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Guest Column

Guest Column

Views of guest columnists are their own. To submit an op-ed for consideration, contact Editor Robert Zullo at [email protected]

COMMENTARY

Stop whining about solar panels — we need more now

By: - August 4, 2021

By Bobby Whitescarver Clouds of soil stir around the hooves of our cattle as they walk through the brown, dried-up pasture. Smoke haze from the megafires out west 2,000 miles away permeates the sky. It’s just as the scientists said: The weather is getting warmer and weirder. We have a cattle farm in the Shenandoah […]

COMMENTARY

What is a breakthrough infection?

By: - July 30, 2021

By Sanjay Mishra, Vanderbilt University If you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, maybe you figured you no longer need to worry about contracting the coronavirus. But along with the rising number of new COVID-19 cases globally and growing concern about highly transmissible strains like the delta variant come reports of fully vaccinated people testing positive […]

COMMENTARY

Infrastructure investments can help the environment, improve health and create jobs

By: - July 30, 2021

By Peggy Sanner The August special legislative session brings Virginia the greatest opportunity in years to invest in infrastructure that will restore the environment, improve public health and create green jobs. Legislators will determine how Virginia will use approximately $4.3 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan. Conservation groups across the commonwealth urge […]

COMMENTARY

Why the CDC recommends wearing masks indoors even if you’ve been fully vaccinated

By: - July 29, 2021

By Peter Chin-Hong, University of California, San Francisco Vaccinated people need to mask up again, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On July 27, 2021, the CDC recommended that everyone in areas with high COVID-19 infection rates wear masks in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. It’s a reversal from […]

COMMENTARY

Pipeline’s carbon offsets don’t come close to adding up

By: - July 28, 2021

By William Limpert The Mountain Valley Pipeline continues to try to divert attention from the destructive effects of its project. In a July 12 news release, MVP announced that it would purchase more than $150 million in carbon offsets to make MVP operational emissions carbon neutral for the first 10 years of operation through a […]

COMMENTARY

New COVID-19 vaccine warnings show the system to report side effects is working

By: - July 22, 2021

By Justin Vesser, University of Virginia While the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S. have been proved to be safe and effective, recent reports of rare adverse events, or side effects, have raised concerns. On July 12, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved an update to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet […]

COMMENTARY

Why the PRO Act makes sense for workers and the middle class

By: - July 20, 2021

By Thomas King Over the past few months, advocates, including the Democratic Socialists of America, labor unions and other groups, have made more than a million calls to encourage voters who support labor rights to call their senators in support of the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize). Since we began, Sens. Joe Manchin […]

COMMENTARY

 For Virginia, climate action is a matter of faith

By: - July 20, 2021

By Karen McElfish This past year has challenged Virginia in unforeseeable ways. Our faith communities have been tested by not one, but four converging crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession, racial inequalities and the climate crisis. As the nation hoped and prayed for a better future, it was the wisdom and guidance of our […]

COMMENTARY
living shoreline

As coastal flooding worsens, some cities are retreating from the water

By: - July 19, 2021

By A.R. Siders, University of Delaware and Katharine Mach, University of Miami When the tide gets exceptionally high in Charleston, South Carolina, coastal streets start to run with seawater. Some yards become ponds, and residents pull on rain boots. The city also gets a lot of rain. After homes in one low-lying neighborhood flooded three times […]

COMMENTARY

Mentally ill patients, and their families, deserve better from Virginia government

By: - July 19, 2021

By Margaret Rood The Mercury’s  story on mental health hospitalizations in Virginia evokes some worrisome questions concerning the direction our legislature intends to pursue in addressing the commonwealth’s mental health crisis. Sen. George Barker, D-Fairfax, said “Right now, I think the sense is we don’t want to build more beds if that’s not what we […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia’s Congressional delegation should support the president’s tax justice proposals

By: - July 14, 2021

By Chris Wodicka As the immediate crisis of the pandemic and recession abates, Congress has a rare opportunity to address long-standing needs, including many that pre-dated the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Biden administration and congressional negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement to fund physical infrastructure improvements — like roads and bridges — additional legislation has been […]

COMMENTARY

Eviction prevention is not housing investment

By: - July 13, 2021

By Michelle Krocker America has a housing crisis — an affordability crisis, as well as a housing-supply crisis. Recently, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing that over the last 20 years new housing starts (new residential construction projects) fell 5.5 million units short of long-term historical levels. “The scale of the problem […]