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Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

TodaySeptember 22, 2020

Today’s Governing: ‘You Reap What You Sow.’

I would have told you last week that I could not imagine our country any more polarized.  But that was so yesterday. This week we now know the split is even greater because of the controversy over how and when the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader

YesterdaySeptember 21, 2020

WV Coal Industry Sees Threat in Appalachian Power-Sierra Club Agreement

The largest electric utility in West Virginia has entered into an agreement with an environmental group that coal industry officials fear could lead to the shutdown of two major coal-fired power plants in the state. Under the agreement between the Sierra Club and Appalachian Power, the utility will conduct “retirement analyses” for the John Amos

FridaySeptember 18, 2020

Better Data Will Give More Accurate Covid-19 Numbers In Monongalia County

The ramifications of the Covid-19 numbers in Monongalia County have been out of whack ever since the state put the color-coded metric in place and WVU reopened for classes. The number of positive cases shot up, primarily because of the spread among University students who ignored safety precautions by cramming into downtown bars and gathering

ThursdaySeptember 17, 2020

A More Perfect Union

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.” Those are the

WednesdaySeptember 16, 2020

Justice Changes the Covid Metric… Again

Governor Justice has announced another significant change to the color-coded metric the state is using to determine whether public schools can have in-person instruction, what safety protocols they must follow and whether they can have extra-curricular activities. Justice, along with his team of health officials and state School Superintendent Clayton Burch, Tuesday explained the new

TuesdaySeptember 15, 2020

Two More West Virginia Counties Flip From Blue to Red

The latest voter registration figures from Secretary of State Mac Warner’s Office show that Raleigh and Greenbrier Counties now have Republican majorities. It is still close; Republicans outnumber Democrats by just 321 voters in Raleigh County, while in Greenbrier County there are just 78 more registered Republicans than Democrats. However, the numbers are reflective of

MondaySeptember 14, 2020

Living With WVU

I moved to Morgantown in 1974 to attend WVU and never left.  It remains my home today, although I now live a few miles outside of town. As a student, I was oriented to the University.  The community was just a place around the University which didn’t mean that much to me. Some of us

FridaySeptember 11, 2020

Remembering Our Generation’s Pearl Harbor

(Editor’s note: This is a slightly updated version of a commentary I posted a few years ago on the anniversary of 9/11.) Has it really been 19 years since the September 11th attacks?  Just consider that this year’s college seniors cannot remember watching live as the World Trade Towers burned and collapsed. Perhaps for them,

ThursdaySeptember 10, 2020

Taking The Road Less Traveled During The Pandemic

I was listening to two different information sources at the same time yesterday afternoon. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was trying mightily to tamp down reports in Bob Woodward’s new book that President Trump admitted he knew before the first confirmed Covid-19 case in this country that the virus was “more deadly than even

WednesdaySeptember 9, 2020

How West Virginia Can Move Into The Digital Age… Finally

West Virginia has been moving too slowly to high speed Internet. Research by Broadband Now ranks West Virginia 44th out of the 50 states for broadband access via fiber or cable. The Internet shortcomings are even more glaring because of the pandemic, as teachers struggle to connect with their students online.  One study found that

TuesdaySeptember 8, 2020

Our Teachers’ Greatest Challenge Starts Today

West Virginia public schools open today, on what must be the most unusual first day ever. First, this is a delayed opening. The scheduled starts last month were pushed back until today to give counties more time to prepare, while simultaneously hoping the spread of the virus would slow down. It has not. Second, not

FridaySeptember 4, 2020

Biden’s Fractured Policy On Fracking

Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s position on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas has been muddled. Biden wants the nation to achieve 100 percent net-zero emissions by 2050 and he opposes any new gas drilling permits on federal lands, but after that his statements on natural gas have been confusing and, at times, contradictory. During a

ThursdaySeptember 3, 2020

Justice Lowers The Boom On Bars; Gee Blasts Unmasked Students

So, that did not go well. Last Friday, Governor Jim Justice said Monongalia County bars could reopen the following Monday, under certain restrictions. “Our agencies are working on a plan to potentially expand their outdoor space capabilities especially for weekend crowds,” Justice said. “We’re working with them and I’m happy their business can come back.”

WednesdaySeptember 2, 2020

Governor Justice’s Misstep During “The Dance”

Governor Justice’s last-minute plan to try to allow football games (and other extra-curricular activities) this weekend in three counties that saw an increase in Covid-19 cases was a misstep. The games in Kanawha, Logan and Fayette Counties were shut down after the number of positives pushed them into the orange zone of the state’s metric

TuesdaySeptember 1, 2020

Parking In Information Safe Zones

There is more evidence—as if we needed it—about the increasing political polarization of America. A New York Times report on Nielsen ratings for the two political conventions shows that viewership on liberal networks increased during the Democratic convention, while conservative TV attracted more viewers during the Republican convention. Specifically, 45 percent of viewership for the

MondayAugust 31, 2020

The Unceremonious End Of A West Virginia Boondoggle

The West Virginia Legislative Auditor’s Performance Evaluation and Research Division has released its review of the state’s Public Port Authority.  The overview summary is priceless. “The Legislature should consider terminating the West Virginia Public Port Authority because it receives no funding, has no employees or future projects, and it does not benefit the state.” Yes,

FridayAugust 28, 2020

The Pandemic Will Impact WV Governor’s Race

The pandemic is not about West Virginia politics, but our politics are going to be impacted by the pandemic. The pandemic has been the biggest story in West Virginia since mid-March. The virus has impacted families and individual lives, jobs and the economy, church services, public schools and colleges, vacations and recreation, hospitals and health

ThursdayAugust 27, 2020

Why Did The CDC Change Course On Testing?

West Virginia is holding its own against the Covid-19 virus.  The latest DHHR figures have the cumulative percent positive rate at just 2.33 percent. That is well below the national average of nearly eight percent. This and other statistics from DHHR show that the virus is at a manageable level, indicating that policies and practices

WednesdayAugust 26, 2020

West Virginia’s Role In The 19th Amendment

One-hundred years ago today, the 19th Amendment was officially added to the United States Constitution.  The decades-long fight by women to achieve the right to vote was finally codified. West Virginia was among the 36 states to ratify the amendment, providing the approval of three-fourths of the states necessary to change the Constitution. According to the

TuesdayAugust 25, 2020

The Numbers Are Better, But We’re Not Out Of The Woods

Marshall University President Dr. Jerome Gilbert said he slept well Sunday night, even though the following morning was the first day of classes for the fall semester. Gilbert’s serenity during an historic and life-threatening pandemic is based on his belief that his school has done everything possible to try to keep students, faculty, and staff