W.Va. Oil Train Derailment Has NW Lawmakers Thinking About Safety

Reports say up to 18 oil trains a week travel along the Washington side of the Columbia River, and up to six oil trains a week are traveling through the state of Oregon along the Columbia River and through central Oregon.Tony Schick
Reports say up to 18 oil trains a week travel along the Washington side of the Columbia River, and up to six oil trains a week are traveling through the state of Oregon along the Columbia River and through central Oregon.
Tony Schick


By Courtney Flatt, OPB


This week’s fiery oil train derailment in West Virginia has lawmakers thinking about oil-by-rail safety through the Northwest. There has been a dramatic increase in oil trains traveling through the region to reach West coast refineries.

Committees in the Washington legislature are considering two bills. Senate Bill 5057 — supported by the oil industry — would expand the barrel tax to include oil shipped by rail. House Bill 1449 — supported by environmental groups — could change how oil-by-rail is regulated across the state.

“If there were to be an accident in Washington state, I, personally, would want to be able to say I did everything I could do to make sure that didn’t happen,” Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, said during a Ways and Means committee hearing.

Oil safety bills are also moving through the Oregon Legislature.

Darcy Nonemacher, the legislative director for the Washington Environmental Council, said the recent derailment has more people thinking about how oil is transported.

“I think the lesson is that we do need to act. There’s lots of things that need to happen whether it’s at the federal, state, or local level,” Nonemacher said.

The train that derailed in West Virginia was hauling oil with newer tank cars. Those newer designs are supposed to better handle derailments than older cars.

That’s why oil-by-rail critic Eric de Place says oil transportation safety is a major concern.

“We need to just hit pause. We need to stop doing it until we have a way to transport that oil safely, which we don’t have right now,” says de Place, a researcher at Seattle-based think tank Sightline Institute, which doesn’t support oil-by-rail.

In Washington, the oil and rail industries are supportive of Senate Bill 5057. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, will also take $10 million from the Model Toxics Control Account to allow the state Department of Ecology to provide grants for equipment and first responders.

“We believe it’s critical to implementing the policy in the underlying bill. We also believe this funding complements the efforts we have underway within the railroad to train locally first responder preparation efforts,” said Bill Stauffacher, with BNSF Railway.

House Bill 1449 would require planning for oil spill response in Washington state and it would require companies to disclose information about transportation routes.

Kaine urges Bureau of Indian Affairs to be more flexible in recognizing Va. tribes

The Associated Press

RICHMOND, Virginia — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine is arguing anew for federal recognition of Virginia’s Indian tribes.

The Virginia Democrat is appealing to the Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding the federal acknowledgement of American Indian tribes. He’s encouraging the bureau to adopt greater flexibility in its recognition process to overcome the barriers Virginia’s tribes have confronted.

One hurdle to recognition is that many of the tribes’ records were held in courthouses that were burned during the Civil War.

Kaine and Sen. Mark R. Warner introduced legislation in 2013 to grant federal recognition to six Virginia Indian tribes. A companion bill in the House was introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran.

Kaine says he continues to push for passage of the legislation.

Video: Rain Delay No Way as Thousands Attend VA Governor Inauguration

Vincent SchillingGovernor Terence R. McAuliffe sworn in as Virginia's 72nd Governor
Vincent Schilling
Governor Terence R. McAuliffe sworn in as Virginia’s 72nd Governor

Despite hours of pouring rain and windy conditions in Richmond, Virginia this Saturday, tribal leaders representing Virginia Indian tribes, Bill and Hillary Clinton and thousands more attended the inauguration ceremonies of Virginia’s 72nd Governor Terence R. McAuliffe. The inaugural festivities complete with the formal event, Governor’s Mansion Open House and Parade reportedly cost copy.6 million.

In the midst of bleachers filled with umbrellas and blue plastic ponchos handed out by volunteer’s, McAuliffe was sworn in standing alongside his family. McAuliffe, dressed in a formal grey suit complete with a white rose boutineer, called the moment, “The highest honor of my life.”

McAuliffe is the first Democrat elected as the Virginia Governor since 1989. Considering McAuliffe’s Lieutenant Governor Ralph S. Northam and Attorney General Mark R. Herring also were sworn in, Saturday’s inauguration marks the first Democratic sweep of Virginia’s statewide offices in more than two decades.

After being sworn in, McAuliffe addressed the crowd as expected by protocol and soon touched on health care and diversifying the economy.

“Like the majority of other states, we need to act on the consensus of the business community and health care industry to accept funding that will expand health care coverage, save rural hospitals, and spur job creation,” he said.

“As the legislature and my administration work to diversify our economy, we need to remember that our sense of urgency is driven by those Virginians who struggle each and every day to get by – and whose dream is simply to give their children the opportunities that they may never have had.”

He also expressed his desire that such opportunities should be open to anyone, without discrimination.

“My administration will work tirelessly to ensure that those opportunities are equal for all of Virginia’s children. No matter if you’re a girl or a boy, no matter what part of the Commonwealth you live in, no matter your race or religion and no matter whom you love.

“We must work to ensure that the children of new immigrants to Virginia have equal educational opportunities, to ensure that someone can’t lose a job simply because they are gay and to ensure that every woman has the right to make her own personal health care decisions,” McAuliffe said.


Drum Group Performs During Gov. Terrance McAuliffe Inauguration Ceremony. (Vincent Schilling)
Drum Group Performs During Gov. Terrance McAuliffe Inauguration Ceremony. (Vincent Schilling)

Immediately following McAuliffe’s remarks, representative tribal members from the state’s 11 Indian tribes sang and danced to a blessing song to bless the Capitol grounds, to give best wishes for a successful administration and a wish for stronger ties to the Indian tribes of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The song was led by 11 year old Chickahominy tribal member Keenan Stewart.

“We are honored to be a part of history; this goes down in the history books. This is the first time the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia has been invited to be here at the Inaugural events,” said Lynette Allston, tribal chief of the Nottoway, a tribe that had received state recognition in 2010.

Chief John Lightner said it was also the first time the Patawomeck were invited to the inaugural events as a state recognized tribe and he was also happy to be there.

After the inauguration, McAuliffe shook hands with the crowd and joined staff and attendees in watching the inaugural parade.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/01/13/video-rain-delay-no-way-thousands-attend-va-governor-inauguration-153082

12 women picked for Va. monument


Dec 7, 2013.

BY JIM NOLAN Richmond Times-Dispatch

There have been so many great women in Virginia’s 400-plus-year history that it would seem nearly impossible to settle on 12 to immortalize in bronze for a monument in Capitol Square.

That was the task for the Women of Virginia Commemorative Commission, which made its final selections last week — and not without some disagreement.

Some picked for the list — compiled at the commission’s request by a panel of historians and narrowed by an executive committee to a dozen names — may be unknown to many Virginians, while others who did not make the cut are household names.

Martha Washington is in, but Dolley Madison is out.

Maggie Walker is in, but Ella Fitzgerald is out.

Cockacoeske is in, but Pocahontas is out.





Cockacoeske_pix_edited-12-240x330The niece of Powhatan, Cockacoeske is believed to be the first female chief of the Pamunkey Indian tribe, who joined a number of Virginia’s tribes to sign the Treaty of Middle Plantation in 1677, establishing peace between the tribes and English settlers.

Pocahontas, of course, was credited with saving the life of Jamestown settler John Smith in 1607. She married tobacco planter John Rolfe in 1614, and the marriage was considered beneficial to peace between Native Americans and the settlers.

Her name also appears on a state park, a parkway and public schools throughout the commonwealth, not to mention numerous book titles and an animated Disney movie.

The omission of Pocahontas prompted one member of the commission, Mary Abel Smith, to take out a full-page ad in the Thanksgiving edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch urging readers to appeal to board members for her inclusion in the monument.

“Pocahontas spent her life in support of the peaceful merging of cultures,” the ad states. “She deserves a prominent place in the history of accomplished women in Virginia.”

According to commission members familiar with the process, the 18-member panel was provided a list of about three dozen names to consider. An executive committee of roughly half of the commission narrowed the list to 12 names and decided that a Native American addition should be considered by the full commission.

At its full meeting Nov. 25, the commission agreed to add Cockacoeske to the list and remove one name. Two members present thought Pocahontas should be added, but they were the only two who voted to support her inclusion, so Cockacoeske was added.

Abel-Smith, who phoned in to the meeting and could not vote, hopes that people appeal to the commission to rethink their decision.

“I think (Pocahontas) is one of the most important persons in Virginia,” she said. “She saved the first colony of settlers.” Abel-Smith said she was “horrified” to learn at the meeting that Pocahontas would not be included.

“The tradition of Virginia has to be promoted, and Pocahontas is one of the great ones.”

Lisa Hicks-Thomas, Gov. Bob McDonnell’s secretary of administration and chairwoman of the commission, said that “there was no way we were going to be able to come up with a list that everybody was happy about.”

She noted that famous entertainers from Virginia such as Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey and Patsy Cline were among those who will not be cast in bronze, but said many, including Pocahontas, will be memorialized on a glass panel that will ring the monument space.

“We have a lot of people that should have been on there but we can only get 12,” Hicks-Thomas said. “(Pocahontas) didn’t make the vote. There is nothing we can do about that.

“One of the points of the monument is to educate the public about some of the contributions of the women of Virginia that people aren’t aware of,” she said. “It’s not about who the most famous people are — it’s about accomplishments, and Cockacoeske is very accomplished. I think it’s going to be a teaching moment for all of us.”

The commission has selected an artist and design for the monument. Now the panel must raise money for the monument, which is expected to cost $3 million and is targeted for completion in March 2015.

“I think Virginians will be very proud of this monument,” said commission member Mary Margaret Whipple, a former state senator from Arlington County. She predicted young women in particular would be inspired by the monument, which will feature 12 female figures cast in bronze milling about an open circular space located northwest of the steps of the Capitol.

A separate monument honoring Virginia’s Indian tribes is in the planning stages but will feature no specific individual.

Who’s on the list

17th century

Ann Burras Laydon of Jamestown (circa 1595 to circa 1637) — first married female settler

Cockacoeske of James City County (died circa 1686) — chief of Pamunkey Tribe

18th century

Clementina Rind of Williamsburg (1740-1774) — publisher of the Virginia Gazette

Martha Washington of Fairfax County (1731-1802) — first lady

Mary Draper Ingles of Southwest Virginia (1729-1813) — frontierswoman who was abducted by Shawnee Indians, escaped and traveled 600 miles to get home

19th century

Sally Louisa Tompkins of Mathews County (1833-1916) — Confederate hospital administrator

Elizabeth Keckley of Dinwiddie County (1818-1907) — former slave, seamstress, confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln

Sarah G. Boyd Jones of Richmond (1867-1905) — African-American physician who earned a medical degree at Howard University, returned to Richmond and became the first Virginia woman to pass the state’s medical board examinations

20th century

Virginia Estelle Randolph of Henrico County (1875-1958) — educator

Laura Lu Copenhaver of Smyth County (1868-1940) — entrepreneur

Maggie L. Walker of Richmond (1867-1934) — first black woman to charter a bank in the United States

Adele Goodman Clark of Richmond (1882-1983) — suffragist

Cockacoeske is in, Pocahontas is out


(804) 649-6061

Twitter: @RTDNolan

TV Program Created to Honor Virginia and North Carolina Native Communities

 Vincent Schilling is seen here with Keith Anderson, Men’s Traditional dancer, Cherokee and Catawba.
Vincent Schilling is seen here with Keith Anderson, Men’s Traditional dancer, Cherokee and Catawba.

Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

As a way to celebrate Native American Heritage Month, Cox Communications in Virginia will air “Hampton Roads Community and Culture,” a television program that highlights several powwows in the Virginia and North Carolina areas and teaches about Native culture in the region. The show was produced and hosted by ICTMN correspondent and Schilling Media Inc. owner and executive vice president, Vincent Schilling.

“Over the course of this past summer, I attended a lot of Native American powwows and I realized there are still a lot of people in the Hampton roads community who don’t know about Native culture,” Schilling said. “I filmed my adventures over the summer, asked a lot of questions and created this television program.”

During the program, Schilling interviews tribal members in Virginia and North Carolina from the Meherrin, Chickahominy and the Nottoway Indian tribe of Virginia powwows.

“Cox is pleased to partner with Schilling Media to air this special programming during Native American Heritage Month,” said Emma A. Inman, director of public affairs of Cox Communications Virginia. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to engage the community in the celebration of the rich history, culture and traditions of Native Americans from our region.”

In addition to providing several airtime dates for the entire month of November, Cox Communications Virginia will also be filming a segment of Schilling’s Native American Heritage Month Celebration at Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach called “Hot Ticket,” this coming Saturday, November 9.

Brad Scott, CEO and president of Cetan Corp., a Native American-owned business software company has also been a major supporter of the event and the television program. “Cetan Corp appreciates this opportunity to support our region’s Native American community and this event by Schilling Media wholeheartedly,” said Scott.

“I think it is fantastic that a mainstream media company like Cox is so genuinely interested in the rich and vibrant culture in society including the Native American Community here in Virginia and outlying regions,” Schilling said.

The “Hampton Roads Community and Culture” television program will air most Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. in November on COX 11 in the Hampton Roads region in Virginia.

“I commend their efforts to pave the way for other media organizations. I hope folks can learn a lot about Native culture each Monday, Wednesday and Saturday this November,” said Schilling. “I had a fantastic time producing and hosting this program. I am also looking forward to the event on Saturday.”

The Native American Heritage Month Celebration at Pembroke Mall will be taking place this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/11/07/tv-program-created-honor-virginia-and-north-carolina-native-communities-152101

Federal Recognition for VA’s Indian Tribes

400-Year Wait

Tue May 28, 2013
By Matt Laslo in WVTF.org


A bipartisan group of Virginia lawmakers is fighting to win federal recognition of six tribes in the commonwealth.

The tribes have treaties dating back to the 1600s. But there ‘s a catch: the agreements are with the King of England. Even now, the UK recognizes and honors these American tribes, while the US government doesn’t. That’s partly because in 1924, a law was passed that declared Virginia contained no Native Americans and wiped the commonwealth’s record books of their history.

The six tribes are fighting for federal recognition that would provide them educational and health care benefits enjoyed by other tribes. That also would allow them to collect their ancestors remains kept in the Smithsonian.

The House has passed legislation recognizing Virginia ‘s tribes twice. So has a Senate committee, but the full upper chamber has never recognized the tribes.

While optimistic, supporters say the legislation won’t likely come up until near the end of this session. Which means after about a 400-year wait, these tribes continue to wait.


Read more here. Congressman Moran’s News Commentary: Native Americans Still Facing Injustice