• 45°

Time to stop looking up to ‘big brother’

“Thank you sir. May I have another?” You may remember that from a popular movie of a fraternity pledge being paddled by one of the fraternity members. That has to be some of our local leaders as once again Lawrence County gets “spanked” by state leaders.

We don’t really like it, but I guess we have to act like we do. Once again the proposed Chesapeake Bypass project gets shut down on funding, while the Portsmouth Bypass gets the nod.

Why would this happen once again? The Chesapeake Bypass is a vital piece of what I have heard county leaders say could be an important step toward having a true Tri-State loop.

This would potentially bring commerce to not only Lawrence County but Western West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. This could be a tremendous asset and finally a way that all three regions could be one large region.

That one region could be a true single region made up of hundreds of thousands of people instead of three vastly smaller regions. That group working as a region instead of Kentuckians, Ohioians and West Virginians, could truly be a dominant economic force. Ashland, the stepsister to Lexington, Huntington, the stepsister to Charleston and southern Ohio, the step sister to Columbus, could truly be a force working together as one.

With the Chesapeake Bypass that could be reality. Maybe there lies the problem?

If the three small regions began to work together and quit relying solely on “big brother” maybe “big brother” wouldn’t like it so much?

With the completion of the Chesapeake Bypass the entire region could have direct access to I-64.

The entire region could be in line for a possible economic recovery. Our entire region could prosper. What could happen within this 60 mile radius if the three stepsisters could all work together and quit relying on the crumbs from big brother’s plate?

I harken back to just a few months ago when an email was sent to me from economic leadership to endorse the Portsmouth Bypass.

Well, I am sorry, but it’s high time we insist on helping ourselves. I guess until then I will be able to get to Columbus 15 minutes quicker.

Oh, until the state lets Circleville and Waverly put in another four stop lights that will slow the process again.


Jay D. Zornes is an Ironton resident, business owner and member of the school board.