A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.
VaNews - February 7, 2013
Today's Sponsor: Virginia Association of Realtors®
Thank you Members of the General Assembly for welcoming Virginia Realtors on their annual visit to Capitol Square!
Compiled by Sue Lindsey
Hoping to jump-start a stalled 10-year effort to redevelop the former Obici Hospital site near downtown, the City Council voted Wednesday to turn the property over to the Economic Development Authority. The EDA is the city's marketing arm. The council approved the transfer unanimously without discussion.
Hampton City Schools is considering adopting a policy for disciplining students with disabilities. The School Board heard about the new policy at its regular business meeting Wednesday evening. If adopted, the policy would address changes in students' current educational placements because of disciplinary action.
The city of Fredericksburg's population boom over the last two years has outpaced growth in the state as well as every other locality in the region. Between April 2010 and July 2012, the city saw a 7.2 percent increase in the number of residents, propelling its population to more than 26,000, according to figures released by the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
Six days after pleading guilty to a sex charge, the youngest supervisor in Albemarle County history faced a censure from his colleagues Wednesday and a petition drive to remove him. "Mr. Dumler’s presence on this BOS will be a constant reminder to our wives, mothers, daughters and ourselves of the sexual abuse on these women," said Supervisor Duane E. Snow, choking up as he read a statement.
Facing a tightening budget and declining enrollment, school leaders in Alleghany County may have no choice but to close three schools. Public hearings on that possibility begin today.
Glen Lyn Mayor Thomas "Rick" Ould was denied bond again Wednesday during a hearing in which a prosecutor said Ould is accused of firing a handgun into the air three times and putting the gun to the head of his wife during a domestic incident. Special prosecutor Mike Fleenor told the court that according to a police investigation, Ould threatened to shoot his wife with a .40-caliber handgun as she tried to leave the couple's home Jan. 29 after an argument.
After hearing a variety of options to improve school safety in the division, Shenandoah County School Board members came up with a preliminary plan Wednesday night to start the process. The School Board met in Central High School's gym for a work session on what security initiatives needed to take place immediately, and which ones could fit into a more long-term plan.
The collapse of negotiations in the Senate on Tuesday marked an unnecessary but familiar bump in the road toward a long-term solution for Virginia's transportation crisis. Democrats, who pushed for the collapse, still have a chance to reverse course, and on Wednesday, House Speaker Bill Howell offered incentive for them to do so.
Some Republicans in Virginia's House of Delegates showed this week they're unwilling to let a threat to liberty, even imaginary ones, go unchallenged. Members of the majority party backed resolution after resolution aimed at conquering some of their most fantastic foes.
State lawmakers wisely have dispatched most of the bills meant to hide local government business from the public. Only one — House Bill 1823 — remains under consideration. The measure has been sent to the Senate’s Committee on General Laws, and could be heard as soon as Monday.
The House of Delegates saved the state Senate from itself. On Wednesday, Speaker William J. Howell ruled the Senate’s redistricting scheme was not germane to the legislation it amended. His action kills a misguided power-grab. Howell explains his decision in a guest column that appears on today’s Op/Ed page. As he says, he took a stand on behalf of institutional integrity. His statement needs no embellishment from us. Virginia redraws its election maps after every census. The map based on the 2010 population numbers went into effect for the General Assembly’s 2011 elections. The results produced a 20-20 split.
BY SQUASHING a Republican scheme to seize control of the VirginiaSenate by extra-constitutional means, William J. Howell (R), speaker of the House of Delegates, preserved not only the rule of law in the General Assembly but also a glimmer of hope that lawmakers will at last forge a strategy to address the approaching collapse in state transportation funding. Now it is up to Senate Democrats to reciprocate by joining forces with Republicans to pass Virginia’s first major transportation bill in a quarter-century. Even if a portion of the new funds for transportation will be diverted from schools, health care, public safety and other core priorities, Democrats cannot continue to reject measures that will enable the state to build roads and rails.
Did you know that a bill in the General Assembly seeks to make Virginia “a leader in nuclear energy”? Did you know that part of this pro-nuclear effort would be conducted behind closed doors? The Daily Progress supports careful use of nuclear power, which holds enormous promise for fulfilling the nation’s energy needs. But we recognize that many people oppose nuclear energy — and we support their right to object .
The Virginia Senate passed a bill last week to amend the Virginia Code to state, "A parent has a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education and care of the parent's child." Sounds benign, and superfluous. U.S. Supreme Court rulings acknowledge a parent's right to raise a child as a fundamental right protected under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Parental autonomy is already the law in Virginia.
Those who tend to forget that Roanoke once was called Big Lick were served up a $6.1million reminder this week. That's what engineers figure it will cost to construct a culvert strong enough to carry trains over Lick Run in downtown Roanoke. Lick Run in downtown? Yep, it runs through a brick and arch culvert buried not far from the tracks that run behind Warehouse Row to the East End Shops. Right where the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation says is the best place for the city to host a passenger rail platform. And it might be the only place.