Arnold’s green road back

Arnold Schwarzenegger, hot off a seven-year run as California governor, went underground in May after it was revealed he had fathered a child with a household employee.

The White House, which worked with him on events like Solyndra’s factory groundbreaking in 2009, cut off contact. A “world tour” to promote green policies was derailed. Polls showed that most of the support he had left among his former constituents was gone.

But in recent weeks, Schwarzenegger has begun to return to the spotlight, making public appearances at renewable energy and climate change events, advocating for green technology and touting his energy achievements in the Golden State.

“I promise you I will be your cheerleader and carry our message around the world. I will do everything in my power to make this happen,” Schwarzenegger told the American Council On Renewable Energy on Dec. 5 in Washington, D.C. “I feel as passionate about this as I did about bodybuilding, about fitness and weight training, all those things.” Continue reading “Arnold’s green road back”

Dissenting from the Bench: The Role of Oral Dissents at the Supreme Court in Inciting Action

There is no story more formally structured than a legal narrative; there is an audience, narrators, characters, a plot, rules about who can say what when — and, typically, wide room for interpretation. Jerome Bruner writes that, like all tales, a legal narrative reflects Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic Pentad: agent, action, goal, setting and means — but there is some disagreement between the five elements, creating trouble. In fiction, of course, that trouble creates the plot; in everyday life, trouble is grounds for a story recounted later, to friends or family, sometimes again and again. But trouble is a different thing altogether when it is created in a legal setting. “It is the conversion of private Trouble (in Burke’s sense) into public plight that makes well-wrought narrative so powerful, so comforting, so dangerous, so culturally essential” (Bruner 2002:35). Fortunately for lawyers, the trouble created for legal narratives is inherently adversarial; in almost every case, both sides make different claims, and it is up to the audience — sometimes a jury, other times one or more judges — to decide how the story ends.

Continue reading “Dissenting from the Bench: The Role of Oral Dissents at the Supreme Court in Inciting Action”

City files legal action against 219A Harrison landlord

The City of Williamsburg is suing the landlord of 219A Harrison Ave. for violating the city’s three-person rule, which prohibits more than three unrelated people from living together.

The city brought the lawsuit against 219 Harrison Ventures, LLC, the owners of the property, before the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court earlier this month.

“The house was found to be in violation of the city’s zoning ordinance,” Williamsburg Zoning Administrator Rodney Rhodes said. “It had not been corrected within the time period given the property owner.”

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“Oh William and Mary, please let me in your school”

Transcript? Check. Recommendations? Check. Essay? Check. Video? Maybe.

Videos are becoming an increasingly popular part of college applications at the College of William and Mary and at many other schools across the nation. Including a supplementary video allows a potential student to show — not just tell — admissions officers about themselves.

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Exclusive interview with Linda Greenhouse

Former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse spoke with The Flat Hat about Sandra Day O’Connor, the allocation of federal power and her experience covering Bush v. Gore.

Tell me about your relationship with Sandra Day O’Connor.
I’ve had the chance to see her a number of times since she retired. I’ve been on a couple of panels in programs that she put together at Georgetown Law School and her project to clean up the system for selecting state court judges that she’s really devoted herself to. I feel privileged that I’ve known her because I think she’s really the genuine article. She’s a terrific servant of the public, really, and she’s using her premature retirement to really try to make a difference in American civic life, and that’s very commendable.

Do you think it’s likely that Justice John Paul Stevens will retire at the end of this term?
Yeah, I think it’s highly likely. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t.

Continue reading “Exclusive interview with Linda Greenhouse”

Former reporter: Supreme Court moving away from social issues

Future decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court will focus on topics such as corporations and wartime executive powers rather than on popular social issues, according to former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse.

Greenhouse, who covered the nation’s highest judiciary from 1978 to 2008, spoke at the College of William and Mary Tuesday during a three-day visit to campus as the 2010 Hunter B. Andrews Fellow in American Politics.

She has participated in most of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law’s annual Supreme Court Previews in the last two decades and currently teaches at Yale Law School.

Greenhouse began by discussing the recently decided case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a 5-4 decision in which the majority ruled that corporations have broad First Amendment rights, especially regarding political advertisements. The decision struck down part of the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002, which in part prevented corporations from running political advertisements prior to elections.

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Hardy’s Greatest Tragedy: Isolation, Hope and Rejection in “The Mayor of Casterbridge”

The Mayor of Casterbridge is considered by many critics, including Bert Hornback, who called it “the finest of Hardy’s achievements” and said that “more than any other of Hardy’s works The Mayor of Casterbridge belongs on that short list of masterpieces in the history of English literature” (106), to be Thomas Hardy’s greatest tragedy — not, perhaps, his greatest literary work, but rather his most thematically tragic. Part of that triumph of tragedy is based in the novel’s structure, a departure from previous works such as Far From the Madding Crowd and The Return of the Native, which focused on multiple characters instead of a single protagonist. “He decided to write for the first time a novel that was not, in any important respect, a love story but one in which he would centre the drama in one person. … Henchard is a full-length portrait, and Hardy truthfully subtitled the novel ‘A Story of a Man of Character.’” (Weber, Hardy of Wessex 146-7). The primary focus of this novel on a single person is apparent from the title itself. The Mayor of Casterbridge is structured to center around isolation; despite the setting in a large town — quite the opposite of Hardy’s normally pastoral settings — Henchard’s rough persona consistently works to generate negative consequences that lead him to tragic isolation. Continue reading “Hardy’s Greatest Tragedy: Isolation, Hope and Rejection in “The Mayor of Casterbridge””

City cites nine houses for three-person rule violations

The City of Williamsburg has charged the residents of nine houses with violating the three-person rule, according to Williamsburg Zoning Administrator Rodney Rhodes.

Rhodes said he could “speak with certainty” that at least one person in each house is a student at the College of William and Mary.

“I suspect that all of them have at least some students,” he said.

The three-person rule bars more than three unrelated people from living together within city limits.

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In the face of disaster, a promise to rebuild

Victor Minichiello stood behind yellow caution tape, peering between two cleanup trucks toward the charred rubble of his popular Italian restaurant, Sal’s by Victor.

A local Boy Scout troop has set up a condolence board outside the remains of Sal's by Victor.

When the wind shifts a smoky smell is carried on the air, past the other stores in the strip mall that are reopening one by one, past crews of men clearing out blackened debris, past a large wooden board set up by a local Boy Scout troop that has been signed over and over by supporters of Sal’s.

Sal’s by Victor was destroyed by a fire Tuesday morning, a blaze so intense 75 firefighters from as far away as Newport News were called in to help put it out.

Victor, as he is widely known to his Williamsburg friends, has barely slept since then.

“I’m drained, man. I’m out of energy, you know what I mean? I don’t sleep — I can’t sleep. I come here, I think the place is still here, you know? You know you go to the same place for so many years, it’s like, I’m here, I have nothing to do here,” he said Friday. “I’m like somebody who loses a son or a significant other, you are at the grave everyday, looking around and you can do nothing, you’re just there, you know?”

Continue reading “In the face of disaster, a promise to rebuild”

Fire destroys Sal’s by Victor

Sal’s by Victor, a popular pizzeria located in the Williamsburg Shopping Center on Richmond Road, was destroyed this morning in a massive fire.

A firefighter examines a badly damaged back door and debris from the fire at the popular Italian restaurant.

The blaze, reported by two passing police officers at 1:09 a.m., required 75 firefighters from Williamsburg, James City County, York County, Newport News and Camp Peary. It was finally brought under control at 5:43 a.m., according to Williamsburg Assistant Fire Marshall Chad Greedan.