4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Least likely to seek re-election: One-term City Councilor Kendra Hamilton announces she won't run again and will instead focus on her writing career– she published a book of poetry in September– and working on her Ph.D, Seth Rosen reports in the Daily Progress.
Best news for Crozet pedestrians: Years after citizens worked on the vaunted Crozet Master Plan touting walkability, work finally begins March 1 on a streetscape project. During the three-month construction, walking along Crozet Avenue could be hazardous.
Pettiest slight to same-sex partners of UVA staff: They aren't allowed university gym access, although Virginia Tech offers that benefit to all of its current and retired employees, according to an Aaron Kessler story in the Progress.
Least likely to win parents of the year: Augusta residents Steve and Heather Tomlin face felony cruelty charges for keeping their two teen daughters locked in their rooms with portable toilets, NBC29 reports.
Most unreliable eyewitnesses: Older adults, who are more prone to make errors in remembering details and are more adamant in asserting their alleged accuracy, according to UVA assistant psychology prof Chad Dodson.
Best merger of two groups we kinda thought were the same anyway: The Virginia Piedmont Technology Council and the Charlottesville Venture Group announce they'll join forces as VPTC+CVG until they can come up with a better name.
Best federal largesse: The Department of Housing and Urban Development awards $21 million to support homeless programs in Virginia. Of Charlottesville's $215K piece of the pie, Region Ten gets $144,000; the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission get $71,000.
Least supportive of agricultural efforts: A federal grand jury in Charlottesville indicts Geoffrey Allan Cummings, 53, for growing more than 300 pot plants on his property in Louisa. If convicted, he could get a life sentence, a $2.5 million fine, and forfeit his farm to the U.S. government.
Bust least worthy of a press release: Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force– JADE– touts an undercover operation on West Main February 22 that nets 10 grams of crack cocaine with a street value of $2,000. Larry Jermaine Jones, 24, of Palmyra is charged.
Best get: UVA students cruising around on the spring Semester at Sea program get to hang with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is the Distinguished Lecturer in Residence. The itinerary includes six days in Cape Town, South Africa.
Best way to read GW's diary: Electronically. The University of Virginia Press and the Papers of George Washington at UVA have teamed up to put 52 volumes of the first president's writings at rotunda.upress.virginia.edu.
Best reason to watch Jack Nicholson in The Shining again: Bad parenting falls under the just-announced theme of the 20th Virginia Film Festival– "Kin Flicks"– about family life on the big screen, coming up November 1-4.
Most likely to buy Apple: Sixty-seven percent of UVA's first years own an iPod, and 20 percent use a Mac, according to a UVA technology survey, which found in 2002 that just three percent were Mac users. (97 percent of students now own a laptop.)
Best free publicity for Publishers Clearing House: The company barrages local media with word that resident Betty Cromer is one of 210 finalists for $10 million and that the Prize Patrol Van could be pulling up in front of her house February 28, after the Hook's deadline. Good luck, Betty.
Worst: Earlysville resident Evelyn Riner, 62, tells NBC29 she was conned out of $10,000 after she was told she'd won $4.5 million.
Biggest chitlin feed: Nearly 800 people flock to Nelson County February 17 for the Piney River Volunteer Fire Department's annual chitterlings dinner, the Nelson County Times reports.