Tag Archives: Kerry Dougherty

Substandard Schooling for All!

by Kerry Dougherty

File this under “You just can’t win.”

Parents of Fairfax County school children have had enough. For decades these folks were accustomed to excellence in public education. They proudly sat atop the Virginia educational heap. Shoot, Fairfax is home to Thomas Jefferson High School, widely considered the best public high school in the country:

“Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is a Fairfax County public magnet school so competitive that its 17-percent acceptance rate is identical to Georgetown University’s. Since 2008, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report have both ranked it the number-one high school in the country three times,” according to Washingtonian Magazine.

So, imagine parents’ chagrin when they found that the county was completely unprepared for distance learning when the governor ordered the schools closed last spring. Fairfax County’s experiment in virtual education was a complete disaster.

This is not what families in one of Virginia’s wealthiest counties expect or will tolerate.

To make matters worse, militant teachers groups in Northern Virginia — including a bona fide union, the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers — made their opposition to in-person learning abundantly clear earlier this summer. Continue reading

Bashing the Beach

by Kerry Dougherty

I love Virginia Beach. This cul-de-sac by the sea has been home since 1984.

We locals might complain about the place — greedy developers, corrupt politicians, no waves — but we don’t much like elitist outsiders blowing into town and bashing us after they leave.

And that’s just what one man did when he penned a hit piece on the Resort City this week for Forbes.

Why Forbes published this drivel is a mystery. I suspect it fit a certain narrative.

The story was headlined “A Trip To Virginia Beach Showed Why We Aren’t Beating This Virus,” but a more accurate header would have been “Rich Guy Visits Virginia Beach And Spends Entire Trip Counting Masks.”

The author launched his diatribe this way (boldface is mine):

CV101 started when we parked near the beach. We donned our masks and stepped out of the car, and immediately noticed that almost no one else was wearing a mask. Now, it was a sunny and warm day and we didn’t see big crowds or lack of reasonable distancing. But coming from the DC Metro where wearing a mask is the norm and not wearing mask is likely to get you accosted, this was surprising to us.

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About that Shiny New Contact Tracing App…

by Kerry Dougherty

After months of being next to last nationally – in COVID-19 testing – Virginia is finally first in something:

A brand new contact tracing app.

Yippee!

“Virginia officials on Wednesday launched a smartphone app that uses Bluetooth technology to alert people when they have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19,” reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch. 

“The app, COVIDWISE, is the result of a collaborative project between Google and Apple, which have been in talks with Virginia and other states to develop and roll out the app for months.

“Virginia on Wednesday became the first state to fully launch an app with this particular platform.”

The governor unveiled the app along with a public relations campaign: “Add Your Phone To The COVID Fight” to persuade Virginians to download the free software that will alert them when they’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, even if that contact was weeks earlier. Continue reading

Trust the USPS With the Next Election?

by Kerry Dougherty

I’m playing postman, I thought a couple of weeks ago as I delivered mail to four of my neighbors.

That was the day that every single envelope in my mailbox was addressed to someone else. It was a record. Usually there are no more than one or two wayward envelopes.

Our regular mail carrier was on vacation, I learned, as if that excuses such incompetence.

But where’s MY mail, I wondered later when no one brought so much as one of those ubiquitous Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons.

Everyone has at least one postal horror story. Here’s another one of mine:

Several years ago my niece in Greensboro, N.C., had a baby. It was our family’s first grandchild and much excitement ensued. I found a beautiful blanket for that cherub, wrapped it, addressed it and sent it Priority Mail. You know, so it would arrive promptly. Continue reading

Maryland Governor Stands Up for Private Schools

by Kerry Dougherty

It was inevitable.

Once teachers’ unions and associations began using their muscle to lobby to keep public schools closed this fall it was likely that city and state officials – who often owe their jobs to militant teachers’ groups – might try to close private schools, too.

Think about the optics: Private school kids merrily heading to school every day while public school kids sat at home, isolated, eyes glazed, staring dully at computer screens.

Private schools around the country resolved to open while many public schools knuckled under to teachers who want to keep them closed.

Almost immediately a rash of news stories and editorials began to appear, reporting on educational “haves” and “have-nots,” essentially lamenting the fact that not all children would experience another semester of substandard virtual education.

Last week the Montgomery County, MD health officer made the first move to halt the reopening of private schools: He issued a blanket executive order ordering them closed in that toney Washington suburb until at least Oct. 1. Continue reading

Double Standards and the COVID Crisis

OK

by Kerry Dougherty

You want to know why some of us are so cynical about the Covid crisis?

It’s the double standards. The lack of consistency. The shifting goalposts. Officials saying one thing and doing another.

We saw a glaring example of the latter it here in Virginia in May, when the Governor — who’d been quick to order shutdowns, and who was nagging us about social distancing and wearing masks — was seen prancing down the Boardwalk and leaning in for selfies. Maskless. Clueless.

Then there’s been the thorny issue of funerals.

Not OK

Ever since crowd limits were imposed, thousands of Americans buried their dead without proper funerals. Yet those same grieving families could turn on the news to see hundreds turning out for the funerals of George Floyd in Houston and Rep. John Lewis in Atlanta. Continue reading

Stop Tolerating the Intolerable

by Kerry Dougherty

Have we gotten to the point where mobs of anarchists can rampage through Richmond as they did last weekend, setting fires and assaulting police officers and firefighters while the governor, the attorney general and others basically shrug?

I can answer that: Yes. That’s exactly where we are.

Last weekend’s riots in Richmond drew national news attention. But little interest from state officials.

In a blistering editorial,“Where Is The Leadership?”The Richmond Times-Dispatch demanded to know how much longer these insurrections would be tolerated.

“Let us be clear: Saturday night’s violence was a planned riot,” they began.

The editors are correct. Have a look at the flier on social media asking people to meet at 9:30 p.m. Saturday to “eff” things up: Continue reading

Brace Yourselves: Another Northam Presser Today

by Kerry Dougherty

Get ready, Virginia. Gov. Ralph Northam, the man who can’t stop the rioting in Richmond but thinks he can stop the spread of COVID-19, is holding a press conference.

No, he won’t be announcing strong measures to end the violence and lawlessness roiling the streets of the Capitol. Like most Democrats, the governor appears indifferent to anarchy.

Instead, he’s laser-focused on Tidewater, saying we’re a COVID-19 hot spot.

One thing you can count on: By this afternoon the Ruler of the Commonwealth will issue another decree restricting the rights of Virginians.

He’s been making little threats on Twitter about what’s coming:

He’s been making little threats on Twitter about what’s coming:

Continue reading

Stop Walking on Eggshells

R.K. Rowling

by Kerry Dougherty

A new study from the libertarian CATO institute supports something I’ve believed for a long time, which – let’s be honest – is why I’m sharing it with you.

It found that the cancel culture is stifling speech. The result: A growing number of Americans on both sides of the political divide and all races and ethnicities are afraid to share their political opinions.

“There have been shifts across the board, where more people among all political groups feel they are walking on eggshells,” the CATO survey found, adding, “majorities of Democrats (52%), independents (59%) and Republicans (77%) who all agree they have political opinions they are afraid to share.­­”

There is only one group that feel free to bloviate freely. Care to guess which?

If you said extreme liberals, you’d be right. The far left is anything but shy. Continue reading

Who Wants to Visit New York Anyway?

by Kerry Dougherty

This is rich.

One of the worst governors in the country — Andrew Cuomo — announced yesterday that Virginians are not welcome in New York and neither are folks from 30 other states. Unless we quarantine and show a clean bill of health, that is.

He’s afraid we’ll infect New Yorkers with COVID-19.

Hilarious. Is there anyone left in New York who hasn’t been infected?

Someone needs to remind the governor that it was New Yorkers who spread the virus to the rest of the country. According to The New York Times:

New York City’s coronavirus outbreak grew so large by early March that the city became the primary source of new infections in the United States, new research reveals, as thousands of infected people traveled from the city and seeded outbreaks around the country.

The research indicates that a wave of infections swept from New York City through much of the country before the city began setting social distancing limits to stop the growth. That helped to fuel outbreaks in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and as far away as the West Coast.

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Some Kids Need School More than Others

by Kerry Dougherty

Let’s stop pretending there’s any chance at all that public schools will be open five days a week this fall.

They won’t. Not around here, anyway. Not in many places.

The teachers have spoken. Their unions, er associations, have made it clear that they don’t want to return to their classrooms yet. They’re afraid. Some say they don’t want to return until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine.

And so schools will remain closed and it will be another semester of distance “learning” for students.

Last year’s educational catastrophe was on the Governor, who closed schools without warning, leaving teachers scrambling with online classes.

This year’s experiment is being pushed by educators. If it fails, if thousands of kids are lost and left behind, it’s on them.

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Virginia’s Special Session: Act in Haste, Repent at Leisure

by Kerry Dougherty

Get ready, Virginia. Bad things are brewing in Richmond.

On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that he was bringing the General Assembly back for a special session on August 18.

Lucky us.

The mischief that the far-left majority — bankrolled by Michael Bloomberg — could get into should alarm every moderate Virginian.

There are only two topics that should be on the table for this extraordinary session:

1) How to plug the massive hole in the budget that occurred when Northam’s shutdowns wrecked the economy and 2) How to rein in a governor who used his emergency powers to take almost total control of the commonwealth in March and who seems determined to govern indefinitely by edict without legislative oversight. Continue reading

Teachers Are Afraid to Return to Their Classrooms

by Kerry Dougherty

We all knew this was coming.

In fact, I suggested last month that if you have kids in local public schools you should quickly enroll them in Catholic or other private schools before those filled and your kids would be stuck trying to learn online. (Some of these institutions have scholarships available.)

Most private schools plan to reopen fully this fall with students in class five days a week .

Sadly, it looks like most public school kids will not be so lucky.

All across the country militant teachers’ unions are balking at a return to the classroom. In Fairfax County, teachers groups are saying they don’t want to return to school until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine.

As expected, we learned this week that Norfolk schools are unlikely to offer any classroom instruction, except to “some” kids in the youngest grades. A final decision will come later this month. Continue reading

Northam’s COVID Conference

by Kerry Dougherty

Well, I sat through another Ralph Northam press conference Tuesday eager to hear if any reporter – just one – would ask the governor  if maybe, just perhaps, the uptick in Covid cases in Tidewater might be linked to recent protests.

I mean it’s possible, isn’t it? After all, the positive tests are predominantly among those in the 20 to 29 age group.

Let’s think. What have some of these youngsters been up to over the past month that might account for a surge in new infections?

Have they been canoodling in restaurants? Shopping maskless in Kroger? Cramming the pews in local churches?

“They’re occurring when people are gathering, especially in areas around a bar,” Northam said, without presenting any supporting data.

Oh, and last time I checked, bar areas in restaurants were closed.

Still, not one journalist asked about protests. Continue reading

No More Shutdowns Without Detailed Data

by Kerry Dougherty

Here we go. Again.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down much of his state’s economy yesterday. He closed indoor dining, churches, (they’re always the first to go), hair salons, barbershops, wineries, fitness centers, etc.

I’m sure it’s just coincidental that this happened shortly before the Golden State’s numbers began to climb last month:

Question is, can Gov. Ralph Northam be far behind?

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