4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Least joy in Mudville: UVA falters in the second round of the NCAA, falling 77-74 to Tennessee March 18.
Least celebratory anniversary: The U.S. marks the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq March 19, and locally, members of the Center for Peace and Justice and Code Pink march to protest the war.
Worst fire: A man and woman are in critical condition after an early March 18 fire in a Lewis Mountain Road apartment where the smoke detector in the unit was missing its battery.
Best incentive for civic engagement: Soaring real estate assessment and burgeoning local government budgets send crowds of citizens to City Council chambers and the Albemarle County Office Building.
Biggest bully pulpit: A quorum of four city councilors– Mayor David Brown, Kevin Lynch, Dave Norris and Julian Taliaferro– appear at the SRO interfaith IMPACT rally March 15 along with two Albemarle supervisors– Chairman Ken Boyd and David Slutzky– to be grilled about transit and affordable housing.
Biggest philanthropic jackpot: The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation hands out $148,248 in grants to 22 local nonprofits, including the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, and Jackson Via Elementary.
Best get– graduate level: Universal president and COO Ron Meyers, who co-founded the influential Creative Artists Agency with Michael Ovitz in 1975, speaks at Darden March 20 as part of its 50th anniversary speaker series.
Best get for undergrads: Texas Senator Kay Hutchinson discusses the 2008 elections in Larry Sabato's intro to American politics class March 19, the Cav Daily reports.
Worst place to attempt identity theft: Louisa legal secretary Paula Hufner, 27, opens two credit cards in a law partner's name and adds herself as an authorized user. A federal grand jury indicts her in Charlottesville on nine identity theft and fraud charges, including withdrawing $81,250 from the attorney's bank account, for a total of $145,210 in fraudulent acts.
Worst news for rural backwaters: Younger Virginians are fleeing the state to find better employment opportunities and more attractive lifestyles, leaving a high percentage of elderly citizens that will only grow as Baby Boomers age, according to a recent Weldon Cooper Center study.
Best legislation for keeping UVA donors secret: Information about the university's private endowment funds will be removed from a state auditing website if Governor Tim Kaine signs legislation, the Cavalier Daily reports. The bill's sponsor, state Senator Walter A. Stosch, R-Glen, said private endowment funds are not state funding and shouldn't be on a state database. The university says the information is still accessible if requested, but the legislation keeps donors secure and their donations private.
Most Jeffersonian: Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, architect Zaha Hadid, and educator Anne-Marie Slaughter receive UVA's highest external honors, the 2007 Thomas Jefferson Foundation medals, which are also sponsored by the Foundation that runs Monticello. The recipients get their medals on Founder's Day– April 13– the same day the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression issues its annual Muzzle awards.
Most polluted waters: The DEQ lists the Rivanna River, Preddy Creek, Meadow Creek, Mechums River, and Beaver Creek– in short, almost every local waterway– as teeming with fecal matter.
Most graduates in Congress: Georgetown University has the most– 19– followed by number two UVA with 14 grads, Congressional Quarterly reports on the eve of the NCAA tournament.
Best potential new career for Al Groh: UVA's football coach serves as guest librarian March 15, including a stint at the Alderman reference desk apprenticed to reference librarian Barbie Selby.