closing in

UVA chiller
I briefly worked at UVA hospital. I loved the view. After a 14 hour shift, what was left of me would emerge onto Lee Street. I could look down Lee Street, 120 degrees SE and see Monticello Mountain 3 miles away.

Psalm 121. Levavi oculos. 
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills; from whence cometh my help? 
2 My help cometh even from the LORD, who hath made heaven and earth.

Now, looking down Lee is the 36.5 million dollar chiller approved by UVA’s Board of Visitors three years ago, currently under construction.

This is a work in progress. Once it is all finished the landscape and architecture magicians on UVA’s staff will possibly render it beautiful.

quercus macrocarpa

The leaves are 7–15 cm (3–6 in) long and 5–13 cm (2–5 in) broad, variable in shape, with a lobed margin. Most often, the basal 60% is narrower and deeply lobed, while the apical 40% is wider and has shallow lobes or large teeth. The flowers are greenish-yellow catkins, produced in the spring. The acorns are very large, 2–5 cm (0.8–2 in) long and 2–4 cm (0.8-1.5 in) broad, having a large cup that wraps much of the way around the nut, with large overlapping scales and often a fringe at the edge of the cup.–Wikipedia

Bur oaks bear seed up to an age of 400 years, older than reported for any other American oak. The minimum seed-bearing age is about 35 years, and the optimum is 75 to 150 years (5,16). Silvics Manual Volume 2. Hardwoods. USDA

defying expectations.


albemarle square lone shade tree
It was a Republican president who drove the largest expansion of parkland ever (YAY! TR! Teddy!). It was a Republican who started up the EPA.

How many Republicans can you fit under a single tree in a parking lot? At least nineteen.

When did it become a bad thing in the Republican mind to be an environmentalist?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA) is an agency of the U.S. federal government which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress.[2] The EPA was proposed by President Richard Nixon and began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order. The order establishing the EPA was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate.– Wikipedia

80% chance of politics

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Thomas Cuccinelli II is the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia.

The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Earl Walker Jackson Sr

Senator Ralph Shearer Northam, MD, a candidate for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary June 11
The democrats met at the Vinegar Hill Cafe in the rehabilitated Jefferson School in Charlottesville. The republicans met in a parking lot on the east side of their Albemarle County HQ, a building that appears to have formerly been a bank.

mice and men

Tonight, last thing on the agenda, Council considers housing for the last people on anyone’s mind.

A developer from Richmond has applied for a special use permit to locate 102 apartments on the eastern and western edges of the former H.T.Ferron ready mix plant on Carlton Avenue.

Tonight, Council will hold a public hearing and discuss the proposed 2013 Comprehensive plan. These plans make a difference. With the new
millennium came a comp plan came high density zoning around UVA and along certain corridors in CHO (Main Street) where services are available.

Was there a memo, was there planning that called for density on the Carlton Avenue corridor? Is Carlton Avenue a corridor. Is it a catchbasin?

Marmota monax

official rodent of CHO
The groundhog is the largest sciurid in its geographical range, typically measuring 40 to 65 cm (16 to 26 in) long (including a 15 cm (6 in) tail) and weighing 2 to 4 kg (4 to 9 lb). In areas with fewer natural predators and large amounts of alfalfa, groundhogs can grow to 80 cm (30 in) and 14 kg (31 lb). Groundhogs are well adapted for digging, with short but powerful limbs and curved, thick claws. Unlike other sciurids, the groundhog’s spine is curved, more like that of a mole, and the tail is comparably shorter as well—only about one-fourth of body length. Suited to their temperate habitat, groundhogs are covered with two coats of fur: a dense grey undercoat and a longer coat of banded guard hairs that gives the groundhog its distinctive “frosted” appearance.–wikipedia

Lets make the groundhog the “official rodent” of Charlottesville.

mice and men

installing pipe beneath Carlton AV
All manner of development activity afoot in Charlottesville. One of the Planning Commissioners commented on it last night, I didn’t write the exact number down, but there are something like a thousand “dwelling units” fixing to appear on the real estate market. Another Planning Commissioner asked how we were coming on meeting the proposed Comprehensive Plan goal of having 15% of that new housing affordable. There wasn’t an answer readily available to that question. Most of the housing being built near UVA is constructed to do liposuction on the students’ parents wallets. No one ever builds affordable housing for UVA workers near the U. There is some affordable housing coming on line, JABA’s Timberlake Place in the Woolen Mills and Habitat’s Sunrise Park, 1/4 mile south of Timberlake, in east Belmont-Carlton. (so roughly 5% of the 1000 units are affordable)

MJH redo
Not all the development is residential. CFA remodeling is rocking along at the former Martha Jefferson.

holding ponds
Not all the development is roofs for sleeping/working people. Over on the sewer side of town Big doings. RWSA has been successfully addressing multiple issues. They have increased Phosphorous and Nitrogen removal from their effluent, an excellent development for the Rivanna River, the James and the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, they’ve constructed a wetland, they are fixing to unleash a tunnel boring machine and they have made major strides in odor control, keeping the stink on site.

Lee Quill
In every direction there are people planning…

vortex participant
…tackling long range issues. How do we reconnect the people to the river. How do we make the street a place that’s good for more than squashing possums and exercising fire engines? How do we restore streets to their commons status?

How do we incorporate green infrastructure and low impact development practices into our cheat the cookie building culture?

background Monticello foreground Harry A. Wright's INC
How do we move to excellent urban planning?