Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Oct. 2 letters to the editor

City needs lesson on working with DOH

I spent most of last month traveling through the small towns and rural areas of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. On no occasion did I travel on a road in as poor condition as the road between The Dominion Post building in Sabraton and the Triangle in Westover.

So I was very happy to see that Sean Sikora, Tom Bloom, Jeff Arnett and Westover Mayor Bob Lucci were working together to fully engage the West Virginia Department of Highways in developing a more “permanent” solution to the Holland Avenue issue.

In the past, the department would mill the road and asphalt Holland Avenue. But by not dealing with the base of the road, the asphalt was but a temporary solution. I wish to thank the four of them for their leadership in this endeavor.

I only ask that the three commissioners take the time and walk the few blocks to Morgantown City Hall to provide some level of guidance so that the City of Morgantown will fully engage the Division of Highways in a more permanent solution for Brockway Avenue.

While I understand the city places great value in having smooth-bottom kayaks available for rent at Hazel Ruby Park, I place a much greater value in having a smooth driving Brockway Avenue.

Six to eight years ago, the City of Morgantown was rated by many sources as one of the best small cities in America. Today it can’t be found on any list. I understand that the absence is principally due to poor local governance, but the poor condition of the major state roads running through the city must also have been a contributing factor.

So I ask the county commissioners to assist the city in making progress with the Brockway Avenue issue.

Dennis Poluga

U.S. flag should be the only flag in classrooms

You may ask, how can our Monongalia County Board of Education be so unfeeling as to not allow our kids to put a flag depicting their particular special interest in the classroom?

I would then ask you, why are you going to be upset when another group wants their flag in the classroom? Would you want to allow an opposition political party, religious group or someone outside of your particular social or cultural or racial group to put their symbol in that same classroom?

I do not agree with every group of people around me — no one does. That difference of opinion is what, at the end of day, makes us a fantastic place to live. It is also why, because we are by and large citizens of this great nation, we should have one symbol of that unity in our classrooms. The United States flag.

For any member of this great nation, that symbol, our flag, is the only representation of our civil, moral and ethical rights that any of us needs and if we don’t agree with it, we need to use the rights guaranteed by our Constitution to change it.

Don’t work around our flag — work with it to make positive change, because chaos and anarchy serves no one.

Andrew Price

City council has ignored downtown for too long

I was pleased to read Ben Conley’s article in The Dominion Post on Sept. 21, which highlighted the rising loitering problem in downtown Morgantown.

Mr. Conley’s article gave light to what many  people have repeatedly said — that downtown Morgantown could be the shining star of our community, another strong economic hub in our region, yet sadly it’s continuously impeded by a lack of meaningful attention from the Morgantown City Council.

Where is the council’s primary attention? The loitering problem is obvious and has only gotten worse over this past summer. Open drug use is a common sight, as is the associated public urination, defecation and aggressive panhandling. Walk down Spruce Street during any hour of the day and the situation is embarrassingly obvious. But where is the council’s focus? Is the council somehow blind to human waste on the city’s sidewalks and in downtown alleys? Is that the sort of family-friendly, pro-business credentials our council wants as the face of downtown?

As the country moves beyond the pandemic and people return to our economic and retail hubs, the city council’s top priority should be making all of downtown Morgantown a visually attractive, vibrant, popular, business-friendly environment each and every single day.

First and foremost, that means taking meaningful action to address the loitering problem and the undesirable side-effects it brings with it. Then let’s address the physical infrastructure — making sure all of the side streets are well-lit at night, ensuring the sidewalks are passable by all citizens (that may mean burying utility lines underground and removing the outdated power poles) and enhancing city beautification.

We need to give businesses a reason to invest in downtown and forcing them to be the arbitrators of the council’s lack of attention is not helping our community. Rather than waste time on the silly civilian police review and advisory board and enacting policies that gut the Morgantown police and fire departments of skilled personnel, the council should look to its own backyard and make it something of which we can all be immensely proud.

Cody Parker

In support of Fleischauer and Wendell for office

I’m supporting candidates like Barbara Fleischauer and Barry Wendell who show up, listen and care about the citizens they have met from all neighborhoods in their districts.

Our last legislative session demonstrated why we need more women in office — women who will understand the whole picture around our families, the costs of keeping them fed and healthy and educated with comprehensive, instead of filtered, history. Legislating to control reproductive rights without supporting childcare is hypocritical to gain cheap political points.

Barbara Fleischauer — a lawyer who has won cases for workers’ rights even before her tenure as a productive member of the House of Delegates — is now running for the West Virginia Senate.

I am also rooting for Barry Wendell, former teacher and Morgantown City Council member running for the U.S. Senate. I know him as someone who has a great sense of fairness and who won’t lie to curry favor.

Tactics of campaigning without debate, preferring negative PAC-funded TV ads can’t be the last word on garnering our vote. Alex Mooney, also running for U.S. Congress, was called out by his own party’s Gov. Justice as having never been seen at the West Virginia Capitol. He’s not at events in his district either, even in his home county, while his opponent, Barry Wendell, is everywhere so long as the events don’t conflict.

Don’t sit this midterm election out … We have to look beyond soundbites to avoid voting against our own interests. Much oversimplification and misleading going on discourages voters, but the stakes are very high. Ever since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, money has put corporations and out-of-state wealth into even our local elections.

Let’s see past the negative ads to elect candidates who relate to us as neighbors like Barbara Fleischauer, Barry Wendell and Danielle Walker, too (the single Black woman legislator)!

Eve Faulkes

Don’t let the library be neglected

The Morgantown Public Library is an underused resource with many well-presented programs for children and adults.

The story in a recent edition about the city council’s concern with loitering downtown was disturbing to me, but not because of the issue of homelessness (a complex problem that plagues most cities).

I was dismayed that people reported avoiding the library because they don’t feel comfortable! I visit the library regularly to find books, movies, magazines and help from friendly staff. Yes, some people I see in the library may be homeless … where are the rest of you?

Don’t let the library be a victim of neglect. I recommend that more people visit the library, where we can all feel comfortable.

Cindy O’Brien

Mooney not fit to represent W.Va.

U.S. Congressman Alex Mooney has mailed flyers to seniors in our congressional district, asserting that the Social Security program is endangered.

He did not explain that this is due to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act that was supposed to cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years, financed with intragovernmental borrowing, including from Social Security.  Corporations used their money for dividend payouts and stock buy backs, instead of creating jobs and increasing wages. Thus, the deficit has grown in recent years.

Now Republicans plan to cut the deficit (https://rescueamerica.com/12-point-plan/) by targeting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Their plan would negate having to repay any borrowing from Social Security!

Congressman Mooney asserts that the 9.6% cost-of-living adjustment projected for 2023 is evidence of inflation hurting West Virginia seniors. It is actually a recognition of inflation that will provide more money for seniors in 2023.

Mooney says he opposed President Biden’s spending bills and he voted against them. Democratic sponsored plans included the American Rescue Plan in 2021, which provided income and child tax credits to West Virginians during the worst of the pandemic; the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which brought funding for roads, bridges, broadband and jobs for West Virginians;  the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which will bring computer technology jobs to West Virginia; and the PACT Act for Veterans, which brings lifelong access to VA health care and benefits for those exposed to toxins and burn pits during deployments. The Democratic sponsored Inflation Reduction Act has a cap for out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, $35 for a month’s supply of insulin, and gives Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices.

Congressman Mooney and his Republican colleagues intend to reverse these spending bills if his party regains majority power in Congress. They intend to abolish or privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. West Virginia residents especially need to be keenly aware of which candidate they’re voting for and their respective agendas.

Charles Karnack
Cheat Lake