Columnists

Bad teachers are far from the norm

While a friend of mine and his wife were eating dinner at a local restaurant the other evening, her cellphone rang. She’s a school teacher. One of her students was calling.He and his siblings were hungry, he told her. Aware of his family situation, she knew the children needed some help. So ...

Spring bringing events to Center

April is always a busy time at Kump Education Center. Our STREAM program students from North Elementary had their field trip at the new water plant and Kump Education Center last week, and the Elkins Middle School visited Elkins Fordland and Randolph Technical Center this week. On Wednesday, ...

Threat to power

It seems providential that in its presidential election, Ukrainians chose a comic, at least in the first round. Petro Poroshenko, the confectionery king, limped in at a poor second place. Quite appropriate for a government placed in power after a comic-opera coup in 2014. At least, Volodymyr ...

High court and public schools

What happens if the West Virginia Legislature, during the special session planned for the next couple of months, enacts a bill requiring big changes in public schools? You’ll have to ask members of the state Board of Education about that. They, not legislators, have the final say — ...

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 ...