Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Dec. 5 letters to the editor

Downtown must have own warming shelter

Monongalia Friends Meeting has a deep concern for our neighbors in Morgantown who are without shelter this winter.

As Quakers, we believe there is that of God in everyone, and therefore, each person should be treated with an equal amount of dignity and respect. We agree with The Dominion Post editorial of Nov. 17 and call upon city leaders to provide indoor shelter in the downtown area.

The planned overflow shelter at Bartlett House is, at best, only a solution for some. We know this because, right now, although there are beds available at Bartlett House, there are fellow human beings huddled in doorways or under tarps.

All human beings, regardless of their circumstances, deserve a warm place to be during winter.

As a city, we must continue to address the complex root causes of homelessness. In the meantime, we must ensure there is accessible warm shelter in the downtown area. Until such time as there is a warming shelter downtown, we urge the city not to destroy the personal property of those without permanent shelter.

Catherine Tall

Christmas present for Preston County parents?

Since it is Thanksgiving season, I want to thank Superintendent Steve Wotring and BOE President Jack Keim for considering school choice for parents who are not satisfied with the school their children are attending. A Preston County BOE meeting will be set in the future for more discussion. Right now, the discussion centers on Rowlesburg School, Kingwood Elementary and Terra Alta East Preston. Note: Local school boards cannot legally give some parents a choice but not extend that same choice to others. That would be discriminatory and for sure would get the state’s attention.

For the record, I think this is a super idea. I believe it is time for parents in Terra Alta and Kingwood who have children in large classes to have a choice of sending their children to the Rowlesburg School, where they will get a great deal more individualized attention. Some parents in the past, especially in Kingwood, have complained about the “privileged” education children in small schools receive while their children attend a large school with large classes.

This is a wonderful opportunity the BOE and superintendent are considering. The buses run from Kingwood and Terra Alta daily, so there would be no increase in cost. Would children receive a better education when teachers have more time to spend with them? The numbers don’t lie. The Rowlesburg School ranks in the top three Preston elementary schools in state proficiency testing and routinely ranks first in Preston County in progress year over year.

The small school environment and the smaller class sizes are part of the reason for the outstanding results — but not the only part. It takes outstanding teachers. Year after year, even with turnover, the Rowlesburg teachers do a remarkable job. The three top ranked schools are all small schools — Aurora, Fellowsville and Rowlesburg.

I cannot wait for parents with children in overcrowded classrooms to have a choice of transferring their children from the county’s largest underperforming schools to the higher performing, small schools. This is a wonderful Christmas present — if the BOE and superintendent follow up.

W. Timothy Weaver

Politics, economics: Legacy of the pandemic

All of us have now realized this COVID pandemic is here to stay in some form. Global health remarkably improved after the advent of a series of vaccines starting from the late 18th century. Nowhere in history, has a vaccination effort been politicized to this extent, so we have vaccinators and resistors. It’s spilled into local schools, education boards, teachers, parents and others. Now enter variant “O” (omicron). Vaccines and personal protection are paramount as is supplying poor countries with needed vaccines and public health support.

Lately, supply chain economic issues have taken center stage. Even though there is a multifactorial cause, the pandemic has exacerbated the topic. The solution lies in manufacturing and buying at national and local levels. We have made some inroads in agricultural products through farmer’s markets.

Any serious calamity affects health care and heightens mental health problems — and this pandemic is no exception. Economic instability is the root cause. Violence is on the rise — evident at a musical show, holiday parade or airport. Not everyone can filter out the disinformation tsunami created by social media — and some elected officials — creating extreme political polarization. As far as an individual’s right or freedom to act out: A quick reminder that one is part of a community and freedom must be exercised in that context.

All citizens, especially leaders, have a responsibility to right misinformation through available channels. People are confused after a long spell of pandemic effects and need reassurance.

President Biden’s Build Back Better Act is a godsend to address and alleviate the problems listed above and more. Compromise is key to break the gridlock. The majority of people support it, and Congress should, too. One or two elected officials cannot impede that process. They are elected to serve their constituents and they speak loudly. Congress has been stuck in the red zone for too long now, and it is time for a win for the country.

Syamala Jagannathan

Editorial right, but there’s more to Rittenhouse case

In response to The Dominion Post editorial Nov. 26: It was factual and to the point that all sane readers can agree. However, it runs deeper.

To self-appoint oneself security guard or law enforcement officer is illegal. Kyle Rittenhouse entered a site of unrest with a loaded firearm, which was illegal. He would have felt disappointed if he had not had a chance to kill someone with it, which is also illegal. On a TV interview, an opinion was expressed one starting an act cannot then plead self-defense from it.

It seems nowadays one can pitch an allegation lacking evidence and it will take root. I would like to see a competent committee allege the Rittenhouse jury deliberations were not Kosher. I would like to see the jury members, especially the foreman, interviewed. I suspect a lot of deliberated time was to overpower in argument the few jury members who possessed a clear impartial mind.

On TV, I detected Rittenhouse harboring a smug smile — long before verdicts were announced.

It is a shame to see that so many in office today, if they ever had sound reason, it has gone the way of the dodo bird.

Carl W. Sypolt
Terra Alta