We can honor King by serving others
To the editor:
Martin Luther King Jr.
There are monuments to Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington in our nation’s capital. And now there is a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. That monument, which is beautiful and awesome to stand beside, towers over the Tidal Basin in the shadow of the White House.
It’s a fitting tribute to Dr. King, whose birthday we mark this week. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an important day to celebrate, and his example is worth emulating. It’s the perfect time to pause and reflect on his question to us: “What are you doing to help others?”
It’s a question I’ve asked myself, many times. It’s the reason I chose to come to West Virginia in the first place. Now, decades after I came as a young VISTA volunteer, I’m still driven by the idea that in helping others, we can truly make a difference.
This holiday is also an opportunity to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come as a nation, a time to come together, without regard to race, creed or nationality, in joining with others across the country to celebrate his dream. Dr. King’s legacy to us is that hoping for a better tomorrow is ultimately worth the sacrifices we make today.
There is no better way to honor him than to answer his “most persistent and urgent question.” Let’s all ask that of ourselves today, and resolve that whatever the answer, we’ll push ourselves to ever say, “I can always do more.”
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
Many questions remain about proposed gas-tax hike
To the editor:
The Jan. 7 front-page story, “Local officials meet privately to mull gas-tax hike,” was confusing and maddening at the same time. The story states, “The subject line of D. Bruce Poole’s Dec. 27 email invitation to the meeting was ‘Antietam bridge/BOE move/revenue sources.’” The story later states that Del. Donoghue said, “I asked Bruce Poole to come along.” Who called the meeting, Donoghue or Poole?
The reporter then cites, but does not quote, Donoghue as saying that before he supports the gas tax, he wants to hear from local constituency groups if they would seek additional revenue and for which products. That is like asking a user if they would like you to buy their drugs. It is nice to know that if no one wants the drugs, Donoghue would not buy any.
Then comes the real winning statement from Donoghue, again not a direct quote: If any group opposes the increase, it won’t get any of the new money for its projects. So, if you don’t want Annapolis to take more of your money and they do take more, you can’t have any of it back because you did not want them taking it in the first place.
Is this the time to impose an additional tax on Maryland citizens? Who will this impact more, those living in Baltimore, where mass transit is available or Washington County residents? Where will most of this money come from? Where will most of it go (new roads to the Ravens’ stadium)?
Another bit of confusion is the use of the state’s transportation tax dollars for the possible move of the BOE to downtown. Are they going to build a road from the current BOE location to downtown? I just can’t see how this is a transportation-related project.
As close as we are to West Virginia, it will be cheaper to drive there to refuel. In fact, why don’t we just secede and become part of West Virginia so we can get some meaningful representation, lower taxes and a fiscally conservative people running a state government.