Opinion Column

Jed’s Eye View: The gray wave is here

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Dec. 4

Rappahannock is in the midst of a type of growth that cannot be controlled by zoning, or any other way: The numbers of gray-haired folks are zooming upwards.
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Jed’s Eye View: Shake hands

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Nov. 27

While most churches conduct services these days with half, or more, of the pews empty, folks from around this county will fill up a large mainstream house of worship for a Thanksgiving service this morning, as they have been doing for a half-century or more.
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Jed’s Eye View: Carrots and lettuce and beef, oh my!

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Nov. 20

Rappahannock public school students enjoy locally produced food during Local Food Week at RCPS cafeterias.
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Jed’s Eye View: Shop local

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Nov. 13
columnJedShopLocal-13

Need a part replaced on your car? Jed Duvall finds it pays to call the guy down the street.
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Leaving a happier planet

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Nov. 6
By Roger Piantadosi/Rappahannock News

Money does grow on trees — along with health and high spirits. Don’t lose yours as autumn dwindles.
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Jed’s Eye View: Six million people 

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Nov. 6

Six million people — Jed Duvall says that's the number of people in the United States that we should be thinking and talking about more often.
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This little light of ours

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Oct. 23
Photo by Kaye Kohler

As the autumn daylight wanes, nature and the human body ordinarily adjust themselves for winter. But increasingly, we’re setting the world aglow 24/7 with all-night lighting. Liza Field takes a look at research illuminating a few of the fiscal, environmental and healthcare costs of that new light bill.
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When a farm turns factory, what’s a town to do?

A Pennsylvania law designed to protect farms from nuisance complaints has also allowed concentrated animal feeding operations — factory farms — to escape local land use controls, writes Tim Rowland.
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Where’s my home?

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Oct. 16

There are too many children in foster care in Rappahannock, writes Jed Duvall — or worse, as some aren’t even fortunate enough to have that option.
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You gotta have a translator

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Sept. 11

Do be a conscientious citizen and attend government meetings . . . but make sure you bring a translator with you, writes Jed Duvall.
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Leaving Candyland

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Aug. 7

Humans are attracted to sweetness–not just in food, but in media fare. The urge to avoid bitter realities and sweets that comfort makes us vulnerable to plenty of sticky disinformation, writes Liza Field, in this examination of bees, pesticides and PR.
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Deeper fractures

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July 10

Are we cracked in the head? The proliferation of natural gas exports–and the wake of increased U.S. fracking–expose deep fault lines in the land, U.S. communities and plain old logic. Liza Field suggests a look beneath those fissures for deeper solutions.
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Up in the Hollow: The ‘in’ ate Little Washington

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June 12
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The misguided, feverish energies of “high-powered” Washington, D.C. real estate developer Jim Abdo to “rebrand” our county seat is a remarkable example of how not to make friends and influence people.
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Reading the roadside

Since I’m new to Rappahannock County, I keep an eye out for what there is to see and what used to be as I drive along U.S. 522, which is close as anything to the spine of this county.
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Please keep off this grass

Spread the word: Kentucky 31 tall fescue, one of the dominant pasture grasses in the U.S. is an invasive, fungus-infected grass that does more harm than good, writes Robert Whitescarver.
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Time to RSVP to Mother Earth’s invitation

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May 29

It’s time to remember our manners and RSVP to nature’s invitation — letting it know we’ll be showing up to help undo our own damage, writes Liza Field.
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Fracking: Too close to home

Debut Rappahannock novelist Larry “Bud” Meyer speaks May 9 at the library.

Larry "Bud" Meyer, RAAC's featured speaker at the library this Friday at 8, notes that news of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is starting to come awfully close to home.
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Breathing with relief

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April 10

Getting out for a breath of fresh air is a springtime joy. It’s the very symbol of aliveness and freedom, writes Liza Field. So it surprised her to hear the EPA’s latest clean air rules described as “tyranny” and clouded by misinformation. This commentary looks at some big-money sources, along with some rarely-noticed payoffs...
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Getting big or getting out

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March 13

It’s time for diet season around the U.S., in a big way. Two-thirds of our population is now overweight and leaving a heavier footprint. While we’ve been gaining, the biosphere has been losing. This growing imbalance, Liza Field suggests, we could reverse, from a lose-lose to a win for both human and planetary health.
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Gone/green

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Jan. 16

Europe is converting coal-burning power plants to burn wood pellets, leading to the cutting of U.S. east coast hardwood forests, an unintended consequence of what was supposed to be a good green idea.
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Our alienation from hibernation

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Dec. 12, 2013
Ice in Gid Brown Hollow after this week's storm.

During these short days of winter, all of nature slows and rests. Why don’t we, wonders Liza Field, a teacher, writer, and philosopher who writes from Virginia. If we did, it would be good for us, and our world, she says.
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We’re hiding again

Humankind’s current struggle with climate change is the second time we have upset Earth’s environmental balance by our own hand, writes Nina Beth Cardin, a rabbi in Baltimore. The first was long, long ago.
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Why reporters in the U.S. now need protection

Late last month, ProPublica founder and executive chairman Paul Steiger received the Burton Benjamin Memorial award from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). ProPublica is a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative reporting organization. Here are his remarks.
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It’s leave-them-be season

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Nov. 21, 2013
Gid Brown Hollow

Does money grows on trees? Only to those who can see it. Every autumn, a steady xylem and phloem of tourist plates pour up and down old roads and scenic byways from New England to Georgia. The trees do the work; we locals get the profit.
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Connecting the buzz

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Oct. 3, 2013

Why is Bayer CropScience suing the European Commission — and what would gardener Thomas Jefferson do? Connect the dots, writer Liza Field suggests.
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In Virginia, fracking should remain fictional

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Sept. 26, 2013
In Virginia, fracking should remain fictional

We’re entering the best month of the year. It’s a month to enjoy our agricultural and recreational treasures. But soon enough the U.S. Forest Service will decide whether to allow or ban fracking in the George Washington National Forest.
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Warriors walking off the war

Warrior Hike

Around the campfire, the veterans talked of exploding bombs and the kind of stuff that makes them forever vigilant. It is all so exhausting . . . until they find themselves walking the Appalachian Trail.
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Landowners vs. sportsmen: bad policy

Last summer, Beau Beasley asked the Virginia Game Commission, the governing body for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), to clarify where anglers can safely fish in Virginia without fear of being sued. The answer's not so simple.
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On-bill loans for energy upgrades: win-win  

A little noticed announcement earlier this month about an energy-efficiency pilot project in South Carolina could mean good news for the hundreds of thousands of Virginians who get their power from electric cooperatives.
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Drinking the bathwater

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June 20, 2013

Swimsuit season is here with its usual mix of euphoria and dread. But worries over appearances will dissolve when readers take a look under the surface at the chemical bath we’re jumping into these days, while taking the other species with us.
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With nature in their paths, kids will learn

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March 14, 2013

By Cindy Ross “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard All along the creek are miles and miles of beaver dams in all stages of construction and deterioration. Behind dry, deserted dams, the silt is built up to dam level, making it clear that it was...
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Technology on the farm now fits in the palm of your hand

Agriculture commissioner Matthew Lohr writes about how social media and technology can help farmers and others to stay connected with the land.
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Congregations going green

On a brisk day a few weeks ago, by the meandering banks of Langford Creek on the Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore, a group of about 50 environmentalists and people of faith gathered to learn, be inspired by and support one another.
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Up in the Hollow: Laws and sausages

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Jan. 24, 2013
town-13WF

A surprise counter-offer to People Inc.'s apartment proposal by a group including the mayor and councilman raises all kinds of questions for Ben Jones, who says he doesn't think "these fellows were elected to do business with themselves, or to indicate their 'nay' vote in such a unique way."
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Up in the Hollow: Praise the Lord, pass the ammo

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Jan. 10, 2013
RNThisWeekNew

One could not help feeling the frustration in James P. Gannon’s editorial letter, but his targets, those he holds responsible for this sorry state of affairs, include many of the Tea Party’s usual suspects. And the 1950s were . . . "normal?"
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It’s 2013: Time to grow up?

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Jan. 3, 2013
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"In all your official acts, self interest shall be cast into oblivion . . . return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right." Columnist Liza Field takes her cue from the circa-1450 Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy to look for ways to make a better 2013.
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Gaia and psyche: the spirit of place

By Denise Horton Human beings are an expression of their landscape. – Lawrence Durrell I live at the foot of Big Bastard Mountain in Rappahannock County. I have a deep love for the Blue Ridge, a connection so old and bone-deep that I have at times pressed my belly against its rocks, aching. A few years...
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Exurban cowboys pen in biodiversity

When the husband and I bought wooded acreage in the Virginia mountains 30 years ago, we thought we were part of the Back to the Land movement. Turns out we were also part of an exorbitant growth in exurban land use.
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Campaign year spurs a pro-lifer’s lament

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Nov. 15, 2012

What’s it been like as a pro-lifer, during this year's big-money campaign? It’s been an experience of split-personality, I would say as a pro-life conservationist.
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Your electric co-op’s ‘power grab’

In these pages last summer, I wrote about Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC) efforts to block a membership vote at the co-op’s August annual meeting. The blocked vote would have addressed my proposed bylaw amendment that would require REC to annually disclose the total compensation paid to each REC board member. As a result of...
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