Letters to the Editor

Communities should accentuate the positive

I love Elkins. Though I wasn’t born here, I’ve lived here long enough to consider myself almost a native. Our community has so much going for it. You can find camping, rock climbing, canoeing, hiking and backpacking opportunities all around. . . some of the best outdoor recreation on the ...

Senior centers need more state funding

To Gov. Jim Justice, After talking to our legislators, we have learned that the West Virginia Commissioner of Senior Services, Robert Roswall, has been asking for the same amount in funding for the West Virginia Senior Centers for the past several years. If Mr. Roswall cared about this ...

Just how much is your vote worth? Quoting a great philosopher Cyndi Lauper, “Money changes everything.” Nothing in that proverb should be taken to heart more than the recent pay raises and health care promises made by Gov. Justice to state employees. Hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent with the understanding that money is a crucial determinant of whether or not a politician will be reelected. After watching Gov. Justice give his State of the State Address, I began wondering. Why couldn’t I sell my vote to another candidate?. I know it sounds like a silly question, but considering the numerous dubious aspects of West Virginia elections, why is vote buying confined to select special interest groups? I can’t tell you how ashamed I am of our politicians, and their failed policies. I didn’t think they could sink any lower. I was wrong. Elections in West Virginia has always meant a certain amount of vote buying would happen, undercover and shameful, but always present and always approved. Jim Justice just proved that it is possible to openly steal an election, if you know the right way to go about it. By bribing people two years in advance to heading to the polls to vote. The first vote buying I ever witnessed was in the small coal mining camp I grew up in. The price paid just a few pennies for a small bottle of liquor for the men and a candy bar for the women. And then as time went on, $5 and a ride in a big black car. The price of one bona fide registered West Virginian vote has always varied from place to place. But until now was rarely more than a few bucks. When Gov. Justice spouted that children are our greatest blessing, he was correct. They come into the world innocent and pure. As they grow, they look to adults for guidance. Unfortunately, children today are treated to the worst in human behavior. Every day they witness incivility, boorish behavior, man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man and a lack of integrity among leaders, who lie and use deceit to gain and hold onto power and prestige, country be damned. Folks, selling your vote might be considered something of a windfall, like an income tax refund, a small benefit that could be counted on anytime there is an election. Presumably, all that money will buy somebody an election. In reality, though, Lauper isn’t quite right. In a few years all that money will be woefully inefficient. Governor, if money is buying the next elections, you wildly overpayed for a race you were going to win anyway. All of this has implications for you and those future politicians. I recently read that more than half of all millennials would give up their right to vote in exchange for having their student loans wiped out. Mock them if you want, I bet most of us would sell that right for far less. Some might say that paying for votes is obviously and inherently corrupt. Period. However I think that is clearly only the case, if candidates used public money to buy votes. As Gov. Justice just did. The only thing the governor’s action advanced was his own personal brand of politics. It is well past time for all of our elected officials to stop playing politics with our children’s futures, start demonstrating leadership and ensure a child’s education isn’t determined by political whims. When you vote for a candidate promising you free stuff, you’re selling your vote. You’re stealing from fellow taxpayers and the future of our children and grandchildren to boot! I say this plan to legitimately rig the next election has to be stopped. It is not only time to encourage voters to say enough is enough and ensure that no matter what happens we are protecting our state by not allowing vote buying. Whatever your opinion; for me, no matter the situation, my vote is not for sale! Good Day! Robert Ware French Creek

xQuoting a great philosopher Cyndi Lauper, “Money changes everything.” Nothing in that proverb should be taken to heart more than the recent pay raises and health care promises made by Gov. Justice to state employees. Hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent with the understanding ...

How you can learn from the other side

Republicans take note. The Democrats have taken control of the House and the first day they take action to push their agenda. What did you accomplish in the two years that you controlled the House, the Senate and the White House? Let me tell you. You passed a tax reform bill — that is it. ...

Reasons for, and a definition of, ‘wall’

Webster’s definition of a wall is, “an enclosed area meant for protection or privacy.” Structures like this are used to enclose hospitals to protect others, both inside and out, from germs, bacteria and disease. To keep sterile, for doctors to work. Walls are used for banks. A place we ...

Is 2019 the time for socialized medicine?

2019 is a good year to push for socialized healthcare. Many studies have shown that this would be cheaper than the current system and would cover all Americans. We deserve a better healthcare system, and most Americans agree with Bernie Sanders that we cannot call ourselves the greatest ...

Reader reacts to talk of recreational marijuana

There is a popular phrase that people love to use, usually with slight variations in wording from a film titled “Network” from the 70’s that goes “I’m as mad as H—- and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I saw the front page of the ...

Tensions growing, jobs disappearing

Brace yourselves, because I’m about to write the two most toxic, dangerous and politically suicidal words any current elected official or media outlet could hear: Fiscal responsibility. Fact: West Virginia is one of two states whose population declined in the last decade. Fact: West ...

Reader opposes levy proposal

Why? Why are you trying to pass another school levy that will just cost our county more money for a bill that we will just vote “no” on? If you want to pass a bill to add money for our schools, all of the people we have in jail, all of the deputies in our sheriff’s office, who run ...

Reasons listed for carrying a gun

Why carry a gun? At some point, you may have asked yourself that question. There are several reasons for carrying a gun. I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil; I carry one because I see the evil in the world. I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government; I carry one because I ...

Toys for Tots brought smiles to 2,200 kids

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and the Marine Corps League Leland D. “Crow” Crawford Detachment 956 of Elkins completed their 16th annual Toys for Tots distribution in the Elkins region. The Elkins Marine Corps League collected and purchased over 22,700 toys, books and stuffed animals ...

Reader remembers fondly days gone by

I wish the world was like it was when I was a little girl. Kids would work right along with their parents. When I was 28 years ago, I had been working for 18 years. These kids of today don’t know what work is. They only want to work only a half a day, if that. I would love to see them ...

Plant-based food options are becoming plentiful

With the glow of Christmas barely behind us, we look forward to the new year and the customary New Year’s resolutions: reduce social media, reduce weight, and, this year, reduce animal food consumption. One third of consumers already report reducing their consumption of animal foods. ...

Are local taxpayers being taxed fairly?

I don’t eat asparagus. Why should I have to support farm subsidies to any farm that produces that nasty vegetable? I don’t live in a flood zone. Why should I have to forfeit my money to rebuild homes for those who do? Do you sense a pattern here? I’m sick of paying for everyone ...

Political holiday messages

I would like to take this time to give a couple of holiday messages. The first goes to everyone who voted for Trump. A “Bah, Humbug” to you. To everyone who stuck with Trump for these last two years, despite all of the atrocities and just plain embarrassments he has caused us, you have ...

Legal aid available to W.Va. seniors

It may be expected or unexpected, but many will end up living alone in their later years. If you already live alone or know it is likely to happen at some point, thinking ahead and making strong connections with those who can help you may be the way to continue to live independently as long ...

Will state parks be on the agenda again?

The West Virginia Legislature’s 2019 session begins on Jan. 9. Too soon. Too soon, anyway, for a rerun of the 2018 session’s attack on state parks. Do we have to gear up again the overwhelming opposition to the proposals to log our parks? We were suspicious of the resolution — after ...

Healthcare’s role in economic comeback

Healthcare and the health of West Virginians has an integral role in the economic comeback of our state that’s happening right now. Under the superior leadership of Governor Jim Justice, the state has already made financial history, including: The largest first-quarter tax revenue ...

Christmas isn’t really about wish lists, gifts

After my younger daughter came home from school with a Christmas wish list, I was fairly quick to tell her this wasn’t what Christmas was about. I was so moved by our conversation that I wrote “My Dear Child.” Some people saw this letter and were quite moved by this. These people ...

Former officer says police are underpaid

My name is Alex Wyshyvanuk. I was an Elkins police officer for just over three years. I quit earlier this year because I was tired of making almost 40 percent less than officers in Morgantown and Bridgeport. Under the old pay system, our highest-paid officer made less money than a “day-one” ...