VaNews

Tuesday September 19, 2017


Today's Sponsor:

Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Tune into your local NBC station tonight at 7:00p for the Northern Virginia Gubernatorial Debate – hosted by the Northern Virginia Chamber/GMU Schar School.

General Assembly


STATE LAWMAKERS TO BUILD REVENUE RESERVES AS HEDGE AGAINST RISKS RAISED BY BOND AGENCY

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

The Virginia General Assembly will not convene for almost four months, but a senior budget leader says the legislature’s top priority will be to build its revenue reserves to hedge against risks that have given at least one bond-rating agency the jitters.



DMV SHORTFALL TOPS $16M, RAISING POSSIBILITY OF INCREASED FEES

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

The costs keep coming for lawmakers on Virginia’s budget committees, now faced with an estimated $16.4 million operating shortfall at the Department of Motor Vehicles and a bill of $1.1 million — and counting — for repairing and ultimately rebuilding the Virginia State Police’s stricken email network.



VIRGINIA ESTIMATES $1.2 BILLION HIT TO MEDICAID PROGRAM UNDER LATEST SENATE HEALTH PLAN

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

Gov. Terry McAuliffe estimated Monday that Virginia would lose $1.2 billion in federal funding for its Medicaid program over the next seven years under legislation proposed in U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

State Elections


THE VA. GOVERNOR’S RACE STILL HEARS A LOT FROM THE GUYS WHO LOST THE NOMINATION FIGHTS

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Former congressman Tom Perriello joined a handful of college students on Monday as they pressed Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, a former Washington lobbyist and strategist, to disclose the names of clients he has represented over the past five years. It’s the kind of campaign event that would have been expected of Perriello had he won the June 13 Democratic primary for governor. He lost to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, but there he was anyway, stumping for Northam.



GILLESPIE, NORTHAM TO SQUARE OFF IN SECOND DEBATE

Associated Press

The two major party candidates running to be the next governor of Virginia are set to square off at the their second debate. Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam will met Tuesday evening at Capitol One's headquarters in Northern Virginia.



POLLS SHOW TIGHT GOVERNOR'S RACE AS NORTHAM, GILLESPIE PREPARE FOR SECOND DEBATE

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

A pair of polls released Monday showed a close Virginia governor’s race heading into Tuesday’s second debate between Democrat Ralph S. Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie. A poll from Boston’s Suffolk University found the two major-party candidates tied at 42 percent, with 12 percent of respondents undecided and Libertarian Cliff Hyra drawing 3 percent. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. A University of Mary Washington poll showed Northam at 44 percent to Gillespie’s 39 percent among likely voters



UMW POLL SHOWS THAT RACE FOR VIRGINIA GOVERNOR IS A TOSS-UP

By JEFF BRANSCOME, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

With less than two months until Election Day, the race for Virginia governor is essentially a toss-up, according to a recent poll by the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. About 44 percent of likely voters favored Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, and 39 percent backed Republican Ed Gillespie, but Northam’s 5-point lead is within the survey’s margin of error.



NEW POLL: NORTHAM HAS SLIGHT EDGE, BUT VA. GOVERNOR’S RACE LOOKS LIKE A SQUEAKER

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia’s race for governor continues to look like a close contest, as Democrat Ralph Northam has a slight but statistically insignificant edge over Republican Ed Gillespie in one new poll of likely voters and another new poll shows a dead heat. Northam is the pick for 44 percent of likely voters and Gillespie gets 39 percent in the University of Mary Washington survey released Monday. That five-point difference is within the poll’s margin of error of 5.2 percentage points for likely voters.



AG MARK HERRING ANNOUNCES POLICY PROPOSALS ON HEROIN AND OPIOID ABUSE

By PETER DUJARDIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Monday announced a wide-ranging plan to crack down on a state — and national — scourge: a growing number of deaths caused by heroin, heroin synthetics and prescription painkillers. More than 1,100 people have died in Virginia from overdoses from such drugs in 2016, he said.



CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS SHOW DONATION GAINS FOR DEMOCRATS

By ONOFRIO CASTIGLIA, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

Coming into the home stretch of campaigning before the Nov. 7 election, the most recent campaign finance reports show Democrats making donation gains in races involving local representatives. On Monday the Virginia Public Access Project published reports submitted by candidates across the state for the July 1, 2017 to Aug. 31 period, which were due on Friday.



DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES PULL IN CAMPAIGN FUNDS; STILL SHORT OF GOP TOTALS

By ALEX KOMA, Inside NOVA

All but one of the six Democrats running in contested House of Delegates races in Prince William County managed to out-raise their Republican opponents over the last two months, as local Democrats continue to record massive fundraising hauls ahead of the November elections. From July 1 to Aug. 31, county Democrats in Districts 2, 13, 31, 40, 50 and 51 combined to raise nearly $772,000, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project. Their GOP opponents, including five incumbent delegates, managed about $407,000 over the same time period.



JESSE JACKSON IN ROANOKE STOP: 'THERE IS POWER IN THE VOTE'

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

Standing in an auditorium at Roanoke College, where around 400 people gathered to hear him speak, the Rev. Jesse Jackson asked how many in the audience weren’t registered to vote locally. “Come on down. Come on down,” he entreated as he waved people toward the front where organizers were waiting with registration forms.



THE REV. JESSE JACKSON SPEAKS IN LYNCHBURG TO ENCOURAGE VOTER REGISTRATION

By JOSH MOODY , News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a famed civil rights organizer and longtime activist for African-American issues, denounced ignorance, fear, hatred and violence at a Monday stop at Randolph College. Jackson, who spoke for a little more than an hour at Randolph, discussed issues of race and unity in his second Monday appearance in Lynchburg as part of a voter-registration drive across the commonwealth



REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS GET INTO THE 'NEWS' BUSINESS

Associated Press

Republican governors are getting into the "news" business. The Republican Governors Association has quietly launched an online publication that looks like a media outlet and is branded as such on social media. ....The first test is in this fall's Virginia governor's race pitting Democratic nominee Ralph Northam against Republican Ed Gillespie. Virginians already have seen another site, The Republican Standard, that is run by Virginia Republican operatives with ties to Gillespie, a former state and national party chairman, and to a firm that has been paid by the RGA.

Federal Elections


‘YOU’VE LOST THAT CENTRIST FEELING’: COMSTOCK CHALLENGER HITS CRINGE-WORTHY NOTES

By JENNA PORTNOY, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

If congressional races hinged on singing talent, Dan Helmer might have lost the race before it has really begun. Helmer, one of the Democrats competing to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) next year, released a painful-to-watch web ad Monday spoofing a “Top Gun” scene.

State Government


VIRGINIA SUBMITS NEW EDUCATION PLAN FOR FEDERAL REVIEW

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

Students’ academic growth will carry greater weight in evaluating Virginia schools under a new plan the state has submitted for federal approval. The plan lays out how Virginia will comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal education law signed by President Barack Obama in 2015.

Economy/Business


AS TRUMP MOVES TO REMAKE GOVERNMENT, IT CONTRACTORS JOCKEY FOR POSITION

By AARON GREGG, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Technology services firm ManTech International moved Monday to extend its reach into the federal government, announcing a $180 million to buy Bethesda-based IT firm InfoZen. InfoZen specializes in the work of moving traditional computer systems to the cloud, something that is a stated goal of the White House Office of American Innovation, headed by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.



NORTHROP GRUMMAN TO BUY AEROSPACE MANUFACTURER ORBITAL ATK

By CHRISTIAN DAVENPORT AND AARON GREGG , Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Pentagon increasingly views space as the next great battle front. North Korea is flexing its muscle by firing test missiles and developing its nuclear arsenal. And NASA has seeded the private sector with billions of dollars in contracts, as the industry focuses more on small satellite technology. All which helps explain why Northrop Grumman, one of the nation's largest defense contractors, announced on Monday that it planned to acquire Dulles-based Orbital ATK



NORTHROP GRUMMAN TO ACQUIRE DULLES-BASED ORBITAL ATK FOR $9.2B

By STAFF REPORT, Loudoun Times

Powerhouse defense contractor Northrop Grumman announced today it plans to acquire Dulles-based Orbital ATK for $9.2 billion. ... The acquisition is still pending regulatory and Orbital ATK shareholder approval, but has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies.



APPALACHIAN POWER SEEKS REDUCTION IN FUEL RATE CHARGED CUSTOMERS

By DUNCAN ADAMS, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

For many customers the proposed decrease in their monthly electricity bill would not buy a large latte. Yet it would be a savings nonetheless, tied to the continuing low costs of coal and natural gas used as fuel to generate power.



HEMP ONE STEP CLOSER TO LEGALIZATION

By LAURA PETERS, News Leader (Metered Pay Wall)

Tucked behind acres of corn, you wouldn't believe what your eyes see in a small inlet of farmland. It looks like something that shouldn't be there. It smells like, well, like a sweet version of pot. But, it's not marijuana.

Transportation


TUBE GROUNDBREAKING STARTS NEW CHAPTER FOR "ENGINEERING WONDER" CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE-TUNNEL

By JORDAN PASCALE , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

When it was built, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was called “one of the seven engineering wonders of the world.” Now 53 years after the 23-mile bridge-tunnel opened, it’s adding another tube for the first time.

Higher Education


RYAN’S TOTAL PAY COULD TOP $1M A YEAR

By RUTH SERVEN, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

James E. Ryan could receive more than a million dollars a year as the University of Virginia’s president. Ryan’s seven-year contract will make him one of the highest-compensated university presidents and state employees in Virginia when he takes over for Teresa A. Sullivan next summer. However, there is little oversight of Ryan’s perks and outside activities provided in the contract’s terms.



RON CARRIER, VISIONARY WHO TRANSFORMED JMU, DIES AT 85

By VIC BRADSHAW, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

Ronald E. Carrier, the gregarious and bold visionary who led the transformation of James Madison University from a small teacher’s college into a nationally recognized university, died today of unspecified causes. He was 85.

Virginia Other


VIRGINIA'S ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY TO PRESS AHEAD ON PIPELINE PERMITS AS OTHER STATES HIT THE BRAKES

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

Facing a legal challenge, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection last week asked a federal court to vacate the water-quality certification it issued in March for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. A day later, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality delayed its pending decision on water-quality certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, sending developers of the project, which is being led by Dominion Energy, a four-page request for more information.

Confederate Statues


CONFEDERATE MONUMENT CAN'T BE MOVED IN VIRGINIA BEACH, CITY ATTORNEY SAYS

By ALISSA SKELTON , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Norfolk and Portsmouth city leaders have vowed to move their Confederate monuments out of public view. Around the country, similar emblems have been coming down, too, in places like Baltimore and Dallas. But in Virginia Beach? It’s unlikely. City Attorney Mark Stiles issued an opinion that the Confederate monument built more than a century ago outside of the former Princess Anne County Courthouse can’t be moved.



CONGREGATION ONCE LED BY ROBERT E. LEE VOTES TO REMOVE HIS NAME FROM THEIR LEXINGTON CHURCH

By NED OLIVER , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Leaders of R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church in Lexington voted Monday evening to change the parish’s name to Grace Episcopal Church — what it was originally called when the Confederate general moved to town after the Civil War and joined the congregation.



BLACK HISTORY MUSEUM BOARD CALLS FOR CONFEDERATE STATUE REMOVAL

By BONNIE V. WINSTON, Richmond Free Press

The Confederate statues on Richmond’s Monument Avenue should go. That sentiment was expressed by the board of directors of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia in a letter submitted last week to the Free Press.



CITY: LEGALITY, COST OF PROTESTERS’ REMOVAL OF STATUE TARPS UNCLEAR

Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The black shrouds covering the downtown statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson have been removed by the monuments’ supporters and replaced by city workers five times since they were installed on Aug. 23.

Local


RICHMOND SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO HOLD SPECIAL ELECTION TO FILL VACANT SEAT

By JUSTIN MATTINGLY , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Richmond school officials voted Monday to hold a special election next November to replace 7th District School Board representative Nadine Marsh-Carter, who resigned this month. Marsh-Carter, the CEO of the Children’s Home Society of Virginia, resigned from the board Sept. 5 citing the unexpected death of her husband July 30 after a brief illness.



POUND FACES BUDGET EMERGENCY

By JENAY TATE, Coalfield Progress (Subscription Required)

Faced with not being able to make payroll and pay other due bills, Town Council unanimously agreed in an emergency meeting Thursday to borrow enough to pay employees, but that's all. It won't be enough to lift the town out of the red but council will take up discussion of what to do next at its regular meeting tonight at 6 p.m.

TV/Radio


FAIR HOUSING IN FAIRFAX COUNTY? NOT QUITE, REPORT SUGGESTS

By MAX SMITH, WTOP

A new report on fair housing in Fairfax County, Virginia, finds the area has room to improve on its efforts to make housing accessible to any resident regardless of their race. The report, released last week for public comment, found that discriminatory lending practices and the county’s development policies have limited the housing choices available to its black population.


Today's Sponsor:

Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Tune into your local NBC station tonight at 7:00p for the Northern Virginia Gubernatorial Debate – hosted by the Northern Virginia Chamber/GMU Schar School.

Editorials


THE START OF A TREND IN RICHMOND?

News & Advance Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

When the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council released data from the 2016-17 legislative reporting year, something interesting emerged from the numbers. The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), a private nonprofit that focuses on transparency in politics, analyzed the reports and found what we hope is the beginning of a welcome trend in state politics.



BEGGING THE QUESTION

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

It’s hard to say with any certainty whether the practice of panhandling is an increasing problem in the United States, or for that matter, whether it truly is a problem at all.



REGION IS MISSING FROM DEBATE STAGE

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

Don't expect to see fireworks at tonight’s Virginia gubernatorial debate, the second of three such events preceding the election on Nov. 7. Neither major-party candidate for governor is apt to offer much in the way of explosive revelations or the type of verbal pyrotechnics that were the hallmark of last year’s presidential debates.



UVA MAKES A GREAT PICK FOR ITS NEXT PRESIDENT

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The University of Virginia has suffered from contention and bad press in recent years, some of it self-inflicted. But the school’s choice of a new president is inspiring widespread cheers, and for good reason. It could scarcely have done better than Jim Ryan, currently the dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.



PRECAUTION AND RESTRAINT HELPED KEEP SATURDAY'S DEMONSTRATIONS NONVIOLENT

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Happily, Saturday’s demonstration by Confederate revanchists on Monument Avenue turned out to resemble Y2K, the 1999 panic over a flaw in computer programming. It caused a great deal of alarm and stress beforehand, but turned out to be almost a nonevent.



GO VIRGINIA REPORTS CHALLENGE BOTH PARTIES

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

Ed Gillespie and Ralph Northam are doing a good job talking about Confederate statues and lots of other things that the next governor can’t do anything about. (Lest anyone forget, those aren’t state statues; they’re local ones). We have a suggestion for the candidates. Take a day off from campaigning. Spend it reading the nine different reports recently prepared on the regional economies in nine different parts of Virginia. It’ll take you about a day, too — some of these run 300-plus pages.

Op-Ed


CUCCINELLI AND MILLER: HERE'S WHY YOUR ELECTRIC BILL'S TOO HIGH

By KEN CUCCINELLI AND ANDREW P. MILLER, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

If you live in Virginia, you know your electric bill is too high. Here’s why: In 2015, the Virginia General Assembly — your state delegates and senators — passed a bill, which Governor McAuliffe signed, that locked in profits for Virginia’s two major utilities: Dominion Power and Appalachian Power Co. (APCo).

Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II served as Virginia’s attorney general 2010-2014. Democrat Andrew P. Miller served as Virginia’s attorney general 1970-1977