We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Program ...

For the last 100 hours, the sole issue has been "snow," followed closely by "snow removal." My Richmond office (804-698-7534) answered over one hundred phone calls today and I've personally talked to countless homeowners still waiting on a plow.

Biggest complaint: some neighborhoods have been done repeatedly, while others are not done at all. So an issue of inconsistency. But we're getting there.

Update on Jonas (More to Come ...)

OK, we're buried up here. In my back yard, it's measuring 26 inches in fresh snow (29.3 was measured at Dulles). Just a shocking amount of snow.

Just got off a conference call with VDOT. With the situation under control elsewhere, they are moving all spare resources to NOVA, including 26 trucks and 59 drivers from Hampton Roads and Richmond. A few key statistics:

o 4,233 pieces of equipment (4,158 contractors) in use statewide

o 26,000 tons of salt used

o 60,000 gallons of brine used

o 4,500 tons of sand used

Petersen Senate Sentinel: The Winter Strikes Back! (ATTN: Vienna Town Hall Rescheduled)

Dear Friends, Virginians, and Citizens of Fairfax:

After a brief respite due to El Nino, old man winter has decided to dump snow on the 34th senate district.

We already had snowmageddon. Then there was snowpocalypse. This year – snownado? Snurricane? Leave your suggestions on my facebook page.

Here's some resources if you lose power, if you're snowed in, or if you need some help:

Police non-emergency: Fairfax County: 703-691-2131 Fairfax City: 703-385-7924

Power outage: Dominion: 1-866-366-4357 NOVEC: 1-888-335-0500

Felony Threshold Bill Clears Courts, 8-6

This afternoon, the Senate Courts Committee took up all bills dealing with felony threshold. That included my bill (SB 235), as well as bills filed by Senators Lucas, McEachin, Reeves and Surovell. All these bills would raise the felony threshold for property crimes from $200 to $500.

(Notably, the Commonwealth's Attorney in Lynchburg testified before the Committee that his office treated all property crimes under $500 as misdemeanors).

Oscar Fail

A couple months ago, I took my family to see the movie "Creed." I'm a huge Rocky fan and had heard good things about the latest sequel.

It was all that and more. The movie was not just a great story; it brought you into the lives of the characters and the ancient sport of boxing (Afterwards I actually dusted off the gloves in my basement for a couple rounds with my son). I left the theater convinced I had seen one of the most memorable movies of my life.

Fourteen Years Ago Today ...

I was a freshman Delegate starting my second day on the job. It was about 4 a.m. and I was sound asleep in my Shockoe Bottom apartment. My cell phone was not activated due to user incompetence.

There was a pounding on the door. I woke up and stumbled over to open it. There was a Capitol Police officer standing there in full uniform with snap-brim hat. (Yes, I remember his name).

"Delegate Petersen," he told me. "Your wife is in labor and you need to go home."

Day One of Session

This morning dawned chilly and cold in Richmond. The day began with the annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast at the Richmond Convention Center featuring Ravi Zakarias, M.Div., as keynote. Having heard Dr. Zakarias, I can verify that he is the most dynamic Christian speaker in the Anglican Communion (if not the world) today. Very inspiring.

Then it was a quick walk over to the General Assembly building for constituent meetings -- and radio interviews on my "repeal the car tax" legislation. Then over to the State Capitol, where the Governor gave a pep talk to our Caucus.

Hail to the "505 Redskins"

Aaron Greedy Henderson had a long commute to Sunday's playoff game. He left his home in rural Farmington, New Mexico and drove to Durango Colorado. From there he caught a short flight to Denver and then a longer flight to Washington D.C. A ride from a buddy brought him to the Red Lot at FedEx Field and a tailgate for his favorite team: the Washington Redskins.

K-12 Ed under the Microscope at County Hearing Today

Today the Fairfax County delegation heard from 111 scheduled speakers in our annual public hearing prior to the Assembly session.

The speakers addressed every issue from additional judges to Medicaid waivers. The most popular topic was public education, specifically the need to "fully fund" the K-12 budget set by Fairfax County Public Schools.

Breaking Bread with Business Leaders

There were about 100 people at my annual Business Leaders Breakfast this morning at the Waterford at Fair Oaks. Thanks to my great staff for organizing (and to the Senate Finance staff for providing economic facts and info).

Lt. Governor Ralph Northam was our special guest. One of the things he talked about was Virginia becoming a leader in high technology spaces, particularly in the health care field (or the "life sciences" as we call them). He noted the new Personalized Medicine Center which INOVA has established at the former ExxonMobil campus on Gallows Road.

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