4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest 180: Albemarle's chairman of the Board of Supervisors, David Slutzky, who memorably compared last year's tax increase to the price of a pizza and beer once a month, says March 11 that he could not in good conscience ask for an increase. The supes, which earlier asked county exec Bob Tucker to prepare a budget based on 77-cent rate, voted to advertise a 74.5 cents per $100 assessed value rate, and claim that with property assessments down, taxpayers would pay the same as they did under the current 71-cent rate. Brandon Shuleeta has the story in the Daily Progress.
Latest for kayaking pot farmer: Steven C. Manning, 64, gets 50 days in jail on a suspended 10-year-sentence, according to Media General News Service. Manning was busted last year as he rowed away from his remote marijuana patch that had 104 plants.
Latest armed robbery of UVA students: Two are mugged early March 15 at 15th St. NW by three black males. Police arrest a 17-year-old with a BB gun, WCAV reports.
Oddest home invasion: Two 50-something white men take $7,500 in cash from a Greenwood Station Road home around 12:30pm March 9, according to Albemarle police.
Biggest Alford plea: While maintaining his innocence, Jemel Walon Ross waives a second trial in the voluntary manslaughter of his tenant and co-worker Gerald Everett Washington II on March 14, 2006, after a September 2008 mistrial, according to Tasha Kates in the Progress. An Alford plea recognizes the prosecution has enough evidence to convict.
Longest sentence for soliciting a police officer posing as a teenage girl online: Former Howard University soccer coach Joseph Okoh gets 14 years March 16 for driving from Arlington to Louisa for a tryst in January 2008. NBC29 has the story.
Least successful power shift: Charlottesville Planning Commission nixes a proposal by city staff to restrict City Council's review of appeals of Board of Architectural Review decisions to a technical review, rather than the current de novo, which starts the process over. The March 10 meeting considered this among seven zoning amendments, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports.
Biggest threat to affordable housing: Staff suggests a change to the zoning ordinance to lower the number of unrelated people living together from four to three in R2-U zones– in this case, near UVA north of Fontaine Avenue– when it combed the ordinance to correct typos, but also suggested the Planning Commission defer that decision.
Highest-profile nonprofit job opening: Mayor Dave Norris plans to leave his position as executive director of PACEM– People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry– to search for a new professional challenge.
First filer: Former Fifth District congressman Virgil Goode registers up with the Federal Election Commission March 12 for the 2010 race, according to Scott Shenk in the Progress. Goode narrowly lost in 2008 to challenger Tom Perriello.
Best get: Miss Manners– Judith Martin– signs on for "The Civility Project: Where George Washington Meets the Twenty-First Century," the brainchild of Washington papers editor-in-chief Theodore Crackel, who noticed the paucity of civility among students, the Cav Daily reports. Miss Manners will be at the Rotunda for the project's 10:30am March 20 kick-off, and students will be asked to contribute etiquette rules for the 21st-century.
Worst time to speed on I-64: The Virginia State Police marshal all resources into Operation Air, Land, and Speed to ticket fast drivers March 13. Since the giant speed trap began in 2006, more than 86,000 tickets have been written.
Best reason to not drink green beer and drive: Albemarle police boosts patrols on March 17 to catch inebriated celebrants of St. Patrick's Day.