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Readers’ forum: May 29, 2014

Charity Races need help

Editor:

In regards to the fees for 5K and 10K’s as reported on April 18, the city of Charleston wants to put fees on the races held in Charleston. Races and their sponsors are going to leave Charleston and go to alternative sites; there are many smaller localities that will welcome a race such as Komen and the business it will bring. I am confident small business owners report increased traffic on any type of race day. Charleston needs to find an alternative way to make these races happen. Look at allowing the organizations to hire their own off-duty officers or use officers from the police academy. The nonprofit organizations holding these events are trying to raise money for worthy causes, and many of these organizations are already spreading limited funds very thin. The politicians and city council members need to find a way to support these organizations not dip into their fund sources.

Jennifer Lester

Cross Lanes

American oligarchy

Editor:

Until recently, I had not used the word oligarchy, rule by a few, in any capacity since eighth-grade civics class. Oligarchy is reminiscent of tsars and emperors, luxury and great wealth. Not an American idiom, surely.

Well, thank you Koch Brothers for the stroll down the vocabulary equivalent of Memory Lane. During the 1950s and 1960s, radio disc jockeys were slipped considerable sums of cash in exchange for airtime. We called this payola, and it was illegal. As the DJs ruled the airwaves, bought and paid for by Fat Cat Record Promoters, so the Koch Brothers are buying up what is left of our democracy, inch by county inch.

The U.S. Supreme Court decreed on April 2 (McCutcheon V. FEC) to strike down aggregate limits on the amounts individuals may contribute during a two-year period to all PACs, parties and federal candidates. By a slim margin (2 votes), the Court ruled that aggregate limits are unconstitutional under the First Ammendment. If allowing no cap on limits is free speech, then poverty is unequivocable silence. To equate money with the First Amendment allows the wealthiest Americans to dominate and extend control. These 1 percenters are overwhelmingly Republican and live in Red States, but branch out to all states. The Koch Brothers understand this very well. They have investments in Freedom Industries, assist in lining the war chests of Shelley Capito and Mitch McConnell and are owners of The Koch Pipeline Company. We will be dependent on fossil fuels forever if the Koch Brothers have a say.

This abundance of wealth does not level the playing field. With our votes, however, and this may be naivete, we do have the ability as underdogs, to influence the outcome of elections. I don’t know about you, but I do not want the best government that money can buy.

Loren Lynn Rousseau

South Charleston

Rural economies across W.Va. need a boost

Editor:

I sincerely appreciate the Gazette’s editorial backing the proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument. This designation is a once in a lifetime honor that the state and the region cannot afford to pass up.

I grew up in Richwood, just a few miles from the proposed monument, and I would love to see our community turn into a vibrant place once again. These days, Richwood is far from the boom we experienced several decades ago, but West Virginia’s leaders need to be on the lookout for opportunities to boost rural economies across the state. Public lands gateway communities like Richwood have a special advantage, and that’s their proximity to special places like the Monongahela National Forest. The fact that part of the Monongahela is a candidate to be honored with special recognition is a positive for the entire state.

Because a national monument would protect headwaters and grow local economies, all while protecting access for traditions of hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities, this is a win-win all West Virginians can be proud of. I hope our leaders in Washington want to boost business, honor our heritage and protect our traditions as much as we do here in the Mountain State.

Sam Taylor

Morgantown


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