Author Archive for Waldo

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Bob Gibson Savages Scottie Griffin


When members of the Charlottesville School Board hired Scottie Griffin as the city’s school superintendent, did they check out her background?

Did they know that Griffin had sued the Flint, Mich., school system in 1999 and that the suit was settled behind closed doors?


Did they know that about 30 students and two parents had picketed outside Flint’s Dort Elementary School when Griffin was principal there asking that she be removed from her position?


Did the Charlottesville School Board know when they hired Griffin from New Orleans that she was being sued there in federal court?


Did anyone in Charlottesville know that two months after Griffin started in New Orleans that Clay had informed her she was requesting a transfer away from Griffin “due to intolerable working conditions?”

The list goes on, and on, and on. Some folks here on had done some homework on Griffin and dug up a couple of these things, but obviously the Progress has been hard at work, because, as I said: damn.

It’ll be in Sunday’s paper, but it’s online now.

Charlottesville Population Plummets

The census just released their 2004 population updates, and Charlottesville’s looking quite a bit smaller than it was a few years ago. In April 2000, the city had 40,099 people — by July of 2004, that dropped 8.7% of 36,605. The World Class City™’s loss of 3,494 souls may have fled outward — Albemarle County expanded by 5.4% in the same period, increasing from 84,186 to 88,726, an addition of 4,540 people. (3,494 ex-Charlottesvillians, 1,046 New Jersey refugees?) John Yellig’s got the skinny in the Progress.

The Census Bureau hasn’t updated their website just yet, but last year’s Charlottesville data can be found there. As always, the surrounding counties are growing, too — Greene, Louisa, Orange, Nelson, Madison and Nelson all expanded, some significantly.

With the home prices in C’ville having risen 88% between ’00 and ’04 (the median has gone from $116k to $218k), presumably it’s the lower and middle classes being driven outward, but Albemarle sales prices have shot up, too. Do we abandon Charlottesville to the free market, running the risk of becoming Virginia’s Detroit? Or do we take this as a sign that all is not well in our fair city and figure out what the solution is?

Woman Drives Up Library Steps

Yesterday afternoon, a woman got her boot caught on her car’s accelerator, and drove straight up the steps of the downtown branch of JMRL. WINA’s picture is totally great:

Car on Library Steps

WINA’s got the story, but you pretty much know it all now.

Station Nomenclature

I think I’m going to start referring to the three stations as NBC 29, CBS 19, and ABC 16 when I write about each. This whole call-letter thing is confusing, but everybody can tell the different networks apart, I figure.

NBC29 Beating Down Competition

For the first time ever, Nielsen ratings are meaningful in Charlottesville, and it looks like NBC29 is tough to beat. During sweeps, the longtime local station had an average of 11,886 viewers. WCAV (CBS) had just 656, and WVAW (ABC) just 534. The 6pm newscast numbers are particularly strong — 32,000 viewers for NBC29, 499 for WCAV and 354 for WVAW (showing only Seinfeld at that time).

The general manager of the two upstart stations points out, rightly, that they’ve only been around for six months, and haven’t had a chance to make any proper headway in the market just yet. I’d figured that there’d be a certain number of disaffected WVIR viewers looking to get their news elsewhere, but I thought there’d be more than 500. The good news, though, is that advertising on the two new stations is really cheap.

Lisa Provence had the skinny in the soon-to-be last week’s Hook.