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Columns

  • With climate change, politics trumps science

    By NANCY LIEBRECHT

    Skepticism about science is a troubling phenomenon in our modern social and political life. With all of the benefits that science has provided us, it seems inconceivable that we distrust the work of reputable scientists, but many ordinary people and some of those who would be our leaders evince deep suspicion about science.

    In recent years we have had continuing debates about creationism versus evolution, the safety of vaccines, and most vociferously in this election year about climate change.

  • Don't forget local politics

    It’s easy to understand why this year’s presidential election is a hot topic. Not only will the choices made this November severely impact the fate of our country for the next four years, I think all of us agree that we have some pretty extreme potentials on the ballot for the Oval Office seat.

  • State budget proposals show smart progress

    A new two-year state budget emerged Feb. 21. Tinkering and negotiating remain before legislators depart Richmond, but the all-important spending document creates a favorable first impression.

    For starters, Virginia’s lawmakers appear at last to have abandoned the clap-trap about percentage budget growth versus per capita whatever. Virginia’s public finances ought to track its ambitions, not its annually adjusted demographics. This is work for doers, not clerks.

  • A refreshing change in Grayson schools

    Last year, the Grayson County school system made headlines as it fought through a budget crisis and shifts in school administration. Concerned parent groups rallied in front of the school board office and crowded every meeting as the board discussed holes in the budget, cutting programs to spread the money out further, the loss of teaching positions, and how to pay the remainder of the bills and teacher salaries.

    This year, the school is making headlines again, but for a very different reason.

  • Right to marriage is settled — for everyone

    From the cold and unemotional view of the state, marriage is simply a contract between two people. Both willingly consent to the arrangement, and enforcement of the pact carries with it the full weight of the law.

    That was essentially the argument of the U.S. Supreme Court last year. Set aside the soaring, flowery language of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion and one finds a straightforward argument about the constitutional protections that every American has a right to enjoy.

  • With great power...

    Spider-Man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

    No wait… that’s not right. Spider-Man didn’t coin that phrase, did he? But a quick Pinterest or Google search will provide countless images, “memes” and quotable graphics that “prove” he did.

    But let’s take a closer look. Further searches online will attribute this famous phrase to several icons from our past; Voltaire, Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt and Lord Melbourne are just a few of them.

  • Five reasons to visit health insurance marketplace today

    By Jon D. Applebaum, CEO, Twin County Regional Healthcare

    With just a few weeks left to select a comprehensive and affordable health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, now is the time to shop and compare. Come Jan. 31, the marketplace will close for the year.

    For those who have not previously had health insurance coverage, the question “why?” tends to pop up. Here are five great reasons why now is the time to find the plan that best fits you and your family’s needs:

  • 2015 Editorial Awards

    Depending on when you read this, it’s possible that:

    • you’re enjoying a laugh over your morning coffee;

    • you are having this read to you, against your will, as some bizarre but innocuous torture; or

    • you found this newspaper blowing in the wind or plastered against a chain-link fence in a dusty near-future wasteland after the inevitable “Trumpocalypse.”

  • Decision enforces existing concealed weapon laws

    Attorney General Mark Herring inspired the usual fury with a decision that will effectively bar residents of some other states from carrying concealed weapons in Virginia. The commonwealth’s 2nd Amendment absolutists, including those in the General Assembly, accused him of political toadying, repaying a debt or overreaching. Usually all three.

  • Business challenge a good investment for Grayson

    This year, Grayson County has celebrated some important milestones, notably with business growth through the relocation and opening of larger businesses in Independence — Oak Hall Cap and Gown and McAllister Mills being two of the most recent examples.

    It is no secret that Grayson County and its localities are dedicated to becoming a trusted hub for business growth, but they are not just interested in getting the attention of larger corporations; they want local mom and pop businesses to thrive, as well.