Even though the decision to open the mine came before the last presidential election, President Trump has touted the opening of the mine as reflective of the new approach taken to coal in his administration. Corsa’s chief executive said that Trump’s election has made the whole coal industry more optimistic. He said “The war on coal is over,” and added that “Easing the regulatory burden, lowering taxes, stimulating infrastructure spending, balancing out the interest of economic growth versus environmental policy — it’s very good for coal.” Corsa believes that if it can keep its costs low, it can compete with any company in the world in coal production.
It’s odd that, even though we have moved well into the 21st century, the American economy is still looking at things like coal mining — work that has been going on for centuries — as a element of future job production. I just hope that the coal industry has learned from the past as it moves forward into the future.
It’s not clear whether the decision is a firing, or a retirement, or more likely a little bit of both. Coach Matta has had some significant health issues, and those health issues may have affected his coaching. After having an enormous amount of success for most of his Ohio State career, the Buckeyes had fallen on hard times lately, and this past season was his worst one yet. Recruiting, which once was Matta’s forte, also has been a struggle of late, and it may be another aspect of the coaching job that may have been affected by Matta’s physical condition.
Many Ohio State fans have been calling for Matta’s head. I wasn’t one of them. I think he was a total class act who turned around the Buckeye basketball program and brought in some great players; by virtue of the great results he achieved for most of his Ohio State career, I thought he deserved a chance to rebuild the program if he was so inclined. In my view, Matta’s farewell remarks at the press conference today, shown below, demonstrate exactly why he was such a good coach at OSU, and why he remains a terrific human being.
Some times you need to be careful what you wish for. I hope the Ohio State fans who urged that Matta be discharged because they thought it will be easy to get another top coach to come to Columbus don’t end up ruing the day that they got their wish. In the meantime, I wish Coach Matta good health and good fortune, for a good guy.
The east side of the Ohio Statehouse features the Ohio veterans plaza. It consists of two curved stone walls that face each other from opposite ends of the plaza, two fountains, and two grassy rectangles with room for flowers and plenty of Ohio flags that can be put in place for a holiday weekend.
The stone walls are adorned with snippets from letters written by Ohioans who were serving in the different wars in which America has fought. It’s a simple yet elegant reminder of one unifying reality for all of the soldiers and sailors, regardless of when or where they fought: they left home in service of their country, and as they put themselves in harm’s way they wanted to let the family back home that they were okay, that they accepted the cost of their service, and that they hoped to make it back home when their service was done.
This weekend they’ve also put up a simple wreath at the northern end of the plaza. It’s a good place to reflect on the sacrifices of those who have served and to inwardly express our appreciation to them for making our current lives possible.
Profound thanks to all of our veterans, and happy Memorial Day to everyone!
Cousin Jeff like to keep the wild creatures in his neighborhood happy. He’s got a hummingbird feeder, multiple birdseed dispensers, a suet cage — and this marble-topped table strewn with kernels of hard yellow corn. It’s irresistible to squirrels chipmunks and large birds like crows.
It also makes the early morning hours a fun exercise. When I sat outside yesterday morning, reading, every few minutes I would hear the drumbeat of tiny paws rushing along the deck, skittering up the table leg, and munching briskly at the corn. It made the natural surroundings seem a little bit closer, and more real.
You can argue about the season in which rural Ohio is at its best. Throw out winter — of course! — and you could argue endlessly about the lush springs, the blue sky summer days, and the colors and tastes of autumn.
Spring, of course, has its own colors — they’re just more subtle. Standing on Cousin Jeff’s elevated deck, looking out at the trees and plants and fallen pine needles and grass, you see just about every shade of green you can imagine. Couple it with cool air that smells of growing plants and bright songs from a number of different birds, and you’ve got a feast for the senses.
Cousin Jeff lives on Lake Mohawk, near Malvern, Ohio. Lake Mohawk is one of many man-made lakes in Ohio — I think the only natural lake in the Buckeye State is Lake Erie — and was made from an old quarry and some fresh springs and streams. It’s been around for years and has reached a mature state, with lots of fish to be found.
This little boy and his Dad were enjoying a warm late Saturday afternoon, fishing from one of the docks in the lake. Dad was putting bait on a hook and giving some instruction, Son was trying his luck, and they both were having a grand time.
Yesterday Kish and I drove east and north on a weekend trip. Our destination was Carroll County, to pay a visit to Cousin Jeff.
Carroll County is one of the least populous– and therefore one of the most bucolic — counties in Ohio. It’s primarily farming territory, with some Amish communities mixed in and the occasional fracking platform tucked behind a screen of trees. It’s a wonderful place to go if you like rolling countryside, the sound of birdsong, and winding roads that seem to never really go anywhere except past pretty Midwestern scenery, with horses and cows, silos and hay bales, and farmhouses and barns.
During our visit we stopped at the lovely Twigg Winery, where I had a glass of tasty Ohio red and we took in the captivating vista inadequately pictured above. There we bought several cartons of strawberries that were hand-picked yesterday morning. Forget the fist-sized, fibrous monstrosities you get at your neighborhood mega-grocery store — these sweet, tart beauties were bursting with flavor and freshness and made you remember what strawberries are supposed to taste like.
Carroll County is a good place to visit if you want to get off the beaten path and kick back into our rural heritage.