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 […]

You shouldn’t need an incentive to do the right thing

BY: - August 3, 2021

COVID-19’s delta variant is wreaking havoc among the unvaccinated across the United States. New coronavirus cases are rising. People who should know better continue to raise doubts about the vaccines fighting the pandemic – one that’s killed more than 613,000 people nationwide. Amid this plague, several states are offering cold, hard cash to entice people […]

Virginia Democrats don’t look serious about campaign finance reform

BY: - August 2, 2021

Imagine my shock at reading a Virginia Mercury story that a joint legislative subcommittee empaneled to study reforming Virginia’s half-century-old, anything-goes political finance law was off to a crawling start. (For those who don’t know that I am a hopeless smart-ass, the preceding paragraph was meant to drip with sarcasm.) As one of just 11 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The first step in fighting poverty is cutting the compassion deficit 

BY: - July 26, 2021

Randy was everyone’s friend in our high school days, but somewhat in the background, never too close. Handsome, easygoing and smart, he navigated a precise path that made him popular with faculty and classmates from whom he carefully hid a painful secret. That Randy Lamb grew up in grinding rural poverty was something I did […]

How to bring the ‘missing middle’ to Virginia housing development

BY: - July 23, 2021

Standalone house or an apartment? When looking for a place to call home most folks know what type of housing they want, but what if there were more choices on the market? Last month Norfolk’s city council approved a Missing Middle Pattern Book full of free designs and schematics for dozens of so-called “middle housing”: […]

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 […]

Curbing killings also means changing culture

BY: - July 21, 2021

Anti-violence groups in the commonwealth, spurred on by a national organization started by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, have staked a claim for tens of millions of dollars in federal pandemic and economy-boosting money at the General Assembly’s disposal. The fledgling Virginia Community Violence Coalition has made a smart, critical bid for $37 million of […]

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 […]