VaNews

Thursday June 22, 2017


Today's Sponsor:

TEDxRVA

The 5th Annual TEDxRVA main event is tomorrow! Tickets are sold out, but visit TEDxRVA.com to find viewing parties and information about future salon events!

State Elections


GOP FACES NEW THREAT: MOTIVATED DEMOCRATS

By JIM MCCONNELL, Chesterfield Observer

Last Wednesday morning, as supporters of Ed Gillespie and Ralph Northam celebrated their victories in Virginia’s gubernatorial primaries and prepared to do battle in the November general election, an acquaintance asked retired state Sen. John Watkins for his perspective on the prior evening’s vote tally. “Personally, it scared the heck out of me,” replied Watkins, a Republican who represented part of Chesterfield in the General Assembly for 34 years.



DEMOCRAT RALPH NORTHAM LEADS REPUBLICAN ED GILLESPIE IN VIRGINIA GOVERNOR ELECTION POLL

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

Democrat Ralph Northam has the early lead over Republican Ed Gillespie for Virginia’s fall gubernatorial election, according to a voter poll released Wednesday. Most voters also indicated they’re feeling optimistic about their personal finances and the state. Northam was favored by 47 percent and Gillespie 39 percent in the telephone survey by Quinnipiac University



NORTHAM HAS 8-POINT LEAD OVER GILLESPIE IN FIRST POST-PRIMARY POLL OF VIRGINIA GOVERNOR'S RACE

By GRAHAM MOOMAW , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Democrat Ralph Northam begins the general-election phase of Virginia’s governor’s race with an 8-point lead over Republican Ed Gillespie, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday. Northam, the current lieutenant governor, held a 47 percent to 39 percent lead over Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman, in the first independent polling conducted after last week’s gubernatorial primaries.



DEMOCRAT RALPH NORTHAM HAS EARLY LEAD IN VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S RACE, POLL FINDS

By FENIT NIRAPPIL, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Democrat Ralph Northam has an early eight-point lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race, according to a new survey released on Wednesday. The poll by Quinnipiac University found 47 percent of Virginia voters backed Northam, the state’s sitting lieutenant governor, while 39 percent backed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.



REPUBLICAN BUFORD LAUNCHES 34TH DISTRICT CAMPAIGN

Loudoun Times

Vienna resident Cheryl Buford will challenge Democratic incumbent Kathleen Murphy in the House of Delegates 34th District contest this year. Buford, a Republican, is the vice president of Social Capital Valuations, which helps nonprofits measure their economic impact in the community, according to her campaign website. She previously worked for United Way of America and the U.S. Department of Education.



WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED TO REX ALPHIN?

By DIANA MCFARLAND, Smithfield Times (Paywall)

Ever since Isle of Wight was included in the 64th House District in 1991, its delegate — at least when initially elected — came from the county*. Not so this year. Suffolk business owner Emily Brewer beat Isle of Wight County farmer Rex Alphin for the Republican nomination and Suffolk attorney Rebecca Colaw defeated Carrollton resident John Wandling and Suffolk educator Jerry Cantrell for the Democratic nomination. Either Brewer or Colaw will win the seat in November.

State Government


VIRGINIA SUES NORTHROP GRUMMAN FOR $300 MILLION IN DUELING IT DIVORCE SUITS

By MICHAEL MARTZ , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The impending divorce between Virginia’s information technology agency and Northrop Grumman is getting more expensive, but the question is who will pay the bill. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency filed a $300 million countersuit against the McLean-based technology giant Wednesday, alleging that the company has cost taxpayers millions of dollars by blocking the orderly transfer of information services to new providers and failing to adequately upgrade the state’s IT network.

Congress


SALEM CONGRESSMAN MORGAN GRIFFITH WAS ON ALEXANDRIA GUNMAN'S LIST

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

The gunman who attacked congressional Republicans at a baseball field in Alexandria had in his possession a list naming six Republican congressmen including Rep. Morgan Griffith. Investigators don’t know the meaning of the list, but speculation is the index may have named some of the shooter’s targets. “That list could have been something different, but I don’t think it was intended to be a good thing,” said Griffith, R-Salem, who said all the congressmen listed were Republicans.



GUNMAN WHO ATTACKED CONGRESSMEN IN ALEXANDRIA HAD A LIST OF 6 NAMES, INCLUDING 1 VA. CONGRESSMAN

By FROM WIRE REPORTS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The gunman who attacked congressional Republicans at a baseball field in Alexandria last week had in his possession a list naming six congressmen, including Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia’s 9th District. Investigators don’t know the meaning of the list, but speculation is it may have named some of the shooter’s targets.

Economy/Business


ISLE OF WIGHT REDUCES INCENTIVES FOR KEURIG AFTER $36M SHORTFALL

By HILLARY SMITH, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Isle of Wight County is reducing some of its financial incentives for Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters by 20 percent after the company spent $36 million less than it pledged to on capital investments during a four-year time frame.

Virginia Other


ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS: JUSTIFICATION FOR DOMINION'S ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE HAS 'ERODED'

By ROBERT ZULLO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A coalition of environmental groups wants a hearing on the need for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline, claiming in a federal filing today that the justifications for the 600-mile, $5.5 billion natural gas pipeline project have “eroded, if they ever existed.” “The pipeline, which is slated to fuel gas-fired power plants in Virginia and North Carolina, is not needed to keep the lights on,” says the filing



REPORT: VIRGINIA MAKING OVERALL PROGRESS IN CHESAPEAKE BAY CLEANUP

By TAMARA DIETRICH, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Overall, the picture looks rosy enough: Virginia is on track to hit its pollution-reduction targets to help restore the Chesapeake Bay. But the devil is in the details. Virginia has made such "incredible progress" in upgrading its sewage treatment plants to curb polluted runoff that it almost makes up for its failure to meet reduction targets for farm and urban/suburban runoff.



LILIANA CRUZ MENDEZ, FALLS CHURCH MOTHER OF 2, DEPORTED TO EL SALVADOR

By MARIA SACCHETTI , Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Federal immigration officials have deported a mother of two from Falls Church back to her native El Salvador despite ­eleventh-hour efforts by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and others to help her stay in the United States.

Local


FAIRFAX SCHOOLS BRACE FOR BIGGER CLASS SIZES, NEW STUDENT FEES AMID BUDGET WOES

By MORIAH BALINGIT, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

When schools in Fairfax County open next fall, students and teachers are expected to contend with larger class sizes. Hundreds of teachers will go without raises they were anticipating. Alternative schools are bracing to trim programs. Student athletes who take the field will be asked to pay a new $50 fee. Facing a revenue shortfall, the county school board slashed more than $50 million from its spending plan last month, forcing cuts that will be felt in a multitude of ways across the 188,000-student district. Critics worry those moves could harm the premier reputation of Virginia’s largest school system.



PRINCE WILLIAM SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES LGBT PROTECTIONS FOR STUDENTS, STAFF

By ANTONIO OLIVO AND MORIAH BALINGIT , Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A divided Prince William County School Board on Wednesday approved anti-discrimination protections for LGBT students and employees, taking a stand on an issue that has roiled districts across the country. The topic has particular resonance in Virginia’s second-largest county, where transgender former journalist Danica Roem is seeking to oust Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) in November’s elections. Roem has based part of her campaign on Marshall’s efforts to pass a state law requiring students to use school bathrooms that correspond with their biological sex.



LOUDOUN SUPERVISORS POISED TO APPROVE $4.7M CONTRACT FOR ONE OF SHERIFF’S POLITICAL CONTRIBUTORS

By SYDNEY KASHIWAGI, Loudoun Times

With the deadline ticking to renew a contract for inmate medical and psychiatry services at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, the Board of Supervisors is poised to award a nearly $5 million contract Thursday to Correct Care Solution (CCS), a campaign contributor to Sheriff Mike Chapman (R).



CASH-STRAPPED PETERSBURG NAMES FIRST PERMANENT CITY MANAGER SINCE CANNING JOHNSON 16 MONTHS AGO

By K. BURNELL EVANS , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Aretha Ferrell-Benavides was looking for a challenge after three years at the helm of a 13,500-person Dallas suburb. She found one. On the eve of her formal introduction Wednesday as Petersburg’s incoming city manager, consultants tasked with pulling the city from the brink of financial ruin told the City Council it needed a $20 million cash infusion to make up a deficit and comply with its own reserve policies.



CHESAPEAKE COUNCIL DELAYS VOTE ON HICKORY SOLAR FARM

By VICTORIA BOURNE , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to delay until Sept. 19 a decision on Hickory Solar Farm, a proposed 32-megawatt facility that California-based New Energy Ventures wants to build . The project would be on 154 acres of farmland off Battlefield Boulevard South on Ballentine Road, not far from the Hickory Ruritan Club.



WASHINGTON COUNTY DROPS LOCAL FEES FOR HANDGUN CARRY PERMITS

By ROBERT SORRELL, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

A local processing fee has been dropped in Washington County, Virginia, to give more residents an opportunity to obtain a concealed handgun carry permit. On Tuesday, Sheriff Fred Newman said all non-mandated fees associated with obtaining a Virginia concealed weapons permit in Washington County will be waived beginning July 1. Washington County citizens will no longer be charged the county’s $25 processing fee and will only be required to pay the $15 fee mandated by the state.



SUNSET ATTORNEY: CONDITIONS COULD KILL OPTINET DEAL

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

The Virginia Coalfield Coalition granted conditional consent Wednesday for Sunset Digital Communications to acquire the OptiNet network but gave operational control of the wireless phone network it oversees to another firm. Sunset’s attorney said those terms would likely kill the deal. The coalition board voted 8-3 to allow Sunset to proceed with its plans to acquire and operate BVU Authority’s fiber-optic network for $50 million

TV/Radio


VIRGINIA DISTRICTS LOOK AT EXPANDING FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAMS

By JESSICA JEWELL, WSLS

Students in Virginia will soon eat more locally-grown foods at school, thanks to a new grant. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the Virginia Department of Education received nearly $100,000 to expand farm-to-school programs. Farmers in southwest Virginia have been selling their products at places like farmers markets for quite some time, and their products have also been in school cafeterias.

Online News


METRO’S PROPOSED REFORMS APPROVED

By JASON TIDD , Washington Times

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board on Wednesday approved Metro’s proposed reforms and push for dedicated funding — but only after debating delaying its vote another month. The board passed a resolution Wednesday endorsing two Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments resolutions — one supporting Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s reform plans, the other backing a statement of principles for the transit agency.



WARNER CHASTISES DHS FOR WITHHOLDING STATE ELECTION HACK DETAILS

By MARTIN MATISHA, Politico

Sen. Mark Warner tore into the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday for not revealing which states Russian hackers targeted during the 2016 election, warning that its silence is making the nation less secure for upcoming elections. The department's decision to keep "secret" the number and names of states that were attacked is "just crazy, in my mind," Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said during a hearing.


Today's Sponsor:

TEDxRVA

The 5th Annual TEDxRVA main event is tomorrow! Tickets are sold out, but visit TEDxRVA.com to find viewing parties and information about future salon events!

Editorials


FAIR MAPS, FAIR VOTES

Daily Press Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Politics could be much simpler, if only states could be divided into neatly drawn, geometrically identical congressional districts drawn on a map. But geography and the uneven distribution of each state's population make that impossible. Of the 10 biggest cities in Virginia, seven are in Hampton Roads.



WHY RURAL LOCALITIES IN NORTH AMERICA SHOULD BAND TOGETHER TO FORM THEIR OWN TRADE ZONE

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

Bear with us today for a thought experiment. In this case, the “bear” in question involves polar bears. Let’s turn our thoughts to the Canadian province of Manitoba. The capital Winnipeg is a major city, home to a National Hockey League team and a thriving arts scene known around the world. Further north — much further north, on the cold shore of Hudson Bay — lies Churchill.

Op-Ed


FORTIER AND PALMER: WHO WAITS THE LONGEST TO VOTE? UNTIL NOW, WE HAD NO IDEA

By JOHN FORTIER AND DONALD PALMER, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia’s voters are no strangers to long lines at the polls. In recent presidential cycles, they have experienced some of the nation’s longest wait times. As aggravating as those lines are for voters, they are equally vexing for the public officials tasked with administering our elections, in large part because — surprisingly — there have been almost no detailed studies of where, when, and why these lines occur.

John Fortier is director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Donald Palmer is a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and was secretary of the Virginia Board of Elections from 2011 to 2014.