Charlottesville Breaking News

UVA embraces Tom Tom

The upcoming Tomtoberfest promises a weekend of innovation, music, food and fun, as the Tom Tom Founders Festival founder, Paul Beyer (center), joined UVA innovation bigwigs Philippe Sommer (left), director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Darden School, and David Touve, Director of the Galant Center for Entrepreneurship at UVA's McIntire School of Commerce, to announce the line-up of the fall festival that takes place September 25-28 in downtown Charlottesville and on UVA Grounds. Among other things, the weekend features a candidate forum on Wednesday September 25, a block party with live music, public art and plenty of food, and the humorously named "Lawnie flash seminars" on Saturday, September 28 in which residents of the Lawn speak on contemporary topics from their rooms. Presumably, they will be fully clothed. For a full list of events visit www.tomtomfest.com.

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Lockn' loaded

Traffic snarls at the outset of the Lockn' music festival caused tempers to flare, but cars were inside and parked and festival goers were rockn' on Saturday afternoon, September 7.

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Fired up: County, UVA celebrate new station

Ivy residents are now a bit safer thanks to the opening of Albemarle's new fire station. At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, August 29, UVA and county honchos praised the collaboration that made the new station possible and spoke of the benefits, including faster response times to emergencies occurring in the swath of countryside between the city and Crozet, as well as reduced insurance rates for businesses and homeowners in that area as a result of the new station's proximity.

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Key West & Goliath: Neighbors square off with AT&T over tower

For four years now, concerned residents of the Key West neighborhood on Route 20 North have been battling telecommunication giant AT&T over the company's plans to place a 103-foot cell phone tower in the neighborhood. That battle will come to a head on September 11, when the proposal comes up for final approval by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.

Armed with research showing that the tower could easily be placed elsewhere, that it will depress real estate values, harm the environment, and could potentially cause health problems, Key West residents hope to nix AT&T's plans.

"AT&T is attempting to improve its profits substantially by placing the tower in the middle of our neighborhood," says Key West resident Bob Toplin. "Clearly, the Board of Supervisors ought to stand up for the county’s citizens in a situation such as this."

 The Key West neighborhood, just a few miles north of Pantops Shopping Center, is only about six minutes from downtown Charlottesville, but the community enjoys a kind of peace and quietude typically found much farther out in the country. Deer roam the neighborhood in herds, unafraid of being hunted, and long-time residents there— which until earlier this summer included this reporter— are protective of that peace.

"We've evaluated a variety of options, and this site will provide residents of Key West and the surrounding area with the wireless phone and mobile Internet coverage they...

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SOL challenge: Schools target critical thinking to raise lagging scores

This year marks Charlottesville and Albemarle schools' second attempt to rebound from drops in pass rates on the math Standards of Learning exams, but last week’s report from the Virginia Department of Education show neither division made much progress. Last year, Albemarle's pass rate was 75 percent and Charlottesville's was 69 percent. In order to earn accreditation this year, 75 percent of students must pass the math test.

As the new school year begins, math teachers and instructional coaches are tasked with bolstering scores, but what does it take for a division to recover, and what do our schools plan to do moving forward?

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