4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Most restrictive: City Council votes August 16 to drop the noise ordinance to 55 decibels between 11pm and 6am in Belmont and to forbid panhandling within 50 feet of Downtown Mall vehicle crossings and accosting those reaching for their wallets at street vendors. Council had previously lowered the noise levels in the spring and banned "aggressive" panhandling in 2003.
Most disturbing trend, part I: Overcriminalization, which has led to the United States having the highest incarceration rates in the world, even when crime rates are going down, according to UVA law prof Darryl Brown, who is advocating to put the brakes on harsher laws and expensive prisons. Tasha Kates has the story in the Progress.
Most disturbing trend, part II: UVA's water usage is up for the fifth year in a row, to 531.29 million gallons, but down from its peak in 1999, when it hit 671.7 million for the fiscal year, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports.
Most strategically timed resignations: When Brian Wheeler resigned from the Albemarle School Board August 5, the same day that Alvin Edwards resigned from the Charlottesville School Board, it wasn't just coincidence. Both men waited to fewer than 90 days before the November 2 general election, which means their successors to finish their terms will be chosen by the school boards rather than voters.
Most philanthropic: Washington Nats/former Cavalier Ryan Zimmerman negotiates in his contract use of the Nationals' ballpark for a charitable event and hosts a concert August 9, raising $200,000 for his foundation and writing a check for $30,000 to the local multiple sclerosis organization, the Washington Post reports.
Least successful probation: Convicted Shenandoah National Park attacker Darrell Rice is sent back to prison August 16 for nine months and earns another 18 months of supervised release after he flunks a drug test, buys porn, violates his GPS monitoring and attempts suicide, Kates reports in the DP.
Creepiest: State Senator Robert Hurt, 5th District congressional candidate, opens an envelope with a suspicious powder sent to his campaign headquarters in Chatham August 13. No injuries are reported and the substance is sent to Richmond for analysis.
Touchiest: Carney worker Joseph Michael Fowler, 20, of Adamstown, Maryland, is arrested on two counts of sexual abuse of a child August 5 at the Albemarle County Fair after two juvenile females complain about being touched on the Tornado ride.
Tallest: Eight-foot-one-inch Sultan Kosen, the Turk who holds the title of world's tallest man, comes to UVA to seek a way to stop his growth, which could be life threatening.
Deadliest dispute: Gifford Trix "Trixie" Crawford, 68, is fatally shot August 11 in Earlysville and his neighbor, Vernon Leroy Shifflett, 48, is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in a felony and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Worst desecration: About 25 tombstones are discovered smashed in the Ruckersville Community Cemetery August 13, according to WCAV.
Worst scam: A man and woman posing as Dominion Electric workers have approached elderly residents in Waynesboro and while the woman distracts the victims, the man goes inside. Two people have reported the thefts, and one lost $100 to the thieves, according to another WCAV story.
Most depressing downsizing: The Albemarle Square Plan 9 is looking for a new, smaller home, C-Ville Weekly reports, the chain has already closed its stores on the Corner, and in Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, Roanoke and Williamsburg.
Best university: UVA ties with Wake Forest for number 25 in the 2010 U.S. News and World Report national college rankings, and William and Mary comes in at number 31.
Best burger: Five Guys Burgers and Fries, according to Zagat's 2010 fast food survey.