Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Feb. 14 letters to the editor

Vote your conscience — if you have one

By all appearances, it looks as if the U.S. Senate will never arrive at the 67 votes needed to convict former President Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” Never mind what lame arguments Trump’s defense team uses to win his acquittal. Far too many Republican senators, including our own Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, are determined to vote for Trump’s acquittal simply because they kneel to a  flawed con man instead of standing up for the Constitution.

Many of these Republican senators have already voted to dismiss this trial on the grounds it’s unconstitutional, since Trump is no longer in office. Despite whatever they argue in Trump’s defense, they simply want to dismiss this case and this tragic day in our country’s history. Not to mention this horrendous presidency. As if there’s nothing to see here so let’s move on to COVID-19 or President Biden’s agenda.

I’m curious, though: Do these GOP senators feel the same about the nearly 250 people who have been arrested or are wanted suspects for the attack on the U.S. Capitol? Would they simply dismiss those cases, too? After all, they are no longer in the Capitol and there is the issue of their freedom of speech. Oh, and let’s not dwell on the fact many of those suspects are basing their defense on they were simply answering the president’s call to besiege the Capitol. But that’s of no consequence. Right?

Wrong. Any member of the U.S. Senate who would not vote for Trump’s conviction is as good as giving the thugs who beat dozens of police officers, threatened members of Congress (including Republicans and Vice President Pence), disrupted a constitutional exercise, destroyed public property and trespassed in restricted areas a get-out-of-jail free card.

Sen. Capito and her Republican peers should vote for Trump’s conviction. Unlike Trump’s preposterous charges of election fraud that never produced a shred of evidence, all one needs to do to arrive at a verdict in this impeachment trial is watch the video and vote your conscience, if you have one.

Randy B. Vealey

Praising delegates for heading diabetes bill

Accolades to our West Virginia legislators Democrat Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer and Republican Delegate Dr. Matthew Rohrbach for sponsoring an upcoming bill to lower health care costs for those living with diabetes in the Mountain State. This bipartisan endeavor will help thousands of people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

If this bill passes, it could potentially limit copays on equipment and supplies at $100, and non-insulin medication at $25 a month. These supplies would include life-saving items such as pumps, sensors and personal glucose testing supplies. Diabetes can be a destructive disease, but with proper care and less expensive equipment to monitor sugar levels, the devastation it brings to the body can be halted and even suppressed.

I am the mother of a Type 1 diabetic. I’ve watched the advancements in medicine and medical technology change his life. He wears a Free Style Libre — a sensor worn on the arm. To check his sugar, he simply swipes his cellphone over the sensor to get an accurate blood sugar reading. There’s no more need for lancets, blood sugar monitors, alcohol swabs and the other once-necessary contraptions used for diabetic care. The sensors are not only helpful, but they save time and money.

So, what’s the problem? These sensors cost over $430 dollars for a 90-day supply. As a teacher, I told my son at 16, he would need to work to help pay for health care. We’re lucky we can pool our resources and pay for what we need. Unfortunately, it always hasn’t been easy, especially since I was a widow for so many years. No child should ever have to get a job to help pay for his own medical expenses. I did tutoring and even waitressing to help with the costs because I knew the benefits of this sensor would well be worth it. Access to cheaper life-saving tools needs proper legislation.

Thank you, delegates, for your help on this issue. The lowering of such costs will benefit everyone on both sides of the aisle.

Margaret Vasil-Reider

GameStop day traders not manipulating market

In a front page story (DP-02-07-21), WVU finance professor Alex Kurov argued that the recent stock surges of GameStop, AMC Entertainment and Blackberry were “clearly market manipulation, which is illegal.” This claim belies a misunderstanding of what happened.

Kurov was correct when he defined market manipulation as “spreading false information with intention of manipulating stock prices.” But Kurov has missed the point of the stock buys, which was not to gain money, but to intentionally lose it. False information was never part of the plan.

In fact, the premise of the entire project was a factual truth: If a unified group of citizens was willing to spend a few dollars on the stock — even though the companies weren’t worth the price — they could hurt the “too big to fail” hedge funds and financial institutions that had nearly crashed the entire American economy in 2008, then received unthinkable amounts of taxpayer money for their trouble.

The misunderstanding is curious, as the entire narrative has been covered (accurately) in mainstream news since January. No court in any jurisdiction has ever considered intentionally poor investments “market manipulation.” There is simply no legal case for it.

Similarly unprecedented was the response from stock exchanges and trading platforms, which eliminated the ability of Americans to freely buy and sell as they chose, and in some cases, forcibly sold stock without permission. Representatives from polar opposite ends of the political spectrum — from AOC to Ted Cruz — have expressed their support for the Redditors in the face of this power-grab. This is the most unifying issue in recent memory.

But the present financial players (and the professors who train future financial players) will continue to misrepresent this story to generate exactly what America has united against: more government market controls on the little guy.

Jason Perkinson

Reader got his vaccine; sign up to get yours

I received a shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Feb. 5, at the former Sears location in the Morgantown Mall. I had an appointment. I was allowed to enter the premises five minutes before my appointment time and was able to leave less than 25 minutes later. Those who organized and operated the event should be proud of the results. I heard that over 3,000 were vaccinated that day.

I write this to show my appreciation and to let the public know that anyone over 16 can now pre-register for the vaccination. Those registered will be called when the vaccine becomes available to the age group of the registrant.

The website is http://dhhr.wv.gov/covid-19/PAGES/vaccine.aspx.

When the website appears, the user must navigate through many options and must be very careful to select the correct option each time.

George Burns said to Jack Benny as they got on an elevator, “Jack, there are too many choices.”

Those who become confused may call 833-734-0965 and wait through many in the queue before a registrar answers.

Scott Burnworth

Clearing up confusion over police review board

There seems to be some confusion as to what a Civilian Police Review and Advisory Board is and what it can and can’t do.

The Civilian Police Review and Advisory Board currently proposed for Morgantown could not hire, fire, promote or discipline any police officer or department employee. It would have no control over budgets or spending. The board could:

  • Collect statistics related to police activities
  • Utilize this and other information to make recommendations regarding needed staffing, training and allocation of resources
  • Review and investigate citizens’ complaints and concerns, keeping names of officers and others confidential
  • Conduct a public hearing, if a factual basis for a complaint exists, and make recommendations to the police chief and city council
  • Avoid legal action against the city or police department by providing a forum for conciliation and mediating citizens’ complaints and concerns.

A civilian board does not duplicate or conflict with any system that currently exists. The Human Rights Commission only hears complaints based on discrimination related to factors such as race, ancestry or gender. The Police Civil Service Commission has two main mandates. It administers testing for job applicants. And, it hears appeals brought by individual officers from actions taken against them by the police chief.

There is no neutral forum where citizens can voice their concerns. I have family members who served as police officers. I have also experienced the loss of a young man, a family friend, who died in police custody.

I do appreciate the dangers all officers face in even a “routine” traffic stop. I admire their bravery and dedication. And, I believe, overall, the Morgantown police do a very good job. But, I also believe a Civilian Police Review and Advisory Board will make our city a better, safer place for everyone.

Kathleen Abate

Here’s how we can fix neglected W.Va. 7

The premise of this proposal is the following section of W.Va. 7 in Morgantown.

Starting on University Avenue, use caution at the perpetual pothole as you enter Pleasant Street. Continue to Spruce Street, turn left. Turn right to cross the Walnut Street bridge. Follow as it turns into Brockway Avenue, through the hogback turn, and Powell Avenue/Earl Core Road to the intersection with Mineral Avenue.

This is 1.7 miles of neglected West Virginia state highway that needed fixed when I moved back to town 11 years ago — of nearly continuous potholes and bumps created by inept foundational roadwork. Have you driven through the Spruce Street/Walnut Street intersection? I’ve heard entire Fiat 500s have been lost there and never seen again!

It’s fairly obvious the state isn’t going to do anything. I propose the City of Morgantown study and draft whatever is required to authorize the city manager to partner with the DOH or to seek DOH approval for the city to do the repairs and upgrades. Approval can be granted. I requested a pothole repair near the High Street bridge that required state approval.

Where’s the money? Two proposals: First, if a TIF can be used to upgrade an interstate highway, e.g. a new exit, to benefit nearby private, for-profit businesses, why can’t a TIF be created to pay for W.Va. 7 upgrades and improvements for the benefit of for-profit businesses in Downtown Morgantown and Sabraton? In fact, if a TIF were to be used, the western starting point should be at the U.S. 19/W.Va. 100 intersection in Westover. These commercial areas are suffering not only from a lack of adequate roadways but roadways that discourage potential customers.

The second proposal would require re-allocation of the city’s $3 per week service fee to include this one-time project. Due to the potential high cost, it may also be necessary to do only portions at a time. Folks, it’s pretty obvious the cavalry ain’t comin’. With city council elections around the corner, maybe someone will take up the mantle.

John Sofranko