Chris Graham: A letter from a friend in 2032

We knew back in 2012 what we were doing to ourselves. It’s 20 years later now, and is it any surprise what’s happened to our Waynesboro?

Crozet was already figuring out that spending its tax dollars in stores in Waynesboro didn’t make sense to its own bottom line back before we knew what was about to hit us. The big-box stores that seemed to be thriving were on their way out. Only Wal-Mart survived the decade. Now we cross Afton Mountain to shop over there.

The industries that were supposed to flesh out that controversial industrial park from back in 2012 never materialized, either. Seems that all the rhetoric about employers paying attention to the skills of the workforce wasn’t so much hooey after all. We’ve got a few warehouses out there, but a community can’t balance its books on warehouse jobs.

The naysayers who kept waving the bloody shirt of the Wayne Theatre were right about that project never being viable, in a self-fulfilling-prophecy kind of way. By the time the theatre opened in 2017, after years of stalling egged on by the critics, the Wayne’s moment in the sun had long since passed.

So now we’ve got a 15-year-old empty theatre in the midst of an otherwise tumbleweed-infested downtown, an industrial park in name only coated in dust, empty hulks of big boxes on both ends of town …

Our only hope is that maybe the Republicans get back in power and launch an invasion of our River City so that the U.S. military can rebuild us the way they keep trying to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yeah. It’s 2032, and we’re still trying to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

The one thing we have going for us: We now officially have the lowest property-tax rate among Virginia’s independent cities.

After all these years of trying …

The race to the bottom is now ours!

More at

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Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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