The week in review

Best protest: Between 30,000 and 500,000 peace lovers mass January 18 in Washington to protest a war with Iraq.

Best local protest: The Center for Peace and Justice estimates that 1,300 gather that same day on the Downtown Mall to demonstrate against war with Iraq.

Worst civil disobedience by Charlottesville protesters: Jaywalking, according to Sgt. Michael Farruggio in a Reed Williams account in the Daily Progress.

Worst week for weeklies: Richmond's Punchline publishes its last issue January 9. Ditto for the Shenandoah Valley Observer.

Worst hit for Albemarle County employees: The Board of Supervisors and the School Board vote to increase the amount employees pay for health premiums as much as $42 a month for a family effective February 1 because of a drop in reserves in the county's self-insurance plan.

Worst heating system: Greenbrier Elementary School, which sends students home January 13 and 14 because of a furnace breakdown.

Worst list for the county school board to appear on: The Freedom of Information Complaint List, published by the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, because the board has adopted a gag order on anything discussed in closed sessions, reports prime target of the gag Gary Grant in his Constituents Report.

Worst place to find the Shenandoah National Park: On the 2003 10 Most Endangered National Parks List, published by the National Parks Conservation Association.

Best news for Kmart shoppers: The Charlottesville store is not among the 326 stores nationally and five in Virginia that Kmart is closing.

Worst lifestyle bill proposed by a Virginia Democrat in the General Assembly: Covenant marriage, which enjoys virtually no Democratic support and has been defeated in the past when sponsored by Republicans, is backed by Democratic Lt. Gov. Timothy Kaine.

Worst likelihood of reappointment: Newport News Circuit Judge Verbena Askew is grilled by Republican delegates about a $64,000 sexual harassment settlement and how close she sat to a reporter at dinner.

Worst damage by potato chips: The potato chip aisle at Harris Teeter fuels a January 15 fire that closes the Barracks Road market for a week. Bed Bath & Beyond and Goody's suffer smoke damage.

Best dumpster diving: Harris Teeter dumps all its alcohol and house-brand items after the fire.

Best ongoing controversy: Letter writers to the Progress continue to weigh in on the pep band performance at the December 28 Continental Tire Bowl.

Best birthday tradition: In the early hours of January 19, a mysterious figure leaves three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac on the Baltimore grave of UVA alum Edgar Allan Poe for the 54th time since Poe's 100th birthday in 1949.

Best controversy involving a Daily Progress  photo: A December 13 shot of Gov. Mark Warner wielding a cleaver at the opening of Georgetown Farms Market irks readers of the December 19 Richmond Times-Dispatch when the Andrew Shurtleff photo is used to illustrate a story on layoffs and budget cuts. The T-D questions its decision as "a good photo gone wrong?"

Best hype: The Progress warns readers with full-page ads all week that "what's next" is coming January 20. And that day's issue includes an eight-page insert explaining in minute detail the paper's new look, which seems primarily to put local news in the A section and national news in the B.

Worst correction: Last week's Hook corrects the spellings of two words and misspells "misspelled." Twice.