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Ramping up for solar jobs

SVCC starts worker training program in anticipation of big demand for installer positions

Mecklenburg trustees take look at shorter school day

Proposal calls for shaving minutes off daily schedule

Brewery makes plans to move to lakefront

Clarksville’s hometown craft brewery is moving to a lakeside location, with a planned opening in summer 2019.

Sports

Post 8 scrappy, with solid offense, pitching

Defensive miscues prove costly, but team able to get over shortcomings

Community


Opinion


A&E

Opinion

Tom McLaughlin

Bite of the Apple

In the immortal words of NASCAR legend Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

A nose for the news

You can learn a lot by following the news. Even if you’re following it somewhere else.

Healthy debate

With the Obama Administration turning its attention to health care reform, a point you’ll no doubt be hearing in the weeks and months to come is that federal health insurance programs already are broke or will go bust sometime soon. Because of this, the argument goes, it would be the height of folly for the government to assume even more responsibility for the nation’s medical bills. We just can’t afford it. Why take on more costs when you can’t cover the obligations already on the books?

Let the races begin

With Tuesday’s qualifying deadline for School Board having come and gone, competitive races are set in all three districts (2, 3 and 6) that will be on the ballot this fall. Two districts will produce a newcomer regardless of who wins, as current trustees Steve Anderson and Mac McDowell are stepping down. In Election District 3 incumbent Arthur Reynolds will face a challenge from Kim Farson of Vernon Hill, making her first try for public office.

News & Record endorsement: Deeds and Signer for Virginia

The News & Record enthusiastically endorses Creigh Deeds for governor and Michael Signer for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary Tuesday, June 9.

Post play

What a pleasant surprise — this week The Washington Post endorsed Creigh Deeds in the June 9 Democratic primary for governor. The Post’s editorial is available on-line at www.washingtonpost.com and is well worth reading in full, but I especially liked this part:

Losing a neighbor

An old neighbor, Fred Martin, the longtime pastor at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Halifax, died Tuesday after a lengthy struggle with leukemia and other illnesses. The majority of the Martin clan relocated to Richmond years ago, but prior to that point our two sprawling families —five McLaughlin kids, nine Martin children—grew up together as next-door neighbors in Halifax. As one of the few adults in the fray, Fred was the sharp-tongued presence at backyard get-togethers, beer in hand and a slightly owlish look on his face, unless he were laughing at something, which was often, in which case his visage more closely resembled that of the Cheshire cat. Although it wasn’t as evident during those childhood years, Fred made his mark on the world as someone who could be quite outspoken on the great issues of the day. He famously sermonized against the Vietnam War at a time when that sort of thing simply wasn’t done, and on questions of race relations, equality and justice he would challenge the conscience even as others held their tongues. Whether motivated by his faith or an abiding fearlessness or just plain old orneriness is hard to say — one would guess a combination of all three — Fred Martin made this community a better place during the time he lived here and forever after. He will be greatly missed.

Questions and answers

I ran into three people this week who sought out my opinion on three separate items in the news. That, of course, was all the fodder I needed for today’s column:

Back in black

The issue of ag/forestal districts is back on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda, and it’s clear the votes are there to pass the policy with room to spare. I wrote a series of columns last year outlining why I think ag/forestal districts are a middling-to-bad idea, and nothing has changed since then to warrant a change of heart. That said, I do think county officials have come up with a reasonably thoughtful proposal, regardless of how misguided the notion may (or may not) be.

BTU overdrive

First rule for countering groupthink: When everyone else agrees on a plan of action, that’s when you should become suspicious. Conventional wisdom now says the path to a healthy Southside economy begins with the development of alternative energy technologies. By harvesting our natural resources in innovative ways, so we are told, Southside can become the Saudi Arabia of wood scrap, corn cobs, chicken poop or whatever.

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