Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Dec. 3 letters to the editor

Terra Alta ‘Wreaths’ event a success

Once again the Terra Alta and Alpine Lake communities have come together to support the Wreaths Across America project.

The recent spaghetti dinner was a success due to the combined efforts of many, from those who donated food and the many wonderful desserts, to the cooks and servers. There were 24 raffle baskets donated by businesses and the community.

A special thank you to the five Challenge Academy cadets and their leader for their help. We heard many compliments from the customers on their work ethic and helpfulness.

Thank all of you for your support to remember and honor our local Terra Alta veterans.

Marilyn Metheny
Robin Turner
Terra Alta

Disappointed by reaction to winter shelter

When necessary, I had kind friends to mitigate spells of being unhoused. Not everyone is so fortunate. Post-retirement, I volunteered at a shelter, advocated for the unhoused and served in governance for a nonprofit dedicated to housing first in Oregon.

I left Oregon when I could no longer tolerate my city’s and its powerful NIMBYs’ disregard for its most vulnerable. I honestly thought Morgantown would be better.

Instead, I follow the ongoing, still unresolved, struggles to provide for a winter shelter as we enter the first week of December. Coincidentally, shelter news comes alongside news of millions in public expenditures for local amenities for the privileged.

This makes my blood boil. If there is anything constant about an unhoused person’s existence, it is the constant instability. Where to spend time? Where to urinate/defecate? And, most importantly, where to sleep?

As reported, the Morgantown “plan” is to compound the instability. According to The Dominion Post reporting on last year’s shelter (11-23-23): “The shelter opened every day. There were too many people.”

So this year’s plan is fewer days? Weather-dependent? Where are people to go when shelter is not available? Imagine yourself not knowing where you’ll sleep tonight, or tomorrow night, or the next.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment bars a city from prosecuting people criminally for sleeping outside on public property when there is no other shelter. Now, Oregon cities are devising time, place and manner (TPM) rules for where their unhoused residents may sleep, as required under new state law. The TPM rules are imperfect, but it’s happening.

Never fear, Morgantown, we’re far removed from the 9th Circuit. Their ruling doesn’t apply here. But their principle does: Having a shelter that is unavailable, without an alternative, is inhumane.

Judy K. Ball

DOH offers excuses. Here are some solutions

As was evidenced by the Nov. 29 article “Morgantown Council talks road maintenance with state lawmakers,” there appears to be no solution for the despicable road conditions. Morgantown Director of Engineering and Public Works Damien Davis stated that every road into the city looks terrible — the optics are real and they are terrible.

Concerning the slick roads, District 4 Engineer Mike Daley’s response was that nowhere on their radar did they see this snow coming. I believe they need to upgrade their radar.

There were weather alerts Monday night on the TV and cell phones. With all the sophisticated technology, cameras and other types of monitoring systems along the highways, inclement weather should not catch the DOH off guard.

I agree with Michael Oliverio: The governor needs to make managerial changes, starting with the Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Wriston, who stated that he was going to ignore screeching or squeaky wheel complaints from the taxpayers who pay his salary. He is the same Mr. Wriston who was questioned concerning the allotment of bids to his son’s employer. I have been aware of his absurd excuses before. Mr. Wriston convinced Sen. Manchin that Bakers Ridge Road was safe. False.

If the DOH’s radar works in the future, I would suggest the salt trucks be placed in different locations early in the morning before rush hour traffic. Morgan County is in West Virginia and it pretreats the roads with brine the day prior to inclement weather.

I would agree there is a shortage of employees. Why not hire contractors with some of the surplus about which Gov. Justice brags? This would be a miniscule depletion. Is this any indication of the type of senator he will be?

As the old saying goes, it’s better to do something and fail than to do nothing and succeed!

Ron Lemley