Editorials

Pollution: Energy companies must be held accountable

Many West Virginians believe we can have the best of both worlds. That is, we can enjoy the financial benefits of the natural gas drilling boom while maintaining the natural splendor that is one of our state’s trademarks. It is imperative that we insist the energy industry play by the rules ...

Potholes: Special session on roads would be welcome

At least the potholes are good for something, according to state Sen. Randy Smith. Smith, R-Tucker, explained during a discussion in the Senate about the sorry state of many secondary roads in West Virginia. He told fellow lawmakers that during a weekend trip back to his home, he saw ducks ...

Porterfield: Voters should hold delegate accountable

Del. Eric Porterfield, R-Mercer, told another newspaper he believes the backlash against his hateful remarks last week will increase his chances of getting re-elected. If he has been led to believe that is the case, it is truly a shame. Porterfield unapologetically said he thinks “the LGBTQ ...

Road Fund: Lawmakers must find solution to downturn

With state officials in a quandary over how West Virginia’s secondary roads are going to be maintained in the future, the Department of Transportation may have a more immediate problem. At the end of January, seven months into the fiscal year, revenue collections to support the State Road ...

Oil and Gas: Temp jobs show need for diverse economy

When members of the West Virginia Press Association gathered in Charleston last week to hear from lawmakers and lobbyists during the group’s annual Legislative Breakfast, one of the topics of discussion was the oil and natural gas industry — and, in particular, pipelines. State Senate ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To efforts to clean up the system for determining the number of state-owned vehicles in West Virginia, which have (after three years) resulted in discovery that the state owns 8,380 vehicles (rather than the 12,500 that were being insured by the Board of Risk and Insurance Management). That ...

Racism: Hold public officials to a higher standard

Far too many Americans do not seem to understand the rights granted to us under the First Amendment. What it does not provide is any right to incite violence or to prompt the public to suspect whether one’s employer, private or public, condones racism. The former deputy director of emergency ...

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 ...