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Columns

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 ...

Garden inspirations: Winter’s blooming branches

We’ve seen our fair share of winter weather, just as Punxsutawney Phil predicted when he saw his Pennsylvanian shadow earlier this year. And we may still experience more before the arrival of spring. If you can’t wait for the gardening hustle-and-bustle to begin, here’s the solution to ...

Eliminate the income tax? Sure, to seriously damage schools and a lot more

Governor Jim Justice proposed cutting the state income tax in half this year, with the idea of eventually eliminating it. I think that idea is preposterous. The income tax brings in slightly more than $2 billion to the state treasury each year, which is just a bit less than half of the ...

‘Decluttering’ for Lent

It’s Lent in the world of Christendom. The word “Lent” means “springtime,” which in turn is a very yearned for, upbeat season, so let’s see if we can transform this usually morose 40 days of beating up on ourselves into a time of liberation! I do not guarantee that this will be pain ...

Karst: It’s where we live

Jefferson County sits on a block of “karst.” That’s terrain constituted mostly of porous, soluble rock (in our case largely limestone), and is marked by sinkholes and caves. Much of eastern West Virginia is karst, although the nature of that karst varies from region to region. Karst ...

The embrace of unconditional love

This column was written on Sunday night, so it cannot reflect the events of the past week. Wise Guyde hopes that everything went peacefully -- that Joe Biden is now president, Madame Vice President Barbara Harris is duly in office and He Who Must Not Be Named is now safely out of ...

Defund the police? Really?

Actually, I favor giving the police more money. I think that if we raise their pay, we’ll attract more good people to be police officers. And officers need better training, supervision and support, which will also cost more money. Police departments around the country have justifiably come ...