Charlottesville Breaking News
The red-light cameras that Albemarle County installed at the intersection of Route 29 and Rio Road in 2011 have caught thousands of red-light runners and generated thousands in ticket revenue. But according to a story first broken by the Chicago Tribune, representatives of the Australia-based company that operates the cameras, Redflex, have been caught red-handed bribing a Chicago transportation official. The company is now under federal investigation.
Following the Chicago bribery scandal, Redflex has also been losing contracts across the country. City officials in Orange County, Florida, San Rafael, California. Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, and Prescott, Arizona, who were considering using the systems, which nab red-light runners with still photography and video, have all decided against contracting with the company.
"I just don't think it's appropriate for us to congratulate a company that has this type of core value failure," Orange County Commissioner Fred Brummer told the Chicago Tribune, before a 7-0 vote against Redflex. "The appearance, to me, is just dreadful, and appearances matter."
Here in Albemarle County, police and government officials were enthusiastic about the installation of the controversial cameras, claiming they would eventually make the troublesome intersection safer. According to Albemarle spokesperson Lee Catlin, the county will "continue to closely monitor the situation [with the Redflex bribery...
By RICHARD ROEPER
Given the wretched and sometimes wonderful excesses of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge, not to mention a trailer that gave the impression Luhrmann's interpretation of The Great Gatsby would be one extended anachronistic music video, it turns out Luhrmann's Gatsby is first and foremost F. Scott Fitzgerald's Gatsby.
Fitzgerald's heartbreakingly poetic prose wins out. Sometimes his work is literally right there on the screen– deceptively simple strings of a dozen words or so, as powerful and relevant now as they were nearly a century ago.
This is not to say the 2013 version of The Great Gatsby isn't a cinematic hot mess most of the time. It's big and bold and brassy, filmed in crisp tones dominated by blues and reds (and, of course, a certain green light), and it fills every second of its 142-minute running time with images designed to take your breath away, whether you're marveling at the overhead shots of Manhattan circa 1922 or appreci...
Dear Tom and Ray:
My wife has a 1999 Subaru Forester with low mileage (85,000), but the interior is not so good. She lets the kids eat in her car, and, as such, the seats are getting ruined, the floor mats are gone, the cup holders are broken, and the list goes on. I'd like to replace the broken items in her car and replace the seats and the carpet, but I don't know where to get those items at reasonable prices. Of course, the local dealer can get some of those parts, but at a nice premium, which I'd like to avoid. Any ideas where can I find OEM parts or replacement interior parts at reasonable prices? – Jaime
RAY: Sure. At a junkyard. Also known these days by its society name, the "automotive recycling center."
TOM: There are situations where a car will get in a wreck of some kind, and the car is totaled but the interior is still fine.
RAY: Or the car is sent to the junkyard for some kind of catastrophic engine failure, even though the cup holders are still working like they're brand new.
TOM: In fact, you even can buy an entire interior for your car at a junkyard if you want to. Or, if you're looking for a hobby, take the engine out of yours and put it into one of those junkers!
RAY: Most junkyards are connected el...
Steven B. Deaton is gunning for the Democratic nomination for Charlottesville commonwealth's attorney– again– and on a rainy Wednesday, May 8, under the protection of the Pavilion's roof, he made his case.
"We have filled our jails and prisons with nonviolent offenders–it's time to reverse that trend," said Deaton, speaking directly about race in the matter by recommending the 2010 book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, which points out that the United States incarcerates 25 percent of the prisoners in the world, and that the majority of those in jail are African-American men.
Deaton is challenging current Commonwealth's Attorney Warner D. "Dave" Chapman, who unseated Deaton in 1993. Deaton says there's a need to scale down prison growth, an issue he says Chapman hasn't taken up.
"Some people don't want to talk about this," said Deaton, who is now in private practice. "We need to stop the prison-industrial system and start something new. I think we can make much better use of our money."
As Deaton pointed out, the state has built a new $100-million prison in Grayson County, despite declining crime rates locally and nationally.
"The goal of the criminal justice system," said Deaton "should not be to fill up as many jail spaces as we can, but to see how many can be left empty. And we should strive to see how many jails and prisons are...
Nearly a year after the Main Street Arena General Manager sent the city a letter complaining about the condition of the crumbling bricks along the building's east side, the walkway has at last been repaired by the city. But who's responsible for paying for the repair is up for dispute.
"We're waiting for the final figure and will be sending a bill to the Arena," says Deputy City Attorney Richard Harris, who expected to receive that information from the Parks and Recreation Department this week.
Arena owner Mark Brown maintains that the City is responsible for maintaining that stretch of bricks and promises to put up a fight.