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Guest Column

Guest Column

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

COMMENTARY

Trump administration’s ‘public charge’ rule threatens fundamental American values

By: - August 30, 2019

By Jill Hanken  The American Dream has always promised immigrants a fair start: access to food, shelter and health care. It has promised access to opportunity. My grandparents, Russian immigrants who came to this country in the early 1900s, understood this. With little money or material goods, they came to the U.S. for a new […]

COMMENTARY

Lawyer up, animals!

By: - August 22, 2019

By Diane Roberts Remember back when some Americans thought Barack Obama was the antichrist, hell-bent on wrecking everything from the oil industry to Christmas? Good times! Compared to Donald Trump, Obama was an amateur. The haystack-headed Current Occupant is much more convincing as a Destroyer of Worlds, as is his minion David Bernhardt, secretary of the […]

COMMENTARY

Why UVA should rename Alderman library

By: - July 30, 2019

Renovation has begun on the Alderman Library, the main library at the University of Virginia. Library materials have been moved to other stacks, preliminary construction will begin in January 2020, and the library will be fully closed in May 2020, re-opening in 2023. The university has invested $160 million dollars in this renovation but has […]

COMMENTARY

Why do we sentence people to hundreds of years in prison?

By: - July 28, 2019

On July 15, a Virginia judge gave James Fields Jr. a life sentence, plus 419 years, for killing Heather Heyer at the 2017 Charlottesville white nationalist rally by ramming his car into a crowd. Some may wonder about the point of a centuries-long sentence – far longer than a human could serve. As a criminal justice scholar and […]

COMMENTARY

Protect our coast

By: - July 5, 2019

By Charlotte Silverman As a scientist, researcher and founder of my own start-up, I know how important it is to make decisions about public health and national security that are based on sound science. Unfortunately, despite overwhelming evidence that offshore drilling threatens Virginia’s natural environment, health and military operations, Congressman Rob Wittman, who represents Virginia’s […]

COMMENTARY

Honestly confronting U.S. history is patriotism

By: - July 3, 2019

By Jennifer Ladino When I took a post-college job as a seasonal ranger at Grand Teton National Park 23 years ago, I noticed right away that my “Smokey Bear” hat carried some serious emotional baggage. As I later wrote in my book, “Reclaiming Nostalgia: Longing for Nature in American Literature,” park visitors saw the hat as an […]

COMMENTARY

Trump’s ‘assault on the ear’ means a hard pass on Fourth of July speech

By: - July 2, 2019

Here’s one set of eyes and ears that won’t be fastened on President Donald Trump’s speech on Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial. The aural and visual blackout has nothing to do with politics or ideology, though Trump’s policies and politics are 18th century leftovers, at best. Everything a president says, good, bad, even ungrammatical, is […]

COMMENTARY

To fight climate change, transportation must be a top priority

By: - July 1, 2019

After watching the first two Democratic Presidential debates, where 20 candidates debated a whole host of issues, we came away disappointed. According to Vox, climate change got only 15 minutes worth of airtime out of four hours’ worth of debates. And during those 15 minutes, no candidate mentioned one of the top producers of greenhouse […]

COMMENTARY

Water board should support call for federal action to halt pipeline damage

By: - June 25, 2019

By David Sligh On Thursday the State Water Control Board has another chance to act on the good intentions its members have expressed – that Mountain Valley Pipeline’s violations and the resulting damages to Virginia waters and landowners must stop. A federal agency can make that happen. We just need the board to tell those […]

COMMENTARY

Change Virginia’s ‘hush and hurry’ tendency on environmental regulation

By: - June 24, 2019

By Elizabeth Kreydatus Last week, New York passed legislation committing the state to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 and net-zero carbon emissions throughout the economy by 2050. This progressive environmental policy stands in stark contrast to the shenanigans of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Last Friday, our Air Pollution Control Board granted a new permit for […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia isn’t making the grade for environmental justice

By: - June 20, 2019

Gov. Ralph Northam has just announced the formation of a new commission charged with identifying and recommending fixes for racial inequities in Virginia law. This would be a long-needed and utterly critical step by the commonwealth; however, the true success of such an initiative is far from certain — especially based on this governor’s record […]

COMMENTARY

Let’s honor Virginia Beach with action

By: - June 12, 2019

By Kris Brown Once again, our state is reeling from the epidemic of gun violence. Twelve years after 32 people were shot and killed at my alma mater, Virginia Tech. Nine years after eight were shot and killed in Appomattox. Four years after Alison Parker and Adam Ward were shot and killed on camera in […]