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Column: City decisions about land use have real consequences for farms and rural communities

BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — Weather wreaks havoc on farmland?   So, too, do city decisions.   It’s a bit overwhelming — the myriad articles about the way our ever-changing climate affects our farmland.   A quick look at… Continue Reading

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Column: We should have fought the Wolfe Bros permit harder, but keep fighting

BY JARED BRANDWEIN BACK BAY — An editorial in the pages on The Independent News warned us all that we needed to show up at the Tuesday, Aug. 25, City Council meeting to be heard on a proposal to use land… Continue Reading

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Editorial: Virginia Beach City Council betrayed farmers and its own land use ideals — for tourism

Ed. — From the Sunday, Sept. 6, print edition. THE INDEPENDENT NEWS BACK BAY — False steps large and small by Virginia Beach’s government and people who advise it led to the City Council decision this past month to permit Wolfe… Continue Reading

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Column: We must preserve farmland and rural communities

  BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — In 2002, when my husband and I were looking for a new house, a friend said to me, “You need to live in Pungo, Karen. That place will feel like home to you.” … Continue Reading

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Column: Demonstrate our commitment to others during the coronavirus pandemic

BY LISA VERSPRILLE BURKETT SANDBRIDGE — When the pandemic news began to trickle in, my emotions started to play havoc with my mind, and I feel like I’ve been on a zip line looking for the platform where I can stop,… Continue Reading

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Column: Dealing with monuments — even ones reflecting our difficult past — should err on the side of preserving history

BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — When I was just a girl, my grandparents took me on what my family affectionately called the “Beardslee Graveyard Tour.” This title was given to these trips with my grandparents because not only… Continue Reading

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Column: Black Lives Matter 757 and our goals for real change

Ed. — Per the state Department of Criminal Justice Services, there is no waiting period to report someone missing. Learn more here.  BY WENDELL LUNDY July 2016 marked the beginning of a movement in Hampton Roads. It’s when – spurred to action… Continue Reading

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Editorial: Rural residents should speak because a commercial venue is proposed for agricultural land

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS BACK BAY — A pending conditional use permit request deserves attention before the Virginia Beach City Council makes a decision that could have consequences for rural communities. The City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 25, is scheduled to consider a… Continue Reading

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Column: Debunking a few common gardening myths, such as where to put that banana peel

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE VIRGINIA BEACH — A recent conversation with Alexandra Cantwell, adult education manager at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, showed me much of what I thought I knew about gardening was myth. “You might hear anecdotal evidence that some… Continue Reading