Our Town

The JPA Bridge: After nearly 18 traffic-blocking months of construction, the new bridge opened in September 2012 to cheers from Jefferson Park Avenue residents and businesses that had suffered during its closure.

Downtown Mall: The heart of Charlottesville and a rare urban success story. Built in 1976, expanded in 1985, crossed by traffic in 1995, it's bustling year round but never more so than on Friday nights in spring and summer.

Free Speech Wall: The monument in front of Charlottesville City Hall— made of Buckingham slate— celebrates the first amendment right to freedom of expression by allowing any passerby to write whatever they want on the wall in chalk. That has led to a few less than savory comments and crude images, but supporters say the conversations it sparks and the free expression it celebrates are worth risking the sight of a few "f" bombs. 

Meadowcreek Parkway: Okay, so that's no longer the official name of the road that's dividing McIntire Park, but it's what everyone called it for 30 years while it was being debated. Now under construction, it will connect to the County's already built John Warner Parkway. The 250 Bypass Interchange, which will serve as a portal to downtown Charlottesville at the intersection of McIntire Road and Route 250, is being built as this issue goes to press, and it won't be too long before drivers and bikers are zipping along.

Fridays After 5: The popular and often-packed free summer concert series held at the east end of the Downtown Mall in the 3,500-seat cement-floored nTelos Wireless Pavilion.

The Grounds: UVA doesn't have a "campus," it has the Grounds. (And it wasn't built by "TJ"; it was founded by "Mr. Jefferson.") And there's no such thing as a freshman. It's "first year," please.

The Lawn: The original grounds of UVA. Streaking the length of it is considered a rite of passage for students.

JPJ: This has become the standard moniker for UVA's 16,000-seat, $130-million John Paul Jones Arena, opened in 2006. No, it's not named for the Led Zeppelin bassist. Instead, the man who said we should all be "elated" by the June 2012 ouster of UVA President Teresa Sullivan, Paul Tudor Jones II, promised $30 million for the project and got the building named for his father, a Memphis attorney and UVA Law grad.

The CornerFive blocks of fun. According to historian Coy Barefoot, students began using this moniker for the intersection of University Avenue and the central entrance to the University Grounds (where the fancy "honor" gate was erected in 1915) by 1902. The name stuck, and now it's also the name of the radio station at 106.1 FM.

The JAG School: The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School is where Army lawyers come to get training, and if you see  men and women clad in camo or other military garb, chances are they're here for classes at the JAG school. Or they work for NGIC.

NGIC: The National Ground Intelligence Center, sometimes called "the spy center," used to be located in downtown Charlottesville, where financial publication firm SNL is now. Almost a decade ago, NGIC moved its operations way up 29 North, and who knows exactly what's going on inside that secretive fortress known as Rivanna Station.

The Dave: The guy who spoke at Monticello's Naturalization Ceremony this year is an immigrant who used to be a bartender at the Downtown Mall, but he got the patriotic speaking gig because he's in a band!

Timberlake's: The town's olde tyme drugstore downtown has been in business since 1890! In proper old tyme fashion, it still delivers. Check out the lunch counter with homemade soup and real ice-cream sodas, and don't miss the fireplace— a local gathering spot in winter.

Garrett Square: The old-school name for the low-income housing complex near the Downtown Mall now called "Friendship Court."

Recycling: Oh, the civic battles that have been fought over recycling in this town! Back in 2009, a soft-spoken guy named Peter van der Linde upset the trash collection apple cart by quietly opening a "dirty MuRF," a place that lets your trash man collect everything in one giant bin before it gets sorted. The City has long since embraced Van der Linde's service, and now Albemarle County, which once consented to a lawsuit against him by the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, is considering contracting with him.

Louisa: The County just east of Albemarle made international news when a 5.8 tremor struck near the town of Mineral on August 23, 2011 and reverberated across the East Coast. It's also known as home of the North Anna nuclear power plant at Lake Anna and as home of Twin Oaks, a commune where they make hammocks and tofu.

Three Chopt Road: Also known as Three Notched Road, this Colonial version of a highway is essentially the path of today's Route 250, including such historic stretches as the Downtown Mall and West Main Street.

Sacagawea: According to National Geographic, she's the subject of more statues than any other American woman, including the local one with her crouching on West Main Street with the two best-known members of the Lewis & Clark expedition. (We're still holding out for a statue of York, the Albemarle-based slave on the trip.)

Blue Hole: The dreamy little swimming spot on the south fork of the Upper Moormans River. This idyllic place suffered a vandalism in mid 2012 that could lessen its status as what lawyers call an "attractive nuisance," the buzz-saw removal of the tree that held the rope swing. Perp unknown. Don't confuse it with Snake Hole, a smaller swimming spot that's closer to where you park your car.

Weddings & wine: These two are Charlottesville's boomingest industry— along with scads of restaurants and those two traditional favorites: Monticello and the University of Virginia. Apparently love (and love of wine) can survive and thrive even when the economy tanks.


The Omni: Built by City Council vote and lots of taxpayer dollars in the mid-1980s, it's simultaneously a symbol of government excess and a really nice place to stay if you want to stroll the Downtown Mall. The owners recently got outbid on the shell of the next place (see below).

The Landmark: Oh, jeepers. It's been five and a half years since ground broke on construction of what should by now be a fully realized luxury hotel. Instead, construction halted amid the financial woes of original owner Halsey Minor. The hulking skeleton has now loomed over the mall for nearly four years and is currently owned by an Atlanta developer, who bought it for a song at auction and doesn't seem to be in a hurry to get it done. Someday, perhaps.

Marriott Residence Inn- Normally, a chain hotel wouldn't warrant an entry, but this one— planned for the corner of Ridge-McIntire and West Main Street— will likely have significant impact on Downtown and the West Main corridor. How will the Omni handle the competition? Will it effect traffic? We shall see.

Bodo's: A study in business efficiency, the line can be out the door, but you'll have your bagels faster than you can believe. Way back in the 1990s, the former owner hung a "coming soon" banner on the Corner location, but he didn't open the third jewel in his bagel crown for a decade. He later sold each restaurant to its respective manager.

Queen Charlotte Sophia: Wife of King George III, against whom the colonists fought the Revolution. Fourteen years before we waged war against the mother country, the General Assembly of the Virginia Colony named the seat of Albemarle County for this young lady.

The White Spot: It's just a restaurant, but no glossary of the town is complete without mentioning this Corner mainstay and its Gusburger and Grillswith.

Teresa Sullivan: UVA's first female president weathered an attempted coup in summer 2012 and kept her head held high. Now, three years into her presidential term, Sullivan's stayed out of the headlines as she navigates higher education's still undoubtedly shark-filled waters.

Farmington Country Club: Still considered the swankiest place to swing a club, but the past coupla decades have brought stiff competition from Keswick, Glenmore, and UVA-backed Boar's Head.

Jack Jouett: If there had been a southern poet as sharp as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, schoolchildren might be reading less about Paul Revere and more about this guy, who warned TJ away from death or capture when the British invaded Charlottesville in 1781. Camping out on the lawn of the Cuckoo Tavern in Louisa, he spotted British soldiers moving toward Charlottesville and took off on his trusty steed to spread the alarm.

Beta Bridge: Built over the C&O (now CSX/Buckingham Branch) tracks in 1924 as part of a city-wide public works improvement project, it's now Charlottesville's most famous site for public art. Memorable messages: "Hoos for Hokies," painted after the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, and 2012's "Sullivan– you are not alone" each remained for about a month.

Jefferson Cup: Designed by the man himself, this low-volume pewter goblet adorns many a high school and college graduate's shelf of unused drinking vessels.

Three presidents: Besides the ever-present "Mr. Jefferson," Central Virginia lays claim to at least two other presidents: James Madison, whose home, Montpelier, is in nearby Orange County, and James Monroe, whose more modest digs, Ash-Lawn Highland, sit just past Monticello on Route 53. (Just over the mountain, a fourth prez, Woodrow Wilson, was born in Staunton.)

Foxfield: This horse race on Garth Road has become a rite of spring for UVA students and was nearly shut down a decade ago for out-of-control drinking. Law enforcement has much more of a presence these days and race organizers have tried to discourage those who see the event as a drink-a-thon, with some success, although arrest reports for public intoxication are still lengthy. Sundresses and hats are mandatory attire for co-eds, and pity those who forget their sunscreen. The fall races are a more family focused affair.

Sally Hemings: TJ's love interest (and his property) under the crazy world that was the Colonial era. Probably buried under the Hampton Inn on West Main. City leaders opted not to rename 10th Street for her a few years ago.

The car bumper statue: That big silver statue outside St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church on Alderman Road is actually made out of old car bumpers. Sculptor/priest Father Henry Mascotte created a statue of a meditating Aquinas in the mid-1960s by piecing together auto salvage from around South Bend, Indiana.

Biscuit Run: A state park that, we're told, will eventually open on the southwest side of town. It's also the real estate deal that showed that super-rich developers can salvage what might have been a big financial loss through the use of tax credits.

Morgan Harrington: The late 20-year-old Virginia Tech student keeps Charlottesville in the national news for an event we all wish had never happened. After ending up outside a Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena in October 2009 and being denied reentry, she vanished. Her body was discovered three months later on an Albemarle County farm, and her death was linked by DNA to an unsolved 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax. Her killer remains at large, and her parents have launched a nonprofit "Help Save the Next Girl."

Peter Jefferson and Martha Jefferson: Besides being an office park and a hospital, these are actual people from back in the day. Peter was a county surveyor who built a house in Shadwell in 1735 (which burned down), but his greater fame came from having a famous son. Martha was TJ's wife who bore him a daughter of the same name after whom the hospital is named. After the elder Martha died in 1782, Jefferson vowed never to remarry, opting to remain a widower for the next 44 years. His vow apparently did not preclude intimacy, however (see Sally Hemings, above). 

Vinegar Hill: Considered a slum, this racially mixed but mostly African-American neighborhood of homes and businesses was bulldozed in the early 1960s when "urban renewal" was all the rage. (The art house movie theater by this name opened in 1976.)

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center- Historic African American school, after years of sitting empty, has recently been fully renovated into a museum of African American culture and history, a community center offering classes and a gym. Also offers facilities for nonprofits and a café.

Rio Road: "Rio" was the name of a long-gone mill complex on Rio Road, and it likely took its name from its proximity to the Rivanna River (rio being the Spanish word for river, of course). But don't go calling it "REE-o" road— that might be the fastest way you'll give yourself away as a newcomer. It's "RY-O" 'round here. Locals have long opted for the long "i" sound perhaps because it fit with the local pronunciation of the "RY-vanna" river. No one knows for sure, but they do know this: it was never Route 10.

Community low-down

10.24 square miles
Population (2012 estimate): 43,956
Change since 2010: +1.1%
Density: 4,293 people per square mile

726 square miles (3/4 the size of Rhode Island)
Population (2012 estimate): 102,251
Change since 2010: +3.3%
Density: 141 people per square mile

Once a key river town, Scottsville has the distinction of being Albemarle's only incorporated town; and although smaller in population than Crozet, it actually has elected government officials.
Size: 1.54 square miles
Population: 566
Density: 368.8 people per square mile
–source: U.S. Census Bureau

Nearby county populations:

 Fluvanna: 25,967- up since 2000: 30%
Greene: 18,771- up since 2000: 23%
Louisa: 33,430- up since 2000: 30%
Nelson: 14,827- up since 2000: 3%
Buckingham: 17,088- up since 2000: 9%
Orange: 34,246- up since 2000: 32%
Augusta: 73,658- up since 2000: 12%
Virginia: 8,185,867

–source: U.S. Census Bureau (2012 estimates and growth b/w 2000-2010)

–>>For local taxes, see our Government section



Visiting the University of Virginia
UVA's Central Grounds are thought by many to be one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world. No visit is complete without touring the University's famous Lawn. Designed by Thomas Jefferson as the heart of his "Academical Village," the Lawn features Jefferson's Rotunda as its centerpiece. Free guided tours are given by students of the University Guide Service during the academic year, while the Admissions Office offers Admissions tours during the summer, and the Rotunda staff offers historical tours. While classes are in session, tours begin just inside the entrance of the Rotunda Monday- Friday at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm, and 11am on Saturdays and Sundays. During the summer months of May- August, call admissions at 982-3200 for information about admissions tours, and the Rotunda at 924-7969 for historical tours.

"Mr. Jefferson" lived to see his University open in the summer of 1825. Unfortunately the Rotunda burned to its brick shell in 1895, was "restored" by architect Stanford White and restored again to Jefferson's essential design in time for the American Bicentennial in 1976. The tours of the Rotunda and Lawn include a peek at alumnus Edgar Allan Poe's room, #13, of course.

After taking in the sights of Central Grounds, be sure to take a self-guided tour of the Lawn's ten pavilions, many of which house faculty and their families and the surrounding Gardens . Romance-ready, they're popular among the student body as the place to woo (and sometimes to wed) a Hoo. Beware of strolling the Lawn during the dark hours; it's a tradition among students to streak the lawn at least once before graduating. 

UVa Sports
Back when it was a Virginia gentleman's college, UVA sports were probably a lot of fun, but the national rankings were few and far between. Now, things are so big that UVA spent $100 million to expand its football stadium's capacity to more than 60,000, plus another $130 million for a new 15,000 seat basketball arena. As is evident on UVA's popular official fan website, virginiasports.com, many other Wahoo athletic teams have also established themselves as some of the premier college programs in America, including the consistently dominant men's and woman's lacrosse, soccer, and baseball teams.
Ticket office: 800-542-UVA1 (8821) or 924-UVA1 (8821)

–>>Check out more in our Sports and Recreation section.

Getting there: You're in luck if you're staying at a downtown hotel because you can walk or take the CAT free trolley, which looks like a San Francisco cable car but travels on rubber tires between The Corner, Jefferson Park Avenue, and Downtown every 15 minutes from 6:45am until 11:30pm and every 30 minutes on Sunday. 970-3649

Parking: Enjoying UVA is easy once you've found a map and a place to park. Parking decks are at 14th Street and Wertland Street, on Emmet Street, under the bookstore by Mem Gym, at the UVA Hospital, and on Culbreth Road, across the street from the Culbreth and Helms Theaters. If nothing's available in any of the lots, your best bet is to check the paid lots in and around the Corner, or look for on-street parking.

The Corner: At this enclave of shops, bars, and restaurants surrounding the University, parking is tighter than anywhere else in town, but the streetscapes are lively, and the shops are eclectic. Although is it a hotspot for University students during the evening and weekends, the Corner holds something for everyone at all hours of the day (and night).

UVA Decision-makers
The Board of Visitors- The most plum appointments a governor can make, BOV choices create great excitement and hand-wringing. (As the recent President Sullivan ouster and reinstatement amply showed.) They serve four-year terms.

George  K. Martin, Rector, Richmond, VA

William H. Goodwin Jr., Vice Rector, Richmond, VA

Frank B. Atkinson, Richmond, VA

Hunter E. Craig, Charlottesville, VA

Allison C. DiNardo, Alexandria, VA

Helen E. Dragas, Virginia Beach, VA

Kevin J. Fay, McLean, VA

Frank E. Genovese, Midlothian, VA

Marvin W. Gilliam, Abingdon, VA

John A. Griffin, New York, NY

Victoria D. Harker, McLean, VA

Bobbie G. Kilberg, Herndon, VA

Stephen P. Long M.D., Richmond, VA

Edward D. Miller M.D., Baltimore, MD

John L. Nau III, Houston, TX

Timothy B. Robertson, Virginia Beach, VA

Linwood H. Rose, Harrisonburg, VA

Blake E. Blaze, student, non-voting member, Osterville, MA

Leonard W. Sandridge Jr., Senior Advisor to the Board, Charlottesville, VA

Note: New members have not yet been appointed to replace those whose terms expired June 30th, 2013.

The President: Teresa A. Sullivan. The university's 8th president has a contract in place to serve until 2015.

The day-to-day honcho: Chief Operations Officer Patrick D. Hogan, who was appointed in October, 2012.

State Funding?
Sure, UVA is ostensibly a public university, but the state's contribution is a mere 5.9 percent of the University budget in Fiscal Year 2013-2014. That's down from 6.4 percent in 2010-'11 and 8.1 percent just a few years back, but it is up from 5.8 percent last year. The rest of the school's funding comes mostly from revenue from the UVA Health System, tuition, donations, and assorted grants.

Growing, but for how Long?
UVA has had a clear objective of late: growth, in every sense of the word. Acceptance rates, tuition, fees, and buildings have all been soaring skyward. After the University lost more than $1 billion of its endowment in the economic crash of 2008, some wondered how long the growth could continue. Fortunately, the endowment rebounded and as of May 2011— the most recent year the school has posted a figure— it had regained its full 2008 value of more than $5 billion.

Wee 'Hoos
The University is expecting 3,500 of the nearly 8,700 admitted students to enroll as part of UVA's Class of 2017. The average SAT score of the class of 2015 is 1351 on a 1600 and 92 percent rank in the top ten percent of their high school class. The in-state/out-of-state ratio will remain the same, approximately 2-1. 

Money Matters
In-state tuition & fees for 2013-2014: $12,466 ($25,956 includes room, board and estimated expenses)
Out-of-state tuition & fees 2013-'14: $39,852 ($53,622 to $54,602 includes room, board and estimated expenses)

AccessUVa, a program created in 2004 to convert many loans to grants, has expanded to $92.2 million, an increase of $8.9 million over last year. This expansion means undergraduate students with family incomes less than or equal to 200 percent of the federal poverty level can have their demonstrated financial need met without loans or a work-study requirement.

Getting Hitched at UVA
If thoughts of UVA make you all warm and fuzzy inside, you may want to rent the gorgeous University Chapel for that warmest and fuzziest day of your life: your wedding day. It's $200 for current students, $350 for faculty, staff and alumni, and $750 for the general public. Crucial Saturdays book up way far in advance, so you'd better plan ahead! To make a reservation, call Newcomb Hall at 924-3203.

The Famous Among Us

 "Virginians are all snobs, and I like snobs. A snob has to spend so much time being a snob that he has little left to meddle with you."–William Faulkner

The above quotation should convey the number one rule of dealing with Charlottesville's celebrities: This is not L.A., and we don't bother our notables.

Screen: Sissy Spacek (Oscar-winning actress and recent memorist); Howie Long (Fox Sports football analyst and Chevrolet pitchman); Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (WWE wrestler turned action-thriller actor) bought a house out in Orange County horse country in 2007; Sister, Sister star Tim Reid and his wife Daphne Maxwell Reid are movie producers now, but he'll never be forgotten as WKRP's Venus Flytrap.

Politics: Julian Bond (just-retired UVA prof and longtime NAACP chair); Larry Sabato (television's favorite political talking head); Nathaniel Howell (ambassador to Kuwait during the Gulf War); John Whitehead (human rights litigator); Philip Zelikow (historian, UVA professor, Pulitzer Prize winner for authoring The 9/11 Commission Report).

Money:  Patricia Kluge (billionaire's ex-wife turned businesswoman and bankruptcy-filer); Ted Weschler (former hedge fund manager and a Hook owner who was tapped by Warren Buffett to make investments). Newest member of this gang is Eric Trump, who runs much of Patricia Kluge's winery and vineyard land for his father aka  "The Donald."

Music:  Maxine Jones (member of Grammy-nominated '90s girl group En Vogue); Mary Chapin Carpenter (Batesville's resident folkie); Corey Harris (bayou blues), Dave Matthews (rocker moved here from South Africa when he was 16, moved to Seattle in the early millennium but now appears here more often); Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, and Boyd Tinsley (Dave Matthews Band); Tom Peloso (Modest Mouse, formerly of local faves the Hackensaw Boys); Dave Matthews Band manager Coran Capshaw has a thumb in many Charlottesville pies including the pavilion on the Downtown Mall, the revamped Jefferson Theater, and Musictoday.com– though he sold the last of these to LiveNation.

Literature: John Grisham (One of the world's top-selling authors and the Hook's longtime short story contest judge!); Jan Karon (creator of "Father Tim" in the fictional town of Mitford); John Casey (Spartina); Rita Mae Brown (from Rubyfruit Jungle to Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries); Ann Beattie (Chilly Scenes of Winter, UVA creative writing faculty); Chad Harbach (The Art of Fielding), Dahlia Lithwick (legal correspondent for Slate); Rita Dove (former U.S. Poet Laureate); Charles Wright (Pulitzer Prize-winning poet); Mark Lane (JFK assassination conspiracy theorist and one of the rare few to survive the 1978 Jonestown massacre).

Sports: Gene Corrigan (longtime ACC Commissioner and former NCAA president); Howie Long (see "screen" above); Bob Rotella (renowned sports psychologist to pro athletes galore); Mike Cubbage (former Major League third-baseman and interim manager for both the Boston Red Sox manager and the New York Mets); Billy Wagner (All-Star New York Mets reliever who retired at the end of 2010 with over 400 saves); Pete Gillen (red-maned former UVA men's basketball coach and now CBS Sports analyst).

Pop Culture: Peter Max (pop artist whose works look like the Yellow Submarine cover) owns land near Yogaville in Buckingham; Cathy Baker Purcell (the "That's all" girl from Hee-Haw) lives in Orange County; Julann Griffin co-founder of Jeopardy! (ex-wife of the late Merv) owns a farm in Fluvanna; Peter Chang, the chef who makes other celebrities swoon, popped up here in 2009 and opened his own restaurant at Barracks Road in 2011.

Moved away:  Bruce Arena, the former UVA, D.C. United, and U.S. National soccer coach, now resides in California where he coaches the L.A. Galaxy; Muhammed Ali "The Greatest" owned Nelson County property in the mid-'80s, Edgar Bronfman (heir to Seagram fortune and former bison purveyor); Deborah Eisenberg  (2009 McArthur genius grant recipient, UVA creative writing faculty); Tami Hoag (best selling author); Grammy-nominated John McCutcheon moved to the Atlanta area in the mid-aughts; Tina Fey (30 Rock star, former SNL head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor went to UVA); Katie Couric (America's favorite news gal happens to be a UVA alumna); Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard (romantically linked for decades, this thespian couple owned an Albemarle farm until the mid-'90s, moved to Minnesota, and separated in 2010); Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli graduated UVA in 1990; Lawrence Ferlenghetti (renowned poet and founder of San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore, he owned a home on Park Street from 1998 to 2002); Kathryn C. Thornton, NASA astronaut graduated in the late '70s. Antonin Scalia (Supreme Court justice was a professor at UVA Law in the late '60s and early '70s). 

Gone but not forgotten: LeRoi Moore, beloved Dave Matthews Band saxophonist, died in 2008; Anna "Anastasia" Manahan, the most celebrated claimant to the Russian throne, was determined by DNA in 1994 to be something other than a missing grand duchess. Short-termed Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger died in 2011. Teddy Kennedy and RFK both attended law school here, though only Teddy earned convictions for reckless driving and evading police.

A Brief Overview

What's this area like?
Well, according to the census, women constitute about 52 percent of the Charlottesville-Albemarle population. Charlottesville's more diverse with about 30 percent minorities, while Albemarle has less than 20 percent. Albemarle skews older— about 15 percent of its residents are over 65, according to the Census, perhaps a result of its reputation as a great retirement destination, while less than 10 percent of Charlottevillians are above 65.

Neighborhood Stuff

Predators nearby?
Virginia requires convicted rapists, pedophiles, and other violent sex offenders to register their whereabouts with the state police. You can search the database to see if there's one living near you. http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov/sor/

Noisy neighbors?
CHARLOTTESVILLE– In residential areas of the city, the 10pm-6am limit is 55 decibels (or about the level of loud talking), 65 decibels for 6am-10pm. In 2008, the city also created a 75-decibel limit after 10pm (now after 11pm) outside restaurants and anytime in its downtown business district. Charlottesville police are the enforcers and may be willing to come out and measure the racket with their special meters. 970-9041.
ALBEMARLE– Noise enforcement in the county depends. Mostly, if noise is audible 100 feet from the property line, police can tell you to pipe down. After neighbors started complaining about noise from a winery in 2011, the Board of Supervisors set a 60-decibel limit from 7am to 10pm and 55 decibels after 10pm in rural and residential areas that is enforced by the zoning administrator. And if you have the misfortune to live beside a barking dog in a non-rural area, you have to listen to it bark its head off for 30 minutes before going to the magistrate and getting a summons issued for the yapper's owner. Confused? Plan B: earplugs. 296-5807.

Remove the snow!
CHARLOTTESVILLE– Many people don't realize that a city ordinance requires all citizens to remove snow from the sidewalks along their property within 48 hours of the snowfall's cessation or face a $75 administrative fee.

CHARLOTTESVILLE– You're subject to a fine if you let them grow over 18 inches tall, and although the city has "no mow" zones near creeks and streams in five city parks, it took one man's fight against City Hall to adjust the law somewhat. And city residents are still required to mow right up to the street— even if the grass doesn't actually belong to them. Enforcer: zoning department. 970-3182

The Newcomers Club of Greater Charlottesville says it's open to all who have been residents of the area for less than three years. 980-2725

Before you dig...
Since undergrounding utilities is all the rage, Virginia has one sweet phone number you should call first to avoid death and injury when you put that shovel in the ground. After you call "Miss Utility," someone comes out, free of charge, and spray paints lines where underground utilities lie. 811 or 800-552-7001


Getting electricity
Currently you are served by only one company. Depending on where you live, it's probably this one:
Dominion Virginia Power 866-366-4357
But it could also be one of these:
AEP-Virginia - 800-277-2177
Central Virginia Electric Cooperative - 800-367-2832
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative - 800-552-3904

Going green
Some solar/wind companies:
Cville Solar - 981-1076
Altenergy Incorporated - 293-3763
Old Mill Power Company - 979-9288
Skyline Turbine - 540-246-9463

Landline phones
The following company offers local service: CenturyLink (residential 888-723-8010; business 800-786-6272). Comcast/Xfinity (Bundles cable, internet and home phone 800-599-1302) Businesses can also buy local service from Level 3 Communications (877-253-8353).

Wireless phones
AT&T - 1252 Emmett Street, 242-8900
nTelos - 220 29th Place Court, 882-7014, 341 Towncenter Lane, 882-4529.
U.S. Cellular - 302 Pantops Ctr, 971-7691, Fashion Square Mall, 973-9674, and 632 Albemarle Square, 973-1674
Verizon - 874 Rio East Ct, 973-5022, and 100 Riverbend Dr, 293-3216

Natural gas
Efficient stuff for heating. Available only through the underground pipes of Charlottesville's Public Utilities, which serves the city limits and nearby suburbs. Public Utilities is so hungry for customers it provides several helpful services: one free pilot-lighting of your furnace each year as well as $100 rebates for converting to programmable thermostats, gas water heaters, and even low-flow toilets.
Billing: 970-3211
Pilot lighting & gas emergency: 970-3800

Propane and fuel oil
An alternative for folks who don't live on the natural gas pipeline. While fuel oil is generally just for heating, many Central Virginia households use propane for both cooking and hot water in addition to heat. Many local companies will fill your tank.

Coal and firewood
UVA, in addition to burning natural gas and fuel oil, also makes heat the old-fashioned way: with coal. But as far as we can tell, no one is selling coal retail in Charlottesville, and there are probably only a few dozen houses with those cute little coal-burning fireplaces anyway. As for firewood, every modern-day Paul Bunyan and his brother seems to be selling the stuff come fall.

Hook tip
Make sure you get what you pay for in firewood, as a cord is 128 cubic feet, e.g. 4 x 4 x 8 or 3 x 6.5 x 6.5. Prices typically range from $90-$160 per cord.

Internet access
In addition to the myriad national providers, residential customers have several firms with a Central Virginia presence to choose from, including:
Broadband Network Services, Inc. - 817-7300
Comcast- 800-934-6489
CenturyLink- 800-366-8201
Firstnet- 817-3131
Helix- 963-4900
Localnet- 888-488-7265
Pure Internet - 392-4804
VA.net- 296-6055

Cable television
Many years ago, when cable was thought to be a natural monopoly, the city struck a deal making Adelphia the sole provider. In 2006, Adelphia was divvied up between Time Warner and Comcast, the latter of which got dibs on the local cable market. Technically, it's not the exclusive provider; it just works out that way. The company provides everything from local broadcast channels to public access (which gives City Council and other civic meetings) to all the premium goods including HBO and Cinemax. 800-266-2278

Satellite television
Dish Network (800-823-4929) and  DirecTV (800-644-8103) are the providers. Dish is the one that carries local channels.

CHARLOTTESVILLE- Before they open the taps, the city demands a letter of credit or a deposit. But that's not what scares some customers. Ever since the drought of 2002, rates have skyrocketed, essentially tripling since 1999 levels. And with the summer water (May-September) priced higher than "winter" water, there are incentives to save. Including your 10 percent utility tax plus the $4 fees for both water and sewer, you should be looking at a monthly bill of $78 for using 5,000 gallons. Charlottesville Utility Billing Office. 970-3211

ALBEMARLE- Like Charlottesville, leaders want to encourage conservation, so in 2009, Albemarle implemented a system that drastically rewards thrift and punishes gluttony. Your total monthly bill for using 5,000 gallons (including that pesky 10 percent tax and assuming you use public sewer) should be around $70. Albemarle County Service Authority. 977-4511

If you're not on the sewer grid
Then you should save about half from your bill! Make sure to regularly get your in-ground septic system pumped— about every five years or so— because rebuilding a septic field can cost over $10,000. These things are regulated by the local Health Department at 1138 Rose Hill Drive, which can show you a little sketch of where your septic field is located. 972-6259

Be aware of water rates If you live in Albemarle and dwell in a single-family house, you can dramatically curtail your water bill by using less than 3,000 gallons a month because rates jump from $3.33 per 1,000 gallons for the first 3,000 gallons you use to $6.66 for gallons 3,001-6,000 gallons and then to 9.99 per thousand up to 9,000 gallons. After the 9,000-gallon-a-month level—which is where lawn-watering will get you— you'll be shelling out $13.32 per thousand gallons. Ouch!

Where's my water from?
If you're on either the city or county water system, your water is stored at one of these five reservoirs: Beaver Creek if you live in Crozet, Ragged Mountain, at which a larger new dam is being built, South Fork Rivanna, Sugar Hollow, or Totier Creek if you live in Scottsville. The quasi-public body that chlorinates and sells the water to Charlottesville and Albemarle is the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.


CHARLOTTESVILLE- Curbside recycling is free: newspapers, magazines, catalogs, cardboard, aluminum cans, other metals, even #1 and #2 plastic bottles and glass bottles are picked up at curbside on the day your trash is collected. The city also contracts with Van der Linde Recycling for household trash, which means that everything thrown in your trash can goes to the company's state-of-the-art recycling facility on Route 250 East. Private companies, such as Dixon Disposal, also offer trash and recycling services for individuals and businesses. Guidelines available from the City Public Service, 970-3830.

ALBEMARLE- If you live in the county you'll have to contract with a private hauler, as the county doesn't offer trash and recycling services. However, thanks to Van der Linde Recycling, nearly all major county haulers now offer single stream recycling. And now, the County is considered dealing with Van der Linde directly by letting him take over the Materials Utilization Center, currently run by the RSWA. There's also the McIntire Road Recycling Center (906-0763) which is open to city and county residents, and accepts almost all major categories including cardboard, books, spray cans, #1 and #2 plastic, and colored glass. W-F 8:30am-5:20pm, Sat 9:30am-5:20pm, Sun 12:30-5:20pm. And if you have a lot of metal, you might get some real money down at Cycle Systems in the Woolen Mills neighborhood. 296-6465

Trash hauling
ALBEMARLE- While some people haul their own trash to the Ivy Transfer station, bury it on their property, or take it to Van der Linde Recycling, most suburbanites hire one of the many private haulers who advertise their services in the Yellow Pages. Typically, they charge $20-25 a month.

CHARLOTTESVILLE- The city gets this done via a private firm that swings by your house once a week, but you have to pay (to cover landfill fees and encourage recycling) via the dreaded sticker system. You have to buy stickers, which you affix to your trash can or bag– weekly– by buying 32-gallon stickers for $2.10 each or 13-gallon stickers for $1.05. Or spring for the annual trash decal (32-gallon:$94.50/50-gallon: $147.50/64-gallon: $189.00/96-gallon: $283.50) and paste it on the side of your trash can. These can be purchased at City Hall or at any number of local grocery and convenience stores. For more information, call 970-3146.
$35 large-item disposal- Until 2004, Charlottesville residents got a big bonus: up to two annual visits from a huge truck with a giant claw that would take away jumbo trash like refrigerators, tree limbs, and sofas. They still pick up, but now you have to pay— and prices went up July 1.The first pick-up is $35; second is $50; all subsequent pick-ups are $100. To schedule, call 970-3830.
Free leaf pickup- Another bonus of living in the city. Free collection begins each November with pickup of bagged leaves (the city even provides free bags) and vacuuming of raked-to-the-curb leaves. They'll also take your Christmas tree and debris after a storm. 970-3830

Burning stuff
ALBEMARLE– You're allowed to burn stuff in the county! But there are some rules. Moreover, between February 15 and April 30, open burning may take place only between the hours of 4pm and midnight, unless you're burning a distance of 300 feet or more from woodlands or other material capable of spreading fire to woodlands. Other regulations also apply. Fire Marshal: Howard Lagomarsino. Albemarle Department of Fire & Rescue: 296-5833

CHARLOTTESVILLE– No outdoor burning in the city without the Fire Marshal's approval. Certain grills and artificial pits for cookouts are fine, but check  first to be sure yours has the okay. Fire Marshal: Gary Whiting. Charlottesville Fire Department: 970-3240

The landfill
Though it operates under the name Materials Utilization Center, everyone in Charlottesville knows it as "The Ivy Landfill." Located on Dick Woods Road (Route 637) in Ivy, it no longer actually puts trash in the ground but does accept your junk for around $66/ton (and then ships it far away). Hours: 7:30am-4pm Monday-Saturday. Effective July 2010, the facility stopped collecting batteries, paint, and fluorescent light tubes on a regular basis. You can, however, dispose of many of these items at Van der Linde Recycling, which some locals call our "landfill of the future." The Ivy facility is also the site of the Encore Shop, which lets people claim "trash" as treasures. 977-2976

Reporting dead animals
CHARLOTTESVILLE- Call City Public Service (970-3830) or police dispatch (977-9041) for pickup.
ALBEMARLE- Call VDOT (293-0011) or police dispatch (977-9041) for pickup.

Reporting Pollution
Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) urges citizens to report suspected pollution incidents during business hours by calling Jennifer Welcher at 540-574-7854 at DEQ's regional office (main number 540-574-7800)— or the Department of Emergency Management at 800-468-8892 on nights, holidays, and weekends.

Jury Duty
In Virginia, potential jurors are selected randomly by jury commissioners using lists designated by the court, such as the voter registration list and the driver's license list. Jurors are reimbursed $30 for each day.

This town contains not only an old-fashioned rural co-op (Southern States), but also a major national catalog retailer in Plow & Hearth, and more garden centers than you can shake a watering can at. Plus, the City of Charlottesville offers 30'x30' plots of land that can be rented for just $40 a year ($60 to non-residents) in Azalea Park and at the old Fairgrounds near the Emmet Street Bodo's. Renewal registration starts the first Monday in February. New renters can sign up the third Tuesday in February. 970-3260

Every April, some of the most sumptuous gardens and grounds are open to the gawkers during Historic Garden Week. See "Annual Events" in our Outings section for more. 804-644-7776

Weather 2013

 Summer can hit Charlottesville pretty hard. In 2002, we suffered through a drought that has been classified as our worst and led to intense water restrictions which lasted for months. During the summer of 2010, we dealt with microbursts, intense storms that lasted for short amounts of time but left many C'villians without power. Even more vivid in our memories is the summer of 2012, complete with over 100-degree temperatures and the dreaded derecho, which left some without power for more than a week.

But this summer threw a curveball— or maybe a water balloon. Although May was dry with less than half normal precipitation, June got wet and wild with monthly rainfall soaring to more than double the average. June’s immense rainfall— more than nine inches!— pushed the total rainfall for the year to 130 percent of the norm, causing warnings of flash flooding, and July continued on that track. Out of 118 years on record, June 2013 is ranked number six in terms of rainfall over the month. Although this may seem to dampen your summer, remember that overcast days can save us from the heat, and showers in the summer allow plant life to flourish.

Hurricane Sandy
The effect Hurricane Sandy had on Virginia pales in comparison to the devastation on New York and the Caribbean. However, Governor McDonnell declared a state of emergency, based on the destruction of the storm as it neared us. Romney, Biden, and Obama all canceled campaigning in Virginia as the storm raged.

Let it snow!
The winter of 2009-'10 will likely go down as one of the most brutal in Central Virginia history with the December 18, 2009 "Snowpocalypse" dumping two feet on Charlottesville and Albemarle, followed less than two months later by the so-called "Snowmageddon," which dropped another 18 inches. Since then, winters have been been milder, and this past one was particularly lame as far as snowfall. Maybe winter 2013-'14 will be better for kids who want to sled.

Destructive Nature in the 'ville
Though we have had scares in the past, tornados are not a major fear in Virginia. Although some speculated the series of microbursts that hit Charlottesville in early June 2010 might have had the makings of a tornado, the last time our part of the state saw serious tornado damage was in 1959. Of course, that's nothing compared to the devastating tornado activity in Oklahoma in May, 2013, which caused estimates of up to $5 billion dollars in damages. August 23rd, 2011, we experienced an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 in Louisa county, accompanied by many aftershocks. 

Sources: University of Virginia Climatology Office as well as the National Weather Service with stations in Blacksburg, Sterling, and Wakefield that compile data on this area.



What's up with local media?
Given the relatively small size of Charlottesville, there's lots of it. In a town that has a book festival, perhaps it's no surprise that print media endures and multiple newspaper boxes line prominent intersections. Despite hard-copy newspaper readership clinging to life support, the New York Times, Washington Post and Richmond Times-Dispatch can all be delivered to your door—although the price, at least of the Post at $92 for eight weeks— is increasingly prohibitive.

Lifestyle magazines are big in this area: the upscale Central Virginian lifestyle, the upscale fisherman's lifestyle, or the the upscale Nelson County lifestyle.

And the city has four network television station, about a dozen commercial radio stations as well as some well-regarded non-commercial stations.

Trying to stay abreast of local news? In Charlottesville, you've got options.

Local newspapers
The Hook
The Hook sprang to life in 2002 with many staffers who had previously worked at C-Ville Weekly, and the two papers enjoyed an intense rivalry until, oddly, they were joined again under the same parent company in 2011. The Hook is known for its investigative journalism and is the city's must-read paper every Thursday. Don't take our word for it. Ask our peers at the Virginia Press Association, which has bestowed 149 awards on us since our first year of eligibility in 2004 including the state's top prize— for Journalistic Integrity Award and Community Service— three times. Our website may be the most comprehensive in town and is fully archived. Whatever you need to know about Charlottesville, you'll find it in the Hook. 295-8700

C-Ville Weekly
Charlottesville's other free weekly features extensive arts and news coverage, plus special supplements like Abode, a guide to cutting-edge home design, decor, and lifestyle. It also runs the popular Best of C-Ville issue, where the community votes on the top restaurants, bars, shops, venues, and other things around town. And let's not forget the Rant. 817-2749

The Daily Progress
Last year was a big year for the Daily Progress. Warren's Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought the paper, along with 63 other Media General newspapers, for $142 million. Snarky locals may call it the "Regress," due to the oft-green reporters, but when there's big news in town, they usually know it.  978-7200

Cavalier Daily
The University of Virginia's student-published newspaper claims to be Charlottesville's oldest daily– though they recently quit publishing on Fridays, and starting in August, will be primarily online with a twice-weekly news magazine. 924-1086


Blue Ridge Outdoors
This all-outdoors, all-the-time monthly celebrates hiking, biking, running, climbing and paddling in Virginia and North Carolina. 817-2755

The Crozet Gazette
Published on the first Thursday of every month, the Crozet Gazette has made a name for itself by running timely, well-reported stories about our neighboring village to the west and surrounding areas. 434-466-8939 /434-249-4211


Charlottesville Guide
A tourist guide. 817-2000

Charlottesville's oldest new-age monthly is the best source to find a feng shui consultant or go shaman shopping. 295-3407

Keswick Life
Monthly tabloid that documents a sumptuous world most of us can only imagine. 296-8032

Blue Ridge Life
"Your source for everything Nelson" began as Nelson County Life in 2005 and has since morphed into Blue Ridge Life. 361-0104

Real Estate Weekly
The area's go-to guide for house-shopping. Published every Wednesday. 817-9330

Scottsville Monthly
Tales of the River City. 591-1000

This mag adorns the tonier coffee tables in Charlottesville and features lifestyles of the local rich, if not famous. Published bimonthly. Available at newsstands or by subscription for $12. 817-2000

From a black-and-white quarterly known as AlbemarleFamily to a slick and award-winning monthly, this publication has grow from niche publications to our magazine section, it's so glossy. And its website has always been a good place for figuring out what to do with those darn kids. 984-4713

Virginia Sportsman
These folks like to fish and hunt, and they're well educated and well-heeled, according to its website. Subscriptions for this 80-page glossy are $20 for six issues, and it's available in Barnes and Noble. 964-1620

Virginia Living
Glossy bimonthly statewide publication knocks readers' socks off with its bold splashes of color on each glossy cover and stories celebrating the vibrant lives in the Commonwealth– many in our neck of the woods. 804-343-7539

Flavor Magazine
Bimonthy food mag covering the local food movement, and its people, in the Piedmont region. 540-987-9299

Forward/Adelante Virginia's first bilingual business journal (English and Spanish). 960-4037

Fresh news:

The Hook's newsblog! - local news and digest

Daily Progress - local daily
NBC29 - local televsion
CBS19, ABC16, FOX27 - local television
Cavalier Daily - student paper
- news radio
UVAToday - school organ
- NWS station digest
C-Ville Weekly blogs
- local news, arts


Staunton - The News Leader
Waynesboro - The News-Virginian
Waynesboro - Augusta Free Press
Fredericksburg - Free Lance-Star
Greene Co. - Greene Co. Record
Culpeper - The Star-Exponent
Culpeper - The Culpeper Times (weekly)
Fluvanna Co. - Fluvanna Review
Louisa Co. - The Central Virginian
Nelson Co. - Nelson County Times
Madison Co. - Madison Eagle
Harrisonburg - The Daily News-Record
Harrisonburg - The Breeze (award-winning JMU paper)
Buckingham - Buckingham Beacon (monthly)
Scottsville area - Scottsville Weekly

Lexington - The News-Gazette
Lynchburg -The News & Advance
Roanoke -The Roanoke Times
Newport News -The Daily Press
Norfolk -The Virginian-Pilot
Washington Post
Washington Times
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Style Weekly - Richmond




Local blogs:

The Hook's newsblog! - breaking local news
cvillenews.com - aka 'Waldo's site'
Charlottesville Tomorrow - growth
Real Central VA - real estate
Nailgun - local music
Bill Emory - amazing pix, comment
Loper.org - local politics
Rick Sincere - libertarianism
• UVA News Blog - PR from the U
Monticello Avenue - a community network site
Charlottesville Headlines - aggregator
topix.net - aggregator

The Book of Joe - fun new products
Reading ... Covers - she went west
Mas to Miller's - on food
• The Dish - Hook food news
Fete - Hook wedding editor Stephanie Marie's blog
Beyond the Flavor - food photos
Charlottesville Blogs - aggregator

Waldo Jaquith
Bacon's Rebellion
Blue Virginia

Sabato's Crystal Ball

SW Virginia Law


Flickr pix tagged 'Charlottesville'

C'ville Podcasting Network
UVA Podcasting

TheSabre - venerable and very newsy
StreakingTheLawn - fan-based news
Cavs Corner - part of rivals.com

WWWV-FM 97.5, ("3WV") rock
WCYK-FM 99.7, country
WQMZ-FM 95.1, ("Z-95") light rock
WUVA-FM 92.7, ("Kiss") urban adult
WHTE-FM 101.9, ("Hot 101.9") contemporary hits
WFFX-FM 102.3, 94.1, ("Your Generation") '60s, '70s, '80s
WCNR 106.1 "The Corner" adult alternative music
107.15, news/talk
WCHV-AM 1260, news/talk
WINA-AM 1070, local news/sports/talk
1400, sports
1450, sports talk (switched from liberal talk in 2011)

Charlottesville has six locally owned radio stations, which were snatched up in 2007 by Monticello Media when broadcast behemoth Clear Channel shed these and more than 400 other stations. Michigan-based Saga Communications owns the other radio group in town, which used to be locally owned until Eure Communications sold 3WV, Z-95 and WINA in 2004. Got that? And WUVA Kiss is independently owned. Listeners, of course, just want their tunes.

Non-commercial radio
WNRN-FM 91.9, "Listener supported independent music radio"
WTJU-FM 91.1, Eclectic, deejays bring in their CDs and vinyl
WMRA-FM 103.5, NPR from Harrisonburg
WVTF-FM 89.3 & 88.5, NPR from Roanoke
Radio IQ 89.7 & 91.5, BBC news and NPR talk

Commercial television
Depending on where you live, you can get everything— or nothing. Comcast has the local cable franchise, and there are still plenty of swaths of the county with no cable access.

Long a one-horse television town dominated by NBC29, Charlottesville is still adjusting to gaining three new stations and now having one for each major network. Gray Television moved into town in a big way and began broadcasting on WCAV Channel 19 (CBS) and WVAW Channel 16 (ABC) late in 2004. A FOX station, WAHU Channel 27, hit the airwaves in June, 2005.
Charlottesville has moved up in the 210 Nielsen designated market areas in the United States from number 186 a few years ago to 183, with approximately 75,000 television households.

Commercial stations:
NBC29 (WVIR broadcast 29, cable 4)
WAHU Fox 27 (broadcast 55, cable 9)
CBS19 (WCAV broadcast 19, cable 6)
ABC16 (WVAW broadcast 16, cable 3)

Non-commercial television
Yeah, an artsy town like Charlottesville has two public television stations, each claiming to be Charlottesville's own— but neither is based here.

WHTJ PBS (broadcast 41, cable 7) Richmond-based PBS station
WVPT PBS (broadcast 50, cable 11) Harrisonburg-based PBS station

Public access television
Comcast Cable channels 13 and 14 provide, respectively, public and education access. Watch government in action on Charlottesville TV 10, which broadcasts City Council meeting.

Simply: Charlottesville's most award-winning weekly newspaper. By publishing fair, balanced, and colorful journalism, the Hook contributes to the community's health and encourages the mental, physical, and civic engagement of Central Virginians.

Newspapers make most of their money from advertising, so it's just easier to skip the costly turmoil of subscription lists and paperboys and get the paper straight into readers' hands.

Please send via email to stuart@readthehook.com. It must critique something we published, contain a contact phone number for verification, and be under 300 words. (We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.)

If it's a news tip, please email or call the editor at 295-8700 x236.

Very few unsolicited news articles, essays, or photographs are accepted. However, all are carefully considered, and local emphasis remains essential. Please email the editor.

Please send it to one of this area's other fine publications.

If it's a display ad, call 295-8700 x228 or click here. If it's a classified ad, go to www.readthehook.com or call 295-8700 x222

Go to readthehook.com/calendar/submissions.aspx.

Look for the red boxes on sidewalks and in grocery stores and businesses around town. We print about 20,000 copies each week!

You're probably better off just enjoying this website, but if you insist on a subscription, please be aware that issues arrive several days after publication, even though they're sent by first-class mail, and cost is $125/year. Send your address and your check or money order to The Hook, 100 Second Street NW, Charlottesville, VA, 22902. Or just call the classified department with your credit card: 434-295-8700 x222

Order by issue date or issue number after first searching for the story online— sorry, but we cannot assist your search. Please be aware that not all back issues are available, and we reserve the right to limit quantities. Send your check or money order to The Hook, 100 Second Street NW, Charlottesville, VA, 22902. Or visit. Or call 295-8700 x222.
Cost if mailed: $4 each; $3 each for 10+ mailed copies.
Cost if picked up from our office: $1 for issues 1-6 months old. $3 for issues over 6 months old.
How to get free copies of last week's issue: Look for the special boxes with last week's issue (next to this week's issue) scattered on the Downtown Mall.

We're located in the heart of Charlottesville on the Downtown Mall at the Second Street automobile crossing. We're upstairs over the Consignment House and Bizou restaurant— and diagonally across from the Regal Cinema. Entrance is through a red door on Second Street. Hours: 9-5, Monday through Friday. [map]

The Hook was founded in early 2002 by a group of employees who had previously worked together at another local weekly called C-ville. The Hook is owned by Better Publications LLC, a Virginia company,  whose stock is currently held by three Charlottesville individuals. A funny thing happened in 2011 though. C-ville and the Hook got bought by a consortium of the owners of the two papers. Happy together forever? Only a soothsayer knows! Want to hear a cute little radio ad we made back in early 2002? Click here.

Originally, Charlottesville itself earned that moniker, perhaps in the 1950s, because lots of UVA students earned Cs— aka "hooks"— on their report cards. But the so-called "gentleman's C" is history— doomed by grade inflation and coeducation. We picked the name because it simultaneously refers to the zesty part of a song, as well as this town's uncanny ability to lure people back. (And, although we do not embed nicotine in the inks, we believe our paper is habit-forming.)


Lots o' hospitals
Although many experts say that a plethora of healthcare providers doesn't translate into better health for an area, having both the Martha Jefferson Hospital (654-7000) and the University of Virginia Medical Center (officially: UVA Health System) (924-0211) in the same tiny town can't be too bad. Each has a 24-hour emergency room– though this is the town where a "doc-in-box," Gaines Talbott at FirstMed, was credited with saving a life.

The Thomas Jefferson Health District - The main public health agency serving a five-county area including the City of Charlottesville. Clinics include immunizations, family planning, and STD screening. Open Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm. 972-6200. 1138 Rose Hill Drive.

Charlottesville Free Clinic-Provides free primary medical care, dental care, and prescription medication for working uninsured adults in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area. 296-5525. 1138 Rose Hill Drive.

Birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates are available from at the Office of Vital Records in Richmond. Don't get too excited, though. Only immediate family members can get the certificates. 804-662-6200.

Teen Health Center - Provides pregnancy tests, HIV tests, gynecological exams, and other services for anyone ages 12 to 20. Operated in the Corner Building at 1400 W. Main St. as part of the UVA Health System. 982-0090

Alternative Health
Charlottesville teems with holistic, homeopathic, and other alt medical providers. Some people swear by their chiropractor, some by their holistic healers, and some even swear by their shark cartilage pills, but please don't forget that many charlatans operate under the "alternative healing" banner. The good news is that UVA's Nursing School has set up The Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies to conduct research and disseminate information about alternative medicine. 924-0113

Get Fit!
There are more yoga classes around town than you can shake a mat at, plus classes in Pilates and the Alexander Technique and countless other wellness-related topics. But for the sake of space, here are the health club biggies– full-service spots that are open to everyone and exist solely to keep you feeling– and looking– your best.

ACAC It ain't the cheapest game in town, but with four fitness and wellness facilities, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, basketball arenas, a kid zone, and a big downtown facility, it's pretty hard to complain. And that doesn't include the still-new kid "arena" over at the Adventure Central location on Four Seasons Drive. 978-3800

Gold's Gym For straight up fitness, Gold's is the place. Lots of free weights, machines, classes, and kid care. They have a big facility next to the Kmart on Hydraulic Road. 973-1307

Boar's Head Tennis, swimming, golf, and much more– convenient for west-of-townies at the Boar's Head Inn on 250 West. 972-6067

Pure BarreNew to C'ville in June 2012, this barre-method workout incorporates ballet barre and slow, controlled movements to transform the body. Classes available several times a day. 2200 Old Ivy Road. 245-1119

 tru PilatesGroup and private Pilates classes as well as stretching and flexibility classes in a fully equipped private studio. 310 Second Street. 975-3800

Snap Fitness:  Rt 29 North in Seminole Square. Snap has a large cardio area as well as free weights, tanning, and month-to-month memberships. Open 24/7. 973-0587

Shergold Studio:  652 Rio Road West. Although not a typical fitness center, Shergold Studio teaches a wide array of partner dances including the waltz, foxtrot, rumba, and swing. The studio also offers exotic fitness classes. 975-4611

Momentum Pilates Studio:  2216 Ivy Road. Fully equipped Pilates studio that offers private and semi-private sessions.  sessions by appointment only. 293-2635

Opal Yoga: Brand new, this yoga studio features vinyasa yoga, a type of yoga that emphasizes breathing and posture techniques. All level welcome. 806-8501. 

Bikram Yoga:  109 5th Street SE. Beginners are welcome as this yoga studio that offers several classes daily in a room heated to 105 degrees. 220-1415

Clay Fitness and Nutrition233 Douglas Ave. Memberships are purchased in 12- or 13-week blocks called "seasons," and clients can pick from classes ranging from athletic training (with a low-impact option) to cycle yoga to a half cycle/half weight training class. 245-2288

Solidarity CrossFit770 Harris St. CrossFit workouts are different every day and include climbing ropes, lifting weights, gymnastics, body weight exercises, and more. Solidarity also offers boot camps and a three-week prep course for all new CrossFit members. 218-2111. 

The Gym: 1739 Allied Lane, Suite B. Varies from CrossFit-type workouts to power lifting. Workouts are divided into two categories, upper or lower body, but the exercises change each time to keep the workouts dynamic.  Classes are divided by gender and members range in age from 13-75. 878-0369

Seal Team Physical Training: Different outdoor locations around Charlottesville. 6am classes feature just about every traditional exercise and many others that aren’t, such as sledding and running with sandbags. Swimming, biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities are also optional parts of the training.(804) 262-1894

Fight Gone Mad In the Frank IX building off of 2nd street. Offers high-intensity interval training that includes functional and CrossFit-like movements as well as cardio. Unlike CrossFit, however, there is no competitive aspect to FGM; instead, clients train to enhance other exercise pursuits like running or yoga.

CrossFit Charlottesville1309 Belleview Avenue. CrossFit, Cville Burn— a four-week, 12-session program dedicated to the base of fitness; Cville Strength, an Olympic lifting program. 260-0209

Club Mo Fitness 971 Second Street SE. With their two fully stocked vans, the trainers at Club Mo bring high-intensity interval training and conditioning to homes, offices and anywhere else. They also offer classes at their gym including boxing, a strength training class, and the-high intensity class called Octane. 242-9969

T.E.A.M.S. Training Center 442 Westfield Rd. Offers full body boot camp, XFit, Interval Training, Strength and Conditioning, Speed and Agility, and sports instruction for baseball, soccer, and lacrosse. 529-8370.  

Total Performance: 2331 Seminole Ln. Suite B. Offers a full service gym and baseball instruction with indoor batting cages. 220-0185. 


Charlottesville is home to many dog owners and dog lovers. As long as one's dog well-behaved or well trained, they can roam in one of the three dog parks. This year, there has even been talk of adding more fenced dog parks in the city. 

CHARLOTTESVILLE– Owners must buy an annual license (making sure to fill out a dog license application and show that the dog's rabies vaccination is up to date). $4 for unsexed (spayed or neutered) dogs. $10 for unspayed and unneutered. (For 3x the price, owners may also purchase three-year licenses for dogs that have at least a year remaining on their rabies vaccination certificate.) Annual licenses expire December 31 of each year. Three-year licenses can be purchased at the City Hall and one-year licenses from the SPCA at 3355 Berkmar Drive, which can be reached at 973-5959.

ALBEMARLE– $5 for spayed or neutered, $10 for fertile pets. Multi-year dog tags are now available at twice or triple the annual fees. Purchase at the Albemarle County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road (296-5851), the SPCA (973-5959), or from the Scottsville Town Administrator (286-2511).

Dogs in parks
A little over a decade ago, Charlottesville City Council passed a then-controversial law requiring dogs to be on a leash and under control in all city parks (as well as at schools, cemeteries, and the Downtown Mall). Three exceptions include a fenced-in area at Azalea Park; certain stretches of the Rivanna Trail on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; and a one-acre fenced area at  Darden Towe Park. As for Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home allows dogs on its grounds and at its Kemper Park, but dogs are not allowed inside buildings, on the buses, or on the swanky Saunders Trail.

Poop Scoopin'
Unlike the County, the City has a law mandating the cleanup of dog feces— and even provides plastic bag dispensers and containers in the parks to aid in the effort. Failure to scoop is a Class Four misdemeanor.

Loose/stray dogs- If they're friendly, many people take them directly to the Charlottsville-Albemarle SPCA, which adopted a no-kill policy when it moved into its new facilities several years ago. Otherwise, you can call the dispatcher for Charlottesville, Albemarle, and University Animal Control: 977-9041.

Dog-fighting— The scourge of dog-fighting is very much a reality in Virginia; and in 2003, legislation banning breeding, training, or selling dogs for dog-fighting sponsored by area legislator Rob Bell was signed into law. (The Hook bans "free to good home" pet ads because dog-fighters reportedly use such ads to obtain "bait animals.")

Charlottesville/Albemarle SPCA— In addition to its no-kill shelter, the SPCA also runs a rummage sale store on Preston Avenue that helps raise funds and support the organization. 293-8475

Caring for Creatures— Another no kill option, Caring for Creatures is located at 352 Sanctuary Lane, Palmyra, VA. 842-2404.

Fluvanna SPCA— Another branch of the SPCA, the FSPCA recently raised over $100,000 in their Annual Campaign in order to continue their no-kill policy. 591-0123.

Leash Laws
While control of your dog via voice command is sufficient in most areas of Charlottesville, Albemarle adopted a leash law in April 2012 which considers letting your dogs run free range a Class Four misdemeanor with fines up to $250.

In 2008, the County banned "audible noise" from animals but requires a complaining neighbor who has been hearing barking lasting for 30 minutes (with no stops longer than five minutes) to swear out an arrest warrant for this Class Three misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of $500. The county exempts breeders and dogs who live on over five acres of land.

GETTING AROUND - Local Transportation

Just got here?
Within 60 days of arrival, you must apply for a Virginia driver's license, and within 30 days obtain state registration for your vehicle through the DMV (804-497-7100) at 2055 Abbey Road (near the Giant grocery on Pantops). Immediately after registering your vehicle in Virginia, you must obtain a state safety inspection from any private garage offering the regulated service—it always costs $16 for cars and $12 for motorcycles– unless there's something wrong, and then you have to pay for repairs.

Road rules- local licensing
You must register your car in the locality in which you reside, and a personal property tax is due twice per year, in June and December.

Virginia's sometimes wacky rules of the road
Here are some state laws you may or may not have heard of:
Keep frontin': Virginia automobiles must have both front and rear license plates.
No radar love: Unlike the other 49 states, Virginia bans the use of radar detectors.
Don't pimp my ride: Tinting your windows too dark is strictly forbidden, as are neon lights and undercarriage glow.
Yak attack: Unlike many other states, Virginia has not outlawed dialing while driving— unless you're under 18 or a school bus driver. However...
No texting: Since 2009 texting while driving has been illegal.
Walk this way: Pedestrians at intersections— even lollygagging UVA students— always have the right-of-way.
Light rain: If your windshield wipers are on, your lights must be on.
I can't drive 80: As of July 1, 2012, Virginia raised the speed limit to 70mph on a large number of highways, but beware, driving over 80mph will earn you hefty fines under the theory of "reckless driving."
Embarrassed kids: All children under age eight— that's right, eight— must be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat.
Footloose: Virginia drivers must always have their shoes on while driving.
DUI Crackdown: Since July 1, 2012, a single DUI conviction means you'll have to have an "ignition interlock device" installed in your vehicle, which is a breathalyzer you have to blow clean through (less than 0.8) to start your car. 

We have two separate bus systems: one run by UVA and one by City Hall:

UTS - From the North Grounds to Fontaine and as far east as Washington Park, this University-run service has every-ten-minutes passes on some busy routes and offers free rides to students and locals alike. 924-7711

CAT - The city's bus service has 15 routes and welcomes bicycle riders by offering bike racks on all buses. Regular fare is 75 cents for a one-way trip (children 5 and under ride free), but you can buy a monthly pass for $20 or an unlimited-use Day Pass for $1.50, which can be purchased on any CAT bus when boarding. Reduced fares for seniors citizens (65 and older) and the disabled are available with a CAT Reduced Fare Card (application available at the Downtown Transit Station on E. Water Street). UVA student, faculty, and staff IDs are accepted as fare on CAT buses. Youths 6 to 18 years old ride free during the summer with a special CAT Summer Youth Ride FREE ID card. In addition to the summer program, CAT offers a year-round free ride program for Charlottesville High School students. 970-3649.

Freebie: The best central city free ride is the CTS free trolley which looks like a San Francisco cable car but travels on rubber tires between the Corner, UVA grounds, and downtown every 15 minutes from 6:40am until 11:30pm Monday-Saturday. On Sunday, the trolley runs every 30 minutes in the morning and every 45 minutes in the afternoon from 8am until 5pm.

–->For inter-city bus transportation– Greyhound/Starlight Express, as well as trains and planes– we have more information on our travel page.

Bike routes
Charlottesville and Albemarle have made strides in increasing the number of bike routes in recent years, and bikers can check out the city's website for some tips on bike safety as well as bicycle friendly trails. There are also several biking groups and shops in the area for cycling fans. In Virginia, bicycles must follow the same laws as motor vehicles, including riding on the right side of the street, obeying all traffic signs and signals, yielding to pedestrians, and using signals for turning and stopping. At night, bicycles must have a white front light visible for 500 feet and either a red rear-reflector visible for at least 600 feet or a red taillight visible for 500 feet.

Other bike rules: Riding a bike on the Downtown Mall is punishable by a fine (skateboards are out, too). And riding on the handlebars of a bike is a no-go anywhere. And since 2011, in the city, any kid age 14 or younger on a street, sidewalk, or bicycle path must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, scooter, or even a "toy vehicle."

Community bikes
The city has a "community bike" shop that teaches patrons how to repair, build, and maintain bikes that they can keep. Charlottesville Community Bikes aims to promote environmentally friendly transportation and accepts donations of tools, bicycles, and parts.


Where the bleep am I?
Thanks to the area's long history, many roads have different names along a single path, usually changing as a city street moves into the county and becomes a road. Here's a handy tip-sheet. Confused? Here's a road primer:
Emmet Street=Seminole Trail=U.S. 29
Ivy Road=University Avenue=Main Street=Downtown Mall
Avon Street=9th Street
Park Street=Rio Road (pronounced "RYE-oh")=Hydraulic Road
Garth Road=Barracks Road=Preston Avenue=Market Street
Fifth Street=Ridge Street=McIntire Road=John Warner Parkway (eventually)

Roads get busy around here during traditional rush hours– not to mention around noontimes when roads clog pretty heavily. Companies that engage in RideShare programs like car pools and van pools can get juicy tax deductions. 295-6165
Average commute time: 15.5 minutes city and 21.8 minutes county (national average is 26)
Working at home:
5.9% city and 7.3% county (national average is just 3.3%)

Park with a permit: To save room for residents, some neighborhoods near UVA and downtown require $25 per year parking permits. You'll know because you'll see the street signs. The permits, which expire each August 31, are available through the City Treasurer's Office. 970-3146