VaNews

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Compiled by Bernadette Kinlaw


Today's Sponsor:

The University of Virginia Press

Whose science-based book by Stephen Nash shows how climate change will transform Virginia's cities, shorelines, and forests. University of Virginia Press

Executive Branch

VA. REPUBLICANS REJECT MCAULIFFE’S REQUEST FOR REDISTRICTING MEETING

By JENNA PORTNOY, Washington Post

Republican leaders of Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday rebuffed an effort by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to strike a deal on the state’s congressional elections map before a court-imposed deadline. According to a June ruling, the General Assembly has until Sept. 1 to redraw congressional district boundaries, which the court said illegally pack African Americans into a single district to dilute their influence elsewhere.


MCAULIFFE: TIRED OF WAITING ON DEAL TO REWORK PORT'S $1 BILLION-PLUS LEASE

By ROBERT MCCABE, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The governor of Virginia fired a shot Tuesday over the bow of Virginia International Gateway Inc., whose executives have been talking with state and port officials about possibly reworking a lease of the facility that the Virginia Port Authority signed five years ago this month.


MCAULIFFE PROPOSES HELPING VIRGINIA REGIONS ATTRACT BUSINESSES

By PHILIP WALZER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday announced a program to expand state funding for efforts to attract businesses and create jobs. The catch: The grants will be given to regions, to encourage cities in areas such as Hampton Roads to collaborate.


BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT LEADERS ANNOUNCE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

By JOHN REID BLACKWELL, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

With Virginia lagging behind the nation in job growth, a group of business, education and government leaders on Tuesday announced plans to push for new economic development strategies to help diversify the state’s economy. The major elements of the new initiative, which is being called Go Virginia, include a greater focus on collaboration among cities and counties in economic development projects, and a greater emphasis on regional infrastructure projects in state funding.


MCAULIFFE PROPOSES HELPING VIRGINIA REGIONS ATTRACT BUSINESSES

By PHILIP WALZER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday announced a program to expand state funding for efforts to attract businesses and create jobs. The catch: The grants will be given to regions, to encourage cities in areas such as Hampton Roads to collaborate. "Down here, you have to get the seven mayors working together," McAuliffe said.


VIRGINIA LEADERS LAUNCH MULTIFACETED INITIATIVE FOR JOB GROWTH

By YANN RANAIVO, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Virginia leaders are continuing their push to create more state-financed incentives to promote job and overall economic growth. Business, education and government leaders were in various parts of the state Tuesday, including Blacksburg, to announce the launch of an initiative called GO Virginia, a campaign crafted by the Virginia Business Higher Education Council and the Council on Virginia’s Future.

General Assembly

THIRD PLANNED PARENTHOOD VIDEO PROMPTS RENEWED CALL FOR VA. PROBE

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post

Republican leaders of Virginia’s House of Delegates renewed their calls Tuesday for a criminal investigation into the state’s Planned Parenthood clinics after the release of a third undercover video targeting the abortion provider. The video released Tuesday shows lab workers using tweezers to sort through identifiable body parts in a petri dish atop a lighted lab table.


VA. REPUBLICANS PRESS MCAULIFFE AGAIN TO INVESTIGATE PLANNED PARENTHOOD

By TRAVIS FAIN, Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

State Republican leaders called again Tuesday for Gov. Terry McAuliffe to order an investigation of Planned Parenthood clinics in the state. The calls followed the release of a third video showing Planned Parenthood leaders in other states discussing the sale of fetal parts for research.

State Government

GARRETT, VOTER REGISTRARS EXPRESS CONCERNS OVER PROPOSED CHANGES TO FORMS

By ALEX ROHR, News & Advance

A proposal that would change whether potential Virginia voters have to check a box indicating whether they are U.S. citizens brought complaints from throughout the commonwealth to the State Board of Elections on Tuesday.


STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS WEIGHS CHANGES TO VOTER REGISTRATION FORM

By JIM NOLAN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The State Board of Elections is weighing changes to Virginia’s voter registration form that would not automatically disqualify a prospective voter who fails to check boxes on questions asking whether they are a U.S. citizen, mentally ill or a felon.


BACKLASH OVER BOXES: INTENT QUESTIONED ON VOTER REGISTRATION FORM EDITS

By TRAVIS FAIN, Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

State Board of Elections members mulling a redesign of voter registration forms got an earful Tuesday from conservatives who feel the changes would make it easier for non-citizens to vote, and from registrars who voiced a longer list of concerns.


PROPOSED VOTER-REGISTRATION CHANGE SPARKS STORM OF OPPOSITION

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post

Hundreds of people flocked to a state election board meeting Tuesday to object to changing voter registration rules to make questions about citizenship and criminal history optional. Critics said the change would make it easier for felons and illegal immigrants to vote, although those in favor said those concerns were overblown.

Economy/Business

GO VIRGINIA AIMS TO GROW JOBS

By VICKY CRUZ , Danville Register & Bee

One of the largest employers in the Dan River Region are the governments of Danville and Pittsylvania County, with the combined public sector positions in general government and education competing against even the area’s largest employers of Goodyear Tire and Rubber and Danville Regional Medical Center.


REPORT OFFERS DETAILED SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO KEEP MILITARY IN HAMPTON ROADS

By NATE DELESLINE III, Inside Business

Investing in infrastructure, maximizing the value and use of existing facilities, and advancing research and testing opportunities are some of the ways Virginia can protect and strengthen the military's national security and economic activity. Those recommendations are among 20 put forward this month by the Governor's Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities.

Transportation

N.VA. OFFICIALS LAUD FIRST-YEAR IMPACT OF SILVER LINE

By BRIAN TROMPETER, Leesburg Today

Backers of Metrorail’s Silver Line engaged in some congratulatory back-slapping July 27 to celebrate the line’s first year of operations and expressed hope for its eventual extension to Loudoun County via Washington Dulles International Airport.


SENATORS TAKE AIM AT METRO SAFETY

By RACHEL WEINER, Washington Post

Frustrated by safety problems that have persisted for years, U.S. senators from Maryland and Virginia are pushing to shake up the leadership of the Metrorail system and set new standards for emergency procedures. An amendment to the Senate transportation bill was introduced Tuesday, the latest attempt by public officials to address a deep well of financial and safety problems at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Virginia Other

WIND TURBINE FOES FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST BOTETOURT COUNTY

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Rules that could govern the state’s first commercial wind farm fail to protect the public from dangers posed by the giant windmills, eight Botetourt County residents say in a lawsuit.


JAMESTOWN EXCAVATION UNEARTHS FOUR BODIES — AND A MYSTERY IN A SMALL BOX

By MICHAEL E. RUANE, Washington Post

When his friends buried Capt. Gabriel Archer here about 1609, they dug his grave inside a church, lowered his coffin into the ground and placed a sealed silver box on the lid. This English outpost was then a desperate place. The “starving time,” they called it. Scores had died of hunger and disease. Survivors were walking skeletons, besieged by Indians, and reduced to eating snakes, dogs and one another.


NEW DISCOVERY: WAS THERE A SPY IN JAMESTOWN?

By KATHERINE CALOS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The newest revelation about the first permanent English settlers in America may explain some of the disastrous dissension in the first years of Jamestown....A silver reliquary box atop the coffin of early Jamestown leader Gabriel Archer raises questions about who he really was and who he was really supporting. A reliquary would traditionally be associated with Catholic rather than Anglican beliefs. Was Archer secretly loyal to the pope or even a spy for Catholic Spain?


CONFEDERATE FLAG COMING DOWN?

By DENICE THIBODEAU , Danville Register & Bee

Danville City Council is poised to approve an ordinance that would banish all flags from city-owned properties — with the exception of the flags of the United States, Virginia, Danville and the MIA/POW movement.


PIPELINE ROUTE NEAR MAJOR WELL WORRIES AUGUSTA COUNTY LEADERS, SERVICE AUTHORITY

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

An alternative route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline near the Appalachian Trail comes close to Augusta County’s largest water source, raising concerns about contamination. The route, which Dominion Resources introduced earlier this year, would cross the water recharge area for the Lyndhurst Well.

Local

LEESBURG COUNCIL VOTES TO KEEP LOUDOUN GOVERNMENT CENTER AND COURTS DOWNTOWN

By TREVOR BARATKO, Loudoun Times

It wasn't even close. Leesburg Town Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to reverse a May decision from the town's Board of Architectural Review and allow Loudoun County to expand the courthouse complex downtown while also keeping the government center in the historic district.


FAIRFAX BOARD VOTES TO MOVE FORWARD ON SEVEN CORNERS REDEVELOPMENT

By ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post

After hours of discussion and debate Tuesday that stretched toward midnight, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8-1, with one member absent, to move forward with an ambitious redevelopment plan for the traffic-choked Seven Corners area.


RICHMOND POISED TO SETTLE DISPUTED HARDYWOOD TAX BILL

By K. BURNELL EVANS AND GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The city of Richmond’s Finance Department has agreed to a settlement that would essentially wipe out a $61,118 bill the city had been trying to collect from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery as part of a years-long tax dispute. The settlement, which is subject to City Council approval later this year, would render the entire amount “legally uncollectible,” according to legislation introduced to the council this week by Mayor Dwight C. Jones.


HENRICO MUM ON BIDS FOR NEW RADIOS

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Henrico County officials are refusing to say how many companies submitted proposals for a regional radio project that is expected to cost more than $165 million in taxpayer money. Earlier this year, Harris Corp. complained that the specifications for a new public safety radio system for the Richmond region were “heavily weighted” toward Motorola Solutions Inc., the dominant public safety radio provider that supplied the current radios used by police and firefighters.


RESIDENTS RAISE CONCERNS ABOUT PLAN TO EXPAND LANDFILL IN CHESTERFIELD

By NED OLIVER, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Chesterfield County residents described the odors emanating from the Shoosmith Landfill alternately as “nauseating,” “rotten” and, depending on which way the wind is blowing, “bad enough to choke you.” About 50 people attended a Department of Environmental Quality public hearing Tuesday night on Shoosmith Bros. Inc.’s proposal to expand its operations into a 250-foot-deep granite quarry.


CHESAPEAKE APPROVES MASSAGE RESTRICTIONS OVER PROSTITUTION CONCERNS

By MARY BETH GAHAN, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

When members of the Planning Commission first began hearing whispers about massage therapy businesses in town, some concerns in particular got their attention: Customers late into the night. Propositions for more than a professional massage. Possible human trafficking. "We learned about it and became alarmed," member Adam Perry said. "Chesapeake prides itself on being a family-friendly community, one that human trafficking has no place in."


COUNCILMAN BREAKS SILENCE ON WEAPONS CHARGE

By DEREK GOMES, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

City Council Vice President Milt McInturff broke his silence following Tuesday’s work session, responding to reporters’ inquiries for the first time since he was charged with unlawfully discharging a firearm, a misdemeanor. Outside council chambers in Rouss City Hall, McInturff said, “It’s a personal matter and I have nothing to say. It doesn’t deserve to be commented on.”


Today's Sponsor:

The University of Virginia Press

Whose science-based book by Stephen Nash shows how climate change will transform Virginia's cities, shorelines, and forests. University of Virginia Press

Editorials

VIRGINIA NEEDS TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO PROCESS UNTESTED RAPE KITS

Daily Press Editorial (Paywall for certain articles)

Advocates for victims of sexual assault and rape have ample reason to be impressed with the progress being made in how these deplorable crimes are handled in Virginia. The commonwealth adopted a proactive stance long before the 2014 Rolling Stone article unfairly and inaccurately alleged that the University of Virginia enabled and protected deviant and predatory behavior.


DID VIRGINIA DODGE A BULLET BY NOT EXPANDING MEDICAID?

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Virginia Republicans missed an opportunity to show the nation how a smart state provides coverage for the needy when they rebuffed a proposal called Marketplace Virginia. Unlike other states that have expanded Medicaid the old-fashioned way, Marketplace Virginia embraced — as its name implied — a more market-oriented approach popularized by Rep. Paul Ryan, a conservative superstar.


OPACITY IN FAIRFAX COUNTY

Washington Post Editorial

EVEN BEFORE the violence a year ago in Ferguson, Mo., after the police killing of Michael Brown, many law enforcement agencies across the country responded to incidents involving the use of deadly force by proactively releasing dashcam, body-camera and other video footage when it existed. The idea, as a top police official told The Post after video of a 12-year-old boy killed by a rookie patrol officer in Cleveland was released days after the incident in November, is “in the spirit of being open and fair with our community.”


VIRGINIA'S RISING CHILD POVERTY RATES NOW DON'T BODE WELL FOR THE FUTURE

Free Lance-Star Editorial

Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist and statesman, once said: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” That sentiment holds up under most any statistical research you’ll find that looks at an adult’s situation compared with his socioeconomic status, educational opportunities or family continuity as a child.


NEW EFFORTS ON EXPANDING VIRGINIA'S ECONOMY

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The coordinated, bipartisan rollout this week of a sweeping new effort to reshape and strengthen Virginia’s economy offered a good opportunity to acknowledge the commonwealth’s potential. Few states possess the kind of resources and assets of Virginia: a busy and profitable port, the world’s largest naval station, excellent universities and colleges, a highly rated public school system.

Columnists

THOMSON: SILVER LINE IS A MIXED BLESSING FOR METRO RIDERS

By ROBERT THOMSON, Washington Post

Planners wanted to have 64 new Metrorail cars in service by the time the Silver Line opened last summer. But the only new rail cars available at Monday’s one-year anniversary celebration in Tysons Corner were the decorative ones on the birthday cake.


SCHAPIRO: SPECIAL ELECTIONS AS AN ALTERNATE REALITY.

By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The prospect of an extra election in 2016 for the House of Delegates is like fantasy baseball: an alternate reality that vaguely tracks the real thing. That it would be held in a presidential year energizes Democrats and alarms Republicans. The heavier turnout would favor Democrats, whose strength peaks in statewide elections, possibly creating a coattail effect that could loosen the GOP grip on the House. This assumes Hillary Clinton has coattails. The latest polling shows her stumbling in battleground Virginia to several top-tier Republicans.

Op-Ed

LEAHY AND GOLDMAN: CAN TERRY MCAULIFFE SAVE HILLARY CLINTON?

By NORMAN LEAHY AND PAUL GOLDMAN, Published in the Washington Post

Does Hillary Clinton have a serious 2016 image problem? At a comparable stage in the 2000 presidential election cycle, the polls said George W. Bush would beat Al Gore in a landslide. On Election Day, roughly a year and a half later, the Texan lost the national popular vote but won the White House after a bitterly divided Supreme Court weeks later declared him the winner in Florida.

Norman Leahy is an editor of bearingdrift.com and producer of the Score radio show. Paul Goldman is a former senior adviser to governors Doug Wilder and Mark Warner.