Charlottesville Community Engagement: WTJU Edition #1

On February 24, 2024, the very first installment of a new customized version of Charlottesville Community Engagement created for WTJU. I’m Sean Tubbs, a community journalist who started this website in 2005 as an experiment in community journalism! That adventure continues with an omnibus version of the regular podcast.

Back in the summer of 2020, I started a newsletter and podcast about what’s called “the built environment.” What is that? Here’s a definition from the United States Environmental Protection Agency:

“The built environment touches all aspects of our lives, encompassing the buildings we live in, the distribution systems that provide us with water and electricity, and the roads, bridges, and transportation systems we use to get from place to place.” 

Charlottesville Community Engagement tries to cover as much of that as possible in the area around the University of Virginia and what’s known as the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. Listen to enough of these and you’ll get to know more about how decisions are made and how you might get involved. 

On this program:

  • A 59-year-old Charlottesville man was killed crossing U.S. 29 Tuesday evening, very near the location of a planned pedestrian bridge and in an area where more housing units are soon expected
  • Two engineers with the Virginia Department of Transportation discuss the upcoming construction of several projects at Hydraulic and U.S. 29  including that bridge
  • Elected officials in Nelson County and Greene County learn about a transportation safety study that the regional planning district is producing to help get more funding for construction of such projects
  • Albemarle County is moving ahead with changes the Square in Crozet 
  • County Executive Jeffrey Richardson unveils a $629 million budget for fiscal year 2025

Before you go: The Charlottesville Podcasting Network is a product of Town Crier Productions, a company formed in 2020 as part of my return to journalism. The material in this program is assembled from editions of Charlottesville Community Engagement that seeks to report as much as possible about how things get built.

To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

AC44 process continues with Albemarle Supervisor discussion on environmental stewardship

At their meeting on January 17, 2024, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors reviewed draft goals and objectives for five of the eight chapters in the update of the Comprehensive Plan. The process is called AC44. This audio originally appeared in the January 26, 2024 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement and is also archived on Information Charlottesville. I’m cross-posting audio to this site as an experiment and furtherance of the archive!

Charlottesville City Council selects Juandiego Wade as Mayor

This is the Charlottesville Podcasting Network with a longer form audio segment from something that happened this week. In this case, the election of officers for Charlottesville City Council for the next two years. I’m Sean Tubbs, and I posted a smaller version of this earlier this week in the January 2, 2024 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement

Every week I take the segments from that newsletter and upload them to Information Charlottesville. Sometimes I add more to the story or update it as best as I can. I’m doing that now for this story because I wanted to get some comments from City Councilor Lloyd Snook in the original version, but I had a tight deadline to meet. 

So this morning as I opened up Audition to go back and find that section for the second version, I decided why not go ahead and create something for this website as well? After all, this website is what launched my presence in this community back in 2005.  

There’s no transcript for this one as I don’t want to transcribe all of this. I want people to hear the voices of the people who make decisions on our behalf. So this year I hope to offer more on this website because it’s very much part of the Town Crier Productions world.  

The first meeting each year of legislative bodies in most of Virginia’s localities starts a little bit different than all of the others. The community’s executive leader or another top official starts begins as presiding officer because one hasn’t been selected yet. 

That was the case on January 2, 2024, when Charlottesville City Manager Sam Sanders opened the meeting followed by the calling of the roll by Clerk Kyna Thomas. Take a listen to see how it went!




CCE: Charlottesville City Council adopts new zoning code after hours of debate

On December 18, 2023, Charlottesville City Council unanimously adopted a new zoning code intended to make it easier for developers to build more housing. The idea is that increased supply will bring down the overall cost. Another idea is to increase requirements for developers to build affordable units.

This is a topic I’ve been covering extensively on Charlottesville Community Engagement, a newsletter and podcast I created in the summer of 2020 as a way of getting back to journalism.

I don’t cross-post the show here because it has its own distribution channel through Substack. However, the December 22 edition of the program went out without the podcast version for various reasons. So before it goes out to the full list, I’m posting it here as a final edition for 2023.  Here’s the newsletter version if you’ve not seen it before.

 




Charlottesville prepping for more work on Downtown Mall trees

Hello! I’m Sean Tubbs, the creator of this website. Last year I got the website back but I’ve not really done too much with it.  But say hello in the comments if you read this! 2023 is the new 2005.

This is an audio story created as part of November 11, 2023 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement. That’s a newsletter and podcast that is only possible because of the existence of what would go by the acronym CPN.

I’m not sure of this website’s future, but I know its past is where I was able to experiment. I am grateful to Dan Gould for his maintenance of the site over the years.

And here we are, with this quick story about upcoming maintenance on trees on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. In an attempt to be even more confusing about where my content is published in late 2023, here’s the article as it appears on Information Charlottesville




Cardinal Corner Episode 11: Rent-Friendly Home Improvement Projects

From Cardinal Corner:

We are excited to welcome back local Avenue Realty realtor Stasia Rice to discuss rent-friendly home improvement projects! Rentals are increasingly popular around the Charlottesville area, but some may be hesitant to know how to make it feel more like home while still meeting rent requirements. In this episode, Stasia gives us excellent tips on possibilities for your space!

Please note; some of the advice in this episode may be location-specific. Please consult your local realtor and/or property manager before getting started.




Cardinal Corner Episode 10: Home Improvement Projects to Increase Your Home’s Value

From Cardinal Corner:

Not sure what blinds and shades are right for your space?

Hunter Douglas provides countless options for the rooms you spend the most time in, such as your office, living room, and kitchen. In this episode, Maggie talks with Hunter Douglas specialists Judy Wagoner and Ally Catlett to help you find the right solution.

Listen on:




Senior Statesmen of Virginia: Public Safety – How Safe is Our Community?

From the very beginning of this website, audio recordings of speeches and panel discussions have been a hallmark. There are hours and hours of recordings from the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

There’s been a pause in those recordings but starting now I’m hopeful I’ll be able to bring you the audio of future events which touch on all manner of topics about our community.

(left to right) Tim Longo, Sean Reeves, Michael Kochis

On August 9, 2023, the Senior Statesmen of Virginia gathered at Westminster Canterbury on Pantops to ask: How Safe is Our Community?

They invited the police chiefs of the three area jurisdictions to answer that question and other matters related to public safety. In attendance were:

  • Tim Longo, Associate Vice President and Chief of Police at the University of Virginia
  • Sean Reeves, Chief of the Albemarle County Police Departmen
  • Michael Kochis, Chief of the Charlottesville Police Department

The program was moderated by Bob Beard of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

Timeline for the audio:

02:00 – Chief Tim Longo speaks first
06:00 – Chief Sean Reeves speaks second
12:30 – Chief Mike Kochis speaks third
18:45 – First question: Can the uptick in crime be attributed to schools being closed in the early days of the COVID pandemic?
23:30 – Second question: What laws would you deploy to reduce guns on the street?
29:15 – Third question: Would Albemarle County follow Charlottesville’s example and create a gun buy-back program?
33:00 – Fourth question: What should I do to protect myself when I am traveling to unsafe areas?
39:00 – Fifth question: Question about landlords of large residential developments requesting police refrain from patroling certain places
46:00 – Sixth question: Is it harder to be a police officer today than before cellphones? l
52:00 – Seventh question: Do any of the police department hers allow ride-alongs?
52:30 – Eighth question: How can the public support the police department and the mental health of officers?
56:30 – Ninth question: Do you ever get involved in computer scams?
58:15 – Tenth question: How can we help you do your job?




Cardinal Corner Episode 9: Choosing the Right Blinds & Shades for Your Home

From Cardinal Corner:

Not sure what blinds and shades are right for your space? Hunter Douglas provides countless options for the rooms you spend the most time in, such as your office, living room, and kitchen. In this episode, Maggie talks with Hunter Douglas specialists Judy Wagoner and Ally Catlett to help you find the right solution.

Listen on: