Home Charlottesville Friday News: UVA Grad Tina Fey on Charlottesville, “Donny John”…and Cake(!); Al...

Friday News: UVA Grad Tina Fey on Charlottesville, “Donny John”…and Cake(!); Al Gore to Trump – “Resign”

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, August 18.

  • Video: Al Gore to Donald Trump – “Resign”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hoi0PtC2i8

  • WATCH: "You can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying I'm sorry." Mother of Charlottesville victim speaks out. pic.twitter.com/vNiGNgFERi— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 18, 2017

  • Quizzical

    I find it strange to see relatively young people, compared to me at least, appearing in television shows to tell us all, with poetry and passion, what these monuments mean historically and symbolically – at least to them. Somebody should write an article about Jon Meacham and the Homeric tradition, for instance.

    There is a Southern military tradition, and I think it is a real thing, encompassing not just the Civil War, but every shooting war we’ve been in before then and since then – and the next war to come, no doubt.

    • Quizzical

      They can talk all they want on TV about the military monuments and statues, and rearrange and move them for all I care, but when they next war comes around, all that will be forgotten.

  • Arlington School Board Responds to the Recent Events in Charlottesville

    Posted on August 17, 2017 at 8:26 pm.
    Board Reaffirms Commitment to Inclusion and Celebration of Diversity
    Board Commits to Establish a Naming Criteria and to Review all APS School Names

    At the beginning of the Arlington School Board meeting on Thursday, August 17, 2017, the Board observed a Moment of Silence to remember the lives of Heather Heyer, Virginia State Patrol Pilot, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Virginia State Trooper Berke Bates, as well as the many others who were physically or emotionally injured by the violence in Charlottesville last weekend. Afterwards, School Board Chair Dr. Barbara Kanninen made the following statement on behalf of the School Board members:

    “As members of the Board and the community, all of us know students who will be attending the University of Virginia this fall. We know that this week’s events have touched and deeply concerned them, their families, and our full community. Charlottesville is our neighbor. It is a great and peaceful place, and we are with them at this very difficult time.

    “We, the Arlington School Board, join our Governor and state leaders, many national leaders and our local leaders, friends, and neighbors in rejecting the hate, racism, bigotry, and violence that was forced on Charlottesville this past weekend. As a school system, we stand for, and are committed to, inclusion and the celebration of our diversity. We understand the urgency: we must re-double our efforts to ensure that every child is supported and knows that he or she can, and will, excel in our schools.

    “We also know that we need to ask ourselves some important questions. This year, our newest elementary school, Alice West Fleet Elementary, was named in honor of an Arlington teacher, an African-American woman who faced and defeated many obstacles. The recently-opened Discovery Elementary honors the astronaut, John Glenn, who lived in the neighborhood. And Campbell Elementary honors an Arlington couple, Edmund and Elizabeth, who fought for the de-segregation of Arlington’s schools. These school names – the newest in our system – are different from past school names in terms of the kinds of people and work we choose to honor. Going forward, we will soon be naming the new school buildings at the Wilson site and Stratford site. We have high school projects at the Education Center and Career Center that will all need names.

    “Given all this, it is simply clear to us as a Board that now is the time. It’s time to talk about the names of our schools, and what they mean, and why they matter. It is time to talk about the values these names reflect and the messages we are sending to our children.

    “Having said that, let me make a few things clear. First, and foremost, no decisions have been made – or will be made – on any school name quickly or without extensive community input and discussion.

    “We are the governing body of a 27,000-student school system and we will address this issue as we do all issues – using a careful, deliberative process that is fully transparent and involves extensive community engagement, research, and collaboration. We will not focus on any one particular school and ask, should we change the name of this school? Instead, we will seek to establish naming criteria that reflect our values. This allows us to talk about all of our school names – current and future – and to clarify where the lines are drawn between what we, as a community, consider acceptable and unacceptable. Establishing criteria prevents us from falling into the slippery slope problem. It will keep us focused on facts, not opinions.

    “Please note that, as we commit to a naming process this evening, we are also steaming ahead toward the first day of school when approximately 27,000 students will walk through our school doors to start their year of learning. We, the School Board, the Superintendent, Executive Leadership Team, principals, teachers, and staff have worked hard all summer to prepare for a very full agenda of policy revisions, community processes, budgeting, capital planning, strategic planning, and, most importantly, teaching our students every day.

    “We are committed to this community conversation but it will take time and resources to get it right. As the governing body of our school system, we have to be careful and deliberate. We have to ask the right questions to ensure a productive process. We have to bring a wide range of voices to the table. We have to do research and we have to follow a transparent process to ensure everyone in this community understands how and why decisions have been made. This process will take time, but the important point today is that we are getting started.

    “As always, we look forward to hearing from you and working with you. Please continue to write and call with your ideas and thoughts. We thank you for giving us the privilege of serving this great community and we look forward to our discussions together.”

  • Justin Fairfax Endorsed by 32BJ SEIU and SEIU Virginia 512

    ARLINGTON, Virginia– Today, Justin Fairfax received the endorsement of 32BJ SEIU and SEIU Virginia 512. With more than 163,000 members in 11 states, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country. SEIU Virginia 512 members are home care providers, Loudoun County employees, and Fairfax County employees, dedicated to delivering quality services to Virginia families. The unions, which collectively represent more than 10,000 workers in Virginia, will provide significant support, including hundreds of SEIU member volunteers who will knock on more than 200,000 doors and speak out within their communities.

    Upon finding out about the endorsement Justin Fairfax released this statement:

    “I am deeply honored to receive the endorsement of the progressive and hard-working members of SEIU. I am passionate about fighting for more economic security and opportunity for all Virginians and providing our working families with a real chance to achieve the American Dream, no matter where they start. I look forward to continuing that fight as Lt. Governor of Virginia.”
    -Justin Fairfax, Democratic Nominee for Lieutenant Governor

  • Top-rated comments on Breitbart right now – NOT happy!!! Popcorn time, lol.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/18/steve-bannon-out-white-house/

    #1 recommended Breitbart comment: ” Trump throwing Bannon under the bus to please establishment hacks? WTF!”

    Another top one: ” I just dont get it!? How can we support him when bannon was one of the main reasons we elected him!?”

    And another: ” The only thing that can derail Trump’s reelection bid in 2020 is if he loses his mojo and starts capitulating to the vicious, socialist, ethnocentric, hateful media and left.”

  • Governor McAuliffe Signs Executive Order Temporarily Halting Demonstrations at Lee Monument

    RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today issued Executive Order Number 67 temporarily halting issuance of permits and prohibiting demonstrations at the Lee Monument until new emergency regulations have been approved and implemented by the Virginia Department of General Services.

    Governor McAuliffe determined that following the events of the Unite the Right rally on August 12th in Charlottesville, and subsequent deaths of three individuals, to develop a comprehensive set of fair and consistent rules to both protect first amendment rights and prevent threats to public safety. The Governor believes that this suspension is necessary to give state and local officials breathing room to make thoughtful and informed decisions on managing the new reality of the potential for civil unrest.

    “In spite of weeks of preparation, the city of Charlottesville was the target of an act of domestic terrorism that cost one woman her life, and had a helicopter accident lead to the deaths of two state troopers,” said Governor McAuliffe. “In the aftermath of this tragedy, several groups have requested permits to hold similar-styled events at the Lee Monument in Richmond. State and local officials need to get ahead of this problem, so that we have the proper legal protections in place to allow for peaceful demonstrations, but without putting citizens and property at risk. Let me be clear, this executive order has nothing to do with infringing upon first amendment rights. This is a temporary suspension, issued with the singular purpose of creating failsafe regulations to preserve the health and well-being of our citizens and ensuring that nothing like what occurred in Charlottesville happens again.”

    Governor McAuliffe will issue a related executive order convening a task force, headed by Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran to study the safety concerns that arose from the events of August 12th. The Department of General Services will craft their new emergency regulations based on the recommendations of this new task force, which will be issued within three months.

    The Lee Monument presents unique challenges to large-scale demonstrations because it is located on a major thoroughfare in a residential neighborhood in downtown Richmond, and current rules date back decades. Current standards, for instance, permit demonstrations containing as many as 5,000 people. In addition, the permits allow for assemblies to gather from sunrise until 11:00 P.M. As a result, these conditions provide for not only major public safety concerns, but present serious threats to both traffic and private property.

    Full Executive Order text below:

    NUMBER SIXTY SEVEN (2017)

    EXECUTIVE ORDER TEMPORARILY SUSPENDING PERMIT-REQUIRING USES OF THE LEE MONUMENT IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA AND DIRECTING REVIEW OF PERMITTING REGULATIONS

    Importance of the Initiative

    Virginia is the birthplace of liberty in the United States, and the Commonwealth has had an historic commitment to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of thought are among our most cherished values. Recent events have also demonstrated that activities surrounding Confederate monuments within the Commonwealth raise substantial public safety concerns. Among these are the statue of Robert E. Lee on horseback, and the surrounding grounds, located within a traffic circle on Monument Avenue in the City of Richmond, Virginia (the “Lee Monument”).

    On August 12, 2017, I declared a State of Emergency based on a state of civil unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, caused by violence that erupted over a demonstration organized by the Unite the Right organization, which included a number of affiliated white supremacist and Neo-Nazi hate groups. I was compelled to order the Virginia National Guard to active service for the purposes of controlling civil unrest, an action that has not been taken in decades. The stated purpose for the Unite the Right demonstration was to protest the City of Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from one of its city parks.

    The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia was broadcast around the world, and the protests and counter-protests ended in tragedy. Demonstrators descending on the rally became engaged in violent conflict, leading to a declaration by city officials that the rally had become an unlawful assembly. Later, a man using his car as a weapon plowed into a group of counter-protestors, injuring 19 people and killing a young woman, Heather Heyer. The chaos of the day required extraordinary sacrifices from law enforcement, including the crash of a Virginia State Police helicopter that killed Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who were surveilling the scene from the air.

    Subsequent protests have threatened not only violence against citizens, but also violence against the monuments themselves. In the days since the tragedy in Charlottesville, law enforcement in Richmond, Virginia have responded to demonstrations around the Lee Monument, including situations that involved heavily-armed protestors that disturbed the peace near the monument. In Durham, North Carolina, a recent video showed protestors tearing down a statue of a Confederate soldier, resulting in felony charges against those involved.

    Reviewing the events in Charlottesville to determine what steps can and should be taken to prevent any such violence from occurring again is critically necessary for public safety and demands a full review of permitting processes and other relevant regulations. There are already, and it is anticipated that there will be more, permit requests for demonstrations at the Lee Monument as the public debate over Confederate monuments continues, leaving grave risks for future civil unrest. Until a full review process has been concluded, it is a threat to public safety to allow permit-requiring activity to occur in the absence of such sensible regulations that should be implemented to govern all expressive activity at the Lee Monument, no matter its content.

    Additionally, regulations governing the use of the Lee Monument were last reviewed some time ago. A critical review of these regulations is long overdue.

    Unlike a city park, the Lee Monument serves a limited purpose and has not historically been an open forum for expressive activity. It sits in a traffic rotary, in a major thoroughfare through the City of Richmond, in the middle of one of the most scenic and historic residential areas in the United States. Current standards contemplate up to 5,000 people gathering at the Lee Monument. Given the size of the Lee Monument, the fact that traffic continually passes around it, and that there is no pedestrian crosswalk for access, I have concluded that permitting any large group would create a safety hazard in the current circumstances. Current policies also allow for permits to be issued from sunrise to 11:00 pm, which also could, given the Lee Monument’s proximity to private residences, interfere with the quiet enjoyment of those properties. Moreover, the Lee Monument is a State-property island in an area otherwise regulated by the City of Richmond, yet there is no formal requirement for coordinating approval through the City of Richmond’s permitting process. This regulatory gap, which has heretofore been handled informally, must be addressed.

    It is also clear that adequate alternative venues exist to accommodate any expressive activities that citizens may desire to conduct, should the Lee Monument be temporarily closed for permit-requiring activity.

    Executive Action
    Accordingly, by the power vested in me as the Chief Executive by Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and the laws of the Commonwealth, I hereby order the following:

    No demonstrations shall be authorized at the Lee Monument in the absence of a permit issued by the Department of General Services. The term “demonstrations” includes demonstrations, processions, picketing, speechmaking, marching, vigils, and all other like forms of conduct, that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd or onlookers. This term includes the display of flags, banners, or other demonstratives designed to communicate a message.

    No permits for demonstrations shall be issued for activities at the Lee Monument pending adoption of regulations by the Department of General Services to govern such activities.

    Under separate Order, I will convene a task force, led by the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, to evaluate the public safety issues arising from the events of August 12, 2017, including regulatory best practices related to the Lee Monument.

    The Department of General Services is directed to promulgate emergency regulations by November 18, 2017 to govern any public use of the Lee Monument based upon the recommendations from this task force.

    Effective Date of the Executive Order

    This Executive Order shall become effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect until such emergency regulations are promulgated by the Department of General Services by November 18, 2017.

    Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 18th Day of August, 2017.