Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 4, 2013

Don’t lose sight of horse park purpose

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— I would like to reply to two of the Jan. 29 editorial page items. First is the equestrian center, which is now being called a multi-purpose center. I hope that our development authority will not lose sight of its original purpose and allow it to become diluted in the hopes of gaining wider acceptance, money, etc. Also, the hiring of an “outside consultant” often indicates that someone does not want to make a tough decision that may not be popular with local residents. Too often these consultants are called on to make decisions so local leaders can say that he/she is an expert and so his/her decision is the right one. Surely with three local colleges, there are professors and students that can be involved in this process that help the development authority come to a good decision that reflects our local needs.

I am still looking for someone to make a clear and understandable definition of what is a “Colonial Intermodal Center” and what it will accomplish. How will this help transform downtown Bluefield? How will this bring more traffic and citizens downtown? Will it be just another problem for the Bluefield police to monitor?

Mr. Smokey Shott’s latest column (Jan. 29) disagrees with the military allowing women in “up-front combat roles ...” He further states that, “the decision was made for the wrong reasons: it was driven by political and social considerations, not military need, according to Lt. General Jerry Boykin ...” The general’s chief reason for opposing women in combat is the need for separate bathroom facilities in combat situations. I believe that, if women are ever in frontline combat situations, this problem will already be solved.

News commentator Soledad O’Brien on her program was recently discussing this same topic with conservative professor Kingsley Browne who, “argue against women in combat due to the difference in what he called the ‘physical capacity’ between men and women.” (Google In their discussion, “O’Brien said, ‘I’m going to read a little bit from this colonel who said, ‘The army is not a sociological laboratory; to be effective it must be organized and trained according to the principles which will ensure success. Experiments are a danger ... to efficiency, discipline and morale ...’’’

She then asked Professor Browne, “Is this essentially what you’re saying?” He replied, “I think that’s true ...” Soledad’s response was, “That quote was from a guy in 1941. And that argument was about not allowing black people in the military...”

Also, his comment, “Fairness and equality sometimes must take a back seat” is both an embarrassing and troubling statement from a Bluefield Daily Telegraph columnist.

Bill Skeat