Monthly Archives: March 2023

Albemarle Supervisors continue review of $551.5M budget

Albemarle County Supervisors are in the throes of going through a $551.5 million budget and have held three budget work sessions including one that wrapped up today.  

The total budget is $551.5 million as we learn from Andy Bowman, the chief of the county’s Office of Management and Budget. 

“This is a decrease from last year of $35 million, or six percent,” Bowman said.

Read more

Virginia passenger trains set new record in January

The temporary shutdown of the pandemic caused a plunge in many charts including those that depict ridership on public transit. The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority this week has reported that ridership on state-funded trains has not only returned to pre-pandemic levels but has also set a new record. 

Ridership on the four Amtrak routes in January was 87,300, a 27.7 percent increase over January 2020. That’s a new record for the first month of the year. The train lines to Roanoke and Norfolk both saw big increases in ridership due to additional service. 

The Amtrak service between Roanoke and D.C. saw 22,639 riders in January, up from 16,689 three years ago. The Norfolk route had 31,226 passenger journeys, up 62.5 percent from January 2020. The service to Newport News stayed about the same at 24,215 and the service to Richmond was up 11.4 percent to 9,220. 

Read more

Three years have passed since the pandemic

It has now been over three years since former Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency related to the arrival of COVID-19 as part of a global pandemic. Three years ago this week, rules were put in place to keep people apart to stop the spread of what was then an unknown virus whose impact wasn’t fully known. 

“It’s clear that we’ve learned many lessons along the way and I think the overall assessment is that this pandemic was incredibly challenging,’ said Dr. Costi Sifri, the director of hospital epidemiology at the University of Virginia Health System.

Read more