Walter Nicklin


Centennial close to home

Oct. 16, 2014
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This year marks the centennial of the start of World War I. But this year also marks the centennial of a powerful idea hatched here in the United States demonstrating a better side of human behavior — a simple idea hatched by Frederick Goff.
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Editorial: In search of clarity

Oct. 9, 2014
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Early Sunday morning, for many Rappahannock residents, brought the season’s first frost. And with it comes a certain clarity of vision — it’s the perfect time of year to reacquaint yourself with your favorite poems.
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Editorial: Lessons from up north

Oct. 2, 2014
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Maine and Cape Cod would seem to have very little in common with Rappahannock. But recent policy studies reveal the three distinct geographic areas have similar challenges — namely, youth out-migration and the cost of housing.
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Editorial: Beyond the here and now

Sep. 25, 2014
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Almost 100 marchers in the People's Climate March came from Rappahannock County! Only kidding! For, blessed as we are to live here, Rappahannock’s demographics are precisely those associated with American citizens who view climate concerns as not serious.
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Editorial: Autumn’s changing ways

Sep. 18, 2014
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As this newspaper was going to press came word of a new government census: Exactly how many stink bugs are there? That’s kind of like asking how hot the sun is. As a harbinger of autumn, we now have stink bugs instead of apples.
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Editorial: Where the wild things are

Sep. 11, 2014
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It’s hard to believe, but once upon a time not so long ago the federal government wasn’t dysfunctional and the Congress actually passed meaningful legislation. Fifty years ago last week, for example, the Wilderness Act was signed into law.
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Editorial: We’re special, aren’t we?

Sep. 4, 2014
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With current Rappahannock events paralleling those in Paris and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” perhaps it’s time to realize our community isn’t as special as we like to think.
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Editorial: In memoriam

Aug. 28, 2014
F. Preston Pulliam passed away Sunday at the age of 92.

Like many native sons, F. Preston Pulliam left Rappahannock County at an early age to seek his fortune elsewhere. But Pres, who died on Sunday at the age of 92, never really left, for he kept returning, falling in love all over again with the beauty of Rappahannock.
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Editorial: Mystery at the manor

Aug. 21, 2014
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What Rappahannock needs is a good murder mystery. Not the real thing, of course (in which someone would have to be actually killed), but a fictional whodunit. And it did, last week, in the form of Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Inspector Hound.”
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Editorial: Eerie parallels

Aug. 14, 2014
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Exactly 100 years ago this summer commenced World War One, now universally acknowledged as a totally unnecessary catastrophe. It didn’t have to happen — eerily analogous to the climate change situation Rappahannock County finds itself in now.
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Editorial: Summertime, and the livin’ is dangerous

Aug. 7, 2014
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Rappahannock County may not have deadly rockets, roadside bombs or Ebola virus, but we do have ticks. Already transmitters of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, now comes word of a sometimes fatal food allergy.
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Editorial: Shaping the future

Jul. 31, 2014
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While ever-growing tourism dollars are welcome, they may not provide the painless panacea that many of our leaders seem to be counting upon. For in becoming simply a “tourist destination,” will we be selling our soul? And what’s the alternative?
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Editorial: In Memoriam: Listening to the landscape

Jul. 24, 2014
Masestro Maazel conducts a production of TBA.

Eulogies have poured forth from around the world upon the death of Lorin Maazel the weekend before last. But for us in Rappahannock County, acquainted with the Maestro’s musical genius in ways uniquely ours, any attempted homage must express his love of the land here.
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Editorial: Sex and consequences

Jul. 17, 2014
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A few miles away as the crow flies, just across the Blue Ridge, comes word of a male version of the TV-made-notorious “Octomom.” Fortunately, thanks to an inclusive sex education curriculum, no such problem exists in Rappahannock.
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Editorial: The show must go on

Jul. 10, 2014
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The danger of living in Rappahannock County is that we might begin to take its natural beauty for granted. A noiseless, reverent silence reinforces that beauty. When the silence is broken, that, too, is beautiful — for the sounds most likely emanate from the Castleton Festival.
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Editorial: Town, to be or not to be

Jul. 3, 2014
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Besides an occasion for celebrating our Declaration of Independence from Britain over two centuries ago, July Fourth presents an especially appropriate time to examine and/or re-examine the way that We the People currently govern ourselves.
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Editorial: In the role of ombudsman . . .

Jun. 26, 2014
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If success in the newspaper business is measured by the quantity of readers and the quality of their engagement, then the last couple of weeks can be numbered among the most successful in the history of the Rappahannock News.
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Editorial: Landowners, beware!

Jun. 19, 2014
The proposed pipeline.

“Just a good old country lawyer” is out and about in Rappahannock County, knocking on residents’ doors, clutching some innocuous-sounding legal documents he’s graciously soliciting for signatures. Don’t sign! Or, at the very least, please don’t sign in haste.
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Editorial: Comment on the comments

Jun. 12, 2014
Little Washington from above by Laurie Smith and Mark Reinhardt

If something happens in Rappahannock County and it’s not reported in Big Washington media, does it really happen? Apparently not, based on the ruckus stirred up by the front-page story in Sunday’s business section of The Washington Post.
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Editorial: What would Galileo do?

Jun. 5, 2014
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Climatology is the work of the devil. So said Galileo’s inquisitors 400 years ago. Perhaps not the historical truth, but it is the “emotional truth.” How far we’ve come today — or have we?
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Editorial: Sex!

May. 29, 2014
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Headlines are meant to be attention-getting. They can also be misleading and sensational, as this one is — and as some readers thought last week’s front-page “heroin” headline was. Perhaps they have a point, but there are some larger ones to consider.
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Editorial: I have traveled widely in Amissville

May. 22, 2014
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With respectful apologies to Henry David Thoreau, I have appropriated what he famously said of his hometown in Massachusetts: “I have traveled widely in Concord.” Meaning that if you look closely enough at your surroundings, you’ll discover the whole universe in microcosm.
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Editorial: Big Washington action needed to protect open spaces

May. 15, 2014
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There’s been a lot of criticism lately that Rappahannock’s towns, especially its county seat, are becoming “too cutesy” and that the land itself has increasingly become no country for less-than-wealthy folk. But imagine the alternative!
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Editorial: Healthy competition

May. 8, 2014
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“You can’t fight city hall!” used to be the old adage expressing the powerlessness of the individual. Nowadays, however, “You can’t fight Comcast!” (and its ever-bigger cable monopoly) seems more appropriate.
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Editorial: Tuesday, May 6

May. 1, 2014
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Mark the date! It’s not a Tuesday to vote in a special election but, rather, a Tuesday to donate to your special cause. It’s Give Local Piedmont day!
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Editorial: Earth Day reflections

Apr. 24, 2014
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From a distance, they looked like gigantic Easter eggs. Oval and colored bright orange, these “eggs” dotted the shoulders of a short section of South Poes Road, at intervals of every 100 feet or so. But as the distance decreased, their true identity became clear: Trash bags!
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Editorial: Opportunity for tax reform

Apr. 17, 2014
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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