Guest Essays, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

June 18 letters to the editor

Post Office drive-by boxes disappearing 

It simply disappeared. 

Have you noticed the drive-by post box at the Morgantown-Dellslow Post Office is gone?  

I asked the postmistresses inside, why; and they said: “Orders from ‘on high.’ ” I called the 800 number given for complaints (nothing local anymore), but the automated voice did not list a “General Complaints” from her/its exhaustive list. That automated voice must feel it covered every possible topic or complaint.  

So, on my second call, I chose “Mail Delivery/number 2.” That got me a third list to choose from, and evidently I chose correctly, because I next heard a living person ask: “How can I help you?”  

I explained my complaint and further stated that, at my age of 92, it is not a simple matter to exit a car. I continued that handicapped individuals also would be disturbed by the box disappearance. Further, I pointed out that, with the winter’s snow and ice, the necessity of leaving one’s car could be dangerous. I’m sure mothers with children are irritated, too.  

This person totally agreed and said she would report the box removal and that I would hear back in a few days. To myself, I thought, “sure!”  

But despite my skepticism, I did hear back. I repeated my complaint, except now I added a true statement: “A few times, this big, drive-by box has actually been full, it is so well-loved.”  

Now some honesty crept in. The postal employee said: “I don’t expect anything to be done about this, since the decision came from ‘on high.’ ”  

I was disappointed, but I appreciated the truth.  

I ask you: why go to the trouble and expense of constructing handicapped parking, curbs and an automated door if management takes away the drive-thru box?  

Perhaps my next step is to try Rep. Alex Mooney. I hope you are also inclined to “just call Mooney” — not Saul — at 304-925-5969, about the Sabraton drive-by postal box that disappeared. 

Robert Shumaker  

Manchin hurts W.Va. by opposing Biden 

Thank you for The Dominion Post editorial about our legislators’ votes for and against the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (06-08-23). This debt ceiling bill was saved by Democrats providing the majority of “yea” votes in the House and Senate.  

Sen. Joe Manchin often thwarts President Biden’s agenda, recently voting to repeal student loan forgiveness, and his insistence on the Mountain Valley Pipeline to secure his vote on the debt ceiling bill. Manchin’s support has always been from Democrats. Pandering to right-wingers in our state is futile, as they will never vote for him.  

Now Manchin is having delusional notions of running for president with the No Labels party, not even realizing the futility of that. He won’t even win our four electoral college votes, much less 270 votes elsewhere. Even David Brooks wrote in the New York Times that President Biden is the moderate who can get bipartisan deals.  

Manchin should be proudly promoting how much better off we are now in President Biden’s first term. Unemployment rates are the lowest since 1969, with more jobs being added than under any other president. Our international standing has improved; the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act have led to a boom in the manufacturing sector (look at to see how much is being spent in West Virginia); and 20,000 people per week were dying of COVID-19 in January 2021.  

You can check out for bipartisan legislation achieved under President Biden: the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, Respect for Marriage Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, CHIPS and Science Act, PACT Act of 2022 (expanded veterans’ benefits), Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (first legislation to address gun violence in decades), Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, Emmett Till Antilynching Act and Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022. 

Lynda Goldberg  

Division of Highways has gone AWOL 

Where has all the Division of Highways equipment gone, paid for by taxpayers? My wife and I travel the roads daily in Monongalia County, and we seldom encounter any DOH activity. “DOHM” — Dereliction of Highway Maintenance.  

Does anyone in a supervisory capacity travel the roads to document areas that need attention? Evidently, the answer is no. There has been some patching done recently. Why not total paving where there has been none in recent years? I assume the roads we ride on are paved with good intentions, but no smooth asphalt.  

We lived in Ocala, Fla., for a time and the bike and golf cart paths were in better condition than some of the major roads in this area. I realize the weather in this area is a factor that contributes to the deterioration of the roads, although, in Florida there are tornados, floods and hurricanes, where the aftermath requires major restoration to roads and infrastructure.  

We love both states, but there should be more attention to detail by the West Virginia DOH when the ditches need cleaned, the overhanging trees need trimmed and substantial thickness of asphalt laid — not just a skim coat. How much of the $1.7 billion surplus is directed to road maintenance? Does it all remain on the banks of the Kanawha River? 

If your vote counts, count the politicians who are concerned about improving the roads, infrastructure and enhancing the vistas in “Almost Heaven.”  

Complaining appears to be a futile waste of time and printer ink. I realize this is the definition of insanity: writing about the same thing and expecting a different result.  

There are severe consequences in the military for being AWOL, at least in the past. What are the consequences for those who ignore the safety of the public? Apparently zero.  

Ron Lemley 

A message from my deceased father  

I am one month older than Donald Trump. We were both raised in New York City. None of us could have ever imagined that someday Donald Trump would be the president of the United States, and that in achieving his place in history, he would have conned millions of Americans.  

My wife and I will shortly toast the 50th anniversary of the day we arrived in Morgantown. We have neighbors and friends who have supported Donald Trump, yet we work hard to not allow our political differences to destroy our friendships.  

I get it when people tell me Donald Trump was a successful president because many of the promises made to his supporters were fulfilled. And that he was strong on crime and immigration. But it pains me greatly that, to achieve these objectives, the basic fabric of our democratic society is slowly being destroyed. 

Donald Trump is a very calculating man. He knew that by declaring his bid for a second presidency, he could leverage this to try to avoid prosecutorial pursuit. He cons people into believing the Justice Department is running a deep state, and it is being weaponized by the Biden administration to prevent him from being president again. He constantly attacks the “fake news” press when freedom of the press has been a pillar of our democracy. He developed a plan with his cronies in advance of the last election to convince people that if he lost, he still won, undermining our electoral system. 

Autocrats gain and sustain power by convincing the populace the only source of truth is themselves, even if they are pathological liars.  

My father was a World War II veteran. So many of his generation gave up their lives to fight fascism in Europe to preserve our democracy. If my father was alive today, he would ask me how America went down the very path his generation fought so hard against. And I would not have any answers, only able to say to my father that I share in his pain and that I am sorry.  

Andrew Ostrow