The week in review
Best day for London: July 6, when the International Olympic Committee announces the city will host the 2012 Olympics.
Worst: July 7, when four separate terrorist explosions hit three train lines and destroy a double-decker bus, leaving 52 dead at press time and injuring hundreds on the day the G-8 begins in Scotland.
Biggest slam: The Miller Center's Timothy Naftali takes Homeland Security boss Michael Chertoff to task in Slate for his response to the London bombings. Rather than raise the terror alert to orange for mass transit, Naftali suggests the U.S. should adopt Britain's stiff upper lip tactics and soldier on without giving terrorists the satisfaction of seeing life disrupted here by an attack thousands of miles away.
Best New York Times review: Naftali is on a publicity roll with his new book, Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism that looks at how American policy has dealt– or not– with terrorism the past 50 years.
Closest call: Death row inmate Robin Lovitt is four-and-a-half hours from execution July 11 when the U.S. Supreme Court issues a stay because evidence used in his conviction for murdering a pool hall owner in 1999 was accidentally destroyed, making DNA testing impossible.
Worst accident: A head-on collision around 10:15am July 12 kills the driver of a Honda Odyssey minivan, leaves a tractor trailer in flames, hospitalizes the truck driver and the driver of a third car, and shuts down Route 20 to Scottsville for much of the day, NBC29 reports.
Most local damage: A brief storm July 5 wreaks havoc in Charlottesville, particularly around UVA, and leaves 14,000 without power. Political pundit Larry Sabato, who lives on the Lawn, declares the high winds a tornado on NBC29, while the National Weather Service insists the event was a microburst. [See Photophile, page XX.]
Worst news for panhandlers: Albemarle County supes ban the solicitation of cash on county roads and medians July 6.
Worst news for motorists: An exemption allows solicitation of cash in the roadways by sanctioned groups, like boot-toting firefighters.
Worst hair day: The front window of Chic Hair in Pantops Center is smashed during the evening of July 10 and cash is taken from the salon.
Worst career move: Former Albemarle assistant superintendent Mike Struiksma pleads guilty to misdemeanor public indecency charges stemming from an alleged incident in an Oregon restroom stall April 21. Struiksma, who took the $90,000 North Bend, Oregon, superintendent's job July 1, 2004, resigns May 9.
Boldest "solution" to skyrocketing assessments: City Council discusses deferring increases of more than 5 percent until the homeowner sells or dies.
Latest Charlottesville School Board chair: Julie Gronlund is appointed to head the board, and the Rev. Alvin Edwards, former mayor, is named vice chair July 7.
Worst hate crime: St John's Reformed United Church of Christ in southern Augusta County burns July 9 on the eve of its 225th anniversary after its national organization endorsed gay marriage last week, the News Virginian reports. The FBI is investigating.
Biggest architectural competition: UVA goes international in seeking a firm to design its high-profile new Center for the Arts at the intersection of Emmet Street and Ivy Road.
Best national plug: Roots king Corey Harris is featured on Spin magazine's website as "Band of the Day" July 6.
Best majorette story: Former U.S. poet laureate and UVA prof Rita Dove describes her journey from brainiac to baton twirler during the summer of '68 in "Major Steps" in the July 10 Washington Post Magazine.