The Pocahontas Times readers' letters
Letters to the Editor
How shameful when people hear a manﾒs name and are immediately against whatever he proposes.
I believe this is the case with the Linwood quarry, the railway system and Mr. Ike Morris.
To back up my statement letﾒs look at some of the arguments such as ﾓthere will be more trucks on the road.ﾔ
This county has to rely on trucking.
Snowshoe has brought a lot more traffic of all kinds to the county. For some, this has been a good thing. For others, it has not.
If a railway was established, it could possibly mean fewer trucks.
The quarry could mean cheaper gravel for our side of the mountain, including Snowshoe and its residents.
Next, Iﾒd like to comment on the ﾓviewﾔ of the quarry.
We all drive by different businesses when we go on vacation. I pass hog farms and chemical plants on my way to the beach and I donﾒt begrudge those people making a living in a way that is different from mine.
I believe Mr. Morris takes pride in the appearance of his businesses and properties. They are clean and well maintained.
I have personally dealt with some of the ugliness that skiers can cause.
Now, letﾒs look at the argument about the groundwater being contaminated. Which I find very amusing. These are some of the same people that wanted to pipe their sewage for miles through other peopleﾒs property.
Surely, these folks know that water samples must be tested on a regular basis.
And last is the money.
The money for the railway is going to go to someone somewhere. The government is not going to say since you didnﾒt let anyone use it to create jobs, weﾒre going to divide it up and send it back to you.
Mr. Morris is willing to put a large amount of his own money into this endeavor.
I am not against Snowshoe. But whoﾒs to say that we might not have had other businesses that would not have caused the county so many problems. Businesses that may have provided more job security.
Snowshoe has had many owners and faced bankruptcy several times.
In the beginning the Slaty Fork community and the county welcomed Snowshoe and its people. Not everything that has come from that has been good. Nothing ever is.
I believe that in the past the give and take has leaned more toward Snowshoe and now itﾒs time forﾠ the Snowshoe community to be considerate of the other people in the county.
I believe the railway and quarry could be good for everyone if those who oppose it, including two of our commissioners, could see past the fact that Mr. Morris is involved and that he might make a dollar that they think he doesnﾒt need.
I am writing in response to the emotional reaction of two of our county commissioners in regard to the reopening of the Linwood Quarry. Common sense seems to have taken a back seat at that particular meeting.
As for the visual impact on tourism, there are a lot of places along Rt. 219 that look worse than a quarry operation.
The commission was told to consider where the countyﾒs bread was buttered.
Those commissioners and the Snowshoe homeowners might want to take a look around the county at just how much stone, gravel and asphalt have been put in place so they can ﾓput heads in beds.ﾔ
Anyone who thinks that businesses in this day and time can contaminate water supplies at will must be living under a rock. All water supplies in and around such an operation must test at a Ph level of 7. That is probably better water than most of us are drinking.
Dust emissions are monitored, as well, by the DEP and Air Quality and steps must be taken to control the amount of dust generated by the operation and its trucks.
Mr. Stump believes that Waco is following the money. Is that not what he and his fellow Snowshoe residents have done and continue to do?
The survival of the area depends on jobs. It is and has been the creation of jobs through tanneries, sawmills, Burns Motor Freight and the many individually-owned businesses that has sustained this county. Those businesses may not have been allowed to start up under the present generation of government leadership.
One Snowshoe homeowner did not want to ﾓfollow two trucksﾔ on his vacation.
The commission should compare income brought into the county by that homeowner to the income from wages, taxes, fuel and more generated by those two trucks.
As for the reopening of the rail line, it has potential to benefit more than the Linwood Quarry.
Ike Morris is willing to put a good deal of his own money into a proposal that could benefit Beckwithﾒs Mill and Snowshoe, if people would look at what can be done and stop letting images of ﾓWhat ifs?ﾔ run every new idea into the ground.
Snowshoe is a great asset to the county, but it canﾒt be our only asset. And every new plan or proposal need not meet the Snowshoe homeownerﾒs litmus test to be approved.
The people of this county need jobs and not everyone wants to be a front desk clerk or housekeeper at the resort.
The two nay-saying commissioners should look at the long-term benefits of this proposal and base their decisions on fact-based information and do away with ﾓthe sky is fallingﾔ mentality which has hampered growth in the county for the past few years.
On August 28, 2009, Bradford Curtis Shively, 54, of Ronceverte was convicted on five counts of first degree sexual abuse. On Monday, January 25, Greenbrier County Circuit Judge Joseph Pomponio, Jr. sentenced Shively to one to five years on each count of abuse against his 10 year old victim. After sentencing consecutive jail terms, Pomponio suspended the prison term in favor of probation, stipulating the defendant be accepted into a sex offender program, he register as a sex offender, have no contact with the victim and have no unsupervised contact with children.ﾠ ﾠ
In a moving statement by the victim, she talked about the memory of her abuse, and the emotional life sentence to which she has been confined. Shively is a pedophile that could have served as many as 25 years for his unspeakable acts against a little girl to which he admitted to.ﾠ ﾠ
The Family Refuge Center has long advocated for peace and a safe community.ﾠ We think this sentence fails to recognize some of the realities of sexual predators and child molesters.ﾠ For example, the National Institute of Health tells us that during a lifetime, a child molester has on average 117 victims; 61 percent of which go unreported.
Moreover, it is a very common crime that exists in all economic circles; however, child molesters who are impoverished are more likely to be incarcerated than their wealthier counterparts.ﾠ We also know that 68 percent of pedophiles molest children in their homes, with the vast majority of children under the age of 13. ﾠ
This sentence is inappropriate because it fails to consider how studies reveal that child molesters who receive treatment act no differently from those who received no treatment for their addiction; according to the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers treatment for child molesters is ineffective.ﾠ Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, reports that there are 400,000 registered sex offenders in the United States.ﾠ Among those, between 80,000 and 100,000 are missing and going unmonitored because they cannot be found, therefore victims continue to live in fear of their perpetrator. ﾠ
We feel perpetrators of any type of sexual violence should serve prison time, otherwise victims will not risk the anguish and embarrassment of detailing their experience, in addition to victims not feeling supported by their community when they do come forth.ﾠ ﾠ
Thanks for covering our last PSD meeting.
Small PSDs often lack the resources to create projects. ﾠAs would be expected, businesses familiar with the process view this as an opportunity and step in with offers of assistance. Thus, the complex task of submitting documents to government approval agencies ends up in the hands of private business.
My opinion, not meant in a negative manner, is that those businesses have done such a good job that they have taken over the process completely. ﾠIn other words, the PSD board has become a bystander of sorts, often unaware of project discussions, done in good faith, but below the radar of the board. ﾠThe problem with this scenario is that the will of the people can get lost in the process.
For example, a review of our 2000+ page sewer project application reveals somewhat surprising and disappointing details. The representations made in it essentially lead us back to square one. Much of the hard won gains of the community, the will of the people, is missing. State of the art membrane technology is rejected and one of the major concerns; raw sewage running through pipes in the karst of the Upper Elk River valley through Slaty Fork, have reappeared as part of the overall project plan.
The application also contains an assertion that the findings of the community-supported Comprehensive Watershed Plan have and will be incorporated into the project. ﾠThis is a bit strange, since the PSD has already submitted the application, but the CWP hasnﾒt been completed. Ironically the next CWP phase features an assessment of existing septic systems and exploration of a decentralized treatment solution for the Upper Elk River valley. ﾠThe PSD would do well to join the community, make good on our applicationﾒs claim and consider this option.
Mr. Hamill reports that ﾓDr. Ray Morgan, a Maryland zoologist, had recommended further study on the proposed plant's potential impact on karst biology.ﾔ ﾠIt is important to note that this is the PSDﾒs own hired expert. ﾠIt is unclear whether the board knew of this recommendation or even that it was part of a report that was submitted on our behalf to the DEP.
Point being, the PSD board must become engaged and take a stronger role in the process. ﾠWe were appointed by officials elected by the people. ﾠIt is our responsibility to drive the process rather than just going along for the ride.
The details are complex, but what to do is not a complex decision, it is easyﾅtake the reigns and build a project that the people we are serving have asked us to build. ﾠ
The proposed project is clearly not what the people want. ﾠIt is, instead, being driven by mistakes of the past and ill-fitting solutions imposed on us; solutions coming from somewhere other than our own community.
New cost-effective technology is now available. It allows for the highest possible treatment to ensure safe drinking water and viable trout streams. It can be incorporated in the sensitive karst regions alongside traditional centralized collection systems in the non-karst regions as part of an overall, multi-phased regional project.
Other communities, suffering from similar issues and noncompliance, have rallied the support of the very agencies that have the power to come down on them. ﾠThe folks in Canaan Valley found a solution in an even more complex and difficult situation. ﾠI have faith that we can work with our community partners and obtain the support of our regulatory and funding agencies to see a sustainable solution that is a good fit for our community through to fruition.
Pocahontas PSD member
Valentineﾒs Day is celebrated in February. It is one day set aside to let the people you love know how special they are to you. Special cards, flowers and calls are just a few ways we express our affection for each other during this time. Wouldnﾒt it be great if we could demonstrate our love for the special people in our lives everyday?
What if we each began to make better choices for our health so that we could be around longer to take care of the people we love? I have set some personal goals to try to improve my health as a result of the information that others have shared with me at meetings. So, in turn, I would like to share some facts and resources with you.
Smoking kills more Americans than homicides, suicides, car wrecks, drunk driving accidents, fires, alcohol, drugs, and AIDS combined. On average smokers die 13-14 years earlier than nonsmokers and for everyone who dies there are 20 more that will suffer a serious illness from smoking.
You may be thinking that spit tobacco would be a safer alternative, but you would be wrong. In addition to nicotine (the addictive ingredient), spit tobacco contains 28 chemicals known to cause cancer and other health problems. Some of those ingredients include arsenic (in rat poison), polonium (in nuclear waste), and lead (a nerve poison).
It does not stop at cancer, though. It also causes heart disease, tooth decay and death. Thousands of spit tobacco users die from oral cancer every year. If you are a chewer, check yourself monthly for early signs of cancer. Feel your face and neck for lumps, look for white or red patches or sores in your mouth. Log onto the West Virginia Tobacco Quitline at www.wvquitline.com for counseling support, or call them toll free at 1-877-966-8784. You may be eligible for free patches and gum to help you break the addiction of smoking or chewing.
February is the month to show those we loveﾠ that we care. In February we also recognize Through with Chew Week. If you are a chewer or a smoker why not make that decision today to set a quit date, and begin your action plan for a healthier you.
Donﾒt smoke around those whom you love, either. Secondhand smoke is deadly and causes serious illnesses like asthma and bronchitis. It can also increase the risk for SIDS. Please show your love to those around you by not smoking because ventilation simply does not work to get rid of the poisons found in its deadly fumes.
Would you like to join efforts to make your community a healthier place? You will find many dedicated people working on a variety of issues. My work is tobacco prevention which is funded through a grant from the Division of Tobacco Prevention to Mountain CAP of WV Inc. a CDC. I am just one partner. If you live in Nicholas, Webster, Greenbrier or Pocahontas and would like to join us please call Karen Larson, RTPCC-H at 304-847-2131 for more information.ﾠ
Karen Larson, RTPCC-H
Hello, my name is Juan. I have black hair, brown eyes and I am a normal teenager. I like to play soccer with my friends, hang out with my friends, ride my dirt bike and I donﾒt like doing homework, but I have to. I donﾒt like chores and all the other housework. Most of my time during school nights, I would play soccer with my friends at the park.
I live with my mom and dad and my two sisters, one is 15 and the other is 7, so I am the middle child in the family. I live in Muskegon, Michigan, really close by Lake Michigan. I am in the eighth grade at Orchard View Middle School. Our new high school was built three years ago, so itﾒs like new. Next year, I want to play soccer for our high school, if I make it. I played baseball, but I always played outfield, then later in the season, they moved me up to pitcher.
The main reason I am writing to you is to request that you put my letter in your newspaper. We are practicing how to write letters in Mrs. Dirkseﾒs language arts class. She wants us to practice writing letters for our future. I hope the nice citizens in your town would send me something to remember your newspaper.
Thank you for putting my letter in your newspaper. I hope that I get some responses from your readers and we have this big map in our classroom and if you respond, then we put a pin on your town so the other students in our school could see how cool your town is.
Once again, thank you.
Orchard View Middle School
Letters to the EditorJanuary 21, 2010
As I was reading my Pocahontas Times today about what happened in 2009, I saw my name where I was appointed to the Marlinton Town Council in March. Where in the world has the time gone?
I am really enjoying being on the council, but my 76-year-old brain is having a hard time learning all the things I need to learn.
I get lots of papers and I try to understand all the things that are going on.
Some things I agree to, others I donﾒt. I try very hard to think about what is best for our town.
Water problems bother me the most. Realizing how hard it would be to have to raise water bills for residents who cannot afford it is difficult.
I have been chosen for a few committees: Employee Raise, and Beautification, including flower boxes that need repaired. Each time I vote for a change, I have tried to be fair.
I would like to see more citizens come to the town meetings and express their feelings about concerns they have. Please come with a positive attitude and try to help us.
I appreciate the councilmembers who have helped me and the people of the town who have expressed their concerns to me. I will try to continue to do the best I can.
Marlinton Town Council
Editor Emeritus William McNeelﾒs cover story on ﾓ2009: A Year in Reviewﾔ was wonderful and inclusive.
However, I would like to clarify one of the events he mentioned, which was ﾓPocahontas County Free Libraries, Pearl S. Buck Birthplace and Pocahontas Music...receive grants from the West Virginia Humanities Council.ﾔ
Indeed, Pocahontas Music was awarded a large grant from the council using the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation as its sponsoring organization on the application. In addition, Pocahontas Music was awarded a ﾓChallenge Americaﾔ grant from The National Endowment of the Arts where it used Pocahontas County Free Libraries as the sponsoring organization. In total, Pocahontas Music received two separate grants using two different organizations in 2009.
Giving credit where credit is due, I would like to add other local councils which helped to match these monies: Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Pocahontas County Dramas, Fairs and Festivals, Pocahontas County Arts Council, Boxley Materials Company. And always, deep gratitude to the Snowshoe Foundation for its initial belief and support, as well as all private donations.
Send the fronts of Christmas and other greeting cards to St. Judeﾒs Ranch for Children, 100 St. Judeﾒs Street, Boulder City, NV 89005-1681.
The children and residents recycle them into greeting cards that others can buy.
M. I. Bergelt
I would like to go on record as having strong objection to the timing of the planned outage on January 13 from 6 to 9 p.m.ﾠ
As co-owner of a movie theatre, it is costing us and our staff a night's income, as it will most area restaurants and bars. In the future, I strongly suggest that scheduled outages for maintenance be scheduled in the middle of the night, so as not to cost business owners and have such impact on families that cook with electric ranges.
ALL Arts LLC
The Lewis Theatre
January 14, 2009
Project Christmas 2009 was a sweet success.
I write this article with a heart full of genuine gratitude. Each year the Family Resource Network faces the formidable challenge of providing Christmas gifts for children of low income families and the collaboration of county service providers. Although this is not an easy task; it is one of my favorite projects.ﾠ The magnitude of generosity and the outpouring of love from the residents of this beautiful county never ceases to amaze me. You have the spirit of Christmas and it certainly shows in all you do. Once again, we were able to serve over 250 children with toys and clothing.ﾠ This was made possible through the benevolence of area businesses, civic organizations, faith based partners and individuals.ﾠ For the past several years we have received help from our neighbors at The Greenbrier Resort.
A special ﾓthank youﾔ goes out to the people who work so hard to make this happen.ﾠ The sheriffﾒs department deserves recognition for their efforts as well as the inmates at Denmar, who wrapped toys.
In addition, we should recognize the students at Pocahontas High School who participated in the annual Elf Auction.ﾠ A total of $750 was raised through the auction to benefit 2009 Project Christmas.ﾠﾠ Employees of the NRAO and Snowshoe added their support by adopting angel names from the tree.ﾠ Brett Withers and the employees of City National Bank graciously allowed us to use their facility to host the event and store the gifts.ﾠ A total of $2,250 was raised to purchase angel food orders for hungry families. The First Baptist Church of Huntersville, along with many volunteers, helped with the distribution. These are just a few of the people who contributed time and effort. There are many, many more.
Perhaps you chose a name from the angel tree or donated a hat or some mittens; perhaps you scoured your kitchen cabinets for the Feed the Need drive or made a monetary donation; maybe you delivered some packages to shut in families; or sponsored an Angel Food order; maybe you are someone who helped unload a truck of Angel Food in zero degree weather at 10 p.m.; you may have been a shopper or a wrapper or someone standing quietly in the background waiting for an opportunity to serve.ﾠ Whatever your contribution, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.ﾠ I thank you on behalf of the families and children that you have fed, clothed and nurtured.ﾠ My wish for you is a healthy and prosperous new year.
Your "Here's What I Think" column in theﾠDecember 24 edition of the Times was great.ﾠ I hope your ideas and thoughts do come to fruition.ﾠ But with politics as they are in Pocahontas County I think the statement you made in paragraph three of, "If we do what we've always done well, our results will reflect that", may be only too true.ﾠ I, like you, would like to see politics put aside and everyone work together for the common good.ﾠ But there lies the sleeping dog, so to speak.ﾠ What you see as the common good and others see as the common good may not be the same.
This is where teamwork comes in to play.ﾠ Each person must put aside his or her own favorite agenda and work together to protect and enhance the lives, neighborhoods, communities, businesses, schools, jobs, health, etc.
My wish for all Pocahontas Countyﾠresidents is that everyone can and will work on accomplishing the above.ﾠ Petty differences must be set aside.ﾠ Foolish lawsuits against the board of education must cease.ﾠ These lawsuits are costing the education system of the county good money that could be spent on keeping the vocational classes at the high school.
Rumors about the sheriff's department need to cease.ﾠ Sheriff Jonese is doing an outstanding job putting away the drug users.ﾠ If a person thinks they know something that one of the deputies has done wrong, they need to talk to the sheriff instead of spreading rumors.
The voting citizens of Pocahontas County have spoken loudly and clearly on how they felt about the taking of someone's property for the sewage treatment plant.
Now if everyone would work together on all of the other problems the county is facing, wonderful things could be accomplished!
I may be living in Florida now, but I'll always consider Pocahontas County my home.ﾠ I have family and a good many friends still there and I care more than you know about what is happening there.
Keep up the good work with the paper and please feature more of Jaynell's wonderful articles.
One last thing, please put the obituaries back on the front page.
The Villages, FL.
There seems to be great concern over the loss of school days in West Virginia due to inclement weather. Extending the school calendar prompted a major debate in the legislative session last year and remains a projected debate for this year's session. The biggest instructional obstacles we, as teachers, face are not snow days. Unfunded initiatives and the lack of necessary staff is what affects student achievement. The classes we are required to offer and the resources we need for instruction
are not comparable to the staff and resources funded by the West Virginia Department of Education or Pocahontas County Schools.
In addition to this problem, it is nearly impossible to maintain an uninterrupted day when we are in school. We lose instructional time every school day due to students returning from absences, disruptive behavior, pictures, students' emotional distress, announcements, class travel, fire drills, illness, assemblies, etc. We overcome the daily obstacles extremely well considering the limited staff and resources we have, which is why the focus of education needs to shift from the quantity of school days to the quality of instructional days. We could do better.
The state of Colorado's school calendar requires 160 days. According to a data comparison on the United States Education Department's Institute for Educational Sciences website, Colorado's NAEP scores (National Assessment of Educational Progress) are well above the national average in all tested content areas. West Virginia falls well below the national average. Colorado's Mathematics scores rank 15th in the nation while West Virginia's rank 48th. In Reading, West Virginia ranks 43rd while Colorado ranks 18th nationwide (http://www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard). Because of their dedication to quality programs, Colorado can achieve success in 160 days. West Virginia can improve student achievement with fewer than 180 days.
The West Virginia Department of Education and Pocahontas County Schools should be directing educational funds to support quality teachers and provide quality programs. Instead of worrying about lost days, we should be concerned about an education without available necessary resources or the number of staff needed to successfully instruct our students while they are in school.
Marlinton Middle School
Pocahontas County AFT President
Letters to the Editor - December 31, 2009
Four out of five Promise Scholar Graduates are now staying in West Virginia ﾖ either in the workforce or pursuing graduate studies including medicine and law. ﾠThere was a time not so long ago that I can remember that the goal of many young people was to leave our state because they did not believe they had a future here. ﾠI am proud to say that is changing.
We are educating these students for the jobs of the 21st Century and are doing so by rewarding merit and accomplishment in them. ﾠAnd besides creating a solid path for our young people to go to college, we have seen our high school students study harder and increase test scores.
Many recent college graduates start their new careers laden with huge burdens of student loans because their families cannot afford to pay the annually increasing tuition of our higher education. ﾠBut these Promise Scholars donﾒt carry that same burden. ﾠThey can take the hundreds of dollars each month they are saving to put into a new home or start a business. ﾠ
Our meager investment (just one third of only one percent of the entire stateﾒs budget) is paying off huge dividends for both our students and our state. ﾠRecent studies about Promise have been misleading by not taking into account the number of graduates of the scholarship that are continuing their education. ﾠI am one who is proud to know that this great experiment in West Virginiaﾒs young people is not only working, but working very well.
Mike Oliverio, State Senator
Letters to the Editor: December 21, 2010
In the November 30 Pocahontas Times, Bill Rock, General Manager of Snowshoe, stated that a regional plant was the only ﾓeffective answer for the uneven, karst terrain that is all around us.ﾔ
Iﾒd like to refer Mr. Rock and your readers to the document ﾓHelping Solve Local Wastewater Problems ﾖ A Guide for West Virginia Watershed Organizationsﾔ prepared by the West Virginia Rivers Coalition (www.wvrivers.org) which states:
ﾓWest Virginiaﾒs steep terrain, low population density, and below-average per capita income present unique challenges. Compared with other states, it is often too expensive to build centralized collection systems.ﾔ
WVRC recommends ﾓclusteredﾔ or ﾓhybridﾔ systems - small package treatment plants for clusters of homes/developments in remote areas and treating the waste at the source to avoid the cost of expensive and extensive piping collection systems, manholes and pumping stations - all potential sources of leaks:
ﾓExtra water called infiltration and inflow often finds its way into these pipes through cracks or where pipe segments come together.ﾔﾠ ﾓThe cracks also allow raw sewage to leak out of the collection system into the ground, whenever the water table is below the pipes.ﾔ
The proposed regional plant requires installation of over 5 miles of PVC pipe to transport raw sewage through the Big Spring Fork valley which is underlain with karst ﾖ limestone caves, springs and underground streams ﾖ where the local water table is located several feet below the surface and proposed pipeline elevations.ﾠ
Residents who live in the valley get their water from wells which are part of this underground system.ﾠ Any leak from a failed piping joint or any one of the many manholes will result in raw sewage immediately entering and being transported into the underground streams and caves and will have an immediate and lasting impact on these drinking water sources and public health.
There are alternatives to a regional plant that are less expensive and would have a positive impact on the karst and groundwater in the Big Spring Fork valley.
One such alternative would be to modify the existing wastewater treatment plants at Snowshoe / Silver Creek with a technology called ﾓimmersed membranesﾔ ﾖ microfilters that extract ultra-pure water from the aeration basins of a wastewater plant.ﾠ
This water can be recycled for use in irrigation, fire protection, watershed recharge and even for snowmaking.ﾠ Several ski resorts in the U.S. and Australia have already adopted this technology.ﾠﾠ
Recycling water from wastewater effluent is encouraged by the Federal government through grants/tax credits to projects which implement this technology.ﾠ Permitting agencies tend to grant higher waste load allocations for membrane treatment facilities due to the high quality effluent.
Immersed membrane retrofits have the added bonus of typically doubling (or more) the capacity of the existing treatment facility as the removal of water increases the activated sludge concentration in the aeration basin which increases the effectiveness of the microbes in digesting the sludge.ﾠ
A Pittsburgh based engineering firm has estimated an immersed membrane retrofit of Snowshoeﾒs facility would cost $5-8 million dollars - a fraction of the original $13 million dollar (currently $20 million dollar) cost estimate for the regional plant.
This option does not require building a new plant ﾖ this can all be achieved by simply modifying the existing plants at Snowshoe / Silver Creek with immersed membrane technology.ﾠ
We believe that by working together a safe and sustainable solution can be found that addresses the needs and issues of all stakeholders, while also preserving the unique and fragile natural resources and protecting the groundwater of the Big Spring Fork watershed.
Eight Rivers Safe Development, Inc.
Editorﾒs Note: Our moratorium on letters concerning the Slaty Fork Wastewater Treatment Plant is lifted this week as Mr. Phillips responded to a column in our newspaper and he brings up a new facet of the ongoing issue.
During this holiday season, we at NRAO want to wish each and every one of you, our county friends and neighbors, greetings and best wishes.
As many of you know, the NRAO mailed out holiday greeting postcards this season. Our intention was to distribute this card to all Pocahontas County residents to express our appreciation for 50 years of wonderful relationships we have made here.
In order to distribute to all the mailing addresses, a ﾓsimplified addressﾔ list was provided to us by the various post offices around the county, and the majority of residents in the county received their greeting in a timely manner.ﾠ However, we were later informed by the postmaster in Marlinton that this method was not acceptable for delivery within the city limits of the town. Therefore, there was a delay in distributing our cardsﾠ to the residents living in Marlinton.
We apologize for this delay and hope that all households have now received their cards.ﾠ Through a great deal of effort by Cara Rose of our staff, and with the great help of Pam Pritt, of the Pocahontas Times, Star Barlow and Mayor Dotty Kellison, of the Town of Marlinton, and our wonderful postmaster, Doris Stump in Green Bank, we were able to get these cards to the residents of Marlinton.
We hope everyone in the county enjoyed receiving the greeting card and again, the employees of NRAO extend a warm greeting and Christmas wish to all residents of Pocahontas County this holiday season.ﾠ It is a pleasure to be here.
Michael J. Holstine, P.E.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
I wanted to add a note concerning the letter by Karen Bowersﾠregarding the use of dogs for hunting.ﾠ First of all,ﾠﾠthe human attitude towards animal "ownership"ﾠ degrades animals, ﾠI believe anyone who "owns" any animal for any reason should have to undergo a screening and license procedure tailored to specificity of purpose.ﾠ
Knowing that will never happen, other means of educating ourﾠyoung people must be made available, as they will be the only ones to make lasting changes.ﾠ Animals enrich our lives on many levels, and yet,ﾠmore than a few choose to abuse, weaken, and humble them to their egotistical whims.ﾠﾠ
On a recent trip to Kinnison mountain in southernﾠPocahontas County, the first day of bear hunting season, it was 10 degrees, snowing, windy.ﾠ As I turned ontoﾠ the Scenic Highway to take a few pictures, I noticed that at regular quarter mile intervals hunters sat , huddledﾠsnugly in warm, ﾠidling trucks, chatting over steaming coffee or whatever. Open dog pens on the truck beds signaled their occupants were out, equipped withﾠGPS navigation devices, no doubt, ﾠchasingﾠprey to within sight range.ﾠ So sporting!
Later that same day, driving to the grocery in Marlinton,ﾠ there was a group parading a fresh bear carcass around, propped up against theﾠback of the cab of the truck in a mock pose, it seemedﾠso sad to me that they were truly happy aboutﾠ the spectacle,one young hunterﾠposing with the dead bear arm around his shoulder, like they were old buddies.
Thanks for bringing up the issue, Karen.
Letters to the Editor: December 14, 2006
I am a native born West Virginian and most of the time very, very proud of that heritage.
But what makes me ashamed is to see local hunters hunting with dogs. Now I know most of them could give me what they believe to be sound reasons for doing so, but I can tell you a true hunter, by my definition, would track and hunt his prey on his own or as a team of men. In my opinion, hunting with dogs is not huntingﾗit does not require stealth and cunning. I hunted once, without dogs, and actually got a deer, albeit one that had been injured by someone else and was suffering as a result of it.
But I really look to my father as the ideal hunterﾗhe hunted on his own, tracking his prey throughout the woods in the U.S. and in the forests of Germany. Being part Shawnee Indian probably accounted for his soft walk and keen eyesight but I have to tell you he killed his prey with one shot and they didnﾒt suffer or run in fear of their lives. They scarcely knew what hit themﾗit was humane.
I know bear are difficult to get without dogs but as least the hunter could say he had done it on his own. I believe they call that pride of ownership. How much satisfaction does one get from running a bear down with dogs and shooting it in a tree?ﾠ It is a lot like going to the zoo and shooting one in a cage, you have a captive audience, so to speak. I am sure this letter will raise a lot of ire, but I just had to voice my thoughts. Just for an instant, I wish the hunter could feel the extreme fear of his prey and know what it must be like. I hope you hunters with dogs make economic use of what you killﾗI would hate to think you did it just for sport.
Karen L. Bowers
Letter to the Editor,
Isn't it funny that people think it is so cute when an advertisement comes on TV with dogs barking Jingle Bells?ﾠIsn't amazing that bear hunters say it isn't the kill, but the sound of the chase that gets them all into the hunt?ﾠI find that very interesting.ﾠﾠ
Yet, in a community in which there are dog lovers and bear hunters, some still want to complain about a few peopleﾒs dogs barking.ﾠI find that very alarming and very upsetting. Now in fact, it isﾠ my dogs that people are complaining about. Everyone's dogs bark in the town of Durbin. Barking is a way of communication. One cannot stop a dog from barking, it is their nature. Yet, no one wants to complain about othersﾒ dogs who bark in this community, just mine.ﾠﾠ
If the youngsters and older people of the town would quit using the alley behind my house to ride four-wheelers and cut through for whatever reason, the dogs on top would not bark. If people would not be walking through town at 2 a.m., they wouldn't bark. The dog that is on a leash in front of our house is legal. According to town ordinance, all dogs must be on leashes or fenced in. In fact, all of my dogs are legal, according to the town ordinance. If you are on my property in front of my house and the dog is barking, it is for a reason. You are not supposed to be there and he is letting you know and us know that you are there.
God created all creatures, big and small, prior to creating man. This means dogs were created first. They have every right to bark, in my opinion. It just seems so funny that people get all bent out of shape, yet they do not follow the town ordinance of leashes or any other law for that matter.ﾠﾠﾠ
I don't go around putting my hand out to another dog. One never knows if it is safe or not. If my dogs concern you so much, do not attempt to come near our property or our house.ﾠﾠﾠ If you are serving papers, call ahead or give it to my husband at work, or me at work, for that matter. Walk on the other side of the street.ﾠWalk around another way. I know that animals can slip a collar or jump or dig out of a fence. It is animal nature.ﾠﾠ
If you want peace and quiet and no interruptions in your daily routine, stay home, put in ear plugs or better yet,ﾠmove to the country.ﾠWhen a town or a group of people think they can run people down because of their choice of pets, doesn't that seem like a dictatorship? Now I know for a fact that the mayor has a dog or two, as well as other community people.ﾠIf my dogs must go then theirs do, too.ﾠThere have been times when my dogs haven't been barking, but over in the field a few bear dogs start howling and then mine start.ﾠHas no one here ever seen the movie 101 Dalmatians?ﾠ Those dogs used the barking chain to find the puppies. Even Disney recognized that, so should you.
So my wish is that everyone has a merry little Christmas and when my dogs learn to bark Jingle Bells, I am sure the whole community will hear it.ﾠ
I would like to take time to clarify some things about the Durbin Library. While I was organizing the first Durbin School Reunion, Donald Peck approached me and inquired if I could get help to refurbish the baseball diamond at Widney Park.
I looked into it and contacted Lauren Bennett at Parks and Recreation and was informed the upper end needed volunteers on the Parks and Rec Board. I put my name in the hat and was appointed at the next meeting.
The P&R board voted to provide all supplies and bases for the baseball diamond, but would not pay for manual labor. A decision was also made at that meeting that admission had to be free, but donations would be divided between Durbin Library and Parks and Recreation for upkeep of the field. It was also agreed that different organizations could set up concessions at the games.
I asked Donald Peck to help me organize the labor to get the job done. I agreed to team up with Allen Johnson, director ofﾠ the Pocahontas County Free Libraries, to make up donation forms to pass out at the reunion to enable people to donate to the library. I contacted the ladies who own the old school and its grounds to donate the bricks from the school to the library. This was accomplished. What will they do with them now?
Some people donated money and the balance of the money from the school reunion was donated to the library by check.
I had a meeting notice published to encourage people to come to help with the baseball diamond. No one showed up at the meeting and Donald Peck reported to me that no one wanted to work on it.
I talked with Allen Johnson about drawing up a petition to request help from our state and county government representatives. He called me back to say I could not do the petition because someone on the library board would not approve of it.
Bill Proudfoot told me he felt it would have been a way for he and his fellow county representatives to know what the people wanted and needed. Since I could not get anyone to work for the library or the baseball diamond, I felt I was wasting my time going to meetings with the Parks and Recreation Board, so I resigned July 14.
Letter to the Editor: December 7, 2006
We find it hard to believe that a county so generally opposed to the process of eminent domain and so completely adamant about property ownerﾒs rights has residents who, during a two week period, lose all common sense and respect for private property at the sight of an antlered deer.
Residency in Pocahontas County does not allow special privileges to ignore private property postings, shoot from a road onto private property or otherwise break any hunting law you wish when a buck appears in sight of a road.
We are not anti-hunting by any means. In fact, we are both hunters. We hunt on the thousands of acres of surrounding national and state forests, or on our own private property, not someone elseﾒs property without permission. We have heard and witnessed too many instances of reckless road hunting in populated areas, very close to residences and have turned our heads to these practices for the sake of residing in a small community and knowing we all have to live together. For that, we plead guilty; but enough is enough. Itﾒs time to turn the tables and expect hunters to use common sense, respect property ownerﾒs rights and take a little control over the buck fever that overrules your brain cells before you kill someone.
All we would like to see from careless hunters is a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t and some forethought before you pull that trigger. Ask yourself:
Do I have permission to hunt here?
Is this deer worth losing my hunting license and a neighborﾒs friendship?
Where and how far will the bullet travel if I miss?
And, most of all, what is the chance the property owners are out in their woods where I am illegally shooting?
Sollie and Anne Workman
Letters: November 16, 2006
On Thursday, November 16, thousands of individuals will participate in the American Cancer Societyﾒs ﾓGreat American Smokeout.ﾔﾠ It is a day when smokers will give up their cigarettes for that day in an initial attempt to stop their smoking habit. I hope that many smokers in West Virginia will make their own attempt on that day.
In particular, I would like to request that all firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel who smoke put down their cigarettes, cigars, pipes and even spit tobacco on that day. Two years ago, I had a tobacco prevention/cessation display at a conference for firefighters. I was astonished whenﾠ the firefighters looked at me and my display and ﾓwalked away very quickly.ﾔﾠ After several hours, one brave firefighter came over toﾠ tell me that my displays ﾓscaredﾔ most of the firefighters because many (probably more than 75%) used some form of tobacco. Finally a few firefighters came over to talk to me about why they used tobacco; how hard it was to quit; and that some of them wanted to quit. They also told me that other groups such as police officers and EMS personnel also had high numbers of tobacco users.
These groups of individuals are part of a group ofﾠ kidsﾒ ﾓheroes.ﾔﾠ When children see their ﾓheroesﾔ using tobacco products, they want to be just like them. They want to be ﾓheroesﾔ too. Therefore, please do not send the message that if they want to be a firefighter, police officer or an EMS personnel, that they should use tobacco.
As one of these ﾓheroes,ﾔ your contribution to our community is immeasurable. You probably love what you do. Donﾒt let your use of tobacco cut your efforts short. Your family, friends and community need you.
If you are interested in quitting, please feel free to contact me at 847-2131 or 1-888-554-2260 so we can discuss your cessation options. You can also contact the YNOTQUIT line at 1-877-966-8784 or the American Lung Association at 1-800-586-4872.
Mountain Valley Regional
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To those of you who care about protecting the Monongahela National Forest, please read this: The Forest Service has ignored 13,000 public comments aimed at permanently protecting key wilderness areas. Quoting the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition, the U. S. Forest Service Final Plan ﾓdoes not reflect the willﾠ of the owners of the Mon, as many of the Forestﾒs most special places are not recommenced for congressional wilderness protection. The Forest Serviceﾒs new plan fails to permanently protect areas such as Seneca Creek, East Fork of Greenbrier, Spice Run, the Dolly Sods Expansion, Big Draft and other special places. It also fails to recommend any wilderness in the Greenbrier Watershed which currently has no designated wilderness and is a source fo drinking water for many West Virginians.ﾔ
ﾓProtected public land like wilderness helps diversify and stabilize economies by attracting and retaining new businesses, residents and a local workforce, in addition to generating travel and tourism, one of the fastest growing sectors of West Virginiaﾒs economy. A study released last summer by the West Virginia Department ofﾠ Tourism showed that tourism is a fast growing sector of our stateﾒs economy; travel spending by tourists has increased by 11.4 percent per year since 2000, bringing in $3.4 billion in 2004 alone. This study went on to indicate that West Virginiaﾒs strongest ﾑproductﾒ was backcountry recreation which West Virginiaﾒ s designated wildneress areas are known for.ﾔ
Letﾒs not sleep through this one. More and more our country is moving away from ﾓgovernment by the people for the peopleﾔ and toward serving the needs of big business and speical interest groups. We must protect West Virginiaﾒs resources and tourism-based economy; no one else will. In this particular case, tourism and protecting our environment actually go hand in hand, complimenting one another. If you would like to get involved, you may learn moreﾠ at www.wvwild.org, where you can download letters personalized with your name and address to send to Senators Byrd and Rockefeller. Or, you can call Matt Keller of the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition, 304-864-5530. Iﾒm sure he will gladly send you a Take Action Now flier with all the details. Let your voices be heard.
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Letters to the Editor: November 9, 2006
Drew Tannerﾒs article in last weekﾒs copy of the Times concerning the vote of the County Library Board to close the Durbin Library was indeed depressing. The heart and soul of any community is its religious and educational institutions. Durbin lost itﾒs school years ago and the effects are still felt.
The remaining educational institution, the Durbin Library, is now being closed. This effect will be devastating to the community as there is nothing that can take its place.
The Library is unique in several ways. It is a place everyone can visit and receive services at no cost. Individuals of all ages are welcome. Its personal computers are available to those who want to avail themselves, a vital service in itself. I wonder what might happen to those seniors who have no computers of their own but need one to enroll for various services offered by government, i.e. Medicare senior drug plan. Traveling to another library is not a viable alternative to some citizens. Not only are the computers present, but expert help as well.
I feel that this decision should be beyond the Library Board. Its closing would be a countywide disaster. When one points with pride at their communities, I am certain that the County leaders as well as those of the local communities of Marlinton and Green Bankﾠdo so highlighting ﾠtheir libraries. Continuing the operation of the Durbin Library is a responsibility of Durbinﾒs government, its citizenry, its business and religious leaders, as well as the County Commission. I would hope that there will be a reevaluation of this situation and these agencies be directly involved. Realizing its value to Durbin and Pocahontas County, I further believe that the effort to sustain the Durbin Library should be led by the Town Mayor and the Town Council. I further believe that the financial difficulties outlined in Mr. Tannerﾒs article be an agenda item of the County Commission and effort by them be made to specifically assist in resolving the Durbin Libraryﾒs and County Library Departmentﾒs dilemma.
Benjamin F. Poscover, Ed.D.
(Born and raised in Durbin and
currently a summer resident)
I am glad of Beth Littleﾒs interest, unfortunately, withﾠ Ed Riley as her only source of information, her letterﾠ presents a lopsided picture.
Few disagree that wastefulness is ﾠbad , and ﾓsolid wasteﾔ is a ﾠproblem.
WV Code ﾧ22-15-1 states, ﾓ ﾅ that solid waste disposal is a universal problem ﾅﾔ; ﾓsolid waste disposal has inherent ﾅ negative impact on local communitiesﾔ, and , ﾓresults in the squandering of valuable ﾅ resources ﾅ; (6) .. resource recovery and recycling reduces the need for landfills and extends their life; ﾠ(7) ﾅ resource recovery or recycling of solid waste is for the general welfare of ﾅ this state.ﾔﾠ Also, ﾓﾅ. that the amount of solid waste ﾅ must be limited ﾅ to protect this state's environment and the public ﾅ.ﾔ
It establishes a ﾓWaste Hierarchyﾔ, ﾠﾧ22C-4-1:ﾠﾠ ﾓ It is ﾅ the purpose of the Legislature to reduce our solid waste management problems ﾅby requiring ﾅ solid waste authorities to establish programs and plans based on an integrated waste management hierarchyﾅ. :
(1) Source reductionﾅ..
(2) Recycling, reuse and materials recoveryﾅ..
(3) Landfilling. -- To the maximum extent possible, this option should be reserved for nonrecyclables and other materials that cannot practically be managed in any other way. This is the lowest priority in the hierarchy and involves the waste management option of last resort.ﾔﾠﾠ (all underlining mine)
It requires ﾓwalkﾔ to go with the ﾓtalk, in ﾧ22C-4-8:ﾠ ﾓEach ﾅ solid waste ﾅ plan shall include ﾅ. (10) Innovative incentives to promote recycling ﾅﾔ.
But Edﾒs one-size-fits-all system of funding Green Box service provides no incentive ﾠto protect the environment or ﾠresources by reducing waste, nor to reduce how fast we turn ﾠlandﾠ into landfill; also no incentive to dispose of anything properly.ﾠ Itﾒs still easier to have a burn barrel or toss it over the hill than to go to the Green Boxes.ﾠ This is rarer now only because people know ﾠthat it is wrongﾠ, dangerous, and punishable .
Because folks with less money tend to buy less stuff and thereforeﾠ have less to throw away, the current system ﾠforces poorer people to pay for the wasteful habits of the richer.
Beth may like to pay for the more voluminous waste of less careful or less concerned people, but it is not right that she, or our system, should force all to.
Nobody intends ending or curtailingﾠ the Green Box service; ﾠI have several times tried to get my fellow Authority members to extend the sitesﾒ hours from two days a week (soon ﾠ2 ?, by order ﾠthe PSC), to 24/7.
Nobody challenges the value of our local landfill for what cannot be recycled; nobody wishes to threaten it. But the current system does, by encouraging it to fill up sooner.
US ﾠEPA, in promoting ﾠpay as you throw,ﾔﾠ says localities which adopt such systems reduce their waste by 15% to 50%.ﾠﾠ Economic self-interest and ﾠfree choiceﾠ saving the environment, Wow!
Our landfill ﾠstarted in 1986.ﾠ The cost to build ﾓcellsﾔ for the trash, ﾠﾠcover them ﾠwhen full, and monitor them ﾠafter closure has gone up , as DEP has become more demanding and the cost of everything has increased.ﾠ ﾠSeveral hours of examining ﾠSWA records , finding ﾠﾠactual costs for engineering, digging, liners, covers, and monitoring ﾠ(costs that follow the amount of trash), gives ﾠat least thirty dollars per ton,ﾠ not including ﾠﾠcosts for buying, placing, maintaining ﾠGreen Boxes, or of hauling ﾠtrash thence to the landfill. The rest of the SWAﾒs charges cover costs like rent, staff, and equipment ﾠthat donﾒt change much with changes in amount of trash handled.
$30 is ﾠ? of the current $40 per ton charged at the landfill (the extra $8.75 is taxes). ﾠIf the total amount of trash were reduced by half, the ﾠcost of ﾠthe system would drop ﾠat least 3/8.ﾠﾠ Folks with ﾠlots of trash, paying by the bag, would pay more, but Pocahontas County as a whole would pay significantly less.
There are many numbers I couldnﾒt find ﾠfor this letter, and much that wonﾒt fit, especially ﾠthe unknown and doubtless huge cost of a new ﾠsite, when the current landfill is filled ﾠin a few years, butﾠ they would only sharpen my point.
I believe thatﾠ ﾓusage-sensitive ratesﾔ orﾠ ﾓpay as you throwﾔ is not only what the law requires, what the environment needs, ﾠnot only simple justice, ﾠbut ﾠgood for the pocketbook.
ﾓThis is the way we have always done it,ﾔ is not good enough.ﾠ I invite Beth, and everyone, to help me and the SWA create a fairer, better system.
On Saturday, October 28th, I had the honor and privilege of seeing Senator Byrd at the State Fair Grounds in Lewisburg, West Virginia.
I am still in awe of the atmosphere in the room as he walked in, as he stood behind the podium speaking softly but with power and determination.ﾠ A copy of the Constitution of the United States always in the Senatorﾒs breast pocket.ﾠ In a world that is full of fight and trouble, somehow this senator made me sit up a little straighter, hold my head a little higher, look more longing and loving at the blue sky and purple mountains of our great state.ﾠ I came out of that room feeling even more proud to be a West Virginian and an American because Senator Byrd has such passion for both. I was lucky to be living in this place, where neighbor knows neighbor, where people are honest, hard working and care about one another. You see, Senator Byrd really does care, he cares about all people in this State and Nation. He is genuine.
My grandmother lived to be 103 years old.ﾠ After her death we found personal letters from Senator Byrd, dating back to the 50s.ﾠ Every correspondence or call made to him, received a personal reply.ﾠ Every letter folded neatly, kept and treasured through her lifetime. I doubt if you could say this about other senators of this day.
This manﾗour Senator for many years nowﾗhas a wealth of information from experiences all over this State and Nation.ﾠ He spoke of visits that he had made to different towns and cities all over West Virginia. Many years ago, I remember Senator Byrd taking the time to stop at the small post office at Mill Point, where my mother, Elsie Long, was postmaster ﾖ just to shake hands with her and tell her that as long as he was our senator that he ﾓwill not let them close your post office down.ﾔﾠ And he did not.ﾠ This was during a period where many small post offices were closed throughout the State.
During Senator Byrdﾒs speech, he recited two poems of great length by memory.ﾠ One of which follows this letter.ﾠ There should not be any question in the minds of the people of our Great State about Senator Byrdﾒs capabilities to serve as our Senator.ﾠ You can not replace the experience, the respect, and the seniority that this senator has in Washington and in our State.ﾠ Senator Byrd has spent most of his long life working for the people of West Virginia and I think it is time that we give back to him. He has always been there for "us,ﾔ now we need to be there for him.ﾠ Thank you for your time.
Susan C. Hefner Kershner
Letters: November 2, 2006
Yesterday I stopped in the Solid Waste office and had a chat with Ed Riley about the future of our county landfill and the green boxes.ﾠ Pocahontas County is the only county in WV that has its own little Class C county landfill, and I am grateful that we have been able to provide the service that we have at such an economical cost.ﾠ It may seem like a lot, because it comes all at once with the property tax bill, but even at the proposed increase to $98 per year, it is a real deal.ﾠ If we had to contract with a private hauler, we would have to pay $200 per year, and people in cities pay $300 to $400 for garbage service, plus they have to use special bags and remember to put it out in dog proof cans on a certain day of the week.
I recycle a lot, and I compost all my kitchen waste, so I only go to the green boxes every six weeks or so with a couple of garbage cans and maybe some boxes for the cardboard recycling shed.ﾠ I do not mind that I have to pay the same amount as a large wasteful family that brings a pickup full of
trash bags every week, because I consider that the SWA is providing a service that is convenient enough to keep most folks from throwing their trash over the side of the road where it can affect the groundwater, poison wild animals or nearby pets, and make us look like a bunch of slobs.ﾠ There
are some things, such as batteries, leftover paint, and unused medications, that are toxic or dangerous and need to be disposed of in a proper landfill. I look forward to the day when all these things can be recycled, but we're not there yet, especially in rural areas like ours.
If the SWA doesn't have enough income to maintain the landfill and the green boxes, we will lose them.ﾠ There is a new proposal to charge by the amount of garbage someone has.ﾠ This sounds like it should be fair, but it worries me.ﾠ People would have to buy special bags from the SWA for their trash, and the more trash they have, the more bags they would have to buy.ﾠ The charge would be something like $3.00 per bag.ﾠ For me, that would only be about $30 per year, but for someone with 5 bags per week, the cost would be $780 per year.ﾠ I worry that people (especially the people with lots of trash) would just start throwing their trash over the hill again to avoid paying; besides the mess, the SWA would not make enough to keep the landfill.ﾠ
Enforcement is not the answer.ﾠ Who would do the enforcing?ﾠ It was illegal to throw trash over the hill before we had the landfill, but many people did it, and no one seemed to get caught.
I think the system we have is the best all around solution.ﾠ I like being able to take my trash to the green boxes at my convenience in the containers I choose.ﾠ I dread the thought of having to pay a private hauler $200 per year for the teeny bit of trash I have, and I would probably have to go to
the trouble to take it out to the hard road and put it in some kind of dog proof (bear proof?) container.ﾠ
Ed said that the only people who come in to talk about the green boxes are the ones who complain about it and don't want to pay.ﾠ The people who are proposing to change to a charge per bag have been very vocal.ﾠ If you are concerned about losing our local system and having to pay a lot more with a lot more hassle to get rid of your trash, you should let the SWA know that you support the system we have - right away, before they vote on the charge per bag.
As election time comes up here in the US, I have been thinking of those leaders that I have been influenced the most by and am reminded of a James Taylor song:
ﾓLet us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King And recognize that there are ties between us All men and women, living on the Earth Ties of hope and love, sister and brotherhood
That we are bound together In our desire to see the world become A place in which our children can grow free and strong We are bound together By the task that stands before us and the road that lies ahead We are bound, we are boundﾔ
I remember thinking shortly after 9/11 that the True Response would be that of love and non-violence exemplified by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Violence only begets violence, terror only begets terror. ﾓTerroristsﾔ are actually ﾓterrified,ﾔﾠ those of us who believe the response to ﾓterroristﾔ acts is to create more terror do not see the truth of this. We are all bound together by the wishes expressed above so eloquently by James. The major problem with our countryﾒs ﾓforeign policyﾔ is that we believe that there is anything ﾓforeignﾔ to us. All of us, every one of us, love our children and family. We all want to be fed, warm, sheltered, have valuable work to doﾠand to have a sense of self-worth. This is not ﾓforeignﾔ to us, it is essential to being human. Anyone saying anything different is denying their ownﾠinnermost truth: that There is only one of us and that we are bound together by this truth.
I pray everyday that this truth become realized by all of us that are one family. We must acknowledge this truth in every moment in our lives, in every act that we perform. I wish to vote for truth, for love, for sister and brotherhood. I pray that we can have representatives in our government who have the courage of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and who have the understanding that only love can bring peace to our world. None of us, anywhere on this planetary home of ours, deserves less. ﾓWe are bound, we are boundﾅ.ﾔ
To the fine folks of Pocahontas County;ﾠ Please exercise your right to vote next Tuesday, November 7.ﾠ Keep this in mind: people in other countries wait in line for hours to cast their votes.ﾠ
Normally, in this country, a person can cast their vote in 30 minutes or less.ﾠ
You can also vote early to help with your busy schedule; call the county clerkﾒs office for the hours.ﾠ Please participate in our democracyﾗvote!