Fight Between Progress, History Brewing Over "Outer Beltway"
4 NBC Washington
April 30, 2013
Most people would welcome the chance for a shorter, easier commute -- especially people who are stuck with driving in some of the most congested areas.
A plan on the table would create a new "Outer Beltway" that would be a shortcut through northern Virginia but would cut through Manassas and some of its most historic areas, setting the stage for a fight between progress and history that some are calling the next Battle of Manassas.
The route would connect Interstate 95 in Dumfries with Interstate 66 in the Manassas area, then run up to and beyond Dulles International Airport. It also would go through some historic, picturesque land at the Manassas Battlefield Park.
The North-South corridor as it is being called could cost about $1 billion. The state says its needed to handle all the expected growth in northern Virginia in the coming years and it could also provide a more direct route to Dulles for cargo traffic.
Monday, a large turnout of lawmakers and residents pushed back against the idea.
"Sometimes it's actually much, much more important in my job to actually stop bad things, stop bad ideas,” Republican state Sen. Jill Vogel said. “This is a bad thing.”
Now some are saying if this plan moves forward some roads will actually have to be closed, which could make the commute along places like I-66 even worse.
Click here to view 4 NBC Washington news clip.
Soccer goal safety bill advances
January 18, 2013
A Virginia Senate committee on Thursday advanced a bill intended to make soccer goals safer after a Virginia mother tearfully recalled how one fell on her 10-year-old son and killed him.
Mary Ellias of Stephens City described the accident that took the life of her son, Hayden, in 2007 while he played goalie in Frederick County. She called on the Senate Committee on Education and Health to pass a bill requiring that organizations that own or control moveable soccer goals to establish policies to ensure that they are properly anchored.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Fauquier), also would prohibit the sale of movable soccer goals that are not tip-resistant beginning July 1, 2014.
Vogel testified that it takes just 20 pounds of pressure to tip over a 400-pound goal that is not properly anchored. She brought a similar bill last year that died before a different committee.
Governor McDonnell Announces 205 New Jobs in Frederick County
September 25, 2012
RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that McKesson Corporation, a leading healthcare services and information technology company, will invest $36.9 million to establish a new distribution operation in Frederick County. The company will distribute medical and surgical supplies to physician offices, surgery centers, long-term care facilities and home care businesses in a regional service area that includes New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, eastern West Virginia, and northern North Carolina. The project will create 205 new jobs.
Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "McKesson's new distribution facility in Frederick County represents this FORTUNE 500 company's third operation in Virginia. Not only does McKesson have a significant presence here, the Commonwealth is one of the company's largest employee bases in the U.S. It is gratifying to see this continued growth in Virginia due to the pro-business climate and success McKesson has experienced. We value the company's strong corporate partnership and ongoing investment in the Commonwealth."
"McKesson Corporation's significant investment and creation of 205 new jobs will enrich the Frederick County community and region," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "The company continues to choose Virginia, as the Commonwealth provides convenient access to its East Coast customer base due to our strategic location and solid transportation infrastructure. I am confident that McKesson will experience the same growth and success with its third operation in Frederick County."
McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. McKesson's Medical-Surgical business unit, which is locating its facility in Frederick County, delivers a comprehensive offering of more than
150,000 healthcare products, equipment and technology solutions to physician offices, surgery centers, long-term care facilities, home medical equipment suppliers and home care agencies. McKesson partners with more than 300,000 customers to provide them with solutions and supplies with a primary goal of helping to improve the health of their business, allowing them to focus on what matters most: delivering quality care for patients.
"We're pleased to expand our operations in Virginia, the home of our Medical-Surgical business headquarters," said Stanton McComb, President, McKesson Medical-Surgical. "It's another great opportunity to match the strength of Virginia's infrastructure and labor force with our strong growth."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Frederick County and the Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Frederick County with the project. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment, training and retraining activities.
"We are pleased to welcome another Fortune 500 company, McKesson Corporation, to Frederick County," said Richard Shickle, Chairman of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors. "McKesson's significant investment is indicative of the pro-business climate in Frederick County and Frederick County's strategic location."
Vogel Visits Clarke GOP
June 28, 2012
By Mike Dowling
Clarke Daily News
The Republican Committee in Clarke County welcomed State Sen. Jill Vogel as a guest speaker Wednesday evening at their monthly meeting on the eve of what many see as a critical moment in U.S. history as the Supreme Court of the United States decides whether or not President Obama’s healthcare bill is constitutional.
“It is a huge and significant watershed moment,” Vogel said.
The heart of the debate is whether the federal government has the right to compel citizens to buy insurance from private providers.
She expressed her opposition to the bill but said,”This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is an issue of state sovereignty. Health care is not affordable and is not accessible, but states were working out their own solutions to this problem. It is the individual economies of states that makes us different and makes us unique and allows us to solve problems like this.”
Senator Vogel added, “If the Supreme Court says this is OK then that effectively means that there is no limit on the power of the federal government. It means there is virtually nothing that the federal government can’t come into, occupy the field, and tell you what to do.”
The Supreme Court is expected to issue an opinion on the health care bill Thursday morning.
The Republican group also discussed plans for mobilizing in the upcoming presidential election. Virginia is expected to play a pivotal role in the election and Clarke GOP Chairman, Andrew Nicholson said that the importance will wind all the way down to the tenth district. “Our ability to get the vote out in Clarke County, Frederick County and Loudoun County may be what decides this election.”
Chairman Nicholson also announced a major upcoming local event scheduled for the August 25, 2012. U.S. Senate Candidate George Allen will visit Clarke County to meet and greet attendees at Veramar Vineyards. Other Republican elected officials expected to attend include Senator Frank Wolf, Delegate Joe May, and State Sen. Jill Vogel.
Vogel touts Assembly work on jobs at local gathering
May 17, 2012
By CONOR GALLAGHER
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — State Sen. Jill Vogel believes the General Assembly this year succeeded at its number one goal: making Virginia the top state for business.
Vogel, R-Upperville, stopped by a local trade group meeting Wednesday evening at the Holiday Inn Historic Gateway on Front Royal Pike.
“ The economy and jobs were the biggest focus,” she told members of the Apple Valley Chapter of APICS The Association for Operations Management.
She highlighted bills the Assembly passed this year that she thinks will help area businesses — ones that offer tax credits and grants to hopefully grow the state’s economy.
She thinks Virginia’s business- first attitude is paying dividends, as the state’s unemployment rate — according to March statistics from the Department of Labor — is at 5.6 percent. The national unemployment rate is at 8.2 percent.
Neither figure takes into account those who have stopped looking for work.
“We’re a lot better off than a lot of other states,” Vogel said.
She also acknowledged that federal spending helps keep V irginia’s unemployment rate down.
“ We ’ re a little recession proof because of our proximity to Northern Virginia and the federal government,” she said.
A June report by economists at Wells Fargo found that federal contract spending pumped more than $57 billion into Virginia in 2010, helping the commonwealth recover from the recession faster than other states.
Margie Ways, president of the Apple Valley Chapter, is hoping employment continues to increase. The chapter had 160 members before the recession, but as manufacturing in the Winchester area declined, she said the number dropped below 60.
Making cuts to safety net programs for workers during a recession is difficult, Vogel said, but the trade-off is necessary to help businesses recover.
“ There were a handful of people here and there that were upset,” she said, adding that the main goal is to keep and attract business.
“ Hopefully when revenue comes back up we can go back and restore some of the programs we cut,” she said.
— Contact Conor Gallagher at cgallagher@winchester star.com
It's a girl for Vogel
First state senator to give birth twice while in office
April 25, 2012
By SARAH L. GREENHALGH
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — State Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel and her husband, Alex, welcomed a baby girl into their family on Wednesday morning.
While public officials having children is not that rare, Vogel’s baby is putting her in the legislative record books.
“A few years ago, she was the only senator in the commonwealth to have a baby while in office,” Vogel’s legislative assistant, Tricia Stiles, said from the senator’s Winchester office. “Now she holds the title of being the only [state] senator, ever, to have two babies while in office.”
The Upperville resident, who represents the 27th District — in cluding Winchester and Frederick and Clarke counties — gave birth to 7- pound Olivia Marguerite Holtzman Vogel at Warrenton’s Fauquier Hospital at 8:51 a.m.
Vogel, who had her baby via cesarean section, was in good spirits that afternoon.
“ I’m doing well,” Vogel said from her hospital room. “So far, not in a lot of pain. It’s been a pretty exciting day. Have had a bunch of friends and family around and I now have lots of pink baby clothes.”
Pink is key.
Vogel, who has three sons with her husband, was hoping for a girl. She named the baby Olivia after her cousin and chose Marguerite after her great aunt.
Vogel, 41, is in her second term in office. In her re-election bid in November, the Republican walloped Democratic opponent Shaun Broy with 24,494 votes (75 percent) to his 7,596 (23 percent).
Vogel, who is also a parttime attorney, is on committees for Finance, Courts of Justice, General Laws and Technology, Privileges and Elections, and Rehabilitation and Social Services.
The General Assembly is not currently in session.
“ I got really lucky, it worked out perfectly that we’re in recess until May 14,” Vogel said. ”It was a nice reprieve. Everyone thought I was going to go into labor during session and I did have a little scare a few weeks ago, but was fine.” But she won’t be on maternity leave long.
“When we get back in session we’ll be appointing some judges,” she said, referring to 26th Circuit nominee Clay Athey, who would serve locally.
Baby Olivia joins brothers Will, 8; John “ Jack, ” 6; and Thomas “Taz,” 3, and Vogel’s stepchildren Peyton, 13, and Alex, 11.
—Contact Sarah L. Greenhalgh at email@example.com