Talking with Charlottesville Young Professionals

Who lives and works here in Charlottesville? Answering that question is one of the goals of the work we post here to the site. To that end, we bring you essays from people like Deepak Singh, and podcast community radio programs like the Sunday Morning Wakeup Call. The idea, we think, is to help expand the public square by giving people a forum to be heard.

With that in mind, we thought we’d start by attending a party thrown by a group that was created in 1999 to help people in their twenties and thirties find a reason to stay in town. Ever since, the Charlottesville Young Professionals has held hundreds of social events to give people the chance to meet each other. On a recent evening in late August, I drove to McIntire Park where the group was holding its annual membership party, and first spoke with the group’s outgoing president.

This podcast is sponsored by Jim Duncan of Jim Duncan Real Estate. Get insights on the Charlottesville housing market by reading Jim’s blog on Central Virginia real estate.

An Interview with Ralph Chester, New Orleans Refugee

It’s been a week now since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, but the mass exodus of people from New Orleans and other afflicted areas continues, and will continue for months to come as many in Louisiana are told to stay away from their homes for at least a month. Ralph Chester is one of this new diaspora, on the road since Sunday with his wife and two teenage boys. The family’s home is three miles outside of New Orleans in an area called River Ridge, in Jefferson Parish, but they’re not going to be back any time soon. So, they’re settling in as temporary residents of Charlottesville, along with 87 special status students at the University of Virginia, as well as other families and individuals with a connection to Central Virginia. I spoke with Ralph on September 5 in the CPN studio. He says this isn’t the first time he’s had to evacuate his family in the face of what he describes as “a bowling ball thrown by God.”

Now, how can you help?

The Starlight Express luxury bus will be taking at least one of its buses to a refugee staging area in Mississippi on Tuesday, September 6. If you hear this before then, call Starlight at 295-0782, 434-295-0782. They’re looking for donations of all kinds of things, and also might be looking for places for people to stay. Call 295-0782 when you hear this to find out how you can help.

Political Blogging in Virginia

Blogging is fast becoming an important way for many Virginians to get detailed news and opinion about politics in the Commonwealth. Visit the Virginia Progressive, or the Commonwealth Conservative, and you’ll come across thoughts from across the political spectrum, from both the site’s authors and the reading public.

But the websites have raised many questions about the ethics of blogging: For instance, is a blogger who advocates the election of a certain candidate really producing a political advertisement? Well, on Saturday, August 27, 2005, the Sorensen Institute on Political Leadership at the University of Virginia convened the state’s bloggers together for the first ever Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth. Sean Tubbs attended as a reporter for Virginia public radio stations and the Charlottesville Podcasting Network.

This report from the Summit is 23 minutes and 39 seconds long. In order to help you navigate through this file, we provide this rundown of the various people who were interviewed for this report:

00:00 – 01:00 Introduction
01:00 – 03:10 Former Delegate Barnie Day, Bacon’s Rebellion
03:10 – 04:10 Kenton Ngo, 750 Volts
04:10 – 8:30 Chris Piper with the State Board of Elections
08:30 – 10:45 Jay Hughes
10:45 – 14:45 Frosty Landon, Virginia Coalition for Open Government
14:45 – 18:52 Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, Change Servant
18:52 – 19:19 Kenton Ngo, 750 Volts
19:20 – 20:41 Chris Piper with the State Board of Elections
20:41 – 22:35 Sean O’Brien with the Sorensen Institute
22:35 – 23:38 Conclusion

Virginia Talkers: A Call From Hurricane Katrina

David Duncan and his sister Sara

Over this past weekend, David Duncan’s sister Sara was in the path of Hurricane Katrina as it stormed through Miami en route to the Gulf Coast. David called her Friday night to see if she was okay, and the University of Miami student reported that all was well. The call was recorded, and we bring it to you now as part of David’s Virginia Talkers’ series.

This file is now off-line. If you would like to hear it, please contact us…

An Interview with Sean O’Brien on the Virginia Blogging Summit

Sean O’Brien is the Executive Director of the Sorensen Institute at the University of Virginia

By now, mostly everyone knows that media coverage of Virginia politics is changing because of the blog – web logs run by anyone with an opinion about politics in Virginia. More of these blogs are being added every day, and the form is developing into an important tool to spread dialogue on the important issues that face our state and nation. Because of their increasing influence, the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia is holding a Summit On Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth. This week I stopped by the Institute and spoke with Sean O’Brien about the one-day event.

This file is now offline…

An Interview with Poet Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr’s life could have been spent mired in tragedy. He shot and killed his brother during a hunting accident when he was 12. His mother died two years later when his family was on a missionary assignment in Haiti. To escape a sense of despair and anguish, Orr became involved in his late teens with the Civil Rights Movement and traveled from upstate New York to Mississippi in 1965 to serve as a volunteer. He was quickly imprisoned for breaking various laws
set up to deter protestors, and was subsequently beaten by police officers.

The University of Virginia poet often recalls these events in his poetry, but it wasn’t until 2002 that Orr wrote about the experiences in prose. That was in a memoir called The Blessing. Sean Tubbs spoke with Orr in his office last month for a conversation about his career, the difference between poetry and prose, and about the time he spent in Mississippi forty years ago this summer.

Gesel Mason’s Declaration of (In)Dependence

This is Gesel Mason
Gesel Mason

This Monday night, D.C. choreographer Gesel Mason will tell the story of Thomas Jefferson’s complex relationship with Sally Hemings, a slave whose six children were likely fathered by the third president. The talk is part of the C-Ville Talks lecture series put on by C-Ville Weekly, and will include excerpts of A declaration of (In)Dependence: The Story of Sally Hemings.

In her piece, Mason uses movement to depict the many nuances and complexities of the relationship to fully explore the ambiguities of the time. On Monday night at Live Arts, she’ll be showing videos of the performance and discussing the legacy of the Jefferson-Hemings relationship.

Update: This file was rediscovered on December 12, 2016.

An Interview with Robert Bruce on Astral Projection

Have you ever had an uncanny experience such as the sensation of your hackles going up around a particular person or place, for instance, or an inexplicably vivid dream in which you could see yourself sleeping? Or one that made you wonder if claims about the reality of supernatural forces and out of body experiences have any validity? Robert Bruce doesn’t need to wonder. Since the age of three, his encounters with astral planes and psychic forces have left him with no doubt about the presence of unseen beings and forces.

An Australian mystic, healer, clairvoyant, and author of several books that are considered classics in the field, including Astral Dynamics, a worldwide bestseller published by Charlottesville’s own Hampton Roads Publishing. Earlier this month, Bruce spoke at Quest Bookshop, and held a five-day workshop on “Energy and Conciousness” at the University of Virginia’s Continuing Education Center. Amy Sarah Marshall was there, and spoke with Bruce afterwards.