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News (Media Awareness Project) - US VA: Editorial: Notes And Notables
Title:US VA: Editorial: Notes And Notables
Published On:2012-01-26
Source:Daily Press (Newport News,VA)
Fetched On:2012-01-28 06:03:14

A Weekly Roundup of Short Opinions Offered by the Daily Press Editorial Board

Stop and smell the Mozart

What do a professional third baseman and an orchestral percussionist
have in common?

To some legislators, it's not just that they're both five-tool players.

Del. G. Manoli Loupassi, R-Richmond argues symphony musicians should
be treated like sports team members when it comes to unemployment
claims. He's sponsoring a bill that would deny symphony members
benefits during the months they aren't under contract.

Under current Virginia law, seasonal employees may be eligible for
unemployment if they meet all other requirements. However, certain
professions that look like seasonal occupations -- such as
professional sports team members, teachers, and professors whose
contracts aren't for a full 12 months -- are ineligible during their
non-contract months. The idea is that their contracts are actually
ongoing and continuous, so they aren't really unemployed during their
non-contract weeks.

Loupassi wants to add orchestra members -- a profession that for
years has relied on unemployment benefits to supplement meager
salaries -- to the short list of exceptions.

The bill is ridiculous because it singles out one tiny segment of one
broad industry, the arts. Tax-season workers, furloughed workers --
even federal employees who stay home because their government shuts
down -- would still be able to file and collect benefits.

This bill sounds like a loud wrong note.

Everyone wants to be chief

The town of Smithfield received 41 applications to be its next police chief.

That so many people would want to be top-dog law of enforcement in a
jurisdiction that covers 9.5 square miles and 8,089 residents says a
lot about this rural community in Isle of Wight County.

The crime rate is relatively low, the salary is a bit higher than
comparable towns and there is plenty of support from local
government, businesses and offices -- all "golden apples" for anyone
seeking to be chief, according to Dana Schrad, executive director of
the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.

The good news for Smithfield is that the larger the applicant pool,
the better the chance of choosing the best person for this important job.

One-stop shopping

If Del. David Englin, R-Alexandria, has his way, customers at ABC
stores will be able to pick up more than just a pint of brandy.

Englin is proposing a study of the potential revenue impact of
selling marijuana at Virginia's state-run liquor stores. The idea is
that people are buying it anyway, so why not move the transactions
from the alleys to the storefronts and let our cash-strapped
government make a little money?

Because anything that makes it easier to purchase what many perceive
to be a gateway drug carries huge moral and health concerns and isn't
likely to move quickly with most Virginia lawmakers. This isn't
California, after all.

Medical marijuana is one thing. Sixteen states -- including the
commonwealth, for cancer and glaucoma -- have laws in place allowing
restricted use under medical supervision for certain conditions. But
we don't need an expensive study to tell us that over-the-counter
sales of pot to anyone who walks into a liquor store is a stinky idea
that should be snuffed out immediately.
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