The week in review


Best press release of the week: Feisty Sprint, which recently went after Adelphia's phone customers, finds value in the WorldCom debacle. A June 26 release expresses the company's dismay at continuing reports of accounting irregularities in the telecom industry and reaffirms that Sprint's accounting is complete and accurate.

Next-best press release: UVA counters allegations about a suspected grave on the Ivy Road/Emmet Street land where it wants to put a parking garage by trotting out a descendant of previous owners, who says her grandmother used to be buried there but was exhumed in the 1950s.

Best back-patting: The Central Virginia American Marketing Association announces the best marketers of the year. At the "Emmy-style" awards, Jane Goodman Public Relations wins first place in overall marketing excellence for her work for the Paramount Theater. Other winners include Payne Ross & Associates for its "We're pulling out the stops" campaign touting direct jets to Atlanta.

Best zeal in enforcing the law at Fridays After Five: A Knight of Columbus working security on June 28 warns a beer drinker that her orange wristband should be on the right arm, not the left, and then chastises the League of Women Voters for serving someone with the wristband on the wrong arm.

Worst display of Christian values: Threats follow a California court ruling that the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutionally endorses religion in the schools. Locally, call-in radio sizzles with Christian outrage at the very idea that not everyone wants to intone "one nation under God." Will atheists file suit to keep Virginia's children from being forced to recite the McCarthy-era addition to the Pledge?

Best way to ditch those books you never want to see again: A program called BookCrossing encourages readers to release books into the wild for others to find. Right now, 25 titles, including Life Makeovers, Clear Your Feng Shui Clutter, and Fabio's Champion, have been loosed upon an unsuspecting populace. has the story.

Best bucking of a national trend: Passenger levels at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport are up 10 percent for the fifth month in a row, reports David Dadurka in the Daily Progress. See "Best back-patting" above.

Worst weakening of the Fourth Amendment by the Supreme Court: The Court rules that high school students who participate in extracurricular activities such as chess club or Future Farmers of America can be drug tested, even if there's no evidence of a drug problem in the school. Ironically, stoners and slackers whose only extracurricular activity is getting high can escape urinating in a bottle.

Worst trend among Americans who don't understand how essential the Bill of Rights is: A Colonial Williamsburg Foundation survey shows that nearly half of those polled are willing give up personal freedoms and privacy to protect our county.

Best protest by a fledgling union: The Staff Union of UVA, newly aligned with the Communication Workers of America, organizes a June 26 protest of the Medical Center's plans to reassign 170 workers.

Best revamping of a website: The Daily Progress unveils its "new and improved" website July 1. Still pales in comparison to

Best parody on a local website: "Tradition of hazing continues on City Council" appears on Waldo Jaquith's, courtesy of his twin brother, Jackson Landers.