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]


Youngkin quickly embraces culture wars, telegraphing a worrisome four years

By: - January 20, 2022

That didn’t take long. At all. Gov. Glenn Youngkin roared out of the starting blocks after being sworn in a few days ago: He issued executive orders and authored proclamations and promulgated his own share of wrongheadedness. His actions will surely inflame the culture wars. The moves won’t necessarily be effective, either.  His fellow Republicans […]


Bolster our dispirited medical workers by getting vaccines, wearing masks, being unselfish

By: - January 13, 2022

We have broken our frontline health-care workers during the pandemic, mostly because of the intransigence of too many Americans. A microcosm of those results can be seen in the death of Alva Daniels, a respiratory therapist from Roanoke. You should read The Washington Post’s recent feature on Daniels. He was just 38 when he committed […]


The outgoing AG threw down a gauntlet on discriminatory policing. Will his successor pick it up?

By: - January 5, 2022

Mark Herring, the soon-to-be former Virginia attorney general, has thrown down the gauntlet against the policing practices in the small town of Windsor.  The question is whether Jason Miyares, Herring’s successor, will take it up – ensuring fair treatment of Blacks, Latinos and other people of color during traffic stops by law enforcement agencies. We’ll […]


A last-minute budget gambit won’t solve gun violence in Virginia

By: - December 22, 2021

Ralph Northam, the soon-to-be former governor, waited until this month to announce a $27.4 million firearm violence prevention center in Virginia. It would “continue the work of reducing violence and making Virginia safe for everyone,” he said. The move is noble. And largely an empty gesture.  Northam, a Democrat, rolled the plan into his final […]


New legislative maps keep faith with Virginia voters

By: - December 16, 2021

Voting advocates, civic activists and everyday Virginians should commend draft redistricting maps that so-called “special masters” drew at the behest of the state Supreme Court.  What about current lawmakers who would have to campaign over new territory, or face off against fellow incumbents because of the new maps? Not so much.  U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, […]


Will Youngkin’s rigid regulation-slashing pledge clash with common sense?

By: - December 9, 2021

Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s soon-to-be-inaugurated governor, made hay out of several campaign slogans that propelled him to an upset victory in November. The Republican political novice, for instance, often stated he would slash 25 percent of “job-killing regulations” on day one after he takes the oath of office Jan. 15. There was Youngkin last week, proclaiming […]

The Richmond Times-Dispatch's downtown office building. (Ned Oliver/Virginia-Mercury)

Don’t let a predatory company weaken local news coverage even more in Virginia

By: - December 1, 2021

It’s no surprise journalists at the Richmond Times-Dispatch and other newspapers around the country are fighting a takeover bid by Alden Global Capital. It’s one of the most rapacious hedge funds targeting the media industry today, and its arrogant executives have proven they don’t care a whit about the carnage they unleash on communities. Writers, […]


Virginia, there’s lots of people to be thankful for this year

By: - November 24, 2021

Delena Buffalow took a gander at the two turkeys in the tub before her. She seized them by the drumsticks and gave them a sanitizing dip in vinegar and water.  Buffalow said Sunday she’d also rinse the generous-sized gobblers in this pantry-kitchen. The building, in a Chesapeake shopping center, forms the base of operations for […]


When gun violence and domestic violence intertwine: Overhaul a culture of disdain and disrespect

By: - November 17, 2021

Weep for Nicole Lovewine, 45; her longtime partner, Detra Brown, 42; and Sara Costine, 44. All three were gunned down, and two other women wounded, in a spasm of rage that Norfolk law-enforcement authorities say was linked to domestic violence. I could’ve said “three women” to start this column. But that trite anonymity tends to […]


Maybe now we can lay the ‘election integrity’ talk to rest

By: - November 10, 2021

I doubt seriously that Thomas Youngkin, the 17-year-old son of Virginia’s newly minted governor, tried to pull a fast one by voting illegally on Election Day.  He must have been excited his father was running for the state’s highest office. Thomas went overboard in supporting his dad – even though you have to be at […]


Find a better way to balance police budgets

By: - November 4, 2021

When you get behind the wheel next time, please do an informal mental check. What I’m asking will help explain the enormous power – and misguided priorities – of too many police officers out on patrol.  They’re just following orders from local officials, however, for the most part. While driving, did you stop completely at […]


Critical race theory critics want students to be ignorant about race, history

By: - October 28, 2021

Two more Virginia localities, York and Chesterfield counties, have been snookered. They’re diving into a bogus controversy over what school divisions should teach about race, history and America.  Gleeful conservatives have sparked a new culture war over “critical race theory,” despite the repeated insistence by K-12 public schools and state education officials that it’s not […]