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Election Results: Trump Carries King George and Westmoreland

King George President
Donald Trump -- 7338   60.9
Hillary Clinton -- 4002.  33.2
Gary Johnson -- 367   3.0
Jill Stein -- 83    0.6

Westmoreland President
Donald Trump -- 4,331     60.9
Hillary Clinton -- 3,723    33.2
Gary Johnson -- 367     3.0
Jill Stein -- 83    0.6
Wittman Wins Reelection

King George Congress
Rob Wittman -- 8,103    68.2
Matt Rowe -- 3,381     28.4
Gail Parker -- 363    3.06

Westmoreland Congress
Rob Wittman -- 8,103    68.2
MattRowe -- 3,381    28.4
Gail Parker -- 363    3.06

Colonial Beach Gets New Mayor
Eddie Blunt -- 973    64.1
Wayne DiRosario -- 505   33.5

Colonial Beach Council Race
(Top Three Elected)
Dallas Leamon -- 645   18.7
Steve Cirbee -- 622   18.1
Frank Alger, III -- 583    16.9
Bill Dellar -- 576    16.7
Phillip Rogers -- 486   14.1
Bill Flammer -- 576    14.1

Colonial Beach School Board
Scot Foster -- 1.632    43.7
Tim Trivett -- 1,592   42.5

All Montross Council Incumbents Reelected 
Terry Cosgrove --  113    26.7
Joey King -- 112     26.5
Larry Wheaton -- 98     23.2
Jesse Ault -- 88    20.8

Know your King George ballot for Election Day - next week Nov. 8

There are only two federal races on the ballot for next week’s election, along with two proposed state constitutional amendments.

Here’s a recap of what’s on the ballot in King George in ballot order.

PRESIDENT –

Democratic Party - Hillary Clinton, President & Tim Kaine, Vice President.

Republican Party - Donald J. Trump, President & Michael R. Pence, Vice President.

Libertarian Party - Gary Johnson, President & Bill Weld, Vice President.

Green Party Electors - Jill Stein, President & Ajamu Baraka, Vice President.

Independent - Evan McMullin, President & Nathan Johnson, Vice President.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES -

Virginia’s 1st Congressional District seat is also up for grabs, with two opponents challenging incumbent Rob Wittman.

Here’s how they’re listed on the ballot.

M. D. "Matt" Rowe - Democratic Party

Robert J. "Rob" Wittman - Republican Party

Glenda Gail Parker – Independent

M. D. "Matt" Rowe - Rowe is a member of the Bowling Green Town Council. A graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, Rowe earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in Geographic Information Systems from Virginia Commonwealth University, and works in Stafford as a geographic information systems analyst.

He states why he’s running on his campaign website.

“I’m running for Congress because we need a representative that will work tirelessly to improve the day-to-day lives of everyone in the district. We need a representative that doesn’t just believe in big government or small government, but smart, efficient government. Finally, we need more representatives in Washington that speak to our hopes and aspirations and don’t simply cater to our fears. If elected, I can be that representative for you,” Rowe said.

For more information, go online to his campaign website:  mattrowe.org.

Robert J. "Rob" Wittman - Wittman is the incumbent, holding the seat since 2007. He previously served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, as well as on the Montross Town Council.

Wittman doesn’t state on his campaign website why he is running for reelection. That might be because he really wants to be the state’s next governor. He announced in late 2015 he is seeking the Republican nomination for Virginia governor’s election race in 2017 and that remains his plan.

For more information about his congressional campaign go online to his website:  robwittman.com.

Glenda Gail Parker – Parker, a perennial candidate, calls herself, Gail “for Rail” Parker, adding, “More trains, less traffic.” She’s an Independent stressing expanding rail service as a transportation option.

This is her third run for the same seat, running in 2014 as the Independent Green Party candidate and in 2012 as an Independent. She ran in 2013 as the Green Party candidate for District 43 of the Virginia House of Delegates, after a previous run in 2009 for the Virginia House of Delegates.

For more information on Parker’s current campaign, go online to gailparker.us/

Virginia's 1st Congressional District stretches from Hampton Roads up through the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck into the Fredericksburg area and Prince William County.

The 1st District includes Caroline, Charles City, Essex, Fauquier, Gloucester, James City, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Prince William, Richmond County, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Westmoreland and York Counties and the cities of Fredericksburg, Poquoson and Williamsburg, and portions of Hampton and Newport News.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS – Voters can also prepare to vote on two proposed amendments to the Virginia Constitution.

Question 1:  Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise?  YES or NO.

Question 2:  Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to provide an option to the localities to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?  YES or NO.

 

VOTING AND ABSENTEE VOTING

On Election Day, polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you are registered and wish to vote ahead of Election Day, you may be eligible for absentee voting.

Absentee voting is an effective choice for those who expect to be out of the county on Election Day for any reason, whether you have a job commute, or may be unable to leave work in time to get the polls.

There are numerous other legitimate reasons providing eligibility to cast a ballot ahead of time. They can include disability, pregnancy or if you are a first responder.

Once your ballot is cast through absentee voting, you don’t need to worry about unexpected problems with car trouble, schedule conflicts or illness intervening on Nov. 8.

In addition, absentee voting will ensure you are able to cast your ballot without any last minute hitches with voter ID or confusion about polling place location, which may very well have changed since the last time you voted.

Deadline to request an absentee ballot by appearing in-person is 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, with the office open all day beginning at 8:15 a.m.

King George Registrar Lorrie Gump and her able staff are ready to assist if you have questions about applying for an absentee ballot. If you are eligible, you may cast your vote in-person at the Registrar’s office, and pop it directly into the voting machine to record your vote.  

The Registrar’s office is located on the ground floor of the Revercomb Building, behind the King George Courthouse on Route 3 (Kings Highway). The Registrar’s office is open on weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 775-9186.

Phyllis Cook

Georgia powerboat racers killed in Potomac River accident

Two Georgia men were killed Saturday in a Potomac River powerboat accident off Fairview Beach. Nationally known powerboaters James A. Melley, 49, of Buford, Ga., and Garth T. Tagge, 61, of Atlanta were pronounced dead at the scene.

The two were participating in the annual Radar Run in front of Tim's II Restaurant and Crabhouse at Fairview Beach, where competition powerboats run a 1-mile straight course and have their runs timed by radar.

Melley and Tagge were running their 36-foot Skater catamaran powerboat, which had posted a run at 194 miles per hour two months ago at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, and had already hit speeds exceeding 170 miles per hour at Fairview Beach earlier Saturday.

Maryland Natural Resources Police were investigating the cause of the crash. Video of the accident, which was posted on the Internet just minutes after it occurred, shows the front of the boat going airborne and Melley and Tagge being thrown from the boat as it flips upside down.

Law enforcement officers were unsure what caused the high-speed catamaran to take flight and flip over.   Water on the Potomac was calm at the time of the accident. Because of recent rains, there was some debris in the water, however, which could have provided an obstacle for the boaters.

Melley and Tagge's boat, which was docked on Lake Lanier in Georgia when it was not racing, was powered by two 1,500 horsepower Smith Power engines. Both men were popular on the powerboating circuit.   Maryland Natural Resources Police said rescuers attempted to perform CPR on the two boaters after the accident but were unable to revive them.

Richard Leggitt

Booming wood pellet production inching toward watershed forests

A growing industry that’s harvesting “woody biomass” from forests for energy generation could gain a toehold soon in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Like virtually every other form of energy, it’s also generating intense debate about its environmental impact. Biomass from trees is already used to generate a small amount of power in the United States; wood chips generate electricity at several small plants owned by Dominion, the Virginia-based energy company. (The term “biomass” generally refers to any plant material used for fuel. Woody biomass, as the name suggests, is made from trees.) The big demand for pellets made from woody biomass, though, comes from utilities in Europe and the United Kingdom that are trying to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. This is driving the harvesting of low-value trees and “slash” (debris left by logging) in the Southeastern United States, from just south of the Bay watershed to the state of Mississippi.

A spokesman for the nation’s largest wood pellet manufacturer, Enviva Partners LP, says that the company has no plans to move farther north, but added that “it’s not outside the realm of possibility.” Based in Bethesda, Md., Enviva has a pellet manufacturing plant in Franklin, Va., just outside the Bay watershed. Within the watershed it has two storage domes at a deepwater port in Chesapeake, Va., at the mouth of Paradise Creek on the Elizabeth River.

The company is planning to build another pellet plant in Virginia, south and west of the Franklin plant, says Enviva spokesman Kent Jenkins.

Three Dominion-owned power stations in Southside Virginia and one just south of the North Carolina border together burn 100 tractor-trailer loads daily of wood chips and other biomass taken from nearby forests, says Ernie Reed, president of Wild Virginia, a nonprofit advocacy group. But demand in Europe dwarfs the local market for woody biomass, Reed said, and much of what’s produced in the United States gets exported. About 5.5 million tons of wood pellets from Southeastern U.S. forests will be shipped overseas this year for energy generation in the European Union, according to David Carr, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Power companies there are converting coal-fired power plants to burn wood pellets to meet European Union renewable energy goals. One-fifth of their electricity must come from renewable resources by 2020 and even more by 2030. Some countries are providing subsidies to support the conversion. But several U.S. and European environmental groups are lobbying the European Union to take woody biomass out of its renewable energy goals, Carr says.

Forests are widely recognized as the best land use for sequestering climate-altering carbon dioxide and for preventing polluted runoff of nutrients and sediment into waterways. According

to the environmental law center, using Enviva’s mainly hardwood pellets from North Carolina and Virginia to generate power in the United Kingdom releases 2.5 times as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as would burning coal.

Carr contends that using wood pellets to generate electricity is bad for the Earth’s climate. Trees sequester or absorb carbon from the atmosphere as they grow, so regenerating forests — either naturally or through planting seedlings — can offset the impact of logging them. But trees grow slowly, and Carr contended that the carbon dioxide released by burning woody biomass from mature forests won’t be recaptured for many decades.

Nathanael Greene, renewable energy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, concurs with Carr’s assessment, but adds that he supports the collection and use of woody biomass for one purpose: bio-jet fuel. But the deployment of any other green technology capable of powering commercial aircraft is at least 30 years away, Greene says.

The industrial wood pellet industry maintains that when all aspects of preserving working forests and replanting logged-over tracts are taken into account, generating electrical power from wood pellets produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal. Seth Ginther, executive director of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association, insists that the industry is “actually expanding forest cover, among other things, by giving forest owners a financial incentive to maintain working forests and stay in business — rather than [cutting them down] and selling out to developers or other non-forest land users.” And, Ginther notes, “One of the biggest threats to the Chesapeake Bay watershed is the conversion of forest areas to non-forest uses, including urban sprawl and real estate development.”

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, sides with the industry in part, saying that using biomass for energy has the potential to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Burning fossil fuels like coal and oil releases carbon dioxide captured millions of years ago; creating essentially new greenhouse gas. In contrast, the laboratory says on its website, burning biomass emits carbon dioxide that is in a matter of years offset by the regrowth of forests cut to produce it. But in an added observation that seems to buttress critics of the industry, the laboratory says that “recent studies have found that clearing forests to grow biomass results in a carbon penalty that takes decades to recoup, so it is best if biomass is grown on previously cleared land, such as under-utilized farm land.”

The analysis does not address the impact of taking biomass from the debris left on the ground after a forest tract has been logged for timber. Nor does the NREL examine the question of whether the extra income forest owners receive from biomass collection leads them to stay in the business, instead of selling out to developers or farmers. One peer-reviewed study of the issue cited by the pellet industry suggests that hardwood forest owners will switch to raising softwood pines, which regrow much faster, in as little as 20 years in warm climates. Another study by the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change offered several scenarios, including a benign one based on an expansion of forest cover in the Southeastern United States. But the adverse scenario found that the use of Southern U.S. wood pellets to fuel U.K. power plants would have life-cycle greenhouse gas impacts worse than coal.

Carr says the pellet industry has no qualms about using wood from clear-cut forest parcels adjacent to water bodies, pointing to an SELC photo showing a denuded forest parcel

adjacent to the Roanoke River. Enviva spokesman Jenkins says the photo has been “recycled by environmental groups for years” and does not reflect Enviva work. Wood pellet manufacturing facilities generally tap forests within a radius of 100 miles of each plant and sometimes more, Jenkins says -- though Enviva is considering using rail to ship biomass from hundreds of miles west to the Eastern Seaboard.

Just what makes up that biomass has been one of the hotly contested issues, with environmentalists asserting that industry is responsible for the clear-cutting of forests, including “low-land” forests. Jenkins concedes that Enviva accepts woody biomass from lowland Parcels — wetlands where trees cannot be commercially grown. But he says that trees will still regrow naturally in lowlands. In any case, Jenkins says, the company uses only what’s left over from forest tracts harvested for telephone poles, lumber, wood floors, furniture and the like.

More than 80 percent of a parcel’s value is from trees sold for the “high value” uses. The low-value wood can include whole pulpwood trees traditionally used by the paper industry and whole hardwood trees that are too narrow, misshapen or partially diseased or rotten, the company spokesman says. Enviva also uses “slash” from high-value timber, Jenkins says, such as tree tops and branches that cannot easily be debarked.

Forests are the most effective land cover for soaking up rain and keeping nutrients and sediment out of water bodies. The 2014 Bay Watershed Agreement seeks to promote the expansion of forest cover in the watershed. If the industry moves into the Bay watershed, it could badly set back efforts to expand forest cover, Carr predicts. But two other environmental advocates suggest that as long as good forest management practices are followed, the wood pellet industry would not set back Bay restoration efforts. “If the manufacturers follow best silviculture practices they can avoid significant damage to the environment,” says Kenny Fletcher, spokesman for the Virginia office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Jeff Day covered government policy developments for more than 20 years at Bloomberg BNA, including Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts since 2009.

By Jeff Day

Bay Journal News Service

Artist/artisans needed to create winter Holiday Tree ornaments to represent each locality

Localities in the Commonwealth have been invited to participate in decorating the Holiday Tree in the Governor’s Mansion by each submitting one hand-crafted ornament uniquely representing their community.

The state’s holiday tree will be on view to the public throughout the winter holiday season and will be seen by thousands of visitors to the executive mansion in Richmond.

Localities intending to participate must notify their state association (Virginia Association of Counties or Virginia Municipal League) by the end of August.

Ornaments must be submitted by Nov. 1. State associations were asked to assist with the ornament collection.

King George Board of Supervisors Chairman Ruby Brabo made the announcement on Aug. 2 in regard to King George, noting the Aug. 30 deadline for state notification of participation.

King George artists/artisans interested in the project may contact her or the county administer through their contact information listed on the King George County website.

Artists/artisans in other localities may likewise contact the heads of their local governing bodies or the locality’s administrative office.  

While the theme for the Holiday Tree has been announced as “Home for the Holidays,” the theme of the ornament is up to the locality.

Guidelines say the artist/artisan should reside in or near the locality, be an adult, college-aged and above, and purchased ornaments should not be sent.

Suggestions include a depiction of a unique feature of the locality or of something specific to it, such as a historic home, noted person, natural feature, or animal or plant from the region.

Examples of materials to use could be clay, glass, shells, fabric, wood, found objects, objects from nature and agricultural items.

Phyllis Cook

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