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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays of the year. And on Monday morning after Thanksgiving, it was very dark and blustery looking back toward Rappahannock Peak, and in front of those dark clouds was the most vivid rainbow I think I have ever seen. Not only were the colors bright, but the rainbow seemed so near. 

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Flu season has arrived. Lasting from late autumn to as late as May – and peaking between December and February – the season typically brings millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths. This 2022-23 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expecting flu viruses to circulate along with variants of COVID-19. This makes it as important as ever that we each do what we can to minimize our risk, protect our health and protect the health of those around us. Getting vaccinated against the flu is a vitally important way to do just that. 

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This past Saturday dawned sunny and cool here in Rappahannock County. High on a hillside, sheltered by brilliantly colored fall trees, two foxes sat, appraising the view below of an enthusiastic crowd, both on horseback and on foot, plus dozens of hounds eagerly awaiting their huntsman’s horn and signal to explore. 

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What's all the buzz about heat pumps lately? Well, the efficiency of heat pumps has improved tremendously in the last ten years, so whether you currently burn gas or oil, or even if you have an older heat pump, switching to a state-of-the-art heat pump can save a lot of energy. Or, thinking about it another way, it can save you a lot of dough.

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Anyone remember a Letter to the Editor about the importance of attitude, Rappahannock News, Sept. 10, 2022? Replacing an “I don’t want this” and “You can’t do it” with “How can we make this work in a positive way to benefit our county community?” can provide the focus to get on the best path so our residents and our county can thrive. 

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From my point of view, it was an attempt to fulfill the entire Christmas wish list of the judges, the Commonwealth Attorney, and County workers, and then some, and somehow tie it up in a barn of a building. As an afterthought, perhaps in recognition of what an eyesore they’ve created, they tried to gussy it up with a column here or a half-round window there in the lamest attempt to give it some “historical” elements. 

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Rappahannock Weather

Right Now
34°
Partly Cloudy
  • Humidity: 93%
  • Cloud Coverage: 72%
  • Wind: 1 mph
  • UV Index: 0 Low
  • Sunrise: 07:17:29 AM
  • Sunset: 05:35:07 PM

Today

Cloudy. Flurries or snow showers possible late. Low 27F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight

Cloudy. Flurries or snow showers possible late. Low 27F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tomorrow

Partly cloudy skies. High 31F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph.

  • Updated

In the bygone days of my youth the golden-throated poet Joni Mitchell sang: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Ain’t it the truth. In hopes that we might avoid that pitfall here in Rappahannock, I would like to set down a few words regarding the historical and architectural significance of our old courthouse — a building whose fate now teeters precariously between posterity and the wrecking ball. 

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While it was interesting to read Ron Maxwell’s Commentary, “The Noah Option” (Rappahannock News, Aug. 11), it also made me pause to think through his actual proposal to practice the Half Earth principles set forth in Edward O. Wilson’s book Half Earth (additionally described in title as “The Planet’s Fight for Life”).

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An alarming study reveals that the population of North American birds has dropped nearly 30% since 1970. Each day, an estimated 6,000 acres of open space are converted to development of one form or another – seemingly endless seas of concrete and asphalt covering the living land. Nearby Clevengers’s Corner is a harbinger of the looming menace.

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I’ve been noodling with a funky tune entitled “Inside the Great Rappahannock Divide while Outside the Inn Crowd and Sadly Still Missing The Appetite Repair Shop and Randolph Clater at the Corner Store Blues.” But I fear the song could never be as evocative as the title, and this sort of material always works better as prose, unless you are Johnny Mercer or Willie Nelson.

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I have always enjoyed writing to a great extent, and always liked letting my creative side show through my writing. This is probably why English was always my favorite subject instead of science or math. I could go on reading and writing about anything for hours, but the second you ask me to balance a chemistry equation or solve an algebraic expression, my brain immediately  crashes.

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On the morning of April 8, I got to the high school at 3 a.m., much earlier than usual. I was greeted at the cafeteria doors by a teacher holding their coffee. The halls of the school were empty but bright, a tough contrast from the darkness outside. I walked through them to the opposite side of the school, where a classroom was overflowing with suitcases and duffle bags. Several more teachers sorted through the luggage. A handful of my classmates stood around the room and, even though it was early, excitement was buzzing in the air. 

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Chief Justice John Roberts has a problem that is eerily similar to one I faced years ago at the Federal Trade Commission. A year or so after President Reagan appointed me to chair the FTC, a story appeared in the press about a major merger we were investigating and a draft of preliminary findings.

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President Ronald Reagan was known to state, “Trust, but verify,” which I think is appropriate when hearing Supervisor Ron Frazier, during the April 4, 2022, Board of Supervisors meeting, state that the newly opened Washington Post Office had no exterior lighting so was too dark for some citizens to get their mail late in the day.