September 15, 2020: PTO School Reopening Fund raises $56,500 in first month


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There is a large spike today in the number of COVID-19 deaths reported by the Virginia Department of Health. The agency lists 2,839 fatalities today, a rise of 96 over yesterday.

“Regarding the death data for Tuesday, September 15, 2020, there is an existing data backlog,” reads a disclaimer posted on the site today. “VDH is working diligently to identify COVID-19 related deaths using vital record death certificate information.”

There are another 943 cases statewide and the seven-day testing rate decreased to 7.1 percent from 7.2 on Monday. 

The first person from Nelson County has died due to COVID-19, according to new data released this morning for the Thomas Jefferson Health District. The two other deaths are one individual from Albemarle and another from Louisa County. The district reports only three new cases today, with no new cases in Albemarle. That’s the first time that has happened since June 17. 

The University of Virginia has reported a total of 369 positive cases since August 17, with 321 of those as students. The UVA COVID Tracker is not updated on weekends. 

Governor Ralph Northam is expected to address Virginia and the press at a news conference today at 2 p.m. 


Last week, a subcommittee of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors got an update on several new projects, including the 60,000 square foot home of the School of Data Science. They also got details on the 223,000 square foot UVA Hotel and Conference Center

Both are part of first phase of the Emmet / Ivy Corridor, a future section of the UVA campus that the UVA Foundation has slowly been acquiring over the years. Renderings presented to the Buildings and Grounds Committee depict a pond in the southeast corner of the precinct, a pond fed by streams that will be daylit throughout the site. It has now been two years since the Cavalier Inn was demolished to make way for the new era for this part of the community. 


A joint fund to help improve the virtual learning experience for low-income students has received a potential boost from two area philanthropists. The Charlottesville City Schools Reopening Fund is powered by the city’s Parent-Teacher Organizations and raised $56,500 in its first month of operations. Now the Bama Works Fund of the Dave Matthews Band and the Smith Family’s “Always Am” Fund will each chip in $25,000 if an additional $25,000 can be raised by the community. You can donate here

“School-level committees have begun authorizing expenditures for headphones, manipulatives, books, supplies for home classrooms, assistance to families for virtual learning center tuition, and more. To ensure resources are directed equitably, distribution percentages are based on each school’s population of students receiving free and reduced lunch,” reads a press release that went out this morning. “The use of the funds are determined by individual school level committees comprised of a PTO representative, teacher, administrator, and an equity committee representative.” 


Tonight, the Albemarle Planning Commission will hold a work session on how applications for new neighborhoods calculate the number of vehicle trips they will generate. The Albemarle Board of Supervisors received a briefing on September 2 on the“traffic impact analyses” (TIA) that go into land use planning.

“TIA’s are also sometimes referred to as traffic impact statement, and they evaluate a proposed project’s effect on the transportation system,” McDermott said. “They are done for rezonings and special use permits and they are requested when a development would substantially affect transportation on public roadways.”  

These studies can also help developers and planners come up with ideas for ways to mitigate the impacts on the new development, currently usually discussed in terms of proffers. 

“They have to be specifically attributable to the development that is proposed, they have to be reasonable, and they are offered by the applicant, so we can’t require those,” McDermott said. 

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. In another work session, the president of Jaunt will give a presentation on the on-demand service his agency will pilot in the coming months. (agenda) (presentation)

In other public meetings, the Charlottesville Board of Architectural review will consider two applications to alter two Individually Protected Properties, or IPPs. These are structures protected by historical protection or design ordinances which require review by the BAR.

In one case, an applicant seeks permission to demolish outbuildings on a historic property in Fifeville that dates back to the 1860’s. In the other, another applicant wants to build a new apartment building on the sideyard of an historic building in the Rugby neighborhood. (Fifeville staff report) (Rugby staff report)  


Live Arts continues to prepare for the beginning of their Season Launch this Friday. The move to all virtual performances, for now, begins with a Coffehouse featuring performances from  Amrita Shankar, Johnny Butcher, Nathaniel Star, and Monica Edwards. The event begins at 7 p.m. on the Live Arts Facebook page