Monday, June 23, 2008

Favorite Things West Virginia: Homeland Security

This is my last week in West Virginia, and as a result I keep going over the interesting things I experienced here that have made a long lasting impression. My previous post inspired my leading dissertation essay on Tax Assessor Incentives.

The above picture is the Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, where both of my sons were born. One thing I will never forget about Ruby though, is the day I learned that it was the #1 target for a terrorist attack within West Virginia.

How did I learn this? As my wife (Lisa) and I were being discharged from Ruby after my first son's birth (8/5/2006), my Mother-in-Law filmed Lisa and I load him into the car for the first time, directly in front of the hospital under the awning. A security guard approached the new grandmother and told her to shut off the video camera and that filming in front of the hospital was banned because Ruby was listed as the #1 possible terrorist attack sight in West Virginia.

I would love to know if this guard was just overzealous about his responsibilities, or if a list was actually generated and Ruby was #1. Another hospital of equal size was just across the street, why not them? Was this the result of successful rent-seeking for homeland security funds?

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