May 092018
 

The 2018 Session was very different from other recent Sessions. Topics include the impact of the 2016 Presidential election of Donald Trump on the 2017 legislative elections, in which Democrats came within a hair’s breadth of capturing control of the House of Delegates, and on the 2018 General Assembly Session. Also discussed are the 2018 federal elections, the 2019 General Assembly Session and the 2019 legislative elections.

In this podcast you will learn about issues that came before the 2018 General Assembly including: Medicaid expansion and the proposed work requirement for able-bodied Medicaid recipients; the proposed hospital tax to help pay for Virginia’s share of the cost of expanding Medicaid; efforts to reform the redistricting process and end gerrymandering; bills to protect the integrity of our elections; measures to make the criminal-justice system fairer; and, locally, legislation affecting the City-County Revenue-Sharing Agreement and the relocation of the County’s courthouses.

Senator Creigh Deeds and Delegate David Toscano speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

 

Senator Creigh Deeds (D) represents the 25th Senate District which includes the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Covington and Lexington, and the counties of Albemarle (part), Alleghany, Bath, Highland, Nelson and Rockbridge.
Delegate David Toscano (D) represents the 57th House of Delegates District which includes Charlottesville and part of Albemarle County.

The delegates at the Wednesday May 9, 2018 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper.

Apr 112018
 

Focused Ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive therapeutic technology that could transform the treatment of many medical disorders by serving as an alternative to surgery and radiation.

Jessica Foley and Nora Seilheimer speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

 

Unfortunately, taking a new therapeutic medical device from concept to standard of care is an extremely slow, complicated and inefficient process. The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is working to provide patients with the focused ultrasound option in the shortest time possible. It has become a model of how donor funding can be used to bridge the gap between laboratory research and widespread patient treatment. In this podcast you will learn about some of their early success stories.

Jessica Foley is a veteran of the ultrasound field and guides the strategy, development and implementation of the Foundation’s scientific and research programs. She holds a B.S.E. from Duke University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
Nora Seilheimer is a graduate of the University of Richmond and is engaged in development work for the foundation.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday April 11, 2018 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. SSV vice president Terry Cooper moderated.

Mar 142018
 

Pat Nolan speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

When violent-crime rates spiked in the 1980s and early 1990s, the response of most states and the federal government was to toughen criminal laws by abolishing parole, legislating lengthy mandatory minimum sentences, reducing “good-time” credits that shortened sentences for inmates who obeyed prison rules, making prison life even more miserable and building more prisons.

The incidence of crime dropped dramatically and rates are now back to where they were before the spike, there are differing views about why this has happened, but the social and economic costs of those lock-’em-up-and-throw-away-the-key laws were enormous. What’s more, the offenders weren’t being diverted from a life of crime.

“Criminal justice reform” is the umbrella term for a wide variety of proposals that attempt to reverse erroneous convictions and also get offenders out of the criminal justice system and into a law-abiding, productive citizenship.

Pat Nolan is a nationally recognized leader in this movement. Pat is the director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform and a leader in the Right on Crime project, a movement of conservative leaders who advocate for criminal justice reform. Before that Pat served 15 years in the California State Assembly, the lower house of the California legislature. For four of those years he was the Assembly’s Republican Leader.

Pat has personal experience with the criminal justice system. He was prosecuted for a campaign contribution he accepted that turned out to be part of an FBI “sting.” He pled guilty to one count of racketeering and served 29 months in federal custody.

Pat will describe how some states have been finding ways simultaneously to reduce prison populations, shrink recidivism and lower costs and discuss proposed federal and Virginia legislation with similar goals.

Pat holds bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Southern California. He and his wife Gail reside in Leesburg.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday March 14, 2018 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. SSV board member Bob McGrath moderated.

Feb 142018
 

Representatives of the Charlottesville Area Alliance discuss the mission and vision of the Alliance, to be the most age-friendly community in the country.

The panel speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Representing the Alliance are:

Marta Keane has been the CEO of JABA since April 2013. JABA works to help people age in community, by providing a Continuum of Caring for the Continuum of Living.  Her entire career has been on helping seniors achieve the highest quality of life, in the place of their choice.  She believes in creating a community that honors and respects the gifts that seniors have to offer.
Brad Sheffield serves as the executive at JAUNT Inc.  He has been working in the transit industry for 16 years, in both public and private transit planning roles. From January 2014 to December 2017, Brad served on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors representing the Rio Magisterial District. He is passionate about helping communities foster the traditional characteristics that make places great to work, raise a family, and retire.
Sunshine Mathon is the executive director of Piedmont Housing Alliance. Sunshine has lead the development of over 1,200 healthy, efficient homes in Texas and Virginia, including some of the highest ever LEED for Homes communities. He is a nationally-recognized leader in the deep green affordable housing sector. Sunshine holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of Texas
Rebecca Schmidt is the population health manager for the Thomas Jefferson Health District serving the City of Charlottesville and the five surrounding counties. Over the past 15 years, she has worked in health policy, program development, implementation and evaluation for nongovernmental agencies and for local, state, federal and international government.  She holds a B.A. from Boston University and an M.P.A. in Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Peter Thompson has served as executive director of the Senior Center Inc. since 1999.  The Senior Center positively impacts the community by creating opportunities for healthy aging through over 100 programs and scores of partnerships.  Peter received his B.A. from UVa and his MPA from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Recent community service includes serving on the Board of Directors of the OLLI at UVa, Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday February 14, 2018 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. SSV President Rich DeMong moderated.

Jan 102018
 

Commonwealth Attorneys Robert Tracci (left) and Joe Platania speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

“Commonwealth’s Attorney” is Virginia the term for “prosecutor”, the district attorney who goes after the bad guys. There’s a lot more to their job:

  • Prosecutors have wide discretion as regards whom they “throw the book at” and to whom they give second chances by sending them to “diversion” programs such as substance-abuse treatment versus locking them up. How they exercise that discretion is very important in determining the livability of the locality they serve, as New York City residents found when so-called “minor” crimes were ignored.
  • Prosecutors can have a major impact on crime prevention by advising groups targeted by criminals about the scams likely to be tried on them.
  • Prosecutors are among the best expert witnesses when legislators are considering changes to the criminal code or the process for considering criminal cases.

In this podcast, we’ll hear from City Commonwealth’s Attorney, Joseph Platania, and Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Robert Tracci.

Joe Platania was elected Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney this past November but he has been with that office since 2003. For much of that time he also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, helping to prosecute federal criminal cases. Joe is a graduate of Providence College and the Washington & Lee University School of Law. Before joining the City Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office he was an assistant public defender and an appellate attorney for the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center. Joe is the current president of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association.
Robert Tracci was elected Albemarle County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney in November 2015. Before that he had been a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and a Deputy Assistant Attorney General dealing with violations of federal criminal law. Prior to that Robert had been a senior staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, the House committee that deals with criminal law and criminal procedure, voting rights, intellectual property and other areas. Robert is a Phi Beta Kappa alumnus of Ohio Wesleyan University and a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday January 10, 2018 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. SSV Vice President Terry Cooper moderated.

Dec 132017
 

Richard Balnave, (left) Edward Lowry and Robyn Jackson speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Edward B. Lowry, Richard D. Balnave and Robyn Jackson talk about the mediation process and how it helps resolve differences in a way more effective than that of the court.

Edward B. Lowry engages in a statewide commercial litigation practice. He has been with the law firm of Michie-Hamlett since 1971. His litigation experience includes business torts, construction law, securities arbitration, employment, contract, real estate and banking laws. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation and the Virginia Law Foundation. He has been president of the Virginia State Bar and the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Associations. Ed was a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law where he taught a course in trial advocacy until 2013. Ed has participated in many meditations both as mediator and attorney for parties. He virtually always recommends mediation to his clients as it provides an opportunity for clients to resolve disputes without the uncertainty and expense of litigation.
Richard D. Balnave came to the University of Virginia Law School in 1984 to direct the Family Law Clinic following eight years of practice in Pennsylvania.  An expert in the areas of domestic relations and children’s law, he served on the board of governors of the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar and the Council of Domestic Relations Section of the Virginia Bar Association. He has lectured to Virginia circuit and district court judges and the Virginia Court of Appeals about issues in Virginia domestic relations law. Richard is a past president of the board of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Legal Aid Society and a former board member of the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association. He has assisted the Virginia General Assembly studies concerning child support guidelines and  mediation of child custody disputes.
Robyn Jackson is the founder of The Civility School, which teaches social skills, modern manners, and professional etiquette to all ages. The Civility School’s battle cry is “for the comfort and convenience of others.” Cultural awareness, flexibility, and empathetic intention are the keys to its method. Robyn’s background in teaching, counseling, and mediation combine to create a deep treatment of the often superficial world of etiquette. Robyn lives in Charlottesville with her husband, Brian, and their three sons.

The event took place at the Wednesday December 13, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. SSV board member Bonnie Brewer moderated the forum.

Nov 082017
 

Sargen speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Nicholas Sargen talks about the Republican proposal for corporate and personal tax cuts which is estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the US budget deficit over the next ten years. Sargen argues that case for personal tax cuts to boost the economy is less compelling, especially as the unemployment rate nears 4%.

Nicholas Sargen is an international economist turned global money manager.  He has been involved in international financial markets since the early 1970s when he began his career at the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  He subsequently worked on Wall Street for 25 years holding senior positions with Morgan Guaranty Trust (VP International Economics Department), Salomon Brothers Inc. (Director of Bond Market Research), Prudential Insurance (CIO for Global Fixed Income Advisors) and J.P. Morgan Private Bank (Chief Investment Strategist).  In 2003 he became chief investment officer for the Western & Southern Financial Group and its affiliate, Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc., where he now serves as chief economist.

Sargen has written extensively on international financial markets, and he recently authored a book, Global Shocks: An Investment Guide for Turbulent Markets. He appeared frequently on business television programs throughout his career on Wall Street and was a regular panelist on Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street Week.  He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.  He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and he has recently relocated to Keswick, Virginia.

The event took place at the Wednesday November 8, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. SSV Board Vice President Rich DeMong moderated the forum.

Oct 112017
 

Candidates for contested Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and School Board seats shared their views and responded to questions from the audience at this Senior Statesmen of Virginia sponsored forum.

Candidates speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The following candidate information is excerpted from the candidates’ campaign websites.

Candidates For Albemarle County Board Of Supervisors Samuel Miller District
John Lowry (R) lives in North Garden. His background is in financial management. He is also a former chair of the Albemarle County Economic Development Authority. John is a runner and a member of the Albemarle Pipes and Drums Corps.
Liz Palmer (D), the incumbent supervisor seeking a second term, lives in Ivy. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the Auburn University Veterinary School. She served as chair of the Board in 2016. She operates a veterinary hospice for companion animals.
Candidates For Albemarle County School Board Rio District
Katrina Callsen is a graduate of Yale, the Boston University School of Education and U.Va. Law. She is a former teacher with Teach for America. She volunteers with Kids Give Back.
Mary McIntyre is an alumna of UNC — Greensboro who holds master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Hawaii — Manoa. She has taught in North Carolina, Virginia and Hawaii and volunteered at a school in Tanzania.
Candidates For Albemarle County School Board Samuel Miller District
Graham Paige, the incumbent seeking his first full term, resides in Esmont. He is a graduate of Hampton University with a master’s degree from the University of Virginia. He is a retired Albemarle County teacher. He is a trustee, adult Sunday-School teacher and organist at New Green Mountain Baptist Church.
Julian Waters is a 2017 graduate of Western Albemarle making his first run for elective office. He is active in education-policy issues and a regular blood donor who founded the Model Aviations and Drone Club at Western Albemarle.

 
The event took place at the Wednesday October 11, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. SSV Board Member Terry Cooper moderated the Board of Supervisors forum. SSV Vice President Rich DeMong moderated the School Board forum.

Sep 132017
 

Candidates for the contested House of Delegates seats representing Albemarle and Charlottesville shared their positions and responded to questions from the audience.

Candidates speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The following candidate information is excerpted from the candidates’ campaign websites.

Steve Landes (R): Serving his eleventh term, Steve has been an able steward of taxpayer resources in the House of Delegates. During his tenure, he has focused on promoting economic development, fostering education innovations, and increasing healthcare choice, access and affordability. He has been a steady voice of reason heard above the noise that all too often clouds our political discourse. Steve serves as a House Budget Conferee. He is a Member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, representing the House of Delegates, serves on the Education Commission of the States; and serves on the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. He is also Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education; and on the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia.
Angela Lynn (D): This is a decisive moment in our Commonwealth. We need assertive leadership with the courage to stand up to entrenched interests in Richmond and do what is right for Virginia. I’m running for the General Assembly because I believe I can provide that leadership. As our government today gerrymanders the state to ensure their own power, and education and health care are at risk for our most vulnerable, we need representatives in government who understand our needs and will fight for the interests of the community. My family have been proud Virginians since the 1700s. After my husband’s career in the military, he and I moved here 25 years ago to raise our five children. I’ve worked as a higher education administrator and led efforts to improve our community. I’m running for the General Assembly to support and protect my home state.
Rob Bell (R): grew up in a Navy family.  He attended the University of Virginia on scholarship, and graduated with honors from both the college and law school.  Rob served as a state prosecutor in Orange County for five years, where he prosecuted over 2,400 cases, working with the police and crime victims to bring criminals to justice. Since his election as a Republican to the Virginia General Assembly, Rob has written laws that crack down on repeat-offense drunk driving and keep sex offenders off school property. He has also worked to close loopholes in Virginia’s mental health laws after the shooting at Virginia Tech.  More recently, he wrote laws to expand Virginia’s protective orders and to require life in prison for those convicted of raping children. In 2015 he wrote the law to address sexual assaults on on college campuses, and in 2016 expanded Virginia’s stalking laws.
Kellen Squire (D): I’m a husband and a father to three beautiful children.  I’m an emergency room nurse and a proud graduate of the University of Virginia.  I’m a Christian, an avid outdoorsman, and a hard-working, middle-class American who’s fed up with the political system today. We’ve almost killed the working class in this country.  Wages have been stagnant for more than three decades.  Our government seems to work more for lobbyists and special interests than for ordinary people.  The worst kind of toxicity in our politics, pitting some groups of Americans against others, is a disease that threatens the future of our country. That disease is spread by political operatives and career politicians, some of whom have spent decades in office by gerrymandering themselves into comfortable little districts so that they never have to run against a serious opponent.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday September 13, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper.

Aug 092017
 

Candidates for Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) and Jill Holtzman (R) discuss issues facing Virginians in the 2017 election.

Justin Fairfax (D) (Left) and Jill Holtzman (R) speaking at The V. Earl Dickinson Building.
Justin Fairfax (D) was raised by a single mother and her parents. He is a graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School, Duke University and Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review. He later served as a federal prosecutor in Virginia. He currently practices with the Tysons Corner office of the law firm Venable LLP where he focuses on white-collar criminal-defense matters and complex civil litigation.
Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R) is serving her third term in the Virginia Senate. She is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and DePaul University School of Law. She is a senior partner in Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC, a firm that specializes in election and ethics laws. In the Virginia Senate she chairs the Privileges & Elections Committee and is a member of numerous other committees and subcommittees, including the Senate’s “money” (taxation and spending) committee, Senate Finance.
The forum was moderated by Bob Gibson. Mr. Gibson is a long-time political writer, columnist and editor at The Charlottesville Daily Progress. He is now with the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday August 9, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the V. Earl Dickinson Building and in conjunction with  Piedmont Virginia Community College. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience.

Jul 042017
 

CPN contributor Jordy Yager filed this audio from this morning’s 55th annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony. Seventy-four candidates received their United States citizenship at the event. David N. Saperstein, former U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom and prominent Reform rabbi, addressed the crowd. The event took place on the back portico of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Jun 142017
 

Albemarle County Supervisors Brad Sheffield and Diantha McKeel speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Albemarle County is actively working to transform the Route 29/Rio Road area, work that started with the new grade separated interchange project and is continuing with a small area plan that will re-imagine how people live, work, shop and play in this critical area of the County. In this podcast, the County solicits the thoughts and ideas of seniors as it begins to finalize the plans for this vital area of the county. Topics include: Current Rio+29 Small Area Plan, the Economic Development in the Rio+29 area and the development of transportation facilities for bicycles, pedestrians, transit, and cars.

In addition to leading the discussion about the transformation of Rio and 29, Supervisors Diantha McKeel, Chair of the Board and Supervisor for the Jack Jouett District, and Brad Sheffield, Supervisor for the Rio District, also answered questions from the audience.

The event took place at the Wednesday June 14, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.