Friday, March 20-Sunday, March 22

Local News: Peace rally in Staunton this weekend, Friday, 4 p.m.
Politics: Obama grassroots group to canvass Virginia, Friday, 3:30 p.m.
Local News: VDOT changing speed limit in Crimora, Friday, 3:30 p.m.
Local Media: AlbemarleFamily Living wins four national awards, Friday, 8:10 a.m.
Arts: Chavez photographer to visit JMU, Friday, 8:10 a.m.
Civil Rights: ACLU pushing Gov. Kaine on privacy laws, Friday, 8:10 a.m.


Local News: Peace rally in Staunton this weekend, Friday, 4 p.m.

What are local citizens thinking about ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? In conjunction with the 6th anniversary this week of the invasion of Iraq, a “No More War Rally” will be held tomorow, Saturday, March 21st, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm, in front of the Augusta County Courthouse.

The Rally will call for (1) ending the wars and foreign occupations, (2) bringing the troops home and using the billions being spent on war to meet health needs, education, infrastructure, and returning veterans needs, and (3) building peace through diplomacy, reconstruction and development.

Persons supporting these goals are invited to participate in the Rally. Some signs will be available. Participants are also welcome to bring their own signs supporting the above.

The Rally is sponsored by the Augusta Coalition for Peace and Justice, a community movement that seeks to empower people to build a more peaceful, just and sustainable society.


Politics: Obama grassroots group to canvass Virginia, Friday, 3:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Organizing for America, the grassroots and volunteer network which came together to help elect President Obama in November, will launch a nationwide canvassing effort in support of President Obama’s proposed budget plan.

Citizens across Virginia will canvass their communities to let their friends and neighbors know about the President’s plan to invest in America’s future, improve health care and education, create green jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and cut the deficit in half over the next four years. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have already signaled their support for the Organizing for America Pledge Project – part of an OFA project to identify and mobilize support for the economic vision President Obama outlined in his budget. OFA is also encouraging Americans to call their Members of Congress and urge them to support the plan.

“Across the nation, people are suffering,” said Mitch Stewart, Director of Organizing for America which is a project of the Democratic National Committee. “The president has a bold plan to invest in America’s future and get our economy moving again, and now he needs our help to turn his budget into law. That’s why it’s so important for Americans on Saturday to go door-to-door and talk to their neighbors about the president’s plan and ask them for their support.

“The president has made great strides in turning the economy around with passage of his jobs and economic recovery package,” Stewart said. “However, to ensure long term economic growth, we must make health care more affordable, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve education – all priorities the president has outlined in his budget plan and which are part of the change he promised to bring to Washington. The vast majority of Americans support the president on these issues because they know they are critical to long term economic growth and to creating jobs. The canvasses on Saturday, the pledge drive and the calls to Congress are all designed to put our elected officials in Washington on notice that Americans expect that the change President Obama campaigned for becomes reality.”


Local News: VDOT changing speed limit in Crimora, Friday, 3:30 p.m.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will be changing the speed limit on a portion of Route 340 in northwestern Augusta County through the Crimora Area.

The speed limit will be reduced from 55 miles-per-hour to 45 miles-per-hour on Route 340, from 0.29 miles south of the Route 663 intersection to 0.39 miles north of the Route 612 intersection.

The change will be effective after the erection of signs at the new speed zone. The projected installation is scheduled for March 31 according to VDOT Northwestern Regional Operations officials.

All work is weather permitting.


Local Media: AlbemarleFamily Living wins four national awards, Friday, 8:10 a.m.

Parenting Publications of America gave out more than 400 Editorial and Design Competition awards to 81 parenting newspapers and magazines at a banquet, the climax of the three-day PPA Annual Convention in New Orleans, La.

Charlottesville’s own local parenting magazine, AlbemarleFamily Living, was honored with four awards for excellence: A Gold Award for their Calendar of Events editorial as well as a Bronze Award for its design. Already popular with local families, the judges said, “This calendar is packed with strong break-out boxes and value-added content. It’s well organized and easy to navigate.”

A Gold Award was also presented for Design of a Special Section honoring the “Back-To-School” of August 2008. “If the goal was to make the idea of heading back to school fun and interesting for both parents and children, then this section gets all As.”

Perhaps most rewarding to the publishers and staff at Ivy Publications, is their Gold Award recognizing the complete redesign the Magazine undertook to celebrate their 10-year anniversary in 2008. The judges agreed with all the local fans of AlbemarleFamily, “This is a beautiful publication. It is open, airy and inviting. The presentation is professional, and it makes the content look and read better. The new NEWS format is innovate and inviting. Headlines seem sharper.”

“Our goal is to provide local parents with a high quality magazine that is both fun to read and useful,” explained Jennifer Bryerton, Co-Publisher of AlbemarleFamily. “We’re very excited to have our work honored by professionals in the field.”

In business for 11 years, 2009 marks an incredible expansion for Ivy Publications as their popular AlbemarleFamily Magazine has increased its circulation by 50%. The company has also introduced a new title, The Charlottesville Welcome Guide for tourists and newcomers as well as brought out the 2nd edition of their popular AlbemarleFamily Let’s Go! Guide to Charlottesville & More.

Established in March 1988, PPA is a national trade association of regional parenting publications that reaches from Seattle to Boston. PPA’s Editorial and Design Awards Competition recognizes excellence in journalism, photography and design achieved by publishers, editors, writers and designers at member publications. Prof. Daryl Moen of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism coordinated the annual contest. A panel of judges reviewed more than a thousand entries to choose the winners in each category.

Started in 1998, AlbemarleFamily is dedicated to being “The Ultimate Resource Making Parenting Easier & Growing Up Fun”. Their popular weekly web site receives over a million hits and provides over 50,000 visitors each month with extensive community resources. In addition to the web site, AlbemarleFamily also publishes a weekly e-Newsletter, monthly print magazine, and an annual directory.


Arts: Chavez photographer to visit JMU, Friday, 8:10 a.m.

The photojournalist who chronicled the life of Cesar Chavez, civil rights activist, president of the United Farm Workers of America and organizer of the “Thousand Mile March” through California, will visit James Madison University March 30 through April 3. Cathy Murphy will talk about her first-hand experiences in conjunction with an exhibition of her photographs that is on display through May 1 at the university.

Murphy was assigned to photograph Chavez and his supporters as they walked the highways of California. Intending to spend one day on the assignment, Murphy instead was recruited by Chavez to become the UFW’s staff photographer. She spent two years photographing deplorable working conditions in the fields and labor camps of California and Arizona.


– Through May 1: “Marching Through History with Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers” Exhibition, during normal Festival Conference and Student Center hours, Prism Gallery

In this photo-documentary, Murphy depicts images from the most famous moments of the labor movement to some of the most private moments in the life of Chavez. At the same time, he is also seen as stressed by the ordeal, worried. Other photos show the inspiration that was required of him before workers and before the press. Murphy documents the plight of workers in the field, the fight to resist child workers and the 1975 march through the state of California. In this historic 58-day “Thousand Mile March” from San Ysidro to Keene, Chavez educated farm workers about a new law, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act.

– Official opening featuring remarks by Murphy, March 31, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

– April 1: Visiting Scholars Lecture Series, 7 p.m., Room 1301, Health and Human Services Building

Murphy presents a free public lecture, “Marching Through History with Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers.”


Civil Rights: ACLU pushing Gov. Kaine on privacy laws, Friday, 8:10 a.m.

The ACLU of Virginia is mobilizing its members and civil libertarians across the state to urge Governor Tim Kaine to sign into law bills that will expand the free speech rights of voters, protect the right of citizens to seek removal of public officials from office, and prevent invasions of drivers’ privacy rights under the federal Real ID law.

“These are three timely and important bills that advance constitutional rights in Virginia,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Kent Willis, “and they have all landed on the Governor’s desk with strong support from legislators in the House and Senate. We hope the Governor is listening.”

Legislators this session passed an omnibus voting bill (HB 1878/SB 1188/SB 848), but the ACLU’s interest lies chiefly in a single provision of the measure that permits voters to wear political buttons, stickers or other campaign apparel while voting. The ACLU sued the State Board of Elections last December after it implemented a rule prohibiting such apparel. That case is pending, but will be moot if the Governor signs this bill. The ACLU maintains that the First Amendment protects the right of voters to silently and passively support their candidates while in the polls.

Last fall, in a case that garnered much public sympathy, a group of citizens in Gloucester County were fined $80,000 by a judge after attempting to follow Virginia’s somewhat arcane “removal” law to oust four members of the Board of Supervisors who had been indicted on criminal charges. The ACLU is assisting the citizens in their appeal of the fine, but HB 2465/SB 1394 will protect the right of others to go to court in the future to have a public official removed from office without fear of sanctions or dismissal of their case for making a minor procedural or technical mistake.

The ACLU is also asking the Governor to sign HB 1587/ SB 1431, which places limitations on the federal Real ID Act as applies to Virginia drivers. The still-unimplemented federal law requires DMVs in every state to collect and store background information on every driver, but the Virginia law will prevent DMV from collecting financial data (such as tax returns or personal investment information) or biometric data (such as DNA, fingerprints, or retinal scans) from drivers, even if it is required by the Real ID Act.

If the Governor signs HB 1587/ SB 1431, Virginia will join 21 other states that have passed anti-Real ID Act legislation.

The ACLU is also seeking to have the Governor veto two death penalty expansion bills and the specialty license plate bill that includes authorization for a “Choose Life” license plate.

augusta free press news