'Debt of gratitude': Kaine thanks Biscuit Run sellers, not taxpayers

news-biscuit-craig-smBiscuit run investors Hunter Craig and DMB violinist Boyd Tinsley joined Governor Tim Kaine on January 8 at the new Monticello Visitor's Center to celebrate the state's purchase of the 1,200-acre property. PHOTO BY COURTENEY STUART

In an event attended by dozens of movers and shakers including Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley, Governor Tim Kaine visited Monticello Friday, January 8, to announce his administration's success in securing more than 425,000 acres of Virginia land for conservation, particularly lavishing praise upon the previous owners of 1,200-acre Charlottesville-area residential development-turning-state park Biscuit Run.

Kaine thanked numerous agencies for helping the state purchase the property in southern Albemarle County for what he called the "bargain scenario" of $9.8 million on December 31. Still unclear, however, is the appraised value of the land, for which Biscuit Run owners will be entitled to a 40 percent tax credit, an additional–- but unrevealed–- cost to taxpayers.

"We owe a debt of gratitude," Kaine said of the Biscuit Run deal, "and it starts with the landowners."

Biscuit Run was purchased in 2005 by Forest Lodge LLC, a consortium headed by developer Hunter Craig and including members of the Dave Matthews Band, for a reported $46.2 million. It was planned as the site of some 3,100 homes, but with the economy tanking–- and an estimated carrying cost of more than $300,000 per month–- Forest Lodge seemed to be running out of money back in November when Bluefield-based First Community Bank told shareholders a $34 million loan was in  "early stage delinquency." Less than two months later, with the state's purchase of the property, it wasn't clear how–- or if–-the bank would be repaid, nor was it clear what the property is now actually worth.

Developer Richard Spurzem says he believes the actual current value of Biscuit Run is closer to $20 million– less than half the speculators' purchase price–- and he points out that while $9.8 million is indeed a bargain price, it's not the only money citizens will end up paying out. There could be $14 million in tax credits, if the property is appraised at its most recent sales price of $46 million. And there are still the millions of dollars of improvements needed to convert a farm into a state park, including roads and other infrastructure.

Spurzem says he believes Biscuit Run as a development was doomed at least in part by developers' decision to rezone the property to allow higher density. That, he says, allowed the county to extract proffers–- including schools and roads–- "to the point that it made the property not viable." He says a similar situation has unfolded on a smaller scale with a 244-acre farm in Gordonsville he sold to a Fredericksburg developer in 2007 for $5.6 million.

"I think it's worth about half that now," he explains, adding that, like Albemarle, Orange County also extracted millions of dollars in proffers that make it impossible for the new owners–- the Silver Companies–- to move forward.

Jud Honaker, president of Silver Companies' commercial division, says that while the Gordonsville property is a residential development that he does not oversee, a tax credit "nightmare" began when Silver put 430 acres along the Rappahannock River into conservation. Three years later, says Honaker, the state suddenly revoked the tax credits claiming the appraisal wasn't valid, leaving Silver Companies to deal with hundreds of individuals who'd purchased the credits and who now owed back taxes.

"It's cost us two million dollars and taken three years," says Honaker."You're trying to do the right thing, and that's the way you get treated? We'll never put land in conservation again."

Former Biscuit Run owner Hunter Craig has not returned a reporter's calls and did not answer press questions at today's event. Spurzem, however, says the decision to put Biscuit Run into conservation likely came after owners considered all options. While he doesn't believe any of Biscuit Run's investors "came out whole," he says the deal with the state likely staunched a hemorrhage of investors' money and helped them recoup some if not all of their investment.

Asked the appraised value of Biscuit Run, which would determine the value of the tax credits, Kaine demurred, mentioning the 2005 purchase price and insisting that for tax credit purposes, there is currently no appraised value for Biscuit Run. "There are no guarantees" for the former owners, the governor said, noting that the tax credit question will be worked out privately in coming months.

Earlier, Kaine spoke proudly of his and his staff's efforts to beat a goal set in 2005 of 400,000 additional acres in conservation by the end of his term. A map highlighted more than 20 such conservation acquisitions including several state parks and additional state forests.

news-biscuit-boydBoyd Tinsley answers reporters questions about his involvement in Biscuit Run and its sale to the Commonwealth of Virginia for use as a state park. PHOTO BY COURTENEY STUART

Tinsley, whose presence at the event was the first confirmation that any Dave Matthews Band members held a stake in Biscuit Run, praised Kaine for his focus on conservation during his term as governor, which ends this month.

"Tim," said Tinsley, who referred repeatedly to his personal friendship with the Governor, "has always been concerned and passionate about quality of life for Virginians in general." Claiming he'd only known for three weeks about the possibility of Biscuit Run becoming a state park, Tinsley says he was "delighted" when he heard of the plan.

"It was a very pleasant surprise," he said. "Any loss we've taken pales in comparison to the contribution we've made to the community.

While Kaine was lavish with his praise of landholders' generosity, he was less specific in his praise of taxpayers, who are subsidizing the new park and who–- because of privacy laws–- will never be entitled to see the appraisals and consequently the benefits of the Biscuit Run transaction to the land speculators.

"The preservation of open space," Kaine said, "is for the public good."

Correction: Orange County, not Fluvanna, extracted proffers for the development Richard Spurzem sold in 2007.

This story is a part of the The Biscuit Run cash grab special.


Caesnia should have said that Bisquit run will not create any "jobs,"

government jobs are not real jobs unless they actually generate enough income to pay for themselves.

So if they spend a couple of million modernizing the park and then pay a bunch of park police and maintanance workers and then hire someone to collect 5 bucks at the gate we will have a net loss and the taxpayers will be paying someone elses freight once again.

This was just another waste and bailout for political gain.

He could have bought 1o thousand acres for the same money down in southern Va.

The taxpayers got ripped.

Cville Eye thanks for attempting once to take your Eye off of the real discussion here and real estate bailouts' once you are cornered. You like to do that a lot.

The deregulation that allowed for the savings and loan scandal was brought on by Ronnie Bobble Head Reagan, not Jimmy Carter and Volker. Whatever your feelings and mine might be about the Federal Reserve, the sort of preposterous loser real estate development deals that Biscuit Run represents where yet again the taxpaying public gets to pony up to cover a bad deal is what's the topic here. Not Cash for Clunkers, or Volker raising interest rates to bring down inflation.

The Savings and Loan scandal was a bunch of money being used to build useless condos and 'business parks' for which there was no real economic demand, made possible by the churn from deregulation, and when it all collapsed, the tax paying public got to use it's money to bail those S&Ls out. Just like now. Thankfully, it all unravalled in time to save us from having the realization of the full disaster.

Quoting some book with a single sentence three times over is NOT making a remote intellectual argument Cville Eye, and it doesn't even begin to touch into what might represent an economical argument. I'll sit here and laugh about that attempt until you can actually show you understand something like basic monetary policy.

Yepper, U.S. Senator is generally considered to be a step up from state governor. Senators affect the nation generally and serve six-year terms. Virginia governors who become US Senators could run again for governor. I don't recall anyone recently choosing to do that. Actually, the only Virginia US Senator in recent memory to then run for governor was Paul Trible, and that was because he chose not to run for reelection for the Senate because it was generally thought that he would lose to Chuck Robb.

"They have also done a great deal of good, such as; developing the Pavillion, the Downtown Mall, The Belmont area, the new Live Arts Building, the new Music Resource Center Facility, the new Boys and Girls Club facility."

Just the facts? More like revisionist history!

A park seems like candy, doesn't it? However, it's really the gift of a cell phone, with a cellphone plan attached. We get to pay for the cellphone plan, but have no idea how much it will (or did) cost. Not a great lollipop, in my humble opinion.

Hunter Craig was bailed out. Why? We deserve to know how much our sweets cost. I agree, more information must be provided. Otherwise, this looks like another deal to bail out a rich, white local boy. (and his high-flying gang).

The proposal for the bailout came out of Carter's office in 1979. If you can't see a parallel that's your problem. BUT, I would take your comments more seriously if you would take that Democrat/Republican toothpick out of your teeth. As to which party voted for what, no additional credence is added. Also, your combativeness is getting tiring. The quote I gave you said succintly my point. There's additional information presented on that page that could lead you to additional information. I'm not writing a dissertation for you. Nor do I plan to argue with you because I don't give a rat's foot about trying to make Democrats look good.

No sympathy@

It wasn't Belmont residents falling down in the street drunk outside Bel Rio the other week. They were those special 'outsiders' that C-Ville Eye wants to crow about.

As for residents, those who live in the area that the city is so desparately trying to develop aren't the ones vomiting in the street. They use their toilette when they get the flux, just like in Greenbriar.

You are right, though, Belmont is not Keswick. What is Keswick anyways? A post office, not a neighborhood in a city. Nobody lives in Keswick, they live on farms outside of Keswick. Just like I grew up on.

Making stupid false analogies liek you just did just weakens your argument. I guess you are another jealous Belmont wannabee.

Greenbriar and Park Street ar

Funny I didn't hear people complaining about all of those millions the feds paid out in "Cash for Clunkers" and I haven't heard anyone compplaining about all of those millions in tax credits the feds are giving out this year to home buyers.
As for developmeiot, I guess people would like to harken bact to the days when all of the land was owned by Belmont plantation.

poor white trash is the same as the N word... The N word describes poor black trash....

There is nothing "racist" about it. It does not describe an entire race. It describes a group of people within a race and a particular behavior...

poor white trash: white people who like to blow stuff up while someone holds their beer. They litter, play either country music, elvis or southern rock at all hours at all levels. The wives often out weigh the husbands. They like to fix their own cars and think about daisy duke when yanking the old crank. they wear wife beaters and ratty underwear while they watch TV.

Poor hispanic trash: They are always cooking something. the women often love to clean . They also love to wear pants two sizes too small. They dye their hair in the front yard in the summertime and sleep 6 to a room. They love coronas and jose cuervo. One of the their favorite story opening lines is " you m--f--rs are not gonna belive this sh-t listen up....."

Euro trash: people who think america sucks but won't leave. They have no conscience about stiffing you for a service. The men dress a little effeminate but are not usually gay... The women think they are exotic and that all men desire them. They are often dirty people who lack hygiene.

These are observations that I could back up with a video camera and about a weeks worth of investigation.

While it may be offensive to you these things have all been garnered from comedy routines of people like George lopez, jeff foxworthy, ron white and even richard pryor.

deal with it.

Cvlle eye, I usually find you to be one of the more sensible commenters on the local blogs. I'm really confused by whatever bug has thrown your system out of whack in the past couple of days. It's like your comments on another topic are getting forward to this one somehow. What do "Cash for clunkers," or tax credits have to do with either the original topic of the article or any of the tangents other comments have taken?

re:"The proposal for the bailout came out of Carter’s office in 1979."

I think you're misunderstanding your own quote Cville Eye. 1979 is (according to your quote) the year that Paul Volcker was appointed to the Fed chairmanship by Jimmy Carter. He was REAPPOINTED in 1983 by Ronald Reagan.

The Savings and Loan "bailout" started happening in 1987.

Pretty prescient for Jimmy Carter to propose the bailout 8 years prior. Awfully nice of Ronald Reagan to approve it 8 years after it was proposed. Those last two sentences were completely sarcastic.

This is all off topic, but it's odd that you would try to make some point about Jimmy Carter and get all your facts completely wrong.

Sorry, this keyboard isn't working right. I tried to type "Who said anything about housing loans? The problem was the lack of reserves."

that was supposed to be "Uva professionals."

Cville Eye, plenty of people complained about the Cash for Clunkers plan, and I was one of them. It was just one more bailout to companies with crappy management. The only argument was that it kept some people employed. This deal hasn't done anything to keep people employed.

Government giveaways are common to both parties. Compared to the greener pastures of the commercial banks, the S&Ls' opportunities for financial chicanery were slight, so there wasn't a great deal of corruption there. The trouble began when Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (commonly called "the Fed") in late 1979.Compared to the greener pastures of the commercial banks, the S&Ls' opportunities for financial chicanery were slight, so there wasn't a great deal of corruption there. The trouble began when Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (commonly called "the Fed") in late 1979. [Take the Rich Off Welfare by Mark Zepezauer and Arthur Naiman.Odonian Press, 1996] http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Corporate_Welfare/S&L_Bailout.html
And, of course there's President Obama's non-stimulating Stimulus Funds.

Won't this new parkeed employees?

"Also, the quote did not mention Capshaw, but, rather ââ?¬Å?they.” which I took to mean members of DMB."

I don't know what you're reading, but the part I quoted and responded to certainly mentioned Capshaw and Hunter.

"Have people like Capshaw and Hunter made a lot of money in this town? Sure. They have also done a great deal of good, such as; developing the Pavillion, the Downtown Mall, The Belmont area, the new Live Arts Building, the new Music Resource Center Facility, the new Boys and Girls Club facility.

Also, I didn't write anything that said Capshaw hadn't contributed to Live Arts or other local organization. In fact I said I appreciated the good he has done for the local area and that's exactly what I was referring to. I said he didn't develop that building or Belmont. You may want to go back a few comments or maybe even start from the top again if you are having trouble following along.

First Community Bank should go after Hunter Craig and all others involved. The governor just saved their backsides. How can you sell something without paying off the loan on it? The failure and refusal by this governor to disclose all the details to the general public who are going to end of paying for this mess will haunt Kaine if he ever does decide to seek higher office. Why should we pay to keep big players like this from having to file bankruptcy or suffer financial loss? We do not need a 1200 acre park in southern Albemarle - what we do need is better roads and some businesses. It's time Albemarle County realizes that Thomas Jefferson is never going to wake up and look down from his precious mountain! What you have on the south side of Cville is a bunch of large farms owned by the big players in town. If you want to use that 1200 acres for something, try something that will make money and not cost us money. We tired of paying to save big dogs who make stupid decisions.

Tax credit issue to be "worked out privately?"

Are you kidding?

This "deal" stinks. It has the odor of a fraud, a crime perpetrated upon Virginia taxpayers, a smoke-filled room scam among the high and mighty. It is also an enormous blotch on Tim Kaine's career.

Where in the world did Kaine suddenly get the cash for the purchase when the state is nearly bankrupt, when it has been shutting down restrooms on the interstate?

How can developers pay $45 million for land at the pinnacle of the real-estate bubble and get bailed out completely at the bottom of the crash?

How can they be granted tax credits from a nearly bankrupt commonwealth? What are those credits worth and who pays for them, in fact? Are the developers no only being bailed out, but are they going to actually turn a profit here? At taxypayer expense?

Who is going to tear apart the terms and details of this "deal" and accurately report the truth?

Is there any honorable elected official from Albemarle County willing to take a stand?

The Internal Revenue Service had better be on its toes here.

What I find interesting is the pathetic bleat complaining about proffers making the development unavailable from a slum landlord like spurzum. Property developer? In a pigs eye. He won't do anything to his rentals until the entire community has already done all the legwork, and then he tries to sell it at a big profit basing it on the tax base around him. Eventually he'll spend some money, if he can't sell at his ridiculous inflated prices.

Property developers are in it to make a big profit, and often do it by dumping the expense on local residents by increasing the demand for community resrouces, like roads, school, sewer lines, etc. The proffers are their to start mitigating those costs onto the property itself.

Economics 101 says that if the house cannot be sold for a price that covers all the costs of building those houses, and their increased load on infrastructure, then the economic climate does not support them.

While I support the tax credits for large property owners who would rather place a property in conservation status than have it be sold to developers like this, I don't think that someone should have their cake and eat it, which is what has happened once again with Biscuit Run.

I think that a lot of people would consider U.S. Senator a higher office than Virginia governor. Chuck Robb did. George Allen. Mark Warner.

A state park in Charlottesville? Woweeee!!! Great for tourism!

Now maybe City Council will want to bail out Halsey Minor's sorry a$$ and finish The Landmark Hotel, because what this City really needs is a nice place to stay after you've been romping in mature forest all day! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

BTW, Hunter Craig and friends don't get to keep the taxpayers' cash. The bank gets it, even if he's helping the bank along to be taken over by the FDIC. Thank G*d he didn't use a local bank to fund his egomania, eh? That's just what we need: failed community banks.

Hunter Craig hasn't been made "whole," as his publicist keeps saying.

But he's been made a LOT more "whole" THAN HE DESERVES.

Disappointed to see local boys Dave and body involved in this development. They have done so much good for the City and this would have had a huge negative impact on many citizens. Well they dodged the bullet this time. Wonder what they were thinkng ?

What was the Governor thinking?

Front page headline today's Washington Post: "Region in dire budget straits: shortfalls in the billiions"

And Kaine funded a park?

The Biscuit Run developers, good businessmen who profited during the upside of the economy, should be left to fend for themselves in the downside of the collapse, just like every other financial speculator who took a beating. Why did Kaine bail them out?

I would like to add my praise to the Hook for its coverage of this story and the other important stories the past year that no one else touched: the Landmark hotel, Van der Linde, Morgan Harrington.

The investors DID get bailed out in that they will end up with more from this deal than the open market.

They didn't "donate" anything. They pulled strings and sold it to the state at taxpayers expense. For weeks people have been claiming that Tim Kaine had no connection... now Boyd Tinsley steps forward and we find out the truth.

In all fairness I think he must have been played by the Bankers into believeing he was making a donation because he has shown to be a generous person of high Integrity.

Tim Kaine has just proven himself to be wreckless with taxpayer money to help get some future credits, be it to be Senator, vice President or just some DMB box seats.

Sad, very sad.

@mike, which of the organizations are you saying that DMB has not contributed?

Belmont has always been and will always be just another mediocre neighborhood with a mix of people who think they are hip and renters who don't and will never care. Mixed in are poor white trash and semi homeless hippies.

Belmont has always been and will always be just another mediocre neighborhood with a mix of people who think they are hip and renters who don’t and will never care. Mixed in are poor white trash and semi homeless hippies.

How many hippies have law degrees and can afford half million dollar homes? The poor white trash areas aren't in Belmont, and they sure aren't the areas where Crapshaw and all the wonderful generous business magnates are showing up to do much ' development.' Nope, they are all over where people already comepletely renovated homes in the 90's.

Oh Cville eye, and on the crime thing, just speak to the Owner of Mas, and the police about what crime has shown up since the inception of the Pavillion.

Cville Eye:

I am hardly one person with that opinion. Talk to any of the people who live around it, as well as a number of residents from locations like Park Street and also near C-Ville Highschool. Who cares what a bunch of outsiders who don't live next to it and come over to get drunk and vomit on the streets think? They aren't paying the bills to maintain the neighborhood. They didn't know how ncie it was until other clubs got closed down, and they needed a new place to pretend they are 'hipster wannabees.' You wanna be hip with cool places to eat? Do it in your own neighborhood.

I am sure you would love it C-ville Eye if all the residents of Belmont came over and threw trash in your yard, broke into your cars, and vomited on your sidewalk every night, you would think it's great too, right? Wasn't a problem before all the great 'development.'

Residents in Belmont not only spent a lot of money making Belmont a nice neighborhood to live in again, they did it without the help of "CRAPSHAW" , who only showed up after the fact, when somebody else did the hard work.

Who cares what city council thinks? They have lots of commercial real estae available no one wants to touch near the mall. Why is that? Oh, because unlike Belmont, the surrounding neighborhood's aren't that nice, and no business wants to set up shop in a rough neighborhood to make it nice. They want to do it after somebody else has done all the hard. City Counil is clueless, and seem to think the new Democrat is being a Republican where the taxpaying residents live to subsidize failed business models.

And yes, the Pavillion is a poor business model, subsidized by the taxpayer.

Just because there are a few half million dollar houses in Belmont doesn't make it Keswick. All you need to do is drive through and you will see the same crapholes that have been there since the 1950s. Belmont was blue collar and no matter how many dianond earings ou hang on a pig it is what it is.

And lots of people who vomit in Belmont live in Belmont.

The remark about the residents of Belmont was totally offensive. Calling people there white trash is no different than using the n-word for residents of predominantly African-American neighborhoods.
I lived in Belmont for over 10 years. It is a diverse neighborhood, there are owners and renters, blue -collar workers, Iva professionals, artists,retired folks,black, white, Asian, Hispanic and everyone you could name. In other words, it "looks like America."

@wigwamsnarkydog, you seem to know these people intimately.

In response to "Just another scam by the rich and the State ripping us taxpayers off while the big wigs get their rears saved with our money." The rich aren't the only people benefitting from the massive amounts of government giveaways is my point. Same principle in my view. BTW mike, you usually make a lot of sense, too.

It is ironic that they spent all this money on parks when people will just drive strait through because as a state we are so rude as to not even offer them a place to pee.

Hey no sympathy, thanks for justifying why the Pentagon budget needs to be cut in half and all those employees of Halliburton, Blackwater (Xe) and any number of other contractors fired.

I never said I like the State buying the Park so I don't know what you are talking about.

I hope you were as angry about the Savings and Loan scandal all those TARP bailouts too, because those billions of money thrown into useless realestate deals like Biscuit Run was going to be is why we keep getting these jobless recoveries from the GOP economies. All that money could have gone into real innovation and producing real goods and services.

It's always nice to see how unregulated markets can suck all the dollars and future producing ability right out of the true entrepreneurs and business people. You know, bad money chasing out good.

Cville Eye, tahanks for just making a complete fool of yourself as you fail to see what I did because I don't let my emotions get in the way of facts. I 'll tack up your additional ignorant comment about my combatitive nature to the same category: you are wrong.

Next time read the literature you claim to be quoting in threesome's so you might have fricken' clue about what the economical argument 'might' have been. Don't just run and quote it so you can try and score some ideological political point.

No bailing out Chrysler is not the same principle as the bank bailout. Fraud and ponzi schemes enabled through 'deregulation' were not at the heart of it and the US financial sector was not facing complete systemic collapse due to Chrysler's woes. That I would tie to the Cash For Clunkers debacle and neither has anything to do with Biscuit Run and real estate schemes. At least the car companies actually produce something other than churn.

yepper - Cville Eye seems to have confused himself with the other red herring about minorities getting the same treatment in housing loans as everyone else. You know, that thing that must have been acorn once again taking control of the entire financial industry and somehow 25 years later destroying it....

whosad anytingbout a housing oan Te polem w reserves.

yepper, you are absolutely 100% correct. In 1980, Jimmy Carter signed legislation to bailout Chrysler. I've got to stop trying to do three things at one time, knowing fully well that my mind kind only concentrate on one thing at a time. Same principle, though.

The people who took their eye off the ball were all of us when we allowed the Democrat and Republican leadership to split us apart with their left/right radical agendas.

I believe that if we gathered 100 people together we could hammer out 99% of the issues without leaving the middle of the road. The problem is that we allow the few holdouts on either side to get away with the treasury everytime while we are debating.

They would not have needed reserves if people had payed their bills.

This mess was created by people who spent money they didn't have by LYING on mortgage applications.

That is bank fraud and it is too bad they didn't put everbody in jail for conspiracy from the borrower to the broker to the lender to the jerks on wall street who used the greed of all the others to defraud investors who were supposed to be protected by the SEC.

It started with people LYING to get something they have not earned.

In retrospect:
The mortgage buyers were punished with loss of their homes and credit. (and their jobs in many cases because of the resultant meltdown)

The brokers were never punished and still should be. I don't feel sorry for the ones that lost their jobs because they never should have existed anyway.

The banks have not suffered they got bailed out and are going to be raping and pilaging again in no time.

Wall street brokers are doing ok (the herd should have never grown that large anyway)

The pension funds and little old ladies that invested in blue chips based on ratings got SCRWED royal and will never recover (and they are the most innocent in the entire debacle)

Then we have the SEC, the government workers PAID WELL to look after our interests.. asleep at the wheel.
Their incompetence STAGGERING and yet they all have their jobs benfits and retiremnt all intact.

The real victim in all of this???? THE US taxpayer who paid the government for services it did not get, who continue to pay the banks outrageous fees because the government created an envrionment where it is too hard for small banks to get started. who will continue to pay all of the unemployment benefits, stimlus and bailouts until this debacle is behind us and who will pay FOREVER to pay off the debt these idiots are creating trying to solve this.

welcome to America. but hey we only had to pay 9.8 million for a FREE park...

Just another scam by the rich and the State ripping us taxpayers off while the big wigs get their rears saved with our money.

This will be a huge plus for Kaine if he ever decides to run for higher office. My assessment of the community is that there are far more supporters than detractors, of the plan, to have a state park at this site

Thanks Courteney,

Great reporting. The Hook continues to be the only local media outlet where I can get the inside scope on all these local stories. Happy New Year and keep up the great work !

Comments regarding Tim Kaine and "higher office" are a little shallow. There is really only one office "higher" than governor of a state and I don't think anyone has ever considered Tim Kaine to be presidential timbre (not a knock on him).

As for the sniping about not thanking the taxpayers, it's hard to see how or why such a biased statement would be placed in the title of an article. Tim Kaine also did not thank Jesus Christ, his mother nor the Lord Almighty.

If the article is an opinion piece, that's one thing. But the fact is that it is merely opinion to state that he should thank the taxpayers, no matter how self-evident that opinion appears to the author of the article.

I keep hearing on the radio that Gov. Kaine said that a state park was needed near Charlottesville for a long time. Needed for what? State parks can have several functions. Since it has not been determined how this one is to function, how can any intelligent person say that there is a need for its function? Fortunately we are aware that Kaine is a politician so we really don't pay attention to what he actually says.

The fact is that there are 100 senators and 50 governors.

Term-limits resulted in Robb, Warner and Allen going from the governor's mansion to the senate, not rank or prestige. If Virginia didn't have such a restrictive term limit on its governor, it is doubtful Virginians would consider the senate to be 'higher office'.

Even if you considered the senate to be "higher-office", it will be a minimum of 8 years before a senate seat is open for a loyal democrat such as Tim Kaine. So this points out the absurdity of the threat of losing an election has on Governor Kaine.

People are free to believe that there is absolutely nothing good to be gained from the government creating park land, but that does not mean that this opinion is fact. The notion that Tim Kaine should be thanking the taxpayers every time he opens his mouth or that his every move is calculated towards 'higher office' is kind of facile and strikes me as not very serious.

A more serious analysis would most likely result in the notion that Governor Kaine believes park land to be intrinsically valuable and that he believes himself to be acting in the public good. This may be hard to believe for your typical fox news watching, tea-bagging cynics, but that does not make it less true.

Th state park should help Monticello attendance, and tourism in general in this area. If you think that is a good thing!

Tim Kaine is a big booster of Va. State Parks. He vacations in them and runs radio and TV spots about them, as I recall it.

The fact is there are 50 Governors and one NFL commissioner.

This is just a way to help the wealthy folks south of town keep out the riff-raff that they want to keeping moving in to new homes north of town.

Jim, NFL commissioner is not government office elected by the American People. Thanks for playing.

As an investor in Biscuit Run, I would like to set a few people straight.

-Investors are losing a lot of money, as we should. We took risks and we lost and we are paying the price, end of story. There is no windfall coming to us at tax payer expense.

-No one got bailed out. The investors had a need to get out and the Governor saw a need for a park and to preserve land (which he has been doing his whole time in office.) Two parties made the best out of a bad situation.

-There was no fraud. Did Hunter come up with a creative way to get out of a bad investment (without losing everything) by taking advantage of tax breaks? Yes. Was it a fraud? No, all completely legal. Its the same tax breaks that helps motivate people to donate to the United Way or the Red Cross or any charity for that matter.

-Would you rather have a park or a half developed, eye sore that is stuck in default and lawsuits like the Landmark Hotel?

-Have people like Capshaw and Hunter made a lot of money in this town? Sure. They have also done a great deal of good, such as; developing the Pavillion, the Downtown Mall, The Belmont area, the new Live Arts Building, the new Music Resource Center Facility, the new Boys and Girls Club facility.

I hate to break it to you, but Capshaw has NOT developed Belmont. Individual property owners committed to the neighborhood properties have developed Belmont. Capshaw backed a few businesses interested in particpating in the resrugance taking place there.

As far as the pavillion is concerned, I would hardly see that as something as a 'benefit' to the downtown, and it was damaging to Belmont. The sound levels were detrimental, and crime has grown, not declined, in that area since it was built. Additonally, he has effectively taken away a public space for personal profit and gains. I find the Pavillion the height of fascism, where a taxpaying public subsidizes a private concern, as well as has to pay for all the spillover costs.

Thanks, but I think plenty of Charlottesville does fine without the ' benefit' of Capshaw, and in many cases, would do far better.

C-ville eye DMb and Capshaw are not one and the same.

We don't know who all of the investors are. Capshaw may may not have been one. Nothing but the facts feels what's going on in Belmont is good. So does City Council. Obviously so do the hundreds of outsiders who come into the downtown Belmont every week. I can understand why Caesonia doesn't, but she can only speak for herself. As for ian increase in crime, that remains to be proven. I will say this, also. Because of the night scene in Belmont now and the noise that comes form the Pavillion personally I wouldn't look at a house in north Belmont to live in. That's just me.

Cville Eye, where does that question even come from? I honestly don't pay close attention to the band, but neither Hunter Craig nor Coran Capshaw are in the DMB from what I recall. "Nothing but the facts" may have referenced the band obliquely, but mentioned those two by name.

I certainly appreciate the good that Coran Capshaw and the DMB have doe for C'ville, but what did Capshaw have to do with developing Belmont or the Downtown Mall? The Pavillion was anything but a gift to the city, it was a sweet deal that turned public space into private space and allows the private person who was given control of the space a captive audience to pump his own beer into. Capshaw certainly didn't develop the City Center for Contemporary Art the building that Live Arts shares with 2 other tenants and which is not called the Live Arts Building. Neither of those made downtown, they were more than anything signs that downtown was changing already.

Now if I'm not mistaken, we do have Mr. Capshaw to thank for some very uninspiring townhouses near the old train station.

@mike, do you know for a fact that Capshaw didn't contribute to the Live Arts group? I don't follow him generally so I don't know (or care). I do know he owns several restaurants downtown that bring people to eMall. His shows at the Pavillion and the old Jefferson Theater bring thousands of people to that normal almost-empty area. Also, the quote did not mention Capshaw, but, rather "they." which I took to mean members of DMB. Which members invested in Biscuit Rund I neither know nor care. It's their business.

HollowBoy, I totally agree. I am glad Belmont isn' t like Keswick. I guess 'nice' neighborhoods are only those with extremely wealthy white people living in them. I think the mix in Belmont is what makes it special. Obviously the people who invested money in redoing homes there liked the mix as well.

Poor or wealthy, no resident should be subjected to the abuse from 'developments' by outsiders wanting to force their own image on a neighborhood. It was really laughable to read about how Capshaw supposedly developed it. In a Pig's Eye, just like his version of the Pavillion was better for the City. Somehow all these supposedly artistic venues for the community never end up really being for community artists or people to introducte their children to art.

Here is a perfect example why the public will never know all the facts about Biscut Run. This was a discussion about Biscut Run wasn't it? Just the facts gave us a few facts about the topic plus a few completely unrelated opinions in his last sentence,and here you are having a heated discussion about people puking in Belmont.Pinch yourselves!These movers and shakers bank on the publics' short attention span,otherwise an ill conceived development like this would not almost have happened at all.We must ALL keep our eyes on the ball.I would like our BOS to be compeled to deliver a full public report to us at their next meeting.Give us some documented answers-thank you.

I am not a Fox watching tea bagger. I am glad that we are getting a State Park in the area. I am glad that we aren't getting 3,000 new homes in the area. We already have far to many people in the area. However - Though Kaine may vacation in State Parks he also vacations at a private resort owned by a local, wealthy businessman. There was no question that there was special treatment in this deal. There is no question that $46 million is an unrealistic assessment of the value of the property at the time the deal was cut. There is no question that spending millions of dollars on this state park while you close rest stops is pretty bad.

And this deal will have no bearing on whether I vote for Kaine if he ever runs for office. I don't like him and think he is a self righteous hypocrite. I don't smoke cigarettes and didn't patronize resturants that allowed smoking. If a bar owner felt it was in his best interest to allow smoking but lose my business it is his decision. Kaine has decided that he will no longer allow me or the business owner to make the decision for ourselves. The only reason I voted for him last time was because the alternative was so much worse.