Commentary

COMMENTARY

How to bring the ‘missing middle’ to Virginia housing development

BY: - July 23, 2021

Standalone house or an apartment? When looking for a place to call home most folks know what type of housing they want, but what if there were more choices on the market? Last month Norfolk’s city council approved a Missing Middle Pattern Book full of free designs and schematics for dozens of so-called “middle housing”: […]

COMMENTARY

New COVID-19 vaccine warnings show the system to report side effects is working

BY: - July 22, 2021

By Justin Vesser, University of Virginia While the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S. have been proved to be safe and effective, recent reports of rare adverse events, or side effects, have raised concerns. On July 12, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved an update to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet […]

COMMENTARY

Curbing killings also means changing culture

BY: - July 21, 2021

Anti-violence groups in the commonwealth, spurred on by a national organization started by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, have staked a claim for tens of millions of dollars in federal pandemic and economy-boosting money at the General Assembly’s disposal. The fledgling Virginia Community Violence Coalition has made a smart, critical bid for $37 million of […]

COMMENTARY

Why the PRO Act makes sense for workers and the middle class

BY: - July 20, 2021

By Thomas King Over the past few months, advocates, including the Democratic Socialists of America, labor unions and other groups, have made more than a million calls to encourage voters who support labor rights to call their senators in support of the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize). Since we began, Sens. Joe Manchin […]

COMMENTARY

 For Virginia, climate action is a matter of faith

BY: - July 20, 2021

By Karen McElfish This past year has challenged Virginia in unforeseeable ways. Our faith communities have been tested by not one, but four converging crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession, racial inequalities and the climate crisis. As the nation hoped and prayed for a better future, it was the wisdom and guidance of our […]

COMMENTARY
living shoreline

As coastal flooding worsens, some cities are retreating from the water

BY: - July 19, 2021

By A.R. Siders, University of Delaware and Katharine Mach, University of Miami When the tide gets exceptionally high in Charleston, South Carolina, coastal streets start to run with seawater. Some yards become ponds, and residents pull on rain boots. The city also gets a lot of rain. After homes in one low-lying neighborhood flooded three times […]

COMMENTARY

Mentally ill patients, and their families, deserve better from Virginia government

BY: - July 19, 2021

By Margaret Rood The Mercury’s  story on mental health hospitalizations in Virginia evokes some worrisome questions concerning the direction our legislature intends to pursue in addressing the commonwealth’s mental health crisis. Sen. George Barker, D-Fairfax, said “Right now, I think the sense is we don’t want to build more beds if that’s not what we […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia aims to slow down drivers. Will it work?

BY: - July 16, 2021

In the first half of last year, Americans drove 264.2 billion fewer miles than over the same timespan in 2019. Fewer miles driven didn’t translate to fewer fatalities, though. In 2020, traffic deaths shot up 7.2 percent nationwide and speeding-related crashes increased 11 percent. Here in the commonwealth, that terrifying trend meant that 847 people […]

COMMENTARY
The State Corporation Commission

Legislators built a solar program for apartment dwellers. The SCC gutted it.

BY: - July 15, 2021

The State Corporation Commission recently finalized regulations for the Multifamily Shared Solar Program, created by the General Assembly to give residents of apartment buildings and condominiums the ability to use solar energy from panels installed on their buildings. But in implementing the program, the SCC also made sure it can never be used.   Dominion Energy […]

COMMENTARY

A clearer picture is emerging of Glenn Youngkin

BY: - July 14, 2021

It was difficult, at first, figuring out who Glenn Youngkin is. The Republican nominee for governor in Virginia has been something of a chameleon so far, hard to characterize, often evasive on positions.  You get the sense this is no accident, that the candidate and his campaign would prefer to spout pithy platitudes – “We […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia’s Congressional delegation should support the president’s tax justice proposals

BY: - July 14, 2021

By Chris Wodicka As the immediate crisis of the pandemic and recession abates, Congress has a rare opportunity to address long-standing needs, including many that pre-dated the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Biden administration and congressional negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement to fund physical infrastructure improvements — like roads and bridges — additional legislation has been […]

COMMENTARY

Eviction prevention is not housing investment

BY: - July 13, 2021

By Michelle Krocker America has a housing crisis — an affordability crisis, as well as a housing-supply crisis. Recently, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing that over the last 20 years new housing starts (new residential construction projects) fell 5.5 million units short of long-term historical levels. “The scale of the problem […]