Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On Saturday, July 19, 2014 I along with several other students enrolled in the course "Discovering Digital Photography" spent a few hours working on the photographic skills we learned in the past five weeks of the course. Here are the five photographs from the outing that I submitted for the class critique.

Lanterns for sale at the Chinese products shop on the downtown mall.

Dress racks waiting to be displayed for sale by one of the mall vendors at the east end of the mall.

The bridal shop - Sealed with a Kiss - display window.

Chris, owner of the book store in York Place on the mall just after posing for some portraits in front of the bookshelves.

Chris DeBaun, the class instructor, taking a photo of a nest of wires in an alley just north of the downtown mall. I tried to do some photos shooting up the wall, but struggled keeping the bright sky from totally washing out my photos. I had some success after a bit of trial and error and adjustment of aperture, ISO, and shutter speeds.

Photo Field Trip on the Charlottesville (Virginia) Historic Downtown Mall

On Saturday morning, July 19, 2014 I was on a field trip with several classmates in the course I was taking at Piedmont Virginia Community College to try out the skills we learned in the previous 5 weeks of the course - "Discovering Digital Photography" taught by Christian DeBaun. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and so I am posting here the five photos I submitted for the class critique. There are ten students in the class so we will have lots of photos to discuss. I am looking forward to tomorrow's class.

Some lanterns at the Chinese products shop on the downtown mall.

The dress racks at the east end of the downtown mall.

The wedding shop on the east end of the downtown mall.

Chris, the owner of the bookstore at York Place. She was very willing for the entire class to take photos in her store.

While doing photo experiments in an ally just north of the downtown mall I captured Chris DeBaun, the class instructor, photographing a nest of wires shooting straight up. I had mixed results working with a bright sky overhead, but had a bit of success after several trials.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tim Kaine and John Douglass Visit Albemarle County Democratic Headquarters

I visited the Albemarle County Democratic Party Headquarters at the intersection of U.S. Route 29 and Woodbrook Road today to hear senatorial candidate Tim Kaine and congressional candidate John Douglass address a crowd of over 100 people ready to man the phones or knock on doors to encourage local voters to go to the polls on Nov. 6 and to understand what these candidates will do if elected. I was very impressed with both Kaine and Douglass in stating why they are running, and how they will better serve Virginia in the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Congress, respectively.

Both of these candidates can connect one on one with voters, and I truly believe that they are willing to listen to their constituents and represent them in congress. I couldn't stay to make phone calls or canvass today, as so many others were doing, but I am scheduled to be involved either calling or canvassing later this week in Charlottesville.

If you haven't already voted and are an undecided voter, I strongly urge you to contact your local Democratic Party Headquarters and get the Kaine and Douglass campaign material. I believe both of these candidates are the best candidates for these positions on the November ballot.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Proposed McIntire Park Master Plan not in compliance with Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road MOA

August 1, 2012

Peter T. Kleeman
407 Hedge Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 296-6208

To: Charlottesville VA City Council

Dear Councilors,

I was dismayed at the discussion at the last city council meeting that the proposed master plan for the east side of McIntire Park appears to be not in compliance with the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)Among the Federal Highway Administration, City of Charlottesville, Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia State Historic Preservation Officer, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Regarding the Route 250 Bypass at McIntire Road in the City of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Total elimination of the McIntire Golf Course and elimination of the wading pool in the eastern side of McIntire appear to be inconsistent with elements of the MOA signed by Maurice Jones on behalf of the City of Charlottesville on May 20, 2010. I have provided below two excerpts from the MOA that explicitly states that “the City shall ensure thaqt historic features contributing to McIntire Park’s eligibility for inclusion in the NRHP [National Register of Historic Places] will be highlighted in the McIntire Park master plan." This commitment is clearly stated in section V of the MOA provided below. The McIntire Golf Course is explicitly identified as being eligible for listing on the NRHP and the wading pool and bath house are explicitly identified as features contributing to McIntire Park’s eligibility for inclusion in the NRHP in the tenth clause of the preamble of the MOA.

The master plan fails to highlight McIntire Golf Course, the wading pool or the bath house but rather provides for elimination of both the McIntire Golf Course and the wading pool and conversion of the bath house to a storage building to support the proposed relocated skate park. To be in compliance with the MOA negotiated over many months, I believe these historic features must be retained in  their historic use and condition to the extent possible in light of the proposed interchange construction. All three of these historic features can co-exist with the interchange project and to be in compliance with the MOA, the City’s master plan is required to “highlight” these features.
I urge council to direct the Director of Parks and Recreation to revisit all of the currently viable master plan alternatives and rework the plans to be in compliance with the explicit requirement of the MOA.
As always, I am happy to discuss this matter with you or members of the City staff to ensure that the ultimate park master plan is in compliance with the City’s commitment in the MOA.

Peter Kleeman

sent by email from peter.kleeman@gmail.com

Note that a copy of the fully executed MOA including all Attachments is available online at the following site: http://www.250interchange.org/images/stories/pdf/environmental/products/060310_Final%20MOA%20Concurring%20Signatures.pdf

Excerpt 1:

V. Coordination with the McIntire Park Master Plan

Decisions regarding the long-term management of McIntire Park (including the golf course) cannot be made outside of the City’s McIntire Park master planning process. However, using the research and the coordination completed for this undertaking as a source of information, the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation will ensure that the public participation process considers the historic character of McIntire Park during master plan development. Furthermore, the City shall ensure that historic features contributing to McIntire Park’s eligibility for inclusion in the NRHP will be highlighted in the McIntire Park master plan.

Exerpt 2:

WHEREAS, the FHWA in consultation with the SHPO and with the cooperation of the City, has determined that three properties located within the APE {Area of Potential Effect] are eligible for listing on the NRHP; McIntire School/Covenant School (104-0120), Rock Hill Landscape (104-5237, 44AB0215), and McIntire Park (104-5139), including as contributing resources, the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, wading pool, bath house, and the McIntire Golf Course, as shown in Attachment B

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Don't email to techniquest64@yahoo.com

One of my email accounts was hacked and reworked to have all reply mail from the spam to be sent to the account techniquest64@yahoo.com - of course they are hoping to have you arrange to transfer money. Don't do it.

Here is the message the was sent out. I am posting this so that if someone gets this and does a google search on any part of the email they might find this warning. 

I have heard of this in many variations, so I am hoping word has gotten around an nobody is harmed by this internet scam. I hope all are suspicious if there is a different reply to address than the address from which the email was sent (the hacked account). I suppose the hacker is counting on a short window of time to get someone to bite on the scam before they are discovered.


Date: Thu, May 24, 2012 at 9:42 AM
Subject: Sad News.........................

From: Peter Kleeman 
Reply-To: techniquest64@yahoo.com
  This message may be coming to you as a surprise but I need your help.Few days back we made an unannounced vacation trip to Manila Philippines.Everything was going fine until last night when we were mugged on our way back to the hotel.They Stole all our cash,credit cards and cellphone but thank God we still have our lives and passport.Another shocking is that the hotel manager has been unhelpful to us for reasons i don't know. I'm writing you from a local library cybercafe..I've reported to the police and after writing down some statements that's the last i had from them.i contacted the consulate and all i keep hearing is they will get back to me. i need your help ..I need you to help me out with a loan to settle my bills here so we can get back home, our return flight leaves soon. I'll refund the money as soon as i get back. All i need is $1,850 ..Let me know if you can get me the money then I tell you how to get it to me.

I'm freaked out at the moment

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Board of Supervisors votes to retain gravel section of historic Blenheim Road

I am delighted that the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal by Murcielago LLC to pave a gravel section of Blenheim Road even though Murcielago LLC would pay the full cost of the project. Supervisors Christopher Dumler, Ann Mallek and Dennis Rooker honored the wishes of the property owners abutting the gravel road section to retain the rural and historic character of that part of the Scottsville District of Albemarle County. Blenheim Road was the road Thomas Jefferson traveled on horseback between Scottsville and Charlottesville and this section of road is not very different from how it was in Jefferson's time. I also believe the supervisor's preservation of the gravel road is consistent with the recently passed Albemarle County Vision Statement "that honors the rural heritage, scenic beauty and natural and historic resources while fostering attractive and vibrant communities."

I assisted Laura Dollard, an organic farmer and several other property owners who's properties abut the gravel road in presenting their desire to preserve this road to the attention of the supervisors. I applaud supervisors Dumler, Mallek and Rooker for their votes in favor of preservation. The final vote by the board was 3-3 resulting in rejection of the paving proposal. I am disappointed that only three of the six supervisors voted for preservation and I suspect that many future preservation issues before the board will be very close votes.

This was the second time the same applicant desired to pave this section of road and the second time the proposal was rejected. Perhaps this proposal will be presented to the board again after one or more board election cycles hoping for a different result. But, for now, this section of Blenheim Road will be remain as it is and has been for over two hundred years.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Will it really cost an extra $77 Million to avoid McIntire Park

 At the April 25 hearing in Federal District Court for the Western District of Virginia on the case on Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park against the Federal Highway Administration, the FHWA attorney stated that a Tee-Intersection alternative to the proposed improvement to traffic flow at US Route 250 Bypass and McIntire Road would cost an additional $77 Million above the cost of the FHWA recommended interchange design - an approximately $35 Million project. I believe that the $77 Million is not at all reasonable especially that a the recommended design can be adapted to be a Tee design by simplifying the ramps north of the intersection and eliminating the 775 foot northern stub. I believe such a design could actually be lower in cost than the current design - not an additional $77 Million more expensive. FHWA did not provide a specific design for this alternative, and I am uncertain how the cost of that alternative was estimated. No basis for the cost of the avoidance alternative was presented in court.

More troubling to me is that Neil Williamson, representing the Free Enterprise Forum, repeated the statement that the avoidance alternative would cost an additional $77 Million in an interview on WINA radio the next morning and was replayed throughout the day on WINA. Although Mr. Williamson only repeated the statement by the FHWA attorney made in federal court, I was disappointed that he didn't question the validity of the estimate, state if he agreed with this assessment, or if the statement might have been an error. Simply passing along a statement of this type appears to fall short of what is stated by the Free Enterprise Forum on their blog [freeenterpriseforum.wordpress.com]. Passing along information for which there appears to be no documented basis - even if simply repeating what another has said - particularly when cost comparison is a major factor in the public debate can confuse, rather than contribute to public debate. The following is taken from the "What we believe" statement by the Free Enterprise Forum - 

"The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization, is dedicated to providing clear positive balance to the discussion of important issues of the day."

I believe Mr. Williamson's unqualified restatement of the FHWA attorney's statement without credible support fails to provide the balance to the discussion of the issues surrounding development of the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road to which the Free Enterprise Forum is dedicated.

I have communicated my thoughts on this matter to Neil Williamson and continue to encourage him either to support as reasonable or reject the $77 Million estimate and not simply pass along that statement for public consumption.