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letters 4/5

April 05, 2002

NASCAR details on April 17


To the editor:

I wish to respond to the negative criticism printed in The Journal regarding Farmland Preservation and Indoor Clean Air regulations and NASCAR.

First, I would like to address Farmland Preservation and my amendment to the bill, I was a co-sponsor of the Farmland Preservation bill and voted for both the Senate bill and the House bill. As this is a growth-county issue, the other 52 counties and their delegations do not care.

It is the largest tax increase on title transfers ever enacted by the Legislature. The West Virginia Manufacturing Association and the West Virginia Home Builders Association were vehemently opposed to the bills. I personally brokered a deal with the other members of the senate (including leadership) that was a compromise.

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The bill would be passed out of committee with the understanding that I would amend the bill on the senate floor. I did so, and the bill passed with approximately nine senators voting against the bill. Perhaps Senator Unger and Delegate Doyle do not understand that the spirit of compromise drives the Legislature. Without it, the bills die.

Regarding the bill I sponsored on indoor clean air regulations, it is no secret that I have lobbied for four years to implement one statewide smoking ordinance affecting all 55 counties. The bill I introduced would ban all smoking in public buildings, including schools, and require the Department of Health to promulgate rules for restaurants and bars regarding the percentage of smoking areas, the isolation of smoking areas and requirement of proper air handling devices in those smoking areas.

Finally, regarding my efforts to bring NASCAR to West Virginia, I have worked tirelessly to bring NASCAR here to our state. The Journal has accused me of not coming forward with the details. This project is in a catalyst stage with great interests to benefit West Virginia.

The news media want to know who the investors are. Perhaps they have to see a NASCAR race with advertising on every car from soda to motor oil.

We can bring NASCAR to West Virginia. It is open to all 55 counties for their attractions, land and infrastructure. For those who complain that we cannot handle a NASCAR track, I simply say: Roads and infrastructure will be a part of agreements. Perhaps the voters in my district would rather commit $80 million to a Wheeling outlet mall and $13 million of your tax dollars to a minor league baseball park in Charleston.

For the press and those individuals who desire more details, I will be a primary speaker at the Motor Sports Council meeting in Flatwoods, W.Va. on April 17, to discuss more details for the vision of NASCAR in West Virginia.

I very much take issue with the manner in which The Journal has covered my involvement in the Legislature this year. For example, the March 18 issue of The Journal featured a political cartoon of me wearing a Dale Earnhart hat and my wife as a dog. My purpose, as a statesman, is not to pander to The Journal but to draft and enact uniform laws for all 55 counties in West Virginia and capture our economic development potential that is not based on simply adding more development and houses.

Senator Herb Snyder

16th Senatorial District

Charles Town, W.Va.

Superintendent did what's best


To the editor:

I have concluded that the editorial written on April 1, was a joke.

To think someone would tell John Q. Public what MSPAP was all about and think that teachers were not reading the paper that day, the writer had to be joking.

First of all, what MSPAP measured was not anything that we could count on year to year. Don't you remember the last middle school principal who was so aghast about his school winning? What had they done to make those kids so brilliant to deserve the $30,000-plus that their school was awarded? He had no clue. Nor did any other school that won big bucks.

Perhaps it was that the kids, teachers, administrators, ate, drank and slept MSPAP. Really that is all this county has done in the last 10 years. Who among you knows what a ranking of No. 7 in the state really meant? It's OK, because no one does. And the test was so subjective. (Meaning right and wrong answers weren't important, just be sure to justify why you chose your answer. Would you want those with a perfect score who could justify their inaccurate answers building the highway bridges over which you drive?)

MSPAP led to elementary school curriculums so packed with material, that reading and arithmetic took backseats to everything else. The philosophy was throw out the basics, give them a calculator and get them analyzing graphs, and statistics.

The same stupid philosophy that would expect a beginning piano player to play Mozart without memorizing the keyboard.

There has been no professional meeting at which we have not been inundated with MSPAP this and MSPAP that. Learn to grade like a MSPAP grader. Learn to write like a MSPAP writer. Make a MSPAP problem, solve one. I digress.

This test hurt kids too. One wrote in his journal entry last year, as a 6th-grader, and read it before the class that the worst thing that ever happened to him in his life was taking the fifth-grade MSPAP test. He volunteered to read his selection after hearing two others who wrote about losing their grandfather and a family pet.

You Mr. Editor have no clue what you were talking about in your article. Only repeating what the talking heads have said.

Thanks to our new superintendent for doing what is best for our school system. I think super fits her to a "T."

Patricia A. Patterson

Western Heights Middle School

Falling Waters, W.Va.

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