Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Short Story Salon

Come to the Piedmont Writers' Institute first ever Short Story Salon on Saturday, July 1, at 10:30 a.m. The venue is the New Dominion Bookshop at 404 East Main Street, on the downtown mall. Along with cookies and coffee, this venue will serve up the latest on the local short story scene. Admission is free.

Writers are encouraged to bring their own work to read, or bring a
recent discovery to share with an audience of short story enthusiasts.
Readers will have a ten minute limit. Stories that are begun but not
finished at the reading will be considered for full publication on the
Piedmont Writers'’ Institute website's Short Stories Page, or writers
may bring copies to distribute at the event.

The Piedmont Writers' Institute is a Charlottesville-based
organization that provides instruction, certification, networking
information and support services to writers in Virginia and beyond. It
wants to encourage new, exciting, cutting-edge writing that reflects the
Virginia experience. It also wants to build a statewide network of
writers and groups to help emerging writers find a wider audience and
take the next steps toward publication

Friday, June 23, 2006

4th of July

A wonderful 4th of July event, that I never thought to attend until I was invited as a member of council, is the naturalization ceremony at Monticello. Is there a better way to celebrate our nation's birth than with people who are very proudly becoming our newest citizens? And at Monticello? This event starts at 10 am, is free and open to the public, and this year's speakers are environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Last year the speaker was I. M. Pei, and he was thoughtful and charming. Having brought us Running Fence and The Gates in Central Park (which Jean and I went to see, and loved), Christo and Jeanne-Claude should be pretty interesting.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A New Council

Last night was the last council meeting for Rob Schilling and Blake Caravati. It will be different - calmer, certainly, and less entertaining to watch on TV - without them.

Rob Schilling came out of nowhere. He and his wife Joan had moved to Charlottesville only a couple of years before his surprise election to council in 2002 - he won by virtue of being underestimated, doing an enormous amount of door to door, having an uninspired Democratic campaign, and, maybe, being mistaken for a moderate or liberal because of his hair. He never fit in with the rest of council (unlike the prior Republican, Darden Towe) and maybe did not want to. He excelled at constituent service, and he can take a lot of the credit for elected school boards.

Blake Caravati, on the other hand, has been working for the City in one way or another for a long time. Not only 8 years on Council, but 8 years on the Planning Commission. I met Blake in the early 1980's when Mark Lorenzoni recruited me to serve on the Offender Aid and Restoration Board - Blake was the President. Blake both talked the talk and walked the walk - he is committed to the things he believes in. Blake had institutional knowledge, and a keen and insightful mind - and a sharp tongue. Someone I depended on the last 2 years for advice.

Oil and water, Blake and Rob. So what will the next council be like?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Habitat Homebuilders Blitz

Today is the dedication of 6 homes in the City that have been built as part of the nationwide Habitat for Humanity Homebuilders Blitz. Local architects and builders have teamed to complete, in one week, these 6 homes; nationally over 500 homes were built this week. The homes are on Hanover Street, near Cherry Avenue. Amazing.

Thanks to a great organization, Habitat (for which I am an occasional volunteer) and to all the builders, architects, crews and sponsors who have made this happen.