Jan 112017
 

Marshie Agee speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

In this podcast, the Senior Statesmen of Virginia present the issues surrounding traffic safety.

  • Crash testing and consumer ratings programs have made vehicles safer than ever.
  • Autonomous vehicles get lots of attention, and they do have the potential to make automobile travel even safer. However, none of us can buy one now, and there are many issues to be resolved before they can become mainstream.
  • Crash avoidance technologies like auto-braking are the building blocks for autonomous cars, and these systems are already on the market and reducing crashes.
  • Despite the promise of technology, it’s important not to forget about things we can do right now to improve safety, no matter what kind of vehicles people are driving. Lowering speed limits, using automated enforcement to deter both speeders and red light runners, and improving enforcement of safety belt use and impaired driving laws are proven ways to bring down the death toll.
Marshie Agee

Marshie Agee is the communication liaison for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In her position Marshie speaks to groups visiting the IIHS Vehicle Research Center about the Institute’s work and represents the Institute at conferences and community events. She also fields consumer inquiries about the Institute’s research and presents research findings on the web for both the media and general public. Marshie has been with the Institute since 2004. She received a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Before joining the Institute, she worked as web designer and a teacher.

Ms. Agee spoke at the Wednesday January 11, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

Dec 202016
 

This is our third in a series of radio plays from Charlottesville’s top playwrights and the talented actors at Live Arts Radio. Each play was written by members of Charlottesville’s Playwright’s Lab.

Our third episode is a metaphysical comedy about fate, choice, and luck. Please be sure to listen on headphones or from two speakers, as this play was recorded in stereo. Accountability was written by Nathan Anderith.

This podcast includes adult language. Listener discretion is advised.

Accountability is the work of the following talented men and women:

Jen Burstein (Clotho, sound effects coordinator) is a local actor, singer, dancer who performs with Gorilla Theatre, PVCC, UVa Jazz, and Etnia Latin Dance Troupe. She has also taught French all around Charlottesville including UVa, Speak! Language Center, and currently at Tandem Friends School where she is a regular guest director in Tandem Friends’ Winter One-Act Play Festival. She has had a blast working with the Playwright’s Lab team podcast!
Lisa Weigold (Lachesis) has been active in the Charlottesville theater community since she was a child. She received a degree in theater in 2014 and has been stage managing and acting since then. Recently she could be seen in Gorilla Theater Productions’ “Pride and Prejudice” as Elizabeth Bennett and Live Arts’ “Electric Baby” as Rozie.
Tracy Durham (Atropos) has performed in a number of stage productions over the years. This is her first podcast performance and if it be her fate, hopefully not the last.
Nathan Anderith (Writer, Co-Founder) has been directing, acting and producing theater for 18 years, from Shakespeare on the Lawn at UVA to drama groups in West Africa. His favorite part of putting together these podcasts is doing his sexy radio voice for the intro and outro.
Lauren Gilroy (Director) is a genial dictator who enjoys handicrafts and aged bourbon.
Cory Capron (Music Composer) is a has written three full-length plays and several shorts, directed and co-directed several shows, and worked in props, sound, costume and creature design. He is a founding member of Gorilla Theater Productions, where he has worked as house composer on many productions. Outside the theater, Cory is a short story author, a singer-songwriter, and occasionally an experimental filmmaker.

The Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab is a free forum for writers of every experience level, in which they share, read, hear, and discuss their work in a community of fellow playwrights. The Lab is dedicated to developing the work of local writers in a fun, creative, supportive setting; and includes opportunities for public staged readings and full productions. The Lab meets on the first and third Monday of each month (except July and August). Whether you’ve been writing for years or are just getting started, there’s a place for you in the Lab! Visit Live Arts The Foundry for more information.

Post production work for Accountability was done by Dan Gould at the Charlottesville Podcasting Network.

Dec 142016
 

Jim Hobart and Terry Cooper speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The results of the 2016 presidential election pleased some, disappointed others and surprised just about everyone. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was supposed to have a lock on the presidency but Republican nominee Donald Trump, who faced not only Democratic opposition but a “Never Trump” movement among Republicans, prevailed by winning a majority of Electoral College votes.

The Senior Statesmen of Virginia hosted two political consultants who fielded questions about the elections, such as:

  • How was a political novice (Trump) able to dispatch more than a dozen seemingly far more qualified Republicans and secure the nomination?
  • Why did Socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders perform so well in the Democratic primaries and caucuses yet lose the Democratic nomination to Clinton?
  • Why were voters left with a choice that many described as between the lesser of two evils?
  • How was Trump able to carry states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — that were supposedly part of a “blue wall” guaranteeing a Clinton victory?
  • Why didn’t the pollsters and the media see what was coming?
  • And what do the 2016 election results portend for the nation and for the futures of the Republican and Democratic parties?
Jim Hobart is a vice president at the leading Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies.  Jim is a veteran of numerous important campaigns, including four victorious U.S. Senate campaigns and 11 winning U.S. House campaigns in 2014.  He was named Campaigns & Elections magazine’s Rising Star in 2013.
Terry Cooper is a native of Charlottesville and a veteran opposition researcher for Republican campaigns.

Hobart and Cooper spoke at the Wednesday December 14, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

Nov 092016
 

Al Thomas Jr. (left) and Ron Lantz speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Albemarle County Chief of Police Ron Lantz and Charlottesville Chief of Police Al Thomas Jr. will address current policing issues including traffic concerns, staffing levels/shortages and gangs.

Albemarle County named Ron Lantz as chief of police effective June 1, 2016.  Chief Lantz served as Albemarle’s deputy chief of police where, since 2012, he assisted the chief of police in planning and directing the many activities of the Albemarle County Police Department including providing supervision for 115 of the 129 sworn officers in the functional areas of patrol, traffic, school resource, crime prevention, and animal control.  In addition, Chief Lantz was responsible for leading the implementation of the County’s Geographic Based Policing initiative which was launched in 2012.

Prior to joining the Albemarle County force, Lantz completed his career with the Fairfax County Police Department by serving as a district station commander where he was responsible for 155 officers providing police service to 125,000 residents. While with Fairfax County, Lantz received the Departmental Meritorious Commendation, the Departmental Meritorious Action Award, and the Departmental Meritorious Service Award.

Lantz received his Bachelors of Science from the University of Charleston with a major in Organizational Leadership. He successfully completed the Key Executive Leadership Certificate Program from American University and is currently enrolled in courses geared towards a Master of Science with a focus on Criminal Justice and Public Administration from Liberty University. Lantz is also a graduate of the DEA Drug Commander Academy, the FBI National Academy, and the Virginia Association of Police New Chief / Deputy Chief School.

Alfred S. Thomas Jr. was appointed Charlottesville chief of police effective May 23, 2016. Chief Thomas served as chief of police for the City of Lexington, Virginia, since 2010. During his time in Lexington, he has directed a number of major initiatives, including operational reorganizations, upgrades to emergency communications infrastructure, implementation of mobile data terminals and digital in-car camera systems, and expanded outreach to city youth with the implementation of multiple programs including a junior police academy, police summer camp, and a regional high school internship program.

Upon his appointment to chief of the Charlottesville Police, he was cited for his experience, interpersonal skills and leadership abilities.

Prior to his time in Lexington, Chief Thomas spent 20 years with the Lynchburg Police Department working in varied roles with increasing command responsibility. From 1985 until 1990, he proudly served in the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of staff sergeant.

Chief Thomas was chair of the Rockbridge Regional Law Enforcement Command Board, vice-president of the Rockbridge Area Housing Corporation Board of Directors, is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Officials and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Rockbridge Area YMCA.

Thomas and Lantz spoke at the Wednesday November 8, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

Oct 172016
 

Liz Palmer and Tim Keller speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

We all appreciate the amenities, cultural and historical richness of our community but those are the very things that attract others. Growth often increases road congestion, noise and property taxes. Can we avoid the tragedy of the commons?  Liz Palmer, Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Tim Keller, Chair of the Albemarle County Planning Commission address these questions in this podcast.

Liz Palmer is the chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and represents the Samuel Miller District. She was elected in 2013. Prior local government service includes eight years on the board of the Albemarle County Service Authority. She has been a practicing veterinarian for 35 years. She currently operates a mobile practice, Charlottesville End of Life Pet Care.

Tim Keller serves as the at-large commissioner and chair of the Albemarle County Planning Commission. He is a founding principal of Land and Community Associates and professor emeritus of Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University. Tim has directed a variety of innovative landscape planning and conservation projects throughout the United States and abroad.

Palmer and Keller spoke at the Monday October 17, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV past president Bob McGrath.

Sep 142016
 

Dahlia Lithwick speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Dahlia Lithwick is a senior editor at Slate Magzine, and in that capacity, writes the Supreme Court Dispatches and Jurisprudence columns. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Commentary, among other places. She won a 2013 National Magazine Award for her columns on the Affordable Care Act.

Ms. Lithwick has been twice awarded an Online Journalism Award for her legal commentary and was the first online journalist invited to be on the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. Ms. Lithwick has testified before Congress about access to justice in the era of the Roberts Court.

She has appeared on CNN, ABC, The Colbert Report, and is a frequent guest on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Ms. Lithwick earned her BA from Yale University and her JD degree from Stanford University. She is currently working on a book about the four women justices of the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Lithwick spoke at the Wednesday September 14, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV past president Bob McGrath.

Aug 102016
 

Jane Dittmar (left) and Tom Garrett speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The Senior Statesmen of Virginia has sponsored the 5th Congressional District candidates’ forums for many years. All of the candidates for this year’s August forum were invited: Jane Dittmar (D), Tom Garrett (R), Stephen Harmon (Libertarian), and Yale Landsberg (Independent). Only Jane Dittmar and Tom Garrett agreed to participate in this forum.

Jane Dittmar (D) is the immediate past chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and former representative of the Scottsville District. Through her position as supervisor, she served on the Governor’s Broadband Advisory Council.

Jane is a certified mediator for both General District and Circuit Courts and has served as court coordinator for the General District, Juvenile and Domestic Relations, and Circuit courts of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Louisa.  She is also a principal in the Positive Solutions Group and a business consultant specializing in strategic planning. Jane’s background is business and she has owned and worked with many businesses in the Commonwealth particularly when she served as president of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce from 1992-2000.

Jane became a Virginian when she was six years old, attending Arlington County Public Schools after her family moved from rural Illinois.  She graduated from the University of Virginia where she received a degree in Economics. Since then, Jane attended the UVa Darden School’s Executive Program and Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy. Over the past 40 years, she has lived in Nelson, Fluvanna, and Albemarle Counties, and the City of Charlottesville.

Jane resides with her husband, Frank Squillace, in Albemarle County. They have raised six children (Will, Mary, Virginia, Leia, Jed, and Joe), four of whom are in college.

Tom Garrett (R) is in his second term as state senator representing the 22nd District. He earned both his Bachelor’s and Law Degrees from the University of Richmond, and began his service to our country with six years in the Army. During that service he honed his leadership skills, had an opportunity to work with great American patriots, and fight for the Constitutional rights we hold dear.

In 2007, Tom entered public service in a new way. That year he challenged and defeated a two-term incumbent for the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney in Louisa. Tom won that election by 17 percent. It was the first time in decades that an incumbent countywide office holder was defeated – and the first Republican countywide candidate to win since Reconstruction.

In 2011, Tom was elected as the state senator for the 22nd district following a reshuffling of district borders that saw the 22nd moved eastward and into the 5th, 6th, and 7th Congressional districts. Tom won a 5-way nomination contest and subsequently won a resounding general election contest against an accomplished Democrat opponent, despite being outspent nearly 2-to-1.

In the Senate, Tom has focused on expanding liberty, reclaiming our Constitutional rights, fiscal responsibility and restraint, and common sense reductions in the size and scope of government.

Bob Gibson (moderator) is a senior researcher at the Academy for Civic Renewal, a part of the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. He has served eight years as executive director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership prior to joining the academy on July 1.

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday August 10, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience.

Jul 122016
 

The Charlottesville Podcasting Network is very pleased to announce that we have partnered with Live Arts Radio to bring you original radio drama from Charlottesville’s top playwrights. In the weeks and months to come, we will bring you original radio dramas written by members of the Playwright’s Lab and performed by Charlottesville actors. Our second episode is a dark parody of a classic American story, what happens when the audience tunes out, the laughter fades but the characters are left behind. No Man is a Gilligan’s Island was written by Peter Gunter.

No Man is a Gilligan’s Island was made possible by the following talented men and women:

Tom Howard (The Skipper) is an actor, singer (baritone), MC and voice/on-camera narrator. In the past, he has worked at Montpelier (James Madison’s Home) and has done government and military work at the Pentagon and in Germany, Texas, Washington (state), Arizona and Maryland.
Harold Langsam (Gilligan) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia. He has been appearing on area stages since 1998. Last year he appeared as Doc Gibbs in “Our Town” at Four County Players.
Peter Gunter (Playwright). In addition to working in academia, PR, advertising and journalism, Peter Gunter has been writing plays since college. He has had several plays produced in New York City and in Charlottesville, and has been a member of the Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab since 2007.
Nathan Anderith (Director, Co-Founder) has been directing, acting and producing theater for 18 years, from Shakespeare on the Lawn at UVA to drama groups in West Africa. His favorite part of putting together these podcasts is doing his sexy radio voice for the intro and outro.
Sean Michael McCord (Co-Founder) is a Charlottesville-based playwright, producer, director, and occasional actor. Once upon a time, he was radioactive. He is currently an MFA Playwright at the Hollins Playwrights’ Lab in Roanoke.
Alex Citron, (Co-Founder, Facilitator of the Playwrights’ Lab) has been a member of the Lab since 2002. He has worked in theater for over forty-five years, as an actor, director, producer, set designer and stage manager. Of the seventeen plays he has written, six have been produced by companies in California, Texas, New York and Virginia. From 2005 until its closing in 2014, Alex was Executive Director of Play On, a Charlottesville community theater.
Cory Capron (Music Composer) has written three full-length plays and several shorts, directed and co-directed several shows, and worked in props, sound, costume and creature design. He is a founding member of Gorilla Theater Productions, where he has worked as house composer on many productions. Outside the theater, Cory is a short story author, a singer-songwriter, and occasionally an experimental filmmaker.

The Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab is a free forum for writers of every experience level, in which they share, read, hear, and discuss their work in a community of fellow playwrights. The Lab is dedicated to developing the work of local writers in a fun, creative, supportive setting; and includes opportunities for public staged readings and full productions. The Lab meets on the first and third Monday of each month (except July and August). Whether you’ve been writing for years or are just getting started, there’s a place for you in the Lab! Visit Live Arts The Foundry for more information.

Post production work for No Man is a Gilligan’s Island was done by Dan Gould at the Charlottesville Podcasting Network.

Jun 082016
 

Meredith Richards speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Across the nation, people are demanding more passenger rail service. Virginia is a national leader in funding rail infrastructure and Amtrak services. Six state-supported Amtrak trains connect Virginia to the Northeast Corridor. These are among the most profitable routes in the nation.

Charlottesville is one of Virginia’s strongest passenger rail markets in terms of ridership. It has direct, daily trains north to Washington, New York and Boston and south to Charlotte, Atlanta and New Orleans, with east-west service to Chicago three days a week. Future expansions of Charlottesville Amtrak service will require major upgrades to the Charlottesville station.

Passenger rail service is improving, but freight rail is a different story. The unprecedented recent decline in demand for coal is having a dramatic effect upon America’s Class I Railroads, which are responding with a policy of retrenchment. This raises questions about the future of rail in Virginia and creates significant public policy challenges for the Commonwealth.

Meredith Richards is a former Charlottesville City Councilor (1996-2004) and vice mayor who has specialized in transportation public policy during her public career. She served three terms as president of Virginians for High Speed Rail and currently serves as its co-chair. Meredith is also president of the Virginia Rail Policy Institute. She formerly served as a member of Governor Mark Warner’s Commission on Rail Enhancement for the 21st Century and was president of the Virginia Transit Association from 1998-2000. While in elective office, Meredith served on regional and statewide boards, including the Charlottesville-Albemarle MPO, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, Virginia First Cities Coalition and the Virginia Municipal League.

Meredith founded and is chairman of CvilleRail, a nonprofit that promotes enhanced passenger rail for Central Virginia, and she established the Piedmont Rail Coalition, a consortium of local governments, economic development authorities, organizations, businesses and citizens throughout Virginia’s US 29 corridor who work together to bring more frequent and accessible passenger rail to the region.

Meredith holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Illinois and is a former faculty member of the University of Virginia and the University of Louisville.

Ms. Richards spoke at the Wednesday June 8, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Rich DeMong.

Editor’s Note: Following this podcast the speaker advised us that Charlottesville is the largest ridership station in Virginia on the Crescent train, not that Charlottesville has the largest ridership of any station on the entire Crescent route which is incorrect.

May 112016
 

From left to right, Creigh Deeds, Steve Landes and David Toscano speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Area legislators report on the 2016 Session of the Virginia General Assembly. This was a session that included some inter-party cooperation but also the most vetoes in almost 20 years, and a post-session executive order that has spurred calls for a special session and led to a more adversarial relationship between Democratic Governor McAuliffe and the Republican General Assembly majority than perhaps ever before.

Senator Creigh Deeds (D) represents the 25th Senate District which includes the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Covington, and Lexington, and the counties of Albemarle (part), Alleghany, Bath, Highland, Nelson, and Rockbridge.

Delegate Steve Landes (R) represents the 25th House of Delegates District which includes portions of Albemarle, Augusta, and Rockingham Counties.

Delegate David Toscano (D) represents the 57th House of Delegates District which includes Charlottesville and part of Albemarle County.

The three spoke at the Wednesday May 11, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper.

Apr 202016
 

J20160420-Josh-Wheelerosh Wheeler, executive director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, announces the 25th Anniversary Muzzle Awards at a news conference at the Free Speech Monument on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. The occasion is also the 10th anniversary of the wall.

Apr 132016
 

Ashley Deeks and Frederick Hitz speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The FISA Court (or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court) was established by act of Congress in 1978 to oversee requests for surveillance warrants involving suspected foreign spies within the United States by federal law-enforcement and intelligence agencies, principally the FBI and the National Security Agency.

Senior Fellows at the Law School’s Center for National Security Law, Ashley Deeks and Fred Hitz discuss the FISA Court and its pros and cons.

Ashley Deeks is an associate professor at the University of Virginia Law School. Prior to joining the Law School’s faculty she was the assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs in the Legal Adviser’s Office at the Department of State where, among many other duties, she advised on intelligence issues. She has also served as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ms. Deeks is a cum laude graduate of Williams College and an honors graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.

Frederick P. Hitz is an adjunct professor at the Law School and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. For more than 30 years, while ostensibly being a lawyer in a buttoned-down private practice, he served in various capacities at the Central Intelligence Agency, both in line positions such as deputy director for Europe in the Directorate of Operations and in staff positions like Inspector General. He has written extensively on espionage and intelligence issues. His publications include “The Great Game: the Myth and Reality of Espionage” and “Why Spy? Espionage in an Era of Uncertainty.”  Mr. Hitz is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Deeks and Hitz spoke at the Wednesday April 13, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper.