Opinion Column

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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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

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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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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Connecting the buzz

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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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
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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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"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

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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Opinion: Putting the uranium cart before the horse

In 2007, Virginia Uranium LLC (VUI) began lobbying hard for the General Assembly’s standing moratorium on uranium mining and milling to be lifted. Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) and their allies have fought them every step of the way.
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Opinion: In the end game, there are no medals

“When are the Games over?” my fellow lap-swimmer asked. I stood up from the water and wondered, in a chlorine fog. “Which games?”
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Opinion: If you want cooperation, don’t throw your weight around

A hundred or more miles from its sparkling, reedy inlets, the Chesapeake Bay is still very much in the psyche of people throughout its watershed. Many groups in the Appalachian foothills enthusiastically plant trees along local waterways – doing what they can to stem harmful runoff.
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The View From Massies Corner: Things I miss most in Rappahannock

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April 26, 2012
RNThisWeekNew

There are things I miss about Rappahannock County and things I don’t. This article will deal primarily with what I miss the most.
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Virginia ham in China, soybeans in Morocco, apples in Cuba

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April 13, 2012
Carter Bruce restored and painted this 1950 Farm All H tractor in Rappahannock High School shop class. Photo by Manly Bruce.

Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Matthew J. Lohr says he's spent his life working in agriculture in the state, but in those 40 years has never seen anything quite like what is happening now with the state's exports to other countries.
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Opinion: The Constitution’s shades of grey

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March 29, 2012

By Ralph Bates Over the last few months, there have been groups in the county discussing the Constitution and articles written in the Rappahannock News. Recently, Friends of Liberty sponsored a lecture series that was well-attended at the Library. They articulated a conservative or “originalist” point of view very well. Hopefully, all attendees understood...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Hunting on Sunday

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Feb. 2, 2012

The question of hunting on Sunday has been around for a long time. I believe it is time to remove the state prohibition against hunting on Sunday.
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The solace of Christmas past

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Dec. 29, 2011
THE AUTHOR’S parents on a long-ago Christmas morning get some well-earned rest.

I was a middle child, growing up, with sufficient space between my older sisters and younger brother that I enjoyed my own experience of the world. I was neither the object of vigilance by inexperienced parents nor the focus of longing my brother would be, as the last child and only boy. “Birth to graduation on...
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Up in the Hollow: Gid me a break

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April 14, 2011
Ben Jones

Maybe it’s just me, but I was not only bemused, but downright astonished at the screed which Paul Hagstrom wrote regarding his distress at having to travel the wonderful treasure that is Gid Brown Hollow Road.
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Diary of a Haymaker: Do more to save the bay — by doing less

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March 31, 2011
RNopinion

For close to half a century, I’ve been making hay here in the county. Perched on my tractor, I have lots of time to think. Sometimes it feels like I can see forever. At the very least, it gives me an interesting point of view on things, which I now hope to occasionally share...
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Opinion: As in the Blue Ridge, another way of life heads for extinction

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March 17, 2011
Photo of watermen's fleet at Tilghman Island, Md., taken in 1996.

Let's talk about an endangered species. I could talk about the Delmarva fox squirrel (Acipenser brevirostrum) or even the bog turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii). Instead, I will first briefly mention the Blue Ridge Mountain dwellers (Montanus habitus), who went extinct in the 1930s when the federal government resettled them to make way for the Shenandoah...
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Up in the Hollow: Schools and cell towers — git ‘er . . . educated

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Feb. 17, 2011
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The Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors, at the behest of AT&T, will vote at its March meeting on the tabled motion to place a cell tower at the Rappahannock High School. In a surprise move, according to the Rappahannock News, “an alternate site for the proposed 199-foot monopole at the high school had been...
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Up in the Hollow: Some thoughts on Cairo

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Feb. 11, 2011

Back in another life, I took a pickaxe to the Berlin Wall, and was a part of the euphoria that swirled around the fall of a defunct and dysfunctional Soviet empire. As I write this, I just heard President Obama speaking after the stunning success of the “social network” revolution in Egypt. “There is...
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Up in the Hollow: Let’s put this call on hold

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Jan. 20, 2011
Photo/fake by Roger Piantadosi for the Rappahannock News

Big Brother is on the loose. When Congress passed the Communications Act of 1996, a piece of legislation written by and for the telecommunications industry, which put $40 million into its lobbying effort (not including campaign donations), the people of America were stripped of some very basic rights. Ten years ago, when Sprint made...
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Postcard from 2020

Source photos by John Fuller and Laura Massie; fakery by Photoshop and the Rappahannock News

This following was sent in with a return address -- and a sense of humor -- suspiciously resembling that of Flint Hill resident Ron Maxwell.
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