July 7 letters to the editor

Life lessons from Saul Radman & Daniel’s 

I read about Saul Radman’s passing with many memories. At the age of 14, when my family moved from the farm to the south side of town, my mother decided I shouldn’t spend my summer break idly.

She knew Saul from buying my dad clothes at Daniels. They shared a personality trait of being good hagglers. She called Saul to see if he would give me a summer job. Like he did for several “up-and-comers-to-be,” he put me to work.

My initial job was keeping the stock room organized, shirts displayed on the shelves neatly stacked, suits aligned and in order by size and ties hanging straight on the rack. Seventy-five cents an hour in 1964 was good for a 14-year-old.

I watched, I learned and, over time, I was promoted to selling top-grade men’s clothes: Match shirts and ties for the suit that I could mark up for alterations. During that era, young men dressed sharply for the Friday night fraternity party and the Saturday afternoon home game at Mountaineer Field.

More importantly, I learned life skills from Saul. Working there through high school, I learned to aspire to excellence and how to work hard and smart to achieve goals — things that served me well throughout college, medical school at WVU and a career in medical research and academic medicine.

During my career working with top scientists, including Nobel laureates, I encountered many who owned and taught the same character traits as Saul. Work hard, be entrepreneurial to find solutions and make life better for your customer/patient.

Saul not only helped men dress well.  Through the years, he taught many that whether you are sizing suits, jeans or genomes, be dedicated and do it well.

P.S. My father, Keith Mayfield, worked at The Dominion Post for 30 years as a pressman.

Ronald Mayfield
Greenville, S.C.

Thanks to all contributors to civil rights exhibit

Thank you to everyone involved with the Community Coalition for Social Justice’s exhibit “Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed this act into law, prohibiting discrimination in places of employment and public accommodation, including theaters and restaurants, based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The exhibit is available on the second floor of the Morgantown Public Library, 373 Spruce St., through this month when the library is open:  9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Our exhibit looks at the impact of that act, highlighting subsequent developments and threats. The accompanying graphic novel features storytellers sharing their civil rights and human rights experiences.

Producing this project was a team effort. Eve Faulkes designed the exhibit, designed and illustrated the graphic novel and oversaw production. Storytellers and those they highlighted include Al Anderson; Suraya Boggs; Joan Browning (also an editor) and her “Beloved Community” of Phyllis Carter, Ken Gilbert, Tim Hairston, Ivin Lee, Charlene Marshall and Tank Williams; Janie Claytor-Woodson; the Rev. Ron English; John and Maria Gaddis and John Watson; Asha Gaines; John Garlow Sr. and Dr. William Waddell; Crystal Good; Ken Hechler; Carolyn Bailey Lewis; Reita Marks; Charlene Marshall; Duane Nichols; Dayna Pratt; Don Spencer (also an editor); and Sierra Velez. Mavery Davis, Asha Gaines, Katonya Hart and Sarah Little also contributed. Several storytellers spoke at the exhibit opening, while Al Anderson and the Osage Soul & Gospel Choir sang.

We thank the City of Morgantown and First Presbyterian Church for their financial support of this project. FirstEnergy Foundation funded printing of the graphic novel. The Morgantown Human Rights Commission and Morgantown/Kingwood Branch of the NAACP provided support. The library staff, especially Sarah Palfrey and James Spears, provided space for our event and valuable assistance.

Barb Howe
CCSJ Steering Committee Member

Praise to newspaper for keeping readers informed

One of the hardest things to do is realize that a half-dozen or so rare events will happen to us if we live long enough. One of the best places to learn this lesson is from the newspaper, and The Dominion Post is no exception.

The prime example was reporting on the accident at Krepps pool. Erin Cleavenger reported on June 13 that 11-year-old Jackson “experienced a seizure at Krepp’s Park public swimming pool, causing him to fall into the water. Jason Pauley said BOPARC lifeguards sprang into action to rescue Jackson.” Certainly the lifeguards saved the boy’s life, and the community has been encouraged by reports of his recovery.

As a parent, I worry most days about my children’s health, welfare and happiness. Protecting our children on hot days has been discussed in the editorial pages. I wonder under what conditions I would get distracted and leave my loved one in the backseat of a car in a hot parking lot. Despite being confident in my own precautions, in reality, to prevent these rare, singular events of children and animals dying in hot cars, we need to spend less time criticizing the people who leave them there and more time on solutions.

Alongside electronic measures, I have heard of people who take their left shoe off when they enter a car with a child in the back. I have also heard tethers or a dog leash connecting the carrier to the driver’s right arm (loosely!) might help. Newer cars have metal loops inside the seat for securing car seats. One of the unused loops might come in handy here. Any idea that works should be considered, because none of us have the perfect attention we think we have.

The consequence of misplaced attention can be minor and lead us to promise to do better next time. But it can also be devastating, and I appreciate the role of The Dominion Post in telling us all the news and providing thoughtful commentary on it.

Steven Knudsen

Columnist misguided in abortion opinion

When I read Hoppy Kercheval’s June 22 column, I wasn’t sure which of my emotions was strongest: curiosity, amazement, disgust, fury?

I don’t always agree with him, but I try to read him with respect. This time I couldn’t. What did Hoppy think he was doing? What does he know about why a woman would need an abortion for any of many reasons — including her health and life? What was he trying to say when he pointed out that many women would likely have gone out of state for an abortion anyway because West Virginia only had one facility? What is he omitting from the complex story?

What was your point, Hoppy? Who was your audience? How about an apology — to all women and to all thinking people who deserve respect as intelligent readers, whatever their specific views.

Judith Gold Stitzel

Go see new botanic garden visitors center

July 1 marked the dedication of the Visitors Center at the West Virginia Botanic Gardens. More than 100 community and board members were present. The day was gorgeous, with temperatures in the high 70s and the sun shining brilliantly on the grounds.

In the 1990s, WVU landscape architect professor Geoge Longenecker shared his vision of the West Virginia Botanic Gardens at Tibbs Run with me and my wife Jan. I was in awe of his monumental vision.

I know a thing or two about organizing community programs. I was the founding director of the WVU Wellness Program in 1992, served as the director of the Bayer Community Wellness Program in Wellsburg and helped organize the internationally acclaimed “1% Or Less” campaign to reduce saturated fat from the diets of residents of Clarksburg and Bridgeport. I had an idea of how much work would be involved.

Time has shown the power of vision, hard work, grit and extraordinary community support. George had a vision but his feet planted firmly on the earth and his hands in the dirt. George is no longer physically with us, but his spirit is carried on by his wife Caroyl and the fine staff, board and management of the West Virginia Botanic Gardens.

All are encouraged to take the 10-minute drive from Morgantown to the treasure that is the West Virginia Botanic Gardens at 1061 Tyrone Road for a profound life experience. Explore the new Visitors’ Center and pass meditative moments along the 4.5 miles of trails while being bathed in the forest.

Bill Reger-Nash

State must continue subsidized daycare slots

I’m a single mom, living in Morgantown with my terrific 4-year-old son. I am a medical assistant at a facility with a suboxone clinic — a job I can keep only because the Child Care Resource Center helps with the otherwise-impossible cost of care. This state-funded program is the reason I can support my family. So I was distressed, even panicked, to learn its funding may lapse.

If our state legislators fail to fully fund enrollment-based child care reimbursements by September, we’ll lose 2,000 subsidy slots statewide. One of those could be mine. I used to pay $300 per week for my son’s care. It was unsustainable. Thankfully, the Child Care Resource Center sets payment on a sliding scale based on income. Now I pay $11 per day, which makes it possible to send him to Pleasant Day Schools. He loves his teachers and the crafts and other activities he does there. I know it’s preparing him to succeed in school.

Without the subsidy, I would have to take him to Fairmont so my mom or grandmother could watch him. Most likely, he’d have to stay with them during the week, because I can’t afford the gas money to make that trip every day. Not seeing him would break my heart, especially now that he’s starting T-ball, which he loves. At this age, they grow so fast.

I hope our legislators will reconsider any budget cuts that affect access to child care. It’s important for my son’s development and for our family.

Kasmira Kinzer

Despite his blunders, Biden still best choice

The presidential debate was indeed a disappointment. President Biden performed below his standards, while Trump continued to show us who he is — a bully, liar and con artist.

Trump rarely answered the questions asked. He cannot accept responsibility for anything and blames everyone else for his woes — most recently his felony convictions. When asked, he refused to accept the results of the 2024 election unless his requirements are met.

Trump claims to have done a lot to protect the environment. Immediately upon taking office, he took 74 deregulatory actions weakening protections on air, water and climate change for the benefit of businesses, not you (Brookings, Aug. 4, 2020).

Border policy was not improved under Trump (CATO Institute, March 10, 2021). The pandemic was a shield for his incompetence. He separated children from parents, leaving the Biden administration to reunite them. Trump promised new immigration policy while Biden, on day one, introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act. Recently, Biden agreed to a bipartisan bill that would have made permanent fixes to the border. Trump squashed the deal because he needed a cause to get votes. Even though Biden has new working executive orders, they are only temporary.

Trump totally deflected when it came to Jan 6. He said Biden was a threat to democracy. If you look at all Trump says when blaming others, I believe he is actually talking about himself.

Biden works for you — as evidenced by his many accomplishments. For Trump, it is all about him and his next vote. Although Biden did not do well at the debate, he is an honest and caring person who gets things done and who will protect your rights. If both remain on the ballot, Biden will always have my vote and he should have yours if you want our democracy to prevail.

Mary Ann Liberatore

Immunity ruling beyond constitution’s scope

The U.S. Supreme Court decision issued last week went beyond all bounds of the Constitution. Do we still have a Constitution?

The Supreme Court’s evaluation is that as long as you’re the president, you can do no wrong. Get all of your dastardly deeds done while you’re in the White House, and that’s fine and dandy. Everyone has to look the other way. The concept of checks and balances has died.

A president no longer has to be an honorable person or appear to be. A president can be our country’s worst enemy but is also protected by full immunity.

The Watergate break-in, if it occurred now or in the future, would still send the burglars to jail, but would not touch the president. He or she would be immune.

Deb Miller