Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

April 18 letters to the editor

Trans athlete ban makes world less safe

When you’re a parent, one of the most important jobs you have is to keep your child safe.

From the moment we bring them into our home, we do our best to bring them safely to adulthood. We are lucky when our government works with us to help with that. Whether it’s making sure the water they consume is free of contaminants or the air they breathe is free of pollution, we work with our government to make the world safer for our children.

HB 3293, the trans athlete ban, makes the world less safe for transgender kids by forcing them to play sports on teams that do not align with their gender identity. It takes a population that is already marginalized and bullied and forces them into situations that could cause significantly more harm, both emotionally and physically.

 As the parent of older trans kids, this will not impact me or my children directly. But I have had conversations with parents who have lost their trans kids to suicide. I have sat in spaces with my own kids, deeply concerned for their safety because of the bullying they endured. I would encourage any legislator supporting this ban to invite these parents into their offices to better understand the impact these laws could have on other trans students. I will gladly share my experience.

If this bill is signed into law, I encourage educators and coaches to ignore it. Allow students to compete with their peers — not the peers the state thinks they should compete with. Allow them to win and lose with their friends, not people who have the same privates. Recognize that sometimes fighting unjust rules is the only way to bring about justice, and that injustice for some is injustice for all.

Alise Chaffins

Manchin must support For the People Act

Gerrymandering allows local and state politicians in power to pick their voters. They custom-draw their own electoral districts, allowing themselves to do minimal work, yet still get reelected election cycle after election cycle — all without honoring their commitment to represent their constituents.

We see it occurring in West Virginia nearly every election cycle. Sen. Manchin, is this the kind of behavior you’d like to continue supporting?

In the 2020 campaign, dark money totaled more than $1 billion — these are funds that nonprofit organizations were able to spend on politics, without revealing the donors identities. Candidates who benefit from these funds clearly have a step up in comparison to those not beholden to these special interests.

With these advantages, it’s easy to see why our congress, with an average 24% approval rating within the last year, has a 90% reelection rate as of the latest election.

The For the People Act (HR 1 and S. 1) addresses these issues by turning over the drawing of congressional districts to independent commissions rather than politicians. It also requires trade associations, unions and other politically active nonprofits to disclose who’s giving them money and what campaigns they are funding.

Sen. Manchin, by supporting this bill, you are stating that you believe in democracy, transparency and fair elections. You are telling those of us that are tired of our broken democracy that you hear us. To hold on to the support of West Virginians, it is imperative that you pass the For the People Act.

Ash Orr

In support of Danielle Trumble for 5th Ward

I am excited to support Danielle Trumble as the 5th Ward candidate for Morgantown City Council.

Danielle Trumble has knowledge and experience with our city government. She established her commitment to the community by leading the Woodburn Neighborhood Association as president, serves on the BOPARC Board of Directors, the Traffic Commission and the Health and Wellness Commission.

Danielle also serves on the City Council committee focused on solutions for the unsheltered. She volunteers at the warming shelter sites and delivers food with Pantry Plus More.

I appreciate the initiative she takes to learn about issues in our city, along with her collaboration with others for thoughtful solutions. If you have noticed less litter around town, it is a result of Danielle encouraging people to take pride in our city and pick up trash on our roadways and trails. A focus on clean ups on our gateway of Willey Street last month led to over 30 bags of garbage being picked up in a six-block area alone. A cleanup of Brockway Avenue was held with volunteers, with Danielle also coordinating this event.

Danielle’s dedication to our downtown led her to volunteer on Main Street Morgantown’s events and promotions committee. As a small business owner, she understands the economic challenges that affect businesses. She is looking forward to working with others to revitalize our downtown as a place where people can live, work and play.

Reevaluating the city’s infrastructure, including sidewalks and roads, is also a priority for Danielle. Making our town more walkable, with amenities closer to our neighborhoods, would result in greater health and wellness for all.

Leadership, experience, knowledge and a little bit of “spunk” are why I am asking you to join me in voting for Danielle Trumble from the 5th Ward for city council.

Marti Shamberger

Excuses vs. solutions: Just fix the roads

My wife contacted the governor’s office regarding the deterioration of roads in Preston County that were paved in 2019 and now are breaking up due to the insufficient amount of asphalt applied.

We were told that the Preston County maintenance department has been advised of our concerns and will make every effort to come out and make a temporary fix. Why waste tax dollars on temporary fixes? We are thankful that they did a temporary fix on Moccasin Rocks Road.

The response from Mr. Williams was that WVDOH is still in snow removal and ice control mode. As of March 10, 2021, there is no ice and minimal snow. There is no justification for all the excuses. In addition, we were told that supplies were extremely limited. Why? Who is responsible for this?

Patching and mowing are scheduled for mid- to late-April. Patching on tar-and-chip roads is scheduled for August. Ditching is scheduled for December. Are they serious? I thought November through March was snow and ice removal time. Maintenance season will begin in the middle of April when the asphalt plants are open. Greer Asphalt opened March 8 (if this is where the DOH has a contract).

What happened to Gov. Justice’s Roads to Prosperity or was that just a pipe dream? Just more of the ad nauseam response riddled with excuses — no solutions.

What are the reasons/excuses for not fixing the deplorable section between exit 7 of I-68 and the Easton Hill? An infinite number of holes in the concrete. If the person/persons responsible were employed by any other organization where they were required to produce and be accountable, they would be in the unemployment line, but that could mean an increase in their bank account with this new socialist government.

I can’t wait for the cerebral idea of a mileage tax to be implemented, then we can have beautiful roads in Almost Heaven, but no one will be able to afford to travel.

Gene Lemley
Bruceton Mills

Longer, staggered council terms better for our city

We have an important opportunity in our upcoming city election, which will allow our councilors and our city manager to do an even better job for us.

By voting for a proposed amendment to the city charter that allows for increasing and staggering the terms of office, voters can provide for increased continuity and deeper analysis of issues that come before our councilors. This amendment will align us with other West Virginia cities.

Presently, all seven council members serve two-year terms. The amendment would increase terms from two to four years and would provide for staggered terms. The proposed change would give councilors the opportunity and satisfaction of focusing more deeply on important issues and projects, such as the airport runway extension. In addition, experienced councilors could better orient newly elected members and thus address councilors’ concerns that it can take a year to fully understand their responsibilities.

The proposed change could also make it easier to recruit city managers, who would appreciate the stability such a change would ensure for him or her and, thus, for the city staff who run the city on a daily basis.

If the charter change is approved, councilors elected in Wards 2, 4 and 6 will serve four-year terms, while those elected in Wards 1, 3, 5 and 7 will serve two-year terms and be eligible to run for four-year terms in 2023. Thereafter all candidates will run for four-year terms, with elections still held every two years.

There are also minor changes proposed to Article VII, dealing with the Ward Boundary Commission.

The language for the proposed changes is on the ballot. Please join me in checking the box by “Yes. The Charter should be amended as set forth above.”

Judith Gold Stitzel

In support of Marly Ynigues for 5th Ward

As you probably know, early voting for the city council election has begun. For the 5th Ward, I am proud to support my friend, Marly Ynigues.

Marly’s platform is focused on supporting the people and places that make Morgantown such a great city to live in. She cares about local jobs, local artists and our small businesses. Marly wants to create more outdoor community spaces, including a senior recreation park. She also has ideas for supporting our houseless community while making housing more affordable for all who live in Morgantown.

Marly is a unique candidate because she previously served on the city council in Elkins. At a time when over half of our incumbent councilors are not running for reelection, Marly brings experience that will let her hit the ground running on her first day in office.

I’ve also known Marly for years and have always known her to be a thoughtful person who expresses good judgment and listens to everyone.

If you’re voting in this election, and I hope you do, consider supporting Marly for Morgantown. You can find more information by visiting Marly For Morgantown on Facebook, Twitter or by email at marlyformorgantown@gmail.com.

Shane Assadzandi