The Chesapeake Bay is a loser in legislature’s political grudge match

BY: - February 18, 2022

By Stephen Atkinson The Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association, whose mission is to support recreational anglers, is displeased that our recreational angler representatives on the Virginia Marine Resource Commission Board have been caught up in dirty politics. Our most recent appointees who serve as associate board members, Christy Everett and Chris Newsome, were appointed by the […]

Expanding optometric scope of practice will improve health care delivery

BY: - February 7, 2022

By Dr. Lisa Gontarek In his Feb. 4 opinion piece, “Eye surgery should be left to the experts,” Dr. Michael Keverline blurred the lines of reality regarding critical legislation that will help Virginians see more clearly. During this year’s General Assembly, legislators are considering optometry legislation to allow Virginia’s optometrists to perform three in-office laser […]

Electric deregulation backers overpromise, ignore ugly truths

BY: - December 13, 2021

By Gary Meltz In a recent Mercury op-ed, a supporter of deregulating Virginia’s electricity markets promised that creating competition for Dominion Energy would result in great benefits for Virginians, including: “fixed-price power contracts for one, two or three years and other services to reduce electricity consumption.” The author himself has been a paid consultant to […]

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 […]