VaNews

Wednesday September 20, 2017


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Executive Branch


GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES BATTLEFIELD PRESERVATION GRANT WINNERS

By MAX LEE, Northern Virginia Daily

Gov. Terry McAuliffe visited Gordon’s Hill, part of Fisher’s Hill Battlefield, Tuesday to announce the recipients of the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Awards. One of those recipients was the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, which is based in New Market; the Richmond Battlefield Association, the Civil War Trust and the Manassas Battlefield Trust also received awards.



$291,000 GRANT AWARDED TO BATTLEFIELD PRESERVATION GROUP

By KELLY CLARK, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

A New Market-based battlefield preservation group will receive a $291,000 state grant, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced during an event celebrating the Fisher’s Hill Battlefield on Tuesday. The grant is part of $1 million in matching grants that the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund is awarding to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, the Civil War Trust, the Richmond Battlefields Association and the Manassas Battlefield Trust, McAuliffe said.

State Elections


GILLESPIE, NORTHAM DEBATE TAXES, TRUMP, CONFEDERATE STATUES

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

The two major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor argued in mostly cordial tones Tuesday over taxes, President Donald Trump and what Virginia should do with its numerous monuments to the Confederacy.



NORTHAM AND GILLESPIE DEBATE TAXES, MONUMENTS AND TRUMP

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

Democrat Ralph S. Northam painted his rival as a follower of President Donald Trump and Republican Ed Gillespie sought to separate himself from Washington with a wall of state policy proposals Tuesday night in the second debate of Virginia’s governor’s race. Both candidates avoided gaffes and stayed mostly on message during an hourlong debate at the glassy Tysons headquarters of banking giant Capital One, where Gillespie and Northam met for their first televised faceoff after a relatively sleepy summer campaign season.



VA. GUBERNATORIAL CONTENDERS CLASH OVER MONUMENTS, THE ECONOMY IN FIRST TV DEBATE

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

Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie jousted over the economy, race relations in the aftermath of Charlottesville and health care Tuesday night at their most lively encounter yet in the high stakes race for Virginia governor. In their first televised debate, the two contenders sparred over issues in a spirited but genteel manner, and refrained from the personal attacks that have recently begun to flavor their campaign commercials and social media posts.



HEALTHCARE, ECONOMY FOCUS OF VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE

By ALEX KOMA, Inside NOVA

Republican efforts to roll back former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law have repeatedly taken center stage in the Virginia governor’s race, and the first televised debate of the general election campaign was no exception. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat running to replace term-limited Gov. Terry McAuliffe, insistently invoked the latest efforts in Washington, D.C., to repeal the Affordable Care Act as he sparred with Republican Ed Gillespie in the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce debate Sept. 19.



FORMER U.S. SEN. JOHN WARNER ENDORSES GILLESPIE AFTER BACKING DEMOCRATS IN RECENT CONTESTS

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

Former U.S. Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., is endorsing Republican Ed Gillespie in Virginia’s governor’s race, breaking his string of Democratic endorsements in recent elections. Warner, a Republican who represented Virginia for 30 years, endorsed Gillespie’s opponent, U.S. Sen Mark Warner, D-Va., in 2014.



POLL FINDS 10 POINT LEAD FOR DEMOCRAT IN VA. GOVERNOR’S RACE; OTHERS SHOW DEAD HEAT

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

Democrat Ralph Northam has a 10-point lead in the Virginia governor’s race, according to a new poll of likely voters released on Tuesday. Quinnipiac University found 51 percent of likely voters supported or were leaning toward Northam, compared to 41 percent for Republican Ed Gillespie. Libertarian Cliff Hyra drew 3 percent.



POLLS DISAGREE IN VA. GOVERNOR'S RACE: IS NORTHAM AHEAD OR IS IT A TIGHT HORSERACE?

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

Four independent polls made public within days of Tuesday night’s Virginia gubernatorial debate offer sharply different views of the race between two of the three candidates. As Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie faced off in their second debate, three new polls of likely voters indicate the race between them is too close to call. However, a fourth poll released Tuesday reported Northam has a strong lead over Gillespie.



REV. JESSE JACKSON COMES TO HOPEWELL

By JOHN ADAM, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 5 free articles a month)

Rev. Jesse Jackson, a lifelong civil rights activist, made a stop in Hopewell yesterday on his “Healing and Rebuilding” Virginia Bus Tour. Jackson spoke on a variety of topics, but focused a lot on the issues regarding voting and voting rights. “Hopewell matters,” said Jackson as he addressed the crowd. “We got a lot of areas where people do not get the attention they deserve, and on election night, we’ll be in the victory column.”



"YOU HAVE POWER.” REV. JESSE JACKSON STOPS AT NORFOLK STATE TO ENCOURAGE VOTER REGISTRATION.

By AMIR VERA , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Carol Pretlow’s passion for law sparked when she was 9 . It was right after she saw Thurgood Marshall speak in Suffolk. Now a Norfolk State University political science professor, Pretlow said she knows the importance of being young and hearing powerful people speak. That’s why when she heard the Rev. Jesse Jackson was coming to campus, she allowed her students to go to his address instead of class.

State Government


VRS AWARDS INCENTIVE PAY TO INVESTMENT TEAM

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

The Virginia Retirement System awarded almost $6.75 million in incentive pay to members of its internal investment team on Tuesday, buoyed by a record-high value of the $74.4 billion retirement trust fund for state and local government employees. The VRS Board of Trustees unanimously approved the incentive pay plan for 49 investment professionals who handled more than one-third of the retirement system’s investment portfolio, which gained 12.1 percent in the last fiscal year after two years earning below the system’s goal.

Economy/Business


PORT OF VIRGINIA ADVANCES ON 55-FOOT CHANNEL PROJECT

By ROBERT MCCABE, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Deeper, wider, safer. Or wider, deeper, safer. Either way, you get the idea. They’ve been the port community’s mantras for years and now it looks like the vision is a little closer to becoming a reality. A rough draft of a plan backed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends that the port be allowed to dredge its main shipping channels to 55 feet



WHY SHOULD AMAZON LOOK AT VIRGINIA BEACH? BECAUSE OF HIGH-SPEED DATA CABLES, MAYOR SAYS.

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

The state is trying to recruit Amazon, and Virginia Beach says it’s a strong contender because of high-speed data cables that will cross the Atlantic Ocean and land in the city. The governor has decided to hire a consultant to help cities build the best possible packages to recruit the tech company, according to the mayors of Virginia Beach and Norfolk.



HEALTH SYSTEM MERGER TO HAVE EXTENSIVE STATE OVERSIGHT

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

The proposed merger of two area health systems must close within 90 days and be subject to constant state oversight, according to the Tennessee Certificate of Public Advantage approved Tuesday.

Higher Education


COURT REINSTATES LAWSUIT OVER DEBUNKED ROLLING STONE STORY

Associated Press

A New York federal appeals court has reinstated a defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone over the magazine's debunked article about a University of Virginia gang rape. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that three former students can sue.

Confederate Statues


SOME VIRGINIA STATE POLICE TROOPERS CONCEALED THEIR UNIFORM NAME STRIPS AT RALLY, LEADING TO QUESTIONS

By PATRICK WILSON , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Numerous troopers with Virginia State Police seem to have covered their names on their uniforms during Saturday’s pro-Confederate rally and counterprotest in Richmond. What appeared to be tape covered the names, generating questions on social media. Some people wondered if the concealment was illegal or in violation of policy.



WILSON TEACHER CHARGED IN ASSAULT AT CHARLOTTESVILLE PRESS CONFERENCE

By GABE CAVALLARO, News Leader (Metered Pay Wall)

Wilson Memorial High School French teacher Phoebe Stevens, known to students as Mademoiselle Lafroy, had her trial date set Tuesday for allegedly assaulting Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally organizer Jason Kessler at his press conference the day after the August event.



STAFFORD COUNTY ATTORNEY ON CONFEDERATE FLAG: 'THE BOARD'S HANDS ARE TIED'

By KRISTIN DAVIS, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

For the third time in six weeks, at least two dozen people pleaded with Stafford County officials to do something about a Confederate flag that flies high above Interstate 95. Many carried signs at Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors. At least two waved American flags; Kim Wyman wore it on her shirt. “If you want a rebel flag,” it read, “nothing beats the original.”

Local


COMMISSION MAY REVISIT CEMETERY ORDINANCE AFTER CHANGES SHUT OUT MUSLIM CEMETERY

By KRISTIN DAVIS, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In May 2015, after a yearslong search, a Muslim nonprofit bought 45 acres off Garrisonville Road in Stafford to bury its dead. For the All Muslim Association of America, established here in 1989, the land was ideal: clear, flat and green. In fact, it was being used as a driving range.



RICHMOND'S TAX AMNESTY PROGRAM NETS $485,000 IN COMMITMENTS IN FIRST MONTH

By MARK ROBINSON , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

At the halfway point of Mayor Levar Stoney’s two-month tax amnesty period, delinquent taxpayers have committed to pay Richmond $485,000 in back taxes. The sum is current as of Tuesday, said John Wack, the city’s finance director. The program began Aug. 15 and will run through Oct. 16. Stoney’s administration set a goal of recouping $2.4 million owed to the city at the program’s outset.



HOW THE RICHMOND COMMUNITY FEELS ABOUT QUALITY OF EDUCATION IN CITY SCHOOLS

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

Fewer than one in five people in the Richmond community approve of the overall quality of education in Richmond Public Schools, according to a survey done by a consulting firm hired by the division. At Monday’s School Board meeting, Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, the consulting firm hired to assist in the search for a new superintendent, presented its leadership profile report, a document summarizing the input the firm got from the Richmond community in interviews, focus groups and an online survey.



NORFOLK MAY ASK STATE TO LIMIT PROPERTY-AUCTION FEES THAT CAN EARN LAWYERS MORE MONEY THAN THE CITY

By ERIC HARTLEY , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The City Council may ask state lawmakers to limit the fees attorneys can charge for selling off delinquent taxpayers’ land on Norfolk’s behalf. The legal fees, which were highlighted in a Virginian-Pilot article in August, can reach thousands of dollars – sometimes more than the underlying tax bill. Those charges can make it hard for people to save their properties from the auction block.

Online News


LINGAMFELTER AND GUZMAN RACE DRAWS BIG BUCKS

Fauquier Now

Candidates for the 31st District Virginia House of Delegates seat, which represents five Fauquier precincts, raised almost $159,000 for their campaigns in July and August. Eight-term incumbent Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge) reported $83,181 in cash contributions during the two months. Challenger Elizabeth Guzman (D-Woodbridge) received $75,756.



HOW INTERESTED ARE VA. DEMOCRATS IN THE 94TH HOUSE RACE?

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Starting late in a race is always tough, so what's in -- and not in -- the newest reports from the race for the 94th House of Delegates district gives a sense of the challenges Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds faces. Simonds stepped into the race just a month ago, after the Democrats' original candidate, Zack Wittkamp, bowed out



LOOKING AT THE LITTLE DONORS IN THE 93RD HOUSE OF DELEGATES RACE

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In the 93rd House of Delegates district race, Del. Mike Mullin,D-Newport News, seems to be winning the money race -- especially that always-interesting small donor effort that can often be an early sign of direct efforts to mobilize a base and fire them up for get out the vote efforts in November.



GILLESPIE, NORTHAM DIVIDED ON CONFEDERATE STATUE ISSUE

By SETH MCLAUGHLIN , Washington Times

Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie split over what to do with Confederate monuments on display in Virginia in a debate Tuesday that provided voters across the Old Dominion a picture of the two gubernatorial hopefuls’ different visions.



FEW FIREWORKS IN GENTLEMANLY VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE

By KEVIN ROBILLARD , Politico

With pressure building in a tight race, Virginia’s leading gubernatorial candidates eschewed face-to-face political combat in their debate Tuesday night. Instead, their gentlemanly exchange contained few personal attacks and plenty of policy contrast on economic development, health care and immigration.


Today's Sponsor:

CGI

As a trusted IT Partner and top Virginia employer for 40+ years, CGI offers deep experience, fresh perspective and proven commitment to the Commonwealth. cgi.com/virginia

Editorials


SHROUDING AN HONEST LOOK AT TRUTH

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

Protesters’ shrouding of the Thomas Jefferson statue last week at the University of Virginia was unsettling and ill-omened. And it wasn’t just the shrouding itself that was the problem; it was all the rhetoric that accompanied it — including signs claiming that Mr. Jefferson was a “racist” and a “rapist.”



WHERE THE STATUES ARE

Winchester Star Editorial (Subscription Required)

The results of such polls notwithstanding, Progressive leaders, particularly up north, persist in their search for Confederate statuary, and even ornamentation (real and imagined), they can remove, so as to spare the sensitivities of minority populations .Often, this pursuit achieves a measure of comic effect, especially in New York City where Mayor Bill de Blasio has all but served a warrant on likenesses of Robert E. Lee. Even the Metropolitan Transportation Authority got into the act when it stated that, although a mosaic at a Times Square subway station was not meant to be a Confederate flag, it will rejiggered anyway because of its resemblance.



WHAT NEXT FOR MONUMENT AVENUE?

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

Now that Richmond has had its DEFCON-2 moment over Confederate protests, it would be nice to think the region could settle on a solution to the monuments question and move on. But anyone even passingly familiar with the region’s dithering over the prospect of a new baseball stadium knows that’s probably a pipe dream.



BROADBAND IS KEY TO HENRY COUNTY'S FUTURE

Martinsville Bulletin Editorial

In ancient times, cities tended to be built near rivers. This makes sense; people need water to drink, and they need water for crops and livestock. Rivers are a convenient way to get it. But even two thousand years ago, the Romans were building aqueducts to carry water to distant cities and towns. People were building canals and reservoirs and cisterns and wells. There were plenty of ways to get water.



WHY ARE REPUBLICANS ARGUING AGAINST A KEY DRIVER OF ECONOMIC GROWTH?

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

Virginia Republicans — who ordinarily fashion themselves as the pro-business party of economic growth — have taken a position that actually has them arguing against one of the key drivers of economic growth. This seems odd.

Columnists


SCHAPIRO: ONE RACE, TWO TAKES ON TRUMP

By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Standing side by side for the second time, the candidates for Virginia governor last night veered in opposite directions, with Republican Ed Gillespie running from President Donald Trump and Democrat Ralph Northam running against him.

Op-Ed


PILLION: STATE IS STRONGER WHEN ALL PROSPER

By TODD PILLION, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The news prompted an outpouring of pitches: Amazon is looking for an additional headquarters location. Every city was quick to highlight why it should be the (second) home to the global commerce giant. However, marketing efforts aside, the anticipated winner of the “Amazon lottery” will probably be a usual suspect: somewhere like San Jose, Boston or Austin.

Todd Pillion represents the 4th District in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

From vpap.org


VISUALIZATION: HOW A SUMMER OF FUNDRAISING IMPACTED HOUSE RACES

The Virginia Public Access Project

Most House incumbents facing a major-party challenge this fall enjoy a huge fundraising advantage. The latest VPAP data visualization focuses on 15 districts where neither the incumbent nor the challenger held more than a 2:1 cash-on-hand edge at the end of August.