Charlottesville Breaking News

More spending: Rivanna moves past Gannett Fleming

news-water-rwsaThe outrage that put City Councilor Holly Edwards (left) and County Supervisor Sally Thomas (right) onto the Rivanna board last month didn't stop the planned highway-hugging mega-dam pushed by chair Michael Gaffney (center). PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

Three hours before the June 25 vote to replace the embattled engineering firm guiding the local water supply, Kevin Lynch was blasting the leadership of the waterworks. "How much longer," asked Lynch, a former City Councilor, "will Rivanna throw good money after bad?"

The question came the same day that the Daily Progress revealed that the waterworks, the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority, was paying a lawyer $515 an hour–- sometimes over $20,000 a month–- to review documents.

The Progress also reported that the Authority– which has come under fire for it...

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Crosswalk fallout: Gerry Mitchell files suit

cover-gerry-mitchellArtist Gerry Mitchell, one year after the crosswalk incident. FILE PHOTO BY WILL WALKER

First came the accident. Then the bad publicity. Now, 18 months after Gerry Mitchell was struck in his wheelchair by an Albemarle County police cruiser and then ticketed by Charlottesville police in the ER, comes the lawsuit.

Filed Tuesday morning, June 16, in Charlottesville Circuit Court, Mitchell's $850,000 suit alleges negligence, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress and names the City of Charlottesville, Charlottesville Police Officer Steve Grissom, who wrote the ticket, and Albemarle County Police Officer Gregory C. Davis, who was driving the cruiser that struck him in a West Main Street crosswalk on November 5, 2007.

"When you think about the cover up, what they did was so unnecessary and horrible," says Mitchell, reached hours after the suit was filed. "They basically are not being accountable. All the detail...

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Vintage tale: 'Billionaire Vinegar' author visits Monticello

news-bookThe Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine tells the story of the controversy surrounding a bottle of wine  thought to be owned by Thomas Jefferson. PUBLICITY PHOTO

In September 2007, an article in the New Yorker ["The Jefferson Bottles," by Patrick Radden Keefe] rocked the wine world.

It told the story of the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction, a 1787 Ch¢teau Lafite supposedly found in a cellar wall in Paris that was believed to have been the property of Thomas Jefferson. As the article explains, Jefferson, a certified wine nut (spending the equivalent of $120,000 on wine during his presidency), was America’s Ministe...

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Demo dodger: Moon-Henderson house to see many moons

onarch-savedhouse-facadeAfter years of neglect, the circa-1883 Moon-Henderson House at 10 1/2 Street NW is finally being restored. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

Last November, local publisher Bill Chapman appealed a decision by the Board of Architectural Review to Charlottesville City Council, denying his demolition request for the Moon-Henderson House, a circa-1883 structure at 10 1/2 Street NW, and one of the few remnants of a once thriving African-American neighborhood along West Main. Chapman, who purchased the building with a partner in 2003, explained that it wasn't financially feasible to preserve.

"I was hoping to renovate it into office/retail, assuming that Atwood’s building next door gave some life to the street," said Chapman, referring to architect Bill Atwood's plan to develop the near-by Under the Roof space, "but the cost estimate was over $300,000. Hard to make...

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Recycle this! Van der Linde steps up tone

cover-murfCapturing the market: Peter Van der Linde's recycling facility, which opened last December, is already handling over 250 tons of trash a day. FILE PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

Recycling entrepreneur Peter Van der Linde, who opened an $11 million state-of-the-art recycling facility in Zion Crossroads last December, recently did a round of local radio interviews, drawing attention once again to his ongoing legal battle with the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, which has filed a $3.5 million lawsuit against him.

"If this doesn't bother you, nothing will," declared former Republican City Councilor Rob Schilling on his WINA radio program, saying he was "disgusted" by the Authority's action against Van der Linde. "It's wrong in every single way."

After having toured Van der Linde's facility, Schilling told listeners he was "awestruck" by the operation, which can sort up to 100 tons of construction and...

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