Charlottesville Breaking News

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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Worrell's world: ex-DP boss re-envisions newsbiz

snap-newspaperboxes-1"Small, local papers have a chance," says former Daily Progress owner Tom Worrell, "but you have to be credible, you have to develop a reputation with the community over time, and constantly deliver on that."

Given the dismal state of the newspaper business, former Daily Progress owner Thomas A. Worrell Jr., who in 1995 sold the DP and 28 other publications to Media General Inc. for $230 million, appears to have been somewhat prescient. Although Worrell might have made more if he'd held on for another 10 years, if he'd held on for another 15, he might have been left with nothing to sell.

Today, Media General Inc., which owns 24 dailies, including the Tampa Tribune and Richmond Times-Dispatch, as well as 19 network-affiliated TV stations–- not to mention printing plants, real estate, and internet subsidiaries–- is now valued at just $70 million, less than a...

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Wasted revenue? Authority realized in 2005 station didn't track origins

news-alliedstationUntold millions in revenue may have been lost here, at Allied Waste's transfer station at Zion Crossroads, between 1998 and 2005. PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

As reported in a recent cover story ["What a Waste: Is the trash Authority going obsolete?"], there's a waste war raging with distrust, lawsuits, and even spying.

The Rivanna Solid Waste Authority is suing Peter Van der Linde, who recently opened a major recycling facility in Zion Crossroads (right next to the RSWA-sponsored facility), to retrieve millions in fees the outspoken hauler allegedly avoided paying by lying about the origins of his trash. However, Authority documents recently obtained by the Hook show that the Authority may have been fleeced by its own partner in trash.

In 2005, seven years after the RSWA inked a...

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