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Massive Lines Form Outside Virginia Food Bank As Demand Hits One Million Meals Per Month

The economic recovery has stalled, and in some cases, reversed. The $600 unemployment benefits that Americans received following the virus pandemic that crashed the economy in March-April expired on July 31, which means a fiscal cliff has been underway for 44 days (as of Sept. 14).

Millions of people are still out of work, their emergency savings wiped out, and insurmountable debts are increasing. As former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen warned in August, Congress’ inability to pass another round of stimulus checks could weigh on the economic recovery.

Readers may recall about a quarter of all personal income is derived from the government – so when a lapse in stimulus checks extends for well over one month – that could lead to new consumer stress.

In Richmond, Virginia, about 125 miles south of Washington, D.C., a food bank has been shelling out more than one million meals per month as the metro area battles deep economic scarring sustained by the virus-induced recession.

Kim Hill, the Chesterfield Food Bank CEO, told ABC 8News, “a lot of Chesterfield residents are showing up to get food would be an understatement — they’ve been averaging over a million meals a month.”

“You roll down that window, and you see the tears in that person’s eyes who never thought they would need the help of a food bank,” Hill said. “It breaks your heart.”

She said the volume of people her food bank is feeding is more than triple the levels versus last year. With increased demand, Hill said more volunteers are needed to handle the greater volumes.

“The life at the food bank here, we think it has changed forever,” Hill said. “Hunger should not exist in our country. We are one of the richest countries in the world, we need to be able to take care of our own people.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Massive Winter Storm Buries Parts Of The US, Kills Seven 

After what was a quiet but abnormally warm start to 2019, a severe winter storm has left seven people dead as it charged across the Midwestern US, striking the Mid-Atlantic coast on Sunday.

By late Saturday night, the storm had shifted over the Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore region, where 4 to 7 inches of snow is on the ground/

Weather models suggest the snow could get heavier around 2:30 p.m. for a few hours, especially in the Washington metropolitan area.

The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) warned that freezing rain would also be a big concern for the region into the overnight.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on Saturday in anticipation of the storm.

“I am declaring a state of emergency in order to prepare and coordinate the Commonwealth’s response to anticipated winter storm impacts, including snow and ice accumulations, transportation issues, and power outages,” said Northam.

The state of emergency allows officials to “mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts,” according to the press release.

St. Louis, which was pounded the hardest by the storm so far, recorded almost 11 inches, forcing closures of Interstates 44, 64 and 70 around the city.

Parts of central Missouri, around Harrisburg, recorded almost 20 inches of snow.

Columbia, Missouri, saw more than one foot of snow, more than doubling a 109-year-old record for snowfall.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

One County’s Global Warming Failure

One County’s Global Warming Failure


The difficulty of the United States and thus the world to confront the worsening crisis of global warming is underscored by the resistance – even in well-to-do communities – to invest the financial and political capital in public transit and other infrastructure necessary for reducing carbon emissions.

Take, for example, Arlington County and other Virginia communities, just west of Washington D.C. You might think that this area of well-educated and politically savvy people with median household incomes over $100,000 would be at the forefront of doing whatever is necessary to get people out of their cars and into mass transit.

An Innovia light-rail train offered by Bombardier Transportation.

A light-rail train offered by Bombardier Transportation.

After all, scientists warn that a rise in temperatures by more than 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial days will wreak havoc on the earth — and we are already halfway there.

Yet, Arlington, which sits between the District and other close-in communities such as Fairfax County and Falls Church city, is turning its back on proposals for light rail that could reduce traffic congestion and help the environment. Arlington’s new ten-year transportation plan looks only to make marginal improvements in bus service inside the county.

A big part of the problem is political. Although the County Board has a Democratic majority, Tea Party Republicans found a winning issue in opposing a light-rail Streetcar for Columbia Pike, a corridor that runs through a poorer part of South Arlington, which has been historically home to a multi-racial population. The predominantly white voters in North Arlington rebelled against this investment in South Arlington, even though the state and regional agencies had agreed to pay for much of it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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