The week in review

Latest BoV gaffe: UVA foregoes the chance to entice a $20-million donor with naming rights to build a new wing for the cramped University Art Museum when it accepts the art collection of former Visitor Heyward Fralin and his wife Susan. Art experts describe the 41 paintings as "minor works" and "modest-quality paintings by B-plus artists." The Fralin gift comes with no cash, and the museum doesn't get the collection until Fralin and his wife die, but his BoV buddies put his name on the museum anyway. Sandy Hausman has the story on WVTF.

Latest 5th District congressional candidates: The Green Party's Kenneth J. Hildebrandt, 52, from Halifax County, is running in support of industrial hemp and against the wars in Afghanistan and on drugs, according to a Graham Moomaw story in the Daily Progress. Ben Hudson, 51, a retired U.S. Army officer living in Palmyra, is running as an independent write-in candidate.

Worst guy to lend your car to: James C. Rush, 28, is charged with reckless driving and leaving the scene after allegedly crashing into the white house facing the U.S. 250 Bypass at Hillcrest Road, hitting a retaining wall, and landing the car on its roof around 3am September 14, the Daily Progress reports. The miraculously uninjured Rush reportedly flees the scene, and police say the late model Audi A8 he borrowed is a total loss.

Worst clerk's office: Albemarle Circuit Court Clerk Debbie Shipp gets slammed again in an audit, which claims funds are not deposited in a timely manner and that sloppy housekeeping could open the door to fraud, according to Samantha Koon in the Progress.

Worst first: The West Nile virus claims its first Virginia fatality in the northwest part of the state, the Department of Health reports. Nine state cases have been reported, including two in central Virginia.

Longest Planning Commission meeting: Black Market Moto Saloon at the entrance to Woolen Mills neighborhood wins conditional approval to play music in a four-hour meeting, Moomaw reports in the Progress. The commissioners, by 5-1 vote, approved a special use permit requiring the Saloon, which was shut down in July for having live music without a permit, to stop music at 10pm on weeknights, 12:30am on weekends, and forego live music Sundays and Mondays. The permit goes to City Council in October.

Most sudden loss of a local historian: Preston Coiner, 72, dies unexpectedly September 10. The lifelong Charlottesville resident was a partner in Coiners' Scrap Iron and Metal until its sale in 2008, a vice president of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, a member of the Board of Architectural Review, and was working on the "Celebrate 250," the city's quarter-millennial celebration.

Most fraud counts: Commercial real estate developer (and brother to the Albemarle sheriff) Michael Wayne Harding, 59, is indicted September 13 on two counts of mortgage fraud, two counts of money laundering, and three counts of bankruptcy fraud, according to a release.

Most constitutionally questionable: Federal Judge Hannah Lauck upholds the state's ban on alcohol advertising in the Cavalier Daily and Tech's Collegiate Times because of the state's interest in "combating the serious problem of underage drinking and abusive drinking by college students,” the Progress reports.

Biggest perv: Joseph Bell, a military intelligence analyst, is sentenced to 30 years in prison September 11 on seven counts of distribution of child porn, according to the Newsplex. He'd recently moved into a Gordonsville home with three children.

Oddest alliance: Midwestern powerhouse Notre Dame joins the Atlantic Coast Conference for all sports– except  football.

Least effective PR per dollar spent: Board of Visitors member/beer magnate John L. Nau III pays $208,577.36 as the tab for Hill + Knowlton, the firm Rector Helen Dragas hired to help her through the summer's presidential ouster debacle, the Progress reports. Dragas tells the Washington Post she spent another $45K on a separate PR firm.


The renaming of the art museum is another example of the myopic, narcissistic decision making of our esteemed BOV. Not only did they make a decision that reeks of conflict of interest, apparent in the Hausman interview with BOV member Fralin, but, they failed to consult any of the Art Faculty and just as important, the major fundraisers for the museum - the Museum Board, who were left in the dark. Now they are expected to go raise the 20+ million for a new wing, acquisitions, and the care of an art collection that comes with no endowment of it's own, and only at the donors death ( with contingencies, should the surviving spouse need the money)

No wonder they're outraged !

I am shocked by the decisions that the Board of Visitors have made that are negatively impacting the financial health of the University as well as it's reputation.

The legislature must find a better system of appointing this group or continue to see millions of dollars and the good name of the University squandered by self serving wealthy donors.

This is an every week story. Thanks Skip for these pictures of the ongoing destruction of the Ragged Mt. Natural Area to build a dam we don't need with money that we don't have.

Does anyone remember the glorious fall colors of the magnificent hardwood forest in our once treasured urban park .

What a tragic decision for our community !

Let us never forget what we have lost .

So sad that the same groups and individuals fighting the Western Bypass, and championing the scenic Albemarle landscape were the major supporters of this act of needless habitat destruction and loss of wilderness experience for urban dwellers .