Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, defended a remedial redistricting proposal that a House panel advanced Thursday on a party-line vote. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Sept. 27, 2018)

Redistricting: There’s a better way to do this

BY: - June 19, 2019

Here we are, just a year and a half from the 2021 redistricting in the commonwealth, and Virginia finally has legitimate legislative and congressional maps following the politicized process in 2011. This resolution comes by way of a U.S. Supreme Court decision this week. A 5-4 majority of the justices said the Republican-controlled state House […]

What’s behind increasing FOIA fees? Email has a lot to do with it

BY: - June 13, 2019

Twenty years ago, open government advocates across the country were urging legislatures to modernize public records laws by moving past antiquated definitions of public records. Not only were they trying to drop the cumbersome lists of every type of record that could be used in the transaction of public business, they were also trying to […]

Let’s honor Virginia Beach with action

BY: - June 12, 2019

By Kris Brown Once again, our state is reeling from the epidemic of gun violence. Twelve years after 32 people were shot and killed at my alma mater, Virginia Tech. Nine years after eight were shot and killed in Appomattox. Four years after Alison Parker and Adam Ward were shot and killed on camera in […]

There’s a way past gun gridlock

BY: - June 9, 2019

The smart money is on a fruitless stalemate during the special session Gov. Ralph Northam has called on gun violence in the wake of the shooting that killed 12 in a municipal building in Virginia Beach. Republican leaders, who cling to narrow majorities in the House of Delegates and Senate, say they have no intention […]

Virginia’s largest city joins an ever-expanding, grisly list

BY: - June 2, 2019

Virginia Beach, with its 450,000 people, typically boasts of its stellar public schools, miles-long sandy Oceanfront, high median household income and the Navy’s East Coast master jet base. Native son and entertainer Pharrell Williams put the place on the global map just a few weeks ago, when he hosted a jam-packed, widely lauded festival. This […]

At long last, Dominion decides it’s game on for offshore wind

BY: - May 30, 2019

When utility regulators gave Dominion Energy Virginia the go-ahead to build two offshore wind turbines last November, it was still unclear whether the pilot project might be the end as well as the beginning of offshore wind in Virginia. Now, however, Dominion seems to have decided it’s game on. Although the company hasn’t issued any […]

Tell us about the UFOs already, Mr. President

BY: - May 30, 2019

Maybe he’ll tell us about the UFOs. If there was a sliver of a silver lining to the election of a vacuous, mendacious reality show star, conspiracy theorist and mediocre insult comic to the highest office in the land — someone with little respect for the presidency except as a mirror to his limitless vanity […]

Unfortunately, getting old means fighting off the scammers

BY: - May 29, 2019

It’s easy to think we’d never get taken for a chump the way septuagenarian Judy Fern was — to the tune of nearly $200,000. Phone scammers convinced the woman in November 2017 to turn over access to her computer. Then, these so-called “tech support experts” persuaded Fern she needed to buy dozens of scratch-off gift […]

Fighting myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings about race, slavery and the Civil War

BY: - May 23, 2019

Slaves were treated well. Blacks fought in large numbers for the Confederacy. The Civil War was about states’ rights. These are myths, spread to dress up the horrors of slavery and justify Confederates, historians say. Many have racist origins. Historians and others say we can never achieve racial peace in America unless we acknowledge the […]

Amid tech advances, say ‘yes’ to due process

BY: - May 22, 2019

Police in the Big Apple use every technique at their disposal – including DNA – to solve horrendous crimes in the nation’s largest city. Even when New York’s cops play fast-and-loose with the constitutional rights of residents. Even when they conduct large “fishing expeditions” that lead to legitimate allegations of racially biased policing. In this […]

From here to single payer, a path forward

BY: - May 15, 2019

High health insurance costs and high numbers of uninsured have generated political pressure to adopt a single-payer health care system. The challenge for single-payer advocates is to convince the general population that a conversion to a single-payer system will not bankrupt the government nor deprive them of quality healthcare. The solution is to implement an […]

It’s not too late to change our shameful collective impotence on mass shootings

BY: - May 14, 2019

Call it a classic case of the grass always being greener. Growing up in Miami, surrounded by beaches and palm trees — even lucky enough every so often to see an escapee from the nearby Parrot Jungle at our bird feeder or roosting in our ficus tree — I dreamed sometimes of being somewhere else. […]