VaNews

Thursday September 21, 2017


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General Assembly


ARLINGTON BOARD GRUDGINGLY ENACTS STATE-REQUIRED TOWING-BOARD CHANGES

By SCOTT MCCAFFREY, Sun Gazette

Having been brought to heel by the powers that be in Richmond, Arlington County Board members on Sept. 19 grudgingly but unanimously changed the composition and operating rules of the county government’s Trespass Towing Advisory Board. “It’s a terrible directive by the state – a horrible thing that we are required to do,” grumbled County Board member Christian Dorsey, who was among all five board members in publicly distancing themselves from the action they were about to take.

State Elections


IS VIRGINIA’S GUBERNATORIAL RACE A NATIONAL BELLWETHER?

By ALEXANDRA DESANCTIS , National Review

Is Virginia in the process of rapidly turning blue, perhaps for good? If the state’s impending gubernatorial election is any indication, the answer is likely “no.” The race — and what it means for both the state’s future and the national arena — is nowhere near as clear-cut as politicos would have us believe.



GILLESPIE’S AD TIES OPPONENT TO MS-13. DEMOCRATS COMPARE IT TO ‘WILLIE HORTON’

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

Ed Gillespie, who for years pressed fellow Republicans to make their party more welcoming to minorities, on Wednesday unveiled a hard-hitting TV ad that blames his Democratic rival for Virginia governor for the resurgence of the MS-13 street gang. As the MS-13 motto “Kill, Rape, Control” flashes across the screen, the ad criticizes Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) for voting against a bill that would have prohibited the establishment of “sanctuary cities” in the state.



FIVE KEY MOMENTS FROM VIRGINIA’S FIRST TELEVISED GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE

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

Virginia’s first televised gubernatorial debate was a largely cordial affair free of personal attacks, but there was no shortage of heated sparring about policy. Here are some illuminating moments from Tuesday’s evening debate between Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie:



RORSCHACH POLITICS

By MICHAEL LEE POPE, Connection Newspapers

The campaign for governor is a bit like a Rorschach test as the candidates close in on the final stretch toward Election Day. Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie are presenting a series of inkblots to voters about everything from the health of the economy to the value of Confederate statues.



GOP ATTORNEYS GENERAL GROUP TO GIVE 300K TO ADAMS CAMPAIGN

Associated Press

The Republican Attorneys General Association plans to give $300,000 to the campaign of Virginia attorney general challenger John Adams. Taylor Keeney, a spokeswoman for the Adams campaign, told The Associated Press that the contribution will be announced by RAGA on Thursday.



JESSE JACKSON HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF VOTING, UNITY ON PENINSULA VISIT

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

The rally by the foot of the Emancipation Oak ended with a prayer for the healing Jesse Jackson came to Virginia to seek, right after a kind of altar call to Hampton University students to come up front if they had not registered to vote. Back on what he called home territory on the Virginia Peninsula Wednesday, civil rights icon Jesse Jackson made a round of impassioned calls to vote and to tear down the walls that divide Americans.

Federal Elections


UMW POLL SHOWS U.S. SEN. TIM KAINE WITH SOLID LEADS OVER POTENTIAL OPPONENTS

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

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat who is up for re-election next year, holds a double-digit lead over three potential Republican opponents in a new statewide poll by the University of Mary Washington. Kaine won the support of more than 50 percent of registered voters surveyed in hypothetical contests against Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart, U.S. Rep. Dave Brat, R–7th District, and U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, R–2nd.



KAINE HAS WIDE LEAD IN FIRST SENATE POLL; STEWART FACING DOUBLE-DIGIT GAP

By ALEX KOMA, Sun Gazette

A new poll shows U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., with commanding leads over his would-be Republican challengers in the 2018 midterms, including Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart. The survey, conducted from Sept. 5-12 and commissioned by the University of Mary Washington, shows Kaine with a 53 percent to 36 percent edge over Stewart among registered voters.



VOTER FRAUD? A TRUMP NOMINEE LOOKS AS IF HE CAST AN ILLEGAL BALLOT IN VIRGINIA

By NICHOLAS FANDOS, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

As President Trump’s voter integrity commission looks under rocks for possible voter malfeasance, its members might want to examine a presidential nominee awaiting confirmation by the Senate Finance Committee. Documents indicate that Jeffrey Gerrish, the president’s pick to be a deputy United States Trade Representative, moved from Virginia to Maryland last year, but opted in November to vote in the more competitive state of Virginia than his bright blue new home.

Congress


GOODLATTE, KAINE, WARNER ON TRUMP'S PROPOSED BORDER WALL

By GABE CAVALLARO, News Leader (Metered Pay Wall)

In a nationwide poll of members of Congress, USA TODAY Network found that less than 25 percent of Republicans endorse border wall funding. Of the 292 Republicans in Congress, only 69 responded "yes," in the survey, which is part of a USA TODAY Network project on President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.



HOUSE MOVES TO CUT MILLIONS FROM CHESAPEAKE BAY RESTORATION FUNDING

By JEREMY COX, Eastern Shore News

Since 2010, millions of federal dollars have streamed into the eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia under a revamped effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, America's largest estuary. But that flow of money could slow under House of Representatives legislation that calls for cutting about $1 for every $6 currently allotted to the program. What's more, an amendment to that bill, sponsored by Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, would block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing the plan's cleanup targets.

Economy/Business


GROUP OF CEOS LOOKS TO FORM 'SUPER REGION' TO ATTRACT TOP WORKERS

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

A new alliance of 21 CEOs from Richmond to Baltimore is making its first public pitch to unite a “super-region” that features an interconnected transportation system and attracts young talent that currently is looking elsewhere. The Greater Washington Partnership, created at the end of last year, issued a vision statement on Thursday that identifies the two priorities as “table-stakes issues” for the expanded region



VIRGINIA TO MAKE BIG PLAY FOR AMAZON HQ2, BUT QUIETLY

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

Virginia is making a big play to land the $5 billion Amazon HQ2 project, but the state and regions in its urban crescent also are looking for outside help to prepare to compete for other corporate headquarter sites in the future. A day after Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms publicly revealed a private plan to compete for the coveted Amazon project to build a second headquarters, the administration of Gov. Terry McAuliffe acknowledged it is looking to engage private firms to help with the competition for new corporate headquarters — without naming the prospects.



WHY VIRGINIA THINKS IT'S GOT A SHOT AT AMAZON'S 2ND HEADQUARTERS

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

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Virginia’s central location on the East Coast is one of several advantages that would make the state attractive to Amazon for its second headquarters. “I think Virginia is really in play,” McAuliffe said while visiting an elementary school in Norfolk on Wednesday morning. “I think we are at the top of the list.”

Transportation


MPO POLICY BOARD TALKS INTERSTATE 81 CONDITIONS

By JOSH JANNEY, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

The Winchester-Frederick Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board on Wednesday discussed the increasingly congested and dangerous road conditions of Interstate 81. According to crash data compiled by the Virginia State Police, there have been 122 crashes on I-81 and associated ramps in Frederick County this year; three of them resulted in a total of four traffic deaths.



AMTRAK TO THE NRV? STATE GIVES $350,000 FOR FEASIBILITY STUDY

By DOMINICK MASTRANGELO, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Thanks to a shot of financial stimulation from the state , the prospect of passenger rail service in and out of the New River Valley appears more likely . The Commonwealth Transportation Board has agreed to allocate $350,000 out of its budget for an operational analysis study, conducted by Norfolk Southern Railway, that would assess the feasibility of passenger rail service alongside already existing freight traffic in the area.

Higher Education


U-VA.’S NEW PRESIDENT WILL EARN $750,000 A YEAR

By SARAH LARIMER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The incoming president of the University of Virginia will earn an annual base salary of $750,000, according to his contract. Additionally, James E. Ryan will earn $150,000 annually in deferred compensation, the contract documents state. The agreement was released to The Washington Post on Wednesday. U-Va.’s outgoing president, Teresa Sullivan, has a base salary of about $560,000, and gets $180,000 in deferred compensation, according to the university.

Virginia Other


FEDERAL JUDGE CONSIDERS SURRY-SKIFFES CREEK POWER LINE PROJECT

By ROBERT BRAUCHLE, Virginia Gazette

A federal judge is expected to take a week to 10 days before ruling on a preliminary injunction that, if approved, would halt Dominion’s Surry-Skiffes Creek power line project. The National Parks Conservation Association filed an emergency request for the preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in July, less than 24 hours after the James City County Board of Supervisors approved site plans to build a switching station needed for the project.

Confederate Statues


CITY HOPES FENCING STOPS DISROBING OF CONFEDERATE STATUES

By LAUREN BERG, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In a bid to stop people from removing the tarps over Charlottesville’s Confederate statues, city officials placed plastic fencing around the monuments, forbidding anyone from crossing the barriers. The black tarps covering the statues of Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson have been ripped down from the statues six times since they were installed on Aug. 23.



NAT TURNER, LEADER OF VIOLENT SLAVE UPRISING, WILL BE HONORED ON NEW STATUE IN RICHMOND

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

A state commission planning an anti-slavery monument in downtown Richmond voted Wednesday to include Nat Turner, the leader of a bloody 1831 slave uprising in Southampton County, among a group of 10 African-American figures who will be honored on the statue’s base. The work on the new statue being done by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission has thus far avoided controversy

Local


FAIRFAX’S NEW SCHOOLS CHIEF FOCUSES ON DIVERSIFYING WORKFORCE, CLOSING GAPS

By DEBBIE TRUONG AND MORIAH BALINGIT, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

For Scott Brabrand, starting as Fairfax County’s schools chief felt akin to awakening from a slumber. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to return to the school system that, in a professional sense, I was born in,” he said. “I feel a little bit like, I guess, Rip Van Winkle.”



JACKSON: OVERDRAFT FEES ARE BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR A 'DOWN-TO-EARTH' CITY COUNCIL CAMPAIGN

By CHRIS SUAREZ, ALLISON WRABEL & MICHAEL BRAGG, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

After Kenny Jackson reported to election officials earlier this month that he incurred nearly $700 in penalties for overdrafting from his campaign account, the independent candidate for Charlottesville City Council held a news conference Wednesday to discuss his latest campaign finance report.



CHESTERFIELD SAYS PETERSBURG COPIED SEVERAL PORTIONS OF SCHOOLS BUDGET DOCUMENT

By VANESSA REMMERS , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Portions of the Petersburg schools budget are identical or similar to that of the Chesterfield County schools budget, and the county division is asking city schools to investigate the matter while the city system denies any wrongdoing.



HOW RICHMOND SCHOOL OFFICIALS PLAN ON TURNING AROUND UNDERPERFORMING SCHOOLS

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

With less than half of Richmond public schools gaining full accreditation from the state, school officials are turning to individual plans to help turn around underperforming schools. “We need to look at our instructional programs to individualize school by school, grade level by grade level, subgroup by subgroup, to ensure that we’re providing support for those schools and those students,” said interim Chief Academic Officer Victoria Oakley.

TV/Radio


LAWMAKERS CONSIDER PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

By MALLORY NOE-PAYNE , WVTF

Neglect, abuse, housing instability -- experts agree trauma as a child, affects health as an adult. Virginia’s Secretary of Health Bill Hazel says the question for the state is whether we put resources in the right place.

Online News


BLACKPAC PLANS $1.1 MILLION EFFORT TO MOBILIZE AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTERS IN VIRGINIA

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

An organization that mobilized black voters on behalf of Hillary Clinton in November plans to spend more than $1 million in Virginia to do similar work to support Democrats ahead of the November governor’s race. Black Progressive Action Coalition said it plans to spend $600,000 on voter education, including 100 paid canvassers, to impress on African Americans the importance of casting a ballot to fight racism, end voter suppression and create good-paying jobs.



PRINCE WILLIAM SCHOOL BOARD CENSURES CHAIRMAN

By STACY SHAW, Bristow Beat

In a 4:2 vote, the Prince William County School Board, censured its Chairman At-large, Ryan Sawyers, Wednesday....The description of the recommended action read: “That the Prince William County School Board approve the resolution censuring Chairman at Large Ryan Sawyers for multiple and egregious violations of the Prince William County School Board Code of Ethics.”



GILLESPIE ATTACKS NORTHAM IN AD OVER SANCTUARY CITY STANCE

By SETH MCLAUGHLIN , Washington Times

Both the Democrat and Republican in Virginia’s governor’s race say the state doesn’t have any sanctuary cities — contradicting the Trump administration, which earlier this year fingered two counties as sanctuaries for refusing to fully cooperate with deportations.


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Editorials


THE STATE OF EDUCATION

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

CNU has made great strides, and now must find its place in Virginia’s evolving college landscape All Virginians have a stake in our colleges, just as all Newport News residents have a stake in the plans being laid at Christopher Newport University. But it is not always clear whether we all get a voice in where taxpayer-funded universities are headed.



COMMUNITY COLLEGES HELP AT-RISK STUDENTS REALIZE AMERICAN DREAM

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

What is the purpose of community colleges? If the goal is to provide a gateway to a four-year degree that doesn’t leave the student deeply in debt, the numbers seem discouraging. Sixty-one percent of students at Virginia’s community colleges fail to complete their two-year degrees and short-term certificate programs, according to a recent study done by the General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review staff.



TAKEAWAYS FROM THE SECOND GILLESPIE-NORTHAM DEBATE

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

Here are our three big takeaways from Tuesday night’s debate between Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie: 1. This was a good, civil debate in which both candidates effectively made their points without impugning the character of the other guy. Both candidates would do very different things as governor, of course, but neither of them will embarrass us. These are both decent men who just happen to have different views about policy. Virginians should be proud of the choice they have.



TOO MUCH GROUND TO COVER IN DEBATE

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

The debate Tuesday night between gubernatorial candidates Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie touched on so many different topics in such a short time that it felt more like a series of campaign statements than an effective debate. In less than an hour, the candidates talked about Confederate monuments, recent violence in Charlottesville, the economic outlook in Virginia, health care solutions, President Donald Trump, funding for higher education, technical training, tax cuts, K-12 education and the Standards of Learning, defense spending , the Washington Metro system, natural gas pipelines and so much more.



NEW MILITARY SERVICE PROPOSAL HAS MERIT

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

More than 1,400 satellites orbit Earth and almost 600 of them belong to the United States. The U.S. is more dependent upon space than any other country in the world. Were we to lose satellite capabilities for a day, we would soon lose access to the Internet and commercial airline traffic would be grounded. Cellphones, the nation’s power grid and countless military assets would become inoperable.



SOME PROGRESS, BUT NOT ENOUGH, AT ESSEX VILLAGE

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

At long last — after vigorous intervention by Henrico officials and the stern demands of Rep. Donald McEachin — the Department of Housing and Urban Development has stopped twiddling its thumbs over Essex Village.



ANOTHER COURT BATTLE FOR ROLLING STONE AND UVA

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

Rolling Stone already has been ordered to pay $3 million to Nicole Eramo, a former associate dean at the University of Virginia who was maligned in the now-infamous story about “A Rape on Campus.” The magazine also settled with the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity for $1.65 million in another suit over the article.

Op-Ed


LEECH: WE DON'T NEED EITHER PIPELINE

By IRENE LEECH, Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

“The two pipeline — one route alternative,” (Sept. 14 commentary) clearly was written by someone who only cares about western Virginia and is willing to dump on the part he doesn’t live in. He has not explored the damage the extra-wide one-route would do to land it crossed and ignores the fact that while “saving” property here, it would add to the damage there.

Leech lives in Elliston and teaches consumer studies at Virginia Tech.