Braxton Citizens' News, Opinion

Good news…

Both Lori Dittman and Brent Boggs were very helpful in providing information pertaining to what is in store for Route 4 between Gassaway and Sutton. Lori sent me a note with her column Monday morning which read, “Good news! As soon as the weather breaks, paving will begin on the road starting below Tom Cool’s old barber shop and go to the Y in Sutton.  The pipe work and guardrail had to be completed before the paving.”

Brent contacted Brian Cooper at the Weston DOH headquarters. He reported the same thing. They are not able to give an exact time frame for the paving due to weather being a factor in when local asphalt plants will start up for the season. Brent said that he had been told that some piling work along Elk River just north of Gassaway will have to be completed before that section can be paved. Hopefully by the end of summer, we will have a new road surface from the new Gassaway bridge to Sutton. That will sure be a welcome relief…

I want to thank Lori and Brent for helping keep our readership informed on this matter.

The legislature is in its final week… the session can’t be over quick enough to suit me. House Bill 4621 passed the House. It would prohibit the release of mugshots of those arrested until after they are convicted. The measure passed the House by a vote of 54 to 46 following a lengthy debate and has been sent to the senate.

The house also is considering House Bill 5105 which substantially changes vaccination requirements for school attendance.

Both of these measures are more examples of fixing problems that don’t exist. In the case of mug shots… probable cause has been found, else the individual wouldn’t have been arrested. The public and the news media have a right to see who these individuals are. We publish this type of photograph all the time in our papers. We feel the public should know who is accused of a crime. We also fully recognize that such individuals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Our primary reason for choosing to print them is to make sure some totally innocent individual, with the same or similar name, is not blamed for something they had nothing to do with. There are lots of arguments to support leaving the process as it is. I don’t know of any news media outlet that abuses such information or uses it in a manner other than what it was intended… which is simply to better inform the public. Our legislature keeps picking away at the public’s right to know.

Eliminating or making vaccinations optional is a terrible idea! I hear the religious freedom argument, but frankly I think the wellbeing of the school population as a whole, wins that fight. With the vaccination requirements that are now in place we have witnessed the total elimination of diseases that were often very debilitating to the youth of our past. It would be an utter crime to expose the school age populous to these diseases again… and it will happen if vaccinations are not required for school attendance.

Both of these bills are simply terrible pieces of legislation that should never have seen the light of day. I certainly hope they get swallowed up in the shuffle of the legislature’s final hours.