Guest Columns

James Pinsky: Nature makes me happy

Nature makes me happy. It always has, and it always will. As a child my fondest memories, outside of my first sweet kiss from a brown-eyed girl named Amy, are all from the woods. These memories, many dusty with cobwebs and others still wet with my mind’s fresh paint, are responsible for ...

Tom Crosby: Subaru launches all new 2017 Impreza Sedan

Subaru has completely redesigned its Impreza compact sedan for 2017, garnering top industry awards for safety, resale value and interior design. Impreza’s fifth generation won the top safety rating for compacts when equipped with Eyesight® from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, ...

George Bowers Sr.: The story of dad’s pocket watch

Next Thursday would be my father’s 95th birthday. Although he passed from this life in 2009 at the age of 86, he could have done so much sooner and you would be not be reading my column today. When he was in his early teens, his father, Beecher Bowers, ran a gas station near Maurertown. One ...

Catch and release

Conservationists are everywhere. We can be found on a hike in the Shenandoah, in a car on the Pacific Coast Highway, planting trees in Georgia, or on a drift boat near Yellowstone National Park. Last week I had the privilege to fly fish one of the greatest rivers in America, the Madison, ...

George Bowers Sr.: Schools, bombs and the Big Bang

It’s hard to believe that Shenandoah County School students already have two weeks under their belts and it’s not even fair week yet. Having spent 17 years in front of a classroom myself, my sympathies are with those teachers who have already gotten their classes rolling. What started as a ...

Jason Wright: Graduation redo a moment of closure

Most high school seniors are ecstatic about graduation and it's a highlight of their youth. In fact, some love the experience so much, wearing the cap and gown once just isn't enough. On Aug. 12 at W.O. Riley Park in Woodstock, a dozen graduates of Central High School and their families ...

Tom Crosby: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox loses weight, gains power

Chevrolet hopes to keep driving Equinox’s success for 2018 with a lighter, slightly smaller crossover that is a quicker, more nimble vehicle. Equinox has become the second best selling vehicle among Chevrolet’s 33 models, second only to the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. This year’s ...

Bass Mitchell: About that senior discount …

Someone once told me that you know you are getting old when you can sit in the rocking chair but can’t get it rocking. Or, when you hear snap, crackle, and pop in the morning and it’s not your cereal – it’s you! Well, I’ve got one more way to tell you are getting along in years – ...

Bass Mitchell: I won the lottery!

If you have seen me around the valley with an extra-wide grin, there’s a reason, lots of reasons, actually. It’s true. I won the lottery. In fact, I’ve won lots of them. I can’t think of a single person who has won more of them than yours truly. No. I haven’t figured out a way to ...

George Bowers Sr.: Let’s please our undercover boss

One of the more popular reality TV series of late is CBS’s "Undercover Boss." This engaging program originated in Great Britain but has now found its way into the nightly lineup of many nations, including our own. This show features typical workplace environments with actual lower level ...

George Bowers Sr.: An unlikely need of tomatoes and people

Tomato month is here! Although imported and hothouse varieties have teased us for a month or more, August has finally arrived when we can enjoy local homegrown tomatoes! Gardeners throughout the valley have been tending plants since April or May in anticipation of the fruit that is now ...

James Pinsky: Growing our future, one community garden at a time

There are a lot of ways to build a community. We here at the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District like using broccoli, cucumbers and tomatoes. We like it so much that we, along with other local community stakeholders like the Town of Strasburg, the Virginia Cooperative Extension, ...

Tom Crosby: 2017 Chrysler 300C Sedan nicely tweaked for 2017

Any company still employing workers that once faced bankruptcy - as Chrysler did in 2009 - becomes invigorated with a second chance. Chrysler, purchased by Fiat, hasn’t wasted the opportunity. It shows in the luxurious 2017 Chrysler 300C Platinum full-size sedan, now outfitted with top ...

Bass Mitchell: Always have a B.o.T. nearby

I have lots of stuff in my office – so many that they clutter my desk. Though this stuff might appear without value to many, each one has special meaning for me. But there’s one I must always have within reach. It’s the “B.o.T.” Okay. I hear you. “What’s the ‘B.o.T.’?” Be ...

George Bowers Sr.: Consider the daylilies

The cool nights and clear days of spring have given way to the hot and humid days of summer, and along with those changes have come different flowers. April’s hyacinths and daffodils are a distance memory as the daylilies have now taken center stage. These showy plants are a favorite of ...

Bass Mitchell: For whom the sirens sound

I heard the sirens today … like every day … and I thought of James … and I prayed… For 10 years we had lived in a rural part of Virginia. Having moved to Charlottesville and then to Northern Virginia, there were many adjustments to make. One of the greatest was the sound of sirens. It ...

George Bowers Sr.: Conquering the Tour de Life

Each summer, the world watches as some of the toughest athletes on the globe gather in Europe for the Tour de France. This grueling test of endurance stretches over 2,200 miles in just 21 days and covers some of the steepest terrain on the continent. This year’s contest will conclude on ...

Richard Hoover: Ignore T-shirt dictums – no group is entirely imperfect

Guys walk past my gun show tables wearing black T-shirts that provocatively proclaim, "All I need to know about Islam I learned on 9/11." The single word "Infidel" forms another shirt message, as if to say: 'Make my Day; just try and do something!' I dislike the evil-branding of ...

Tom Crosby: 2017 Subaru Forester gets updating tweaks

In one sense, it gets harder every year for Subaru to find first-time buyers for its best-selling Forester crossover. Vehicle registration records show 98 percent of all Foresters sold in the last 10 years are still on the road. Then consider that after 10 years, Foresters still maintain the ...