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Columns

Learning about Lion’s Tooth

This wildflower has had an intimate relationship with my family for over three generations. In my younger years, a bucket dug full of this weed was worth five cents at the end of the day. My mother combined the most select leaves of this plant with tender plantain and dock for a tasty, mixed ...

The 2021 Legislative Session: The down side

Last month, we discussed some results of the 2021 Regular Session of the Legislature that I think were good. Now let’s discuss some results I think were not so good. We passed a bill that seriously weakened the Contractor Licensing Act. I’ve supported the concept of contractor licensing ...

The cave you fear to enter

The best-selling poet in the United States is a 13th century Sufi named Rumi. The Sufis are the mystical sect of Islam. Rumi wrote, “The cave you fear to enter may hold the light you seek. Jesus says, “Do not be afraid, little flock, it has pleased your father to give you the ...

Humming along

Shepherdstown’s spring season will be humming along with the hummingbird’s auspicious return to the landscape. Invite these flying fireworks of iridescent emerald jewelry to visit every nectar-rich tubular flower in your garden. Of benefit to us all, hummingbirds are effective pollinators ...

A few good things from the Legislature

The Legislature adjourned its 2021 Regular Session on April 10. I wasn’t pleased with the results overall, but there were a few bright spots. We passed a bill aimed at bringing workable broadband to the entire state. In the past, the Legislature’s attempts have failed, but this time I ...

‘You Are the Sunshine’

This is the story of a how a painting evolved over several months in my efforts to deal with politics and the long lasting pandemic. Sometime in early Aug. 2020, I wanted to paint a large painting, and a 48” x 60” linen canvas was primed and ready. After screwing eye hooks on and hanging ...

Mother Earth seeping into the mainstream

Even though half of all freshwater fish are now extinct and we have lost three billion birds in the last 50 years (National Audubon Society), there is some hopeful news in this week of Earth Day observances. One hopeful sign is how human interdependence with nature is seeping into the ...

Hardscape for the landscape

The effect of an attractive landscape with fetching plants on the perceived value of a home has often been documented at 15 percent or more, even for non-gardening lookie-loos. According to one survey, the preferred landscape includes a sophisticated design with large deciduous, evergreen and ...

The personal income tax: More drama

In my last column, I reported that Governor Jim Justice had unveiled a plan to eliminate the personal income tax immediately and rely on serious budget cuts to K-12 and higher education, law enforcement, health care, environmental protection and other public services to make up the gap in our ...

Minds blown, hearts on fire

This month I want to tell you a story. No matter your religious allegiance, this story has universal appeal. It’s about a young itinerant carpenter from a Jewish family who felt a fire inside himself and found the courage to express it, out on the road, in a boat on the sea and on the country ...