Hopes and fears

7/4/2018 Monticello Naturalization
For 56 years Monticello has hosted a Naturalization ceremony on the nickel side of the house, July 4. It is July in Virginia, in the direct sun, high humidity. It is a joyous celebration at the complicated man’s house, on the day he died.
new citizen
The Honorable Michael F. Urbanski presided. 70+/- people took the oath, joined the work, new citizens from Afghanistan, Barbados, Bhutan, Burma, Burundi… the list goes on, 35 countries in all. Andrew Tisch, Leslie Bowman and Judge Urbanski spoke. Their words were meaningful, inspiring and portentous. Or maybe it is the mountaintop venue? Like singing in a cathedral where voices reverberate. Monticello is a complicated place to contemplate Liberty, it is the high altar and the thin ice.
Monticello crowd
And so, into the 243rd year.
Monticello 7/4/2018
Tyler Simpson sings the National Anthem, lady on his right signs…

 

Innovation Quarter, Winston-Salem

RJR Tob Co
The preservation of historic buildings benefits communities and connects us to our heritage, enriching the quality of our lives in many tangible and intangible ways. Their preservation also provides demonstrable economic benefits.–Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Wandering in Winston-Salem’s “Innovation Quarter”. Not a good place to wander ten years ago, now an economic and intellectual center in the city. New York Times and Politico have the story.
(rehabilitation tax credits!)

Not. One. Inch.

Emancipation Oak, photo by Moncure Chatfield-Taylor
Hampton University has a three-word message for the Virginia Department of Transportation: Not. One. Inch.
And they mean it.
They do not plan to give up a single inch of land or blade of grass to make way for the planned expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and the widening of Interstate 64 adjacent to their campus.–Kerry Dougherty, Virginian-Pilot

Read more about the living history of the Emancipation Oak

Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces

BRC worksession April 28
Mayor Signer and Vice-Mayor Bellamy are briefed by City Manager Maurice Jones. April 28th the Charlottesville City Council met in work session to hammer out details of a resolution to be considered May 2 at their regular session setting up a commission.
The resolution is available on the City’s website.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that City Council does hereby authorize the creation of an ad hoc blue ribbon commission on race, memorials and public spaces and tasks the commission with the mission to provide Council with options for telling the full story of Charlottesville’s history of race and for changing the City’s narrative through our public spaces;