Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Aug. 14 letters to the editor

We have an obligation to search for truth

We are too immature as a society to be trusted with social media.

We jump to conclusions. We spread false information. We fall for the proverbial snake-oil salesmen. We are our own worst enemies.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang gave us the answer to this perplexing problem: Think! Or, rather, read.

Put down the social media whose algorithm is feeding you the doctrine you want to see. Distinguish between opinion and news, exaggeration and fact. If it seems to be too crazy to believe, it probably is.

The internet does provide a rich resource of respected news providers. However, it is up to us to find them.

And it is up to us to support them. Good journalism isn’t cheap.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. We all have our own. We also have an obligation to seek the truth. Whether we like it or not.

John Sofranko

Maybe CDC should ‘inspect’ passengers

I see where our attorney general has joined with other Republican attorneys general to claim that the CDC does not have the right to require passengers to wear masks while using public transportation.

They say that the CDC only has the following rights under legislation, namely inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, “destruction of animals or articles found to be so infected or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings” and other measures.

I think that one of the functions of the CDC is to protect us from infectious diseases. Mask wearing and immunizations are two effective methods to accomplish that goal.

But let us assume that Morrisey and the others succeed in their lawsuit. The CDC could then require inspection of all would-be passengers on public transportation. This could include testing of potential passengers for the presence of COVID at all airports, train stations and bus stops. Not only would this greatly increase the costs of travel, it would lead to great delays in transportation.

I would hope that Morrisey and the others see the error of their ways and drop this frivolous lawsuit.

David Yelton

Protect Morgantown right not to play game

People play games every day, in the sense Eric Berne, author of the book “The Games People Play,” published in 1964, showed us that people strategize to make good things happen in their ordinary lives and conversations.

West Virginia has a special connection to game theory through its native son John Nash, who got his PhD at Princeton University and developed the “Nash Equilibrium.” The concept is illustrated in the movie “A Beautiful Mind,” where ungentlemanly gentlemen have to cooperate with each other in the famous bar scene. A big takeaway is that we can be at peace if we compromise with the other during negotiations.

This reminds us of the final stage of negotiations to purchase a car where the dealer and customer are “splitting the difference.” When the starting point is good and the difference is minor, this is a good way to get the deal done with both sides happy.

This brings us to the game proposed in Aug. 4’s The Dominion Post, on the front page. If the organization Protect Morgantown loses the proposed game, it must “stop their efforts and accept that [Big Daddy Guns] will open as expected without any further protests of Big Daddy Guns, its location(s) …”

Two things are notable here: the speculated differences in the size of the pockets of Big Daddy Unlimited vs. Protect Morgantown and the rules of the game that force a capitulation to demands to stop assembly of citizens to protest and give up free speech rights. Of course, that is if Protect Morgantown loses the proposed game, but the rational option may be just not to play at all.

Steven Knudsen

Companies should pay for EV chargers, not taxes

Under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan, West Virginia will be receiving tens of millions of federal dollars to construct and maintain electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state.

We might as well get our portion of this funding or another state will. But this is not free money. We taxpayers are paying for this.

Did the federal government pay oil companies to construct gasoline stations? Of course not, so why should the federal government pay for electric vehicle charging stations? Why not let free market capitalists build the charging stations? Tesla is already doing this.

John Britvec

Schools should ask why students are leaving

After COVID, businesses took significant steps to ensure that they would recapture their client base. Some public agencies did not.

The West Virginia Department of Education and each county school system pay particular attention to student enrollment since state funding is based on enrollment. According to the West Virginia Department of Education’s ZoomWV website, Mon Schools’ full-time equivalency (FTE) enrollment summary by year is as follows:

  • 2017-18 — 11,588
  • 2018-19 — 11.504
  • 2019-20 — 11,577
  • 2020-21 — 11,052
  • 2021-22 — 11,246

Even though Monongalia County continues to grow in population, Mon Schools lost 330 students between the 2020 and 2022 school years.

The West Virginia Academy just announced that it had an enrollment of 450+ students. While some of that number are probably students who didn’t return to the school system in 2021 and 2022, it is likely that many are students who walked away from the traditional schools this year.

Mon Schools raised a concern about the loss of state funding due to the opening of the West Virginia Academy. It should be more concerned about why 450+ students have left the traditional school system.

Leaving your traditional school is a difficult decision — so much thought goes into the benefits of leaving. Maybe people were concerned about another round of school closings due to COVID, the remote learning system that saw student proficiency rates fall by 3%-5%, snowdays and arctic days that result in remote learning days, another teachers strike, school discipline or the “woke” culture, which is moving into the traditional system. Or maybe a traditional school is just not a good fit for some students.

Mon County Schools should understand the reasons why students are leaving the system.

I have supported every school excess levy. My tax ticket just arrived.

I am investing another $1,200 in the school system this year. I want it to continue to be a wise investment.

Dennis Poluga