2013/10/04

quiet enjoyment


People have been living in this neighborhood, this place, for thousands of years.
We live in the bend of a state scenic River, on rich, fertile ground, Davidson Loam. Seated here we are eight tenths of a mile from the front porch of Monticello, a mile and 2/10ths from the downtown mall. Seated here we are home, in the center of our universe.
But often we feel, as a neighborhood, that we are in the center of the crosshairs.
Over the years our discussions with the Council have focused on a handful of issues. We’ve asked for reductions in traffic speed and volume, we’ve asked for a reduction of the sewage smell. We’ve asked for pedestrian safety improvements and we have asked that planning and zoning be used to conserve our cultural and natural resources as well as our quality of life.
We have partnered with government entities in the creation of a national historic district, in the design of a sewage pumping station and in the care of our City park. We plant streetscape trees. We pick up trash, we attend City meetings. We have accomplished much but still, we feel threatened.
We are reassured by statements from Mayor Huja and Vice Mayor Szakos in opposition to a bridge through the Woolen Mills. We thank Dave Norris for his enduring stand against the County using City neighborhoods as an interchange.
Diversity is a strength to our way of thinking. We are all kinds of people in this neighborhood. But our mixed status, our socio-economic profile, seems to attract locally unwanted landuses.
Please work with us in our effort to secure the quiet enjoyment of our own homes and the health, safety and welfare of our neighborhood. Together we can make it so.

2012/09/13

Python skin

Filed under: Charlottesville,meetings — WmX @ 07:02


In a 9/12/12 article regarding Moto Saloon the Daily Progress reporter remarked:

Permit opponents, most of whom were older than the bulk of the saloon supporters, argued that the noise problems are undeniable and that they are entitled to tranquility in their own homes.

I wonder if the old folks were wearing orthopedic footwear, had hairpieces, reading glasses and hearing aids? Old people are such a drag on culture and vibrancy.

2012/08/16

SUP 101

Filed under: government,meetings,neighborhood — WmX @ 09:27



Charlottesville Neighborhood Development Services planner Brian Haluska AICP presents information regarding the purpose and intent of the “Special Use Permit” provision within the zoning code. How are such permits applied for? Who can grant an SUP?
The informational meeting was held at the Woolen Mills Chapel, organized by Cindy Cartwright and Bill Lankford. Attended by 30 citizens…
Mr. Haluska pointed the assembled toward the definition and regulations pertaining to music halls.

2012/03/02

Teachable Moment

Filed under: Charlottesville,meetings,politics — WmX @ 12:11

members of the public speak
Via the stepwise Parks and Rec ten part “Park Master Planning Process” members of the public are halfway to the finish line, the 18th hole, the goal posts, whatever lousy sports analogy you want to employ. Halfway to adoption by the City Council of a McIntire East Park Master Plan.
(One suggestion to P&R, can we take out the qualifier (Master)?
Were there UVA anthropologists/sociologists (or maybe systems engineers or religion majors) in the room February 28, in native dress, doing fieldwork? Extracting the academic relatable lessons from this painful and painstaking process?

Pictured above, Public Mtg. 4, the Venting phase. Earlier in the evening Chris Gensic oriented the Public and answered questions. Following Mr. Gensic the Public was invited to speak. The Public can be characterized in many dualistic ways. Male/Female, republican/democrat, grid/cul-de-sac, old/young, elitist/populist, eggheads/athletes, polemicists/harmonists, tree-hugging/bulldozing, orator/listener, round-ball/no-ball. The binary way of thinking is divisive, but we think like we walk.

And so people stood on their hind feet and said stuff. Mostly flights of rhetoric, emotional pleas, cants and rants. Some information emerged. For the hardy and open-minded, there were things to learn, as least two of the City Councilors dropped by.
NEXT MEETING: Monday, March 26th, 6:00pm at the Buford Middle School Auditorium, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Public Hearing.

flow chart

Many of the speakers represented the local chapter of The First Tee™ .
The First Tee™ was established by the World Golf Foundation in 1997 as a 501(c)3. The initial focus was on creating affordable access for those not previously exposed to the game of golf.
The First Tee™ headquarters is located in the World Golf Village, a 6300 acre real estate development (almost the size of Charlottesville). The World Golf Village is located South of Jacksonville Florida in St Johns County, I-95 south to exit 323, then take the International Golf Parkway.
As of today March 2, 2012 the average home price for homes for sale in World Golf Village is $270,214,
The First Tee™ headquarters gets a walk score of 46, it is located in a suburban landscape.
Honorary Chair of The First Tee™ is President George W. Bush. Former honorary chair was President George H.W. Bush.
The mission of The First Tee™ is “to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.”
The life-enhancing “Nine Core Values”:
- Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, Judgement.
The CHO Chapter of The First Tee™ has been chartered since 2004 and is one of 202 Chapters operating in 46 states and five countries.

Amen.

Charlottesville Tomorrow has the story

2011/11/30

Will Pay for Grass Seed

Filed under: meetings,night — WmX @ 12:49

occupy general assembly
Future uncertain.
Do we stay or go?
Go where?
Some staying.
Hey, the officer is making me nervous.
What is going to happen to our stuff?
Porta Johns are leaving.
Discussion
decision making

2011/05/22

Meetings (laughing)

Filed under: meetings,neighborhood,stinky,Urban Planning — WmX @ 15:13

Rivanna Pump Station
The existing Rivanna Pump Station is in close proximity to houses in the Woolen Mills.


Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone. For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own.–E. W. Wilcox

There are different types of laughter: etiquette laughter; nervous laughter; silent laughter; belly laughter; cruel laughter. Are any of these appropriate in a public meeting?
Political bodies have different “laughter cultures”. Locally, I don’t hear the Board of Supervisors or the City Council laughing but the Charlottesville Planning Commission likes to laugh. The local kings of laughter are the members of the Albemarle County Service Authority.

A bit of levity can lift the mood in a long meeting. Everyone loves a laugh. But laughter at the public’s expense, laughter where the citizens are the butt of the joke, this would seem to be inappropriate emanating from public servants. Audio clips are posted below, please listen for yourself and listen for the laughs. Is it proper?

Sound bites are misleading. Every interview subject fears sound bites, with good reason. Statements are abstracted from context and standing alone, take on an entirely different meaning.
The bites here can be heard in context on Charlotteville Tomorrow’s website.

Mini-Rotunda is about 12:20 in to the 3/17/2011 ACSA meeting.
Buy & Relocate is approximately 52 minutes into the 5/19/2011 meeting
Convenience & View is 16:20 in to the May Meeting
Trailer-Mounted Pump Station is approximately 58 minutes in to the May meeting

Because of the limited utility of sound-bites to convey the essence of a meeting, I heartily endorse our local C-Span, Charlotteville Tomorrow. Charlottesville Tomorrow provides gavel to gavel audio coverage of important local meetings. I urge you to support this critical community service. I encourage you to be involved with local boards, commissions and legislative bodies. Serve on them, attend the meetings. Our collective quality of life rests on the shoulders of an engaged public.
(All audio presented here was recorded by Charlottesville Tomorrow)

2011/05/12

Politics

Filed under: government,meetings,politics — WmX @ 08:26

AlbCo supervisor ken boyd, executive tom foley
In dealing with the State, we ought to remember that its institutions are not aboriginal though they existed before we were born: that they are not superior to the citizen: that every one of them was once the act of a single man: every law and usage was a man’s expedient to meet a particular case: that they all are imitable, all alterable; we may make as good; we may make better. Society is an illusion to the young citizen. It lies before him in rigid repose with certain names, men, and institutions rooted like oak trees to the centre, round which all arrange themselves the best they can. But the old statesman knows that society is fluid; there are no such roots and centres but any particle may suddenly become the centre of the movement, and compel the system to gyrate round it as every man of strong will like Pisistratus or Cromwell, does for a time, and every man of truth like Plato, or Paul, does forever. But politics rest on necessary foundations and cannot be treated with levity.– Politics Ralph Waldo Emerson

2011/05/09

Critical slopes

Filed under: Charlottesville,environment,meetings — WmX @ 09:25


Charlottesville Planning Commission and City Council have a joint public hearing tomorrow night regarding updating the Critical Slopes ordinance. A unique opportunity for members of the public (Developers and residents) to weigh in on what our City will look like ten years down the road.
If you are a player of meeting bingo, the sustainability box will be filled in early.

2011/04/30

meetings

Filed under: government,meetings — WmX @ 10:23

water supply plan 2005
For the first 45 years of my life I successfully avoided going to meetings except in a my professional capacity as a newspaper photographer. I was too busy living, raking leaves, raising children, paying bills, working… Meetings were for other people.
I imagine that meetings once upon a time were fun. A smoke filled room, a trough, a bunch of white guys cutting up the pie.
Meetings in the 21st Century have a different form. They feature a public process. Pieces of paper where the public can leave their e-mail addresses. Pieces of paper where the public can write down their thoughts. Public hearings!
I wonder where all those pieces of paper go?
Meeting above was 2/17/05, featured a facilitator and pieces of paper, water supply plan. Meeting below, CHO NDS, pieces of paper.

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