© 2006 Virginia Review, LLC

Commonwealth Clips


Gov. Tim Kaine, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, and Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf filed two federal lawsuits challenging the legality of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) order regarding the Navy’s East Coast Master Jet Base at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach. This was an attempt to keep the base open as indicated by the state and city’s compliance with the order. The Commonwealth, along with the affected jurisdictions, continues to move forward with all compliance plans to retain the base at NAS Oceana. For more information contact J. Tucker Martin at the Office of the Attorney General at (804) 864–7008 or www.oag.state.va.us.


Gov. Tim Kaine approved a $10 million interest free loan from the Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund to advance environmental and preliminary engineering activities associated with the I–95– I 395 Bus/High Occupancy Vehicle/ High Occupancy Toll Lane Project in Northern Virginia. The I–95 HOT Lane project could serve the proposed Fort Belvoir expansion. The Army plans to add at least 22,000 jobs to Fort Belvoir by 2011. HOT Lanes would be free to carpoolers, buses, and emergency vehicles. For more information contact Kevin Hall at the Governor’s Office at (804) 225–4260 or www.governor.virginia.gov.


At least 1,300 state owned vehicles will use an environmentally sensitive alternative to gasoline that is designed to improve air quality and help the state reduce petroleum consumption. Partnerships with the Dept. of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, the Dept. of General Services, the federal government, as well as General Motors Corp. Are making an alternative fuel available to state and local governments and the citizens of Virginia. The state’s first E85 fueling dispensing location in Richmond was the site of the announcement in October. The fuel is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The fueling station is at the DGS Office of Fleet Management Services in Richmond and additional locations will be added to service government owned and operated flex fuel vehicles that can run on E85 in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. For more information contact Susan S. Pollard at DGS (804) 786–0282 or www.dgs.virginia.gov.


Gov. Tim Kaine announced that the film and video industry had an economic impact of $221,142,952 in Virginia in 2005. That figure is the highest ever reported and a 14 percent increase over the 2004 figure of $192,080,611. The Virginia Film Office, a division of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, surveyed production companies within the state and nationwide. Information also was compiled from local and regional agencies, including economic development offices, convention and visitor's bureaus, and tourism agencies. For more information contact Mary Nelson of the Virginia Film Office at (804) 545–5530 or www.film.virginia.org.


A new handbook helps localities to achieve feasible collaborative solutions to planning related issues. The Charrette Handbook, published by the American Planning Association (APA), is the first comprehensive, step–by–step guide for how to plan and hold a successful charrette. If you have always wondered what a charrette is, but were afraid to ask, here’s your chance to get informed. Each copy is $39.95 and they are available through the APA by going on their website at http://www.planning.org/APAStore/Search/Default.aspx?p=3567 .


Virginia will host the Polo Team of England, patroned by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, as they play the United States in the first ever Americus Cup of Polo. This is an official Jamestown 2007 partner event and will be held on May 12 in Leesburg at historic Morven Park. The Americas Cup of Polo, sponsored in part by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, will mark the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown and celebrate the continued partnership and friendship between the United States and England. For more information contact Tamra Talmadge–Anderson at the VTC at (804) 545–5573 or ttanderson AT virginia.org.


Virginia Local Tax Rates 2006 has been published by the Cooper Center for Public Service. Edited by John L. Knapp, PhD, Stephen C. Kulp, and William M. Shobe, PhD this text advertises that it contains all the information you need about local taxes. The regular price is $35 per book, and the Virginia Institute of Government Member Price is $25 per book. For more information contact the Cooper Center at (434) 982–5704 or email cps–pubs AT virginia.edu.


The 2006 Virginia Christmas Tree Guide is available through the Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Find your own tree locally and help a local agribusiness out at the same time. Enjoy a day in the country (or burbs) and create a holiday memory. The Virginia Grown Guide to Choose–and–Cut, Fresh–Cut and Live Christmas Trees is free to the public in publication and online at www.VirginiaGrown.com. It contains information about more than 60 Christmas tree farms across the Commonwealth. For more information contact Marion Horsley at VDACS at (804) 225–3820.

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