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Award-winning Igloria named Virginia’s poet laureate

Ed. — From the Sunday, Aug. 23, print edition. BY VENI FIELDS NORFOLK — It seems not all that long ago that Luisa Igloria was a toddler in a corner with a book. She was three, and she could read it.… Continue Reading

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Ignoring farmers, City Council approves event venue on land zoned for agriculture in rural city

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE OCEANFRONT — Moments after a stunning reversal by the Planning Commission, the City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 25, voted to approve a conditional use permit so an event business can operate on land zoned for agriculture in… Continue Reading

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Column: City decisions about land use have real consequences for farms and rural communities

BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — Weather wreaks havoc on farmland?   So, too, do city decisions.   It’s a bit overwhelming — the myriad articles about the way our ever-changing climate affects our farmland.   A quick look at… Continue Reading

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Column: We should have fought the Wolfe Bros permit harder, but keep fighting

BY JARED BRANDWEIN BACK BAY — An editorial in the pages on The Independent News warned us all that we needed to show up at the Tuesday, Aug. 25, City Council meeting to be heard on a proposal to use land… Continue Reading

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Editorial: Virginia Beach City Council betrayed farmers and its own land use ideals — for tourism

Ed. — From the Sunday, Sept. 6, print edition. THE INDEPENDENT NEWS BACK BAY — False steps large and small by Virginia Beach’s government and people who advise it led to the City Council decision this past month to permit Wolfe… Continue Reading

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Column: We must preserve farmland and rural communities

  BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — In 2002, when my husband and I were looking for a new house, a friend said to me, “You need to live in Pungo, Karen. That place will feel like home to you.” … Continue Reading

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Column: Dealing with monuments — even ones reflecting our difficult past — should err on the side of preserving history

BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — When I was just a girl, my grandparents took me on what my family affectionately called the “Beardslee Graveyard Tour.” This title was given to these trips with my grandparents because not only… Continue Reading

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Editorial: Rural residents should speak because a commercial venue is proposed for agricultural land

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS BACK BAY — A pending conditional use permit request deserves attention before the Virginia Beach City Council makes a decision that could have consequences for rural communities. The City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 25, is scheduled to consider a… Continue Reading

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VB City Council and School Board elections are nonpartisan, but party committees back candidates

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — On a Saturday this past month, one of two candidates to become the chairperson of the Republican Party of Virginia Beach met with supporters at Mom’s Kitchen, a restaurant in a strip mall on… Continue Reading

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Notebook: VB GOP vote for new chair needs do-over; Franklin on ballot for Kempsville SB; Owen bows out of at-large council race

Ed. — This originally appeared in the Sunday, July 19, print edition. THE INDEPENDENT NEWS VIRGINIA BEACH — Hot mess ahead. The Republican Party of Virginia Beach on Monday, July 13, held a vote during its mass meeting to name a successor… Continue Reading