Jun 142017
 

Albemarle County Supervisors Brad Sheffield and Diantha McKeel speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Albemarle County is actively working to transform the Route 29/Rio Road area, work that started with the new grade separated interchange project and is continuing with a small area plan that will re-imagine how people live, work, shop and play in this critical area of the County. In this podcast, the County solicits the thoughts and ideas of seniors as it begins to finalize the plans for this vital area of the county. Topics include: Current Rio+29 Small Area Plan, the Economic Development in the Rio+29 area and the development of transportation facilities for bicycles, pedestrians, transit, and cars.

In addition to leading the discussion about the transformation of Rio and 29, Supervisors Diantha McKeel, Chair of the Board and Supervisor for the Jack Jouett District, and Brad Sheffield, Supervisor for the Rio District, also answered questions from the audience.

The event took place on Wednesday June 14, 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.

May 102017
 

Area legislators reported on the 2017 Session of the Virginia General Assembly. This was the biennial “short” session when the focus is normally on amending Virginia’s two-year budget. Because revenues were greater than expected, the budget amendments were adopted with little strife. The record on other issues was mixed. For example, bills to reform the redistricting process and end gerrymandering, which passed the Senate overwhelmingly, were killed in an early-morning House subcommittee meeting.

SSV Board Member Terry Cooper (left), State Senator Creigh Deeds, Delegate Steve Landes 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 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 10, 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 board member Terry Cooper.

Apr 122017
 

Luke Juday speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

After decades of attracting migrants from across the country, Virginia has suddenly experienced three consecutive years of net loss to other parts of the country. The effects of that change will start to ripple across the Commonwealth. With cities getting younger and rural areas getting older, population growth is becoming more and more polarized. The economic climate is becoming increasingly competitive for cities and towns, forcing local leaders to find new niches in a global economy.

Luke Juday is director of planning for the City of Waynesboro, VA. Before coming to Waynesboro, he was a transportation planner at the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and a demographer at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center, where most of this presentation was prepared. He has a bachelor’s degree in political philosophy from Grove City College, a Master’s in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Botswana. He is originally from Chesapeake, VA, where he was home schooled through high school.

Mr. Juday spoke at the Wednesday April 12, 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.

Mar 132017
 

Full audio from the February 26, 2017 Indivisible Charlottesville town hall meeting held at Charlottesville High School. Approximately 1200 people attended the meeting. Republican Congressman Tom Garrett declined to attend.

Audio courtsey University Visual.

Mar 082017
 

Carolyn Engelhard speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

This podcast looks at the  promises and pitfalls of ObamaCare and the winners and losers over the last six years. Engelhard looks as some of the post 2016 election polls and the “you break it you own it” politics of the current debate over repeal, replace, repair and delay.

Carolyn Engelhard

Carolyn Engelhard directs the Health Policy Program in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Professor Engelhard’s academic activities include analyzing and monitoring changes in health policy at the federal and state governmental levels and teaching in both the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine. Ms. Engelhard received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX, and her M.P.A., Public Administration, from the University of Virginia.

Ms. Engelhard co-authored a book looking at the myths surrounding the U.S. health care system, completed a national project in conjunction with the nonpartisan Urban Institute examining the use of public policies to reduce obesity, and contributed a textbook chapter examining the effect of the new law on health care organizations.

Professor Engelhard co-directs a national webinar featuring health policy experts and students across four universities each spring, and she is a contributing health policy expert for the webbased news journal, TheHill.com.

Ms. Engelhard spoke at the Wednesday March 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. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

Feb 082017
 

Kristen Suokko speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization that partners with Virginia farmers to increase community access to local food. They provide the support services, infrastructure, and market opportunities that connect people with food grown close to home.

Local Food Hub grew out of a community-supported discussion that identified a need for greater linkages between small family farms and institutions seeking local food. Farmers were being locked out of the institutional market due to missing infrastructure, delivery minimums, insurance requirements, and time. Institutions and businesses found it challenging to access a consistent supply of local produce, and were looking for one number to call to source locally.

Since its founding eight years ago, Local Food Hub has made strides in its mission to make fresh, farm sourced food available to everyone. Locally sourced food is now accessible to school kids and seniors, hospitals and universities, and restaurants and retailers. Community partnerships and programs ensure that we not only feed but also educate a new generation about the value of eating fresh and local. Family farms, the environment, public health, and the local economy all benefit as a result.

Kristen Suokko

Kristen Suokko served as chairwoman of the Local Food Hub Board of Directors in 2012, and in 2013 became executive director. Kristen maintains a wealth of experience in environmental philanthropy and nonprofit excellence, as well as environmental planning and sustainability. She began her career in Washington, D.C., working for the Natural Resources Defense Council and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Kristen has lived in Charlottesville for over 15 years and previously held positions with the W. Alton Jones Foundation and the Blue Moon Fund. Kristen received a degree in Russian from Middlebury College and is from New England.

Ms. Suokko spoke at the Wednesday February 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. The program was moderated by SSV board member Madison Cummings.

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 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.