Boos & Applause

Applause to the community members who turned out for the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department’s meeting Thursday night to talk about the new needle access problem. The meeting was moved to the Event Center at Brushy Fork in anticipation of a large crowd, and dozens of people turned out to make their opinions known, some in favor of the recently implemented program, some against. They should all be commended for taking part and trying to improve their community. We also advise any other local health department considering beginning a similar program to make sure the public is aware of the effort before the program begins, in order to avoid the impression that something is being done without public input.

Applause to the more than two dozen musicians who took part in the Jammin’ in July event last weekend in downtown Elkins. The musical funfest drew scores of people to enjoy the sounds, clearly a boon to downtown businesses. Elkins Main Street did a great job organizing the event, which we hope will become an annual tradition.

Applause to the Valley Head community, which recently welcomed Atlantic Coast Pipeline workers to the area. With a census population of just over 260 people, the small town extended hospitality to the 50-person work team with a home cooked meal and plenty of neighborly conversation. The welcome party, according to native Valley Head resident and former Valley Head Elementary School Principal Melissa Wilfong, was the town’s way of saying, “We are happy you are here!”

Boo to suspended West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry, whose refusal to resign from his position is costing the state money. Impeachment hearings began Thursday, with the House Judiciary Committee hearing testimony from legislative auditors about alleged abuses of public money. Because Justice Menis Ketchum — who was also accused of misdeeds — resigned this week, the hearings will not have to focus on him, just on Loughry. It’s clear that Loughry should resign and save state taxpayers the cost of further impeachment hearings. Loughry — who is suspended without pay facing a 22-count federal indictment — will get his day in court, but he should understand by now that if he doesn’t resign he will be impeached, at the state’s expense. He clearly should step down now.