Virginia’s Water Resource Law: A System of Exemptions and Preferences Challenging the Future of Public Health, the Environment, and Economic Development

Jefferson D. Reynolds *

There is plenty of water in Virginia. The problem is there are plenty of people, too. As population growth in the Commonwealth continues to place higher demands on water resources, competition among users naturally rises. Water for energy production, agriculture, domestic, industry, and other uses becomes more difficult to allocate, resulting in winners and losers based on availability of supply. Although Virginia has adopted a permitting framework[1] to improve water resource management, exemptions and preferential treatment provided to riparian landowners and historic users in the Virginia Code are increasingly problematic.[2] These classes benefit from preferred legal status for water without regard to water availability, effects on other users, or whether it is being put to the most beneficial use.

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Socioeconomic Integration and the Greater Richmond School District: The Feasibility of Interdistrict Consolidation

Barry Gabay *

Stark disparities in public education within the Greater Richmond area are commonplace and have been for over a century. Richmond Public Schools primarily consist of an impoverished student body attending dilapidated schools. Meanwhile Richmond’s bordering suburban counties, Chesterfield and Henrico, generally enjoy state-of-the-art learning facilities attended by far more economically diverse student bodies. Today’s inequities can only be understood with recognition of a history of institutionalized segregation in the Richmond area—a history that is ingrained within the municipal offices, along the public transportation system, and, especially, inside the schools. The problem is that in the Richmond area, a child’s place of residence, rather than his academic aptitude, greatly determines his educational ceiling, and the setup of local governments within Virginia inflames the problem.

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Police Body Cameras: Implementation with Caution, Forethought, and Policy

Dru S. Letourneau *

On August 9, 2014, Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, on a Ferguson, Missouri street. The incident immediately ignited protests in the Ferguson area. Several of these demonstrations included rioting, looting, and violence. In response, officials used force, military-style tactics, and military-grade weapons. In November 2014, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called the National Guard to attempt to restore order and keep the peace.

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