Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

May 5 letters to the editor

Recreating Sunnyside with downtown PODA?

For decades, Morgantown city government looked askance at the bars and related activity in Sunnyside. Gatherings in the streets, couches burned and general mayhem requiring expensive police action and clean-ups. All eventually leading to demolition of student housing in old buildings and the expensive construction of new facilities. Revitalization.

Today, a form of town center economic revitalization appears to be in the offing. City government now supports private outdoor designated areas (PODAs). A PODA allows intoxicating beverages on the city streets. The same practice once deplored on the streets in Sunnyside. One might possibly picture New Orleans Mardi Gras street activity on a smaller scale. Think not? Imagine a football win over Penn State.

Attitudes change with time. But changes sure can lead to irony.

Will the PODA notion lead to burnt couches and block parties on downtown streets à la the Sunnyside of old? Will Sunnyside become a PODA? Who knows?

But if those or similar things happen downtown, at least the fire department and police will be nearby.

Lew McDaniel

A child’s plea to adults to reject Donald Trump

As an 8-year-old girl, I cannot vote in the upcoming election for the president. However, I urge you to vote and make the decision not to vote for Donald Trump. I am passionate about this point of view for many different reasons.

One reason why I think this is because Trump is anti-climate change and does not take action when it comes to global warming. As a result, many different animals all over the globe are losing their homes and dying. This affects me because, although we may not often think about it, the lives of animals may be just as important as the lives of humans.

 Another reason why I think this is because Donald Trump often lies during his campaign and his presidency. In fact, according to PolitiFact, Donald Trump lies 75% of the time. The last thing this country needs right now is a president who lies. Donald Trump has been the PolitiFact Lie of the Year multiple times in a row.

 In a nutshell, please consider voting for a different candidate than Trump in the coming year’s presidential election. And please, help me save our country.

Ella Parsi

Support Preston County’s school levy

Without a doubt, America’s educational system has been one of the top factors that has turned our country into a superpower.

Legal cases have been taken to the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that all of us have appropriate access to our educational system, to learn great things from Mrs. Fortney or Mr. Washington.

A very vital part of Preston County’s educational system from pre-K to grade 12 is the tax-based funding for it. For over 200 years, taxes have supported our schools.

Preston County’s current school levy is part of how that works, of how everyone’s kids can get the education they need more and more.

Like ripples on a pond, the entire county educational system will be impacted by the levy funds.

Our schools are as strong as we make them, as strong as we support them.

Our schools need to be the best they can be.

Please vote on Tuesday, May 14, and support Preston County’s very important school levy. Many things, now and in the future, depend on your support.

Deb Miller

When will soccer stadium get Jumbotron?

Kendrick Family Ballpark has one.

Milan Puskar Stadium/Mountaineer Field has one. A really big one.

The Coliseum has one. In fact, many more than one.

So when will Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium get its Jumbotron?

John Sofranko

Biden administration is no friend of coal

An article in The Dominion Post April 29 shows that the Biden administration is not a friend of coal companies or coal miners.

The EPA said that they have new rules and regulations for coal fired power plants: If they plan to stay in operation past 2039, they have to start capturing carbon emissions by the year 2032. Critics say  these plants will be shut down.

If these plants shut down, this means that coal mines will close and thousands of coal miners will be out of a job.

Biden and the EPA do not care about the people they will be putting out of work, and some people think that Biden should be president for four more years. I don’t think we can handle four more years of Biden.

If Biden wants to cut carbon emissions, then he should work with his Chinese buddies to cut carbon emissions in their country. They produce three times the pollution the United States does.

The next group of workers the EPA will go after will be what steel mills we have operating and adding pollution into the air.

It’s time to make big changes in Big Government and stop putting people out of work and put more people back to work. These changes will include getting rid of Biden, and this is the year.

Ralph Correll

Library system already severely underfunded

Morgantown’s library system budget is half the size of Huntington’s and 11% smaller than Parkersburg’s, despite serving a bigger population than either. Charleston’s library service population is a bit bigger than ours — but not four-and-a-half times, which is how much bigger its budget is.

Per capita, the Morgantown system spends just 40% of the national average for libraries as of 2019 (the most recent year for which data was available).

The library levy on this month’s election ballot will maintain library funding at current levels. If it fails, our libraries’ budget will be reduced by about 25%.

Joe Morris

Joe Biden the best candidate to lead U.S.

I urge voters to vote for Joe Biden in the primary election.

I appreciate his concern that all Americans do well financially. When I was a teacher, I belonged to a teacher union that protected wages and working conditions. It’s no surprise that at least six major unions have endorsed Biden’s candidacy.

I strongly support democracy, which I believe will be strengthened through his Inflation Reduction Act, which helps people by lowering prescription drug costs, creates new jobs in energy production while promoting clean energy and tries to reduce the federal government budget deficit.

He realizes that global trade helps our economy be strong, and to that end, he works to keep good relations with other democracies and sets firm and fair standards in trading with totalitarian countries. Joe Biden is the strongest candidate for president of the United States who offers these and other strengths.

Susan Sailer

Vote Shawn Smith for Mon County BOE

As parents, grandparents and business owners in our community, we have a vested interest in the success of our local public school system.

Our family has known Shawn for many years and can attest to his solid character, moral values and hard work. When Shawn gives you his word, he’ll keep it.

Shawn is running for school board because he deeply cares about the future of our students. He wants to make sure parents are heard, and teachers and staff have what they need to carry out their jobs.

For Shawn, it’s not about appeasing this group or that group. It’s about doing what is right.

We encourage you to join us in electing a fresh, new voice to help lead our public schools into the future. Vote for Shawn Smith for Monongalia County BOE.

Bill and Marci McCulla

Opaque fracking permits harm communities

Seemingly made difficult to understand, permits issued to the fossil fuel industry to pollute our drinking water  essentially equal no control. Should the extraction companies violate their permits, they are simply told to stop doing so within a period of months or be fined. At the same time, the jobs that are supposed to make it all worthwhile are few, temporary and generally go to out-of-state workers, while affected communities become decimated by crime, drugs and skyrocketing housing prices.

The latest effort by the West Virginia Legislature and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is to issue a “General Construction Permit” to such industries. This permit does not require public notice for fracking operations due to their smaller size. With no public notice, communities do not know to demand pre-drilling water quality tests and so cannot sue when pollution occurs.

Further, the federal government is as guilty as the state. For decades, the EPA knowingly allowed PFAS-forming chemicals in frack drilling fluids to make them “slick.” PFAS are chemicals that destroy liver and kidneys, cause cancer, do not break down in the environment and accumulate in our bodies.

Yet PFAS are only one of hundreds of chemicals in frack waste. Many are proprietary so that no one knows their health effects, including first responders. One toxin, 4-NQO, forms during the fracking process and was found in dangerous amounts in every one of 24, randomly-chosen frack waste samples from drilling sites in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cancer-causing in parts per trillion, 4-NQO is not economically detectable by water treatment facilities.

Gas and oil drilling wastes are created at an average of 5 million gallons per frack. Besides ongoing accidents and spills, they have been seen being dumped clandestinely into waterways and used as road de-icers and dust suppressants. In West Virginia — riddled with coal mines and karst tunnels — safe disposal of that much liquid is impossible.

However, due to industry influence, West Virginians are kept in the dark regarding this ongoing threat.

Barbara Daniels

Where’s the investment in mental health care?

WVU Medicine announced that it would invest $400 million in West Virginia health care infrastructure and not one penny for mental health care. Any questions?

Ward D. “Jerry” Stone Jr.

Library’s ‘free’ books must still be paid for

Did you know the ebooks and audiobooks you borrow without cost through the Morgantown Public Library System (MPLS) are far from free? Many titles cost more than $50 and are only available for a limited time or limited number of uses.

With early voting underway, the greater Morgantown community has the opportunity to help our libraries maintain current funding levels through a levy that will continue to cost property owners just pennies a day. The levy will not increase taxes for those who are already being assessed.

Beyond the digital content most of my friends rely on, the MPLS is a pillar of our community and constantly updates its services to remain fresh and relevant to today’s patrons. MPLS depends upon and deserves our full support.

Catherine Whitworth

Can’t fight antisemitism by using antisemitism

Ronald Reagan, and by extension, Cal Thomas, don’t believe in the First Amendment. Reagan used power to stifle lawful dissent. Thomas uses his pulpit as a syndicated columnist to criticize people he doesn’t like.

Thomas quotes Reagan saying that campus protests in 1966 and 1967 were run by “beatniks, radicals and filthy speech activists,” and “these people and this trash.” This is not a way to speak of human beings who have the right to express themselves.

He quotes conservative writer Ira Stoll saying in The Wall Street Journal that radicals are funded by leftist organizations supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Open Society Foundation “headed by George Soros.” While Thomas accuses the campus protestors of antisemitism, demonizing George Soros, as Cal Thomas does, is a common theme among antisemites.

Barry Lee Wendell

Smith best choice for Mon Board of Education

As parents of former students and longtime business owners in the Westover community, we have a keen interest in public education and what’s happening in our local school system.

On May 14, voters in Monongalia County have a clear choice in the three candidates running for the board of education. Shawn Smith is a proven leader who will bring fresh ideas and sound reasoning to the board. He’s a consensus-builder and an excellent listener, and he will be a true representative of the people.

We have known Shawn for many years. He is a family man with a moral compass that will guide him to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students, parents, teachers and staff.

The Dominion Post’s April 7 editorial said that Shawn Smith would serve Monongalia County well as a new member of the board of education. We couldn’t agree more and urge everyone to vote for Shawn on May 14.

We need Shawn Smith to lead our local school system into the future.

Chris and Lisa Boyles

In support of Michael Simms for circuit court

I am writing today in support of Michael Simms for circuit court judge in the May election. I have been working with Michael on his campaign since May 2023. Michael’s unmatched record of public service, his professionalism, integrity and his even-temperament make him the clear choice for this position.

I have been working with political campaigns for over 40 years and I have absolutely no reservation about Michael Simms being our next circuit court judge.

Bob Musick
Star City