Politics/Government

Senator calls for marijuana decriminalization

Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, would make simple marijuana possession a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine.

A senator from Northern Virginia is urging the General Assembly to decriminalize marijuana possession, as about 20 other states have done.
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Senate limits out-of-state access to gun permit records

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The state Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would prohibit certain out-of-state police agencies from accessing information regarding concealed weapon permits issued by the commonwealth of Virginia.
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Single-stream recycling starts soon

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Jan. 22
Recycled cans, by Tom Morris via Wikimedia Commons

If the weather cooperates, Rappahannock County should be offering single-stream recycling — glass, metal, plastic and office paper in one container — by sometime next month.
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The county in court

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Jan. 22

The county government — or, more specifically, attorneys for the school board and supervisors whose fees are paid by government liability insurance policies — has been spending more than the usual amount of time in circuit court these last few past months.
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On Common Ground: Don’t tax away gas price relief

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Jan. 22

Let people take advantage of the price-of-oil breather while they can, writes Bill Walton. Instead of the gas tax, let them invest in themselves.
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Going green? You should probably walk there.

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Jan. 22
Via Pixabay

Beneath the Keystone XL debate and our current oil glut, a low-impact, forgotten carbon fuel remains buried. In us.
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Letter: Shining a light upon truth

John Kiser’s opinion piece in last weeks’ Rappahannock News couldn’t be timelier in the aftermath of the recent horror in Paris. John brings forth a shining example of an Islamist emir who, after fighting the French for the right reasons, losing, and then being imprisoned and terribly mistreated, was able to “turn the other...
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Letter: No pain, no gain

I heartily support raising the gas tax. As pointed out in last week’s editorial, the state of our transportation infrastructure is abysmal and we are doing nothing about it. While no one enjoys paying taxes, I think most people are willing to share the burden of cost for services provided them. The gas tax...
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Letter: A request for our man in Richmond

An open letter to Del. Michael Webert (R-18th): As residents of Rappahannock County, we urge you to do all you can to ensure the protection of our lands and landscapes; supporting the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit is one meaningful and effective way. With the human presence increasingly felt and seen throughout the world,...
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Lawmakers seek to curb heroin overdose epidemic

Carolyn Weems, who lost a daughter to heroin, speaks at a heroin overdose legislation conference in Richmond Tuesday.

Attorney General Mark Herring and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers are seeking passage of four bills addressing the heroin and prescription painkiller abuse epidemic in Virginia, including one that would hold drug dealers accountable for overdose deaths.
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Bill denying in-state tuition to immigrants fails

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The Virginia Senate on Tuesday narrowly defeated a bill to deny in-state tuition to so-called “DREAM-ers” – young adults who immigrated illegally to the U.S. as children.
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Ethics is a key issue for 2015 assembly

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With a former governor heading to prison for corruption and his successor calling for a cap on gifts to politicians, ethics reform is high on the agenda for the Virginia General Assembly’s 2015 session.
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Lawmakers seek to restrict drones

Richmond lawmakers consider regulation of drones this session.

Five bills before the General Assembly would restrict the use of drones in Virginia, including one that would let localities prohibit even hobbyists from flying small unmanned aircraft.
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Coalition seeks more open state government

Ben Greenberg, legislative coordinator of Virginia Organizing, an advocacy group for low-income people and a member of Transparency Virginia.

Seventeen organizations that support open government in Virginia have formed a coalition to increase transparency in the General Assembly and foster greater citizen participation.
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Bill would require AG to defend Va. Constitution

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A Republican legislator from Williamsburg is pushing for a law to require the state attorney general to defend the Virginia Constitution — which the current officeholder, Democrat Mark Herring, declined to do regarding the commonwealth’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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School board declines cell tower lease

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Jan. 15
Detail from an AT&T mockup, based on a balloon test, of what the planned Boston tower would look like from 400 feet away.

By a vote of 3-2, the Rappahannock County School Board Tuesday night (Jan. 13) voted against entering a controversial lease agreement with Community Wireless Structures (CWS), the Arlington company which had offered to construct a monopole for prospective mobile carriers on high school property.
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Town attends to planning, plant

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Jan. 15

The Washington Town Council filled a planning commission seat and decided to monitor what's going into the wastewater plant from a dozen non-residential buildings around town.
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Governor outlines ‘opportunity’ agenda

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In a move he said would boost the state’s economy, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is asking legislators to remove the requirement that Virginia women get an ultrasound before having an abortion and to “create a more inclusive environment for LGBT Virginians and business owners.”
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Governor, delegate tout bipartisan transportation bills

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Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Delegate Chris Jones of Suffolk, have joined forces to push for two bills aimed at reforming the state’s transportation system.
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Panel rejects bill to expand hate crimes law

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A Senate committee on Wednesday voted along party lines to defeat a bill to include sexual orientation and gender identification in the state’s definition of hate crimes.
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House Republicans unveil education reforms

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House Republican leaders outlined their K-12 education agenda for the 2015 General Assembly on Thursday, echoing several goals announced by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe a day earlier.
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School Board pressed on cell details

VFOIA-8W

A Sperryville resident files a civil action (to be heard Jan. 12) to force the county school board to respond to a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request for all its cell tower-related communications. Update: The school board asks for 7 more days and $400.
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Some snow, some salt, more brine

courtesy photo

Rappahannock's supervisors are told that VDOT studied the alternatives to rock salt — as a resolution passed by the supervisors in April had requested — but that no major change to snow and ice removal policies is planned.
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Appointments and transitions

David Konick appointed to BZA, retiring Weinbergs (both former BZA chair Robert and longtime Theatre owner Wendy) and RRCSB representative Sandra Maskas honored by board of supervisors.
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Letter: Inquiring minds have a legal right to know

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Jan. 8

A couple of years ago when the original proposal for a cell tower at Rappahannock County High School was first mentioned, I took to the internet to find out how other communities have dealt with similar proposals. Without fail, these situations have been “controversial.” The cellular industry insists that the emissions from the towers...
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Letter: The end of it

Pink plastic made the letter writer see red.

Recent actions by Chris Parrish, supervisor for the Stonewall-Hawthorne district, only elevated my appreciation of the individual and the dedicated work an elected official will do for the citizens of this community. Several weeks ago I attended a Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors meeting which discussed an objectionable littering problem in the county, that...
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Letter: School cell tower concern

I am very concerned about the Rappahannock County Public Schools’ plans to lease property for a communications tower and cannot find information anywhere. There is nothing on the school’s website about this and I surely do not see anything on the county’s website. My concerns extend beyond the issue of possible radiation. Yes, I...
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Le pen vs. le pencil

le-pencil

Parents seek funding for mental health services

Steve VanHuss of Hanover County urged legislators to provide more funding to help children with mental and physical disabilities.

Central Virginia residents packed a legislative committee hearing Wednesday to call for more funding for child mental health services, more help for individuals with intellectual disabilities and tighter regulations of private homes providing day care.
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Ex-Gov. McDonnell sentenced to two years in prison

Bob McDonnell speaks to the press after sentencing.

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months in prison after being convicted of 11 felony corruption charges in September.
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U.Va. president seeks leniency for McDonnell

Richmond_Virginia_Capitol

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan is among the more than 400 letter writers urging a federal judge to be lenient Tuesday in sentencing former Gov. Bob McDonnell for corruption.
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Copper Fox Distillery expands to Williamsburg

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announces the Williamsburg distillery project; Copper Fox's Rick Wasmund is at left.

Rick Wasmund’s Copper Fox Distillery, opened in 2004 in Sperryville’s River District, will build its second malting, production, aging and tasting facility in the city of Williamsburg, Va.
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County hires assistant administrator

Debbie Keyser in 2012, when she was appointed  Jefferson County, W. Va. county administrator.

Rappahannock County has hired Debbie Keyser as assistant county administrator.
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Table it

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Jan. 1
By Ben Franske via Wikimedia Commons

With holidays bringing people with disparate views together for meals, columnist Liza Field sees food as the great connector — person to person, people to planet.
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Coverage expanded for fruit, vegetable and specialty crop growers

Greater protection is now available from the USDA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for specialty crops.
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What’s all the digging?

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Dec. 18, 2014
digBox-18

Projects underway in Rappahannock County will bring about single-container recycling next month, and possible higher-speed mobile broadband at some future date.
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Town council adds Aichele

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Dec. 18, 2014
The Washington Town Council appointed Gay Street Inn co-owner Gary Aichele to fill the seat left vacant by Dan Spethmann’s resignation in early November.

The Washington Town Council appointed Gay Street Inn co-owner Gary Aichele to fill the seat left vacant by Dan Spethmann’s resignation in early November.
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Zoning board approves B&B, tourist homes

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Dec. 18, 2014

At its Dec. 4 meeting, the Rappahannock County Board of Zoning Appeals approved special-use permits for two tourist homes, a B&B and a mental-health professional office and tabled a variance request.
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There may be room at the Inn for a post office

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Dec. 11, 2014

Negotiations between the U.S. Postal Service and The Inn at Little Washington are reported to be focused on keeping the post office in the same building at Main and Middle streets that the Inn has leased to the postal facility for more than 25 years.
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Football praised, cell tower decried, board delays deciding

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Dec. 11, 2014

Rappahannock County Public Schools got an excellent turnout for football Tuesday night — which delayed an excellent turnout for (or actually, against) cell towers on school property.
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