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From Robert Lally

March 21, 2018
Wetzel Chronicle

Editor's Note: The following is Part One of Mr. Robert Lally's letter. Because it was over the word count, Lally agreed we could run it in two parts. Part Two of his letter will run next week:

To The Editor,

The current presidency has dominated headlines for almost a year. Even after all the scandals, tax plans, tweets, and rocket men, there is one issue that has never left the national debate. I am talking about the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Even after many months of debate, the wall is still a highly charged and polarizing issue. As such, I will not discuss my political affiliation, nor my opinions regarding current policy. What I will say is this, my name is Robert Lally and I have been a resident of Wheeling, W.Va. for my entire 76-year-life. During that time, I have started and operating several successful businesses within the area. What I am saying is that I am not some random senile old man, I know about business and profit. From what I see, the current idea of a giant concrete wall a la China is not going to cut it.

There are several reasons why a Great Wall of America will not cut it. First, no matter how high, how deep, or how thick you build this wall, people will manage to cross illegally. The border is almost 2,000 miles long. You cannot track every foot at every moment. Second, there is much inefficiency to be had with just a physical wall. The government spends vast amounts of our nation's finances on defense and technology associated with it. Why not instead make a fence and survey the land with drones, cameras, etc. Let's put our technology to use. Third, the current estimates for the wall's cost could go up to a hundred billion, excluding the constant maintenance required. These finances could instead go into areas like education or infrastructure. Is there any way to lower costs? My current proposal is this, let us make a wall of solar panels. With the cost of panels falling dramatically and major figures like Elon Musk investing heavily into the field, the cost would not be too great. In addition, the electricity generated by these panels would offset those costs, and eventually even bring a profit.

Robert Lally

Wheeling, W.Va.



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