HookCast for December 21, 2006

Year in Review, cat shooting means tougher gun laws, attorney vie for judgeship

The Year in Review 2006
It's our annual double issue recapping the year that was and from arrested adolescents to zealous zoning, we've got the highs and lows in Charlottesville area news and culture from 2006. Plus, we give you the skinny on some of our most prominent citizens in Secrets of the HotSeat Sitters, our arts editors single out the best and worst of the year, and our own clairvoyant, the one and only Madam Hook, gazes deep into the future to tell you what 2007 has in store.

Gunning it: Carmen's law gets public hearing
Eight months after Carmen the cat's shocking death by firearm, the fallout continues in the form of potentially stricter gun laws in Albemarle County. On Wednesday, December 13, for the third time in three months, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors talked about toughening the county's gun ordinance. Will the third time be the charm?

The beat: Retiring veteran cop tells all
Though he was one of the Charlottesville Police Department's only African-American police officers, Marvin Townsend just wanted to be treated like any other cop. When that didn't happen, he did something about it, and now after over a quarter century career on the force, the department has changed due in no small part to his efforts.

Jury of one's peers: Wannabe judges plead their cases
In legal circles, an open judgeship is like a chance to compete in the Major Leagues. Many want to play, but few are chosen. Now that a rare spot on the 16th Circuit Court becomes available when Judge Paul Peatross retires January 31, seven local attorneys are vying for the job. Who are they? The Hook has all the details on each lawyer who seeks to ascend to the bench.

• Our man in Africa J. Tayloe Emery reports from the Sahara
* Albemarle police chief Tim Longo exonnerates the officers who shot Elvis Shifflett
* Why our film critic Steve Warren says Little Children is the best film of 2006
*A few famous faces say what they resolve to do in the new year