Commentary Archives

YesterdayAugust 7, 2020

College Athletes are Finally Feeling Their Power

This week, WVU football player K.J. Martin announced via Twitter that he has decided to sit out the 2020 season.  The projected starting safety said after many conversations with his family, “we feel as if it’s best to opt out and sit this season out due to my family and my own personal health issues

ThursdayAugust 6, 2020

Congress Must Pass a Covid Relief Bill—Fast

Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders and representatives of the Trump administration have been trying to come up with an agreement on another round of Covid-19 relief for the country. So far, there is no deal. The House of Representatives has already passed their version. It is a Democratic bill that served as a vehicle for

WednesdayAugust 5, 2020

“… One Damn Thing After Another.”

I know what my late father would say about the times we are living through now. “Life is just one damn thing after another.” Consider the lousy mood the country is in today. A Gallup Poll released this week finds that just 13 percent of U.S. adults are satisfied with the state of the nation.

TuesdayAugust 4, 2020

West Virginia will have modified absentee voting for the General Election

Holding a statewide election is a complicated matter and executing an election fairly and accurately becomes even more problematic during a pandemic. Secretary of State Mac Warner’s office and the state’s 55 county clerks executed a temporary fix for the Primary Election by mailing absentee ballot applications to over 1.2 million registered voters.  About 261,000

MondayAugust 3, 2020

West Virginia needs more than one debate between Justice and Salango

Every election cycle there is a debate over debates. Typically, comfortable incumbents or candidates with a lead try to minimize the importance of head-to-head meetings with their opponents. Often, the front-runner will agree to only one, so they can say they debated. Challengers usually push for more debates, sometimes an unreasonable number. They want to

FridayJuly 31, 2020

Justice vs. Manchin/Salango

The Governor’s race in West Virginia now sounds like a three-way battle—Jim Justice, Ben Salango… and Joe Manchin. Okay, the Democratic Senator is not actually trying to get his old job back, but he is a strong supporter of Salango.  He does not believe Justice is getting the job done as Governor and he has

ThursdayJuly 30, 2020

Researchers focusing on potential long-term health effects of Covid-19

Covid-19 is a new virus, so doctors, researchers, and health care providers—after starting from scratch—are learning more about the disease all the time. One of the growing concerns is the possibility that the virus can cause health problems that exist even after the infected individual has recovered. West Virginia Covid-19 Czar Dr. Clay Marsh pointed

WednesdayJuly 29, 2020

WVU Eases Into the Fall Semester

The pandemic has forced West Virginia University to ease into the fall semester. WVU President E. Gordon Gee, in an open letter to the “West Virginia University Family,” announced a phased return to campus. Freshmen, graduate, and professional students will have on-campus classes, while instruction for most upper-level undergraduate students will be online or a

TuesdayJuly 28, 2020

The Inspiration of John Lewis

Yesterday’s national news cycle had a notable juxtaposition. There were updates on the pandemic.  There have been over 4 million cases in the United States and we are approaching 150,000 deaths. Some of the recent protests have devolved into riots. In Seattle, 59 police officers were hurt, while property was destroyed and vandalized. In Washington,

MondayJuly 27, 2020

Covid-19 jobless benefit fix needed

This week, millions of unemployed workers are receiving the final installment of the additional $600 a week jobless benefit under the CARES Act.  In West Virginia, the benefit expires for about 250,000 workers. The $600, added to the regular state jobless benefit which has a cap of $424, has been an important lifeline to West

FridayJuly 24, 2020

Reading the tea leaves on Koenning’s departure

WVU and the football team’s defensive coordinator, Vic Koenning, parted ways this week.  The decision was reached following an investigation by outside counsel into allegations by player Kerry Martin that Koenning mistreated him and other players by trying to force his Christian beliefs on them, disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement, and subjecting players to “his

ThursdayJuly 23, 2020

Trump sends the right message on the virus… finally

President Trump used the coronavirus briefing Tuesday to warn of difficult times ahead, while calling on Americans to wear masks and socially distance. Well, better late than never. Trump has been all over the map during the pandemic. In March, he soberly warned that the nation faced a “great national trial unlike any it has

WednesdayJuly 22, 2020

The Frustrated Farmer

Canadian poet and novelist Brian Brett said, “Farming is a profession of hope.” Anyone who makes their living through agriculture will tell you that is true. The farmer can do everything right, but if, for example, it does not rain enough or rains too much, their livelihood is in jeopardy. And that is the predicament

TuesdayJuly 21, 2020

West Virginia is faring better than surrounding states during pandemic

So, how is West Virginia doing in the fight against Covid-19 compared with our surrounding states? Kentucky is witnessing a significant surge.  There were 979 new positive cases Sunday, the most of any day since the pandemic began.  Governor Andy Beshear called the increase “a wake-up call for everybody.” The surge prompted a warning from

MondayJuly 20, 2020

Working toward reopening schools in WV

West Virginia educators are working toward reopening of the state’s public schools on Tuesday, September 8.  That is the new date set by Governor Jim Justice, delaying the previously scheduled start dates in August, to give the schools extra time to prepare for class during the pandemic. State School Superintendent Clayton Burch says they are

FridayJuly 17, 2020

Governor must include Legislature in Covid-19 spending

Governor Jim Justice has consistently made responsible and reasoned decisions in the state’s response to the Covid-19 virus.  As a result, West Virginia has managed to avoid the worst of the pandemic, although we are not out of the woods yet, and won’t be for some time. However, Justice is now running into opposition on

ThursdayJuly 16, 2020

Why did Reta Mays murder those veterans?

The unavoidable and overriding question in the case of admitted serial killer Reta Mays is why; Why would this woman in the trusted position of nurse’s assistant at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Medical Center in Clarksburg kill eight of her patients? Mays admitted to the crimes in federal court Tuesday, but she said nothing

WednesdayJuly 15, 2020

Guilty plea solves only part of the mystery of veterans deaths

The lengthy investigation into the murders of patients at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Medical Center in Clarksburg has taken a significant step toward resolution with the guilty plea of a former hospital nursing assistant. Reta Mays appeared in federal court yesterday and pleaded guilty to seven counts of second degree murder and one count

TuesdayJuly 14, 2020

Justice closes bars in Monongalia County in hopes of slowing virus spread

Governor Jim Justice closed all the bars in Monongalia County for ten days starting at midnight last night. The move comes after a spike in Covid-19 cases, which the Governor and health officials believe is linked to the bars. The number of positive cases in Monongalia County now makes up one-fourth of all the cases

MondayJuly 13, 2020

Virus fatigue

There is a new strain of virus now in this pandemic.  It is Virus Fatigue and, like Covid-19 itself, there is no vaccine but there are plenty of coping mechanisms. Yes, everyone is weary of the 24/7 news coverage, the travel and lifestyle restrictions, the constant reminders about wearing masks and keeping our social distance, the