Steaming Through the Past

On Saturday, June 13, 2015, many people between Lynchburg and Petersburg beheld what many of them had not seen in decades, if ever: a coal-fired steam engine rumbling down the tracks. Specifically, the old Norfolk & Western No. 611, a “J” class locomotive originally built in 1950. Continue reading Steaming Through the Past

Google Earth Pro Is Now Free—But Why?

Google announced earlier this year that it will now be offering Google Earth Pro for free. Google Earth Pro had previously required an annual subscription fee of several hundred dollars, and I have my doubts as to what the elimination of a paid subscription tier means for the future of Google Earth. But, first, let’s explore why this announcement is relevant to land preservation. Continue reading Google Earth Pro Is Now Free—But Why?

A New “First Stoplight” in Chesterfield

My car rounded the bend, and suddenly I felt a tick of annoyance at what I saw.

Great. A new stoplight.

A Moving Target

Many of us who live in Southside Virginia drive along U.S. Route 360 through Chesterfield County to get to Richmond, and those of us who travel that route with any regularity at all usually have a pretty good memory of where the “first stoplight” is. The “first stoplight” is the stoplight more or less marking the western edge of the high-density urban sprawl around Richmond. It’s the point at which open highway through endless forests and fields (punctuated by the occasional gas station) gives way to crowded suburbia. Continue reading A New “First Stoplight” in Chesterfield