Outside the Novahood


In 2017, a parent, learned that school lunches were being taken away from childrens’ hands when they could not pay for the meal. Instead, children were given a cheese sandwich or a snack. This inspired the school parent to start a nonprofit organization that pays off school meal debt in her home area. The organization has raised almost $200,000 in almost four years. According to this individual, taking away the lunches “leaves the kid hungry, you’re not giving the child an adequate meal at that point and people see it.” She goes on, “It makes them feel terrible about themselves, so I just wanted to make sure that we were not stigmatizing children in a place where they go to feel safe.”

The General Assembly recently passed a  bill that prohibits school boards from suing families to collect school meal debt. The bill passed the House of Delegates and the Senate by large margins. A sponsor of the bill said, “School meal debt as a concept should not exist, and school meal debt shaming, likewise, should not exist. We are talking about penalizing children and keeping children from eating or shaming children for their parents’ financial situation.” 

The parent’s last name is Settle and the organization she created is called Settle the Debt.  Appropriate.

Civic action in action that prompts legislative intervention. That’s purely American.


It’s actually embarrassing to be a Republican in Virginia these days.

Why? A new poll conducted by the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University shows that 61% [emphasis added] of Republican voters surveyed in Virginia believe Joe Biden did not legitimately win the presidential election, while another 11% said they were not sure.

Some Republican officials in the Virginia legislature have openly questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s win. State Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), running for governor and censured by her colleagues for calling rioters at the U.S. Capitol “patriots,” said she believed the election was stolen. In December, she echoed calls that Trump declare martial law to rerun the election in certain states. Republican Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun) and newly elected Fifth District Virginia Congressman Bob Good similarly cast doubts on the election’s results.

“This is the new Lost Cause in Virginia politics,” said the Center’s academic director. 

Virginians are not, however, out of step with the GOP nationwide. According to a recent nationwide poll by the AP, two-thirds of Republicans across the country believe Biden did not win the presidential contest fairly. So while the Commonwealth turns increasingly reliably blue, our diehard red-staters become increasingly unhinged from reality. As one of their recent heroes would say, Sad.


Only in America.

The NCAA is challenging a group of Virginia urologists who trademarked the phrase “Vasectomy Mayhem,” claiming it’s too close to its famed basketball tournament, “March Madness.” According to the Chicago-based lawyer representing the NCAA, Virginia Urology’s use of “Vasectomy Mayhem” will “result in confusion, mistake or deception with petitioner and/or the goods and services marketed in connection with the NCAA.”

Confusion? A vasectomy versus a 3-pointer? Maybe if the basketballs shrunk in size. . . .

A cheeky ad from the doctors says that “Recovery from a vasectomy can take up to three days, time that could be well spent watching tournament basketball. Call now to align your couch time with optimal tube time for the best games.” 

What’s next? Golf? Get your club in shape for the Masters?


Till death do us part? Maybe no vows at all till Covid departs. . . .

Continuing the American obsession with ME!, a  Franklin County estate that hosts outdoor weddings is contesting part of Gov. Ralph Northam’s restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The venue complains that it stands to lose business in the upcoming spring wedding season due to a state-imposed limit on the number of people at its gatherings, so has filed a lawsuit in Roanoke’s federal court. A hearing has been scheduled for March 24, at which time the judge will be asked to issue a preliminary injunction that would invalidate a section of Northam’s executive order that prohibits outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people in some, but not all, settings.

“Anxious brides trying to have a wedding planned months in advance are being told they cannot have their wedding,” legal documents state in arguing that the restriction violates the constitutional rights of both participants and their hosts. 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 a year ago, there have been many similar lawsuits nationwide, but few victories. According to a spokesperson, “Governor Northam has taken a measured and data-driven approach throughout this public health crisis, and that’s what he’ll continue to do.” 

Inconvenient? Sometimes. But so is death.



Categories: Brief Cases, EDUCATION, Issues, Local, pandemic, politics

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