Javascript is required to run this page
VaNews

Saturday October 20, 2018

EXECUTIVE BRANCH


NORTHAM VISITS BLACKSBURG MED STUDENTS WITH FORMER ADDICT

By TONIA MOXLEY, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Gov. Ralph Northam ended an opioid awareness speaking tour Friday with a talk at the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. The six-stop “Grand Rounds” of the state’s medical schools began in August, with Northam, a pediatric neurologist, discussing strategies for preventing and treating addiction.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY


A VIRGINIA POLITICIAN’S NOVEL APPROACH TO PERSONAL SCANDAL: TELL ALL BEFORE OPPONENTS DO

By PAUL SCHWARTZMAN, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The history of American politics abounds with examples of leaders sunk by scandal, the dark details excavated by their enemies. Lee J. Carter, a Virginia state lawmaker with enough proverbial skeletons to crowd a graveyard, has taken it upon himself to beat any potential rival to the punch.


VIRGINIA POLITICIAN AIRS DIRTY LAUNDRY BEFORE OPPONENTS DO

By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press

Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas, wants you to know that he is in the middle of his third divorce, can’t hold a job, lobbed homophobic insults when he was young, and may even have explicit photos of himself floating around on the internet.


STATE SENATOR SAYS COURT-DRAWN DISTRICT MAPS DO NOT REMOVE POLITICS FROM THE PROCESS

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

Amanda Chase says Democrats pushed to have redistricting handled by a federal judicial panel whose majority are Democratic appointees A federal court’s decision to appoint an outside party to redraw 11 state House of Delegates districts was met with unusual political reticence from the House Republican leadership. But one GOP state legislator is not holding her tongue over the idea of having a court intervene in what she says should remain a legislative process.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS


REP. COMSTOCK’S DONORS: ‘A WHO’S WHO OF THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT IN WASHINGTON’

By JENNA PORTNOY, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) has relied on a vast network of Republicans from a lifetime in GOP politics to help her raise more money overall than Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton in their hotly contested Northern Virginia race.


PENCE TO VISIT REGENT UNIVERSITY FOR SCOTT TAYLOR EVENT

By MORGAN BARCLAY, WAVY

Vice President Mike Pence will be visiting Regent University this coming Wednesday, Oct. 24.


BIDEN STUMPS FOR LURIA, TOUTS UNION TIES

By JANE HAMMOND, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Former Vice President Joe Biden shook a lot of hands, took a lot of selfies and pointed workers leaving Newport News Shipbuilding Friday afternoon toward his “friend” standing behind him. “Help Elaine out here,” he said, gesturing to Elaine Luria, the Democratic candidate seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor in Virginia’s 2nd District. “This is not about Joe.”


11TH DISTRICT DEBATE LOOKS AT TRUMP, TARIFFS, GUNS AND DRUGS

By STEPHEN NIEDZWIECKI, Inside NOVA

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-11th District, says the Nov. 6 election “is going to help define who we are as a people.” Along with Republican Jeff Dove and Libertarian Steven Porter, Connolly participated in a debate Oct. 18 at the Westminster at Lake Ridge retirement community.


BEYER’S WOMEN’S FORUM UNDERSCORES DECISIVE ISSUE IN NOVEMBER’S ELECTION

By NICHOLAS F. BENTON AND DYLAN HOMOYA, Falls Church News-Press

...U.S. Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., whose 8th District of Virginia includes the City of Falls Church, hosted a rousing “Breaking Through, Women Work for Change” conference in Arlington last weekend, his fourth annual event. Beyer was joined by keynote speakers State Del. Danica Roem and 12-year-old Naomi Wadler, the organizer of youth protests following the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting earlier this year.

STATE GOVERNMENT


OFFICIALS WON'T EXPLAIN WHY SOME BIDDERS FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAM WON AND SOME LOST

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

After paying $10,000 for a chance to get in on the ground floor of Virginia's emerging medical marijuana industry, some business groups have pressed state officials for more information about why they didn't make the cut. So far, they’re not having much luck.


MEDICAID WORK AND SERVICE RULES CLOSER TO BECOMING LAW

By BRIDGET BALCH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

A key detail in Virginia’s plan to expand Medicaid — work and community service requirements — is one step closer to becoming law as the state’s public comment period for the conditions concludes Saturday.


STUDY: STATE TAXES HAVE DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT ON LOWER INCOME VIRGINIANS

By MICHAEL POPE, WVTF

Wealthy people in Virginia may pay more taxes. But a new study finds poor people pay a greater share of their income in state and local taxes.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS


VIRGINIA'S JOBLESS RATE IN SEPTEMBER DROPS TO ITS LOWEST POINT SINCE JUNE 2007

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

Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in September to 2.9 percent, its lowest point since June 2007. The state’s jobless rate in September was down from 3 percent in August and 3.6 percent a year ago in September, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Friday.


TRANS-ATLANTIC INTERNET CABLE OPERATOR SETS UP INSIDE HENRICO DATA CENTER

By JOHN REID BLACKWELL, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The operator of a new trans-Atlantic communications cable has set up operations at the QTS data center in Henrico County, an investment that QTS managers say strengthens the Richmond region’s burgeoning position as a data hub.

TRANSPORTATION


TOLLING CONSIDERED TO PAY FOR I-81 IMPROVEMENTS

By JOSH JANNEY, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

State transportation officials plan to recommend spending approximately $2 billion to fix problems along Interstate 81 and to finance the improvements with taxes and tolls. The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation are studying the entire length of the Interstate 81 corridor in the Virginia, as directed by the General Assembly.

HIGHER EDUCATION


UVA PRESIDENT VOWS FREE TUITION FOR THOSE MAKING UNDER $80K

Associated Press

The new president of the University of Virginia has promised free tuition for students in families earning less than $80,000 a year. President James Ryan made the pledge Friday during his inauguration.


AT INAUGURATION, RYAN PROMISES A UVA THAT IS ‘NOT JUST GREAT, BUT GOOD’

By RUTH SERVEN SMITH, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

In an inaugural address that acknowledged the university’s past while striding into the future, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan reaffirmed UVa’s commitment to financial aid and promised to set the school on a firm moral foundation. They are commitments, he said, that fit within a series of sketches of what he hopes the university will become in the next decade — a place of thoughtful inquiry and just leadership that is “not just great, but good.”


VHCC PRESIDENT TOLD TO ‘VACATE’ CAMPUS, REASSIGNED TO NEW ROLE

By LURAH SPELL, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia Highlands Community College President Gene Couch was told by Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois on Thursday to “vacate” the campus because of “important questions about the workings of the institution,” according to an email DuBois sent to VHCC faculty and staff.

VIRGINIA OTHER


VIRGINIA AUTHORIZES CONSTRUCTION ON ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE; FINAL U.S. APPROVAL PENDING

By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality on Friday gave state authorization for construction to begin on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, subject to final approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. DEQ said it had approved engineering designs to protect water quality during and after construction of the $6.5 billion natural gas pipeline, spearheaded by Dominion Energy.


KEY VIRGINIA PERMIT TAKES EFFECT FOR ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

Virginia environmental regulators approved engineering plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Friday, a move that means the project has the state's permission to begin construction. Developers will now ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authorization to start construction in Virginia, pipeline spokesman Aaron Ruby said.

LOCAL


SURGE IN ABSENTEE BALLOTS COULD FORESHADOW HUGE MIDTERM TURNOUT, ENDANGER VIHSTADT’S RE-ELECTION BID

By ALEX KOMA, ArlNow

Arlington voters seem ready to flood the polls in record numbers on Nov. 6, with early turnout numbers presaging a “blue wave” that could — potentially — wipe independent County Board member John Vihstadt out of office. New figures compiled by the nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project show that the county has seen a 114 percent increase in the number of absentee ballots cast through Wednesday (Oct. 17), compared to the same time last year.


AS BUDGET SURPLUSES ROLL IN, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS MULL USES

By JONATHAN SPIERS, Richmond BizSense

Investments in sports tourism and increases in local sales tax receipts are among the areas that local governments say paid off last fiscal year in the form of budget surpluses. With no budget deficits to speak of among the region’s most populous localities at the close of FY2018, which ended June 30, area governments are tallying up their excess revenues and allocating them according to their respective policies, attributing the gains to increased tourism revenues and the strengthened economy.


REPORT SAYS 2,800-HOME DEVELOPMENT WOULD STRAIN HANOVER SERVICES

By CHRIS SUAREZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The developers behind a massive project planned for Hanover County think it can generate $10.2 million annually for the county, but a new third-party analysis concludes that the county likely will see a net loss of up to $4 million each year after the project’s completion.


EXPECT ALMOST 5 FEET OF SEA LEVEL RISE WHEN PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE, LEADERS SAY

By KATHERINE HAFNER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Building a road, a school, a bridge in Hampton Roads? Think about how long you want it to be around, and whether it might be underwater by then. That's what regional planners recommend in light of sea levels projected to rise nearly 5 feet over the next century. "We are at war," Dave Hansen, Virginia Beach city manager, said Thursday at a meeting of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. Sea level rise "is public enemy No. 1."


SLAIN MAN'S SISTER DENOUNCES MOTION OVER LEE PORTRAIT IN LOUISA COURT

By FRANK GREEN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

A request to try a black man charged with capital murder in Louisa County in a courtroom without a portrait of Robert E. Lee or other Confederate memorabilia is opposed by the family of the slain man, also an African-American. “I don’t want the community to think we are standing behind this,” said Louisa resident Donna Washington, the oldest sister of Kevin Robinson, who was shot to death in March 2016 at age 43.

EDITORIALS


DID THE VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT SHOW SCHOOL DISTRICTS HOW TO SUE OVER DISPARITIES?

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

In late May 1940, the British army found itself trapped on the French coast as the Germans rolled on to Paris. Over nine frantic days, the British managed to evacuate most of their troops, with many escaping on small fishing vessels that crossed the English Channel and came to the army’s rescue. ... That’s the set-up to pose a question closer to home: What if something that seemed a defeat actually contained the seeds of a future victory? Here’s why we ask.

OP-ED


HOLCOMB: SAVING LIVES WITH INNOVATION: EXPLORING A HIGH-TECH SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM OF DRUNK DRIVING

By RICHARD D. HOLCOMB, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

When it comes to a pervasive public safety threat like drunken driving, it is critical to find additional actions that will have the greatest effect. New challenges such as drug-impaired driving and driver distraction compound the situation, but here’s the reality: Drunken driving remains our greatest impaired-driving threat.

Richard D. Holcomb is commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles


SWECKER: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT GIVES CANCER PATIENTS A CHANCE

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

There are all kinds of survivors in the world. Those men and women who have survived sexual harassment…men and women who have survived the crippling injuries of war…and then all around us, at our workplaces and in our neighborhoods, there are cancer survivors. That’s me, a cancer survivor.

Swecker is chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia. She grew up in Highland County


WOLL: VIRGINIA NEEDS TO MAKE VISION FOR OFFSHORE WIND A REALITY

By EILEEN WOLL, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Virginia is no stranger to the benefits of renewable energy. The commonwealth is on a path to powering 200,000 homes with solar power within the next five years and has a goal of developing 5 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2028. Yet, Virginia’s leaders have one of the most significant untapped economic and environmental opportunities the state has ever seen right at their fingertips: offshore wind energy.

Eileen Woll is the Offshore Energy Program director at the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter