The week in review

Best official indication the drought is no joke: Mandatory restrictions went into effect August 23 for Charlottesville and Albemarle Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority customers. Forbidden are lawn watering, car washing, and pool filling. Conviction of illegal hosing down the sidewalk is a misdemeanor that carries a $500 fine.

Best excuse for illegal watering: The old “the automatic sprinkler turned itself on” is the excuse used by WVIR when it was caught watering its lawn August 23, Elizabeth Nelson reports in the Daily Progress. Channel 29 received one of 10 warnings issued the first day water restrictions went into effect.

Worst county to be hit by water usage restrictions: Orange, where water to businesses has been cut off and individuals are limited to 35 gallons a day as the town’s water source, the Rapidan River, turns into a wading pool, reports the Progress.

Best consolation for an unwed mother putting a child up for private adoption in Virginia: You don’t have to advertise your sexual history in the paper as you do in Florida.

Best salary increase in the county: The Albemarle County School Board approved a 12.3% increase for Superintendent Kevin Castner for the 2002-2003 school year, boosting his salary to $121,861. Teachers received a less impressive 3.3% increase on their average salaries of $45,189.

Best salary increase at UVA: In a year of major budget slashing in which most UVA faculty didn’t taste a raise, Darden dean Robert Harris got a $218,000 increase to $400,000 a year, reports WahooPundit, a new website claiming to be “by and for the students of the University of Virginia.”

Best spring 2002 SOL scores in county elementary schools: V. L. Murray edges past much vaunted Meriwether Lewis Elementary, according to Gary Grant’s constituent report. Both schools are in Ivy.

Worst sexual assault lawsuit: Progress reporter David Dadurka writes that Maverick restaurant and two former waiters are being sued for $850,000 because a woman was allegedly repeatedly groped by the waiters during her three-month tenure at Maverick last year. No word on whether criminal charges were filed.

Best low-speed chase in a U-Haul truck through Belmont: Shawn Lorenzo Brown crashes into a fence on Sixth Street Southeast late Friday, August 23, and then attempts to escape on foot before being tackled by a police officer, according to the Progress.

Worst consequence of erratic driving: Terrence Baskerville is busted with three pounds of marijuana, 450 tabs of Ecstasy, and cocaine and crack when he’s pulled over by police on Preston Avenue less than an hour after the U-Haul chase.

Worst traffic hazard: WINA reports a bear is hit on U.S. 29 near the Greene County line on August 23.

Best description of a noise you don’t want to hear on your street: “Like a metal shed sliding down a hill” is how the car crashing into Olga Sarmento’s house on Wayne Avenue August 21 was described by a neighbor in Claudia Pinto’s Daily Progress article. Not surprisingly, the driver, Omar Najara Ortiz, who plowed into Sarmento’s living room, was charged with driving under the influence.

Best taking off the kid gloves in the 5th District congressional race: Democrat Meredith Richards sends out a press release confirming her support of the death penalty and says of opponent Virgil Goode and his supporters, “I don’t want them to lie about me.”

Best reason for parents to celebrate: City and county schools start.