Commentary

Land acknowledgments meant to honor Indigenous people too often do the opposite

BY: - October 14, 2021

By Elisa J. Sobo, San Diego State University; and Michael Lambert and Valerie Lambert, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Many events these days begin with land acknowledgments: earnest statements acknowledging that activities are taking place, or institutions, businesses and even homes are built, on land previously owned by Indigenous peoples. And many organizations […]

Virginia has the ability to fix our crumbling schools. Do we have the will?

BY: - October 14, 2021

By Keith Perrigan The school infrastructure crisis in Virginia is well-documented and longstanding. The most recent data provided by the Virginia Department of Education shows that the total cost to replace schools that are at least 50 years old would carry a price tag of over $25 billion. Unfortunately, school divisions that serve high poverty […]

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 […]

Congrats on the baby — now pay up

BY: - October 12, 2021

By Jasmine Winter Here’s a notice a new mom shouldn’t receive: “Your doctor ordered a test to see if the membranes around your baby were leaking.  The procedure is not approvable under the plan clinical criteria because there is no proof or not enough proof that it works as well as other tests to check […]

A nightmare before Christmas: Unresolved, Senate debt limit posturing risks a financial crash

BY: - October 11, 2021

The myopic partisan brinksmanship that is the predominant pursuit of Congress these days reached a seeming impasse last week over a critical vote to raise the federal debt limit before our elected elites did what they do best: kick the can down the road. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered the Democrats, who hold […]

A major Second Amendment case before the Supreme Court could topple gun restrictions

BY: - October 8, 2021

By Eric Ruben, Southern Methodist University The stakes in one of the most significant Second Amendment cases in U.S. history are high. The Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, expected by mid-2022, could declare a New York state restriction on carrying concealed handguns in public places unconstitutional. Such […]

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 […]

Amid our fellow citizens’ foolish choices, how do we maintain our empathy?

BY: - October 7, 2021

By Charlene Briner A distant cousin of mine recently died of COVID-19. We had long ago lost touch when we both moved from our North Dakota hometown, me to Minnesota by way of stops in Florida and Georgia, and she to Texas, where she worked as a teacher, got married and raised a family for […]

The debate on Latino vs. Latinx vs. Hispanic is the song that never ends

BY: - October 6, 2021

Growing up in El Paso, Texas, in the ’80s and ’90s, the diversity at my school could’ve been broken down into two categories — children who were born in the United States and students who weren’t.  But almost all of the students’ families came from Mexico at some point, and we called ourselves Mexican-Americans or […]

Electric regulators should reject fixed-charge increases

BY: - October 5, 2021

Okay, folks, the kids are back in school, so in their honor we are all going to do a word problem!  Bob Rich lives in a sprawling subdivision of large, single-family homes. Bob has a pool and a hot tub and outdoor lights he keeps on all night. Bob’s four children have loads of electronic […]

With Trump sidelined and Biden floundering, has the Virginia GOP found its mojo?

BY: - October 4, 2021

For a politician, having a worst enemy is way better than having a solid ally. It’s not easy to rouse your village without a Grendel to vanquish. You have to come up with boring stuff like ideas for better ways to govern or how to fix what’s broken. Virginia Democrats have had an impressive decade-long […]

What’s missing in Virginia’s efforts to develop former surface mines

BY: - October 1, 2021

By Wally Smith Sarah Vogelsong’s Sept. 20 piece, “Can Southwest Virginia remake itself as a laboratory for renewables?” detailed a positive step forward in the Southwest Virginia coalfields’ transition towards a diversified energy economy. However, it was concerning to see several references made throughout the article referring to the region’s former minelands as consequence-free zones […]