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2018 Virginia Beach Elections: Questions for candidates for City Council, Princess Anne District

Ed. note — The Independent News asked announced candidates for the Virginia Beach City Council Princess Anne District seat to answer an initial set of questions about issues. This appeared in print on Friday, May 25, during the edition distributed at this… Continue Reading

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Elections: Princess Anne seat on the Virginia Beach City Council draws a crowded field of candidates

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Four candidates are lined up to challenge Virginia Beach City Councilmember Barbara Henley, the incumbent in the Princess Anne District who has represented the city’s southern communities for much of the past four decades. Five… Continue Reading

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Editorial: Effort to kill a farmland preservation program that helps all of Virginia Beach must be stopped

That ending the agricultural reserve program was proposed at all — then argued with questionable logic — shows a troubling division between Virginia Beach government and the rural communities it takes for granted. THE INDEPENDENT NEWS PUNGO — Two years ago, following his appointment as… Continue Reading

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Improvements in Sherwood Lakes should help ease flooding issues

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE  COURTHOUSE – Improving the capacity of and drainage from the two lakes at Sherwood Lakes, a subdivision near Pungo that experienced flooding following storms this past year, may cost about $4 million, a sum that is far… Continue Reading

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Virginia Beach’s transition area intended to be a buffer between suburban and rural development

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE — The transition area is a section of the city below the “green line” between urban and suburban development and the southern rural areas of the city, according to the city’s comprehensive plan. It is, in… Continue Reading

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What is Pungo? Well, that depends.

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE PUNGO — Is Pungo a magisterial district from years past? A former city voting borough? An unincorporated village encompassing roughly a mile around the light at Princess Anne and Indian River roads? The crossroads of the world (where sometimes it’s mighty… Continue Reading

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Budget: Virginia Beach proposal would raise taxes for all day kindergarten, restore agricultural reserve money

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen on Tuesday, March 28, unveiled a spending plan that would raise real estate taxes to help establish full-day kindergarten throughout the city while redirecting money from a previous property… Continue Reading

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Agriculture: With advisory committee support, Henley to explore reserve program approach in transition area — and farming research

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Virginia Beach may consider whether the agricultural reserve program, which preserves farmland by purchasing development rights, can be used to address drainage issues in the transition area between the city’s suburban north and rural south. … Continue Reading

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Easy Rides: Stealing of and from automobiles a growing problem the public often does not prevent

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — If only in terms of crimes involving cars, 2016 ended for Virginia Beach with an unfortunate consistency with what had come before – a wave of larcenies from automobiles in two neighborhoods near Pungo.  On different… Continue Reading