$30,000 in community fund-raising later, kids have a reason to be glum [Washington Post]:
Although parents worked with the Fairfax County Public Schools facilities department, purchased the equipment, hired a contractor and had the playground ready for recess, the school system suddenly deemed the play equipment too dangerous. Since Nov. 30 it has been off-limits, parents say.
Never mind that the same equipment is installed at more than 1,200 parks and schools across the country, including a public park in the county.
Update: District changes mind.
In Fairfax County, Va., outside Washington, a court-ordered trustee has ordered the sale of the Olde Belhaven association’s “pleasant square, with its trees and benches, [which] had in better times been the site of community picnics and Christmas festivities.” The association was put on the road to ruin by a dispute that began over a complaint that a sign in a homeowner’s yard was 4 inches too high. It escalated into costly litigation, and “as the case ground on, the HOA increased dues from $650 a year to about $3,500, mostly to cover legal fees.” Courts sided with the dissident homeowners, and hundreds of thousands in legal costs sank the association’s finances. [Washington Post]
The sale of live seafood, common in Chinese food markets, can collide with blanket state regulation of wildlife sales. Virginia, for example, classifies as wildlife any animals not appearing on a list of domestic animals, even if they are raised on farms and have never lived in the wild. While the Virginia suburbs of D.C. have won fame as a hot spot for admirers of Asian food, the selection got somewhat narrower last year with the confiscation of eels, crayfish, bullfrogs and other critters from the Great Wall supermarket. Two store managers were hit with felony charges. [NY Times, Washington Post]
I’ll be speaking this week at two law schools in Virginia, courtesy of the local Federalist Society chapters, about my new book Schools for Misrule. At noon Wednesday I’ll be talking to students at Washington & Lee in Lexington, Va., and then at noon Thursday I’ll speak at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, with Prof. J. Gordon Hylton slated to respond. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my past visits to both schools and expect that these will be a treat as well. If you’re in the area, consider dropping by.
The maker of Botox is hit with a $212 million jury award [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
An employee who was kept on the Norfolk, Va. payroll for 12 years without being asked to come in to work has complained that she was wrongfully fired. The employee was originally suspended after misconduct allegations that her agency head for unclear reasons failed to get resolved; his successor dismissed her. [PilotOnline]
Glenn C. Lewis, a divorce lawyer who “boasts that he is the most expensive lawyer in the [Washington, D.C.] region,” sued a former client “for an additional $500,000 in fees and interest, although he’d already been paid $378,000.” Lewis says the case was a demanding one and that he earned the money fair and square, but things did not go particularly well for his cause before judges in suburban Fairfax County. [Washington Post via Above the Law]