Roger Chesley

Roger Chesley

Longtime columnist and editorial writer Roger Chesley worked at the (Newport News) Daily Press and The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot from 1997 through 2018. He previously worked at newspapers in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Detroit. Reach him at [email protected]


On guns, bipartisanship clears a very low hurdle in Virginia

By: - March 17, 2023

Young children and teenagers in Virginia have proved they can get their hands on guns and harm themselves and others. The firearms might have been right in their own homes.   Against this backdrop, lawmakers in the General Assembly passed almost no new gun legislation this year to stem the ongoing carnage. It was as if […]


Dominion bill increases state oversight. Why do I still have heartburn?

By: - March 6, 2023

State lawmakers and consumer activists say the new legislation overseeing Dominion Energy, which places strong regulatory control back with the State Corporation Commission and adjusts the utility’s profit margin, is a huge win for customers across the commonwealth. Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who played a key role in the negotiations, will almost certainly sign it.  “Dominion […]


Legislators tolerate asbestos, rodents in schools instead of helping build new ones

By: - February 27, 2023

State legislators know Virginia’s aging schools are crumbling and need to be replaced – to the tune of $25 billion for K-12 buildings that are at least a half-century old. The General Assembly’s own ad hoc Commission on School Construction and Modernization said so about the 1,000-plus structures around the commonwealth.  Here’s what children face […]


Black people live every day with hurdles that former health chief tried to diminish

By: - February 17, 2023

News this week that the richest Black mothers and their babies are twice as likely to die in the year after childbirth than their white counterparts is just one indicator of why Colin Greene, the onetime chief of the Virginia Health Department, was rejected by the state Senate.   Similar medical facts contribute to why Democratic […]


Administration’s politicization of history standards deserves an ‘F’

By: - February 10, 2023

Totally unnecessary. Totally predictable.  Virginia’s prolonged, excruciating review of the state’s K-12 history and social science standards – now on its third major draft, for goodness’ sake – should’ve occurred with much less meddling by state officials. What could’ve been a straightforward exercise in updating the curriculum has become mired in politicization by Gov. Glenn […]


Norfolk mall’s precarious status shared by other malls around Virginia

By: - February 2, 2023

The announcement that Norfolk’s downtown mall is up for sale isn’t quite a death knell for the complex, but it’s surely a worrisome clanging. It’s naïve to think otherwise, given the track record of malls across Virginia and nationwide in recent years.    The news about MacArthur Center in Norfolk, though, is especially dispiriting. The three-story […]


Credit company’s laxness jacked up my info; I got a lousy 5 bucks

By: - January 26, 2023

Equifax’s financial mea culpa arrived in my mailbox the other day. I eagerly tore open the envelope the credit reporting firm sent me.   Would the check be a cool $125, as the feds originally touted in helping reach the class-action settlement? Or, given the humongous number of claimants, something much, much less?    The company’s […]


Reluctant, distrustful witnesses are key to solving homicides

By: - January 23, 2023

Kelvin Wright, the recently retired police chief of Chesapeake, remains bewildered by the slaying of Daevon Shaquille Miller outside a restaurant-nightclub several years ago. Scores of people witnessed a murder and stayed quiet – except for posting photos of the crime on the internet.  “Well over 100 people were there,” Wright told me this week, […]


Virginia should fully fund public education before prioritizing vouchers

By: - January 12, 2023

Virginia is one of the richest states in the nation in median household income, often among the top ten. State legislators, however, consistently fail to meet the funding standards set by the Virginia Board of Education for students in K-12 public schools.   We rank near the bottom in per-pupil spending for public education, at a […]


Proposed fund for victims, families is vital but lamentable

By: - January 5, 2023

Victims of large-scale violent attacks, as well as family members of those killed, may soon get financial help to pay for long-term medical and psychological care in the commonwealth. The aid would include out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance.   Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently signaled support for creating the Virginia Mass Violence Care Fund, pledging $10 […]


Felons who voted likely thought they could do so legally

By: - December 15, 2022

State election officials should thank Stephanie Iles, Norfolk’s general registrar and director of elections. She helped uncover a computer glitch that allowed more than 10,000 felons to stay on voter rolls after they were convicted of new crimes making them ineligible – again – to vote. The fact state officials were unaware of the problem […]

A parking lot outside a UVA dorm was filled with hundreds of state police cruisers on Wednesday afternoon. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 8, 2018)

Take no shortcuts in boosting police agencies to full strength  

By: - December 8, 2022

Consider all the ways police departments around Virginia are working to fill vacancies in their ranks:  Offering signing bonuses. Boosting salaries. Attending military, community and college career fairs. Making it simpler for service members to transition from their military branch to patrol cars. Hyping careers in law enforcement on social media platforms. Recruiting outside their […]