Gas prices and more…

Winter is back… I’m not advocating people risk their lives but it seems every time we have bad weather everyone is supposed to hibernate. It was good that Monday was a holiday at least for most people. Obviously not here in the newspaper business. It’s probably a good thing too. When I left for the office about 8:30 a.m. this morning, my road hadn’t been touched. Route 19 wasn’t much better. I did make it without any major issues. Once I got the truck cleaned off.

When I grew up in Gassaway things were a lot different. First, we usually had snow fall in October or at least by November. And snow it did… walking to school with snow up to your knees was not a bit out of the ordinary. No one had 4-wheel drive either. The only 4X4 vehicle I remember from my childhood was Dr. George Holyman. Regardless of the condition, school was seldom called off. If the bus driver couldn’t make it… then that group of students had a snow day. Living in downtown Gassaway we were expected to be there. Usually, we made it a point to go. The teachers always had something special in mind since the class sizes were most often smaller.

I’ll make two points here. We have become soft. When the state road or the town falls a little short of our expectations, we are quick to criticize. Maybe we should remember that these agencies also are suffering from staff shortages and sickness just like others in the business communities. My second point… yes we are soft.

My comments about gasoline prices have drawn lots of response. When my last comments hit the street the price of gasoline had fell one penny at the pumps. At the same time pump prices in Weston had fallen nearly 30 cents. I had occasion to travel in that area recently and saw prices as low as $2.91 per gallon… 30 cents less than here in our county. Obviously, the reason is there is more competition in Lewis County. They have a Sheetz complex and their WallMart sells gas as well. If our elected officials, state or federal, really want to do something to help the people, they should place controls on how deep big business can plunge the knife into the backs of consumers.

I get a weekly report on the price of gasoline from AAA. The report is tailored to West Virginia and most often lists prices from around the state. In the latest copy that I received. They listed prices in eight towns from across the Mountain State. They ranged from $2.90 to $3.24 with the average being $3.10. That translate to Braxton County having some of the highest prices in the state. Frankly, I see no reason for such disparity. I hear the arguments about transportation costs, taxes etc. but it comes down to, big and small oil can simply price their product at what the market will bear. With no competition we fall into the victim category.