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VaNews

Monday October 21, 2019

FROM VPAP


VISUALIZATION: COMPARING CANDIDATES' SOURCE OF FUNDS

The Virginia Public Access Project

VPAP ranks General Assembly candidates by the percentage of money from six types of campaign donors, ranging from small donors who give $100 or less to businesses that lobby the state legislature. There's also an option to view each category by dollar amount. The campaign finance numbers cover 21 months through September 30.


OPEN SEAT PROFILE: HD 62 IN HOPEWELL, CHESTERFIELD

The Virginia Public Access Project

House District 62 became an open-seat when long-time Del. Riley Ingram (R-Hopewell) announced he would not seek re-election. The district, which was redrawn earlier this year as part of a court-ordered settlement, now includes Hopewell, portions of Chesterfield County and one precinct in Prince George County. VPAP provides maps and charts that explore the district's demographics, voter engagement and partisan tendencies in recent statewide elections.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH


NORTHAMS TAKE PART IN GRANT CONTEST FOR FEMALE STEM STUDENTS

Associated Press

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and first lady Pam Northam are serving as honorary co-chairs of an annual essay contest that awards scholarships to female high school students studying science, technology, math and engineering. Northam announced last week that he’s teaming with the Virginia Council on Women for the 9th annual contest.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY


DIAMONSTEIN REMEMBERED FOR PUBLIC SERVICE AND FOR FRIENDSHIP

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

They came from across the Peninsula and across the state to say farewell to Alan Diamonstein, who as Sen. Mark Warner put it, was one of the politicians who made modern Virginia what it is. For the several hundred friends who gathered at the Ferguson Center concert hall named in honor of the long-time member of the House of Delegates from Newport News and his wife, it was a time to tell a few stories, share some laughter and hide more than a few tears.

STATE ELECTIONS


'POLAR OPPOSITES' REEVES, LAUFER VIE FOR 17TH DISTRICT SENATE SEAT

By SCOTT SHENK, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

One thing the candidates for the 17th District state Senate race can agree on is the differences between them. The incumbent, Bryce Reeves, is a Republican touting a small-government agenda with a focus on the military and business. He also has a history of being pro-gun rights and anti-abortion. ...Laufer, 47, has said she is running against an opponent who holds beliefs that are completely contrary to hers, characterizing Reeves as a climate change denier who stands against equal rights, including a woman’s right to choose when it comes to abortion.


PILLION, HEATH VYING TO REPLACE RETIRING CARRICO ON NOV. 5

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The race for Southwest Virginia’s 40th District Senate seat pits a two-term incumbent delegate from Abingdon against a long-term economic development official from Marion. Del. Todd Pillion, R-Abingdon faces Ken Heath in the Nov. 5 contest to replace retiring Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Galax.


COSGROVE AIMS TO STAY POSITIVE

By JIMMY LAROUE, Suffolk News Herald

John Cosgrove is proud to be a conservative Republican, and he definitely has differences with Democrats on issues, but he says politics does not have to be nasty. He cites his friendship with Democrat Lionell Spruill as an example. He said despite their political differences, the two can still go out to dinner after votes.


BALANCE OF POWER IN VIRGINIA MAY REST ON WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

Two years ago, partisan control of the Virginia General Assembly came down to a random drawing of names out of a ceramic bowl. This year it could come down to whether a Republican incumbent with a tricky-to-spell last name can win as a write-in candidate. "I hope you all enjoy the most elaborate spelling bee in Virginia," Del. Nick Freitas told a group of constituents at a town hall recently. Freitas, a conservative who often espouses personal responsibility, failed to turn in his paperwork on time, a mistake that left him off the ballot.


VA. DELEGATE MAY HAVE VIOLATED STATE CODE BY FUNDRAISING VIA RAFFLE

By TYLER HAMMEL, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

A campaign committee for state delegate may have violated state code by fundraising via a raffle. According to a Facebook event page, a fundraising event on Oct. 6 raised money for Del. Matt Fariss, R-Rustburg, through a raffle. A flyer posted to the event page advertised a dog-hunting event, titled Hyland Farm Field Trial, in Rustburg.


MILLIONAIRE WHO SET OUT TO COUNTER DOMINION IS NOW VIRGINIA'S BIGGEST CAMPAIGN DONOR

By NED OLIVER, Virginia Mercury

Michael Bills, who helms a $1.5 billion hedge fund based in Charlottesville, said he was thinking like an investor when he decided to personally take on the state’s largest publicly regulated utility, Dominion Energy. ...“I went, wait a minute, they literally are writing the laws for a couple million dollars a year in contributions and some lobbyists,” Bills said. “I can do that.”


BRISTOL CASINO DEVELOPERS DONATE TO CAMPAIGNS

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Developers of the proposed Bristol Resort and Casino have contributed more than $300,000 to the various campaigns in the upcoming Virginia legislative elections through a new political action committee.


AS ELECTION NEARS, DEMOCRATS HAUL IN THE CASH -- REPUBLICANS AREN’T DAUNTED

By M. QUESADA, VCU Capital News Service

In competitive General Assembly races, a majority of Democratic challengers and incumbents are outraising their opponents and hoping dollars convert to voters on Election Day....Democrats raised $13.7 million total to Republicans $8.1 million total in five key Senate races and 26 in the House of Delegates determined by a CNS analysis of competitive races, redistricting changes and recent voting trends on Virginia Public Access Project.


FREDERICK VOTER REGISTRATION NUMBERS UP SLIGHTLY

By ANNA MEROD, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Heading into the Nov. 5 election, Frederick County has a small increase in its number of registered voters, while Winchester and Clarke County have small decreases. Oct. 15 was the last day to register to vote in the upcoming general election.

VIRGINIA OTHER


FOX ISLAND HAS BEEN WASHED AWAY BY SEA LEVEL RISE, FORCING END OF CHESAPEAKE BAY EDUCATION PROGRAM

By SELENE SAN FELICE, Capital Gazette

After 40 years there offering magical teaching moments, environmental educators are saying goodbye to Fox Island as it sinks into the Chesapeake Bay. This fall is the last season for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Fox Island Education Program, the foundation announced in a blog post on Oct. 10.


WORK ON MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE IS WINDING DOWN

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Winter is coming early for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Although construction is winding down for the season, it’s not just because of the coming freezing temperatures that will make it difficult to dig trenches along mountain slopes for the buried natural gas pipeline. Even if it was being built in the tropics, this project would be stalled.


SPACE MICE AND ROBOTS AMONG LATEST SCIENCE HEADING INTO SPACE FROM WALLOPS ISLAND

By TAMARA DIETRICH, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Space mice, radiation vests, robotic avatars and recycling polymers for 3D printers are among the science experiments bound for the International Space Station on the next commercial resupply mission from Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 12th robotic mission — and its first under a new NASA contract — is set to launch no earlier than 9:59 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, from the state-owned Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.

LOCAL


FAIRFAX COUNTY APPROVES TYSONS PROJECT FEATURING WHAT WOULD BE REGION'S TALLEST BUILDING

By ALEX KOMA, Washington Business Journal (Subscription required for some articles)

Move over, Capital One – a new Tysons skyscraper is now on track become the region’s tallest building. Clemente Development Co.’s massive View at Tysons development, to include the 600-foot-tall Iconic Tower, earned unanimous approval Tuesday from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.


CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST 5 BLACK MEN FOR 1939 SIT-IN PROTEST

By MELISSA HOWELL, WTOP

On Aug. 21, 1939, five African American men were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after staging a sit-in at a whites-only Alexandria public library, demanding equal access to community resources. On Friday, the charges against them were finally dropped.


LANDFILL OWNERS WILL APPEAL PERMIT REVOCATION

By SEAN JONES, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 5 free articles a month)

The owner of the Tri-City Regional Landfill is appealing a state decision to revoke its permit to operate the Puddledock Road site over claims that the landfill was repeatedly in violation of state code governing refuse disposal.


FOR YEARS, NORFOLK SCHOOLS PUT OFF NEEDED REPAIRS

By SARA GREGORY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The parent at the podium wanted city leaders to understand one thing: It would be difficult and expensive to fix all of Norfolk’s school buildings, but any other option was unthinkable. “It is so clear that all our hope and confidence in the future is inextricably bound up in the education of our children today,” Karen Jones Squires told the City Council. “We cannot continue to be satisfied with the abysmal state of so many of our school buildings.” That was 2009.


POLICE CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD PROPOSAL SHOWS MAJOR CHANGES FROM INITIAL RECOMMENDATION

By NOLAN STOUT, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The Charlottesville City Council has released a final draft of the proposed bylaws and ordinance for a police oversight panel that varies in major ways from initial recommendations. The council will conduct a first reading of the proposal at its meeting on Monday. No corresponding public hearing is scheduled.


DEVELOPER IN FRONT ROYAL EMBEZZLEMENT SCANDAL CLAIMS HE WAS UNWITTING PARTICIPANT

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

The Virginia developer at the center of a massive, still-unfolding embezzlement scandal is seeking $13.5 million in damages from what he says are false claims against him in a lawsuit filed by the Warren County Economic Development Authority.


CITY DOESN'T TAKE STANCE ON PARI-MUTUEL BETTING

By JOHN R. CRANE, Danville Register & Bee

Brenda Lewis is thrilled with the possibility of an off-track betting facility coming to Danville if voters approve pari-mutuel wagering in the city Nov. 5. “I’m really excited about the possibility of having Rosie’s come to Danville,” Lewis, 71, said during an interview at Mediterranean Restaurant & Grill/ Primo’s Pizza


BEDFORD SCHOOL SYSTEM ENTERS INTO AGREEMENT OVER CONFEDERATE FLAG INCIDENT

By SHANNON KEITH, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Officials with Bedford County Public Schools announced the division is entering into an agreement with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights after a complaint was filed against the division concerning an incident at Jefferson Forest High School.

EDITORIALS


NO TIME TO ABANDON REDISTRICTING REFORM

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Brian Cannon, the executive director of OneVirginia2021, spent years building grassroots support and a bipartisan coalition in Richmond to reform the commonwealth’s protocol for redistricting. And if a recent interview with him in the Virginia Mercury is an indication, he doesn’t intend to concede that ground now that Virginia stands on the precipice of substantial and promising change.


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER FACES CHALLENGES

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

The Senate’s 3rd District was drawn into a Rorschach-worthy shape that needs little interpretation. It is a Republican safe haven, and it has remained so for more than two decades. The district held by Senate Majority Leader Thomas “Tommy” K. Norment since 1992 begins in King & Queen County and stretches south to include Poquoson, Yorktown, as well as slivers of Hampton and Surry.


VIRGINIA MUST ACT TO PROTECT CONSUMERS

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

A new analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit think tank, concluded that Virginians who take out payday and auto-title loans are slapped with interest rates as much as three times higher than those in other states. Many of the out-of-state payday lenders that operate here charge higher rates in Virginia than they do elsewhere. They charge higher rates because they can get away with it, and struggling Virginians pay the price. Responsibility rests at the feet of lawmakers,


RICHMOND MUST LISTEN ON CVTC REDEVELOPMENT

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

The rejection by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services of a proposal from Horizon Behavioral Health in Lynchburg to lease five buildings on the campus of the soon-to-be-closed Central Virginia Training Center is just the latest in the long saga of the state’s efforts to shutter what was once Amherst County’s largest employer.


A BURNING COLISEUM QUESTION

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

A sponsored ad from @NavyHillRVA, the Twitter arm of NH District Corp., caught our attention. “FACT: A new arena will transform Richmond into a major East Coast destination for major shows and sporting events.” The promise mirrored an Oct. 9 tweet, linking to a sheet titled “The Top Ten Myths About Navy Hill.”


PROFESSIONALISM EXPECTED FROM BEACH OFFICIALS

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The men and women who lead Virginia Beach Public Schools came to their offices with a desire to improve educational opportunity for the city’s children. They may have different ideas in how to achieve that goal, but they should all be pulling in the same general direction. It is disappointing, then, to know that for months some of those individuals have been embroiled in a professional and personal dispute that has no doubt distracted from that common purpose.


HEALTH CARE: VCU’S SOLUTION BESTS UVA’S

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

Maybe UVa should get some advice from VCU. Then perhaps it could discover how the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center managed to drop all lawsuits against patients who can’t pay their bills — something the University of Virginia apparently has not been willing or able to do.

OP-ED


DANIEL AND BRYANT: GERALD BALILES' WORK TO PROTECT VIRGINIA'S ENVIRONMENT IS CENTRAL TO HIS LEGACY

By JOHN W. DANIEL II AND L. PRESTON BRYANT JR., Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Virginians have learned in recent weeks that former Gov. Gerald Baliles has entered palliative care. This is hard news not only to those closest to him, but to all Virginians who remember his many meaningful and lasting contributions to the commonwealth. Baliles was a legislator, attorney general and our 65th governor. He campaigned for governor vowing to create a New Dominion,

John W. Daniel II was the first state secretary of natural resources, appointed by Gov. Gerald Baliles in 1986. L. Preston Bryant Jr. served as secretary of natural resources during the administration of Gov. Tim Kaine.


MORSE: CONTINUITY IN REPRESENTATION PAYS DIVIDENDS

By GORDON C. MORSE, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Alan Diamonstein never sat in the Virginia House of Delegates. He stood. His native energy, percolating through him at all moments, permitted no luxury of repose. Alan was always out in the chamber’s center aisle, constant in conversation, constant in negotiation and just, well, constant. That’s an enduring image of Alan. His imposing, active heart gave out on Thursday morning at age 88.

Gordon C. Morse wrote editorials for the Daily Press and The Pilot in the 1980s. He later wrote speeches for Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, then worked for corporate and philanthropic organizations


FARALDI: WHAT'S AT STAKE ON ELECTION DAY

By CHRISTOPHER R. FARALDI, Published in the News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

While impeachment inquiry proceedings fill up your newsfeed, it is important to remember the entire Virginia General Assembly is up for election, and that election is just over two weeks away. This year, in particular, is likely one of the most critical election years in recent memory for the commonwealth. I say this because of two factors: (1) the slim majorities for Republicans in both the House of Delegates and the Senate; and (2) for the kinds of policies that could be discussed and potentially pass the General Assembly.

Faraldi is director of government relations for the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance


GIBSON: HAS TRUMP NATIONALIZED VIRGINIA'S ELECTIONS?

By BOB GIBSON, Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A Republican candidate for commissioner of the revenue in Southwest Virginia on Nov. 5 is openly campaigning for the local office as a “Trump Republican.” Mark Matney, who is running for commissioner of the revenue in Washington County in the heavily pro-Trump rural territory around Abingdon, also sells Trump hats and other items to pay the rent for a local GOP campaign office.

Gibson is communications director and senior researcher at the University of Virginia’s Cooper Center for Public Service. The opinions expressed here are his own


KAPSIDELIS: REFORM GUN LAWS AND MAKE OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER

By THOMAS P. KAPSIDELIS, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

On a June night in Virginia Beach, an emotionally worn crowd of mourners stood and joined hands in the Rock Church, where they had gathered for the city’s memorial to the 12 slain at the municipal center less than a week earlier. A calming ocean scene with the words “VB Remembers” was projected behind the stage as the service began. But when it later gave way to the photos of the murdered there was no escaping this reality:

Veteran journalist Thomas P. Kapsidelis was an editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch for nearly 30 years.