A look at the natural world around us.

Uprooting Appalachia

Sep 8, 2015

The image of “Appalachia” many people have today came from a 1964 Life Magazine story that featured the town.  Now researchers are looking to add another chapter to the story of the small southwestern Virginia town, written in the voices of people who live there today. 

“You know how it got its name, don’t you? This guy had a big old bucket. And he had a whole lot of apples in it and these kids kept messing with it and he said, if y’ all don’t stop that I’m going to throw an Apple a’cha.”

Sandy Hausman

Wind farms are now common in some western and Midwestern states, and that form of energy is actually cheaper than power produced with coal. Virginia could see its first wind farm on a ridge near Roanoke, but area residents and environmentalists are raising red flags over plans to install 25 turbines.

The city of Charlottesville has a problem - a nine-story structure in the middle of its historic downtown mall.  It was supposed to be a luxury hotel, but the original owner went bankrupt, and construction stopped.  Now, a local artist has come up with one possible solution for what many consider an eyesore. 

The nation’s eagle population has made a comeback, rising from a low of 417 breeding pairs in 1963 to more than 7,000 pairs in 2005.  Here in Virginia, there are more than 700 nesting eagles, but wildlife experts say  our national bird still faces serious dangers.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia  says some eagles collide with wires or vehicles.  Others are shot, but 11 percent are poisoned.  Intern Kendra Jacomo recalls one young bird that died at the center this year.

Goochland Debates Safety of Biosolids

Aug 19, 2015
AP File Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The safety of biosolids is again up for debate as two companies seek permits to spread sludge from sewage treatment plants over farmland in Goochland County.   

Cheryl  Ellison is one of those who plans to attend a meeting sponsored by the Department of Environmental Quality at the Goochland Library tonight.

“It’s over 1700 acres, and one of them backs up to my land and my neighbors’ land.”