Monday, June 17, 2019

Talk about timing. Last week's column said the Ohio River ferry at Sistersville, West Virginia, could skip the 2019 season if the governing board couldn't find a pilot soon. The evening that column ran, the Sistersville Ferry Board announced this season has been canceled, but there is hope the ferry can run next year.

Beech Fork lodge needs more thought: So now we Wayne County citizens deserve a lodge at Beech Fork Lake? Shucks, it is going to be a slam dunk. Really. And why do we deserve anything that we did not earn? This is like "giving back" with other people's money. What is wrong with "small, family owned hotels"? They did not cost us taxpayers a dime. We the people (taxpayers) bought and paid for the entire Beech Fork Dam, lake and all the property. Offer enough of our land at our lake for a first class lodge. Invite developers to present what they would provide.

Sunday, June 16, 2019
  • Updated

Huntington's Highlawn neighborhood could look different in the next five to 10 years. A lot different.

The Huntington Municipal Development Authority agreed last week to purchase the 42-acre ACF Industries complex for $3.12 million.

Postal Service lets customer down: Kudos to the letter in the June 8 paper concerning our postal service in Huntington. My service is terrible. Since Amazon has contracted delivery service for some of their packages, I have had 3 deliveries sent back saying they couldn't get in my building. Well, I live in a house that I have lived in for 46 years and they never attempted to deliver my packages. I filed a complaint with Amazon and they also gave me a number to file with the local postal service, which I did on an automated system saying someone would be in touch in 24 hours. It's been three weeks; I haven't heard from a soul!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

WASHINGTON - Randolph Bourne (1886-1918) said, "War is the health of the state." James Madison said, "War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement," and the executive almost is the American state, Congress now being more theatrical than actual.

College is

still worth it

You may have noticed that people are more skeptical about the value of college than they used to be. As I've traveled Kentucky, I cannot count the number of times that someone has expressed the belief that "not everyone needs to go to college." People who say this usually argue, "There are lots of people who'd be better off learning a trade." Others use a cost-benefit analysis, weighing the total cost of college (including interest on loan debt) against the opportunity costs of not working.

Friday, June 14, 2019

I am writing to alert you of the current status of the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act. At the end of March this year, I wrote Freedom of Information Act requests to the secretary of state, agriculture commissioner, attorney general and the Governor's Office on the status of "reciprocal agreements and conventions with neighboring states" in conjunction with the act (SB386).

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

Friday, June 14, 2019

WASHINGTON - For decades, Catholic Democratic politicians have been justifying their pro-choice position by telling us that they were personally opposed to abortion but could not impose their religious view on others. For most, the argument was a fig leaf to justify their shameful failure to protect innocent unborn life. But it appeared that Joe Biden really believed it.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

WASHINGTON - Dear Democratic presidential candidates: I know all 23 of you want to run against President Trump, but only one will get that opportunity. If you truly believe your own righteous rhetoric, some of you ought to be spending your time and energy in another vital pursuit - winning control of the Senate.

D-Day cartoon was tasteless

How can The Herald-Dispatch print such a despicable cartoon? To use the crosses of dead heroes to ridicule a president at a D-Day ceremony goes way beyond a line that should not be crossed. Have you no shame?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

WASHINGTON — For President Trump, every day is Presidents Day. 

As Trump prepares to turn Independence Day into a political rally, the question is not why he has decided to crash the nation’s birthday party on the Mall, but why he didn’t do it sooner.

Social Security is committed to protecting your personal information. We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security number (SSN) or bank account information to unknown people over the phone or internet. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who called you.

It sounds like a simple business decision, but this being local government and local politics, it gets a lot more complicated. Throw in one of the first public tests of how the consolidation of the two largest hospitals in this part of the state will affect health care costs, and it could get interesting.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

WASHINGTON  The abortion issue is more divisive than ever, thanks to extreme anti-abortion legislation recently passed in some states and, lately, to Democratic presidential candidates seemingly vying to be the most pro-choicest.

My dear sweet mother, Berenice O'Keefe, spent her last year or so (in her 90s) in a nursing home, less and less able to leave her bed or her wheelchair. In that final trot down the backstretch heading for home, she turned frequently to a patched-together notebook of prayers.

Monday, June 10, 2019

WASHINGTON - The earnest improvers at the College Board, which administers the SAT, should ponder Abraham Maslow's law of the instrument. In 1966, Maslow, a psychologist, said essentially this: If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. The College Board wants to solve a complex social problem that it and its test are unsuited to solve.

June is Adopt-A- Cat Month

From the cute whiskers to the licks, cats are the "purrfect" pet. In June, anyone can show some love to felines during Adopt-a-Cat Month. The event encourages people to adopt one of the millions of cats sitting in shelters hoping to find a home.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

The letter of May 16, 2019, entitled “Illegals get better care than veterans” shows how confused people are by current groups using social media to intentionally mislead and anger people who have legitimate complaints. The author of the letter states that as a veteran he must now pay for his medication prescriptions. I wholeheartedly agree with him that veterans and, in fact, all Americans deserve better.

Police officer was arrogant and rude

On May 14 my neighbor called police because of parking issues at my house. 

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are pushing back on President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on Mexico. But if Mexican officials think these Republicans are going to save them from Trump’s tariffs, it’s time for them to think again.

It’s been four months since the public learned the Huntington Fire Department has had major problems with maintaining and repairing its equipment. Mayor Steve Williams promised an investigation. Now one is about to begin, but as it does, new questions emerge.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register published this editorial on June 4 regarding the separation of powers:

Most West Virginians who were upset and outraged about last year's impeachment summer, involving state Supreme Court members, probably would prefer to forget about it. It is over and done with - except for one critical detail.

Postal Service needs better customer service

What is wrong with the Postal Service in Huntington that they do such a lousy job? I am writing this on a Wednesday and my small business, which is literally two blocks from the Post Office, has not had mail service since last Thursday. You can't go in the post office and get your mail because it is "out with the carrier." But the carrier doesn't show up! They won't give you a supervisor's name or number to call to get resolution, and if you call the published number, it just rings and rings, never answering. I need mail service five days a week, and we pay taxes for this service. If they were a real business, they would be out of business!

Friday, June 07, 2019

The West Virginia State Senate has passed its latest attempt at a comprehensive education reform bill. It replaces the omnibus bill the Senate approved during the regular session earlier this year but which died in a House of Delegates committee.

WASHINGTON - I believe President Trump when he says "I never called Meghan Markle 'nasty.' " I believe him even though Britain's Sun newspaper published an interview with Trump the day before in which he referred to the Duchess of Sussex with that very word - and even though the Sun has a recording.

WASHINGTON - President Trump is understandably frustrated by the crisis at the border. Anyone who watched the video of more than 1,000 illegal migrants sneaking through a hole in a fence near El Paso, Texas - the largest single breach of our border ever recorded - and still says we don't need a border wall is in denial.

GOP bill punishes teachers, students

In case you have missed it, there was a "special session" of the West Virginia State Senate to pass a second try at a big ugly education bill. Teachers think that it is punitive. It includes allowances for for-profit companies to end up with taxpayer school funds through the formation of "public" charter schools. It suggests that all school employees should be trained to be better first-line responders to trauma-afflicted students, which sounds great, but doing that instead of getting more help for those students by employing specialist counselors, psychologists and nurses just puts more pressure on teachers who will continue to be just as hard-pressed to address these problems while also teaching their classroom full of children.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Older senior citizens, military personnel or history aficionados easily remember the day. Too many others seem unfamiliar with this date or its significance. Yet, D-Day continues to have vital messages for our nation and the world.

And fired the shot heard round the world.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Concord Hymn"

WASHINGTON - After the morning bloodshed on Lexington green, on the first day of what would become a 3,059-day war, there occurred the second of what would be eventually more than 1,300 mostly small military clashes. Rick Atkinson writes: "A peculiar quiet descended over what the poet James Russell Lowell would call 'that era-parting bridge,' across which the old world passed into the new." Here again is Atkinson's felicity for turning history into literature.

Salt Rock too far out for Huntington

My first year of teaching was at McComas Elementary, a three-room school located on Raccoon Creek in rural Cabell County. On occasion, county supervisors made unannounced visits to McComas as well as other schools throughout the county. I recall one blustery winter day I was walking the hallway at lunchtime when the front door to the school building opened wide. This one particular supervisor flounced in, flailed his arms, and proclaimed, "This school shouldn't even be in this county!" I wanted to say, "Oh, but it is. And what's more, these students would walk through fire for me." For as long as this man was a county supervisor, anytime I heard his name, the aforementioned incident came to mind. Even when I think about it today, it still rubs my fur the wrong way.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Trump AWOL

on Memorial Day

These last few days Americans nationwide are commemorating the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Over 1 million lives lost since 1900, a number multiplied if one includes the Civil War, ending only 35 years before. Flags and red poppies, parades, services of remembrance for loved ones, loss mixed with pride, tears, across our nation.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

A slow-motion disaster has been occurring in the Midwest for several months, and only now is there hope of relief. An unusual weather system has dumped far more rain on the region than its level terrain can handle, and it has also spawned an unusually high number of tornadoes.

Politicians betray Normandy's heroes

Martha MacCallum, a Fox News reporter, is going to cover the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy on June 6. It will be her second time to visit these sacred grounds, as her first visit was to show her children this historic place. Her comments about visiting Normandy the first time reminded me about the 25th anniversary on June 6, 1969. I was in the Air Force at the time and stationed in Spain. We were sent to Normandy to coordinate military protocol and patriotic music for the celebration. I actually got to meet Gen. Omar Bradley, and that thrill alone will remain with me for life.

Monday, June 03, 2019

WASHINGTON - If congressional Democrats will temper their enthusiasm for impeachment with lucidity about the nation's needs and their political self-interest, they will understand the self-defeating nature of a foredoomed attempt to remove a president for aesthetic reasons.

Guess who has been building new homes throughout the city of Huntington and Cabell County year-round for more than 29 years? Since our founding in 1990, Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity (HAHFH) has been bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope by partnering with qualified families, providing them the opportunity for safe, affordable and decent housing.

Take care of the flag

To all area businesses, residences and anyone who displays the American flag: If you care enough to fly it, care enough to keep it clean and free of tears and frayed ends. There are local cleaners who will clean Old Glory for free.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Cabell County has the only known cluster of HIV cases in West Virginia. It is isolated to intravenous drug users, and more than half are homeless. At last count, the Cabell County cluster consisted of 49 people infected with HIV.

No excuse for hateful letter: After reading the "Voice of the People" letter published on May 16, 2019, I will never again patronize The Herald-Dispatch. This article is borderline hate speech and is a disgrace to journalistic standards. I find it amazing that a paper like The Herald-Dispatch employs individuals who so blatantly have a disregard for human life that they would write about killing immigrants — humans, children, mothers and fathers. I hope The Herald-Dispatch considers printing a public apology for this article.