Viewpoints from readers: Doubts raised about reach of roads program

August 11, 2018

An editorial published in The Herald-Dispatch on Aug. 3 focused on the state’s Roads to Prosperity program. Among its points was that construction bids on one of the major road construction projects came in well over estimates, possibly indicating the road program may be limited in the number of projects it can accomplish. Here are some comments:

Fred Staley: “Surprise surprise! Not. They never do estimate future costs anywhere close to the actual costs. They always underestimate costs so taxpayers will buy into it. Just run a poll asking readers if they are surprised by this news. I bet 80 percent are not.”

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Jay Sullivan: “We are not so much fixing ‘roads’ but interstate highways, and not ‘fixing’ so much as using this insane method of rebuilding by digging out and crushing the original concrete and then pouring new pavement on top of it, resulting in exactly the same road as we had before minus a few bumps. The promise was that any leftover money would be used on secondary roads where people live, but now it looks like there will not be enough money even to do the interstates as planned. Ponder this as you wait in a miles-long traffic jam to get on the ‘counterflow’ lane.”

Cabell County Commission and recycling

The Cabell County Commission on Thursday considered but rejected a proposal to place on the ballot a proposed tax levy to help expand the county’s recycling program. The proposal is similar to one proposed and rejected in August 2016. It would have cost most households roughly $3 each year and generate a total of $300,000 annually, said Mark Buchanan, director of the Cabell County Solid Waste Authority.

One commissioner was concerned about using most of the county’s remaining levying authority, while another raised questions about whether the levy proposal was premature, according to state law. Some comments:

Stephen Zoeller: “The County Commission’s decision was not based on what would be best for the community. It leaves you wondering what their motivation is. Thanks to Bob Bailey for his continued support.”

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James Jerome Slade: “Huntington continues to live in the ‘Dark Ages.’ Why is this so difficult???”

Supreme Court troubles

A column by Dave Peyton appearing Aug. 5 focused on the multiple investigations that have been conducted into spending by members of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

He also discussed a code of conduct for attorneys that inhibits them from speaking out if they have concerns about the conduct of judges. Some comments:

Fred Staley: “The only reason this (Supreme Court’s spending practices) made the news is due to one brave TV reporter, Kenny Bass. One lone reporter. I have no doubt many, many others already knew about all of this including the newspapers. They said little to nothing hoping this would soon pass. If it wasn’t for social media it would have soon passed.”

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Connie Sloan: “As I understand it, this rule also prohibits an attorney who has a social media web page from allowing any person from commenting on a judge in a derogatory manner. The State Bar rule has not been challenged but should be.”

Praise for Green Bank Observatory

A column from Barboursville resident Ellie White about her experiences as a student at the Green Bank observatory in recent years prompted kudos for both the observatory and her observations:

Linda Stalnaker: “You are on a fantastic journey in science and astronomy. And The Green Bank Observatory is a special place of learning for West Virginia and the world as more and more celestial discoveries are made!”

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Jeff Ball: “Great job Ellie!!!”

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