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COMMENTARY: China-Taiwan Divides the Caribbean

Posted by kinchendavid on February 2, 2007

By Sir Ronald Sanders

The continuing dichotomy within the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) over the Peoples Republic of China and Taiwan could begin to hurt the grouping which has been unable to establish a joint policy toward China, now the fourth largest economy in the world and growing fast.

Belize, Haiti, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and St Kitts-Nevis continue to recognise Taiwan while the rest of the CARICOM countries have diplomatic relations with China.

This division within CARICOM has kept the development of a trade, aid and investment policy for China off the agenda of CARICOM Heads of Government even though China is now involved with the region in a number of ways including as a lending member of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

It is a favourable mark for China that even though it is unhappy about the continuing recognition of Taiwan by the four CARICOM countries, it has not sought to block their use of its CDB funds.

The Chinese position is a stark contrast from the position taken by the US In 1979 when the New Jewel Movement seized power in Grenada and the US broke off diplomatic relations. Washington had laid down a condition to the CDB that Grenada could not access US funds. The importance of China in the world and its potential value to CARICOM countries was underscored recently by two events. First, China’s foreign exchange reserves, already the world’s largest, have passed $1-trillion (U.S.). The central bank said its reserves stood at $1.0663-trillion at the end of December, up more than 30 per cent from one year earlier, making China the first country officially to top the $1-trillion mark. Second, the World Tourism Organization has announced that by 2020 China will be the fourth-largest source of global leisure travelers. But with the mountain of money on which it is sitting and the need to spend it, the Chinese government has already begun easing currency controls. They will be looking for ways to invest and spend much of it. Recently tourists from China have officially been allowed US$5,000 to travel, though Chinese officials say that the figure is higher than that. Now, it is likely that the government may increase the travel allowance permitting tourists to travel farther. Several Caribbean countries have already been given “approved travel destination” status. These are: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.

This gives them a head start in trying to grab a meaningful share of the market. But, they are up against serious competition from the United States, European Union countries such as the UK and France, Canada, Australia and South-East Asian nations who are already gearing for Chinese tourists.

To get a share of the market, CARICOM countries will require not only joint Caribbean planning, marketing and alliances with airlines and tour operators in China, it will also need the help of the Chinese government to provide incentives and maybe even transportation.

It is the kind of help that could come out of a Joint CARICOM-China Trade and Investment Commission that meets regularly to explore the potential for mutually beneficial relations and puts machinery in place to achieve it.

Incidentally, and not unimportantly, China could also be encouraged to contribute to the Regional Development Fund which is so vitally important to the development of the Caribbean Single Market (CSM) that was formally launched by CARICOM countries in 2006.

The Chinese government has shown no reluctance to be active in the Caribbean, and officials in China would undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to map out a joint strategy for China’s involvement in the region, as they have done in Africa.

In November 2006, China hosted a meeting with leaders of 48 African countries at which the Chinese President announced that by 2009 China will double the assistance given to Africa in 2006 in an effort to forge a new type of strategic relationship and strengthen cooperation in more areas and at a higher level.

The prospect of a similar summit between CARICOM Heads of Government and the Chinese President is dim unless one of two things happen: Either, the four CARICOM countries that recognise Taiwan alter their policy and join the others in establishing diplomatic relations with China, or agreement is reached that the others are free to establish a Joint Trade and Investment Commission with China under the umbrella of CARICOM but excluding the four if they so wish.

The continuing links by the governments of Belize, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines to Taiwan is understandable. They have received considerable help from the Taiwanese who continue to invest in their economies – particularly in areas where traditional donors and lenders have shied away.

But a structured regional relationship on trade, aid and investment with China, which is now indisputably an economic giant and which could offer much to the people of the Caribbean, ought not to be delayed.

* * *

Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation who publishes widely on Small States in the global community. He is a regular contributor to Huntington News Network. Responses to: ronaldsanders29@hotmail.com


Posted in Guest Commentaries, Travel | 1 Comment »

PARALLEL UNIVERSE: Relax, Marshall Field’s Fans: Macy’s Didn’t Ruin Your Favorite Store!

Posted by kinchendavid on December 12, 2006

By David M. Kinchen
Editor, Huntington News Network

Chicago, IL  – It’s been a Holiday tradition for many decades, traveling to Chicago’s Loop and viewing the gigantic Christmas tree at Marshall Field’s State Street flagship department store. Most people make a day out of it, shopping at Field’s and other stores on State Street and enjoying a meal at one of the restaurants in the store or nearby.

Given the relatively compact dimensions of the Loop, it’s possible to see a musical, stage play or opera, have lunch or dinner and shop, all in the same day during the holiday season. When I was there in early December, an unseasonable cold wave made that experience something only Mumble the penguin (the star of the hit film “Happy Feet”) would enjoy, but I have that extra native-Midwesterner cold weather gene that permits people like us to venture out when the weather is life-threatening.

Now that Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores has rebranded the Field’s stores as Macy’s, many people familiar with Chicago are wondering what’s in store (couldn’t resist that one!) for a really Big Box institution that occupies an entire city block (Wabash Avenue to the east, State Street to the west, Randolph Street to the north and Washington Street to the south) in the Loop.

Relax, fans of FrangoLand: The store and overall chain, acquired by Federated in 2005, appears to be in good hands after several years of ownership by Minneapolis-based Target. The Marshall Field’s “As Chicago as it gets” slogan has been replaced with Macy’s “Way to Shop” and the famous dark green Marshall Field’s awnings are now Macy’s black. Those Macy’s red stars are also present in abundance. (By the way, Frango was not originally part of Marshall Field’s: It was acquired when the chain purchased the Frederick & Nelson department store chain in Seattle many decades ago).

The tree is a wonder to behold. On my recent visit, I took the elevator to the 8th floor to view the tree and the diners around it in the Walnut Room. Speaking of Frango candies, they have a favored spot in the basement level, where they share space with the Marketplace food court, an excellent dining place that’s much less formal than the Walnut Room.

My sister Natasha Yuhas, who – until her retirement a few years ago — worked in the furniture department at Field’s, concurs in my assessment, saying the store is much cleaner than it was during the heyday of Target, formerly known as Dayton Hudson. Prior to that chain, Field’s was owned by Batus, British American Tobacco; it really hasn’t been owned by the descendants of the original Marshall Field for many years. My sister advises the few people still protesting the name change to get over it – the store is in good hands, she says.

The building is an historic landmark, so the Marshall Field & Co. plaques are still in place around the building’s exterior. The two signature State Street clocks — at Randolph and at Washington — are there and are favored meeting spots for Chicagoans.

State Street is looking better than ever, with many new shops, including one from the very trendy and affordable Swedish H&M chain and the spruced up Sear’s store. A few years ago, the Daniel Burnham designed Reliance Building – one of the best Chicago landmarks that survived the wrecking ball – was renovated into the Hotel Burnham.

The Block 37 development – directly to the west of the Macy’s/Field’s store – is apparently on track. Ground was broken in November 2005 by the Mills Corp. of Arlington, VA for a mixed-used development on the long-vacant site, now called 108 N. State. This past August, the respected Chicago-based developer Golub & Co. bought the residential and office portions of the massive development, expected to be finished in 2008.

One sad note: Carson Pirie Scott & Co., another Chicago landmark, is closing its State Street store in March of 2007. Carson’s, occupying since 1904 one of the most distinguished buildings on the street, the landmark Louis Sullivan-Dankmar Adler designed building, is owned by Bon-Ton Stores. It was formerly owned by Saks Fifth Avenue. The State Street store will house a collection of boutique shops, according to news accounts.

Posted in Parallel Universe, Real Estate, Travel | Leave a Comment »

GUEST COMMENTARY: Mr. Chertoff: Please Get Your Act Together!

Posted by kinchendavid on October 17, 2006

By Rene A. Henry

Every time I fly, I question whether I am as safe as I was before 9/11 because of all of the confusion getting to my seat on the plane. I pray that my flight crew and air traffic controllers know what they are doing better than the security screeners.

Contrary to American Airlines and its slogan, “We know why you fly,” they don’t have a clue why I fly, which is more often than I would like. American and other airlines must insist that Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, implement security procedures that are exactly the same at all airports.

For years we have been taking off our shoes, pulling out our laptop computers and separating all of the metal in our pockets before going through the electronic gates. Transportation Security Administration personnel at some airports want shoes, like computers, in a separate bin for the X-Ray machine. Others do not. If you’re boarding a flight outside of the U.S. you don’t have to remove your shoes. And at some airports, Chertoff’s TSA officials will even insist you remove your belt. The well-meaning, on-site TSA personnel just are not trained to implement uniform procedures and, as a result, there is no consistent policy whatsoever from one airport to another.

Until recently, it was illegal to carry on shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste or any liquids or gels. After many protests, TSA loosened its carry-on ban for toiletries in containers of less than three ounces on some domestic flights.

At least supposedly. I have had no problem going through airport security in the U.S. However, clearing security at Heathrow Airport in London when returning to the U.S., miniatures were confiscated. Again, Chertoff has not made Homeland Security and TSA guidelines universally consistent, if indeed he even has a policy. Don’t always believe what the TSA website says. What really counts is how the policy is implemented when you are trying to board a plane.

The next time you go through an airport security line to board a flight, if you get confused, frustrated or delayed, ask your representatives in Congress to wake up Chertoff and his “Beltway Bureaucrats.”

The carry-on rules get even more complicated for international flights to the U.S. Just ask Russian-American jazz musician Valery Ponomarev who suffered a broken arm when he wanted to carry his trumpet on board an Air India flight from Paris to New York. The 63-year-old Ponomarev, who has lived in the U.S. for 35 years, kept his trumpet with him on a connecting flight before arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

In his protest, the trumpeter obviously blew a couple of sour notes because four of Paris’ finest gendarmes subdued him, broke his arm and held him in detention without treatment for six hours. Ultimately, the U.S. Embassy came to his rescue.

Recently, before flying to and through London, I called and e-mailed American Airlines, British Airways and TSA to get specific information on the size limitations for carry-on, so I would not have to check my camera, laptop, and other personal information as baggage. When I should have had the same answer from all three, I got different measurements from both airlines and no help at all from TSA.

When it comes to security fast tracking for frequent flyers and those flying business or first class, again this varies by airport and airline. As someone who has flown nearly four million miles, I appreciate being able to fast track security. I can do this in Seattle and New York’s JFK, but not in Miami or Washington’s Reagan National Airport. When I ask why, I’ve been told by a TSA officer that it is because the airline does not want to spend the money. When I ask the airline they blame TSA. No one accepts responsibility. The situation is even more confusing in London where you can fast track at Heathrow but not at Gatwick.

The media doesn’t make matters any easier by reporting what they are told and perpetuating the confusion. A good investigative reporter should see firsthand if the process works.

TSA has established levels of threat alert with colors from code red being severe, orange high, yellow elevated, blue guarded and green low. The way Chertoff’s “policy” is being confusingly misimplemented, “Saturday Night Live” parodied it best saying the color codes would be better labeled white, off-white, eggshell, cream and ivory.

Rene A. Henry lives in Seattle, WA is the author of six books, and writes and speaks on various subjects including customer service, public relations and crisis management. He is a native of Charleston, WV.

Posted in Guest Commentaries, Transportation, Travel | Leave a Comment »

TRAVELOGUE: Chicago Editor Visits Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina

Posted by kinchendavid on October 1, 2006

By David M. Kinchen
Editor, Huntington News Network

I’ve got a globe-trotting friend and former L.A. Times colleague who has just returned from a trip to Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aire, Argentina. Earlier this year, he was in Shanghai, China. This dude really gets around.

Photo Photo Photo Photo
View Photos

The Wisconsin native is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and worked as a copy editor in the Food Section, which was and is adjacent to the pods of the Real Estate Section where I labored from 1976 to 1990 at the L.A. Times. We were two Midwestern car nuts in LA-LA Land and we became friends. I stayed in his Lake Shore Drive condominium during my July 2006 visit to Chicago.

He’s an editor with an international publishing conglomerate in suburban Chicago and is an avid photographer, as the digital pictures accompanying this story show. While in Buenos Aires, where it’s early spring, my friend and fellow Wisconsin native and foodie Dan Perlman enjoyed a meal together in an ultra cosmopolitan city where gourmet dining is a bargain compared with New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. Here’s a link to the meal they had in B.A.: http://www.saltshaker.net/20060926/tourist-trap-or-just-better

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Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours Begin This Weekend

Posted by kinchendavid on September 25, 2006

By Staff

Parkersburg, WV — The Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours are haunted and historical walking tours of downtown Parkersburg, West Virginia led by real ghost hunters, psychic mediums and paranormal authors.

The tour covers local folklore as well as actual cases of real hauntings which occur up until to the current day. In its tenth season, the tour is broken up in a Friday night “Haunted City” tour covering the downtown section which includes stories of Blennerhassett Island, Indrid Cold, and a haunted bookstore and also a Saturday night “Haunted Houses” tour which passes by a haunted graveyard and haunted houses in the beautiful upper historical district of early Parkersburg.

These are the dates for the 2006 Ghost Tours.

Friday & Saturday September 29th & 30th

Friday & Saturday October 6th & 7th

Friday & Saturday October 13th & 14th

Friday & Saturday October 20th & 21st

Friday & Saturday October 27th & 28th

Sunday & Monday October 29th & 30th

Tuesday October 31st — Special Halloween Tour

Last Tours! November 3rd & 4th, 2006

All Tours Begin at 7:30 p.m in the lobby of the Blennerhassett Hotel in downtown Parkersburg – at 4th & Market Streets. For more information on the ghost tour, call (304) 428-7978. For directions to the Blennerhassett Hotel call (304) 422-3131.

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GASOLINE SURVEY: Prices Continue to Decline Throughout WV

Posted by kinchendavid on September 17, 2006

By David M. Kinchen
Editor, Huntington News Network

Hinton, WV – Gasoline prices in Hinton dropped to $2.39 a gallon on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2006, down a dime from last week’s $2.49 a gallon, at Chevron Foodmart in Avis, the nearby Go Mart, as well as the Exxon and Cargo stations.

Statewide, the lowest observed price on Sept. 16, 2006 was $2.19 a gallon at Smith Mart in Moundsville, compared to last week’s $2.30 a gallon at Sam’s Club in Vienna, according to http://www.westvirginiagasprices.com. Regular was $2.20 a gallon at Sam’s Club in Vienna on Sept. 16. It was $2.22 at Kroger in Parkersburg, and $2.25 at most other stations in Parkersburg, including BP, Chevron, Exxon, Marathon and 7-11. The lowest observed Huntington price on Sept. 16 was $2.31 at Speedway and Exxon, down from last week’s $2.45 at Chevron; it was $2.33 at Rich Oil across from Camden Park.

In Morgantown, gas was $2.42 at Sheetz, down from last week’s $2.59 at the same station and fully 43 cents below the previous week’s $2.85. In the Bluefield-Princeton area, the price point on Sept. 16 was $2.29 at Go Mart in Green Valley, 20 cents below last week’s $2.49. It was $2.33 at KO in Green Valley, down from last week’s $2.49. The Go Mart station in Sophia, near Beckley, was charging $2.39 on Sept. 16, 2006.

In the Charleston area, the lowest observed price was $2.29 on Sept. 16, 2006, down a dime from last week’s $2.39 a gallon at Citgo in Hurricane, Speedway in Teays Valley, Go Mart and Rich Oil in Jefferson and at Go Mart in St. Albans, according to http://www.charlestongasprices.com. Closer to downtown Charleston, prices on Sept. 16 were a dime higher — $2.39 a gallon – at Speedway and Chevron in South Charleston.

These prices are down drastically from prices as high as $3.19 a gallon six weeks ago.

HERE IS A SITE where you can get up-to-date gasoline prices anywhere in the U.S. by just plugging your Zip Code into a box on the site and hitting “go.” It’s worth a try, but don’t forget where you got the information: Check out our survey every week! Here’s the site:


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Cheat Mountain Challenge Slated for Sunday, Sept. 24; A Major Mid-Atlantic Cycling Event

Posted by kinchendavid on September 17, 2006

Cheat Mountain Challenge Slated for Sunday, Sept. 24; A Major Mid-Atlantic Cycling Event

By Staff

Snowshoe, WV – Snowshoe welcomes the hundreds of bicyclists who will be traveling to Pocahontas County next weekend to take part in the most difficult mountain road-riding challenge in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

The Cheat Mountain Challenge, formerly known as the Snowshoe Century Ride, will begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006. Those looking for a great carb-loading meal on Saturday evening, Sept. 23 will enjoy the pre-ride spaghetti dinner in the Expo from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Century route will begin at the Snowshoe Mountain Welcome Center on Route 66 and will traverse over Cheat Mountain for the first leg of the ride. There are two courses available to the bicyclists, the Century Challenge at 107.7 miles and the Metric Century Challenge at 67.4 miles. With over 10,000 ft. of vertical climbing, the Cheat Mountain Challenge is one of the most difficult Century Rides in the country.

Set on the back roads of West Virginia, riders will journey along the open roadways where traffic is infrequent. Though the passing vehicles are few and far between, the tight turns and narrow shoulders create a challenge all in themselves. Riders are advised to ride single file and with caution.

Those considering their weekly Sunday drive on the 24th are encouraged to use caution when approaching riders and only pass in legal passing lanes. For drivers who would like to see where the cyclists will be riding, the course routes are posted online at http://www.wvcf.org/cmc.

To pre-register, view the course routes and check out testimonials from years past, go online to


Snowshoe Mountain is a four-season, Intrawest destination resort situated in the southern portion of the pristine Allegheny Mountains. This 11,000-acre playground offers 1,500 feet of vertical drop for its expansive skiing and mountain biking terrain. With a mountain top village nearly one mile high in the sky, Snowshoe offers unique variety of lodging, dining and shopping options. A host of special events and activities make the West Virginia resort a destination for the entire family. For more information visit


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GUEST COMMENTARY: Carribean Tourism: Facing up to Competition

Posted by kinchendavid on September 15, 2006

By Sir Ronald Sanders

A report by John Collins in the publication  The Caribbean Investor  on warnings to the Caribbean tourism industry deserves more attention for it emphasises the urgency of taking action to maintain Caribbean competitiveness in the global market.

Collins reported on the observations of Bill Freeman, the CEO of the Freeman Group, a Dallas based hospitality and improvement company, which has been active in the Caribbean over the last 20 years.

Mr Freeman made two very important observations.

The first is that competition from the rest of the world is set to increase.

Drawing on the work of the Freeman Group in the Caribbean and other parts of the world, Mr Freeman is reported to have said that Caribbean countries are “so intent in blindly competing with one another that they overlook the necessity of collectively cooperating to face other parts of the world.” He drew particular attention to the challenges being posed by countries in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean where “service is guaranteed”.

“The Caribbean”, he said, “is under assault”.

The importance of Caribbean cooperation to compete with the rest of the world is not a new point. It is one that was made tirelessly by the former CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Jean Holder, and has been repeated by his successor Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace.

But, there remains a fear amongst government officials and national tourism organisations that the allocation of financial resources to promoting the Caribbean would deprive national groups of the funds they need to pull tourists to their destination, and that larger and better know destinations would benefit from advertising of a Caribbean brand.

This is a fear that national organisations should overcome.

The advertising of a Caribbean brand does not conflict with the promotion of an individual country. Indeed, there is great value in doing both.

Mr Freeman’s second observation was a wake-up call. He said: “”More and more visitors to destinations are increasingly judging their vacation experiences on the standards of service rather than on the facilities.” He added that “The same attention paid to hotels has to be extended to their airports, retail sales, taxi service and tours.”

If we are candid about it, service in the Caribbean is not uniformly excellent. There are outstanding taxi drivers as there are diligent workers in the hotels, at airports and in shops. But, generally speaking, service falls behind in comparison with other destinations — particularly in the Pacific and Indian Ocean.

If this pattern continues, Caribbean countries will lose market share as tourists opt to spend their vacation money in destinations where they believe they get the best value.

In this regard, trade union organisations need to join management of hotels, airports, tour operators and taxi driver associations in mounting seminars to educate them about the importance to their jobs of good service, and to train them to deliver it.

And, this should be an on-going arrangement, not a special one. Training seminars, jointly arranged by management and trade unions to train new workers and to refresh the attitudes of seasoned ones should become a permanent feature of the industry.

A recent report by the World Travel and Tourism Council reveals that Caribbean employment in tourism is estimated at 2,643,000 in 2006 or 1 every 6.5 jobs (15.4% of total employment), and the industry is expected to generate US$51.3 billion in economic activity in 2006 and account for 16.4% of GDP.

This means that the entire private sector and work force of many Caribbean countries have a vested interest in making Caribbean tourism competitive in the world, and in ensuring that the quality of service is improved considerably.

For, if the Caribbean’s share of the world tourism market declines, so too will the economies of many countries. With such a decline will come an adverse effect on business ranging from telecommunications and banking through retail stores to local agriculture.

The time has come for wider participation in decision-making about, and funding for, the tourism industry at both the local and regional levels. As a start, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and the Caribbean Hotels Association might consider inviting the Caribbean Labour Organisation and the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce to a joint meeting to consider how together they could maintain the Caribbean’s competitiveness in the global market place and improve the quality of its service.

* * *

Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation who publishes widely on Small States in the global community. Responses to: ronaldsanders29@hotmail.com

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GASOLINE SURVEY: Prices Decline Throughout Mountain State

Posted by kinchendavid on September 10, 2006

By David M. Kinchen
Editor, Huntington News Network

Hinton, WV   – Gasoline prices in Hinton declined to $2.49 a gallon on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006, from last week’s $2.63 a gallon at Chevron Foodmart in Avis, the nearby Go Mart, as well as the Exxon and Cargo stations.

Statewide, the lowest observed price on Sept. 9, 2006 was $2.30 a gallon at Sam’s Club in Vienna, compared with last week’s $2.46 at Gas N Goods in Harrisville, according to http://www.westvirginiagasprices.com. Regular was $2.32 at Speedway in Belpre, OH, across the river from Parkersburg. It was $2.33 at Speedway in Parkersburg. The lowest observed Huntington price on Sept. 9 was $2.45 at Chevron; it was $2.46 at Marathon and Speedway in Huntington and $2.49 at Rich Oil across from Camden Park. These prices are 20 cents or more per gallon lower than last week.

The Kroger store in Barboursville was charging $2.53 on Sept. 9. In Morgantown, gas was $2.59 at Sheetz, down from last week’s $2.85. It was also $2.59 at Kroger and $2.55 at Exxon in Morgantown. In the Bluefield-Princeton area, the price point on Sept. 9 was $2.49 at KO and Go Mart in Green Valley, down from last week’s $2.65. The Cargo station on Princeton Avenue in Bluefield was charging $2.55 a gallon.

In the Charleston area, the lowest observed price of $2.39 a gallon on Sept. 9 was a dime lower than last week’s $2.49 and prevailed at Go Mart in St. Albans, BP in Spring Hill and Rich Oil in Jefferson, according to http://www.charlestongasprices.com. Central Charleston prices were typically at $2.59 a gallon on Sept. 9 at Exxon and Chevron in central Charleston, down from last week’s $2.64, and down drastically from prices as high as $3.19 five weeks ago.

The $2.59 price point was observed at Go Mart in Institute and most stations in Elkview and Big Chimney.

HERE IS A SITE where you can get up-to-date gasoline prices anywhere in the U.S. by just plugging your Zip Code into a box on the site and hitting “go.”  Here’s the site:


Posted in News, Transportation, Travel, West Virginia | Leave a Comment »

GASOLINE SURVEY: Prices Decline in Most of WV

Posted by kinchendavid on August 21, 2006

By David M. Kinchen
Editor, Huntington News Network

Hinton, WV  – Gasoline prices in Hinton declined from $2.97 a gallon to $2.89 for regular at Chevron Foodmart in Avis, the nearby Go Mart, as well as the Exxon and Cargo stations on the bypass on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006.

Statewide, the lowest observed price on Aug. 20, 2006 was $2.65 at the Sam’s Club in Vienna, down from last week’s $2.73 a gallon. In Parkersburg, gas was $2.68 at Speedway and $2.69 at BP and Marathon, according to http://www.westvirginiagasprices.com. Regular was $3.04 at Exxon in Canaan Valley, $3.03 at Chevron in Charles Town and $2.97 at Dairy Mart in Glen Dale. It was $2.95 at Sunoco in Thomas. In the Beckley area, gas was $2.95 at Go Mart in Sophia and $2.95 at Exxon in Crab Orchard. In the Huntington area, on Aug. 20, gas was $2.86 a gallon at Exxon in Barboursville and $2.93 at Citgo in Barboursville. At the Rich Oil station across from Camden Park in Huntington, regular was $2.83. It was $2.89 at BP, Exxon and Marathon in Huntington, down considerably from last week’s range of $3.05 to $3.09.

In the Charleston area, gasoline on Aug. 20, 2006 declined sharply from last week’s statewide of high of regular selling for $3.19 at the Citgo in central Charleston to a more reasonable $2.97, according to http://www.charlestongasprices.com. Regular was $2.89 at Exxon and Chevron in South Charleston and $3 at BP in Charleston. Outlying communities reported much lower prices: $2.74 at BP in Jefferson; $2.74 at Go Mart in Spring Hill; $2.74 at Go Mart in St. Albans and $2.75 at Pilot in Nitro, down from last week’s $2.87.

HERE IS A SITE where you can get up-to-date gasoline prices anywhere in the U.S. by just plugging your Zip Code into a box on the site and hitting “go.”  Here’s the site:


Posted in News, Transportation, Travel, West Virginia | Leave a Comment »