outskirts: life and times in charlottesville

…small town life

In the maddening world of urban renewal we all know where the future is going. Goats. Goats are good for everything. Stew, milk, hair, bedbugs, and even companionship. That is why they deserve justice. The Charlottesville Goat Justice League is fighting for their rights.

An anonymous source (who refused to give their name) said that the League refuses to let their be any discrimination against goats. Right now the locals force your goat to weigh less than 100 pounds, and if it is male it gets “taken care of,” so no breeding will ever happen. The League can’t take this and will do everything they can to give goats equal rights, and the ability to move throughout the urban landscape.

The Charlottesville Goat Justice League has now formed a group in combination with the village elders called the Goats Urban Transit System committee (GUTS). This committee plans to raise funding (and possibly city taxes) for a transit system for the goats that will use the Shweeb system.

Goats in Charlottesville Mall

A spokesperson for the committee says, “this will allow the goats to easily move from one area to another where they can eat and breed with no hassles whatsoever – exactly as Thomas Jefferson envisioned it. This will make the area beautiful with goats traveling overhead throughout the city.”

goats at monticello

I know my goat will be happy. Fight on Charlottesville Goat Justice League. We want GUTS! We want GUTS!

Remember when the elders announced new signage for the downtown area? The total cost per sign is $7500. In case you missed it a new one went up at 4th and Water which highlights the best of Water Street. Nothing better than a parking ramp that closes early every night so that your car gets locked in. Nothing like spending big bucks to advertise a place to park.

Destination Sign

Of course the same crazy spending for signs seems to have taken a wrong turn down a one way road for the village hall due to ADA compliance. Details, smetails. A pity we can’t spend $100k+ for more signs. Nothing is more important than signs. Except maybe machines to neuter and dehorn goats.

Years ago a single list maker did a bit too much of what TJ used to do (you all know what I mean) and listed C-Ville as the top city in the United States. What a mistake. For years others have copied him and C-Ville stayed near the top but eventually people forget the idiocy of the past.

Money Magazine came out with their list of the Top 100 Small Cities in the US for 2010. Where do you think C-Ville is? Top 10? Top 20? Keep going. Top 50? Nope. Top 75? Still not there. Top 100? No. They are nowhere to be seen. They aren’t even listed in the “All Cities” which contains many that aren’t ranked.

Why? Let’s examine. Many might think the answer is clear, C-Ville is not a city (as I always say, this place is a village of the damned). If you look closely most of the top 100 had more than our 40,000 residents (if you exclude students it is more like 30,000, and if you include Albeeeehhhmarellleee County it is more like 80,000). Perhaps we were too small. Let’s look instead at the list of Top 100 Small Towns that came out in 2009 (many of the towns are below 10k, others are above 100k). Where are we? Nowhere. Entirely missing.

So the question remains, why are we not included in any lists? Is it our murder rate of hoo-ish things? Bike theft rate? The fact that we don’t have mass transit to our airport? The fact that there is not a single working water fountain in the main (lawsuit-enabled) park in the city (which has no bike lane leading to the it)? Maybe it is the fact that we killed 1200 geese the other day and didn’t let people harvest them for food. Or perhaps the fact that the main feature of our downtown is now a derelict half-built carcass of a luxury hotel where aggressive panhandlers pack it in for the night.

Typical scene on downtown mall.

Let’s get away from all those ludicrous answers and look more closely at what the city may have been up to. We’ve spent the past two months in 90 degree heat. Baking. No humanity can survive in this. I’ve watched brains leaking right out of heads. With all this heat the top issue at the most recent city council (aka village elder council) was snow and cold. The city is a bit upset that locals didn’t shovel 30 inches of snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours. The fact that this was the big topic should say enough.

Looking back on our record breaking snowy winter (we now have record breaking summer heat in progress) it is hard to remember how things looked, but I do. The city didn’t bother plowing the main parking area for the downtown employees. The spots were never plowed…they just waited weeks until things melted. A vast number of “city” sidewalks were never cleared until locals got sick of walking in the middle of the road. Another key factor is that the city loved to plow the entire pile of snow from the street directly in to your sidewalk 2, 3, or more days after the storm. Does that mean you have 24 hours from the time the city plows your street?

Since my brain has leaked from my head in this endless heat/humidity I can’t answer the question of why we aren’t listed.

Or maybe I can. We aren’t a Top 100 city of any size. When looking for a solution, go with the simple one.

We’ve had a bit of snow this year in C-Ville and the city likes to think it is doing a good job to help us citizens in this perfect town, but what are they doing to commuters? For some odd reason the city refuses to clear out the lanes where commuters park. They tell locals they can park in the parking ramps, and then bill them for it.

In this picture you can see the main road where hundreds of people park every single day. How many cars do you see? That’s right…none. Snow entirely covers ALL the parking for the downtown area.

Picture taken Tuesday evening…four days after our Friday storm.

On the weekend the city has been offering free parking in the ramps, but that always seems to end on Monday mornings. Apparently the city elders don’t care about this situation. They all have their parking spots in the ramps that the taxpayers pay for, and figure commuters will just park at Barrack’s Road Mall and spend 2 hours on a bus to get to their jobs downtown.

Several commuters told me that they have been talking with the city trying to get the free ramp times extended until the parking lanes are cleared. Apparently they don’t like that idea, since they don’t want the garage to become overly crowded (typically it is at 40% capacity during the day).

Others say that all the money they make during the day will be used to cover parking costs rather than feed their babies. They also can’t afford to pump any money into the local economy since they can’t buy food from local eateries.

Is this situation good for anyone? Local businesses are losing money, commuters are getting in extremely late which is destroying productivity, no one wants to shop on the mall, and the city is losing lots of money since police can’t write as many parking tickets.

Last night we had a dusting of snow. There are a few flakes out on the street and the city has declared a parking emergency so all streets are now a no parking zone, yet the ramps aren’t free. The economy will continue to crumble. There are rumors that this may be due to the tribal warfare that has started between the city and the surrounding county. C-Ville is trapped in enemy territory, and some think this might be a sneak attack at those that don’t live inside the sugar walls…but that story will be continued at a later time.

Village elders…listen to the public and make the parking ramps free until the streets are cleared. You can’t expect us to eat your tainted cake every single day (and babies don’t seem to like it either). And do you really want commuters to continue to crap when they see their daily parking options?

Update: Over the weekend the parking was free in the garages due to the 15 inch storm that started Friday. On Monday morning they began charging once again despite the fact that no streets had been cleared. On Tuesday at 1pm the parking ban (on streets which only have short term parking) started due to the storm of the day (a big 3 inches), and the garage became free again. On Wednesday at 2pm they started charging once again for the garage. As of Wednesday evening not a single parking spot on Garrett has been cleared. What are the chances the road will be cleared by tomorrow? Friday?

Now that this pointless midterm election has ended can we please stop political advertisements for at least a week?

Virginia voters made it to the polls in record numbers (as in low numbers…not high) and got rid of the evil-minded democrats. Sanity is back in the South!!!

The best part is that Bobby McD is now in power as the governor. We can now get rid of all those annoying women in the workplace, ban divorce, penalize singles, insure that contraceptives won’t be sold in this commonwealth, and of course get rid of the homosexuals*.

Bobby is so Virginia. And he was so much slicker than that Deeds dude (if you know what I mean). The rise of the South is back baby (with ribs).

An article in Children’s Health Magazine selected the Top 100 Best Places to Raise Kids, and guess what? Charlottesville is not in the list. Places such as Newark, Richmond, Norfolk, Baltimore, and Detroit were all among the top 100. C-Ville was not.

When exactly did C-Ville become a big pile of trash in the breeder result community, and what can be done about it?

Light trash

Locals have already begun to rise up in protest. I believe a statement has been passed along to the city council and is on the agenda for the next meeting when we discuss which roads can’t be built, which cesspools can’t be drudged, and when we will apologize for something else TJ used to do (if you know what I mean).

Perhaps what should really be done is look at how the contest was rigged. Just look at the list of items that was included when determining the best cities. Many things were included such as percentage of houses that are occupied by owners. According to census figures the state average is 68%. Here in C-Ville that is only 40%. Median family income is another issue. The state average (in 1999) was 24k. In C-Ville it was 17k.

The number living below the poverty line in the state was 9.6%, but it C-Ville it was an astounding 25.9% More than a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line. If you look around, not much has changed since 1999. As a matter of fact, it is easy to see how many more homeless are on the streets around here.

Zoos are good. We have none. Sex offenders are bad. We have lots, and they like sitting next to the kids play area on the mall.

I guess it is easy to see why this is not a good place to raise kids.

As most of you know…me and breeder results rarely hang out together, but quite a few of you around here seem to love em. You should sign up for this while you have a chance. If you don’t, the kids may not become great bloggers and photographers (such as myself).

The 2009 Camp Staff application is now live. We are officially accepting applications for next summer!

We hire staff members with a wide range of experience in some pretty amazing fields. Some of the more interesting programs and classes that we offer at our camps include environmental science, culinary arts, fashion design, orienteering, leadership, video editing, digital and dark room photography, ropes course, nutrition and agriculture.

Looks like the local Circuit City will be a new boarded up big box on the gorgeous 29N scenic route. If you head over to this article you can find out more.

If you jump over to the Circuit City website and search for a store in C-Ville you will notice that there is no longer one listed in the village. Bye bye miserable store.

For those that missed it Charlottesville almost got eradicated due to a near nuclear meltdown at our local reactor.

Although the exact reason for the meltdown was not provided, some believe it was caused by ghosts.

In an effort to avoid the eradication of the village in the future a massive protest was staged on the historic downtown mall yesterday afternoon. Police had a difficult time maintaining control as the crowds started screaming that we should go back to the old “TJ days” when someone would just use a big fan to keep you cool.

Alternative Energy Parade
Locals march in favor of alternative energy.

I’ve heard from a large number of readers who were upset about NBC29 choosing to show some fundraiser rather than a game from the NHL championship. They chose to show the low def fundraiser on their HD channel, and move hockey to one of the subchannels.

Although few here in the south understand the concept of ice or hockey, let’s just say that pissed off a good percentage of their viewers. Which is more important to ratings?

I’m glad I have the NYC feed on DTV. Now, 3rd overtime is cranking up in Game 5. Go Redwings.