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Boos and applause

July 6, 2013
The Inter-Mountain

- Applause to West Virginia University for considering taking on what it calls a "minority management role" at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank. A special review panel has recommended that the National Science Foundation stop funding the observatory within five years. This would be a serious blow to the world's astronomers, not to mention a monumental waste of money.

"Simply put, it's a state treasure. And we'll fight tirelessly to keep it open - and keep it strong," said U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who announced WVU's interest Monday.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said hell work with Rockefeller and Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall to keep one of the world's best telescopes in operation.

We salute them all for standing up for this iconic Mountain State facility.

- Applause to everyone who helped organize this week's wide variety of Fourth of July holiday events. Residents throughout our region owe you all a debt of gratitude.

- Applause to the participants and the organizers of the fourth annual Veterans Walk in Philippi last weekend. The event, held at the Vietnam Veterans Park, raised money to pay for a meal for veterans on Veterans Day at American Legion Post 44.

- Boo to the special review panel that recommended funding be cut off for the National Radio Observatory in Green Bank. We already mentioned this issue in an "applause" above, but it clearly deserves a "boo" as well.

The 16 million-ton Green Bank Telescope is the world's largest, fully steerable single-dish radio telescope and has been in full operation for less than a decade.

Why would the government abandon a $95-million investment? How would it then be used? As the world's biggest satellite TV dish?

Surely there are better places to cut funding - considering our wasteful federal government - than at Green Bank.



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