Why did the city Council bother to pass an ordinance that people in Athens city need to wear masks inside when there is no fine and no enforcement? What’s the point?

Mask mandate, Athens? You must wear a mask inside retail stores? Has Walmart been granted an exception? While there over the weekend, bunches of the customers were unmasked. 700 or so active cases currently. City council has put their feet down. You must mask up, they said. But when you don't, I guess there are no consequences. Just once, I'd like to see one of those $100 tickets handed out and somebody shut down. Having said that, I am fully aware there will be no follow-up to this. Stay unmasked then, neighbors. But don't whine when you catch the COVID.

‘America's jobs recovery hit a major roadblock in August as the Delta variant threatened the labor market recovery. The Delta variant is also reducing consumer demand. (CNN, Sept.3)’ All I know is that I have intentionally stopped spending money in Athens since City Council reintroduced the mask mandate. Go Woke. Go Broke.

I recently visited Toronto Canada and was surprised to find that despite getting the Corona vaccine much later than the US, vaccination rates in Canada are much higher and almost everyone is still wearing a mask in public. Well surprise, surprise, surprise, their infection rate is MUCH lower than ours! Wake up and smell the coffee America.


COVID tests are required to be administered at no cost to the patient. Holzer Urgent Care will not administer a test without a physician visit which they will charge you for. Since you may need a test when you are asymptomatic, I doubt I insurance would cover that visit. Shame in you Holzer.

It's now clear that those with COVID who are hospitalized and dying are mainly the people who are not vaccinated. Darwin had it right all along. Natural selection.

If the statistics hold true, infections from the Delta variant should soon rapidly and precipitously decrease. Up next is the Wu variant. Alpha and Lambda variants have been postponed.

Editor's note: I think the writer meant the mu variant, which the World Health Organization added to its list of "variants of interest" on August 30.

To the unvaccinated : You’ve made your bed, now lie in it — a hospital bed that is, if they have room for you.


A zillion chairs set up by dozens of workers. Wow! OU pulled it off. Congratulations to them, and the Class of 2020.. Oh..Hard Times Come Again No More!

In support of Dr. Gibbs. He has had to make unbelievably difficult decisions concerning education and transportation. Employees are sick and/or quarantined, can someone explain to me how this could possibly be his fault? If someone would like to help the situation I’m sure there is a way you can apply to be a driver. #settledown #getvaccinated

Athens City Schools

The State of Ohio Laws requires Athens schools to provide transportation, according to Superintendent Tom Gibbs. Lack of CDL-certified bus drivers requires schools to be closed. The Ohio Department of Education mandates that all students attending Ohio public schools to receive free meals throughout the 2021-22 school year. So these meals will be delivered to students’ homes when schools are closed? Delivery drivers do not need CDL-certification. Or is Gibbs going to pick & choose which laws to follow or not? If he is going to ignore certain laws, schools should be open. Education should be the overriding priority.

There is a definite upside to Athens schools returning to online Zoom education. We will be able to monitor the extent to which the schools are propagating Critical Race Theory.

The Athens City School District has filed the paperwork with the Ohio Department of Education to begin using ‘Blended Learning’ as a means of providing online instruction. Superintendent Tom Gibbs has assured us, ‘To be clear, this does not open the door to full online or hybrid instruction.’ Hmm… (Cut this out and put it on your refrigerator for future reference.)

Athens schools are obviously continuing with online, remote Zoom education for the 2021-2022 academic year.

As the Athens school district is switching to online, blended (home-based) learning, and as the Ohio Department of Education has announced that all students attending Ohio public schools will receive free meals (breakfasts & lunches) throughout the 2021-22 school year, what are the plans to have these meals delivered to students’ homes?

Athens Schools Superintendent Gibbs ‘said he has asked teachers to use the downtime [due to the schools being closed] to prepare to make a quick transition to online instruction.’ Gibbs also said ‘the district’s attorney says it could require students to get vaccinated.’ (WOUB, Sept. 1, 2021)

When googling ‘Ohio School Districts closed due to bus driver shortage’ I see 1 district: ACSD. The other 600+ districts have figured it out. Instead of telling us it’s a perfect storm or unforeseen situation with daily tallies of out-of-commission drivers, why not own the problem: Yes, it’s a difficult situation, so hire a consultant, get OU involved, set up temporary bus stops at designated locations that go to specific schools. Some of these ideas cost money, but right now we’re paying for childcare because ACSD remains the only one in the state of Ohio that can’t open its doors.

"'Athens school teachers should check their email for invitations to Zoom meetings to discuss ... planning for any future Covid outbreaks that might interrupt the school year.' — Tom Gibbs, Superintendent. It sure would be nice if Gibbs put as much effort into keeping schools open as he does in planning for when they are closed.

Athens City Schools closed — but all faculty and staff must work their regular schedules. The teachers must be using this time to prepare for another year of Zoom.

Ohio University  

Rumors have it that Ohio University President Hugh Sherman is considering cutting the football and athletics budgets. No! No! No! Go Bobcats!

Ji-Yeung Jang (Interim Executive Director for Global Affairs at Ohio University) recently sent out a campus-wide email that apparently had something to do with Afghanistan. ‘Standing in solidarity,’ the the International Student & Faculty Affairs office, and the Office of Global Affairs, are applying for grants to do things (if funded) likely beginning in later 2022. And for those of us locally who are experiencing mental health issues because of ‘Afghanistan’ this email encouraged us to seek counseling. (Most importantly: ‘For those who want to request/remove confidentiality, they can adjust their privacy setting in their MyOHIO Center.’) Inshallah.

Ohio University: ‘wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, use respiratory hygiene [???] and please avoid large crowds.’ Do these rules apply to football players? Is OU suggesting that students not attend football games?


If you're new in town, pls register to vote. There is a very important special election coming up in November that we all need to be a part of. 

School and university administrators love building new buildings. But they hate paying for the darn people-part of things.

$90,000,000, tax-funded, new school buildings in Athens.

The Ohio Department of Education has announced that all students attending Ohio public schools will receive free meals throughout the 2021-22 school year. ‘Attending’? As students will, for a 3rd academic year, be staring at computer screens from home (as schools will be ‘temporarily’ closed) will these breakfasts and lunches be delivered to the students’ homes? Are there enough drivers? Won’t this spread COVID? Won’t all this driving contribute to Climate Change? Will an equitable number of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women and neuro-divergent drivers be hired? Will the food be sourced locally from farmers who practice organic, sustainable farming? Afghanistan, too.

Texas won’t force a 12 year old to wear a mask at school, but they’ll force her to have a baby. What’s wrong with these people?

Has anyone seen the Job and Family Services board coming from the Nelsonville toward Athens? Not only do they have a billboard, but now they have slapped that picture on the side of an old ice cream truck. Way to waste taxpayer dollars. Has anyone at Children Services been held accountable for how they handled child endangerment calls? I suppose their lying public relations worker is still there too. Boo to you too, Rodney Smith. County commissioners, do your job!

Anyone else sick of the mobile experience here at As soon as the Messenger (or whomever owns them) bought the A News, mobile users began being submitted to Google surveys in order to read articles. And for the past few months I’m getting pop up warnings when I visit this page. There’s only so much my ad blocker can do, people!

Editor's note: The Athens NEWS is free in print and online. We don't charge for our newspaper or put our online content behind a paywall because we believe everyone should have access to information regardless of ability to pay. However, journalism doesn't just happen. The people who gather, write and edit the news, design the pages, and run the presses and website are not volunteers; we get paid. Newsprint, ink, utilities, computers and software all cost money. Every time you complete one of those Google surveys, the NEWS earns a few bucks. It costs you nothing but a minute of your time. (I feel ya about the pop-ups, though — Adams Publishing Group, which bought both the Messenger and the ANews in 2014, makes us use them. They annoy the @#%! out of me too.)

Schools closed. Malfeasance: Superintendent & School Board. Swimming pool closed. Malfeasance: Mayor & City Council. (Nowhere else in Ohio.)


"'Ohhh, won't somebody please think of the children!' — Helen Lovejoy

"The Pain of War

Cannot Exceed

The Woe of Aftermath"

— R. Plant

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