Special Report

Special Report: Exploring Albemarle County Schools budget bloat and obfuscation

| April 7, 2014 | 3 Comments
Special Report: Exploring Albemarle County Schools budget bloat and obfuscation

Following is a special report by authors: Brett Darken, Dr. Phil Dunkl, Keith Nicoletti, and Andre Slonopas. Listed below are some areas identified within the ACPS budget we believe need further vetting. We present these issues as representative of and to inform our BOS how the ACPS system is funding current and future programs. There are additional areas […]

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Righteous red pen report: Cutting $13M from Charlottesville City’s bloated budget

| March 30, 2012 | 14 Comments
Righteous red pen report: Cutting $13M from Charlottesville City’s bloated budget

Despite ongoing annual proclamations that Charlottesville City Government is cash starved, a cursory analysis of the city’s proposed 2012-13 Operating & Capital Budget shows that nothing could be further from the truth. This year, Charlottesville City Hall is “swimming in cash”—as it has been for the last decade and beyond, running up cumulative surpluses in […]

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Fraud, misfeasance and cover-up: Special Prosecutor investigates Charlottesville spokesman Barrick

| March 21, 2012 | 15 Comments
Fraud, misfeasance and cover-up: Special Prosecutor investigates Charlottesville spokesman Barrick

The City of Charlottesville spends a lot of money—well north of $140 million in its most recent annual budget. The vast majority of the city’s revenues come in the form of taxes paid by its citizens who have little choice but to remit excessively the hard-earned fruits of their labor to a profligate-spending government. The […]

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Fat cats: Charlottesville City Government’s outrageous salary games

| January 23, 2012 | 10 Comments
Fat cats: Charlottesville City Government’s outrageous salary games

It was with great fanfare that Charlottesville’s $95,000+ per year spokesman, Ric Barrick, announced the selection of Chris J. Engel as city’s new Director of Economic Development (DED) in a January 12 news release: The City of Charlottesville is proud to announce the appointment of Chris J. Engel as the next Economic Development Director for […]

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Turn-votes: “Conservative” Albemarle County School Board members shun Buyaki, support Koleszar, McKeel for Chair and Vice Chair

| January 19, 2012 | 7 Comments
Turn-votes: “Conservative” Albemarle County School Board members shun Buyaki, support Koleszar, McKeel for Chair and Vice Chair

In an amazing display of institutional protectionism, the seven-member Albemarle County School Board (ACSB) voted to prohibit conservative reformer, Jason Buyaki, from assuming a board leadership position. At the ACSB January 12 organizational meeting, politically left-leaning member Eric Strucko—recently a champion of process and corruption reform—nominated Buyaki for chair. Establishment darling, Diantha McKeel, then nominated […]

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Photo exposé : Ongoing and dangerous illegal parking at Albemarle High School

| November 28, 2011 | 5 Comments
Photo exposé : Ongoing and dangerous illegal parking at Albemarle High School

Ongoing and dangerous illegal parking at Albemarle High School By Jorge Brooks, Jr. After attending a few sporting events at Albemarle High School (AHS) this fall and parking in the main lot in front of the building, I noted that during many events, driveways leading back to the athletic fields were filled up with illegally […]

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Photo essay: Charlottesville’s dirty downtown mall

| September 6, 2011 | 16 Comments
Photo essay: Charlottesville’s dirty downtown mall

Charlottesville’s downtown mall has an image problem. Long upheld by boastful city officials as a family friendly shopping, entertainment, and dining destination, reality speaks otherwise as those with young children increasingly are seeking alternate venues. The downtown mall has weathered its share of controversy—pedophiles congregating at the children’s museum, violent teen-mob assaults, and reportedly random […]

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Game over: Whites 2, blacks 0 in Charlottesville Democrat firehouse primary

| August 22, 2011 | 7 Comments
Game over: Whites 2, blacks 0 in Charlottesville Democrat firehouse primary

A 32-year reign of engineered, single-seat black representation on Charlottesville’s City Council crashed to a screeching halt on Sunday with the early morning release of results in Charlottesville’s Democratic Firehouse Primary. In their wake, racial turmoil and long overdue electoral reform increasingly are likely. Colette Blount, assumed successor to the “black crown” on Charlottesville’s all […]

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Conflicted: TJPDC packs “Livability Partnership” group with government beneficiaries and allies

| July 8, 2011 | 15 Comments
Conflicted: TJPDC packs “Livability Partnership” group with government beneficiaries and allies

Under pressure from the Jefferson Area Tea Party and other citizen-activists, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) opened the Livability Partnership (guidance board) as a “mechanism for input” in the $999,000 HUD Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program. Program (and grant) beneficiaries are Charlottesville City, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia, who will use […]

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Letter from the inside: Prisoner exposes Virginia Corrections Department secret list of banned books

| May 19, 2011 | 5 Comments
Letter from the inside: Prisoner exposes Virginia Corrections Department secret list of banned books

They don’t advertise it, but a classified list of banned books exists behind the walls of Virginia prisons. The Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) secretly has forbidden prisoner access to a long list of books (partially named below), many of which seem innocuous. No stranger to First Amendment controversy, the DOC recently has been embroiled […]

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