4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Most historic: Barack Obama is elected 44th president, the first African-American to hold that job, winning in a landslide November 4. 

Most astounding upset: Ivy Dem Tom Perriello leads by 745 votes at presstime over six-term U.S. Representative Virgil Goode in the Fifth District, where Goode typically crushes his challengers by 20 points. 

Highest voter turnout: Albemarle reports 76 percent of its registered voters cast a ballot November 4, while 69.57 percent of Charlottesvillians go to the polls. 

Clumsiest care of voter information: Two laptops containing names, addresses, and places of birth and driver's license numbers of all registered voters in the city are stolen from Tonsler Park Recreation Center late November 4 or early November 5.

Best prognosticating: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball over at the Center for Politics turns in a near-perfect score in predicting this year's election results, including Obama's 364 Electoral College votes to McCain's 174, all gubernatorial races, all Senate contests that have been officially called, and 98 percent in the 435 House of Representatives races.

Best robo-call: Albemarle School Board Chair Brian Wheeler calls registered voters to invite them to discuss the upcoming school budget, which is looking at a $6 million hit, in a telephone town-hall meeting November 12.

Bluntest: Albemarle Supervisor David Slutzky mulls a run against Delegate Rob Bell– depending on Bell's support of a referendum on a regional transit authority in the General Assembly in January– and according to the Progress, which cites a Charlottesville Tomorrow podcast, says, "We will pillory him in the press. Then we run against him and we kick his a** out. Not to be subtle."  

Latest addition to the 2009 governor race: Former Democratic national chair Terry McAuliffe files November 10 to get on the ballot, which means if he decides to run, he'd face State Senator Creigh Deeds and Delegate Brian Moran in a primary.

Newest coalition: Neighborhoods unite for more clout on city, county, and regional issues in an organization called the Alliance of Neighborhoods.

Biggest rash of sex-with-underage-girls cases: Two men plead guilty in Charlottesville Circuit Court November 4 to having too-young lovers. Jeremias Chagala-Mil, 31, pleads guilty to a rape charge for having sex with a 12-year-old middle schooler who absconded with him in March. He faces life in prison. Alonso Ivan Garcia, 27, pleads guilty to carnal knowledge of a 14-year-old. Both victims thought they were having romantic relationships; both men face sentencing January 9. Tasha Kates has the story in the Progress.

Worst rash of skydiving fatalities: Orange County Airport sees its second death in less than two months when April Haag, 40, dies November 2 from injuries she suffered the day before in a tandem jump with a "hard landing," the AP reports. A Ruckersville man died September 23 when he collided with another jumper.

Weirdest property dispute: Faith Temple Church on Avon Street Extended refuses to allow Wanda Turner Hamilton, 40, to be buried in the Turner family cemetery that borders the church property, claiming the graveyard encroaches on church property. Hamilton died unexpectedly October 26 and wanted to be buried beside her father; the church contends the matter will have to be decided in court, according to Brandon Shulleeta in the Progress. 

Wildest swing: Gas prices go from over $4 a few month ago to under $2.

Frothiest-sounding award: The George Lewis Beer Prize recognizes historical writing, not suds. It goes this year to UVA's Melvyn P. Leffler, an Edward R. Stettinius professor of history at the Miller Center, for his book For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War.


1 comment

Rumours that Tom Periello might be a member of Yale's secretive Skull and Bones fraternity, otherwise known as the Order of the Deathshead, remain unconfirmed. Yikes!