Local fella Sean Tubbs has set up what could be a fantastic new resource — the Charlottesville Podcasting Network. Podcasting was invented last year, and is defined by Wikipedia as:
A podcast can be described as an audio magazine subscription, in that a subscriber receives programs without having to get them, and can listen to them at leisure. It can also be thought of as the internet equivalent of timeshift-capable digital video recorders (DVRs) such as TiVo, which let users automatically record and store television programs for later viewing.
Podcasting essential does with audio what blogs have done with the written word — that is to say, democratize and decentralize it. Freed from the constraints of radio, long-form niche programming becomes possible. Sean has set up the Charlottesville Podcasting Network for those who have audio to share of local events, whether it be a concert, a speech, or an interview.
On Monday, C’ville Podcasting had a feature by Tubbs about the Salmagundi Film Festival. Tuesday, Janis Jaquith (my momma) interviewed the Thomas Jefferson Center for Free Expression’s Robert O’Neill about the Jefferson Muzzle Awards that were just announced. Though you can listen with fancy software, you can also just check out the blog entry for each piece and click to download the MP3.
Having helped out Sean a tiny little bit while he’s set this up, I’ve kept a close eye on the site, but I’ll certainly continue to do so. I feel good about what Charlottesville Podcasting Network can add to the mix of local media.
Hafner LLC, the Gordonsville textile manufacturer, has abruptly shut down, laying off all 90 employees. The Canadian-owned company took over the old Liberty Fabrics facility, which shut down in October of 2001, laying off 345 workers. David Hendrick has the story in today’s Daily Progress.
Manufacturing once played a major role in the Virginia economy, but the effects of NAFTA began to erode that in the early 90s. With the end of the textile quotas on January 1, it’s all but certain that all fabric manufacturers in the United States will cease to exist in the coming months as we race to the bottom.
A memorial service for Phil Gair — known affectionately as “Buddha Phil” — will be held this Sunday, April 17, near downtown. Phil died of a heart attack early last month, and if volume of e-mail and frequency of discussion are any indicator, it surprised and upset a large, surprising array of people. The service will be held from 1pm-3pm at 901 Belmont Ave.. (Could somebody cruise by there and figure out if it’s a house or a church or what?)
Photo courtesy of Max Fenton.
For the past two and a half years, there has been a secret investigation into corruption in the Charlottesville Police Department. Late last week, that investigation was made public when two police officers were arrested. Reed Williams has been following the story for the Progress, and on the day of the arrests he wrote:
Two Charlottesville police officers were arrested Friday on federal charges of ignoring illegal activities and divulging sensitive information in exchange for bribes of money and sexual favors.
Officers Charles Saunders, 46, and Roy Fitzgerald, 45, and two other men face corruption charges that include bribery, conspiracy, witness tampering and making false statements. Both officers pleaded not guilty in federal court and were released on $25,000 bond.
The two men are said to have been bribed with cash and sex by Charles Phillips, who managed Maxx and, on the side, a prostitution ring.
All of this came to light in 2001, when Police Chief Tim Longo learned that the two officers had been watching strippers at Maxx while on duty and in uniform. He suspended the two and had the state police investigate. The state police, in turn, turned the case over to the FBI. Saunders and Fitzgerald have been on duty the entire time, but were suspended last week as the indictments loomed. Phillips, of the now-defunct Maxx, will plead guilty to a bribery charge, and his business partner will plead guilty to conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation.
In yesterday’s Progress, Reed Williams had an update, with reactions from the police, City Council, etc.
My apologies for the site downtime since last Thursday. After last week’s windstorm and subsequent power outage, Sprint DSL facilities out here on 20 North had some kind of a short, which killed my home phone line. On Thursday, they fixed it, killing my internet connection in the process. (Given the choice between phone and internet, I’ll take internet any day.) They just fixed the DSL five minutes ago.
Too bad Sprint is the only provider out here — I hosted this site via an Ntelos connection since its inception, up until December, and never had any such trouble. I’ll have to figure out some sort of alternate hosting for this site — I can’t see Sprint cleaning up their act any time soon.