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DeSteph bill would end exemption for nonprofit advocacy that kept voters in the dark during light rail referendum

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH – State Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-8th District, has introduced a bill to change language in Virginia law that can let some nonprofit groups shield the identities of financial backers and the extent of their spending to… Continue Reading

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New Virginia Beach councilperson in Kempsville District lists drainage, transparency among her priorities

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE COURTHOUSE – Biking and hiking trails, improved drainage and driverless busses are priorities for newly-elected City Councilmember Jessica Abbott, who was sworn in this month to represent the Kempsville District.  Abbott said she would like to… Continue Reading

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Light rail language, questionable math removed from Virginia Beach website

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – This week citizens noticed language posted to the Virginia Beach city website that seemed to soften the impact of the recent advisory referendum in which voters opposed extending the Tide from Newtown Station to Town… Continue Reading

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A tale of two rallies near the end of Virginia Beach’s bitter light rail fight

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — This is a story about two different rallies held in two different places by two different groups of people. The rallies were about light rail, about whether or not it should be extended to Town… Continue Reading

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Light rail, dark money: A conflict between election law and guidance is part of bigger transparency issues

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — It may be months before Virginia Beach citizens have any sense how much money light rail advocates spent to influence their votes on Election Day – and the sources of that money may never be… Continue Reading

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2016 Virginia Beach Elections: Arguments in support of and against the light rail advisory referendum

Ed. note — The Independent News asked representatives of both Light Rail Now, Inc., and No Light Rail Virginia Beach to address this important advisory referendum on extending the Tide from Newtown Station to Town Center. This appeared in print… Continue Reading