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VaNews

Friday December 06, 2019

FROM VPAP


NOW LIVE: POST-ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCE DISCLOSURES

The Virginia Public Access Project

General Assembly candidates have filed their latest public accounting of campaign fundraising and spending, including the critical final days before the November 5 elections. The reports cover activity from October 25 through November 28. VPAP ranks candidates by the most money raised and ending cash balance. For each district, there is a side-by-side comparison of candidates. Political junkies can browse a complete list of each candidate's contributions and expenses.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH


PANEL CALLS FOR VIRGINIA TO PURGE DOZENS OF OLD RACIST LAWS

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

The laws are still on the books in Virginia: Blacks and whites must sit in separate rail cars. They cannot use the same playgrounds, schools or mental hospitals. They can’t marry each other either. The measures have not been enforced for decades, but they remain in the state’s official legal record. A state commission on Thursday recommended that dozens of such discriminatory statutes finally be repealed


VIRGINIA LOOKS AT SCRAPPING DEFUNCT, RACIST LAWS STILL ON THE BOOKS

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

One law in Virginia declares that “no child shall be required to attend integrated schools.” Others dictate that white and black Virginians live in separate neighborhoods, and that the races be kept apart on trains, playgrounds and steamboats.


COMMISSION RELEASES REPORT ON 'DEEPLY TROUBLING' RACISM IN DEFUNCT VIRGINIA LAW

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

A state commission’s deep dive into laws enacted in Virginia from 1900 to 1960 found “deeply troubling” instances of “explicitly racist language and segregationist policies” intact in the state’s code. The findings are in a lengthy report released Thursday by the Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law,


NORTHAM OFFICIAL CITES ‘BUYER’S REMORSE’ AFTER SPEEDY GAMING ROLLOUT

By BEN PAVIOUR, WCVE

Gov. Ralph Northam’s top finance official said on Thursday the state may have moved too quickly to open up to new forms of gaming this year. Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne said the state was caught off-guard by a dip in Virginia Lottery revenues and possible social impacts that have come as the state dabbled in new forms of gaming.


NEWS OUTLET SEEKS DISMISSAL OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S LAWSUIT

Associated Press

A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Friday over whether he should toss out a libel lawsuit filed by Virginia's lieutenant governor. Justin Fairfax sued CBS in federal court in Alexandria after it aired interviews with two women who have accused him of sexual assault.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY


INCOMING HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER BACKS NONPARTISAN REDISTRICTING

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The incoming leader of a Democratic majority in the House of Delegates said Thursday she will back nonpartisan political redistricting in an impending General Assembly session that is crucial to preventing partisan gerrymandering after the census is completed next year.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY MAY GIVE ARLINGTON VICTORY IN 2020 ON TOURISM TAX

By SCOTT MCCAFFREY, Inside NOVA

The incoming Democratic majority in the Virginia General Assembly may give Arlington leaders something they have sought for years. To wit: Elimination of the sunset clause on legislation authorizing the collection of a hotel-bill surcharge in support of tourism promotion.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS


FAIRFAX CO. PROJECTS UP TO 90% TURNOUT FOR 2020 ELECTION

By MAX SMITH, WTOP

Fairfax County, Virginia, could see an unprecedented 90% turnout in the 2020 presidential race, county elections officials predicted this week. “We are expecting that next year, 2020, will be between 85 and 90%, so we’re ordering a lot of ballots,” Electoral Board Secretary Kate Hanley told county supervisors Tuesday.

STATE GOVERNMENT


VIRGINIA’S HABITUAL DRUNKARD LAW WAS RECENTLY DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S DEAD.

By JANE HARPER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

In September, seven Virginia Beach city jail inmates were set free. Each one was homeless. Their crime? Each had been declared a “habitual drunkard” under an old and controversial state law.


AN 8-YEAR-OLD GIRL WAS STRIP SEARCHED AT A VIRGINIA PRISON

By GARY A. HARKI, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

An 8-year-old girl was stripped naked and searched by Virginia Department of Corrections staff after she was led to believe refusal would result in not being allowed to see her father. State policy allows for such searches at the Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, about 60 miles west of Richmond, and other state DOC prisons.


VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT HEARS SONNETT PETITION FOR APPEAL

By CHUCK JACKSON, Blue Ridge Independent

Stating that the Virginia Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on any cases regarding the Virginia State and Local Governments Conflicts of Interest Act (COIA) since General Assembly passage in 1987, Washington Attorney David L. Konick addressed the issue Tuesday afternoon before three Virginia Supreme Court justices in Richmond.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS


CAN A COAL TOWN REINVENT ITSELF?

By EDUARDO PORTER, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

GRUNDY, Va. — Jay Rife surveys the landscape — hundreds of flat, grassy acres reclaimed from a spent mountaintop mine once operated by the Paramont Coal Company. A few handsome homes stand on one end of the project. An 80,000-square-foot shell, to house some future manufacturing operation, is being built on another. For the intrepid, there are trails for all-terrain vehicles. There’s an R.V. park. The whole site has been wired for broadband. Elk have been imported from Kentucky for tourists to look at.


TRADE WARS CAST SHADOW ON RECENT GROWTH AT PORT OF VIRGINIA

By TREVOR METCALFE, Inside Business

The Port of Virginia is more of an economic force than ever but it faces significant hurdles from trade disputes and a slowing global economy, according to one Hampton Roads economist. “We can always debate the size of the impacts, but I think there is a significant amount of consensus to say that Virginia would be worse off if it did not have the port,” said Bob McNab, Old Dominion University economist


TRADITIONAL CHRISTENING TAKES PLACE AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF A MODERNIZING NEWPORT NEWS SHIPYARD

By HUGH LESSIG, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Newport News Shipbuilding hasn’t christened an aircraft carrier in six years, and the skyline along the 550-acre waterfront has changed a lot since then. A multi-story complex now fills the the north end of the yard. Called the Joint Manufacturing Assembly Facility, or JMAF, it represents the future of submarine construction.


PORTSMOUTH MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY WON’T OPEN TO PATIENTS UNTIL LATE JUNE

By BRIANA ADHIKUSUMA, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

After two delays, Portsmouth’s medical cannabis facility now plans to open in December. But Hampton Roads patients won’t have access to prescriptions until six months later. The 65,000-square-foot facility is still undergoing renovations and New York-based Columbia Care, which will be operating the dispensary, is in the midst of hiring for numerous positions, said company spokesman Adam Goers.


CARVANA TO CREATE 400 JOBS BY BUILDING $25 MILLION VEHICLE INSPECTION CENTER IN CHESTERFIELD

By GREGORY J. GILLIGAN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Online used auto retailer Carvana Co. has made it official: It plans to put a huge inspection and reconditioning center off Interstate 95 in southern Chesterfield County. The center would employ 400 workers, according to an announcement from Gov. Ralph Northam’s office.


CARVANA BRINGING 400 JOBS TO AREA

By BILL ATKINSON, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 5 free articles a month)

Used-car online retailer Carvana will build a new vehicle facility in southern Chesterfield County that is expected to create up to 400 jobs when it opens, the governor’s office announced Thursday afternoon. The Arizona-based company, which has made a name for itself by building “vending machines” that hold used cars. will build a vehicle inspection and reconditioning center on a 177-acre site off Woods Edge Road


NORTHROP GRUMMAN CUTS 41 RICHMOND-AREA JOBS AS ARMY CONTRACT ENDS

By JOHN REID BLACKWELL, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Northrop Grumman Corp. is cutting 41 jobs from its Richmond-area operations because a contract with the U.S. Army to replace information systems is ending.

TRANSPORTATION


FAIRFAX CONNECTOR STRIKE ILLUSTRATES WIDENING RIFT OVER PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC SERVICES

By JUSTIN GEORGE AND ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

A strike by hundreds of Fairfax Connector workers, impacting the commutes of an estimated 30,000 Northern Virginia bus riders, illustrates the growing fight over the privatization of public services. The strike also foreshadows the likelihood of a battle over plans to privatize operations of Phase 2 of Metro’s Silver Line.

LOCAL


SCHOOL BOARD MAY REDUCE SIZE

By MISSY SCHROTT, Alexandria Times

The Alexandria City School Board is considering decreasing the number of members on the board and increasing the length of the terms they serve. A majority of school board members said they were in favor of these changes at a school board work session on Nov. 14


STEWART PROPOSES ‘SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY’ RESOLUTION; WHEELER PROMISES A QUICK REPEAL

By DANIEL BERTI, Prince William Times

Corey Stewart, the outgoing Republican at-large chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors, will introduce a measure to declare the county a “Second Amendment sanctuary” at Tuesday’s board meeting. But Chairman-elect Ann Wheeler, a Democrat, says the new board will repeal any such effort as soon as it takes over in January.


CITY PUBLIC DEFENDERS LAUNCH PAY PARITY CAMPAIGN

By GEORGE COPELAND JR., Richmond Free Press

Public defenders who represent nearly half of the people facing criminal charges in Richmond’s court system are tired of being underpaid state employees. The cadre of defense attorneys is campaigning to get City Hall to provide the same kind of taxpayer-funded salary supplement that the city has long granted the attorneys who prosecute the alleged offenders and the Richmond Sheriff’s Office that jails those who are convicted.


SANCTUARY OR CHARADE? IT'S UNCLEAR WHAT 'SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY' STATUS GUARANTEES LOCALITIES

By KATHERINE HAFNER, GORDON RAGO AND LEE TOLLIVER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

So your city or county has passed a resolution declaring it’s a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” Now what? The question is emerging across the commonwealth as gun rights groups successfully lobby localities large and small to vote on such resolutions declaring that officials there will not use public funds to in any way restrict rights granted by the Second Amendment.


VIRGINIA ONCE FEARED SOME CITIES WOULD RUN OUT OF GROUNDWATER. BUT CONSERVATION EFFORTS ARE WORKING.

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Water’s rising in the well in southern Suffolk that state officials use to keep an eye on one of eastern Virginia’s key sources supply of drinking water — the underground aquifer they’d worried people and businesses were drawing too heavily upon. Heavy use of the Potomac aquifer, a thick wedge of water-filled sand that lies about 300 feet to more than 1,500 feet below Hampton Roads, has been making the ground sink and pressure in drinking water wells fall for a century.


BISCUIT RUN REZONED AS PARK LAND

By ALLISON WRABEL, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Property that once was zoned for thousands of homes in Albemarle County has now been designated as rural land for a park. The Biscuit Run Park property, which covers about 1,200 acres, had been rezoned in 2007 for about 800 acres of residential development and 400 acres for a park, but after the Great Recession, the state bought the property in 2009.


STRONG TURNOUT FOR GUN RIGHTS

By JIMMY LAROUE, Suffolk News Herald

The vast majority of the hundreds of people who turned out at Suffolk City Hall Wednesday all had at least two things in common — they were wearing Guns Save Lives stickers, and they wanted City Council to approve a Second Amendment Sanctuary City resolution. They didn’t get that, or a commitment to take up one.


ATLANTIC BROADBAND TO FLIP THE SWITCH ON NEW INTERNET SERVICE

By EMILY HOLTER, Tidewater Review

In July, the King William Board of Supervisors voted to grant Atlantic Broadband a 15-year franchise plan to provide internet, phone and video services to roughly 2,700 homes. The internet company has since begun constructing a fiber-to-the-home network in the county. After several months of work, the company announced it will begin the first round of activations Dec. 12 in Central Garage.


MARTINSVILLE'S PUBLIC HEARING ON REVERSION WILL 'GO AHEAD AS ADVERTISED'

By BILL WYATT, Martinsville Bulletin

An exchange of letters about reversion between leaders of Martinsville and Henry County appears as of Thursday to have brought the two governments no closer to a working relationship on the topic. Martinsville City Council had scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday night to consider input on reverting from a city to a town and folding government services into Henry County.


ADAMS PROPOSES WAYS FOR COUNTY TO PARTICIPATE IN REVERSION TALKS

By DEBBIE HALL AND BRANDON MARTIN, Henry County Enterprise

The chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors proposed ways for the county to participate in discussions of reversion with officials in the City of Martinsville. During a recent meeting, city officials said multiple attempts were made to discuss the reversion issue with the county, but there had been no response.


DANVILLE REGIONAL FOUNDATION RELEASES CASINO STUDY; PROJECT COULD BRING UP TO 3,050 JOBS, REPORT SAYS

By JOHN R. CRANE, Danville Register & Bee

A casino project in Danville could bring between 575 to 3,050 jobs, between $55 million to $315 million in annual visitor spending at the casino and other businesses, and draw from 180,000 to 2.1 million visitors to the city, depending on the size of the project, according to the results of a study paid for by the Danville Regional Foundation.


WEIGHING PROS AND CONS OF CASINO, STUDY SHOWS DANVILLE COULD REAP BENEFITS, BUT PROJECT MAY LEAD TO MORE CRIME

By JOHN R. CRANE, Danville Register & Bee

The Danville Regional Foundation purposely chose a firm with no experience in the gaming industry to conduct a study on the impacts of a casino project in Danville. ... It found Danville could reap the benefits of tax revenue and added visitors and spending in the city, but a casino project also could lead to more crime, problem gambling and jobs that would not pay a living wage to all of its workers, the study pointed out.


CASINO STUDY RELEASED THURSDAY BY DANVILLE REGIONAL FOUNDATION

By LANIE DAVIS, Chatham Star Tribune

On Thursday morning, Dec. 5, the Danville Regional Foundation (DRF) released the findings of their independent study on the impacts a casino would bring to the city. DRF partnered with Fourth Economy, a national community and economic development consulting firm out of Pittsburgh, to complete the study.


RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY SENDS 2A SANCTUARY RESOLUTION TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

By EMMET FITZ-HUME, Blue Ridge Independent

The BRI obtained a copy of official letters sent by Garrey W. Curry, Jr.., P.E., the County Administrator for Rappahannock County to the county’s elected members of the General Assembly in Richmond. The letter was sent to both Delegate Michael Webert (VA House of Delegates, 18th District) and Senator Mark Obenshain (VA Senate, 26th District).


GREENSVILLE COUNTY PASSES SECOND AMENDMENT RESOLUTION

By MARK MATHEWS, Independent-Messenger

An overflow crowd filled the Golden Leaf Commons with keen interest on what the Greensville County Board of supervisors had in mind Monday on the subject of Second Amendment rights for its citizens. The meeting was brief before a resolution was passed declaring Greensville, a Second Amendment Sanctuary municipality. Resolution 20-63 passed 3-0


2ND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY WINS APPROVAL

By SHERRY HAMILTON |, Gazette-Journal

Second Amendment loyalists showed up in large numbers Gloucester’s Colonial Courthouse Tuesday night, filling all available seats inside and covering much of the court circle outside, standing shoulder to shoulder in support of a resolution designed to make Gloucester County a Second Amendment Sanctuary. They were not disappointed.

EDITORIALS


EYES ON THE PRIZE

Richmond Free Press Editorial

We find it interesting that the Richmond School Board, with all of its talk about the importance of equity and diversity, backed away from a school pairing plan when it approved new school attendance zones at its meeting this week.


CELEBRATION AT THE SHIPYARD

Daily Press Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

When completed, the John F. Kennedy, the second Ford-class aircraft carrier produced by the men and women at Newport News Shipbuilding, will be the most advanced, most capable and most fearsome vessel in the nation’s arsenal. The ship’s christening is scheduled for Saturday morning and that means a moment for celebration across Hampton Roads,


BLOOMBERG MAKES VIRGINIA (AND OTHER SUPER TUESDAY STATES) MATTER

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia, you’re about to get your close-up. And just like that, we’re writing about Michael Bloomberg. Trust us, this doesn’t make us happy, either. We’d love to ignore national politics altogether but sometimes trouble comes knocking on the door, so here we are to answer it.

THE FRIDAY READ


SHE HAD NO IDEA HER HOME COULD BE STOLEN. THEN SHE READ HER JUNK MAIL.

By JUSTIN JOUVENAL, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Rohina Husseini had no idea someone could steal a house, but the first small clue that the home she owned for nearly a decade was no longer hers was a piece of junk mail that most of us ignore. The Springfield mother said she initially tossed the mortgage refinancing offers that began arriving over the summer in the trash, but one detail bugged her: The letters were addressed to another woman. Curious, Husseini said she finally opened one.