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Statewide environmental news roundup – April 2021

Dominion Energy submitted its petition to the State Corporation Commission (SCC) in support of the statutorily required “triennial review”—an audit of its earnings and expenses. What is a triennial review? Here’s an explanation. The company wants higher guaranteed profits. Despite excess earnings of $26 Million above its four-year target, the company does not want to provide customer rebates. An advocacy group objects, and a broader fight about utility regulation looms.

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Community Perspective: Harrisonburg public schools’ task force on SROs

Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS) announced in January 2021 the launching of a task force that would seek public input on School Resource Officers, or SROs. As reported by The Citizen on Jan. 6, and on Feb. 17, school officials announced that among the multiple actions of the taskforce, it would conduct research, surveys, a listening tour, and provide recommendations to the school board about whether police officers should be present in school buildings and, if so, what their roles should be.

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Financial crunch time

A contributed perspective by Stephan J. Hess, CFP Editor’s Note: This is another installment of a monthly series of contributed pieces addressing financial matters. Life is hard enough financially as it is, but sometimes the stars align in such a way as to cause a perfect storm where multiple needs unfortunately occur all at once. …

Statewide environmental news roundup – March 2021

A report from UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center describes ways to accelerate Virginia’s transition away from carbon-source fuels toward clean energy. Not everyone believes these are feasible solutions. Powhatan County approved a 20 MW solar farm. A Harrisonburg resident leads Give Solar, which will help Habitat for Humanity install solar on several area homes in 2021.

Statewide environmental news roundup – utility regulation special report

During 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic, most utility customers enjoyed a moratorium on paying utility bills. Anticipating the lifting of that moratorium, some legislators examined existing state law with a view to identifying and addressing some that favored utilities over consumer. The result was introduction of several bills that, together, would expand the State Corporation Commission’s authority to regulate Virginia’s investor-owned monopoly utilities in a more balanced manner than current law allows. All but one were filed in the House of Delegates.

Community Perspective: On the Road to a Living Wage

A contributed perspectives piece by Chris Hoover Seidel, Harrisonburg-Rockingham Living Wage Campaign Steering Committee Member Six years ago when On the Road Collaborative Executive Director Brent Holsinger was building an organization of “five volunteers and zero dollars” from scratch, he was searching for a wage level that would honor the work of closing opportunity gaps for …

Community Perspective: Nomadland – A Review

A contributed perspectives piece by Tom Arthur Nomadland, now showing on HULU,has swept most major critics’ awards after its premier at the Venice Film Festival last September and is a frontrunner for “Leading Actress” and “Best Director” Academy Awards. Critics for The New Yorker, British Guardian, Washington Post, Hollywood Reporter, NPR and other major outlets all …

Community Perspective: The Life Raft of Truth and the Ocean of Lies

A Four Part Series by C. David Pruett Part IV: Truth and Reconciliation On January 6, 2021, American democracy survived—barely—its most severe test since the Civil War. Yet rather than being vanquished, all the threats that put us to this extreme test remain in place: political polarization, economic inequality, systemic racism, and rampant disinformation. Of …

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