High School Football

Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

ThursdayOctober 1, 2020

A Bad Night For Democracy

Tuesday night’s presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was like a professional wrestling match… only without the sophistication. At least the WWE entertainers let each other finish their monologues before they launch into combat.  There was no such courtesy extended in the presidential debate. Liberal and conservative commentators alike condemned the fiasco. The

WednesdaySeptember 30, 2020

West Virginia’s Malleable Covid-19 Map

The Justice administration’s color-coded Covid-19 map shows the extent of the virus in each county.  It provides a metric for determining whether public schools can open and whether sports and other extracurricular activities can take place. The mapping and the data that go into the metric have generated confusion and controversy for a variety of

TuesdaySeptember 29, 2020

Biden vs. Trump Tonight. Will You Be Watching?

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden meet tonight in the first of three debates before Election Day. The audience will be huge—possibly 100 million people will watch on television and streaming services and listen on the radio. The numbers could eclipse the first Trump-Hillary Clinton debate of 2016 that was the most

MondaySeptember 28, 2020

The Presidential Campaign Needs An End Point

Over this past weekend, we saw many examples of something coming to an end on our sports fields.  Teams prepared, the games started and then, at some point, they ended. One team lost and another won. Yes, there was controversy over some of the outcomes—a bad call or maybe even an allegation of cheating—but each

FridaySeptember 25, 2020

Gov. Justice’s Emergency Authority During Pandemic Under Scrutiny

Courts in West Virginia are scheduled to hear two separate cases challenging Governor Jim Justice’s sweeping authority to issue executive orders during the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the petitions was filed by Alex McLaughlin. The Charleston attorney and father of two school-aged children argues that under the state Constitution, children are entitled to a “thorough

ThursdaySeptember 24, 2020

Gov. Justice Puts His Nose Where His Mouth Is On Testing

West Virginia is doing a better job testing for Covid-19 than most of the country.  The DHHR dashboard said as of yesterday there have been 525,236 confirmed laboratory test results. That is the equivalent of 29.4 percent of the state’s population.  That is slightly better than the national average of 28.6 percent and better than

WednesdaySeptember 23, 2020

How West Virginians Can Understand the BLM Helmet Decals

There is considerable pushback against West Virginia University for allowing the school’s football players to put small BLM stickers on their helmets.  A group of 17 state Senators even sent a letter to WVU President E. Gordon Gee* objecting to the decal.  They cite the more radical statements and positions by Black Lives Matter, arguing that

TuesdaySeptember 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

MondaySeptember 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.”