Friday, June 30, 2006

Stewards, teachers, workers

Messieurs Caravati and Higgins leave the helm of the SS Charlottesville today. No in depth biographies here, but suffice it to say, one man was on the advisory and political side, the other man on staff since before the beginning of time.
They have been exemplary public workers, the thinking side of the City, for fifty years.

The City is in a difficult passage at this time. I will miss these men at the helm. I will miss their reliable good natures, work ethic and wisdom.

Where are the life jackets?

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

God's Poem Writer

God's Poem Writer, Harold Jerome Arnold


Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Rain has paused here, still in the forecast, 40% chance. Eight inches of rain.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006


six inches of rain so far. Flash flood warnings in effect.

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Monday, June 26, 2006


Quantico week 3, recovered from fx of a year ago, making another run

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

day of rest

38 06.708N, 78 21.816W


Saturday, June 24, 2006



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Friday, June 23, 2006


The quality of sunlight varies with geographic and climatic conditions. Photographers rave about the light in the high Sierra. It is rare to hear glowing reports about summer light in Virginia. The landscape becomes a duotone of grey and green, edges and contrast give way to the humidity which is palpable and visible.
Note to Ansel, go somewhere else.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006


Sophie retrieves off Ball point. Not named for tennis ball. Possibly named for Mary Ball mother of George (Washington)?

The past few years the coelenterate density in local waters has been low. Not so this year. Talked to Michael Molineaux at Kilmarnock Animal Hospital about the issue, dogs and stinging nettles. According to Michael, dogs can swim through clusters of nettles and emerge largely unstung by virtue of their coats.
Problem arise when retrievers fetch stinging nettles. In this case Michael suggests copious irrigation of the effected area via turkey baster, or better yet, the garden hose + spray attachment.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

God's Poem Writer

God's Poem Writer, Harold Jerome Arnold


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

then and now

Once concrete Essee was an imitation. Now concrete Essee is the best reminder.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

another roadside attraction

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Photoworthy- Master, tell us what is good...

Some folk, in advanced middle-age, have, by the sweat of their brow, gained a degree of success.

You go up the mountain to see such a person. Walking past the appurtenances of success, past reception, through heavy doors.

And then there are the rest of us.

If you have gone up the mountain to visit a Juris Doctor you wouldn't be so tacky as to talk about fees. You have discovered in advance the JD fee, $500/hour. But this Attorney, this Man with the eyebrows, this Woman with the suit, they are going to provide you value, a service for the fee. You recognize the value, you pay willingly.

Where does value come from?

French President Jacques Chirac is irritated with Google. 74% of French web searches are performed via Google, a corporation that judges "worthiness" via an algorithm of which Chirac is suspicious.

Jack don't like it.

Jack wants the state to establish a search-engine whose returns are based on the opinions of French Wise Men, not returns filtered through a corrupt American algorithm.


Which brings us to museums. Museums are owned and operated by people who know what is good?
What algorithm do museums use to process their selections?

Is something good because the Art History Philosophiae Doctor said so?

Is Art good when it deals in concept?

Is Art good when the rest of us scratch our heads and say "what the hell?"

Is it a numbers game? Is it sex? Is it celebrity?


Whatever it is, I haven't got it.

But YES SPORTSFANS! I had a picture in MoMA.

For a few days.

A curatorial decision was made, the doors were opened to lumpenproletariat photographers, to the hoi polloi.

As you can see, the images weren't displayed with the usual reverence.

No fancy lighting.

No text blocks etched on glass plates.

Regardless, I admire MoMA for temporarily admitting the unwashed.

Who possesses the Stamp marked Worthy?

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Saturday, June 17, 2006


There is a party on the River today. People recreating in canoes, kayaks and maybe a few inner tubes. In the days gone by, children from the Woolen Mills Village swam in the Rivanna above the dam, never below.
Never below? In the first half of the 20th Century the City of Charlottesville had a straight-pipe that emptied into the River near its intersection with Moore's Creek. Brown trout swam below the dam. Flush hard! Richmond needs the drinking water.
To learn more about Rivanna water quality visit StreamWatch.
"The ultimate purpose of StreamWatch is to help maintain and improve the health of streams and rivers in the Rivanna basin. Many organizations and agencies share this goal, and a key principle of StreamWatch is the recognition that conservation is a community effort?that close cooperation between individuals and groups is essential to successful watershed management."

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Crozet Virginia

Left the Woolen Mills Village for a few hours Wednesday. The Charlottesville Planning Commission gave me a twenty four hour hall pass. Carried some of Jinx Kern's WMV barbeque and went to check in with Central Virginia photographer Charlie Shoffner.
Charlie is my age and makes images that are too beautiful to look at on the Internet. At the moment Charlie is speechless, a stroke grabbed his language. He communicates a lot with no words. We drove around his Crozet neighborhood.
Charlie pointed out some shots for me to take, I tried, but I do not have his color mojo.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

God's Poem Writer

God's Poem Writer, Harold Jerome Arnold


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

66,000 pounds

daydreaming about the illustrations Nick Nichols could make of the predatory vehicles that stalk Second Road, Woolen Mills Road and other neighborhood byways.

Camera traps that trigger when the growling diesel breaks 95db, heat sensor? ppm CO2?

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

forty years

On a personal note, a friend from out of town called this morning and did an intervention with me on the phone. "Ya got to let this neighborhood stuff go."
I'd like to live in a neighborhood that didn't suffer these perennial advances by the developing class. I like these developers as people, but I disapprove of the process they are employing.

Ironies abound. After deciding the fate of the developers' petition to upzone an R1 lot to PUD the Charlottesville Planning Commission will consider the following:

ZT?06-3-9: An ordinance to amend and re-ordain the following sections of the Code of the City of Charlottesville, 1990, as amended (Zoning Ordinance):

a.) Section 34-158: Special Permits, Application Generally: This is to specify the items which are needed as part of any special permit application, including a preliminary site plan, applicant?s ownership status, Low Impact Development worksheet for certain residential development, massing and context graphics and affordable dwelling unit data.
b.) New Sections 34-165 & 34-166: Infill Development: This provides standards and requirements for residential infill development special permits on property not to exceed 2 acres in total land area. This would also include an infill area map and Low Impact Development checklist by reference.
c.) Section 34-492: Configuration (for PUDs): Adding the requirement that Planned Unit Developments consist of more than 2 acres of total land.

It is my fervent hope that we are in an endgame and that we can once again return to enjoying our quality of life rather than fighting for our quality of life.

Waking up battling the sequelae of zoning imposed on the neighborhood 40 years ago, it is no way to live.

Please, we need your help, 6:30 PM, City Council Chambers, stand with us.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

cultural landscape

Dear Friends of the Woolen Mills, June 12, 2006

Tuesday evening, 6:30PM, June 13, the Charlottesville Planning Commission meets in City Council chambers. Item #1, the consideration of an up zoning petition by developers for the backyard of the Warren S. Graves House, 1610 Woolen Mills Road.

Warren Graves worked for the Charlottesville Woolen Mills from 1880 to 1930. In 1930, he was 71 years old, supervisor of the carding department. He worked twelve hours a day, six days per week earning $7.00 per day.

Graves? house sits on ?Woolen Mills lot #1? so named when the western portion of the Mill Village was subdivided in 1885.

For more information regarding history of the western portion of the Mill Village visit:

The Mill Village extends 6/10ths of a mile along Woolen Mills Road (a.k.a. the Rivanna Turnpike, Three Notched Road or East Market Street) from the intersection of Moore?s Creek and the Rivanna River to 1504 Woolen Mills Road. When the Charlottesville Woolen Mills ceased operation in November of 1962 the neighborhood?s cultural landscape was largely intact.

December 31, 1962, two months after the Mill closed its doors, the City annexed the Mill Village. R2 zoning was imposed on the entire neighborhood (including the graveyard which is still zoned R2!). Additionally, manufacturing zoning was applied to the backyards of houses from 1504 to 1606 Woolen Mills Road.

Since 1982, the Woolen Mills Neighborhood Association has asked that the City switch the ignition off on this zoning bulldozer, to appropriately zone historic areas. Progress has been made, but as this rezoning petition before the Planning Commission highlights, the fabric of history remains under threat.

One of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources?s priorities cited on page 5 of their Guidelines book is:

Address areas where historic resources are threatened.Survey projects for areas or resources threatened by development or neglect are considered high priority.

The neighborhood is in process with the VADHR and the City regarding surveys but that fact hasn?t dissuaded developers from petitioning for a zoning change to allow the construction of seven dwelling units on an 8/10th acre lot in ?supervisor row? of the Mill Village.

Please consider attending the CPC meeting and signaling, with your presence, that you value the cultural and physical character, the built environment, of this historic village at the foot of Monticello.

Please help!

Bill Emory

P.S. If you are unable to attend please send an e-mail to the Planning Commissioners via Ron Higgins referencing ZM?06-3-4: A petition to rezone from R-1S Residential to Planned Unit Development (PUD), with proffers, the property at the east side of Franklin Street.

Mr. Higgins e-mail is


Sunday, June 11, 2006

day of rest

day of incalculable sadness

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Westport River

WHEREAS, the Purchasers hope their actions with the subject property will encourage the City of Charlottesville to engage in similar efforts to preserve urban green space, the current quality of life, and cultural tourism in the Woolen Mills Village

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Friday, June 09, 2006

grey lady

WHEREAS, furtherance of the aforementioned purposes, the Purchasers are willing to enter into agreements, easements, or other legally binding prohibitions of any further development of the subject property, and

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Thursday, June 08, 2006


firewatch takes on a new meaning

WHEREAS, the Purchasers wish to purchase the subject property to preserve the fabric of history of this area, formerly known as the Woolen Mills Village, to help preserve the natural habitat of the Woolen Mills Village, to help protect the riverine environment of the Woolen Mills Village, to preserve the viewshed of Monticello, and

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Emma and Helen are at Quantico. A world away. No TV, no movies, no resting. On deck.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

uncertain future

Dear Charlottesville Residents,
Please join me at the Planning Commission's June 13 meeting. Developers are petitioning the Commission to upzone the backyard of a historic home in the mill-village district. Currently the land in question is dense with flora and fauna. The developers envision the land dense with dwelling units, driveways, automobiles and rain-gardens.
The meeting is at 6:30P.M. City Council Chambers.
Help us preserve the fabric of history.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

day of rest


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Time's voice returned

Developer update.
The efforts of three earnest young men to carpet the backyard of Woolen Mill Village Lot #1 with dwelling units continue apace. Busy as beavers they are.
The proposed project's design has changed for the better, but its poison bolus aspects remain.
In a neighborhood that has been defined by its rural feel and folkways for 200 years the New Urbanist Trio hopes to install housing at a rate eight times as dense as the neighborhood average.
Once upon a time, a time miser lived in the house on top of the hill.
Did Jefferson fear time, did he love time? I suspect he danced with time. He always had a timepiece nearby, slept with a clock at the foot of his bed. He managed time as well as any human can.
He had this wonderful seven day clock mounted at his front door. Inside it told the day, the hour, the minute and the second. Outside the clock had an hour hand and an aural component. The clock is said to have audibly announced the hour, with a resounding gong.
How I would like time's voice returned.
In former days the sound was audible from the Mill Village.
Warren Graves yard, ground zero for the present volley from the development class, is closer to Monticello than to The Paramount.
The passage of time takes all sentient beings but it does not have to destroy the fabric of history.
"The Chinese have a thing made of a kind of bell metal, which they call a Gong, and is used as a bell at the gates of large houses, &c. It is in fact precisely of the shape and size of a camp oven, about 20. I. diameter and 5. I. deep . . . I wish for one to serve as the bell to a clock, which might be heard all over my farm. . ."--Th. Jefferson

(posts from the development front)

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Woolen Mills Road Inc.

I've always been a little picture person. Thank goodness for larger thinkers.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

God's Poem Writer

Harold Jerome Arnold and Dave Norris, April 15, 2006

Yesterday Tim McCormack wrote...
What exactly is this?
regarding the handwritten words of Harold Jerome Arnold.
I was introduced to Harold Jerome Arnold by Dave Norris. Mr. Arnold said he was a poem writer. I offered to serialize his poems on the Internet.
A few days later the poems arrived, twenty-four pages.
What exactly is this?
This is page one, this is page two, this is page three this is page four