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CURRENT STORIES


A few items to ponder

by Matt Harvey

City editor

Before too long, we'll be coming up on the 25th anniversary of the hostage crisis in Iran.

For those of you who aren't old enough to have lived through this, you really ought to read more about it. Coupled with other problems America was facing then, and coming in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, it made for one of the darker eras in our country's history.

I'd like to hear from some area experts on this era of U.S. history in the late 1970s: Why we ended up with these problems, how we got out from under them, and how we were viewed in the world at that time, for instance.

I'd also like to find out -- if any of you can tell me -- about how area secondary schools are teaching the history of this period. Is it talked about, and in how much detail?

I can be reached at mharvey@exponent-telegram.com, or by mail at: Matt Harvey, The Exponent Telegram newsroom, 324 Hewes Ave., Clarksburg, WV 26301.

- - -

For those of us upset about the nasty winter and the cold, wet spring ... it could always be worse.

Consider recent flooding in Colorado, where a 20-foot-wide sinkhole opened up in Interstate 70. Hitting that at 70 mph -- now that would call for one heck of a realignment!

- - -

I read somewhere recently that movie directors are patterning the look of their films more and more to mirror video games. For instance, the "Matrix" sequel, as well as the upcoming "Hulk" and the third "Spy Kids" movie, look like they fit in this category.

My problem with this: Special effects only remain "special" if they are used judiciously.

- - -

Some baseball purists would like to put an asterisk on all the hitting records produced during this era.

They point to smaller ballparks, the possibility that the ball has been "livened" and, with expansion, a perceived watering-down of Major League pitching. Baseball purists also believe some ballplayers have used steroids to pump up their stats. And now, they're again wondering about cork in bats.

The purists have some legitimate points. However, it really doesn't matter. This is simply a different era.

Baseball was a much different game in the early 1900s than it was in the 1920s. In fact, it's changed in some way about every 10 or 15 years. And it will continue to change.

And as for so-called cheating -- well, ballplayers have been looking for an edge ever since the Cincinnati Reds became the first professional team in 1869.

So forget any asterisks. The current barrage of offensive statistics are just as much part of the game as Babe Ruth's numbers from the 1920s and 1930s.