VaNews

Monday July 27, 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

MCAULIFFE TO NAME ROUSH TO STATE SUPREME COURT

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

Jane Marum Roush, a veteran Fairfax County circuit judge who has presided at such high-profile trials as that of Beltway sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, is Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s pick for a seat on the Virginia Supreme Court, according to three state government sources.


ROUSH HAS BACKING OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA LEGISLATORS

By PETER VIETH, Virginia Lawyers Weekly (Paywall)

Fairfax Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush will bring powerful legislative support with her as she accepts a recess appointment to the Supreme Court of Virginia this week. Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to name Roush Monday morning to a seat on the high court that will be vacated Friday by the retirement of Justice LeRoy F. Millette Jr.


MCAULIFFE PAC POSTS BIG NUMBERS FROM OUT-OF-STATE DONORS

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

Since taking over the executive mansion, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his team have popped up along both coasts and points in between in search of money for Virginia Democrats. The cross-country fundraising appeals — which included stops in California and Chicago this spring — have helped McAuliffe reap more than $2 million so far for his political action committee

General Assembly

CULPEPER LEGISLATORS ACCEPT FEWER GIFTS IN WAKE OF MCDONNELL CONVICTIONS

By ALLISON BROPHY CHAMPION, Culpeper Star Exponent (Modified Pay Wall)

Following a statewide trend, Culpeper County's five state legislators accepted far fewer gifts and paid conference fees in the months after Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted in September of corruption.

McDonnell Case

MCDONNELL ASKS ENTIRE APPEALS COURT TO REVERSE RULING THAT UPHOLDS CONVICTION

By MATT ZAPOTOSKY, Washington Post

Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell asked a federal appeals court on Friday to consider reversing the decision of one of its three-judge panels that affirmed his public corruption convictions — a bid for exoneration that experts say is unlikely to succeed.


BOB MCDONNELL APPEALS CORRUPTION CONVICTION AGAIN

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is asking that the entire 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reconsider his corruption convictions. McDonnell's legal team filed a petition Friday for a rehearing of his appeal after a three-judge panel unanimously upheld the convictions earlier this month.


MCDONNELL ASKS FULL 4TH CIRCUIT TO RECONSIDER HIS APPEAL

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

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell is asking the full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or a panel of the court to reconsider his appeal of 11 corruption convictions. A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based appeals court upheld the convictions on July 10, holding in part that McDonnell: “received a fair trial and was duly convicted by a jury of his fellow Virginians.”


MCDONNELL APPEALS AGAIN, STAYS FREE FOR NOW

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

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell has asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear his appeal, and he'll stay out of prison at least until the court decides whether to do so. Experts said Friday such a rehearing is unlikely, but a denial could set up a challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court, where McDonnell has a better chance of success.


MCDONNELL ASKS 4TH CIRCUIT TO TAKE A SECOND LOOK

By PETER VIETH, Virginia Lawyers Weekly (Paywall)

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s lawyers are asking the appeals court that upheld his corruption conviction to take another look at his arguments. McDonnell filed a petition for rehearing Friday, asking to present his arguments again to either the same three-judge panel that decided the appeal July 10 or the full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

State Elections

HOUSE CANDIDATE: BRING BACK ONE-GUN-A-MONTH LAW

By JONATHAN HUNLEY , Leesburg Today

Virginia should reinstate its one-gun-a-month law, House of Delegates candidate Elizabeth Miller said Friday. Miller, a Democrat who is facing GOP Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason in the 32nd District, said that she has been held at gunpoint on three occasions and that it’s time to bring back the statute that restricted Virginians from buying more than one handgun per month.


VOTER TURNOUT IN TUESDAY'S SPECIAL ELECTION LESS THAN 5 PERCENT

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

How low was turnout in Tuesday’s special election in the 74th House District in which Lamont Bagby defeated independent David M. Lambert?

State Government

STOSCH, WATKINS QUESTION REDSKINS DEAL

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

The Washington Redskins will return to Richmond on Thursday amid renewed calls for scrutiny of their economic performance under incentive agreements with the city and state....A $4 million grant from the state awarded in 2012 was the subject of a letter sent this month to Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones by state Sens. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, and Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico, who cited the need “to remain vigilant in enforcement of the terms of the agreement.”


JUSTICE DEPT.: VIRGINIA IGNORED COURT ORDER ON FUNDING FOR THE DISABLED

By ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post

The Justice Department says Virginia is not being serious enough about efforts to comply with court-ordered reforms to its program for people with disabilities. A letter to the federal judge overseeing a 2012 federal settlement, sent by the Justice Department last month, points as evidence to the way the state has used proceeds from the sale of state-run institutions that treated people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


MEDICAL REGULATORY PROCESSES UNDER FIRE IN VA., ELSEWHERE

By TAMMIE SMITH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Critics of Virginia’s regulatory system for approving new medical facilities and services say the process takes too long, is political and costs too much, but close to three dozen other states have similar programs with varying degrees of fees and restrictions. In one state-by-state comparison of certificate of need programs, Virginia is in the middle of the pack, regulating about 19 of 30 categories of medical services listed. Virginia, for instance, does not regulate home health services or renal dialysis services through such programs, like many other states.


2016 VIRGINIA HEALTH RATES ALL OVER THE BOARD

By PRUE SALASKY, Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

Ten insurance companies presented their health plans and proposed premium changes in the individual and small-group markets for 2016 before the Virginia State Corporation Commision in Richmond on Wednesday. Proposed rate changes varied from single-digit decreases for several small-group plans to a more than 30 percent increase for an individual off-exchange platinum plan presented by United Health Care.


VA. MAKES IT EASIER TO GET DRUG THAT REVERSES OPIOID OVERDOSES

By TAMMIE SMITH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Brandi Fincham had been drug-free for 82 days last year when she relapsed on heroin. “I snorted some” and was passed out when friends found her, she said.


PORT OF VIRGINIA REPORTEDLY TOPS PREDICTED PROFIT

By SALLY VOTH, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

When Port of Virginia CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart gave his State of the Port address across the road from the Virginia Inland Port in late April, he predicted a $6.2 million operating profit in fiscal year 2015. He was off by nearly $10 million.

Congress

KAINE, WARNER INTRODUCE LGBT NONDISCRIMINATION BILL

By STAR-EXPONENT STAFF, Culpeper Star Exponent (Modified Pay Wall)

Virginia's U.S. Senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats, Thursday joined 38 Senators and 158 House members to introduce the first-ever comprehensive federal legislation to ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans, according to a news release

Economy/Business

EXPORTS AT RISK WITH NO ACTION

By VIC BRADSHAW, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is banking on exports from Virginia to help make the state’s economy less dependent on federal spending. Just last week he announced an initiative with a goal of increasing exports by $1.6 billion and creating 14,000 trade-supported jobs over the next five years.

Transportation

D.C.-AREA MOTORISTS LOSE THEIR ‘GUNSLINGER’

By KATHERINE SHAVER, Washington Post

For 21 years, Lon Anderson has considered himself a “gunslinger” against traffic jams, a “gladiator” against drunken driving and the “staunch defender” of nearly 4 million beleaguered motorists.

Higher Education

UR PRESIDENT READY TO ENGAGE, OFFER HIS SKILLS

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

His second day on the job, the new president of the University of Richmond went downtown to meet with the mayor. Amid his “listening tour” around campus to hear from UR vice presidents, deans and faculty, Ronald A. Crutcher stopped in for an initial discussion with Mayor Dwight C. Jones about “where he thinks I might can best use my skills.”


SAVING SWEET BRIAR TRANSFERS SECOND INSTALLMENT TO COLLEGE; TOTAL TO REACH $8.5M BY AUGUST

By ASHLIE WALTER, News & Advance

The non-profit group that orchestrated the rescue of Sweet Briar College will deliver ahead of time its second installment of money raised to keep the historic women's college afloat.

Virginia Other

APPROACHING BIRD-FLU VIRUS MEANS NO CHICKENS AT MARYLAND STATE FAIR

By JOSH HICKS, Washington Post

Maryland is banning poultry exhibits at state and county fairs and will quarantine out-of-state hatching eggs and chickens in hopes of preventing a bird flu outbreak that could be catastrophic for a key driver of the state economy.


NO BAN ON POULTRY AS LOCAL FAIR GETS UNDERWAY

By VAL VAN METER, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

There will be plenty of poultry at the Frederick County Fair, despite an avian flu virus that’s creeping east from the West Coast. The fair got underway Sunday, with pageants for the county’s littlest princesses, and continues through Saturday at the fairgrounds at 155 Fairgrounds Road.


DESPITE CONFEDERATE CONTROVERSY, CITY HOLDS TIES TO CIVIL WAR HISTORY

By DENICE THIBODEAU , Danville Register & Bee

While Danville itself saw no epic battles during the Civil War, it was a key city in providing supplies to the army of the Confederate States, housing Union prisoners and being the Last Capital of the Confederacy after Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled Richmond.

Local

ARLINGTON’S HIGH-RISE DOWNTOWN ROSSLYN IS ABOUT TO RISE HIGHER

By PATRICIA SULLIVAN, Washington Post

Construction noise echoes off Rosslyn’s office towers most lunchtimes, as hungry workers throng food trucks clustered along North Lynn Street and fill sidewalk tables set up by takeout cafes. Eight hours later, everything is quiet. The food trucks are gone, the restaurants are closed and the people have disappeared.


RISE IN RICHMOND PROPERTY VALUES PROMPTS TALK OF LOWERING TAX RATE

By K. BURNELL EVANS , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

For the second year in a row, the Richmond City Council will be required under state law to consider lowering the real estate tax rate as a result of an uptick in property values. The overall value of property in the city increased 3.31 percent in the latest round of reassessments completed last month, bringing total anticipated real estate revenues from about $240 million to $248 million, said City Assessor James D. Hester.


FLYING SQUIRRELS, EASTERN LEAGUE TO DRIVE STADIUM SITE SEARCH IN REGION

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

Baseball executives will drive their own search for a new minor league stadium in the greater Richmond region, but they’re not likely to roam far from the interstate. The Eastern League will help its Double-A baseball affiliate, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, look for potential ballpark sites as far north as Hanover County and west to Goochland County, as well as in Chesterfield and Henrico counties — and the city.


IN NORFOLK, PAYING JURORS WITH PLASTIC COMES WITH HIDDEN COST

By GARY A. HARKI, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In February 2014, Daniel Howland took time away from his work as a veterinarian to serve jury duty in Circuit Court. He ended up spending just a morning in the courthouse because he was not picked for the murder trial. He was owed one day's pay. A few weeks later, he got a SunTrust debit card worth $30 from the city's Treasurer's Office as payment.


PORTSMOUTH AUDITOR MISSES OWN DEADLINE ON TWO JOBS

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

The city’s auditor, who did not complete any audits in his first year and a half, has missed self-imposed deadlines to produce two that he promised. The Virginian-Pilot filed a Freedom of Information Act request to Auditor Jesse Andre Thomas for his reviews of billing and customer service in the Public Utilities Department and a full audit of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare Services.


SHERIFF QUITS ACCREDITATION PROGRAM

By TRACI MOYER, News Leader (Metered Pay Wall)

Nearly three months after an investigation by The News Leader into almost $4,000 of missing drug money at the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, the agency pulled out of an accreditation program. The sheriff’s office was reaccredited by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission in March. The accreditation is for a four year period and the agency has been accredited for the last 12 years.


OUSTED REGISTRAR IN BOTETOURT FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST ELECTORAL BOARD

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

The rift between Botetourt County’s voter registrar and its electoral board was purely political, former Registrar Phyllis Booze asserted in a lawsuit filed Friday claiming she was let go for partisan reasons. Because she is a Republican, Booze claimed, the two Democrats on the three-member board voted not to reappoint her in June to another four-year term.


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

DOES CHARITY CARE REQUIRE COPN?

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

A Virginia panel is considering whether to do something many other states already have, and the commonwealth should: repeal the certificate of public need system. But as a recent Times-Dispatch front page story noted, the possibility of repeal raises a concern about the future of charity care.


STAY ON COURSE FOR LIGHT RAIL

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

A HANDFUL of people have begun a campaign to rile Virginia Beach residents about the perils of bringing light rail to the city. It's important to pay attention when the city is mapping out ways to grow, when it's investing in infrastructure, when it's devoting tax money to a transportation and redevelopment strategy.


A FAILING BAY CLEANUP

Washington Post Editorial

THE CHESAPEAKE Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It is also one of the dirtiest. Though scientists have warned of the need to clean up the bay for years, very little headway has been made, and a recent Environmental Protection Agency assessment shows that states are not meeting agreed-upon pollution abatement targets.


HENRICO MEALS TAX PAYS AS IT GOES

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

In 2013, Henrico voters approved a meals tax to pay for projects in the schools. (Chesterfield said no in a similar referendum.) In 2014, the Henrico Board of Supervisors enacted the 4 percent levy. As the regimen began, Andy Jenks, spokesman for Henrico’s public schools, said, “We made a commitment to the public that when these funds are spent, we are going to demonstrate exactly how these funds are spent.” In an advertisement that appeared in the July 21 Times-Dispatch, Henrico fulfilled Jenks’ promise.


SENATE BILL EXPANDS FIGHT AGAINST CAMPUS SEX ASSAULT

Free Lance-Star Editorial

With students about to begin or resume their college careers here and across Virginia next month, let’s hope the broadening awareness and continuing dialogue about campus sexual assault will be right there with them. Since last fall, the topic has been pretty difficult to avoid. Though the now-retracted Rolling Stone magazine article about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house turns out to have been fabricated, it did put a spotlight on an issue that has long merited greater attention.


THE BOTTOM COULD BE A CENTER FOR RECONCILIATION

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

Virginians venerate history in ways that inspire jokes, affection, derision and, one suspects, envy. The proposal to build a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom sparked a lively — sometimes contentious — discussion about Richmond’s past. The passion suggested that debates about the past usually are debates about the present and the future.


POLICE VIDEO RAISES ISSUES OF PRIVACY, PROTECTION

Daily Progress Editorial

The fight might be in California, but the fallout could affect police policies and public information nationwide. Police in Gardena, California, say they will challenge a judge’s ruling releasing video images taken during an officer’s shooting of an unarmed man.


LESSON LEARNED IN PUBLIC-PRIVATE DEALS: BE CAREFUL

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

Just about everyone agrees that the private sector does some things better than government. Just about everyone also agrees that government can do some things more efficiently and effectively. The trouble inevitably comes when ideology forces political leaders to ignore contrary evidence and govern as if private enterprise is always preferable, no matter what. Or that government is.


WHAT WERE METRO OFFICIALS THINKING?

Washington Post Editorial

When questions were raised last month about a consulting contract given to Metro’s former general counsel, transit officials moved quickly to end the arrangement. However, they refused to release a copy of the contract or provide any information about payment terms. Clearly, they hoped the whole matter would be quickly forgotten. “My view is we move on,” said Metro board chairman Mortimer L. Downey. Now new details about the contract have emerged, and they raise even more troubling questions.

Columnists

POLITIFACT: TERRY MCAULIFFE SAYS ALL MARYLAND CRABS ARE BORN IN VIRGINIA

By WARREN FISKE | POLIFACT, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Maryland crabs, Maryland crab cakes, Maryland crab soup...Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says it’s all a sham. "You know, Maryland talks about its crabs," McAuliffe said with a chuckle during a July 21 radio interview. "If anyone from Maryland is listening, I want to make this perfectly clear: All the crabs are born here in Virginia and they end up, because of the current, being taken (to Maryland). So really, they should be Virginia crabs."


SCHAPIRO: MCAULIFFE NOT COMPLETING TERM? FUHGETTABOUTIT!

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

Say what you will about Terry McAuliffe, but he accurately represents contemporary Virginia: He’s a Democrat, reflecting his party’s continuing strength in statewide elections. He’s not from here, a reminder that neither are a majority of the state’s residents. And no sooner than he won for governor, there was speculation he wants to move up.


HINKLE: A POLICY THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND

By A. BARTON HINKLE, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Are people drinking enough beer? Most people, quite sensibly, are likely to answer with some variation of “How the heck should I know?” But Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Virginia lawmakers think they know. In fact, they’re sure of it.


CHESLEY: THERE'S NO EVIL IN REVIEWING STATE'S 20-YEAR-OLD "NO-PAROLE" POLICY

By ROGER CHESLEY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

State GOP leaders apparently have adopted a new motto: Ignorance is bliss. That's their unstated retort to Gov. Terry McAuliffe's push to re-examine Virginia's 20-year-old "no-parole" policy. McAuliffe's commission to review parole, established by executive order, met for the first time this week.


CAIN: DO CLINTON'S POLLING PROBLEMS MATTER?

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

Hillary Rodham Clinton had a rough week. The Democratic front-runner’s poll numbers against top-tier Republicans dropped in Virginia in a survey that underscored lingering questions about her trustworthiness.

Op-Ed

WYNNE AND MOORMAN: GO VIRGINIA'S FRESH START.

By 'DUBBY' WYNNE AND WICK MOORMAN, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginians these days have growing optimism about the national economy based on reports of gradual recovery. Closer to home, however, the situation looks much less certain, and many in Hampton Roads worry about what the future will hold for their families. Virginia is fortunate to have a healthy business climate, a coveted triple-AAA bond rating, and political leaders in both parties who are tireless in promoting economic development.

John O. "Dubby" Wynne is former president and chief executive of Landmark Communications and chairman of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. Wick Moorman is executive chairman of Norfolk Southern Corporation.


FARRELL AND LUKE: LET’S GO VIRGINIA

By THOMAS F. FARRELL II AND JOHN A. LUKE JR., Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Will our children and grandchildren enjoy the same opportunities we have had? Our economic and political challenges seem so great today that many Americans fear the answer is “no.” This Tuesday, business leaders from across Virginia will launch an effort to help get our economy growing strongly again. We will ask business enterprises, small and large, and Virginians of all backgrounds, parties, and regions to join our bipartisan, grass-roots coalition.

Thomas F. Farrell II is chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Dominion Resources Inc.; John A. Luke Jr. is chairman of WestRock Co.


SASLAW: THE PUBLIC IS THE DRIVING INTEREST ON I-66 PROJECT

By DICK SASLAW, Published in the Washington Post

Interstate 66 outside the Beltway needs to be fixed. At rush hour, it can seem like a parking lot. It’s clear something has to be done....It has been long assumed the private sector is more effective than government when it comes to delivering large transportation projects. That may be true in some cases, but not necessarily in all. When hundreds of millions of tax dollars are at stake, we must make sure the taxpayers’ best interests are protected.

Dick Saslaw is Democratic leader of the Virginia Senate.


DUVAL: KEEPING VIRGINIA COMPETITIVE STARTS WITH RELIABLE ENERGY

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

Virginia’s fall to 12th on CNBC’s latest list of “Top States for Business” should be a wake-up call for the commonwealth. After years of being among the elite in job creation, Virginia has lost ground. Why the precipitous decline after being named No. 1 as recently as 2011? Virginia has experienced a troubling pattern of slowing economic activity. Forty-seven states and Washington, D.C., outpaced Virginia in economic growth last year. In 2014, the state’s economy expanded by a paltry 0.02 percent.


SWOPE: FOSSIL FUELS: ‘SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED’ TO US BY MOTHER NATURE

By BERNARD SWOPE, Published in the Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

The more energy we have, the more ability we have to improve our lives. Energy is the capacity to do “work.” Power is the rate of energy use. Humans require calories to produce energy, but humans have very limited ability to produce power. Machines theoretically have unlimited ability to produce power, but need an energy source.

Bernard Swope is a resident of Winchester.


SNOW: ‘BRANSONIANLY OBVIOUS’ - PRICE CARBON

By NICK SNOW, Published in the Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

Is greenhouse gas (GHG) emission responsible for global warming? Is the Pope Catholic? The scientific consensus on man-made global warming (AGW) is so overwhelming that six of the world’s largest petroleum companies, including Shell and BP, encourage “governments across the world to provide ... (a) clear, stable, long-term ambitious policy framework,” to address carbon pollution. This open letter continues: “A price on carbon should be a key element of this framework.”

Nick Snow resides in Millwood.


BAILEY: MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE IS A SIGN OF PROGRESS

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

n conversations with friends and neighbors over the last several months, it’s become clear to me that many of us think the discussion about Mountain Valley Pipeline has been too narrowly focused and has lost sight of the bigger picture. We all want to protect the environment and preserve our natural resources. And, there are many of us in this community who believe that we can build new infrastructure and protect the environment at the same time.

Mike Bailey is a retired businessman and community leader in the Hollins area.


TOWN: CLEAN POWER PLAN: THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

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

Virginia-mined coal, long responsible for keeping the lights on in the commonwealth, is dimming, and the Southwest Virginia economy is feeling it. According to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data, average unemployment across the seven main coalfield counties in Southwest Virginia is 8.8 percent.

Michael Town serves as executive director of the Richmond-based Virginia League of Conservation Voters.


TANTON: VIRGINIA LEADERS SHOULD REJECT THE CALIFORNICATION OF POWER GRID

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

The idea of Virginia doing things “the California way” doesn’t make much sense. Unfortunately, Virginians may not have a choice if the Obama administration has its way. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will soon finalize the Clean Power Plan, requiring states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030

Tom Tanton is Director of the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute and Senior Fellow with the Reason Foundation.


SIMPSON: HISTORY OF THE CERTIFICATE OF NEED

By JOHN N. SIMPSON, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

...Since the enactment by the Virginia General Assembly of certificate of need legislation for health care facilities in 1973, there continues to be a constant debate regarding its effectiveness. The implied objectives of certificate of need legislation are to slow the growth of health care costs, limit duplication of services, encourage consolidation of health care providers and allow coordinated planning of new services and construction.

John N. Simpson has worked as a health care administrator for 52 years.


HURT: DODD FRANK: TAXPAYERS AND CONSUMERS LEFT IN THE COLD

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

In the summer of 2010, as our nation continued to struggle through the fallout of the most damaging economic crisis since the Great Depression, Congress scrambled to advance financial regulatory reforms, promising to end “Too Big to Fail” and end taxpayer-funded bailouts. The American people were promised this legislation would stabilize our economy and hold accountable those responsible for the crisis.

Robert Hurt, a Republican, represents Virginia’s 5th Congressional District.


RAO: RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES MUST BE LEADERS IN REVIVING AMERICAN INNOVATION

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

Until the middle of the last century, America built a strong future by leaning heavily on the incomparability of its industry. We became a global superpower because our creative and material output was unmatched, and we could, quite simply, achieve things no one else could. Our national ethos, in fact, was the idea that hard work paired with big dreams was the ticket to a better life.

Michael Rao is president of Virginia Commonwealth University.


EVANS: BATTLE FLAG NO SYMBOL OF HATE

By BOB EVANS, Published in the Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

The recent despicable events in South Carolina and the resultant call for removal of the Confederate battle flag caused me to reflect on how that flag came to be considered a symbol of evil rather than a historical memorial. The co-opting of the battle flag by various groups as a banner representing evil has been aided by both sides of the racial divide. Racially motivated whites have held it up as a rallying signal, while blacks, also racially motivated, have pointed to it as evidence of wide spread hatred. In reality, it signifies rebellion against oppression by one group over another.

Mr. Evans lives in Harrisonburg.


MCMURTRIE: IN SEARCH OF AN EDUCATION GOVERNOR

By ALEX MCMURTRIE, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia's vaunted public education system stands at a crossroads. One fork is paved with rosy state government press releases and statistics on its website claiming it is the best, or nearly so, in the entire world. This is the road traveled by our politicians.

Alex McMurtrie, a business lawyer, is a member of the boards of Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Notre Dame and Georgetown University Law School.


DICROCE: REINVENTING HAMPTON ROADS

By DEBORAH M. DICROCE, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

So what can GO Virginia do for Hampton Roads? The answer: A lot. This new statewide undertaking is designed to jumpstart regional cooperation to guarantee a robust Virginia economy. Our region has much to gain.

Deborah M. DiCroce is president and chief executive of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.