Charlottesville Breaking News

Dumb and dumber: Silly stuff that's supposed to be green

With the recent Detroit Automotive Show focusing on electrics and the Sierra Club having an electric car columnist, America continues to believe technology will save us. Let's see how that's working.

In 2011, only 17,345 Chevy Volts and Nissan Leafs, 38 percent below projections, left U.S. showrooms while the percentage of hybrid vehicles dropped from 2.4 to 2.2 percent of auto sales. These are echoes of natural gas vehicle results and should be reminding us that the ethanol program is a debacle and the history of the CAFE, Corporate Average Fuel Economy, standards is the epitome of counter-productivity.

Australians call our American obsession with something new a “technological trap,” and I argue that it’s a key component of our national state of denial. There is no way we’re going to get out of our oil vulnerability, health, foreign policy, pollution, and greenhouse emission quandaries without addressing our individual consumption of energy, especially gasoline and diesel. We must change our lifestyles. No new product, even one with $7,500 federal subsidies like electric cars, will do the trick.

While the evidence is clear that there must be individual behavioral change, as the author of Fostering Sustainable Behavior, Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr, notes, we keep producing technological “solutions,” like electric cars or florescent light bulbs, instead of dealing...

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Pain and frustration: Two years later, 'We know her agonies'

They'll never have their daughter back, but for the parents of murdered Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, the unsolved status of the case two years after her body was discovered in a remote pasture on a southern Albemarle County farm is added anguish.

"It doesn't get easier," says Morgan's mother, Gil Harrington, a week before the grim January 26 anniversary. If the mystery has begun to fade from the national spotlight, it still has legions of followers thanks in part to coverage on national programs including Nancy Grace and the Investigation Discovery channel's Disappeared.

The latest, Harrington says, is that, although an air date hasn't yet been set, America's Most Wanted is planning an episode. Locally, the Charlottesville band Howard/Johnson & Friends has written a song that's one-third inspired by the Harrington case.

Titled "Ode," the folksy ballad offers tribute to three seemingly unconnected tragedies: the 1933 death of starlet Peg Entwistle, who infamously committed suicide by diving off the 'H' in the famed "Hollywood" sign; the 1985 double homicide of Derek and Nancy Haysom by their UVA student daughter Elizabeth and her fellow Echols scholar boyfriend Jens Soering; and Morgan Harrington, who inspired singer Cheryl Knight to voice the following:

Something vile crept through that night
Tore away that young girl's life
Her parents search for the killer still
My heart cries out

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Final days: Emails show VQR's 'awkward workplace scenario'

"At this point, frankly, I feel I have little protection offered by the University, and I see little or no evidence of any oversight of Ted [Genoways] by the University." – Kevin Morrissey in an email to officials in the UVA President's office, July 21, 2010.

"There were reports through the years of the Editor not being courteous or respectful with some contributors and colleagues, as well as problems with certain employees, but none ever seemed to rise to the level of a serious, on-going concern." --UVA investigation of VQR operations, October 20, 2010


Just days after a new publisher and deputy editor joined the staff of the Virginia Quarterly Review, emails between former V...

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Video: Chinese New Year at Chang's

On Sunday, January 15 there was a gathering at Peter Chang's China Grill on Barracks Road to celebrate the Chinese New Year, with the renowned chef himself cooking for a packed house. Videographer Anwar Allen was there to capture the event, including some rare footage of America's most sought-after Chinese chef in the kitchen. As previously reported, Chang and his local business partner, Gen Lee, will be opening another Peter Chang's China Grill near Richmond in the Short Pump area in about a month.

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Southern, uncapped: Whiskey Jar strips down walls... and recipes

"It's been a long time dream of mine," says Will Richey, while lying on his back with a wet paintbrush in hand, "to do a Southern restaurant."

That dream may come true next month when the 35-year-old opens The Whiskey Jar, a concept he and two partners are putting into the space long occupied by Escafé, which is moving to Water Street.

At 227 West Main, workers have already stripped the place to the walls (with exposed brick in some places), installed a new floor, and there are plans to rebuild the bar without any clutter overhead.

Richey is well known as the owner of Revolutionary Soup and as founder of the Charlottesville Wine Guild; but it's Red Row Farm, a little organic plot he and his wife, Lisa, operate near Esmont that will put much of the food on these tables.

Raising pigs, chickens, sheep– along with plenty of okra, kale, and collard greens– the couple is engaging in what economists call "vertical integration," but Richey says his new restaurant's aim is "taking local to its next logical conclusion."

"It'll be southern food specific to the Piedmont region of Virginia in our great-grandmothers' era," he says, "at prices they'd recognize also."

Appropriately, at this storefront in the sh...

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Editor's Note
4Better Or Worse