Time to hit the brakes?
From The Virginia Mercury: The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation uses several performance factors including ridership to determine the budget allocations for dozens of transit agencies. But ridership declined during the pandemic because more people were working from home instead of commuting to offices. Now, transit agencies are worried their budgets will be reduced […]
Subpar pay, burnout, pandemic disruptions and a teacher exodus
Virginia has justifiably prided itself on its kindergarten through 12th grade public schools that have been well regarded nationally – certainly as a cut above those of most of her sister Southern states. On average, our student outcomes and college admission statistics have been, over the decades, comparable to those of the perennial elites in […]
Virginia’s answer to Greyhound shows rural areas are worth serving
A Greyhound stopping on the side of a rural road was once so common a sight that it continues to be a television trope despite the implosion of intercity bus service in America over the last half century. In 1970 — back when the U.S. population was just 205 million, the motorcoach industry recorded 130 […]
Elections need civic-minded workers – and fewer lies by politicians
If you’ve ever wanted to work the polls on Election Day in Virginia, you’re in luck. Several localities around the state need help, especially from newly trained aides. Some cities and counties have boosted pay, appealed to residents’ sense of civic duty and emphasized the role everyday Virginians play in ensuring elections run smoothly. “It’s […]
Buckle up, folks: this federal climate bill is going to supercharge Virginia’s energy transition
On Sunday the U.S. Senate passed the historic climate legislation package hammered out between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. The House is expected to follow suit this week, giving President Joe Biden a huge win on one of his administration’s priorities and finally making good on his pledge to […]
Dogwood Dell: a massacre foiled or a tale too good to be true?
If you don’t live near Richmond and get your news from its regional media market, the last time you probably heard of a place called Dogwood Dell was a little over a month ago when Virginia’s capital city made national news for boldly claiming to have foiled a mass shooting. The claim by Richmond’s police […]
Medicaid expansion’s positive ripples come as no surprise
Veteran newspaper people in Detroit taught me the saying, “No (rhymes with spit), Sherlock,” when I was a young journalist back in the early 1980s. The profane phrase – I can’t do it justice in a family publication – was used to refer to a headline or story stating something so obvious, so predictable, that […]
More Richmond gas investments will require taxpayer bailout
By Kevin Cianfarini and Erik Shilts Over the next five years, Richmond Gas Works intends to heavily invest in obsolete infrastructure beneath the city’s surface. Richmond’s most recent Capital Improvement Plan allocates $100 million in new funding, sourced substantially from revenue bonds, to replace an aging methane distribution network. Since the utility and its debt […]
VDOT is introducing variable speed limits, but will congestion care?
“There is such thing as Hell on Earth and it’s I-95N between Richmond and DC,” quipped CBS 6 news anchor Elizabeth Holmes in a recent tweet. The post went viral, echoing a sentiment felt by the countless car users who regularly get caught in congestion between the two capitals. Hoping to decrease driving delays, last […]
Voting restrictions, bereft of evidence, threaten fairness in elections
Only once this century, over six presidential contests, has a Republican candidate attracted more popular votes than his Democratic opponent. That was in 2004, when incumbent George W. Bush narrowly took both the popular and electoral votes and won reelection. Drop boxes for ballots, decried as a nefarious tool by Republican critics, didn’t cause major […]
Bipartisanship and cooperation make Virginia opioid settlement distribution a national model
By Michelle Gowdy In the coming weeks, Virginia and each of its cities and counties will begin to receive the first of several payments from recent legal settlements with the country’s three largest wholesale drug distributors and a major opioid manufacturer that helped fuel the devastating opioid crisis. Virginia and its numerous localities will receive […]