Newscast for January 9, 2019
Good morning and welcome to another edition of the the news today newcast. The name’s still a work in progress, but this is now the seventh installment of this program. We’re glad you’re listening. Today’s edition is brought to you by Court Square Tavern, the closest thing Charlottesville has to a public house – or pub. Open since 1976, consider Court Square Tavern the next time you want to hang out with some good friends.
The Virginia Air Pollution Control Board has voted 4-0 to approve a permit for a compressor station at Union Hill in Buckingham County. The vote came despite opposition from many in the audience who felt the predominantly African-American community was not a suitable place for the 54,000 horsepower facility, a necessary piece of infrastructure for Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The Virginia Mercury reports that board member Ignacia Moreno voted with the condition that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality conduct a health assessment in Union Hill, a community populated by the descendants of former slaves. Dominion has halted all work on the pipeline after a federal court invalidated another of the project’s permits.
The first of what will be many campaign announcements has taken place for the Charlottesville City Council race. Housing activist Michael Payne launched his bid for one of three Democratic nominations at an event at Kardinal Hall.
“Our community is at a crossroads,” Payne said. “Charlottesville is rapidly changing and we’re seeing a lot of change and a lot of growth, and with that comes a lot of significant problems.”
Payne said that among those problems is an affordable housing crisis, deteriorating public housing and income inequality. However, he said he has hope that the city can overcome these issues.
“We can do something unprecedented by expanding and having public housing become a crown jewel of our city and send a signal that working families can afford to live in this city and we want to provide affordable housing as human right,” Payne said.
Payne’s running mate on the Progressives for Cville ticket, Don Gathers, was unable to attend the event due to an illness. However, Gathers did announce via email that he will step down from the Civilian Review Board.
The Democratic primary is on June 11. Today, Sena Magill is set to announce her candidacy at an event in CitySpace. There’s no word yet whether Mike Signer, Kathy Galvin or Wes Bellamy will seek election to new terms.
Today is the first meeting of the Albemarle County Supervisors in 2019. The six-member board will meet at 1:00 p.m. and will begin with the election of a new chair and vice chair. Then they’ll get right to business with a work session on stream health as well as updates on transportation, water and sewer issues. On the consent agenda, the board will direct staff to begin work on zoning changes, including adjustments to the county’s rules governing events at farms, or agricultural operations. The public has two opportunities to address the board – shortly after 1:00 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m.
Greene County has selected a new administrator. Mark B. Taylor will take over day-to-day management of the county later this spring. Taylor is currently the adminstrator in Spotsylvania County and will replace interim administrator Brenda Garton. Garton has served since John Barkley resigned from the position last June. Taylor inherits a county wrestling with many growth issues, including how to pay for expansion of a new water supply system that has a price tag in excess of $45 million.
Proffitt Road in Albemarle County is now reopened to through traffic. The Virginia Department of Transportation had scheduled for the road to be closed all week to clear debris that had piled up under a bridge that crosses the Rivanna River. The debris was the result of multiple flooding events last year due record amounts of rainfall.
And that’s it for today’s installment. Once again, today’s installment is brought to you by Court Square Tavern. It’s like a public living room, and the perfect spot for you to come by and hang out with some friends. Thanks for listening, and we’ll be back tomorrow.