CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginians affected by the June 29 derecho and superstorm Sandy know they're dealing with a harsh reality:
* If they are wealthy, they can invest $8,000 to $10,000 and have a permanent backup power system installed for their home.
* If they aren't wealthy but can afford to invest a couple of thousand dollars, they can buy a small generator, a heater, a grill and some battery-powered equipment and live reasonably comfortably in one room during an extended winter power outage.
* Without backup equipment, they know it isn't farfetched that at some point they may have to depend on the generosity of others.
Maybe it has always been this way. But it sure feels different.
Here's hoping for a more detailed explanation of how West Virginia University can execute $14.6 million in land deals with developers and agree to a $70 million redevelopment project in the Sunnyside section of Morgantown without putting any parts of it out for bid.
The decision announced Thursday by Monty Boyd, the owner of Walker Machinery of Belle and Whayne Supply of Louisville, Ky., to sell and service Caterpillar-brand underground mining equipment seems brilliant.
After all, the Walker and Whayne Caterpillar dealerships have been selling and servicing Cat's surface mining equipment for years.