The week in review

Worst jolt: Charlottesville rocks through a Fluvanna-based 3.9 earthquake at 12:32pm on May 5.

Worst spring weather: Scores of tornadoes rip a 400-mile swath through Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee May 4, leaving at least 38 dead and 10 missing and flattening historic Pierce City, Missouri.

Worst family reunion: Descendants of Thomas Jefferson meet at Monticello over the weekend, but some in the white Monticello Association still refuse to acknowledge their Sally Hemings-descended cousins. The Association limits the number of guests members can bring to two to prevent too many black relatives from attending.

Best family reunion plans: Hemings descendants decide to have their own do in July after their less-than-warm welcome into the bosom of the Jefferson family.

Worst impersonation of a 67-year-old black woman: Pre-reunion, Paulie Abeles, wife of the Monticello Association president, snoops in a chat room for Hemings descendants while pretending to be an African-American.

Worst press for the Nature Conservancy: The Washington Post in a three-part series investigates shady dealings in the charity including sweetheart land deals with trustees, cozy relationships with corporations, and illegal natural gas drilling in the last remaining habitat of the highly endangered Attwater's prairie chicken.

Best $15-million land deal: The Louisiana Purchase, which has its 200th anniversary on May 2.

Best op-ed piece on why attempts at democracy are doomed in Iraq: R.K. Ramazani, UVA professor emeritus, urges America to learn from its experiences in Iran in a syndicated article on Ascribe news wire.

Best excuse for being a pedophile: A brain tumor, according to research of UVA neurology prof Russell Swerdlow in an article by Claudia Pinto in the Daily Progress.

Best way to find out how clean your favorite restaurant is: The Virginia Department of Health's on-line records of inspections of state eateries at www.healthspace.ca/vdh.

Best new law for computer owners: Governor Mark Warner signs an anti-spam law April 29 that calls for up to five years jail time and seizure of the assets of bulk spammers.

Worst reality of the anti-spamming law: Enforcement will be a drop in the bucket.

Best change of heart for the Albemarle County school system: Michelle Frilot, the teacher who sued for religious discrimination because she wasn't allowed to display her Eastern Orthodox icons on her desk, decides to drop the appeal of her case, which had already been thrown out in U.S. District Court, according to a Braxton Williams story in the Progress.

Best opportunity for Arby's flag flyers: Albemarle County has formed a committee with representatives from nine organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Rutherford Institute, and the Piedmont Environmental Council, to review the County's sign ordinance.

Best new resident for Greene County: The Virginia Company plans to open a retail and packaging facility in Stanardsville.

Best decision for Louisa preservationists: The U.S. Supreme Court rejects an appeal by Virginia Vermiculite Ltd. against Historic Green Springs Inc.

Best news for Kmart shoppers: The retailer emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection May 6.

Best case of Schadenfreude : Former drug czar and author of The Book of Virtues Bill Bennett admits to losing over $8 million gambling over the past 10 years.

Worst way to lose $8 million gambling: The slots.

Worst change for couch potatoes: Adelphia shuffles its channels after slipping the news into cable bills where many subscribers miss the warning.