VaNews

Tuesday July 25, 2017


Today's Sponsor:

Jeff Finch

"Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could do only a little." - Edmund Burke

Executive Branch


MCAULIFFE SAYS VIRGINIA NEEDS TO BE 'LEADERS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE' DURING KICKOFF OF RVA TECH WEEK

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

As technology and computer science fields become an increasingly important aspect of Virginia’s economy, more students need to be educated in those subjects, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Monday. “Our problem in Virginia, unlike in many other states, is we have too many open jobs — high-paying jobs — that we cannot fill,” said McAuliffe

State Elections


POLL: DEAD HEAT IN VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S RACE; GILLESPIE IS OUTPERFORMING TRUMP

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

The Virginia governor’s race is a dead heat, with Republican nominee Ed Gillespie tied with Democrat Ralph Northam, according to a new survey released Monday. The poll of likely voters by Monmouth University found Gillespie and Northam tied with 44 percent each. Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra drew 3 percent, while 9 percent were undecided.



POLL SHOWS GILLESPIE, NORTHAM TIED IN RACE FOR GOVERNOR

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

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph S. Northam each have support from 44 percent of Virginia voters, with Libertarian Cliff Hyra at 3 percent and another 9 percent undecided, according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday. A Quinnipiac University poll in June had Northam up by 8.



DEMOCRATIC WOMEN RUNNING FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY GATHER FOR EMILY'S LIST TRAINING

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

Emily’s List, the group that trains Democratic women who support pro-abortion rights to run for office, hosted a seminar in Richmond on Monday for state House candidates. Organizers said the training is especially energetic this year because so many women, in Virginia and nationally, were motivated to run by the surprise election of Donald Trump to the White House.

Federal Elections


DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER TO FACE WITTMAN IN 1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Virginia Gazette

A former Navy submarine officer has announced his candidacy for the First District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrat Tom Hicks will challenge U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland, for the seat. "I am running for office because I believe that the political process at the national level is broken and in need of citizen-patriots willing to collaborate for the good of all citizens," said Hicks in a news release.



‘IT’S GRILLING TIME’: FIVE WOMEN LINE UP TO CHALLENGE REP. BRAT

By JENNA PORTNOY, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

When Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) complained months ago that female constituents pressuring him to hold a town hall were “in my grill no matter where I go,” he didn’t know how prescient those words were. Five women — and one man — are running for the Democratic nomination to challenge the two-term congressman from suburban Richmond next year.



DEMOCRATS SEE FERTILE GROUND FOR AGENDA IN 10TH DISTRICT’S BERRYVILLE

By ONOFRIO CASTIGLIA, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joined Virginia’s Sen. Mark Warner; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and six other federal politicians in rolling out proposals to lower prescription drug prices and provide more federal funding for jobs training and apprenticeship programs, among other ideas.



DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE THEIR 'BETTER DEAL' IN RURAL VIRGINIA

By JENNA PORTNOY AND ED O'KEEFE, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Democratic leaders traveled to a deep red corner of Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock’s Northern Virginia district Monday to unveil a strategy they hope will convince voters they have more to offer than just opposition to President Trump.

State Government


AUGUSTA COUNTY DAMS RECEIVE STATE SAFETY GRANTS

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

State grant money will be funneled to a trio of Augusta County dams so that the county can better identify vulnerable individuals living in the flood zone of the dams. The three dams were among 72 awarded $1.15 million from the Virginia Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund last month.



4 ALBEMARLE DAMS GET GRANTS TO IMPROVE RISK LEVELS

By ALLISON WRABEL, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Four dam owners in Albemarle County have received a total of about $107,000 in state grants to help reduce the risk of dam failures. About $1.15 million in grants from the Virginia Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund, managed by the Virginia Resources Authority on behalf of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, was awarded to 72 dam safety and floodplain management projects.



VA. SALES-TAX HOLIDAY A BOON TO BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPERS

By JOSH JANNEY, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

Although summer break is about to come to an end in a few weeks, local students can take some comfort in knowing that they have a chance to save money on school supplies during Virginia’s annual tax-free weekend Aug. 4 to 6.



AS BIRTH RATES DECLINE NATIONWIDE, VIRGINIA'S REMAIN STEADY

By MICHELE CANTY, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

As birth rates in several states decline, Virginia and Hampton Roads rates have remained consistent, according to the Virginia Department of Health.



FEDERAL PROSECUTORS SEEK POSSIBLE CONTEMPT FOR STATE JUDGE

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

The U.S. Attorney’s Office wants embattled District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Kurt Pomrenke to prove he shouldn’t be found in criminal contempt for sharing materials from his wife’s trial with a state judicial panel. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court, federal prosecutors claim Pomrenke violated a court order in a March 16, 2016 letter he sent to the Virginia Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission

Congress


REP. BEYER PROPOSES BAN ON TRUMP HOTELS USE BY U.S. GOVERNMENT

Reuters

"Donald Trump should not be allowed to line his or his family’s pockets with taxpayer dollars,” Representative Don Beyer of Virginia said in a statement.

Economy/Business


COAL REVIVAL? HAMPTON ROADS' COAL EXPORTS ARE UP BIG IN 2017

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

Are we witnessing a coal revival?Only a year ago, coal exports from Hampton Roads were in a downward spiral, following a portwide year-over-year drop of about 35 percent in 2015. For the first half of 2016, exports from the port – the biggest coal-exporting port in North America – had dropped almost 30 percent from the same period a year earlier.



NEW HURDLE FOR DOMINION POWER LINE COULD QUASH CARVER ROAD ROUTE

By ALEX KOMA, Inside NOVA

Dominion Energy now faces a major hurdle in its controversial effort to build a new power line through western Prince William County to reach a Haymarket data center. The company says it’s discovered a variety of properties along the proposed route of the 230-kilovolt power line that are controlled by the county and its agencies, meaning Dominion will need permission from the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to cross that land.

Transportation


WEYERS CAVE AIRPORT ASKS FEDS TO DUMP CARRIER

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

Persistent cancellations and late flights by its commercial carrier has led Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport to ask the U.S. Department of Transportation to rebid flight service for the Weyers Cave airport.

Virginia Other


A NEW WAY TO FULFILL THE SINGLE BIGGEST NEED OF POOR PATIENTS: TEETH

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Larry Bays has seen his share of hard times, but on this day he was blessed. The 71-year-old goat farmer from Gate City, Va., had come to the annual free medical clinic held over the weekend here in coal country so his wife, Joyce, could have her asthma and arthritis checked.

Local


RICHMOND COUNCIL APPROVED NEARLY $400K SEVERANCE PACKAGE FOR AUDITOR'S EXIT

By NED OLIVER , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

To secure former City Auditor Umesh Dalal’s resignation last week amid scrutiny of his job performance, the Richmond City Council agreed to pay him an exit package worth nearly $400,000 — the largest paid by the city in recent memory. The high dollar value appeared to generate regret among some council members at their regular meeting Monday, during which Council President Chris Hilbert revealed the number.



ADVOCATES FOR ELECTED HANOVER SCHOOL BOARD FAIL TO COLLECT ENOUGH SIGNATURES FOR REFERENDUM

By MICHAEL O'CONNOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The group pushing to let Hanover County residents vote in November on whether to switch from an appointed School Board to an elected one has faltered but is exploring its next steps. The advocacy group, Hanover Citizens for an Elected School Board, did not have enough signatures for a petition to have a referendum on the way Hanover chooses its School Board members, according to Molly Poisant, who was active in the effort.



HAMPTON SCHOOLS CRITIC CONVICTED OF ELECTION FRAUD, FINED $300

By PETER DUJARDIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A Hampton woman was convicted of election fraud last week — with a Circuit Court jury finding she intentionally used an incorrect election date on a fictitious campaign website. Mary Patricia Taylor, 57, was convicted in Hampton General District Court last fall of the misdemeanor charge of "communicating false information to registered voters." A judge at the time fined her $1,000 and ordered her to perform 100 hours of community service.



YEAR AFTER INTENSE DEBATE, VIRGINIA BEACH SCHOOLS' NEW GRADING POLICY TO TAKE EFFECT

By MIKE CONNORS , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Almost a year after a passionate and extensive debate, the school division’s new grading policy will kick in soon. The School Board passed guidelines last September that allow for several grading practices within individual schools at the middle and high school level. They might vary by grade, department or specialized course – such as Algebra 1.



ABINGDON IMPOSES ORDINANCE TO REGULATE INTERNET MARKETPLACE ROOM RENTALS

By JESS NOCERA, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

Abingdon officials want to establish an equal playing field for all hospitality establishments by having online travel platforms adhere to the same town taxes and regulations as hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts. The council’s HomeStay Ordinance regulates these online platforms, including Airbnb, Craigslist and HomeAway, and will take effect Aug. 10. The ordinance was unanimously approved by Town Council on July 10.

TV/Radio


TIM KAINE'S HEALTH CARE PLAN: REINSURANCE

By MICHAEL POPE, WVTF

In Washington, leaders in both parties are at odds over how to move forward on health care. One senator who is trying to seize the moment is Democrat Tim Kaine, who says he has a plan to move forward.



VIRGINIA LAWMAKERS SEEK TO TAME THE WILD WEST OF ONLINE LENDING

By MICHAEL POPE , WVTF

Payday loans in Virginia are capped at 36% annual interest. Car-title loans are capped at 264% annual interest. But online, it’s the Wild West — an unregulated space where lenders can offer 5,000% interest


Today's Sponsor:

Jeff Finch

"Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could do only a little." - Edmund Burke

Editorials


A 'BETTER DEAL'

Winchester Star Editorial (Subscription Required)

Berryville — If not metaphors, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was mixing something — historical references, perhaps — when he and nine of his congressional Democratic colleagues landed in Clarke County on Monday to present their new vision, purely economic by the way, for America.



WHY BERRYVILLE?

Winchester Star Editorial (Subscription Required)

When first we learned that congressional Democratic leaders had selected Berryville as their first stop in rolling out their plan to revitalize America, we wondered, “Why Berryville?” As it turned out, no such rumination and head-scratching were needed.



AVOIDING THE TOURISM TRAP

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

Focus leads to success. It's such a simple mantra, yet so hard to put into practice. Focus on school work; focus on your job; focus on the task in front of you. Then reap the benefits. Focus, or a lack thereof, will sink the city of Williamsburg's proposal to create a tourism development fund. The city is proposing to levy a series of taxes to create a pool of money that will be used for tourism-related projects.



CYBER JOBS ARE THE WAY OF THE FUTURE

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

Ransomware. Malware. Attacks on nations’ power grids. Phishing. The dangers of the internet are in the news almost daily, and we’ve not even mentioned the hacks during the presidential campaign of the computer networks of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Experts long have warned that federal and state governments and businesses large and small need to pay more attention to cybersecurity



MODERATOR'S FOCUS ON TRUMP TURNS DEBATE INTO MISSED OPPORTUNITY

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

Ed Gillespie and Ralph Northam held the first of three scheduled debates over the weekend. What did we learn about the two major party candidates for governor? Not very much.



KUDOS TO DAVE BRAT FOR HIS BILL ON DOG RESEARCH

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

Virginia Rep. Dave Brat is something of a lightning rod, and we’ve not always seen eye-to-eye with him ourselves. But the 7th District congressman deserves a pat on the back and an “Attaboy” for introducing a bill to limit medical testing on dogs at the Department of Veterans Affairs.



CIVIL FORFEITURE A BAD IDEA

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

The U.S. Justice Department wants to make it easier for law enforcement agencies to seize cash, cars and other property from suspected criminals, hoping to starve them of funds they might use for — or have gained through — illegal activities. But the policy announced last week by Attorney General Jeff Sessions tries to accomplish the objective by violating bedrock American principles regarding due process and property rights.