The week in review


Best case of landing on one's feet: Eavesdropper Edmund A. Matricardi, who resigned as head of Virginia's Republican Party, is hired by South Carolina Republicans.

Next best case of landing on one's feet: Claudia Tucker, former chief of staff for ex-speaker/groper Vance Wilkins, is hired by acting Speaker of the House Lacey Putney. Tucker is also under investigation for eavesdropping on Democrats.

Worst case of not getting it: Former speaker Wilkins, who paid $100,000 to a woman he sexually harassed and who resigned as House speaker June13, finally announced his resignation from the House of Delegates more than a month later.

Next worst case of not getting it: Actor and author Ethan Hawke comes to Charlottesville July 29 performing scenes from his new novel, Ash Wednesday.

Best topic for a doctoral study in clinical psychology: UVA grad student Dave Sbarra documents what becomes of the brokenhearted, and Claudia Pinto reports it in the Daily Progress.

Worst escalation of a feud: Lorenzo Matthew Haden is fatally shot July 12 at the intersection of Hydraulic Road and U.S. 29, following a long running feud with the unnamed shooter. Haden was riding with his cousin, Timothy Daryl Morse, who is charged with conspiring to commit homicide.

Best news for Starr Hill beer drinkers who want to pop a cold one at home: The local brewery's beer is now available at Whole Foods and convenience stores.

Worst news for landlords: The Charlottesville commercial real estate market has a 12 percent vacancy rate in 2001, compared to 3 percent in 2000, according to a study by the Appraisal Group Inc.

Best Virginia product for black marketing: Cigarettes. Virginia's 2.5-cent per-pack tax, lowest in the nation, makes smuggling to places like New York, where cigarettes can go for $7 a pack, more lucrative than ever.

Worst news for felons who've served their time: Virginia is not one of the 37 states which automatically restore voting rights to felons.

Worst consequence of winning a contest: David Williams loses his job as a Greene County deputy after holding his hand on a used Ford Taurus for 58.5 hours to win the car. His boss, Sheriff William Morris, says Williams' no-show at work was the pinnacle of six months of "punkish" behavior, according to a Sarah Bouchard report in the July 13 Progress.

Best national notice for Martha Jefferson Hospital: U.S. News & World Report lists it among the nation's best hospitals, joining perennial UVA.

Worst break for State Farm policyholders: Customers in Virginia will see their homeowners' insurance premiums spike a hefty 26.8 percent starting September 15.

Worst dissing of UVA's traffic study: Mayor Maurice Cox and Lewis Mountain residents call for a new study on the impact on traffic of the parking garage the university wants to build at Emmet Street and Ivy Road. Cox calls the current study "flawed," reports the Progress' Eric Swensen.

Best choice for Virginia poet laureate: UVA professor emeritus George Garrett adds that title to a long list of accomplishments.

Worst news for living wage advocates: A study by the Action Alliance for Virginia's Children and Youth shows that a single parent with two children in Charlottesville needs $16.90 an hour to meet self-sufficiency standards, more than double the $8 an hour considered a living wage.

Best news for sufferers of the common cold: UVA researchers under Dr. Jack Gwaltney come up with a drug called Covam that reduces symptoms and kills the cold virus, according to Claudia Pinto in the Progress.

Worst news for prize-winning chicken owners: The state veterinarian bans birds from all fairs in the state to prevent further spread of the avian flu.