Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Jan. 2 letters to the editor

Make Arthurdale a national historic site

As Randy Vealey‘s Dec. 26 guest essay discussed, tourism is an important economic growth engine for the Mountain State.

An effort is underway to enhance tourism at Arthurdale, the historic New Deal project in Preston County, through acceptance of its museum properties into the National Park System as a National Historic Site.

Rep. David McKinley has requested that the National Park Service perform a reconnaissance survey to evaluate the viability of this option. The request has been approved, and that survey will likely be carried out in 2022.

As Ken Burns, the renowned documentarian, commented in a letter of support for Arthurdale‘s acceptance: “The unique story of Arthurdale is crucial to a complete understanding of our nation during the Great Depression.”

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was keenly interested in subsistence homesteading and developing related vocations for the residents. She visited Arthurdale 33 times between 1933 and 1960. Ninety-eight sister projects were spread around the nation as part of the federal government’s effort to give struggling families a start on a new life as the nation pushed for financial recovery and growth.

Local residents who benefited from living in this ground-breaking community began the preservation efforts of the current museum properties over 35 years ago.

They recognized that the New Deal administration had made a significant investment in such a prototype project for housing support. Never before had the federal government engaged in providing housing. Now such support is an accepted aspect of government programs.

An immediate benefit of the preservation efforts was the opportunity to open the buildings for tours. Ongoing efforts since that time have brought visitors from many points on the globe.

Arthurdale started out as a federal project within the Department of the Interior. It seems fitting to have the National Park Service (also within the Department of the Interior) manage the museum properties’ future preservation and operation, if that is approved, while benefiting the region’s economy through significant increases in tourism.

Deb Miller

Mysterious operation could be big polluter

A presumed cryptocurrency mining operation appears to be headed for the Morgantown Industrial Park — adjacent to Skyview Elementary and Westwood Middle schools, as well as numerous residences and businesses, and located just across the Mon River from Morgantown. It has the potential to affect air quality, noise and other aspects of our quality of life.

Marion Energy Partners LLC, a company having the same address and contact person as Northeast Natural Gas, recently obtained a draft air-quality permit from the state for a “Science Facility.” The facility will run 24/7/365 with power generated via untreated natural gas from a nearby Northeast Natural Gas well.

The draft permit has no Best Available Control Technology analysis, has relatively high greenhouse gas emissions allowances and does not consider aggregation of emissions, despite the well pad and the facility having the same ultimate owner. It has no noise limits and no restriction on the quantity of electronic waste it will produce.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality is holding a virtual public meeting at 6 p.m.  Jan. 11, where you can find out more. Register before 5 p.m. Jan. 11 at: https://forms.gle/vZvJirkUKayGee1W7 and you’ll receive an e-mail on how to join the public meeting. If you prefer to participate by phone, please call the DEP-DAQ at 304-926-0475 before Jan. 11.

Details on how to download the draft permit, the application and other materials regarding the permit decision are available at https://dep.wv.gov/daq/permitting/Pages/NSR-Permit-Applications.aspx (Permit Application R13-3533).

The Division of Air Quality will accept written comments until 5 p.m. Jan. 13, by email to Edward.S.Andrews@wv.gov with “Marion Energy Partners Comments” in the subject line, or by regular mail to Edward Andrews, WV Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality, 601 57th St. SE, Charleston, WV 25304.

Paula Hunt

Happy New Year’s, kids. Military gets your money

Just heard the defense budget that is slightly more than three quarters of trillion dollars for 2022 was signed by President Biden.

There are few things more important than to defend our nation. Indeed, I served my country during the Korean conflict. But the size of this military budget this year is astronomical, and it is $25 billion more than even the military requested.

It rolled through Congress with nary a word of discussion (did you hear anything?). Not even slick advertising for dinner in front of the television. Of course, Manchin, our financial hawk, quietly voted for it and it was signed in a blink of an eye by Biden. It’s a program known for pork barrel that Gen. Eisenhower warned us about when he talked about the influence of the military-industrial complex.

Compare that with the hullabaloo about Manchin, etc., over the child tax credit. It cost $184 billion and it brought, so Columbia University said, 3 million children out of poverty. That’s twice as many children as the population of our state of West Virginia.

We’ve been trying to bring children out of poverty for decades, and we just let this apparently successful program expire because Joe Manchin and all Republicans don’t like it; too costly!

Stated bluntly, these, our representatives, just grabbed the plates from 3 million children sitting at the table in millions of households in the name of “it’s socialism and it costs too much.”

The blame extends to us for letting this travesty happen. Isn’t it ironic that it happened at Christmas time when so many Americans celebrate the birth of a child in a lowly stable? Shame on us!

Robert C. Shumaker