Apr 102015
 

Delegates Rob Bell, and David Toscano provided their perspectives on the issues that came before the 2015 legislature. The delegates spoke at the Wednesday, April 8, 2015 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 member Terry Cooper.

Rob Bell (left) and David Toscano speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.
Robert Bell

Robert Bell (R) – 58th District: An honors graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia Law School, Rob served as a state prosecutor for five years. He prosecuted over 2,400 cases, working with the police and crime victims to bring criminals to justice.

In the Virginia General Assembly, Rob has written laws that crack down on drunk driving. As a result, MADD (Virginia) named him the 2005 Outstanding Legislator. He is also interested in school safety. In recent years, he has written laws to ban criminal sex offenders from school property during school hours and to require additional background checks on school personnel. In 2008, Rob helped overhaul Virginia’s mental health commitment laws in light of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. And, in 2009, Rob received the Act, Honor, Hope award from the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance to recognize his work in the Virginia General Assembly.

An Eagle Scout, Rob was an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts and with the public schools prior to his election in 2001. Rob’s wife, Jessica, is a schoolteacher. She is currently staying home to raise their children, Robbie and Evie. The Bells live in Albemarle County and are members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

Rob understands that in tough economic times everyone – business, communities, government – needs to pitch in to create and protect Virginia jobs. That’s why Rob has fought to preserve and promote Virginia’s #1 business-friendly ranking. This helps Virginia’s small businesses to expand and encourages new companies to move here.

In response to the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, Rob was chosen to lead a special Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee charged with reforming Virginia’s mental health commitment laws. The subcommittee’s goals were to ensure that a similar tragedy would not happen again and to protect the ability of Virginians to voluntarily seek care for themselves. In 2008, as a result of the subcommittee’s work, Virginia saw the most sweeping reforms of mental health commitment laws in 30 years.

Rob and Jessica’s son Robbie attends public school. Jessica is a high school English teacher who is currently taking time off to raise Robbie and Evie. As delegate, Rob regularly visits our schools to talk with students. He has taught more than 1,000 students about civics and how laws are made. Rob has also sponsored local students as pages in the Virginia General Assembly and others have served as interns in his legislative office.

Rob is a champion for our communities against crime. He has led an all-out assault against drunk driving and has fought to protect our families from sex offenders. Rob has served on the Virginia Crime Commission since 2003 and is currently chairman.

David Toscano

David Toscano (D) – 57th District: David Toscano is serving his third term in the Virginia General Assembly, representing the 57th District of the House of Delegates, where he serves on the Courts of Justice; Transportation; and Science & Technology committees. David also serves on the Disability Commission and has served on the special Joint Subcommittee to Study Land Use Tools in the Commonwealth and the Joint Committee to study Math, Science, and Engineering. He is also a member of the United Way Board and the Chamber of Commerce.

David, his wife Nancy A. Tramontin, and son Matthew live in Charlottesville. David is a practicing attorney and an active volunteer for many community-based organizations.

David is an attorney with Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz, Ltd., and specializes in family law, real estate transactions, and estate planning.

David’s priorities are education, energy, and the environment. He fights for education funding, against teacher pay freezes, and to protect VRS and retirement benefits. He pushes the cause of renewable energy, and stood against those who deny the reality of climate change. He opposes predatory lending in its various forms. He argues for multifaceted transportation programs that include roads, rail, and public transit. He opposes cuts to services for the poor and disabled, defends a woman’s right to choose, and advances reforms in foster care and adoption, so that all children will have the opportunity to live productive lives in family settings free from abuse and neglect.

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters has named David a “Legislative Hero” four times for his work on environmental issues.

David was born in Syracuse, New York, the oldest of five children. He received a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, a Ph.D. from Boston College, and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He has taught politics and sociology at various colleges and universities, including Boston College, University of Maryland (European Division), PVCC, University of Virginia, and James Madison University. He recently taught for the University of Virginia as part of its 14-week Semester at Sea program.

David served on the Charlottesville City Council from 1990 to 2002 and as Mayor 1994-96. David is a resident of the City of Charlottesville, where he lives with his wife, Nancy A. Tramontin, and their son, Matthew.

Mar 272015
 

Stephen Nash speaking to the Sierra Club in Charlottesville.

Climate disruption is often discussed on a global scale, affording many a degree of detachment from what is happening in their own backyards. Environmental journalist Stephen Nash brings home the threat of climate change to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Mr. Nash spoke to the Sierra Club on March 25, 2015. Sierra Club member John Cruickshank introduced the speaker.

Mar 252015
 

Fourteen Charlottesville High School students presented their versions of TED Talks, called Thought Blocks.

CHS Student Speaking at The Bridge.

The Speakers:
Haley Warren – Writing is a tool
Quincy Pinkston – The Import of Happiness
Cara Warren – In Support of Teenage Exploration
Zaquan Thomas – Music as Message
Joelle Norfleet – What does it mean to be attractive?
Genevieve Riley – Healthy Competition
Nikkia Michie – Our negative experiences can help us grow
Jack Smith – Do something crazy!
John Russel Pinkston – The beautiful lessons of death and dying
Tommy Stadler – The importance of teamwork
Kalif Parker – Why it’s great to be spontaneous
Peter Barcia – The customer is NOT always right
Tess Kendrick – Learning and Curiosity in the 21st Century
Eliya Habimana – What it means to be black in America today

The event was held on March 16, 2015 at The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative. Jenn Horne, who teaches Public Speaking II at the high school, introduced the speakers.

Mar 122015
 

Tim Hulbert and Tom Olivier present very different views as to the direction our community should take. Listen as they discuss the likely consequences of their positions on the physical environment, taxpayers, local businesses and job seekers.

Grant Tate, Tom Olivier and Tim Hulbert Speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Tim Hulbert has been president and CEO of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce since March 2001. The Charlottesville Regional Chamber has more than 1,100 members and affiliates that together employ more than 45,000 people in the Greater Charlottesville region. Their estimated annual payrolls exceed $1.75 billion. Tim is a native of upstate New York and a graduate of Manhattan College. Prior to coming to the Charlottesville Regional Chamber, he held a similar position with the Rensselaer County, New York Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also held a variety of positions in New York state government, including in the transportation field.

Tom Olivier currently is president of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP). He grew up in New Orleans and moved to Albemarle County in 1981. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Duke University. Tom has done genetics research on mammalian populations in Africa, Australia and the Caribbean. He is a member of Albemarle County’s Natural Heritage Committee and past chair of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club. Tom and his wife, Wren, now raise sheep on their farm in Albemarle County, Virginia.

The debate took place at the Wednesday, March 11, 2015 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 CEO and Managing Partner of the bridge ltd, Grant Tate. SSV President Bob McGrath introduced the program.

Feb 282015
 

The City of Charlottesville is considering a 1% increase in the tax restaurants charge their patrons. Listen as WTJU’s Lewis Reining and Charlotte Paxton discuss the issue with Charlottesville Tomorrow journalist Sean Tubbs.

The excerpt you are about to hear was taken from the Monday February 23, 2015 edition of WTJU’s Soundboad.

Feb 112015
 

Billie Campbell speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesvile.

Over ten years have passed since the groundbreaking 2020 Plan: Aging in Community was finalized. Action 2020 is an initiative to create a challenging, but doable, 5-year action plan to achieve the goals of the 2020 Plan.

Billie Campbell is the senior program manager for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) and executive director of TJPDC Corporation, TJPDC’s companion nonprofit. She has been with the TJPDC since 1999, when she changed careers from structural engineering. She has a wide-ranging role at the TJPDC, managing a variety of projects, heading TJPDC’s housing program, and carrying out management and administrative functions for the regional agency. She has been actively involved in efforts to make our region age-friendly. She has been a leader in the Livable for a Lifetime (L4L) initiative since its inception in 2006 to promote amenities for ease, comfort and hospitality in homes and communities, and is a member of the Chamber’s Aging in Place Business Round Table. She holds a Master of Public Administration from George Mason University.

Ms. Campbell spoke at the Wednesday, February 11, 2015 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 Sue Liberman.

Jan 302015
 

Several hundred people attended the meeting held at Sutherland Middle School in Albemarle County Thursday.

Several hundred Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents turned up Thursday evening for a town hall meeting to discuss alternatives to the construction of a grade separated interchange at the intersection of Rio Road and US 29 in Albemarle County. The meeting was sponsored by Albemarle County Supervisor Ken Boyd and Smart29.

The meeting was held at Sutherland Middle School on January 29, 2015 and was hosted by Supervisor Boyd. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience.

Jan 162015
 

Dr. Grant Tate speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

In this podcast, you’ll learn how to identify and overcome the gaps between different points of view in public and private discourse. The session was facilitated by Dr. Grant Tate, CEO/Managing Partner of the bridge ltd, a Charlottesville consulting company that helps leaders make difficult decisions. He is the founder of three small companies and was co-founder of the New Mexico Technical Innovation Center and the Connecticut Venture Center, organizations formed to help formulate and grow entrepreneurial companies. Before starting the bridge ltd, Grant was an executive at IBM where he led a software development lab, introduced new products and managed reorganization of a hi-tech division.

Dr. Tate spoke at the Wednesday, January 14, 2015 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.

Jan 052015
 

Photo: Deepak Singh.

Photo: Deepak Singh.

CPN regular contributor Deepak Singh reflects on his own mixed race family in this touching piece that originally aired on PRI’s The World.

You can follow Deepak Singh on Facebook and Twitter.


Dec 142014
 

WNRN LogoHost Rick Moore is joined by UVa Professor of Astronomy Ed Murphy. Honored with the UVa Alumni Association Distinguished Professor award, Ed Murphy has worked on the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) and runs the public night program at the McCormick Observatory. Topics discussed include the Rosetta and Kepler Missions, the cosmic calendar, and the future of NASA launches.

Nov 162014
 


Allen Lynch speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

According to Allen Lynch, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is the byproduct of two vectors of policy that predate Vladimir Putin’s rise to power in the Kremlin: (A) The desire of Moscow’s ruling elites that Russia be the dominant power throughout the territories of the former Soviet Union; and (B) NATO expansion. But Putin’s policy toward Ukraine not only reflects these political tendencies but also lessons that he learned during his family and professional socialization. These are: (C) Vacuums of power will always be filled; fill them yourself before others do, and (D) But in the process, be wary of over-extension, a lesson that Putin derives from his mastery of Judo, in which sport he attained advanced black belt status.

Allen Lynch, is the current professor of international relations and Russian studies at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, and was director of research at UVa’s Center for International Studies (2010-2012) and was director of the University’s Center for Russian and East European Studies (1993-2008), raising $1.5 million for graduate fellowships in Russian and East European Studies.

Mr Lynch has a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University (1984) and a BA in History from the State University of New York Stony Brook (1977) where he was also the All-American kicker/punter in 1975 in the 80-team National Club Sports Association.

He has held positions at the Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union, Institute for East-West Security Studies (New York City), Feris Foundation of America, and is currently co-treasurer for the Friends of the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. He is a Visiting Professor at the Free University of Berlin, East China Normal University (Shanghai), the Graduate School for Social Science (Paris), and the Radio Free Europe Research Institute (Munich). He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Russian Research Center, Harvard University, University of Lyon, France, and the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland (2014).

Mr Lynch’s publications include Vladimir Putin and Russian Statecraft, translated into Chinese; How Russia is Not Ruled; Does Russia Have a Democratic Future?; Europe from the Balkans to the Urals co-authored with Reneo Lukic; The Cold War Is Over Again; The Soviet Study of International Relations. He has also published in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and various journals in North America, Europe, Russia and China.

He has received the Marshall D. Shulman Award for Best Book by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and Teaching Awards from the University of Virginia and the American Political Science Association.

Mr. Lynch has consulted for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the FBI Academy, the U.S. Air Force’s Special Service School, the U.S. On-Site Inspection Agency, the U.S. Army’s National Grounds Intelligence Center, and the Kettering Foundation.

He speaks Russian, French and Italian and reads in German, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish. He is married to the former Tullia Maffei. They have one son (Thomas), who is now working in Washington, D.C.

Allen Lynch spoke at the Wednesday, November 12, 2014 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 President Robert McGrath.

Nov 082014
 

Marco Orsini

Marco Orsini

Marco Orsini is an international documentary filmmaker. His latest work is “Gray Matters”, a look at 20th century architect Eileen Gray who changed the way we live with furniture and within houses. Gray Matters screens Saturday at 6:45 in UVA’s Newcomb Hall Theater. For more information visit the Virginia Film Festival web site.