Monthly Archive for August, 2008

Sign Spam Bounty Proposed

Old School Spam

By Tom Taylor, used with permission.

I despise sign spam, those wireframe-cardboard signs illegally (§18-4.15.7) stuck up along roadways. Anecdotally, the scourge of these eyesores has increased quite a bit in the past year or two. One needs only spend a few minutes driving on secondary roads in northern Virginia to know how really, really bad things could get if nothing changes. So I’m glad to see that Albemarle and VDOT are considering teaming up to solve the problem, paying a $25/sign bounty to folks who pull them up and turn them in. VDOT imposes a $100 fine against the advertised business for each sign posted illegally, so the math works out on this. Here’s hoping that the Board of Supervisors (and City Council!) has the wisdom to make this happen. I’ll be the first in line to collect on it, my car piled high with signs.

09/02 Update: This story just isn’t true. Keep reading for the explanation and the correct story.

Continue reading ‘Sign Spam Bounty Proposed’

Fourth Area Brewery Opening

A fourth brewery is being built in the area, Brian McNeill writes in the Progress today. The Devil’s Backbone brewery is preparing to open near Nellysford, complementing Afton’s Blue Mountain Brewery and Farm, Charlottesville’s South Street Brewery, and Crozet’s Starr Hill Brewery. This newest brewery intends to offer a Helles, a Vienna lager, a hefeweizen and an IPA. We’ve got lots of folks drawn to the area in part to visit wineries, so the prospect of beer tourism is certainly an attractive specter, and that’s precisely what local breweries are planning.

Albemarle Facing Revenue Shortfall

The county is trying to figure out what to do in the face of declining revenues, Brandon Shulletta wrote in the Progress a few days ago, so they’re surveying citizens about whether we’re willing to pay more taxes for services. Though the numbers aren’t in yet, Albemarle anticipates a steep drop in income, what with declining property values, so either services have to be cut or taxes have to be raised. The state is facing the same shortfalls, which may well result in a cut of funding to localities, as happened in 2002. Ultimately, it’s up to the BoS to make the call on what to do, but survey results will help them figure out what the public wants.

City’s Black Population Declining

Charlottesville’s black population is shifting into the county, Stephanie Kassab writes in today’s Daily Progress. UVa’s Weldon Cooper Center‘s Qian Cai has just finished an analysis of census data and population trends, finding that the city’s black population has dropped by 756 in the past seven years; in the same period the county’s black population climbed by a strikingly coincidental 757. Cai is quick to point out that these estimates don’t tell her why this shift is taking place, only that it is happening, but it’s hard to escape the conclusion that this is the inevitable result of Charlottesville becoming an awfully expensive place to live. Mayor Dave Norris points out in that this has been the trend since the destruction of the Vinegar Hill neighborhood in the 1960s. The effect is the opposite of the white flight that has defined urban centers since the 1950s.

A Pedestrian Bridge Over the Rivanna?

A local fellow is proposing a pedestrian bridge over the Rivanna, Tracy Clemons reports for NBC-29, for what sounds like a pretty sensible reason. As Pantops continues to develop—a process that will accelerate considerably with Martha Jefferson moving there—it’s becoming a sort of a black hole of pedestrianism. Though the whole area is just across the river from the Woolen Mills, the route to the extended downtown residential area requires following the bypass clear down to Long St. before turning onto High. This is the area in question:

View Larger Map

That’s a two, maybe two and a half mile trip, a considerable obstacle to anybody wanting to commute on foot or by bike. At this point, it’s just an idea: what it would cost or if there’s even any sense to the idea, nobody’s saying. But if the Pantops area is to continue to develop, as it undoubtedly will, it stands to reason that it will need a viable non-vehicular point of access to the rest of town. Is this it?

7:40pm Update: Sean Tubbs provided a way more detailed article about this for Charlottesville Tomorrow two days ago, from whose blog I assume NBC-29 got their story. Daily Progress reporters get used to seeing their stories appear on NBC-29 a few hours later, but taking stories from blogs without attribution is rather a new phenomenon.



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