Which theme is better?

I have made some significant changes to this blog over the past two days. Many hours of tweaking, testing, etc. later and I think I have it where I want it (for the next few days/weeks, at least). After trying several other themes, I came back to the one I use on realcentralvatiga.

I have added the following:

– Recent comments (to the right, to help track discussions)
– A “submit a story” page (pretty self-explanatory)
– Perhaps most different is the “Announcements” section to the right – If you have an event you would like to announce, visit the handy-dandy submit a story page and – voilà – it will be added as soon as I get to it.

What do you think? Is the old theme better?

Old Theme

I think the new theme is more functional than the last and I’m thinking about keeping it …

realcrozetva Readers’ Forum – 10-11-2006

I am extremely saddened by the proposed redevelopment of our beloved Crozet town center. Crozet Station (the name for the new buildings) is an effort to make Crozet “upscale”, which can be translated as “more expensive”.

These buildings have been acceptable for years. Why must the old buildings now be replaced with new, characterless buildings that will cause the owners of the property to increase rents? Without a doubt, we will lose our wonderful small businesses, such as Maupin’s Video, that will probably not be able to afford the higher rents that must come following new construction, new (read higher) assessments,and higher tax bills.

Crozet is being surrounded and overrun by huge developments. But that does not mean that the very heart of Crozet has to lose its identity. I hope that long-time and even new residents who appreciate the old-time feel of our Crozet center will speak out against this redevelopment plan. As Commissioner Bill Edgerton said, “There’s lots of charm in those buildings.” Charm is a meaningful quality that is quickly being lost in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area.

I hope the owners of this property will reconsider this project. Life is not simply about possessing more money; a happy life is interconnected with the quality of one’s surroundings.

Crozet is special in that it has the feel of a simpler time. Let’s not reduce it to another carbon copy of modern development with only some murals in a parking lot to remind us of what once was.

Marlene A. Condon (Author, The Nature-friendly Garden, Stackpole Books, 2006)
Nature Writer, Photographer, Speaker
Crozet, VA 22932-2204
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editor’s note:This redevelopment was noted here on 31 May of this year. As much as I like the small-town aspect of these buildings, if they are not structurally sound and not economically feasible to shore up for the future, perhaps it is time to address their deficiencies. The new development will certainly be different, but it doesn’t have to be worse than what we currently have. Charm is a subjective thing; done properly I expect that the new buildings could have their charm charm, yet still pay a certain homage to the previous buildings.

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realcrozetva Readers’ Forum

Thanks to the recent story in the Crozet Gazette on realcrozetva, this blog has received several (many?) new visitors. Thankfully, two have so far answered the call to write for this blog!

Starting today, I am going to, assuming continued interest, establish a “readers’ forum” highlighting stories written by readers. If you have an idea, please email me. If you want to become a regular writer, please email me. Soon there will be a “write for this blog” button in the sidebar.

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Wireless in Crozet?

A suggestion from a reader:

As community leaders meet to discuss plans for the future, preserving the past, and helping to enhance Crozet’s business independence – how about developing free internet access as is available in downtown Charlottesville?  My husband and I are both in lines of work where the computer is our office and it would really be great to be able to go to a coffee shop or park bench to tap out e-mails, read the news, etc., while being in the company of our Crozet neighbors.  See the following link as a reference: Charlottesville Free Wireless

Perhaps the new library will help to facilitate this notion?

I think this is a fantastic idea. The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library offers free wireless. If the new library were to provide free wireless in all directions – wow!

I’ve broached the idea of a regional wireless cloud once before. Wireless access for The Square would be fantastic. Say what you will, providing wireless is a form of drawing people together, of encouraging community. Even if this interaction is fleeting, as we say a quick hello and return to our laptops. It is about the community.

Unfortunately, Crozet does not yet have a coffee shop, and if we get one at the new Clover Lawn Shoppes, it might be a Starbucks, with their ridiculous pay-for-use T-Mobile internet, another reason I won’t go there.

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The Goal of Realcrozetva

The goal of realcrozetva is one of community contribution. I want realcrozetva to be a destination for discussion, for information, for sharing of thoughts and ideas specific to Crozet.

One of the best things to come from the arrival of the Crozet Gazette is that people are talking about it and talking about current issues affecting Crozet because of the Gazette. That’s what I want for realcrozetva.com.

If this blog becomes a destination for people to learn about Crozet goings-on, and I segue from author/editor to contributor because others have taken on this mantle, fantastic. This blog would be a success.

A more informed populace is (in this ideal world) a better one.

As always, if you want to write, or have a story idea, please email me.

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A Reason I like Crozet

We have only one phone exchange (for now) – 823-. This reminds me of the town I grew up in, where the exchange was 825-; and I vividly remember the feeling of loss when 827 was born. No longer could I remember only four digits to call a friend (or remember my home number).

Perhaps with cell phones’ growing dominance, we can push off the advent of new Crozet phone exchanges for a while longer … but for now, 823 is a reason I like Crozet.

Crozet Library update

Wednesday, October 25, 7:00pm, Western Albemarle High School: Community Feedback Time!

Albemarle County Representatives and Grimm and Parker architects will solicit community feedback regarding the library and its potential sites. Community feedback from this meeting will be reported to the Board of Supervisors.

If you can, come to this meeting. A vibrant, dynamic, interesting and functional library can shape and enhance a community in a way unlike any other development.

Sign up for Albemarle County’s excellent, informative and timely! A-Mail (or continue to visit realcrozetva and/or subscribe to the realcrozetva calendar!)

From A-Mail:

Officials from Albemarle County and the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library are inviting Crozet area residents to attend a public meeting on Wednesday, October 25, from 7:00 pm until 9:30 pm at Western Albemarle High School. The purpose of the meeting is to update the community on the status of the project, introduce the project consultant, and get public feedback on two location options for the new library to share with the Board of Supervisors prior to their final site selection decision.
The consultant team is led by Grimm & Parker Architects, a firm headquartered in McLean, Virginia with a 30-year history of successful library and other public architecture projects. The Grimm & Parker team was selected based on their overall public library expertise, experience with downtown and town center libraries, and their successful track record of integrating public comment and input into library design and programming decisions, among other criteria.
The meeting will include an introductory overview of the library project, a brief discussion of library design possibilities, and then a detailed site analysis of the two locations under consideration conducted by the consultant team. The consultant will then lead participants through a facilitated feedback session to generate input that will be passed on to the Board of Supervisors.
Anyone who has questions or would like more information is asked to contact Albemarle County’s Community Relations Office at (434)296- 5841.

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