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Sometimes, there’s no winning for losing. When I’m in a situation like that, I procrastinate, hoping the situation will go away.

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Over in Parkersburg is the headquarters for a bureaucracy called the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission.

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In a twist that must be encouraging to gun owners, some new programs in northeastern states have been able to sharply reduce gun murders without traditional gun control measures, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

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I realized something during my research and that is individuals and organizations can censor you. The government can’t. How’s that? Pretty cool, right? Not. But it appears to be true.

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I am wondering about ideas, hopes, possibilities and dreams for the future — the “new normal.”

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With all the nonsense that’s being spewed as gospel right around now, this column from 2012 bears repeating.

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Last Tuesday night when I arrived home from a busy day at the office, I was truly looking forward to some down time.

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Circle Nov. 3 on your calendars because across West Virginia, and the rest of the United States, voters have one very important ballot to cast that day.

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In the best of times, the people on the front lines of our healthcare system are busy and vigilant.

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Before the coronavirus pandemic, one of the greatest failures of government in this country — one that has deeply affected West Virginia — was its refusal to understand the difference between marijuana and hemp, and its stubborn criminalization of hemp.

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Editor’s note: Life got busy this week, so we’re pulling out a column Jim wrote 5 years ago about the courts in Hampshire County. Hampshire County hasn’t had a felony criminal trial in more than 3 years.

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The biggest decision I will have to make this year doesn’t have anything to do with COVID-19, a mask, a vaccine, social distancing or living out the hermit life I have created for myself the past few years. You could say I am a social-distancing expert.

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Throughout my childhood and carrying into adulthood, this has always been the month for vacations in my family.

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“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of the way and let them have it.”

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The economic calamity tied to the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t punched us here like it has other places.

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It’s hot. Searing hot at times. Humid and hot at others. That is when you know the dog days of summer have arrived.

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The social media, among other forums, here in Hampshire and around the country, is alive with the heated expressions of people proclaiming their constitutional rights: to refuse to wear a protective mask or get a vaccination; to crowd into churches and bars contrary to government limitations…

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Central Hampshire Park looked pretty normal Saturday — a few walkers, a few kids playing.

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West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued the mandate nearly a week ago that in order to cut down on the spread of COVID-19, residents must wear masks in public places.

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If you look around you, you will notice that the sports world that was once so vibrant remains on pause due to the pandemic, but the chatter has picked up.

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As I have been watching all that has been going on in America I am appalled at the fact that it has met with virtually no true response from a single politician worth his or her weight in salt.

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Hampshire County, we know we’re blessed.

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I am wondering, as are we all, just where we are going and how we will get there. The COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, although some areas seem to be doing better than others. But in too many places the numbers just keep going up.

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On Saturday, we celebrate the 244th birthday of the United States of America, and – yes, you guessed it — we will have to do it COVID-19 style.

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Sometimes one column speaks my mind so well I don’t want to try variations on it. An Independence Day piece I wrote in 2011 is one of those that bears repeating, not replacing:

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For some reason I caught myself up until last week thinking we are still in winter. There is an honest reason for that which I am sure you all can relate to.

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West Virginia Day is Saturday, so I’ve polished up a column I first wrote for the day in 2016.

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Have you ever felt violated and then angered? Well, I felt that way on Wednesday of last week.

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With no apologies to Tennyson; look up both the word’s definition and the man.

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The pandemic may be lifting, but we should still use caution

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We are all wondering when it will be “safe” to visit family and friends. How long do we stay in our homes (with occasional protected forays for groceries) without becoming ill from covid-19 and guess that it is safe to visit a loved one?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives forever.

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Rumblings have come from afar like a distant thunderstorm churning on the horizon which possibly presage the discontinuation of the U.S. Postal Service by the end of this year.

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Back in 2008, I wrote a column of advice for our graduating seniors at HHS and liked it so much that I have run it every year at this time since then.

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“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence.”

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At present, we are confronting a COVID-19 flu pandemic with over 2 million cases worldwide and approximately 200,000 dead, including 1 million confirmed cases and over 50,000 deaths in the U.S. (Hampshire County has been extremely fortunate with only 8 reported cases and 1 death as of this w…

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Random thoughts pile up way too frequently in my mind, often like a chain-reaction wreck on a slick, foggy road. Messy, messy, messy.

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You see, back in my day, we didn’t have this thing called the internet. Or smartphones. Or tablets. But we did have cable and video games.

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This seems to be my month for sticking my neck out, so here are 2 more thoughts, both related to how our schools could respond to the inconveniences caused by COVID-19.

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Our English language is constantly changing, and as an editor, grammarian, wordsmith and general aficionado of the English language, I have one overriding sentiment about its evolution.

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Can I have the attention of all you grandparents and retirees for a couple of minutes?