Appreciation: ‘Sin lobbyist’ Charlie Davis

BY: - September 26, 2023

It’s hard to imagine the ecosystem of Virginia’s General Assembly in the late decades of the 1900s and the first couple of the 21st century without Charlie Davis, known and universally celebrated as “the sin lobbyist.” He animated the place. Charlie, a smooth urbanite who never strayed too far from his Rocky Mount, Virginia roots, […]


Kerfuffle over Christian prayer at board meeting is overblown

BY: - September 25, 2023

Publicity surrounding the temporary shutdown of a recent school board meeting in Suffolk – sparked by a citizen asking if she could pray publicly for the division as the 2023-24 year approached – is yet the latest example of some Christians complaining they’re under siege in America. They’re not. Especially when Christians account for nearly […]


In Harrisonburg, reconnecting Northeast will help heal urban renewal’s old wounds

BY: - September 22, 2023

Before 1960, Harrisonburg’s Northeast neighborhood was a vibrant, predominantly Black community filled with homes, businesses and families striving toward a brighter future during the height of America’s Civil Rights Movement.  But starting in the 1960s, the dreams and progress of many of those Northeast families were crushed by the city’s urban renewal projects, which destroyed […]


Utility-scale solar is coming to a farm near you

BY: - September 21, 2023

By Robert “Bobby” Whitescarver We are undergoing a wonderful, historic, frustrating and devastating transition to renewable energy. Solar panels will be on buildings and parking lots, and in highway medians, landfills, and brownfields. Utility-scale solar should be installed in those places before we put it on farmland. But that’s not what’s happening. Like it or […]


Be careful what information you post about children on social media

BY: - September 20, 2023

By Neera Doss Burner The internet has become a part of our daily life. Whether you access it on a computer, or a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet, the internet has opened doors for us. Unfortunately, there can be scary surprises behind some of those doors. We pay a price to […]


A bright spot at the intersection of farming, electric vehicles and solar energy

BY: - September 19, 2023

The energy transition is in full swing across the U.S. and the world, but the changes now underway are not simple or linear. In an economy as complex and connected as ours, progress in one area will often affect other parts of the economy, creating winners and losers.  And then there are the changes that […]


Eminent domain’s long-ago racism still hinders African Americans today

BY: - September 18, 2023

More than a half-century ago, several colleges in Virginia benefited by usurping the onetime properties of Black people. The cruel irony? Those African Americans whose homes were snatched, often legally by utilizing eminent domain, weren’t welcomed at those same universities. Those property seizures are a stain on the commonwealth. They were racist in result – […]


Much of the maligning of Susanna Gibson is rooted in misogyny

BY: - September 15, 2023

You’ve probably heard Susanna Gibson’s name mentioned a lot this week.  Headlines blared the torrid news about Gibson, a Democratic candidate running to represent the 57th District in Virginia’s House of Delegates: She performed sex acts with her husband for an online audience and asked viewers to chip in tips, a violation of porn site […]


Power of the disability vote

BY: - September 14, 2023

By Helena Berger The seventh annual Disability Voting Rights Week is being celebrated throughout the United States this week. Across Virginia, organizations collaborating with REV UP Virginia — a non-partisan, statewide coalition of disabled individuals, disability organizations, and ally groups working collectively to increase the political power of disabled Virginians — are holding events to […]


Violence benights another shared treasure of our communities: Friday night’s lights

BY: - September 12, 2023

Remember the thrill of getting ready for Friday night’s football game against your archrival? The pep rallies. A bonfire. Players wear their jerseys to school on game day. Storefronts in small towns are festooned in school colors. Occasionally, even a parade! Then it’s almost game time. As the setting sun bathes the field in a […]


Suicide prevention is a priority for me now

BY: - September 11, 2023

Editor’s note: This commentary discusses grief, loss and suicide. I live in an old Denver building with six units, one of which was occupied, until recently, by a mathematician. I met this neighbor several years ago when I asked permission to enter her apartment, because I was looking for the building’s main water shut-off valve, […]


Community health workers: behind-the-scenes heroes

BY: - September 8, 2023

By Valerie McAllister  If your doctor said, “There are comorbidities that will affect your outcome,” many people would not understand what that means or what they need to do to change their outcome. Fortunately, Virginia has an important group of people making health care services more accessible and understandable: community health workers. Last week was […]