The week in review

Best real-life drama: Virginia's General Assembly is in session through February 22.

Worst waste of time in the General Assembly: Debate over approval of each of the 27 specialty license plate bills, which include commemorating Secretariat's 30th anniversary and scuba divers, according to a report from Delegate Mitch Van Yahres, who routinely votes against all specialty plates.

Worst reason why UVA gets stiffed in funding by the General Assembly: Its success in fundraising, resulting in UVA envy among many legislators, reports Bob Gibson in the Daily Progress.

Best news for the drought weary: Water supplies hit 100 percent January 8 for the first time since July 2, 2002.

Worst missing persons case: Owen Young, 59, has not been seen since January 1. His car, a burgundy VW Passat, was spotted being driven around town last week, and police found it parked at Dulles International Airport Saturday, January 11. Young's daughter, in an email posted on, reports an attempt to use her father's credit card on January 10.

Best scientific discovery: The speed of gravity, determined by Ed Fomalont at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville and Sergei Kopeikin at the University of Missouri.

Best protest against anti-immigrant legislation: Over 100 Hispanic immigrants gather January 12 to denounce a proposed law that would keep illegal aliens from getting a driver's license in Virginia.

Best protest against the war in Iraq: Nearly 30 Brits doff clothes and spell out "peace" with their naked bodies in an appeal to sway hawkish Prime Minister Tony Blair not to join the US war effort.

Second best: Substitute district court judge Ron Tweel resigns so he can publicly oppose an American invasion of Iraq, Bob Gibson reports.

Best confirmation of what we already knew: Antibiotics for ear infections are overprescribed, and 80 percent of the cases will clear up on their own, concludes a study by UVA's Dr. Owen Hendley. Claudia Pinto has the story in the Progress.

Best positioning against city and county budget cuts: The Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau, which will likely get its requested $789,919 because tourism gives a good return, according to a David Dadurka article in the Progress.

Best way to let the City Council know what you think about its budget: Post your opinion on the city's on-line forum at

Worst cost for finding out what the public thinks about Albemarle County schools: $35,000 for a statistically reliable phone survey to be conducted this fall if that line item survives the school budget process.

Worst development for drinkers in Fairfax: Police and ABC officers raid bars looking for bartenders who over-serve drinks, and give sobriety tests to patrons, arresting nine for public drunkenness.

Best barroom brawl: At Wolfie's the former Boudreau's early January 9 when beer bottles are used to settle matters involving someone's girlfriend, reports the Progress.

Best quote by an Albemarle County police officer about the brawl: "It look like alcohol was involved," says Sgt. Peter Mainzer.

Worst loss for Bojangles fans: The abandoned and derelict building is demolished on 29 north to make way for a mattress store.

Best news for Oscar Mayer fans: The Wienermobile is in town.