The week in review

Least understood UVA move: Attaining "charter" status, which would give the university more autonomy from the General Assembly. Faculty and staff are concerned about wages– which are not guaranteed now– and tuition.

Best alternative name for charter: "It could be called lemon Jell-O, for all I care," says UVA President John Casteen, who acknowledges the term "charter" is confusing, Bob Gibson reports in the Daily Progress.

Biggest protest: Over 400 students turn out in a silent demonstration against UVA's sexual assault policy November 17, following the Hook's November 11 cover story, "How UVA turns its back on rape," by Courteney Stuart.

Least surprising study results: Democrats outnumber Republicans in academia, reports the Cavalier Daily. Anthropology is the most leftwing field, with only one Republican prof for every 30 Dems.

Most impressive first: Two UVA students in one year are chosen to be Rhodes Scholars: Fourth-year Meghan E. Sullivan, chair of the Honor Committee, and Justin Mutter, Class of 2003.

Closest-to-home casualty: Twenty-year-old Marine Corporal Bradley Thomas Arms, a 2002 Covenant graduate, dies November 19 in Fallujah.

Busiest rescue squad: Charlottesville-Albemarle, which handled over 11,000 calls last year, is the busiest all-volunteer squad in the nation, according to the October issue of Firehouse magazine.

Worst logjam: A logging truck exiting I-64 onto U.S. 29 south overturns November 18 and strikes an oil truck, leaving its driver, Raymond A. Maupin, in critical condition.

Newest Charlottesville fire marshal: Steve Walton succeeds Ben Powell, who's taking a job with the Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office.

Most busted: The Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force indicts 19 for selling cocaine in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area, part of Operation Checkmate.

Biggest merger of struggling stores: Kmart announces its acquisition of Sears, an $11-billion deal that will make the new Sears Holdings Corporation the third largest retailer in the country, following Wal-Mart and Home Depot.

Worst signs: Scads of signs touting a 50 percent off Kmart sale pepper the north side of the Route 250 bypass on Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21.

Best break for the transit center: The Board of Architectural Review approves the concrete-block retaining wall it initially rejected, John Yellig reports in the Progress.

Worst loss of a diversity pioneer: Dr. Greer Wilson, a consultant who's trained students and educators on diversity and multicultural issues throughout the United States, including at UVA, dies November 13 at age 61.

Highest-profile poetry reading: UVA prof Rita Dove, former U.S. poet laureate and current poet laureate of Virginia, reads "This Life" at the dedication of the Bill Clinton presidential library November 18 in Little Rock.

Best get for the 11th Annual Festival of the Book: Former NPR host Bob Edwards will attend the March fest.

Best touts for Hot Cakes and Shenanigans: The Washington Post mentions both "Barracks Row" [sic] establishments in a November 21 "Road Trip" column about going to Charlottesville for the Jeffersonian Thanksgiving under way at Court Square.

Best tout for a former Daily Progress  reporter: Peter Savodnik, who now works for The Hill in Washington, is mentioned in the same issue of the Post for his article about a Junior League knock-off group, the Madison club, that gets its comeuppance after he quotes one of its members describing the club as "trophy wives in training."

Best chance to bask in Jeopardy! fame: Buy up Chatham plantation from Julann Griffin, creator of the long-running game show. Price for the Palmyra-area estate: $2.3 million, according to

Worst fish theft: Griffin reveals that she went into online gaming after all 10,000 of the hybrid striped bass she'd been raising were swiped in one night, according to an interview in Virginia Living.