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Quick views on some of the week's news.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Hunting for the right app
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries reported that its free HuntFishVA mobile app has been downloaded 25,000 times. Make that 25,001 now. Users so far have given it a 4.5 out of a 5-star rating. Particularly brag worthy is the feature allowing sportsmen to upload photos and details of their trophies. And the app could come in handy if one is scouting for a nearby boat ramp or needs to double check just how big a fish needs to be to keep.
Some hunters are disappointed that they can't check in deer yet. Perhaps QR or bar codes could be included in an update.
While the app does offer much in the way of information, it does have its limitations. It won't keep a fisherman out of hot water should his feet touch privately owned river bottoms along the Jackson River. And it might not be of much help once a hunter scouts his prey beyond his phone's range.
One big plus, the app is available for users of iPhones and Droids. The same cannot be said of Downtown Roanoke Inc.'s new parking app. Supposedly it gives the location of all places to park downtown, but not to all drivers. Only those with iPhones are in luck. Those of us with Droids will do what we always do: circle the block.
Stop bothering Big Brother
Virginia politicians love to complain about the federal government, but don't seem to mind running to Big Brother when they want to score political points.
On Thursday, state Sen. Mark Herring, a Democratic candidate for attorney general, called for a federal investigation of the relationships Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli have had with Star Scientific and its CEO, Johnnie Williams Sr. There's not much the Justice Department can do about Virginia's flimsy ethics laws, but calling for a federal investigation is a good way to get media attention.
Not to be outdone, Republican state Sen. Tom Garrett of Louisa County asked the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to look into GreenTech Automotive, the company founded by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. Garrett based his vague request on a Washington Post story highlighting concerns Virginia officials had about GreenTech's reliance on a federal visa program. Never mind that GreenTech ultimately decided to locate its manufacturing plant in Mississippi.
Virginia's statewide candidates should be talking about how to move the state forward. Politically motivated cries for federal investigations are nothing more than tiresome stunts.
National award for world-class students
Bouquets of kudos to Jeff Mays and his Westside Elementary School's debate team. They earned national recognition as a first-place winner in the American School Board Journal's 19th Magna Awards program.
This is a really big deal, and a well-deserved honor for Mays & Co. The students at Westside continue to prove that when adults encourage them to achieve, they'll go one better and shine.
Perhaps it was to be expected that, at the university home of the highly ranked Darden School of Business, a prank-turned-panic would turn into an opportunity to buy low - and sell high, maybe?
"It all started with a Snapchat," the University of Virginia's Cavalier Daily newspaper reported this week. One student sent a photo of herself to another captioned "AT THE UVA POLICE STATION, SOS," followed by an explanation that state ABC agents were conducting dorm sweeps "and they found a beer in my common room."
She was joking, but her friend didn't know for 38 long minutes. By then, she had sent a text message to four friends, who had sent messages or tweets to their friends, and so on. The rumor set off a flurry of tweets, hash tag #UVAdormsearch, tracking the ensuing panic as students reportedly rushed to hide or unload illegal hoards of alcoholic beverages.
We'd like to say frightened Wahoos learned a lesson about the virtues of temperance and a clean conscience. But this tweet, picked up by The Washington Post, is probably the big takeaway: "#UVADormSearch Going from dorm to dorm, buying alcohol from first years for 3 cents on the dollar #commschool."
Lessons in life at Mr. Jefferson's University.
Weather Journal7 wintry scenarios for Sunday