Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Recycle program expands AGAIN!

Charlottesville is at it again! The recycling program has expanded even more to include mail/newspaper inserts, etc. I am so proud. Read the press release for additional info on what is NOT accepted and how to put it on the curb!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Worst. Vacation. Ever

I am the perpetual optimist. This vacation I did not have the strength for such optimism.

The A boy got sick on the first day, Saturday. Out of town, my child with an incredibly high fever and it is Saturday. Thankfully our pediatrician here in Cville has urgent care hours. I called them several times last weekend. Soothing nurses told me "just keep doing what you are doing" somehow this is not as soothing when it relates to my baby (who admittedly is now three).

First thing Monday morning, Andrew and I were at Patient First at 9:00AM (General Booth Blvd location). He had received a shot of tylenol at 5:00AM so he was in great spirits, so much so the PA told me "he looks fine now"- idiot- dont patronize a tired mother who is on 'vacation'. Of course by 11:30 as we are leaving, the fever kicks up again. I did get antibiotics, alas it must have been viral, Chris has it now and the fever reducing meds are far superior to the antibiotic.

By Wednesday I stopped giving Andrew medicine to control his fever. That seems like a long time to have a fever to me. He is good now but still on antibiotics.

That is only part of the story of my worst vacation ever, I bet my dad is happy though since it supplants the vacation of a couple years ago for the worst ever. :)

Having said all that, I love Sandbridge and it is fantastic to have a pool at the ocean when there are small kids and rough waves.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Paris- whatever


This photo is for grandpa, who may have photos of Paris now (thankfully, I am not bitter), but I have photos (drumroll please) of the boys at Mint Springs. I have been a bit nostalgic lately. This weekend we went to my old stomping grounds of Mint Springs. The location is still unbelievable, there is nothing like looking up at all those green trees and mountains. I have been going there for 22 years- and my kids can say they have been going there since they were 2 and 1- now they are 3 and 4 and swim all over the place. This was the first time I sat on the sand and watched them swim and wasnt in the water with them the whole time. I didnt read a book or anything, but I sense time flying by.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Saved cville posts round-up

I have a Bloglines feeder so as to keep up with all the important and silly postings of the day without having to go to so many websites (sorry for all your counters out there).
In the feeder you can save some posts. I have saved some posts for a variety of reasons, perhaps you can guess why, perhaps I dont even know why. Here are some posts I saved:

1. Life in Sugar Hollow's things one can plant in June; now that it is August, I wonder what I can plant, I felt so optimistic in June that perhaps I could grow something...I have given up on that thought for the year.

2. Eat Air's "A Week of Breakfast" - so he made breakfast all week and took delicious photos of them and provided the recipes. I thought I could use this to persuade Chris to make me breakfast, but I havent had time to tell him about this, perhaps he will read this post now.

3. Cville Tomorrow's LWV Groundwater Presentation podcast and discussion. I really wanted to go to this presentation, but couldnt, and I really want to listen to this podcast, but I havent, I promise I will though.

4. Buddha on the Road's A Month of Sundays. Sad, sweet, July is a hard month in our household and for some reason this post helped.

5. STLWorkingMom's "I'm Going to BlogHer" I guess I can delete this one now, she went, she had fun, I stayed home and went to a 6 year old bday party :)

6. STLWorkingMom's "Because I am a Blogger" I am a big fan of Marijean so of course a lot of her posts are saved, heck and I am even mentioned in this one. I would like to write a post like this one day...I have been given so much as a result of blogging in the cvilleblogs community.

7. CvilleBikeandTri's "We are not our Sports Dopers" his outrage mirrors mine and he speaks it succinctly and angrily. Thanks for that Craig.

8. Vale of Evening Fog's "C Stands for a Collection of Things" simply poetic and nice photos.

9. Black and White check out his almost daily photos today's is spectacular "Up River and Down River" and yesterday's "Kevin" hey, I know that guy. Bill's photos are simple, yet deep.

10. Duane Gran's Log of Thoughts "Housing and the Law of Supply and Demand" Duane is so smart, and I keep meaning to read this dense post.

11. RealCrozetVa "Homesick for Crozet" I didnt grow up in Crozet this long ago, but I remember Seals and Kristie's family running the IGA, orange soda and pizza from Sal's on Friday nights and walking on the road for miles and never having a car pass you.

12. RealCentralVa I have a lot of posts saved from Jim's blog- he always provides excellent analysis of whatever he is discussing, also I like his links to other articles of interest. So here and here and here and here are some of my favorites.

13. Waldo Jaquith's blog- "Top 8 photos of 2006"- this was the first post I ever saved, I love these photos. Waldo recommended the "Get Rich Slowly" (GRS) which is in my feeder, but I am keeping this to the cvilleblogs and here is a post he liked from GRS. I appreciated his comments on "When Green is Not Green" and finally yesterday's "China's Bond Threat" something I am increasingly worried about.

This may seem like an all-encompassing list, but it isnt.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cycling News...

CyclingNews is one of my favorite websites. It is updated frequently and always gets me the exciting and depressing news of cycling promptly. Tonight, thinking I was unlikely to find anything new...I found this news.
The lowlights
Another teammate of Vino has tested positive for blood doping in a surprise check on Aug. 1. Idiot.
Alberto Contador, the winner of the Tour de France after Rasmussen was forced to leave the Tour because of his stupidity, is making an announcement with Johann Bruynel on Friday. That cannot be good for the sport- or can it?

The sport is no longer about cycling, it is about who has been caught. It makes me sick. I look forward to racing being in the news again soon- perhaps at the Vuelta? Optimism is certainly my achilles heel (and what people find most annoying about me).

Query

John wants me to ask this question out loud, he is the creator of the question, and we should all be asking it. Given Jim Gilmore and Tom Davis's front page rejection of the CRF aka abusive driver fees, do they then support an increase in taxes to fund transportation needs, specifically a .10 cent gas tax since that is what the CRFs were trying to avoid?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Argentina Article

Fascinating article in the International Herald Tribune on the anxiety of Argentine Jews with the increasingly close relationship between Venezuela and Argentina.

According to the article, an invigorated investigation into the 1994 bombing of the Embassy in Buenos Aires has revealed the bombing may have been initiated in Iran. Chavez's close ties to Iran and Argentina's increasing reliance on Chavez for refinancing its debt and supporting its energy needs has led to concerns by Argentinian Jews.

Argentina has a sad and long history of anti-Semitism. The current president, along with his wife, who is slated to be the next president in an election later this year (there will be an election so she may actually lose) have been playing both sides of the issue (I dont mean that too maliciously). Economic security is desperately needed by the Argentinians. American and Europe have not stepped up, where else are they to go? It seemed like a bad investment at the time to prop up Argentina's economy, but looking back, the people of Argentina may revere Chavez more than the USA (and they loved Clinton). We have come a long way, baby, just the wrong way.

I was in Argentina in 1996, boom time for them. The place is fantastic, but there is a layer of darkness, a willingness to latch on to the nearest thing that is not drowning (where anti-Semitism, classism, racism and economic dispair persists). In 1996, the people I met where very excited because President Clinton planned on allowing Argentinians to enter the US without a visa. This demonstrated to the Argentinian people a real equality, as though it were moving beyond the third world and an honor. The Argentinians are very proud people, the world turned its back on them, and to the country that didnt, go the spoils. After this next election, if it isnt too late, I want real foreign policy, that brings people to the side of democracy and freedom, not one that alienates whole regions and populations against us.

Slush fund reference

This post at www.cvillenews.com provided the descriptive 'slush fund' reference in my previous post. I support the current allocation because of the rigorous vetting it went through with staff and the HAC. I understand the HAC (housing advisory committee) reviewed these proposals- two grants went to PHA (Piedmont Housing Alliance) and one went to Habitat (more money went to Habitat). All three proposals support affordable housing efforts in the City.

HAC and CAHIP initiatives have provided sunshine for well-intentioned programs that in the past, were shrouded in secrecy, this no doubt leaves a bitter aftertaste. E.g. It probably feels a little late to be finding out about this money for groups like AHIP and other housing non-profits who have struggled mightly trying to serve its constituents. It is unfortunate process was not valued in the past, I believe the City is headed generally in the right direction with respect to process and citizen input. I believe it is our responsibility to make sure input and process are a normal part of operations in the City. So in the past this may have been slush fund money, today this is not the case.

Headlines from City Council Meeting

Some headlines from last night's meeting- any reporter will tell you that the headlines are not written by them and frequently dont reflect the actual story- so there is the qualifier.
"$439,000 from the Slush Fund doled out to affordable housing projects"

"$850,000 loan from CAHIP help local developer buy Dogwood Properties, Saves 55 families from imminent eviction"
No non-profit could make this work, this loan provides at least 5 years of affordability for the families.

"Charlottesville Industrial Development Authority Renamed Charlottesville Economic Development Authority" that is to reflect that changing focus from industrial development to economic development.

"5 Years Later, City turns Jefferson School Over to Partnership to Applause"

"New (draft) Comprehensive Plan Adopted"
Dont worry it can be changed, it is a fluid document- common response to questions concerning mistakes and issues citizens have with the document. Query- has the plan ever actually been changed? Not to my admittedly limited experience. The plan is used to justify Capital Improvements and projects brought before the Planning Commission. PC has been working for two and a half years on this document, Council approved it with the final draft pending.

"8th Street & West Main Street Intersection Still Not Safe for Drivers According to Local Resident"
Interestingly, Mr. Gaines came before Council for the third time in about three months or so. In a recent Council meeting Council agreed not to change the parking/loading zone situation, but to request the police enforce the parking rules on that block. Turns out, according to Mr. Gaines, this hasnt really helped visibility for people turning onto W. Main Street. Interestingly, Council agreed staff should look into the matter again.

"Confusion leads to Definitive Direction for Staff on Camera Issue"
Under New Business- or is it Other Business another discussion of cameras on the downtown mall. Dave Norris publicized a letter sent by the Rutherford Institute (defenders of the Constitution) indicating it could help draft policies related to a public camera system on the mall that may protect liberties. Norris and other councilors seemed interested in Rutherford's assistance. This led to a discussion on what was approved last Council meeting and what the understanding of the Council now was. Anyway, it seems staff wanted to present everything to Council as a package, package being defined as policy and bids; but some Councilors want to have the policy first because it may dictate the bid proposals.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another disturbing recall

These recalls become much more important when you become a parent. The boys each had their birthdays this summer- and Dora/Diego are their favorites- no doubt some of the toys will have to go back, just like the Thomas trains did a few months ago. Why is lead in paint even an issue nowadays? It is archaic to use it, but what the heck do I know. Please stop poisoning my children- if it isnt lead it is mercury, if not that, then pesticides, or fat or commercials it is a lot to overcome and fight as a parent.