled — it’s not enough to even things out for them, but it’s an improvement. Local schools are having a tough time providing food for the kids. The food bank has seen demand climb, and food stamp cases are up 10%. My wife and I went to buy a bag of grain for our horse at Southern States last week, and the price had doubled (and the quality reduced).

Remember that your standard factory-farm fertilizer is petroleum-based — your food is literally bathed in oil, and at $118/barrel, that fertilizer is getting expensive. The price of diesel has doubled, so our food economy — premised on the notion of cheap, fast transportation from California, Mexico, Chile, or New Zealand — is getting pricy along with it.

Council Delays Meadowcreek Interchange Decision

It’s been a rough week for the Meadowcreek Parkway. First the school board deferred a decision on giving up some of their land to build the road, Barney Breen-Portnoy wrote in the Progress on Saturday. And now city council has declined to endorse any of the interchange options, Seth Rosen writes today. Now, the school board signing off is really just a formality — and they’re quite likely to do so, anyhow — but the interchange is a bigger problem. Sen. John Warner secured $25M in federal funding for the road almost three years ago, but then the interchange committee went and recommended a design $5M+ over budget.

Councilor Julian Taliaferro thinks that interchange, at seven acres, is just too big. And Mayor Dave Norris just doesn’t see how the city is going to pay for it. Council will hold a work session in a month or two to figure out what to do.

The school board is willing to give up the required 8.5 acres, but they’ve got some conditions. They want a 25mph speed limit near school property (thus reducing the benefit of this dedicated route), a pedestrian bridge, a prohibition on trucks, a guarantee that the fifty replacement acres of parkland would forever be parkland*, and for CHS teams to get first dibs on the promised replacement sports field in McIntire Park.

* The same promise that the city made in order to accept the money from Paul Goodeloe McIntire to establish the park in the first place. Clearly, promises are no obstacle for the city.



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