VaNews

Monday August 31, 2015

Compiled by Bernadette Kinlaw


Executive Branch

MCAULIFFE VISITS WDBJ, REITERATES CALL FOR GUN CONTROL

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

Gov. Terry McAuliffe visited WDBJ-TV Friday to express his sympathies in the slayings of two journalists and reiterate his recent calls for tighter gun restrictions. In a brief news conference outside the TV station, McAuliffe voiced admiration for the “courage and determination” shown by its staff after the on-air killings Wednesday of Alison Parker and Adam Ward.


MCAULIFFE OFFERS SUPPORT TO WDBJ FAMILY

By ALICIA PETSKA, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe met privately Friday with WDBJ (Channel 7) staff to offer his sympathy and support as the station continued to mourn Alison Parker and Adam Ward. “Our hearts are broken. Our souls are crushed,” he said afterward in an on-air interview with anchor Kimberly McBroom.

General Assembly

COURT MOVES TOWARD SPECIAL MASTER TO REDRAW 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

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

The federal judges overseeing the redrawing of Virginia's 3rd Congressional District are moving toward a new map, scheduling a conference call for early next month to discuss the next steps with both sides in the case. The court sent attorneys in the lawsuit that triggered this redraw a letter, dated Thursday, asking them to set aside time on Sept. 2 or Sept. 8.

McDonnell Case

ODDS LONG FOR FORMER GOV. BOB MCDONNELL TO WIN BAIL

By FRANK GREEN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s bid for bail from the U.S. Supreme Court while it decides whether to take his case is a long shot, something that apparently has not been granted in more than three decades, according to a study.

State Elections

GOP GROUP TO PUMP $100K INTO VA. RACES IN BID TO DRAW WOMEN, MINORITIES

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post

A national Republican group on Friday pledged to pump a total of $100,000 into races for Virginia’s House of Delegates as part of the GOP’s national bid to boost its appeal to women and minorities.

Federal Elections

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WALKER DROPS INTO PRINCE WILLIAM

By JILL PALERMO, Prince William Today

You know the presidential-election season is officially underway when candidates start popping up in Prince William County, which has become known, in recent years, as a key bellwether in a key swing state.


GILMORE SEEKS ‘MANO A MANO’ DEBATE WITH TRUMP

By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, on Friday challenged GOP front-runner Donald Trump to a “mano a mano” debate on birthright citizenship.

State Government

Q&A WITH DEBORAH COURTNEY, FINANCE DIRECTOR AT THE VIRGINIA LOTTERY

By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

QUESTION: How much money does the Virginia Lottery bring in annually? ANSWER: The Lottery generates nearly $2 billion in sales every year to players through our great community of more than 5,000 retailers across the commonwealth.


COURT SESSION SHORTENED AS ROUSH TERM NEARS END

By PETER VIETH, Virginia Lawyers Weekly (Paywall)

The Supreme Court of Virginia will hear cases on just three days in its September session rather than four. The change was announced Friday without explanation, but the shortened session appears designed to avoid questions about the status of new Justice Jane Marum Roush.


VA. SUPREME COURT SECRETARY RESPONDS TO FOIA LAWSUIT

By J. ELIAS O'NEAL, Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

The administrators of the state court system say they're not the custodians of a collection of case records contained in their computer system, so the state law guaranteeing the public access to government records doesn't apply to them.


FIRST FEMALE VA. TROOPER KILLED ON DUTY WAS ‘REBEL’ WHO BROKE RACIAL BARRIERS

By FAIZ SIDDIQUI , Washington Post

Virginia state trooper Charles King III was racing down Interstate 395 one night in 1986 when he radioed for backup. He was pursuing the driver of a stolen Porsche 911, headed to Exit 10, toward the Twin Bridges Marriott in Arlington. King, seeing that the driver was going to bail, called for assistance. Jacqueline Vernon, one of the first female troopers with the Virginia State Police, answered the call.


VIRGINIA RELAXES RESTRICTIONS ON DEATH ROW INMATES

By MATT ZAPOTOSKY , Washington Post

Virginia prison officials have relaxed the restrictive conditions under which death row inmates live and are in talks to settle a lawsuit over those prisoners’ near constant placement in solitary confinement — a signal that state authorities are willing to at least modify the incarceration practice that is facing increasing criticism across the country.


UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE PRESIDENTS MOVE UP STATE COMPENSATION LIST

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The presidents of Virginia’s public colleges and universities are moving up the list of most highly compensated state employees as they comply with a newly enforced state requirement to report all compensation, regardless of its source.


HARRISONBURG NATIVE FINDS HOME IN STATE AG AGENCY

By VIC BRADSHAW, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

When Gov. Terry McAuliffe needed a new commissioner to lead Virginia’s agricultural agency, Sandra J. “Sandy” Adams wasn’t sure she was right for the job. The Harrisonburg native had worked for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for 18 years. She’d been second in command at the agency for five years. She’d briefly served as its acting commissioner and was filling that role a second time.

Congress

GOODLATTE OPPOSES OVERTIME PROPOSAL

By RACHEL CISTO, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte hit on issues ranging from a nuclear deal with Iran to a proposal to expand the number of people eligible for overtime pay during a stop in Harrisonburg on Friday.

Economy/Business

DOMINION VA. POWER USING RATE RIDERS TO PAY FOR NEW PLANTS

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

Little-known fees that state regulators approved for Dominion Virginia Power to pay for power plant construction and conversion projects now account for nearly 9 percent of a typical customer’s monthly bill.


THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF THE CAR-WASH INDUSTRY: WAGE FRAUD AND OTHER ABUSES

By ANTONIO OLIVO AND LYDIA DEPILLIS, Washington Post

In the back area of a Fairfax County auto dealership, a crew of mostly undocumented workers provides a snapshot of the challenges that Virginia faces with its steadily transforming economy.


A CHANGING OF THE GUARD AMONG D.C.’S REGIONAL ECONOMIC EXPERTS

By AARON GREGG , Washington Post

For the last two decades, Stephen S. Fuller has run George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, a research operation that has differentiated itself by staying hyper-local. Where most economists track things such as Gross Domestic Product growth or foreign capital flows, Fuller concerns himself with the intricacies of Fairfax County’s real estate market or minute changes in the types of jobs being created in suburban Maryland.

Transportation

AS SELF-DRIVING CARS COME TO MORE STATES, REGULATORS TAKE A BACK SEAT

By THAD MOORE , Washington Post

When self-driving cars begin zipping through Northern Virginia this year, they won’t need any special registration, and the testers sitting behind the wheel won’t need a special license. In the eyes of the law, they’ll be regular cars. Virginia is one of a handful of states seeking to attract the potentially lucrative business of developing self-driving cars. And along with a few other states, its lawmakers and regulators are inclined to welcome the industry — and get out of the way.

Higher Education

A FAN OF THE MELTING POT WANTS GEORGE MASON TO BE A BUSINESS INCUBATOR

By THOMAS HEATH, Washington Post

When he was a young boy growing up in Madrid in the early 1970s, Angel Cabrera would spend summers in El Torno, a poor agricultural village in western Spain where his grandfather taught school. “If I would get in trouble, all I had to say was, ‘I’m the grandson of my grandfather.’


SULLIVAN DISCUSSES CHANGES AT U.VA., CHALLENGES AHEAD

By KARIN KAPSIDELIS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The day after she met with state officials last week to review the University of Virginia’s six-year plan, class began for President Teresa Sullivan. Sullivan is teaching a course on 21st-century labor markets to 15 first-year students, and it’s a subject that in many ways parallels ongoing discussions she is having around the state Capitol.


Q&A: U.VA. PRESIDENT TERESA SULLIVAN

By KARIN KAPSIDELIS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

QUESTION: Some Ivy League universities have been criticized for paying high fees to endowment fund managers at the expense of student aid. Does the University of Virginia use enough of its $7 billion endowment to mitigate tuition increases?

Virginia Other

WATER RULE’S IMPACT ON VIRGINIA MAY BE MINIMAL

By REX SPRINGSTON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

A new federal regulation will protect important waters or put property owners in jeopardy, depending on your take. Called the Clean Water Rule, the measure was pushed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. The rule aims to clarify which waters are protected under the 43-year-old federal Clean Water Act.


OFFSHORE WIND COULD BE A WINDFALL FOR HAMPTON ROADS

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

Dominion's offshore wind plans could create a big new chunk of the local economy, even making up for Department of Defense cuts, if the project comes to fruition. But that is a very big "if."


52-MILE VA. CAPITAL TRAIL NEARS COMPLETION

By BRANDON SHULLEETA, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Bicyclists have been out in full force as crews put the final touches on landscaping along a newly paved portion of the Virginia Capital Trail that runs through Richmond and into eastern Henrico County. The paved trail that’s prominent along Dock Street in Richmond and now continues on the riverfront just past Rocketts Landing will soon connect Richmond to Jamestown.


SIGNS OF CONFLICT: VIRGINIA STRUGGLES WITH PUSH TO ELIMINATE CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

The names of Civil War generals are attached across Virginia to schools, highways and to monuments lining a majestic cobblestoned boulevard in the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond. But in the wake of the June killings in Charleston, S.C. of nine black parishioners at a historic church by a white supremacist, there are renewed efforts to remove Confederate symbols.

Local

MILLENNIALS HAVE TRANSFORMED ARLINGTON, BUT WILL THEY STAY?

By PATRICIA SULLIVAN, Washington Post

The condominiums on the cul-de-sac in Fairway Village have sold steadily over the past eight years, transforming a solidly middle-aged enclave into a community of starter homes for the oldest members of Arlington’s millennial boom.


A LOOK AT THE DEVELOPING SILVER LINE HUB IN ASHBURN

By ANNA HARRIS, Loudoun Times

Anyone following the Metro Silver Line's expansion into Dulles has likely been disappointed by pushed-back completion dates and changed plans, delaying a closer connection D.C. ...Despite delays, plans for how the surrounding area will be affected are moving forward, and three scenarios have surfaced for how the the swath of land housing the future Silver Line could develop


COUNCIL TO REDUCE REAL ESTATE TAX HIKE

By RACHEL CISTO, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

City Council will vote Monday at a special meeting to cut the real estate tax rate. On Tuesday, council agreed to reduce the real estate tax 1.5 cents from the amount approved in May as part of the $220.9 million fiscal 2016 budget, which took effect July 1.


Editorials

NOT READY FOR THE WORST

Daily Press Editorial (Paywall for certain articles)

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast, washing away waterside towns in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and inundating entire neighborhoods in New Orleans. More than 1,800 people died. Many more suffered in the sweltering days that followed.


RESEARCH WARNS OF FAST-RISING WATERS

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

Scientists know a few things about sea levels: They're rising across the globe, though not uniformly. And they're rising faster than they had been. In Hampton Roads, seas are rising even faster because the Gulf Stream has slowed down and because land here is sinking, a result of the region's geology and groundwater withdrawals.


DOMINION, DONATIONS NEED A DIVIDE

Daily Progress Editorial

If you’re a Dominion Power customer, the money you’re paying to the company can be used in ways you don’t support. Under current regulatory rulings, the company can make charitable donations. That includes gifts to civic, educational and religious charities that might be linked to influential state leaders.


PUBLIC ACCESS TO COURT DATABASE IS ESSENTIAL

News & Advance Editorial

There is nothing more fundamental to the concept of good government than the public’s right to know. And there are few responsibilities of government more fundamental than the administration of justice.


STATE POLICE BREAK AN OATH

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

Interfering with an officer in the execution of his or her duties is against the law in many places. Interfering with the media? Not so much. Just ask the Virginia State Police, one of whose officers ordered two BBC photographers to delete pictures from the crash site where WDBJ killer Vester Lee Flanagan II met his fate. A photojournalists’ association has objected — as well it might.


BIG MONEY DOESN'T WIN ELECTIONS

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

Say this much for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders: They’re proving that the gloom and doom about post-Citizens United campaign finance is still hogwash. As Jack Shafer noted recently in a piece for Politico, if campaign finance reformers were right about the power of big money in politics, then Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush should not be having any difficulties whatsoever.


PUBLIC'S BUSINESS SHOULD BE PUBLIC

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

The report this week that Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales plans to seek an indictment of the police officer who shot and killed a teen outside a Walmart offers the public hope that it might actually learn what happened that April morning.


BEING NO. 1 IN CONGESTION TAKES A HEAVY TOLL ON REGION

Free Lance-Star Editorial

We're No. 1! That joyful chant typically follows winning a tough competition. But in this case it refers to the time wasted on the roads around the Washington area. The latest study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and INRIX Inc. found that commuters in the region face the longest delays of any metropolitan area in the nation — ahead of Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

Columnists

SCHAPIRO: IN VA. POLITICS, SOMETIMES THERE'S LESS THAN MEETS THE EYE

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

End-of-summer clearance: Third time the charm?: In his revenue report to the General Assembly money committees this past Thursday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe appeared to issue another challenge to Republicans on a Medicaid-financed expansion of Obamacare.


CASEY: GUN CONTROL EFFORTS ARE UNWELCOME IN RICHMOND

By DAN CASEY, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

It’s tough not to feel sympathy and admiration for Andy Parker, the father of slain WDBJ (Channel 7) reporter Alison Parker. At the end of probably the worst day of his life, after his daughter had been gunned down on live TV by an armed and enraged nut, Parker made a vow on Fox News.


FAIN: MCAULIFFE: I DON'T DO DEALS WHERE WE WRITE CHECKS.

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

In discussing Virginia's quasi-effort to bring the Washington Redskins into Virginia today, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he doesn't do "contracts where we have to write checks." "I'm sorry, I don't do business that way," McAuliffe said.


MCCARTNEY: HERE’S HOW D.C. BUSINESS THINKS REGION SHOULD REACT TO PAINFUL SEQUESTRATION

By ROBERT MCCARTNEY, Washington Post

Back when Maryland businessman Larry Letow relied almost entirely on federal contracts for his computer data security company, government work was so plentiful that he viewed it as “sort of an aphrodisiac.” The romance is over. Congress’s budget cuts forced Letow last year to reduce his staff by 10 percent.

Op-Ed

MCAULIFFE: RECONSIDERING PAROLE IN VIRGINIA

By TERRY MCAULIFFE, Published in the Washington Post

In 1994, the Virginia General Assembly abolished parole in the commonwealth, requiring felony offenders to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences, with the potential to earn good-behavior credits toward an early release date.

The writer, a Democrat, is governor of Virginia.


SEPP: KAINE, WARNER SHOULD BACK INTERNET TAX BAN

By PETE SEPP, Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

From primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire to swing states like Ohio and of course Virginia, the discourse over “pocketbook issues” has risen in volume and tone as the presidential election season intensifies. Yet, even while the White House hopefuls make the case for how they’ll reform the federal income tax system when they take office in 2017, there is one tax matter whose built-in expiration means elected officials will have to confront it this fall.

Pete Sepp is President of the National Taxpayers Union.


RUGER AND GASTANAGA: TOWARD SMART JUSTICE REFORM

By WILLIAM RUGER AND CLAIRE GUTHRIE GASTANAGA, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The ACLU of Virginia and the Charles Koch Institute are working together to spur conversation about needed criminal justice reforms in Virginia - reforms that keep communities safe and hold lawbreakers accountable.

William Ruger is the vice president for research at the Charles Koch Institute and the Charles Koch Foundation. Claire Guthrie Gastanaga is the executive director of the the ACLU of Virginia.


PAASCH: VIRGINIA SHOULD EMBRACE SHARED PARENTING

By CHRISTIAN PAASCH, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

As the month of August, which was declared Child Support Enforcement Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, winds down, I encourage the citizens of Virginia to honor Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s recent proclamation well beyond the close of this month by supporting initiatives that work in children’s best interests after divorce or separation.

Christian Paasch chairs the National Parents Organization of Virginia and has been appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines Review Panel.


PARKER: I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO END GUN VIOLENCE

By ANDY PARKER, Published in the Washington Post

Last Wednesday, my daughter Alison was brutally struck down in the prime of her life by a deranged gunman. Since then, I have stated in numerous interviews with local, national and international media that I plan to make my life’s work trying to implement effective and reasonable safeguards against this happening again.

Andy Parker lives near Martinsville.


BENDA AND GUILFOYLE: SOLAR CAN HELP VIRGINIA MEET CLEAN-ENERGY GOALS

By WALTER BENDA AND NICOLE GUILFOYLE, Published in the Free Lance-Star

With 2015 on pace to be the hottest year the planet’s ever seen, and more extreme weather events such as intense storms and flooding in Virginia, it’s becoming clearer each day that global warming isn’t just a dire prediction of the future; it’s a present reality.

Walter Benda is the founder of Blue Ridge Sun, a solar energy business in Southwest Virginia. Nicole Guilfoyle is the global warming solutions organizer for Environment Virginia.


KONDIK: WAITING ON NEW HOUSE MAPS IN FLORIDA AND VIRGINIA

By KYLE KONDIK, Published in the Daily Progress

Week before last, the Florida legislature failed to come to an agreement on a new U.S. House map. The same thing happened in Virginia. Courts that threw out the current maps are now expected to determine what the new maps will look like going forward.

Kyle Kondik is the director of communications for the University of Virginia Center for Politics.