All posts filed under: Historic Preservation

Posts about places that matter

Great communities don’t remain that way by chance

Early in my preservation career, I was privileged to serve five years as the executive director of Virginia’s Historic Staunton Foundation, an award-winning preservation organization recognized over more than four decades for its work to protect and revitalize this historic Shenandoah Valley community. Our children were born during the 15 years we lived in Staunton, it shaped each of us in significant ways, and we still have deep friendships that bring us “home” several times each year. Just as we like to return to this gem of a community, visionary leadership has made Staunton a year-round destination for tens-of-thousands of visitors annually and has generated national recognition for the city, including more than forty awards and accolades for its historic downtown from national organizations and media in the past ten years. Some of the top ones include : The Great American Main Street Award A National Trust for Historic Preservation Award Best Small Towns in America Award (Smithsonian magazine) The 15 Most Beautiful Main Streets Across America (Architectural Digest) That level of success does not …

Misinformation and the threat to democracy

Take any old laptop, add a legally blind store owner, conveniently forget to save security camera tape from the store before it is erased, throw in some Russian disinformation, turn to Rudy Giuliani and Rupert Murdoch — two titans of misinformation — to sell your story and “boom,” just like that you have a faux scandal! If you are not a regular consumer of the right-wing infotainment networks and watched the last presidential debate, you may be confused about all the talk by Trump of a “laptop from hell” that (allegedly) included emails (again!) and compromising photographs of Joe Biden’s son Hunter, and “proved” that the whole Biden family was corrupt. Talk about your projection. Trying to control the flow of information is one of the chief threats to democracy, and in Donald Trump we may not have a master at the art, but it isn’t for lack of trying. Attorney, professor, and author Teri Kanefield writes, “Democracy is based on rule of law, which requires a shared truth (a functioning public sphere). Fascism, to …