For Virginia, climate action is a matter of faith
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 […]
As coastal flooding worsens, some cities are retreating from the water
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 […]
Mentally ill patients, and their families, deserve better from Virginia government
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 […]
Virginia aims to slow down drivers. Will it work?
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 […]
Legislators built a solar program for apartment dwellers. The SCC gutted it.
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 […]
A clearer picture is emerging of Glenn Youngkin
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 […]
Virginia’s Congressional delegation should support the president’s tax justice proposals
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 […]
Eviction prevention is not housing investment
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 […]
Don’t be surprised if the GOP tests its anti-crime message in Virginia. But will it work?
One thing is sure watching local TV newscasts anywhere in America: if it bleeds, it leads. The nightly roundup of shootings, fires, sensational car crashes and other calamities has always been a mainstay of local broadcast journalism. And these days, gun deaths take up considerably more airtime. Nationally and in Virginia, numbers of incidents in […]
More smiles. More health. More life.
Kyle Willis is the poster man for the importance of maintaining healthy teeth. Not “poster child.” The 24-year-old’s story is one sadly shared by too many low-income adults across the country, though not always with the tragic outcome Willis endured. It’s astounding what he experienced could happen in the United States. That’s why a new […]
Hampton Roads is on its way to becoming a wind capital
By Katharine Kollins In the year since the enactment of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, Virginia has been on its way to achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, aided by a planned 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. As a testament to VCEA’s success, Virginia has become one of the national leaders in […]
On the divisive issue of guns, differences between red and blue weren’t always so black and white
No one who hasn’t lived as a hermit in a cave in Borneo the past few decades can profess ignorance of the potent role the implacable dispute over gun rights vs. gun control plays in today’s politics. If you’re a Republican, you can’t love unfettered rights to own and use firearms enough. It’s a sine […]