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After advisory commission, farmers oppose plan to end farmland preservation program, ‘compromise’ goes to Virginia Beach City Council

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — The Virginia Beach Agriculture Advisory Commission on Friday, April 13, voted to recommend that the City Council maintain the agricultural reserve program while supplying some money for a project to address flooding in Ashville Park… Continue Reading

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Letter: Farmland preservation program should go away and Virginia Beach put tax dollars into flooding neighborhoods

Dear Editor: My opponent in the Princess Anne District, City Councilmember Barbara Henley, helped create and voted for the agriculture reserve program, or ARP, in 1995. Many years later in 2013, as a sitting member of the Virginia Beach City… Continue Reading

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Letter: Ending farmland preservation in rural communities a dishonest idea

Dear Editor: Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen believes that the agricultural reserve program, or ARP, is no longer needed. That statement in itself should set off flares.  Remember that City Councilmember Barbara Henley, who represents the Princess Anne District,… Continue Reading

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Symposium will focus upon protecting resources connected with North Landing River, Albemarle Sound

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS First Lady Pam Northam and top officials from Virginia and North Carolina will be among the featured speakers during a daylong symposium on building partnerships to protect the resources of the North Landing River and Albemarle Sound.… Continue Reading

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ARP: Ending farmland preservation program inconsistent with Virginia Beach’s Comprehensive Plan

The author, the former Comprehensive Planning Coordinator in Virginia Beach, argues that preserving the Virginia Beach Agricultural Reserve Program within the proposed operating budget and capital improvement plan is consistent with the city’s Comprehensive Plan. BY JERYL ROSE PHILLIPS VIRGINIA… Continue Reading

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Pastor from Strawbridge throws hat in the ring again for Princess Anne seat on Virginia Beach City Council

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH – The Rev. Pieri Burton, a Strawbridge resident who serves as associate pastor of Christian Way Ministries in Virginia Beach, said he is among the candidates who will try to unseat incumbent City Councilmember Barbara… Continue Reading

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Henley: Virginia Beach must save the agricultural reserve program due to, not despite, concern about flooding

BY BARBARA HENLEY VIRGINIA BEACH — We’ve come to take our agricultural reserve program for granted. Time has passed and there has been a lot of turnover of people, so the value of it is not fully understood. Our ARP was… Continue Reading

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Virginia Beach city manager proposes ending agricultural reserve program, shifting funds to flooding projects

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen wants to end the agricultural reserve program, which buys development rights so farmers can continue to work their land, and put that money toward flooding. The ARP, as it… Continue Reading

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How should Virginia Beach City Council address inaccurate remarks by members of the public?

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE TOWN CENTER – City officials want to bring more decorum to public meetings by ensuring citizens understand the process for commenting in public hearings held during council meetings and avoiding interactions with people who engage in making… Continue Reading

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Trimmer named Virginia Beach Excellence in Agriculture Award winner for department leadership

BY VENI FIELDS VIRGINIA BEACH — In December, David Trimmer, the director of Virginia Beach Department of Agriculture, held a breakfast meeting at Eddy’s Café in Red Mill with members of the committee that selects each year’s Excellence in Agriculture award.… Continue Reading