4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Largest gathering of the faithful: Close to 2,000 members of Interfaith Movement Promoting Actions by Congregations Together– IMPACT– rally at U-Hall March 10 to demand local elected city and county officials spend more on affordable housing and dental care for the working poor.  

Longest gathering: The General Assembly did not have a budget together March 8, the day this year's session was supposed to end, but the faithful believe one will be hammered out this week.

Most vigilant about French kissing: Legislators can't pass a budget, but they make tongue-kissing a child a misdemeanor– and the perp has to register as a sex offender.

Worst loss of a civil rights leader: The Reverend Henry Silva, 83, a lifelong activist who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and who continued to strive for racial equality after he moved to Charlottesville in 1992, dies March 4.

Worst driving: A Mercedes going an estimated 60mph on Highland Avenue March 5 takes out a utility pole and crashes into a wall on Robertson Avenue, according to WINA. The driver flees on foot, and police follow his blood trail to capture him in a backyard on Center Avenue.

Worst deja-vu: Van Halen cancels its March 11 show at JPJ.

Best break for weekend inmates: A flu outbreak at Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail excuses those serving weekend-only sentences March 7-9. Visitation to the jail is canceled after 40 confirmed cases of the flu and another 30 to 40 are suspected, according to Tasha Kates in the Progress.

Best alien death match: AmeriCorps comes to Charlottesville to combat invasive plant species on publicly owned land. A team of 11 volunteers from the National Civilian Community Corps will be here March 10-April 18 fighting kudzu and malodorous ailanthus. Locals are welcome to join the battle against Oriental bittersweet and the multiflora rose by calling 970-3585.

Almost as good as home pregnancy tests: SpermCheck Vasectomy Test, developed by UVA's John C. Herr, director of the school's Center for Research in Contraceptive and Reproductive Health, is approved by the FDA to monitor at home the success of a vasectomy.

Biggest Republican changing of the guard: Albemarle GOP chairman Keith Drake announces he won't seek another term so he can focus on Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance, and vice chair Christian J. Schoenewald says he intends to seek the top Republican spot in the county.

Most shocking side of "buy local": The "food miles" and the energy consumed by vendors and customers at the popular Charlottesville City Market work out to about 13,000 kilowatt-hours– the amount of energy the average household uses in one year, according to UVA engineering student Lauren Doucette in her senior thesis.

Most rabid: Last year had the most cases of rabies reported– 730– since 1982, which had 745. Raccoons continue to be the most rabid species with 359 cases, while 36 cats and 5 dogs tested positive, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Best place to find drugs: In the water supply of 24 metropolitan areas, according to an Associated Press investigation. In Virginia Beach's water, traces of antidepressants and ibuprofen are found, but Charlottesville's should test negative because we don't drink treated waste water.

Best vindication for bottom painter: Former Chesterfield art teacher Stephen Murmer, who uses his derriere and genitals to apply paint to canvas for his off-duty art, is awarded $65,000 by the Chesterfield County School Board for his January 2007 firing.