Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Jan. 15 letters to the editor

State leaders’ failure shown on Chaplin Hill

Another winter, another chance to damage your car driving on Chaplin Hill Road, the northern entrance to Granville, Star City and Morgantown off Interstate 79, Exit 155.

It only took some freezing weather in December to regrow the potholes that have been appearing each year. And like years before, it takes precision driving to navigate through without hitting them.

Thousands of cars a day enter the Morgantown area from this exit, which prominently advertises West Virginia University, and now sees even more traffic as the gateway between Mylan Park and all the people living east of I-79.

While there has been need to upgrade the interchange at Exit 155 for at least five years due to the traffic and commercial development, it is inexcusable for the state to fail to provide longer term needed roadway repairs to Chaplin Hill Road during that period — especially while admitting that there is more than a $1.5 billion surplus in tax revenue building up!

The thin resurfacing or light duty patching done in spring fails early every winter, leaving drivers to weave around the potholes they can see, and to pray not to hit them in the dark. An unlucky hit can quickly cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to repair — much more than the vehicle taxes!

The governor has been promising to fix the roads since taking office. The state government has had the money. Where are the results?

Ben Chorpening

Independents essential to good democracy

Two friends of mine have become Independent voters. They suggest that they are Independents because of the crazy “progressives” on the left and the MAGA Republicans on the right. But by sitting on the bench, the Independent moderates have given over control of both parties to the fringe groups.

Twenty-two states have closed primaries, which means that Independent voters can’t vote in a Democratic or Republican primary. In Pennsylvania, far left Democrat John Fetterman ran against MAGA Republican Mehmet Oz. I watched the Pennsylvania Senate debate. Fetterman and Oz were an embarrassment to the state. Manchin and Capito would wipe the floor with either of them in a U.S. Senate floor debate. But Fetterman received 2.7 million votes.

West Virginia voter registration by party is Republican 39%, Democrat 33% and Independent/Other 28%. In the U.S. House race, incumbent MAGA Republican Mooney beat moderate incumbent McKinley in the Republican primary by 18%. Mooney beat “progressive” Democrat Wendell in the general election by 30%. I couldn’t find myself voting for either of the candidates in the general election.

Far too many decisions made in Congress are based on politics and not what is good for you or me. Moderates need to regain control of both parties or we will just continue to have a bar fight in Congress. I, four of my friends and the first two people who turn the corner at the top of High Street could develop in 30 days immigration, energy and gun rights legislation that 70% of the public would support. But the far-right and far-left members of Congress will not vote for our interests.

Nothing will be agreed on our major concerns until Independents (moderates) get off the bench and get back in the game. That time is now.

Dennis Poluga

Mon Power needs to improve reliability

For my family, a long-time power outage was a nightmare in danger.

On Dec. 23, 2022, the outage lasted about seven hours, starting at 3 p.m., which impacted hundreds of customers in the area of the Village of Sugar Maple Ridge in Westover.

In the extremely cold storm, the temperature in my house reduced swiftly to 40 F. I reported the outage twice over phone calls and texts. Someone came here to fix it, and the power came back.

Unfortunately, an hour later, it shut down again. The washer and dryer stopped working with many clothes in them. All my family members had to stay in beds with layers of blankets, waiting for power.

We waited and waited till 10 p.m., but there was still no power. It was too cold to stay in the house. A child was staying with us at that time. So we had to make a hard decision to book a hotel at Fairfield Inn, and then we quickly moved there to stay a night.

I understand it was tough for Mon Power to handle so many outages in the state of emergency. But it was obvious that Mon Power had not prepared well for the emergency.

Mon Power should keep upgrading its electrical system and do more effective work to improve  electric service reliability for customers.

Flora Xue

Kent Leonhardt should run for W.Va. governor

Dear fellow West Virginians,

Let me get straight to the point. We need to recruit Kent Leonhardt to run for governor of the great State of West Virginia. It has been discussed in many circles, so let’s pull him into the race.

I would assume all of the potential candidates who are considering a run for governor have some of the essential qualifications, but only one has them all, and that’s Kent.

Kent served his country as a United States Marine for over 20 years. While in the Marine Corps, he was an intelligence officer who earned a Combat Action Ribbon and knows how to handle tough situations and what it means to be prepared.

Kent also owned successful retail and wholesale businesses. He bought a farm in 1982 in Monongalia County that had sat abandoned for almost 30 years. He and his wife Shirley worked tirelessly for years to make it a working farm and have made it their home.

He served us in our state Senate and has the proof of his votes for his support of the Second Amendment, culture of life and expanding rural health care.

Now serving as the commissioner of agriculture, he runs the largest office outside the governor’s purview, to include oversight of conservation programs and 170 flood control dams.

Finally, he is the only potential candidate that I am aware of who, as a public official, has actually created jobs. In addition to tripling farmers markets and supporting small businesses, he brought the most modern food processing business right here to Monongalia County — Mountaintop Beverage — with the fewest tax dollars per job of any recent announcement.

We need to strongly support Commissioner Kent Leonhardt as our next governor.

George Dunbar
Star City