VB411: Fact or Fiction?

Debunking fake news, correcting the record and combating misinformation that might be floating around Virginia Beach.

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RUMOR: There will be no more holiday lights at the boardwalk

​FICTION: Rumor has it the holiday lights at the beach have been cancelled because City Council will not approve the funds to update the electrical systems. This is not true. The Holiday Lights Merry Mile was presented on the Boardwalk la​st year, between 8th and 22nd Streets and featured more than 50 of the most popular light exhibits from previous years. ​​​And, the 2018 display is slated to be even better.​​​​

RUMOR: City Hall is being relocated to Town Center

​FICTION: For a time, city leaders considered constructing a new City Hall at Town Center as one of several options for replacing the aging building. However, in October of 2017, City Council unanimously approved a resolution to proceed with the design of a new three-story structure adjacent to the current City Hall, between Buildings 1 and 2 at the municipal center.  The current building is old and full of asbestos, old pipes, old HVAC and old electrical wiring all of which make a rennovation impossible while the building is occupied. ​

CORRECTING THE RECORD: These can't be photos taken in Virginia Beach, can they?

​FACT: They can. Several folks questioned the provenance or authenticity of photos that the City Photographer has taken and have been posted to the City's Facebook page​, but they are, in fact, real and they are, in fact, scenes from around the City.​

CORRECTING THE RECORD: Where Was the Memorial Day Parade This Year?

FICTION: The Mayor's Veterans Committee, which oversees Memorial Day planning, does not, and historically has not observed Memorial Day with a parade because it is a memorial rather than a celebration.

CORRECTING THE RECORD: Volunteering Requires a Long and Recurring Commitment of Time

FICTION: There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities ranging from “one-and-done” events for those who can’t commit to a regular schedule, to longer, repeating events for those who are able. In fiscal year 2017, hours volunteers donated totaled about 1.21 million hours worked and saved about ​​​​​$28 mil​​lion.​​​

QUESTION: How Does Waste Management Staff Determine Holiday Collection Schedules?

​FACT: Waste Management has people who plan routes and schedules to make sure every household receives service for household trash, recycling and yard waste collections. When holidays interrupt the schedule, staff adjusts to impact as few households as possible with collection date changes.

QUESTION: Can I Throw My Batteries out with the Trash or Recyclables?

ANSWER: Yes and no. Single-Use Alkaline batteries, such as your AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt batteries can go in your household trash. Rechargeable batteries, like Lithium Ion and Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries that are used in power tools, laptops, cell phones, and cameras, should NEVER go in the trash or recycling carts but should be recycled through the City’s Resource Recovery Center, or select retailers.

QUESTION: Why Aren’t Bulky Items Picked Up With the Regular Trash?

ANSWER: Bulky items are just that, “bulky” and simply won’t fit into a regular trash truck. Instead, Waste Management uses a separate truck with a boom arm to co​llect large items.

ISSUE: How Can a Company Dig a Hole in My Lawn – Without My Permission – and Just Walk Away When They’re Finished?

FACT: Easements sometimes exist on a property and allow another individual or company to use someone else's land for a specific purpose, such as underground utility lines or drainage.

RUMOR: Is It True the City Has Something That Went to The Moon?

​FACT: Indeed, we do! Alan Shepard, a former Virginia Beach resident and commander of the Apollo 14 mission, gave the City a mission patch and flag that flew to the moon.​

QUESTION: Can I Dispose of Medical Sharps in My Household Trash, or Is It Necessary to Use a Dropoff Box at a Police Station?

FACT: Medical sharps such as needles, catheters and lancets can be tossed out with your regular garbage, provided they are in a rigid container and clearly labeled as medical sharps. There is no legal requirement to use a dropoff box, however.

QUESTION: Should Hearing Aid or Button Cell Batteries be Recycled or Thrown in the Trash?

FACT: Button cell batteries, typically found in hearing aids and watches, often contain mercury or lithium and should never be placed in with your household trash or recycling. Instead, they should be taken to a collection center where they can be disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

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