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Guest Columns

Jason Wright: Billionaire NBA owner irons

When Gail Miller and her late-husband Larry were spinning in the busy blender of parenthood and managing their businesses, they could have easily afforded a weekly trip to a dry cleaner. Or to buy one. Instead, Utah Jazz owner, billionaire, and philanthropist Gail Miller woke up each day ...

George Bowers Sr.: Wagering with Pascal

All serious math and science students will recognize the name of Blaise Pascal, for he pioneered many developments that are still utilized today. In addition, he was a physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher. Pascal lived a relatively short life of only 39 years in the ...

Antiquing means never quitting the hunt

The venerable expression "antiquing" is no longer confined to pleasant weekend jaunts after ancient collectibles.  "Antiquing" also means never quitting until the soul of a treasured acquisition is uncovered.  Chasing after antique essences may lead to knowledge never dreamed, and may ...

George Bowers Sr.: Pulling from the wrong end

Most folks would consider it foolish to attempt to pull a trainload of cargo backward with a powerless caboose. Obviously, the engine on the other end has the needed energy to move the train in the proper direction. As we approach Election Day, it seems that many politicians and voters are ...

Marino de Medici: Enemy of the people

President Trump, a leader who does not know much history, is certainly unaware of a speech made in 1956 by Nikita Kruschev to denounce Stalin’s cult of personality in which he called for an end to the use of the term “enemy of the people” by reminding Russians that it was used to ...

Bass Mitchell: A house divided not always a bad thing

My father-in-law was a simple, country farmer, at least that’s how he saw himself. He was a quiet man. So, whenever he spoke, most of us listened, finding it was worth it. I don’t remember the exact year, but we were in the midst of an election. Aren’t we always? A major issue was a ...

George Bowers Sr.: God is still at work!

Five years ago next month, over 100 concerned citizens met near Woodstock to discuss the challenges of homelessness in our community. God enabled the seeds planted at that initial gathering to quickly sprout and speedily bear good fruit through what now is Family Promise of Shenandoah County. ...

Marino de Medici: Citizens’ income, welfare out of control

It is unheard of outside of Italy, but the populist leaders of the Italian rightist coalition have come up with a novel idea to give money to people who are either poor or unable, if not unwilling, to work. It is called "citizenship income," a form of financial assistance financed by public ...

George Bowers Sr.: What’s in your coffee?

One of the curses we have learned to live with in Virginia is the brown marmorated stink bug. This is the official name of the pest that arrived in the U.S. from Asia some 20 years ago that has now spread throughout much of the nation. Although similar in appearance to some native species, this ...

Marino de Medici: Albania is a fast-growing democratic nation

The one thing that strikes the first time visitor in Albania is the number of Mercedes Benz cars on the road, some of them brand new. When you ask about it the most common answer is: the Albanian diaspora. The Albanians who escaped from the country before 1990 prospered in large enough numbers ...

George Bowers Sr.: Keeping the tightrope tight

“A lot of hanky-panky goes on now in most communities without attracting much attention, but there was a time when this was not true in Woodstock.” So begins another vignette by county historian Fred Painter in the book "Yesterday in Woodstock." He goes on to describe two separate ...

George Bowers Sr. Church is good for you

Now there’s a headline you would expect from a preacher, right? But it’s actually just a paraphrase of a recent study by Harvard University, a school not known for its fondness for faith. Nevertheless, in a study released in this month’s edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology ...

Tom Crosby: Hyundai Sonata gets upgrade for 2018

Hyundai Sonata sales slipped last year as buyers favored trucks and SUVs over sedans. In 2018, the Korean automaker hopes new front fascia, a powerful engine and transmission upgrade, suspension improvements and interior/exterior refreshing will make it more attractive in the highly ...

George Bowers Sr. Allergies, immunities and television

Chances are really good that you have either heard someone sneeze already today or have done so yourself. ‘Tis the season for ragweed and pollen and all manner of allergic reactions. Although I used to suffer miserably, I’m thankful to say that my late summers and early falls are much more ...

George Bowers Sr. What has caused Florence’s fury?

By the time you read this article, Hurricane Florence will likely have made landfall in the southeastern United States affecting millions of people and, if forecasts prove accurate, causing billions of dollars in property damage. As I write this, I’m praying that God would minimize its impact ...

Marino de Medici: The murky future of Europe

The United States is not alone in being judged harshly on the international stage for the disruptive policies of President Donald Trump, while the European Union seems to be imploding on account of the systemic threat to democracy coming from Hungary and other former communist countries of ...

Duck numbers lower as seasons approach

  Duck hunting is not as popular in the Shenandoah Valley as it is in the eastern and southern parts of Virginia. But for those in the know, good wing-shooting is available locally for a variety of waterfowl species. The best sport is found by jump shooting, setting out decoys on ...

April Moore: Race and the golden rule

I hope that my heartfelt wish for mutual respect and regard between the races is shared by most Americans. (I hope it’s just a fringe that relishes the idea of racial hostility and conflict.) But everyone knows that the historical reality is that “race” has long been a difficult part of ...

George Bowers Sr. Good answers to hard questions

Over the years our father told us many stories about his school experiences. Times were very different, rules were very strict, and expectations were very high. There were no SOLs or Common Core and the board of education was often applied to his seat of learning. That’s not to say there ...

Peter Brookes: Heroes (and me) on the water

All I could think of was Ernest Hemingway’s Nobel Prize-winning book, “The Old Man and the Sea,” in which a luck-challenged Cuban fisherman Santiago gets pulled around in the Florida Straits in his skiff by a mighty marlin he’s hooked. That was pretty much me when a (likely) ...