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!

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

Press conference with new Charlottesville Police Chief Michael Kochis

Michael Kochis will be the next police chief for the City of Charlottesville. He was the final selection of interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers and approved by City Council on December 5, 2022. He will start work on January 16, 2023.

On December 6, Rogers held a virtual press conference to allow members of the media to ask questions of the new chief, who comes to the position after being the chief for the Town of Warrenton in Fauquier County.

Center for Politics forum explores election security in advance of Election Day

On October 18, 2022, the Center for Politics held a seminar in the Rotunda at the University of Virginia called “Hacking Our Elections.” Charlottesville Community Engagement recorded the event and produced this six minute podcast summary.

To read this story, please visit Information Charlottesville

Virginia Film Festival’s 35th annual program is announced

The falling of the leaves is the sign of many things, but the onslaught of autumn also marks the coming of the next Virginia Film Festival. Here’s a very brief preview of the 35th annual event, which will take place November 2 through November 6.

This piece was originally part of the October 12, 2022 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement. You can read the item here.

Will there be more podcasts from the Virginia Film Festival? Stay tuned!

The opening night film is Glass Onion: A Knives Out mystery

Historical Marker unveiled at Central Library for crucial desegregation case of Swanson v. UVA

On May 19, 2022, a crowd assembled at the intersection of East Market Street and 3rd Street NW in downtown Charlottesville to watch the unveiling of a historic marker to commemorate an important moment in the desegregation of education in Virginia. In 1950, Gregory Swanson applied to attend the University of Virginia School of Law, but he was denied a space because he was Black. He sued in federal court citing 14th Amendment rights to equal protection, and a three-panel judge heard arguments on September 5 that year. Our recording begins with David Plunkett, the director of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.

Timeline for podcast:

  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:50 – Comments from David Plunkett, Jefferson-Madison Regional Library
  • 04:10 – Comments from Risa Goluff, Dean of the University of Virginia School of Law
  • 10:00 – Comments from M. Rick Turner
  • 12:00 – Comments from Donna Price, Chair of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors
  • 15:30 – Comments from Lloyd Snook, Mayor of the City of Charlottesville

A close up of the historical marker unveiled on May 19, 2022

SSV: Moving Forward with Equity in Our Community

On Zoom: Elizabeth Beasley (left), Putnam Ivey de Cortez and Bob Beard (moderator)

Elizabeth Beasley and Putnam Ivey de Cortez spoke at the February 2022 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

Elizabeth Beasley is from the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion where she is director of community partnerships. In addition she is a member of the President’s Council on University-Community Partnerships and co-chair of its Public Health Work Group. She began her presentation answering the question, “What is the difference between “equal” and “equity.” Equal implies that there is a one size fits all resolution to an issue. Equity is an intentional way of equalizing responses according to the needs of the recipients. The goal of the President’s Council is to build partnerships with the community such as using local vendors, improving public health and public housing. Practicing good neighbor ethics, pursuing actions with mutual benefits and building authentic partnerships are ways of achieving equity between The University of Virginia and the local community.

Putnam Ivey de Cortez from Albemarle County’s Office of Equity and Inclusion coordinates programs for the county government. The mission statement of this program is to improve the well being and quality of life for all community members. In order to accomplish this goal, understanding the issue more thoroughly is essential so, the speaker presented several demographic studies. For example, factors affecting health were found to be 20% clinical care, 30% health behaviors, 40% socioeconomic factors and 10% physical environment. These statistics provide the foundation for determining the work the staff is trained to do. Currently the county is revising their comprehensive plan and soliciting a broad selection of its citizens to give their input.

The two spoke at the Wednesday February 9, 2022 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville and simulcast on Zoom. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Board Member Bob Beard.

SSV: Medical Marijuana and Adult Use In Virginia

Ngiste Abebe (left) and Peyton Williams (moderator)

Ngiste Abebe, vice president of Columbia Care, a leading cannabis company, spoke at the January 2022 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

Ms. Abebe focused her presentation on the legalized/decriminalized use of marijuana in Virginia. Currently marijuana’s primary use is for pain, anxiety and insomnia when prescribed by a certified practitioner. Registration at the Board of Pharmacy is necessary for individuals or medical personnel to prescribe the drug. The nearest available resource to Charlottesville is Salem, Virginia. Legal adult recreational use is now up to one ounce and four individual cannabis per adult in Virginia.

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.

Ms. Abebe spoke at the Wednesday January 12, 2022 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville and simulcast on Zoom. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Peyton Williams.

SSV: Becoming An Age Friendly Community

From left to right: Peter Thompson, Kim Volker, George Worthington, Jeff Gould and Sue Friedman

Peter Thompson, Executive Director of The Center and a founding leader of the The Charlottesville Area Alliance (CAA), George Worthington the dementia services coordinator for Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, and Kim Volker manager of Virginia Care is There, a geriatric care management company, spoke at the December 2021 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

Peter presented an overview of CAA whose mission is to lead the advancement of an age friendly community which is good for everyone. CAA has been accepted as a partner in the WHO/AARP age-friendly network, which gives the group access to a global network of advisors and groups working toward similar goals. There are eight standards for successful communities including outdoor space, transportation, housing, social inclusion and health services.

George Worthington spoke on age and dementia friendly perspective working together and including a dementia friendly aspect to its plans such as dementia friends’ initiative to keep individuals involved in the community. He also presented information of the CAA’s social participation action plan to increase participation and education to foster the understanding of aging and dementia and CAA’s housing efforts.

Kim Volker provided information on CAA’s new alliance: citizen advocates to increase the engagement of citizens in legislative priorities identified by CAA. The final topic was the CAA goals for transportation such as bus stop improvements.

The three spoke at the Wednesday December 8, 2021 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville and simulcast on Zoom. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was introduced by SSV President Jeff Gould and moderated by Vice President Sue Friedman.

SSV: Virginia and Climate Change

William Shobe

William Shobe, professor at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, spoke on the energy transition initiative that Virginia reduce electricity carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and the pathways to reach this goal cost effectively. He discussed not only the opportunities to accomplish this, but also the roadblocks to getting there. Professor Shobe spoke at the November meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

In this podcast Shobe points out that in 2006 Virginia reached the peak of carbon emissions and there has now been a considerable drop off. The reason behind this decline is the decrease in coal use and the increase in natural gas. After years of minimal usage of renewable energy sources, there is now a growing interest in hydro, solar and wind energy production. Since 2010 the importation of electricity into Virginia has decreased reducing carbon emissions. Since 2016 solar production has become increasingly popular. Currently the cheapest new resource to build is solar. According to Shobe, in 2021 Virginia has produced the same amount of energy from solar as coal,

Professor Shobe is hopeful that costs will come down in some energy sectors and new technologies will be available to make products more affordable. In the end, he feels with advance planning and cooperation a zero-carbon emission goal may be accomplished.

Professor Shobe spoke at the Wednesday November 10, 2021 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville and simulcast on Zoom. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was introduced by SSV President Jeff Gould and moderated by SSV Past President Bob McGrath.