Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

March 12 letters to the editor

Thanks to Mountain Line Bus service

Times are tough. Family budgets are strained, wages are not competitive and not all jobs appeal to the masses.

A couple weeks ago, the Spring Track & Field season began and 170-plus student-athletes signed up to participate at Morgantown High School.

These young people are flocking to an after-school activity in droves and their needs are many — transportation being one of the biggest when dealing with such a large group. Mon County Schools cannot provide buses to many after-school activities, and even worse, it is unable to commit to buses to many games and meets throughout the school year due to a lack of drivers.

When all hope seemed lost the Mountain Line Transit Authority came to my team’s rescue. Mr. Bruffy, the CEO of the MLTA, and his team went above and beyond to help my kids get to where they needed to go — all the way to the Mylan Park Track Facility.

Friendly, clean, efficient and timely. … Those are the words I would use to describe our great public transportation line.

Because of its tireless work to serve our community, 40-plus athletes are now making it to practice on time; countless cars and family members are off the road and not adding to our traffic problems; and a local mode of transportation is serving us all and achieving its ultimate purpose.

Thank you, MLTA.

Please consider driving a bus for our school kids. Please consider helping Monongalia County Schools. Please consider my athletes and their hopes and dreams   to get to and from competitions. And please be thankful for just how blessed we are to live in an area with so many wonderful resources to make our lives better!

Steven A. Blinco
Morgantown High School Head Track & Field Coach
Star City

Thank you, Morgantown, for supporting Ukraine

On Feb. 24, the Morgantown community marked the one-year anniversary of the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign and independent nation. A vigil brought together friends of Ukraine, faith leaders and Ukrainian members of our community.

On Feb. 26, we held a benefit concert at 123 Pleasant Street and raised $2,573 in our ongoing efforts to support the people of Ukraine.

I write this letter to thank all those who attended the events and donated, and who continue to stand with Ukraine. That the Morgantown community has come together to show such strong support for a country thousands of miles away deserves to be recognized.

I know we all have many worries and anxieties, and caring for a far-away people is a challenge. The fact that Morgantown folks have kept Ukraine in their hearts for a year now demonstrates what a strong and supportive community we are.

Chief among those to thank are L.J. and Lisa Giuliani, who donated the 123 Pleasant Street venue for the concert, providing us with a space and with their hard-working staff, especially Nic Crouso and Lindsey DeBolt. The bands who donated their time and talent include some of Morgantown’s best: Greg Riordan, Tommy Thompson, The Sages, Better off as Animals, The Tom Batchelor Band and Lords of Lester. These musicians gave us a wonderful night of entertainment, and we are grateful.

Numerous local businesses and individuals donated gift cards and merchandise for the raffle, which helped build our funds. Those who donated include: Jim Antonini (local author); Cyndy Graves and Jacob Hough (Penguins tickets); Black Bear; Sargasso; Table 9; Phoenix Bakery; The Grind; The Brownie House; Barnes and Noble (advanced reader copies); Violet Iris Thai Yoga massage; Shiny Dome Records; B.C. Mac; Unique Peace etched glasses; Casey’s Cauldron; Third Earth Custom Tattooing; and Morgantown Brewing Company.

Thank you, Morgantown, for your continued support of Ukraine. Slava Ukraini!

Lisa Di Bartolomeo

Claims that masks are ‘useless’ are misleading

The show “Pokerface” is a streaming hit on Peacock that shows the pervasiveness of lying via “Charlie,” a woman who has an uncanny ability to detect lies and bull pucky. Questionable information is not only expressed by the baddies on the show, but is pervasive in traditional and social media.

For example, people opposed to mask wearing are currently pointing to a meta-study showing that wearing masks was useless against COVID. My view is that Pokerface Charlie would have called that out as inaccurate, but it is subtle to explain why I think the way I do.

First, wearing a mask generally didn’t protect the person wearing it. Wearing masks was mostly a social contract, where my mask protected you and your mask protected me. Currently, while most people don’t need to wear masks, KN95 masks protect the wearer to some extent, and when I see someone wearing one, I put on my mask if I have one because they may be immunocompromised.

Secondly, the physics (science!) is clearly on the side of wearing masks. The “COVID times” taught us things about breathing and droplets we’d rather not think about, but masks slowed the spread of the droplets that carried the virus.

So it seems that we shouldn’t believe everything we hear or read, but should depend on science and a dose of common sense.

Steven Knudsen

Legislature’s priorities don’t match people’s

This legislative session has proven that what we as citizens consider to be important and the agenda of those voted into office to represent us in Charleston are two very different sets of priorities.

Reading the news recently I see concern about safe drinking water, air and soil after toxic train wrecks. Residents appealing to the county commission that their roads are in extreme disrepair, only to be told their road belongs to the state. Concerned local college students, professors and administrators traveling to Charleston to voice their displeasure about campus carry laws, only to have their concerns ignored. A birthrate 10 times the national average for infants testing positive for drug exposure. Failing schools and an inability to staff our schools.

Now let’s look at the order of importance according to the West Virginia Legislature: Women must carry every child to term but no expansion of child care centers, no expansion of support for single mothers, no incentives for foster care providers or foster homes to care for these children. (Reference 10-times national average of drug exposed babies above.) Who can play school sports and where instead of focusing on quality and quantity of education for all students. Not to mention the rhetoric that anyone who is “other” to their “us” should be shunned. 

What in your daily life did their agenda serve? Does my family travel to school and work on safe roads? Are they learning adequate skills to survive and thrive in society? Is the water I drink safe? Will I have enough to pay for groceries after all the utility increases granted by the state utility commission raise my monthly bills? 

Please ask yourself if their priorities are the same as yours.

Cynthia Nelson

Vaccination should be individuals’ choice

In his recent letter to the editor (“ ‘Religious freedom,’ but for whom?” DP-03-05-23), Barry Wendell is only partially correct in asserting that there is “no religion that says your children don’t need to get vaccinated.”

It is not necessary to say so. Since most faith traditions uphold the primacy of individual conscience, health care decisions should be understood as private decisions made by the individual (or by parents on behalf of their children). Parents possess both the right and responsibility to determine whether medical interventions are appropriate for their child. Parents may choose to opt out of certain interventions for their child if they are deemed unnecessary, experimental, not worth the associated risks or if the pharmaceutical product in question is tainted by morally objectionable means (i.e., aborted fetal tissue). All such concerns came into question for parents regarding the COVID vaccines.

Only the “state religion” says you do need vaccines to participate in society. It is a basic human right to grant or refuse consent to medical treatment, therefore it doesn’t depend on one’s religious beliefs. No medical procedure should ever be forced or coerced.

Patricia M. Johnson