Monthly Archive for April, 2012

City Recommitting to Bypass’s 35 MPH Limit

With a study supporting the 35 MPH speed limit on parts of the 250 Bypass, City Council intends to keep it there, Megan Davis writes for the Waynesboro News Virginian. (No, I don’t understand, either. Let’s chalk that up to a production error.) The study found that while most people are going faster, it also found that the lack of sufficient space for acceleration and slowing down necessitates the seemingly unreasonably slow speed limit. The westbound stretch after McIntire, in particular, is what strikes a lot of people as unreasonably slow until it hits 45 MPH just before the firehouse. (Councilor Dave Norris is one of those people.) Council intends to pass an ordinance restating that speed limit. All of this came about after a half dozen people appealed tickets for speeding, who argued that the limit is unreasonably low and was set in 1967 without a necessary study to demonstrate cause for it to be set so low.

Rabid Bear Killed in Western Albemarle

A couple of guys fended off a rabid black bear at Royal Orchard Farm on Tuesday, NBC-29 reports. (The Progress has a somewhat longer story.) The men were in a Gator—a small, open utility vehicle—when the bear attacked the vehicle, and then came after then. Armed with a shotgun loaded with birdshot, reasonably enough during spring turkey season, one of them shot the bear point-blank in the head. Said noggin was sent off to a state lab, where it was confirmed that the bear had rabies.

Royal Orchard is the farm of the Scott family (as in Scott Stadium), located just off 64 on the way up to Afton. When driving up the long, slow grade to Rockfish Gap, at one point a bridge goes over the interstate at a crazy angle. That’s Royal Orchard Drive, a road that exists solely to connect their farm to Route 250. The house is an honest-to-God castle. The Shenandoah National Park was built around the estate, because the family had the money and the political power to keep the federal government from seizing their land and from building Skyline Drive within their viewshed.

City Launches Mapping Website

Charlottesville has put their mapping system online for everybody to use, Courtney Beale writes for Charlottesville Tomorrow. The Charlottesville GIS Viewer is functionally much like Albemarle County’s web-based GIS system, providing property data, assessments, transfer histories, photos, and relatively sophisticated map display options. It’s pretty straightforward to create a custom map of floodplains, historic districts, police districts, voting precincts, or any of a few dozen other data layers.

TJ Center Announces Annual Muzzle “Winners”

Charlottesville’s Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has announced the winners of their annual Muzzle Awards. The prominent free-speech group gives out the high-profile dubious distinctions to mark Thomas Jefferson’s birthday each year, singling out the government institutions that have done the most to trammel the right to free expression in the prior year. This year’s winners include the Florida legislature (for making it a crime for doctors to talk about gun safety with patients), Sam Houston State University (for creating a free speech wall, and then threatening to arrest anybody who wrote the word “fuck”), the Norfolk Police Department (for arresting a man for videotaping a police officer), and the Virginia Department of Corrections (for their ban on all non-religious audio recordings), among others.

Media General Planning to Shed Newspapers

Media General is planning for a post-newspaper business model, Richard Craver writes for the Winston-Salem Journal. The media giant—andDaily Progress owner—has made it known that all of their newspapers are for sale, and a recent regulatory filing forecasts revenues premised on the assumption that they’ll strip the company down to its television stations and electronic media components. Media General claims that multiple parties have expressed interest in purchasing their newspapers. They’ve said that they’re interested in selling all of the properties off together, or individually, meaning that it’s possible that another big media company could take ownership of the Progress, but it’s also within the realm of possibility that somebody local could buy it.

Media General purchased the Daily Progress from the Worrell family in 1995, along with the rest of the Charlottesville-area family’s Virginia newspaper properties.



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