Columnists

Learning about higher level hydrology

April is here and that means it's time for our students in the STREAM mentoring program to go on field trips. This year Jeanne Johnson and I decided to take her 21 students at North Elementary School to see the new Elkins Water Plant at the top of High Street. It's just about as high up as ...

Spring is on the way in Barbour

Hello from Barbour County! There are some mornings that I still have a little frost on my windshield, but I've seen lots of flowers popping up, and have even heard some “spring peepers”! On Sunday, April 7, there will be a Vera Bradley/Pampered Chef bingo fundraiser at the Urban Studio ...

His own worst enemy

Well, there he goes again. Donald Trump, fresh off what he thinks is a vindication, promptly shot himself in the political foot. With the highly partisan William Barr summary giving the president some breathing room, he blasted Obamacare and once more revives the ridiculous border issue. As ...

Report was a dud

The much-balleyhooed Mueller report proved to be a dud. It represents the biggest attempt by foreign policy hardliners to present any reapproachment with the Russian federation. For two years, the tax dollars flowed and the moralists thundered, not to mention the remarks questioning Donald ...

Putting teacher excellence first

Julia Elbon and I made a trip to Charleston this week to meet with the staff of First Lady Cathy Justice at the Governor’s Mansion because education is the issue that Ms. Justice has selected as her main focus while her husband is Governor because she was a teacher herself. We invited the ...

Looking at the middle

These days, quite a few politicians seem to believe the key to success is pandering to one’s so-called “core constituency.” It appears most Democrats consider that to be the 20-30 percent of the people with very liberal views, while most Republicans appeal to the 20-30 percent with very ...

Good advice: Let teachers teach

Perhaps the best advice for West Virginia legislators preparing for a special session on public school improvement is this: Just let the teachers teach. After the fiasco over Senate Bill 451, the “omnibus education bill” this winter, Gov. Jim Justice called for a special legislative ...

Restorative justice in the schools

“Restorative Justice” is a concept that is revolutionizing student discipline in American schools. This new approach to behavior management empowers students to take responsibility for their own actions and for the culture in their school communities. These newer ideas are not widely used ...

Safe for democracy

Framers of United States foreign policy frequently re-examine the essential goals behind diplomatic and military necessity. Recently the neo-Conservative wing led by Max Boot and Robert Kagan have tried to distance themselves from hard-liners such as John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. It is not an ...

Barbour County residents are preparing to step into spring

Hello from Barbour County! Congratulations to Belington mayor Matt Ryan. The race for mayor was a close one this year, so a recount was requested to be sure of the votes. As a result of the recount, a tie was announced, so numbers were drawn, and Mayor Ryan will continue to serve for ...

Second family

“When I was a student, Davis & Elkins College became my second family.” This phrase, or a variation thereof, is one I have heard hundreds of times from alumni during my travels on behalf of the College. As was true in the past, today’s students continue to experience the family ...

Politicians get personal

Never discount the power of personal animosity in politics. Take U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Gov. Jim Justice. Just a few years ago, they seemed to be friends. Manchin got credit for helping Justice, then a Democrat, win the governor’s race in 2016. It escaped no one’s notice that ...

Manchin sends an invitation to Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seems like a reasonably intelligent, educated fellow, so it’s unlikely he would react to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s letter by asking if the senator has a site near Richmond in mind. On the other hand, one wonders whether Bezos knows enough about West Virginia to ...

Trump and AOC

Democrats eager to defeat Donald Trump should be careful in how they define moderation. Certainly the rookies in Congress would be better to speak in a more qualified voice when advancing the “Green New Deal” or college for all. But the so-called moderates who advance Joe Biden or other ...

Mayor and City Council

The City of Elkins is divided, by charter, into five wards where two members serve for a total of 10, referred to as City Council. Members serve four-year terms; however, terms are staggered, which means that every two years a council member from each ward is up for reelection. Council members ...

Modern drones, manmade worker bees

Far fewer U.S. Marines are dying in Afghanistan now because weaponized drones can take out Taliban targets, and U.S. soldiers do not need to be in harm’s way. Although military drones have been in use since World War II, we are just now beginning to discover the myriad constructive uses ...

Effective program

Many alumni and friends of Davis & Elkins College may be unaware of a program on our campus that has been very effective in encouraging first generation and/or low-income high school students to pursue higher education. While located on the D&E campus, this federally funded program has ...

Reporter’s Notebook

The 2019 regular legislative session was by far one of the wildest I’ve ever seen, but even with all the drama this year these 134 lawmakers were still able to get a lot done. On the House of Delegates side, other than the controversies over the anti-LGBTQ remarks by Del. Eric Porterfield ...

Looking at the budget

As West Virginia legislators send a state budget for the coming fiscal year to Gov. Jim Justice, reflect on this: They have approved a plan to spend $7,579 for every man, woman and child in our state during the 12 months that begin July 1. If you’re good at math, you may have done a quick ...

Better schools and broadband access

Today is the last day to step up and vote “yes” for better schools in Randolph County the way citizens have done in 43 of the 55 counties in West Virginia over the last few years. An Upshur County friend of mine said she thought people in Randolph County were proud of their schools and ...