No new taxes may be taking a toll on the people of southern West Virginia. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Highway Needs held a public hearing in Beckley on financing the 36,000 miles or so of roads that the state maintains.
A poll of the people attending found 58 percent strongly disagreed with raising gasoline taxes, which already top 50 cents per gallon.
Only 13 percent strongly agreed.
"A surprising 68 percent don't mind keeping the tolls intact on the Turnpike," Mannix Porterfield of the Register-Herald in Beckley reported.
That's a reverse of the usual anti-toll mood. The swing may be a realization from West Virginians that they will have to pay for roads one way or another.
However, re-directing funding from other areas in state government needs consideration as well.
In seeking the Senate next year, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., created a vacancy in the 2nd Congressional District that many politicians are only too happy to fill.
Two Republicans who would love to be the nominee are newcomer Ron Walters Jr. and Delegate Suzette Raines. Both are from Kanawha County and both are 29 years old.
If that seems too young, consider that Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, D-W.Va., was 27 when voters in southern West Virginia first elected him to Congress back in 1976, defeating former Congressman Ken Hechler, then 65, in a three-way race.
Voters ultimately will decide the race. But the choices are many, which is always encouraging.
THE gifts of $1.25 million to West Virginia University from H. Bernard and Cecilia Wehrle and $250,000 from a foundation run by their children is about more than money.
Bernie Wehrle was chief executive officer of McJunkin Corp. from 1987 to 2006 until its merger with Red Man Pipe and Supply Co., which now as MRC Global is among the world's largest distributors of pipes, valves, fittings and related products and services to the energy industry.
He is now a director of MRC Global.
The $1.5 million from the Wehrle family will help create a new program in supply-chain management at WVU's business school.
The gifts are appreciated. Perhaps they will inspire others to consider how they can give back.