What’s missing in Virginia’s efforts to develop former surface mines

BY: - October 1, 2021

By Wally Smith Sarah Vogelsong’s Sept. 20 piece, “Can Southwest Virginia remake itself as a laboratory for renewables?” detailed a positive step forward in the Southwest Virginia coalfields’ transition towards a diversified energy economy. However, it was concerning to see several references made throughout the article referring to the region’s former minelands as consequence-free zones […]

A world burning up and under water must finally act on climate change

BY: - September 2, 2021

By Rose Hendricks and Mark Reynolds Two recent Mercury articles send an incredibly clear message: the effects of climate change are here in Virginia right now, and they’re only going to intensify. First, Sarah Vogelsong’s article “Report says climate change will have ‘increasingly disruptive effect’ on coastal Va.” details the statewide repercussions of rising sea […]


More regulation of the industry needed to ensure affordable broadband for all

BY: - August 26, 2021

By the Rev. Rick Willis As a member of the Eastern Shore Chapter of Virginia Organizing and a 20-year resident of Chincoteague on the Eastern Shore, I am responding to Ned Oliver’s August 16 comprehensive article in the Mercury regarding the $700 million the General Assembly has budgeted for broadband in its recent special session.  It […]


INBOX: On electric regulation and deregulation

BY: - June 5, 2021

To the Mercury: There is a debate brewing in Virginia over whether or not to deregulate the state’s electricity. Which, essentially means allowing various companies to compete with Dominion Energy by selling power to residents and businesses. Supporters of deregulation, like the organization Clean Virginia, insist that creating competition will be good residents of the […]


INBOX: 239,900 reasons to oppose new travel taxes in Virginia 

BY: - February 12, 2021

To the Mercury: Midway through 2020, the United Nations announced that in just five short months, the global travel and tourism industry lost more than $320 billion — three times what was lost in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis. As we look to turn a corner in the pandemic, travel and tourism will […]

Virginia Mercury

INBOX: The pandemic and poultry plants; Keeping out landfills

BY: - February 11, 2021

Poultry plants are protecting workers To the Mercury: Your recent article (Bill requiring public reporting of major outbreaks still alive, but Senate nixes emergency enactment) concerning a bill requiring the Virginia Department of Health to report COVID-19 “clusters” at Virginia worksites does not paint a complete picture of the poultry industry’s success in stopping the […]


In their own words: Here’s how much voting rights matter to those who’ve lost them

BY: - January 21, 2021

By Ladelle McWhorter Virginia Organizing would like to respond to Graham Moomaw’s, “Virginia Democrats push to end constitutional rule stripping felons of voting rights,” in order to make sure readers hear the perspectives of people who have lost their right to vote, in addition to legislators and experts. On Dec. 29, members met with Sen. […]

Avoid a private marijuana market

BY: - January 6, 2021

To the Mercury: In a recent op-ed for the Washington Post on the need for racial equity in marijuana legalization, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and current House Del. Don Scott wrote that we need “to challenge ourselves to do what is right, not what is easy.” We agree with that sentiment, but would like […]

Where was Paylor on the Mountain Valley Pipeline?

BY: - May 20, 2020

By Bob Peckman David Paylor wrote a very nice piece on April 24 about the urgent need to protect our environment and about the progress we have made doing that. They are very nice words, but where was he when we were reporting egregious violations by Mountain Valley Pipeline?  We sent photographs and, rather than send […]


Envigo: Cumberland dogs are well cared for  

BY: - May 8, 2020

By Dr. Helmut Ehall There is a lot of confusion, and at times misinformation, across Virginia and the nation about the use of animals in the advancement of science and medicine. Now, more than ever, it is essential to share the facts about what is being done, how it is being accomplished and who is […]


Pharmaceutical industry ‘is working around the clock’ on COVID-19

BY: - March 23, 2020

By Dr. Michael Ybarra As an emergency physician, I’m watching each day as COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel coronavirus, continues to impact patients and our entire country. Ensuring that individuals who become sick seek care and take proper steps with their health care professionals to limit spread of the disease is key. And […]

Augusta farmers want to implement conservation practices

BY: - February 26, 2020

By Bradley Dunsmore As the second largest agricultural county in Virginia, our farmers’ livelihoods are dependent on the land. They want to do everything in their power to implement conservation practices that protect their land and the Chesapeake Bay. For years, our farmers have voluntarily installed conservation practices that are making a difference in meeting […]