The Pocahontas Times readers' letters
Letters to the Editor
Most folks who have received one of those "you have already won..." letters done up to look like a bank check have figured out that if something seems to be too good to be true it usually is. Wouldn't it be fabulous if there were a clean plentiful energy source that would eliminate our dependence on foreign oil and give our sluggish economy a boost? Who wouldn't delight in such a pain free solution? No efforts to cut back and conserve necessary. Light um up, heat um up, use um up- guilt free- because there's more where that came from. Natural Gas is being presented as just such a magic genie.
But wait a minute. Let's read the fine print. The process used to extract natural gas called "hydraulic fracturing" involves pumping chemicals, many toxic and some known carcinogens into the ground. Contaminated water supplies have caused problems ranging from dead cattle to flammable methane gas in tap water to belly up fish to exploding wells. Google "gas drilling" in Dimock, Pennsylvania, Dish, Texas, Caddo Parish, Louisiana or Pavillion, Wyoming. If you still are convinced that Natural Gas is "natural" then I've said my piece and peace be with you. If, however you are concerned please contact your local and state officials and let them know that you want the same moratorium on gas drilling that the New York Assembly and Pittsburg City Council have implemented until health and environmental concerns are addressed.
People are fond of using labels to identify themselves and distance themselves from others. Common labels I hear locally are farmer, hunter, hippie, redneck, tree hugger, weekender, tourist, hillbilly, local, outsider, picker, logger. The way I see it we all depend on water and could perhaps unite in this effort to preserve the truly unique place that is Pocahontas County.
A fun-filled family trip to Snowshoe Mountain Resort on New Year's weekend, quickly turned to horror by the sights we saw on the trip home to Maryland.
In Cass, on Rt. 66 E, just past the Cass Inn, a thin and frail Beagle was staked to a white metal barrel on a chain four feet from the road, left to fend for himself in frigid weather conditions. No food or water and only a metal barrel for shelter. I registered a complaint of animal cruelty with Deputy Cole on January 2 regarding the Beagle.
Further down the road into Green Bank, Petersburg and Moorefield, I saw more dogs in similar conditions with small wooden houses, no food or water and looking toward their owners' homes hoping for a crumb of food.
Many farm animals were fenced in swampland. Nothing to graze on and no hay to eat.
After viewing so many animals in deplorable conditions, I am ashamed to have spent $3,000 for our weekend at Snowshoe when the money should have been used to help all the unfortunate animals I saw in West Virginia.
Please, wake up, West Virginia. Animals are not just property. They are living creatures that feel pain, cold and hunger, just like humans do. Confining helpless animals to lives of starvation and harsh weather conditions is cruel and barbaric.
Tourist dollars will be spent elsewhere if trips to Snowshoe, Cass Railroad and the Cass Inn are ruined by these horrible sights. Visitors judge a town by what they see.
Please, if you don't want your animal, make a phone call to a rescue group or reach out to surrounding state animal shelters if needed. If you see animals in deplorable conditions, speak up.
Silver Spring MD
Letters to the Editor
As Christmas swiftly passed and the New Year has been rung in, I'd like to acknowledge everyone who helped make Project Christmas 2010 a grand success.
On behalf of the children of Pocahontas County, I extend my deepest gratitude to those who helped us provide gifts to 281 children. Donations of toys, warm clothing and food were collected and distributed to needy children all over the county.
I am especially thankful to City National Bank, the Snowshoe Career Center and WVMR for their support.
The Pocahontas Cooperative Parish Pantry received more than 1,000 pounds of canned food and nearly $2,000 in monetary donations through the Feed the Need Food Drive at ember Restaurant. Individuals, churches, civic organizations and businesses worked together to ensure that the Spirit of Christmas was spread throughout the community. I am humbled and awed by the generosity of my family, friends and neighbors. Your love of humanity reflects the love of Jesus and is the true meaning of Christmas. Many gifts were given, but none was more evident that the gift of love.
The Spirit of Christmas is forever and not for just one day. Loving, sharing and giving should not be put away like the bells and lights and tinsel that we place within a box and place upon a shelf. The good we do for others is the good we do ourselves. As written in Psalms 67:1, ﾓGod be merciful unto us and bless us and cause his face to shine upon us.ﾔ
Let us continue in well-doing so that many may see the Love of Christ.
Director, Family Resource Network
Congratulations to the Times for its finely researched journalism anent the abject failure of responsible parties to address deteriorating conditions in the Fran Manor and Diane Apartment complexes. Probably these properties should have been seized some time ago, but that does r aise the question of what entity would repair and operate them once they were taken over. The competency of the USDA either to act as owner/operator is seriously in question.
It would seem that what is missing here is any local, accountable sponsor or agent. Didn't Pocahontas once have a housing authority? Does one still exist? Could it be designated as acting operator or agent?
Lacking any officially responsible party, one possible solution for the beleaguered tenants might be to organize a rent strike under which they would deposit their rent money into an escrow account and eventually petition a court to assign the money to make necessary repairs. Such an action would force both USDA and Nu-Tech, et al, to send high-priced litigators to oppose the action and expose themselves and their clients to further opprobrium.
Who will represent the tenants?
Come on, all you local lawyers! Here's your chance to do a little pro bono work for folks who really need your help.
Letters to the Editor
Kudos to the Pocahontas County Division of Highways road clearing crews!
While shoveling snow outside our home early Christmas morning, I saw a
plow truck come by, clearing the road.
Thank you to those who worked on Christmas Day so we could get together
with family and friends.
Bonnie D Gifford
I heard some middle school students wrote essays on what they like about Green Bank. I live in Scott Depot, WV, but I have a camp in Green Bank, so I decided to write about why I like it there.
I like Green Bank because there are various things to do. I could play croquet with our set. I could go to the library and the playground near it.
Another reason I like Green Bank is because it's near more of my favorite places. First, Elkins, where the Steer Steakhouse is. Second, Durbin, home of the Durbin Rocket. Third, Cass, my favorite train station and gift shop.
Two more things I like about Green Bank are Irish Road Bowling and the Green Bank Observatory.
Letters to the Editor: December 23, 2010
There have been many times throughout history that there have been more people "without" than there were people "with" plenty; the Great Depression comes to mind as one of the most recent of these times. I only have my parent's generation to give me a hint of what it must have been like, until now. There are a few reasons why we are not quite as destitute now as we were then, but that discussion is for another time.
Today I want to make you as aware as I have become recently to the plight of our children. According to national statistics, one in four of our children go to bed hungry. Many don't have warm coats to wear nor boots to keep their feet dry. They have many other needs as well, but these are the most critical.
I know that in Pocahontas County we have many needs, but our children are our future. Let us come together during this time when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ to honor Him by "giving to the least of these" - the children.
A note to the parents who are having a difficult time right now: Please accept our help. Any of us could need help sometime, and you could be the one to reach out of us.
God bless each of you who give and to each of you who receive. Remember this is the time of year to bring a little love to those you meet each day and to find someone to bless as God has blessed you.
Find out how you can help. Please contact Laura Young, 304-799-6657, at the Pocahontas County Family Resource Network. Let us be not only "Almost Heaven" in motto, but also in how we behave toward each other.
I'll close by wishing each of you a Christmas that brings love, peace and joy in your heart that spreads throughout our community and then spreads throughout our nation.
"Peace be unto you."
The 30th U.S. Surgeon General's report on tobacco use, released December 9, demonstrated what the American Lung Association has long been fighting for - as it ultimately concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
As our mission to save lives by preventing lung disease and improving lung health has allowed us to advocate for tougher tobacco control laws, prevention efforts, tobacco cessation programs and clean indoor air, the grip of tobacco addiction, as well as the exposure to secondhand smoke in many public places, has lessened.
However, with 443,000 smoking-attributable deaths every year in the U.S., including nearly 4,000 of those from West Virginia, many of the key findings of the report, such as tobacco's immediate damage to cardiovascular systems, increased risk of lung disease for long-term smokers, and the greater chance of healing the sooner a smoker quits, illustrate the urgency with which we need to act.
Our elected leaders should take every opportunity to implement proven policies that reduce tobacco use in West Virginia for our families, our friends and ourselves. Comprehensive clean indoor air legislation and adequately-funded and accessible tobacco cessation programs are a great start.
Vice President of Mission
American Lung Association in West Virginia
Letters to the Editor: December 16, 2010
When people think of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from war, they usually think of men.
Women veterans, especially of Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from PTSD also. A new factor in women veteran's PTSD is military rape by superior officers or even their own troop members. The suicide rate is higher for women veterans than civilian women and three times more for female veterans ages 18-34. Our country is only starting to uncover the extent of military rape.
Women veterans suffering from PTSD from military rape are not alone. The Family Refuge Center is a rape crisis center. Many victims never tell anyone about their rape. Many told and nothing was done to protect them. Victims dealing with PTSD have found support and new hope with new therapies that are working. Women dealing with PTSD have concerns about relationships, their families and children.
We are here to help you. We are here to listen to your story, to believe you and to help you heal. We thank you for serving our country and now, we are here to serve you.
For free, confidential support, call the Family Refuge Center in Greenbrier County at 304-645-6334, in Monroe County, 304-772-5005 and in Pocahontas County, 304-799-4400.
Family Refuge Center
213 S. Jefferson St.
Lewisburg WV 24901
Letters to the Editor:December 9, 2010
I am writing this letter to ask: "What is happening to Marlinton?"
French's Diner has closed and I have learned that Main Street Fitness and the laundromat are closing this month, both due to taxes and water increases.
Slowly, I have watched stores close and the town get just "a little smaller." I am very concerned for the future of Marlinton and the people who live here.
Is there anything we as a community can do? Can the town give tax breaks to businesses? Cut back on the water rate hike?
There are several more businesses that barely make it from month to month and they are close to "going under."
Money is tight for everyone, but if we do not support the town economy, soon we will have just a few businesses in town.
As businesses and jobs are lost, so is the population and our future.
Dennis M. Mynuk
Letters to the Editor: December 2, 2010
I read with interest and sadness the article on French's Diner closing. Even though I don't live in Marlinton, I was born in Pocahontas County and still drive through it once in awhile.
I have eaten in the diner, as well as had relatives who worked there. Is this what Corporate America is coming down to? There is an Exxon gas station next to our place here in Strasburg, Virginia, and the Exxon sign had to come down. Why? The owner said Exxon didn't want its name on a mom-and-pop operation or anything that small. Little businesses such as these are what America is all about.
If you remember car manufacturers just a few months ago did away with several small dealers. Another step to weed out the little guy. I fully understand the dilemma the diner is faced with and my heart goes out to the people who have worked so hard to give others an affordable place to congregate and get an affordable meal.
What could possibly replace the diner on the corner? Not knowing both sides of the story, I would welcome hearing the other side.
Having run a small business for almost 30 years, I understand working hard and seeing profits go down the tube and it looks like this has happened to your diner.
It will be a sad day in Marlinton when this happens. I hope things work out for the dedicated people who made it what it is, or should I say, was?
Letters to the Editor: November 18, 2010
I grew up on the streets of Marlinton.
Okay, that may be a bit misleading; I grew up on Main Street, Marlinton. I was born on Main Street, lived on Main Street and spent most of my pre-teen years in the windows of my parent's store on Main Street.
This may be a bit confusing but, I was born at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital and I lived over the American Legion Building and then over Bob Sharp's Men's Clothing Store (where the First Citizen's Bank is now. Remember when the banks had Marlinton in their names?) So if you go from one end of the town to the other that qualifies as Main Street in my book. However, I have little memory of those places. Where my memory stems from is the time I spent in Moore's Auto Supply.
Why it was called Moore's Auto Supply is still confusing to me to this day. We weren't the Moores we were the Paynes - Don, Oleta and Terry (me) and why we were an auto store when we sold coloring books and refrigerators is beyond me, I guess there may have been an oil filter or something lying around for a car, but I digress.
What is really the point of this little story is my view of the world from those two front windows of Moore's Auto Supply. Until I was around 10-years-old, I along with Peanuts, and later Popcorn (my furry dog companions), would sit in these windows for hours and wave to people as they walked by. We would watch people come in and out of all the stores across from us. First to the right was the Pool Room - wow, there was a lot of traffic in and out of there especially on the weekend. And let's not forget that they had the best hot dogs in the whole wide world. Right across from me was Martin's Store with the steps leading up to the front door and they had the big clock above the door that chimed. Remember the clock? I just loved it when the clock would sing and chime. That clock was around for many years before the First National Bank had their first clock. Then a bit to the left was Lang's Dress Shop and my ,oh my, how pretty those ladies always looked. I loved it when they changed their storefront window - they had a really long, street-front window. Those ladies would have never been caught in the
tie-dye t-shirts that I wear today. Next, I remember the Shoe Shop; there was always a lot of traffic there, too. I'm not sure if everyone who went into the shop looked for a cobbler or a little conversation, but you could always count on people disappearing into that tiny store. I can remember all the shoes stacked everywhere and somehow "Toad" always knew where to find the right shoes. However, to my left was the reason I am writing this little tale.
To my left was French's Diner. It has been there since my beginning of time as all these other places I have mentioned have disappeared. I guess that is what happens when you get older, but to hear that French's Diner is closing is a bit shocking to say the least. I watched a lot of people go in and out of French's Diner. What was so great about French's from my window point of view was that there was always something going on there. They were open before our store opened and they were open after our store closed. The light from inside spilled out onto the street so even if there were no people on the street to watch, as an extra bonus you could watch the people inside French's Diner.
My memory of French's Diner goes beyond people watching, of course. On Saturday's, as an extra treat for a kid who grew up on Main Street, I would cross the street to go to French's Diner for the biggest pancake in the world. This pancake covered the entire plate and was so good. I would sometimes sit at the counter, but I liked to get a window seat so I could see my world from another point of view. I could sit inside French's Diner and look at my windows on the other side of the street and watch people go in and out of my store.
This was a time when Marlinton was so packed on Saturday nights that you would have thought somebody was giving away something free. This was a time when Marlinton really was a town bustling with people and stores. This was a time when Marlinton was my world and to see the last remaining store from my window disappear is just heart breaking.
Teresa (Terry) Payne Tysarczyk
Letters to the Editor
This Veterans Day we honor the service and sacrifice our veterans have given for our Nation.ﾠ They have worked to ensure America's security, and the best way we can honor them the rest of the year, and in the coming years, is to ensure that all veterans are able to fully take advantage of the care and services available from the Veteran's Administration (VA).
Earlier this fall, I conducted a veterans listening tour, and it became clear to me that our veterans are under-counted in West Virginia.ﾠ A good example of this is in Mercer County, where we have long held that 10,000 veterans reside. However, because the VA only counts those who have registered with the VA, only 400 veterans are counted as such in Mercer County.ﾠ In a recent survey I sent to my constituents about VA Benefits, only 62% of respondents were registered with the VA, and 44% of people who took the survey reported that they weren't aware of the benefits listed in the survey.
Registering with the VA is important because the VA uses the number of enrolled Veterans to make decisions on how to allocate federal funding for our VA Medical Centers, clinics and other Veteran programs.
The sooner we have all our Veterans registered with the VA the better.ﾠ It's easy for veterans to register - just, 1) go to a local VA Hospital; 2) go to a local VA clinic; or, 3) visit with a VA Rural Health Team - and bring a photo ID and their DD 214 Form.
Over the past few years, Congress has achieved unprecedented accomplishments for veterans and troops, including: three years of pay raises, a new G.I. Bill to provide returning troops with the promise of a college education, and historic investments in Veterans' health care.ﾠ There are a slew of other benefits available to our veterans once we show we have the numbers, so I challenge everyone to tell a fellow veteran and get them signed up, so all 53,000 of our veterans in southern West Virginia get the care and services the deserve.ﾠﾠﾠ
Nick J. Rahall III
I was elected to the Durbin Town Council by the residents of this town because they knew I would work honestly and fairly on their behalves.
Yes, there has been corruption and misconduct in the town government, disappearance of paperwork, theft of town property, issues about the private use of gasoline-that list goes on and on.
The citizens of Durbin are tired of the turmoil their town has been in for the past five years, where the ordinances and laws are ignored for certain people, and where ordinances are mysteriously lost and new ones created to benefit a few.
In addition, the town charter that has been in the office since it was created has mysteriously disappeared.
The charter, according to the West Virginia Municipal League, is the basic legal document that enables the municipal government to exist and act and it also informs the elected officials of what authority they possess.
The structure and organization of a municipality are usually specified in the town charter.
Without the charter, there are no guidelines to follow in governing, so new rules can be conveniently created to fit any situation.
I make a motion that we reestablish a town charter.
According to the West Virginia Code, the council is the governing body and the mayor the administrative authority in a municipal government; however, town business is conducted largely by the mayor and usually without the knowledge of most of the council.
If the mayor and recorder cannot abide by the State Code, conduct themselves above reproach and in a professional manner, work with the council and not for the personal agendas of others, I think the council should ask for their resignations.
Emma Grace Nottingham
Durbin Town Council
Just recently, the report cards for the first nine weeks came home from school. We were pleasantly satisfied with our son's grades.
I am honored to say that my child goes to Marlinton Elementary School.
Their entire staff does a great job for our kids. We feel very well served by the Pocahontas County Public School System.
Letters to the Editor: October 28, 2010
First, let me compliment Geoff Hamill for an impressive piece of journalistic research.
Second, let me repeat my motherﾒs favorite admonition: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Third, ﾓfracing,ﾔ for many people is a four-letter word.
Finally, letﾒs see how it plays out in the Outback before we start signing leases again.
I am writing to you to say hello from the smallest state in the union, Rhode Island. I am a seventh grade student at Goff Jr. High School in Pawtucket. I have a project for geography class, so could your readers send me some information about your area?
Thank you so much for your help with my project.
Goff Jr. High School
974 Newport Ave.
Pawtucket, RI 02861
Folks, itﾒs time to let Washington know if youﾒre outraged with how they have squandered your taxes: $825 Billion on a ﾓStimulus Packageﾔ that has done nothing to create jobs, saddled us with a European style Socialistic Health Care system that robs $500 billion from Medicare and will have bureaucrats deciding what treatments you get. Itﾒs a health care system that over 60% of West Virginians and Americans oppose and a system that provides funding for abortion.
It was approved by Congress using the sleaziest methods ever by buying votes from certain Congressmen with midnight special back room deals for their states.
On top of this, congress has tried to pass the Cap and Trade bill that will essentially kill the coal industry. Its time to replace these socialistic minded representatives with pro business types to get our economy rolling again and repeal the horrendous healthcare package. Please Vote.