Normally i like to talk with you about current food and culinary topics at mas but allow me to first throw out some thank yous and acknowledge some blessings. Firstly, thank you to all the neighbors who continue to fight for the sanctity of this little village we call belmont. It's not easy being made fun of for standing up for your rights as residents, or being ignored by city government or told that you come second to shady commercial interests or banal legal & bureaucratic technicalities, or worse, harassed by uncaring visitors and their supporters in the middle of the night when most people are enjoying their sleep. The tenaciousness and patience displayed is inspiring but it does come at a cost. That cost is the loss of innocence and aspiration in believing that our government will work for the people when necessary, not against them, and when ordinary citizens do stand up to be counted, their voices count for more than the 3 minute sound bites allowed at city council and planning commission meetings (even when there are no other people to publicly comment.)
The loss of a functioning, solution driven forum for addressing serious and continuing neighborhood problems is causing despair in belmont, where one might compare officials' response to the pattern of complaints about crime, noise, property damage and ordinance violations to that of a bunch of firefighters arguing over who will hold the ladder while a building burns down in front of them. Let this serve as a warning to other neighborhoods in charlottesville, this really could happen to you.
Where will it all end? The "for sale" signs are already cropping up around belmont, monticello and douglas, and no neighborhood is safe when tolerance of this kind of behavior is sanctioned by officials. The democratic contract is for equality of opportunity & subsequent participation in matters in the public forum. If outcomes don't match expectations how long can we keep expecting citizens to care or stay long enough to work out their differences, hopes, dreams, etc.? What kind of place will we be in twenty years?
Finally i would like to say how proud we are that benos bustamente received his mechanical engineering degree at the most recent uva graduation. Well done benos, the world needs you now more than ever. Also farewell to mandy ferald and anna martin who leave us for greener pastures. May you find success in whatever you do mamacitas, we'll miss you. We are delighted to witness jacquie wheeler's rapid recovery from a car accident in may and hope to have her back on the floor at mas soon.
And finally, on july 4th, 2010, mas' own juan esteves will become a united states citizen in the annual ceremony at mr. Jefferson's monticello. A 2005 graduate of uva, juan has proven that hard work, dedication and a commitment to excellence have their rewards. You are a masstar chamo' and we are very proud and honored to welcome you to our crazy-quilt of a country where dreams really do come true. Mr. Jefferson is smiling.
Posted on 07/16/2014 at 04:21:00 AM