In-depth coverage of 130th needed
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The effort to save the 130th Airlift Wing at Yeager Airport continues to gain momentum and size as well as continued support from the Gazette. The governor has recently joined in supporting a new access bridge as well as a new National Guard airfield in Logan County. Political and community leaders are throwing in their support for these projects. Yet little or no note of dissenting views has made it to the printed page. I previously noted that military bases routinely deal with access routes that are available to the public when I questioned the need for a new bridge and entrance to the base. Another writer sought to have this paper look into the numbers touted in support of the bridge project.
The projects are all based upon the assumption that Congress will mandate the closing of the 130th Airlift Wing at Yeager after the next round of possible base closings in 2015. Our local leaders' confidence that the Congress in 2015 will be able to agree on anything is hardly supported by the Congress' current deadlock. In order to prevent this possible action our leaders tout a federal, state, local and private partnership for the proposals; that's three-quarters of the bill for us taxpayers.
Boards and commissions have convened to support these proposals numerous times; their members are among our best citizens. Some of the members even do double duty serving on more than one board or commission providing them with multiple opportunities to seek support for these projects. Most of the taxpayers on the hook for three-quarters of the costs are at work and not able to attend the multiple meetings discussing the proposals.
We are told that the 130th directly contributes to 1,100 jobs and an $89 million contribution for the state. The figures have gone unsupported and unquestioned by this paper. If these figures are correct, the 130th is providing jobs averaging more than $80,000 a year! Apparently our leaders want this subsidy for the civilian side of Yeager to continue and to grow with the addition of these new projects.
I renew the call for the Gazette to provide an in-depth examination of the numbers and details supporting these proposals.
Jon K. Johnson
Documentary story was incomplete
"If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed," -- attributed to Mark Twain.
The Gazette's Aug. 19 Potpourri informed readers of Anne Sprinkle's former resume without also mentioning that she graduated from NYC's School of Visual Arts, worked as a photographer for several credible magazines and recently received the Artist Activities Scholar's Award from Stanford University from the Performance Studies International. She did participate in the development of the documentary Goodbye Gauley Mountain, and, other than referencing the director, that was all the coverage, whereas Huffington Post offered a much more extensive review: "Goodbye Gauley Mountain, which has been three years in the making and is now making the rounds at a variety of film festivals, is a keeper. It will go down as one of the most creative romps to shed light on "King Coal" and the profound tragedy taking place in the Appalachian Mountains."
With further research of Sprinkle on a more positive inclination, the writer may have been impressed with the acclamations from academia and the arts community on her view of freedom of the mind and body.