The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 8, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Saturday, March 8, 2013

Class AAA Region 3 seeding was correct

In response to the article by Cam Huffman on Feb. 25 titled “Let seeding be decided on the court,” Greenbrier East coach Jim Justice complained about being treated unfairly because his team was not the top seed in its section.

According to the Week 7 Metro News Power Index which came out on Feb. 19, Woodrow Wilson was ranked 9th in the state with a schedule strength of 721.15 while Greenbrier East was ranked 13th with a schedule strength of 615.05. In the AP poll, Woodrow Wilson was ranked 3rd in AAA and Greenbrier East was ranked 7th. Woodrow’s record was 17-4 while East’s was 16-5.

Obviously, Woodrow Wilson has earned the No. 1 seed, yet Jim Justice complains about being treated unfairly.

The best player on the boys team at Greenbrier East came from Mount Hope and played basketball as a sophomore at Oak Hill. Another starter played three years at Wyoming East and a third starter came from overseas. Three girls from Tennessee and one from Beckley, wearing Greenbrier East uniforms, recently won a state championship.

In reality, those being treated unfairly are the other schools whose players are being brought in by Greenbrier East, the teams scheduling Greenbrier East, which in effect is an AAU team, and the young men and women at Greenbrier East legitimately attending their school, who are being sold out by coaches and administrators and therefore not able to represent their school and community.

In his article, Mr. Huffman states that the sole purpose of the WVSSAC is to ensure fairness and good competition. What is fair about what’s happening at Greenbrier East? If Jim Justice really believes he has been treated unfairly, he should stage a protest. I recommend burning T-shirts.

Fred Ferri

Oak Hill

Small businesses suffering from HIT

Small businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat are now being subjected to a health insurance tax that took effect Jan. 1. The so-called HIT is charged directly to health insurance companies, but they’re expected to pass it along to local companies by raising our premiums.

The increasing financial pressure on small businesses already makes it harder for us to remain competitive. Congress members must vote for The Jobs and Premium Protection Act, a bill that was designed to repeal the HIT, before this unfair, hidden tax can further harm the economy.

I have owned Precision Weapons Corp. since 1996, and I am the sole employee. I have not been able to afford health insurance, and it will be even more expensive now that the HIT has begun.

I often feel targeted as a small business owner. Many companies this size cannot absorb any extra costs, which means that they will have to pass along any health insurance premium increases to their employees and customers. Given the down economy, nobody has extra money to handle this.

My business provides a needed service to my community, and we need to support all companies that are important parts of their local areas. I feel it is unfair that small businesses across the country are being forced to shoulder the heavy burden that is the HIT. I urge our members of Congress to reject this tax by voting in favor of The Jobs and Premium Protection Act.

Kent Harless