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Manchin permitting reform bill includes approval of Mountain Valley Pipeline

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WASHINGTON – The energy permitting proposal that centrist Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III made a condition of his support for the Inflation Reduction Act would impose timelines on federal agencies responsible for approving energy projects, according to the text of the measure released late Wednesday.

Congressional Democrats are deeply divided over the Manchin permitting bill, with some on the left worried it would remove tools for communities to oppose projects with major environmental impacts. The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, blasted the Manchin plan on Wednesday night and said, “My colleagues and I don’t want this.”

A provision in the legislation to approve the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia and Manchin’s home state of West Virginia also alienated Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, who said he was not consulted and raised strong objections.

“I cannot support the Mountain Valley Pipeline-related provisions in this legislative text,” he said in a statement. “Over 100 miles of this pipeline are in Virginia, but I was not included in the discussions regarding the MVP provisions and therefore not given an opportunity to share Virginians’ concerns. In that sense, I stand in the same position as many of my constituents who have felt ignored along the way.”


Meanwhile, Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley is leading a letter from Senate progressives urging separate votes on a must-pass stopgap spending measure and the permitting legislation, according to a Politico report.

Adding to problems, the top Senate Republican on the chamber’s spending committee told States Newsroom Wednesday afternoon that the inclusion of the permitting measure and other provisions may make the stopgap bill unworkable.

But Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has continued to say the Manchin plan will be included in the stopgap spending bill to keep the government open when the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Details on Manchin plan

The Manchin bill would not remove any federal permitting requirements.

Instead, it would prescribe timelines for federal agencies to complete their reviews, including a two-year target for National Environmental Policy Act reviews on major projects. Such reviews can take up to 10 years, Manchin has said.

The bill includes a section requiring federal agencies to approve the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline, which has been partially constructed to send natural gas from West Virginia to southern Virginia, upsetting Kaine.

Federal climate deal could force completion of Mountain Valley Pipeline

The bill would also set a five-month limit on court challenges and require federal agencies to act within six months when a court remands a decision to them.

Manchin’s proposal would also designate a lead federal agency to coordinate project reviews. The lead agency would monitor requirements and deadlines set at the state level.

Manchin and other supporters of the measure have said it’s needed to deliver energy from renewable sources like wind and solar.

“If you’re going to build a wind farm or a solar farm in the middle of the desert where there’s no people … you’ve got to have permitting reform to get it done,” Manchin said Tuesday. “You’re not going to be able to deliver the energy that people need.”

American Clean Power Association Heather Zichal said that “as renewable energy projects become more prevalent … we must consider reasonable permitting reforms that preserve the substance of bedrock environmental laws while expediting the review process under them.”

But other environmental groups have already come out in opposition to the measure.

“Building a clean energy future that benefits all Americans cannot start by silencing frontline communities and eroding the laws that protect our access to clean air and water,” said Southern Environmental Law Center Director of Federal Affairs Nat Mund in a statement. “It’s absurd to suggest this deal, early versions of which were literally covered with fossil fuel lobbyists’ digital fingerprints, will do anything but exacerbate climate change at the expense of communities that depend on clean air and water that this proposal threatens.”

Progressive opposition

Members of Senate Democrats’ progressive wing have for weeks criticized potential permitting reforms, which they say would remove power from local communities seeking to challenge pipelines and other projects.

Merkley, the chairman of the Senate appropriations panel on Interior and environmental agencies, and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats, all reportedly signed on to the letter calling for separate votes on the permitting bill and the stopgap bill — which would allow senators to stake out a clear position on the Manchin plan.

A spokeswoman for Merkley confirmed the Politico report but declined to comment further or provide a copy of the letter Wednesday.

“We are making clear we would like a separate vote — a separate debate and a separate vote — on the permitting process,” Warren told reporters Wednesday.

More than 70 House Democrats sent a similar letter to leaders of their caucus earlier this month.

Grijalva, who spearheaded House Democrats’ letter, issued a strong statement in opposition to the Manchin proposal.

The measure shortens public comment periods, provides fewer ways for communities to oppose projects and weakens enforcement of foundational environmental and public health laws, the Arizona Democrat said.

Federal court (again) overturns (another) Mountain Valley Pipeline permit

“These dangerous permitting shortcuts have been on industry wish lists for years,” he said. “And now they’ve added the Mountain Valley Pipeline approval as the rotten cherry on top of the pile. The very fact that this fossil fuel brainchild is being force-fed into must-pass government funding speaks to its unpopularity.”

Kaine, who recently reintroduced separate legislation with Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner to increase public input and notification requirements for pipelines as well as clarify the circumstances under which eminent domain can be exercised, said he agreed “with the need to reform our broken process for permitting infrastructure” but disagreed with the congressional approval of the pipeline.

“Green-lighting the MVP is contrary to the spirit of permitting reform,” he said. “Such a deliberate action by Congress to put its thumb on the scale and simply approve this project while shutting down opportunities for full administrative or judicial review is at odds with the bipartisan desire to have a more transparent and workable permitting process.”

In a statement accompanying the bill announcement, Manchin repeated that Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House had all agreed to pass the legislation, which was part of a deal this summer to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Democrats opposed to the bill have not threatened to vote against the combined measure and risk a government shutdown.

Spending bill pitfalls

With annual government funding set to expire at the end of the month, Congress is expected to consider very soon a short-term bill to keep the government open for the coming months.

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he and fellow GOP lawmakers may filibuster the short-term government funding bill — which would need Republican support to pass — if Democrats add too many additional provisions.

That means they would not supply the 10 Republican votes needed for any legislation to advance in the evenly divided Senate.

“What could be telling would be when Schumer puts the legislation on the floor and there’s a motion to proceed, subject to debate, subject to 60 votes — that vote will be indicative of maybe things to come if he’s loaded it up with extraneous things,” Shelby said. “It probably won’t carry that well.”

When asked about Manchin’s permitting reform bill, which at that point had not been made public, and Schumer’s commitment to add it to the must-pass government funding bill, Shelby said, “I think it’s going to be hard to carry that.”

“We haven’t seen the language of it,” he said. “But it’s a raw political deal.”

by Jacob Fischler, Virginia Mercury


Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: info@virginiamercury.com. Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.

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Laurel Ridge Community College selected for FAA training program

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Laurel Ridge Community College is excited to announce that its drone program has been accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative program (UAS-CTI).

The college offers two career studies certificates (CSCs) related to drones, also referred to as small, unmanned aircraft systems, or sUAS. One CSC is for sUAS Flight Operator, designed to help students prepare for the FAA Remote Pilot Certification Exam, known as Part 107, in addition to training them in general maintenance and repair, data collection and processing of aerial images, videos and spatial data.

Photo / Laurel Ridge Community College

The second CSC is for sUAS Flight Technician, preparing students for flight mission planning, ground control operations, crew management, sensor selection, drone programming, geospatial analysis and more. Students can use both certifications towards the completion of an associate of applied science degree in technical studies.


“Our two certificates recently received approval from our regional accreditor and the program is now an FAA-approved Collegiate Training Initiative program, which when combined with our assortment of enterprise-level multirotor and fixed-wing drones, will provide our students with the knowledge, skill, and flight time to launch a career as a remote pilot,” said Dr. Craig Santicola, dean of Laurel Ridge’s School of Professional Programs. “We are excited to be a regional resource for uncrewed aircraft systems and look forward to serving our students and community in this capacity.

“Being a part of the FAA UAS Collegiate Training Initiative provides us access to a wealth of opportunities. Not only will we help lead the regional dialogue with local governments and industry to address labor force needs, our students will benefit from a variety of training tools, resources, and guidelines that will prepare them for careers. In working with the FAA and our regional partners, the goal is to prepare a pipeline of sUAS professionals while continuing to maintain the safety of the National Airspace System.”

Members of the UAS-CTI are invited to participate in annual meetings and other FAA events, and the FAA will serve as a facilitator for developing and sharing best practices.

“As a UAS-CTI member, Laurel Ridge will receive numerous benefits, including recruiting and marketing opportunities, access to FAA resources, having our name listed on the FAA’s website and technical support,” said Computer Science Professor Melissa Stange, who is a certified remote pilot. “More importantly, our students will receive help with job placements, internships and other opportunities. Not only are drones a career field, but part of a growing technology key to other programs the college offers, including Administration of Justice, Computer Science, Emergency Medical Services, Information Systems Technology and Cybersecurity.”

Dean Santicola noted that since the sUAS industry is still relatively new, many people might not have considered drone pilot as a viable career option.

“However, we are seeing an increase in use across many industries in Virginia and the region as a whole, and our career studies certificates are focused on training students to operate high-quality, enterprise-level drones for commercial applications,” said Dr. Santicola. “Sure, flying them can be fun, but ZipRecruiter has the average salary for commercial remote pilots in Virginia listed at $70,905 and the demand for highly-qualified flight operators and flight technicians is increasing quickly. “

To qualify for the FAA’s UAS-CTI initiative, schools must offer a bachelor’s or associate degree in UAS, or a degree with a minor, concentration, or certificate in UAS. Schools must provide curriculum covering various aspects of UAS training, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety, and federal policies concerning UAS.

Learn more about Laurel Ridge’s drones courses at laurelridge.edu/drones.

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The Port of Virginia completes deal for 5 ship-to-shore cranes to support preparedness, modernization plan

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The Port of Virginia® recently finalized the terms of purchase for five new ship-to shore cranes that are part of an equipment renewal plan that ensures the port’s container terminals and cargo handling equipment are modern and prepared for the future.

“In order to maintain our efficiency and competitive edge, it’s important to be continually upgrading with modern equipment,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “These cranes will ensure our lift capacity, berth productivity and the ability to handle multiple ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) simultaneously at our primary container terminals, Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).”

These cranes will be able to accommodate the ULCVs, that are making regular stops in Virginia and even higher-volume ships of the future. Each crane has the capacity reach across a vessel that is 26 containers wide, which is three-to-four containers beyond the reach of most cranes.

Delivery is set for December 2024 with two of the units going to VIG and three to the South Berth at NIT; the port will retire an equivalent number of existing cranes at those facilities. Once in place, the port will have 30 ship-to-shore cranes at work in the Norfolk Harbor and the ability to service the biggest container ships at sea.


Cranes on the move – Photo Courtesy of VPA

“We are in an expansion phase and we must be able to further improve our productivity and capabilities,” Edwards said. “We are showing our customers and port users that they can continue to count on The Port of Virginia as they grow their vessel sizes and cargo volumes.”

The port is engaged in a significant rail capacity expansion program at NIT and nearing the start of the civil engineering needed to begin a complete renovation and modernization of NIT’s North Berth.

Crane Specifications:

  • Builder: Shanghai-based Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd, (called ZPMC),
  • Crane height = 170’ above the dock
  • Boom-out length = 226’ from the rail closest to the water
  • Per unit weight = 1,827 tons
  • Combined total cost (5 units) = $61.6 million, delivery included

(The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. A recent economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that The Port of Virginia helps to create more than 437,000 jobs and generated $1 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth on an annual basis.)

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Dr. Robert Kidd named dean of Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy

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Robert Kidd, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

Robert Kidd, Pharm.D., Ph.D., a stalwart of Shenandoah University’s pharmacy program, is the new dean of SU’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Kidd, who has served as interim dean of SU’s pharmacy school since the departure of Rob DiCenzo, Pharm.D., in October 2021, moves into the role full time effective immediately. Kidd has been a faculty member in Shenandoah’s School of Pharmacy since 1998, when the school’s first graduating class was beginning its third year in the program.

A highly competitive national search was conducted for the position, and Kidd’s appointment was strongly supported by both the Shenandoah’s search committee and the campus community.


“I am honored to be selected as the dean of Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy,” Kidd said, “and I am excited to work with everyone in the school and university to continue to advance the school, the university, and the pharmacy profession.”

Kidd holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology, a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) from the University of Tennessee, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences from The Ohio State University.

His research interests are pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics, and he frequently involves students in his research projects. Kidd has authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, abstracts, and national presentations. He is a two-time recipient of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) SU teacher of the year award and is a fellow of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE).

In 2020, Kidd led the development and implementation of Shenandoah University’s SARS-CoV-2 pooled saliva surveillance testing program, which played a central role in maintaining the health and safety of the university and the surrounding community throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Dr. Kidd is an essential part of the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy and is held in high regard by his colleagues and students. He supports the individual development of all in SU’s pharmacy program, and his rational, transparent and collaborative approach to decision-making stands out to all who interact with him,” said Shenandoah Provost Cameron McCoy, Ph.D. “Dr. Kidd has displayed tremendous leadership during his time as interim dean, and I’m excited to see that continue. His long-term commitment to Shenandoah University and the level of trust he has built with faculty, staff and students make him an excellent fit as the leader of the School of Pharmacy.”

Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy has 41 faculty members and over 450 students enrolled in its traditional and non-traditional Doctor of Pharmacy programs, as well as dual degree programs: Pharm.D./Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics & Personalized Medicine; Pharm.D./MBA; and Pharm.D./Master of Public Health. These programs are offered at Shenandoah’s Health Professions Building in Winchester and at its Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax, and online.

The school’s Doctor of Pharmacy program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

For more information about Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, visit su.edu/pharmacy.

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Maryland’s legal cannabis market to be shaped by many hands

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With lawmakers facing a July 1 deadline to provide a framework for the legal use, possession, and sale of cannabis after voters approved full legalization in November, it’s clear, just a week into the General Assembly session, that the task won’t be straightforward.

While the public is generally enthusiastic about legalization, which passed with 67% support and received more votes than new governor Wes Moore, legislators have a lot of work to do to build a legal market that fulfills their commitments on issues like equity, public safety, taxation, and revenue.

“The people of this state have spoken, and they have spoken loudly,” said Moore at a press conference Thursday. “We cannot, and we will not repeat the mistakes that the state has made when medical cannabis was legalized…we have to get this right from day one.”

While lawmakers are committed to meeting the July 1 deadline, the state of the legal cannabis market nationwide remains an unwelcome specter hanging over the process. An oversupply crisis has depressed cannabis prices, decreasing margins for producers and making it far more difficult for small producers to compete with well-established companies that can produce and distribute at scale. The national spot price of legal cannabis reached an all-time low of $950 per pound in December 2022, according to Cannabis Benchmarks.


Maryland lawmakers must design a framework to turn an illegal marijuana-producing and distributing industry into a legal one by July 1. (Photo by E. A. Breeden/Capital News Service)

 

Without what they feel is a viable model to look to, lawmakers are instead trying to avoid other states’ mistakes.

“We’re starting from the ground floor,” said Del. C.T. Wilson, D-Charles, chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee. “All we know is what they didn’t do right.”

Wilson and his committee colleagues will have an important role to play in the legalization process: regulating the supply of legal cannabis through licensing and taxation.

The number of licenses distributed and the process of obtaining a license to produce and sell cannabis products in Maryland will largely dictate who can enter the legal market. Moreover, supply will play a large role in determining the price Marylanders pay for cannabis products, a crucial factor in convincing consumers to abandon the illicit market, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

Given the less-than-successful history of the United States’ war on drugs and its disproportionate impact on Black Americans, legislators seem committed to fostering equitable access to the legal market.

“I’m very worried about this issue…this is always how we’ve done things, where we allow rich people to capitalize and profit, and then we put some minor appeasement in there to placate people that have been harmed (by marijuana) and don’t have the equity, the money upfront, to get involved,” said Sen. Jill Carter, D-Baltimore City.

“I think equity has to be across-the-board considered for everything we do,” said Del. Lily Qi, D-Montgomery, who, along with Wilson, is a member of both the Economic Matters Committee and the Cannabis Legalization Working group, which held hearings on several aspects of the legalization process while the General Assembly was out of session.

While neither Wilson nor Qi explicitly answered what percentage of licenses should go to members of marginalized groups, Wilson hinted at a few policies his committee was considering to ensure an equitable system.

Foremost among them is keeping the license application fee reasonably low. In some states, this cost can reach six figures, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, and serve as a significant barrier to entry for small business owners without a lot of startup capital.

“(The application fee) cannot be high, and it must be refundable,” said Wilson, who added that six-figure application fees were “not the goal.”

Also of concern is keeping taxes low, which lawmakers said they hope will have the dual effect of allowing more producers to enter the market and keeping legal cannabis prices reasonable, an important factor in allowing new market entrants to chip away at the illicit market.

For some advocacy groups, guarantees on equity in employment and working conditions in the industry are just as important as equity in ownership or licensing.

“As a union, we bring a lot of concern around employment practices and how employees are treated, how well they’re compensated, and are they able to share in the success of their industry,” said Jonathan Williams, spokesperson for UFCW Local 400, which represents cannabis workers in Maryland.

Economic Matters will be just one of several committees to work on a chunk of the cannabis framework. The House Judiciary Committee, and perhaps others, will look at undoing another one of the lasting legacies of the war on drugs: thousands of convictions for cannabis-related offenses, which can often serve as barriers to the job market for those convicted.

Judiciary Committee member Christopher Bouchat, R-Carroll, who was convicted of a crime and charged as an adult at age 16, recalled firsthand the impact of such a criminal conviction.

“For the rest of my life, I have that assault conviction on my record. And I think that having felt that, I understand the impact that cannabis convictions have on adults trying to get employment.”

For the new governor, expungement is a crucial part of the legalization process, and righting the wrongs of the last 40 years has been central to his message on this issue.

“As we have said, we cannot talk about the benefits of legalization if we’re also not willing to wrestle with the consequences of criminalization,” said Moore at the press conference.

While Moore supports expunging records of all those convicted solely of marijuana possession, other lawmakers worry that his plan does not go far enough to protect those convicted on other charges or of a cannabis-related felony.

“We know that felony convictions are what harm people from getting jobs, housing, and other opportunities. The stigma of felonies is the problem. Misdemeanor possession is hurting very few people,” said Carter, a Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee member. She added that institutions, including many police departments around the state, now allow officers with prior misdemeanor possession convictions on the force. Carter has introduced legislation to give judges more flexibility in expunging records.

Lawmakers are also tasked with figuring out a plan for the tax revenue cannabis legalization will generate. In a meeting with the House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup during the interim, consultants from the Marijuana Policy Project suggested that cannabis legalization could generate over $1 billion in revenue for the state.

Responsibility for that tax plan will fall to the House Ways and Means Committee, whose membership includes Prince George’s County Delegate and Cannabis Working Group member Darryl Barnes.

“This is an exciting time in the history of the state of Maryland,” said Barnes, adding, “we have an opportunity to put forward legislation that impacts a billion-dollar-plus industry that’s coming, but, more importantly, to frame the conversation around equity and inclusion. And that is the most important thing to me, as well as looking at how we will tax this where it’s fair and equitable for those participating.”

 

By GREG MORTON
Capital News Service

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Maryland makes history with Moore’s inauguration

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ANNAPOLIS, Maryland – In a star-studded inauguration ceremony Wednesday, newly sworn-in Maryland Gov. Wes Moore captivated the crowd with the same energy and vision that launched his political ascension last year. Emphasizing themes of unity and forward progress, Moore promised to lift people out of poverty, become a leader in clean energy technology and create a path of service for the state’s youth.

“No, yes, Aruna’s and my portraits are going to look a little different from the ones we’ve always seen in the capitol. But that’s not the point. This journey has never been about ‘making history.’ It is about marching forward,” Moore said. “Today is not an indictment of the past; it’s a celebration of our future. And today is our opportunity to begin a future so bright it is blinding. But only if we are intentional, inclusive, and disciplined in confronting challenges, making hard choices, and seizing the opportunity in front of us.”
In a ceremony emceed by Anne Arundel Executive Steuart Pittman, Moore became the 63rd governor of Maryland and the first Black governor in state history. He is the fifth Black governor in U.S. history and only the third elected Black governor.

His ascension in politics has brought him national renown and attracted celebrity guests to the inaugural, including media mogul Oprah Winfrey; former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, the first Black man elected statewide; President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, among others.

“I always walk away from a conversation with Wes Moore with a new perspective, with new ideas, with a new way of seeing things. A new burst of positive energy. That’s what you do for people,” said Winfrey, who introduced him to the audience arrayed in front of the portico steps of the Maryland State House. “This might be his first day as an elected official, but Wes Moore has been a public service servant his entire adult life. There’s so much more to come. He’s just getting started.”


Moore took the oath of office at noon on a Bible that once belonged to author and orator Frederick Douglass, who was born enslaved in Maryland and later became known for his fight for the abolition of slavery.

Moore acknowledged Maryland’s history of enslaving people and its great civil rights leaders.

“As I stand here today, looking out over Lawyers’ Mall, at the memorial to Justice Thurgood Marshall, it’s impossible not to think about our past and our path. We are blocks away from the Annapolis docks, where so many enslaved people arrived in this country against their will. And we are standing in front of a capitol building built by their hands,” Moore said. He said those people’s history was lost or stolen, but progress has been made, and he promised to continue it.

“And it is a shared history – our history – made by people who, over the last two centuries, regardless of their origin story to Maryland, fought to build a state, and a country, that works for everybody,” Moore said.

In the Democratic primary, Moore received 33.8% of the vote, enough to beat out competitors Tom Perez (28.3%) and Peter Franchot (21.5%). Moore then went on to defeat Republican Dan Cox overwhelmingly in the General Election, capturing 64.5% of the vote.

Aruna Miller, also sworn in Wednesday as Maryland’s 10th lieutenant governor, is another historic first, becoming the first woman of color to be Maryland lieutenant governor and the first South Asian lieutenant governor in U.S. history.

Miller was born in Hyderabad, India, and moved with her family to the U.S. at age 7. She is a civil engineer who worked with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation for 25 years and served in the General Assembly from 2010 until she was tapped to be Moore’s running mate.

“We will address the inequities of the past and build a Maryland where everyone will thrive. Our fortunes are tied together in ensuring that we create a state where we grow equitably. It will take all of us together to achieve this vision,” Miller said. “Together, with you, we will write the next chapter of Maryland’s history, a chapter that will be filled with real-time heroes like you.”

During his inaugural address, Moore also reflected on his life’s journey to Annapolis. Specifically, he highlighted how his time in the military shaped his leadership style and will inform his legislation.
“My years of service transformed me. My character was strengthened, my vistas were widened, and my leadership was tested. I want every young Marylander, of every background, in every community, to have the opportunity to serve our state,” Moore said. “That is why we will offer a service year option for all high school graduates. A year of service will prepare young people for their careers — and provide our state with future leaders: public servants we desperately need.”

Moore, who graduated from Valley Forge Military College, served as a captain and paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne, including leading troops into combat in Afghanistan. Two members of his Cabinet, Secretary of Housing & Community Development Jake Day and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Woods, also are combat veterans. Moore said service could be a catalyst for young people in Maryland, as it was for him.

The governor challenged the state to reject the norms that have failed many and enter this period of change with optimism and unity.
“Maryland is home to spectacular natural beauty, dynamic industries, and people as talented as they are determined. But…the truth is: Maryland is asset-rich and strategy-poor and for too long, we have left too many people behind,” Moore said. “We’ve been asked to accept that some of us must be left behind. That in order for some to win, others must lose. And not only that: We have come to expect that the people who have always lost… will keep losing. Well, we must refuse to accept that.”

While Moore has made it clear that tomorrow is a working day, today allows Marylanders to envision a brighter future.

By MICHAEL CHARLES
Capital News Service

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New Year, New You: Tips for a healthy start to 2023

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The beginning of a new year symbolizes a fresh start and, for many of us, it provides a renewed focus on our overall health and wellbeing. That’s why so many of us set New Year’s resolutions intended to improve our wellness. Turning the page on the calendar gives us a chance to turn the page on old unhealthy habits, commit to being better, healthier versions of ourselves and look to the future with hope for what’s to come. Living a healthier life can reduce your risk of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer; and it can help to boost your energy, sharpen your memories and stabilize your mood, leading to a noticeable improvement in your overall health.

If you have intentions of leading a healthier life this year, you are not alone. We asked our Primary and Specialty Care professionals what their top three recommendations are to stay healthier, longer.

Kearn Ghuman

Kearn Ghuman, DO
Fauquier Health Primary & Specialty Care at Lake Manassas

  1. Pack a gym bag the night before. Packing a gym bag and taking it to work with you is a simple way to encourage yourself to go to the gym before or right after work. Let’s be real – work and life can get hectic and busy, especially around the holiday season. After a long day, depending on your schedule, you may not have the energy to work out. That’s why early morning workouts can be just what you need. They are a great way to get the blood flowing to your brain and will help you stay focused at work. Remember 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week is the goal!
  2. Put down your phone. This may sound simple, but it is becoming increasingly difficult. Disconnecting is a great way to mentally refresh. We need to remind ourselves to take a break in a world where we are always connected. That includes turning off the TV. Instead, grab a book, take a bath or shower, and take it easy for an hour before bedtime. Only use your bed for sleeping, that means no watching TV or reading in bed. Optimizing your sleep hygiene will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep during the night.
  3. Meal planning. Meal planning for the week during the weekend is a great way to stay on track for a healthy diet. You can find easy recipes online, for example Mayo Clinic Diet online offers some sample menus and meal plans. Don’t forget, balance in your diet is important!

Hasina Hamid

Hasina Hamid, MD
Fauquier Health Primary & Specialty Care at Lake Manassas
Piedmont Internal Medicine, Warrenton

  1. Drink more water. Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. If you engage in regular physical exercise, you may need more water to stay hydrated. Sports drinks can be helpful to replace salts and provide some sugar if you are especially active. Sodas, energy drinks, fruit juices and alcoholic beverages are a big source of extra sugar. Cut them out. Find alcohol-free drinks, mocktails, that you can make. By cutting out alcohol, you’ll cut out a lot of empty calories. You can also choose water, tea, coffee, or other unsweetened beverages.
  2. Prioritize your sleep hygiene. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a third of U.S. adults say they typically get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Poor sleeping habits can raise your risk for high blood pressure, increased stress, weight gain, depression, loss of motor skills and poor heart health. If you are having difficulty maintaining good sleep hygiene or are experiencing any of the symptoms of a sleep disorder, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment for you.
  3. Schedule an annual check-up with your provider. There’s no better time than the start of a new year to schedule your annual check-up or any other health screenings you may need. Annual wellness exams and recommended health screenings give you and your provider the opportunity to catch health issues before they become serious and avoid any potential complications that arise from delaying care. Scheduling your annual check-up or screening is also a great way to stay on top of things like recommended immunizations and any other needed procedures.

Jenna Wong

Jenna Wong, DO
Fauquier Health Primary & Specialty Care at Lake Manassas

  1. Be realistic. As we kick off the New Year, you may reflect and decide to make some changes. Make sure you are making realistic lifestyle changes. Keep in mind, crash diets will make you more likely to yo-yo in weight and overall health.
  2. Be specific. Set specific, concrete goals for yourself. For example, “I will lift weights for X minutes, X times per week and jog for X minutes, X times per week.” Another great example to help mentally prepare you for each day would include, “I will meditate every morning when I wake up for X minutes, X times per week.”
  3. Food pyramid 101. As children we learned about the food pyramid and how many servings of which food to strive for daily. Then as adults, we tend to lose sight of that. I recommend you strive to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Change your mindset to focus on incorporating nutrients, rather than focusing on the avoidance of unhealthy, “yummy” foods.

If you need a primary care provider, Fauquier Health can help. Call 540.316.DOCS or visit the Find a Provider tab at FauquierHealth.org to get connected with quality care today.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Feb
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
4
Sat
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Feb 4 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
Feb
6
Mon
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 6 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
7
Tue
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 7 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
8
Wed
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 8 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
9
Thu
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 9 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
10
Fri
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 10 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
11
Sat
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 11 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
12
Sun
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 12 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]