Letters: Warming up cars; dubious results; environment and clean water
Warming up car shouldn't be illegal
The recent arctic weather has left many residents dealing with frigid temperatures before their daily commute. It's common for people to start their vehicle and let it warm before driving to work. However, few people know that leaving a vehicle running unattended is against the law in West Virginia. State code 17-C-14-1 says "no person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key, and effectively setting the brake." Failure to comply could land you a fine ranging from $100 to $500.
It doesn't matter whether your vehicle is on public or private land, you can get fined anywhere within the state (even in your own driveway). This law needs to be repealed because it doesn't take into account vulnerable populations such as children or elderly people who may have a medical need to stay out of the cold. Moreover, the law is simply too burdensome for the good people of our state. It causes a hassle that far outweighs any benefit. It's time to put the heat on our elected representatives so we can stay out of the cold! I encourage everyone to contact their state legislators and demand a repeal of this law.
Michael Jessee Adkins
Dubious results for creating jobs
A puff piece by Anne Barth in the paper recently described growing jobs in our poor state that's last in almost everything good, and first in almost everything bad.
The job creation she speaks of is as plain as the nose on your face. Look at all the organizations created to help startups and small business. I count 13 in this puff piece and just added a new one which appeared in your paper a week or so later.
Count them: TechConnect West Virginia, West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust, West Virginia Capital Access Program, State Small Business Credit Initiative, Small Business Jobs Act, INNOVA, Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council, Natural Capital Investment Fund, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, Wyoming County Economic Development Authority, Regional Economic Development Partnership, Council for Rural Health Development, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, state Department of Commerce -- and the new one, WVSU-EDC BBASE.
In the last two years, all these groups combined have enabled the "retention of 481 jobs, and created another 361," according to the puff piece. Which amounts to 60 jobs retained or created per organization.
My guess is that most of these organizations we could live just as well without.
Clean environment benefits everybody
This chemical spill/water poisoning event should lead to more oversight and safety checks of all the different chemicals being made, used and stored in Chemical Valley, but it will probably take pressure from citizens since corporations seem to control our politicians.
Everyone in government is acting like they are not responsible. Well, they need to start becoming responsible and doing real oversight at every level.
Are we all environmentalists now? It matters what we do to the environment at every level, from individuals to huge corporations, to the government itself. Maybe someone reading this thinks they don't care about their environment. I'd ask those people: Would they rather stand behind a vehicle breathing exhaust fumes, or breathing fresh air out in the country? Would they rather drink the water that was polluted by this chemical spill, or chose to drink fresh clean water from a spring or well?
My point is that we are all environmentalists, whether we believe it or not.
Many never have clean water to use
The recent water crisis has affected the people of West Virginia deeply. The inability to use water for as much as a week is something many of us have never experienced living in the United States. As the old saying goes, you never realize how much you need something until it's gone. The inconvenience so many of us experienced was hard.
Now imagine that no bottled water ever came. No FEMA. No DHS. No safe, clean water ever again. Unfortunately, this is a reality for millions around the world. Think of all the things you use water for. Washing, watering, drinking, and more; all essential to life. Having experienced what it's like without water, I urge every West Virginian to give to charity: water, a non-profit trying to bring safe drinking water to everyone on the planet. A small donation at either charitywater.org or sending a check to 200 Varick Street, Suite 201 New York, NY 10014 will ensure that people everywhere will never have to subsist without water.