Aug 082018
 

Leslie Cockburn (D) speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. The program was moderated by Preston Bryant.

The 5th Congressional District candidates forum is a biennial SSV event. Both major-party nominees, Democrat Leslie Cockburn and Republican Denver Riggleman, were invited to discuss their views. Mr. Riggleman declined the invitation.

Leslie Cockburn (D), is a graduate of Yale, and has had a 35-year career in journalism, including as a producer for CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” a correspondent for PBS’ “Frontline,” a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton and a writer and author. She has won two Emmys, two George Polk Awards, two Columbia duPont Journalism awards and the Robert F. Kennedy Award. She has covered many of the major developments of our time, from the financial meltdown to the rise of radical jihadists.

She has served for many years on the boards of the Piedmont Environmental Council and the conservationist Krebser Fund and has been active in her opposition to the Dominion pipelines and uranium mining.

Leslie and her husband Andrew, Washington Editor of Harper’s Magazine, reside on a farm in Rappahannock County. They have two daughters, a son and four grandchildren.

Our moderator, Preston Bryant is a senior vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting, where he works in the firm’s infrastructure and economic development group. His experience lies in water, wastewater, and energy generation projects, and he advises clients on project site selection and regulatory affairs.

In 2009, President Obama appointed Preston to chair the National Capital Planning Commission, the central planning agency for all federal lands and buildings in Washington, DC, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia. At NCPC, he presides over a staff of some 45 planners, architects, engineers and other professionals.

The event took place at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday August 8, 2018 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 McGuireWoods Consulting Senior Vice President Preston Bryant.

Jun 132018
 

Some of the most contentious and significant issues facing the United States today involve immigration. It’s not just, or even primarily, about the “dreamers” (undocumented people who were brought here as minors). The issues involve more basic questions, such as what the level of overall (legal and illegal) immigration should be and what categories of immigrants should be preferred and the national-security and economic implications of various immigration policies.

Farrell and O’Brien speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

In this podcast, Cathleen Farrell of the National Immigration Forum and Matt O’Brien of the Federation for American Immigration Reform speak to the issues facing immigration policy makers today.

The National Immigration Forum is a network of faith, law enforcement, business and veterans that seeks to help new arrivals attain the opportunities, skills and status to reach their fullest potential. The Forum advocates for policies that keep us secure, respect the rule of law, help grow our economy and are compassionate.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform works for immigration policies that include better border management, lower levels of overall immigration (about 300,000 per year as opposed to the current more than a million) and a greater focus on highly skilled immigrants.

 

Cathleen Farrell is The National Immigration Forum’s Director of Communications. Cathleen has more than 30 years’ experience in advocacy and strategic communications. She is a native of Canada and a graduate of Montreal’s McGill University.
Matt O’Brien is responsible for managing The Federation for American Immigration Reform’s research activities. He has an extensive background in immigration, including with the federal government. He holds a law degree from the University of Maine and a master’s in National Security Affairs from the Institute of World Politics.

 

Farrell and O’Brien spoke at the Wednesday June 13, 2018 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.

May 092018
 

The 2018 Session was very different from other recent Sessions. Topics include the impact of the 2016 Presidential election of Donald Trump on the 2017 legislative elections, in which Democrats came within a hair’s breadth of capturing control of the House of Delegates, and on the 2018 General Assembly Session. Also discussed are the 2018 federal elections, the 2019 General Assembly Session and the 2019 legislative elections.

In this podcast you will learn about issues that came before the 2018 General Assembly including: Medicaid expansion and the proposed work requirement for able-bodied Medicaid recipients; the proposed hospital tax to help pay for Virginia’s share of the cost of expanding Medicaid; efforts to reform the redistricting process and end gerrymandering; bills to protect the integrity of our elections; measures to make the criminal-justice system fairer; and, locally, legislation affecting the City-County Revenue-Sharing Agreement and the relocation of the County’s courthouses.

Senator Creigh Deeds and Delegate David Toscano speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

 

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

The delegates at the Wednesday May 9, 2018 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.

May 032018
 

What does candy-making have in common with decoy-carving? What does hot-rod car building have to do with baking baklava? All of those activities, and dozens of others, are considered to be aspects of Virginia culture as curated by the Virginia Folklife Program.

This weekend at Highland, Virginia Humanities will put on a show that celebrates all of these activities and more. Producer James Walsh recently spoke with the person behind the festivities.

Apr 112018
 

Focused Ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive therapeutic technology that could transform the treatment of many medical disorders by serving as an alternative to surgery and radiation.

Jessica Foley and Nora Seilheimer speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

 

Unfortunately, taking a new therapeutic medical device from concept to standard of care is an extremely slow, complicated and inefficient process. The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is working to provide patients with the focused ultrasound option in the shortest time possible. It has become a model of how donor funding can be used to bridge the gap between laboratory research and widespread patient treatment. In this podcast you will learn about some of their early success stories.

Jessica Foley is a veteran of the ultrasound field and guides the strategy, development and implementation of the Foundation’s scientific and research programs. She holds a B.S.E. from Duke University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
Nora Seilheimer is a graduate of the University of Richmond and is engaged in development work for the foundation.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday April 11, 2018 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. SSV vice president Terry Cooper moderated.

Mar 142018
 

Pat Nolan speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

When violent-crime rates spiked in the 1980s and early 1990s, the response of most states and the federal government was to toughen criminal laws by abolishing parole, legislating lengthy mandatory minimum sentences, reducing “good-time” credits that shortened sentences for inmates who obeyed prison rules, making prison life even more miserable and building more prisons.

The incidence of crime dropped dramatically and rates are now back to where they were before the spike, there are differing views about why this has happened, but the social and economic costs of those lock-’em-up-and-throw-away-the-key laws were enormous. What’s more, the offenders weren’t being diverted from a life of crime.

“Criminal justice reform” is the umbrella term for a wide variety of proposals that attempt to reverse erroneous convictions and also get offenders out of the criminal justice system and into a law-abiding, productive citizenship.

Pat Nolan is a nationally recognized leader in this movement. Pat is the director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform and a leader in the Right on Crime project, a movement of conservative leaders who advocate for criminal justice reform. Before that Pat served 15 years in the California State Assembly, the lower house of the California legislature. For four of those years he was the Assembly’s Republican Leader.

Pat has personal experience with the criminal justice system. He was prosecuted for a campaign contribution he accepted that turned out to be part of an FBI “sting.” He pled guilty to one count of racketeering and served 29 months in federal custody.

Pat will describe how some states have been finding ways simultaneously to reduce prison populations, shrink recidivism and lower costs and discuss proposed federal and Virginia legislation with similar goals.

Pat holds bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Southern California. He and his wife Gail reside in Leesburg.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday March 14, 2018 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. SSV board member Bob McGrath moderated.

Feb 142018
 

Representatives of the Charlottesville Area Alliance discuss the mission and vision of the Alliance, to be the most age-friendly community in the country.

The panel speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Representing the Alliance are:

Marta Keane has been the CEO of JABA since April 2013. JABA works to help people age in community, by providing a Continuum of Caring for the Continuum of Living.  Her entire career has been on helping seniors achieve the highest quality of life, in the place of their choice.  She believes in creating a community that honors and respects the gifts that seniors have to offer.
Brad Sheffield serves as the executive at JAUNT Inc.  He has been working in the transit industry for 16 years, in both public and private transit planning roles. From January 2014 to December 2017, Brad served on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors representing the Rio Magisterial District. He is passionate about helping communities foster the traditional characteristics that make places great to work, raise a family, and retire.
Sunshine Mathon is the executive director of Piedmont Housing Alliance. Sunshine has lead the development of over 1,200 healthy, efficient homes in Texas and Virginia, including some of the highest ever LEED for Homes communities. He is a nationally-recognized leader in the deep green affordable housing sector. Sunshine holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of Texas
Rebecca Schmidt is the population health manager for the Thomas Jefferson Health District serving the City of Charlottesville and the five surrounding counties. Over the past 15 years, she has worked in health policy, program development, implementation and evaluation for nongovernmental agencies and for local, state, federal and international government.  She holds a B.A. from Boston University and an M.P.A. in Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Peter Thompson has served as executive director of the Senior Center Inc. since 1999.  The Senior Center positively impacts the community by creating opportunities for healthy aging through over 100 programs and scores of partnerships.  Peter received his B.A. from UVa and his MPA from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Recent community service includes serving on the Board of Directors of the OLLI at UVa, Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday February 14, 2018 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. SSV President Rich DeMong moderated.

Jan 162018
 

This is our sixth and final episode in this 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.

This episode takes you into the most terrifying and chaotic hellhole known to man: the airport. A simple flight delay spins out of control and upends the life of a young couple, revealing long-hidden secrets and buried resentments.

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

Jenny Mead (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced at various theaters in Virginia, New York, California, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Mexico (forthcoming). A former Hollywood executive, journalist and English teacher, Jenny lives in Charlottesville where she is mother to a basset hound and writes business ethics case studies at the University of Virginia.
Alex Citron (Director, Co-Founder) has been tinkering with the theater arts for nearly fifty years. He is a playwright, director, designer and occasionally, an actor.  He was a founder of Play On, and served as its Executive Director.  Turbulence marks his first experience with radio drama.
Nathan Anderith (James, Co-Founder) is signing off here at Live Arts Radio. Once upon a time this project was just a dream and a whim, and now we’ve made six great episodes of radio excellence. Thanks so much for listening, everyone. Now I’m off to Africa, where I will have a whole new continent of people to annoy.
Sean Michael McCord (Airport Announcer, 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.
Julie Stavitski (Elizabeth) is a frequent reader for the Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab and loves playing a small part in the development of new works. She was most recently seen in A Christmas Story: The Musical and The Addams Family at Four County Players.
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 Turbulence was done by Dan Gould at the Charlottesville Podcasting Network.

Jan 102018
 

Commonwealth Attorneys Robert Tracci (left) and Joe Platania speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

“Commonwealth’s Attorney” is Virginia the term for “prosecutor”, the district attorney who goes after the bad guys. There’s a lot more to their job:

  • Prosecutors have wide discretion as regards whom they “throw the book at” and to whom they give second chances by sending them to “diversion” programs such as substance-abuse treatment versus locking them up. How they exercise that discretion is very important in determining the livability of the locality they serve, as New York City residents found when so-called “minor” crimes were ignored.
  • Prosecutors can have a major impact on crime prevention by advising groups targeted by criminals about the scams likely to be tried on them.
  • Prosecutors are among the best expert witnesses when legislators are considering changes to the criminal code or the process for considering criminal cases.

In this podcast, we’ll hear from City Commonwealth’s Attorney, Joseph Platania, and Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Robert Tracci.

Joe Platania was elected Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney this past November but he has been with that office since 2003. For much of that time he also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, helping to prosecute federal criminal cases. Joe is a graduate of Providence College and the Washington & Lee University School of Law. Before joining the City Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office he was an assistant public defender and an appellate attorney for the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center. Joe is the current president of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association.
Robert Tracci was elected Albemarle County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney in November 2015. Before that he had been a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and a Deputy Assistant Attorney General dealing with violations of federal criminal law. Prior to that Robert had been a senior staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, the House committee that deals with criminal law and criminal procedure, voting rights, intellectual property and other areas. Robert is a Phi Beta Kappa alumnus of Ohio Wesleyan University and a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday January 10, 2018 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. SSV Vice President Terry Cooper moderated.

Jan 012018
 

This is our fifth 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.

This episode takes a peak behind the heroic journey, what happens when the beast is slain, the day is saved but real life goes on. We hope you will enjoy After the Dragon is Dead by Nathan Anderith.

After the Dragon is Dead is the work of the following talented men and women:

Alison Bushey (Dragon) is enjoying her first foray into radio. She has been acting in Charlottesville for over 13 years. She most recently portrayed Anya Magnifico in Bullet for an Unaccompanied Heart at Four County Players.
Jack Rakes (Priest/Angel) is pleased to be in his first radio play! Almost as pleased as he was when he stopped that alien invasion with his bare hands. He is currently a board member of Gorilla Theater Productions, and a full-time Blacksmith when not doing that. All his love to Kendall, who endures his terrible jokes admirably.
Katharine Meyer (Jennifer) is a recovering actress, Shakespeare nerd, and education policy graduate student. She enjoyed her first podcast immensely, not only for the fun new experience but also the welcome distraction while gestating her first child, Elizabeth. She refuses to leave Charlottesville, and has successfully squandered a decade in this great town.
Kendall Aiguier Stewart (Melody) is so excited to be able to blend her two loves, theater and radio, on this project. Working on it with her third love, Jack, wasn’t too bad either. Find her on stage at Gorilla Theater Productions, and on the air at 106.1 The Corner and 97.5 3 WV. All the thanks to Nathan for the opportunity!
Kurt Meusel (George) has been acting and working other aspects of the theater since 1999, but Dragon represents his first work as a voice-only actor. He’s performed for Live Arts in The Master and Margarita, Animal Farm, and various galas; other favorite shows have included Macbeth and The 39 Steps. Kurt was very excited to work in this new medium, and hopes to do it again someday!
Nathan Anderith (Writer, Director) wants to be the voice in your head. He’s leaving Charlottesville in January for parts unknown, but he’ll always love this town for all the amazing creative opportunities it’s offered and the fantastic people he’s worked with.
Alex Citron, (Writer, 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) 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.
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.

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 After the Dragon was Dead was done by Dan Gould at the Charlottesville Podcasting Network.

Dec 132017
 

Richard Balnave, (left) Edward Lowry and Robyn Jackson speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Edward B. Lowry, Richard D. Balnave and Robyn Jackson talk about the mediation process and how it helps resolve differences in a way more effective than that of the court.

Edward B. Lowry engages in a statewide commercial litigation practice. He has been with the law firm of Michie-Hamlett since 1971. His litigation experience includes business torts, construction law, securities arbitration, employment, contract, real estate and banking laws. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation and the Virginia Law Foundation. He has been president of the Virginia State Bar and the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Associations. Ed was a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law where he taught a course in trial advocacy until 2013. Ed has participated in many meditations both as mediator and attorney for parties. He virtually always recommends mediation to his clients as it provides an opportunity for clients to resolve disputes without the uncertainty and expense of litigation.
Richard D. Balnave came to the University of Virginia Law School in 1984 to direct the Family Law Clinic following eight years of practice in Pennsylvania.  An expert in the areas of domestic relations and children’s law, he served on the board of governors of the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar and the Council of Domestic Relations Section of the Virginia Bar Association. He has lectured to Virginia circuit and district court judges and the Virginia Court of Appeals about issues in Virginia domestic relations law. Richard is a past president of the board of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Legal Aid Society and a former board member of the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association. He has assisted the Virginia General Assembly studies concerning child support guidelines and  mediation of child custody disputes.
Robyn Jackson is the founder of The Civility School, which teaches social skills, modern manners, and professional etiquette to all ages. The Civility School’s battle cry is “for the comfort and convenience of others.” Cultural awareness, flexibility, and empathetic intention are the keys to its method. Robyn’s background in teaching, counseling, and mediation combine to create a deep treatment of the often superficial world of etiquette. Robyn lives in Charlottesville with her husband, Brian, and their three sons.

The event took place at the Wednesday December 13, 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. SSV board member Bonnie Brewer moderated the forum.

Nov 082017
 

Sargen speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Nicholas Sargen talks about the Republican proposal for corporate and personal tax cuts which is estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the US budget deficit over the next ten years. Sargen argues that case for personal tax cuts to boost the economy is less compelling, especially as the unemployment rate nears 4%.

Nicholas Sargen is an international economist turned global money manager.  He has been involved in international financial markets since the early 1970s when he began his career at the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  He subsequently worked on Wall Street for 25 years holding senior positions with Morgan Guaranty Trust (VP International Economics Department), Salomon Brothers Inc. (Director of Bond Market Research), Prudential Insurance (CIO for Global Fixed Income Advisors) and J.P. Morgan Private Bank (Chief Investment Strategist).  In 2003 he became chief investment officer for the Western & Southern Financial Group and its affiliate, Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc., where he now serves as chief economist.

Sargen has written extensively on international financial markets, and he recently authored a book, Global Shocks: An Investment Guide for Turbulent Markets. He appeared frequently on business television programs throughout his career on Wall Street and was a regular panelist on Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street Week.  He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.  He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and he has recently relocated to Keswick, Virginia.

The event took place at the Wednesday November 8, 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. SSV Board Vice President Rich DeMong moderated the forum.