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News
McDonnell Resonates in Tampa

By JIM RILEY
For PotomacLocal.com 

TAMPA, Fla. — After a slew of Tuesday meetings run by the RATE Coalition on tax reform and the National Journal on what to expect from a Romney administration, it was off to pre-convention receptions and then the big event itself.

Word had spread earlier in the day that Mitt Romney was coming to town early to support his wife, Ann, on the big night of her speech. His motorcade zipped past us about 11 a.m. Tuesday.

During Tuesday night’s speeches, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gave some memorable lines during his speech:

“It will be good to have a president who understands what it takes to create jobs…and a vice president who knows what state he’s in.”

He was very well received by the delegates and it was clear why he made the cut for Romney’s Vice President short list.

Another Virginian, former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis who represented an Alabama district as a Democrat, brought down the house when he said he was at the wrong convention four years ago (he seconded President Obama’s nomination in Denver in 2008 and was the first lawmaker from outside Illinois to endorse him).

He spoke on behalf of everyone who “got it wrong” four years ago. By the end of the speech, he had the entire audience on their feet. Forget about him taking Gerry Connolly on in two years (if Connolly even lasts that long), Davis is Senate caliber and should be a top NRSC recruit target to take out Mark Warner in 2014.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley gave a great speech in her own right, relating the story of how her immigrant parents built their own small business. She then pivoted to introducing Ann Romney.

During her speech, Ann Romney laid out the picture of Mitt Romney that most people don’t know, from the early days of their marriage when they lived in a basement apartment with an ironing board as their dining room table through today and the success he has achieved. She not only capably defended the notion of success, but praised its virtues.

Finally, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave the keynote address. It’s theme was “it’s time someone started treating voters like adults,” and that it was more important that politicians and America as a whole be respected than to be loved. And finally, that elected officials lead and “change the polls” rather than merely be followers of them.

Wednesday, I’m at the first ever National Center Right Meeting run by Americans for Tax Reform. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is speaking about resisting the state expansion of Medicaid and the problems with Obamacare’s state exchanges. (Former Virginia LG John Hager is here, too.)

Delelegate David Ramadan from Loudoun County spoke about the constitutional amendments on the ballot this November to protect private property rights.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for VirginiaVirtucon.com.

*This story has been corrected. 

News
Learn If You’re Registered to Vote

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The Prince William County Human Rights Commission will meet on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. in the James J. McCoart Building. At the meeting, the Electoral Board will present information on the 2012 Presidential Election and some new guidelines that all voting citizens need to know before Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

The chairman of the Electoral Board, Keith Scarborough, and the board members will discuss four items – 1) are you registered to vote at your current address; 2) has your polling place been changed; 3) do you have an acceptable form of identification; and 4) do you qualify to vote absentee?

The Human Rights Commission meetings are open to the public, and everyone is welcome to attend. Please come out and learn about the things you will need to do before the November election. You may contact the office if you have questions at 703-792-4680.

-Press release 

News
Holton Signing Up Voters in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Anne Holton will visit the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College on Tuesday to host a voter registration drive.

Holton is the wife of U.S. Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine and has been actively campaigning for her husband across the state.

Holton is expected to tour the campus at 15200 Neabsco Mills Road beginning at 1:15 p.m. Afterward, Holton will join students by the lake on campus and kick-off a voter registration drive.

Her visit is part of a three-day tour of college campuses across the state. On Monday, Holton toured Tidewater Community College and Norfolk State University.

 

News
Down Day in Tampa

By JIM RILEY
For PotomacLocal.com 

TAMPA, Fla. — The Republican National Convention began today, but lasted for all of 27 seconds before it was recessed due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

The decision to postpone the opening session was made before the storm began to veer west and away from Tamapa. Many other events were likewise cancelled leaving delegates and guests looking for things to do on what became an unexpected down day.

The weather constantly shifted between sun and rain as the bands of Isaac swept through, so outdoor activities were not a viable option. Some delegations spent their day putting together relief packages for those about to be hit by the storm. Others took the opportunity to socialize and reconnect with old friends or make new ones.

Not all the events were cancelled, though. I attended a panel discussion on job creation put on by the American Action Forum headed up by Virginia’s own Fred Malek and former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) kicked it off with an inspiring recount of his own experience starting a business. McCarthy was the youngest of five sons of a firefighter and a stay at home mom. After he graduated from high school, there wasn’t any money for college, so he opened up a deli after he won $5,000 in the California lottery and had saved up some additional money from jobs he worked.

Eventually, he found success, sold his business, and put himself through college. While in college, he applied to be a DC intern for his Congressman. He was turned down. Today, he holds that seat in Congress.

There are a few more events happening tonight with one of the highlights being an event featuring The Busboys and Otis Day (“Hey, Otis, my man!”)

Things promise to really ramp up Tuesday with Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the night’s featured speakers.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for VirginiaVirtucon.com.

News
Politicos, Actor in Tampa for GOP Fair

By JIM RILEY
For PotomacLocal.com 

TAMPA, Fla. — The day started out appropriately enough at Reagan National Airport in Washington, and bound for the Republican National Convention, I had no problems getting into Tampa despite the approaching Tropical Storm Isaac.

In Tampa now, it is overcast and only light rain showers so far (it rained harder in Northern Virginia on Sunday morning.)

The pilot while flying into Tampa pointed out the clouds from the approaching tropical storm that made up one of its arms. Nothing to take too lightly, but I do get the feeling everyone is being overly cautious.

Due to the storm, tomorrow’s convention sessions have been postponed. Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-Fairfax) will still address the convention, but will now do so during a new 2 p.m. Tuesday session. Gov. Bob McDonnell will speak during the 8 p.m. hour on Tuesday, followed by former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis in the 9 p.m. hour. Davis changed his party affiliation from the Democratic Party to the GOP.

The broadcast networks will only be airing one hour of coverage each night, from 10-11 p.m. and Tuesday appears to be a good one with presumed Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Wednesday night will include a speech by Bob McDonnell’s daughter, Jeanine, following a video featuring Texas Congressman Ron Paul and a speech by his son Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Afterward, 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain will speak.

The 10 p.m. hour will feature Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan. Thursday will begin with tributes to Ronald Reagan and conclude with Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech that will be preceded by those he served with in Massachusetts as well as Olympic athletes.

The positive picture of Romney that so many have been calling for to be spotlighted will be revealed in whole by then.

But it’s not just politicos who are here; there’s also a bit of Hollywood, too.

The first person I ran into when I arrived in Tampa was Victoria Jackson from Saturday Night Live (Dennis Miller / Dana Carvey era). She’s in town covering the convention for a web show she does now. I had the chance to talk to her briefly and she mentioned that the group of conservatives that meets in Hollywood is now up to 2,000 members and that Dana Carvey is now coming aboard.

She also mentioned Jon Lovitz’s recent anti Barack Obama tirade, where he criticized the president for a plan to raise taxes for the rich.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for VirginiaVirtucon.com.

 

News
Stafford’s Stimpson Bids for Lt. Governor

By URIAH KISER

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — When attorney Ted Cruz won a runoff election in Texas, it caught the attention of Susan Stimpson.

Cruz had never held office, is a conservative, and is favored to be elected that state’s Lieutenant Governor in the upcoming November General Election.

Stimpson posted his story to her Facebook page where she does much of her communicating with the residents of Stafford County, whom she serves as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Today, she’ll use that same website to announce her run to become Virginia’s next Lieutenant Governor in 2013.

“If you’re looking for a delegate or if you’re looking for a senator, I’m not your candidate. My campaign is all about grass roots. It’s all about the movement our country is facing right now, and Virginia bears this struggle right now of ‘what is the role of government’…my record of reform is what best positions me for Lieutenant Governor,” said Stimpson.

Her first term in elected office on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors began in 2010. She later ascended to the Chairman position in January following the exit of Delegate Mark Dudenhefer, R-Stafford, Woodbridge, who went to serve in the General Assembly.

With a small group of supporters behind her, Stimpson points to lower taxes and less government as her platform.

“Name the last tax cut that Richmond made. I believe that the reason that Stafford County is enjoying such prosperity is that we believe in the model of limited government, which includes lowering taxes, less of an a government administration, prioritizing funding, and economic development and letting the market flourish,” said Stimpson.

Stafford County has prospered over the years as more government contractors have filled spaces at the Quantico Corporate Center off Intestate 95. That has flooded county coffers with new revenues, which she said allowed for a reduction in residents’ property taxes.

The county is also the largest jurisdiction in the state without a tax on gross business receipts, and Stafford officials last night announced a $4 million budget surplus.

Stimpson said she’ll begin campaigning around the state immediately, and challenges lie ahead. It’s clear that many portions of the state do not have a Quantico Marine Corps Base as an economic draw.

In Southside and Southwest portions of the state where economic growth has been slow, and many residents receive government assistance, Stimpson said her message of lower taxes will play well there as, reforms would allow residents to put more money back into their homes and wallets.

The race for Lieutenant Governor has proved a pivotal one, as several Republicans have put their name in the hat to replace current Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, who’s expected to run for Virginia Governor. Delegate Scott Lingamfelter and Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart are also seeking the office.

The Lieutenant Governor candidate will be decided at a convention in Richmond in June, and voters will decide who will be the state’s next Governor and Lieutenant Governor in November 2013.

News
Anderson Moderating Allen Round Table Saturday

Anderson

Anderson

DALE CITY, Va. — Former Virginia Governor and United State Senate candidate George F. Allen will conduct a “Virginia Veterans Round Table Discussion” at 10 AM on Saturday, August 18th. The event will be at VFW Post 1503, 14631 Minnieville Road, Dale City, VA 22193, near the intersection of Minnieville Road and Spriggs Road.

The event will be moderated by Del. Richard L. Anderson of the 51st House District and state co-chair of the Veterans for Allen group.

This year’s Presidential and Congressional elections are crucial decision points that will impact America’s Armed Forces and the 823,000 veterans who reside in Virginia. Saturday’s round table discussion will provide an important opportunity for veterans to share their views with Governor Allen. It will also offer an opportunity for Governor Allen to articulate his vision for America’s military and veteran community as outlined in his “Compact With Veterans.”

The event starts at 10 a.m. 

-Press release 

News
Kaine in Manassas Today

MANASSAS, Va. — Kaine will tour small businesses today in Old Town Manassas as he continues his campaign for U.S. Senate.

The tour starts at 3 p.m. at Fosters Grille at 9417 West Street, and along the tour Kaine will share his ideas for economic improvement, according to a press release.

Kaine’s visit comes just days after Republican opponent George Allen toured a government contractor facility in Manassas.

 

News
Stafford Dems Organizing for Fall Election

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — The Stafford Democratic Committee will hold their “Blue Country Swing” picnic where Democrats will gather on Sat., Aug. 18 from 4 to 8 pm, to hear candidates and get organized for the fall election.

The picnic is at the North Snowden Farm in southeast Stafford County, 1465 King’s Hwy, Fredericksburg VA 22405. The farm is the lifelong home of Stafford native Bobby Crisp, wife of former Democratic supervisor Harry Crisp. The Crisps have lived at the home most of their married life and raised their children there.

Along with traditional picnic fare and swing music, Adam Cook, candidate for Congress, and State Senator Mark Herring, candidate next year for the Democratic nomination for VA Attorney General, will address the crowd.

Virginia’s political director for Obama for America, Don Mark, will do an update on the campaign and recruit volunteers, as will Joe Montano, a northern region political director for the VA Victory coordinated campaign.

ther details on Democratic Party activities are at stafforddemocrats.org.

-Press release

 

News
Romney, Ryan Rocket Through Virginia

Romney and rival President Obama Hold Campaign Rallies in Multiple Cities

By KJ MUSHUNG

MANASSAS, Va. — It was another hot day on the campaign trail for presidential contender Mitt Romney, but that did not diminish his energy level. On the contrary, he was traveling through the battleground state of Virginia with news that guaranteed front-page media coverage – the announcement of his running mate. Romney bypassed what political analysts labeled the “safe picks” of Sen. Rob Portman and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty along with the blunt New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the outspoken intellect from Wisconsin, Congressman Paul Ryan.

Ryan is best-known for wanting to revamp Medicare and turn it into a voucher-type system. People are already weighing in on the plan, taking the spotlight away from the issue of the economy, which is by far the number-one voter concern.

Romney certainly had his reasons for picking Ryan. One of them may have been the rapport the two seem to have with one another. In contrast, it’s been reported that previous Republican running mates Sen. John McCain and former Gov. Sarah Palin barely communicated with each other.

Billing themselves as “America’s Comeback Team,” Romney and Ryan held rallies in Norfolk, Ashland and Manassas on Saturday, Aug. 11.

In Manassas, Romney had a huge support team of elected officials by his side. Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish spoke first on Romney’s behalf. He was followed by Del. Jackson Miller, Del. Barbara Comstock, Rep. Frank Wolf, former senator and governor George Allen (now a senatorial candidate), Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, then Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and, of course, Ryan. Delegate Mark Dudenhefer and members of the Manassas City Council were also present but did not speak. It was like a who’s who of Northern Virginia Republicans.

One can’t help but feel invincible with that much support present, which may explain why Romney’s energy level and enthusiasm were extremely high.

A tattoo on this man’s arm and the sign he was holding had the same message: “believe.” (Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

President Barack Obama’s rally in Leesburg on Aug. 2 was smaller and billed as a grassroots event. Like Romney’s Manassas rally, it was held outdoors on a stifling hot day with the usual invocation and pledge of allegiance. But Obama didn’t have an assemblage of politicians present to give grand introductions. Instead, he was introduced by a local history teacher. The atmosphere was more down-to-earth than fired up and was aimed at middle-class voters.

According to the Romney campaign, approximately 8,000 people were present at the Romney-Ryan rally in Manassas.

The crowd count for Obama’s visit to Leesburg was 3,200 according to Linda Hale, Chief Fire Marshall for Loudoun County.

Just last month Obama made appearances in Hampton, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Glen Allen and Clifton.

Obama, Romney and Ryan all touched on the usual political talking points, so there’s no need to recount them here. The question is: What resonated with the audience?

Alicia Woodson is a Fairfax mom of seven who used to work for Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon. An important aspect about a Romney presidency to her would be the repealing of the Affordable Care Act. She said not everything in the healthcare bill is bad but that elected representatives need to work together and come up with something that benefits all people. “We’re ready for a change for the next four years.”

“They understand that government is not the solution, and we have to energize small business again,” said Ron Clark of Washington, D.C., about the Romney-Ryan ticket.

What hit home for John Herweh of Ashburn was Romney’s message on the economy and high gas prices. He said that both Romney and Ryan have the opportunity to change course and raise America’s prominence back to what it used to be.

Several others mentioned in one way or another that they will vote for Romney simply because they want to get Obama out of the Oval Office.

After Obama’s speech earlier this month, Cynthia and Kenneth Triplin of Leesburg weighed in. Kenneth remarked that keeping taxes low and having affordable housing matters the most with him, while Cynthia wants Obama to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. They feel that by electing Obama for another term, it enables him to accomplish the goals that he set in his first term.

Scott Jackson of Prince William County noted that there’s a fundamental difference in policies from one party to the next. Of the Democratic Party, he said, “It’s more the party of the common people… So I think that’s why more people seem to identify with Obama.”

John Bauer of Reston brought his wife and three children to see the president speak because he felt it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. When he was 10 years old, he attended Richard Nixon’s second inauguration, and the memory has stayed with him. He agrees with Obama’s message of growing the middle class outward rather than from the top-down. “That seems to be the policy that works consistently.”

Vice President Joe Biden has Virginia events scheduled this week in Danville, Wytheville and Blacksburg at Virginia Tech.

Mitt Romney greets supporters in Manassas. (Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

News
Allen Headed to Manassas Today

MANASSAS, Va. — George Allen will make a campaign stop Monday at a Manassas defense contractor.

Allen is scheduled to appear at Asset, Inc. on Asset Court near the FBI campus on Prince William Parkway at 2:30 p.m.

Allen is expected to address sequestration, and the potential loss of $1.2 military and other spending over the next 10 years. If implemented, the cuts would begin Jan. 2.

Allen is running against former Democrat Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine to replace current U.S. Senator Jim Webb.

This is the second stop for Allen in Manassas in as many days. He appeared with presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a campaign rally at Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas on Saturday.

 

News
Ryan over McDonnell for Romney VP

ROMNEY, RYAN TO JOIN MCDONNELL, ALLEN IN MANASSAS TODAY

Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was selected over Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell today as Mitt Romney’s number two.

Ryan, 42, represents Wisconsin’s first congressional district and as of late has focused his attention on shooting Sunday at a Sikh temple in his district which left six dead and four others injured.

Romney’s campaign noted on its blog they liked Ryan’s involvement in a 2010 initiative called “Roadmap for America’s Future” which outlined lowering the federal deficit and tax code reform.

McDonnell and U.S. Senate candidate George Allen are slated to join Romney and at a campaign rally in Manassas later today, after scheduled stops in Ashland, and this morning in Norfolk where Ryan was named Romney’s vice-presidential candidate.

McDonnell has long been questioned about his being considered for the vice-presidential position, and at a ribbon cutting for the Interstate 95 HOT Lanes on Tuesday in Dale City, he said he would work to ensure Romney wins Virginia in November’s General Election.

 

News
Group Addressed Multiple Tenants at Single Homes

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – On Saturday, August 4, Delegate Rich Anderson (R-Prince William) hosted a 51st House District Town Hall in a packed conference room at the McCoart Government Complex Building in response to citizen concerns over neighborhood issues in Prince William County. Also in attendance were Occoquan District Supervisor Michael C. May, staff representatives of other county supervisors, and key members of the county staff.

Some three dozen people crowded into a packed meeting room to express their concerns in a community discussion on how to make Prince William County a better place in which to live, work, and raise a family. During the meeting, residents of Woodbridge, Dale City, Occoquan, Lake Ridge, and Manassas engaged in the discussion on neighborhood issues, and Anderson pledged to continue the community conversation in a series of additional meetings.

The purpose of the get-together was to determine if local county ordinances are sufficient to address neighborhood challenges, or if additional authority is needed from the Commonwealth of Virginia to permit Prince William County officials to assist neighborhoods to a greater degree. Before the meeting, citizens were asked to put their neighborhood concerns in writing in order to better shape the discussion at the meeting. Many of these concerns centered around residential overcrowding, parking of vehicles in unauthorized locations, and operation of businesses in areas zoned for residential properties. A list of citizen questions and concerns can be found at the Neabsco Action Alliance website.

On hand to help from Prince William County staff were John E. Settlemeyer of the county’s Property Code Enforcement Branch and Robert P. Skoff of the County Attorney’s Office. Settlemeyer and Skoff are recognized experts in county ordinances and neighborhood code enforcement. Connie Moser, President of the Neabsco Action Alliance organization and Virginia’s “State Neighborhood Advocate of the Year” in 2011, helped to facilitate the meeting.

The first discussion item focused on the number of persons residing in a single-family home. Citizens from all parts of Prince William County—east, west, and mid-county—agreed that multiple tenants in a single family residence was problematic. Assistant County Attorney Skoff explained limitations of county ordinances regarding the number of permissible tenants and difficulties in the legal definition of the term “family.” After considerable discussion, the group refocused its attention from the issue of the number of occupants living in a particular dwelling to the challenges created by a large number of vehicles, trash receptacles, noise, and infringement on the neighborhood experienced by residents.

The group then turned its attention to a discussion of work vehicles parked in residential areas overnight, including the operation of businesses in residential neighborhoods. Because of the extensive nature of the neighborhood issues identified in Saturday’s meeting, Anderson offered to host additional meetings to permit the group to craft proposed solutions and to bring in additional participants from the community. Anderson concluded the meeting with assurances that he is “willing to do anything necessary to help residents feel comfortable in their neighborhoods and rebuild lost property values.”

Moser invited residents to attend monthly Neighborhood Leaders Group meetings to work with long-time neighborhood advocates on finding common-sense solutions to local neighborhood challenges. Details are on the Prince William County website.

Anderson concluded the meeting by giving his contact information to attendees and encouraged them to contact him or his legislative assistant, Ryan M. Galloway, at any time. His email address is DelRAnderson@house.virginia.gov and Mr. Galloway’s address is RGalloway@house.virginia.gov. The 51st legislative district office telephone number is 571-264-9983. Citizens with urgent needs that cannot wait until the next business day may also call Del. Anderson’s Woodbridge home at 703-730-1380.

-Press release 

News
Connolly Holding Seniors Forum at Westminster

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Congressman Gerry Connolly will hold a senior issues forum on Social Security, Medicare, and other matters facing seniors Friday at 3 pm at Westminster at Lake Ridge.

AConnolly will be joined by representatives of federal agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration, as well as a representative from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Connolly has held numerous town hall meetings and forums in Prince William County, and Friday’s session will mark the fourth senior issues forum held at Westminster.

The forum will be held in the Potomac Room of Westminster at Lake Ridge, 12191 Clipper Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22192.

-Press release 

News
McDonnell Will Join Romney in Manassas

MANASSAS, Va. — Mitt Romney will appear in Manassas on Saturday will Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell.

Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, will make stops in Norfolk, and Ashland outside Richmond, prior to rallying crowds in Old Town Manassas.

Romney is expected to announce his pick for his Vice-Presidential running mate. McDonnell has been named before as a possible choice for Romney. When asked about the possibility earlier this week in Dale City, McDonnell was non-committal.

“The only thing I can promise is to help Romney win Virginia,” said McDonnell.

Saturday’s rally in Manassas is scheduled to begin at Harris Pavilion at 2:45 p.m. Attendees are urged to RSVP for tickets here.

 

News
FEC Clears Indie Gibson to Run in 11th

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Mark Gibson – independent candidate for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District (VA-11) – received confirmation from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that it received and processed his principal campaign committee’s Statement of Organization, known as FEC Form 1.

Gibson’s committee will now file regular financial reports that contain all receipts and disbursements by the committee as required under the Federal Election Campaign Act. These reports can be accessed by the public at www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/imaging_help.shtml. Though not mandatory, Gibson voluntarily posts near-real-time campaign expenditures and donations under the “Finances” link of his website – www.Gibson4congress2012.com.

Gibson is now accepting contributions but only from individual 11th District voters, saying, “This campaign is based in the neighborhoods and communities that make up this District. As an independent, I’m not looking to any political movement, organization, or outside supporter. I’ll only consider local financial help.” Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, Gibson is permitted to accept contributions from a wide array of individuals and groups but has voluntarily chosen to limit contributions to those that may vote for him.

-Press release 

News
McDonnell at Quantico to Sign Unclaimed Ashes Bill

QUANTICO, Va. — The unclaimed ashes of veterans may now have a proper burial thanks to new legislation that will be signed today at Quantico.

Virginia Delegate Richard Anderson, R-51, Prince William, will join Gov. Robert F. McDonnell at the Marine Corps base where he’ll sign a new bill that requires funeral home directors and crematory owners to use a computer database through Virginia’s Department of Veterans Services to check the military status of the names of unclaimed cremains, or unclaimed ashes. If the cremains belong to a military veteran, the state will now claim those ashes and give them a full military burial.

“There’s a fairly sizable quantity of these remains that are typically sitting on shelves at crematories, and some of them have been there as long as a decade,” said Anderson. “Many families don’t claim the ashes because they can’t afford to pay cremation costs.”

Identified cremains will be buried at one of three Virginia veterans’ cemeteries, one in central Virginia, one in the southwestern portion of the state, and the other in Suffolk.

Anderson said any costs to the funeral home or crematory director for using the computer database were not discussed, and he added he’s received no negative comments about the program from such facility directors.

Anderson co-sponsored with Delegate Bob Tata, R-85, Virginia Beach.

This will be the second trip to the Potomac Communities in as many weeks for McDonnell. The governor came to the Stafford County Public Safety Center July 18 to sign new legislation that protects public safety workers.

 

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U.S. 1 Widening Spurs Budget Battle

By URIAH KISER

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — When it comes to building roads using bond money, it’s eastern Prince William County’s turn to enjoy the spoils.

The county’s Board of Supervisors approved a $53.1 million project to widen U.S. 1 between Neabsco Mills and Featherstone roads from four to six lanes in Woodbridge. The project will help traffic in a commuter corridor often gridlocked during rush hours, but it also will strap county taxpayers with about $50 million in new bond debt – all of which will be need to be paid off over the next 20 years, starting in 2014.

But, with interest rates and construction costs at all-time lows, it appears now is the time to invest and spur redevelopment in Woodbridge with a wider main street.

“We’ve already completed the western-end 2006 [voter approved bond referendum] projects…now this Woodbridge project has been put off and needs to get done,” said Prince William Board Chairman Corey Stewart, At large. “It’s about the rejuvenation of the Route 1 corridor which is happening as we speak.”

Since 1988, Prince William has built roads – including the highway that bears its namesake, Prince William Parkway, with bond money used after voters approved new road construction. The last road bond referendum was passed in 2006, when, among other projects in the western portion of the county, voters approved widening U.S. 1 in Triangle (a project now completed).

Known across the state as a county willing to finance and build its own roads rather that wait on the Virginia Department of Transportation to do it for them, this new U.S. 1 widening project in Prince William will add to improvements already planned to widen U.S. 1 to six lanes from the Occoquan River south to Mary’s Way in Woodbridge.

Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland was the only one on the eight-member Board who voted against widening U.S. 1 between Neabsco Mills and Featherstone roads. The debt was too much for him to swallow, and, in a futile effort, he urged the county’s staff to go back to the drawing board to see if the widening could be done for less money.

Prince William County Budget Office Director Michelle Casciato warned the Board that if they committed to this project now, they would be limited on making changes to a five year plan that includes funding other projects like a police station and new libraries.

In the coming years, county officials plan for a four-percent annual budget increase that would grow its already $2.4 billon annual budget.

Earlier this year, Occoquan Supervisor Mike May requested new numbers from the Budget Office essentially asking “what if” the county doesn’t increase it’s budget by four percent, choosing instead to increase it by just two or three percent. What if the county doesn’t increase its budget at all and continues to cut services and reduce its government workforce? May asked.

Those projections are due out this fall, and May said they could also affect the projected levels of funding for other projects already in the county’s five year plan, stating all projects are still on the table.

The general consensus on the Board remains, however, that if planned projects like new libraries, parks, and improvements to public safety are going to get built, the money is going to have to come from somewhere.

 

News
Dumfries Honors West, Barr

Nancy West (Photo: KJ Mushung/PotomacLocal.com)

DUMFRIES, Va. – Though no longer on the council, they’ve not been forgotten.

Former Interim Mayor Nancy West and Former Councilwoman Dorothea Barr were both recognized by Dumfries Mayor Gerald Foreman on Tuesday night. Both women stepped down from the Dumfries Town Council after losing their bids for re-election in May.

“She was passionate about transforming the town from a place people drive through to a place where people want to live, work, play and visit,” said Foreman of West.

Barr (Photo: KJ Mushung)

West, a retired Prince William schools employee, served on the council from 2008 to May 2012 and served as vice mayor until the death of Mayor Fred Yohey in November 2011 when she became interim mayor.

“It has been a privilege to serve this town for many years, not just the years I served on the council as interim mayor, but for all the years my husband and I have lived in Dumfries,” said West.

Barr, an often outspoken member of the town council, served from 2008 until May. She’s an advocate for sound walls to block noise from Interstate 95, which runs through the town, established bi-annual meetings of homeowners associations in the town, and was a supporter of small business.

“It says here in one little line that I ‘will have served,’ and if anyone saw me up here I only missed two meetings – I served,” said Barr, commenting on the written resolution honoring her service on the council. “Please, let’s not forget the sound wall. We’re trying to get the sound wall throughout the entire Town of Dumfries…”

Barr is a realtor who works in Montclair and, since her departure from the council, has become known for posting shopping deals and discounts to her personal website.

News
Dems Rally Support, Take in Baseball Game

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — On Sunday, members of the Prince William County Young Democrats rallied on Marblestone Drive in Woodbridge, across from the Prince William County Government Center, to rouse support for local Democratic candidates and speak about the important issues in the upcoming election cycle.

Kristen Cabral, a congressional candidate, Chairman of the Prince William County Democrats Harry Wiggins, and congressional candidate Adam Cook, all spoke about the issues and challenges in the coming months leading up to Election Day.

Cabral will face incumbent Frank Wolf, R-10, and Cook incumbent Rob Wittman, R-1. 

Cabral shared her experiences as a working class child, exulting the importance of continued affordable financial aid, talking about how she had to hold down many odd jobs and take out student loans to put herself through the University of Michigan and Harvard Law School.

Cook, an Air Force veteran, also shared his experiences of being raised as one of six children, putting himself through school and how he hopes to make a big difference in congress, using his humble roots as inspiration.

Wiggins also spoke on the importance of all Democratic supporters volunteering their time for the different races throughout the state, including the unexpected Prince William County School Board race in the Occoquan District, which will take place this Fall.

At the conclusion of the rally, the group attended a Potomac Nationals game in their campaign gear, making a strong presence at the game to provide exposure for the Democratic candidates. There was also a non-partisan voter registration drive at the game, to allow citizens to register to vote and update voting address information

-Submitted 

 

News
First Lady’s Appearance Canceled

By KJ MUSHUNG

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — First Lady Michelle Obama was scheduled to speak at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg today. However, in light of the massacre in Aurora, Colo., the event has been canceled.

According to news reports, a lone male gunman opened fire on people in a movie theater. At least 38 people are wounded and 12 people dead, according to the latest numbers from CNN.

The suspect has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes of Aurora, Colo.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the first lady have canceled all planned events today to address the tragedy.

Many people waited in line for hours in the extreme heat earlier this week to get free tickets to see Obama. According to the campaign, they will do their best to ensure that those holding tickets will be the first contacted if the first lady schedules another event in the area. However, nothing is guaranteed.

 

 

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