Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Nov. 28 letters to the editor

Cost is too high to ignore climate change

The science relating to the existence and cause of climate change has been settled for years — combustion of fossil fuels by humans has increased atmospheric carbon dioxide at an unprecedented rate, and that carbon dioxide (along with other greenhouse gases, like methane) traps heat, causing the earth to warm.

The last time carbon dioxide levels were as high as they are now was 3 million years ago, when temperatures were 2-3 degrees Celsius higher than during the pre-industrial era, and the sea level was 50-80 feet higher than today. The October 2018 special report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, based on a review of over 6,000 scientific references, stated that global net carbon dioxide emissions must decline 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach zero by around 2050 in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures. As detailed in the IPCC report, warming more than 1.5 degrees would have catastrophic effects on natural systems and human populations.

This is not a sudden development. Scientists have been warning about our warming planet for decades; but years of science denial and procrastination have brought us to the point where major societal changes are needed over a few years to prevent catastrophic warming.

Under these circumstances, it is a betrayal of our children and grandchildren for politicians to block climate provisions like those in the Build Back Better Act that would allow the United States to achieve necessary emission reductions. As one of the largest sources of greenhouse emissions, the U.S. must lead the global effort to reduce global warming. The cost of inaction, both economically (such as property damage from rising sea levels and extreme weather) and in terms of human suffering, will be far greater than the cost of addressing the problem now.

Terry Schnell

Morgantown should warm up to downtown

Warming shelters are a life-saving resource. They shield those of us who are houseless, and they sustain those of us needing extra heating assistance, such as a senior whose home has lost power.

It’s heartwarming that Hazel’s House of Hope plans to provide an emergency warming shelter this year on top of its growing role hosting a homeless shelter, sobriety center and more. But is the City of Morgantown shifting its responsibility to provide critical community infrastructure where people need it most?

As The Dominion Post recently opined (DP-11-17-21), Morgantown needs a warming station downtown, where many public services are. This would doubtless improve accessibility for the most people.

The editorial explored one risk of relying on a patchwork of volunteers for critical community infrastructure: “Hazel House is asking for volunteers to provide rides for people who don’t catch the last bus at 8 p.m., but a night short on volunteers may leave some people in the cold — literally.”

For an alternative model of public warming shelters, we can examine the example of Elkins. Our Randolph County neighbor of about 7,000 residents has a homeless shelter in the downtown area as well as a domestic violence shelter. Despite these year-round resources, the community acknowledges an acute need for emergency shelter during the coldest months.

Emergency warming shelters open throughout the county as the weather requires, under the guidance of the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management. Shelters are available in fire stations in several communities throughout the county for greater accessibility, including the fire station in downtown Elkins. Surely our city with four times the population — seven times the population in winter, with WVU students — can build a home for critical community infrastructure downtown.

Marly Ynigues

Thank you to Stonerise for excellent care

I would to thank the staff at Stonerise Rehabilitation (formerly Mapleshire).

I had been in the hospital with medical problems and was not able to walk or stand. I was transported by EMS to Stonerise. Within a few days, with the help physical therapy and occupational therapy, I am able to walk, stand and do a few steps.

I just can’t say enough about the excellent care I received during my stay at Stonerise. All the employees genuinely care about all of their patients.

May God bless you and your families and bring you peace, happiness and good health.

Carol Ann Miller

Van Voorhis change shouldn’t be hot debate

I am disappointed with the recent contention concerning the proposed WV Division of Highways’ improvement of Van Voorhis Road north of W.Va. 705. As expected, issues involving eminent domain can be highly contested, but these disagreements should be civil and include perspectives from all sides.

It is well-known that Van Voorhis Road has numerous design and safety issues. These include traffic, soft shoulders, dangerous intersections, non-existent pedestrian infrastructure and poor passage in winter weather. I encourage residents of Monongalia County to visit the project site on transportation.wv.gov and to consider the thorough plans to address these many issues. Residents who live or commute along the Van Voorhis corridor deserve a safe route to walk, bike or drive.

Concerning the disagreement between property owners north of the W.Va. 705 and Van Voorhis intersection: If the BB&T Bank is built on public land or a public right-of-way, this is both shocking and unfortunate. The bank and its owners should be liable to compensate stakeholders adversely impacted by the proposed improvement. Conversely, the proposed easement is designed to minimize its impact on affected property owners. It would be unfortunate if the present disagreement compromised the other components of this needed improvement to Van Voorhis Road.

I am not affiliated with WVDOH, its contractors or any stakeholders affected by the proposed road improvement. I am a resident of Monongalia County in the Cheat Lake area and lived on Wedgewood Drive from October 2018 to August 2020 and West Run Road from August 2020 to August 2021.

Matthew Searle

Fallen trees pose danger to power lines and roads

Beautiful West Virginia should not look like this.

Our overhead lines need attention! Also, on Route 119 north and south, trees are resting on lines on Grafton Road — power and phone.

Fallen trees are sliding down banks on both sides of the highway. Also, trees are leaning — ready to fall on cars and the road. Lights out!

Cannot the State Road, county or West Virginia do something to help this mess? Does anyone else feel the same?

Joyce C. Gilmore

Council must answer for encampment ‘clean up’

 I recently sent an email to Mayor Selin and my Third Ward councilperson regarding the recent “clean up” of a number of camps occupied by some of the city’s most needy and underserved individuals. This “clean up” left many people not only truly homeless, but also with only the possessions they had on their person.

I met five of these individuals Monday at the Community Kitchen while serving lunch. Some were coatless and cold, wet and hungry. I find the timing of this to be reprehensible. Among some of the coldest weather to date and only days before many of us will be giving thanks for what we have.

At the time of writing, I have yet to get a response from Mayor Selin but was able to spend nearly an hour on the phone with Councilperson Ixya Vega, which I found to be positive.

Is this the city that calls themselves inclusive? Maybe so only if you live in the right type of dwelling and live the right kind of life?

My email read:

While serving meals at the Community Kitchen, I heard some very disturbing news about the removal of the homeless encampment. In my conversations I was told that all of the individuals’ possessions were loaded into a dump truck with a bulldozer and hauled away.

While serving meals I was faced with individuals who had lost everything and did not have gloves, hats or dry socks. Monday, the temperature was projected to be 25 and, to the best of my knowledge, the warming shelter has yet to open. If it has, many of these individuals do not have a means to get out to the old Ramada Inn.

To me, this appears to be another attempt to make these individuals become invisible in the downtown area. As one gentleman told me today, “All we are looking for are the basic necessities of life and nothing fancy.”

Where did the approval come from? Was notification given? How can these individuals reclaim their possessions or have they been truly sent to the trash?

Richard Dumas