VaNews

Friday July 31, 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

VIRGINIA’S TOP DEMOCRATIC LEADERS CALL FOR ACCEPTANCE OF FEDERAL MEDICAID MONEY

By BILL BARTEL, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia's top Democratic leaders - the governor and two U.S. senators - said Thursday it's time for Republican legislators to stop blocking the expansion of Medicaid in the state under the federal health care law. In a rare joint phone call with reporters, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine used the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Medicaid program to make their case.


MCAULIFFE AVOIDS BUDGET PROMISES AS HE, KAINE AND WARNER PUSH MEDICAID EXPANSION

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

Gov. Terry McAuliffe steered clear of bold promises Thursday during a joint conference call with Virginia's two U.S. senators, held to talk up Medicaid expansion. But he did express his routine optimism, and hint at hopes for a changing political landscape on the issue.


GOVERNOR TELLS POLICE: COMMUNITY TENSION IS BAD FOR BUSINESS

By ROBERT BRAUCHLE, Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe reminded law enforcement leaders from across the commonwealth on Thursday that their efforts to keep communities safe are vital to attracting business – and a detractor when officers fail.


MCAULIFFE PAC OFFICIAL SAYS THEY TRIED TO VET $25K DONATION

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

The head of Gov. Terry McAuliffe's Common Good VA political action committee said that the PAC tried for days to verify the legality of the $25,000 donation given by a company with ties to Angola's state owned oil company, even before questions were raised about its legality. But verifying that the June 27 donation was legal was complicated by the fact that the lawyer for Glinn USA Investments was away on vacation for several weeks, said Brian Zuzenak, head of Common Good.


GOVERNOR MCAULIFFE ANNOUNCES APPROXIMATELY $49 MILLION INVESTMENT IN CULPEPER COUNTY

Culpeper Times

Governor Terry McAuliffe was in town Tuesday afternoon visiting Continental. He had good news to share announcing that Continental, a leading international automotive supplier, intends to invest approximately $49 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Culpeper County, part of the company’s Chassis and Safety Division.

Federal Elections

GOP RAMPS UP EFFORTS TO WIN VIRGINIA IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

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

Coming off two successive defeats in recent presidential elections, the Republican National Committee is ramping up efforts to take back Virginia for the GOP in 2016 by hiring additional staff and getting its ground game underway early. National and state party officials announced Thursday the hiring of Jim O’Connell as the state director for Virginia and Ryan Terrill as data director.


CNU STUDY: DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS BOTH NEED COALITIONS TO WIN VA.

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

Democrats hoping to carry Virginia in the 2016 presidential election will have to re-create the coalition that President Barack Obama built to win the commonwealth in 2016 or create a new one, while Republicans seeking to carry the crucial swing state need a new coalition that is large enough and energized enough to outpace Democratic victories in 2008 and 2012, according to a new study from Christopher Newport University.


POLL FINDS SEVEN SHADES OF RED AND BLUE AMONG VIRGINIA VOTERS

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

In 2008, Virginia's 13 electoral votes went to a Democrat for the first time since the early 1960s and people began referring to the state as purple. On Thursday, the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University released a study that broke that purple electorate down into seven classifications, or "typologies."

State Government

CAMPGROUND OWNER WINS RULING OVER VDOT

By JOE BECK, Northern Virginia Daily

A campground owner who is challenging the Virginia Department of Transportation over its valuation of her land won a round Thursday in circuit court when a judge nullified an earlier jury verdict that fell short of the compensation she sought from the agency. The decision by Circuit Judge Ronald Napier opens the way for a retrial if no out of court settlement is reached in the eminent domain case.


JUDGE BARS FORMER TRUCK STOP OWNER FROM SEEKING LOST PROFITS IN STATE'S SEIZURE

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

As a demolition crew worked to tear down a truck stop in Botetourt County, a judge ruled Thursday that the owner cannot seek lost profits from its condemnation. The decision was a partial setback for the former Travel Centers of America on Interstate 81, which was shut down last year to make way for a highway improvement project at the congested Exit 150 interchange.

Economy/Business

DOMINION POWER ROLLS OUT PROGRAM TO HELP THE NEEDY WEATHERIZE THEIR HOMES

By KATHERINE HAFNER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Simply breathing wasn't always easy in Marion Cole's home. Her old exhaust fan just didn't work well enough. "I can breathe better," Cole said. "Thank God I was qualified to get assistance."


MCAULIFFE HELPS LAUNCH BROADER WEATHERIZATION PROGRAM FOR THE NEEDY

By PATRICIA SULLIVAN, Washington Post

The temperature topped 90 degrees and the humidity clung like a drenched shirt on Thursday as Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a major expansion of a statewide home-weatherization program that promises to find and plug energy leaks for elderly, disabled or low-income residents and for military veterans.

Higher Education

SWEET BRIAR ALUMNAE MAKE SECOND PAYMENT TO COLLEGE

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

Alumnae have made the second of three payments to Sweet Briar College required under the mediated settlement to keep the school open. The college’s new administration confirmed Thursday that it had received a payment of $3.5 million from Saving Sweet Briar Inc. several days ahead of the deadline set under the agreement.


UVA GRADS SUE ROLLING STONE OVER RETRACTED CAMPUS RAPE STORY

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

Three University of Virginia graduates and members of a fraternity who were portrayed in a debunked account of a gang rape in a retracted Rolling Stone magazine story filed a lawsuit against the publication and the article's author, court records show.

Virginia Other

FRIDAY IN FEDERAL COURT: CONFEDERATE FLAG ON VA. LICENSE PLATES TO BE DEBATED

By ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post

A federal judge in Virginia plans to hear arguments Friday on whether the state may ban specialty license plates sporting the image of the Confederate flag, following a recent Supreme Court ruling that the government of Texas has the right to prohibit such plates.


PLATE DEBATE CENTER STAGE FRIDAY

By MICHAEL LIVINGSTON , Danville Register & Bee

The Confederate flag controversy will come to Danville on Friday morning when a federal hearing will be held that could decide the future of Virginia-issued Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates.


LOCAL SCV TAG OWNERS WANT TO KEEP THEM

By DENICE THIBODEAU , Danville Register & Bee

Confederate heritage groups are battling Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s proposal to recall all of the Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates issued in the state. Included on the current license design is the group’s logo, which is the name of the organization printed around a Confederate Battle flag.


CONFEDERATE FLAG GETS TEENS TURNED AWAY AT THE MOVIES

By SUSAN KYTE, Mecklenburg Sun

The controversy over the Confederate flag found its way to Mecklenburg County this weekend — flaring up, of all places, at the movies. Sunday afternoon in South Hill, four white teenagers were refused service at the South Hill Cinema after they pulled up in the parking lot flying the Confederate flag from their pickup truck. The owner of the theater, a retired Air Force Master Sergeant who is African-American, turned the teens away.


CHESTERFIELD HAS MOST CONFEDERATE LICENSE PLATES IN VIRGINIA

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

With nearly one-quarter of Virginia’s Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates, the Richmond region is one of the state’s top strongholds for Confederate heritage supporters, according to an analysis of statewide data showing where the controversial plates are located.


N.C. CASE REPRESENTS PIVOTAL POINT OF VOTING DEBATE

By ROBERT BARNES, Washington Post

Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in 2013, when the Supreme Court freed Southern states from the requirement that federal authorities approve any proposed ­election-law change in order to ensure minority voters were not harmed. Republican lawmakers in North Carolina appeared to take that as a go signal; they immediately unveiled a previously private plan to overhaul the state’s voting procedures.

Local

OUSTED PORTSMOUTH OFFICIAL SAYS HE HAD OK FOR PURCHASES

By JOHANNA SOMERS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Former General Services Director Dennis Bagley says he was wrongly accused of inappropriately spending city money and wants to set the record straight. Two former Portsmouth city managers have his back.


TED LERNER’S BET ON SILVER LINE GETS ITS REWARD

By JONATHAN O'CONNELL , Washington Post

EY, the professional services firm previously known as Ernst & Young, is the latest company to bet on the now year-old Silver Line in Tysons. The firm announced Thursday that it would lease 125,000-square-feet in 1775 Tysons Boulevard, the new office building being constructed by Lerner Enterprises, the real estate firm of Washington Nationals owner Theodore N. Lerner.


EMAIL FROM CHAIRMAN YORK SHOWS POLITICAL RELATIONSHIP WITH LOUDOUN LAND USE ATTORNEY

By TREVOR BARATKO, Loudoun Times

An email peppered with exclamation marks and a smiley face from Loudoun County Chairman Scott York (R) to a top land use attorney reveals a comfortable relationship between the two and a politically-acute mindset from York three months after announcing his retirement.


OUSTED PORTSMOUTH OFFICIAL SAYS HE HAD OK FOR PURCHASES

By JOHANNA SOMERS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Former General Services Director Dennis Bagley says he was wrongly accused of inappropriately spending city money and wants to set the record straight. Two former Portsmouth city managers have his back.


ACLU OF VIRGINIA FILES FEDERAL LAWSUIT AGAINST PETERSBURG

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

Petersburg Mayor W. Howard Myers is being sued in federal court for allegedly violating a citizen’s First Amendment right to free speech at a City Council meeting in January. The suit, filed Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia on behalf of Linwood Christian, claims Christian was not allowed to speak during the public discussion portion of the council meeting because of an unpaid fee associated with his failed run for School Board in 2014.


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

MORE THAN ONE REASON TO SWEAT

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

The latest climatic data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — showing world average temperatures in June setting another record — were met with relatively mild protest from the warming-denial community in the few weeks since its release.


PORT OF VA.'S BOOM ONLY A FIRST STEP

Daily Progress Editorial

State officials recently announced that the Port of Virginia is expected to register a $16.1 million profit for the fiscal year just ended. This is a very big deal.


VOTE DEBATE OUGHT TO BE LEGISLATIVE

Daily Progress Editorial

Virginia’s voter registration form might contain redundancies — but sometimes a redundancy is really a fail-safe. Such seems to be the case regarding a proposed regulatory change in how officials review the registration form.


DO OPPONENTS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO PROPOSE AN ALTERNATIVE?

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Environmentalists are baffled at why Terry McAuliffe — Virginia’s otherwise green governor — is so enamored of the natural gas pipelines that want to cut paths across his state. When Dominion Resources announced its proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline last fall, the governor stood with the company — quite literally. He was there alongside company executives in the state Capitol, where the project was announced.


ANOTHER FAIL ON FEDERAL HIGHWAY BILL

News & Advance Editorial

Apparently, it doesn’t matter one whit who’s in charge of Congress — Democrats? Republicans? Neither? Both? — the place just does not function. The latest example of the institution’s dysfunction is the inability of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to agree to a reauthorization of one of the most important pieces of legislation this year: the federal transportation bill.


THE ROADS DILEMMA

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

Two years ago Virginia passed a substantial tax increase, shepherded through a reluctant House of Delegates by Speaker Bill Howell, to fund transportation improvements. Howell took considerable heat, including a primary challenge, for doing so. Yet as the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance points out, the measure has not solved the transportation dilemma. Funding for construction is on schedule to decline from $1.9 billion next year to $1.4 billion in 2021.

Columnists

DVORAK: MARYLAND VS. VIRGINIA: A WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, CRUSTACEAN EDITION

By PETULA DVORAK, Washington Post

Maryland vs. Virginia. The War Between the States that never ends. The two regional rivals have squared off about lots of big issues: gun laws, abortion restrictions, same-sex marriage, casino gambling, transportation spending. Taxes. Taxes. Taxes.


FAIN: CALLS FOR VIRGINIA MAP-MAKING TRANSPARENCY

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

It didn't take long for Republican General Assembly leaders to reject Gov. Terry McAuliffe's invitation to Kumbaya together over a new congressional map. McAuliffe's wrote them Tuesday, asking to meet next week and "forge compromise" ahead of a planned Aug. 17 redistricting session.

Op-Ed

JOHNSON: PAROLE ABOLITION HAS CUT THE CRIME RATE

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

Debate on reform in the criminal justice system has moved into administratively releasing convicted offenders from prison in the federal system and the argument that our low crime rate justifies leniency in the sentencing of offenders in court. This discussion ignores an evaluation of how we got to this point of a reduced crime rate.

Keith Johnson is a retired police officer living in Boones Mill.

The Friday Read

‘REIGN OF TERROR’: AN ONLINE TROLL DESTROYS A FAMILY’S OFFLINE LIFE

By JUSTIN JOUVENAL, Washington Post

Sharon and Richard Moreno were awakened by a phone call from a police negotiator around 2:30 a.m. one night in May 2014. He told them to get out of their home immediately and leave their adult son behind. Officers with rifles greeted the couple on their front lawn in Sterling, Va., and tackled their son William on the porch. They had been drawn by a chilling post attributed to William on a popular local Web forum: “I JUST SHOT MY PARENTS NOW I WILL KILL MY SISTER.”