Charlottesville Breaking News

Silly panic: The fuss over a 'minority white' nation

"Whites will become a minority of the American population by midcentury if not sooner," states America Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray in his fascinating new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010. In repeating this claim, Murray (likely unintentionally) furthers a misconception about the country's shifting racial makeup and what it means for the future of the United States.

Murray's likely source is the much-ballyhooed 2009 U.S. Census report that parsed certain immigration trends and fertility trends to reach that conclusion. But the claim that "whites" will be a minority in America by 2050 implies an invidious view of the importance of ethnicity and race. 'Whites,' by earlier definitions cherished by nativists, are already a minority in this country and have been for many decades. The successful amalgamation of previously scorned "races" is a testament to the ever-broadening inclusive tolerance of the Ameri...

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Transcript-gate: UVA law student waives, gets trial date

Joshua Peter Gomes, the former UVA law student and former fashion model charged with breaking into the university registrar's office, waived a preliminary hearing April 12, and will go to trial on two felony burglary charges and a felony possession of burglary tools charge.

Gomes, 25, was arrested in the wee hours of December 7 outside Carruthers Hall on Emmet Street, after registrar employees had noticed signs of a break-in on December 6, including what allegedly turned out to be a spy cam disguised as a coat hook.

A University Police officer examining the contents of the tiny camera discovered the image of a young, African-American male timestamped at 3am December 5. According to earlier courtroom testimony, the video shows the mysterious alleged intruder facing the camera before he turns and begins rifling through file cabinets. Police say that man was Gomes, now persona non grata at UVA, which banned him from setting foot on university property. According to police, transcript paper was found at his residence,

After the hearing, former model Gomes, sporting...

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Muzzle time: VA prisons receive life sentence in censorship

Of all the celebrations around town that commemorate the April 13 birthday of third president and Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the best– and worst– birthday gift comes from his namesake Center for the Protection of Free Expression, which annually bestows its Muzzle awards for the most egregious violations of free speech.

Sadly, there are always contenders, and Jefferson's hometown is not exempt. Both the Cavalier Daily and Albemarle High have been cited for muzzling free speech in the past.

This year's 21st Muzzle awards bring a blot of shame to Jefferson's home state with a lifetime achievement Muzzle. "The Virginia Department of Corrections is a repeat offender," says Thomas Jefferson Center executive director Josh Wheeler. "Three strikes and you're out."

The DOC also is only the third recipient of a lifetime achievement Muzzle, joining...

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Trunk show: Market Street resident protests spruce felling

There's something about Market Street, something that seems to prompt otherwise law-abiding citizens to embark upon civil disobedience despite the prospect of getting hauled off in handcuffs. Several times over the past five years, it's been resident Louis Schultz, who fought for– and eventually won– the right to let "weeds" grow tall as a riparian buffer. On Tuesday, April 10, Market Street resident Robin Hanes was arrested after refusing to move from the base of a towering spruce that was facing imminent destruction.

"It just hit me; I couldn't handle it," says Hanes of the moment she realized that the tree at the corner of Market Street and 18th– two blocks from her home– would be coming down to make way for the planned construction of two new houses.

"They could build the house 10 feet down the hill," she says, "and leave the tree."

Hanes isn't a garden variety tree-hugger; she sits on the Charlottesville Tree Commission, a City Council-appointed board created in 2010 to advise the city on its urban forest.

While she acknowledges that she has no legal right to make demands of someone else's property, Hanes (who is the significant other of the Hook's "Black&White" photographer Bill Emory, who also sits on the Commissi...

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Belmont vortex: Vision vs. reality in Belmont Bridge debate


There's a grass roots community movement calling for the re-design of the east end of the downtown area, creating a "gateway" ("Gait-Way," actually, to emphasize pedestrianism) from Belmont that would dovetail into the Downtown Mall in a less car-centric, more pedestrian-friendly way. There's just one problem: there's a big bridge in the way.

In 2003, the City determined that the circa-1961 Belmont Bridge was “rapidly deteriorating,” due to corrosion of the reinforcing steel in the bridge deck that has been weakening the concrete piers. Since then, countless hours of planning have gone into preparations for the eventual replacement of the bridge, as well as $210,000 in temporary repairs and anoth...

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