The week in review

Best sign of new blood in the city Democratic machine: Josh Chernila, Waldo Jaquith's campaign manager in his bid for City Council last year, is elected vice chairman of the Democratic Committee on January 16. Jaquith's twin brother, Jackson Landers, is elected vice chair for publicity, while incumbent Lloyd Snook holds off Donna Goings' challenge for party chair.

Best sign of new blood in the county Republican machine: Three-term incumbent Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos is challenged by fellow Republican Ron Huber, a Charlottesville assistant commonwealth's attorney, which will force a primary before the November election.

Worst Republican indictments: Edmund Matricardi, former state Republican head, is indicted on five federal charges stemming from his eavesdropping on Democratic conference calls last year. Claudia Tucker, former chief of staff for ex-House of Delegates speaker Vance Wilkins, pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge in the case, and is sentenced to one year probation and a $1,000 fine.

Worst evidence of partisanship: General Assembly Republicans are threatening to derail environmental lawyer and former mayor Kay Slaughter's confirmation to the State Water Control Board, Bob Gibson reports in the Daily Progress.

Best sound effects from legislators in response to Delegate Rob Bell's dog and cockfighting bill: "Cluck, cluck," according to Gibson.

Best sign of a dynasty: Robert Bernard Bell IV is born to Del. Rob Bell and his wife on January 23.

Best attendance at a City Council budget forum: Center for Peace and Justice activists flood the January 21 meeting to present a 2,041-signature petition urging Council to pass a resolution against a war in Iraq.

Worst fall: A 59-year-old Keene man plunges naked from his second-story bedroom in 13-degree weather January 23 and is in critical condition from injuries including extreme hypothermia.

Best example of protective parenting: The parent of a sixth grader at Jack Jouett Middle School is more bothered by the fact that the word "abortion" was mentioned in Channel One news coverage of the 30th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision than that students are forced to watch 10 minutes of the youth-targeted, commercial-laden broadcast every day.

Worst high-wind damage: Six tractor-trailer trucks overturn on I-77 January 24 just inside the Virginia line near the North Carolina border.

Worst man-beats-dog story: A Winchester man fatally shoots himself in the stomach while beating his 30-pound shar-pei with a shotgun barrel January 23.

Worst nonfatal gunshot wound: "Man recovering after being shot in penis" is the headline of a January 27 Progress story.

Worst battle-ax vandalism spree: At least 14 car windows are bashed along Jefferson Park Avenue early January 25, allegedly by "medieval battle-ax"-wielding Jacob Wayne Majeski, who is charged with 14 counts of vandalism and, not surprisingly, one count of public intoxication, report David Dadurka and Elizabeth Nelson in the Progress.

Worst UVA scandal: L.T. "Spike" Weeks, a contract manager in facilities management, is escorted off Grounds January 22 in the wake of allegations that he hired a painting company from which he'd accepted cash, reports the Cavalier Daily.

Best news for home sellers: Inventory is low, demand is high, and the median sales price in 2002 increased by $16,000 to $173,000, according to the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors.

Worst news for home buyers: Inventory is low, demand is high, and the median sales price is $173,000.

Best publication redesign: Inside UVA unveils a new, clean look for 2003.

Best local mention in a skin magazine: The February 2003 Playboy notes the NRA's $150,000 lawsuit against the County for not allowing a 12-year-old boy to wear his gun-emblazoned NRA t-shirt to school.