Saturday, April 28, 2007

Not my most prolific posting time

Everything is a blur, so here are some scenes from the road.
1. Jen Fariello & Lisa Provence are geniuses.
2. Why does it take a year to test blood? Ivan Basso, now on Team Discovery (soon to be something else since Discovery has dropped its sponsorship), is not able to compete at this point for Operacion Puerto which happened last year. My thought is please suspend him if he is guilty of something. It is not good business practice to bring this up every year prior to the major cycling events- resolution would help, I am unsure why it is taking so long. See for further info on this scandal AND the very exciting Tour of Virginia which is making its way to town TOMORROW.
3.Leadership Charlottesville class has at least two great projects I know about. One is the Voices of Poverty, headed by cvilleblogs own StLWorkingMom. I was privileged to attend the premiere voice "Art" who was incredibly powerful. I look forward to the unveiling of the other voices in the coming weeks. The other project I know about is Friends of the Parks & Rec. I met one fellow who is heading that project at the Linear Trail dedication this morning (now known as Schenks Greenway). I look forward to the Parks Dept working collaboratively with the Friends of Parks group.
4. Emily Couric Leadership Forum was filled with at least 400 folks, a succesful fundraiser. I was honored to be there. I saw Howie Long in person for the first time and Leslie Visser was entertaining (plus I love sports so I loved her stories). I also had the opportunity to catch up with the Senator Couric's former legislative assistant (however briefly).
5. I rather like it when people are honest with me.
6. So far there looks to be 5 forums in May for the City Council candidates, but the May 19th forum is not happening. Just to be clear the Convention is June 2- arrive around 12:30 to be admitted, the door closes and no one is allowed in after 1:00. And it is at the Martin Luther King Performing Art Center at CHS.
7. Mike and Wendy are having another baby AND they are buying a house (so exciting).
8. One last tuition payment for this year at D's preschool (and then bye-bye for the tiny downtown preschool) and hello to two tuitions next year.
9. Wow Foxfield dresses are getting smaller and smaller. Outskirts posts his sardonic perspective on the whole thing. My experience was different- I sat in traffic (that part is the same) but parked in South Hill which is far from all the stuff (South Hill seems kind of in the swanky area), but very easy to leave Foxfield. The reason I say it is sort of swanky is the tents had tvs in them (in addition to the catering and hired band) to watch the far side of the race. I ran into lots of people I hadnt seen in awhile & laughed a lot.
10. Earth Day hot air balloning at McIntire didnt happen because of the wind (I hadnt noticed). Fortunately, the festivities went on, I learned a lot, picked up information for Chris to learn (and a spruce for him to plant). I am hoping to attend the Rivanna Conservation Society's fundraiser next weekend (at the Garden Barn in Advance Mills) and pick up a rain barrel (although Chris still votes on making our own).
Well ten things are enough for now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

More campaign/fun events

Here are some of the events I will attend in the coming weeks, certainly more will be added. Spring is a great time to be in Charlottesville, I look forward to meeting you at these fun events.
4/27- Trail dedication and naming at Harris and McIntire 11:30-12:30
part of Earth Day festivities
4/25 Emily Couric Leadership Forum Luncheon 11:00-1:00 (Omni)
4/28 Earth Day festivities at McIntire Park
4/29 Volunteer at the Tour of Virginia. Support the professional
cyclists coming through our City.
4/30 CAAR workforce housing forum 9-3 at Newcomb Hall
5/19 Candidate Forum at the monthly Democratic breakfast held at JABA at 9:30.
5/30 Public Forum on collaboration between YMCA and the City 6:30-8:00
at Carver Recreation Center.
6/2 Democratic Mass Meeting to nominate candidates for November
election. 1:00.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Venue Change City Convention

In order to accommodate the hordes of Democrats (and that is only the candidates) expected at the June 2, 2007 convention, the City Party has announced the location officially be the Charlottesville Performing Arts Center, the time changed to 12:30 too.

It is nice to know for sure where it will be. Everyone should come, it will be fascinating and it may be the only opportunity to make your vote count.

Friday, April 06, 2007

U.S. Open Cycling Championships

Tomorrow- the weather is supposed to be cold and breezy- so stay in, and watch NBC starting at 2:00. NBC will be airing the US Open Cycling Championships which is being held right here in Virginia. Some very fine cycling teams will be participating- choose your favorite colors and follow that team, it does help the watching. Al Trautwig is doing the color commentating. Al is not the best, but he is recognizable and helps keep people engaged who are just learning the sport. I like the Navigators- they have cool colors. Around here though we have a Rite Aid and (possibly) a HealthNet (or is it Priority Health?) rider so those are good reasons to cheer for those teams. I also like to root for teams based on their names- Jittery Joes and Jelly Belly being my two favorite names.

For more information see this website.
I understand the Masters is on too, but that will also be on Sunday. Follow the leaders through Amen Corner, then watch the end of the third day after the race. And have a happy Easter!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

News from the Campaign Trail

I have been attending most of the City budget meetings- "a glutton for punishment." True, but a lot work happens during the work sessions and I wanted to see the push and pull of the budget debate. The newspaper had done a good job of covering the budget debate this year, but I like to decipher it through my own filter, not a reporter's. I discovered I enjoy the budget/policy development stuff. I am a lawyer so details and minutia are part of my life, but these details make a big difference. The City Council meeting was packed again this week. When it is not budget time, only the diehards (Yes. You, Peter) and high school students, who are assigned this as homework, attend of the Council meeting (the students all leave around 8).

I had a press conference this week, see coverage by the Progress and comments are posted at myspace. I stood at the corner of 10th and Page streets to discuss my proposal for substantial rehabilitation loan program. As chair of the CDBG task force I have seen how overwhelmed the non-profit sector is just to bring homes up to the building code.

My thought is in order to avoid tearing down some homes as a result of the blighted condition of the home, the City can provide low interest loans (possibly with deferral on payments) to homeowners to have private builders come in and rehabilitate their homes. And I am not talking Extreme Makeover rehabilitation, but only to bring the home up to the building code therefore SAFE for the residents.

I enjoyed the Left of Center meeting at Starr Hill on Tuesday night. The discussion involved education, Juan Diego Wade and Steve Kolezcar spoke on their philosophies and how they approach their roles on their respective School Boards. I had the opportunity to meet some new people who enjoy political discussion.

Next week looks like a busy week too (4/10- special meeting of Council to approve the budget). The City Democrats are holding their annual fundraiser on the 14th and Mark Warner is attending the 5th District annual dinner in Danville on 4/12. I should have some fun things to talk about (unrelated to budgets) as a result of these adventures.