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Dec. 4, 2013: 'Fair share'; STEM challenge; MU plane crash

Corporations need to pay their fair share

Editor:

The news is doubly bad: Wages are stagnant, so state revenue is down ("Income tax drags state revenues down," Nov. 4). This means less money for the services that help people cope with this jobless "recovery" and sluggish economy.

With West Virginia's budget challenges, now is not the time for the federal government -- the state's long-time economic partner -- to be cutting infrastructure investments like the ones that helped build this state. It's also not the time to slash programs like Head Start, housing assistance and Meals on Wheels. And it's never the time to give in to threats of cutting Social Security and Medicare.

The next round of the awful Washington budget battle is beginning. What West Virginia and the rest of the country need is a balanced approach of both deficit reduction and economic growth. That should begin by asking huge corporations, which hide their profits in offshore tax havens, to pay their fair share.

There is a bill in Congress -- the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act -- that is a positive step in the right direction. It will help ensure that the well doesn't run dry before our economy recovers. Sen. Joe Manchin should consider supporting this legislation, because it supports West Virginia.

Gary Zuckett

Charleston

 

STEM innovation meet seeks W.Va. students

Editor:

Technology has radically altered how we work and play, with the "borderless lifestyle" enabling us to watch TV, shop or work when and where we want.

Businesses must continuously evolve to meet consumers' needs, and to succeed, they need a workforce skilled in science, technology, engineering and math, or "STEM," fields.

Yet the supply of STEM-skilled workers isn't keeping up with the demand. Studies show that 80 percent of the fastest-growing careers in our country require STEM skills, but the United States is not graduating enough students able to meet this demand. As a result, as many as 3 million STEM jobs have gone unfilled. In addition, STEM jobs have grown three times faster than other jobs over the past decade.

To help meet this demand, an innovative competition is underway to stimulate students' creativity and innovation in these fields. The Verizon Innovative App Challenge gives teams of middle- and high-school students a chance to create, develop and bring to market their own app.

The competition's challenge is simple: Develop a concept for an app that solves a local school or community issue. This year's competition will reward eight winning schools with $20,000 grants, as well as tablets for each student team member, courtesy of Samsung Telecommunications America. These winning teams also will work with professionals from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and Verizon to help build their apps and bring them to market on the Google Play store, respectively.

The first App Challenge in 2012-13 saw teams from more than 470 schools submit app concepts from every state and Washington, D.C., with more than 5,000 students engaged in the program.

The 2013-14 Verizon Innovative App Challenge is open for submissions until Dec. 17. For more information or to submit an app concept, visit verizonfoundation.org/appchallenge.

Harry J Mitchell, public relations director,

Verizon Communications

Charleston

 

Why was Marshall plane crash ignored?

Editor:

I am very disappointed in The Charleston Gazette not mentioning the 43rd anniversary of the largest and worst plane crash in college sports history.

Flight 932 killed all 75 on board upon impact and changed the lives of Marshall University and our state forever.

When I received the newspaper at work today, I read articles about WVU's football team and Santa Claus coming to the Town Center. How can our region "forget" what happened only a few decades ago? The state of West Virginia should honor this day, and we need to honor it each year.

Dustin L. Holston

Charleston


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