Editorial: Legacies, job data and mopeds

Feb. 08, 2013 @ 04:52 PM

This week’s news out of the Virginia legislature was welcomed by environmental enthusiasts, but not economy watchers.

After the uranium mining bill of Sen. John Watkins was pulled last week before going through committee and onto the Senate floor, a companion legislation piece in the House of Delegates was also withdrawn. Watkins then shifted gears, making a play for Gov. Bob McDonnell to give instructions for regulations to be drawn up.

Lawmakers are always seeking votes, moves and help from others. For Watkins, he essentially gambled and lost big, with uranium mining just part of his fallout.

He’s also reported to have not been transparent in trying to get Senate districts redrawn and also failed with a transportation bill.

All this after trying to sell the state’s liquor monopoly.

In his plea for the governor’s help, he reportedly told McDonnell it was about legacy. Kerr Lake lovers and those in the Roanoke River Basin who don’t want uranium mining may be glad for the one Watkins left.

• Unemployment climbing back to 13.4 percent in Vance County means more people are continuing to hurt, or are now experiencing the hurt others have seen since 2008.

We have consistently fluctuated like the rest of the state, staying among the six highest counties. Despite this latest increase, Vance County actually moved to No. 91 of 100, still poor and still far from recovery.

Employers that fit our workforce remain elusive but wanted.

• Onslow County Republican Phillip Shephard is the latest to bring a bill to try and help curb growing problems with increasing numbers of mopeds.

We’ve spoken out against the lack of laws related to these vehicles before. Mopeds have their place to help our citizenry get around, but regulations are needed for everyone’s protection.

• Let’s hear it for never giving up, even if it is thousands of miles away on the Left Coast.

California Institute of Technology’s baseball team ended a 228-game losing streak last Saturday. They were still toting a 463-game league skid dating to 1988, but there’s hope all around, like the men’s basketball team that ended a 310-game conference losing streak in 2011 and the women’s volleyball team that ended a 56-match losing streak last year.