Southwest Va.’s energy transition excludes its most important stakeholders: Southwest Virginians

BY: - December 7, 2023

In October 2022, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced a surprise visit to Norton, Virginia’s Rural King shopping center. After gathering in the parking lot, officials whisked members of the press away to a former surface mine outside town.  At the mine, Youngkin unveiled the announcement at the heart of his trip: his administration plans to allocate […]

Thought-policing Va.’s schools: Youngkin consolidates his grip on education’s ruling boards

BY: - December 6, 2023

It’s understandable that a former hedge fund executive who had never held elective office just a few years ago might enter office demanding that his word shall be dictum over all he surveys, especially those whom he appoints.  We saw it just hours after Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s 2022 inauguration when he signed executive directives, some […]

Solar for schools and nonprofits is under siege. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix.

BY: - December 5, 2023

In 2019, Ruth Amundsen and Alden Cleanthes formed a company with a mission to bring the benefits of rooftop solar to low-income communities. Targeting development in Qualified Opportunity Zones, Norfolk Solar installed solar at the historic Wesley Union AME Zion church in Norfolk, the Southside Boys and Girls Club, a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and […]

Deeds’ relentless work has bolstered Virginia’s mental health system

BY: - November 29, 2023

The scars state Sen. Creigh Deeds carries — both physical and psychological — since that awful day 10 years ago have propelled him to overhaul the commonwealth’s imperfect mental health system.  It’s a work in progress. Successes and setbacks continue to occur around the state: A new mental health hospital for children, a rarity nationwide, […]

Author explores gratitude’s dark side — and how being grateful might still rescue us

BY: - November 28, 2023

For the author of a book on gratitude, Diana Butler Bass has what might be a surprising admission: Gratitude didn’t come naturally to her. Bass published “Grateful,” her 12th book, five years ago. But before writing it, “I would not have considered myself a naturally grateful person,” she says. “I always struggled with cultivating gratitude, […]

Why are U.S. politicians so old? And why do they want to stay in office?

BY: - November 27, 2023

When former President Bill Clinton showed up at the White House in early 2023, he was there to join President Joe Biden to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act. It was hard to avoid the fact that it had been three decades since Clinton was in office – yet at 77, […]

We celebrate one 1619 moment in history; another, we try to bury

BY: - November 22, 2023

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It’s a day that popular culture is quick to ascribe to early settlers who landed in Massachusetts sometime in the autumn or early winter of 1621. We see it in perennial promotions for the Black Friday shopping orgy manifest in cliché, cartoonish representations of pilgrim hats, square-toed shoes with big buckles and […]

A 5-point plan for Virginia’s data centers

BY: - November 21, 2023

None of the sessions at last month’s Virginia Clean Energy Summit (VACES) in Richmond were devoted to data centers, but data centers were what everyone was talking about. Explosive growth in that energy-hungry industry has everyone — utilities, the grid operator, and the industry itself — scrambling to figure out how Virginia will provide enough […]

Studies, class-action suit link hair relaxers to cancer; Black women in Virginia are at risk

BY: - November 20, 2023

When I saw reports about a National Institutes of Health study that found women who used chemical hair straighteners known as relaxers were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who didn’t, a sulfur-scented flashback zapped me back to my first experience getting my hair relaxed. I was 10 or 11, […]

Va.’s local innovation ecosystem jeopardized by federal efforts to weaken IP rights

BY: - November 17, 2023

Biomedical innovation has brought hope to patient communities across the country and transformed Virginia’s local life sciences industry. Yet, in attempts to lower costs of prescription drugs, federal lawmakers continue to push for policies that would weaken intellectual property (IP) protections and deplete much-needed future investments in innovation. Virginia is a national leader in medical […]

Early childhood home visiting works. A multi-state collaboration is making it even more effective.

BY: - November 15, 2023

I believe American families are strong, resilient and extraordinary. But that doesn’t mean  they can’t use some help. After all, raising a family is not always easy. As the director of Early Impact Virginia, I work alongside more than 500 family support specialists in the commonwealth, trained professionals who go into homes every day to […]

A divided government is Virginia’s natural condition. Has been for 50 years.

BY: - November 13, 2023

Ever notice that neither party tends to stay in power very long in Virginia? It’s become our natural condition. Cable TV politicos tend to get all breathless from time to time and dye Virginia cardinal red or cobalt blue, depending on which way the pendulum swings from one election cycle to the next. The truth […]