Friday July 29, 2016
Compiled by Ray Reed
By TREVOR BARATKO, Loudoun Times
Mark Herring isn't seeking a promotion in 2017, but he is running to keep his job. And on Thursday morning, he sure sounded like it. Herring, the Democratic attorney general of Virginia, closed out a delegation breakfast on the final day of the Democratic National Convention here with a notably political speech --one that emphasized his advocacy for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, allowing in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants and fighting against climate change.
By BILL BARTEL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
To paraphrase Bette Davis: Fasten your seat belts, Hampton Roads. It’s going to be a bumpy, noisy fall. After the red, white and blue balloons dropped late Thursday in the Wells Fargo Center closing the Democratic National Convention, the presidential election shifted to a new phase. Both major-party campaigns began focusing more attention on ground games to find and win voters in Virginia and other swing states.
By JIM NOLAN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Susan Swecker remembers when, as an eighth-grader, she came home from school in Highland County one day to see her mother visibly upset. Nancy Swecker, who had previously worked as a bank teller but left her job to raise Susan and her sister, Elly, had wanted to return to work and saw that her former employer had an opening.
By ANDREW CAIN, Daily Progress
Khizr Khan of Charlottesville, whose Muslim son enlisted in the U.S. Army and died in Iraq protecting his troops, brandished a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution at Donald Trump on Thursday night while speaking at the Democratic National Convention.
By SARA GREGORY, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
A visit by a presidential candidate means exposure and attention for the host city but also costs, and Roanoke taxpayers will be on the hook for the latter. Roanoke officials say Donald Trump’s town hall Monday at Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center cost the city $19,900 for police, fire and emergency personnel who staffed the event. Police personnel costs accounted for the bulk of the charges, approximately $13,400 total.
By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Sen. Tim Kaine’s more aggressive tone in his speech Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia overshadowed the warmth he projected Saturday in Miami, when Hillary Clinton introduced him as her running mate, according to some longtime analysts of Virginia politics. Kaine’s speech to a TV audience of millions “was a little more of an evening message, which was to strip the bark off (Donald) Trump,” said Bob Holsworth, a longtime Virginia political analyst, formerly at Virginia Commonwealth University.
By JEFF BRANSCOME, Free Lance-Star
Caroline County resident Joseph James had a third-row seat for U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine’s speech Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He said his heart was pounding with excitement as the Virginia senator formally accepted the vice presidential nomination. James knew Kaine before he was famous, having volunteered for his successful campaigns for governor and then U.S. Senate.
By TONY BROWN, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)
It’s gotta be tough being a Democrat in the Republican-dominated Valley. But a small crowd of the party faithful were positively positive as they convened downtown Thursday night at Pale Fire Brewing Co. to watch their national standard-bearer, Hillary Clinton, accept her party’s presidential nomination in the race against Republican Donald Trump.
By NICK ANDERSON, Washington Post
Timothy M. Kaine backed a major construction initiative for public colleges during his four years as Virginia governor and oversaw increases for higher education funding until economic recession squeezed state spending midway through his term. The Democrat, governor from 2006 to 2010, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced Friday that Kaine is her choice for vice-presidential running mate, bringing fresh scrutiny to his lengthy record in public office.
By ANDREW CAIN , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
In the early 1980s, former Gov. Linwood Holton took a business trip to Boston and visited his daughter, Anne, at Harvard Law School. In an interview Thursday with C-SPAN at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Holton, now 92, recalled that he was standing with his daughter in the back of a big classroom when she pointed out Tim Kaine.
By LOUIS LLOVIO , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Virginia is one of 23 states to earn a top rating from the U.S. Department of Education for how it deals with special education students. The state received a “Meets Requirement” designation in the 2016 IDEA report card issued by the Education Department this week. It was the fourth straight year that Virginia received the highest rating.
By MARKUS SCHMIDT, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
The State Water Control Board on Thursday cleared the path for the destruction of a nearly 10-acre swath of wetlands at Meadowville Technology Park in Chesterfield County, where plans are underway for another major industrial facility adjacent to Amazon’s distribution center. Under protest from environmentalists who pushed for a deferral of a vote, the board approved 4-1 a Virginia Water Protection Permit for the construction plan dubbed Project Buzzard, allowing the developer to move forward and develop the site.
By JEREMY LAZARUS , Richmond Free Press
For 26 years, Judge Angela Edwards Roberts has been a presence in the Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Along with her colleagues, she has dealt with all the sad, messy issues involving individuals and families — ranging from cutody battles to stalking and domestic abuse to teens involved in bad behavior and criminal activity. She also has experienced the joy of helping create families through adoption.
By STAFF REPORT, Loudoun Times
Dulles-based Orbital ATK supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket today carrying a classified NROL-61 satellite from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as part of a U.S. National Reconnaissance Office national security mission. ... The Loudoun County-based company provided “advanced hardware” from various divisions to both the ULA Atlas V launch vehicle and the NRO payload.
By ROBERT ZULLO , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
The Commonwealth Transportation Board, which oversees billions of dollars worth of road, rail, bridge and other projects across the state, approved a series of revisions Thursday to the scoring system adopted in 2014 to prioritize and depoliticize transportation spending.
By ROBERT THOMSON, Washington Post
Virginia’s top policymaking panel on transportation gave unanimous approval Thursday to 10 programs supporters say will make travel easier when the rush-hour toll lanes open on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway next summer. State officials want these services — basically, programs that help people leave their cars behind for trips in the I-66 corridor — to be ready to go when the high-occupancy toll lanes are ready to launch.
By ROBERT THOMSON, Washington Post
Virginia transportation officials are now open to the possibility that tractor-trailers could use I-66 high-occupancy toll lanes outside the Capital Beltway, which would be a first for Virginia’s HOT lanes. This potential easing of the traffic rules would not affect the portion of the I-66 HOT lanes scheduled to go into operation next summer inside the Capital Beltway, Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said in describing the proposal to the Commonwealth Transportation Board on Thursday afternoon.
By NICK ANDERSON AND T. REES SHAPIRO, Washington Post
The federal government has opened a new civil rights investigation related to sexual violence issues at the University of Virginia, officials disclosed Wednesday. It is the second such probe to occur at U-Va. within the past five years. U-Va. is now one of 202 colleges and universities nationwide facing a sexual violence inquiry under the federal anti-discrimination law known as Title IX. The Education Department said its Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, opened the case Friday.
By TAMARA DIETRICH, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)
The city of Newport News and York, Isle of Wight and James City counties again cracked the Top 25 "toxic ZIP codes" list compiled every year by the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club. The nonprofit environmental group released the report Thursday at a news conference in Newport News' Southeast Community, which is plagued by chronic air quality issues from local industry, vehicle emissions from highway overpasses and a nearby coal pier.
By ALEX ROHR, News & Advance
Four Lynchburg-area zip codes rank in the top 25 statewide for industrial air pollution discharged from just a few large manufacturers, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. The Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club report released Thursday ranks Bedford County, Amherst County, Lynchburg and Campbell County zip codes as 18, 19, 20 and 25 respectively for air pollution statewide. The report uses EPA Toxic Release Inventory data from 2014, the most recent year available.
By SYDNEY KASHIWAGI, Loudoun Times
On July 1 a controversial Virginia proffer law came into effect--- a law which Loudoun County is still trying to figure out how exactly to follow. Over the course of the next four months and possibly even beyond, the Loudoun County Planning Commission, planning staff and the Board of Supervisors will need to decide how implement the new proffer law by initiating an amendment to the comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance and countywide transportation plan--to avoid getting into any trouble.
By MICHAEL BUETTNER , Progress Index (Metered paywall - 5 free articles a month)
A controversial proposal to redevelop three city-owned properties into affordable housing for veterans was approved by City Council on Wednesday after council members received additional details of the plan, including an offer of $1 million for one of the properties. The proposal by Richmond-based Fountainhead Properties to buy and redevelop the properties at 29 and 41 S. Union St. and 801 South Adams St. was tabled for further study when council first considered the plan in June.
By ELISHA SAUERS , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
For the past few years, if you wanted to open a new business in an old Norfolk building with no parking, it was possible. In June 2015, for example, officials approved Coelacanth Brewing Co., a craft brewer in Ghent, that could serve up to 115 people. Number of parking spaces: Zero.
Winchester Star Editorial (Subscription Required)
Without a doubt, it has been an interesting year for the last five men who have occupied the Virginia Governor’s mansion. The men that have served as governor since 1998 until present have all been regularly in the news in 2016. Reaching back to the man who took office in 1998, former Gov. Jim Gilmore launched another bid for president, but was among the early casualties of the 16 foes that were dispatched by Republican nominee Donald J. Trump during the process.
Free Lance-Star Editorial
Former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton probably wanted to stay on the job a while longer as her department develops Virginia’s new “Profile of a Graduate” high school graduation standards. Now that her husband, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, is running for vice president, however, she has turned her focus to the campaign.
Daily Progress Editorial
As the fallout accumulates from the case of a Hampton Roads jail inmate who starved to death, attention has expanded from the death itself, to an investigation of how such a death could occur, to why that investigation left so many questions unanswered. Jamycheal Mitchell lost 46 pounds over 101 days last year, dying from extreme weight loss and heart problems.
News & Advance Editorial
It’s difficult for newcomers to Lynchburg — indeed, we’d speculate, many longtime residents — to appreciate the phenomenal growth Liberty University has experienced in the last decade or so. Just 25 years ago, LU was in serious danger of shutting down. The tele-evangelist fundraising scandals of the late 1980s and 1990s had harmed unrelated enterprises such as LU, straining the resources of Thomas Road Baptist Church which had sold millions of dollars in bonds to fund the school’s growth.
By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Tim Kaine’s improbable journey over 22 years from Richmond City Council to the Democratic vice presidential nomination is as much an exercise in rhetoric as it is in politics. He reached the intersection of both on Wednesday night in plain view of millions, many of whom were seeing and hearing him for the first time.
By SEAN GORMAN , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Donald Trump told Virginians this week that Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, did a "lousy job" when he was governor of their state. "Less than a week after Tim Kaine became governor of Virginia - one week - he proposed a nearly $4 billion tax increase, $4 billion, including a tax increase on people earning as little as $17,000 a year," Trump said during a rally Monday in Roanoke.
By JAMES D. LEHMAN, Published in the Daily News Record (Subscription Required)
Every election year cycle in Virginia brings out the usual critics of Dominion Power and associated power producers. Economics is questioned. The use of fossil fuel is objected to. References are made to frequent rate increases and periodic doubling. Yes, the cost of electricity did double at my house, from 5 cents per kilowatt hour in mid-1985 to just more than 10 cents at present (three decades). Many politically-minded folks have only a foggy notion of the expectations inherent in the generation and distribution of electrical energy.
James D. Lehman lives in Harrisonburg.
By CHUCK RICHARDSON, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
It is disturbing to learn that a large amount of campaign funds are being raised to elect our city’s next mayor. Even more disturbing is that a considerable amount of the funds being raised are donated by individuals who reside outside of Richmond — in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Washington, D.C. The issues that will be solved and addressed here in Richmond are totally unrelated to those individuals. So why are such large contributions being sent to Richmond from faraway places?
Chuck Richardson represented the 5th District on Richmond’s City Council for 18 years.
The Friday Read
By MARY BETH GAHAN, JOANNE KIMBERLIN AND MARGARET MATRAY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
... This story isn’t for children. It’s about a type of business that’s operating behind everyday storefronts, mostly in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, next to dentists, restaurants and dollar stores. They’re known as Asian massage parlors, and some sell more than massages.