- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 22, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Noble: The New York Yankees, for their spirit-lifting exhibition game with the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Last April, immediately after the horrific shootings in Blacksburg, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner donated $1 million to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. He also promised to schedule an exhibition game with the team. That game was played Tuesday, and although the Hokies lost (11-0) the game lifted everyone’s spirits.

To say that it’s been a tough year for Virginia Tech is an understatement. All remember the 2007 tragedy, when a student on a shooting spree killed 32 persons before turning the gun on himself. 2007 also saw former Hokie quarterback Michael Vick sent to prison for his involvement in an illegal dog-fighting ring and the basketball team missed the NCAA tournament.

The Yankees spent some time on campus visiting the memorial dedicated to the Blacksburg shooting victims. As the national anthem played on the field, players from both teams held their commemorative maroon-and-orange caps over their hearts while 32 bright-orange balloons were released in honor of the victims. During and after the game, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, Jorge Posada, Jason Giambi and manager Joe Girardi chatted, signed autographs and gave out memorabilia to the Hokie team. For a school in desperate need of a pick-me-up, the Yankees’ support was just the ticket.

For an incredible show of compassion and solidarity with Virginia Tech, the New York Yankees are the Nobles of the Week.

Knave: Montgomery County [Md.} Executive Ike Leggett, for installing a $65,000 taxpayer-funded private bathroom in his office.

With a $300 million budget shortfall, what’s an extra 65 grand? Evidently, that’s the mindset of Mr. Leggett’s security detail, which worries about undue danger when Mr. Leggett walks through the lobby to the restroom.

The new private bathroom will include a shower, so Mr. Leggett can freshen up, and a small sitting room for respites. All this while Mr. Leggett and his council colleagues try to close a budget gap.

For going private when he should stay public, Ike Leggett is the Knave of the Week.

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