Guest Columns

Bass Mitchell: The signs: A painful time

Editor's note:  This the third of four parts of guest columnist Bass Mitchell's column titled "The Signs."  Read Part 2 online at http://tinyurl.com/ydbqxwtw and Part 1 online at  http://tinyurl.com/yaj2mauz.   As you entered the building, you came into a small corridor that ...

Jason Wright: What’s your friendship radius?

Ask yourself - are you a 5-mile friend? A 50-mile friend? A 500-mile friend? Or, is it endless? What's your friendship radius? Lately I've been looking in the mirror and having that same conversation. And it all started with a ride home from the airport. I was returning from a speaking ...

George Bowers Sr. Christopher Columbus: Hero or villain?

The second Monday in October is annually observed as Columbus Day honoring the Italian explorer who landed in the New World 525 years ago. Although he made previous stops in the Caribbean before he arrived on a small island off the coast of Florida, his arrival on Oct. 12, 1492 officially marks ...

Bass Mitchell: The signs: A painful time, part 2

Editor's note:  This the second of four parts of guest columnist Bass Mitchell's column titled "The Signs."  Read Part 3 in the Oct. 9 edition.  Read Part 1 online at  http://tinyurl.com/yaj2mauz. Dad crawled out, stood up, and started looking up and down the street. I noticed he held in ...

George Bowers Sr.: Getting out from under our umbrellas

What’s the worst thing you ever did? For many of us, certain actions immediately spring to mind, while for others, several different events may wrestle for the dubious distinction of being “the worst thing.” Sadly, most of us have little difficulty recalling some egregious errors in our ...

James Pinsky: Cover crops: Invest in your soil

The key to having healthy soil is rather simple. You have to invest in it year-around. Think of soil a lot like a relationship. You’ll get out of both what you put into them. Just as any relationship must be nurtured, soil must be cared for too. The good news is soil doesn’t need a box of ...

Tom Crosby: Audi improves already impressive SQ5 SUV for 2018

With its modest profile – not much different from last year – Audi’s ninth generation SQ5 is a stealth vehicle with upgrades providing the popular SUV with extra torque, technology and performance. The compact SQ5 is the sporty and more powerful sibling of the Audi Q5, the German ...

Bass Mitchell: The Signs, part 1

Editor's note:  This the first of four parts of guest columnist Bass Mitchell's column titled "The Signs."  Read Part 2 in the Oct. 2 edition. My father was a carpenter, a good one. He built houses. He did renovations. He took whatever carpentry jobs he could find. There were five kids in ...

George Bowers Sr.: Proper attire for football, and heaven

Two weeks of the 2017 NFL Season are in the books and the teams are off and running. Over the next four months a few will rise to the top as they learn to be successful against different opponents each week. I just hope my Dolphins are one of them! The opening of the season reminds me of a ...

James Pinsky: Second chances: Embrace what you love

I have never taken a column for granted. This one even more so. Just a few days ago I was faced with the chance, however minute, that I could have what can only be described as a wretched disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. It is a heartless killer that takes away everything ...

Bass Mitchell: The signs

My father was a carpenter, a good one. He built houses. He did renovations. He took whatever carpentry jobs he could find. There were five kids in the family and we were always in need of something. Back in the 1960s, it wasn’t any easier to rear a family, especially a large one, than it is ...

George Bowers Sr. Preparing for the big storm

As I write this, Hurricane Irma is winding down in the southeast while Jose is sizing up the Atlantic Coast for a possible strike. After Harvey and all the horrendous flooding in Texas, we pray for a quick and quiet end to this year’s hurricane season. Like millions of other Americans, Nancy ...

Bass Mitchell: Is forgetfulness all bad?

Three elderly sisters lived together. One was 96, another 94, and the last 92. One evening the 96 year old ran some water in the bathtub and was about to step in when she shouted down to her 94-year-old sister, "Was I getting in the tub or out of it?" Her sister yelled back, "How am I supposed ...

James Pinsky: Harvesting a barrel of monkeys

Unless you’re a banana salesman, a barrel of monkeys may be more trouble than its worth. A barrel of rain water, however, can be quite useful. Some great organizations including the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, the Town ...

Tom Crosby: Mini Cooper adds John Cooper Works Clubman

With its iconic looks that make it instantly recognizable, the Mini Cooper has launched a new, more powerful version for 2017 – the Mini John Cooper Works Clubman ALL4 hatchback. With nice acceleration off the line and a wheelbase that makes it nimble and fun to drive, it is one of six ...

George Bowers Sr. Learning from a Sand Cat

Imagine an animal so elusive that it hasn’t been spotted in ten years. Imagine further that it appears unexpectedly on a trail camera in the dark of night and in the middle of the desert. Such was the case with the secretive Arabian Sand Cat. Although it appears very similar to house cats in ...

Peter Brookes: Seeking silver: Atlantic salmon in Maritime Canada

The closest thing I can think of to equate it to for someone who hasn’t done it before is to describe it simply as chasing after shadowy, silver spirits from the sea. What I’m talking about is fly fishing for the exciting -- and elusive -- Atlantic salmon, a ghost-like gamefish ...

James Pinsky: The scars of mercury

Between 1929 and 1950, the former E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) facility in Waynesboro released mercury into the water. The mercury, a known toxin that causes adverse effects on fish and wildlife, contaminated more than 100 miles of river and associated floodplain in the South ...

Bass Mitchell: Over the years, I’ve grown fond of work

My last year in high school was rapidly coming to an end. One day my mother asked me, "What are your plans for work during the summer?" She was busy rolling some bread dough on the table. Her question caught me a little off guard. I mumbled a few syllables and said, "I think I deserve some ...

George Bowers Sr.: Show sheep or market lambs?

Another Shenandoah County Fair has come and almost gone. It’s nearly over except for the packing up, cleaning up, and the resting up. If you haven’t yet attended this 100th anniversary year, you’d better hurry before all the hullabaloo concludes. Fair time is a highlight for many in the ...