Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

June 25 letters to the editor

STIFs, TIFs not making better communities 

It’s all well and good that there is new development spurred on by the TIF and STIF districts in the western part of Monongalia County. But I can’t help thinking how unsustainable this growth is.  

Yes, jobs have been created, but how much do they pay? And where are retail workers at big-box stores, fast-food outlets and chain motels supposed to live? I don’t see affordable housing in the plans for these areas, nor do I see a way to get around on foot or bicycle. There’s minimal transit, but you need a car to access most of this area.  

We have a baseball stadium, but even if there were housing, where would the Little Leaguers play and where would the pick-up basketball games go? Why aren’t schools, neighborhood parks and libraries in these plans?  

Unless the money generated from these districts is used to create liveable and walkable communities, I am opposed to an extension of these districts. 

Barry Lee Wendell 

Don’t give panhandlers money or food anymore 

Panhandlers at the entrance to University Town Centre must go.  

I know people give them money. They also give them food. They really don’t want the food, or they wouldn’t leave it there to rot on the pavement.  

The people who give them money, food or whatever think they are doing a good deed, and it would be a good deed if the panhandlers really wanted that kind of help. All they want is money.  

If these panhandlers really needed help, there are programs available to provide the help they need. If they can stand on the street for six to eight hours bumming for money, then they are able to get a job. Just look around the University Town Centre — every business there is hiring. Some of the panhandlers are just lazy and want the public to give them their money.  

If the public wants to get the panhandlers off the street, quit giving them money, food or anything else. Then they will have to go elsewhere to get the help they really need.  

The police can only do so much. They run the panhandlers away, but as soon as the police leave, the panhandlers are right back out there, breaking the law again. So stop giving them money, food or anything. I know it’s hard to fight the feeling of feeling sorry for them, but it has to be done. 

Ralph Correll  

Consider a ‘hometown boy’ to replace Huggins 

WVU is searching for a new basketball coach and the obvious candidates have been mentioned. But I feel they need to look at some less obvious candidates.  

I think they may be looking at which coach could keep the current recruiting class together. It seems to me that with the present portal, recruiting classes are year-to-year changes. Why hire a coach for a one-year recruiting class?  

I want to suggest one coach who I feel would be an ideal choice. The current coach of Drexel, Zach Spiker. Zach is from West Virginia and grew up in Morgantown. He reminds me of a young John Beilein.  

John came from a smaller school, the University of Richmond. He was obviously successful here and at Michigan.  

Zach has a similar personality. Zach is the second-most successful coach at Army, only behind Bob Knight but ahead of Mike Krzyzewski. His teams have improved year-to-year, which to me is a sign of a good coach.  

Zach knows basketball and is a class act. He would be a great role model for the athletes. It seems to me we should be looking at someone whose heart is with West Virginia and not someone who is looking to make WVU a steppingstone somewhere else. Zach would be a fixture and stay.  

I hope this is not too late for consideration by the WVU committee in charge of hiring a new coach. I hope they will consider this before making a decision. 

Bob Solly  

It’s always time to work at being a parent  

Netflix got it right when it dropped the movie “Forever My Girl” (2018) just before Father’s Day. Rotten Tomatoes gave this apparently dumb movie a 24% rating and the reviews are scathing. 

The movie starts with a country music star coming home for a memorial service for his childhood friend, then being forced to face his past, which resulted in his fiancée’s broken heart and a 7-year-old child. The movie’s arc rises as “Liam” gets to know his daughter, “Billy,” and tries to slowly regain “Josie’s” trust. Things look boring indeed as there is no boyfriend or husband to compete for Josie’s affections, and the only man in Josie’s life is a protective brother. So this Hallmark-esque movie keeps going better and better for Liam, until it doesn’t.  

I think every parent has experienced the horrifying consequences of his or her mistakes and how a child could have died but didn’t. For me, at different times, it was a peanut butter blossom cookie and a breaking car seat. But it was like the universe smiled on me for a moment, leaving me to pick myself up and be a parent the next day. 

It’s at this moment that the pastor’s (Liam’s father, of course) platitudes suddenly drive home into the heart that personal change is possible. All the characters in the movie change for the better, but the happy ending was by no means inevitable. 

One thing the movie never makes clear is who is “forever my girl.” Is it Liam’s fiancée, or as the movie suggests, Billy, or is it Liam’s mother? Of course it’s all three, in their own ways.  

Finally, though, as Josie says in the movie, being a parent is for a lifetime. So even though both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have passed, I think it’s still the perfect time to reflect on that. 

Steven Knudsen