Monthly Archive for November, 2008

Nelson County Residents Killed in Mumbai Attacks

Synchronicity says that their two employees missing in Mumbai—58-year-old Alan Scherr and 13-year-old Naomi Scherr—are dead. The State Department is not confirming their deaths, so this news is known only from Synchronicity. The say that the two were killed in the attack on the Leopold Café. The restaurant, a watering hole for visiting Westerners, was stormed by terrorists on Wednesday, who fired indiscriminately at the patrons with automatic weapons. The attack went on for ten minutes, leaving a large but as-now uncertain number of people dead and injured. The attack on the Leopold was one of a half dozen such attacks launched against civilians across Mumbai, attacks that are still ongoing now.

Embarq Bought by CenturyTel

Get ready to write checks to a new telco: Embarq has been bought by CenturyTel. The Lousiana-based company, founded in 1930, bought Embarq for $11.6B in cash and debt assumption. CenturyTel is, like Embarq, largely in the business of providing service in small markets and rural areas.

For those of y’all new in these parts, Centel was long our telco here. It was started in 1900, and come 1993 they had 1.5M landline customers in seven states. That was when they were bought by Sprint, which meant that, weirdly for the time, a long distance provider was our local phone company. Sprint spun off Embarq in 2006, which consisted of Centel and their other local phone assets. And now that they’ve gotten their name and logo updated, they’ll be CenturyTel. Let’s all practice cursing a new business name. For those of us who still slip and call the phone company “Centel,” at least the new name is a little closer.

County Water Manager Questions Usage Forecasts

Concerns about the regional water supply are based on the projection that, come 2055, we’ll require 18.7M gallons per day. But the county’s own water resources manager says we’ll need 20% less than that, Hawes Spencer writes in The Hook, which is an awfully big difference. Greg Harper wrote in an internal memo that water usage has been declining over the past decade, contending that the natural replacement of old plumbing fixtures with modern ones will only accelerate this trend. The debate over dredging and a new dam is all about trying to anticipate future demand; if our demand forecasts are pessimistic, we could potentially waste millions of dollars on unnecessary supply increases.

Perriello Certified; Goode Requests Recount

Tom Perriello has been certified as the winner in the 5th CD election, Brian McNeill reports for the Daily Progress, with a lead of 745 votes. Rep. Virgil Goode is challenging the outcome, and understandably enough. It’s being called a “recount,” but no actual recounting takes place. It’s more of a re-canvas, making sure that the total number of votes on each machine matches the recorded total, and that those add up to the recorded total for the precinct. The numbers will change a little, maybe by a few dozen votes, but the odds of Goode gaining 746 votes are slim-to-none. Perriello is proceeding with his transition, planning to start his new job as Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) come January.

University to Concentrate on Infill

Good news from the university: they say they’re planning to expand up, not out. They’re going to focus on infill, taking buildings up (or down, underground) and increasing density. As UVa grows, acquiring land, they remove property from the city and county property tax rolls, shrinking the municipalities’ tax base. That’s a source of significant tension between the university, Charlottesville and Albemarle. This new approach is a part of the university’s 20-year master plan



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