VaNews

Monday December 05, 2016


Today's Sponsor:

Jim Babb Communications

Helping Virginians discover and tell their stories, and saluting VPAP for promoting open government. Email jim[at]babbcommunications.com

General Assembly


SUPREME COURT TAKES UP NC, VIRGINIA CASES ABOUT RACE IN REDISTRICTING

Associated Press

The Supreme Court is taking up a pair of cases in which African-American voters maintain that Southern states discriminated against them in drawing electoral districts....The claim made by black voters in both states is that Republicans created districts with more reliably Democratic black voters than necessary to elect their preferred candidates, making neighboring districts whiter and more Republican.



SUPREME COURT TO HEAR VIRGINIA VOTING CASE

By TRAVIS FAIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The U.S. Supreme Court will take up another Virginia redistricting case Monday, hearing arguments over whether racial population breakdowns were used to unfairly gerrymander a dozen House of Delegates districts, including two on the Peninsula. A panel of federal judges ruled 2-1 last year that they were not, keeping lines drawn in 2011 in place for last November's General Assembly elections. A law firm with deep Democratic Party ties, which has pushed other redistricting suits in multiple states, appealed to the Supreme Court.



ROANOKE VALLEY JUDGES INTERVIEW IN RICHMOND

By CARMEN FORMAN, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

A new Roanoke Valley General District Court judge is one step closer to taking the bench. Roanoke County attorney Scott Geddes interviewed with the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee Friday, putting him closer to becoming confirmed for a judgeship once the General Assembly convenes in January.



PENINSULA DELEGATION MAY BE GAINING INFLUENCE IN RICHMOND

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

For the past couple of years, Dels. David Yancey, R-Newport News, and Monty Mason, D-Williamsburg, have started off shaking hands along the Denbigh Days parade nearly side by side; ... Now, the close working relationship the two neighboring legislators have developed over the past four years will enter a new phase, one that could lay the groundwork for a much higher profile in the state Capitol for the Peninsula as Mason moves to the state Senate,



SCHOOLS FAVOR EFFORTS TO HIRE FAMILY MEMBERS

Northern Neck News

All but one of the schools in Planning District 17 of Virginia have passed resolutions to approve Delegate Margaret Ransone to sponsor an amendment to section 2.2-3119 of the Code of Virginia, which prohibits the the employment of family members of superintendents and school board members. Some of the schools who passed the resolution include Richmond County, Northumberland County and Lancaster County. According to Del. Ransone’s office, as of Nov. 18, the only school that hadn’t passed a resolution yet is Colonial Beach Public Schools in Westmoreland County. No legislation for this amendment has been submitted by Del. Ransone’s office.

McDonnell Case


PROSECUTOR: MCDONNELL RULING NO GROUNDS TO TOSS SILVER CONVICTION

By JACOB GERSHMAN, Wall Street Journal (Paywall)

What does former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s triumph at the Supreme Court mean for the federal corruption case against Sheldon Silver? It’s apples and oranges, Manhattan federal prosecutor Preet Bharara’s office told a federal appeals court this week. Lawyers for the former New York Assembly Speaker have seized on the McDonnell ruling in their appeal to the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

State Elections


GUBERNATORIAL HOPEFULS STRUT THEIR STUFF FOR THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam drew a laugh Friday when he prefaced his overview of the state's economy with a warning that other gubernatorial hopefuls set to speak to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce might take a different view. He emphasized the 180,000 new jobs and $14 billion in new investment resulting from economic development efforts over the past three years under Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The four Republicans seeking to be the state's next governor did not.



THREE – MAYBE FOUR – REPUBLICANS WANT TO BE VIRGINIA'S NEXT GOVERNOR

By PATRICK WILSON , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Virginia voters will elect a new governor in about 11 months. That may seem like a long way off, but in the Richmond political bubble, the race and a June primary among Republicans vying for their party’s nomination is well under way. ... The race takes on importance because Republicans control the legislature. Should a Republican governor replace McAuliffe, the GOP could pass its own agenda. Only two states – Virginia and New Jersey – hold gubernatorial elections in 2017, so the Virginia contest also will be considered an early referendum on new President Donald Trump.



REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES FOCUS ON ECONOMY, REGULATIONS

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

The four Republican candidates for Virginia governor promised Friday to jump-start the state’s lackluster economic growth, generally agreeing with one another in calling for reducing regulations and cutting taxes. Rep. Robert Wittman, R-Westmoreland; Prince William Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart; Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach; and former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie spoke to a crowd of business leaders and public policy officials at an economic forum in Williamsburg hosted by the Virginia Chamber Foundation.



VA. DELEGATE KICKS OFF BID FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BY COMPARING HIMSELF TO TRUMP

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post

Virginia Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr. officially kicked off his bid for lieutenant governor Friday by billing himself as “the only real job creator” in the race, and comparing himself to President-elect Donald Trump. Davis (R-Virginia Beach) planned to formally launch his campaign Friday night with a dinner at the Virginia Beach Convention Center and a high-profile endorsement from former U.S. congressman Thomas M. Davis III, a moderate Northern Virginia Republican who is of no relation.



TOM DAVIS WANTS VIRGINIA BEACH'S GLENN DAVIS TO BE THE NEXT LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

By PATRICK WILSON , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis of Northern Virginia was the keynote speaker Friday evening as Del. Glenn Davis of Virginia Beach formally kicked off his campaign for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Tom Davis served in Congress for seven terms until 2008. He said Glenn Davis’ mix of business and legislative experience led to his support. Tom Davis was Virginia chairman of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2016 presidential campaign; Glenn Davis – no relation – was a Virginia co-chairman.



DAVID BOWERS, MIKE HAMLAR CONSIDERING BIDS FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

By CARMEN FORMAN, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Former Roanoke Mayor David Bowers and local businessman and former Democratic candidate for the 19th Senate District Mike Hamlar are mulling running for lieutenant governor they said this week. Should Bowers or Hamlar decide to run, they would be the only lieutenant governor candidates from western Virginia. Neither has formed an exploratory committee or begun campaign fundraising, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.



PEAKE GETS GOP NOD FOR SENATE RACE

By MARTIN L. CAHN, Farmville Herald (Paywall)

After a more than a 3 1/2-hour convention, Republicans chose Lynchburg attorney Mark Peake by acclimation to be their candidate for the soon-to-be-vacant State Senate District Seat 22. Peake will face former Fluvanna County Sheriff Ryant L. Washington in a Jan. 10 special election.



WASHINGTON WINS DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION FOR SENATE SEAT

By JORDAN MILES, Farmville Herald (Paywall)

Former Fluvanna County Sheriff Ryant L. Washington secured the nomination Saturday as the Democratic candidate in the race to represent Virginia Senate District 22 in Richmond. Out of the 145 ballots cast during the caucus held at the Moton Museum in Farmville, Washington, a Buckingham County native, received 108 votes, while Lynchburg Democratic Party Chairwoman and educator Katie Webb Cyphert received 35.



PEAKE, WASHINGTON WIN NOMINATIONS TO RUN FOR GARRETT'S STATE SENATE SEAT

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

Lynchburg lawyer and GOP activist Mark Peake will face off against former Fluvanna County Sheriff Ryant Washington of Palmyra in the Jan. 10 special election to fill the state Senate seat of U.S. representative-elect Tom Garrett, R-Buckingham . Peake topped Goochland County supervisor Ken Peterson Saturday at a GOP convention at Hampden-Sydney College. Washington prevailed over Lynchburg school teacher Katie Webb Cyphert in a Democratic caucus

Federal Elections


CONFUSION CAUSED PROVISIONAL BALLOT PROBLEM AT NEWPORT NEWS PRECINCT

By REEMA AMIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Newport News election officials should not have denied provisional ballots for Christopher Newport University students during an eight-hour period on Election Day when at least two dozen of them did not appear on the voter rolls, according to the state Department of Elections. Virginia law says that anyone who thinks they should be registered at a precinct should be offered a provisional ballot — a ballot that isn't counted until the local electoral board certifies it.



A CHANGING CHESTERFIELD DELIVERS TRUMP HISTORICALLY LOW WINNING MARGIN

By VANESSA REMMERS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Chesterfield County swung in President-elect Donald Trump’s favor on Election Day, but his historically slim winning margin laid bare the fact that the longtime Republican stronghold is increasingly becoming a battleground in swing state Virginia. Trump won the county by 3,971 votes, the smallest margin for a Republican presidential nominee in Chesterfield since 1960, when Richard Nixon beat Democrat John F. Kennedy by 3,805 votes.



"I ASSUMED HE WAS A DEMOCRAT": STEVE BANNON'S JOURNEY FROM NORFOLK TO WASHINGTON

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

When Francis Bannon journeyed from Baltimore to Norfolk more than a century ago for work, the tugboat engineer could never have guessed that his great-grandson would become one of the most polarizing figures in national politics – and soon, a top adviser to the president of the United States. Now, Stephen Bannon’s Virginia roots are a part of nearly every story examining his rise,

State Government


TOP PROSECUTORS IN HAMPTON, NEWPORT NEWS DECLINED POT CASES

By PETER DUJARDIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

When his city was hit with a rash of homicides and violent gun crimes in 2012, Hampton Commonwealth's Attorney Anton Bell said he took a hard look at the kinds of cases his office was working. He found that more than half the caseload — or about 60 percent — was misdemeanors rather than felonies. Bell said he also considered that marijuana cases typically result in only a $100 fine in Hampton, and that state lawmakers had begun talk of decriminalization.



ENFORCEMENT UP IN SMOKE? MARIJUANA ARRESTS DOWN SHARPLY ACROSS STATE, REGION

By PETER DUJARDIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Marijuana arrests are down significantly in Virginia over the past few years — leading some to speculate that the decline could reflect a loosening attitude in the Old Dominion about the drug. The number of people arrested or charged with marijuana offenses has fallen by 14 percent statewide over a two-year stretch — from 25,981 in 2013 to 22,428 in 2015, according to Virginia State Police figures. That's the largest two-year drop in at least 15 years, with cannabis charges on pace to fall once again in 2016.



TOP OFFICIALS SEEKING ANSWERS IN VIRGINIA'S MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS

By SARAH KLEINER, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The facilities accused of negligence in the death of a jail inmate outlined on Friday changes made to improve the way they operate, but top state officials said Virginia is far from fixing its mental health and criminal justice systems. Jamycheal Mitchell, an accused petty thief who wasted away and died in custody, and the plight of thousands like him who are mentally ill and in jail were discussed at length in a landmark meeting that included the secretaries of health and public safety, elected officials and officials with multiple state and local agencies.



OFFICIALS DISCUSS HOW TO PREVENT MORE MENTALLY ILL INMATES FROM DYING IN JAIL

By GARY A. HARKI , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

How do you prevent more mentally ill inmates from dying in jail as Jamycheal Mitchell did and instead get them the services they need? That was the question at the center of a meeting of more than two dozen state and local officials at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail on Friday. As everyone in the room acknowledged, there’s no easy answer.



COLLEGE, VRS HEADS LEAD LIST OF STATE SALARIES

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

Salary isn’t everything, especially for presidents of Virginia colleges and universities whose compensation largely comes from sources other than state taxes or student tuition. Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael P. Rao moved into the top spot in the annual salary database for state employees published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, based on sources of other compensation that colleges and universities had not reported to the state in past salary surveys.



FEDERAL MONEY TO HELP VIRGINIA SCHOOLS EXPAND PRESCHOOL FOR DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN

By LOUIS LLOVIO , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Virginia has been awarded $17.5 million in grant money by the federal government to expand preschool offerings for disadvantaged children. The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the award last week.

Congress


GOODLATTE REELECTED HOUSE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

Sixth District Rep. Bob Goodlatte was elected to a new two-year term as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Friday. The House Republican Conference voted Friday morning to confirm the GOP Steering Committee's recommendation for Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, to serve as chairman of Judiciary for the 115th Congress. Goodlatte, whose district includes Waynesboro, Augusta County and Staunton, has held the Judiciary post for the past four years.



COMSTOCK PRAISES PASSAGE OF 21ST CENTURY CURES ACT; KAINE SAYS HE’LL SUPPORT IT

By TREVOR BARATKO, Loudoun Times

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.-10th) is hailing the House of Representatives' passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, a sweeping piece of legislation Comstock frequently touted on the campaign trail this election season. The Cures bill, which passed Congress' lower chamber 392-26 on Wednesday, aims to speed up the Food and Drug Administration's review process for drugs and treatments, increase funding for cancer and other research at the National Institutes of Health and help fight the national opioid epidemic.

Economy/Business


NEW REPORT PREDICTS LACKLUSTER ECONOMIC GROWTH IN VIRGINIA

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

Virginia’s economy has improved since the end of the Great Recession, but it has not kept pace with growth nationally and likely will continue to lag, a new report says. The 2016 State of the Commonwealth Report released Friday by Old Dominion University’s Center for Economic Analysis and Policy predicts Virginia’s gross domestic product will grow in 2016 and 2017 but at a rate of less than 2 percent.



REPORT EXPECTS LACKLUSTER ECONOMIC GROWTH IN VIRGINIA

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

While Virginia’s economy has improved since the end of the Great Recession, it hasn’t kept pace with growth nationally and appears to be decelerating, according to a report from Old Dominion University released Friday. The 2016 State of the Commonwealth Report by ODU’s Center for Economic Analysis and Policy measured unemployment rates, wages, labor market conditions, and the growth or decline of certain industries both across the state and in specific metro areas. For 2016, the report’s authors predict Virginia’s GDP will grow, but at a rate of less than 2 percent.



ODU ECONOMIST: STOP PUTTING THE MILLENNIALS BEFORE THE JOBS, VIRGINIA

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Virginia, it’s time to focus. Old Dominion University economist Larry “Chip” Filer told a crowd of several hundred people gathered for the annual Virginia Economic Summit that if the state wants its economy to grow, the key is innovation and productivity. Focus on that, “and get away from the idea that a Wegmans and a craft brewery” are going to attract millennials who will revive local economies, he said.



SMITHFIELD SETS PLAN TO CUT CARBON EMISSIONS BY A QUARTER

By JACOB BUNGE, Wall Street Journal (Paywall)

Pork giant Smithfield Foods Inc. plans to cut a quarter of its carbon emissions over eight years, a voluntary move the company hopes will trim costs and burnish its brand. Virginia-based Smithfield will scale back applications of fertilizer used to grow grain for pig feed and install systems to extract natural gas from manure, among other measures. The Environmental Defense Fund, which worked with Smithfield on the plan, said it is the most ambitious commitment yet by a U.S. meatpacker to curtail greenhouse-gas emissions.



AG BUREAU HIGHLIGHTS CONSUMERS

By VIC BRADSHAW, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

The American farmer is doing well financially. Labels such as “heart healthy,” “humanely raised” and “farm raised” are something consumers pay attention to, because they must have meaning. And unless they’re buying directly from them, they tend not to think about the farmer who raised the food they eat.



COLD REALITY: 11 VIRGINIA BEACH HOTELS CLOSE FOR UP TO SIX MONTHS EACH YEAR

By BUTCH MAIER, Inside Business

Temperatures had risen to the 70s. Yet, below the elegant script on the “Oceans Twenty-Seven Hundred” sign on Baltic Avenue at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, on the next to the last day of November, four words in block letters spelled out a cold reality: “Closed for the season.” ... The little rest havens shut down from October until mid-March or April, when the numbers on the boardwalk, the beaches and – more often than not – the thermometer go down.



FORMER PROPERTY-MANAGEMENT COMPANY PAYS MILLIONS TO RESOLVE FRAUD CHARGES

By RACHEL WEINER, Washington Post

A company that stole $1 million while managing military housing in Virginia now must repay $85.6 million. From 2004 to 2011, American Management Services skimmed money from the insurance premiums paid for privatized housing at four bases: Fort Belvoir in Virginia, Fort Benning in Georgia, and Fort Irwin and the Presidio in California.



UBER THREATENS TO PULL OUT OF MARYLAND OVER BACKGROUND CHECKS

By FAIZ SIDDIQUI, Washington Post

Maryland has become the latest battleground in the fight between Uber, Lyft and government regulators who say the companies must subject their drivers to more thorough screening. The state is seeking to become the nation’s first to require fingerprint­-based background checks for ride-hailing drivers, and Uber is threatening to pull out if that happens — potentially disbanding a network of 30,000 drivers, thousands of whom serve the D.C. region.

Transportation


CONGRESS SLAMS ‘RAMPANT PAROCHIALISM’ AND ‘POLITICAL THEATER’ ON METRO BOARD

By MARTINE POWERS, Washington Post

Members of Congress lambasted Metro’s board Friday for “rampant parochialism” and called for the Federal Transit Administration to enact new safety regulations to improve the quality of its oversight of the rail system. At the hearing, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) ripped into Metro board Chairman Jack Evans — along with board member Corbett A. Price, who was not present — for suggesting that Metro should consider canceling the Silver Line extension in Virginia to save money.

Higher Education


ALUMNAE VISIT MARY BALDWIN AFTER COED DECISION

By JEREMIAH KNUPP, News Leader (Metered Pay Wall)

Graduates of Mary Baldwin showed up on campus Saturday to talk to undergrads, support them and win them over to a determined effort to roll back the administration's decision to go co-ed. For many alumnae the message arrived by Facebook. On Monday, Mary Baldwin University announced that beginning with the fall term of 2017 male students will be allowed to live on campus, breaking a 175-year-old tradition at the school. The reaction from Mary Baldwin graduates came swiftly.



4 PRESIDENTS OF VIRGINIA PRIVATE COLLEGES TOP NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR PAY

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

The former president of the University of Richmond was one of 39 private college chief executives paid more than $1 million in 2014, according to an analysis by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Edward L. Ayers, who stepped down in June 2015, earned $1,044,367. Three other Virginia presidents received more than the national average for compensation, which was $512,987 for presidents working the full calendar year.



VIRGINIA TECH UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS PUSH FOR 'SANCTUARY CAMPUS'

By ROBBY KORTH, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Juan de la Rosa says he knows far more about his Virginian heritage than his Mexican one. But he says he’s afraid that won’t matter. ... De la Rosa is an undocumented student . He fears that status could lead to him and his peers being rounded up and herded off to the nations of their parents.

Virginia Other


THE 2,000-FOOT HOLE IN THE GROUND THAT'S IMPORTANT IN THE BATTLE AGAINST SEA LEVEL RISE

By STEVE EARLEY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Just east of Interstate 664, about as far north in this city as you can get, there’s a hole in the ground. A deep, deep hole. Almost 2,000 feet. All the way to bedrock and beyond. A monster of a drilling rig needed just a couple of weeks to get there, boring through clay, sand and shell that took nature millions of years to layer. ... To the crack team of U.S. Geological Survey drillers, it’s just another well. ... But scientists have taken an extraordinary interest in this hole in Suffolk.



SEAPORT FOUNDATION IN DELTAVILLE WORKS TO PRESERVE COLONIAL MARITIME HISTORY

By LARRY CHOWNING, Southside Sentinel

Colonial Virginia’s maritime history is being brought to life by the Colonial Seaport Foundation Inc. (CSF) in Deltaville. The organization is presently rebuilding and modifying a 50-foot ketch (two-masted sailboat) into a replica of a 1768 Virginia sloop. ... Luna will be home-based in the lower Chesapeake Bay. ... Urbanna, Cabin Point, Yorktown, Port Royal, Aquia, Dunfries, Occoquan and others were designated by the Virginia Assembly as “official” commercial ports. These communities flourished in the half-century before the Revolutionary War.



WASHINGTON MONUMENT TO REMAIN CLOSED FOR AT LEAST TWO MORE YEARS

By MICHAEL E. RUANE , Washington Post

Billionaire philanthropist David Rubenstein has agreed to fund an overhaul of the Washington Monument’s broken elevator system, but the beleaguered landmark will probably remain closed for the next 2 1/2 years, the National Park Service says. It is the second time that Rubenstein has come to the aid of the monument, which has been shuttered since Aug. 17 because of chronic elevator problems.



CONFEDERATE VETERANS GROUP GRANTED PERMIT FOR LEXINGTON PARADE

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

After being displaced by an anti-racism group, a Confederate historical organization has settled on a new day for its traditional parade through downtown Lexington to celebrate Lee-Jackson Day. At a meeting Thursday night, the Lexington City Council granted a permit for the Stonewall Brigade Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to hold a parade on the Sunday afternoon of Jan. 15, two days after the Lee-Jackson Day state holiday on Friday.

Local


FAIRFAX DIDN’T WANT TO PAY FIRE CAPTAINS OVERTIME. IT COST THEM $7.85 MILLION.

By RACHEL WEINER, Washington Post

Fairfax County has agreed to pay $7.85 million to settle a lawsuit over fire department overtime pay. The suit was brought in 2014 by 176 Fairfax fire captains who argued that they were first responders who should receive overtime pay rather than supervisors who did not. The county fought back, maintaining that the captains — fifth-highest in the fire department chain of command — are executives and administrators who should not get overtime.



PARENTS OF VIRGINIA TEEN WHO COMMITTED SUICIDE SUE SCHOOL COUNSELOR

By MORIAH BALINGIT, Washington Post

Three weeks before 18-year-old Jay Gallagher took his own life, a worried friend who lived in Colorado sent an email to his school counselor at Potomac Falls High in Potomac Falls, Va., telling the counselor that Jay was saying things “with suicidal content,” according to a lawsuit filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court on Friday.



AS TRUMP NEARS INAUGURATION, PRINCE WILLIAM MINORITY GROUPS FEAR AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE

By ALEX KOMA, Sun Gazette

Ana Sanchez moved to Northern Virginia 14 years ago in search of the sorts of opportunities she just couldn’t find in her hometown of Puebla, Mexico. Now, as the reality of Donald Trump’s election sets in, she wonders whether her adoptive country has room for her anymore. She only came to America after her father had an accident, and couldn’t afford to send her to college, after putting her brothers through school. But she heard from a relative in the D.C. area that she could find work here, and took the plunge.



LOUDOUN SUPERVISORS EXPECTED TO LIMIT RESIDENTIAL NEAR DULLES RUNWAYS

By KAREN GOFF, Washington Business Journal

Loudoun County supervisors will advance a plan to almost entirely limit residential development on land near the future Loudoun Gateway Metro station, citing its close proximity to Dulles International Airport's runways. The Loudoun board's transportation and land use committee has worked for months on a Silver Line comprehensive plan amendment and one particular sticking point: airport noise.



INCOMING RICHMOND COUNCIL MEMBERS SUPPORT ANTI-CORRUPTION REFORMS

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

Members of the incoming Richmond City Council expressed broad agreement last week that new anti-corruption policies should be put in place following the conclusion of a 10-month investigation into Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I think we’re at a pivotal point here in Richmond in terms of bringing public confidence back in city government, so I think this is an opportunity for us to change how things have been done in the past,” said Kristen Larson, who won election last month to replace outgoing Councilwoman Kathy C. Graziano representing Forest Hill, Westover Hills and Stony Point.



RICHMOND FACING DEADLIEST YEAR IN DECADE; 59 HOMICIDES SO FAR IN 2016

By ALI ROCKETT , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

A vigil held Friday night for George Carrington III, a high school senior and father-to-be who was shot and killed a week earlier in North Richmond, capped off a violent week in the city.



GAY PRIDE ASSEMBLY AT VIRGINIA BEACH HIGH SCHOOL POSTPONED

By MARY BETH GAHAN AND AMIR VERA , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

The school division postponed a gay-pride assembly scheduled for today at Cox High School, shortly after an incoming School Board member complained that such an event shouldn’t be held during instructional time. The school’s Gay-Straight Alliance had planned the event for months. It was to be optional for students, ... Instead, school spokeswoman Eileen Cox wrote Sunday in an email, a new event will be held that will be “more inclusive of all groups and students.”



SUFFOLK SHERIFF ISAACS STEPPING DOWN AFTER ALMOST 23 YEARS AT THE HELM

By MIKE CONNORS , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Raleigh Isaacs, who has served as sheriff for 22 years, will be retiring one year before his term was slated to end. Isaacs will leave office Jan. 1. He would have been up for re-election in November. By law, the office’s second in command, Chief Deputy Everett “E.C.” Harris, will take over as sheriff on Jan. 1. Harris said he plans to run for a full term in the election next year.



PROTESTERS RALLY FOR 'TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD,' HUCK FINN

By CAROL VAUGHN , Eastern Shore News

Dozens of protestors gathered on the courthouse green in Accomac, Virginia, Friday evening to rally against the Accomack County School Board's decision to pull two classics of American literature from school library shelves. Charles Knitter of Keller, who took a lead role in organizing the rally, told the 50 or so in attendance, including dozens of high school students, that the school district has "a leadership problem."



SCHOOL DISTRICT WEIGHS BAN OF ‘MOCKINGBIRD,’ ‘HUCKLEBERRY FINN’ AFTER COMPLAINT

By MORIAH BALINGIT, Washington Post

A Virginia school district has pulled copies of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” from classrooms and libraries while it weighs whether it should permanently ban the American classics because of the books’ use of racial slurs. In response to a formal complaint from a parent, Accomack County Public Schools Superintendent Chris Holland said the district has appointed a committee to recommend whether the books should remain in the curriculum and stay in school libraries.



ROANOKE REVAMPS CHRISTMAS PARADE RULES AFTER LAST YEAR'S CONTROVERSY

By MATT CHITTUM, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

After Roanoke’s Christmas parade became partly a rolling pro-Confederate flag and Second Amendment rally last year, parade organizers have made changes aimed at improving the event for this year. The city and Downtown Roanoke Inc., organizers of the parade set for 7 p.m. Friday, made a number of application and procedural changes to shorten its duration, enforce a holiday theme and limit the number of entries in various categories to ensure a diverse offering.



AFFILIATIONS OF SOME SEEKING UNSEATING OF BELLAMY AT ISSUE

By CHRIS SUAREZ , Daily Progress

On Monday, the blogger who recently revealed several offensive tweets from Charlottesville City Councilor Wes Bellamy will present a petition to the council asking that Bellamy be removed for what he deems sexist, racist and “anti-white” comments made online from 2009 to 2014. ... Some are now expressing concern that the petition was promoted on a website infamous for users who anonymously promote fringe ideologies rooted in racism and anti-Semitism.



BELOW-AVERAGE SALARIES PUSH LYNCHBURG-AREA TEACHERS TO SECOND JOBS

By JOSH MOODY, News & Advance

With salaries below the national average, some teachers in Central Virginia find they need to work a second job to continue their educational pursuits or to make ends meet each month. “You just do what you have to do,” said Jennifer Hall, a family and consumer science teacher of nine years at Staunton River High School in Bedford County, who juggles teaching and two part-time jobs. ... Across Virginia, 17 percent of teachers work a second job, according to the Schools and Staffing Survey by the National Center for Education Statistics,



PETITIONS FILED TO REMOVE THREE BATH SUPERVISORS

By GEOFF HAMILL, The Recorder (Paywall)

Bath County citizens filed petitions with the Bath County Circuit Court on Tuesday, seeking to remove three county supervisors from office. The petitions seek the removal of supervisors Claire Collins, Cedar Creek Magisterial District; Stuart Hall, Williamsville Magisterial District; and Richard Byrd, Valley Springs Magisterial District.



BROADBAND AUTHORITY REHIRES FIRM CAUGHT IN BRISTOL SCANDAL; PRESENTS CLEAN AUDIT

By JACOB DEMMITT, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority voted unanimously Friday to rehire a controversial contracting firm that laid its original 47 miles of broadband fiber for an upcoming network expansion project . The firm, which recently changed its name from Edwards Telecommunications to Utility Service Contractors, came under scrutiny when its former CEO James Todd Edwards pleaded guilty to fraud in 2015. The case was related to a wide-ranging federal investigation of illegal practices involving Bristol Virginia Utilities.

TV/Radio


LONGTIME HILLARY CLINTON STAFFER MULLS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR RUN IN VIRGINIA

By RYAN NOBLES, CNN

Adam Parkhomenko, a staffer for both of Hillary Clinton's presidential bids, is looking at running for office himself, seeking Virginia's lieutenant governorship in 2017. Parkhomenko has long had a robust social media presence, including his launch of the Ready For Hillary PAC long before the former secretary of state announced her plans to run in 2016. He also worked on her 2008 Democratic primary bid.

Online News


WILL THE SUPREME COURT LIMIT GERRYMANDERING?

By GARRETT EPPS, The Atlantic

...On Monday, the Court will hear two cases that exemplify the confusions and dangers of the political thicket. Both arise out of upper-South states that are hotly contested between the parties every election year—but that since the 2010 census and the required new round of district-drawing have been largely under the control of Republican legislatures.



EXPERTS DISCUSS USING TOANO POND FOR JAMES CITY COUNTY WATER SUPPLY

By ANDREW HARRIS , Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily

Two Virginia businessmen think they have found a way to solve the potential water crisis facing James City County -- and are preparing to take that solution to state government. Brent Fults of Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Land Trust, LLC., and Jeff Corbin of Restorations Systems, LLC., jointly own Cranston's Mill Pond in Toano and believe that the body of water holds the key to easing the strain on James City County’s supply of potable water.


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Jim Babb Communications

Helping Virginians discover and tell their stories, and saluting VPAP for promoting open government. Email jim[at]babbcommunications.com

Editorials


TESLA IS OPENING UP THE CAR MARKET

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

Virginia’s car dealers are livid over a decision by the state’s DMV commissioner to let Tesla open a store in Richmond. The electric-car maker already had to go to court to put a store in Northern Virginia, and it likely will be back in court over the call by Commissioner Richard Holcomb. The dealers have good reason to be concerned. Tesla’s maneuvers have the potential to undermine the dealer distribution system and the state law that enforces it.



OPEN RECORDS REFORM IN NAME ONLY

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

As the three-year examination of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act winds to a close, the body charged with reviewing that legislation is today scheduled to vote on its reforms. If approved by the Freedom of Information Advisory Council, as expected, the reforms will be considered by the General Assembly in the 2017 session. The proposals are modest and cosmetic.



VA. PRETTY GOOD AT GERRYMANDERING

Free Lance-Star Editorial

Virginia didn’t invent gerrymandering. That distinction belongs to Massachusetts. First Thanksgiving: Virginia. Gerrymandering: Massachusetts. Still, we’ve gotten really good at gerrymandering congressional and state legislative districts. We’ve perfected it to the point that the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in directing the commonwealth to redraw certain districts before the Nov. 8 elections, leading to one more Democrat and one less Republican in the state’s congressional delegation.



REDISTRICTING MATTERS

Free Lance-Star Editorial

Any doubt about the importance of controlling how state legislative and congressional districts are drawn has been erased by a bill proposed by Del. Mark Cole. The Spotsylvania County Republican wants the Virginia General Assembly to approve legislation next year to award the commonwealth’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins each congressional district rather than the traditional winner-takes-all approach for the candidate who wins the statewide vote.



A LIFE-SAVING DECISION FOR OPIOID OVERDOSES

Culpeper Star Exponent Editorial (Modified Pay Wall)

THE STATE health commissioner has confirmed what many Virginians already believed: Opioid abuse and addiction is officially a public health emergency across the state, responsible for two fatal overdoses a day, on average, and at least two dozen emergency-room visits every day. In making that declaration, Health Commissioner Marissa Levine also announced last week that naloxone, the opioid overdose rescue drug, will now be available at all pharmacies without prescription, no questions asked.



CARRIER PROGRAM CRUCIAL TO VA.’S INTERESTS

Daily Progress Editorial

On Tuesday, Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine asked the chair and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to protect funding for the Carrier Replacement Program during the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations process.



A CHANCE AND DUTY TO EXAMINE OUR VOTING SYSTEMS

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Rare is the occasion when a winning candidate calls into question the integrity of an election. But, as has been made abundantly clear, Donald Trump is no ordinary politician. The president-elect took to his medium of choice, Twitter, last Sunday to raise questions about the legitimacy of millions of votes, writing, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”



WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO INCREASE VOTER RATES?

News & Advance Editorial

The 2016 presidential election was one of the most closely watched campaigns in the last 20 years. The airtime President-elect Donald Trump received from cable TV news channels and the major broadcast networks, from the June 2015 announcement of his candidacy for the Republican nomination, has been estimated to be worth more than $2 billion. Democrat Hillary Clinton raised — and spent — hundreds of millions of dollars on her ultimately unsuccessful effort. The three presidential debates were among the highest rated in the history of presidential debates, with the first achieving ratings rivaling a Super Bowl broadcast.



WHAT DO TO ABOUT WES BELLAMY'S TWEETS

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

There is no possible defense for the outrageous tweets from Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, who has been named to — and since resigned from — the State Board of Education. But then Bellamy isn’t making one. The tweets are variously racist, homophobic and sexist — and, in one instance, seem to condone rape. Todd Gilbert, a member of the House of Delegates, is correct to note that Republicans are often crucified for less.

Columnists


SCHAPIRO: VIRGINIA SHEDS GLITZ FOR A GOOD OL' BOY?

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

Ralph Northam, the all-but-official Democratic nominee for governor, was in Roanoke this past week, talking about opioid addiction, a problem that has deadly resonance, particularly in the surrounding western Virginia countryside, a Republican bulwark. It’s a political issue that’s gripped both parties. The morning Northam got his headline, Ed Gillespie, the perceived front-runner for the GOP nomination, released remarks on the opioid crisis to a conservative women’s organization in Washington.

Op-Ed


GARRETT: SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS AND VIRGINIA'S DEATH PENALTY

By BRANDON L. GARRETT, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Earlier this year, Russell Brown was found insane by both prosecution and defense experts testifying at his trial for the tragic murder of a Virginia state trooper. Yet the jury disregarded the experts and rejected his insanity defense. ... Such severely mentally ill people should not be eligible for execution. And yet prosecutors continue to charge people who have substantial mental health problems. Fortunately, legislation has been introduced to the Virginia General Assembly to address this problem and a coalition is supporting it. The law should be enacted.

Brandon Garrett is the Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.



FARNSWORTH AND HANNA: HERE’S HOW COMSTOCK BEAT BENNETT IN PURPLE NORTHERN VIRGINIA

By STEPHEN J. FARNSWORTH AND STEPHEN HANNA, Published in the Washington Post

Rep. Barbara Comstock, reelected on Nov. 8 in the battleground communities of the District’s western Virginia suburbs, really knows the 10th Congressional District. With roughly 70 percent of the district’s voters residing in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the first-term incumbent had to walk a careful line during this year of Donald Trump. For most of the campaign, Comstock neither broke with the Republican nominee nor sang his praises, hoping to avoid losing the support of both potential swing voters and Trump loyalists.

Stephen J. Farnsworth is a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington. Stephen Hanna is a professor of geography at the University of Mary Washington.



BACON: NO SIMPLE ANSWERS ABOUT ILLEGAL VOTING

By JAMES A. BACON, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

President-elect Donald Trump blasted out another of his notorious tweets last week, claiming that he would have won a majority of votes in the 2016 election were it not for “serious voter fraud” in Virginia and other states. ... The fact is, there is credible evidence that illegal voting does occur on a fairly large scale. Media pundits quoting other media pundits in an endless loop does not constitute proof otherwise. The first body of evidence comes from Jesse T. Richman, Gulshan A. Chattha and David C. Earnest, professors at Old Dominion University and George Mason University.

James A. Bacon publishes the Bacon’s Rebellion blog at www.baconsrebellion.com



NORTHAM: REVIEW STATE OPERATIONS; INVEST IN EDUCATION

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

We need to build an economy with opportunity for all Virginians — no matter who they are, no matter where they live. To do that, we need to diversify our economy, build the best workforce in the nation, promote fiscal responsibility in government, keep Virginia inclusive for all our families and invest in growing industries so Virginia can lead the nation in the next round of technology jobs. Virginia has given me every opportunity to succeed — from graduating from Virginia public schools, the Virginia Military Institute and Eastern Virginia Medical School,

Northam is lieutenant governor of Virginia. He is expected to be the Democratic nominee for governor in 2017.



SESSOMS: VIRGINIA BEACH CREATES OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINORITY CONTRACTORS

By WILL SESSOMS, Published in the Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Given the recent talk about whether the city of Virginia Beach should — or needs to — conduct a racial-disparity study, it seems prudent to provide some facts on which people can base their views. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1989 decision in the case of City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. imposed legal requirements on jurisdictions to establish what it called a “compelling interest” to support the creation of contracting preferences for minority- and women-owned businesses. Only when race-neutral measures have failed can a city institute race-based programs.

Will Sessoms is the mayor of Virginia Beach.



EARLEY AND LOVAAS: FAIRFAX COUNTY CAN RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN ITS POLICE DEPARTMENT

By PETE EARLEY AND JOHN LOVAAS, Published in the Washington Post

It has been a year since Fairfax County announced it would review recommendations by a special commission to restore public confidence in its police department. Sadly, it has approved only a handful of changes and has weakened some reforms that it approved, raising questions about the county’s commitment to transparency and change.

Pete Earley is an author and mental health advocate. John Jovaas is a retired Foreign Service Officer and has worked in Reston community TV since 1988.