Editorials

Editorial: In Memoriam: Listening to the landscape

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July 24
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

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July 17
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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

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July 10
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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

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July 3
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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 . . .

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June 26
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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!

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June 19
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

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June 12
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?

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June 5
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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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April 24
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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

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April 17
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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

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April 10
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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 . . .

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April 3
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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

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March 27
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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 . . .

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March 20
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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?

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March 13
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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

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March 6
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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

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Feb. 27
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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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Letter: Balancing the costs

Walter Nicklin, in last week’s editorial, “Women are people, too,” would have us believe that those who seek to restrict access to contraception and abortion are taking “extreme positions on women’s rights.” The World Health Organization has found contraceptives to be a top carcinogen, along with asbestos and tobacco smoking (gerardnadal.com/2010/01/18oral.contraceptives-who-class). Furthermore, women who...
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Editorial: Women are people, too

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Feb. 20
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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

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Feb. 13
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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

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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: Let us now praise a famous town

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Jan. 23
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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 . . .

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Jan. 16

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

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?

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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

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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

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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?

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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 . . .

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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?

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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?

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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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