The Financial Crisis – Which Inning Are We In?

Professor Edwin T. Burton of the University of Virginia Economics Department spoke on the current economic crisis at a Senior Statesmen of Virginia forum on January 14, 2008. Professor Burton is a well known economic expert who is a frequent guest on WINA. He is the former head of the Virginia Retirement System and is the author of the Burton Finance Blog.

Burton received his B.A. in Economics from Rice University in 1964 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University in 1971. He is currently professor of economics at the University of Virginia, a post he has held since 1998. He is also currently a trustee of Virginia Retirement System. His past positions include head of Investment Banking and Municipal Finance at Interstate Johnson Lane from 1994 to 1995, president of Rothschild Financial Services, Inc. from 1987 to 1994, senior vice President of Smith Barney from 1975 to 1984 and assistant and associate professor of economics at Cornell University from 1969 to 1979.

The topic of today’s presentation is “The Financial Crisis – Which Inning Are We In?”. Bill Davis, SSV board member and secretary, moderated today’s program.

Climate Change: Challenge and Opportunity for Virginia

Albert C. (Al) Weed II, Chairman, owns and operates Mountain Cove Vineyards in Nelson County. He has a BA (cum laude) from Yale in Latin American Studies (with Highest Honors) and a Master’s Degree in Economic Development and Political Modernization from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. Including active duty in Viet Nam and Bosnia he served a total of almost 43 years mostly in the Reserve components, retiring from Army Special Operations as a Command Sergeant Major. Al worked for the World Bank and the Arthur Lipper Corporation before settling in Central Virginia and was a founder of the Virginia Wine Industry. He was involved in every significant legislative, regulatory and organizational development of this now vibrant industry’s first quarter century. Al is the founder of Rural Nelson, a land preservation group in his home county, and has served as a board member, director, and trustee for numerous nonprofit concerns.  At the request of the Governor of Virginia he serves on the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Twice the Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District, he currently spends half of his time in the daily operations of Public Policy Virginia, acting as its executive director. Al’s Op Eds have been published in major publications, and he speaks frequently in all areas of the state about Climate Change and a broad range of other public policy issues.

Al spoke at Northside Library at a meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia on November 12, 2008. The program was moderated by SSV board member and Past President, Don Wells.

Ron Wilson on the Appomattox Campaign

Regular listeners of our podcast or our live streaming feed might know Rick Britton. He’s a historian and cartographer and a frequent guest on WINA’s Charlottesville Right Now with Coy Barefoot. Rick also organizes a Civil War lecture and day-trip series in conjunction with the Charlottesville Senior Center.


On October 15th, 2008, one of the speakers —Ronald G. Wilson— appeared at the Senior Center to talk about the fascinating one-week-long Appomattox Campaign (April 2nd–9th, 1865). Following the Battle of Five Forks on April 1st—at which Union Gen. Philip Sheridan smashed a Confederate force under Gen. George Pickett—and the next day’s successful puncturing of the attenuated Southern trench lines around Petersburg, Gen. Robert E. Lee evacuated Petersburg and Richmond. Gathering his 57,000 men at Amelia Court House, 30 miles southwest of Richmond—where, unfortunately, there were no rations awaiting them—Lee pushed his army westward toward Farmville, Appomattox Court House, and destiny. Along the route actions were fought at Amelia Springs, Sailor’s Creek, and High Bridge.

Recently retired, Ron Wilson served as the park historian at Appomattox Court House for 25 years. A frequent Civil War lecturer, he is the author (along with William G. Nine) of The Appomattox Paroles: April 9–15, 1865.

Preparing to Celebrate 200 Years of Rail In Virginia

Richard L. Beadles, director of the Virginia Rail Policy Institute, gave a compelling lecture at the October 8, 2008 meeting of the Senior Statement of Virginia. His presentation was entitled "Preparing to Celebrate 200 Years of Rail In Virginia". SSV President Fred Terry, a distinguished railroader in his own right, moderated the program.


Dick Beadles is a 71-year-old retiree who considers himself to be an independent rail and transportation analyst. An advocate of rail and transit development, Beadles believes that a major shift in national transportation infrastructure funding and development policies and priorities will be necessary in order to effectively address current and future energy, environmental, quality of life, and global economic competitiveness challenges.    

He currently serves as a board member and a fellow of the Virginia Rail Policy Institute (VRPI), a private, not-for-profit, activity dedicated to promoting and facilitating public policy research and analysis, in the area of rail transportation. VRPI is independent of the rail industry. Its mission is to suggest public policy positions based on both academic and practical studies, and analysis of current and anticipated conditions.

Originally a hands-on railroader, up from the ranks, Beadles considers himself fortunate to have had a wide variety of operating, marketing and executive experience from the 1950s until retirement. As a former president and chief executive officer of the old Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, and later of CSX Realty, the former real estate and development unit of CSX Corporation, Beadles went on to lead a Richmond-based real estate advisory firm known as MGT Realty Advisors until a second retirement several years ago.

Immersed in land use and transportation issues of Northern Virginia in the period 1965-1995, Beadles came to more keenly appreciate the linkage between urban development and transportation challenges and to see the opportunities for better utilization of rail corridors. He was directly involved in the development of Crystal City as RF&P’s principal officer in charge of the Railroad’s land redevelopment effort at the former Potomac Yard in Arlington and Alexandria, VA. Later, with CSX, Beadles was similarly engaged in urban real estate and transportation in various cities in the eastern half of the U.S., including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, and elsewhere, including James Center in downtown Richmond.

As a member of Governor Mark Warner’s 2004 Rail Study Commission, Beadles played a minor, supporting role in the creation of the Virginia Rail Enhancement Fund and its companion facility, the State Rail Advisory Board. Subsequently, Governor Warner appointed Beadles to the Rail Advisory Board, on which he continues to serve.

An alumnus of the Business School at Virginia Commonwealth University, Beadles has in the past served on the VCU Board of Visitors, and was a charter member of the VCU Real Estate Foundation. At one time he chaired the VCU real estate program’s external support group. More recently he served as chairman of the Port of Richmond Commission. He delights in opportunities to combine involvement in urban planning and transportation, but his "old age" passion is preservation of the best of rural America and the protection of Virginia’s environment.

Beadles resides at Westminster Canterbury in Richmond, VA, with his wife Juanita.

Miller Center Forum: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on America

Jane Mayer writes about politics for the New Yorker, where she has been covering the war on terror, George W. Bush, the bin Laden family, Karl Rove, and the television show "24." Before joining the New Yorker, she was a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, where she became the first female White House correspondent in 1984. In addition, while serving as a war correspondent and foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, Mayer covered the bombing of the American barracks in Beirut, the Persian Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the final days of Communism in the Soviet Union. She has also written for a number of other publications, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Review of Books. Mayer authored The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned in to a War on America (Doubleday, 2008), and co-authored Strange Justice (Houghton Mifflin, 1994) and Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 1984-1988 (Houghton Mifflin, 1988). Mayer spoke at a Miller Center forum on September 22nd, 2008.


Miller Center Forum: The Panama Canal Treaties and The Rise of the Right

Adam Clymer served as the New York Times’ National Political Correspondent, Polling Editor, Political Editor, Weekend Senior Editor, Chief Congressional Correspondent, Washington Editor, and Washington Correspondent before retiring in 2003. He also wrote Op-Ed articles, obituaries, and an Outdoors column during his tenure there. Clymer has also worked for the Virginian-Pilot, the New York Daily News, and the Baltimore Sun. He is the author of Drawing the Line at the Big Ditch: The Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the Right (University Press of Kansas, 2008) and Edward M. Kennedy: A Biography (William Morrow, 1999). In addition, Clymer co-authored The Swing Voter in American Politics (Brookings Institution Press, 2008) and Reagan: The Man, The President (Macmillan, 1981). He was President of the Washington Press Club Foundation and Chair of the Harvard Crimson Graduate Council. In 2005, the University of Vermont awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Clymer spoke at a Miller Center forum on September 19th, 2008


Bill Bergen on The Siege of Petersburg

Regular listeners of our podcast or our live streaming feed might know Rick Britton. He’s a historian and cartographer and a frequent guest on WINA’s Charlottesville Right Now with Coy Barefoot. Rick also organizes a Civil War lecture and day-trip series in conjunction with the Charlottesville Senior Center.

On September 20th, 2008, one of the speakers —Bill Bergen— appeared at the Senior Center to talk about the June 1864 through March 1865 Siege of Petersburg, Virginia. This fascinating nine-month-long siege operation—which pitted Robert E. Lee’s 60,000-man Army of Northern Virginia against U.S. Grant’s force of 120,000 — featured numerous large-scale actions including the famous Battle of the Crater (on 30 July), the Assault on Ft. Stedman (on 25 March), the Battle of Five Forks (on 1 April), and the following day’s Breakthrough Attack led by Union Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright. Bill Bergen has been a student of the Civil War since learning about Abraham Lincoln in the first grade. Bill is an assistant dean at the U.Va. School of Law, and, as far as he knows, the only graduate of Vassar College to become a Civil War military historian. He has led numerous battlefield tours, lectured widely on the Civil War, and is a regular instructor at U.Va. annual Civil War conference. Author of "The Other Hero of Cedar Creek: The ‘Not Specially Ambitious’ Horation G. Wright," he is currently working on a study of the relationship of politics to generalship in the
Army of the Potomac.


Senator Creigh Deeds – Candidate for the Democratic Nomination for Governor

Senator Creigh Deeds shared his perspectives on the issues facing Virginia at a Senior Statesmen of Virginia event held September 10th, 2008 at the Northside Library in Abermarle County. Senator Deeds is seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor. Following his opening statement, questions were taken from members of the audience. Senator Deeds began his comments by reminding us that to compete in the 21st century we must be willing to take chances and be entrepreneurial in our approach.

Senator Deeds was elected to the House of Delegates in 1991, winning reelection five consecutive times before leaving the House to fill the seat of the late Senator Emily Couric in a special election in 2001. Four years later he was the Democratic nominee for state Attorney General, losing that race by the closest margin in Virginia history. He attended Virginia’s public schools and after completing undergraduate work at Concord College, he received his law degree from Wake Forest University in 1984. He and his wife, Pam, live in Bath County at the western end of the 25th Senate District. They have four children: Amanda, Rebecca, Gus and Susannah.

Senator Deeds has spent the last two decades serving constituents from all walks of life–from his start as Bath County prosecutor in 1987 to his current position as a State Senator representing the City of Charlottesville and a district that stretches to the West Virginia border. Whether he was working to clean up one of Virginia’s largest Superfund sites, fighting for economic development, or writing some of the toughest legislation to keep our families safe and secure, Deeds has built his career as a consensus builder who delivers results.

He wrote Megan’s Law, which allows public access to the state sex offender registry, and sponsored the Amber Alert Program to keep our children safe. Using his relationships with law enforcement officers and his experience as a prosecutor, Deeds wrote the state law that has turned the tide against homegrown illegal methamphetamine drug labs.

In addition to his work to cleanup the Kim-Stan landfill Superfund site, Senator Deeds also wrote one of the most progressive laws to preserve open space and protect the environment. For his leadership and advocacy, he received the Leadership in Public Policy Award from The Nature Conservancy and the Preservation Alliance of Virginia named him Delegate of the Year.

When Virginia was in a financial crisis, Deeds worked with Governor Mark Warner to put the budget back in order cutting waste and protecting important priorities. The 2004 bipartisan budget agreement invested more than $1 billion in education, eliminated the state food tax, and put more police officers on the streets with the tools and the training they need to keep us safe.

Today he’s working with Governor Tim Kaine to keep Virginia moving forward with an energy policy that will cut greenhouse gases by 30 percent over the next two decades and a prekindergarten program that will put children on the path to success from the start.

With thanks to CPN volunteer Sean McCord for recording today’s event.

Miller Center Forum: Face to Face with Osama bin Laden

Peter Bergen is a print and television journalist who produced the first television interview with Osama bin Laden for CNN, where he is a terrorism and national security analyst. Bergen is also a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, an Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, as well as a research fellow at New York University’s Center on Law and Security. Bergen’s books include Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World on Bin Laden (2001) and The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader (2006). Bergen spoke at a Miller Center forum on September 12th, 2008.

Fifth Congressional District Candidates Showcase

Republican incumbent Congressman Virgil H. Goode, Jr. and Democratic Challenger Tom Perriello spoke at a Senior Statesmen of Virginia event held August 13th, 2008 at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following opening statements by the candidates, questions were taken from members of the audience. Senior Statesmen board member and treasurer, Bob McAdams, moderated the program.

Congressman Virgil H. Goode, Jr. is a lifelong resident of Franklin County and currently resides in Rocky Mount, Virginia. He is married to the former Lucy D. Dodson and has a daughter named Catherine. Congressman Goode completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Richmond where he received his Bachelors of Arts degree in 1969. While a student at the University of Richmond, Congressman Goode was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies. Following his graduation from the University of Richmond, Congressman Goode attended the University of Virginia School of Law where he received a J.D. in 1973. During that time, he was selected for the Virginia Law Review. In 1973, at age 27, Congressman Goode was elected to the Commonwealth of Virginia Senate. He served as the 20th District Senator in the Virginia General Assembly until 1996 when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives serving the 5th District of Virginia. He was sworn in to office in the 105th, in January 1997, and has served continuously since then.

Congressman Goode now divides his time between serving in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. and being in the 5th District. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Interior and Environment and the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development.

Tom Perriello, the youngest of four children of Vito and Linda Perriello, was born and raised in the fifth district and lives in Albemarle County a few miles from where he grew up. Tom is a product of Murray, Meriwether Lewis, Henley and Western Albemarle High School and graduated from St. Anne’s Belfield. From an early age, he was taught that a strong faith is a lived faith. His parents raised him to believe that to whom much is given, much is expected, and those lessons have shaped his lifelong commitment to service. Tom was an Eagle Scout in the Stonewall Jackson Area Council. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University. He is presently a guest lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law. After receiving his law degree from Yale University, Tom accepted an assignment working to end atrocities in the West African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, which had suffered long civil wars fueled by blood diamonds. Tom’s work with child soldiers, amputees, and local pro-democracy groups in Sierra Leone played a significant role in the peace and reconciliation process that ended twelve years of violence in that country.

Tom became Special Advisor and spokesperson for the International Prosecutor during the showdown that forced Liberian dictator Charles Taylor from power without firing a shot. After this success, Tom served as a national security analyst for the Century Foundation. He has worked inside Darfur and twice in Afghanistan. He has worked on justice-based security strategies in Afghanistan and Kosovo, prosecuted warlords in Sierra Leone, and developed alternative peace strategies to curb acts of genocide in Darfur. He has been a consultant to the International Center for Transitional Justice and the National Council of Churches of Christ, an analyst for AfghanistanWatch, and a Fellow with The Century Foundation. He is a founding partner of Res Publica, which develops innovative solutions to global justice and security threats. Tom also co-founded, an international on-line community of 1.5 million members, operating in 12 languages, dedicated to building a global response to “problems without borders,” such as climate change.

SRO: A Permanent Solution to Homelessness

On May 27, 2008, representatives from Virginia Supportive Housing led an insightful and interactive presentation for the Charlottesville community on Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing for the homeless — a proven, permanent solution to homelessness that’s taking hold in many cities across the country. The presentation took place in the “CitySpace” meeting room at the Charlottesville Community Design Center.

Virginia Supportive Housing, a Richmond-based statewide nonprofit housing provider, recently agreed to work with the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH) and the Charlottesville community to develop and manage an SRO facility in Charlottesville. The May 27 presentation gave members of the public, community agencies, local officials, potential funders and area media a chance to learn more about the SRO concept and to hear about Virginia Supportive Housing’s plans and timeline for opening an SRO in Charlottesville.

A Single Room Occupancy facility typically features several dozen efficiency apartments that are available at low cost to people who have been homeless, with on-site support services and security to help keep the SRO residents stable in their housing. In cities like Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, Fairfax and (soon) Virginia Beach, SROs have been successful in moving local residents — many of whom are disabled and/or veterans — off the streets and out of shelters and into permanent supportive housing.

Medicare Physician Care in Jeopardy

As Virginia’s population ages, so does it’s need for geriatric care. Yet doctors trained in geriatric care are increasingly hard to find. On June 11th, 2008, the Senior Statesmen of Virginia invited Drs. David L. Chesler, M.D. and Jonathan M. Evans, M.D. to speak on the challenges of geriatric care both from a medical and financial point of view.

David L. Chesler, M.D., has been practicing Primary Care in Geriatrics in the Central Virginia area since 1977. He began his practice in the National Health Service Corps serving in Louisa County which is considered an under-served medical community. In 1980 he went into full-time practice in the Charlottesville area as a member of the Martha Jefferson Hospital. For 28 years he has maintained an outpatient geriatric clinic in Louisa County but his primary focus is within the Charlottesville area.

Dr. Chesler is part of Charlottesville Family Medicine, a primary care group of four internists and four nurse practitioners. The practice focuses on Primary Care and preventive health maintenance. Staff are certified in dietary as well as diabetic counseling. The internists maintain a full hospital practice caring for not only their own patients at Martha Jefferson Hospital but for those of other physicians in the Madison and Louisa County areas.

As a general philosophy, the practice stresses the importance of continuity of care. When possible, patients are followed wherever they go through the various changes of life and when no longer able to live independently.

Dr. Chesler is Boarded in Internal Medicine and has had additional qualification status in Geriatric Medicine since 1988. He sees patients at all the local nursing homes and has been medical director at The Cedars nursing home since 1983. He was educated at Dennison University and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He did three years of Internal Medicine residency at the University of Vermont before coming to Virginia. He holds an appointment as assistant clinical professor of Internal Medicine in the instructional faculty at the University of Virginia and teaches third-year medical students in an outpatient setting. He has been selected to “Best Doctors in America” for both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.

He enjoys fly-fishing, bowling, dancing with a focus on Argentine Tango, tennis and gardening, He is married and has three daughters and four grandchildren some of which are boys.

Jonathan M. Evans, M.D., is associate professor of medicine at the UVa School of Medicine and chief of the section of Geriatric Medicine at University of Virginia. A strong advocate for improved long-term care in the community, he is a nationally recognized expert on geriatrics and palliative care.

He graduated from Mayo Medical School in 1989, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Geriatrics Medicine at Mayo Clinic, subsequently becoming a staff physician and Associate Professor of Medicine at Mayo Medical School. He remained at Mayo until 2000, when he received a Bush Foundation Award to pursue additional training in Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota. He returned to Virginia in September 2001.

Dr. Evans has a clinical interest in long-term medicine and hospice care. For the past 10 years he has served as a hospice medical director, and was the founding medical director of Seasons Hospice in Rochester, Minnesota, the first free-standing Medicare-certified residential and inpatient hospice in the state of Minnesota. He has been a long-term care facility medical director since 1995 and was secretary of the American Medical Director’s Association (AMDA). He currently serves as chair of the AMDA Ethics Committee. He is medical director of Trinity Mission Health and Rehabilitation Center in Charlottesville as well as medical director of Hospice of the Piedmont.

Jonathan’s professional goals revolve around developing and improving systems of care for older persons, and in maintaining the dignity and nobility of spirit of those who reside in long-term care facilities as well as those who care for them. His research interests focus on the concept of “age-appropriate care,” preventing disability and iatrogenesis (an illness or problem caused by a doctor’s treatment) among older patients, and improving clinical outcomes of care. He has published numerous articles relating to a variety of medical conditions in the elderly and authored papers on a variety of subjects covering a broad spectrum of clinical conditions as well as ethical issues in the care of the aged.