Primary voting, absentee voting, Republican convention.
Absentee voting, including “in-person” absentee voting, is already underway for the June 11 primary, a statewide Democratic party primary for lieutenant governor and attorney general, plus one delegate race in Northern Virginia. Voters in the Democratic primary will choose between Ralph S. Northam and Aneesh Chopra for lieutenant governor; and between Mark R. Herring and Justin E. Fairfax for attorney general.
Under provisions of the Code of Virginia that were strengthened after the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, an individual who has a mental illness and is likely to cause “serious harm to himself or others” or who has “a lack of capacity” to protect himself from harm or to provide for basic human needs and “is in need of hospitalization or treatment,” may be held under a temporary detention order.
Virginia does not benefit from elected officials being awash in cash donations and gifts.
Virginia got a failing grade for vulnerability to corruption. Corruption in the commonwealth is probably not any more rampant than voter fraud, as we said last year. But in terms of practices that could undermine trust, Virginia has vast room for improvement.
Over the next couple of decades Virginia will have many more job openings for educated professionals and skilled technicians than there are persons in the pipeline to fill them, according to Northern Virginia Community College President Robert Templin speaking at “Blueprint Virginia,” an annual economic summit in Northern Virginia last week.
Last Tuesday, I went to the Fairfax County Government Center or “Taj Mahal,” as it is called by some, to watch the Board of Supervisors present citizen awards and issue grand proclamations. I was there to applaud presentation of the Community Partnership Award to an especially deserving Reston group, the Reston Accessibility Committee (RAC) of the Reston Citizens Association.
It wasn’t exactly “Executive Clemency.”
Research highlights the benefits of outdoor and environmental education for children—ranging from increased academic achievement, improved social skills and interest in school, and boosted health, according to environmental education leaders who have organized NoVA Outside: An Alliance of Environmental Educators (www.novaoutside.org). I attended their School Environmental Action Showcase last week at George Mason University, and I was impressed by the students and their projects. The showcase is like a science fair but with the emphasis on environmental science.
America, we must continue running. Our United States history has proven repeatedly that those who persevere will prevail in the end, similar to a marathon.
Before I criticize the lack of action on the part of the U.S. Senate on modest gun measures last week, I will freely admit that the Virginia General Assembly is clearly in the clutches of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The last several years have seen a steady decline in Virginia’s attempt to reduce gun violence but without my support or vote. Most recently the General Assembly repealed the limitation on handgun purchases. The problem of gun violence is nationwide and appropriately should be addressed by the U.S. Congress. Opinion polls indicate overwhelming support for congressional action, especially as it relates to criminal background checks. At the same time, incidents involving gun violence continue to mount up.
Last year, I wrote a letter to my senator, Mark Warner. In it, I appealed to him to reconsider his position on gun violence, to support renewal of an assault weapons ban, a ban of mega magazines, and closing the gun show loophole for potential mass murderers. My senator wrote a polite letter back reminding me of his “A” rating by the NRA and his staunch support of the Second Amendment. He noted my concerns and wished me well. Yep, I knew where he stood.
TJ admissions illustrate growing gap between “haves” and “have-nots.”
More than 181,000 students attend Fairfax County Public Schools. So why do the 480 students who were accepted for next year’s freshman class at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology seem so important? Fairfax County Public Schools have a single elite magnet school, Thomas Jefferson, and TJ is frequently referred to as the top high school in the country. Dramatic disparity in the makeup of admissions at TJ is an indicator of disparity in early identification of students as gifted and talented, of access to advanced classes and enrichment, and in the basic education that the Fairfax County Public school system offers to all of its students.
Residents rally in Vienna to support stricter gun control measures.
Less than six miles from the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Fairfax, more than 100 people gathered on the Vienna Town Green Saturday, April 13, to urge Congress to support stricter gun control measures.
The writer is the RCA representative to the Reston Master Plan Task Force, Reston Citizens Association (RCA) Board of Directors co-chair and RCA Reston 2020 Committee.
Our newly minted senator from Virginia, Tim Kaine, gave the best response I have heard to those who argue that the Second Amendment is an absolute right to own guns.
War in your old country took your young son, quakes destroyed your home.