Charlottesville Breaking News

How do you like the look of the new Trader Joe's?

Click here for image of Trader Joe's.

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Feel good? 'Help' glosses over pain of Jim Crow

The Help is a safe film about a volatile subject. Presenting itself as the story of how African-American maids in the South viewed their employers during Jim Crow days, it is equally the story of how they empowered a young white woman to write a best-seller about them, and how that book transformed the author's mother. We are happy for the two white women, and a third, but as the film ends it is still Jackson, Miss., and Ross Barnett is still governor.

Still, this is a good film, involving and wonderfully acted. I was drawn into the characters and quite moved, even though all the while I was aware it was a feel-good fable, a story that deals with pain but doesn't care to be that painful. We don't always go to the movies for searing truth, but more often for reassurance: Yes, racism is vile and cruel, but hey, not all white people are bad. Full review.

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Sweet taste of success for Sweet Frog

Since opening last summer, Sweet Frog, the self-serve frozen yogurt place on the Downtown Mall, has been been pumping out the stuff as fast as folks can work the handles on the store's bank of yogurt machines. Plans are already in the works for another location in the Barracks Road Shopping Center, and, according to Sweet Frog's owners, the owner of the original Sweet Frog in Short Pump is planning to open a store in the Hollymead Town Center.

What's more, the Sweet Frog franchise, which wasn't even a franchise when the Mall store opened, has taken off.

According to Sweet Frog co-owner Giovanni Sestito, who also owns Vita Nova pizzeria, it's all because of the Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review.


Readers might recall that the Downtown Mall Sweet Frog store opening was delayed nearly eight months because the building's owner, Joe Gieck, demolished the historic facade of the building, once home to the Victory Shoe Store, without BAR approval.

Originally, Sestito and partner Robert Lupica had planned to call their Downtown y...

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Kristin's picks: Szakos endorses Galvin, Huja

Five days before the Dems pick three candidates for City Council, Kristin Szakos has named her choices to join her on the dais at City Hall: fellow Councilor Satyendra Huja and School Board member Kathy Galvin.

"It was hard to narrow it down to three," says Szakos, who opted to name only two choices. She cites Huja's nearly 40 years of city government experience and Galvin's expertise in education, planning, and smart neighborhood development.

And while Szakos campaigned with Mayor Dave Norris in 2009, two years later they're not on the same page in their preferences for City Council. Norris has given the nod to candidates Colette Blount, Brevy Cannon and Dede Smith.

Paul Beyer and James Halfaday complete the field of seven Dems seeking their party's nomination for City Council, and another five independents hope to garner votes in November.

The August 20 primary also will determine the Democratic nominee for clerk of court, an eight-year, $112K job, with incumbent Paul Garrett trying to fend off challengers Llezelle Dugger and Pam Melampy.

The firehouse primary will be held Saturday, August 20, from 9am to 7pm at Burley Middle School on Rose Hill Drive, and any r...

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Summer thunderstorm wreaks havoc

A severe thunderstorm struck the Charlottesville area Sunday night, downing trees and putting thousands in the dark. Among the casualties in the August 14 event was the Goco gas station on Cherry Avenue which lost its canopy, according to City Fire Chief Charles Werner.

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Editor's Note
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