Friday, November 25, 2005

$10,000+ for a dog translator

Via BoingBoing, it says here that the Israelis have got a gadget that will interpret the barks of your dog.

Our dog figured out long ago that we are fairly simple-minded, and so most of her barking is pretty straightforward ("Yes!" if the we are taking her out or "No!" if we are going out without her).

Put your corporate name on the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg?

The Williamsburg paper reports here that naming rights (or some form of sponsorship) for the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg can be yours for only $15 million.

On the return of United Coal

This AP story describes the return of United Coal Co., a subsidiary of Bristol's The United Co., into the coal business in West Virginia.

Increased ethics complaints in Tennessee

The Tennesseean reports that the number of complaints against Tennessee lawyers went up by 6 per cent in 2004.

No news to Biscuit and Lulu

It has been determined that Richmond's a great place to be a dog.

Biscuit and Lulu are the only dogs I know in the greater Richmond area.

Flunking the burglar test

The Richlands paper reports here that a Tazewell County man faces criminal charges after he talked two people into helping him see how fast he could react to a burglar entering his home, and then shot the woman who played the role of the burglar.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The return of mountaintop mining in West Virginia

On Wednesday, in Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Bulen, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Luttig, joined by Judge Niemeyer and District Judge Conrad, overruled the decision by Judge Goodwin of the S.D. W.Va. and concluded that the Army Corps of Engineers had not violated the Clean Water Act in its approval of mountaintop mining permits in West Virginia. The appeals panel, unlike the District Court, concluded that the issue did not involve the misapplication of an unambiguous issue, but instead was one to which the administrative agency, in this case the Corps of Engineers, was entitled to deference under the administrative law principles set forth in Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984).

The AP's Larry O'Dell had this report about the case.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gobbler meets Emeril

Surely, the last person the Hokie bird wants to be with this week is the guy who deep fries turkeys on TV. Posted by Picasa

JD signs off

The Jaded JD in Richmond says:Farewell, adieu, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.

On Southern manners

This story on whether Southerners are more polite begins at Mrs. Wilkes in Savannah, where I ate last week.

Bad plan

It says here that a Virginia lawyer made a prank phone call to a local judge and wound up getting convicted of obscene phone harassment, whatever that means.

First step to death penalty moratorium in Virginia?

The Roanoke paper reports here that Governor Warner is talking about allowing Dr. Blake from the O.J. case to retest the DNA from the Roger Keith Coleman case.

I told somebody a couple of days ago that this testing will soon be done, and someone will interpret the results to say that Coleman was innocent, and the Kaine administration will use that interpretation as the basis upon which to declare a moratorium on the death penalty in Virginia until the date when the criminal justice system is fixed to the point where innocent people will never be convicted; i.e., forever.

Here and here and here are my last three posts about Dr. Blake and the Coleman case.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ask Waldo

Waldo says: "You’ve just got to love a governor who has his inaugural lunch at Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que."

I like to eat the pig at Pierce's, got to give them the nod on that one.

The Big Study on the Election

I read here that this from some people at Virginia Tech is the Big Study on the 2005 Virginia election that everyone is talking about.

It says that SW Virginia is in the "Shenandoah" region, which I guess is a better name than "other" after the other three of four regions (Richmond, NoVa, and Tidewater) were staked out.

Almost bowl eligible

Based on this bit of news, the writing team has now won 5 and one-third of Chad's Caption Contests.

Monday, November 21, 2005

On the increased number of women judges in Virginia

Here the Norfolk paper has a report on increases in the number of Virginia women who are judges, focusing on the Norfolk area judges.

Jerry Falwell hoping for Protestant Knute Rockne

Explaining why he fired the football coach at Liberty University, Jerry Falwell here: "I don't have much time to get the football program in the Top 20."

On the college facebook

The CD has this article on privacy issues related to the University's online facebook.

They had a printed facebook when I was there. One fellow told me that from the picture published therein, it appeared to him that I was Chinese.

What happened to Ms. Kelo

The NY Times has this article with the latest on Ms. Kelo and New London, which prompted this Althouse post and this Reason post.

The gist being that it is no small irony that the project at issue in the Kelo case is not going forward because it was a bad idea from the start.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Is Virginia swimming against the tide?

I had to laugh when I read the USATODAY article titled Outlook good for tax cuts by states.

For better and/or worse, the outlook is bad for tax cuts by Virginia.

On Hitler in Virginia

Via this Tsuzu post, the Nation has this article called Hitler in Virginia on Scott Howell, the man behind the ads for the Kilgore campaign.

Shaula says that Kaine won in spite of his inadequate preparations for the onslaught of Howell advertisements for Kilgore.

Sun who? Steve Emmert goes Chinese

Here Steve Emmert reveals the ancient Chinese secrets to the art of successful appellate advocacy in the Commonwealth and elsewhere.


Indeed, we did the tourist scene, eating at SoHo South Cafe, Mrs. Wilkes, Bistro Savannah, Firefly Cafe, Skyler's (voted in here for best crabcakes), Il Pasticcio, and 45 South.

45 South was the best (and most expensive), but Mrs. Wilkes (minus the rice and grits, plus a couple of different colors of Jello salad) was more or less the way we ate every day at Grandma Conrad's house.

Virginia land use roundup

The Daily Progress opined here that an amendment to the federal constitution might be in order to limit the Supreme Court's ruling in Kelo.

Tenants in a downtown building in Norfolk protested the leanings of the federal government toward taking their building for the expansion of the federal courthouse, according to this report in the Norfolk paper.

The Richmond paper reported here and the Roanoke paper reported here that the Virginia Housing Commission has endorsed a proposed amendment to Virginia law to limit the authority of government to take private property for purposes of economic development purposes. The same Roanoke article and this article from the Richmond paper discuss the Claytor case, a long-running inverse condemnation claim against housing authority in Roanoke.

One of the Connection papers reported here that local officials told their General Assembly representatives that they do not want any change to Virginia's eminent domain laws, but also said they don't like what Verizon is doing to try to get around the municipal franchise laws.

Two stooges

This Southern Appeal post identifies a couple of U.S. Senators who worked into a conference report on bill they were working on that two buildings would be named after themselves.

On improving the standing of the University of South Carolina law school

Via SC Appellate Blog, I read this interesting commentary by a law professor at South Carolina about how to improve the standing of USC Law.

Unrelated to this, we stopped in Columbia on the way home yesterday and ate the mustard BBQ at Maurice's (the one by their headquarters, I think), just in time to see the first of the many touchdowns scored by the Hokies on Virginia.

How West Virginia and Kentucky put Virginia to shame

State appeals court briefs are available online in West Virginia and in Kentucky but not in Virginia.

This fact ought to be a source of embarrassment to some people in Richmond and elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

Some things make no sense

Here one of the C and F guys wrote, re: the late federal appeals court judge Richard Arnold:

"I took Judge Richard S. Arnold's death rather badly, even though I never met the man; and indeed, I didn't even know him by proxy. The death of someone like him makes me bitter. With so many scoundrels living, why does someone like him have to die?"

I thought something similar this morning when I got to reading last week's Bristol papers and read (here and here and here) of the death of the young McGlothlin in Iraq.

That frightening Virginia Halloween oral argument

Here is the transcript of the oral argument in the Virginia college bookstore case.

The light bulb blew out on page 37.

Fourth Circuit and the ADA

This post and this Brian Peterson post describe the Fourth Circuit's decision in Taylor v. Federal Express Corp., wherein Judge Motz, joined by Judges Traxler and Shedd, affirmed the district court's ruling that the plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act.