Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

April 24 letters to the editor

Response to Delegate Ward’s April 10 essay

Mr. Ward’s guest essay, entitled “Demand America be Energy Independent Once Again,” suggests the U.S. was once energy independent but is no longer due to President Biden’s energy policies. This is false.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. has had a net energy export since mid-2019. Furthermore, the essay is inconsistent, since the title is in reference to energy, but his reasoning is based solely on fossil fuels. The U.S. does import fossil fuels, but this is a fraction of our total fossil fuel consumption, and the U.S. exports about two-thirds of the fossil fuel that we import. This is due to the fact that we’re a key player in the world energy market, which includes shipping crude oil to foreign refineries that are better suited for refining that particular oil.

Mr. Ward suggests the Biden administration is responsible for our current high gas prices. If this is true, then why are gas prices high worldwide? According to globalpetrolprices.com, gasoline in Canada is currently equivalent to $5.72/gallon, in Mexico it’s $4.45/gallon and in Japan it’s $5.05/gallon. The average cost worldwide is $5.06/gallon. Meanwhile, oil companies increased the cost at the pump when the cost of crude oil went up, but didn’t reduce the cost when crude prices went back down, yielding record monthly profits.

If Mr. Ward was truly concerned about prices at the pump, he would be criticizing big oil companies, not President Biden. The reality is, we need to significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption as quickly as possible, or else the consequences will be far greater than high gas prices or war in Ukraine. Playing the political blame game may work for getting votes, but does nothing to solve local, national and world problems.

In closing, I ask Mr. Ward, what have you done to promote solar and wind turbine industry jobs in our state as coal demands drop due to market forces?

Ronald Jarrett

Can a dealership donate a van to the Shack?

The recent article in our paper regarding the Shack said it needs a van and it has started a GoFundMe.

 We all know that money is hard to come by, and many families barely have enough money to put food on their table. I’m hoping the new fund will bring the Shack some money, but will it be enough for them to get a nice van?

There is an easy solution to their problem. With our many car dealers in our city, how about one of the dealerships donates a good, used handicapped van to the shack? There is no better advertisement than the dealership’s name on the sides of the van, and this would be a permanent advertisement.

So now the challenge is out. Who will be the first dealership to take the challenge and donate a van?

This would be a blessing for the Shack. It is a nonprofit agency and it helps anyone in need. Transporting men, women and children to doctors, taking them on picnics, outside events, etc. The Shack feeds the hungry, gets necessities for them through donations and is always welcoming people to the Shack. Its doors are open to everyone, no matter what their needs.

So all of you car dealers in Morgantown or the surrounding areas, please, one or more of you, donate a handicapped van to the Shack.

Also, please donate to the GoFundMe.  There are so many more things that the Shack needs to help its clients. I have no affiliation with the Shack, but when I read the article, I thought of the car dealerships and how they could help. Hopefully, one or more dealerships will go together or just one dealership will donate a van.

Terry Lee Tusing

Morgantown lock and dam trash eyesore

This problem has a history. Go to our Upper Mon River Association website, uppermonriver.org, and click on Floating Trash.

There is no safe, simple, cheap solution. A “trash wheel” with a purchase and installation price of about $1 million has been proposed. That would also require staffing and repairs, and mess up the Caperton Trail during construction.

It seems that paying a saltwater company with two employees, neither of whom appear to be an engineer, just to come look at our problem will be a waste of money. If Clearwater Mills LLC is confident its $850,000 machine will work in Morgantown, it should be able to find financing needed to work out the details.

The Restricted Zones immediately up and downstream of the dam are very hazardous. Buoys and signs are placed to warn boaters to stay out. The Corps of Engineers does not normally permit access to these areas.

Regrettably, it is best to let the trash pass through the dam gates. Ignore the natural trash (trees etc.). Then, when the river flow is calm, have small boats do shoreside and in-river pick-up of man-made, non-hazardous items. This might be done by a group of organized volunteers with their own boats. Tim Terman did such before he left the Morgantown area.

Hazardous wastes and bulky items (e.g., fuel tanks) might be pulled out by a small motorized barge, perhaps funded and operated by the City of Morgantown or the county commission. These items would then be unloaded at a shoreside location, though hazardous items may need special disposal. Non-hazardous trash would be sent to the county landfill.

The cost of the barge, shoreside collection facility, personnel, etc., will be considerable. And all that cost is for handling trash from high water events that happen perhaps  three times per year. This problem occurs throughout the country, and a practical economic solution has yet to be found.

Sad to say, but the best solution from a cost standpoint is to grit our teeth and let the dam trash flow downstream.

Don Strimbeck

Orchestra concerts don’t belong in a school gym

Orchestra; home to many instruments. As a sixth grader who plays the violin, it’s one of my favorite things to do.

At Mountaineer and Suncrest ,iddle schools, we are given the opportunity to be in the school orchestra. Our spring concert was just a few weeks ago, and we’d been practicing our music for months! Our orchestra teacher planned our concert at the Metropolitan Theatre. It was one of our final concerts of the year. We would showcase what we had learned throughout the year.

It was a pretty big deal, but we were not able to do that. The board of education declined our request at the Metropolitan Theatre. They said we could instead play in the Mountaineer Middle School gym after school was over. We wanted to have the musician experience in a theater, not a school gym! A gymnasium is not made for music — it’s made for exercise and games! I thought this was a very unfair decision made by the BOE, and we shouldn’t have had to play in a gym.

I still find it relevant, because playing in a school gym is not how I want the rest of my middle school orchestra concert experience to be. More so, it’s certainly not welcoming to future sixth graders interested in joining the orchestra if they have to have their concerts in a gym.

I really hope this can be brought to light so that, from now on, we can have our orchestra concerts in a theater or auditorium instead of a gymnasium, which has poor acoustics.

I truly did love my concert, but I would have loved it more if it were somewhere a little more appropriate for an orchestra to perform.

Josephine Herring

DOH’s incompetence should be investigated

My calls to Mr. Cronin’s office at the DOH in Clarksburg have not been returned and I would like answers to my questions.

I live in Arthurdale on Q Road (District 4), a main street that’s been hazardous for many years with huge potholes; in front of my house looks like an obstacle course.

On April 1, it snowed and DOH workers were patching some potholes on Q Road. Why? The road was wet and hot pitch was being poured into the potholes. The result is like putting a Band-Aid on a deep gash that needs stitches. It’s effective for two to four weeks, then the potholes are back.

A DOH representative told me that there’s a mad rush to fill the state’s potholes before Memorial Day. Why? Doing this during inclement weather is a waste of much needed (taxpayer-funded) money as well as workers’ time.

A year or two ago, S Road, a side road in much better condition than Q Road, was paved. We assumed the DOH would soon be paving Q Road … we are still waiting.

The DOH spokesperson assured me that the reason wasn’t because a state trooper resides on S Road but didn’t offer the factors that determine which roads are paved. Also, Q Road is scheduled to be paved sometime in spring or summer of this year, but no definite date was available.

An investigation of the state’s DOH is overdue. Where’s the money the state receives for road repairs going? Who heads up getting roads repaired in a timely manner? I heard the excuse that the DOH is severely understaffed. Why are the funds being wasted for asinine, futile repairs not being used for better salaries? How long is the governor going to ignore the incompetence of those in charge at the WVDOH?

Brenda Bonnett

Local candidate isn’t good for West Virginia

Geno Chiarelli is a Morgantown local running for House of Delegates in the 78th district. This man claims to “go against the status quo,” yet champions regressive and dangerous policies and practices.

He recently released a video about a local clinic that specializes in harm reduction. He criticizes their methods and says that he will “rebel against the current system” and champion conservative values.

The problem is that we live in a conservative majority state. He embodies the status quo in every way. Any harm reduction programs that benefit the residents of West Virginia have been hard fought for against that conservative majority.

I am not going to argue the benefits of harm reduction here, as they have proven time and time again to be vital in saving lives. Nor am I going to encourage you to vote for Democrats as a solution to this.

The intent of this letter is to warn you against voting for people who do nothing more than appeal to God and general conservatism as a way to bring us prosperity.

I have a few questions for the public. Are the systems he is vying for control over serving you? Do you think they ever will?

Brier Schrout