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Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

TodayAugust 8, 2023

The Entrepreneurial Spirit is Surging

Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started,” and new research shows a growing number of Americans are willing to take that risky plunge of starting a business. The report by the Economic Innovation Group found that, “Over the first six months of 2023, applications to start a business likely to hire

YesterdayAugust 7, 2023

Conference Realignment and Cannibalism

The chaotic reshuffling of college sports conferences got me thinking about the Donner Party. They were a group of American pioneers who became snowbound in the Sierra Nevada mountains while on a wagon train to California in the winter of 1846-47. When they ran out of food, they resorted to cannibalism to survive. The extent

FridayAugust 4, 2023

So, Are We Still Friends?

Whenever the subject of Donald Trump comes up on my radio show, I’m reminded that I am an odd man out in West Virginia, and that is not a comfortable place. Trump has more support per capita here than perhaps any other state. He received 69 percent of the vote in 2020 and 68 percent

ThursdayAugust 3, 2023

Huggins Wanted His Office Back, Emeritus Head Coach Position

Last month, West Virginia University firmly rejected an attempt by former basketball coach Bob Huggins to get his job back by claiming that he never really resigned.  WVU forced Huggins to resign after he was arrested in Pittsburgh June 16th for drunk driving. “In no uncertain terms, the University will not accept Mr. Huggins’ revocation of

WednesdayAugust 2, 2023

Wanted: Foreign-born Workers

When Americans think about immigration, disturbing images from the U.S.-Mexico border come to mind.  The flow of refugees and people entering the country illegally creates a range of emotions, from empathy for the suffering to hostility toward politicians for the lack of a comprehensive immigration policy. The border issues are real, but so is the

TuesdayAugust 1, 2023

Alderson Broaddus Told to Wind Down Operations

The Alderson Broaddus Battlers lost the fight. The state Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) held an emergency meeting Monday afternoon and voted unanimously to revoke the financially troubled school’s authorization to confer degrees, effective December 31, 2023. (Read more here from Brad McElhinny) The HEPC then approved a ten-point plan directing the private school in

MondayJuly 31, 2023

Lawmakers Plan a Fix of the Vehicle Tax Credit

Earlier this year, the West Virginia Legislature and Governor Justice agreed on the largest tax cut in state history. The new law will allow individuals and small businesses to save a total of $750 million a year on their taxes. A key provision allows West Virginians to receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on their income taxes

FridayJuly 28, 2023

Chief Justice Clears a Path for the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Question: What does it take to build a natural gas pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia? Answer: An act of Congress, a signature from the President of the United States, and a decision by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Sadly, that is not an exaggeration. Constructing the Mountain Valley Pipeline through the

ThursdayJuly 27, 2023

AG Race Heats Up; Alderson Broaddus Faces Increasing Financial Headwinds

Most of the political attention in West Virginia lately has been about two races—Governor and U.S. Senate. The open seat for Governor has attracted a field of Republican candidates jockeying for money and position. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams is preparing to seek the Democratic nomination. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is up for re-election in 2024, but

WednesdayJuly 26, 2023

Politics Played a Part in Covid Deaths

According to the Centers for Disease Control, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions are at greater risk of severe illness from Covid-19. We have known that from the start of the pandemic. But now a new study suggests that there was at least a correlation between political affiliation and Covid deaths in two states. A study

TuesdayJuly 25, 2023

Vehicle Tax Credit Confusion

There seems to be confusion over the Motor Vehicle Property Tax Adjustment Credit.  That is the credit on vehicle property taxes paid beginning January 1, 2024, but taxpayers need to know about the credit now. That is because taxpayers are currently receiving their 2023 personal property tax assessments listing the amount due on their vehicles,

MondayJuly 24, 2023

Preparing for Media Coverage of First Contact With Aliens

UFO talk is hot right now. We’ve seen new videos purported to show encounters between American Naval aviators and unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP), and now a former member of the Defense Department has come forward to say “we are not alone.” So, media organizations better get ready to cover any possible stories about contact with

FridayJuly 21, 2023

Why Democrats are Panicking about Joe Manchin

The appearance of West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin at the No Labels town hall event in New Hampshire this week has thrown Democrats—and even anti-Trump Republicans—into a tizzy. The bipartisan organization is considering fielding its own ticket made up of a Democrat and a Republican to offer voters an alternative to the traditional party

ThursdayJuly 20, 2023

Mooney Does Not Expect Trump Endorsement

Representative Alex Mooney’s run for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate just got more difficult. Mooney said this week he does not believe he will get the endorsement of Donald Trump, according to CNN. “Mooney told CNN on Monday that he visited with Trump twice seeking his endorsement and he believes it’s ‘pretty clear’

WednesdayJuly 19, 2023

Charleston Police Chief’s Affair Triggers Controversy, Criticism

Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt gained a reputation through the years as a solid officer. Former Charleston Mayor Danny Jones speaks highly of him. “He’s a cop’s cop,” Jones told me. Jones’ successor, Mayor Amy Schuler Goodwin, said when she searched for a new chief, one name kept coming up—Tyke Hunt. But now Hunt is

TuesdayJuly 18, 2023

A Lifeline for Alderson Broaddus

Historic Alderson Broaddus University has received a lifeline to remain open… at least for now.  The state Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) has granted the small, financially troubled private college in Philippi provisional authorization to continue operation. The HEPC decision came after several delays while it waited for more financial information from the school. Even

MondayJuly 17, 2023

How Bob Huggins Failed His Alma Mater

Alma, our Alma Mater,  The home of Mountaineers Sing we of thy honor Everlasting through the years. (The first verse of the West Virginia University Alma Mater.) The current controversy over the forced resignation of WVU basketball coach Bob Huggins has me thinking about my Alma Mater and what the school has meant to students,

MondayJuly 10, 2023

I’m Out!

I’m off until July 17th.   I’ll try not to break anything during this holiday.  🙂 Hop

FridayJuly 7, 2023


Part of my daily commute includes about a half-mile portion of Route 7 that is in terrible shape.  The pavement is so twisted and misshapen that even crawling along around the infamous Hogback Turn feels as though I’m riding in a boat over ocean waves. “Why haven’t they fixed this road!?” Roads invite complaints in

ThursdayJuly 6, 2023

Ben Salango’s Exit from Governor’s Race Clears the Way for Steve Williams

The decision by Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango not to enter the race for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2024 offers insight into just how challenging the political landscape is in West Virginia now for Democrats. Salango was the party’s nominee in 2020, and even though he lost badly to incumbent Republican Jim Justice