Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Virginians need only look to their state and local budgets, their politics, their schools and highways and their military bases to measure the impact of President Barack Obama's first 100 days.
Recession-wracked Virginia is closing a hole in its two-year, $77billion budget with more than $1.5 billion in cash from Obama's plan to kick-start the economy with a gush of federal spending.
More than $4.4 billion in stimulus funds is being steered to a range of programs, most notably transportation, education and health care.
Public schools are receiving $365 million, most of which will offset deep cuts. More than $1.2 billion is available for Medicaid, which provides health care for the aged and poor. More than $700 million will be funneled to transportation projects, principally highway repaving and mass transit.
The city of Richmond is in line for $11 million, most of which will finance improvements to Main Street Station in Shockoe Bottom.
But some stimulus money has been left in Washington. The Republican-controlled House of Delegates earlier this month rejected $125 million to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits.
Read the story
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"Folks, during this economic crisis where 300,000 Virginians are unemployed and unemployment rates are at unprecedented highs, there is no excuse for our elected officials to have thumbed their noses at this stimulus money. Virginia politicians like Steve Landes can spin this all day, but the reality is that their rejection of this needed financial aid hurt every day Virginians trying to make ends meet, feed their children, buy medicine or possibly stay out of foreclosure. We deserve better action than this folks, we deserve people who will actually represent us in Richmond."
Read Greg's full article
Monday, April 27, 2009
"Rejecting $125 million in free federal money to help Virginia's unemployed shows that the House Republicans, including my opponent, are out of touch with the values of voters in the Valley. I would've voted for the public interest instead of playing partisan politics in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression. And if elected, I will aggressively promote high-paying jobs in clean energy and other green industries that will give the Valley a prosperous 21st century economy."
Erik Curren, Democratic Candidate for 20th House of Delegates
Dems attack Republicans on jobless aid
Staunton News Leader
During a press conference Thursday in Harrisonburg, 20th District House candidate Erik Curren joined 25th District challengers Dr. Greg Marrow and Jim Noel and other area Democrats in criticizing Republicans for not supporting the measure and not recognizing how the money would help those most in need. "You have to recognize this is a scary situation for a lot of families," said Curren, who is running against Del. Chris Saxman, R-Staunton. "We need to take extraordinary measures."
Read the story
Click here to visit Erik Curren's campaign web site
Saturday, April 25, 2009
A Champion for Working Men and Women
in the Shenandoah Valley
"Since my opponent took office the employment rate in Page County in the 15th District has increased fourfold from five to twenty percent. So, it is unconscionable that he would not support extending unemployment benefits. We need a state representative with leadership, courage, and compassion.
That is what I will bring to Richmond."
From the Northern Virginia Daily:
There will be a Democratic challenge to Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, this year. And if early efforts are any indication, he's coming out swinging.
John Lesinski, 49, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel now living in Washington, Va., joined a Democratic press conference on Thursday and called Gilbert to task for voting against an expansion of the commonwealth's unemployment benefits.Read the story
Friday, April 24, 2009
for the Shenandoah Valley
“These proud people that come to this building, they didn’t ask to become victims of this historic economic downturn. And they deserve all the economic assistance we can provide while they struggle to get back on their feet. The continuing harm done to Virginia’s struggling taxpaying families by Del. Lohr in lockstep with his party leadership must end,”
said Gene Hart,
the Democratic Party nominee in the 26th House District race, who we could call the host of the afternoon news conference in front of the Virginia Employment Commission office behind the Valley Mall.
Matt Lohr, the incumbent in the 26th and a Republican, joined his Republican colleagues in Richmond in what was largely a party-line vote to block the receipt of $125 million in stimulus monies in what was almost certainly a partisan moment, and not a good one, either, for the GOP.
Join the many supporters of Gene Hart for Delegate,
For the official announcement of Gene's campaign:
5:30pm - 8:00pm
Cally's Resturant ( Downtown in the banquet room)
For information call Gene's campaign at 540-810-8069
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Celebrate Earth Week at Court Square Theater this week! Topics include water quality, climate change, smart growth, and more. All events are free and open to the public. (Feel free to bring your lunch to our Noon activities!)
Activities yet to come at Court Square Theater:
Tue. Noon - We're All Smith Islanders documentary about the effects of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Tue. 7pm - Mike Tidwell, speaker - "Prosperity Through Clean Living - Why Solving Global Warming Will Make Us Rich and Doing Nothing will Kill US" (Founder/Director: Chesapeake Climate Action Network)
Wed. Noon - "Principles of Better Development" a presentation by the Valley Conservation Council
Wed. 7pm - Save Our Land, Save Our Towns PBS documentary about the decline of small towns and how to revive them
Sunday, April 19, 2009
"Keep Shenandoah County Rural"
Citizens for Responsible Land Use
Wednesday, April 22nd
New Market Community Center
9184 John Sevier Road
New Market, VA 22844
Click here for driving directions
Northern VA Daily Article about Group's Formation
Website of Company proposing the training compound
The men from Blackwater USA arrived in New Orleans right after Katrina hit. The company known for its private security work guarding senior U.S. diplomats in Iraq beat the federal government and most aid organizations to the scene in another devastated Gulf.
About 150 heavily armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear spread out into the chaos of New Orleans. Officially, the company boasted of its forces "join[ing] the hurricane relief effort."
But its men on the ground told a different story
Shenandoah County Planning Commission Meeting
Thursday, May 7th
County Office Building
Saturday, April 18, 2009
and are not actual photos of the Harrisonburg cleanup.
Click here to view photos of the Blacks Run Cleanup.)
I read where some 375 people participated in the 12th annual Blacks Run Cleanup project and picked up over 6,000 pounds of trash during the effort.
Many thanks to the nearly 400 outstanding members of our community who participated in making
Yours is an example of working together to have positive impact.
6,000 pounds of garbage? Wow. That bears repeating,
Six thousand pounds of garbage...
To put this into a visual perspective, one 16 ounce water or soft drink bottle made of PET plastic weighs around 1/8th of an ounce when empty.
8 bottles per oz. 128 bottles per lb.
6,000 lb picked up is the equivalent of more than three quarters of a million plastic bottles...
Thanks so very much again to the responsible and invested folks who work to clean up
You are true blessings to our community.
And shame on the folks who pitch garbage onto the ground and into the stream.
Click here to see pictures of the cleanup crew and activities!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Righties, you are being pimped out by billionaire elites, fighting for their tax cuts instead of yours? Huh? Doh!
Houses Divide on Party Lines
Virginia Senate votes for unemployment amendment, which House of Delegates votes down.
By Sen. Chap Petersen, Burke Connection Op-Ed
On Wednesday, April 8, the General Assembly returned to Richmond for its veto session. Unlike other legislative bodies, the Virginia Assembly is part-time. Therefore, its sessions are limited to certain dates of the year. However, when it does meet, a lot happens.
Last Wednesday was no exception. The delegates and senators voted on at least 13 vetoes from the governor, as well as over 100 amendments to existing legislation. The floor session alone lasted all day.
The most far-reaching proposal was the governor’s amendment to SB 1495, which converted a modest bill dealing with Virginia’s unemployment benefits to “trailing spouses” of military personnel forced to relocate.
The governor proposed significantly expanding the unemployment law to accommodate workers in Virginia who lost part-time work. He also expanded the right to benefits for those workers who were actively participating in job training programs, but had not yet obtained gainful employment.
The purpose of these amendments was to help thousands of out-of-work Virginians access $125 million in Federal assistance which had been specifically earmarked for expanded benefits – funds that Virginia was not currently receiving.
The downside, opponents argued, was that these expanded benefits would also require higher payroll taxes on businesses, albeit in the minimal amount of less than $5 annually. While unemployment benefits — like any government program — can always be rolled back when the economy improves, the opponents still claimed that Gov. Kaine’s (D) proposal was an impermissible expansion of government.
The amendment to SB 1495 passed the Democratic Senate on a party-line vote (21-19). It died in the Republican-controlled House. And so the Virginia legislature dutifully returned the $125 million to the Federal government to spend in another state.
Maybe it’s time to put some legislators out of work.
Due to some schedule conflicts, the Rockingham County Democratic Committee will not be having a public meeting this Thursday, April 16, as normally scheduled. Instead, we ask all area Democrats to come out and support Gene Hart's announcement of his candidacy for the 26th District House of Delegates.
When: Friday, April 24th, at 5 PM,
Where: Cally's Restaurant on Court Square, Harrisonburg, Upstairs Banquet Room.
Please mark your calendars and come and join fellow Democrats help Gene Hart represent us in Richmond. It begins here.
District 2 Chair
Rockingham Co Democratic Committee
Two events taking place Thursday are:
Town Hall with Senator Mark Warner
Join Senator Mark Warner for a town hall meeting with Valley residents and students this coming Thursday at the Grafton-Stovall Theater (behind RMH) on the JMU campus. Doors open at 12:30pm.
Limited parking is available at the new Warsaw Avenue parking deck just off South Main St. (first level)
and at the Convocation Center. Some walking will be necessary. Cars will not be ticketed during this time.
This town hall meeting is open to the public.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
12:30pm - 2:00pm
Grafton-Stovall Theatre at James Madison University
281 Warren Service Drive
For Valley Women:
Come join The Hon. Mary Sue Terry for an important conversation about the Farm Team, a statewide women's organization devoted to identifying and supporting female Democrats for office. The goal of The Farm team is a simple one: recruit, develop and elect women to office.
Who: Women from Harrisonburg and Rockingham County (other areas welcome)
Where: Harrisonburg City Council Chambers (the new one)
When: Thursday April 16: 6:00 p.m.
(Building will open at 5:30 p.m. with program beginning promptly at 6:00 p.m.)
Speaker: Former Virginia Attorney General Mary Sue Terry
For more information send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
The Obamas now have a new puppy, which the girls have named "Bo."
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Communities Linking Faith and Sustainability
Harrisonburg First Church of the Brethren
Saturday, April 18, 2009
See how you can combine your faith, caring for the Earth, and everyday living.
Join with many other good folks for informative courses led by experts who share a concern for creation. Learn from other participants, collaborate on solutions, and come away fulfilled and ready to put your inspiration into action.
On this site, you'll find course descriptions and instructor biographies as well as information on how to register for this event.
For more information, call (800) 348-7468, Ext. 269,
or by email to email@example.com.
After reviewing course offerings, register for classes on the enroll page.
315 South Dogwood Drive
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced Friday the award of $1.7 million in grants to veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves not on active duty who are suffering from combat-related head injuries and stress disorders. The funding is provided by the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program to coalitions of community programs.
“We can’t control what happens to our service men and women while they are deployed, but we can influence what happens to them when they return home,” says Kaine. “Through the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, we can ensure that they and their families receive the treatment and services they need for a full recovery.”
About 20 percent of military service personnel returning from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or depression. Roughly 19 percent may have experienced traumatic brain injury and seven percent report both PTSD and TBI.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
April 9, 2009
Yesterday, the Republican-led House of Delegates, with Delegate Lohr in tow, voted to deny the taxpayers of the Commonwealth the federal stimulus funding that they and their children are paying for.
Yesterday, the Republican-led House of Delegates, with Delegate Lohr in tow, voted to allow the use of taxes paid by Virginia=s citizens to be used to provide extended unemployment benefits for laid off factory workers in Flint, Michigan rather than to be used to provide such benefits for a laid off line worker in Dayton, Virginia.
Yesterday, the Republican-led House of Delegates, with Delegate Lohr in tow, voted to allow the use of Virginians= federal tax payments to provide extended unemployment benefits for fired single mothers in Boston, Massachusetts but refused to give the same help to a fired mother in Broadway, Virginia.
Yesterday, the Republican-led House of Delegates, with Delegate Lohr in tow, voted to send our federal taxes dollars to the hard-pressed people of California but declined to show the same care and consideration for hurting people living right here in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Virginia.
The continuing harm done to Virginia=s struggling working, taxpaying families by Delegate Lohr in lockstep with his party leadership must end. The continuing lack of concern shown to our unemployed family members must end. And, in November 2009 when I have earned the support and votes of the people of the 26th District it will. Finally, it will.
Democratic Party Candidate
26th House of Delegates District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 9, 2009
Delegates Landes and Saxman Opposes Federal Funding to Stimulate Virginia’s Economy
Delegate votes to reject $125 million in federal stimulus money
Delegate Landes and Delegate Saxman opposed amendments from Governor Tim Kaine today that will make Virginia eligible for $125 million in funding aimed at stimulating the Virginia economy. The funds are intended to help more Virginia families cope with the current economic recession without straining the state budget. For the first time, part-time workers will be eligible for benefits, and eligibility will be prolonged for workers who have lost their jobs but are enrolled in workforce training programs.
In February, the unemployment rate in Augusta County hit 7.4 percent, Stuanton hit 7.8 percent and Waynesboro hit 10.3 percent, compared to a 7 percent rate statewide.
Both Dr. Greg Marrow and Erik Curren agree that it’s incredibly disappointing that our delegates chose to stand with big business instead of hard-working Virginia families. By rejecting these amendments, Landes and Saxman have made it clear they’d rather see our share of the stimulus go to other states. People all across Virginia are being laid off in this recession and this funding will help them provide for their families. Now is not the time to play partisan political games with peoples’ futures.
Democratic Candidate Dr. Greg Marrow
House of Delegates
Democratic Candidate Erik Curren
House of Delegates
Thank you all for your continued support.
Your final bill: $173,000!
How's that for "fiscal conservatism"?
The RNC has posted a revised bill for clothing The Chick during her bid to be VP. Good news, the cost came down by $7,000! ...and you look fabulous darling!
Among other items, donors to the GOP paid for:
$192 payment to the Philadelphia Flyers pro shop previously described as “campaign accessories” was recategorized as “candidate clothing,” possibly for either the Flyers hockey jersey Palin reportedly received with her name and the No. 1 on the back before dropping a ceremonial puck or the one that her younger daughter, Piper, wore at the game.Thought you might want to know.
Similarly, a $289 payment to high-end shoemaker Stuart Weitzman, which had been described as “retail” and “accessories,” became “candidate clothing.”
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Have you noticed there are no women on the Harrisonburg City Planning Commission, and no women on the Rockingham County Planning Commission?
We have! We think it's important to notice. We'd like to talk with like-minded women about this, and what this means for our community.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
With about two months to go, Mike Signer's LG campaign has raised $250,000 from over 800 donors, even more significant is that over 600 (75%) folks donated online, more than any other candidate in the four-way race for the Lieutenant Governor slot on the Democratic ticket.
Mike is fired up and ready to roll out his game plan to perform a take-down of the Republicans' nearly invisible incumbent LG, Bill Bolling. The potential synergy of Signer's fast-break, progressive game, with Creigh Deeds strong appeal with moderates and independents could make a powerful combination, that would overwhelm a Republican ticket that is measurably out-of-sync with mainstream voters in Virginia.
With the candidate filing process behind them, the Signer team is hitting the road for a state-wide Barn Storming tour. Locally, Mike will be in Harrisonburg on Wednesday April 8th:
JMU Meet and Greet: Mike will meet with the Mayor of Harrisonburg, Kai Degner, local community members and the JMU Young Democrats to discuss his campaign for Lieutenant Governor.
When: 6:00 PM
Where: Old Dominion Coffee Co. 2 N. Main St Harrisonburg, VA
Martinsville, VAFredericksburg, VA
Newport News, VA
South Boston, VA
Read the story
More on the GOP infighting:
From Bacon's Rebellion
The lynch mob marching against Jeff Frederick leaked their intimidating State Central Committee letter. They hit the blogs. Anonymous comments came with personal invective and bitter bile. The usual suspects of establishment Republicans - the state senators, remaining Republican Virginia congressmen, delegates, a handful of city and county chairmen called for ouster in successive waves of lost confidence - sung in an odd falsetto soprano.
From the Daily Press
Another Frederick backer, G. Ashley Moody of Petersburg, said social conservatives would abandon the GOP and said he would likely vote for a Democrat this fall, as he did in 2006 for Jim Webb, who unseated Republican Sen. George Allen.
From the Virginian Pilot
"This lit the fuse on the marking of the end of the Republican Party in Virginia," said Tony Arjona, a Frederick supporter from the Richmond suburbs.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
This is my President...
PRAGUE (AFP) — Barack Obama is billing himself as the US president which Europe seems to have long desired, one who comes not to lecture, but to "listen, to learn and to lead".
In five days and three summits in Britain, France, Germany and the Czech Republic, Obama's political message was unmistakable: the White House and the oldest and somewhat battered US alliances are under new management.
In contrast to the days in George W. Bush's first term when some angry Americans even refused to call their fries French after an Iraq war spat, Obama's watchwords were consult, engage and common purpose.
"I think there is a basic message across Europe which should resonate," said Sean Kay, professor of international relations at Ohio Wesleyan University.
"That is, America is in a position now where it is going to lead but lead by example, and consultation and engagement."
Outside stuffy G20, NATO and European Union summits, Obama and wife Michelle took the continent by storm, whipping up gushing media coverage, rapturous crowds and a sprinkling dose of charisma in grim economic times.
What if God decided to walk among us, to test us regarding how we might treat another of His Holy creation? One that didn't look like us, or talk like us, or act like us, but who is just as much a part of His precious creation as are we?
Taxpayers in the United States will pay $656.1 billion for total Iraq war spending approved to date. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:
And now, think of the cost to all of the people involved, in terms of effect on their lives...