The Virginia Coalition

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The Virginia Coalition is a diverse group of current Southside Virginia job creators who are concerned about the health of our employees and workforce, as well as our future ability to recruit new companies and employees into the region given the health implications of uranium mining.  We are CEO's, business owners, entrepreneurs, economic developers and current and former legislators who have a simple request: READ The Reports before voting on a matter with such far reaching ramifications.

More resources are available at CommonHealth Virginia; visit the site.

By: The Editorial Board | GoDanRiver

The Roanoke River Basin Association has released what it calls a list of "potential uranium exploration and mining sites in Pittsylvania County" following a search of public records.

The group has successfully tied Marline Corp.'s efforts in the 1980s to secure mineral rights to county land with the possibility that Virginia will soon allow uranium mining all over the state.

"I was an attorney for the now defunct Marline Corp. and in those days Marline identified dozens of sites for uranium exploration and possibly future mining," former county supervisor Hank Davis said in a news release. "County residents should be concerned about the health, environmental and economic impacts of not just the Coles Hill site but at least three feasible mining locations spread throughout the county."

Read more: A Geiger counter and 40,000 acres

Organizers of an anti-uranium fund-raiser held Saturday night at the farm of Del. James Edmunds said they were thrilled with the turnout, the breadth of community support for their cause and the amount of money raised. But Virginia Coalition president John Cannon may have offered the most succinct wrap-up of the night:

“We sent a helluva message,” said Cannon.

The event drew more than 450 people for a night of music, comedy, food and drink under crisp starry skies, nestled amid the rolling hills of Edmunds’ River Road farm. Tickets sales and corporate sponsorships alone raised $100,000, and organizers expected tens of thousands of dollars more to roll in from auctions held throughout the night.

The money will go to pay for lobbying efforts in Richmond, anti-uranium advertising and, later, when the General Assembly takes up the state’s moratorium on mining — as it is expected to do in the 2013 session — grassroots demonstrations at the Capitol, “should the need arise,” said Edmunds.

The Coalition is making plans to bus its supporters to Richmond if the legislature goes ahead and schedules a vote to lift the state’s three-decades-old mining ban.

Read more: 'A Helluva Message'

U.Va. center co-sponsoring uranium forum in Danville - Richmond Times Dispatch

The Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia will host a forum on uranium mining in Virginia on Oct. 2.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.

Read more: U.Va. center co-sponsoring uranium forum in Danville - Richmond Times Dispatch

 By Peter Galuszka

Many questions surround the bizarre situation in which a Pittsylvania County supervisor taped and caught in an apparent lie prominent Republican State Sen. Bill Stanley who made a late night call to urge that a resolution involving uranium mining be shelved.

It raises questions about the integrity of Stanley, who is one of the state Republican party’s fastest-rising young stars. It tends to implicate the McDonnell Administration in influence peddling. It shows how the democratic process can be throttled in intrigues involving a proposal to mine a 119 million pound uranium deposit near Chatham that could make billions for its owners.

Supervisor Jerry A. Hagerman’s taped conversation which I heard from the Aug. 31 phone call from Stanley also shows how politics is really played at the granular and perhaps most important level in Virginia. The phone call sounds like something from a movie, with a smooth, hot shot politician coming off patronizingly as he tries to pump up an older, rural official to get what he wants.

Read more: Questions Surround Bizarre Telephone Call on Uranium Mining Resolution - Bacon's Rebellion

New poll shows concerns for agriculture, water and property values

Danville, VA, September 13 - Residents of the Danville-Pittsylvania county region strongly believe that uranium mining should not be allowed in the area, according to a poll released today by The Alliance for Progress in Southern Virginia. The overwhelming margin of support in opposition to the proposed uranium mine in Pittsylvania County was striking.

By a majority of 53% to 29%, area residents made their thoughts about uranium mining in their own backyard very clear. And it wasn’t even close,” according to Jay Poole, spokesman for The Alliance. The poll was conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University’s highly regarded Survey and Evaluation Laboratory during a two-week period in June/July 2012.

The survey’s findings also showed considerable concern for the impact that a uranium mining operation might have on the Region’s important production agriculture and wood products industry. Roughly two-thirds (63%) of those responding agree that cattle, dairy, crop prices and wood products would be negatively affected if uranium is mined near family farms and privately owned tree forests. “With a thriving $200 million native industry like agriculture, which has so much to lose by the possible presence of a uranium mining site, why would you take the risk?” said Poole.

Sixty- three percent (63%) of those surveyed expressed concern about the impact that uranium mining and milling might have on water quality. This finding suggests that area residents realize how valuable water quality is to existing homes, farms and businesses, while understanding that water quality is also vital for economic and commercial development. By a similar majority, the survey also showed that over 60% of the respondents believe that uranium mining would reduce property values in the Danville-Pittsylvania area and make it more difficult to sell property and houses.

Also significant is that slightly more than half of those interviewed (54%) believe that uranium mining might help the local economy. But, at the same time and by a very clear majority, they still did not want the ban on uranium mining in Virginia to be lifted. “It is very simple and it is not even close. People in Southern Virginia do not want to become the East Coast Capital of Uranium mining,” Poole concluded.

A full copy of the survey and results can be found on The Alliance website: allianceforprogressinsouthernva.com.

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