4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Most horrifying footage: Albemarle police release the video of wheelchair-bound Gerry Mitchell being struck by Officer Gregory C. Davis– to the soundtrack of "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas– as he crosses West Main Street.

Most terrifying time of year: Virginia's General Assembly goes into session January 9 to consider 3,000 bills and pass as many new laws as possible during its two-month session.

Biggest lift: The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority recommends lifting the drought warning January 2, although a drought watch remains in place.

Biggest blimp: Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul floats about Fashion Square Mall on Christmas Eve, courtesy of Jack Faw, according to WCAV [see cover story, page xx].

Latest NIMBY news: A Weather Hill Development plan to build 19 houses on a 6.2-acre wooded parcel off Park Street unsurprisingly has more than 40 neighbors signing a petition protesting the project, Seth Rosen reports in the Progress. The developer decides to defer its January 8 Planning Commission hearing and to work on keeping more trees.

Most safe rides: The Chandler Group, a personal injury law firm, pays for 912 cab rides home to those who've been imbibing alcohol during December; the firm says it has provided 28,000 rides since the program began in 1990. 

Best local media saturation: Attorney General Bob McDonnell appears January 8 on WINA's  "the Schilling Show" and again January 9 on "Charlottesville Right Now."

Lowest attendance: In 2007, Monticello hosts 441,739 visitors, the fewest in 30 years, the DP reports.

Newest chairperson: Former UVA treasurer Alice Handy starts a two-year term as head of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Board of Trustees. No word yet on the successor to foundation president Dan "Mr. Monticello" Jordan, who plans to retire November 1.

Newest chairman of the subcommittee: Delegate Rob Bell becomes chair of a subcommittee on Mental Health Commitment, under the House Courts of Justice Committee. Other local Delegate David Toscano is also on the subcommittee.

Last day to register to vote in Virginia's February 12 primary: Monday, January 14.

Best endorsement for a political run in 2028: The Washington Post picks six young people who conceivably could be running for president in 20 years, including UVA second-year Eugene Resnick, 19, president of College Democrats of Virginia.

Best deals in public colleges: Kiplinger's ranks the top 100 values, and deems UVA the third best value (after UNC and the University of Florida) and the College of William and Mary number 4. Also listed are University of Mary Washington (#14), Virginia Tech (#17), James Madison University (#22), George Mason University (#77), and Longwood University (#91). 

Worst blow to affordable shopping: Goody's Family Clothing announces it will close its Barracks Road store January 31, Tasha Kates reports in the Progress.

Best top o' the fold Progress headline: "Boosting the female libido" arouses reader interest on the December 29 cover. 

Most unfortunate juxtaposition: Female libido bumps into "Assembly to focus on mentally ill" on the same page.

Best Muhammad Ali anecdote: In the January issue of Esquire, producer David Brown, 91, husband of longtime Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, remembers attending a party in Charlottesville 10 years ago where everyone was dancing and he was left at the table with Ali, who asked, "Tell me, can you still get it up?" Replied Brown, "Yeah, not great, but from time to time, yes." Ali said, "Just curious." Says Brown, who co-produced the block-buster shark film Jaws, "I was charmed by the moment."