Author Archive for Cari

U.Va. Students to Burn in Hell

We’ve had quite a week here at the University of Virginia, with not one but two separate demonstrations to warn us of our eventual damnation. On Monday, evangelist Michael Woroniecki (yes, that Michael Woroniecki) brought his entire family to grounds with huge signs that said things like, “REPENT” and “SATAN RULES” and so forth. They screamed at students that they were destined for hell, and suggested that Hurricane Katrina was a sign of God’s wrath. (The Woronickis are evidently against church, and encourage a personal relationship with the Lord — but you’re probably getting it wrong and will go to hell anyway, unless you join his cult-like following.) From the Cavalier Daily:

The Woronieckis said they have toured college campuses throughout the United States, Europe, Morocco and Central America for over 30 years preaching their message.

“You’re going to hell,” Mike Woroniecki, the father of the family, told the officers and students. “If you’re not going to hell, I’m a fool. If there is a hell, I’m the most loving man in the world for telling you.”

Students responded as you might expect — gawking and snickering — while two industrious young men stood next to the demonstration and unfurled a huge banner that read, “BULLSHIT.” In response to a complaint from the dean of students, the police tried to convince the Woronieckis that they needed written permission to demonstrate (not true) but they eventually left peacefully.

Then on Thursday, we received a visit from Life and Liberty Ministries, a group that is currently on a “Face the Truth Virginia” tour of college campuses. They arrived in a truck that was literally covered, on all sides, with graphic photos of aborted fetuses and the hopeful message, “God hates … the hands that shed innocent blood.”

Small children held up graphic photos of aborted fetuses, while adults passed out pamphlets with more gruesome photographs and quotes from the Bible. The group is also against birth control and homosexuality, though their protest at U.Va. focused primarily on abortion.

Blog Chronicles Starlight Trip South

The Daily Progress is hosting a blog about one Charlottesville relief group’s trip south. Lead by Starlight bus line owners David New and Oliver Kuttner, Charlottesville residents sent two buses full of supplies, and they are currently offering to relocate families to Charlottesville where housing and care will be provided by members of the community:

The group is in favor of unofficially adopting Pearlington as Charlottesville’s sister city. They said they have enough room in Charlottesville to put up those willing to relocate, as well as send down people with the appropriate skill sets to help Pearlington rebuild.

David New and Oliver Kuttner went to Gulfport to look for others willing to relocate and met one family who had been living in a double-wide trailer with 30 other people. They are interested in the offer, Kuttner said.

New said a 6-year-old girl in that family tried to give him a dollar, telling him, “I want to help too.”

The Coast Episcopal School in Long Beach, where the group has been sleeping this week, was buzzing with locals stocking up on food, medicine and other living necessities delivered by numerous relief groups from around the country.

In other news on Katrina relief, the Hook’s latest cover story is about the various projects going on on in Charlottesville.

DNA clears suspect of rape charges

This week, Christopher Matthew’s name and picture was all over the news in connection with a recent sexual assault. Matthew was arrested after a U.Va. graduate student heard his voice over the police radio and identified him as the man who raped her. Local media speculated that Matthew could be responsible for just about every sexual assault since 1997 — could this be the serial rapist, brought to justice at last? — only as it turns out, DNA evidence clears Matthew of all charges, and he was released today. The local media, I’m sure, will report on Matthew’s innocence with equally prominent headlines.

In other news, Charlottesville police are still waiting for the real serial rapist to voluntarily submit to a DNA test.

New apartments coming to corner district

The Daily Progress and the Cav Daily both have articles about the upcoming expansion of the historic corner district. From the Daily Progress:

The skyline around the Corner district is going to rise over the next couple of years as developers scramble to build high-density apartment buildings permitted under relatively new zoning laws.

One development already has opened and construction on two more has begun. At least three more developments have been proposed.

Altogether, the developments would add at least 185 new apartments to Charlottesville’s current stock of rental properties.

The apartment buildings will range between three and five stories tall, taking advantage of a September 2003 rewrite – the first in many years – of the city’s zoning ordinance designed to increase development density.

In addition, there are two condominium developments slated to open in 2007 that will bring 80 units to the market.

Apparently, new limitations on the number of cars that U.Va. students can bring to town were a “motivating factor” in the zoning process. I always knew that Parking and Transportation was involved in some sort of sinister conspiracy against us… I wonder if the residents of the new apartments will have to pay outrageous fees to park in an obscenely distant location, or if they will get a nice personal parking space where the historic stuff used to be. Pave paradise and put up apartments, that’s what I always say.

Local efforts for Katrina victims

Since the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, residents of Charlottesville have offered generous assistance to the victims in a variety of ways. It has been truly heartening to watch the community come together, though not at all surprising if you know Charlottesville. These are the efforts I’ve heard about, though I’m sure that more is going on.

The Charlottesville fire department has sent its communications interoperability unit to affected areas. The team set up internet access in a Mississipi hospital, and have since been sent to Gulfport, Louisiana to offer assistance.

The owners of the Starlight bus line, Oliver Kuttner and David New, collected enough donations to fill two busses with supplies. On the return trip, the busses will bring up to 20 families back to Charlottesville, where the newly formed Charlottesville Hurricane Relief Initiative will provide free housing and medical care.

U.Va. is offering temporary admission to Virginia students who were enrolled in New Orleans institutions. So far, 87 affected students have enrolled. U.Va. students also collected donations for the Red Cross at today’s football game.

Four members of the Calvary Chapel drove south to bring free water to victims, at their own expense. The group is planning to return on September 8th, and is currently accepting donations for the trip:

They have been asked to collect items such as powdered milk, baby formula, diapers, bug repellant, flashlights, first aid supplies, toothbrushes and soap.
These items can be dropped off at the Calvary Chapel on 1195 5th Street S.W. by Wednesday Sept. 7, 2005.

In another local effort (mentioned here), eleven year old Dakotah Spencer is collecting donations of books, toys, clothing, and other items for children. You can deliver supplies to Dakotah in the Lowes parking lot on Monday, September 5th, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.