Aug 302005

Blogging is fast becoming an important way for many Virginians to get detailed news and opinion about politics in the Commonwealth. Visit the Virginia Progressive, or the Commonwealth Conservative, and you’ll come across thoughts from across the political spectrum, from both the site’s authors and the reading public.

But the websites have raised many questions about the ethics of blogging: For instance, is a blogger who advocates the election of a certain candidate really producing a political advertisement? Well, on Saturday, August 27, 2005, the Sorensen Institute on Political Leadership at the University of Virginia convened the state’s bloggers together for the first ever Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth. Sean Tubbs attended as a reporter for Virginia public radio stations and the Charlottesville Podcasting Network.

This report from the Summit is 23 minutes and 39 seconds long. In order to help you navigate through this file, we provide this rundown of the various people who were interviewed for this report:

00:00 – 01:00 Introduction
01:00 – 03:10 Former Delegate Barnie Day, Bacon’s Rebellion
03:10 – 04:10 Kenton Ngo, 750 Volts
04:10 – 8:30 Chris Piper with the State Board of Elections
08:30 – 10:45 Jay Hughes
10:45 – 14:45 Frosty Landon, Virginia Coalition for Open Government
14:45 – 18:52 Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, Change Servant
18:52 – 19:19 Kenton Ngo, 750 Volts
19:20 – 20:41 Chris Piper with the State Board of Elections
20:41 – 22:35 Sean O’Brien with the Sorensen Institute
22:35 – 23:38 Conclusion

Aug 302005

David Duncan and his sister Sara

Over this past weekend, David Duncan’s sister Sara was in the path of Hurricane Katrina as it stormed through Miami en route to the Gulf Coast. David called her Friday night to see if she was okay, and the University of Miami student reported that all was well. The call was recorded, and we bring it to you now as part of David’s Virginia Talkers’ series.

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Wakeup Call: Pie Dumas, Life Coach

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Aug 282005

Pie Dumas

What exactly is a “life coach?” A look on Wikipedia describes this relatively new profession as someone who aids “clients with transitions in their personal life.” Pie Dumas is a life coach and self-described ‘survior of life’ who appears this week on WNRN’s Sunday Morning Wakeup Call. Rick Moore is somewhat skeptical about life coaches, and asks if these type of people are helpers or hucksters. A lively discussion ensues.

Also on this show: Buying a car is different now that gasoline prices are higher. In his weekly monologue, Rick asks why some vehicles are excluded from fuel economy standards, and expresses gratitude to the person who nearly wrecked into his car this week.

This program is no longer being offered. If you would like to hear it, please contact us.

An Interview with Sean O’Brien on the Virginia Blogging Summit

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Aug 262005

Sean O’Brien is the Executive Director of the Sorensen Institute at the University of Virginia

By now, mostly everyone knows that media coverage of Virginia politics is changing because of the blog – web logs run by anyone with an opinion about politics in Virginia. More of these blogs are being added every day, and the form is developing into an important tool to spread dialogue on the important issues that face our state and nation. Because of their increasing influence, the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia is holding a Summit On Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth. This week I stopped by the Institute and spoke with Sean O’Brien about the one-day event.

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Aug 242005

This podcast is filed under the shameless promotion category. I’ll be part of a package on NBC 29’s 6:00 newscast on podcasting. Reporter Mark O’Brien stopped by the studio last week to interview me for a story on this crazy new fad. He and his camera man spent quite a while discussing how to depict the story visually. And because this was television, we had to spice up the visuals slightly by flooding the place with light – not easy to do in a basement studio. This podcast is a behind-the-scenes look at being on the news.

We’ve got some interesting shows coming up this week. While me on tape will be appearing over the airwaves, me in the flesh will be attending the Charlottesville Young Professionals membership party tonight at McIntire Park. I’ll be roaming the crowd, asking what their concerns are about the future of Charlottesville. I’ll be compiling a podcast of what I heard later on this week.

In the meantime, here’s the link to the text of the NBC 29 story.

Aug 232005

A major intersection in Lucknow

The end of summer is here, which means a new crop of programs here on CPN. We’re returning to an old theme this week with a new piece from Deepak Singh, our reporter for the South Asian community here in Central Virginia. Deepak spent this summer back in Lucknow, the first time he’s been back to India in two years. Here’s the first of two essays from Deepak about returning home, only to find that he was beginning to miss Charlottesville. Follow Deepak Singh on Facebook and Twitter.

WNRN’s Wakeup Call: Properly Walking for the Makindu Children’s Centre

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Aug 222005

On this week’s installment of WNRN’s Sunday Morning Wakeup Call, Rick gives the news of the week and talks with two men who are in Charlottesville this week to discuss their recent walk for charity across Kenya. Michael Farley discusses taking “A Proper Walk in Kenya,” a term used to describe the massive journeys he often takes around the African nation to get to know it better. Farley has organized two “proper walks” for charity. Jeff James is a wildlife photographer who accompanied Farley through The Valley of the Black Death. Both men are campaigning to raise money and awareness for a children’s center in a village called Makindu. Their story will be told in the September 2005 edition of National Geographic Adventure magazine.

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WNRN’s Wakeup Call is heard every Sunday at 11:00 AM.

An Interview with Poet Gregory Orr

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Aug 172005

Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr’s life could have been spent mired in tragedy. He shot and killed his brother during a hunting accident when he was 12. His mother died two years later when his family was on a missionary assignment in Haiti. To escape a sense of despair and anguish, Orr became involved in his late teens with the Civil Rights Movement and traveled from upstate New York to Mississippi in 1965 to serve as a volunteer. He was quickly imprisoned for breaking various laws
set up to deter protestors, and was subsequently beaten by police officers.

The University of Virginia poet often recalls these events in his poetry, but it wasn’t until 2002 that Orr wrote about the experiences in prose. That was in a memoir called The Blessing. Sean Tubbs spoke with Orr in his office last month for a conversation about his career, the difference between poetry and prose, and about the time he spent in Mississippi forty years ago this summer.

Aug 152005

Wordcast Logo

Wordcast Productions was formed in February of 2005 to help companies, non-profit organizations and individuals reach new audiences through podcasting.

Podcasting represents a major shift in how Americans consume radio and audio material. Wordcast can help you prepare your content for delivery across multiple digital platforms, including the iPod, the next generation of mobile phones, and digital radio.

The venture builds on the production skills and experience of President Sean Tubbs, a veteran of area public radio and creator of the Charlottesville Podcasting Network. The site launched in April 2005 as a public affairs website dedicated to expanding the public square through podcasts of local speeches, press conferences and other events that have previously not been available in local media.

Companies spend a lot of time and money organizing high profile events, and we offer an affordable way to capture these important occasions. Wordcast will help your institution gets its message out to the public, be it a conference, a speech, or a conference call.

Wordcast is available to record meetings, conference calls, interviews or any other type of message you’d like to target to a dedicated audience. We’ll help you with develop an idea for a podcast unique to your organization, record and produce it for you, and then we’ll take care of the hosting and recommend and implement suggestions for distribution.

Contact us at to get started.

Aug 142005

Does Central Virginia have enough water to quench the thirst of everyone who wants to live here? The community pulled together during the drought of 2002 to help conserve water, but will there be enough the next time weather patterns shift to deny rainfall? On the Sunday, August 14th edition of WNRN‘s Sunday Morning Wakeup Call, a panel of experts debate plans to increase storage capacity, and the prospects of more pipelines bringing more water in from surrounding communities. Guests include Morgan Butler from the Southern Environmental Law Center, Liz Palmer from the League of Women Voters and John Martin with the Friends of the Moormans River. The governmental perspective comes from Charlottesville Mayor David Brown.

Also on the show, Rick spends his five minute commentary on the contradictions and enigmas that face the modern world. Rick talks about President Bush’s decision to not attend military funerals, religious attitudes towards gays and lesbians, as well as how the passing of Peter Jennings should cause people to think twice about smoking.

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Wakeup Call: Free Legal Advice from Area Attorneys

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Aug 112005

On the August 7th edition of WNRN’s Sunday Morning, three area attorneys give up an hour of their free time to bring listeners legal advice.
Marshall Davidson is with the firm Davidson and Kitzmann and is a specialist in employment law and personal injury work. Tracy Hopper is with the law firm Tremblay and Smith and is a specialist in family law. Marshall Slayton is with the firm Boyle, Bain, Reback & Slayton and specializes in consumer and bankruptcy cases.

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Aug 102005

Want to know more about the candidates standing for election to the Virginia House of Delegates this November? The Senior Statesmen of Virginia held a public forum at the Senior Center on August 10 in which several incumbents and challengers appeared. Not a debate, this hour and a half long event was a chance for the candidates to tell an assembled crowd at the Senior Center a little about themselves and why they deserve a vote. CPN volunteer Colin Campbell was on hand to record the event, which we present to you below.

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This presentation is an hour and a half long. It will start with an introduction from the Senior Statesmen, and then will feature presentations by the candidates in alphabetical order.

(only campaign websites are listed below)
Delegate Watkins Abbitt, Jr (Independent incumbent running in the 59th District)
Delegate Rob Bell (Republican incumbent in the 58th District)
David Cox (Democratic challenger for the 24th District)
Peter deFur (Democratic challenger for the 56th District)
Steve Koleszar (Democratic challenger for the 58th District)
Delegate Steve Landes (Republican incumbent for the 25th District
Tom McCrystal (Republican challenger for the 57th District)
David Toscano (Democratic challenger for the 57th District)

Other area legislators were invited by the Senior Statesmen, but many could not attend due to prior engagements. After the introductions, the candidates answered questions from moderator Mitch Van Yahres.