Friday, February 23, 2007


As those regular readers know (hey dad), I have two great boys (ages 2 and 3- yep thirteen months apart). Like all toddlers, they are actively exploring the world. So today at the Kroger (I know what Marijean thinks but sometimes convenience matters), the boys were fairly well behaved despite Andrew needing a nap.

The store was not crowded but inexplicably the lines were backed up- so I checked out myself (which at Kroger is not as seamless as other places). The boys were even good doing that.

As we are leaving, the dog food is placed precariously on the cart, David is driving the 'car cart' as they like to call it, and Andrew is wandering behind us. The dog food shifts as we go down a hill into the parking lot and I catch the cart (phew); but Andrew wants to go in another car cart inside the store and has not come out, and there are many other shoppers now watching him and looking at me as if to say, 'ma'am come get your child'. So thinking quickly, I could not get that cart up the hill again, so I run get Andrew and I hear 'oh I hope that cart doesnt...' and yes it does slide down the hill more. Another woman, runs and catches the cart, even as I run to catch it too.

I thank her graciously and tell her she is a hero and she responds "I didnt want your toddler in the street" a position I entirely agree with.

Being a mom is not graceful, it is messy & imperfect. I am doing the best I can, even as I am still learning this motherhood thing. Thank you to all those who help out!

Conversations on Poverty

The Quality Community Council & the Virginia Organizing Project sponsored a conversation on the poverty of Criminal Justice issues as part of their ongoing conversations on poverty.
The panelists included Shon Parker, Community Activist; Phyllis Back, Charlottesville Albemarle Regional Jail; Joy Johnson, Quality Community Council; Christa Pierpont, Restorative Community Foundation; Jack Payden-Travers, Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Moderators David Saunier and Jen Larson Sawin, Central Virginia Restorative Justice.
Two things I take with me as I leave the program-
1) As a community, we should educate ourselves on the power of restorative justice and implement RJ techniques in our schools and larger community.
2) Redefining punishment to stop at the end of a jail term/probation and focusing on support for an ex-offender. We are quick to turn our backs on folks when they need our help most, unfortunately if we turn our backs, the ex-offender has few choices and may be more likely to recidivate (that is a word I think).

The program was a true conversation and we (as the audience and panelists) are hoping to generate interest in RJ and facilitating transition for offenders back into the community.

Next conversation is on hunger next Tuesday at Buford at 7:00PM.
I am proud to live in a community where these conversations are happening AND action and results are expected.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A new judge

We havent had a new Circuit Court judge since I interned with Senator Couric in 1998 when Judge Hogshire was chosen. The announcement that Cheryl Higgins has been chosen by the committee renews some faith I have in the judicial nominating process and selection. I don't know her personally, but the folks I have discussed the process with are confident of her abilities and temperament. I dont practice too much in Circuit Court either but it is important to have a judge who will not be a lightening rod in the community. I wish the soon to be Honorable Cheryl Higgins well.

It is really cool to have a woman appointed as a Circuit Court judge.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Council Candidates

Having attended both the City Dem Committee meeting and the monthly breakfast meeting, I have had the opportunity now to meet all the folks whose names are being batted around for City Council in the Democratic party. I believe the contrasts between all the potential candidates are strong enough to give convention-goers a real opportunity to choose between differing visions for the present and future of our City.

My announcement is forthcoming.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Little Big Minds

I heard the tail end of the Diane Rehm show this morning and they advertised tomorrow's show which is to have Marietta McCarty on it. She is a professor at PVCC and now a publisher of a cool new book- Little Big Minds.

As most know, I am a big fan of the community college on the hill. I am proud to have graduated from PVCC and grateful to have such a quality institution in the community. Marietta McCarty was among my favorite professors, she inspired and taught me to incorporate service into my life. Many people helped teach me lessons, but she certainly demonstrated the importance of service by calling me to action. Other students, who do not necessarily see the value of philosophy, responded to her teaching methods.

See her at the Virginia Book Festival. And support our local author by listening to her tomorrow on the Diane Rehm show, which you can listen to on Radio IQ, oh and buy the book here.