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Kickers face a team named after an energy drink

You can smell the playoffs from where we stand.

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Last Saturday the Richmond Kickers continued their winning ways with a 3-0 goal over visiting Toronto FC II. It was an even more lopsided victory than the scoreline. Kickers dominated possession for extended periods and the only thing that slowed them down was the Hades level heat.

This week another MLS Junior Varsity team the Red Bulls II will be in town and will not be the push over like Toronto. The New York Red Bulls sit in second place in the Eastern Conference while the Kickers have climbed up to sixth place.

standings

NYRB II are coming off a 3-2 lose at home against the Charleston Battery. This was only the second loss of the season for the Red Bulls.

This would be the second match between these two teams. The first one was at Red Bull Arena and the Kickers’ Brian Ownby tied it up in the 90th minute.

The Kickers have a list of players to watch:

Kickers: Midfielder Yudai Imura (#14) increased his team-leading tally to six goals after adding a pair against Toronto FC II last week at City Stadium. Discovered at the Kickers 2015 Pro Tryouts, the Japanese midfielder quickly earned his spot on the starting lineup, making 37 appearances over two seasons. Midfielder Samuel Asante (#28) was integral in the Kickers 3-0 win against Toronto, drawing a second half penalty kick before assisting on the third goal of the night. The USL veteran and native of Sunyani, Ghana has anchored the midfield in more than 60 appearances and amassing over 5,000 minutes since 2014. Defender Chris Durkin (#37) became the youngest player in Kickers history to start and play 90 minutes in a USL match when he made his official debut at age 16 years, 147 days against Toronto last week. Signing a Homegrown contract with D.C. United last month, the native of Glen Allen, Virginia joined the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club at the age of 8.

Red Bulls II: Midfielder Derrick Etienne (#36) signed with the New York Red Bulls senior team as a Homegrown Player after one year at the University of Virginia and after making 14 appearances with Red Bulls II as an Academy player last season. The son and nephew of former Kickers players Derrick and Darrell Etienne, he added an assist in the NYRB II’s 2-1 win at FC Cincinnati last week. Forward Brandon Allen (#21) leads NYRB II’s attack, contributing eight goals and two assists in 17 appearances this season. The native of Old Bridge, NJ signed as a Homegrown Player and made his first team debut in May as a second half substitute in the club’s 3-0 win against Toronto. On loan from the New York Red Bulls, forward Anatole Abang (#9) gave the Red Bulls II an early lead against the Richmond Kickers at Red Bull Arena in May, forcing the Kickers to level the score with a last-gasp equalizer. Soon after, he became a regular on the senior team’s 18-man roster before returning to the NYRB II side that handed FC Cincinnati a 2-1 scoreline last week.

Kickoff is this Saturday at 7 PM at City Stadium. There will be a VIP Fiesta Tent if you’re interested in All-You-Can-Eat Chicken Fiesta Tacos and 2 Modelo Beers for $20.

red_army_brian_zimmerman

Images: Brian Zimmerman

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

Downtown

Virginia House votes to repeal Clean Cars law

Republicans in the House of Delegates passed legislation Wednesday to repeal a law tying Virginia to California vehicle emissions standards that are set to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035. 

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By Charlie Paullin

Republicans in the House of Delegates passed legislation Wednesday to repeal a law tying Virginia to California vehicle emissions standards that are set to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035.

Along party lines, the House of Delegates voted 52-48 to pass House Bill 1378, carried by Del. Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham.

Wilt’s bill faces a rocky road in the Senate, where Democrats have killed several Republican bills aimed at the same goal. Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, has said any bill to repeal the California emissions law that comes over from the House will meet the same fate.

Democrats struck down several Republican efforts to roll back or delay the enactment of climate laws including the more stringent vehicle emissions standards during the last General Assembly session.

In 2021, the General Assembly passed legislation that coupled Virginia vehicle emissions regulations with those set by the California Air Resources Board, a set of rules often called the “Clean Car” standards. Last year, CARB issued a new rule that will require that all new cars sold in the state be zero emission beginning in 2035.

The 2021 legislation Virginia enacted was one of two options the state has when it comes to regulating tailpipe emissions: either continue to follow the federal standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or follow more stringent regulations set by California.

The Clean Air Act allows states only two choices on vehicle emissions regulations to limit the number of standards that manufacturers must adhere to. California was granted an exception to set its own standards to address smog issues. Over a dozen other states have also chosen to adopt the Golden State’s rule.

Wilt and Republicans argue the California standards place burdensome cost demands on Virginians and say the 2035 target is unrealistic. EVs will also put a strain on the grid, Wilt said in a floor speech Wednesday.

“The free market is driving this, I would dare say as fast as they can,” Wilt said, noting manufacturers’ plans to electrify their fleets. “I think we’re all on board, there’s just a distinct difference [on] how we want to go about it.”

But Del. Rip Sullivan, D-Arlington, said Virginia’s adoption of the Clean Cars standard positions it as a leader in the “acceleration” toward electric vehicles.

Passing Wilt’s bill sends a message that the state doesn’t want to lead “or, worse yet, can’t compete,” Sullivan said.

Del. Alfonso Lopez, D- Arlington, contended that data centers, which have proliferated in Northern Virginia, are already putting demands on the grid.

Earlier Wednesday, a House subcommittee advanced a bill by Sullivan that would set up a $25 million fund for the establishment of charging infrastructure outside of highway corridors. Sen. Dave Marsden, D-Fairfax, has a similar bill in the Senate that is scheduled to be taken up Thursday.

“We want every part of Virginia” to be part of the transition, said Sullivan in the subcommittee meeting.

Similar proposals were put forward in 2022 but failed to pass the General Assembly or make it into the budget.

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Community

Library of Virginia Celebrates Bicentennial with Yearlong Series of Events

The celebration begins this Tuesday with 200 YEARS, 200 STORIES.

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The Library of Virginia is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2023 with a yearlong series of events and programs, including an anniversary exhibition and multimedia experience, a panel discussion highlighting Virginia’s first Black legislators, the launch of mobile programming across the state, and more.

The Library was founded on Jan. 24, 1823, by the General Assembly to organize, care for and manage the state’s growing collection of books and official records. Since then, the collection has grown to 2 million books, newspapers, maps, prints and photographs, as well as 130 million manuscript items, making the Library the most comprehensive resource in the world for the study of Virginia history, culture and government.

“It’s exciting to celebrate this milestone as one of the oldest state libraries and archives in the nation,” said Librarian of Virginia Sandra Treadway. “We invite the community to join us at the various activities planned to mark our rich history and hope all Virginians will discover ways to be more engaged with us as we enter our third century.”

The schedule of anniversary events follows. All events are free and open to the public (except for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration, its annual fundraising gala, on Oct. 14, 2023). Learn more at www.lva.virginia.gov/200.

Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Oct. 28, 2023 | Exhibition Gallery & Lobby

200 YEARS, 200 STORIES: AN EXHIBITION

This exhibition and multimedia experience celebrates 200 Virginians whose fascinating narratives can be found in the Library’s records, images and artifacts. Rather than a Top Ten or a Who’s Who, the exhibition presents captivating stories of Virginians of all stripes: heroes and villains, the famous and infamous, the powerful and the powerless—reflecting the sweep of Virginians’ experiences.

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023 | 12:00–1:00 p.m. | Conference Rooms | Learn more and register

200TH ANNIVERSARY LECTURE

The Origins of the Library of Virginia’s Book Collections

The Library of Virginia was founded by the General Assembly on Jan. 24, 1823, to organize, care for and manage the state’s growing collection of books and official records, many of which date back to the early colonial period. Join us on this momentous anniversary date for a talk by historian and author Brent Tarter on the origins of the Library’s book collections. A few books from the Library’s earliest days will be on display and our new exhibition, 200 Years, 200 Stories, will be open for viewing.

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023 | 6:00–7:30 p.m. | Lecture Hall & Lobby | Learn more and register

BLACK HISTORY MONTH PANEL DISCUSSION

The First Civil Rights: Black Political Activism After Claiming Freedom

Join the Library of Virginia and Virginia Humanities to celebrate the completion of a signature project to document the lives and achievements of Virginia’s first Black legislators. Editors of the Library’s Dictionary of Virginia Biography joined this project in 2011 in collaboration with the commonwealth’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission to research and write the definitive life histories of the 92 African American men who served in the General Assembly from 1869 to 1890. Their stories are now part of the collective digital story of our state thanks to the collaboration with Encyclopedia Virginia, a rich online resource sponsored by Virginia Humanities. Panelists for the program, moderated by Virginia Humanities executive director Matthew Gibson, will include the Honorable Viola Baskerville, one of the founders of the project; University of Richmond professor Lauranett Lee; Ajena Rodgers, supervisory park ranger at the National Park Service’s Maggie L. Walker Historic Site and a descendant of Black legislator James A. Fields; and historian and author Brent Tarter, a retired editor with the Library of Virginia. For more information, contact Elizabeth Klaczynski at 804.692.3536 or [email protected].

Friday, March 3, 2023 | 5:00–8:00 p.m. | Lobby & Conference Rooms

FIRST FRIDAYS AT LVA

Collections Show & Tell

Venture east from Richmond’s Arts District for quarterly First Fridays at the Library of Virginia! Join us to enjoy refreshments and view an art exhibition by Virginia artists as well as our 200 Years, 200 Stories exhibition; listen to open mic poetry, prose or music; and take part in a “creation station.” March’s theme is Collections Show and Tell. Learn about archival preservation—you can bring in your own items for evaluation and conservation recommendations—and see displays of Library items to spark ideas for creating something with your own collections.

Saturday, March 25, 2023 |10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Suffolk Public Library | 443 W. Washington St., Suffolk, VA 23434

LVA On the Go at Suffolk Public Library

LVA On the Go, a custom-made vehicle equipped with state-of-the-art technology, will bring the Library’s programs, workshops, digital resources, staff expertise and more to the Suffolk Public Library. This is the first of more than 16 visits scheduled for regions across the commonwealth to connect and engage with the community. Activities include genealogy assistance, oral history recording, children’s crafts and more. Find the full schedule of visits at www.lva.virginia.gov/200.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023 | 6:00-7:30 p.m. | Lecture Hall | Free

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH PANEL DISCUSSION

A Woman’s Place is in the House…of Delegates

In 1923 the first women won election to the Virginia House of Delegates. In the century since then, 109 women have served in the House, with a record number of 36 women in 2023. Virginia has often lagged the nation in the percentage of women in its governing bodies. How have women battled Virginia’s “old boys’ network” and pushed through barriers to take their place in the halls of power? Join the Library of Virginia in celebrating a century of Women in the House. A group of House members will discuss the challenges, opportunities and changes they have experienced in Capitol Square.

Friday, June 2, 2023 | 5:00–8:00 p.m. | Lobby & Conference Rooms

FIRST FRIDAYS AT LVA

Maps: Your Place in Virginia

Venture east from Richmond’s Arts District for quarterly First Fridays at the Library of Virginia! Join us to enjoy refreshments and view an art exhibition by Virginia artists as well as our 200 Years, 200 Stories exhibition; listen to open mic poetry, prose or music; and take part in a “creation station.” June’s theme is Maps: Your Place in Virginia. Make your own map listing places lived in Virginia, your path to the commonwealth or your favorite locale.

July 7 & 8, 2023 | Lobby

Virginia Folklife Celebration

A two-day Folklife Festival, in partnership with the Virginia Folklife Program of Virginia Humanities, will feature programs and performances with some of the finest traditional musicians and craftspeople in the commonwealth.

Friday, Aug. 4, 2023 | 5:00–8:00 p.m. | Lobby & Conference Rooms

 

FIRST FRIDAYS AT LVA

Your Virginia Story

Venture east from Richmond’s Arts District for quarterly First Fridays at the Library of Virginia! Join us to enjoy refreshments and view an art exhibition by Virginia artists as well as our 200 Years, 200 Stories exhibition; listen to open mic poetry, prose or music; and take part in a “creation station.” August’s theme is Your Virginia Story. Use prompts and hashtags to record your own story.

Oct. 9–14, 2023

Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration Events

Over the past 25 years, the annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards have become the commonwealth’s premier celebration honoring Virginia writers and their contributions to literature. Award categories are nonfiction, fiction and poetry; People’s Choice Awards for fiction and nonfiction; and Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award. Our special 2023 edition will celebrate past award finalists and winners in a weeklong series of events. Mark your calendars now for a week of events culminating in our Oct. 14 Literary Awards Celebration, and help us wrap up our anniversary year in style.

Coming in Fall 2023 | Lobby

Exploring 200 Years of Virginia Food & Wine

Watch for more information coming soon!

Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 | 5:00–8:00 p.m. | Lobby & Conference Rooms

FIRST FRIDAYS AT LVA

Capture Your Traditions

Venture east from Richmond’s Arts District for quarterly First Fridays at the Library of Virginia! Join us to enjoy refreshments and view an art exhibition by Virginia artists as well as our 200 Years, 200 Stories exhibition; listen to open mic poetry, prose or music; and take part in a “creation station.” December’s theme is Capture Your Traditions. View cookbooks, scrapbooks and music ephemera from the Library’s collections and create your own mini-book.

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Downtown

As election-year General Assembly session begins, Youngkin urges lawmakers to “get more done”

Gov. Glenn Youngkin asked Virginia lawmakers to put aside partisan differences and “get more done” in a State of the Commonwealth speech Wednesday that kicked off the 2023 General Assembly session.

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By Graham Moomaw

Gov. Glenn Youngkin asked Virginia lawmakers to put aside partisan differences and “get more done” in a State of the Commonwealth speech Wednesday that kicked off the 2023 General Assembly session.

Speaking to both chambers of the politically split legislature, Youngkin said Virginia is “substantially better off than it was last year” but “still a great distance from our destination.”

“We’re on the right path and Virginians know it,” Youngkin said in a roughly hour-long speech. “They see the transformation underway, and they want more progress. And they want it faster.”

Entering the second year of his four-year term, the Republican governor mostly stuck to the core themes of his administration, calling for lower taxes to accelerate economic growth, more constraints to Democrats’ ambitious climate change plans, better-performing schools and steps to address pandemic learning loss, a bigger role for parents and a tougher approach to crime and gun violence.

He mostly avoided divisive issues until he reiterated his call to ban elective abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

“When it comes to unborn children, we can come together. We can choose life, and choose to support mothers, fathers and families in difficult decisions,” Youngkin said. “It is clear Virginians want fewer abortions, not more.” 

That proposal is all but guaranteed to fail in the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate, particularly after Democrats flipped a Republican-held seat in Tuesday’s special elections with a candidate who campaigned heavily against new abortion restrictions.

“The governor did not get the memo from the voters yesterday in Virginia Beach,” House of Delegates Minority Leader Don Scott, D-Portsmouth, said after the speech.

The Youngkin-backed abortion bills filed Wednesday by Republican lawmakers include exceptions for cases of rape or incest and when the life or physical health of the mother is threatened. Other Republican legislators have introduced more drastic bills that would ban abortion altogether, but those too are unlikely to pass.

Pitching lawmakers on his proposal for $1 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses, Youngkin said data showing more people are moving out of Virginia than moving in “tells an undeniable story.”

“Virginians are moving to states with lower taxes and a lower cost of living,” Youngkin said, telling lawmakers that he’s still prioritizing the “clarion call for change” he heard from voters who elected him in 2021.

The governor also re-upped his calls for a $230 million overhaul of the state’s struggling mental health system, teacher bonuses, more resources for police and prosecutors and “tougher penalties for those who commit crimes with guns.” The speech contained a few new policy proposals, like preventing tech companies and social media platforms from profiting off data from users under 18 and steps to prevent “Chinese communist intrusion into Virginia’s economy.”

Youngkin’s second session

The second legislative session of Youngkin’s tenure will be a short one.

Lawmakers are expected to be in Richmond for 46 days of debate, with taxes, education, mental health, energy costs and the state’s unfinished effort to legalize marijuana among the big-ticket items on the agenda. There’s also likely to be vigorous back-and-forth on abortion and gun policy after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and Virginia experienced a string of high-profile shootings.

But major changes on the most contentious political topics remain unlikely with one legislative chamber controlled by Republicans and the other led by Democrats.

When the legislature adjourns in late February, lawmakers will turn their full attention toward legislative primaries and the high-stakes General Assembly elections in November. Those contests, when all 140 seats in both chambers will be on the ballot in redrawn districts that could lead to an unusual amount of turnover, will determine whether Youngkin will be able to pass more of his agenda through a fully Republican-controlled legislature or if the government will remain politically divided until he leaves office in early 2026.

It was already apparent Wednesday that the 2023 session will largely be about laying the groundwork for election season.

Democratic lawmakers said they’ll be playing a lot of defense and advocating that the surplus money Youngkin wants to use to cut taxes should go toward other priorities that couldn’t be funded when Democrats fully controlled the legislature in 2020 and 2021.

“Believe you me, you give the current governor a Republican House and a Republican Senate, make no mistake about it, we’re Florida, we’re Texas, we’re Oklahoma,” Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax, said at a morning news conference. “We can’t have that. And I don’t think the people of Virginia are interested in that.”

Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, who has achieved social media stardom as one of Youngkin’s most vocal and persistent critics on Twitter, offered a blunt review of the governor’s proposed changes to the state’s two-year budget.

“To hell with the governor’s budget proposal,” Lucas said.

In a news release, House of Delegates Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, said it was the Democrats who are out of touch with what Virginians expect from their elected representatives.

“Our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have made it clear that they intend to spend this short session fighting culture wars and treating the House of Delegates like social media,” Gilbert said. “But our constituents didn’t send us here to see who can get the most likes on social media. They sent us here to work to make their lives better.”

A reinforcement for Senate Democrats

Democrats started the session with extra pep after Tuesday’s victory in the closely watched special election in Hampton Roads, a result Democratic leaders characterized as a rejection of Republican extremism.

Democratic Sen.-elect Aaron Rouse, the winner of the contest to replace former Republican Sen. Jen Kiggans, who was elected to represent the region in Congress, got an enthusiastic welcome from his new colleagues when he dropped in on a press conference on Democrats’ legislative priorities.

“I’m ready to get to work,” said Rouse, a former professional football player and Virginia Beach city councilman who won’t be officially sworn in until Friday, after the election is officially certified. Kevin Adams, the Republican who narrowly lost to Rouse, called the senator-elect Wednesday morning to concede the race. When Rouse formally takes office, Democrats will have a 22-18 majority in the Senate, giving them slightly more room to block Republican bills than they had with a 21-19 majority last year.

There was no delay in certifying two new members of the House of Delegates, where the winners of Tuesday’s two other uncompetitive special elections were sworn in as the session got underway. Del. Holly Siebold, D-Fairfax, replaced former delegate Mark Keam, who resigned for a job in the Biden administration. Del. Ellen Campbell, R-Rockbridge, replaced her late husband Ronnie Campbell, who died of cancer late last year.

On a light initial workday for the legislature, there were also celebrations of new life. Del. Wren Williams, R-Patrick, was absent Wednesday as his wife gave birth to a son, Rhett. In the Senate, several children of Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, including his new twin babies, were officially recognized by the body.

There were no feisty floor speeches, but Del. Lee Ware, R-Powhatan, said he’s expecting plenty of them as the session continues “partly because we’re so close, partisan-wise.”

Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the House. That means controversial bills coming out of either chamber can be blocked by the other, leaving only a fairly narrow set of bipartisan issues with a realistic chance of final passage.

“What I’m hopeful of is that we can agree on things that help make Virginia a better place, a better place to raise a family, that allow people to make ends meet, that make our schools better and our community safer,” Gilbert told reporters after Wednesday’s largely procedural floor sessions.

Scott, the Democratic House leader, took issue with Republicans’ contention that the existence of surplus funds is proof that Virginia’s taxes are too high while criticizing the governor’s proposal to lower the corporate tax rate to attract more business to the state.

“If he wants to help Virginians who are working hard every day, this is an opportunity,” Scott said of Youngkin. “Not giving away money to out-of-state corporations that don’t care about everyday Virginians.”

In his speech, Youngkin indirectly noted that Democrats recently appeared to take credit for getting rid of the state tax on groceries, an issue he prioritized throughout his campaign for governor.

“I look forward to giving those on both sides of the aisle more opportunities to celebrate tax breaks in the coming weeks,” Youngkin said.

As he neared the end of his address to the legislature, Youngkin seemed to acknowledge the limits of bipartisan cooperation, saying “there are a few who inexplicably will put more value on political stalemate than unified achievement.”

“While the people expect us to debate and argue over what divides us,” the governor said, “Virginians demand that we come together on what unites us.”

Staff writers Nathaniel Cline and Charlie Paullin contributed to this story.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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