Escalating the damage

My fellow Charlottesville native Ann Joseph wasn't forgetting anything when she vouched to you ["Correct the escalator misunderstanding," Letter, April 15]that the only escalator there's ever been in this burg is the one at Michael's in Barracks Road. The one at the airport isn't in Charlottesville because the airport isn't in Charlottesville. It's in Albemarle County.

I'm not splitting hairs here. Especially while area self-esteem, already inflated, is further puffed up by the Frommer phenomenon, it behooves us all to remember that we live in Virginia, the land of independent cities.

And that means we live where sharp, albeit invisible lines, are drawn around the cores of sprawling communities, forcing those cores to compete against their more affluent edges for precious resources– water, tax dollars, business investment, et al.– even as they wastefully duplicate all civic function– school administration, courts, fire, and police departments, ad infinitum.

Folks who live in Albemarle County, and even beyond its borders, can say they live "in Charlottesville" all they want to. But until and unless they really do– and pay property taxes here and participate in problem-solving here– my hard-up little hometown will continue to vary widely from the glitzy virtual village with which it shares a name.

Antoinette W. Roades