Y'all know where I stand on that.
But when other services that we traditionally look to government to provide are sacrificed in order to perpetuate the hokum, there is something glaringly wrong.
For anyone who travels a good deal around the area, the one highway with the poorest maintenance, the one that is perpetually in the worst condition - hands down - is the West Virginia Turnpike, that stretch of I-77, a toll road, that runs from Bluefield north to Charleston.
A washboard is less jarring.
As it turns out, there's a reason why the Turnpike is so poorly maintained. Funds for repairs are being diverted to prop up a failing - and very expensive - tourist mecca:
Tamarack: What next?Those "urgent needs" include the repair of potholes the size of a Volkswagen.
Charleston (WV) Gazette
Tamarack, the giant arts and crafts stop at Beckley, requires about $2 million a year from the state Parkways Authority to keep running. That’s $2 million that state residents and visitors pay in tolls that could be spent on other urgent needs.
A legislative audit concluded that the project has not lived up to expectations.
Despite assurances from lawmakers and from former Gov. Gaston Caperton that Tamarack is a success ... (link)
Despite the whining of the usual suspects, change may be in the offing:
Artisans who gathered to defend the project and to criticize the audit spoke of being able to pursue careers in art, thanks to the giant showplace built 10 years ago near the split between Interstate 64 and 77.While you're at it, let me add to your list of potential church sites. We have a slew of unproductive and costly "tourist meccas" on this side of the border as well. We could begin here.
No one disputes that Tamarack is filled with lovely works and handsome craftsmanship. But it seems that West Virginia artisans should be able to sell their creations without costing the Turnpike Authority $2 million a year.
So, what should West Virginia do with Tamarack?
Maybe one of the many churches looking for more room would be willing to buy it — as is. There’s plenty of parking. Easy Interstate access. Just imagine the Tamarack Gospel Tabernacle, with that striking rooftop reaching up to the heavens and ...