Walter Nicklin

Editorial: Opportunity for tax reform

Apr. 17, 2014

This week’s newspaper falls equidistant between dread and hope: Tax deadline day this past Tuesday and Easter this coming Sunday. So this week’s words will be devoted to something requiring very little eloquence — namely, complaining about taxes.
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Editorial: At home abroad

Apr. 10, 2014

The grazed and cultivated farmland, the good food and drink, the historical sense of time and place . . . even the ticks that carry Lyme disease. In many ways, Vienna, Austria bears a striking resemblance to Rappahannock County.
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Editorial: Lucky us . . .

Apr. 3, 2014

Ours is a privileged, protected perch here in Rappahannock County. While we have had a “bad” winter, elsewhere water supplies are drying up, coastal communities are being flooded, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying and fish are going extinct.
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Editorial: Full disclosure

Mar. 27, 2014

A small confession: I once received a speeding ticket on my way to work here in Rappahannock, further proving that nothing — not even editorials — remains abstract in small towns. Indeed, everything is personal.
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Editorial: When money talks . . .

Mar. 20, 2014

Even here in Rappahannock County we recognize the truth in the notion that “we all live downstream.” Which makes the Farm Bureau’s ongoing war against the EPA’s ”pollution diet” all the more disquieting.
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Editorial: Misplaced priorities?

Mar. 13, 2014

For budgetary and personnel reasons, the RCSO no longer participates in the State-Police-sponsored Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gangs Task Force — despite the fact that illicit drug use in rural areas is on the rise.
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Editorial: Bad medicine

Mar. 6, 2014

News for the 40 percent of seniors who take five or more prescription medications a day: 40 percent of our drugs now imported.
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Editorial: Weather why’s, chapter 2

Feb. 27, 2014

A couple of weeks ago an editorial in this space pointed out that bitterly cold weather here in Rappahannock County didn’t contradict the scientific consensus on global warming. Now, that anecdotal evidence is matched by the latest numbers from NOAA.
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Editorial: Women are people, too

Feb. 20, 2014

Many political observers believe Republicans’ positions on women’s rights issues cost them the last election. So it’s not surprising this year has seen fewer bills in those areas. Except one: A bill in the House that would prevent insurance companies from providing contraception.
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Editorial: In memoriam

Feb. 13, 2014

Rappahannock County will miss the quiet and benevolent — yet also forceful and persuasive — presence of Bob Dennis, who passed away on Sunday. His legacy will forever be marked by the land he helped preserve.
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Editorial: Weather why’s

Feb. 6, 2014

One day last week when it was 3 degrees in Amissville and zero in Harris Hollow, guess what the temperature was in Nome, Alaska. Thirty-three degrees! Yes, a downright balmy 33 degrees. How is that possible? Global warming!
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Editorial: Of farms and fiscal policy

Jan. 30, 2014

We’re so busy focusing on the amount of taxes that We the People have to pay that we often forget their purpose is more than simply to generate government revenue. Taxes also influence people’s behavior, and, in Rappahannock’s case, encourage farming. If only it were that easy in Big Washington!
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Editorial: Let us now praise a famous town

Jan. 23, 2014

Typically, newspaper editorials are critical, even carping. Still, it’s good to try to balance criticism for things that need criticizing with praise for those things that are praiseworthy — such as the recent goings on in the Town of Washington.
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Editorial: Thanks to busted plumbing . . .

Jan. 16, 2014

The 12th day of Christmas is also referred to as the Day of Epiphany in the Christian calendar. Nowadays, epiphanies refer to any illuminating realization — and this recent Arctic Vortex brought a big one. (And a burst pipe.)
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Editorial: Rappahannock the Beautiful

Jan. 9, 2014
Photo by Molly M. Peterson.

A lot of things divide us, needless to say. But at the start of a new year, let’s focus on what’s positive and bipartisan — the things that unite us.
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Editorial: O Little Town of . . . Shijiao?

Dec. 26, 2013

Perhaps it was Santa who first introduced us to the concept of what is now called globalization — including the so-called globalization of junk.
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Editorial: Christmas gift to citizens

Dec. 19, 2013

As regular Rappahannock News readers are aware, the words in this space have frequently been critical of the county’s representatives, past and present, in Congress. So now let me — happily! — praise both politicians.
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Editorial: Acorns around the world

Dec. 12, 2013

Last week the Rappahannock News website got roughly 70,000 readers! How could that be? For that’s 10 times the number of all the county’s residents. The answer is illustrative of the way — for good or ill — that communication works now.
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Editorial: Where have all the acorns gone?

Dec. 5, 2013

Roadkill is on the rise this year, but the motorists aren’t to blame. It’s instead due to a dearth of acorns — an important food source many animals have had to go without this year.
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Editorial: Giving thanks . . .

Nov. 28, 2013

If there is any day of the year that gives credence to the notion of American exceptionalism, it is the last Thursday in November — Thanksgiving. No other country has a national holiday quite like it. And here in Rappahannock, we have an abundance of things to give thanks for.
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Editorial: Unhealthy mess

Nov. 21, 2013

Those were the good old days: Doctors would make house calls, even in the most remote parts of rural Rappahannock County and accept barters in lieu of payment. Nowadays, however, the whole medical system is a complete mess.
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Editorial: Lingering leaves

Nov. 14, 2013

A hint of winter, complete with snow flurries, touched the county this week. For a while, it had seemed that we might not have any wintry weather at all, inasmuch as the colors of fall foliage didn’t seem to reach their peak in intensity until about a week ago. A sign of continued climate...
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Editorial: Of cows and humans

Nov. 7, 2013

Rappahannock County is not alone when it comes to litterbugs. It turns out, according to recent news reports, that rural areas of even notoriously tidy Switzerland are awash in roadside litter. But unlike some Rappahannockers, the Swiss do not blame others; instead they advocate taking personal responsibility for the problem.
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Editorial: Vote for best costume!

Oct. 31, 2013

Is it a mere coincidence that Election Day is the first Tuesday after Halloween? For zombies and vampires invoke far less fear than the governmental dysfunction gripping Big Washington nowadays; and last year’s best-selling trick-or-treat masks were Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
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Editorial: What’s in a word?

Oct. 24, 2013

“For somebody who calls himself a conservative, he’s awfully eager to impose himself in people’s private lives.” That’s a quote about gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli from Russ Potts — just one of many reasons the Republican candidates are no longer properly “conservative.”
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Editorial: Got to be a better way?

Oct. 17, 2013

Despite the inaccuracy of the that the real estate tax maps in the county, they still form the basis for much official and unofficial business in Rappahannock. There’s got to be a better (computerized) way.
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Editorial: Independent solution?

Oct. 10, 2013

Like the government’s new health care website, ours crashed last week. Not because of malicious hacking, but because of unanticipated demand, as almost 40,000 people wanted to read our front-page story on the local economic effects of the government shutdown.
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Editorial: Elections (and words) have consequences

Oct. 3, 2013

I don’t know which is more lamentable: (1) The closing of the Shenandoah National Park or (2) Rep. Robert Hurt’s Orwellian misuse of the English language in justifying the U.S. House of Representatives votes leading to a government shutdown.
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Editorial: Rappahannock from 30,000 feet

Sep. 26, 2013

If you really want to see how Rappahannock County is different from the sprawl and crawl that surrounds it, you should see it from 30,000 feet up.
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Editorial: Apologies are in order

Sep. 19, 2013

The date was Thursday, Sept. 12. But, more appropriately, it should have been Friday the 13th. I’m talking about the date that last week’s Rappahannock News was published. Or not published!
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Editorial: Salubrious sounds of silence

Sep. 12, 2013

Rappahannock County is normally so quiet that, paradoxically, the slightest unwelcome noise becomes that much more annoying. Thus any unexpected environmental noise calls attention to itself. Not only is that an annoying distraction, but also, according to health professionals, releases harmful stress hormones.
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Editorial: Imagine this . . .

Sep. 5, 2013
A possible Rappahannock future . . . were it not for Shenandoah National Park.

It’s worth remembering that without Shenandoah National Park, Rappahannock would most likely look drastically different. It’s also worth remembering those who were displaced in order to build the park.
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Editorial: Whiter, older and still sparse

Aug. 29, 2013

Last week school started for most Rappahannock students, and this week marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on (Big) Washington and his “I Have a Dream” speech. End-of-summer rituals and half-century marks seem similar in that they are useful and thought-provoking bookends.
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Editorial: Our man in Big Washington

Aug. 22, 2013

Next Tuesday, Aug. 27, Rappahannock’s congressman, Rep. Robert Hurt, will be visiting our newspaper. He is a brave man, for past words in this editorial space have often been critical of his actions while in Big Washington representing Rappahannock and the rest of the 5th congressional district.
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Editorial: Rappahannock ruckus

Aug. 15, 2013

The problem with history is it keeps getting rewritten for purposes of the present. It’s never the fixed star, the one True North, that we imagine and wish it to be. Instead, its facts and figures can be tweaked, its narrative revised and reworked, to justify just about any political point of view.
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Editorial: Rappahannock rude

Aug. 8, 2013

Rappahannock County is sometimes compared to the Hamptons on eastern Long Island, in that both provide weekend getaways for well-heeled Big Washingtonians and Manhattanites, respectively. If the analogy is correct, this newspaper should soon should add a “Rappahannock Rude” link to its website.
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Editorial: Farmers at the public trough

Aug. 1, 2013

Agriculture may be big in Rappahannock County, but it’s not Big Ag. So it goes that, although agriculture remains indeed the biggest part of the Rappahannock economy, we are only minor beneficiaries of the latest farm bill passed by Congress.
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Editorial: The perfect perch

Jul. 25, 2013

The truly amazing thing about Rappahannock County: It’s so small and yet so wide-ranging in what it offers. You may think you know the county like the back of your hand; yet if you’re curious and keep your eyes open, there’s always something new to discover.
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Editorial: Let them eat cake?

Jul. 18, 2013

Food stamp spending has, according to a recent letter to our editor, doubled under the Obama Administration. Also multiplying under President Obama’s watch has been the national number of severe weather events. Both statements may be true, but the implication is illogical.
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Editorial: Regrets in Rappahannock

Jul. 11, 2013

The world gets more like Rappahannock County every day. Thank goodness it’s not the other way around. “What’s happened to Americans’ expectations of privacy?” everyone laments. Well, if you’ve lived here long enough, you’re wise enough to know that it’s foolish to have any expectations of privacy at all.
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