COMMENTARY

By Jolene MafnasWith early voting beginning later this month in the gubernatorial primary, candidates for Virginia’s highest political office are already off to the races. As candidates work to carve out a niche for themselves among the crowded field, they are turning to climate change to make their boldest...
To hear some candidates tell it, a decision last week by the State Board of Elections is heavy-handed and reeks of political chicanery. The board’s move prevents a few Democratic Party challengers from getting on the primary ballot in contests for the House of Delegates this year. The three-member board,...
When the General Assembly created the Transit Rider Incentive Program (TRIP) as part of Gov. Ralph Northam’s 2020 transportation omnibus, the lion’s share of the funding was allocated to support new regional bus routes. With COVID’s cancellation of much commuter service across the commonwealth, those dollars are now being...
Virginia owes much to a smokable weed.Look no farther than the ceiling of the state Capitol Rotunda to see painted representations of garlands of the golden-brown leaf that was essential to Virginia’s founding 400 years ago.The Virginia Company of London, chartered as a joint stock company, encountered lean times...
One of the most exciting areas of energy technology today is storage. With wind and solar now the leading sources of new energy capacity in the U.S., maximizing their potential in the future depends on the development of storage solutions with different durations and applications. We tend to think first...
Growing up in the nation’s capital, I always felt congresspeople considered themselves overseers of local residents. They weren’t benevolent ones, either.The plantation reference is harsh, I know. Yet it’s accurate, since predominantly Black officials from the District of Columbia were forced to go, hat in hand, for approval of...
By Jennifer T. Grier, University of South CarolinaA few weeks ago, a message popped up in the corner of my screen. “What do you think about people who have recently had COVID–19 getting the vaccine?” A friend of mine was eligible for a COVID–19 vaccine, but she had recently...
Far from the mass urban exodus predicted at the beginning of the pandemic a year ago, the great real estate reshuffling of 2020 actually witnessed property values in some cities and suburbs across the commonwealth soar by as much as 9.6 percent. The booming demand for housing coupled with...
I got my second and final dose of COVID-19 vaccine last week, my ticket back to normal.I’d still be among the unprotected if not for a wonderful and computer-savvy wife who kept hitting “refresh” on the CVS website to connect me with the Moderna vaccine 2½-hours away from Richmond.The...
By Christopher LeyenIn 1990, heavy rainfall overpowered a holding dam at the Brewer Gold Mine in Jefferson, South Carolina, where gold had been pulled from the earth going back to 1828. The spill sent 10 million gallons of the cyanide solution used to process gold into a nearby tributary...