Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor April 7

We forget  lessons of
our immigrant heritage
I don’t expect to see white supremacist views published in this newspaper, on the op-ed page or elsewhere. Yet, that is what I found in Cal Thomas’ anti-immigrant column published on Tuesday. His concluding example of immigration “diluting” a pristine glass of white milk removed any doubt about his inherently racist message.

Families constitute a disproportionate number of people coming to our southern border these days. They come to ask for asylum, which is a legitimate request under U.S. and international law. The United States has a sordid history of what happens when “undesirables” are refused asylum.
If you don’t know about the U.S. rejection of passengers on the MS St. Louis in 1939, you just need to Google it.

I do agree with one statement in the column: “This is an issue that should command immediate congressional action.” Yes, Congress should act to prohibit policies that: Separate families, put children in cages, violate federal court orders to reunite families, close the border, cut off foreign aid to Central American countries, and permit inhumane practices like “metering” that trap people in Mexico. Every one of these policies is designed to maximize border chaos and human despair.

At times during its history, the U.S. has been a welcoming beacon of hope and help in the world. And the U.S. has benefited both socially and economically from those times and policies. Yet, we periodically forget (or deny) those lessons from our immigrant heritage.

To what lengths would you go to protect your family, your children? Desperate people, such as those being forced to leave their Central American homes, do desperate things, even come to the United States in 2019 and request asylum. We should welcome them.
Judy K. Ball

Why not  same coverage
for  attacks on Christians
Fifty people died and 20 were injured after terrorist attacks on two New Zealand mosques in Christchurch. There was worldwide outrage. Rightly so!
However, from February through mid-March, as many as 280 people in Christian communities in northern and middle Nigeria were killed in attacks.
Islamic Hausa-Fulani militants and Boko Haram terrorists continue to attack Christians in that country. In 2018, there were thousands killed.
Last week, 52 women and children were killed and 12 churches and 100 homes were destroyed in attacks in Nigeria.
Thousands are displaced after so much violence has forced them to flee their homes. People who survived recent attacks have appeared in photos with machete wounds and burns from fires, an advocacy group supporting Christians reports.
Isn’t the killing of thousands of Christians at least as terrible as the killing of 50 Muslims? If so, why has the news about Christians being martyred not been given the same coverage?
Pastor Terry Hagedorn
Smithfield, Pa.

Trump presidency worse
than Vietnam War years
Ladies and gentlemen of America, who is going to be the 21st century hero for the people and save not only our democracy but America’s shining light image?
In 1971, the Pentagon papers’ thousands of pages, released by Daniel Ellsberg, exposed the deception of our government in carrying out the Vietnam War. Among those documents’ findings was the consensus in the government that the war could most likely not be won while it continued to publicly lie  about it.
Ellsberg was arrested for releasing top secret information, but was acquitted.
The right of the press to publish the papers was also upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Trump’s presidency is worse than the Vietnam War that tore America apart. It’s tearing America apart at its core values.
We live in a democracy. Where is the hero in the Mueller probe who has the courage to release the 400-700 pages of unredacted testimony by many witnesses?
The public has the right to know. The truth either vindicating the president or showing a president hell-bent on hyperventilating on everything but the truth.
This presidency has put America on a collision course with everything we hold sacred. The wreck is coming. Someone has to step up to the plate before it’s too late. Why not transparency? Publish an unredacted Mueller report first.
Steve Kopa

Emergency dispatchers
‘first’ first responders

I am a proud resident of Monongalia County and I am also a very enthusiastic supporter of our local first responders and specifically, what I feel are our “first” first responders; 911 dispatchers.
Congress each year designates the second week of April as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week to honor the estimated 300,000 men and women who are a part of the country’s 911 system. This year that week is April 14-20. Our own MECCA 911 (Monongalia County Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency) center is a part of that system and an integral part of Monongalia County.

I hope that our citizens will join me in thanking these men and women who work so very hard for us. Their call center is a 24-hour, seven-day a week hub. There are no holidays, there are no snow days off, there is never a time that they are not there. They sacrifice family and commitments for their “call.”  I feel they truly are called to the job they do.

These men and women are the connection from the call for help to the first responders. Our dispatchers must listen, discern, respond, decipher and dispatch those who are the hands and feet in the field. Very rarely do our dispatchers ever know the outcome or end result of the seconds or minutes they spent on their call. Again, it takes a special person to be able to do this job and then ease back into the day-to-day of their lives.

I am grateful and appreciate the job our MECCA 911 staff performs. I certainly do not have enough words or appropriate sentiments to fully express my gratitude and so I ask other citizens, especially ones who have benefited from these heroes, to join me in thanking them.

Nora Pacifico

Harshbarger’s interest,
background plus for city

It was so heartening to learn that Dave Harshbarger is willing to run for (Morgantown) City Council in the April 30 election.
For many years he was the president of the South Hills Neighborhood Association and on the Neighborhood Coordinating Council. He is still very active in our neighborhood and is also president of the Mon River Trails Conservancy (our local rail trails).
He was also a leader in instituting the smoking ban at the WVU Hospital, Health Sciences Center campus and then worked with the city and subsequently  Monongalia County to pass comprehensive clean indoor air regulations banning smoking at indoor establishments.
Having heard Harshbarger speak recently I feel that his background and interest are important to be represented on the City Council. He has been a wellness professional for over 30 years, the last 24 at WVU Medicine.
He believes it’s important to focus on residents feeling safe, being healthy and maximizing our well-being; the city and council need to make decisions in light of how to improve the health and well-being of all of its residents, whether it be improving our roads and sidewalks, considering annexation of some county properties, or giving support to the new social services to be offered at the former Ramada Inn site.
Please join me in voting for Dave Harshbarger for City Council.
Connie McCluskey

Write-in candidate Cruze
will work for community
Early voting in the Morgantown City Council election starts April 17, and Election Day is April 30. The only name you’ll see as a candidate from the Third Ward is Ryan Wallace, but he withdrew from the race because his family is leaving town. However, it was too late to remove his name from the ballot.
This leaves voters with two choices — vote for Wallace anyway, which means your vote won’t count; or, write in a certified write-in candidate.
I will write in Zack Cruze. As an archeologist who works for an environmental consulting firm, he has spent his career negotiating with public and private agencies. As a citizen, he has been active and engaged with community service and outreach organizations.
As a city councilor, Cruze has pledged to work to improve public recreation and transportation; to help foster innovative strategies for affordable housing; and to encourage responsible development in Morgantown.
Just as importantly, he is committed to working collaboratively with his fellow council members and all community residents. We need to get away from the practice some folks seem to favor of filing lawsuits to overturn free and fair elections, or to change lawfully adopted policies.
It’s good to see a newcomer like  Cruze on the scene. He’s made it clear he’s opposed to such tactics, which only discourage good people from getting involved and distract council from its work.
Write in Zack Cruze for Third Ward in the Morgantown City Council election. We’re lucky to have such a qualified, dedicated, energetic new candidate willing to serve.
Susan Case