Become a DTM Patreon — Unlock the Power of Truly Independent Local News

Good stuff from what seems to be the best news source in Charlottesville.” — Rick Tetzeli, executive editor, Fast Company Magazine.

“I think we need this. I see very little in-depth coverage from anywhere else.” — DTM follower

Since 2012, The DTM has survived on a small initial fundraising campaign and the efforts and resources of its creator, but now it’s time the take this truly independent local news source to a new level. That’s why I’m asking readers and followers to become DTM Patreons and participate in bringing more powerful in-depth, investigative local reporting to a community that desperately needs it. With just a few hundred patrons we can begin offering quality reporting from the area’s best journalists.

Please become a DTM Patreon today!

Take a look back at a few of the important stories The DTM has produced. With you’re participation we can do so much more.

Sincerely,

David McNair (bio)
DTM Editor

Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan..not the brightest bunch

From the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan home page. One danger involved in attending their planned rally here this Saturday, July 8, that hasn’t been discussed: the risk to your mental health being around this much stupid.

“…July 8th in Virginia we will make a stand for our Southern History. They are trying to erase whites and our great culture right out of the history books. The Civil War was not fought over Slavery but over high taxes put on the South by the North. The whites did not make the blacks slaves; their own people captured them and sold them to Jewish merchants and they sold them. Blacks should be thankful because those who did not get sold were ate. People look into this for yourself read a book. If you want to stand with us for our great Confederate dead email us. It is time whites in America unite blacks have the Black Panthers the terrorist group Black Lives Matters. The Mexicans have La Raza and the Jews have the ADL and the S.P.L.C. Whites you have the Loyal White Knights fighting for equal rights for whites. Stand with us July 8th make your stand in Dixie land. Call 336-432-0386…”

Girls Are Now Throwing Punches in Pakistan’s First All-Female Boxing Club

The country ranked as the least gender equitable in the Asia and Pacific region by the World Economic Forum might seem an unlikely place to start a boxing club for young girls. But that’s exactly what’s happening in Lyari, a poor neighborhood in Karachi, Pakistan, with a reputation for gang violence and producing major sports stars. Thirteen girls have formed the country’s first all-female boxing club, proof that while women’s rights in Pakistan may still have a long way to go, some progress is beginning to take shape. READ MORE..

Hotel city: When will Charlottesville get ‘roomier’?

news-norris-mall-2-1On a crisp, bright day in March 2008, a suave-looking guy with long hair and a tailored light-grey suit (no tie) told us at a ground-breaking ceremony that a stylish, luxury “boutique” hotel, complete with a roof-top bar and stunning views of of the southeast mountains, would tower over Central Place on the Downtown Mall. What we got, of course, was an ugly tower of grey concrete rising out of the demolished shell of a bank building, an eyesore on our cityscape since 2009 that has the permanence of a metamorphic rock formation.

In June 2012, another suave-looking guy with short hair and a tailored blue suit (no tie) again told us that the abandoned tower would indeed become a luxury hotel, as soon as he finished a similar hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. Around the same time we were also told by a West Virginia developer that a seven-story Marriott extended-stay Residence Inn would be rising up at the corner of West Main Street and Ridge/McIntire in the spaces occupied by Random Row Books and City Clay.

The new Marriott appears to be on track, as City Clay, Random Row Books, and the other businesses on the property have left the premises, but you’ll have to excuse us if we remain a bit skeptical.

However, according to the state tourism board, there is a shortage of hotel rooms in Charlottesville, while demand for them has been rising. In the coming years, they say, based on the many accolades and “best places” designations bestowed upon us, people – lots of them – will be coming. Maybe these hotel developers know something we don’t.

READ MORE

COVER- King of the Road: The unstoppable Wendell Wood

A few weeks ago, we contacted developer Wendell Wood to ask if he would respond to rumors that he was building a palatial mansion in Southern Albemarle County. When he called back, he didn’t want to talk about his house, though he neither confirmed nor denied the rumors. He just changed the subject.

“Why would you want to write about some house I’m building?” he said. “The real story is the expansion around NGIC and how it’s going to bring 1,500 new jobs to the area. Now that’s a story.”

Wood offered instead to show us his new 122,000-square-foot high-security office building adjacent to NGIC, the National Ground Intelligence Center, on Route 29, which he plans to lease to the federal government when the new structure is completed in March. As is often the case with big developments, getting approval on the project was not easy.

As is also often the case, Wood got his way.

For four decades the developer has been buying up land and, as he puts it, “making things happen” along 29 North in a kind of real estate chess match that has become his life’s work. Wood uses a simpler analogy, comparing land buying to eating a pie.

“You take one piece, then you come back and take another, then another,” he says, “but it’s that last piece of pie that is the most valuable.”

But he’s clearly oversimplifying; he has had a hand in developing nearly everything familiar along 29 North, from the the Barracks Road Shopping Center to Fashion Square Mall, Wal-Mart to the Hollymead Town Center, and the NGIC, to name just a few. And it has made him rich. In 2001, Virginia Business Magazine listed him as one of the 50 wealthiest people in Virginia with a net worth of $160 million. MORE

Poet to Architect: Remaking the way we see things

In 1996, when poet Lisa Williams began working for architect William McDonough and German chemist Michael Braungart as they wrote their book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, she didn’t know much about environmentalism or ecology. All that was about to change. As Williams helped craft the language of the book, its ideas about the creative processes of nature and how humans can redesign industries using nature as a model began to ignite her imagination.

“I was tremendously inspired by their revelatory description of nature,” says Williams, a former MFA student at UVA, who now teaches poetry at Centre College in Kentucky, “as well as by particular images and pieces of information I came across.”

Cradle to Cradle goes far beyond the idea of recycling and reuse, advocating instead for the complete elimination of waste in the manufacturing process– its title is a take on “cradle-to-grave analysis,” the study of a product’s life-cycle. For example, the book itself is “treeless,” made of a polypropylene synthetic that looks and feels like paper, and which can be as easily recycled as a yogurt container.

In essence, the book embodies its premise– that designers can create products, manufacturing systems, buildings, and developments that mine the intelligent designs of nature– such as nutrient recycling and the unique power of the sun– to allow commerce and nature to benefit from each other. Read more

Critical violator: Twice-closed Tavern vows a cleaner menu

Recently, The Tavern, the long-lived breakfast joint on Emmet Street where “students, tourists, and townpeople” meet, became the place where the salmonella bacterium met with a long history of health code violations.

Health inspection records show that over 60 food handling and preparation violations have been served to The Tavern since January 2003, including 13 during a single inspection last summer. Many of those were “critical repeat” violations, meaning the Health Department had already asked the managers to comply. To put that in perspective, Mel’s Café on West Main has had four critical violations since 2003, Orzo has none since opening in 2006, and Golden Corral has had 23 since 2003.

In early July, that track record came back to haunt The Tavern. MORE

Single-streamin’: Why not try private sector recycling machine?

Developer and entrepreneur Peter van der Linde has a proposal that could save the City and the County millions and make recycling “everything on the planet except food waste” as easy as tossing it into a trash bin. The problem is, no body appears to be listening.

In the Rivanna Sewer and Water Authority’s ongoing strategic plan to improve waste management and recycling services, one idea under review is the feasibility of building a $7 to $10 million Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). However, as previously reported in the Hook [“Coming soon! van der Linde’s amazing recycling machine,” February 14], van der Linde already has one– an $11-million, 100,000-square-foot recycling center near Zion Crossroads that includes a 270-foot state-of-the-art sorting machine, that he now hopes will be operational in 60 to 90 days. MORE