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]

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 […]


The pulpit, politics and proverbial slaps on the wrist

By: - October 20, 2021

Stick out your hand, Terry McAuliffe. Let me give you a proverbial “slap on the wrist” for the fawning video that Vice President Kamala Harris provided your gubernatorial campaign. It will be shown in 300 predominantly Black churches across Virginia on the Sundays leading up to the Nov. 2 election.  “Virginians, you deserve a leader […]


Redistricting stalemate may have been inevitable. It doesn’t mean the effort was useless.

By: - October 13, 2021

Gridlock and intransigence were predictable when Virginia’s first-ever redistricting commission met to draw new maps for legislative and congressional seats. It was probably inevitable, given the rampant partisanship that pervades politics everywhere in the country – including in the commonwealth. That doesn’t mean the new exercise was “staring at failure,” as one harsh headline blared […]


The threat of domestic terrorism hits home

By: - October 7, 2021

The just-revealed plot to kill Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, no matter how tentative or ephemeral, might well strike fear in anyone in the public sphere. It’s an indicator of the depths of hatred and the eagerness to commit violence among folks who don’t get their way at the ballot box. It’s why domestic terrorists […]


‘Visionary’ leader altered the trajectory of Christopher Newport University

By: - September 30, 2021

Paul Trible – visionary, top showman, eternal optimist – is calling it quits from the academic institution he’s led for a quarter-century. His distinctive stamp will remain for decades at Christopher Newport University, the Peninsula site he has transformed so dramatically that it hardly resembles the place where he became president in 1996.  I usually […]


Roll up your sleeves and get the shot

By: - September 16, 2021

TO: All unvaccinated Virginians FROM: A beleaguered, vaccinated neighbor I get it. You’re anti-authoritarian. You’re independent, and unreceptive to dictates from the government. Maybe you’re fearful still today – in spite of all the evidence to the contrary – about unlikely risks associated with the shots to fight COVID-19.  You’re essential in this ongoing battle. […]


Hey incumbents, the General Assembly will survive without you

By: - September 10, 2021

George Barker may have thought he was in the clear. The state senator from Northern Virginia was the chief sponsor of his chamber’s bill to hold a voter referendum last year to start a redistricting commission. Citizens approved the plan by a large margin. Surely the Fairfax County Democrat, in the Senate since 2008, would find smooth […]