To the Editor:

I’m hoping there’s still time to create a new category for the upcoming Best of Athens nominations: Best Weather Report. Inside the city limits, you want for nothing. Roads, curbs, sidewalks, buses, taxis, cell phones, newspapers, Internet, police, and an endless supply of eats, drinks, sundries and clinics for yourselves, pets and vehicles.

Go five miles outside the city limits, and you’re back in the 1950s with one general store. Twenty miles outside the city and you’re back in the 1800s. Surrounding parts of Athens and adjoining counties (particularly east and south), the roads are roller-coasters, laced among steep hills and deep ravines. County and township roads (often dirt and gravel) usually have no curbs, no lights, no guardrails, no internet or no cell phone service, especially in the rushy bottoms. There’s scarce cops, brine treatment or timely plowing.

One of the most important commodities to people living in Appalachia is an advance warning of snow, ice, heavy rain, flooding, fog and high winds. A warning they can get their hands on, despite all of the above deprivations, before they head out the door.

Scalia Lab, the meteorological division of Ohio University’s College of Arts and Sciences, delivers a recorded two-minute local weather report. The first minute is a trending overview of the coming week. The second minute gives a more detailed report of just the next 48 hours. A variety of students update this report usually twice a day, around 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

And if there’s a separate Best of Athens category for Best Weather Person, my vote goes to Isabel Gregorek, who stayed back during the  Christmas/New Year’s holiday with a serious sore throat and laryngitis… and still got the report into the phones. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Award to this gal!

Try Scalia’s number on your way out the door – 740-593-1717.

Michael Coppola

Smith Run Road

Glouster

Editor’s note: Good idea but yeah, it’s too late. TS

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