Let’s begin with a Patreon-fueled shout-out. Colder temperatures are creeping in, and now is the perfect time to think about keeping your family warm through the holidays. Make sure you are getting the most out of your home with help from your local energy nonprofit, LEAP. LEAP wants you and yours to keep comfortable all year round, and offers FREE home weatherization to income- and age-qualifying residents. If you’re age 60 or older, or have an annual household income of less than $74,950, you may qualify for a free energy assessment and home energy improvements such as insulation and air sealing. Sign up today to lower your energy bills, increase comfort, and reduce energy waste at home!On today’s program: The overall health of the James River has dropped slightly The Food and Drug Administration approves focused ultrasound to treat some symptoms of Parkinson’s diseaseArea transportation officials want your input tonight on the region’s transit futureAn update on planning for Smart Scale’s fifth round The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority prepares its annual plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentWhile the number of vaccinated Virginians has increased due to the extension of shots into people between the ages of 5 and 11, the number of cases has been up slightly over the past two days. However the Virginia Department of Health reports Wednesday figure of 2,592 new cases as a technical error that includes counts from previous days. The seven day average is now at 1,475 a day and the percent positivity is at 5.5 percent today. The Blue Ridge Health District reports another 49 new cases today and the fatality count is at 309. Do you have something to say about how our area bus systems should work? Tonight you’ll have your chance to weigh in on a Regional Transit Vision that could guide the future. Lucinda Shannon is a transportation planner with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District who briefed a technical committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization on Tuesday.“I’m really hoping you guys will all sign up for the public meeting which is Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.,” Shannon said. “There’s also surveys on both of the TJPDC transit projects.”The TJPDC is also conducting a separate study of the expansion of transit in Albemarle County.Changes to the Charlottesville Area Transit system have been studied and presented to the public this year, but there is no schedule for when they may go into effect as there are more procedural steps to go through. (story map) (presentation)This week, the Norfolk City Council adopted a resolution approving a plan called Multimodal Norfolk that seeks to increase frequency of some buses. “The Recommended Network focuses 70 percent of resources on service that will maximize access to opportunity for most residents and are likely to get high ridership relative to cost,” reads the resolution adopted Tuesday night. “The other 30 percent of resources are focused on service that is not likely to get high ridership but will provide service in areas where there is relatively high need.”Service in Norfolk is provided by Hampton Roads Transit, which that city pays about $20 million a year to operate service. That includes the Tide light rail system. Meanwhile, work continues to prepare the next round of applications for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Scale funding process. Chuck Proctor is a planner with VDOT’s Culpeper District and he’s assisting Albemarle and the MPO come up with potential submissions.“Most of them are bike-ped related, a lot of them are multimodal projects like Avon Street, 5th Street, the 29-250 bypass,” Proctor said. Other projects that could be submitted include the intersection of Old Trail and Crozet Avenue, a recommendation from the ongoing North 29 corridor study, projects on Pantops, as well as various intersections of U.S. 250 east of Pantops. The Thomas Jefferson Planning District can submit up to four applications on behalf of localities. Proctor said he was not aware of what applications the city of Charlottesville might advance. Jeannete Janiczek, the city’s urban construction initiative. In most cases, Charlottesville administers its own projects without involvement from VDOT. “I just want to remind everyone this is still early in the process,” Janiczek said. “We have a new City Council coming online. The city does plan to apply for Smart Scale but we haven’t yet decided which projects.” In four rounds, Charlottesville has been awarded millions for various streetscape projects, none of which has yet gone to construction. In September, Council indicated they would no longer support contributing a local match for funds received for the first two phases of West Main Streetscape. VDOT has not yet been formally informed of any decision, according to spokesman Lou Hatter. Janiczek said potential Charlottesville projects for Round 5 a fourth phase of West Main Streetscape, or in the East High Street, Rose Hill, and the Preston Avenue corridors. There is no information about any of these potential projects available on the city website. In contrast, Albemarle and the TJPDC have been discussing potential projects since the spring. In recent years, Albemarle County has increased its capacity to design and build non-vehicular transportation projects. Kevin McDermott is a chief of planning.“We are now finally after many years in the construction phase for a lot of sidewalk improvements including new sidewalks out on Avon Street Extended, both north and south of the Mill Creek intersection,” McDemott said. The others are:New sidewalk along U.S. 250 near the Harris Teeter including a pedestrian crossing New sidewalk along Rio Road East from John Warner Parkway heading east and south toward CharlottesvilleNew crosswalk at Mountain View Elementary School on Avon Street ExtendedNew sidewalk and shared-use path on Lambs Road to the Lambs Land CampusNew sidewalk on Ivy Road between city limits and the UVA Musculoskeletal CenterThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of focused ultrasound to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease, according to a release from the University of Virginia Health System. Specifically, medical device regulators have authorized medical centers to use something called Exablate Neuro by the company Insightec to treat mobility problems associated with tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease. “Prior to the approval, available treatments for the Parkinson’s symptoms included drugs, which not all patients respond to, and invasive deep-brain surgeries,” reads the release.” Focused ultrasound, in comparison, does not require incisions or cutting into the skull.” During the procedure, highly focused sound waves are used to target faulty brain cells and used together with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), treatment can help ease symptoms. The releases stresses that this is not a cure. The medical technology has been pioneered at UVA and shepherded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. Other potential uses include treatment for essential tremors, uterine fibroids and some forms of cancer.. Research is ongoing. For more information visit the UVA Health website or watch videos on the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s YouTube page. Water quality in the James River has declined slightly over the past two years, according to a report card issued this week by an advocacy group that seeks to promote practices to reduce pollution. Since 2007, the James River Association has issued the State of the James and this year’s B- is based on a score of 61 percent. Every two years that score is factored by looking at 18 indicators split into the two categories of River Health and River Restoration Progress. In 2017 the grade was 63 percent. “The decline that has occurred since 2017 reflects the impact of abnormally high rainfall experienced across the watershed in recent years causing increased polluted runoff throughout the James,” reads the press release. “While oysters and tidal water quality showed promising resilience over the past year by bouncing back from the surge of rainwater and pollution, the river also revealed stalled progress in phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment pollution reductions, as well as stream health.” Among the indicators are gauges of how healthy various wildlife populations are. The good news is that the bald eagle scores at 100 percent due to an increase in breeding pairs to 352, indicating the ban on DDT as well as passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 has led to the resurgence. The bad news is that American shad are rated at zero and efforts to stock the James River watershed with hatchery shad have not worked because of the presence of dams, water intakes for water supply, invasive catfish, and fishing nets intended for other species. “Given the dire situation, Virginia must develop an emergency recovery plan that clearly identifies restoration actions,” reads the report card. “But it will take a long-term and sustained effort to bring American shad back from the brink of collapse in the James.” To look through all of the indicators, visit the State of the James website and explore their story map. What are you most interested in? Let me know in the comments. You’re reading Charlottesville Community Engagement and it’s now time for a second Patreon-fueled shout-out. The Plant Northern Piedmont Natives Campaign, an initiative that wants you to grow native plants in yards, farms, public spaces and gardens in the northern Piedmont. The leaves have started to fall as autumn set in, and as they do, this is a good time to begin planning for the spring. Native plants provide habitat, food sources for wildlife, ecosystem resiliency in the face of climate change, and clean water. Start at the Plant Northern Piedmont Natives Facebook page and tell them Lonnie Murray sent you!The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners will hold a closed meeting today to discuss a personnel matter. Last week, the appointed body held a work session on a report the CRHA must turn in to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Kathleen Glenn-Matthews is the deputy director of the CRHA. (FY20-FY21 adopted plan) (FY21-22 draft plan) (FY22-23 draft plan)“The public housing authority PHA plan is a pretty comprehensive guide to all of our agency’s policies and programs,” said Glenn-Matthews. “We spent a lot of time on our goals.”There are two parts to the plan, one of which is a five-year review that won’t be due until 2023. The second part is an annual plan with details about what will happen in the next fiscal year. The fiscal year for the CRHA runs from April 1 to March 30, a different calendar than the city, state, and federal government. HUD classifies CRHA as a “troubled agency” based on the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) and the Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP). Glenn-Matthews said that means CRHA has to give more information in its annual plan. One of the first items in the draft plan is a listing of the number of public housing units and the number of housing choice vouchers. The number of units has dropped from 376 to 324 due in part to the temporary closure of Crescent Halls due to renovations. The number of housing vouchers has increased due to their use to provide temporary places for temporarily displaced residents. Those vouchers are separate from a program funded directly by the City of Charlottesville but administered by CRHA to increase their number. The city has had a line item of $900,000 a year in the capital budget for this supplemental program. Highlights from the past year include the adoption of policies on security cameras as well de-concentration of poverty.“The PHA’s admission policy is designed to provide for de-concentration of poverty and income mixing by bringing higher income tenants into lower income communities and lower income tenants into higher income communities,” reads a statement in the plan.Glenn-Matthews said the CRHA wants to build a homeownership program as well as augment the family self-sufficiency program.“We don’t have funding for it and we’re penalized by being troubled but we are looking at alternate sources for that and it’s definitely a big priority for us,” Glenn-Matthews said. The draft plan indicates that the CRHA will continue to engage in “mixed finance modernization or development” as well as “demolition and/or disposition” in the coming year. One project is development of between 39 and 50 units at Sixth Street SE. There is also a pending demolition and disposition application for the second phase of South First Street, which would replace 58 existing units with a larger project. Planning for redevelopment of Westhaven is expected to begin in the next fiscal year. “We want to make sure everything in this plan is there that we want to do this year because if not we’ll have to do an amendment, and nobody wants to go through the process,” Glenn-Matthews said. The plan also explains how nonprofit companies have been formed to serve to secure funding for redevelopment. There’s also data on who lives in the units. As of August 31, 76 percent of households had incomes below 30 percent of the area median income, 14 percent are between 30 and 50 percent, and three percent are between 50 and 80 percent. Six percent of households do not have their income data available. Only one percent of residents are classified as Hispanic or Latino, three percent are classified as Asian, 21 percent are white, and 75 percent are Black.There are a total of 736 people living in Charlottesville public housing and the average household size is 2.6 percent. The public hearing on the annual plan will be held on Monday, December 20. Thanks to Ting for their support in helping this program be produced each day. Today the newsletter ends with a limerick from show supporter Harry Landers honoring Ting for their commitment to match your initial payment to a paid Substack subscription!There once was a writer from C-ville,Who sought to shine light upon evil.He did his own thing,With some help from Ting.If there's news to report, we know he will.Special announcement of a continuing promo with Ting! Are you interested in fast internet? Visit this site and enter your address to see if you can get service through Ting. If you decide to proceed to make the switch, you’ll get:Free installationSecond month of Ting service for freeA $75 gift card to the Downtown Mall This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
Let’s start today with two more Patreon-fueled shout-outs. The first comes a long-time supporter who wants you to know:"Today is a great day to spread good cheer: reach out to an old friend, compliment a stranger, or pause for a moment of gratitude to savor a delight."The second comes from a more recent supporter who wants you to go out and read a local news story written by a local journalist. Whether it be the Daily Progress, Charlottesville Tomorrow, C-Ville Weekly, NBC29, CBS19, WINA, or some other place I’ve not mentioned - the community depends on a network of people writing about the community. Go learn about this place today!On today’s show:Charlottesville City Council adopts a Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map after a long public process and long public hearing President Biden signs an infrastructure bill Two area breweries have announced a merger The Places29-Hydraulic group gets the latest on 490 units planned for Old Ivy Road After nearly five years of review, Charlottesville City Council has adopted a Comprehensive Plan and a Future Land Use Map intended to increase the number of housing units within city limits. Council’s vote came after a long public hearing that came after a work session held in the early afternoon where Council also discussed economic development and population trends. The public hearing ended at 10:44 p.m. and Council then discussed the matter for another hour before voting to adopt. Up next will be the rewrite of the zoning code to eliminate legislative barriers to new residential density. I’ll have more on the adoption of the plan and what is in it in an upcoming edition of the newsletter. Take a look at the adopted Comprehensive Plan and the Future Land Use Map here. Two breweries in the area have announced a merger via Facebook post. Champion Brewing Company and Reason Beer will join operations in a partnership that will see Hunter Smith remain as the company’s CEO. One of Reason’s founders, Jeff Railenau, will become the Chief Financial Officer. Josh Skinner of Champion will become the Head Brewer and Reason’s Mark Fulton will become Director of Brewing Operations. Champion will relocate its production operations from a facility in the Woolen Mills on Broadway Street to Reason’s headquarters at Seminole Place on U.S. 29. “We’re excited to announce this partnership with our good friends and esteemed beer minds across town that will bring together two skilled and like-minded teams to streamline operations under one roof,” reads a statement on Champion’s Facebook page.President Joe Biden has signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will likely change the landscape for the way all kinds of projects in Virginia and the Charlottesville area are funded. “This law makes the most significant investment in roads and bridges in the past 70 years,” Biden said. “It makes the most significant investment in passenger rail in the past 50 years. And in public transit ever.” The bill provides direct funding to specific areas across the entire country. (details from the White House)$55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water, eliminating lead pipes and cleaning up PFAS chemicals $21 billion in funding to remediate Superfund sites in rural and urban communities$66 billion for public transit, including vehicle replacement from fossil-fuel burning to zero emissions vehicles$5 billion specifically to purchase clean school buses$17 billion to modernize ports and update machinery to reduce congestion and emissions$25 billion for airports including efforts to drive electrification and a transition to other low-carbon technologiesOver $50 billion in investments to protect against drought, heat waves, wildfires and floodsThe legislation passed the U.S. Senate on a 69-30 vote and the U.S. House on a 221 to 201 vote. Take a look at the full bill here. “The bill I’m about to sign into law is proof that despite the cynics, Democrats and Republicans can come together to deliver results,” Biden said. There’s also funding to increase internet access.“This law is going to make high-speed Internet affordable and everywhere, everywhere in America,” Biden said “Urban, suburban, rural, and great jobs laying down those broadband lines.” Environmental groups in Virginia are celebrating the signing of the infrastructure bill, which will provide an additional $238 million for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Chesapeake Bay Program according to a statement from the Choose Clean Water Coalition.“These additional funds will help reduce pollution in the Bay and its waterways, especially as we approach the 2025 deadline to have all pollution reduction practices in place as part of the Bay's restoration effort,” said Coalition Director Kristin Reilly. Reilly refers to something called the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, a framework to reduce pollution across all of the watersheds that feed into the Bay, including the Rapidan, Rivanna, and James Rivers. Investments have been made over the years, including millions to upgrade the Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that makes it to the Bay, creating dead zones with no oxygen. The bill has also been celebrated by the Virginia Transit Association, who sent out a release pointing out that the bill contains $102 billion nationwide in funding for passenger and freight rail, or a 592 percent increase over usual funding levels. That could include $1.4 billion for Virginia. “Transit will receive about $1.3 billion in formula funding over the next five years, a 34 percent increase over normal funding levels,” said Danny Plaugher, the Deputy Director of the Virginia Transit Association and the Executive Director of Virginians for HighSpeed Rail. “The Charlottesville area will receive about an extra million a year over that period. Virginia will also be competitive on several expanded transit and rail grant programs which could invest billions into our transportation network."All of Virginia’s Democratic Representatives in Congress voted for the bill, whereas all of Virginia’s Republican Representatives voted against it. But Biden said there was support from industry. “This law was supported by business groups — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the National Association of Manufacturers; the Business Roundtable, representing 200 of the largest corporations in America and other top businesses,” Biden said.Local governments are watching closely to see what the bill may mean for their bottom line. “Albemarle County will closely monitor avenues for local governments to apply for funding to advance our strategic infrastructure needs as guidance becomes available from the federal and state governments,” said Emily Kilroy, director of Communications and Public Engagement for Albemarle. You’re listening to Charlottesville Community Engagement. Time for another Patreon-fueled shout-out! Charlottesville 350 is the local chapter of a national organization that seeks to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Charlottesville 350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all. To learn more about their most active campaigns, including a petition drive to the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cville350A proposed rezoning requested by Greystar Development for about 36 acres of land off of Old Ivy Road will be slightly smaller than the 525 units requested in the first application, but it will still be fairly substantial. “Our current plan is to have about 490 units,” said Valerie Long, an attorney with Williams Mullen. “We’re still under 20 dwelling units per acre so well within the range that’s permitted. The Places29-Hydraulic Community Advisory Committee got a first look at the Old Ivy Residences project, which is currently not scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission. (watch the meeting)The land is split between five parcels, with three of them already zoned for 15 units per acre. “R-15 residential zoning allows for basically any type of residential development whether its single family detached, single-family attached, or multifamily apartments,” said county planner Cameron Langille. One parcel allows for ten units per acre, and the other is currently zoned for one unit per acre. The application is to make them all R-15. A previous rezoning approved by the Board of Supervisors in 1985 has a condition that states that the Old Ivy Road corridor needs to have been upgraded to a certain performance level before development can begin. “The applicant is asking for us to evaluate that and make a recommendation as to whether corridor has been improved to that extent,” Langille said. The board also approved a rezoning in 1996 for one of the parcels that restricts certain uses. Langille said the applicant wants the Board to drop that condition. There’s also a request to disturb slopes which involves changing their classification from preserved to managed. The county’s Comprehensive Plan designated three of the parcels as urban density residential, which allows anywhere between 6 units and 36 units per acre. Land along the U.S. 250 Bypass is designated as parks space and currently is the home of a section of the Rivanna Trail. Greystar officials said that would continue. Staff has conducted one review and the developer is working through the various questions from staff. John Clarkson is a managing director with Greystar Development, a national developer with projects all across the United States of America. “There are opportunities in University towns that lack housing opportunities, very important housing opportunities to provide that level of affordability to make those communities sustainable over the long term,” Clarkson said. Dan Nickerson, a development senior associate with Greystar, is a graduate of the nearby Darden School.“The number one thing we love about this site is the natural landscape and we’ve done the best job we could and we think we’ve done a really good job preserving the landscape while enabling the density that the Comp Plan allows,” Nickerson said. Old Ivy Road is a two-lane road that has a one-way underpass near its eastern intersection with Ivy Road without a sidewalk or bike lane. The western intersection as well as a two-lane bridge over the bypass are also constraints. Long acknowledged that traffic congestion is an issue.“Obviously those issues are existing, have been growing and increasing over the past few decades, but Greystar is committed to continue looking at those challenges and collaborating with [the Virginia Department of Transportation] and the county planning staff as appropriate to work toward identifying solutions,” Long said. Long said Greystar would be willing to pay a “proportional amount” for some of those solutions. VDOT’s Six-Year Improvement program includes funds for a $3 million replacement of the bridge over U.S. 250, but the description currently states it will be built with no additional capacity. Preliminary engineering is underway now with construction scheduled for Fiscal Year 2024. Long said county officials have been able to at least carve out some improvements for the project.“They were able to include in that project design that there will be a pedestrian lane on the new bridge,” Long said. Members of the CAC and the public had the opportunity to ask questions and make comments. Sally Thomas served four terms on the Board of Supervisors and lives next door in the University Village apartment building. “We don’t oppose having neighbors and we are delighted that they are neighbors that care about the environment,” Thomas said. “We also do have a lovely old stand of trees, some over 100 years old, and we want to try to preserve and protect those.” Thomas said University Village wants to make sure there are pathways that safe and attractive and avoid the trees. Kathleen Jump of Huntington Village complex said she likes to walk, but said this section of Albemarle is landlocked with many obstacles for pedestrians. “The eastern bridge is a concern and the pedestrians at that end of Old Ivy Road put their lives in their hands when they cross under that bridge,” Jump said.Kevin McDermott is a chief of planning in Albemarle who specializes in transportation. “We have been evaluating both ends of Old Ivy Road as Valerie mentioned also, very recently, to try to see if there are options for improving them,” McDermott said. “Nothing has jumped out as an easy solution right now. Trying to expand that underpass is going to be extremely expensive.” McDermott said VDOT is working with a consultant to look at both ends of the road to come up with solutions, possibly to inform a Smart Scale application for next year. Taylor Ahlgren just moved into Huntington Village. He wants the development to do as much as it can to discourage vehicular travel. Here’s what he would like to see.“Supporting future residents to stay away from using a car and using alternative means of transportation,” Ahlgren said. The project currently does not have a public meeting scheduled with the Planning Commission. Stay tuned. Also nearby is the Ivy Garden complex, which the University of Virginia will be redeveloped as a mixed-use community. The UVA Buildings and Grounds Committee got a briefing on that project in June. Special announcement of a continuing promo with Ting! Are you interested in fast internet? Visit this site and enter your address to see if you can get service through Ting. If you decide to proceed to make the switch, you’ll get:Free installationSecond month of Ting service for freeA $75 gift card to the Downtown MallAdditionally, Ting will match your Substack subscription to support Town Crier Productions, the company that produces this newsletter and other community offerings. So, your $5 a month subscription yields $5 for TCP. Your $50 a year subscription yields $50 for TCP? The same goes for a $200 a year subscription! All goes to cover the costs of getting this newsletter out as often as possible. Learn more here! This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
Beloved pets, a visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and remembering Tony McMahon, with Kevin McDermott, Ann Marie Durkan, Lani O'Hanlon, Grace Wilentz, Michael O'Connor, Declan Collinge and JM Dolan
Time for a new Patreon-fueled shout-out:Charlottesville 350 is the local chapter of a national organization that seeks to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Charlottesville 350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all. To learn more about their most active campaigns, including a petition drive to the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cville350On today’s show:The Charlottesville City Council and the Planning Commission spend two hours asking questions about the Comprehensive Plan in advance of tonight’s public hearingAlbemarle’s Board of Supervisors gets an update on transportation projectsA new tenant signs on for a new office building in downtown CharlottesvilleThe summer and September COVID surge in Virginia continues to wane, but community spread continues. The seven-day percent positive rate has dropped to 7.8 percent and the seven-day average is 2,443. In the Blue Ridge Health District, there are 205 new cases reported and the percent positive rate is 5.8 percent. There have been eight more fatalities reported since October 4. The Blue Ridge Health District will have a town hall on October 13 and one of the topics will be vaccination in pregnant people. Register in advance. Today is the last day to register to vote in the November 2 election, which is three weeks from today. Local registrars will take in-person registrations through 5 p.m. Registrations submitted via mail must be postmarked with today’s date in order to be accepted. You can also register online up until 11:59 p.m. You will need an ID issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in order to register in that fashion. (Department of Elections online portal)The last day to request a mail-in ballot is October 22. The last day to vote early in-person is October 30. Charlottesville’s Office of Voter Registration will have additional hours on October 23 and October 30. There are several makeshift memorials to people who died in crashes on 5th Street Extended in Charlottesville. Yesterday, a city-sanctioned memorial to Quintus Brooks was unveiled with a family ceremony. Brooks died on October 1, 2020 and yesterday would have been his birthday. “A new application process is being launched for roadside memorials at the site of deaths resulting from automobile, bicycle or pedestrian accidents that occur on public streets within the City of Charlottesville,” said city Communications Director Brian Wheeler in an email announcing the event. Charlottesville has hired a Nevada firm to provide pest control services in two prominent locations. In September, the city sent out a request for proposals for a firm to provide pest suppression for the 135,000 square feet of the Downtown Mall and the 30,000 square feet of the Corner. “The Contractor will be responsible to provide a program to control rodents such as, but not limited to, rats, mice, squirrels, snakes, all insects (roaches, flies, bees, ants – including fire ants, cockroaches, moths, crickets, silverfish, all spiders, termites),” reads the proposal.Pestmaster Services has been awarded the contract. These areas include outdoor dining spaces, including locations where tables are set up near tree wells. Another tenant has been announced for the new 3-Twenty-3 building in downtown Charlottesville. General Atomics Commonwealth Computer Research will lease just under 50,000 square feet in the building.“With projects ranging from optimizing the world’s largest container port to predicting future asymmetric warfare events, CCRi has no shortage of experience in diverse client expectations,” reads a description of the company on their website. The 3-Twenty-3 building is being developed by Insite Properties and marketed by Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. A press release describes the building as a five-story office building on top of a four-story, 200 space parking garage. There’s about 27,000 square feet left to be leased in the 120,000 square foot structure, according to leasing agent John Pritzlaff. McGuireWoods and Manchester Capital are already in their spaces, and Williams Mullen is starting building out now. Tonight, the seven-member Charlottesville Planning Commission and the five-member Charlottesville City Council will hold a public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan, the second task performed by Rhodeside & Harwell as part of the Cville Plans Together initiative. That includes a Future Land Use Map which increases residential density across most of the city. Yesterday, the elected body and the appointed body spent two hours asking questions about the plan. Councilor Lloyd Snook went first. “A common criticism which I personally believe to be based on ignorance… is that the Future Land Use Map and the suggestions of higher density have not taken into account either… the effect of the University of Virginia, the effect of the student population, and the distorting effect on the poverty data for the student population,” Snook said. Jennifer Koch with Rhodeside & Harwell said her team began their work based of a housing needs assessment conducted in 2018 by the Form-Based Code Institute and Partners for Economic Solutions. (download)“There was a fairly robust discussion in that document about how students may or may not play into various impacts on affordability in the city,” Koch said. “The other way we are looking to include considerations for students in this plan is in looking at potential intensity near UVA, for example Jefferson Park Avenue, Fontaine Avenue area. We’ve included additional intensity in those areas and we’ve included a discussion of potential intensity in those areas as we move through zoning.”The first step in the Cville Plans Together initiative was adoption of an affordable housing plan. The next step after adoption of the Comprehensive Plan will be a rewrite of the zoning code. The University of Virginia is working on an initiative to identify space on land it or its real estate foundation owns to build up to 1,500 below-market units. In September, a top official at UVA told the Central Virginia Regional Housing Partnership that the work is slightly behind schedule. (UVA housing initiative website)Other topics at the two-hour meeting included assumptions about population growth and the links between increased density and affordability requirements. Watch the whole thing in advance of tonight’s hearing, which begins at 6 p.m. (watch)And time for another Patreon-fueled shout-out:Fall is here, and with it, more moderate temperatures. While your HVAC takes a break, now is the perfect time to prepare for the cooler months. Your local energy nonprofit, LEAP, wants you and yours to keep comfortable all year round! LEAP offers FREE home weatherization to income- and age-qualifying residents, so, if you’re age 60 or older, or have an annual household income of less than $74,950, you may qualify for a free energy assessment and home energy improvements such as insulation and air sealing. Sign up today to lower your energy bills, increase comfort, and reduce energy waste at home!At their meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors will get an update on the Rio Corridor Study, an effort to reshape the public realm along Rio Road on stretches of the roadway in Albemarle’s Places29-Rio growth area. Opponents of recent rezoning applications in the area cited transportation concerns for why the Board of Supervisors should vote against more intense residential density. But last week, they got an update on other transportation projects from Kevin McDermott, a planning manager in Albemarle. Though the applications aren’t due until next summer, work is underway for the next round of Smart Scale projects. (Albemarle transportation report)Right now the top candidates that the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization might submit are: A roundabout at District Avenue and Hydraulic Road Avon Street Corridor Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements between Druid Avenue and Avon Street park and ride5th Street Extended multimodal improvements between the future (and funded) 5th Street Trail Hub to Harris RoadRivanna River Bike and Pedestrian bridge from South Pantops Boulevard to the Woolen Mills area Right now the possible candidates Albemarle County might submit in the 5th Smart Scale round are: Avon Street Extended multimodal improvements from Mill Creek to Peregory Lane 5th Street Extended bicycle and pedestrian improvements between Albemarle Business Campus and the Southwood community U.S. 250 corridor improvements between Peter Jefferson Place and Hansen Road U.S. 250 / Route 22 / Milton Drive intersection improvements Belvedere Boulevard / Rio Road improvements Hillsdale Drive extension and realignment from Mall Drive to Rio Road U.S. 250 West interchange with U.S. 29 / 250 bypassU.S. 250 West and Crozet Avenue intersection improvements Albemarle has recently turned in an application for VDOT Revenue-Sharing Funds for Eastern Avenue South, a project that has been in Crozet Master Plan since it was adopted. “That goes from the Westhall area, across Lickinghole Creek, to Cory Farms, and connects to U.S. 250,” McDermott said. In most cases, it takes several years for transportation projects to go from project approval to construction. A project to upgrade the intersection of U.S. 250 and Virginia Route 20 at Pantops was funded in 2018. “They are currently in design for that and we will hopefully be seeing some construction out there in about two years or so,” McDermott said. Another VDOT revenue-sharing project is to extend Berkmar Drive to Lewis and Clark Drive, which would complete a north-south roadway parallel to U.S. 29 from Fashion Square Mall to the University of Virginia’ North Fork Research Park. “We’ve got a lot of economic development going on up there, a lot of new development also,” McDermott said. “This would also provide that parallel facility to U.S. 29 so it can take some of that traffic off of 29 and remove it from some of those intersections that are experiencing some delays like Airport Road and U.S. 250.”McDermott said construction of that project is expected for 2025. Supervisor Donna Price of the Scottsville District noted the length of the report as well as its detail.“I really appreciate the way you explain some of these so that it differentiates between a study and a proposal,” Price said. “We get a lot of communications from people in the community that are to the effect of ‘I can’t believe you’re even considering’ [a project],” Price said. “But when you’re looking at transportation, if you don’t look at the various options, then you’re really going in with a narrow-minded approach. We appreciate your wide approach of looking at all of the different possibilities before narrowing down what really appears to be the best course of action.”Special announcement! Today’s the first day of a new promo with Ting! Are you interested in fast internet? Visit this site and enter your address to see if you can get service through Ting. If you decide to proceed to make the switch, you’ll get:Free installationSecond month of Ting service for freeA $75 gift card to the Downtown Mall This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
The 380th Initials Game on The Power Trip Morning Show!Every Friday around 8:15-8:20 a.m. on KFAN 100.3 the Power Trip Morning show plays the Initials Game. The game involves 12 items people, place, things, phrases or anything as long as they share the same initials. All 12 items share the same initials. The contestants do not know the initials until they are revealed shortly before the game starts. Each item has 6 clues. As soon as the contestants know who or what the host is describing, they yell out their name. Their name is their buzzer. If the contestant gets it right, they get a point. If they get it wrong they are out for just that item. The item does have to be pronounced correctly. It is best out of 12 with tiebreakers if needed. Tiebreaker items have 3 clues.#InitialsGame #ThePowerTrip #KFAN1003FOLLOW The Power Trip on Social Media:► Like the show on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PowerTripKFAN► Follow the show on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/PowerTripKFAN► Follow the show on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PowerTripKFAN► Follow Cory Cove on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CoryCove► Follow Chris Hawkey on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Chris_Hawkey► Follow Meatsauce on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Meatsauce1► Follow Aj Mansour on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AjKFAN► Follow Mark Parrish on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MarkDParrish
Kevin McDermott is today's special guest on The Power Trip and he makes a special announcement, Cory and Hawk talk about the O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co. and how awesome it is, Mr. Z reviews the new James Bond film,
Hawk shares a story about a disgusting freak in Florida, Mark Parrish doesn't know what he wants to be for Halloween, Marney Gellner meets Kevin McDermott, and Vikings WR Adam Thielen calls in to talk about the Divisional schedule starting this weekend!
30 years of the Commitments, the first Alzheimer's patient, and the show goes on at the Olympia. With Emer O'Kelly, Kevin McDermott, Jackie Lynam, William Wall and Rachael Hegarty
Provident Healthcare Partners' AJ Shekar and Kevin McDermott are joined by Kyle Lattner, Principal of Waud Capital Partners, to discuss how the pandemic has impacted healthcare deal volume and investment since COVID-19 started in March 2020, as well as private equity's outlook for the remainder of 2021.
In today’s Patreon-fueled shout-out: Help support black-owned business in the Charlottesville area. Check out the Charlottesville Black Business Directory at cvilleblackbiz.com and choose between a variety of goods and services, ranging from beauty supplies, professional services, and e-commerce. Visit cvilleblackbiz.com as soon as you can to get started. On today’s show:Charlottesville officials press City Council for $7 million now for 7th Street Parking garage, but Council directs staff to take a pause on planningAlbemarle supervisors get an update on transportation projectsAn update from the University of Virginia Health System on the ongoing pandemic. As of midnight Friday, all COVID-19 restrictions in Virginia are lifted, more than two weeks before Governor Northam had originally announced that community health metrics were low enough to drop all of the rules that have been with us for months to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. But the director of hospital epidemiology at the University of Virginia Health System said no one should consider the pandemic over.“COVID has not gone away completely,’” said Dr. Costi Sifri. “It is reduced. It is at some of the best levels we’ve seen in more than a year. But it’s still the case that we have patients being admitted at our hospital with COVID, that there is COVID being transmitted in the community. And we really cannot predict what will happen in a week or a month or three months.”Today the Virginia Department of Health reports a seven-day average for new cases of 339. As of this morning, 44 percent of Virginians are fully vaccinated. Dr. Sifri said the restrictions can be lifted in part because of the trends. “Vaccines are highly, highly effective,” Dr. Sifri said. “If you’re not vaccinated, nothing really changes. You should still be practicing the same precautions that you’ve been practicing.”Many in the community may not feel comfortable with making the change back to a non-restricted world where masks are not required. “In those situations I think it is understandable that people still want to wear a mask and we need to make sure that we with grace say that they can wear masks and feel comfortable doing that without judgement,” Dr. Sifri said. Dr. Sifri stressed that the pandemic is not over. “Please don’t go out and buy the book that talks about the history of the pandemic because its a story that is still being written,” Dr. Sifri said. “Only about four or five percent of the world’s population is vaccinated at this point so I think there’s a lot that will occur in the future. The virus isn’t done with us yet.” Source: Virginia Department of HealthMemorial Day Weekend is the traditional opening of outdoor pools and swimming areas. That’s that’s certainly the case in Charlottesville, where Washington Park is scheduled to open today as well as the spray grounds at Belmont Park, Greenleaf Park, and Tonsler Park. The Forest Hills spray park will open in June due to mechanical errors. However, today’s rain puts a damper on all of that. Onesty Pool will remain closed due to staffing issues. However, swimming lakes run by Albemarle County will open later than usual. The season at Chris Greene Lake, Mint Springs, and Walnut Creek will begin on June 17. Albemarle County swimming lakes will open on June 17 (Credit: Albemarle County)At the height of the Great Recession earlier this century, Albemarle County froze many positions and slowed contributions to its capital improvement program. One job that was not filled for many years was transportation planning, but for the past few years, Albemarle has put together an organized list of potential projects to address road capacity issues as well as bike and pedestrian connections. In July 2019, they adopted a priority list ranging from Hydraulic/29 Improvements at #1 to U.S. 250 West / Gillums Ridge Road Intersection Improvements at #89. “That list provided all capital transportation projects that are recommended through the various county planning processes,” said Kevin McDermott , a chief of planning in Albemarle, in a May 19 to the Board of Supervisors. (review the update)The list is intended to help planners identify funding sources for projects, such as the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Scale program as well as the county’s own capital improvement program. “We have gotten 12 projects from that 2019 project list funded,” McDermott said. Hydraulic 29 / Improvements, including a pedestrian bridge over U.S. 29 and a roundabout at Hillsdale and Hydraulic, are slated to be funded at $24 million by Commonwealth Transportation Board in June (#1)U.S. Route 250 improvements to add median between Route 20 and Rolkin Road to receive $6 million in Smart Scale funding using $2 million in local funds (#2)Route 20 / U.S. 250 intersection will be rebuilt using funding from 2018 Smart Scale round sometime in 2024 (#3)Berkmar Drive will be extended further north to Lewis and Clark Drive, providing a continuous roadway to UVA North Fork Research Park. Funding came from VDOT’s revenue sharing program.Further changes to Fontaine Avenue / U.S. 29 intersection including a shared-use path (#6)A roundabout will be built at Old Lynchburg Road and 5th Street Extended with $5 million in VDOT funds and $2 million in Albemarle funds (#7)A roundabout at Rio Road and the John Warner Parkway is recommended for $8 million funding in the current Smart Scale process and $2 million in Albemarle funds will be used (#15)Bike and pedestrian improvements will be made on Old Lynchburg Road using Albemarle funds (#26)A section of the Northtown Trail shared-use path will be built between Seminole Lane North and Carrsbrook Drive at a cost of $4 million (#35)A greenway trail on Moores Creek and a trail hub at 5th Street Station will receive Smart Scale funds and has a total cost of $10 million (#40)A park and ride lot will be constructed near Exit 107 and Crozet Park to serve Jaunt and the future Afton Express at a cost of $3 million (#82)This map depicts location of projects that have received funding since 2019 (Credit: Albemarle County)McDermott’s purpose for appearing before the supervisors was to get their preliminary support for the next round of transportation projects. At the top of a short list for this year’s cycle of VDOT revenue-sharing funds is the completion Eastern Avenue, a north-south roadway designed to increase connectivity and traffic circulation throughout Crozet. “That project is currently being evaluated through an alignment study and conceptual design which the county has funded through our transportation leveraging project,” McDermott said. “We have just recently received the updated cost estimates from that consultant we have hired and their preliminary cost estimates are now at $19,983,000.” That would require at least a $10 million match from county funds. However, if approved the state funding would not be available until 2027. Another project on the list for potential revenue-sharing projects is one to build bike and pedestrian improvements on Mill Creek Drive to Peregory Lane, a top priority in a recent corridor study. That has a cost estimate of $2 million. Applications for revenue-sharing projects are due this year. Next year Smart Scale projects will be due. Potential applications to be made next year include a roundabout at District Avenue and Hydraulic Road, a realignment of Hillsdale Drive, and a roundabout at the intersection of Belvedere Boulevard and Rio Road. There’s plenty of time to get involved with these applications. Keep reading and stay tuned.You’re reading to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In this subscriber supported public service announcement, over the course of the pandemic, the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society has provided hours and hours of interviews, presentations, and discussions about interpretations and recollections of the past. All of this is available for you to watch, for free, on the Historical Society’s YouTube Channel. There’s even an appearance by me, talking about my work on cvillepedia! On Tuesday, May 25, City Council held a work session on two items related to transportation, though there was little in the materials presented to suggest the two are linked. The second item was on route changes for Charlottesville Area Transit, and we’ll come back to that in the next installment of Charlottesville Community Engagement. Would Council give staff permission to continue planning work on a proposed 300-space parking garage at the corner of East Market and 9th Street for which 90 spaces would be reserved for Albemarle County for their courts system. That’s codified in a December 2018 agreement between the two jurisdictions. (download the agreement) (staff report)Here’s City Manager Chip Boyles.“A previous Council had approved for the city to pursue building a parking structure as part of the MOA on the site of 7th Street and Market,” Boyles said. “We’ve been working on that and we’re here to discuss with you both that option as well as other options that perhaps meet more current needs and demands of the city and Council’s vision.”Staff has been working off of a resolution adopted by Council in December 2019 to proceed with the plan, including the allocation of $1.28 million from a capital contingency account to cover the county’s share of the surface lot the two jurisdictions purchased in 2005 to support an eventual court expansion. (minutes from December 6, 2019 City Council meeting)Charlottesville is now the sole owner of this surface lot which city staff have been planning to use to build a 300-unit parking structure with ground floor retail. (Source: City of Charlottesville)Alternatives in the MOA include selling that lot back to Albemarle, or providing 100 spaces in the Market Street Parking Garage. The deadline to provide any of these is November 30, 2023. The city currently has a shortlist of three firms who would both design and build the structure. “Those three are slightly on pause right now while we get through this meeting,” said Scott Hendrix, senior project manager for Charlottesville. Each of the firms has submitted a request for qualifications at their own expense, and Hendrix said clarity from Council was needed. During development of the fiscal year 2022 budget, Council reduced the amount requested by staff from $8 million to $1 million, delaying the balance to FY2023. That would delay the project meaning it would not be complete in time for the November 2023 deadline. Chris Engel, the city’s Economic Development Director, presented Council with a couple of alternatives to Council, both of which involve selling a share back to the surface lot back to Albemarle and only using the land paid $2.85 million for in January 2017. There are two commercial buildings on that lot whose tenants pay rent to Charlottesville. Option 1B would be to build a smaller structure on the land with between 150 and 200 spaces, and Option 1C would be to just use the land for surface parking. A matrix of options presented by city staff to Council at the May 25, 2021 work session. Engel said one of the city’s goals has been to continue to provide enough parking for visitors traveling downtown for either business or entertainment. For instance, he said 50 spaces under the Belmont Bridge will be lost after it is replaced. Engel said Council will have to consider the future of the Market Street Parking garage, which he said is 46 years old. “It’s about to have a structural reassessment as it does every five or seven years,” Engel said. “It’s probably in the city’s best interest to start thinking about what a plan for replacement looks like. Obviously having another facility nearby would help alleviate that when and if the day comes.”The Market Street Parking Garage (Source: City of Charlottesville GIS)The city owns the Market Street structure outright, whereas the Charlottesville Parking Center owns the Water Street Parking Garage. The city manages that structure, but leases the space to CPC. The two were involved in a series of lawsuits within the last decade. Albemarle County currently participates in the validation system for the two garages.The most recently available official study of parking in Charlottesville is from 2015 when the firm Nelson Nygaard was hired to conduct a study of downtown parking. One recommendation was to create something called a Transportation Demand Management Plan. More specifically the idea was to create a “Transportation Management Association.” (read the study)“A TMA can help to disseminate information about alternative commuting options, run events and campaigns to encourage workers to try alternate commutes, and develop tailored programs for both employers and employees that meet their needs,” reads page 68 of the study. An inventory of parking included within the 2015 Nelson Nygaard studyCouncilor Michael Payne asked if a TDM program had been examined while plans for the proposed garage were penciled up.“As a way to handle supposed parking demand issue throughout downtown throughout that strategy as opposed to purely meeting it through building new parking spaces or maximizing the amount of new parking spaces being built,” Payne said. The Nelson Nygaard also suggested creating a parking department in city government. Rick Siebert was hired in 2017 to implement the Parking Action Plan and as well as a six-month pilot for on-street parking meters. He said TDM is not a magic solution.“It is generally a very long-term solution and it requires a lot of comprehensive cooperation,” Siebert said. “If a lot of the people who work and visit downtown come from in the county or neighboring counties, then we need to work with those counties in working out mass transit options that are more attractive than driving your car or we have to work out park and ride lots that somehow are more attractive than driving to the Water Street or Market Street garages.” A possible venue for that discussion would be the Regional Transit Partnership or the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization. As we’ll hear more tomorrow, Charlottesville Area Transit is looking to build park and ride lots. Several members of the Parking Advisory Panel spoke. That group is divided. Joan Fenton wants more parking spaces downtown. “If you look at the number of parking spots that have been lost downtown and will continue to be lost downtown, this is a neutral amount of parking spaces that are going to be added,” Fenton said. However, Jamelle Bouie took an opposing view. “When thinking about the necessity for additional parking, we really should be focused on whether or not there has been any demonstrated need for it,” Bouie said. “In the data the city collects and the 2015 parking study, both strongly suggest that with better parking management, there’s all the parking we need downtown. There’s no need for an additional structure.”During their discussion, Mayor Nikuyah Walker said she did not think the full garage was necessary to meet the terms of the agreement. She suggested collecting new data post COVID to demonstrate how many people will no longer travel downtown to work. “What is staff considering in terms of work from home and is there a possibility that to decrease the demand on parking, that that becomes part of our plan,” Walker said.Walker pointed out that the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission already has a RideShare program in place for commuters. She also added that programs are in motion to reduce the number of people who go through the criminal justice system. “If the city and county makes a commitment to keep their citizens out of the courtroom when it is possible, then that should also limit the impact on parking,” Walker said. “But I still think to cancel the project and not honor our parking needs with the county should not be an option.”City Councilor Michael Payne said he felt the city could honor the agreement without building the garage, especially at a time when there are additional pressures on the Capital Improvement Program. He also wanted more data collected. “You know we hear a lot about perceptions but I haven’t seen a lot of data to back up that there is a severe parking shortage,” Payne said. Payne’s option would be to go with Option C combined with some form of transportation demand management. Councilor Lloyd Snook spends a lot of time downtown as an attorney. Before COVID, he supported a new garage downtown to address long-term parking inventory. This spring, though, he supported delaying the $7 million in the budget to get new information on parking capacity with buildings like CODE, Apex Clean Energy, and the 3-Twenty-3 Building on 4th Street SE. “You could reasonably expect to have something like a thousand more people coming to work in those buildings and apparently only about 500 parking spaces were being provided,” Snook said. “We can see that pre-COVID we were heading for a real problem with those places coming online. I decided a couple of months however that the changes from COVID were likely number one were significant right now, number two were likely to continue for at least a year or two or perhaps longer.” Snook said the pause also comes at a time when the capital budget is under a crunch. He also said the 300-space garage may not be in the city’s long-term interests. He said he thought the city should take time to develop the garage with other uses on the same site. “That particular spot, that particular lot, and that particular design don’t do very much for the way that I think that we want to be developing the city,” Snook said. “I’ve said before if we built that structure, we would probably look back ten years later and say ‘what we were thinking when we built only that parking garage?”Councilor Heather Hill said she understood the concerns of her colleagues, but thought a garage would be needed sooner rather than later. “The loss of the parking spaces is going to be real, especially for city employees and we have to figure out within the organization how we are going to accommodate our own employees and I think that’s going to have to be some creative thinking around how do we get our own employees into the downtown area without providing them with parking immediately adjacent to City Hall,” Hill said.Perhaps a transportation demand management plan would be in order? The Lucky 7 on Market Street would be demolished under all of the options suggested by city staff. (Source: Charlottesville GIS)At the end of this event, Boyles said he heard direction to negotiate with Albemarle County on what new options they might be interested in to meet the needs of the agreement. “The second thing if I’m hearing correctly is that we should cease the movement toward the 200 to 300 spot garage and pursue the option 1C with the surface parking so that is going along the same time frame as we’re discussing and presenting options to Albemarle County,” Boyles said. Boyles said he will need a resolution to confirm that direction. That will happen at the June 7 meeting. The surface lot would require demolition of the Lucky 7 and the Guadalajara. The city purchased the lot for $2.85 million in January 2017. With 38 spaces proposed, that’s $75,000 a space, before the costs of demolition are factored in. In the next installment of Charlottesville Community Engagement, we’ll hear about upcoming changes in coming up for Charlottesville Area Transit. Thank you for reading. Please consider a contribution through Patreon to support general research or pay for a subscription through Substack. This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
Recommendations are given by Sanford School's technology team for creating a safe and reliable virtual learning environment for your child. See the full transcript below: Sanford School | Creating A Safe & Reliable Virtual Learning Environment For Your Child Audio [MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to Sanford Speaks, the podcast that provides valuable insights and information to help parents and students navigate the world of education. Today's host is Sanford communications director and IT director, Cheryl Fleming. We hope you enjoy this episode. Welcome to Sanford Speaks. Our topic today is creating a safe and reliable virtual learning environment for your child. This is another in our podcast series about living, learning, and teaching through the pandemic. Our guests today members of Sanford's technology team. We're fortunate to have them, because they're very busy. But they bring a ton of expertise to this topic. And so we're going to begin by asking each one of them to introduce themselves. Dave, why don't you get us started. Thanks Cheryl for having me. I am David May, network administrator. I've been the network administrator here for 15 years. I'm Kevin McDermott. I'm a technology associate. This is my, I think, fifth year here at Sanford. I kind of do a pretty broad breadth of things here. Anything from assisting Dave with some of the networking stuff we have around campus, and then also just helping teachers out with their day to day tech needs. And I'm Jen Nightingale. I am the middle school technology instructor, but I've been at Sanford since 1995 and joined the IT team in 2000. Sandy? I'm Sandy Sutty, I'm the technology integration coordinator. That just means I just help students, teachers, parents, administrators, really the whole Sanford community, to make sure they're up and running with all the technology needs. And I'm Patrick Martin, lower school technology instructor, and I've been here for 18 years now. Well, thank you again to everyone for being here. Today, we were talking about being online. Keeping it safe, keeping it reliable. I think one of the best places to start is looking at younger students. Almost everybody is online today. A lot of people are Zooming. Patrick, with respect to the young kids, what are some of the safety things that parents and teachers need to be looking out for with young kids? Well, I think one of the main things right now, most of the games that the kids are playing these days Minecraft, Roblox, things like that, they're able to communicate with kids anywhere in the world really. So making sure that they don't share any personal information is a big thing. Any time they have a question always check with their parents first. That's the big-- I always tell them, talk to your parents, ask your parents first if you can join this, do this, make sure they know what they're doing, what games you're on. I think that's one of the big things going on right now. Just making sure that you're not giving out any personal information over the internet, because you never know who's on the other end. I always try and encourage that with them. And Jen, I'm guessing in middle school you have other issues that you're dealing with all the time, with respect to passwords, and sharing passwords, and people wanting to socialize online. Can you give parents some guidance about what they should be concerned about with respect to, say, fifth through eighth grade students? Sure. I think it's such an interesting time, because the kids are just sort of feeling their oats, and really wanting to join those social arenas. Because that's appropriately developmental for this age. Just trying to make connections. And it's scary. My best advice for parents is to really do their research. And if a child gets an app on their phone, or their computer, just to really ask questions. What is this? What is it? How are you connecting with others? And what are you using this for? It's about communication, open lines of communication through and through. And actually-- Jen, do you recommend-- I'm sorry, I was just going to say, do recommend parents to have access to the kids' phones, to make sure they can see what's going on? That's a sticky wicket. I don't know. Because I-- that's a tough one. I believe in privacy, but at the same time, you're paying the bills, and you want to keep your children safe. So yeah, it's up to the parent obviously. However, yes, they can definitely check in. I do recommend that, unless that bothers you. Sandy, you can speak a little bit from a parent perspective, as well as being an educator. What are your thoughts about that? As a parent, I do have two teenage boys. And they know that I have access to their devices. I have their passwords, and periodically you just need to check in. Just to make sure that they're not spending time, or doing things that they shouldn't. As when you go into their room. You don't let them shut their rooms, because you never know how messy it will be. So, I think it's just part of being a parent. Making sure that you do sometimes cross the boundaries, but you also need to teach them, so that they know what's right from wrong, and to correct them if they make mistakes. Because they will make them. And Kevin, I think you were about to jump in and say something a couple minutes ago? Yes, I was just going to piggy actually on what Jen said, and now also what Sandy said. One thing, kind of piggy backing on Sandy, with the whole monitoring what your child is doing at home, I know a lot of retail wireless routers have either a web portal, or sometimes a companion app, to go along with them. And those usually are pretty feature rich. So I'd explore kind of what your router manufacturer has to offer. Because I know you can look at on like a by device basis, as what kind of traffic's going on. You can even limit access during certain windows. So, you could say, during these hours, there's no internet for this specific device. So, you don't have to shut yourself down if you're just trying to control what your child is doing at night. And then I was just going to follow up with what Jen was talking about, as far as being engaged with what your child is doing online. I was just going to say that's great advice for what Pat was talking about as well. Just with games, like knowing what this game is, and how they communicate with other people. Is it an online game? Is it a single person game? Just that whole engagement, I think, and having that open dialogue with your child can be really useful. And just having some expectations and rules in a house. I have the kids charge their phones downstairs, so that it's away from them in the bedroom. So, just those little tips and tricks you can use, and you don't necessarily have to have the software, which is very helpful. I don't, I just have them bring it downstairs. For overnight you mean? Charge overnight downstairs? Yeah. Yeah. I think another-- Because I've-- yeah, go ahead Dave. Oh no. I was going to say, I think another good program I actually use at home-- my nephew lives with me-- is open DNS. It's a great program to use. It'll allow you to pick categories to block. Gambling, pornography, things like that. You can just have that running so that anyone on your network at home is affected by that when they're surfing the internet. So, you don't maybe have to look at everyone's-- at your kid's devices so much if you use that. It does a pretty good job of blocking things. Dave is that something that runs on the kid's computer, or is that on the router? What is open DNS? Open DNS is a program. And basically what you do is, you set up your Verizon, Comcast, whatever you're using. You set up your IP address in the portal that you-- you sign up for a free account. Just put your IP address for your Verizon, or Comcast, or whoever your provider is in there and it filters your traffic from that address. So that, when you try to go to some of these sites that might be blocked, it will get blocked. It just gives you an open DNS return, instead of the website that you're trying to get to. So, let's talk a little bit about passwords. I know some people, friends of mine, who talk about passwords use the same password all the time for everything. Are there some passwords safety tips you could share with our viewers and listeners? I know, I forget who told me, I think it was somebody on this call. But I know, ideally you to be using a different password for every single thing that you're using. But I know feasibly it's not always possible for a lot of people, myself included. So, I've really taken to, I have a kind of a root that I use, and then that root will change depending on what account I'm using. And that change will be specific to the account. So if it's my bank account, it will be my root, and then something that I know identifies my bank account. And it's something that I could kind of easily remember. That way you don't have to worry about remembering this huge 12-character thing. You can just always have your root. Hopefully it checks all the boxes that most sites need. Sometimes some will throw you for a loop. But I've always found that really helpful. Kevin, you taught me that. I remember, like a year ago, and that has been my saving grace. It makes things easier. Root plus is a way to go. I love it. There are also programs and such for that. I was talking about open DNS. I've used a number of these over the years. Right now, I'm using something called Everykey. So, when I do put my passwords in, it remembers them. And it's a little device. So, if I walk away from my computer, it automatically logs my computer-- or locks it. And if I go to a website, it will offer to enter the information for me. So, I can use a bunch of really weird passwords, suggest caps, lowercase, characters, numbers. And I an pick the weirdest, strangest passwords, and whenever I go to those sites the Everykey will log it in for me. There's also 1Password, Dashlane, a lot of things you can use both on your phone and your computers that you're using, to help you with your passwords, so you don't have them stuck all over your monitor, or under your keyboard, or things like that. I know a lot of the sites I go to these days offer two-step authentication. Can somebody talk about that, and what some of the advantages of using 2-step authentication are, for folks out there? I can chime in. And so, yo yes, two-step or two-factor authentication is actually a really, really useful thing. In addition to having a secure password, it's just an extra step of verification that the site that you're using uses. So, in addition to your password, they're going to text you a code, give you a phone call, send you an email kind of thing. And it's just that one extra layer that, so even if somebody were to be able to get your password, or guess your password, they would also then need to access this second device, or the second tool essentially, to sign in as you. Add on top of that it actually kind of doubles as an alert system. If you get an unsolicited verification code from one of these sites, you might want to then go in and preemptively change your password, just because somebody might have been trying to log into your account without you knowing. I know a lot of people kind of balk at the idea of having to get this code every single time that you sign in. But with a lot of sites, if you're using the same computer over and over, you can actually have it remember that one computer. But it will still send you that code if somebody else outside of your personal device would be trying to get in. So, it's not as bad as it sounds. Well, I know everybody here is online-- everybody here today is online a lot. But I think there are some people out there, parents included, who might not be online a lot. And Patrick was talking about not sharing personal email, and personal information rather, not email. What kind of tips can you offer so that people know when they're engaging with a secure site? I think on most browsers, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, a couple of other ones, whenever you go to a website, if you look at the address bar on the top where the URL is, there's usually a padlock of some type so that you know you're in a secure place. You'll see it when you do banking, taxes, things like that. If you're entering passwords or any kind of personal information, always look for that little padlock so that you're on a secure area putting information in. OK. Anybody have any last safety tips they'd like to recommend for students, preschool through 12th, before we move on to reliability? At Sanford, we do have a digital citizenship program, where we teach kids about how to learn how to check reliable resources, and making sure that they know that there are strangers out there. Just having a conversation with them, and alerting to them that whatever you're saying is never private. That it's always public. And to make sure that they have a way that they're using it professionally and personally. But also making sure they keep themselves safe. And be careful when you're on any internet site, or social media, when you're posting stuff. Because that stuff is forever. You think it's not. You think you're just sharing with your friends. But you're sharing with your friends' friends, and their friends' friends. So, just always be careful when you're posting anything, doing anything online. Especially social media. Well, since last March, I think everybody has been involved in some kind of online activity. And I think Zoom has become a household word. So, we have more and more people online. Sometimes multiple people in a household. What are your thoughts about making sure that students, and students whose parents might be at home working, are able to be on the internet and do all the things that they need to do. With the video files, and downloads, and all of those kinds of things, what should parents be looking for in terms of reliability? I think there's a few things that you can look into. First and foremost, it's just knowing what your internet package is supposed to be providing you. And then also knowing what the demands are for the programs you're going to be using. So, I know Zoom is one that you were mentioning. They have a minimum specs kind of thing, and most programs and websites have that. If you're going to be using an app, or a game, or a device, they usually have a minimum spec requirement. So, just keeping that in mind and then multiplying that by the number of people in your household using that item, and then comparing that to what you have through your package. So, either Comcast or Verizon or any of those, they'll tell you in megabits or megabytes per second kind of thing, so you can compare that to the devices that you're using. And the more people you have in your house, the more taxing it's going to be obviously. So, just making sure you have the package you need. And then, two, actually check to see if you have what you're supposed to be having. You can use sites like, I know SpeedTest.net is one that will test your actual internet speed. Sometimes your service provider will have it as well. Just make sure everything's up to snuff. And if you're using that you're not quite getting those speeds that you're paying for, making sure you're close to your-- close in physical proximity to your wireless router, being plugged in with an ethernet cable if possible is always going to be a benefit as far as internet speeds. Just that kind of stuff. Kevin, I know a lot of people are getting smart light bulbs and smart this. Do though slow your internet down as well? So, if you've got a bunch of bulbs going, or does that-- I mean it's another device on your network, so it is going to have some kind of network traffic. I think, though, it's pretty small amounts of traffic we're talking about. But every little bit, if you're already kind of eeking by with what you got, every little bit is going to pull you down a little bit. So, you can view it as just one big pie that you're taking little slices out of every time you hook up a device too. OK. Well, this probably isn't the best question, because everybody's situation is so different. But I know we have lots of students now who are doing virtual meetings. In terms of audio quality, and video quality, and those kind of things. Are there some best practices you can recommend for families? I know some schools give the kids devices, some schools don't. And families have to go out and make purchases perhaps. But if there were a top five, or a top 10 list of things that parents should be considering when setting up a virtual environment for their kids, what would those things be? If you had your druthers and could do the best setup possible, I'd always say that getting a USB microphone and camera would be beneficial than almost any device's built in camera and microphone. For the longest time, especially pre-COVID, most laptop manufacturers kind of thought of a webcam just like an afterthought. So, they'd use the same kind of old webcam in every single device that came out. Because that wasn't the big flagship thing that people cared about. They always wanted the latest processor, or the most RAM, that kind of thing. Nobody was really-- before now-- pining after the best webcam. So, usually, generally speaking, the USB plug-in webcams are a bit better quality. Same with the microphones. I think also, especially if you're in a room with more than one person, headphones or earbuds are a huge thing. A lot of them have microphones in them, but that's a big thing to have. Just to cancel noise from outside and help you while you're trying to hear or learn something. And because the microphone might be closer to you. The teachers are able to hear you better, and your classmates are able to hear you better. Also to go back to what Kevin was talking about, getting close to your router. We have-- Hang on, hang on. Yeah, sure. Before you go any further, for those people out there who don't know, will you talk a little bit about what a router is? Yeah sure. There's switches and routers. So, a router most everybody has a router from their ISP, Comcast, Verizon, that carries your traffic from your house out to the internet. It does all your address translations through DNS and all that. So, all your traffic goes through that router. It assigns internal IP addresses for all your machines, your phones, and everything, that are private so you can't get to them from outside. But it does do all the routing for you to the internet. So, not to be too overly nerdy about it. But if you are-- when you do have a lot of people on the internet at once, and it does take up some of your bandwidth-- and we did it just the other day here for one of our employees who was having some troubles. She asked Kevin, and Kevin's recommendation and mine, for a way to help. She was doing stuff at home, her husband's doing stuff at home. And if you have a bigger house, or even if your router might be down in the basement, and you're upstairs on the first floor, the signal's not always great the further you get away from it. So there are options. Verizon has them, Comcast has them. We recommended Google Wi-Fi to her, and she did get that three Wi-Fi package, and she's raving about it. She said it was great. Their signal in their house is great everywhere now. So, that's always an option if you're frustrated by the speed, or you're having issues, latency issues, with things kind of locking up and stopping and starting, you might need to get some kind of extender to make your signal better throughout the house. Let's talk a little bit about software updates. I know from time to time your machine will give you a little message saying, time for an update. Update required. Can you speak to why it's important for students and parents to keep tabs on updates, and why it's often important for them to make the-- kind of things can go wrong if you don't update? Yes, for example, Zoom, if you don't update, it doesn't work. Or you have issues with it. Also security, when you're doing updates it adds the most current security. So, making sure that you update is super important, and not just waiting, I'll do it at the end of the day, or I'll do it at the end of the week. So, it is important that you do that. I think also the updates also add new items to a program. Since everybody's been doing Google Meet, or Zoom, or whatever it might be, they've had a chance to see what people have said to them that they would like to have in the program. And they might add that in an update. So, if all of us, or the teachers at school, are conducting a class on Zoom, and they have the newest version, and one of the students doesn't, because they didn't do an update, they might not have the ability to do some of the stuff the teacher might be asking them to do. So, it's always good to try to do your updates. Especially security updates that kind of plug holes in software for vulnerabilities. So, to update, you just reboot your computer? Or is there a special way to go and do that? All updates are a little bit different. Some of them will just pop up on my Mac. Today, in fact, it popped up and said, I have an update to do. And it gives you the option of doing it later, doing it now. A lot of updates will download automatically, and then they'll prompt you to install them. So, you will install them, then the machine usually reboots, or the program will reboot. I know Kevin's got some other updates that he's worked with too. But most of the time they'll auto download. A lot of times it will say, hey, there's an update. You need to download it, then install it. So, most of the time it doesn't just download and install without you kind of intervening in one way or the other. Yeah. I know for with Windows, in the start menu in settings, that's where you'd go to check for updates there. And for Mac, it's in the System Preferences for the actual system updates. App updates would be from the App Store usually. But usually if you having trouble finding where to update, one place that I always try to look first is in the About section of a lot of programs. Some programs will say, about, and then if you click on that, you can usually find updates. That's where Chrome's updates live and things like that. Well, I'm excited that we're presenting all this information. But I'm guessing, especially since we have some digital citizenship courses and things like that, that you mentioned, what kind of resources are out there for parents who say, I'd really like to learn more. In terms of safety, reliability, or other tech related issues. What resources could you recommend? Common Sense Media is an outstanding website that really puts it into parent understanding and doesn't get geeky on you. But it tells you the information and then throw away. So that's a go-to one. That's one I always recommend. It'll review games, apps, movies, everything, for parents. Or it'll do a- - like there was a story on TikTok. Is TikTok safe? Is it not? And it did a whole review of TikTok. So, yeah, I agree Sandy. That's my go-to . There is a parent section, and then there's also an educator section. And I do a lot of my social digital citizenship from there as well. Well, I know-- oh, go ahead, Jen. --just about safety-- sorry. No go ahead. So, I will get some middle schoolers in, and they will have-- no joke-- 10 to 40 tabs across the top of their computer screen. And we have this thing instituted, although we haven't done it this year as much. I think it's, No Tab Tuesday, or No Tab Thursday, something with alliteration. And the kids-- there's two reasons we talk about the tabs. They don't care. But one is the resources of the computer. You've got all these tabs open. And so that's a huge thing when you're at home. If you peek over your child's shoulder, look to see how many tabs. Are there a lot of tabs, hey, can we close some of those? There's a way to group them as well, which is a different lesson, but you can group them all into one set. Which is a very good skill set. But also for those kids who can't focus, and even though I'm this age, I'm that kid who can't focus. If I see a tab up, I'll be clicking it, just because. And so that's another thing. If parents are at home working with their kids, I think it's-- just talk about those tabs. Because they can mess you up in a couple of different ways. And I know they're important, but if you learn how to group them, ask us how to do that, then that's one less thing that you're going to worry about. I think too, when you have a lot of tabs open, and all of you have probably-- this has happened to all of you-- because we do work during the day, all of us have 50 tabs open doing multitasking on different things. But have you ever had that, where you have all these tabs open, you're like, what is that sound? What am I hearing? You have headphones on, you're trying to do something, and you realize that there's three things open-- you have tabs open that are playing things in the background. And there's a little microphone on there, or a speaker icon on there, so you know that there's actually audio playing on those tabs. And on most browsers now, you can click the speaker icon to mute them. But I just was thinking about that, because it happened to me today. I had so many tabs open. I'm like, what is that sound? And I had something was playing in the background. It was an ad. But it was playing in the background, and it was driving me crazy. So, having fewer tabs open is easier to handle. Let's talk about when stuff just goes wrong. All of you work in tech every day. You help people who are having problems. You have your own problems. But I'm sitting there thinking about the fourth grade student, or the eighth grade student, who's trying to Zoom, and is maybe in a Zoom breakout room. What advice do you have for kids when it's not all coming together? I guess kids and parents. I think relax, and realize that it's okay. I think we talked about this earlier. Most kids are a little bit more laid back. It's us parents and teachers that are like, oh my goodness. You want everything on time, you want the lesson to be engaging, and as long as the length of the class. So, sometimes just take a deep breath and realize it's okay to start over. And try your best as you can to get it right. Or have backup plans. I think that's what we've learned throughout COVID, that not everything will work perfectly, and that you can do multiple things in multiple ways. And always have that backup plan ready. That's great advice. I think too, yeah, depending on the app you're using, you can always try to close the app and open it again if you're having a problem. And then, the word in IT, reboot. Usually rebooting fixes most of the problems you're having. Not all of the time. But we recommend that to most people. When they call us here, you'll try to troubleshoot it. And if it's still having a problem, rebooting. Usually they'll call back and say, yes, that fixed it. So, don't be afraid to reboot. You can always reconnect to the Zoom, or whatever it is that you're in. And start with the app first. If you're having a problem with Zoom, maybe disconnect from it and reconnect. Or any other app you're in. If your browser is locked up, just try to close your browser and open it again. But in the end, rebooting the machine and overall might fix whatever the problem is. We've covered a lot of ground here. So, as we wrap up, I'd like each one of you to give your favorite piece of advice, or one tip, that you'd like our viewers and listeners to remember. And it can be about safety. It can be about reliability. It can be about anything you want. So, why don't we start with Patrick, who is used to providing tips for lots of younger people. I think it kind of goes to, I think Sandy said it, is don't worry about it. Relax. Everything's going to be fine. And when technology messes up, I think that's my what I tell the kids. And they usually handle it pretty well. So like I think she said, the kids are handling it well, it's us adults that have a hard time with it. But they do pretty well. Jen? Absolutely. And I've said this before. I really believe this has made me a better teacher, more flexible. And that by the kids seeing us adults maybe struggle a little bit here and there, but then come back and get the content to them, it's all a learning curve. And it's really important that they see that we understand. We get it. We're not blaming them. I also don't like technology to be the reason you give up. If something doesn't work, that you stop. It's easy to say, OK, it's not working, so I'm just going to-- this lesson gone. No. Like Sandy said, you have a quick backup plan, and it's probably going to be better than ever. I always believe in, second chance is always better, for some reason. It is for me anyway. I don't know. Kevin? One thing I would say is to not be afraid to share any kind of cool tips or tricks that you end up coming up with. Because a lot of times, even though something might be recommended to you from an IT person, they aren't necessarily living with it every single day. I know throughout this year and in the end of last year, we'd come up with all these strategies, and then implement them, and put it in the teachers' hands. And then they'd come up with all these cool ways to use it in ways that we never even thought of. And a lot of times we wouldn't hear about that, until you kind of hear it through the grape vine. Oh, so-and-so found a really neat way to use x, y, z. So I'd say, just because, if something's working out really well for you, share it with people around you. Just because it's-- you figured it out, doesn't mean everyone else has. So, just letting everybody else know cool little hints, tips, tricks, all that kind of stuff. Dave? Just a couple of things. Everybody's had great stuff here. I think just relax. It seems like it's the end of the world when something's happening, tech wise, when you're in the middle of something. But you can get it back, so just relax with that. Even though we're all in the IT field, and we've been in the IT field for a number of years, things that are happening to you also happen to us. It's frustrating, and we get frustrated by it, and usually we do what we ask you to do to fix the problem. So, it happens to everyone. And there are-- I think, whenever I've talked to people before, or you go visit someone to help them with something-- there are no bad questions in technology. Don't feel like you can't ask something, because you don't want people to think that, oh, I don't want people to think I'm dumb, or anything like, that because you're not. So, there are no bad questions, and that's how you learn. I learn from my co-workers every day. Hopefully they learn from me. So, those are the things I think are the biggest. And Sandy, you started us off with a piece of advice. Any final thought you'd like to share? Be patient, and work together as a team, and everything will work out. And that's how we get through, not just life, but in general. And just keeping that in mind, even when you're using technology. Well, to all of you, 1,000 thank you's for all the great advice you shared about safety and reliability. Particularly for kids, because this is an issue that's important to everyone. You have certainly contributed to our living, teaching, and learning during the pandemic series. I hope you'll come back and be on our podcast again. Thank you. All right. Thanks. Thank you. OK. Bye. [MUSIC PLAYING]
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Sign up today!On this edition:Albemarle Supervisors get an update on assessments and economic indicators The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority holds its first work session of the yearMore information about Smart Scale projectsAnd the Virginia Department of Transportation briefs officials on a program to create more habitat for monarch butterflies*The shape of Albemarle County’s budget for fiscal year became a little more clear with the announcement that property values are up at an average of 1.4 percent according to assessor Peter Lynch. “Out of all of the properties in Albemarle County, we review twenty percent each year so we try to cover over a five-year period all of the properties to make sure our data is up to date,” Lynch said. Part of the work of the Office of the Assessor is to validate properties that qualify for tax breaks due to agricultural use. Some properties convert to different uses, and when they do, the owners have to pay what they would have been charged under the new use for the past five years in what is known as a roll-back tax. This year, the assessor’s office was more productive in this area than in usual times. “We worked 135 roll-backs for more than $975,00 in rollback, in tax dollars,” Lynch said. “In an average year, we would do 38 rollbacks so this is a huge improvement over that.” The pandemic affected the overall assessment for 2021. “The properties that were affected the most by the economic impacts of the COVID situation that we’re going through were hotels and shopping centers,” Lynch said. “And it’s reflected in their values. Those properties were in excess of twenty percent decreases on average for that property class.” Lynch said hotels in Albemarle usually have an occupancy rate of 60 to 70 percent, but that number has been in the 20 to 30 percent range for much of the pandemic. He said office properties were also affected, but not to the same extent. For more details on this topic including a further breakdown in the numbers, go read Allison Wrabel’s story in the Daily Progress. After the assessment discussion, Supervisors got an update on the county’s financial outlook. Steve Allshouse is with the county’s Department of Community Development. “Economic forecasting in this era is very difficult mainly because last time we had a pandemic in the United States was in 1918 but at that time economic data was not being kept very carefully or was not in existence so economists today are being challenged by doing forecasting without really having a good historical context to look at,’ Allshouse said. However, the forecast for Fiscal Year 22 is built off recent data, such as those assessment numbers we just heard about. Allshouse predicted a “bumpy” road ahead.“The reason I say bumpy is that you’ll see lots of good news mixed with lots of bad news and that’s typical when we’re looking at recoveries so please expect that if you hear something negative in the media about the economy locally, you’re likely to hear things that are positive.” Overall, the unemployment rate in Albemarle was 3.6% in November 2019. In April 2020, that jumped to 9 percent. In Albemarle, in the past year there has been a 44 percent decline in the number of people employed in the food service and hospitality industry, or about 1,950 jobs lost. The arts, entertainment and recreation industry lost 962 jobs, and retail lost 712 jobs. Some sectors actually gained positions over the study period. “Between the two period, spring of 2019 and spring of 2020, what we saw in construction was an increase of about 4 percent, or 98 jobs,” Allshouse said. “And also in the finance and insurance sector we saw a modest increase of about 1.2 percent or a total of about 12 jobs.” Allshouse estimated that about 40 percent of the jobs initially lost have returned as the shutdown lifted, and he projects that at least 60 percent will come back by the end of this calendar year.“That’s not a full recovery by the end of the first half of the next fiscal year but I do believe that we will see eventually the total number of jobs come back to where they were pre-pandemic but that’s going to take a while,” Allshouse said. “This is going to be a very slow process in my estimation.”If the pandemic recedes, the tourism industry is one area that could come back quickly. However, adaptations to social distancing may have long-term effects on business travel. “My concern is that some of what takes place in the motel and hotel industry reflects activity that is dependent on business travel and I think that is going to take a longer time to come back mainly because I think businesses have gotten used to having remote meetings,” Allshouse said. County Executive Jeff Richardson will present a budget later sometime toward the end of February. It will be the first budget prepared under Nelsie Birch, who became Albemarle’s chief financial officer. “We’re taking that information that Mr. Lynch, the county assessor, has provided, and Mr. Allshouse, and building that into our framework for what you all will be undertaking for the next few months,” Birch said. Source: Albemarle CountyThis being budget season, the Board of Commissioners for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority are also getting ready for the next fiscal year. Their budget is being prepared with assistance from consultant Hayley Fetrow of HSF Consulting. Fetrow briefed the CHRA Board at a work session on Wednesday. (watch the work session)“The goal of today is to provide you with an overview of the budgeting process,” Fetrow said. “And this year, interestingly, we have some new revenue lines that we’re getting additional levels of funding that we can talk a little bit about.” In addition to being a consultant, Fetrow is the director of a public housing authority in Medway, Massachusetts. Her firm specializes in helping financially troubled housing authorities. “We usually come in, help them reorganize, restructure, and really put best practices in place and the goal for us is provide a sustainable model for housing authorities going forward,”Fetrow said. “I think at Charlottesville we’ve had a varying opportunity to kind of help out in the finance department and it’s been exciting to have new staff come on in the last year with Mr. Sales.”Mr. Sales is John Sales, who became the new executive director at CRHA last August. He had previously served as the city’s housing coordinator. One outcome of better recordkeeping has been the receipt of federal CARES funding to help tenants catch up rent due to lost wages, among other things.One new line item in the budget will be a column that lists revenue from Charlottesville and other sources for redevelopment efforts. “We can start to put these things down in writing and be clear about where we anticipate getting support from the city and other sources and how we anticipate spending them,” Fetrow said. Commissioners were taken through a full look at the details of the budget, and new systems that are being put in place to better manage the accounts. This is one way the agency might one day move on from troubled status.“Charlottesville is really going to evolve in the next year or two with respect to budgeting and operations and how you manage this,” Fetrow said. A next step is to present the budget information to the public in community meetings. The draft budget should be available for review next week. Here’s John Sales. “Our first meeting is going to be on February 10,” sales said. One is at 4 p.m. and one is at 6 p.m. And then we have the Board work session which will be on the CFP budget on February 11 at p.m. And then we’re hoping to get Board approval on March 9.”Source: City of Charlottesville*The Smart Scale funding process has recommended nine out of ten transportation projects in Albemarle County submitted in the latest round. The Commonwealth Transportation Board will consider the projects this spring and will take a final vote in June. “The total amount of Smart Scale funds that would come to Albemarle from these projects is just over $60 million,” said Albemarle transportation planner Kevin McDermott sent in an email to the Board of Supervisors. Smart Scale is a process where projects submitted by localities and planning districts are ranked according to how they provide a series of desired outcomes. VDOT staff matches higher-ranked projects with funding sources. However, funding for the projects will not come for a few years, allowing time for the projects to be designed. “The projects are not just a benefit for private vehicular transportation but also represent a park and ride lot with potential to be served by regional transit, two projects that are solely bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and the inclusion of a bicycle and pedestrian element within every project recommended for funding.Another high-scoring project is $50 million to increase passenger rail along the Interstate 81 and U.S. 29 corridors. Here are the projects recommended for funding:$5.73 million in funding for a $24 million project to make improvements around the intersection of U.S. 29 and Hydraulic Road. The rest of the funding is leftover from projects completed on U.S. 29 over the past few years.$3.94 million for a $5.9 million for Route 250 East Corridor Improvements$5.2 million for a $7.26 million for improvements at intersection of Old Lynchburg Road and 5th Street Extended $8.7 million for the total cost of improvements to address safety concerns on Ridge Street$8.126 million for a $10.126 million roundabout at intersection of John Warner Parkway and East Rio Road $10.874 million for the total cost of Phase 3 of the West Main Streetscape between 8th Street NW to Roosevelt Brown Boulevard$7.743 million for the total cost of intersection improvements at Preston Avenue and Grady Avenue$3.38 million for the total cost of a park and ride lot at Exit 107 on Interstate 64$3.524 million for the total cost of a shared-use path on U.S. 29 from Carrsbrook to Seminole Lane$9.841 million for a project to build a trailhead and trails near 5th Street Station$12.374 million for improvements at the U.S. 29 and Fontaine Avenue interchange$9.2 million for a roundabout in Fluvanna County at Troy Road and Route 250$7.762 million for a roundabout at Route 231 and High Street in Gordonsville$20.465 million for the second phase of multimodal improvements on Emmet StreetOne project in Charlottesville that did not get recommended for funding is a $34.3 million project to extend Hillsdale Drive south to a new interchange at the U.S. 250 bypass. A project to remove a traffic light at U.S. 29 and Fray’s Mill Road also did not make the cut. Two intersection projects in Louisa County also did not get recommended, as well as a roundabout at Route 53 and Turkeysag Trail in Fluvanna. *The Virginia Department of Transportation is participating in a program that seeks to help provide a safer journey for winged creatures that majestically migrate across the Commonwealth. Angel Deem is the director of VDOT’s environmental division and she spoke before the Commonwealth Transportation Board on January 19. “So I’m happy to present to the Board today an overview of what’s termed the Monarch Butterfly Candidate Conversation Agreement with Assurances,” Deem said. “That’s a long title and its shortened up to CCAA.”CCAA is a program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that works with other government agencies to conserve land for at-risk species, such as the Monarch butterfly. Deem said the goal is to conserve millions of acres of land across the nation that are currently being used by state highway agencies and land used to produce energy. Another specific goal is to plant milkweed on 2.3 million acres. Last December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services updated the endangered species list, and the Monarch is listed as “warranted but precluded.” Deem explains. “What they mean by precluded is that there are other priority listings ahead of this one so they are essentially going to put it on hold if you will and continue to monitor its progress,” Deem said. Progress would be made if existing habitats aren’t threatened to be converted to some other uses. The use of pesticides and mowing of state right of way are other threats. “Those things are impacting the available foraging and breeding habitat for the Monarch,” Deem said. Under the CCAA, VDOT would agree to taking several conservation measures. “We would do some specific seeding and planting and brush removal to encourage suitable habitat for the Monarch,” Deem said. “We would also participate in what’s called conservation mowing, allowing food sources to be available to develop for the Monarch as well as breeding sites.”VDOT entered into the agreement last November and the goal in the first year will be to apply the measures to 1,567 acres. Deem said VDOT has already achieved that goal and is now making progress towards the five year goal of doubling that amount. For more information on the program, watch the entire presentation on YouTube. (view the slides) This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
In today’s Patreon fueled shout-out: The Local Energy Alliance Program, your local energy nonprofit, wants to help you lower your energy bills, make your home more comfortable, and save energy. Schedule your Home Energy Check-Up to get started - now only $45 for City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents. You’ll receive energy-saving products and expert advice customized to your needs. Sign up today!On today’s show:The first people are vaccinated against COVID-19 across VirginiaAlbemarle Planning Commission recommends approval of housing project for those with low incomes and the homeless The president of the Free Enterprise Forum ends the year with a carol Dr. Ebony Hilton receives the first vaccine administered at the University of Virginia. Credit: UVA HealthThe first vaccines in our area arrived yesterday at the University of Virginia. The first person to be given the shot from Pfizer was Dr. Ebony J. Hilton.“I’m an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care here at the University of Virginia and today is a really important day,” Hilton said. “It truly is one of those moments in 2020. This has been a long year of us waiting for some light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s just incredible that we did have this vaccine and produced and made available here at the University. I’m excited to see truly how we unroll this not only in the hospital, but also local and statewide.”It will take months for the vaccine to be distributed, but health care workers throughout our region are receiving it this week. In the meantime, the Virginia Department of Health reports another 3,931 new cases today, and the seven-day average is now at 3,587. The seven-day average for positive cases is at 11.4 percent today. In the Blue Ridge Health District there are another 63 cases today. *The Albemarle Planning Commission has recommended approval of a rezoning to allow for up to 140 units and commercial space to be built on U.S. 29 adjacent to the Red Carpet Inn. The proposal is from three housing nonprofits. “The project proponents are Virginia Supportive Housing, Piedmont Housing Alliance, and the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless,” said Lori Schweller, an attorney with Williams Mullen. “VSH intends to develop 80 units of permanent supportive housing for 50 percent or lower [area median income] and PHA intends to develop 60 primarily one and two bedroom units at between 30 percent and 80 percent [area median income].” The motel will be used as emergency housing for the homeless before development begins by the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless. That agency’s executive director spoke of the benefits of a similar project build by VSH that opened in the spring of 2012. “We’ve seen in our community when the Crossings opened in downtown Charlottesville that for the years following it that chronic homelessness dropped by half,” Anthony Haro said. The project would be built under Neighborhood Model District zoning, and that requires a look at Places 29 Master Plan. Megan Nedustop is the Development Process Manager for Albemarle County. “The master plan does not specify a maximum recommended density for the residential as a secondary use and this proposed development would be between 22 and 38 units per acre,” Nedustop said. These units would be in two new four-story buildings. One concern that came up at a community meeting was that residents might want to cross U.S. 29 on foot to get to a grocery store and other services. “Currently there is no safe way to cross U.S. 29 for pedestrians and staff requested the applicant study the intersection of Route 29 and Branchlands and Premier Circle to evaluate whether a pedestrian crossing could be installed at the location,” Nedustop said, adding that the Virginia Department of Transportation had not yet completed their feasibility study. Transportation planner Kevin McDermott said one option would be create a pedestrian island in the median which would allow people to safely cross the 150 feet span in two cycles.“There would be some minor impacts to traffic on 29, maybe up to a ten second delay on north and southbound traffic, but it’s fairly minor but if we could get a ped-actuated signal in there it that ten second delay would only occur if a pedestrian actually pushed the button to cross,” McDermott said. However, VDOT would have to approve the crossing, and it would cost at least a half-million dollar. Commissioner Karen Firehock used to have an office on Premier Circle. “I used to run across that road every week, several times a week, and I stopped doing that after six months because I decided I wanted to live,” Firehock said. “I am just saying that cars don’t behave well and even with the light there we may have red light runners.” Another issue staff had is whether the roadway for Premier Circle would remain private or if it would become part of the county’s road network. That would increase the cost of the project and might affect the feasibility of providing low-income housing. The advocacy-group Piedmont Environmental Council said Premier Circle should be built to public standards. “PEC recommends that the county require that the interior roads be built to the appropriate standards for incorporation into the public network,” said Chris Hawk, PEC’s land use field representative for Albemarle. “If this is not possible due to the 80 percent concurrence requirement and the road maintenance agreement, PEC recommends denial.” However, Eboni Bugg of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation said the benefits of the project were worth a community investment.“I want to note that homeless in particular during a global pandemic is a public health crisis in addition to a basic human right,” Bugg said. “As a county resident, I do concur with the comments and some of the concerns related to the pedestrian crossing and right of ways. As a foundation, we are also supporters of PEC and recognize the work that they are doing. However, we do not necessarily think that this development should bear the full brunt of the pedestrian need and that as a resident, I believe the county can work with these nonprofit entities to ensure that municipal funding can be used to support the infrastructure and updates needed to make this a success.” Commissioner Tim Keller suggested that this could be an opportunity for the county to work with private philanthropy to ensure that the urban infrastructure be in place. “It seems to me that the street should be brought to standard and that there should be some significant thought about pedestrians across against 29,” Keller said. Commission Chair Julian Bivins liked the partnership behind the project but said he would prefer a different location. “That has nothing to do with the collaboration and has nothing to with the goal,” Bivins said, adding that the space was prime commercial space in a county that has limited land for development. However, Bivins voted with his colleagues in a unanimous recommendation for approval. The project heads next to the Board of Supervisors. *Today in meetings, the Charlottesville Housing Advisory Committee meets at noon. I’ll be listening for any comment on the draft affordable housing strategy being developed as part of the Cville Plans Together initiative. (meeting info)Then the Albemarle Board of Supervisors meets at 1 for their final event of the year. On the agenda is a work session on the Rio 29 form-based code, an update on COVID-19 from the Blue Ridge Health District and then a pair of public hearings in the evening. (agenda)Finally today, something else that happened at last night’s meeting of the Albemarle Planning Commission. It was their last of the year and despite the pandemic, a tradition continued. “So, we know what meeting this is,” said Julian Bivins. “And I understand having participated in three that we have this tradition of being are caroled by a particular individual. The particular individual is Neil Williamson, the president of the Free Enterprise Forum. He delivered a Coronavirus Carol. Listen to it in the newscast, or read it on the Free Enterprise Forum blog. This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
Kevin McDermott makes a triumphant return to the Power Trip and talks about life in Oregon! Fargo Flash Justin Conzemius talks Gopher football with Tommy Olson who also shares his Takes! Also, a brand new Mike Zimmer Power Trip Press Conference with Zach Halverson filling in for Cory Cove, Headlines, Ben Leber makes his predictions for the Vikings game!
Today’s show is supported through every contribution through readers and listeners, either through a Patreon contribution or a subscription through Substack. This newsletter and newscast will remain free as long as it’s been produced, and your donation helps others learn information about the community as well. Thanks to those who have given initial support! This installment is a little unusual. I felt the main story is one that needed to be documented with more than soundbites. I’ll be back to the usual format tomorrow. *There are another 926 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia as reported by the state Department of Health this morning. The seven-day average for positive tests has dropped to 4.8 percent today, down from 5 percent yesterday. For the third day in a row, the Blue Ridge Health District has reported 16 new cases across its five counties and the city of Charlottesville. The percent positivity for PCR tests is at 2.6 percent today, down from 3.3 percent yesterday. The University of Virginia is reporting 56 active cases at the moment with 36 of them students. Five percent of isolation rooms are in use, as are six percent of quarantine rooms. *Charlottesville City Council had a full meeting last night that may take a few newsletters to get everything to you. This newsletter is a little different, because some of these subjects don’t lend themselves to quick soundbites. Council first approved a plan to waive fees for outdoor cafes for March and April, and cut those in half through next March. As part of that plan, they’ve also agreed to charge half of the usual parking rental fee for any restaurant that wants to use an adjacent parking space for service. “This has been done by at least one restaurant and considered by one or two others and in the interest of trying to encourage outdoor dining while the season permits, we felt it was useful to reduce the fee for that rental space,” said Chris Engel, the city’s economic development director. Council then began a long discussion of how to move forward with subsidized housing projects including the renovation of Crescent Halls and new units at South First Street. Those are public housing units operated by the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which is a separate governmental entity from the city. CRHA currently is authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to operate 376 public housing units, and many units were built in the 80’s and have not been well maintained. Brenda Kelley is the director of redevelopment for the city, and she presented Council with an ordinance to grant the CRHA $3 million in city funds to help finance the work. (read the staff report including the draft ordinance)“CRHA and its partners have been engaged in robust resident-led redevelopment planning efforts,” Kelley said. One of those partners is something called the Charlottesville Community Development Corporation, which is actually the CRHA Board of Commissioners, a body appointed by Council. The CCDC is a nonprofit entity that is eligible to receive and distribute Low Income Housing Tax Credits which help to subsidize the projects through private investment. “The funding will be disbursed as a grant to CRHA, CRHA will provide the funds to the CCDC, whereby the CCDC will lend the funds to the project as an interest-free 30-year loan,” Kelley said. “One hundred percent of the units constructed will be provided for rental by low and moderate income persons having household incomes at or below AMI. No fewer than thirteen units will be public housing units at South First Street phase one, and no fewer than 53 units will be public housing units at Crescent Halls.” Above: Project cost breakdown for South First Street Phase One CRHA would not own the properties, but will continue to own the land and operate the buildings, but the CCDC will own the structures. That means they will be responsible for paying taxes. We’ll come back to that in a bit. These details are worth documenting. “The private sector project owner has an investment member and the investment member has a right to sell its interest in the project prior to the end of the 30-year LIHTC term,” Kelley said. “If the investment member’s interest cannot be bought out by CRHA, this could potentially result in termination of an extended use agreement after year 15. So year 15 may be a significant milestone whereby CRHA has an option to purchase the project. This raises unknowns also including how much this purchase price would be and where will CRHA obtain the funding.”Council’s discussion centered around two issues. One is a clause in the resolution that compelled CRHA to complete a financial sustainability plan that was requested by Council in February 2019. CRHA has to complete that plan anyway as part of a plan with HUD. The federal agency considers CRHA to be a “troubled” agency and the local authority must document how they can hit performance measures. The ordinance before Council required that plan to be in place in order for the CRHA to get a third payment from the $3 million. CRHA Executive Director John Sales said that requirement would prevent the project from breaking ground by the end of this year. “It’s going to be really hard for us to close on both loans with that requirement in there because we won’t be able to show a bank that we’ve satisfied that requirement in order to close, so that could really put both projects at a point where they would not go forward,” Sales said. Council discussed a financial sustainability plan for CRHA in February 2019. Since then, it has gone through a leadership change, and Sales just became director in August. Councilor Heather Hill said she wanted the sustainability plan to be completed. “I want to know that by the time we get to that third draw which is our intention that we’re seeing real progress made to a reasonable end to the sustainability study because I just think that the longer this goes on, it’s not to our advantage,” Hill said. Councilor Michael Payne said he would be willing to drop the requirement“I’m certainly willing to be flexible,” Payne said. “Our intention is not at all to have this jeopardize any funding or jeopardize these projects.”Council agreed to require the plan to be produced by the time a second phase for South Street moves forward. The other issue regarded the taxes. The CCDC will not be exempt from local taxes. Sales said the existing resolution did not give a guarantee that future Councils might stop paying an annual subsidy “equal to the dollar amount of the real estate taxes assessed and billed to the new project owner.” Currently the CRHA makes an annual payment to the city in lieu of taxes. Jeff Meyer at the Virginia Community Development Corporation said the project will not attract investors if there is the potential for future liabilities that are not built into their proforma.“No one is going to go forward with lending money or investing money into the project if we understand from the very beginning that they are not economically feasible because they have to pay the full liability for property tax,” Meyer said. “The concern would be that a future city council could overturn what’s written in the ordinance here.” Under Virginia Law, elected bodies cannot appropriate funding beyond one fiscal year. “You can budget for payment of your obligations from one fiscal year to the next but you can’t enter into binding obligations over a long term that aren’t subject to what we call a non-appropriations clause,” said interim City Attorney Lisa Robertson. Robertson said there was no legal way for the city to waive the property taxes CCDC has to pay on the buildings. The CRHA will still own the land. One solution would be for the city to pay the next fifteen years of property taxes in one lump payment that could be put into an escrow fund that the CCDC could draw down from. Council chose to not go with that option. “Our budget picture is pretty brutal and there’s still substantial uncertainty about what the impact of COVID will be this budget cycle,” said Councilor Payne. Mayor Nikuyah Walker asked Meyer if the project would be halted if Council could not cover the cost of paying the next fifteen years of property taxes in advance. “I think we’ll make every effort to go forward the with project but I can’t say something won’t come up once the language in the ordinance becomes something that our other partners and the others funders are going to read, and everyone who is going to review all of the documents,” Meyer said. Walker pointed out that three current Councilors will serve until 2023. Payne said he would continue to support the city’s annual subsidization of property taxes for CCDC. “It’s not difficult fiscally for us to fund that each year and maintain that but to put it all up front in one year, especially at this time, is a challenge,” Payne said. “I certainly get the uncertainty but I think the community and the Council has a 100 percent commitment to this.”As this was only the first reading of the resolution, staff will take a look at potential ways to address Meyer’s and Sales’ concern. One option is a line item in the capital improvement program.“It would set forth the idea that there is a plan and the intent is that you are going to fund this over the five years,” said Krissy Hammil, Senior Budget and Management Analyst for the city of Charlottesville.Speaking broadly about public investments in housing, Walker said it was important to understand what these complex arrangements will mean for future Councils. Later in the meeting they took action on $5.545 million request for Piedmont Housing Alliance for the first phase of the Friendship Court redevelopment. “It’s important for us to understand what we’re setting future councilors up for and when you talk about commitment to housing, then we have to say that this is our commitment to housing,” Walker said. Walker is a member of the CRHA and CCDC Boards. Walker said Council also had to remember there would be future requests from CRHA and PHA for future phases.“I just think if there’s a vote in favor of this, and I think both of these projects are very important, and I think the other Councilors agree, then we need to understand our limitation on doing other major projects while we figure out these two projects,” Walker said. I’ll have more from this meeting in future installments of the newsletter, or possibly a special podcast just about this meeting. I’ve got four more hours to listen through. Now, today in meetings. The Commonwealth Transportation Board meets in Richmond all day, and among the items is an update on revenues that provide funding for infrastructure projects throughout Virginia. According to David Blount with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, budget committees in the General Assembly have given the CTB “flexibility to reprogram up to $1.1 billion in revenues from existing projects and the phased implementation of new allocation formula adopted in 2020, due to reductions in transportation revenues currently estimated at $871 million.” (agenda) (Blount’s weekly update)The Parking Advisory Panel meets at 3:30 p.m. The group was created in the wake of a Parking Action Plan adopted by Council around the time in early 2017 when they spent $2.85 million to purchase land on Market Street for a future parking garage. The Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review will meet at 4:00 p.m. and will begin with a discussion of a refined process for design review. (agenda) (meeting info)The consent agenda has details for an expansion of the Center for Christian Study site at 128 Chancellor Street. The BAR will have a preliminary discussion on renovations to buildings that will be used as part of the new joint Albemarle/Charlottesville General District Court. The Albemarle Economic Development Authority meets at 4 p.m. They’ll get an update on the Albemarle Broadband Authority and the recent rezoning of the Albemarle Business Campus. The EDA and the county have a performance agreement with developer Kyle Redinger that was signed on April 15. One of the terms is that Redinger must reserve up to 25,000 square feet of space for a primary business in exchange for $100,000. In return, Redinger will also provide enhanced connectivity, provide bike racks, and construct an enclosed bus shelter. (meeting info) (agenda)The Albemarle Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. and will have a work session on transportation issues. No materials have been provided in advance, but transportation planner Kevin McDermott recently provided the Board of Supervisors with this quarterly report. (report) This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
In this programme: Home thoughts from abroad… a friendship forged in postwar Sarajevo… John 'Bower' Bradley and Lourdes Celtic Football Club... and Dublin City University at 40 with Frank Shouldice, Donal Hayes, Helen O'Rahilly, Lani O'Hanlon and Kevin McDermott
In this programme: Home thoughts from abroad… a friendship forged in postwar Sarajevo… John 'Bower' Bradley and Lourdes Celtic Football Club... and Dublin City University at 40 with Frank Shouldice, Donal Hayes, Helen O'Rahilly, Lani O'Hanlon and Kevin McDermott
In this programme: Home thoughts from abroad… a friendship forged in postwar Sarajevo… John 'Bower' Bradley and Lourdes Celtic Football Club... and Dublin City University at 40 with Frank Shouldice, Donal Hayes, Helen O'Rahilly, Lani O'Hanlon and Kevin McDermott
In this interview, Democratic Secretary of State candidate Yinka Faleti responds to questions by editorial page editor Tod Robberson and editorial writer Kevin McDermott about incumbent Jay Ashcroft’s controversial four-year tenure and explains why voters should choose him on Election Day. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Incumbent Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft responds to questions by editorial page editor Tod Robberson and editorial writer Kevin McDermott about some of his more controversial decisions that might cause voters to question whether he deserves another term. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this programme, exam result anxiety… a delightful friendship forged in Belfield… re-reading Brian Keenan’s memoir of captivity in Beirut, and more, with Norma McMaster, Roslyn Dee, John MacKenna, Kevin McDermott, Frank Kavanagh, and James Harpur. Tune in! RTÉ Radio 1 Culture on RTÉ #LeavingCert2020
Today’s Patreon-fueled shout-out comes from an anonymous supporter who wants to say - "We keep each other safe. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance."There are another 863 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth reported by the Virginia Department of Health this morning and another 17 deaths for a total of 2,427 to date. The seven-day average for positive tests is at 6.5 percent, down from 6.7 percent posted yesterday. The Thomas Jefferson Health District added another 21 cases and still reports 43 deaths. Yesterday that was downgraded from 44. Kathryn Goodman, spokeswoman for the Thomas Jefferson Health District, told me that ”after further investigation of the fatality, the case was moved to another health district. “*Classes at the University of Lynchburg will move to on-line only for the next week following the news that there are at least five COVID-19 cases among its student population. The school began its fall semester with in-person classes on August 12 but will meet virtually through next Thursday. Twenty-one students are in quarantine and another ten are in isolation.“Some of these recent positives and suspected cases have occurred between roommates,” wrote President Alison Morrison-Shetlar in a release. “Still others have come about when students let down their guard in small gatherings in individual rooms and apartments. If we are to stay ahead of the virus and return to in-person classes next week, this is where you can make a difference.”Eastern Mennonite University announced yesterday that they are delaying plans to open to in-person classes on August 25 after four student leaders tested positive for COVID-19. “All other student leaders and Residence Life staff who were in sustained contact with them are now in quarantine,” reads an email to students. “We have since learned from our contact tracing that there is a wider group of Student Life staff personnel that we need to quarantine out of an abundance of caution.”*The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has endorsed the idea of building a roundabout at the intersection of the John Warner Parkway and East Rio Road, and agreed to apply for funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation through their Smart Scale program. In June, the Board deadlocked on a proposal for over 300 apartment buildings in part because of stated concerns about additional traffic. Albemarle transportation planner Kevin McDermott said a study of the whole Rio Road corridor is underway to accommodate those concerns.“That corridor study is really going to be evaluating these intersections along with many others in the corridor and in reviewing this with our selected consultant on that project, we really looked at that John Warner Parkway roundabout as the only real option we had there to address the traffic problem,” McDermott said. The intersection is the #14 transportation priority in Albemarle and the project is estimated to cost $7.8 million. McDermott is also suggesting spending $2 million in local tax money to get design for the roundabout underway. Smart Scale projects will be ranked according to a series of metrics and those scores will be released in January. The Board of Supervisors also voted to approve a special use permit to allow Scott’s Ivy Exxon to expand from three service bays to seven. *The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) will try again this evening to hold a meeting in August. Their first attempt two weeks ago failed to meet a quorum in part because of large storms that hit the region. Among the items on the agenda is a discussion of the Rental and Mortgage Relief program that the TJPDC is administering. On Monday, one person told Charlottesville City Council of their concern over the way the project is being handled in Charlottesville and Albemarle, where a hotline goes to the United Way. “Myself and other volunteers in the community have been outside talking to people that are heading into court and they have all said that they are unable to get through to that hotline and that the only way to make contact is to basically spend a day just calling and calling,” said Elizabeth Stark, adding that people who are about to be evicted do not have that time. TJPDC executive director Chip Boyles said the situation is known to him and that the problem is happening across the state. “We are very much aware of the delays and we are working not just with our local governments but also with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development where the funding came from is also working to help all of the localities with this problem,” Boyles said.The TJPDC will also discuss regional efforts to bring more broadband to rural communities. *In other meetings today, the Albemarle Natural Heritage Committee meets at 5 p.m. and will discuss the county’s stream health initiative among other items. (meeting info)The Charlottesville Human Rights Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Among the items on the agenda are a discussion of the return of University of Virginia students and the effect on community health. They will also prepare for their joint meeting with City Council which is scheduled for Tuesday at 3 p.m. (agenda)The Fifth and Avon Community Advisory Committee will meet virtually at 7 p.m. and will get an update on greenway planning as well as the future Biscuit Run county park. (meeting info)* Thank you for reading or listening! Please forward this on to someone you think might be interested. And please let me know what you think. Feedback is key to the future of this community service. This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
This burst of words and soundbites comes to you courtesy of Rapture, open outside only on the Downtown Mall for lunch, drinks and dinner, with brunch served Friday through Sunday. But only if you feel safe. Take-out options available. *The Virginia Department of Health is reporting another 1,127 cases of COVID-19 today, the highest such number in the past month. However, the seven-day positive rate declined to 7.5 percent, down from 7.7 percent yesterday. The number of deaths has increased by 13 to a total of 2,067. Of those, nearly 50 percent of the deceased were over the age of 80, a quarter were between 70 and 79, 15 percent between 60 and 69, 6.2 percent between 50 and 59 and 2.7 percent between 40 and 49. The numbers for the Thomas Jefferson Health District were not available at recording time. (VDH dashboard)There have now been over 4 million cases in the United States and at over 143,000 deaths. According to a report on CNN, Johns-Hopkins University reported its first case six months ago on January 21, and it took 99 days to reach a million cases. The nation reached two million cases on June 10, three million cases on July 8, and now…. Four million. How long until we reach five million as a nation? The Albemarle Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting on Monday at 3:00 p.m. to take up an ordinance that would allow the county to return to Phase 2 of the Forward Virginia Plan. Supervisors discussed the matter at length on Wednesday and will provide a summary of that meeting by Monday morning. Subscribe to the Charlottesville Quarantine Report podcast for more. (agenda)*The Albemarle School Board held the first of three town hall meetings yesterday on the reopening plan for the upcoming academic year. At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Denise Bonds of the Thomas Jefferson Health District said she was concerned about the future availability of COVID-19 testing.“Test resulting is delayed,” Bonds said. “It is now taking somewhere between five and 14 days to get rest results back from commercial labs because of the increased demand that’s being caused in the southern half of our nation and the large outbreaks that we’re seeing there.”On Wednesday, Bonds told the Albemarle Board of Supervisors that the University of Virginia Health System appeared to be backing out of a commitment to help cover the costs of community testing. However, she had this news on Thursday.“UVA continues to assist us,” Dr. Bonds said. “I think we’ve got a workaround. If you listened to the Board meeting yesterday there were some concern because the state will not pay for the test that UVA does so I think we’ve come up with a non-ideal but a functional work-around to move forward so that we can continue to use that valuable asset as we refer to it as having people from UVA out and testing in the community.” Sentara Martha Jefferson has confirmed they will “temporarily discontinue” testing events in the community. Yesterday they held such an event at Washington Park but no others are scheduled. In a release, the company stated that it is making the move to preserve resources. “The number of hospitalized and emergency room patients requiring testing is increasing and our laboratories daily capacity, due to restrictions on the supply of tests, are not able to meet the community testing needs at this time,” reads the July 23 release. The release goes on to state that Sentara Martha Jefferson has provided more than 650 tests to the community, with 35 positives. More tests are currently being processed by the hospital. The Thomas Jefferson Health District currently has three testing events scheduled for next week. On Monday morning they will be at Agnor-Hurt Elementary in Albemarle. On Wednesday morning, they will be at Louisa County High School, and on Thursday morning they will be at the Earlysville Fire Department. You’ll need to call 434-972-6261 to schedule an appointment. (VDH page on testing sites)As for Albemarle County schools, the second of three town halls will be held this afternoon at 2 p.m. and will be hosted by School Board members Katrina Callsen and Ellen Osborne. Monday’s meeting at 6 p.m. will be hosted by Judy Le and Katrina Callsen. (meeting information)*Across the Commonwealth, more school systems are considering a pathway of online only for at least the beginning of the school year. Loudoun County voted earlier this week to not hold classes in person. York County’s superintendent is recommending the division go with remote learning for the first nine weeks, according to the Daily Press. That county’s school board will vote on July 30. Dr. Bonds did not offer a recommendation on what Albemarle should do, but said that if classes are held in-person, facial covering must be normalized and contact between students must be limited. She gave this advice. “If school is to be held in season, to really work on cohorting kids in small groups and limit the use of shared spaces. So small groups of students that stay in their classroom, go out to the playground together, and try and bring resources to the students. Can meals be brought to the student classroom. With library time, is there a way to bring those books be brought to the student classroom? And then if you are in a situation where normally students would rotate to different classrooms, can you instead in the same classroom, rotate faculty between?” *Last night, the three Places29 Community Advisory Council met virtually and got an update on development in Albemarle County’urban area. For instance, County planner said there are currently 365 units in the site plan review process for North Pointe. North Pointe was originally rezoned in 2006 but has not been under construction until recently. Other topics included the status of a new Autozone slated for U.S. 29 north of Greenbrier Drive, what’s going on with an office complex at the corner of Georgetown Road and Hydraulic Road, and a full update on transportation projects in the area. One of them will eventually connect the UVA Research Park directly to Hollymead Town Center by extending Berkmar Drive northward. Transportation planner Kevin McDermott explains. “We have the Lewis and Clark Extension that brings you down to Airport Road but as those folks that go up there know, currently Berkmar doesn’t make it all the way up to Airport Road,” McDermott said. “What we’re trying to do with that project is continue that all the way up to Airport Road where it will be at an intersection with what has been known as Innovation Drive and construct a roundabout there.”This project is called for in the Places29 Master Plan and is the county’s fifth transportation priority. McDermott said the Virginia Department of Transportation will reveal soon whether the Berkmar project will be funded. (Albemarle County Transportation Priorities 2019 update) This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
Join Jeff Carlson of My Resource Library as he chats with some of his favorite people from Artopex; Benoit Goudreault, Kevin McDermott and Ben Forest! What's new in the industry? What's new at Artopex? Listen to find out!
The guys open the show with 10 minutes of defecation. Kevin McDermott checks in from Oregon to talk about how his life is going with 9 ½ fingers. Marney Gellner makes her regular Wednesday appearance, Mark Rosen is in studio, and Brian Oake calls in to share his Top 5 spring-related songs!
Jefferson City reporter Jack Suntrup, St. Louis City Hall reporter Mark Schlinkmann and editorial writer Kevin McDermott sit down to discuss the March 10 Democratic presidential primary in Missouri, as well as the state of play of politics in Missouri this election cycle.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board members Tod Robberson and Kevin McDermott interviewed Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar by phone on Wednesday morning, Feb. 26, only hours after Democratic presidential contenders squared off for their latest televised debate. This Inside the Post-Dispatch episode is a slightly edited version of that interview.
James Joyce’s Birthday by Gerry Moloney; The 59th Street Bridge – Feelin’ Ungroovy by Conall Hamill; Ulyssses by Emer O’Kelly; Peach Melba by Nollaig Rowan; Here’s To You, Jim Joyce, by Kevin McDermott; and Antidote, a poem by Geraldine Mitchell
On this morning’s programme we heard: James Joyce’s Birthday by Gerry Moloney; The 59th Street Bridge – Feelin’ Ungroovy by Conall Hamill; Ulyssses by Emer O’Kelly; Peach Melba by Nollaig Rowan; Here’s To You, Jim Joyce, by Kevin McDermott; and Antidote, a poem by Geraldine Mitchell
Police work and the men and women who dedicate themselves to keeping our society safe have some amazing real-life stories. In this episode of Chasing Justice Lt. Joe sits down with three of his former partners. We called ourselves “The Unit” and we worked very hard to serve our community. These stories are just the tip of then iceberg, every cop has stories, these are some of ours. The photograph above: The Unit. Seated, left to right- Capt. Kevin McDermott, Lt. Jeffrey Layton, Lt. Joseph Pangaro, Sgt. Charles Weinkofsky
Ewa Grabowiecka and Joe Wright kick off talking about interview questions and what impact 5G will have on Scotland. Our guest is Kevin McDermott, who discusses his career working remotely and techniques he has found for increasing confidence.Links:* CoderDojo: https://coderdojo.com/* Kevin's twitter: https://twitter.com/bigkevmcd
A Celtic State of Mind was named as the UK's Best Football Podcast at the prestigious Football Blogging Awards. The podcast has since announced an exciting partnership with FansBet, the betting firm developed by fans for fans.In this latest episode, Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by musician Kevin McDermott, where they discuss:* The ship yards of Glasgow;* From Suede Crocodiles to The Kevin McDermott Orchestra;* Appearing on The Tube and touring the world;* The Maryhill Magyars;* Falling in love with Celtic;* The Holy Goalie as drummer;* The legacy of Mother Nature's Kitchen.A Celtic State of Mind has gone from strength-to-strength over the last couple of years, and there are many more guests lined up in the weeks ahead from the world of sport, music, film, art, broadcasting, literature and politics.Connect with A Celtic State of Mind @PaulDykes, @anorthernprose and @ACSOMPOD and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through your podcast player.
The Minnesota Fightin' Vikings shook up the Special Teams over the weekend making several third unit roster moves. Today's Purple Talkers Include • Long snapper Kevin McDermott cut, rookie Austin Cutting wins the job • Vikes trade for Ravens kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik • Signed former Gopher OT Nate Wozniak • Hercules & Holmes have the 3-tech on lock • 5 things you may have missed in the Vikes first preseason game A Northern Digital Production Twitter: http://twitter.com/purpleforthewin Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/purpleftwpodcast/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/purpleftwpodcast/ Website: http://purpleftw.com --- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/purple-ftw/id830371357 iHeart Radio: http://www.iheart.com/show/263-Purple-FTW-Podcast/ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1FGlIOB1EyR8Ubut71HDla?si=mB2l8dmZQeC0U_nlz3pA-w Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Ivvcg4ohg4tprswcn6g2yy3w3u4 Stitcher: http://purpleftw.com/stitcher YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/purpleftwpodcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Xt29Fi1ES6C1fEtWFUFIw?sub_confirmation=1 https://linktr.ee/andycarlson Bookmark us on Amazon & show some love! http://purpleftw.com/amazon Music for the Purple FTW! podcast is created by & produced by deeB. To hear more of his tracks, check out http://soundcloud.com/deeb #MinnesotaVikings
TheNFLGirl talks about Duke Johnson, Morris Claiborne, Robert Quinn, Jermaine Kearse, Antonio Callaway, Chandler Catanzaro, Benny Cunningham, Sam Acho, Theo Riddick, Kaare Vedvik, Rico Gathers, Nate Wozniak, Ron Minegar, Shon Coleman, Terrance Smith, Derrick Jones, Shelton Gibson, Kevin McDermott, Darryl Drake and Antonio Brown.
Good morning Horners! Let's light this candle for today's show.Ted, Drew, and Dave are back again talking Minnesota Vikings football and their own special and unique way. The show promises to be full of laughs, some analysis, and of a couple stories. We are your Daily Norseman morning show. There is a wide range of topics discussed from the soon to be camp battle where young Second Lieutenant Austin Cutting will battle his way to take the long snapping jobfrom Kevin McDermott. Drew may not care so much, but we know Dave does and we suspect you do too. Briefly, Kyle Rudolph's extension provided both money and mentorship to the young Irv Smith Jr. and Ted talked about rubbing oil all over something when thinking about Chad Beebe. Then the gang got into discussions about positions on the team that seem to be thin in depth. Are the positions of the secondary, wide receivers, running backs, quarterbacks actually thin? We talked about solid depth in many of the groups, to include the offensive line for the first time in a long time. We quickly rattled through the roster to see who might make those last half-dozen spots on the final 53. Why, because Drew stated that the top 46 or 47 players are already penciled in place, and all the rookies not drafted in the first few rounds, the UDFAs, and even some of the non-starting veterans will be competing for those final spots on the roster. Then it was off to one of Drew's requested segments, the predictions. Questions like will Laquon Treadwell make the squad? Will he beat the over and under of 2.5 touchdowns that Las Vegas is showing him at? What will be the team's overall win record? Could it be that Ted, in his initial thought of 8-5-3, be actually feasible? The records led in the discussions about the rest of the division. Will the Chicago Bears be transitioning? How about the Green Bay Packers being extremely bad? And are the Detroit Lions the same team as always? It's very much looking like the Vikings success will depend on quarterback Kirk Cousins and how he plays, but will his yardage total, and those box office stats be key? Selecting an over and under of 4500 yards, what would you prefer? Who's going to lead the team in sacks? Does Dalvin Cook go over a 1,000 yards on the season? Who has the most receiving yards? Who leads the team in interceptions not named Kirk Cousins? These are just some of the questions we try to answer, and we're looking forward to yours in the comments below. There was one last question if the Vikings play as we want them to and go all the way to glory never seen before by us, what would their rally song be? Dave, Drew, and Ted discussed it but couldn't come up with a firm answer. We need your help on this one. Like, subscribe, and ring that damn bell! Then shout SKOL! As always, enjoy the listen! BREAKING NEWS!!! The Daily Norseman and the Climbing The Pocket Network are joining forces to create a one-stop-shop for Vikings podcasts delivered to your eardrums daily. This collection of shows promises to deliver the top independent voices covering the Vikings from every angle. You can follow GMG hosts Dave at @Luft_Krigare and Ted at @purplebuckeye. Unfortunately, Drew is behind the power curve and doesn’t have a Twitter handle… yet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The 90 man series wraps up. Follow the show: @LockedOnVikings Follow the host: @LukeBraunNFL Kevin McDermott: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-aug-25-la-sp-ucla-football-20100826-story.html Jaleel Johnson: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/sports/iowas-jaleel-johnson-closing-in-on-the-payday-20170304 Kyle Rudolph: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/high-school/ohio-high-school/2014/07/28/kyle-rudolphs-legend-built-at-elder/13258119/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dr Anne Summers AO has had an extraordinary career as a journalist, author, policy maker, bureaucrat, editor, publisher, board member and above all change agent. In conversation with Genevieve Jacobs, she will speak about her life and her new memoir Unfettered and Alive. This is the compelling story of Anne Summers' extraordinary life. Her story has her travelling around the world as she moves from job to job, in newspapers and magazines, advising prime ministers, leading feminist debates, writing memorable and influential books. Anne has not been afraid to walk away from success and to satisfy her constant restlessness by charging down new and risky paths. Whatever position she has held, she has expanded what's possible and helped us see things differently-often at high personal cost. Anne shares revealing stories about the famous and powerful people she has worked with or reported on and is refreshingly frank about her own anxieties and mistakes. She shares a heart-breaking story of family violence and tells of her ultimate reconciliation with the father who had rejected her. Unfettered and Alive is a provocative and inspiring memoir from someone who broke through so many boundaries to show what women can do. Image by Kevin McDermott
*Warning, this is a rare Skype episode. Audio is fine we just aren't in the same place* The Patriots are far from dead and Andrew Luck has the new best QB face in football (2:27 - 13:11). A huge weekend of sports coming up and Red Sox/Yankee's rivalry is back (13:11 - 22:05). Week 5 preview and picks + Fantasy F-bois (22:05 - 36:19). Arian Foster joins the show to talk about Leveon Bell, Earl Thomas, why Tennessee's coach can't stop crying and having his therapist on his own podcast (36:19 - 55:49). Vikings long snapper Kevin McDermott joins the show to talk about losing a finger during Thursday Night Football last week and to accept his Football Guy of the Week award (55:49 - 66:30). Segments include bad sports town Chargers, stay classy McGregor, Mike Greenberg's dumb rules Tom Wilson and Hank's Grab Bag.
Just like that, the highest military court in the U.S. has effectively ended 25 years of risking an "aggravated assault" or similar charge for not informing a sexual partner that you’re "HIV positive."
Just like that, the highest military court in the U.S. has effectively ended 25 years of risking an "aggravated assault" or similar charge for not informing a sexual partner that you’re "HIV positive."
International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) is developing a line of culinary herb flavors to respond to demand for fresh flavors, and a line of mushroom flavors to help manufacturers build a complete savory profile, according to Kevin McDermott, executive chef, North America.
4DE Nation, welcome to episode 17. This week we interview Minnesota Vikings Long Snapper Kevin McDermott. Kevin is our 4th Long Snapper interviewed on 4DE and it is one you won't want to miss. A very in-depth interview where we talk the Vikings Wild Season, Long Snapping Strategy and Tips, his college recruiting experience as well as things learned over his career. Brian and Chris put each other on the Hot Seat and ask each other 3 surprise questions. Hear what they have to say. Subscribe to the 4DE Podcast to and receive notifications when each episode goes live. Please retweet the episodes on social media and share the interview and knowledge offered to the football community. Let us know what you think by writing a review on the iTunes. Submit questions (DM or tag) and we will answer them on our next podcast! Follow Us (on all social media platforms): 4th Down Experience @4thDownExperience Co-Hosts Coach Brian Jackson @TeamJacksonKick Coach Chris Husby @SpecialTeamsFB