Monday, October 19, 2020

Political Headlines from across Virginia

October 19, 2020
Top of the News

After a decline, coronavirus now surging throughout much of Virginia

By ELISHA SAUERS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

If you're watching the coronavirus pandemic by the numbers for signs of improvement, you could get whiplash from one week to the next. Coming off a brief period in which no health district was surging in new infections, Virginia's caseload appeared to be receding while other states across the country were headed down the opposite path. Now, all but the northern part of the state is having an upward trajectory, based on data collected by the Virginia Department of Health.

Assembly approves deferred disposition

By PETER VIETH, Virginia Lawyers Weekly (Subscription required for some articles)

After a decade of nuanced judicial refinements to the standard for deferring dispositions for criminal defendants, the General Assembly has agreed to give judges nearly unfettered discretion to delay criminal judgments for later consideration. The reform given final approval Oct. 7 is a "sea change" in the practice of criminal law, according to one of the sponsors. "It shows the criminal justice system can be tempered with mercy instead of being focused solely on punishment," said Del. Michael Mullin, D-Newport News.

Legislative panel votes to include incumbents' addresses in 2021 redistricting data

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Virginia Mercury

A joint General Assembly committee preparing for the 2021 redistricting process voted last week to include incumbent lawmakers' home addresses in the data that will be used to redraw their districts. Some lawmakers insisted the move doesn't necessarily mean the address data will be used to draw lines that protect incumbents. But dissenting legislators said it looked like a step toward the type of incumbent protection that's happened in the past and some General Assembly members now want to ban.

As Chesterfield schools open, district asks parents to provide transportation

By JESS NOCERA, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

When the coronavirus pandemic forced the world to shut down in March, Lucy Wade, then a kindergartner with Chesterfield County Public Schools, struggled with the pivot to virtual learning. Lucy has autism. She didn't want to sit in front of a computer and didn't like to see her classmates' faces on the screen, said her mother, Stephanie Wade. Now a first-grader at Watkins Elementary, Lucy is back in the classroom four days a week as part of the school district's first cohort to return to school.

Migrant Farmworkers Under Lockdown: 'You're Practically a Slave'

By MIRIAM JORDAN, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 1 to 2 articles a month)

Each spring, a thousand or more Mexican tomato pickers descend on Virginia's Eastern Shore to toil in the fields of Lipman Family Farms, enduring long hours stooped over to pluck the plump fruit and then hoisting it on their shoulders onto a waiting truck. An adept worker will fill a 32-pound bucket every two and a half minutes, earning 65 cents for each one. The region is considered the toughest on the tomato circuit. . . . This year, there is a new and even more difficult working condition: To keep the coronavirus from spreading and jeopardizing the harvest, Lipman has put its crews on lockdown.

At VMI, Black cadets endure lynching threats, Klan memories and Confederacy veneration

By IAN SHAPIRA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

More than a half century after the Virginia Military Institute integrated its ranks, Black cadets still endure relentless racism at the nation's oldest state-supported military college. The atmosphere of hostility and cultural insensitivity makes VMI — whose cadets fought and died for the slaveholding South during the Civil War and whose leaders still celebrate that history — especially difficult for non-White students to attend, according to more than a dozen current and former students of color.

Crowd gathers in Fredericksburg for 'We the People' rally

By JOEY LOMONACO, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Attendees of the "We the People" rally at Old Mill Park on Saturday were greeted at the gate with a quotation from Thomas Jefferson, reminding them that, "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." That obligation was the pointed focus of a series of speakers, who spent the next five hours decrying perceived attacks on the Second Amendment, COVID-19 government mandates and the erosion of religious freedom among other grievances.

The Full Report
48 articles, 24 publications


VPAP Visual Business Giving on Hold

The Virginia Public Access Project

Off-year giving by many business-related PACs to General Assembly members is down sharply through the first three quarters of 2020. Economic uncertainty has led some PACs to delay setting a budget for the year and some legislators have postponed fundraisers. Shown are PACs that gave at least $20,000 to legislators in the first nine months of 2018 -- and what their giving looks like this year.

From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Our COVID-19 dashboard makes it easy to track the latest available data for tests performed, infections, deaths and hospital capacity. There's a filter for each city and county, plus an exclusive per-capita ZIP Code map. Updated each morning around 10:30 a.m.


State First Lady visits Suffolk Head Start Center

By JIMMY LAROUE, Suffolk News Herald

After greeting Suffolk Head Start Center staff, Delegate Clinton Jenkins and state Sen. Louise Lucas, Virginia First Lady Pam Northam got to the heart of her visit — the four children to whom she would be reading. "Hi! How are you guys? I'm so happy to be here today," Northam said to the children, part of Chyretta Ferrill's and Monchel Stallins' class. "Are you hiding a smile behind your mask? I bet you are. I'm hiding a smile too."


Virginia lawmakers pass bill giving citizen oversight panels actual investigative powers in police misconduct complaints

By PETER DUJARDIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

The General Assembly has passed a bill to allow localities to establish "citizen oversight bodies" to investigate police misconduct complaints — and discipline officers who they determine break the rules. The bill allows city councils and county boards of supervisors statewide to create the civilian panels starting next July 1 to examine use-of-force complaints, cases of deaths and serious injuries while in custody, as well as abuse of power and discrimination concerns.

Criminal justice reform bills head to the governor's desk

By WILL GONZALEZ, VCU Capital News Service

The Virginia General Assembly wrapped up on Saturday a special session that began Aug. 18 and saw debate on more than 50 police and criminal justice reform bills. Gov. Ralph Northam called the session to update the state budget and to address criminal and social justice and issues related to COVID-19. The governor still has to approve the budget and can veto or amend the approved bills.

A budget amendment is laying down the tracks for a Shenandoah Valley rail trail

By WYATT GORDON, Virginia Mercury

When Del. Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham, introduced a budget amendment funding a study on creating a new 43-mile long rail trail in the Shenandoah Valley, the odds of the proposal making it into the final budget for the governor to sign looked slim. After Wilt's amendment was stricken from the House version of the budget, the idea appeared doomed. However, thanks to the efforts of his regional ally, Sen. Emmet Hanger, R-Augusta, the measure made it into the Senate's budget to be adopted by the two bodies' conference committee last week.


Coronavirus dominates low-key Senate race in Virginia

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

Much like the presidential contest, the U.S. Senate race in Virginia has been heavily shaped by the coronavirus. Unlike the presidential contest, few people are paying attention. Virginians are nearly two weeks away from deciding between two-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and Republican challenger Daniel Gade, a political newcomer, in a contest that's become largely an afterthought.

Republican challenger Daniel Gade criticizes Warner, Democratic Party during Danville stop

By PARKER COTTON, Danville Register & Bee

Republican United States Senate candidate Daniel Gade spent Saturday morning at Danville's Westside Diner meeting with residents and framing himself as a career servant — the opposite, he said, of Democrat incumbent Mark Warner, who he called a career politician. As nearly 30 supporters and local GOP officials gathered for breakfast just more than two weeks out from Election Day, Gade, 45, told the story of his life, which centered on his extensive Army record and the 2005 explosion in Iraq that claimed his right leg.

Don't expect results on election night in Hampton Roads, registrars say

By KATHERINE HAFNER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

If you're planning to stay up late to hear if your candidate won on Election Day, you might as well get the extra sleep. City election registrars around Hampton Roads — the ones who could spare a minute or two to talk — are warning that the public shouldn't expect to see solid results from local, state or federal races on election night.


SCC considers the ups and downs of Appalachian Power's rates

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

What the monthly electricity bill will look like next year remains murky for Appalachian Power customers, as a roller-coaster regulatory process plays out. The State Corporation Commission is considering three separate cases that will affect rates. Appalachian is asking the SCC to approve an increase in its base rates, which are reviewed every three years.

Virginia panel sets Nov. 17 public hearing, asks input on replacement for Lee statue at U.S. Capitol

By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

A state panel charged with recommending a replacement for Virginia's Robert E. Lee statue at the U.S. Capitol has set a Nov. 17 public hearing and is encouraging the public — including students in public and private schools — to submit their suggestions. Written suggestions are due to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources by Nov. 27, the end of the public comment period.


Virginia Tech campus, Potomac Yard development earn approval in Alexandria

By JONATHAN CAPRIEL, Washington Business Journal (Subscription required for some articles)

The first phase of Virginia Tech's campus and plans for six other buildings in Alexandria's section of Potomac Yard earned approval from City Council on Saturday morning. Developers JBG Smith Properties (NYS:JBGS) and Lionstone Investment have reenvisioned the entire district and brought it through the city's planning process in a little over a year after they earned the university's $1 billion computer science-focused campus after it exited a nearby site.

Dharma opens to serve Virginia patients

Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Dharma Pharmaceuticals formally opened its doors Saturday to patients seeking medical cannabis treatment. The firm is the first medical processor to open in Virginia so registered medical cannabis patients across the state have access to the treatment, according to a written statement from the Virginia Medical Cannabis Coalition. Its facility is located in the Bristol Mall.

As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place

By DAVEY ALBA AND JACK NICAS, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 1 to 2 articles a month)

...Maine Business Daily is part of a fast-growing network of nearly 1,300 websites that aim to fill a void left by vanishing local newspapers across the country. Yet the network, now in all 50 states, is built not on traditional journalism but on propaganda ordered up by dozens of conservative think tanks, political operatives, corporate executives and public-relations professionals, a Times investigation found.....Conservative activists are running similar sites, like the Star News group in Tennessee, Virginia and Minnesota.


Virginia State University launches institute to nurture Black political, government leaders

By BILL ATKINSON, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 10 articles a month)

Saying it wants to create a place "for individuals who look like us," Virginia State University announced Wednesday the establishment of Virginia's — and possibly the nation's — first program dedicated to the development of Black political and governmental leadership. College officials joined two state lawmakers and others to launch the John Mercer Langston Institute for African-American Political Leadership, JMLI will be accessible not just to collegiate scholars, but also Black Virginians interested in doing a public service.

NCI to be first in state to offer wind energy training

By HOLLY KOZELSKY, Martinsville Bulletin (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Some education innovation is blowing into Martinsville. New College Institute will be the host institution of the new Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance, and by next year, the school will offer two classes to train wind-energy technicians. The Alliance is made up of NCI, Centura College and the Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy.


VDH Sunday coronavirus data: Cases up 900 statewide

Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Coronavirus cases statewide rose by 900 from Saturday to Sunday, according to Virginia Department of Health data. Statewide, hospitalizations rose by 30 and deaths by 11. The 7-day positivity rate in Virginia is 5%, a figure that has been essentially flat for the past several days.

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations climb in Lynchburg region

By RICHARD CHUMNEY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

After nearly two months of declining new COVID-19 cases, the Lynchburg region is once again seeing a rise in new infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Since the start of October, more than 900 positive cases have been reported in the Central Virginia Health District, eclipsing the surge in infections reported during late July and early August, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health.

Far more people have died from the pandemic than the virus death toll indicates, VCU study says

By ERIC KOLENICH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Since the coronavirus arrived in the U.S. in January, nearly 218,000 Americans have become infected and died. But for every two coronavirus deaths, a third death occurs that's indirectly linked to the pandemic, according to a study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University. That translates to an additional 100,000 pandemic-related deaths so far this year.

How one Virginia doctor's coronavirus infection led to 25 people in quarantine

By ELISHA SAUERS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

A doctor in training who wasn't feeling well went into work. The attending physician who supervised the Eastern Virginia Medical School resident sent the new doctor home. A little later, the doctor started to feel better and went to a barbecue with about 25 people.

Virginia Beach General District Court closed after four people test positive for coronavirus

By PETER COUTU, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The Virginia Beach General District Court will be closed Monday and Tuesday after four people tested positive for coronavirus. Two Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office deputies assigned to court security and two other non-sheriff's office personnel tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, said Kathy M. Hieatt, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, in a news release.


Virginia county escalates sanctuary battle with ICE

By STEPHEN DINAN, Washington Times

Prince William County's jail released an illegal immigrant late last month despite a federal criminal warrant for his arrest, marking what federal officials see as an escalation of sanctuary policies. Edras Onel Vasquez-Perez, 25, had been deported before. When he was found in the U.S. again, federal authorities persuaded a magistrate judge to issue a felony warrant for his arrest.

Trial to get underway over Northam's effort to remove Richmond statue of Robert E. Lee

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Arguments are scheduled to get underway Monday morning in the lawsuit over Gov. Ralph Northam's effort to take down the giant statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on state property along Monument Avenue. The 60-foot colossus of Lee became the focal point of protests this summer over racial inequity, triggered in Richmond and across the country by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Judge to hold trial on Northam's plans to remove Lee statue

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

A lawsuit seeking to prevent Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam from removing an enormous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond is scheduled to go to trial Monday. The plaintiffs, a group of Richmond residents who live near the monument, filed suit after Northam ordered the removal of the statue in June amid the outcry and unrest caused by the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Family, Richmond community join to celebrate Marcus-David Peters' 27th birthday

By ANYA SCZERZENIE, Commonwealth Times

Dance performances, screen-printed T-shirts and birthday cake marked on Saturday the 27th birthday of Marcus-David Peters, a VCU alum who was killed by Richmond police while experiencing a mental crisis. Richmond community members gathered at the Robert E. Lee statue, coined Marcus-David Peters' Circle, to celebrate Peters' birthday. As performers danced around the statue's base, volunteers handed out free food and cake.

Spotsylvania coalition continues push for equality

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

A simple proclamation at the beginning of the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors meeting last week was a big deal to a group of area ministers who have been working for months with area leaders on social justice issues. Board Chairman Gary Skinner read the proclamation, which supports nondiscrimination and the U.S. Constitution's "promise of the equality of all persons regardless of race, religion, or ethnic origin."

Monument Fund, other plaintiffs rebuff Charlottesville's statues appeal

By TYLER HAMMEL, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

The Monument Fund and other plaintiffs in a yearslong lawsuit against the city of Charlottesville are urging the Supreme Court of Virginia to uphold decisions made by the city circuit court ahead of a week of hearings in November. Judge Richard Moore last year sided largely with the plaintiffs in the suit, issuing a permanent injunction against the city removing its statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Market Street Park.

New city park a celebration of racial harmony

By BRIAN BREHM, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Like most Southern towns in the 1960s, Winchester was racially segregated. But there was one place in the city where skin color didn't matter, where people from all races could hang out together without feeling society's pressure to keep Blacks and whites apart. That place was Ruth's Tea Room at the corner of South Kent and East Cecil streets.


Parents, alumni protest after admissions process changed at Thomas Jefferson High School


Parents and alumni at a top-ranked Virginia high school held a protest Sunday after the board of education changed how students are admitted. The Fairfax County Board of Education eliminated the race-blind admission test for students wishing to go to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology during a meeting on Oct. 6.

Enrollment drops by 2,500 students in Prince William County schools

Inside NOVA (Metered Paywall)

Nearly 2,500 fewer students are enrolled in Prince William County Public Schools than a year ago, according to data from the school division. If the numbers maintain, it would mark the first time in many years that enrollment in the school system has declined. Public school systems are required to report fall enrollment figures to the Virginia Department of Education on Sept. 30 every year.

Virginia Beach to let nonprofits distribute $10 million in pandemic relief

By ALISSA SKELTON, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Residents and small businesses struggling as a result of the pandemic will likely have another opportunity to get assistance from local nonprofits. On Tuesday, the Virginia Beach City Council is expected to vote to give $10 million to nonprofits to distribute aid.

Hampton OKs business owner to set up indoor shooting range in a trailer

By LISA VERNON SPARKS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

For years, Hampton has wanted to relocate a noisy outdoor shooting range near Rip Rap Road in the otherwise sleepy Old Northampton section. It was costly and finding the right location without having the same issue was a challenge. The owner of the "war games" simulation company Threat Tec at 34 Research Drive in the Langley Business Park sought to expand the business by adding an indoor shooting range. It seemed like a match made in the heavens.

Grants give small businesses in Williamsburg, York, Poquoson affected by COVID-19 a 'jump start'

By ALEX PERRY, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted small business owners across the country, including the Pryor family in Yorktown. Jill Pryor and her husband Randy have owned and operated Patriot Tours & Provisions in Riverwalk Landing for about a decade. They offer guided Segway tours and kayak, paddleboard and bicycle rentals, and they sell souvenirs and gifts at their retail store on Water Street.

State program provides PPE to local residents

By BRIAN BREHM, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

A pilot program offered by the state of Virginia made it possible for Winchester to give away thousands of face masks and hand sanitizers. According to a media release from Rouss City Hall, Winchester was one of more than 40 state localities selected in May for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's new Health Equity Pilot Program. The program provided personal protective equipment (PPE), staff training and health information to underserved and vulnerable areas, especially those at high risk of being COVID-19 hotspots.

Frederick County to provide $500,000 in CARES Act funds to local businesses and nonprofits

By STAFF REPORT, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Local businesses and nonprofits impacted by the coronavirus pandemic have another chance to receive grant money from Frederick County. Round Two of the county's COVID-19 Business/NonProfit Grant Program will open Friday at 8 a.m. Grants of $5,000, $7,500, or $10,000 will be awarded to Frederick County businesses and nonprofits adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have 2019 annual gross revenues of at least $30,000 but less than $3 million.

Pittsylvania County, Danville not asking voters for an extra 1-cent sales tax for school construction

By KIM BARTO MEEKS, Martinsville Bulletin (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Earlier this year, the General Assembly authorized four Southside Virginia localities to let residents vote on raising sales taxes to pay for school construction needs. However, only two of the four — Henry and Patrick counties — have placed the measure on the ballot this fall.

Regional academy awaits outstanding Montgomery County payment

By YANN RANAIVO, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Montgomery County is past the deadline on the payment it makes every year to the New River Criminal Justice Training Academy, the regional institution tasked with ensuring that local law enforcement and corrections officers obtain the credits needed to work. A top official with the Dublin-based academy said Montgomery County still owes an assessment fee of just over $56,000, an amount that was due on Sept. 30. The invoice, however, was sent out in July.

Coalition of churches pays for billboards against proposed casino

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Messages written in bold black letters splashed across bright yellow billboards around Bristol shout opposition to the proposed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino resort project. The messages are: "All that glitters is not gold." "When casinos go up, communities go down." "What would Jesus do? He would definitely vote no on the casino referendum."



Southwest Virginia's unique pitch for data centers

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The most fascinating thing we've read lately isn't on the New York Times best sellers list. It's a document that otherwise would cause eyes to glaze over — an economic development report on whether Southwest Virginia would be a good place to locate data centers, the massive warehouses of computer servers that make online traffic go. Spoiler alert: The answer is yes, but the most remarkable part is how the report arrived at that conclusion.

Our laws have to keep pace with virtual learning

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

When Gov. Ralph Northam closed Virginia schools on March 23 for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year due to COVID-19, the decision ushered in a new education era that might outlast the contagion. The novel coronavirus quickly placed school leaders across the commonwealth into novel territory with digital policymaking.

Decision should aid Rassawek

Daily Progress Editorial (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

There already had been indications that this important shift was in the wind, but now we know for sure: The James River Water Authority said last week it will take a closer look at a potential alternative location for a project now slated to be built at the site of Rassawek, a significant historical site for the Monacan Indian Nation — and, indeed, for all Virginians.

Why are so many data centers in Northern Virginia? (And not here?)

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The rich keep getting richer. You knew that already, of course. Here's some new evidence. It comes in the form of real estate records and construction permits — in Loudoun County. The pandemic has put some people out of work and sent others to work — or study — from home. We are now living in the Age of Zoom. The implications of that ripple all across the economy, but eventually they show up in Northern Virginia.

Amendment 1 deserves voters' support

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

A proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution would dramatically change how the commonwealth draws lines to govern representation in Congress and the General Assembly. It is not perfect, as the strong opposition of Black lawmakers attests, but it is also not a piecemeal solution to a problem once thought intractable. It would establish greater independence for those making the maps and greater oversight by the public — and is therefore deserving of voters' support.

Never-ending session wasn't special

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

About the only thing "special" about the General Assembly's special session this year is that it lasted longer and got much less done than the 46-day regular legislative session that ended in March. The legislature had already passed a $135 billion biennium budget, and Gov. Ralph Northam's subsequent freeze on new state spending in April, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit Virginia, should have made short work of adjusting budgetary wish lists to the new coronavirus reality.


Smith: Vote for Virginia's gerrymandering solution

By PAUL SMITH, published in Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Virginia has taken a big step toward addressing its historic issues with racial and partisan gerrymandering, but voters need to close the deal this fall for any progress to be realized.

Smith is the vice president of Campaign Legal Center, a nationally recognized election law expert and Supreme Court litigator who resides in Rappahannock County.

Adams and Kiggans: Rethink pay cut for dedicated medical professionals

By DEL. DAWN M. ADAMS AND SEN. JEN A. KIGGANS, published in Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Recently there was little fanfare after an article was published highlighting Virginia's largest insurance company's decision to lower reimbursement rates for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) by 15-20%. Anthem had been reimbursing for medical services based on the service provided, not the service provider, meaning it paid 100% reimbursement for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Adams is a board-certified adult nurse practitioner and a Democrat who represents the 68th District in the House of Delegates. Kiggans is a board-certified adult-geriatric nurse practitioner and a Republican who represents the 7th District in the Senate.

Morse: Sometimes the fight is more important than winning it

By GORDON C. MORSE, published in Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Just a little more than two weeks remain until the Nov. 3 election and then what? Uncertainties cloud the path forward, but at least the noise emanating from closer in will dissipate. Some. The ads will stop, finally, but the campaigns may echo for a while. Especially the presidential one. And there will be difficulty for those who lose at all levels. Almost no one ever thinks about that part.

After writing editorials for the Daily Press and The Virginian-Pilot in the 1980s, Gordon C. Morse wrote speeches for Gov. Gerald L. Baliles.

Alexander: Toll relief should be part of any tunnel contract deal

By KENNETH ALEXANDER, published in Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Underwritten by public money and financed by millions of dollars in tolls collected from our residents, Elizabeth River Crossing Opco LLC has operated the Downtown and Midtown tunnels since 2014. The two multinational firms that own ERC are set to sell the remaining 50 years of their exclusive contract to operate the tunnels. The contract includes the right to increase tolls at a rate of at least 3.5% annually until 2069, as well as the power to influence the scope and scale of any transportation project that may offer commuters alternative routes and choices that impact current tunnel traffic.

Alexander is the mayor of Norfolk.

Invite Friends to read VaNews

Invite two friends to read VaNews and you'll receive VaViews, a weekly compilation of commentary from a variety of viewpoints.


You don't have any referrals yet.

Or use your personal referral link:

For questions email
Participation in the VaNews Referral Program constitutes your acceptance of the VPAP Terms and Conditions of Use.

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Virginia Public Access Project · P.O. Box 1472 · Richmond, VA 23218 · USA

No comments:

Post a Comment