Listen up! Heres a list of
things we need year-round
I have, from time to time, used lists in BobnAlong. Some have been lists of people, places and things that used to be in north central West Virginia. Or, at Christmas time, Ive used wish lists for Santa Claus.
Now Id like to try something different a list of things that are needed year-long and now. Here goes:
-A better way to let grocery and department store shoppers know what the price of a product on the shelf is.
- An express lane at the local Department of Motor Vehicles office.
- A safer interchange for U.S. 50 and I-79, and also at I-79 and U.S. 33 near Weston.
- More incentive for people to stop in downtown Clarksburg and fewer parking tickets.
- More places where a real person answers the telephone at a business or agency. (We realize that this, of course, might mean having to rehire a telephone receptionist or two.)
- Courses in public and private schools that teach students better study habits, positive incentives, etc. (so theyll do well in other classes, e.g., in math classes without having to use a calculator).
- A truly unified emergency medical response system thats more interested in adequate care and transport of patients without so much squabbling and politics.
- When it comes to agencies serving peoples needs, less politics period.
- More bosses who sincerely care about their employees present and past, too.
- More interested people who are willing to write their congressmen, delegates and U.S. and state senators with their concerns. (That way, we can tell if theyre really representative of the views of the voters who put them in office to begin with, or if theyre just money- and power-hungry.)
- For telemarketers to realize that not all people are as gullible as theyd like.
- More kindness toward animals. Theyre living creatures, too.
- For some to realize that people have a legitimate right to defend themselves even if it comes to having to carry a gun to defend against an armed assailant.
- More people who have the intestinal fortitude to be forthright and honest with others.
- Fewer lengthy, frivolous Academy Awards shows.
- Love the caring kind.
Rod Rogers of Clarksburg brought me a list of what
was titled The Leading Houses of Clarksburg, W.Va. Im not certain what
publication this may have appeared in and what year it first appeared,
but the list included a few local businesses.
Thanks, Rod. Thatll challenge a few memories.
Another BobnAlong Friday. Take care.
not to blame for
coal industrys woes
Its amazing how much people can blame on environmentalists.
The latest conservative complaint is that environmentalists are destroying what some have called West Virginias most valued industry, the coal industry.
Environmentalists are getting blamed for clean air regulations that conservatives say are causing a reduction in the use of coal. And they are getting blamed for the declining number of coal mining jobs because of mountaintop removal.
Environmentalists arent killing the coal industry. And we believe they are getting a bad reputation for pure business practices that they have little to do with.
First, the Clean Air Act. What many people dont want to talk about when they are bashing environmentalists these days is that the people pushing more stringent air regulations are big businesses in the Northeast, especially big electricity companies.
Just ask some of the electric company gurus in the area. They believe that their competitors in the upper region of the country are trying to stick them with higher operating costs to drive up the price of electricity produced in places like West Virginia.
That way, when electricity deregulation actually becomes a reality, the plants in the Northeast will be on a more level playing field. Its all about playing around with big business.
Second, people are finding cleaner ways, that also happen to be cheaper ways, to create electricity. The No. 1 way is with natural gas. It has become very inexpensive to build new gas-fired capacity in small increments near the loads, according to a report written by the West Virginia University Electric Industry Restructuring Research Group.
And if you ask some of those electricity gurus, theyll tell you that in the next 10 to 15 years, they have no plans to build any new coal-fired generation in this state, even though they anticipate electric deregulation to occur within the next five years or so.
Third, more than anything else, the basic business practice of efficiency has cost this state more in coal mining jobs than anything else. Just talk to the West Virginia Coal Association. Its executives will tell you that the state is mining more coal than it has ever before with the fewest number of miners. Its called technology.
And lastly, St. Albans can hardly get enough water from the Coal River to serve its residents, let alone potential businesses coming into the area. Why? Because coal companies have dumped the tops of mountains into the streams that feed the Coal River. Thats not environmentalists squawking, thats the head of the citys utility commission.
We think our children would prefer to work in an environmentally sound state that has a diversified economy. Coal, an industry that rises and falls with the temperature and the national economy, will only play a smaller and smaller role.
But thats not something you can blame on environmentalists.
Our residents and state leaders need to be finding ways to bring in the Toyota manufacturing companies of the world and the high-tech companies, rather than spending themselves trying to save an industry that has a muddled future at best and blaming one faction that really has minimal power.
Todays editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser, James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.
Smoking marijuana the wrong answer
for patients wracked by pain
Marijuana as a drug? Not a good idea, we say,
because medical marijuana is merely a subterfuge for recreational pot
Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302