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Free Pet Adoption Event

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on

When:
December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
2019-12-07T10:00:00-05:00
2019-12-07T15:00:00-05:00
Where:
Subaru Dealership
3019 Valley Avenue | Winchester VA
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester Frederick and Clarke
540-662-8616

The pet adoption event will be hosted by Subaru of Winchester and feature adoptable pets from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke. This annual event will take place at the Subaru dealership located at 3019 Valley Avenue, Winchester, Virginia, on Saturday, December 7th, from 10AM – 3PM. Santa will be featured starting at 11AM. In addition to adoptable animals, there will be free photos with Santa, a bake sale, raffle, SPCA products, and fun holiday gifts for the pet lover on your gift list.

This event is made possible due to a grant from the ASPCA which assisted the Winchester SPCA in preparing pets for adoption. The SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties has provided animal welfare services to the area since 1907. The SPCA currently has a save rate of 97%, which qualifies the agency as a no-kill shelter, a distinction maintained since 2012. The Share the Love Adoption Event serves as the shelter’s largest single day adoption event of the year.

Lavenda Denney, Executive Director, says, “We are hopeful on December 7th at least 20 homeless pets will get a second chance and become part of a new family. We are beyond grateful to Subaru of Winchester for their ongoing support.”

Local News

Federal dollars approved to super-digitize Warren County Public Schools

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on

When:
December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
2019-12-07T10:00:00-05:00
2019-12-07T15:00:00-05:00
Where:
Subaru Dealership
3019 Valley Avenue | Winchester VA
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester Frederick and Clarke
540-662-8616

The Warren County School Board on Wednesday, October 21 took several actions to help bring Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) further into the Digital Age.

The School Board unanimously approved a total of roughly $559,459 from its share of federally allocated pandemic-relief funds to be allocated to WCPS for advanced-technology temperature scanners and a new camera system for school system buses and cars, increased bandwidth and mobile hotspots for high-speed internet access, and new digital math and science textbooks.

WCPS Transportation Director Aaron Mitchell. During the meeting, Mitchell also requested $120,255.99 in CARES Act funds for the transportation department to purchase 45 bus camera systems and 15 car camera systems, also from Gatekeeper to replace the current WCPS video system purchased in 2013.

WCPS Transportation Director Aaron Mitchell requested $68,171.82 to purchase 50 new intelligent temperature sensing systems from Gatekeeper Systems Inc., that use infrared health monitoring panels to scan temperatures on a person’s forehead, not a wrist or arm like the competitors’ products, he said.

The cost also covers the installation of the 50 panels in bus stairwells, allowing for contactless operation using artificial intelligence for fast measurements of each rider within two feet.

The funds will come from federal dollars allocated to each state’s education department and then distributed to school districts under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, one of the economic-relief packages authorized by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WCPS has received three different CARES Act funding allotments through the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and each comes with varying stipulations, according to Robert Ballentine, WCPS finance director, and clerk of the School Board.

“The total amount is $1,970,364.29,” he wrote the Royal Examiner in an email today. “In addition to this amount, we have received $300,000 in CARES funding from the County for the purchase of tablets for our students. The $1,970,364.29 total includes $916,598.00, which just recently and unexpectedly was given to us by VDOE and must be spent and paid for by December 30, 2020.”

During the meeting, Mitchell also requested $120,255.99 in CARES Act funds for the transportation department to purchase 45 bus camera systems and 15 car camera systems, also from Gatekeeper to replace the current WCPS video system purchased in 2013.

“The current three-camera system is having repeated hard drive and viewing failures,” Mitchell explained to School Board members during their Wednesday meeting and work session. “The proposed system has five cameras and can be expanded to include additional technologies in the future.”

The Gatekeeper system also will allow for accurate data to be collected for contact tracing in case there’s a COVID-19 outbreak that occurs in a school system vehicle, said Mitchell, adding that the camera system will allow WCPS to determine where students are sitting and if mitigation strategies are in place.

“The viewing capabilities are far superior to our current abilities allowing for improved documentation of events that may occur on the bus,” Mitchell said. “This request also includes upgrading the camera systems in the County cars used for student transport.”

Warren County School Board Chairman Arnold Williams Jr., Vice Chairwoman Catherine Bower, and members James Wells, Kristen Pence, and Ralph Rinaldi voted to approve both requests.
School Board members also voted 5-0 to approve two requests from WCPS Technology Director Timothy Grant. The first is a $38,400 contract with Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) that will allow WCPS to increase network bandwidth to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps). Shentel currently provides internet access to WCPS at 1 Gbps. “Due to the current need of virtual learning for teachers and students, as well as the need to filter the internet through our network, we need to increase our bandwidth,” Grant said.

WCPS Technology Director Timothy Grant receives grant approval.

The second request from Grant that received board approval was $92,349.45 for the technology department to purchase mobile hotspots from two separate mobile carriers — AT&T and T-Mobile — that will provide high-speed internet to students homes that do not currently have it. “It is recommended students should have 15 Mbps per student in any given household in order to effectively participate in online learning,” Grant said.

Next up on its action agenda was a request from WCPS Director of Secondary Instruction Alan Fox, who proposed the School Board approved $240,282.04 for WCPS to buy digital textbooks for Math 6, 7, 8, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Calculus, Science 6, Physical Science, Anatomy, and Physiology.

“We would like to provide digital textbook access and additional textbooks for our students,” Fox said. “Due to mitigation strategies, our former standard operating procedure of having classroom sets of textbooks is no longer an option.”

Fox said WCPS also has textbooks that do not have the digital access component, requiring the school district to buy additional textbooks. “Warren County Schools believes in equitable access to learning for all students and this will help us to ensure equity within the county,” he said.

The School Board voted 5-0 to authorize the purchase and in its final related action item, unanimously approved a request by Lisa Rudacille, WCPS director of elementary instruction, to accept a list of members to the proposed 2020 Math Textbook Review Committee.

“Because teachers’ instruction has had to change so drastically in recent months due to the impact of Covid-19, and the switch to hybrid and virtual instruction, it is the desire of our central office instructional staff and elementary administrators to review our adopted math textbook series prior to the normal adoption cycle to ensure our teachers have access to the most appropriate materials for math instruction for both in-person and virtual students,” Rudacille said. “According to our textbook adoption policy, the School Board must approve a committee to review potential textbooks.”

During the School Board’s work session portion of its meeting, members heard from WCPS elementary school students and principals, who reported on the start of the 2020-2021 school year during a pandemic. High school and middle school principals and students made their reports during the board’s October 7 meeting.

At A.S. Rhodes Elementary School, for example, Principal Lori Layman said there are two teachers who provide virtual specials four days a week for art, music, and Fun Fridays, which have included science experiments and virtual field trips. The teachers work virtually, and their classes are shown to students attending school in person and remotely, she said.

“I think our students are enjoying it,” Layman said, “because our teachers, in about a 30-minute break, are able to have the kids do something that is fun, enjoyable and adds a little bit of normalcy to their day.”

Shane Goodwin, principal at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School, said staff has been unable to hold traditional recess or physical education classes due to the pandemic. So, Goodwin brought along 4th-grade student Brentley to explain “what we do instead,” he said.

The student explained that each day students get a 20-minute movement break. Goodwin called it a good way to get the kids outside and moving to exercise their bodies and brains since students are sitting a lot more due to COVID-19 health restrictions. He added that the teachers have been creative in incorporating PE requirements into the movement breaks.

Ressie Jeffries Elementary School Principal Nina Helmick also brought a 4th-grade student to the School Board meeting. The principal said that one of the hurdles that students have had to overcome, particularly the little ones, is to get them to social distance.

The student, who wore a green t-shirt emblazoned with a large white paw print of their school mascot, the Jaguar, said such symbols are placed around the school so students know where to go when they get off the bus or are headed to a classroom, and they’re placed six-feet apart to designate the correct amount of social distancing.

Nikki Taubenberger, principal at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School, brought a 5th-grader with her to talk about what it’s like to spend his last year of elementary school at a middle school, which is where all WCPS 5th graders attend classes during the pandemic to allow more space at the lower-grade schools.

D.J. shared the pros and cons of his situation with the School Board members, telling them the middle school cafeteria food “is a little bit better,” but “missing out on traditional 5th-grade activities” at his elementary school is kind of a bummer.

Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School Principal Danelle Sperling had a slide presentation showing what a typical day is like for virtual students, who account for 40 percent of this year’s student population at the school. All teachers are using the Schoology learning platform for instruction, she said, showing examples of what the online classes look like, how instruction might be presented, and how students are engaged in course instruction.

Sperling also brought along Anthony, a 3rd-grade virtual student, who ran through the timeline of attending school online, which he said he likes.

“It sounds like you have to be pretty disciplined to do each step in your day,” School Board member Wells said to Anthony. “Do you find that hard to do or is that something that has become routine for you?”

“It’s something that has become routine for me,” the student answered.

Watch this exclusive Royal Examiner video to catch the meeting in its entirety.

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Opinion

A Perhaps Futile Search for a Middle Ground on the Confederate Soldier Statue

Published

on

When:
December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
2019-12-07T10:00:00-05:00
2019-12-07T15:00:00-05:00
Where:
Subaru Dealership
3019 Valley Avenue | Winchester VA
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester Frederick and Clarke
540-662-8616

(Royal Examiner reporter/editor Roger Bianchini’s response to Gary Kushner’s Oct. 22 Letter to the Editor)

Having butted heads philosophically in print with both Mr. Kushner and the current leadership of Front Royal Unites over the issues of institutional racism in modern American society (Kushner) and the advisability of compromise on the Confederate Statue issue to avoid the very backlash we are now witnessing (Porter/FR Unites), let me attempt to draw a middle ground on this conflict of perspectives.

While I sincerely believe Mr. Kushner does not consciously harbor racist intentions, I think I might be safe from a threat of civil action in describing him as somewhat racially insensitive to the plight of citizens of color in modern American society as a consequence of the lingering aftermath of slavery and racism in our culture.

I also feel that Mr. Kushner may be correct in his description of the current FR Unites leadership’s intransigence on the Confederate soldier statue’s location issue. As I have written in a past opinion piece, I felt and still feel that a compromise allowing the statue to remain, but adding some sign that the statue remains at the courthouse with other war memorials as a result of two opposing perspectives reaching agreement in 2020 on a mutually satisfactory outcome. As I wrote in the story on the Oct. 20 meeting, I believe the suggestion expressed at the meeting by Richard Hoover that a statue commemorating the sacrifice of Warren County people of color who were held as slaves be erected on the courthouse grounds is the best compromise idea out there.

Room for another memorial? Why not add rather than subtract to the number of memorials on the Warren County Courthouse lawn? Royal Examiner Photo by Roger Bianchini

Let me add one personal observation on a related subject. Several FR Unites speakers expressed disappointment at the absence of county officials at their previous Sunday “Teach In” as I understood it to be, revolving around the statue removal issue. I observed some of the speakers in the online live stream of the event. An LFCC professor described slavery as the root issue of the Civil War underlying the “state’s rights” issue – which was essentially the right to keep slaves as free labor to bolster the Southern state’s economies; as well as the racism expressed openly by Confederate political leadership in justifying secession and racially based slavery. Okay, most rational, educated people understand these things.

Another speaker and county citizen of color eloquently described her experience of racism in this community during the era of desegregation of our public schools, and consequently after in her adult life and work experience. Again, this isn’t news to people who are paying attention – are you listening, Mr. Kushner?

But I ask, and from what I saw there was no one present at the event who asked this question – how much do these known historical experiences of about 160 years and 50 years ago directly address the issues at hand concerning the fate of the Confederate soldier’s statue on the Warren County Courthouse lawn in 2020?

Wouldn’t an advisable strategy for anyone concerned with advocating equal treatment under the law and an end to protections of institutional racism, particularly in the conduct of law enforcement in the treatment of suspects nationally, be NOT to give those not so concerned with these issues or even perhaps harboring lingering racist tendencies themselves, an issue upon which to aggressively push back against your organization and its root issue of equal treatment under the law?

If there was a statue of openly racist Confederates like its President Jefferson Davis or Vice-President Alexander Stephens on the courthouse lawn, I would vigorously support their removal. But as has been noted by supporters of the Confederate soldier’s statue remaining where it is, most, if not all, of those 600 or so names on that monument were not from slave holding families. To my knowledge there are no known writings of any of those men justifying slavery and promoting the racism at its root. None of us will ever know what was in their hearts and minds when they went to war, or when they returned from it, if they did.

So, why draw a hardline in the courthouse grass on removal of a monument to the sacrifice in going to war, even if on the wrong side of history, of those 600 county sons?

Wouldn’t the cause of equal justice under the law be better served by focusing our energy and the energy of our municipal governments on a positive act, rather than a negative one? That act would be raising public funds to see a memorial to the human sacrifice of those who lived in Warren County as slaves be erected in a place of honor on the courthouse lawn, not far from the Confederate soldier memorial.

Now THAT would indicate that Warren County is exhibiting progress and cultural growth and a desire for equal treatment under the law for ALL its citizens in the 21st century. But that is only likely to happen after people with opposing perspectives begin, not only to talk, but to LISTEN to each other with a willingness to at least consider the other’s perspective.

Is it too late for that to happen here in Front Royal and Warren County? – Ms. Cascada, Mr. Porter, Mr. Kushner are you LISTENING?

Roger Bianchini
Royal Examiner

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Opinion

Gary Kushner asks ‘Who is Racist’ in Confederate statue debate

Published

on

When:
December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
2019-12-07T10:00:00-05:00
2019-12-07T15:00:00-05:00
Where:
Subaru Dealership
3019 Valley Avenue | Winchester VA
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester Frederick and Clarke
540-662-8616

Courthouse Statue, Oct. 20 BOS meeting discussion

On Front Royal Unites (FRU) Facebook page, Laura Lee Cascada posted on Oct. 16 that the Examiner had published my Letter to the Editor that was a ‘racist rant’ and referred to a Facebook comment I had recently made.

First, I would caution Ms. Cascada about calling me a racist or I’ll have her radical left behind in a civil action for slander for calling me a racist, which is not true.

Second, the comment that she referenced was in response to a heated argument I was engaged in with a Facebook user who I thought was black who I felt was trashing America and its slavery history. The idea I attempted to relay in that comment was that slavery had a silver lining for the descendants of slaves in that being subsequently born free in America provided them with the liberty and opportunities of all American citizens as opposed to possibly being born in a third world African country with its political strife, violence, famine, challenging economies and lower standard of living. The comment I made was, “You should be thankful your ancestors were slaves because they paved the way for your freedom. Otherwise you’d be living in a grass/mud hut in some shit-hole country”.

While I freely acknowledge that my choice of words was over the top in the frustration of a heated argument, but I continue to defend the validity of the concept. No one is clamoring to move from America to Africa with all its political and economic troubles and that statement is not evidence of racial bias on my part, it simply states facts. I hold no views that any race of people is superior to another or that any group of people should be discriminated against for any reason.

At the October 20, Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting in the Public Comments segment where the issue of the courthouse statue was the topic of interest, Ms. Cascada testified in support of removing the statue and made an underhanded attempt to embarrass me and to delegitimize my pro-statue testimony by reading the Facebook comment referenced above. However, feeling confident in the concept I previously explained I was not embarrassed at all. In a meeting break thereafter I approached Ms. Cascada and attempted to engage in dialogue to see if we could improve our mutual understanding, which was witnessed by the Examiner Reporter, Roger Bianchini.

Mr. Porter, President of Front Royal Unites, advised her not to talk with me and they both left without further interaction. I was not surprised in it seems that neither FRU nor Ms. Cascada has any sincere interest in exchanging ideas like mature adults and they present the impression that you either agree with and accept their perspectives or you’re wrong and biased. I believe that persons with weak ideas commonly refuse to engage in rational discussion because their arguments are difficult to defend with logic and the truth.

Mr. Porter recently posted a comment (that may have subsequently been deleted) on Facebook insinuating that a person who had assisted in the creation of FRU was separated from that group because they had been ultimately recognized as being ‘white’. If that, in my opinion, isn’t considered a racist view than I’m a ‘monkey’s uncle’. That from the leader from an organization that claims to be all about equality and unification of the community.

Mr. Paul Gabbert also testified in support of the statue at the Board meeting and that FRU was only successful at dividing the community rather than being a group with positive results. Thus maybe Mr. Porter should consider renaming his group Front Royal Divides, it would be more accurate.

Gary Kushner
Bentonville, Virginia

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State News

Governor Northam announces Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework

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When:
December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
2019-12-07T10:00:00-05:00
2019-12-07T15:00:00-05:00
Where:
Subaru Dealership
3019 Valley Avenue | Winchester VA
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester Frederick and Clarke
540-662-8616

NORFOLK—Governor Ralph Northam today released the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework, which lays out the core principles of the Commonwealth’s approach to coastal protection and adaptation and will serve as a blueprint for implementing Virginia’s first project-driven Coastal Resilience Master Plan by the end of 2021. Governor Northam made the announcement against the backdrop of the LaValette Avenue Kayak Launch and Fishing Pier in Norfolk where coastal flooding and sea-level rise have led to severe tidal intrusion.

“The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, but not the fact that our planet is warming, the land is sinking, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are more frequent and more severe,” said Governor Northam. “The science is clear: climate change is threatening our way of life, and there is no time to waste. We must act quickly and decisively—and the Coastal Master Planning Framework will be our roadmap to resilience in coastal Virginia. This innovative, science-based approach uses cost-effective, nature-based, and equitable strategies to protect our people, our communities, our infrastructure, and our economy right now and for generations to come.”

The Virginia Coastal Master Planning Framework is the result of a nearly two-year process initiated by the Governor in Executive Order Twenty-Four involving state agencies, key stakeholders, and local and regional partners to develop mitigation strategies to reduce the near and long term impacts of natural hazards and extreme weather. This document is a roadmap that puts the full strength of the Commonwealth into creating a comprehensive Coastal Resilience Master Plan that will protect communities, commerce, and the coastal environment. The approach recognizes the scientific and fiscal realities—and challenges—that underserved communities in both urban and rural areas are facing, and emphasizes local and regional efforts to combat flooding and protect people and assets. Governor Northam will take executive action in the coming days to implement important components of the Framework.

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the Commonwealth and the United States. Along Virginia’s coast, it is exacerbated by pollution-driven global warming, which leads to sea-level rise and more extreme weather patterns. And the impacts of sea-level rise and flooding are magnified by population density: Virginia’s coastal region is home to more than 70 percent of the Commonwealth’s population. In recent years, these factors, combined with development in flood-prone areas, have increased flood risk in the Commonwealth’s coastal communities. In 2018 and 2019, Virginia experienced nine major flooding events with damaging totaling approximately $1.6 billion. Virginia has the highest rate of sea-level rise of any east-coast state, putting billions of dollars in private property and public infrastructure in danger.

The Virginia Coastal Master Planning Framework takes decisive steps to address these threats by:

• Aligning state government hazard mitigation efforts to maximize support for coastal resilience

• Dividing coastal Virginia into four planning regions for the purposes of the Master Plan

• Establishing a Technical Advisory Committee to further define regional approaches and to help evaluate and prioritize projects

• Emphasizing the importance of green infrastructure and strategic relocation to reduce flood risk and provide additional community benefits

• Elevating the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program to support the development and implementation of the Master Plan

• Initiating a comprehensive public outreach effort to receive input from all impacted communities, particularly those that are underserved

“Nature is often the best flood control money can buy,” said Secretary of Natural Resources and Chief Resilience Officer Matthew J. Strickler. “While we know that we must protect our most critical infrastructure where it currently exists, that approach is not fiscally realistic or sustainable everywhere. Using natural and nature-based solutions whenever possible will provide the most cost-effective resilience to climate change impacts, while also improving quality of life and protecting the environment.”

The Framework will also help inform the development of guidance for coastal flood protection grants and loans under the Community Flood Preparedness Fund, to which Governor Northam and the General Assembly have dedicated 45 percent of the revenue from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative carbon credit auctions that begin next spring. These auctions are estimated to generate approximately $500 million over the next decade to address coastal and riverine flooding statewide. This significant stream of dedicated revenue will help ensure progress in implementing the Framework and Master Plan.

“This Framework is the most significant, collaborative effort on resilience the Commonwealth has ever undertaken,” said Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection Rear Admiral (Retired) Ann C. Phillips. “This innovative approach to coastal adaptation and protection was created based on the input and experience of state, federal, regional, and community stakeholders and experts. I look forward to engaging with communities across the coastal region as we continue to develop Virginia’s first Coastal Resilience Master Plan.”

Under Governor Northam’s leadership, Virginia has made coastal resilience planning and climate adaptation a top priority. In addition to Executive Order Twenty-Four, which established a unified approach to increasing Virginia’s resilience to coastal flooding, sea-level rise, and natural hazards, Governor Northam signed Executive Order Forty-Five, which established the country’s strongest flood protections for state-owned properties with the Virginia Flood Risk Management Program.

An overview of the Virginia Coastal Master Planning Framework can be found here. The full document is available here.

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Governor Northam signs new laws to support COVID-19 response, reform policing

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When:
December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
2019-12-07T10:00:00-05:00
2019-12-07T15:00:00-05:00
Where:
Subaru Dealership
3019 Valley Avenue | Winchester VA
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester Frederick and Clarke
540-662-8616

Governor Ralph Northam on October 21, 2020,  announced he has signed 16 new laws and proposed changes to five bills that will support the Commonwealth’s ongoing COVID-19 response and advance criminal justice reform.

“I am proud to sign new laws that strengthen our COVID-19 response efforts and make our criminal system more equitable,” said Governor Northam. “I am grateful to legislators for their hard work this session, and look forward to signing more critically important legislation in the coming days.”

Governor Northam signed the following laws to support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts:

House Bill 5041 (Delegate Head) and Senate Bill 5042 (Senator Kiggans) require the Board of Health to establish protocols related to safe nursing home, hospice, and nursing facility visits.

House Bill 5048 (Delegate Sickles) and Senate Bill 5090 (Senator Dunnavant) provide additional clarity to the Virginia Department of Health regarding publication of disease outbreak data.

House Bill 5093 (Delegate Watts) and Senate Bill 5117 (Senator Deeds) allow a $500 civil penalty for violations of a Governor’s Executive Order, instead of the Class 1 misdemeanor currently dictated by Virginia Code.

House Bill 5047 (Delegate Murphy) strengthens Virginia’s anti-price gouging laws during declared states of emergency.

Senate Bill 5039 (Senator Marsden) establishes a formal program for the purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment during a public health threat.

House Bill 5087 (Delegate Tran) extends the date by which the Virginia Employment Commission is required to establish and implement a short-time compensation program and removes the program’s sunset clause.

Senate Bill 5083 (Senator McClellan) requires Virginia school boards to publicly post their plans and strategies for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Senate Bill 5017 (Senator Boysko) grants the Commonwealth the ability to establish and enforce health standards at local correctional facilities used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or other federal agencies.

Governor Northam signed the following laws to reform criminal justice and policing:

House Bill 5098 (Delegate Askew) increases the penalty for falsely summoning or giving false reports to law enforcement officers due to an individual’s race, religious conviction, gender, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, or national origin.

House Bill 5072 (Delegate Lopez) and Senate Bill 5024 (Senator Lucas) allow the Attorney General to open investigations related to a suspected “pattern or practice” of misconduct among law enforcement officers.

House Bill 5062 (Delegate Mullin) and Senate Bill 5033https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=202&typ=bil&val=SB5033 (Senator Surovell) restore the practice of requiring judges to dismiss charges when both parties (prosecution and defense) agree.

Governor Northam proposed changes to the following bills:

House Bill 5046 (Delegate D. Adams) and Senate Bill 5080 (Senator Barker) expand Medicaid coverage of telemedicine care. Governor Northam added an emergency clause to make this legislation effective immediately upon passage.

House Bill 5115 (Delegate Price) expands eviction protections for Virginians who experienced a loss of wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Northam added an emergency clause to make this legislation effective immediately upon passage.

House Bill 5058 (Delegate Hope) and Senate Bill 5029 (Senator Lucas) prohibit law enforcement from initiating traffic stops in certain instances. Governor Northam amended this legislation to ensure law enforcement can initiate a traffic stop when an individual is driving at night without the use of both headlights and/or without the use of both brake lights.

A full list of legislation signed by the Governor from the Special Session can be found here.

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Opinion

Supreme Court Nominations

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When:
December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
2019-12-07T10:00:00-05:00
2019-12-07T15:00:00-05:00
Where:
Subaru Dealership
3019 Valley Avenue | Winchester VA
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester Frederick and Clarke
540-662-8616

historically speaking

As if 2020 has not been bad enough, with just a few weeks before the presidential election, the beloved Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. Not only did we lose a judicial icon, but her death caused a vacancy on the high court that is turning into one of the biggest fights of the Trump administration.

Back in 2016 when a justice passed, Republicans argued that a president in his last year should not nominate a new judge but should wait for the voice of the people in the form of the new president to make the next pick. At the same time the Democrats in 2016 insisted it was not only the president’s right but his duty to make the next selection. The differences this time are, first, both parties flipped their stances, somehow realizing they were wrong in 2016, and, second, this time Republicans have the numbers in the Senate to make the confirmation. The constitutionality of Trump’s decision to put forth a judge has been questioned. Historically and legally speaking, however, Trump does have the right and it has been done before.

There is no legal issue with Trump nominating a new judge; it is perfectly acceptable under the Constitution. The Democrats would have done so in 2016 if they controlled the Senate. The question is not a legal one but an ethical or fairness one. Is it right for Republicans to nominate a judge now when they blocked Obama’s pick in 2016? This question cannot be decided in court but, rather, in each person’s conscience. If it helps, we have seen a last-second appointment before and by a well-respected Founding Father.

I have written about the Election of 1800 so many times that most of my readers know the details by heart. Suffice it to say, it is my favorite election and it was one of the most heated and contentious elections ever. John Adams, equal only to Washington in importance when it comes to our freedom, lost his bid for a second term to his nemesis, Thomas Jefferson. Adams did not take it well. In sports parlance, he took his ball and went home by not even sticking around for Jefferson’s inaugural. However, before he left, he decided to leave Jefferson a small parting gift. This is important for the modern issues as well: after an election, the losing president is still the president until the next inaugural. In other words, even if Trump loses in November, he can still perform all his presidential duties up until January 20.

What Adams did in 1801 after he lost was not only install a new Chief Justice, John Marshal, but he also created a new level of federal judge positions so he could fill them with Federalists. By packing all the federal judgeships with his party, he took away Jefferson’s ability to nominate judges on any level for the near future. What was most amazing is that Adams made 42 nominations and the Senate confirmed them as a batch just two days before Adams left office.

All but three of the “Midnight Judges” took their places on the bench, but because of the lateness of the appointments, three never received their commissions. The commissions were basically left on the desk of the new Secretary of State, James Madison with a yellow sticky note saying “Please give these out.” Madison, upset by the new appointments, conferred with Jefferson who agreed not to distribute the remaining commissions. However, one of the judges, William Marbury, upset by Madison’s refusal, sued him for his papers. This became one of the most important court cases in history, Marbury v. Madison, but that is a story for another article.

Jefferson did not take Adam’s actions well. He blocked the courts from taking up any cases until 1803 out of spite. I am not sure it is helpful or not to see our Founders acting as petty as our current political leaders. Yet what we can learn is that in some ways politicians have not changed. Two days before he left office, Adams got 42 new judges pushed through. Jefferson then refused to allow the court to hear Marbury’s case for more than a year and did succeed in getting the last three blocked from the bench. What Adams did was perfectly legal; the only question for Adams, like Trump, is whether it was ethical. Both seem to think it is.


Dr. James Finck is a Professor of History at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and Chair of the Oklahoma Civil War Symposium. For daily history posts Follow Historically Speaking at Historicallyspeaking.blog or on Facebook.

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19
Mon
all-day WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Oct 19 – Nov 12 all-day
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Please show your support by purchasing fresh fruit for you, your family and friends to enjoy over the holidays! To place your order online, simply click here. Navel, Grapefruit, Juice Oranges — Whole Box $40, Half[...]
Oct
23
Fri
9:00 am Veteran benefits application ass... @ Able Forces Foundation
Veteran benefits application ass... @ Able Forces Foundation
Oct 23 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Veteran benefits application assistance @ Able Forces Foundation
Military and Veteran families are welcome to come by the Able Forces Foundation office if you have issues with VA benefits, or need assistance or guidance on issues. Andre Miller of the Department of Veterans[...]
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Oct 23 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Oct
24
Sat
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 24 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and take a tour of Mount Bleak House[...]
5:00 pm Free Community Food Distribution @ Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall Parking Lot
Free Community Food Distribution @ Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall Parking Lot
Oct 24 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Free Community Food Distribution @ Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall Parking Lot
Dinner Together and the Warren County Liason will host a free food distribution for the Front Royal/Warren County community on Saturday, October 24th, from 5-6 PM, at 1st Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hall Parking Lot (14[...]
Oct
25
Sun
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 25 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and take a tour of Mount Bleak House[...]
Oct
26
Mon
10:00 am Ask a Master Gardener @ Warren County Extension Office
Ask a Master Gardener @ Warren County Extension Office
Oct 26 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Ask a Master Gardener @ Warren County Extension Office
Answers to your gardening questions and problems! E-mail questions and pictures to greenhelpline.warrenco@gmail.com Mondays from 10:00am -1:00pm, April-October (except holidays) Come in or call 540-635-4549  *in-person and phone help available after coronavirus emergency*
Oct
29
Thu
1:00 pm Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Vi... @ Online Event
Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Vi... @ Online Event
Oct 29 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Virginia get back to work @ Online Event
Dear Job Seeker, We are delighted that you are participating in our Virtual Hiring Event sponsored by the Virginia Employment Commission and the Virginia Career Works Centers. I am mindful that many of the citizens[...]
Oct
30
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Oct 30 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Oct 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.