The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

October 7, 2013

Tribune Readers’ Views — Saturday, October 5, 2013

Former educator disagrees with Manchin proposal

(Editor’s note: The following open letter to Gayle Manchin, president of the state Board of Education, was forwarded to The Fayette Tribune for publication. Its author is a retired education in Fayette County.)

As one of the many participating members of Fayette County’s Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan (CEFP) who labored long to write this plan, with input from all members of the educational community, including parents, I am in total disagreement with your recommendation to remove Meadow Bridge High School from the county’s plan for consolidation.

Our vision for all of our students in Fayette County, no matter where they live, is that we can give each one the tools he/she needs to meet the demands of the twenty-first century.

As a retired educator, I have spent most of my life here in Fayette County, as a student, parent, teacher, principal and college supervisor. I love these hills in Fayette County and all our children.

I want nothing more than for each child to rise up to his/her potential and to achieve their greatness and some day to return to their home county.

Dr. Sylvia L. Allen

Oak Hill


It’s wrong to ignore elderly and disabled

I am deeply saddened by the current situation of the elderly and disabled citizens of our state. Over the last 40 years, numerous valuable programs were created to meet the needs of our most vulnerable adult residents.

The programs developed gave adults who cannot care for themselves the means to meet their basic needs, the best possible quality of life, the opportunity to  live in the least restrictive environment and the ability to retain some sense of dignity.

Now, all of this is changing.

In recent months, the reduction in services/programs, including the Aged and Disabled Waiver, has caused our elderly, disabled and sickest residents to be deprived of the support, care and assistance they so desperately need to remain safely and effectively in their homes.

Many such residents have died or had to go to nursing homes while they waited for help. Some of them have no family or support systems that can provide the needed care as they wait for the state to recognize a remedy their plight. They cannot wait any longer.

In reviewing this horrible situation, it is evident those state officials who are allowing the lack of services to continue are actually, according to Chapter 9 of the West Virginia Code, guilty of abuse and neglect of adults who are physically and/or mentally incapacitated, and unable to protect themselves. They are also in violation of the Human Rights Act which mandates that all citizens, especially the most vulnerable, have the right to meet their basic needs in a safe environment.

How can we, as a state, overlook and ignore this situation? The Aged & Disabled Waiver program alone has more than 2,000 people with severe illnesses and disabilities who are waiting for help.

Failure to recognize and remedy this dire situation by our governor, the Legislature and DHHR means those affected are basically being abandoned and left to experience low, painful deaths. Our state leaders need to realize this situation not only affects other people, but also impacts them, personally and directly, at some point in time.

None of us are going to live forever and we do not know what illnesses, infirmities or limitations we, or members of our families, will face in the future.

Martha J. Hager, LSW

Oak Hill