Editorials

Regulations: Lawmakers should get out of the way

Lawmakers must remember two hard-learned lessons when considering legislative methods for facilitating the oil and natural gas industry in West Virginia: More of the money earned from what is pulled out of the ground in West Virginia must STAY in West Virginia; and when government tries too ...

Waste: Ohio’s universities must take cuts seriously

Results of an evaluation by the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency show many of Ohio’s public universities are not committed to the directive to cut wasteful spending and find new funding resources. To be fair, the 14 public universities in the Buckeye State have ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

DOWN: To the mess that has led to Moody’s Investors Service downgrading West Virginia’s bond rating to AA2, making state borrowing more expensive and investors potentially more nervous about the Mountain State. The move, which follows similar downgrades from Fitch Ratings and Standard and ...

Education: Change in standardized testing is welcome

Among the changes that marked the beginning of this year’s legislative session in West Virginia was the announcement by Gov. Jim Justice that the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests that had plagued teachers and students was history. While there was a great deal in Justice’s State of the ...

Shake It Up: Tax hikes are not the way to balance budget

West Virginia lawmakers looking for a way to dig themselves out of the hole created by decades of tax-and-spend irresponsibility are finding it difficult to resist the temptation to do precisely what voters believed they would avoid. Rather than shake up the status quo, some of these folks are ...

Blessing Boxes: First Lutheran Church youth deserve praise

Sometimes it just takes a little push to get good things rolling. Young people who take part in the youth program at First Lutheran Church in Parkersburg found out their good work is already being multiplied, after they decided to make and stock blessing boxes that have been installed near the ...

Littering: Stiffer penalties are necessary

A bill advancing through the West Virginia House of Representatives would create harsher penalties for litterers; and it is an important step for a couple of reasons. First, too many Mountain State residents still have no qualms about committing the criminal misdemeanor of tossing their ...

Rebound: Parkersburg has chance to boost tourism

Mid-Ohio Valley residents are surely hoping Mark Lewis is correct when he says “everything is coming back from that time when the gas drilling and exploration went away.” Lewis, the president and CEO of the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, is dealing with an upswing of ...

Donations: Arts organizations need us to give

Arts and festivals groups worried about the possible loss of much — or all — of their state funding in next year’s budget are likely working on a Plan B that will help them survive. “It’s a big concern,” said Jane Irvine, executive director of arts education group Artsbridge. New ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To news of an agreement to cover health care benefits for retirees of the former Century Aluminum plant in Ravenswood. Pending court approval, $23 million will cover medical bills and help with future healthcare costs for members of Steelworkers Local Union 5668. It is encouraging to note ...

Tourism: Tout state’s beauty to boost economy

Wild, wonderful West Virginia is known to many in this part of the country as a state of unparalleled natural beauty, and nearly unlimited potential for outdoor activities, in all seasons. Despite that incredible gift, it seems as though the message is not getting much farther than the ...

Cowardice: Board members failed Wood County students

Tuesday evening’s Wood County Board of Education meeting resulted in both an incredible betrayal of public trust and the laying bare of a disappointing lack of courage — not to mention willingness to do what is best for all students — in some board members. “The problem is, ...

Support: Ministerial Alliance puts faith into action

Members of the faith community in Belpre are doing their part to fight the drug epidemic sweeping our region, and the tactics they are using provide an important form of support to those on the front lines. When a representative of the Belpre Area Ministerial Alliance spoke to city council this ...

Enforcement: Justice’s jab at DEP undercuts agency

During his State of the State speech last week, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice bemoaned the appearance of Department of Environmental Protection inspectors, complaining “they show up with a T-shirt on and an old pair of jeans and they maybe haven’t shaved in forever. And they got a badge in ...

Bureaucracy: Some rules are made to be tossed out

Last month, President Donald Trump issued an order requiring federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new one they establish. It was in keeping with his pledge to reduce the cost and intrusiveness of government. But, two organizations and a labor union have filed a lawsuit ...

Local Control: RESA officials should be heard at talks

As state-funded agencies continue to sift through the proposed budget submitted by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice last week, it becomes clearer the few cuts made by the governor are meant to do more than reduce a little spending. For example, the elimination of $3.7 million in funding for ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To West Virginia University at Parkersburg, which has implemented two programs that are improving the college experience and education for students. The Guided Pathway System is getting students registered and through their coursework more efficiently; and the Summer Bridge Program is ...

Deep Cuts: Justice, lawmakers must fix budget woes

In a State of the State address designed to be distractingly entertaining, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice told Mountain State residents the only way to balance the state’s budget is to increase taxes. Justice ramped up the Everyman drama by telling his fellow West Virginians, “If you ...

Wellbeing: Lawmakers can make a difference in W.Va.

For eight years in a row, the Mountain State has ranked dead last in the Gallup and Healthways study that tracks wellbeing. What makes this particular study stand out is the five elements considered in ranking the states: Purpose — liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve ...

Marijuana: Legalization is not the answer

West Virginia’s monstrous opioid pain pill/heroin epidemic got its start, according to many, when well-meaning doctors all over the state prescribed to their patients a new medicine for treating their chronic pain — pain many of those patients had developed after years of hard, physical ...