Secrets of a reviewer

Washington Post book reviewer Michael Dirda told a standing-room-only crowd at the Virginia Festival of the Book: "I move my lips while I read." At the 10am Book Festival event at the Central Library, "So Many Books... The Pleasures of Reading," he also revealed, despite the impending obsolescence of the book, what bloggers really want: "They want a book."

11 comments

Terrific speaker and made me want to go home and read, read, read.

He made the point that reading a book is far different from blog reading, in that it requires a commitment of substantial time to get into the head of the author and time to reflect on what one has read.

As to his "gift" of the parkway interchange $, I think the Warner Porkway is a more fitting name. If built, it will benefit only the sprawl developers of 29 north. Look at who's pushing this project, google the Free Enterprise forum, check out the board of directors and where they own land. If Sen. Warner knew all the details of how this road has come along, he may not feel so honored.

The city is planning to use Federal funds to build an Interchange to link the Meadowcreek Parkway (technically called Mc Intire Rd Extended within Charlottesville) to Rt. 250 while seeking to avoid the application of section 4f, 106 and NEPA (park, historic and environmental protection laws) to the state funded Parkway itself by segmenting these into separate, “independent” projects.

It should be noted that the Parkway itself was a federally funded project until these very laws proved prohibitive. Without the interchange the Parkway would end 775 ft away from rt. 250 in a field. As a rule, if Federal funds are needed for a project to be functional, Federal laws apply to the whole project.

Sen. Warner was told by City Council member David Brown and other local luminaries that there was "broad consensus" (public hearings show the opposite, but Brown choose to heed the results of the local sprawl industry’s Free Enterprise forums push poll instead) for the Parkway if only he could get federal funding for a grade- separated interchange.

Now the pro-parkway crowd is claiming that Charlottesville had agreed to build the 17 lane at-grade intersection before money for the interchange came along. This is a re-writing of history, as anyone who cares to look at the Charlottesville’s stated requirements for the road would plainly see. (Peter Kleeman’s blog has links to many parkway documents)

How can our pro – Parkway councilors (Brown, Taliaferro and Huja) call themselves “green” while trying to spend Charlottesville’s scarce transportation dollars on a road through its central park and Downtown in the age of climate change and war for oil? How is meaningful citizen involvement possible when the plans are deliberately based on false assumptions by our own officials as a means of misleading the public and subverting the law?

Are we done with “urban renewal” and freeways thru cities, or have these mechanisms evolved a more subtle face and pace? Mcintire Rd. was built on the ruins of Vinegar Hill only a couple years after it’s residents were evicted. A couple years after that, Mcintire Rd extended – also known as the Meadowcreek Parkway - was proposed. Let’s not extend this disaster.

How about a Meadowcreek nature preserve and Bikeway instead? The land is pretty much bought; all we have to do is cut the road part out. The right thing to do costs less than destroying our greenspace. How about effective, convenient, comfortable transit - for instance express bus service using rt. 250 connecting Pantops, downtown and 29n. Isn’t this what we say we are about?

Stratton, do you know how much City money is in this project ? Didn't the Planning Commission vote to re-direct this money?
Maybe we should conduct our own poll. My bet
is this road would be dead if we had a referendum of city residents. The next city councilors elected must be more closely looked at for their support to protect city assets such as: McIntire Park, Ragged Mt. Natural Area and the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir for water storage and not as a water park as the current task force is proposing. Protecting these resources is the sustainable road to take and any councilor that does not agree should not be re-elected

Can we call for a general vote in the city? I agree, this would kill the idea of the Parkway forever. The county has begun destroying trees and slamming their part of the road through on Rio Rd. I hope the county finds "their road" ending in the field and going nowhere. I also hope someone calls on the lawyers soon. We can win. The battle is well worth it too. Many believe that any on city council who agree to this freeway through the heart of the city, will certainly end their own political career.

To whom can one donate $$$ for the legal fund to stop Parkway? Does anyone know the details here? I have heard some group is easily garnering donations. I hope they are successful. I believe the majority of city residents oppose the Parkway.

I'd like to see Democrats for Change get back in the picture and find candidates now that will speak up for city interests and stop the parkway and the dam at Ragged Mt. Individuals that have the courage to stand up to the county. We need to recruit people for council not elect individuals with minimal interest or understanding of maintaining and preserving infrastructure.

even if some form of city portion of the parkway is built, the current plan is a bad set up for the city. Also, it should be bundled with auto-alternative features and be more forward thinking. this thing as currently conceived is an anachronism that will ultimately decrease the quality of life in our city. how about a parking garage built into the hill next to catec? it could even have play fields on top. it should be a free place to park and catch the trolley downtown. no cars on the parkway, just the trolley, walkers, and bikes. that would reduce traffic in the city and if reducing congestion, not bisecting the city, is the real goal. this same strategy could be used to solve the free bridge traffic problem: a walking/biking bridge across the river with a garage on the county side and a trolley stop on the city side (perhaps connecting at Arbor circle). this would save tons of money (over another auto bridge) and ACTUALLY ADDRESS THE PROBLEM of too many cars. Our transportation ideas are not keeping up with the pace of reality, that's why it is so difficult to make them agreeable.

Stew, your ideas are brilliant and workable. Come on opponents, call the county's hand now. Really do something to stop this thing.

The sad reality, the two councilors who say they oppose the Parkway, will only go so far. Sure they once voted against the road, but then one turned right around recently and said during a city council that she would consider naming the road in honor of Warner. The other told the newspaper reporter he may also bend to name the road for the guy who arranged for destruction through Charlottesville. Don't Norris and Edwards realize how wishy wasy it looks to feed into a dangerous fire? The county is smiling, as they are getting away with a mission, one step at a time. The big question, why don't Norris and Edwards speak up more in a time of crises? Many are unsure about how much they really care to stop a Parkway the county has already begun.

Your right it's the same with the water plan. County interests are trumping City resources and no Councilor is willing to say this. If you look in today's DP it's the County that is growing not the city. Why would our elected officials make us pay for this growth? We need to elect people with a stronger backbone and not those planning their political futures on the backs of City residents !

No matter what happens, the council will for sure, get an earful, before all is said and done. Norris and Edwards should certainly stand up more now for the folks they represent and for the votes they cast against the Parkway. There is much they could do to stop the road, if they made the effort.