The week in review

Worst aftermath of Tropical Storm Gaston: Richmond's Shockoe Bottom is still staggered by August 30 flooding from a foot of rain that caused an estimated $60 million in damage to 35 businesses, 25 restaurants and 150 residences, most of whom have no flood insurance.

Best rally: Ivy residents once again show their ire before the Planning Commission hearing September 7 at Faulconer Construction's plans to build a maintenance yard down the road from Murray Elementary School.

Best clue on Terry Holland's next move: The Daily Progress reports UVA's former athletic director will be named to that spot at East Carolina University, according to ECU sources.

Best news for job hunters: Charlottesville's unemployment rate, among the lowest in Virginia, drops to 2.6 percent in July, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

Worst news for job hunters: The average wage in the area is $33,328, lower than Virginia's paltry average of $37,222, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Best pork: Seventh District Congressman Eric Cantor brings home the bacon with a $950,000 grant to the Richmond International Airport to attract low-cost carriers.

Most surprising withdrawal: U.S. Representative Edward L. Schrock decides not seek reelection in the Second District August 30 after allegations the conservative Republican had solicited other men for sex on a gay telephone dating service.

Best reappearance of a WINA vet: Nancy King, the late-'90s queen of talk on radio station 1070 AM, appears on NPR Labor Day with an in-depth report on the fact that Americans are coping quite well psychologically with 9/11.

Best way to weigh in on buried utility lines: The State Corporation Committee is accepting on-line public comment until September 15.

Best sign that no issue is too small for a public hearing: Charlottesville City Council holds a hearing September 7 on changing its start time from 7:30 to 7pm.

Best visit by a presidential candidate's relative: John Kerry's daughter, Vanessa, 27, speaks to an SRO crowd at Newcomb Hall September 2.

Most clogged arteries: Former President Bill Clinton undergoes a quadruple heart bypass surgery September 6 to repair a 90-percent blockage.

Vilest terrorist act: Hundreds of elementary school children, as well as parents, infants, and teachers, are killed after being taken hostage September 1, the first day of school in Beslan in southern Russia.

Biggest pile of rubble: The former Peyton Pontiac building on West Main.

Worst threat to oaks: "Sudden oak death" rears its head in Virginia. The disease, which originated in California, attacks the root systems of oak trees.

Best insider's perspective on prisons: Former UVA Jefferson scholar (and recent Hook essayist) Jens Soering, who has spent almost 20 years in prison for the murder of his then-girlfriend Elizabeth Haysom's parents, writes An Expensive Way to Make Bad People Worse, his call for prison reform, published this month by Lantern Books.

Best headline: "Muhammad says he has no undies" in the Progress. Convicted serial sniper John Allen Muhammad complains to a judge August 31 at a pretrial hearing for the murder of Linda Franklin that his jailers refuse to let him wear a t-shirt, underwear, and socks. The Fairfax Sheriff's Office denies the complaint.