Gazette put blame in wrong place
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The editorial "Lifespan: 'Red' states unhealthy" (Aug. 11) may be the most preposterous article I have ever read. First of all, to link West Virginia's life expectancy to the past 13 years of presidential voting is ludicrous. I have trouble believing that anyone who is 65 or older has had years taken away substantially by the political powers in those past 13 years. And based on how West Virginia weathered the Great Recession and how better off than many states we are right now, I would say things have been better in this time period.
Secondly, if you are going to look at life expectancy on a state-by-state basis, why look at those state's federal voting records? Wouldn't it seem to make sense to look at whether the state government was "blue" or "red"? Wouldn't state government and state policies have more to do with the citizen's life expectancy, education and quality of life than who the president is?
Here, West Virginia is clearly a "blue" state. Currently, the governor and both the state House and Senate are controlled by the "blue" party and have been for a long time. I reference the colors because I really don't blame the current administration for our problems. I believe they are making significant progress on many of our issues. I tend to vote for the people I think will do the best job instead of voting for the red or blue team. If more people did this, I think West Virginia would be much better off.
Unfortunately, the editorial places unwarranted blame using a ridiculous argument. This only perpetuates the Red vs. Blue problems we have instead of trying to find a solution.
Editorial missed message of documentary
I generally like the Potpourri section of The Charleston Gazette, but your Aug. 19 review of the film "Goodbye Gauley Mountain" really disappointed me.
First, you didn't actually touch on the film at all and instead devoted 3/4 of your piece mocking the film's producer, Annie Sprinkle. Perhaps you feel the devastating impact of mountain top removal just isn't sexy enough? So, you opted instead to ignore the actual focus of the film?
Goodbye Gauley Mountain is a heart-wrenching tale of loving West Virginia and her mountains as told through the eyes of Annie's partner and West Virginia native, Beth Stephens -- along with dozens of other folks who know and love these mountains and are concerned about the long-term environmental and health effects of MTR! Beth, who was featured more prominently than Annie in the film and who directed and produced it, clearly spent a lot of time and effort putting this project together, and she gave voice to other folks who are fighting and dying to save our beloved mountains.