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Letters to the Editor for Web Edition

National media

situation needs changed

For the last 40 years, the national media have turned West Virginia into the "Pariah State" -- you know, "Just simple hillbillies, to be ignored." Watching this over the years has, from time to time, made me very angry. My "camel-back" was broken very recently by the "final straw."

CNN Headline News, one of Ted Turner's "liberal agenda" stations, covered a recent football game and gave Miami University extensive coverage for its smashing victory over McNeese State, 61 to 14. My blood pressure rising, I thought, "Where is Marshall's -- that's the football team with, during the '90s, the best winning record in the country -- smashing victory over Southeastern Missouri State, 62 to 7?"

But Marshall can't be permitted to make news because it's in West Virginia. Îf Marshall got the national attention it deserves, every high school football player in America with an NFL potential or dream would be beating down Bob Pruett's door just to get in his program.

The national media situation can be completely changed, and here's how to do it. We West Virginians create the national media event of all times. On Nov. 7, we all go to the polls and vote for and elect every single Republican on the ballot. And why not? We're already almost at the bottom of everything. But football?

Moreover, with an event like that, not only the media would notice, but all of Congress would stand up and stare. When Congress is staring at you, that means members are pondering political consequences, which immediately raises West Virginia to a much higher position on the congressional priority list of states, which, in turn, would mean a high increase for West Virginia of all the "goodies" that Congress passes out to the states each year.

Let the "good times" start rolling for West Virginia.

S. Franklin Burford

Elkins

Administration responsible for security mess

Our national security is in shambles. There is no national security policy being implemented under this administration. Wen Ho Lee's being accused of spying for the Chinese by this administration is only the latest in a long line of problems. Wen Ho Lee was released from prison after nine months, after plea bargaining on one of the least of 59 counts. The Clinton administration acted only to save face, not to correct the problem.

Hazel O'Leary was appointed energy secretary, even though she had no experience. Her first priority was to change the way the National Laboratory performed its internal security. She didn't like the "biased" coding system the laboratory had been using and forced changes to be made to make it easier for classified material to flow from one person or section to another.

This policy caused missing tapes, unauthorized accessibility to classified material and lost information. This lapse of security allowed missile technology to get into the hands of the Chinese because no signature sheets were used to indicate who'd removed classified material from the vaults.

Bill Richardson, named to replace O'Leary when she resigned, made no changes to the O'Leary policy. After all that's happened over the last seven and a half years in the Energy Department, only now is the Clinton administration concerned. The buck stops directly at the president's desk. It's his responsibility to ensure that all national secrets are secure and implemented to the fullest degree. He didn't do this, but allowed his energy secretaries to do as they wished without his supervision.

It is the president's own shortsightedness that makes him responsible. If the president and vice president had been vigilant and concerned with security, heads should have rolled. They chose to do nothing but place the blame on their predecessor, President George Bush.

In security, once the cause of a problem is found, it gets fixed immediately. Then the job is to find out if any secrets were lost. If that were the case, then either lost information should be neutralized or there should be a new strategy or weapon system. The bottom line is this: The administration is in charge. It was either incapable of controlling our national secrets or turned a blind eye to the problems. Either way, this administration is to blame.

Orvey Sharpe

Clarksburg

Purple Heart

recipient was excluded

I would like to say a few words about the Purple Heart monument that was placed in the courthouse plaza. I'm a disabled veteran of World War II. I was wounded twice.

Since I'm not a member of Chapter 418, it seems I'm not qualified to have my name on the monument. I guess my wounds didn't hurt or bleed as much.

I was told by some of the members there wasn't enough space or enough money. Oddly enough, there was plenty of space when we were sent off to war! There would have been plenty of room on the front of the monument if a few of the members didn't take over the whole front, plus having their names also listed on the sides.

As far as the money shortage is concerned, instead of having three monuments installed, they could have saved money by installing two. That way, all wounded veterans could have been honored.

It seems to me that some wounded veterans are hurt about being left out. We think that we have been discriminated against, and that all wounded veterans should be honored on this monument.

William (Carl) Ferrell

Reynoldsville

Is $70,000 for

special school levy election necessary?

Reading the Exponent Telegram the morning of Sept. 16, it was reported on the front page that the taxpayers of Harrison County would spend $25,000 to place the name of a third party presidential candidate on the ballot in November.

How about bringing to the front page an extra $70,000 of taxpayers' money being spent to hold a special election in December for the Harrison County School Excess Levy?

This $70,000 could have been saved by simply placing the excess levy on the ballot for the November general election This money could be -- and should be -- spent on our classrooms and teachers' instructional needs.

It has been known for years that the excess levy would be up for renewal (five-year levy) and that a primary and general election would take place in the year 2000. As concerned citizens of Harrison County, we feel that the extra expense of $70,000 for a special election should be explained to all the voters and taxpayers in our county.

Kay Moyer, Patricia

Hamrick, Barbie Robey

Clarksburg

Communities came together during flooding

During the recent flooding in southern Lewis and northern Braxton counties, it was amazing to see how the people of the community and all the agencies came together to assist those affected by this disaster. Without their support, the recovery process would not have been successful. While families are still trying to put their lives and homes back together, the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Department would like to acknowledge several individuals and organizations.

These include: Lewis County Office of Emergency Services, West Virginia Office of Emergency Services, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Lewis County Commission, Army National Guard, Our Neighbor, Walkersville Methodist Charge, American Baptist Men, Twin Lakes Baptist Church, Progressive Bank, the Weston, Pricetown, Midway, Jackson's Mill, Jane Lew and Banks District fire departments; Lewis County Sheriff Robert Rinehart, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Midway Mart, Small Business Administration, West Virginia Division of Highways, Lewis County Health Department, Hardee's and Donut Connection.

A heartfelt thanks to all the individuals and families who volunteered in helping those in need and the preparation of meals to feed the volunteers and the public at the fire station. Also, I would like to thank the employers and families of the firefighters for being understanding, and any other agencies and individuals who assisted in that time of need.

Chief Steven L. Mealey

Walkersville VFD

Walkersville

Festival honoree grateful to citizens

of Clarksburg

To the wonderful people of Clarksburg, my family (recently) joined me in celebrating the 22nd annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival and in my accepting the award as the Italian-American Woman of the Year 2000.

At every turn, we met the open hearts and generous, warm spirit of the people of Clarksburg. Without exception, we encountered generosity and good humor, as well as people who know how to carry on the tradition of fine cooking and have a good time.

Thanks, Clarksburg, for a great weekend! I salute you for all of your hard work in keeping the Italian-American heritage alive. I join you in that effort and look forward to the 23rd Italian Heritage Festival.

Patricia Paletta O'Reilly

St. Albans

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