coalvalleynews.com

RON’S RAMBLINGS

Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com

January 14, 2014

There’s a chance this will be a more abbreviated version of Ramblings due to the water emergency.


That likely makes no sense to readers. Wait a minute. Does anything I write make sense to readers?


Well, anyway, here goes the excuse (Note to editors: this is actually the truth, for a change).


I am chairman of the Lincoln Public Service District, which provides water to about 2,100 customers in Lincoln and Kanawha counties. Although we operate our own plant with water coming from the Coal River, about 600 customers get water supplied to us by West Virginia-American Water. That meant, originally, the 1,500 of our customers had good water while 600 were receiving the suspect water due to the chemical leak on the Elk River.


While it was a bit difficult to explain that dilemma to our users, we made extra efforts to get the word out. Then, we experienced a main water line break in a portion of our system. That meant three situations existed for our 2,100 customers. Some were not to use the water at all; some had to boil their water due to the leak; and some had no water problem whatsoever.


Efforts to connect all our customers to the Coal River plant were underway at press time. Despite several setbacks, there was hope we could accomplish at least this task by the end of the day.


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I would not want any reader to get the impression supplying water to customers is more important than my all-impressive views on the world of sports, but priorities do have to be made some time.


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Academics definitely takes a back seat to athletics, but I am not sure that is the case with the liquid of life, water.


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Oh well, hang the customers. Let me just go on and on about some sports subject.


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Or, I could ramble on about the water situation, which it seems I am on the road to doing right now.


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I did take time out from my busy water schedule Saturday to view the last few minutes of the West Virginia University-Oklahoma State basketball game on television.


What a thrill it was to see Oklahoma State pull the game out in the end.


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One reader of both my political and sports columns (it may be difficult to tell the difference) made a point of wondering if I could be “fair” and give all sides of a controversy. The answer is that it might be possible to do that, but I am under no obligation to do so.


This column is my personal opinion regarding (mostly) sports. The other column is my personal opinion regarding politics. Neither column necessarily represents even the views of the newspaper you are reading. In most cases, I can guarantee you this column does NOT represent the views of this newspaper, its staff or management.


Thus, I am only presenting my views here. This is an opinion column; it is not straight news. I DO know how to write a straight news item where I am OBLIGATED to get the views of at least two sides In a controversy. There is no such requirement here.


After I have made up my mind concerning a subject, I present it here or in the political column. In either case, it is simply MY opinion and you are all entitled to yours.


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The reader who asked me to be “fair” pointed out that I am quite clear in my collegiate athletic preferences for the Mountain State.


I am a Marshall man. I am NOT a supporter of the University of Southern Pennsylvania at Morgantown no matter who they are playing. I will make no pretense of being “both a Marshall and WVU fan.” I am not; I don’t think it is possible to be. Either you are “fer us or aginst us.”


I have reiterated many times most of my gripes with WVU. They do not represent the Mountain State; they are, by and large, embarrassed by it. They do not favor West Virginia students or athletes, they prefer those from some place else.


Marshall, on the other hand, is THE university of West Virginia. MU serves more West Virginians every semester than WVU. More Marshall graduates live In the Kanawha Valley than WVU grads.


Yet, people act as though those are facts. They are; not opinion this time.


I, frankly, am West Virginia born and raised. Although I consider myself a Virginian first and a WEST Virginian second due to the illegal creation of this state, I attempt to always support West Virginia first.


For that reason alone, I would be a Marshall fan and not a WVU fan. Most of those I run into who are wholly committed to WVU speak with a Yankee accent and behave like Northerners. I am neither of those. We did not move the state when it was created; it is still in the southeast with the mother state.


Those who insist West Virginia is “too southern to be northern and too northern to be southern” are hanging us with the continued stereotype that we really don’t know WHO we are. A full 90 percent of this state is located below the Mason-Dixonl line. Only the Northern Panhandle is above that line that marks the division of north and south.


As far as I’m concerned, we can give the Northern Panhandle to either Ohio or Pennsylvania, whichever they prefer. Then, the rest of the state reunites with the Commonwealth of Virginia and all will be well.


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Okay, this has SOMETHING to do with sports. Oh yeah, it’s why I am a Marshall fan and not a WVU fan.


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I am also very much for the Scott Skyhawks, Van Bulldogs and Sherman Tide. But I cannot figure out for the life of me how Scott lost to Poca last week by 21 points.


Although it was a weird week due to the horribly cold weather and then the water leak which overtook Madison, it makes no sense to me that the Skyhawks could lose to the Dots by that kind of margin.


Unfortunately, that was one of the few games this season that I missed so I really don’t have an explanation.


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My opinion has been that Scott is one of the top Double A teams in the state. If they are not, it surprises me. Yet, one of the best AA squads in the state should never lose to another by that margin.


Maybe I have been wrong.


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No, that isn’t possible.


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Everybody, I’m told, makes mistakes. I know I made one in 1972 and another in 1986,so I guess they are right.


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With the NFL playoffs in progress, I should probably give readers the benefit of my superior understanding of all things sport. If I were betting on it, I would favor New England to be champions again.


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Hopefully, things will be back to normal (whatever that is) next week. In the meantime, keep the story ideas, rumors and game results coming. Use my email address or call my cell, 304-533-5185.