Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Oct. 8 letters to the editor

What’s good for the world is good for W.Va.

It often goes unrealized how addressing global poverty has an economic benefit to the United States. Likewise, it is often overestimated the amount of money the U.S. government puts toward foreign aid and development.

Most Americans believe that the government uses around 25% of the federal budget on foreign aid. Additionally, Americans who believe that myth would like to reduce foreign aid spending to less than 10% of the budget.

The fact is around 1% of the federal budget goes to foreign aid, and if anything, the foreign affairs budget should increase.

It is safe to say West Virginians may read this and wonder, “Well, why are we sending money abroad when it could be used here?” The reality is what is good for the world is good for West Virginia.

Solving economic hardships in West Virginia and the entire world are not that separate. When our government invests in developing foreign partners and allies, this creates more customers and job opportunities for Americans and American business in the United States.

There are many examples of West Virginia exports bringing in revenue and job opportunities to the state; one example of this is the DOW Chemical Company’s West Virginia operations, providing for over 20,000 jobs in West Virginia. Another example is Leveltek exports from Benwood, W.Va., to foreign ports like Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore and Shanghai. Both companies bring in millions of dollars to the state and support the West Virginia economy.

West Virginians can and should lead the way tackling global poverty, not only because it is good and noble, but also because it can help improve the lives and economic situations of so many globally and domestically.

I cannot say this enough: What is good for the world is good for the United States and for West Virginia.

Timothy Bellman

Leave Station One Fire Dept. where it is

We are writing to express the strong sentiments of our local community in Chancery Hill and First Ward regarding the proposed relocation of the Station One Fire Department.

Our Southside fire department, composed of dedicated firefighters who have become integral members of our community, is not just a service provider; they are our neighbors, friends and a vital asset to our neighborhood. While we understand that changes and improvements may be necessary, we firmly believe that relocating the fire department is not the solution.

Instead, we propose that the city invest in upgrading and modernizing our existing fire station. Here are some key reasons why we believe this is the best course of action:

1. Community integration: Our firefighters have established deep connections with the residents of our neighborhood. They understand the unique challenges and needs of our community, which enhances their ability to respond swiftly and effectively during emergencies.

 2. Response time: Relocating the fire department could lead to longer response times, potentially putting lives and property at risk. Maintaining our current location ensures that our firefighters can continue to respond rapidly to emergencies.

3. Community cohesion: Our fire department plays an essential role in fostering a sense of community and safety. Their presence at local events, school visits and block parties has a positive impact on our neighborhood’s unity and preparedness.

4. Cost-effective solution: Upgrading our existing fire station may prove to be a more cost-effective solution compared to the expenses associated with relocating the department, including land acquisition and construction costs.

5. Preservation of tradition: Our neighborhood fire department has a rich history and tradition that deserves to be preserved.

We would ask people to contact our city council and city manager today to support improving Station One and keeping it at its current location. Help keep Morgantown’s neighborhoods and communities strong!

Peter Wentzel
Mary Gainer

Watch it: Old Man may be sneaking in on you

There are over 650,000 people in their 80s still working, and that number is increasing each year. Some people who work in their 80s do so because they’re bored or want to feel needed again. That’s me.

When I turned 80, my doctor told me to be careful of the Old Man taking over. I asked him what he meant. He said as we age, we get lazy, and when that happens, the Old Man moves in. That is, we begin to lose the ability to concentrate on speaking, moving and keeping good posture.

Then, I thought of President Biden, who sometimes slurs his words when he begins a speech. And then like that, he seems to snap out of it and his speech goes smoothly. Of course, it can be hard to tell what about Biden’s irregular speech might be related to age, and what might be related to his life-long stutter. It’s like he recognizes what’s happening to his speech and he begins to concentrate harder.

Another thing I noticed after I turned 80: I sometimes tend to stray from my prepared notes. Of course, we see this often with former President Trump. He will go off on five or six different tangents and never get back to the subject he started with. It’s the Old Man again taking over. In fact, I had an older professor at Syracuse University who was easy to sidetrack. Before class, we would often work out who would get him off-subject.

One thing I am sure of is that people like Trump will seldom slur words, stumble or have bad posture, because they must always be in a performance mode for the public. Erving Goffman states, “Each person in everyday social intercourse presents himself to others … just as an actor presents a character to an audience.”

Perhaps if we can get into a performance mode when we hit 80 and do it honestly, the Old Man or Woman will leave us alone.

Ron Iannone

When students have more maturity than reps

I attended a large city high school with 3,600 students during the late 60s and early 70s. Back then, there were many riots in school. We used to count the police vehicles at our high school games. We would have over 20 police vehicles there to take disruptive students to the police station, but I do not recall ever having one of our classmates pull the fire alarm to force about 4,000 teachers and students to evacuate the building.

Likewise, I taught school for 45 years and no one ever did that prank of pulling the fire alarm to disrupt what was going on in the building.

On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 30, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) pulled the fire alarm in one of the congressional buildings, which he says he did by accident. House leadership has said they may investigate the incident and/or censure Bowman for it.

Why is it that we have a U.S. congressman (a former school principal who would have been in charge of fire drills) who turns out to be the one that does that prank when thousands of immature students refrained from pulling that stunt?

Dan Manka