Guest Columns

James Pinsky: Don’t run off just yet

There are lots of different kinds of run off. Some are better than others. There’s the whole run off and get married thing, some of us run off to avoid things like ex-girlfriends, angry dads, or debtors. Then, there’s environmental runoff. For years I thought it was what happened to ...

Jason F. Wright: Simple act of kindness creates friendship

On July 28, 2016, Rosie Gagnon laced up her running shoes for her daily loop up and down the generous hills of Shenandoah County. The air was thick and soupy and the thermometer was begging for a break by mid-morning. When Rosie hit mile six of eight, the water she'd packed along was ...

George Bowers Sr.: Breaching a dam is dangerous business

Over the last few weeks, residents who live downstream from California’s Lake Oroville have endured fretful times wondering if their homes and families will suddenly be washed away. Reversing a drought that had plagued the area for several years, recent heavy rains have filled the lake to ...

James Pinsky: Water: The apple of our eyes

  Can your water pass the apple test? Last week I strolled through the produce of a local grocery store. There, on quite a few occasions, I watched people, both men and women alike, young, and not so young, shuffle through, examine and often times verbally criticize apples. Some ...

Tom Crosby: 2017 Toyota Tundra will maintain long-term value

The Toyota Tundra competes against two full-size pickup powerhouses – the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado – but it bests these perennial sales heavyweights with the highest resale rating after five years of ownership, according to companies that evaluate resale values. Some argue ...

George Bowers Sr.: Mom’s story: Preparation provided peace

This account was originally published in early 2015 soon after these events occurred. It is reprinted in honor of Mom’s birthday which was Feb. 19. About 8:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve 2014, our mother, Violet Bowers, had a serious accident with her gas cook stove, resulting in third ...

James Pinsky: It takes green to make green

Hugging a tree might be free, but saving them isn’t. Conservation, especially sustainable conservation, takes quite a bit of funding. The good news is there are a variety of grants, donors and organizations that have, provide and educate people about conservation funding sources. We ...

Jason F. Wright: The 365 things I love about you challenge

I confess: I was irritated. I'd had a silly squabble with my wife one morning and driven to my office in a fog of grumpiness. To be clear, no vows were at stake. It was a dumb dispute over preference, not principle. I rolled into the parking lot and pulled my chair up to my desk. For an ...

Tom Crosby: Jaguar drives its first ever SUV into hot market

Jaguar has entered the lucrative sport utility market with its 2017 F-PACE crossover that incorporates the luxury and performance of a Jaguar sedan with the rugged off-road chops of a Land Rover SUV. Tata Motors, the India-based owner of Jaguar Land Rover, knows trucks and sport utility ...

James Pinsky: Peanut butter and conservation sandwiches

​For years my lunch consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  It didn't matter if it was raining, snowing or sunny. It didn't matter if my wallet was full of dollar bills or cobwebs. It didn't matter if I was in a good mood, bad mood or completely pensive. The sandwich, ...

George Bowers Sr.: Working for peanuts, and more

Most of us have enjoyed eating peanuts at a ball game, zoo, or theme park. Even more of us have satisfied our hunger with a sandwich smeared with peanut butter and filled with grape jelly, bananas, tomatoes, or other tasty additions. Peanuts are one of God’s great gifts to humanity that ...

James Pinsky: The road to conservation

A step we take, One then two, Then, three and four, A breath and several more Any journey begins The same, with a start Regardless the focus Irrelevant of the heart Conservation is a journey Sometimes breathless as we try To convince so many comfortable That doing nothing means ...

James Pinsky: It’s not easy saving world

Hey, you. Yeah, you there with your head down. Take a deep breath, and let it out. Slowly. After almost two years of weekly columns, not once have I ever written a word about how easy it is to be a conservationist – because it’s not. It wasn’t easy in 1573, 1890, 2000 and it ...

George A. Bowers: Children who will never be president

Yesterday half our nation rejoiced when a new president was sworn into office while the other half mourned. Although many are disgusted with the new leader, this is not the first time nor is it likely the last. We do pray for healing and unity in our land and that our leaders and media both ...

George A. Bowers Sr.: What shoveling, forgiving have in common

We’ve had our first snowfall of the New Year here in the valley, and if all the rest are like the first one, we should be in good shape. Aside from a few minor fender benders and school cancellations, we escaped relatively unscathed. I’m also thankful that I didn’t have to break out the ...

Tom Crosby: 2017 Kia Sorento SXL has luxury in abundance

Kia’s Sorento, a big mid-size crossover SUV that received a major makeover last year, has added technological advances and safety features this year to help boost sales in a red-hot SUV sales market fueled by yearlong low gas prices. Bigger vehicles are safer in a crash and Sorento has ...

James Pinsky: Planning for the future

  Chances are saving the world won’t happen by accident. We’re going to need a plan. The Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District agrees, and we have embarked upon updating our own strategic plan for the residents in the counties of Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah, ...

George Bowers Sr.: The importance of turning right

Every morning when I leave my home to head to work, I have to turn right out of my driveway onto Sherman Road. It may not seem like a very big deal and by now it has become a habit, but the necessity of doing so each day is still important. Even if I turn right most days of the week, but decide ...

James Pinsky: Do overs, conservation style

  Folks, we’re just getting started on a brand spanking New Year. In fact, 2017 is so new we might still be able to return it for a full refund. Anyone want 2016 back? I’m a big fan of recycling, but 2016 might be better off 6 feet under. Onward! Last week we learned ...

Richard Hoover: Why did officer wear a turban in his portrait?

Let's try and bring him to life - this turbaned fellow bought from a Brit on eBay in 2004. The seller's physical description was fine, almost poetic: "a bust portrait (18" in diameter) of a man wearing a turban. He has a young face with a soft expression and the colors are warm and rich. ...