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]


Amid Texas tragedy, an unsurprising, red herring-laden speech from Winsome Earle-Sears

By: - June 1, 2022

No one is shocked that Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears refused to say new gun restrictions are needed in the wake of the mass slaying at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last week. After all, she posed with a military-style rifle in campaign mailers while running for office in 2021.  For staunch believers in gun […]

Remembrance and a warning from Hyannis

By: - May 30, 2022

Past the oft-imminent tears threatening my face at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum …  Past the solemness and respect owed to a family that lost three men in service to America – in a wartime explosion and two assassinations that altered U.S. history … And past the images of JFK, toting around a gaggle […]


Restoring rights a good gubernatorial move, but automatic restoration would be better

By: - May 26, 2022

Former felons in Virginia, if they want to become better citizens, should be heartened.  Gov. Glenn Youngkin just announced he’s restored civil rights, including voting, to nearly 3,500 people since he took office in January. The move continues a less-cumbersome process initiated by his predecessors, both Democratic and Republican. “I thought it was amazing in […]


Liberty needs to overhaul its approach on sexual assault

By: - May 5, 2022

Blaming the victims of sexual assault, rather than vigorously investigating men who are rape suspects. Dissuading women from filing criminal reports. Threatening academic and monetary sanctions against women for trumped-up violations of the moral code of conduct. With such accusations being leveled repeatedly against officials at Liberty University – the private institution in Lynchburg known […]


Youngkin and Miyares’ appeal of mask ruling is a harsh publicity stunt

By: - April 28, 2022

Who will benefit from the appeal of a federal court ruling – sought by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares and other administration officials – that would challenge whether 12 students with serious health problems can legally ask classmates and teachers to continue to wear masks? Certainly not the overwhelmingly majority of public school […]


Just deserts for Alex Jones

By: - April 25, 2022

Why should anyone believe Alex Jones ever tells the truth? He’s an execrable conspiracy theorist, huckster of dietary supplements and vile tormenter of parents who lost children in the Sandy Hook massacre. Jones’ Infowars site filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy recently in Texas, delaying civil litigation while his business reorganizes its finances. He claimed Infowars, […]


A workers’ market, in Virginia and elsewhere, awaits anyone still on the sidelines

By: - April 21, 2022

Norfolk’s top administrator wants to raise the minimum wage for municipal employees by an eye-popping $6 an hour, to $18, in the budget year starting July 1. The city has more than 800 vacancies out of 4,844 permanent positions.  Chesapeake, the state’s second-largest city, would boost its minimum wage from $11.17 an hour to $15. […]


Despite denouncing racist Hampton official, GOP’s actions have long alienated Black voters

By: - April 14, 2022

It’s no revelation that many African Americans, in Virginia and nationwide, view the Republican Party as hostile to their aspirations and well-being. The news that a GOP electoral official in Hampton Roads hurled a racial slur at two Black military veterans, and blithely suggested a return to “a good public lynching,” reinforce the view of […]


More Virginia communities add speed cameras at school crossing zones — and that’s a good thing

By: - April 7, 2022

No one should speed in school zones. There’s precious cargo going to and from school buildings, and signs and flashing lights with the appropriate speed limit reminding motorists to slow down. Chesapeake will now join several other localities in the commonwealth that lighten wallets if you don’t ease up on the accelerator. Think of it […]


A long-sought pool for Chesapeake could emerge from the state budget negotiations

By: - March 31, 2022

One city’s decades-old water “drought” may finally be over. Its mayor just announced local officials will finally build a public pool. Forgive the residents of Chesapeake, though, if they don’t rush out to buy bikinis, swimming trunks and inner tubes. Since the city’s founding more than a half-century ago, promises about swimming pools have been […]


We must do something to stem this wanton bloodshed

By: - March 24, 2022

Please make them stop. I’m talking about the wanton, reckless firearm slayings that happen too often in Virginia and around the country. The victims and killers are disproportionately Black men.  This time, an African American woman, Sierra Jenkins, was caught up in the maelstrom and shot dead. The reporter for The Virginian-Pilot had just turned […]

A storm passes over the Capitol. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Sept. 11, 2018)

Falsehoods, pandering to police and prosecutors overturned open-government law

By: - March 16, 2022

It’s no surprise the General Assembly evinces a certain contempt for journalists. After all, we expose legislators’ shortcomings, hypocrisies and pettiness. Lawmakers don’t have to make my job any easier – and it’s rare when they do. Why those folks hold such disdain for Virginia’s residents, though, is puzzling. Because when legislators stick it to […]