Easier iPhone Passcode

I connect to my work Exchange email system with my iPhone, which necessitates a Passcode Lock. Initially, I used a secure password mixing numbers, symbols, and letters, but it proved to be a real pain trying to tap that long sequence in every time my phone locked. Naturally, I quickly reduced my passcode to a simple series of letters, but even that proved problematic because the keyboard is so small.

Alphanumeric Passcode

(Alphanumeric Passcode)

Recently, I noticed that fellow iPhone user had a much more manageable passcode screen. It was larger, and used only numbers. Like this:

Numeric-only Passcode

(Numeric-only Passcode)

I have not seen this documented elsewhere, but it turns out that, if you have a numeric-only passcode, the passcode screen displays only numbers. This bigger screen, with bigger buttons, is a lot easier to type in.

Yes, I know that a numeric-only passcode is not as secure as one that mixes in letters and symbols, but ease of use on an iPhone counts for a lot.

On a related note, if you are concerned about losing your iPhone, I recommend the If Found app by Mobility Ware. This free app creates a custom wallpaper upon which you can enter your contact information. If someone finds your iPhone, the screen will display a message “If Found, please contact me at…” where you can list your email address, phone number (presumably, not your iPhone mobile number, because that would be silly) and other information to help you recover your device. This, along with the new Find My iPhone service via MobileMe, should help set your mind at ease about misplacing your precious, precious iPhone.

Custom Charlottesville keyword search in Firefox

Several times a week, I launch Firefox and search for a Charlottesville business or event. Each time that I type the long word “Charlottesville” into my search bar, I tell myself that there must be an easier way.

Turns out, there is. Firefox uses keywords to create shortcuts to oft-used sites. So, for example, if you often search the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), you can create a keyword for that site and substitute your specific search term. Following this example:


You could then type “IMDB Rachel Bilson” in your search bar, and IMDB page would pre-populate with Rachel Bilson as a search term.

That’s nice, but I wanted to find a way to automatically bring up “Charlottesville”, and then append additional search terms.

The steps to do so are similar to that which was outlined in the page above. Here’s how to do it:

  • In Firefox, type Ctrl-Shift-B to bring up Bookmarks Library.
  • Under All Bookmarks, select where you want to place your new custom bookmark (Bookmarks Menu, for example, but it can be anywhere).
  • Under the Organize tab, select New Bookmark. In the Add Bookmark window, give it an intuitive name (like “Google CVille”). In Location, type the following:
  • http://www.google.com/search?q=charlottesville%20%s

  • Finally, in Keyword, give the bookmark a short code that you will remember (ex.: “cv”, without the quotes).
  • Put what you want in Description, then click Add.

Now, when you type “cv” (without the quotes) in your Firefox address bar, followed by a search term, Google will come up with “Charlottesville” and your additional term already in the search box.

So, for example, if I type (without the quotes) “cv sandwich” in my address bar and hit enter, Google will launch a search window for “Charlottesville sandwich”.

Of course, this is for doing a Google search. It would be just as easy to use any other search site, such as Bing, just following the same context. So, for example,


The first part of the URL specifies which search engine to use. “q=” means search term query. The “%20” is a space, and the “%s” gets substituted for whatever you type after the pre-populated search term. In the example above, “%s” = “sandwich”.

There is probably a similar way to do this in Internet Explorer, but I haven’t found it yet.

If you find this useful, or you have other tricks to add, please feel free to comment below.

Vote Today

I just received an email from Pam Deeds, wife of Creigh Deeds, which begins:

Creigh and I went this morning to vote in Bath County. Right after, he filmed a short video asking you to do the same.

I watched the video, and I didn’t notice him ask us to vote in Bath County.  🙂

But seriously, no matter where you live in Virginia, get out and vote today. The polls are open until 7:00 PM.

Here’s the full letter:
Continue reading ‘Vote Today’

Lemonade, and the next Governor of Virginia

Today is election day in Virginia, when we will pick our party candidates to run for office in November. Just this morning, a friend of mine here in Charlottesville wrote to ask which gubernatorial candidate he should vote for to be the Democratic candidate for, um, Gubernator. Here is what I wrote:

Let me start with a negative.

I think Terry McAuliffe is exactly the wrong kind of Democrat to have in office. This is the first elected office he has ever run for. He has a big fat rolodex, but a dearth of anything he can point to as genuine legislative accomplishments, and he really seems to be the ultimate opportunistic carpetbagger. His entire campaign appears to be fueled by name recognition and who are his friends. I would be personally embarrassed if Democratic voters supported him.

Strictly on the issues, I am probably more closely aligned with Brian Moran. But he, too, is a total Northern Virginian. I do not get the sense that either he or McAuliffe really care about the issues we face here in Central and Southern Virginia. I would go so far as to say that they only want our vote, except that I’m not sure they even want that. I have not seen either one of them down here, even in Democratic Charlottesville, other than at a single fund-raiser for the McAuliffe campaign.

And then there is Creigh Deeds. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with him probably half a dozen times in the past few years. He is warm, and genuine, and what you see is entirely what you get. I may not agree with him on all the issues, but I think he is more representative of this part of Virginia. I have spoken to Republicans who would be willing to support Creigh. And in the general election, I think he has a better chance against Bob McDonnell.

Here is a Creigh Deeds story. Last summer, I attended a Democratic Party picnic here in Charlottesville. It was mainly an event for Tom Perriello, who was then running against Virgil Goode. I was there with my 11-year-old daughter. I helped her fill up her plate, got her some lemonade, then went back and got my own lunch. I sat down next to my daughter, was just about to finally take a bite of my food, and she interrupted by asking if I would get her more lemonade. Indeed, she had downed her entire glass. I sighed, put down my food, and was about to get up when a voice over my shoulder asked “You want some more lemonade, honey? Let me get that for you.”

And then, of all people, Creigh Deeds picked up my daughter’s lemonade glass, walked back to the beverage table to refill it, then with returned the glass. Of course, he stopped along the way to shake hands and chat with people, but still, she got a fresh glass of lemonade and I got to eat my lunch. Very smart move on his part. I told her later to remember the man who got her lemonade, for he just might be the next Governor of Virginia.

“Names, Like Rain, Fell From the Sky”

I am inspired by my friend Marijean to use this blog space for personal memoirs. Below is a remembrance that I wrote in 2003, on the eve of our invasion of Iraq. We have all since learned to live with the sense of dread that time has made a part of our lives, but the sheer sadness does not go away.


He looked around uncomfortably at the young men and women gathered to hear him speak. It mustn’t have seemed that long ago when he was their age, yet he sensed that they eyed him with suspicion. His own teenage son would be eligible for the draft in just a few years, so he was very much on their side, but they were the ones fighting this war.

Still, as they lounged on the grass in their jeans and t-shirts and vests, he must have looked just like “the man” as he stepped up to the lectern in his suitcoat and tie .

Some in the crowd were listening, but many kept talking or laughing nervously. Too many speeches had already been given, and speeches had stirred action, and action had stirred violence, and so the time for speaking seemed past, yet nobody knew what action to take.

How had it come down to this? How had it become about right and might, peace and war, objectives and campaigns? How had people who looked like him — white men in suits with close-cropped hair — forgotten that they were sending young men who looked like them — young men of all colors with long hair — to a miserable spot halfway around the globe to fight a war against political forces that nobody really understood.

He knew that another speech about who might be right and who might be wrong in this conflict would accomplish nothing. He needed to make men who looked like him sit up and take notice, to comprehend the harm they were inflicting, and he needed young men who looked like them to realize that men in suits understood.

In his hand he held a stack of plain index cards, the kind you would find in any office. Once he knew what he had to do, the information had not been hard to gather. He was a newspaperman, after all; he made his living writing words, but he understood deeply the importance of images.

He held up a card for the crowd to see. Many of those who had been talking stopped and turned, the picture of this patient man in a dark suit holding a single white card catching their attention.

He read:

William Stearns, Washington High School class of 1966, killed in action January 1968.” Then, with a practiced flick of his hand, he sent the card sailing out into the crowd, watching it spin and flutter and finally nosedive into the grass just a few inches from a young man who picked it up curiously.

He held up another card. “Jeffrey Haines Jackson, Irvington High School class of 1965, killed in action November 1967“. This card sailed out a little further, flying and twisting and settling gracefully down several feet away.

Another card. “Michael Klein, Hayward High class of 1966, missing in action in a fire fight, October 1967, body never recovered, presumed dead.” A quick twist and the card flew away, causing someone in the crowd to duck as it sailed over their head.

Another card, another name, another death, another quick flick of the wrist. Then another. Then another. All young men from local schools, all shipped off to Vietnam, all killed or presumed dead, all coming to rest on the grass in front of the lectern.

Names, like rain, fell from the sky.

Some in the crowd picked up the cards, reading the names quietly to themselves, only to find another landing nearby. They hesitated, wondering whether to gather more, not wanting to let go of what they had. Others only stared, watching the cards sail down. Many wept.

Still they came. More names, more cards, more young men coming to rest. He was reading faster now, his quiet fury punctuating his words, his anger propelling the names into the air. Soon, the cards outnumbered the gathered crowd, cards landed on cards, small piles resting ingloriously upon each other. His arm started to get a little sore, but his voice never wavered. Another name, another name, another name…

There was mostly calm now, the crowd hushed by numbness, the weight of the cards too much to bear. At last he finished, one final card dropping fitfully down, the sudden silence awful in its finality. Without another word, the speaker strode away, and the people bowed their heads. Those assembled understood the terrible truth; that the speaker had not run out of names, he had only run out of cards.

(I was seven years old that late summer day when I saw the names fall from the sky. The man in the suit was my father. My brother never had to go to Vietnam.)

Reaching the Parks and Rec Advisory Board

Policies that affect our parks and recreational services, such as leasing public land to the YMCA and establishing tiered pricing for seasonal pool passes, are not decided solely between city staff and City Council. Charlottesville has a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board consisting of citizens who examine the City Parks and Rec Department proposals, weigh all the merits, and add their own suggestions before passing recommendations onto the City Council.

I mention this because, as a member of the aforementioned Board, I am often surprised to hear how many people do not know that we exist, or do not know who serves on the Board, or have no idea how to contact us.

The list of Board members is on the city website. We come from many different backgrounds and, as with any group this size, often have disagreements. But we all share a commitment to improving the lives of the entire community through our public parks and recreation services.

And in response to a request from the Board, the City has made it easier to reach us. If you have questions about what we do on the Board, or the recommendations that we have made to the Council, you can now reach the entire Parks and Recreation Advisory Board through a single email address: (parksandrecreationadvisoryboard@charlottesville.org) parksandrecreationadvisoryboard (at) charlottesville (dot) org.

We are simply citizens, just like you, and share many of your concerns. We have dedicated ourselves to learning all about the factors that may impact the future of parks and recreation in our city, and take seriously the recommendations that we make to City Council. So if you have an issue with any of those recommendations, or may not fully understand all the elements that weighed in our decisions, try asking. We want to hear from you.

On Pool Passes

Local conservative radio personality Rob Schilling asserts that summer pool passes, recently introduced by the Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreation, will be discounted only for students who attend city schools, or who are home schooled. He writes:

Hey, doesn’t that debar a huge number of Charlottesville kids (i.e. those attending private schools)? Why on earth would we exclude children whose parents pay copious city taxes, but don’t dun a dime’s worth of City public education resources?

Courtney Stewart of independent weekly The Hook repeats the charges in a story on the city pools, and Henry Graff of NBC-29 picked up the tale and spoke with Schilling as well as Charlottesville City Spokesperson Ric Barrick. My friends at CVilleNews highlight the story, adding that “the current policy (was) set by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.”

I mention all this media attention because that was where I first heard this “news”, despite the fact the I am actually on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. I would understand some outrage at this idea, if it were remotely true, but that is not what we proposed. Rather, we voted for a tiered pricing structure that differentiates between City and non-City residents, and offer discounts to city students. That does not mean, and never meant, that we were excluding city residents who attend private schools. There may be a semantic argument here that we did not word our intentions clearly enough, but to assert, as Schilling does repeatedly, that we are discriminating against private schools, or somehow punishing families who remove their children from public schools, is asinine.

The Parks and Rec Citizen Advisory Board met today and toured the still-under-construction Onesty Pool at Meade Park. This is going to be a fantastic facility for the community. Although we did not sit in a formal session, we all discussed Schilling’s charges and agreed that his interpretation was erroneous. Across the board, we are interested in encouraging participation in the new season pass system. We voted to keep the price as low as reasonably possible, and to make the passes attainable for as many Charlottesville families as we can. I encourage all city residents to consider purchasing the summer pool pass — particularly now before Memorial Day, when the passes are discounted even further — and enjoy the summer in city pools.

Coverage of the Democratic Candidates Forum

Last nights Democratic Candidates Forum was well-attended, with 40 to 50 people in the Walker School Library to hear the three Democratic Sheriff candidates, and the three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Charlottesville City Council. Rachana Dixit covered the story for the Daily Progress, and Charlottesville Tomorrow has posted audio.

Democratic Candidates Forum

On May 6, the Charlottesville Democratic Party will host a Candidate’s Forum for all three City Sheriff candidates, and all three Democratic City Council candidates. I am scheduled to moderate.

The forum will start at 7:00 in the Walker School Library/Media Center. Previous reports had the forum being held in the cafeteria, but we have definitely moved to the Library.

Please plan to attend and, if you have questions for the candidates, feel free to post them below. I will do my best to address each submitted question.

The format for the candidates forum will be as follows:

  • All six candidates will have one minute to introduce themselves (who they are, why they’re running, etc.).
  • The next 40 minutes will involve questions to the Sheriff candidates.
  • The moderator will pose a few questions to these candidates, followed by questions from the audience.
  • Each sheriff candidate will have time to ask another sheriff candidate one question.
  • This part of the program ends with each sheriff candidate having one minute for a final statement.

Five minute break

  • The next 50 minutes will be for council candidates.
  • Again, the moderator will pose some questions, followed by audience questions.
  • Each council candidate can pose a question to one other council candidate.
  • Council candidates will each have one minute for a final statement.

After the forum ends, the candidates have been asked to stay and engage in personal and informal exchanges with those present. We will clear out after 9:00.

Continue reading ‘Democratic Candidates Forum’

The Madeline Kahn Memorial Porch

Friends who have been following the rebirth of our back porch (which I have dubbed Deck 2.0) may not all know another interesting fact about our home: we purchased it from the estate of Madeline Kahn.

Yep, that Madeline Kahn. The famed actress bought the home for her mother in the late 1970s. Paula Kahn lived in what is now our house and taught drama and music on what remains of a small stage in the basement until she moved to an assisted facility.

As a small tribute to a fine comedienne, I will present some favorite clips. And I may as well start at the beginning, with this 1968 Academy Award nominated short film.

From Wikipedia:

The Dove (De Düva) is a 1968 Academy Award-nominated short film that humorously parodies the films of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. The film borrows heavily from the plot lines of some of Bergman’s most famous films made before 1968. There is a journey by car back to the location of childhood memories as in Wild Strawberries. The main characters meet with the shrouded figure of Death as in The Seventh Seal. The film was directed by George Coe and Anthony Lover. Madeline Kahn made her first film appearance, in a supporting role.[1] The dialogue and voice-over narration are spoken mostly in a heavily accented fictional language, which is mostly English made to sound like Swedish, with many of the nouns ending in “ska”. There are also a smattering of Yiddish words.[2] The subtitles, which often do not literally match the dialogue, add to the humor.

The film was often shown in repertory film houses as a short feature when Bergman films were on the bill. Audiences frequently did not realize that the short was a comedy until individuals started laughing when they began to understand the fake Swedish.

DP: “GOP struggles to win over Charlottesville”

GOP struggles to win over Charlottesville | Charlottesville Daily Progress.

I am a CVille Democrat, and I support the local party, but I hope that the Republicans do find a candidate who can represent their party in the upcoming city council race. First, though, they need a platform, not just a slogan of “We’re not Democrats!”

Cross Blogging

So I’ve been off the blogging horse for awhile, and of all things, Facebook has inspired me to start again. For reasons that I will explain in a future post, I have decided to use CitizenMcCord as my primary blogging presence. I am also using a new plugin called Wordbook that, if it works correctly, will automatically cross-post to my Facebook page. In just a moment, I’ll know if this works.

It’s All My Fault!

I had a terrible dream last night. It was November 7th, and I saw this on my TV.

Sorensen Story

Update: It has been pointed out to me that I might increase my chances of acceptance if I actually spell Sorensen correctly. Duly noted and corrected.

I have decided to apply for the 2009 Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program. Only 35 people will be accepted, so the competition is fierce, but several people I know and respect have gone through the program previously, including Waldo Jaquith and Jennifer McKeever. I am working on the application now, and the deadline is November 10.

Local NPR affiliate WVTF ran a very nice story on the Sorensen program yesterday, featuring Jennifer McKeever (among others) and you can listen to it below.

Citizen appointments

I recognize that it has been too long since I posted here. I have found that I can either do, or I can write, but I have difficulty balancing both. For the past several months, in addition to my day job and my work as lead writer for the Virginia Film Festival, I have enjoyed serving on the City Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. I strongly feel the responsibility as a citizen to contribute my time and interest to topics that affect our community, and I have a particular interest in those areas that impact children and families. So I was particularly pleased last week to receive a letter from Mayor Dave Norris that I have now also been appointed to the Charlottesville/Albemarle Commission on Children and Families. Their next meeting is November 5th and I look forward to writing about my impressions in this space.

Indiana Jones and the Cinema of Doom

June 23, 2008

Carmike Six Cinema
1005 Garden Blvd.
Charlottesville, VA. 22901-1461

To the Charlottesville Carmike Six Manager:

I am writing to express my utter dissatisfaction with the quality of service and the general ambiance of your theater.

In the seventeen years that I have been a Charlottesville resident, I have witnessed the quality of the Carmike Six theater degrade to a state that beggars description. I have seen repeated instances of customers being forced to stand in line out in the hot sun because a single clerk is working the box office window, while other staff members inside remain seemingly unoccupied and wholly oblivious. Once inside, I see little effort to bring any organization to the lines of people lined up at the snack bar, so instead of working my way around a defined line to find my theater, I end up pushing my way through a milling crowd clamoring for butter-scented popcorn.

The actual theaters and seats are horrifyingly filthy, and I have seen little concerted effort to apply any fundamental cleaning between screenings. One recent afternoon, I saw a single staff member armed with a mere carpet sweeper cursorily swiping away at a theater floor that could have benefited more from a fire hose and a sanitation team.

And on the subject of sanitation, the Carmike Six bathrooms are unspeakable. The disarming smell of melted butter and plastic that permeates the entire complex combines on some disturbing level with the stench of urine cakes and human sweat to produce a malodorous assault that makes grown men weep. And heaven forefend that one should feel the need to commit other than the most urgent and passing bodily function or anything that might require even the suggestion of privacy, for such would be impossible in stalls where the locks have long since fallen out and left only holes that provide sweeping views of the crouched victims within, and the waiting lines without.

Recently, my family had an experience at Carmike Six that finally convinced us to take our business elsewhere. On June 1 of this year, we decided to see the new Indiana Jones movie. As frequently happens, our choice of venue was not dictated by any desire to attend your establishment, but because yours was the only place nearby where we could see our selected film.

I checked your website for showtimes. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I saw that  screenings were scheduled for 1:45 and 2:00. I suggested that we get there just a bit before 2:00 and try to get in to the 1:45 show, thereby missing the usual 20 to 25 minutes of commercials that precede each screening. If the 1:45 show was sold out, then our next plan was to buy tickets for the 2:00 show and just endure the commercials.

(I realize that the need to show all those previews, Diet Coke, and Fandango barf bag commercials are undoubtedly driven by corporate policies, but I wish the Carmike Corporation also had a policy of publishing more honest start times for those of us who feel that we’ve given you enough of our money to be spared the additional insult. But I digress…)

We arrived at about 1:50, and it turned out that the 1:45 screening was sold out. However, when I inquired about the 2:00 show, I was told that the next screening was not until 4:00. I pointed out that there was a 2:00 screening listed on the theater website, and the young lady at the box office replied “Oh yeah, someone else mentioned that.” No further explanation being offered, we bought tickets for the 4:00 show and bided our time at a local bowling alley. In retrospect, two hours of hurling large objects at defenseless pins was a far better use of our time and energy.

We returned to the Carmike Six at 3:30 and actually felt fortunate to already have our tickets in hand. Two long lines snaked out into the blistering asphalt of your parking lot: exhausted families waiting for Indiana Jones, and single women lined up for Sex and The City. We were able to walk past all that and, once having fought our way through the mass of humanity crowded around the snack bar, found adequate seats in the theater and waited for the afternoon’s entertainment to begin.

And waited. And waited. I struck up a conversation with the gentleman behind me, we introduced our families, and had enough time to learn our entire life stories and begin writing a novel. Finally, at around 4:20 (remember, this was a scheduled 4:00 screening), the gentleman had the presence of mind to brave the crush of hungry people outside of our theater and go find someone to start the film. We promised to help raise his children should he never make it back, but return he did a few minutes later and armed with this simple explanation: “they forgot”. We had an entire theater of patrons waiting to see Harrison Ford fight Communisits, and none of your staff members had thought to actually push the button that starts the film. The lights did dim shortly afterward and the projector fired up, though we were of course subject to 20 minutes of commercial advertising before the actual motion picture began.

After that experience, I affirmed that Hades itself would freeze over before I once again stepped foot in Carmike Six Charlottesville.

This last weekend, my family wanted to see Get Smart. Checking the weather reports and determining that the underworld was not experiencing a cold snap, we decided to go a different direction … literally. We drove to Short Pump to view our film at the Regal Cinema 14.

Have you ever been there? It’s really quite remarkable. The seats are comfortable and clean. They have cupholders, and are arrayed so that one is not craning to look over the head of the person seated in front. The screen is actually white, instead of the faded ivory of the Carmike screens. The floors do not stick to your shoes, fresh air wafts in, and the staff is unfailingly polite. Oh, and the bathrooms are not a source of personal embarrassment.

Even with gas prices as they are, it is completely worth it for me to drive the extra hour out to Short Pump in order to bask in this pleasant theater-going experience. Until the Carmike can compete at that level, you have lost one more customer. However, should the day come that you decide to raze your theater and start anew, I can suggest a model that you should follow: simply make going to the cinema pleasant again by providing comfort, consideration, and hygiene. I wish you nothing but luck in your ventures.


Sean McCord
Charlottesville, VA.

“Probama” WordPress theme

I find this to be an extremely clever use of open market resources. Category 4, a local web design and hosting firm (I worked with them when implementing the new Virginia Film Festival website) is offering a Barack Obama WordPress theme. Here is the message that went out from Cat4’s CEO:

In the past year Category 4 has been developing a lot of WordPress-based web sites for our clients. We recently decided to expand our reach by developing some free custom themes. Our first free theme, “Probama” went live for public download today. It’s a theme for bloggers who want to support Barak Obama and his campaign for President. In addition to a beautiful visual style, it includes some cool features, such as:

• Control panel options for Flickr, Youtube and Feedburner
• Subcategory dropdown menus
• Author-highlighting and gravatars in the comments section
• Custom archives page
• Latest-post highlighting on homepage
• Dynamic subpage menus
• RSS integration with BarackObama.com
• Additional print.css stylesheet

You can learn more about the theme and download it from the Cat4 site.

“Five Years Too Many in Iraq” Film Festival

Iraq occupation film festival flyerFrom March 13-16, the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, OFFSCREEN, and University Democrats, are sponsoring a film festival marking five years of occupying Iraq. All events are free and open to the public; discussions will follow each screening. The sponsors encourage everyone to come, regardless of their opinions on the Iraq occupation or political affiliations.

WHERE: Kaleidoscope Room in Newcomb Hall, on the main grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. (#30 on this map.)

WHEN: March 13, 14, 15, 16. Events begin at 7 p.m. on the first three nights and 5 p.m. on the final day.

Continue reading ‘“Five Years Too Many in Iraq” Film Festival’

Western McIntire Park Master Planning Public Forum

As if there wasn’t enough to do on March 4, Charlottesville Parks and Rec has scheduled a public forum to discuss the Master Plan Project for the western end of McIntire Park. The meeting runs from 6:30 to 8:30 in City Council chambers, and yes, that is the same time as both the Old Lynchburg Road Citizen information meeting and the UVA Medical Center update . A copy of the Park Forum agenda is posted below.

As has been reported, the City of Charlottesville has entered into a Land Lease with the Piedmont Family YMCA that provides for the construction of a community recreation center within McIntire Park. A provision of this land lease requires the City to conduct a master plan process that will determine the exact location of the YMCA within this portion of McIntire Park. This process will produce a conceptual master plan that will:

1) Locate the YMCA facility within a pre-defined area on the west side of McIntire Park

2) Identify other potential recreational improvements on the west side of McIntire Park reflecting the needs and values of the community.

To that end, upon completion of a six week Request for Proposal (RFP) process, the City has retained the services of a landscape architectural firm. Rhodeside-Harwell will assist the City in facilitating a community-driven process that will update the park master plan for the portion of McIntire Park west of the Norfolk Southern Railway. The March 4 meeting is only the first of several community engagement meetings designed to create open discussion of this project. The current schedule is as follows:

Continue reading ‘Western McIntire Park Master Planning Public Forum’

UVA Medical Center update on March 4

Those of you who work or live near the University Medical Center may find this interesting. Note that this unfortunately overlaps with the Old Lynchburg Road Citizen information meeting:

U.Va. Officials Give Update on Medical Center Plans

On Tuesday, March 4, the University of Virginia will host “Changing the Health Care Landscape: A Preview of New Facilities at U.Va.’s Medical Center.” Designed to give residents an update on Medical Center plans, the meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Rivanna/Albemarle Room of the Courtyard Marriott located at 1201 West Main St.

At the meeting, R. Edward Howell, Vice President and CEO of the Medical Center, will describe how the new buildings and new technologies reflect the changing face of medicine.

In addition, Luis Carazzana, a senior facility planner in the University’s Office of the Architect, will describe the buildings and infrastructure that will support the new Medical Center model.

The meeting, scheduled to run from 7 to 8 p.m., will include displays, resource guides and light refreshments. Ample free parking is available at the Courtyard Marriott.

To offer suggestions of topics for discussion or to gain more information, please contact U.Va.’s Community Relations Office at 924-1321 or via communityrelations@virginia.edu.