Lawmakers can do more to protect women
I fail to understand how our Legislature continues to get it so wrong!
The women of West Virginia should be protected from sexual assault in their marriages, not have sane nurses removed from our hospitals.
We need you to help us feed our families, not quibble about how many hours a mom needs to work to get SNAP.
We need you to keep weapons out of our schools, not add more guns to the mix.
We need comprehensive health care, not greater PEIA costs and fewer Medicaid benefits.
We need to be adults when we sign a marriage contract, with no exceptions.
The girls of West Virginia deserve comprehensive and fact-based sexual education, not “Meet Baby Olivia” propaganda videos.
Our girls need to attend fully funded state universities with a variety of majors and enough professors to teach them, not for some of you to fly around on a private jet with Gordon Gee.
All women deserve to rock our natural hair in all of its glory. Pass the CROWN Act.
We deserve you to honor the service of our national guardsmen, not ask them to serve active duty in our prisons because you refuse to adequately compensate prison guards.
If you want girls to feel safe and cared for in their school bathrooms, fill them with tampons and, while you’re at it, maybe Plan B?
If you want to honor the quality of their education, pay their teachers a competitive wage and stop handing our tax dollars over to private schools.
We deserve the right to an abortion, but the least you can do is live up to your promise to fund free birth control at every county health clinic.
The trans girls of West Virginia deserve to be loved, cherished and supported, just like those who were born with ova, not othered, vilified and denied the validity of their existence.
The biggest barrier to the safety and wellbeing of West Virginia women is not the girls without “ova” who may be using their bathrooms, it’s the men “capable of producing sperm” in the Legislature.
Forget big projects — focus on everyday roads
Seems that the only road priorities we hear about from the West Virginia Division of Highways and our elected officials are the Harmony Grove interchange, the new bridge to the Morgantown Industrial Park and the new Star City/Exit 155 interchange.
While these may be worthwhile projects, I care more about the roads that I and many Monongalia County residents drive on a daily basis — Brockway Avenue, Holland Avenue in Westover and Main Street in Granville. They are third-world condition roadways.
More of a concern is the issue of roadway safety. Just how many accidents have to occur before the DOH gets around to placing a traffic light in front of Panda Express at the University Town Centre?
From just north of the Uffington Bridge on Interstate 79, south through Marion County and into Harrison County, there are guardrails or cable guardrails in the median in order to prevent vehicles from crossing through the median into oncoming traffic. From mile marker 149 to the Pennsylvania border, there are no guardrails in the median.
On Jan. 3, near mile marker 150, two Monongalia County residents, Zaquan (age 21) and Margaret (age 19), died in a vehicle-crossing-the-median accident. Two others were hospitalized. So where is the outrage? How many cross-median accidents will occur before the DOH installs cable guardrails in the median up to the Pennsylvania border? Note that the interstate between the Star City exit (155) and the Westover exit (152) is heavily traveled by local residents.
We have allowed the Justice Administration to ignore roadway safety issues in Monongalia County. So the next time you see one of our elected officials, ask them about the guardrail issue.
Home solar power is a form of cybersecurity
On Jan. 31, the FBI director briefed congress on the threats that Chinese hackers pose to the infrastructure of the United States. Those threats include cyberattacks on utility systems such as water, gas and oil pipelines and the electrical grid. He outlined a scenario in which if we were to engage in a war with China, or if we tried to interfere with a Communist Chinese takeover of Taiwan, then the Chinese would execute these cyberattacks; a scary scenario for U.S. citizens.
How fortunate for us that our state lawmakers are in session right now and can work on laws to prepare the state in the event this scenario becomes a reality. As a retired military engineer, I’ve spent much of my career anticipating attacks on infrastructure and how to minimize those effects, and one of the best ways is to decentralize them. This means that instead of having one critical piece of equipment or one primary site, equipment is distributed across the system.
In the case of electrical systems, we have the ability to decentralize power production by having, in addition to power stations, home production units in the form of home solar.
However, we cannot wait until this cyberattack scenario becomes a reality to develop a decentralized capability, and our state lawmakers do not need to spend millions of dollars to do it. All they need to do is create a fiscal environment that encourages individuals to install home solar systems themselves — or to not implement barriers for individuals to own them, such as the changes under consideration to the net-metering rules.
Under proposed new net-metering rules, individual homeowners will be discouraged from purchasing home solar systems. This is due to these rules greatly increasing the time it takes for homeowners to recuperate their initial costs.
It then follows that by implementing these new rules, we, the people, will be more vulnerable in the case of a cyberattack.
Abortion isn’t only option for rape victims
I couldn’t believe it: “Post-Roe America’s national shame: 65,000 forced pregnancies” (DP-02-01-24). Stated another way, it is our national shame that 65,000 lives were not destroyed.
Shame? Whether that estimated number is even close can be debated, but that isn’t the issue. Whatever the number, babies conceived by rape are still babies. Will any of them grow up to develop a cure for cancer or any of the other dread diseases … or perhaps become a teacher, first responder, pastor or maybe a respected community/state/national leader?
Our real shame is the roughly 1 million babies a year we have exterminated since Roe. Without question, victims of rape need our care — physically, emotionally and spiritually. Without question we need to do better.
It is not a shame to care for the victim and her baby to term and beyond. Adoption is an alternative that is too often ignored. One estimate says over 1 million couples nationwide are waiting to adopt.
It is a shame when we offer abortion as the only hope for a victim of rape. We can and should do better.