Yo, UVA! Do the right thing!
At my house, or probably anyone's house, if I wanted to build a new indoor basketball court because my old one seemed small compared to the neighbors', and then add room for a lot of additional parking, but I realized that I also had an outdated heating system that breaks down regularly and is pouring soot onto the neighbors [News: "Excuse my smut," January 23, 2003] (http://www.readthehook.com/92982/news-overstoked-uvas-coal-soot-blankets...), which do you think I would fix first?
The fact that an antiquated heating system supports a supposedly "state of the art" hospital makes one wonder who signed off each time the hospital was modernized and enlarged.
Also, question of the year: Why the hell don't they put the scrubbers in the smokestacks? Just because someone dubiously maintains that they are "grandfathered in" doesn't make it right or acceptable. They have the money. They have plenty of money. They just don't want to.
It's not fun or sexy to spend money on your heating system, but since it's a public institution, they have a duty to answer to the public about what they're doing with state funds on state property, not to mention state air. Coal emissions are linked to acid rain, which, among other things, is linked to the continued degradation of the Shenandoah National Park.
Do the right thing, UVA. Clean up your coal burning. It's the right thing to do with public money.
And another thing: It's absurd to maintain that they can't afford to build the proposed bridge over Emmet Street– the gateway to the university which will be "experienced" by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people over its lifetime– more attractively by facing it with stone or brick, as the city had hoped. The university has the money. The size of their budget is gargantuan. UVA is a giant multi-tentacled corporation, like all modern universities, and if they can't figure out which pot to take the money out of, they can offer to name that pedestrian bridge, like everything else in modern life, for a fat-cat donor.
Come on. Do the right thing times two.