White Ribbon Wednesday

via Nextdoor, by way of Twitter –

“”I wanted to pass along there are a few neighborhoods spreading the word to place white ribbons on the trash can handles this week (Wednesday), to show support for the victims of the train crash. People will also be placing ribbons on their trees if they desire. This is a voluntary act of kindness, and I wanted to spread the word, so please pass this idea along to friends who may not read Nextdoor. Thank you.””

GoFundMe Pages for Man Killed & Man Injured in Train Crash

GoFundMe now live.

On January 31st 2018, Christopher Foley was one of the victims in the Amtrak and garbage truck collision. Unfortunately Chris lost his life. We here at the company lost a friend and a brother, his one year old son and mother of his child lost a father. We have set up this page to help Mr. Foley’s family, theres no amount of money that can replace a human life. Anything that you are able to donate helps the family financially through this horrific time. We are trying to raise enough for the family to cover funeral cost and help with some living costs. All the money will go directly to Mr. Foley’s family.

And this one

On January 31st 2018, Dennis Eddy was one of the victims in the Amtrak and garbage truck collision. Fortunately, Dennis is still with us, however he remains in recovery at the hospital. We have set up this page to help Mr. Eddy, to help with hospital expenses as he recovers. Anything that you are able to donate helps him financially through this horrific time. All the money will go directly to Mr. Eddy.


I understand there will be GoFundMe for the two other victims, who were in the ICU last I heard.

Crozet Angel Tree 2017 – Fully Supported!

via email –

“I am so excited to say that between your boost, my email campaign, and many other caring folks from the community sharing the information with friends, neighbors, playgroups, exercise groups, etc we are 100% supported. I can’t thank you, and everyone who has pitched enough for coming through again this year. Crozet is a special place!”

Crozet rocks. 206 kids’ holidays are better.

Crozet Cycling’s Easy Riders Take a Road Trip

One of my favorite parts of the Crozet Cycling Club is the Easy Riders. If you want to join them, please fill out the contact form at the end of this post.

Thanks to Terri Miyamoto for the photos and the story! (I added links)

On a perfect late-autumn day – the sky deep blue, the sun bright and low in the sky, and just enough chill to make you want to keep moving if you were outside – the Crozet Cycling Club “Easy Riders” took a field trip to scope out the trail system in Lynchburg, Virginia. We stowed the bikes and drove about an hour south, enjoying the last of the fall color through the 151 corridor and down US 29. Arriving at the parking lot, we were surprised to find it full, even on a weekday morning. Obviously, this is a popular trail system!

We began on the Blackwater Creek Trail, wide and paved, on a slight downhill for most of its three mile length to where it meets the James River. This is a rail trail, and the cuts through rock, plus a short, lighted tunnel, make for an interesting ride.

At the river, we encountered the RiverWalk Trail, through a historic section of Lynchburg with many choices for meals and refreshments, although some of them would require quite a walk up stairs from the river level to the bluff above! We recommend staying on the trail (which we think runs along the sidewalk) because biking over the cobblestone streets is kidney-shaking. Take it from me.

Past the commercial section, the trail makes a sharp bend back and then crosses a bridge over to Percival Island. For a mile you are biking on a narrow island in the middle of the James River, with water a short distance away on each side. Through another bridge, then you are on the other side of the James, biking through a section of woods and fields, all golden on that autumn morning.

At the end of the pavement, we turned around and rode back into town for lunch, really nice pizza and sandwiches at Waterstone Pizza. And beer, of course. The building had originally been a shoe factory, we were told, and the immense beams and super-thick walls made for interesting conjectures as we lunched. It is an impressive building.

Heading back toward the car, from the RiverWalk Trail we took the Point of Honor Trail. This trail follows Blackwater Creek very closely, and includes a beautiful stop to take pictures at an old mill dam. It’s not quite as flat as the Blackwater Creek Trail, but other than a couple short climbs, certainly not too strenuous.

Choosing to add a couple more miles to our ride, we rode the Kemper Street Trail up to the Lynchburg train station. Yes, up—it’s a climb the whole way. But coming back down was great fun. Almost enough to be tempted to do it again.
All together, including a couple “oops” detours (the trails in the downtown section could use some better signs) we biked 17 miles and had a wonderful day. There are lots of places to stop and appreciate the river, the city, and the woods. It’s all safely off-road, and not too far for an easy family trip.


Continue reading “Crozet Cycling’s Easy Riders Take a Road Trip”

Crozet Angel Tree 2017 – Help 206 Kids

via email:

The Angels are registered, and we are ready for shoppers!

We are once again coordinating Angel Tree with the four public schools here in Western Albemarle. I am wondering if you might be willing to again help us with promoting the project and round up shoppers?  Here are the details as I know them right now…

Total Angels on List: 206

Last Year:                   208

Angel information sheets are now available.  Our focus is on needed items such as clothing, coats, shoes, winter accessories, etc. Please consider partnering with us and sponsoring an angel, or a family of angels. This is a great project to do with your children or at your place of employment. UNWrapped gifts are due to Crozet Baptist Church on Tuesday, November 28th at 5 pm.

Please contact Tracey Pugh at [email protected] to find out more about this wonderful program, or to request an angel.

Believing the Best,


Tracey R. Pugh

Minister to Children, Youth, and Community Connections



Always Be Aware – And Lock your Cars

via email:

Perhaps you are already aware, but two of our musicians’ cars were broken into last evening (Wed, Sept 20), while we were in rehearsal between the hours of 7-9 pm. The cars, which were parked in the gravel parking lot on the premises at Tabor Presbyterian Church, were vandalized and valuables stolen. Two police reports were filed individually by the victims.

I am writing to remind and emphasize to all members of our community the importance of not leaving valuables in your car while attending local events (or any events). Even though crime is low here, please don’t let that fact lull you into a false sense of security and complacency about taking common sense precautions to protect yourself from becoming an unfortunate crime statistic.

Stealing is bad. Stealing from a church parking lot? Special place in hell for those folks.

Growing Crozet Thoughtfully & Sustainably

Yes, traffic sucks sometimes (school time, anyone?), and it’s going to get worse. What if … we grew Crozet, locally and more sustainably?

We’re definitely going to get more houses … houses that don’t pay for themselves, or the infrastructure (schools, roads, etc) that we use.

Think about this story in the context of the possible redevelopment of downtown Crozet.

“They’ll see they’re working against the tide very soon when millennials eventually head to the suburbs,” he says. “We see a lot of what we call ‘millennials in mourning.’ They’re married with their first child, and the last place they think about is the urban environment. A lot of people are soon going to be at the point where finding a good place for their kid to go to school is going to be a lot more important than the coolest restaurant to hang out. Unfortunately for some companies, they may be moving into the cities just before the tide goes the other way.”

Sadly, we are in an environment that is remarkably conducive to walking or riding bikes to school, but 1.5 -2 miles is apparently an unconquerable distance for many.

What if … we had jobs to walk or ride to as well? 

Think sustainably and longer-term

If we figure that the average driver in the US does 20,000 miles a year, I’m going to use about 400 gallons of gas. A car getting 20 mpg is going to use closer to a thousand gallons. Figure that there are about 100 million actively driven cars in the US, which means that the net difference if “everybody did it” has the potential to save 60 billion gallons (600 times 100 million) of gas. A year. (* Jim’s note – this is from 2007)

We have an opportunity as a community to encourage great businesses and jobs to locate here; The more we can grow our local, read: Crozet, economy, the better for all.

Interesting corresponding facebook conversation as well.

My brief opinion: Wishing that Crozet would stay small is not realistic, and continuing to grow as primarily a bedroom community for Charlottesville is not sustainable.

Related story – Charlottesville (City) Grow or Preserve it?:

As a result, average city home values doubled between 2000 and 2010 to $321,000. And Albemarle homes—which are in the growth area and spread across the large lots countywide—have median prices of $309,000. Those aren’t New York or San Francisco figures, but they are well above the state and national medians, and show what happens when a city and county conspire to cordon off most of its land.

What happens for those who want to live here, but can’t meet this financial barrier? Many of them move further out, said Ridge Schuyler, who runs a self-sufficiency program for low-income people at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Schuyler said his program generally has two types of people: the first are extremely low-wage workers who qualify for Charlottesville’s public housing. The second are slightly higher-paid service workers who don’t qualify for public housing, yet can’t take that next step of competing for Charlottesville’s market-rate units. They’re the ones settling for outlying counties.

“If you try to move up the income ladder,” Schuyler said of this second group, “once you get into that first rung job of making $28,000 to $32,000, you are almost forced to move away.”

This explains why neighboring counties like Fluvanna, Louisa, Orange and Greene have roughly doubled their populations since 1990. Charlottesville-area workers who live out in them must also foot the higher transportation costs of driving 30-plus miles twice daily.

Quick Crozet real estate context

  • From 1 January to 12 September 2017, 243 homes (attached and single family) have sold in Brownsville + Crozet.
    • Average price is $458K.
  • 82 new homes (single family + attached) have sold in that timeframe.
    • Average price is $603K (source of this, and above: CAARMLS)
  • Crozet Real Estate Market – July 2017 Hotsheet (PDF)

Facing Terror Together

Sent to me by a fellow Crozetian:

What: Face Terror Together: A website is being created by a Charlottesville native to give people around the world a unique tool to respond to terrorism. This website let you take your picture and match your face with a stranger on the other side of the world in the face of terror. This will be a simple message to show that terrorism will no longer divide us

This is the current landing page for people to sign up for the launch: http://faceterrortogether.com/

Why Important: In lights of recent events, people around the world are looking for ways to help. With only a few clicks of a button, Face Terror Together will allow anyone in the world to make a statement. There will also be a list of charities fighting terrorism on the website that people can donate to.

Why will your audience find exciting: Two reasons why important:

(1) Charlottesville has become ground zero for the national and global discussion of hate crimes and terrorism. Launching this effort from Charlottesville will help show this city’s response.

(2) Gives residents an easy but important way to contribute and start a global movement.

Background: Jake Van Yahres is visual artist from Charlottesville and his grandfather was former mayor Mitch Van Yahres. His design agency, JVY Creations, has been actively working with many local businesses. Recently his Cville Love Shirts were distributed at Fridays after Five and due to popular demand now available through online stores.

Thank you

Jake Van Yahres