Guest Columns

George Bowers Sr.: How to avoid head-on collisions

Although my grandfather, Beecher Bowers, died when I was fairly young, I was fortunate to have heard some of his stories before he passed away. One of those was about the time he was 9 years old and in a one room schoolhouse at Pugh’s Run. He shared with me how one student, after glancing out ...

James Pinsky: Wild turkey comeback a conservation success story

​By now, the mere mention of the word turrr …. ​Sorry.  ​I understand you may have had more than your fair share of the fine-feathered family feast fowl. And, while gluttony may be the word best associated with most gobbler-gorged guts today, it wasn't too long ago the mere ...

George Bowers Sr.: Gifts should cause us to thank the giver

One Christmas, many years ago, I received a very special gift. As I was preparing for four years at Virginia Tech, I opened a package that contained a beautiful orange and maroon comforter with cross-stitched university symbols sewn into it. My parents and siblings had worked on this project ...

James Pinsky: The humanity of nature

Sometimes nature is the only place we can find humanity. With that in mind, it seems it might be prudent to have plenty of it. In a forest, if you sit long enough and are quiet, you will see more than leaves, squirrels, and owls. You will see community. In its most basic form, a forest ...

Peter Brookes: Saluting veterans with stripers

  "Hey, Sweetie," my wife yelled giggling from our kitchen down the hall, "You that know this flyer you gave me says 'Stars and Stripers,' not 'Stars and Strippers', right?" "Yeah, yeah, I know ... very funny .. .it's an annual charity fly fishing tournament on the Chesapeake Bay ...

Tom Crosby: 2017 VW CC is recovery sedan from scandal

Volkswagen’s 2017 CC is one of many vehicles the company hopes will restore faith in the German automaker following its diesel emission scandal. Sold as either a 2.0T sport coupe or a four-door R-Line Executive with coupe-like design, the luxury VW CC (Comfort Coupe) is built on the ...

George A. Bowers: Be sure to enlist a dependable guide

Every fall, I enjoy watching the sun rise from my treestand. Although I haven’t been privileged to drag anything out yet, I delight in every opportunity to drink in the beauty of the autumn woodlands. Fall hunting seasons are well underway here in the valley. Archery is already past and ...

George A. Bowers Sr.: What’s a Christian to do?

As we approach Election Day next Tuesday, many Christians are discouraged about our two options for president. Neither candidate reflects the beliefs that most of us could enthusiastically support. Faced with this dilemma, some are considering sitting out this trip to the polls and simply not ...

James Pinsky: A great leader gets people to do the greatest things

  Saving the world is hard. But it’s possible. I know this because one of my mentors convinced me it is. That mentor? Michael Foreman, the director for the Office of Environmental Education at Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation. His office increases ...

Jason Wright: Pitstop sparks unlikely friendship

Emily Farmer and McEwan "Mac" Voorhees don't have much in common. Voorhees turned 100 on Thursday. Farmer just turned 25. Farmer is a magician at the piano. Voorhees prefers his beloved harmonica. Voorhees saves his days at Heritage Place Senior Living in Bountiful, Utah. Farmer ...

George Bowers Sr.: Spouses impact each other significantly

Almost a year ago now, Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik ruthlessly massacred 14 of their fellow human beings and seriously injured 22 more in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. Many of us watched this horrific drama play out on our televisions as the perpetrators were ...

James Pinsky: We vote everyday to support, neglect our future

  In a few weeks, there’s a pretty big election. What many of us may not realize, though, is we already voted. We did today, and we will vote again tomorrow; and, the day after that. In fact we make a conscious decision to support or neglect our natural resource future every ...

Tom Crosby: 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup improves with redesign

Driving a pickup truck usually means a lot of jounce over road bumps and handling that doesn’t quite measure up to a sedan. Honda addresses both with its all-new mid-size 2017 Ridgeline 4-door pickup that now boasts the longest truck bed – 6 feet 4 inches – in its class. And with ...

George Bowers Sr.: The leaves of love

As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, the trees begin to take on a new glory all their own. From the brilliant red dogwoods and gums to the yellow hickories and poplars to the fiery orange sassafras and maples, the woodlands become God’s palette of perfection. We can be thankful ...

James Pinsky: Keeping ourselves in hot water

  I find myself in hot water often. This is of course because I am man enough to admit I love a good bath. Doing my part to save the world can be stressful and few things wash away the rigors of conservation work better than a good soak in the tub. Baths are a luxury I ...

George Bowers Sr.: Celebrate Family Promise Week!

Colorful leaves and cooler temperatures both remind us that the warm days of summer are in our rearview mirror for another several months. Crisp nights make us appreciate our warm beds and comfortably heated homes. The approach of winter should also remind us of those who don’t have the ...

James Pinsky: Quenching our economy’s thirst

  Water’s a pretty big deal. No. Actually, it’s the biggest deal in the history of humankind. You see water, the universe’s perfect marriage of oxygen and hydrogen is the absolute key to all known life. We know, we know, this is not news Jay, but thanks for dressing ...

Bonner Day: Life doesn’t get any easier with age

As I grow older, the world gets more and more complicated. When the pearly gates beckon, I think I will be eager to go. I have known that life and change go together, but why does it have to be so difficult to understand and so hard to adjust? When I was growing up, if a bear or cougar ...

George Bowers Sr.: The dangers of two heads

One of the coolest aspects of growing up in a taxidermy shop was the excitement of unexpected arrivals. When customers came through the door, we never knew what they might bring with them for dad to mount. Over the years, we saw African antelope, American turtles, western elk, and southern ...