For future’s sake, expect more from students

When are we going to say enough is enough? The education system in this state stinks.

When compared to other countries, our students are so far behind others it should be considered a national emergency.

But do the educators really care?

Granted, other states face similar problems with their education system. When will we realize we can’t keep sweeping it under the rug and ignore it?

The future of this nation rests on what this generation is learning. And I wonder what they really know.

Have you ever discussed events with your children or grandchildren? It’s shocking what they don’t know. Things that should matter aren’t taught and when one asks them of events they can’t tell you what happened.

I asked about a historical event and my grandchildren could not tell me what happened and why we thought it was an important event in the history of the U.S.

I had a history teacher in high school and I will always remember what he told us. We have to remember that there were other events happening at the same time to influence all the other events that were going on. Have the teachers today ever thought of that? His words ring so true to me even after being out of school for 40 years. My education meant something then; now it’s a big question as to what the students are learning. He made his classes interesting. And we learned.

We need to get back to the basics. Children today cannot read. They don’t understand what they read. They have no understanding of the meaning of words. And they cannot spell basic words. What’s wrong with this picture? Most students depend on computers for everything. We have turned our children into nonthinking people and taught them to depend on machines to think and act for them. Not good.

When a system is in trouble and the state board of education delays action till October 2008, that’s too long. If a change is necessary, don’t wait for something to happen 10 months down the road; act now. Quit delaying things.

I want better for my grandchildren and the other children in this state. And until we put our foot down and demand better, it will be the same garbage over and over again.

Everyone wants improvement and new things, but along with that comes the responsibility to teach the future leaders of this state and nation the importance of understanding that education is the most important thing for them. It’s necessary to question, learn, seek out and strive for more knowledge. We need to help them seek the want-to of education. The want to learn of the great writers, teachers, scientists and chemists. They had to be educated and they did. We need to demand more of them and not settle for less.

So I challenge every parent, grandparent and teacher in this state to want more for our students. Please don’t settle for less. Expect more and demand more of them. I know I do.

J.A. England


X still stands for Christ

In reply to the letter printed Dec. 13, the X in Xmas is actually the Greek letter Chi, the first letter of the Greek word for Christ — therefore, Christ’s initial.

Edith Seaton


Politicians must be made to earn pay

“Hats Off” to James Petry for his letter in reference to dead beat politicians like Shirley Love and apathetic water customers who can’t find the gumption to stand up and demand that our so-called representatives actually earn their paycheck.

And a big “Thumbs Down” to Bob Raines who lives in Princeton and thinks he has a right to take a poke at those of us living beneath mountaintop removal sites which are destroying the headwater source streams for most of the eastern U.S. He should be happy that the WV Council of Churches is fighting to save God’s creation so he can have potable water to drink, unlike that of James Petry.

Mr. Raines is one of those in the shrinking minority who thinks there is no such thing as global warming in spite of 4,000 of the world’s leading scientists telling us that if we don’t stop greenhouse gases now, that by the year 2100 (a mere 92 years), the only inhabitable place on the earth to live will be the Antarctic. Is that the world Mr. Raines wishes for his babies and grandchildren to live in?

The argument is over, global warming, climate change is real, it is happening, we are in it, and we need to slow it down as fast as we possibly can if we are to have a planet that will continue to supply a life support system for humans.

Coal is a major contributor to climate change that has put us on this threshold of extinction. Our responsibility is to do something about it. A good start would be to throw these dead beat corporate puppets out of office.

Like all addiction, denial is followed by more denial until one hits rock bottom, and finally the process of recovery begins. Unfortunately, because of the stubborn denial by those like Mr. Raines, we haven’t hit rock bottom yet. When that does happen, I hope the damage is not so severe that recovery is not reachable.

And yes, Mr. Raines, before you spout off about turning my lights off, I am ready to make whatever sacrifice is required. I care that much about my grandchildren ... and yours.

I challenge you and all those on your side to simply cut your electricity use by 20 percent. You can get close to that just by switching to energy-saving light bulbs.

Maybe if we all did only that, we could help Mr. Petry get some clean, affordable potable water.

Letters to our governor demanding an economic vision for West Virginia that provides safe, clean, good paying jobs for our citizens would be even better. A man or woman should not be forced to destroy God’s creation, including His children, in order to put food on the table.

Bo Webb


Oh, the shame of a West Virginia son

It looks like West Virginia was handed another slap — this time by a “native.” It also looks to me like it is time for the powers that be to wake up and smell the coffee. Why doesn’t the board who governs these things rewrite the rules so that no coach can be offered a position with another school until after the last football game of the season is played?

Our (former) Rod obviously did not have his mind on the game with Pitt. He was focused on self — and knowing he was going to take the Michigan job, did he care if WVU won the game or not? Did he consciously or subconsciously throw the game by being inattentive? After all, he had made his decision — his future job with Michigan was not at stake; more obviously, his current job with WVU was not at stake because he had Michigan in the pocket.

The other fact that rankles is that he had the ego to try to blackmail WVU into upping the ante, all the while professing his loyalty to the university and the state.

The best thing we can do now is say adieu, don’t let the door hit you in the butt, and don’t ever try to come back. Not only did you, Rod, go behind the backs of all your loyal fans, you began stealing assistants and recruits.

Oh, the shame of a son of West Virginia stabbing West Virginia in the back.

Now be a gentleman and pay up the buyout, and don’t hide behind that nonsense that you were not a business major. In that case, about 80 percent of the contracts we sign are invalid because we are not business majors.

Martha J. Asbury


Keep desperately needed clinic open

The Access Health Clinic located in Colcord is a vital part of our rural community. It has operated for years, making health care available to our area. The majority of citizens here are elderly and on fixed incomes, and many are without means of transportation.

The clinic is operating only two days a week now with reports that it will go to one day in the new year or perhaps close completely. The only alternative for our people is to travel to Beckley or Charleston, and for some of them, it’s not possible. When our clinic closes, these people will have to go without care until they have to be hospitalized or die.

Our clinic is one of several operated by Access Health headquartered in Beckley. Access Health’s Web site states: “AccessHealth, a Federally Qualified Health Center, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing comprehensive primary health care to the citizens of Raleigh County and surrounding areas.” We are certain that the director is aware of the possibilities of grants and other avenues of income, but doesn’t seem to be interested in helping us. This contradicts the organization’s mission statement. His focus is only on the Beckley area.

Like many West Virginia communities, we have experienced a decrease in population. Our local high school was closed and torn down. With the loss of our clinic, we will soon have no identity at all. Our rural location makes us unimportant to the people operating and planning in their urban offices. Please contact your representatives and ask them to help us keep our desperately needed clinic.

Johnny McVey


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