Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

May 14 letters to the editor

Consequences of anti-LGBTQ sentiment 

Sadly, two major stories in this week’s The Dominion Post seem related. 

Huggins’ inability to use sensitivity in describing incidents involving a college basketball rivalry in his past and demeaning not only Catholics, but persons who are, or are related to or allies of, LGBTQ persons promotes a more difficult environment for lesbians, gays, transpersons and others. 

The second story about parole denied for one of the two girls involved in the killing of Skylar Neese includes an explanation of a motive. The two girls “had embarked on an intimate relationship — which Skylar knew about.” The article goes on to report, “Skylar … had threatened to out the pair.” The two 16-year-olds were “worried about being shunned” by family, church and presumably others. 

“In our teenage minds,” one of the girls said, “we didn’t know how to handle the conflict.”  

The difficulty in managing LGBTQ experience in an opinionated environment has been a complex challenge for many. Unfortunately, this concern has led to many suicides and apparently also to deaths such as Skylar’s. For the health and safety of all, it is important not to put down, intentionally or unintentionally, differences in sexuality. 

When sexuality is disparaged, it is important to speak up and to acknowledge equal dignity for all. The persons protected may prove to be family members, friends/colleagues or teammates, associates’ relatives, persons going through a transition in life or perhaps even persons just working to be humane in every community interaction. 

Hopefully, from the insensitivity in the Huggins’ radio incident, we all can learn to be more careful in the opinions we represent and the language we use. Putting people down for differences relating to something as personal as sexuality ultimately costs us all. 

Don Spencer  

Utility rates bad reason to not buy Pleasants 

I was disappointed but not surprised Delegate Evan Hansen was but two of the 134 members of the Legislature who did not endorse the purchase of the Pleasants Power Station by Mon Power.  Hansen said he was against the resolution because electric bills for West Virginia customers had gone up faster than any other state in the country. 

The U.S. Energy Information Agency Electric Power Monthly site states, from February 2022 to February 2023, the cost per kilowatt hour in West Virginia went up 1.65 cents to 13.57 cents. 

Our neighboring states’ rates: Ohio 14.60, up 1.94 cents; Pennsylvania 18.29, up 3.81 cents; and Maryland 16.12 cents, up 2.04 cents. The deep “green” state of Connecticut was 34.32 cents, up 7.81 cents. California was 27.07 cents — more than double the West Virginia rate. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom was proud last year to announce the closure of the last coal burning facility in California. But Newsom failed to mention 30% of California’s electric power is imported from neighboring states, including 7,969 gigawatts from coal plants. The 1,900-megawatt Intermountain plant in Utah and the 1,540 MW Four Corners plant in New Mexico provide electricity to California. 

In 2012, California was the leading producer of wind energy. By 2022 it had fallen to sixth place. Nancy Radar, director of the California Wind Energy Association, said California has added but 750 MW of wind energy since 2012. Radar cited difficulty developing projects at optimal sites due to local land use restrictions and the fact Californians don’t want wind turbines in their backyards. 

West Virginia should do its best to hold onto its coal fired power plants. Our utility rates are low compared to “green” states. 

Dennis Poluga  

No action is not an excuse anymore 

I wrote an earlier letter on this topic. Since then — like clockwork — is gun massacres, just on another day, in another city, in another venue, at another time.  

This is a manifestation that will is lacking at the politician level while most of the public remains silent. So, the rampage continues unchecked!  

Again, all the victims come from a broad spectrum of life and are innocent, whoever the perpetrator is or whatever the cause may be. Unless there is collective will and concrete actions, this will continue. No amount of words and prayers can bring back the lives lost. 

Apathy, silence and embrace of the gun lobby have all emboldened extremists. History repeats.  

Across America, guns are a leading cause of death, more so in certain states. Politicians protect guns at the expense of people. We are not protecting children by banning books. 

We need to send a positive message to people about what peace will look like instead of violence. Stopping gun violence is not Democratic or Republican, nor is it right or left — it is a people issue. 

Grass root mobilization should be conducted to elect responsible leaders, starting at local level, along with heavy lifting to stop the radical wing of GOP. It may not be an easy task, but persistence pays off in the end! 

Syamala Jagannathan