U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Alexander Liu (center) is a senior at Clover Hill High School.

Despite a slowdown in the state’s overall growth, Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover counties and Richmond continue to expand. A recent study released by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service shows that while Virginia’s growth rate is expected to continue increasing, that rate of expansion between 2010 and 2020 is now projected at 8%, down from a 13% growth rate a decade ago. The slowdown is due to declining birth rates, increasing death rates and fewer people moving to the Old Dominion. The study projects that while more than 60 localities in the commonwealth have experienced population declines since 2010, greater Richmond continues to thrive. The metro area is expected to have more than 1.5 million people in 2020. We always knew this was a pretty cool place to live. It looks like everyone else is catching on.


One of the many things that make our region so phenomenal is the outstanding teens who live here. We’d like to introduce you to one of them: Clover Hill High School senior Alexander Liu is the leading petty officer for Richmond’s America Division Sea Cadet unit. The United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) is a congressionally chartered, U.S. Navy-based organization that teaches young men and women about the sea-going military services, Navy operations and training, community service, citizenship, discipline and teamwork. Liu is one of two cadets selected nationwide to represent the United States in the Sea Cadets’ international exchange program held in Japan. In August, as a delegate, he will join cadets from across the world, including Canada, Hong Kong and the U.K. in Tokyo as a guest of the Japan Sea Cadet Federation. “I have traveled across the United States and moved from the West Coast to the East Coast and by doing so, I noticed how many different cultures and customs there are in our own country and I imagined how different it would be internationally,” he said. When not leading his unit, Liu is busy at Clover Hill as a member of the varsity tennis team and the Greater Richmond Sailing Association. He’s also a member of several national honor societies. In his spare time, Liu works at the Bluefish Grill, a family-owned restaurant in Midlothian. We salute this industrious young man.


The 21st-century version of the snake oil salesman is alive and well and living on the internet. According to The Wall Street Journal, fake news and false videos aren’t the only bogus material being posted to Facebook and YouTube. An investigation revealed that videos promoting fraudulent cures and phony treatments for cancer are flooding social media. YouTube videos are promoting treatment alternatives that include everything from a black salve that is supposed to cure skin cancer to baking soda injections that promise to treat breast cancer. Many of these fake treatments not only are scientifically dubious, they also can be potentially harmful. What’s even scarier is that some of these videos have been viewed millions of times. The idea that desperately ill people might be further endangering their health by listening to these modern-day shills is sickening.


The Department of Justice announced this week that there will not be a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. census. The decision came following a Supreme Court ruling on June 27 that criticized the Trump administration for attempting to add the question. Civil rights groups felt the question discriminated against immigrants, and the justices agreed. But apparently, most Americans don’t. According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll released on Tuesday, a supermajority — 67% — believe the question belongs on the census. The poll found both Democrats and Republicans support inclusion of the citizenship question. “The public here agrees with the administration that it makes sense to ask citizenship on the census,” Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll Director Mark Penn said. It seems that most folks just want to know who is living here.


And, last but not least, we wish the U.S. women’s national soccer team the best of luck on Sunday. Tuesday’s win was a hard-fought, well-deserved victory. The U.S. team looked invincible as they overcame third-ranked England to earn a spot in Sunday’s championship match. America will be watching. Go team!

— Robin Beres

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