VaNews

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Compiled by Bernadette Kinlaw


Executive Branch

MCAULIFFE NAMES FORMER U.S. HOUSE CIO TO RUN VITA

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

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has named the former information technology chief of the U.S. House of Representatives to run the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. Nelson Moe, former chief information officer for the House, takes over as Virginia’s CIO at a crucial time.


FOOD TRUCKS GET A LITTLE BOOST FROM GOVERNOR, STATE LAW

By PATRICK WILSON, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Good news for foodies and hipsters: Gov. Terry McAuliffe supports food trucks. We already knew McAuliffe maintains a beer-serving device in the Executive Mansion called a Kegerator — and that he pushed to allow ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber to operate legally in Virginia.


AG HERRING PASSES ON SUPREME COURT SWEET BRIAR CASE

By PETER VIETH, Virginia Lawyers Weekly (Paywall)

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has declined an invitation from the Supreme Court of Virginia to add his voice to the dispute over whether the courts should delay plans to shut down Sweet Briar College. The justices extended an opportunity for Herring to file a brief in the case now set for oral arguments on June 4 “should he be so inclined.”

State Elections

ELLEN ARTHUR TO REPRESENT DEMOCRATS IN 24TH DISTRICT RACE AGAINST DEL. BEN CLINE

By ALICIA PETSKA, News & Advance

Calling for policies that favor people over corporations, Ellen Arthur secured the Democratic nomination for the 24th District House of Delegates race Saturday. “Virginia is ready for a change,” she said. “Virginia is ready for the future, and it’s ready to shake off the chains of its past.”


DEL. DAVID BULOVA ANNOUNCES RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN

By TIM PETERSON, Connection Newspapers

Del. David Bulova (D-37) announced his campaign to seek re-election to the Virginia General Assembly at a May 17 event held at Brion’s Grille in Fairfax. “It is an honor to represent the community where I grew up and where I am raising my own family,” Bulova said in a statement.

State Government

PROPOSED PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL REJECTED BY STATE HEALTH COMMISSIONER

By JAMES IVANCIC, Prince William Times

A 40-bed mental health facility will not be built at Vint Hill. Virginia Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine on April 24 denied a certificate of need application filed by the Healthcare Corporation of America for the facility.

Congress

SENATOR TIM KAINE SPEAKS ABOUT U.S. ROLE IN ISIL

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier

On a day when many Americans paused to honor fallen veterans, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine called for Congress to assume a greater role in shaping U.S. policy toward terrorists. Kaine, D-Va., spoke with the news media Monday while participating in Memorial Day activities in Marion and touring the new Wayne Henderson School of Appalachian Arts.

Economy/Business

NASA USES SATELLITE DATA TO MAP VIRGINIA VINEYARDS

By TAMARA DIETRICH, Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

Virginia vineyards are getting the once-over from space as NASA and the Virginia Wine Board partner to explore the potential of the state's growing wine industry. NASA used its Landsat 8 satellite to help create digitized maps of about 250 commercial vineyards, providing more accurate information on the number and size of operations and offering vintners useful information on if and where they should plant next.

Higher Education

A TUMULTUOUS YEAR FOR U-VA. COMES TO A CLOSE, WITH SIGHS OF RELIEF

By T. REES SHAPIRO, Washington Post

At the University of Virginia’s commencement exercises, graduates of the Class of 2015 received their diplomas, took pause to revel in the moment and then let out a collective sigh of relief. The cap-and-gown ceremonies represented an emotional coda for the students, who finished their time at the elite public flagship university with a year of grief, trauma and turmoil, all while the campus was thrust into the national media spotlight.

Virginia Other

JAILS ARE ALL EARS FOR INMATES' PHONE CALLS

By ELISABETH HULETTE, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The woman on the phone tried to coach Neil William Lyness while he was in jail. He was about to be sentenced for causing a fatal crash after overdosing on prescription medications. The woman urged him to show remorse, to say he felt guilty and couldn't forgive himself. Such statements can make all the difference to a judge, she told him.

Local

LOUDOUN SUPERVISOR WITH DUI AND DOMESTIC RECORD RECONSIDERS CAMPAIGN

By RACHEL WEINER, Washington Post

The Loudoun County supervisor who has admitted a history of drunk driving and domestic incidents said Monday that he is reconsidering his decision to withdraw from the race for board chairman. Shawn Williams, who was accused nearly a decade ago of a brutal attack on his then-girlfriend, said he is open to running for chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors as an independent.


CHESTERFIELD SEEKS TIGHTER CONTROLS ON CONSTRUCTION

By MICHAEL BUETTNER, Chesterfield Observer

Acknowledging that the school system’s safeguards against inadvertent cost overruns on construction projects have been inadequate in the past, School Superintendent Marcus Newsome has outlined an action plan aimed at preventing future mistakes.


Editorials

INEXCUSABLE BEHAVIOR AT CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS

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

Decorum in city council chambers lately has reflected poorly on this region's citizens. Perhaps when people speak to elected officials, they take a cue from online forums, where rants and attacks are de rigueur. Perhaps they see nothing wrong with booing, berating, hounding, even threatening those with different opinions.


OUR MESSAGE TO THE SUPREME COURT

Roanoke Times Editorial

One week from Thursday, the Virginia Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the legal fight over Sweet Briar College. The court is normally out of session this time of year, but took note of what it called “the special nature and heightened public interest” in the case to schedule an expedited hearing.


SIMPLISTIC ANSWER TO TRAIN SAFETY ISN'T SO SIMPLE

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

Ever since the tragic derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia, liberal opinion has been pushing a simplistic and misleading narrative: If only Congress had spent more money on public transit, the accident could have been avoided. Progressives have made a fetish out of a technological fix, positive train control (PTC), in particular. If only it were that easy.


WILL THE COURT DECIDE SWEET BRIAR COLLEGE'S FUTURE?

Free Lance-Star Editorial

On its website, Sweet Briar College writes about how it implores “students to stand up proudly for what they care about, and to express convictions with passion.” The college obviously taught those students well. Newly minted graduates and alumnae from all over, including the Fredericksburg area, are waging a vigorous effort at something they care greatly about—the survival of their college.

Columnists

CASEY: CALDWELL DENIES RUMORS SWIRLING AROUND POSSIBLE SENATE BID

By DAN CASEY, Roanoke Times

One of the biggest questions looming over Roanoke Valley politics for the past two months concerns the state Senate race pitting Democratic incumbent Sen. John Edwards against Republican challenger Nancy Dye. The question goes like this: Why would Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell, a longtime Democrat, act like he’s mounting an independent bid in that race?

Op-Ed

BRAT AND PAUL: FREEDOM ACT WON'T FIX GOVERNMENT OVERREACH

By DAVE BRAT AND RAND PAUL, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

After we have been so outspoken about the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone data, many have asked why we so strongly oppose the USA Freedom Act. The Freedom Act, which passed the House last week and now goes to the Senate, reauthorizes and reforms the parts of the USA Patriot Act that are set to expire.

Dave Brat represents Virginia’s 7th District in the U.S. House. Rand Paul represents Kentucky in the U.S. Senate.


JONES AND MORTENSEN: ECONOMICS LEARNING NEEDED

By MAURICE JONES AND DANIEL MORTENSEN, Published in the Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

Virginia’s Standards of Learning contain elements of economics and personal finance in public elementary, middle, and high school, including a requirement that in order to graduate, students must complete a full credit (full-year) course in economics and personal finance. The class of 2015 will be the first class to graduate with all students passing this course. Virginia is a national leader with these standards.

The Honorable Maurice A. Jones is Virginia’s secretary of commerce and trade. Daniel R. Mortensen is executive director of the Virginia Council on Economic Education.