Mitch Van Yahres, former Charlottesville Mayor and longtime state delegate, passed away unexpectedly yesterday -- a sad loss for his family and for our whole community. As Bob Gibson writes in today's Progress, Mitch was a well-loved figure whose decency, cheerfulness, and tireless commitment to progressive causes made him just the kind of leader we in Charlottesville were proud to call ours. One of the many things I admired about Mitch is that he was never afraid to 'tell it like it is' and stand up for what was right, even when it wasn't always popular to do so. Mitch was a gentle soul, a wise statesman, and a wonderful mentor and example to many (including myself). He will be missed.