Editorials

Public Safety: Warehouse inventory lists are a necessity

It has been less than a year and a half since a devastating fire at one of the IEI Plastics warehouses in Parkersburg filled the air — not just in our community, but in communities many miles away — for eight days. No one knew what was burning. Our burning eyes and throats told us we needed ...

Conflicts: Legislators should not be exempt from rules

Local and state officials in West Virginia are prohibited in a variety of ways from using their positions for personal gain. One is steering local or state contracts to businesses in which they have interests. For example, a county board of education member whose family sells school buses ...

Immunization: Exemption expansion should be defeated

Parents and guardians who have legitimate medical or religious reasons for concern about having their children immunized against disease should be treated fairly and with consideration by state officials in West Virginia— of course. But some of those who say no to protecting their sons and ...

Oil Drilling: Leave Chaco Canyon area alone

The United States has become the world’s leading producer of petroleum, beating even Saudi Arabia. That means we can be somewhat choosy about where we drill for oil. Two key conflicts exist in that regard. One, of course, is protection of the environment, including natural treasures that, ...

Child Safety: Lawmakers should pass SB 81

Parents already know their children must be buckled up, possibly in the right car seat or booster seat, when riding in the back seat. (Until they are 13, then they may ride in the front, but must still be buckled up.) It is the law. Violating that law is a primary offense, meaning an officer ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the return of the Fridays at the Library gardening series, at the Vienna Public Library. Even a polar vortex cannot stop the reminder that spring is closer than we think, and it is time to brush up on the skills that will have all those summer gardens producing good vegetables and ...

Corrections: Legislation arming officers requires caution

West Virginia legislators seemed to be in agreement last year that a major bill involving jails and prisons ought to include a provision allowing some corrections officers to carry guns while on duty and while traveling to and from work. But that section somehow got left out of the bill sent ...

Omnibus: Separate bills would make better legislation

“Omnibus” legislation covering scores of matters related to an overall goal is not uncommon at either the state or national levels. So the catch-all education bill moving through the West Virginia Senate is not necessarily objectionable because it contains so many different ...

Parenting: Monitor your kids’ social media usage

Parents of today’s kids are sometimes accused of being overprotective. Children are not booted outside at the start of a day without school (sunshine or snow) and told to come home when it gets dark. Adults hover over them in parks and playgrounds. It is rare for a youngster to get sent to ...

Home Rule: It’s time to make pilot program permanent

More than ten years probably is long enough to decide whether most things work. Yet for 34 municipalities, one of the most important laws on the books in West Virginia remains a pilot program. Legislators are on their way to changing that. A bill doing so may be approved by the state Senate ...

Sports Betting: West Virginia should take a bigger piece of the action

Last year, West Virginia legislators made a multi-million-dollar wager. They bet gambling interests would not be inclined to offer sports betting in states with high tax rates on the business. They lost. Lawmakers were told last week it is too early to say with certainty how much state ...

Treatment: Substance abuse helpline an invaluable tool

A few years ago, just as many West Virginians were becoming aware of the substance abuse epidemic that was tightening its grip on the state, First Choice Services in Charleston partnered with the state Department of Health and Human Resources to develop the West Virginia Substance Abuse and ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To Parkersburg City Council’s willingness to explore options for tackling the problem of vacant, dilapidated buildings in the city. It is too soon to tell whether an idea to sell houses for as little as $1 to occupants who have the resources to fix them up is a good one, but it is worth ...

Veterans: Enact Military Service Members Court

State legislators ought to make it plain that West Virginians consider the debt we owe to veterans of military service a greater priority than ensuring justices of our Supreme Court have expensive couches and fancy offices. State Sen. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, has introduced a bill to establish a ...

Manchin: Compromise needed to reopen government

Cracks have appeared in the wall Democrat Party leaders have erected against any compromise that could end the partial shutdown of federal government. It should come as no surprise that U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is a leader in trying to restore rationality to the process. During the ...

Videos: Longer D.C. video may offer new perspective

Well, they got us. The folks who spread a very short and narrowly framed video of an incident last week in Washington, D.C. — perhaps hoping the ends justified the means — got the reaction for which they were hoping ... for a little while anyway. Now, as more information and a wider ...

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Hate incident shows how much work remains

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Today we remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and events last week show the need to reflect on his mission and ministry is as great as ever. A group of teenagers from ...

W.Va. 2: Legislators must keep hands off funding

Gov. Jim Justice’s suggestion that some funds earmarked for “Roads to Prosperity” highway and bridge projects could be diverted to handle secondary road maintenance already has received some criticism. Mountain State voters who approved the $1.6 billion Roads to Prosperity bond issue ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To Delegate Gary Howell, R-Mineral, for introduction of a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to continuously drive in the left lane of a multi-lane roadway, impeding the flow of other traffic. In other words, perhaps lawmakers are able to finally help law enforcement officers do ...

Education: Legislation shows an investment in future

A well-educated, properly trained (and drug-free) workforce is among the most important factors an employer seeks when considering moving to a new location. West Virginia has a lot of work to do before it can make an assurance to new companies that such will be available should they make the ...