|1. You can’ have heavenly thoughts with your mind on earthly treasures.|
2. About two thirds of the cheese sold in America is cheddar.
3. The metal thing sticking up from the top of an umbrella is called a ferrule.
4. While scientists and engineers make up about 8.2 percent of the national workforce, they only make up 4.85 percent of West Virginia’ workforce.
5. About 350 people die each year in “on crash”motor vehicle accidents with most succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning.
6. According to NHTSA, four children die each year because they get stuck in power windows.
7. Each year, U.S. patients are subjected to more than 5 million diagnostic procedures that involve the injection of dye.
8. An estimated 2 million children die of pneumonia each year.
9. Researchers estimate that about 720 infant deaths would be prevented annually if all American women breastfed their babies for the first year.
10. About one in every 200 dogs develop Diabetes; the disease is more common in females.
11. A study released by the West Virginia Child Fatality Review Team evaluated 23 accidental drowning deaths among people under 18 in a five-year period from June 1998 to May 2003.
12. About 71 percent of schools in the state have air conditioning, 16 percent have partial cooling and 12 percent have no cooling system at all.
13. Of the 42 physician neckties sampled, 20 contained one or more microorganisms known to cause disease.
14. American’s favorite ice cream topping is chocolate syrup.
15. According to a study released by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs, West Virginia spent a total of $38.2 million on scholarships and grants in 2002-20003.
16. Sixteen percent of American men can expect to be diagnosed with prostate cancer some time in their lives and about 29,900 will die each year.
17. About 16 million Americans served in World War II, about 5.7 of who are still alive.
18. Since 2000, drug prices have risen 27.6 percent.
19. The United States is 228 years old.
20. About 22 percent of men sport a mustache. LMM
ASBESTOS WON’T BURN!
Richard Williams and family once lived in this small municipality-owned home beside the water plant on Main Street. Since his death, the frame structure has been pretty much unoccupied. With plans to build a mega million dollar water plant, several years back, Town elders wanted to tear the structure down. Before that could begin, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found asbestos in the configuration and ordered the Town to properly dismantle and dispose of the hazardous material. Such would be costly for the town. Burning the structure was forbidden.
Tuesday evening, July 6th, around 6:00 p.m., the house was engulfed in flames. That’ everything gutted except the asbestos siding and shingles. Gas heaters that could cause a flame, or even air conditioners that could overheat and catch fire do not exist there. For years the building has been without electrical service.
Over a year ago the same building was found around 6:00 p.m. in flames. Before that arson incident, a town maintenance worker was seen exiting the building.
While in flames Tuesday, Mayor King Arthur Jarrett said he was at home sitting on the porch with his wife. Town worker Hawkie Keener was incarcerated and maintenance man Terry Traub commented that he too was at home working.
Don’ look for any investigation into this torching.
The way I see it, one of the major factors missing in America right now is a good case of common sense. I get questionnaires from all sorts of groups asking my opinion of everything from the environment and history to our foreign policy. A recent one from the ACLU, a much-maligned group that I once belonged to, is a perfect example.
The 1st question was simple: should we maintain our religious freedom and keep our religious beliefs and the government separate. Of course we should, simple common sense tells us that. I don't doubt the wisdom of the Founding Fathers on this issue. They had lived and suffered under the official religion of Britain and understood much better than most today just what that meant to an individual's freedom.
The 2nd question was the first step into la-la land. Under the guise of personal privacy, they tried to trick me into endorsing the idea that we shouldn't be able to track potential terrorists until they had committed a crime. Well, heck! We want to stop them before they cause harm, not merely set the stage for another trial. So they had already skipped by common sense and into overly litigated foolishness.
Question # 3 started out sounding like it was protecting our right against unlawful search and seizures but drifted over to include the loonyness that we should give the potential terrorists prior notice that we were coming for them. I'm pretty sure that any terrorists notified of an upcoming search would hightail it to parts unknown long before the law arrived. So once again common sense was tossed out the window and overly protective sensibilities toward criminals and terrorists inserted.
I was able to agree fully with Question # 4, which said we needed a strong, independent judiciary to maintain our built-in checks and balances.
But in the 5th Question they tried to slip some more Yankee goofiness into the works. It started out asking about a woman's right to choose to have an abortion due to health problems. Then they slipped in two bits of real silliness: first, should they be able to end an unintended pregnancy and second, do it at any time they choose. I saw this as a backdoor way of endorsing those nasty partial-birth messes and so I disagreed. I also don't agree with using abortion as a method of birth control. Plain old common sense tells you that if you don't want babies, use protection for God's Sake.
So with the score 2-3 for Yankee Silliness, I'm out of space and will finish this diatribe next time folks. I'm just an old hillbilly and I'm outta here.
DRIVERS FOR FOOD, INC.
A WEST VIRGINIA CHARITABLE CORPORATION
The commodities that were given out on Wednesday, July 7, 2004, from the Multi-Cap Office in Clay were, and have always been, delivered by Drivers For Food, Inc., and given out by Multi-Cap and Drivers For Food, Inc.
It’ with our deepest regret that Drivers For Food, Inc., must make this our last run for the USDA commodities. We failed to get any help from grants and very little support from our politicians to purchase a heavy-duty truck to haul a heavy load of commodities with our trailer.
We have always used our personal truck, which is a six cylinder light pick up. Face it, this type of vehicle was not made for this type of use and pulling heavy loads has taken its toll on our vehicle.
There are three other places that will serve the public in Clay with commodities, and be free about it. They are: Heart to Heart, located under IGA, the Catholic Church, located at two run, and the other will advise you of the location.
Make note, Drivers For Food, Inc. will still have our emergency food assistance program located at Multi-Cap in Clay, and we will continue to help the public, when necessary, and as needed.
The Digest monies were given to the “ig companies” who say they help people but just get rich off the poor!
It’ just like our Medicare and Social Security system. If the politicians hadn’ borrowed, so they say, from the people’ Medicare and Social Security and never put it back, we would have had plenty of funds there to last forever. It’ like the old saying: power buys complete corruption. It’ really bad when an empty building is more important than feeding our starving children and elderly.
Once again we apologize, for we have worked hard to see that everyone gets their commodities fairly and in a timely manner. But, when the call goes out for help, and falls on deaf ears, we have to consider our choices, and do what we think is right.
We hope that the food, that we had and now will be given out of other agencies, will be handled in the proper manner as the guidelines state. It has taken us years to build up the food for the people by doing it the proper way, and we were still growing. So once again, I hope it keeps going up, and not down like it was when we started.
Thanks to everyone for their patience, and I wish we who work for nothing could have gotten more support, so we could have kept the commodities going up and helped you more, but everyone knows how politics works!
Frank L. Kish, Jr.
Drivers For Food, Inc.
Filcon Dirt and New Chair
On July 1st the Clay County Business Development Authority (BDA) met in regular session at the courthouse. Outgoing Chair Paige Willis presided with members Glady Lanham, Jerry Nelson, Mike Evans, Leonard Williams, Arthur Jarrett, Jerry Sizemore present. Newly appointed but not sworn in Brian Moore and Jimmy Sams sat in the peanut gallery with Pete Triplett and this reporter.
Willis announced the most important thing on the agenda was the Filcon, Inc property that was once again in the hands of the BDA. Willis, “ cleaned up everything, including 2 years worth of state taxes.”In the transaction and to get the property free and clear of all encumbrances, Willis coughed up $651.00 out of his own pocket. The BDA voted to repay him. Sizemore, “he BDA now owns the property.”
Of course what they bought wasn’ all there when they got it back. Sometime during the previous two weeks, thieves stole several sections of 30 foot long, 4 foot wide, 28 gauge tin roofing from the site along with some blocks. Other items were destroyed at the site. Willis, “ou can’ tell me nobody didn’ see them!”Although the roofing was valuable, the appointed ones seemed more upset over something else removed from the Filcon Fields site near Ovapa—dirt! School system officials, including Superintendent Linkinoggor removed a bunch of topsoil June 28th. Commissioner Sams informed the assembled that he had given Coach Sirk permission to haul off the county dirt for use on a ball field two years earlier. That’ 24 months ago! Willis, “ suggest we get an estimate on how much the dirt is worth and send them a bill… It belongs to us!”
Here’ the skinny, readers. Although the County Commission provided the original $90,000 to purchase the land, the property is deeded to the BDA. With the BDA owning the land, the County Commission nor Commissioner Sams had any authority to give anything away… or at least that was the jest of the conversations July 1st.
When Willis was alerted of the dirt nabbing in progress, the Chair called for law enforcement and got Deputy Delk. It gets a little murky here readers, but here’ the best I can get it: Delk got in contact with the Sheriff and through a conveyed message between Willis and the Sheriff, someone hung up the phone only to be recalled, only to be called an A**, only to be hung up on again. Willis, “hat’ the reason me and the Deputy had a falling out..”
Trying to slow the fever pace down a tad, Sams, explained that Filcon owner Manfred Kuentzer also gave the OK for the school system to have the dirt and “on Sirk says it was my fault he got jumped on to!”Glady Lanham, “t’ terrible they’ do us like that.”Willis, “… send the school system a bill. They knew D*** good well it didn’ belong to them!”Sizemore, “hat metal is worth $1000s”Willis, “hat’ a felony!”
Culverts were also swiped from the site. Willis said Frank Murphy had wanted the culverts. Lanham, “e have invoices for those!”
Motion passed to ask the school system to pay for the dirt. Arthur Jarrett said he thought he knew who stole the tin and would check into it. As for billing for the dirt, Jarrett, “ can call my brother [Link].”
Glady, sort of summing up the whole Filcon nightmare, “e finally get the property back and then someone steals our dirt!”
CAEZ Director Jerry Sizemore informed the group that the CAEZ had received a $75,000 grant to purchase equipment for the CAEZ inspired Firewood Co-op. The money can be used to purchase equipment for the planned operation. It sounds like the plan is to set up the co-op on the Filcon site once the place is cleaned up and a bridge is built across the small trout stream.
On other dealings, the old WV State Road garage at Two Run is available to lease by the BDA for $1. Plans are being laid to acquire the property now. Questions came up over what name the stone building and lot would be registered with, the BDA or the County Commission.
Just before the election of officers, the outgoing Chair commented that they had accomplished a lot in the last year, that an awful lot of work by an awful lot of people had been done. He singled out Morgan Gibson as going above the call of duty. Leonard Williams was selected Chair to replace Willis with Willis assuming the Vice Chair spot. Jerry Nelson was reelected Treasurer and absent from duty Dave Derby was given the nod for the Secretary spot.
As the meeting ended motion made and passed to never call the taxpayer funded ‘Filcon Fields’ site that name again, but instead call it the Valley Fork Industrial Site. Discussion on: the grass needs mowed; the building will need to be torn down; what to do about a bridge across the creek, and would prevailing wage have to be paid for such improvements.
Filcon, I mean Valley Fork Industrial Site, has cost the county right at ½ million dollars so far and needs more money to get it ready for any use. The BDA has a new Chairman and Commissioner Sams is back on board after resigning just a few months back. Ah, Clayberry AW
WATER AIN’ CHEAP
Clay Roane PSD Meets
Will Clay and Roane Counties ever get municipal water service? Answer: Yes, and it looks like Roane will get it first! Clay Roane PSD met July 1st in the CDC building on Main Street. Up front, Chair Melissa Postelwait along with Boardsters Gary Whaling, Glenn Sutton, Susan Beard readied for action. Dave Saulsgiver was absent from action. Eight sat in the peanut gallery ready for government at its best, public meetings.
Seven more Clay Roane customers have been taken to magistrate land in an attempt to get dead beat payers to cough up $4,000 in past due bills.
The long awaited Amma Left Hand water line extension project appears on track. Construction bids will be opened July 15th.
The even longer awaited (25 years) Punkin Ridge project has cleared one more hurdle. During the PSD’ last meeting, notice was given that a much needed grant to finish the financing has been turned down and a $100,000 loan would be needed. That loan would have required a rate increase for all Clay Roane customers. Chair Postelwait told the public July 1st that a $50,000 grant had been secured and with a $50,000 loan remaining to be secured, NO rate increase would be needed after all!
Commissioners Sams and Triplett, sitting in the peanut gallery, asked about the Boil Water Order currently in place on the Clay Roane and Queen Shoals systems. According to PSD Chief Water Operator Jennifer Traub, any time a system’ lines are flushed out, a BWO is needed and this was the best time for such a flushing. Questions came on the timing of such maintenance during the 4th of July weekend. Traub, “t was the only week we had available.”Postelwait, “t had to be done.”
Here’ one readers. Clay Roane has three water storage tanks and Queen Shoals PSD has one. Those tanks have not been cleaned out for at least five years, maybe longer. The motion was made and passed to hire divers to go into the tanks and with suction equipment, remove all the mud and yuck from the bottom of each tank. Cost: $3855.00. Here’ the clinker, no Boil Water Order will be issued as the yuck is sucked and the divers flop around in the tanks.
Here’ the highlights of the shorter than normal meeting and a meeting without a secret time!
On Amma Left Hand: bids for the $3.4 million , 33 mile long water project will be opened July 15th; the PSD has 90 days to award the contract; during that 90 day period, all right of ways have to be signed or court proceedings have to be held to take the property; the contractor has 120 days to start the 12 month long project.
The Punkin Ridge project will take 6 months to complete.
Although the PSD voted last month to curtail water purchases from the Town of Clay, June wholesale purchases topped 1 million gallons and the Procious Water Plant ran an average of 15 hours per day. No one knew what the current water loss rate amounted to.
TOWN OK’ RATE INCREASE
Back several years ago during a public meeting, PSC suits from Charleston were telling locals about all the free money coming into the county for water service and what a good deal this really was for us. After hearing that even free money would require substantial rate increases for water customers, Frank Murphy commented, “e’e had about all the free money we can afford around here!”Once again free involves rate increases.
Clay Town Council met in regular session July 6th at the water plant in Clay. Mayor Arthur Jarrett was perched up front in the arm chair with Dwana Murphy, Betty Murphy, Billie Zegeer, Frank Childers, Sally Legg, and Phil Morris circling the long conference table. Town Council friction was felt from the get-go. Seems Mayor Jarrett has given the go ahead to purchase police department expenditures without Council or Recorder authorization. Dwana Murphy explained that all other departments adhere to prior authorization policies and use purchase orders. That’ all departments EXCEPT the police department.
Betty Murphy made it clear to the chief offender, Mayor Jarrett, that it’ the Council that pays the bills and OK’s the paying and the Mayor has to stop his habit of spending Town money without Council OK. Jarrett appeared to be listening about like when a parent says to a kid, “on’ do that or I’l spank you!”and the parent knows full well the kid is going to go right ahead and do as he darn well pleases.
Questions came on why Jarrett OK’ed the spending of big bucks on the old police cruiser when the County Commission agreed to donate a deputy-mobile to the municipality. Jarrett, “The front end was falling out… It was scary... the car was fixed before we knew we were getting the newer one.”
Motion made and passed to accept a $1000 grant to be used to purchase police equipment. Can the grant money be used to pay off the cruiser repairs? “Nope,” commented Dwana Murphy.
Water Project engineer Jim Hildruth and funder Rose Mary Christian arrived and the main topic of the night, water service upgrades, were brought to the table. All seemed to know that an additional 1.5 million dollars had been secured to rebuild the aging water plant. What they didn’ know, or at least it didn’ look like they knew, was, even with bunches of grant money for the rebuild, a rate increase would be needed.
Here’ what we witnessed… Christian has a big stack of papers requiring signatures.
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Everything from giving away the first born child to who does what when it has to be done and by whom. The money will be used to rebuild and upgrade the existing water plant.
Somewhere in her explanations on the project budget came the words users rates and rule 42. Rule 42 change is the code word for your water rates are going up. Was it a surprise to the assembled? Dwana, “ur rates are going up?”Eyes were darting back and forth. Little frowny lines were seen around the table. Hildruth, “he rates will be set by the Public Service Commission..”
Here’ the break down on the new money. To rebuild the plant, a ½ million dollar project, there will be a $830,000 loan and an outright grant of $677,000.00. The monthly pay back on the loan will be $3810 per month with a 41/2 % interest rate.
Much of the discussions around the table were ever so faintly breathed. There were a few heads bobbing in agreement. There were an equal number of heads without movement, being held up with wrist support and a certain paleness came over Betty Murphy when “ 6% rate increase” was spoken loud enough for the public to hear. Hildruth, “ don’ think you’e going to get a better deal than this… You can see it’s better.”Jarrett, “im says it’ the best deal we can get.”
Without dissent and without a nay vote, the motion passed to enter into the rate-hiking, 3 million dollar water project. That’ 1 ½ million for the plant upgrade and another 1 ½ million for the water line extension and Maysel storage tank upgrade project already on the books. Of the $3 m, $831,000 will have to be paid back.
As Mayor Jarrett signed document after document, Phil Morris kept reading as did Frank Childers. Dwana held her head in her hands. The forms kept coming. In 10 minutes, the signing was complete. Town elders were in debt to the tune of $831,000. The long standing and debt free water plant was set for an upgrade but at a cost, much higher water rates.
For those Clay County and Clay Roane PSD customers reading this accounting, this affects you, too. Both PSDs purchase wholesale water from the Town and those wholesale rates will be increasing. For those of you that drive up to the plant and purchase water in tanks, ditto for you, your rates will increase.
That 6 % rate increase mark, don’ count that as the high water mark. During the quiet discussions, engineer Hildruth suggested that the Town might want higher rates to cover additional needs that may pop up, “ou might want something a little higher..” Is there any doubt of higher rates? Nope, the rate increase request has already been submitted to the WV PSC.
One final note on the upcoming plant upgrade and rate increase, no one around the table had an advance copy of the agreements.
Finally, from the history making Town Council meeting, maintenance man Terry Traub brought to the table his opinion on police protection and parking meters. Traub felt a night time, part time cop should be hired and another part time meter maid should be employed. Traub on parking meters, “o one uses them…. They never get emptied… the meters start out with different times on them..”Traub felt the meters should either be used or removed from the streets of Clay. When Council person Zegeer added, “They don’ pay the meters!”Traub agreed and added, “hat’ because of Waddell!”No decision made on the Traub ideas. AW
FSA Emergency Loans
John B. Rader, West Virginia Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, advised farmers in emergency designated counties in West Virginia to get their applications for FSA Emergency Loans filed by February 7, 2005, if assistance is desired.
“he counties of Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Gilmer Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Nicholas, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane, Wayne, Webster, Wirt, and Wyoming were designated for Emergency Loans by President Bush because of damages caused by severe storms, flooding, and landslides beginning on May 27, 2004, and continuing,”stated Rader. “his designation was made to enable FSA to provide financial assistance to those farm families who suffered severe losses as a result of the disaster,”he added.
“ublic Law 98-258 provides for counties that are contiguous to another county that has been designated as a disaster area, to also be eligible for EM Loans,”stated Rader. Doddridge, Greenbrier, Harrison, Monroe, Pocahontas, Randolph, Ritchie, Summers, Upshur, and Wood Counties are contiguous to the designated counties and are therefore eligible for assistance,”Rader explained.
To be eligible for an Emergency Loan, the farmer must have suffered a qualifying physical or production loss on combinations of similar type crops, be able to evidence adequate repayment ability and be unable to obtain adequate credit from other sources. Loans to one operation are limited to $500,000. Loans are also limited to owners and/or operators of not larger than family-sized farming operations.
“armers in the above West Virginia Counties must apply for EM Loans by February 7, 2005, if we are to provide assistance,”added Rader. “oans may be processed later, if necessary, but only if the application was filed before the cut-off date,”concluded Rader. Applications and additional information may be obtained from the local FSA offices. (For Clay that is: Braxton-Clay FSA Office, 801 State Street, Gassaway, telephone 364-5103 or 1-800-284-4956.)
When news first came of layoff's in Clay County, it was my understanding that each office was to loose two employees.However, this did not happen.Does anyone know why the only ones to loose their job was a part time employee and two deputies?This makes no sense tome. Our deputies are needed much more. At any given time you can go into any office at the courthouse and you will not find a full staff. To me this is a sign that not everyone is needed.Money, however, can be found for these individuals behind the desk, not our deputies.Thismakes me wonder if the reason for the layoff's was not a personal vendetta by some of our small minded county leaders.Also, how can we keep an uncertified bailiff?Why not use this money for someone who can "officially" do some work. Any press on this situation would be appreciated.My husband is one of these deputies.His name is Kevin Delk and our # is 286-5999. The Sheriff blames the commission and the commission blames the sheriff.This is a very corrupt county with the leaders doing what they want.
Thank you. Jennifer Delk
Mary May Walls White. was 46 years old when she died on June 30th. There are few people to mourn her passing. Her mother, dad and grandparents have all passed on and the 4 children she bore have been adopted and may not even know who she was. She was a troubled woman who had been cared for by a variety of government and social service agencies from the time she was born until her death.
Our society has failed Mary. There is something terribly wrong when this woman, who could not care for herself in life has no one to care for her after her death. Today, 10 days after her death, her body remains at the local funeral home because the state fund designed to pay for the burial of indigents ran out of money in April. It was refunded on July 1st, but since Mary died on June 30th, there is no money for her burial. This is a travesty. Mary was one of God’s children. She was unable to care for herself and the state began assuming responsibility for her when she was still a child in school. Money was available to prosecute her for alleged abuse to animals. Thousands of tax dollars were available to pay for the care of the dogs she was accused of abusing. BUT THERE IS NO MONEY TO PROVIDE A CHRISTIAN BURIAL FOR HER ???
I have known Mary for almost 30 years. There is a side of Mary that most of the people who saw her around the county are not familiar with. Mary loved the children to whom she gave birth. She struggled to care for them but was incapable of doing so. But within the limits imposed by her mental and intellectual deficits, she loved them. The animals that she neglected were neglected, not out of malice, but out of ignorance. Mary did not have the capacity to figure out that if 50 pounds of dog food fed 2 dogs for a month, she would need 150 pounds for 6 dogs. She did her best, it was just not good enough. I always puzzled at the concern over the welfare of the dogs, but wondered how such neglect could occur if someone was doing their job as an advocate for Mary’s welfare.
Mary May Walls White suffered enough during her life. We need to give her some dignity in death. When you think of Mary remember this verse from St. Matthew 25: 40 “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
A fund has been set up at Wilson's Funeral Home. You may call them to contribute. But that is not enough, please contact your legislators and let them know that this situation is intolerable and that you want no family or individual to go through this ordeal. Do it to honor Mary.... the little girl who had big dreams, the young woman who wanted to be a good mother, the animal lover who didn't get it right and the woman whose true worth is known only to God. Marge Bragg
A Child Torn, a Mother’ Scorn!
What kind of people do we have running our children’ education here in Clay? Not very long ago my child was placed in ALC, alternative learning center, for “isciplinary problems.” He was promised to receive counseling while in ALC for some anger problems that my son admitted that he had. The system failed us again, no counseling was ever given to my child. After my son finished the remainder of the school year in ALC, with all great reports from his ALC teacher Mr. Lambey, my son was under the assumption that he would be able to start regular high school in his eleventh grade year, but because of an allegation made by Mr. Haynie, V.P. at CCHS,to Mr. Linkinogger, CCS Superintendent, that my son flipped Mr. Haynie off while at the Apple Blossom Fair, Mr. Linkinogger made the decision to remand my child to ALC for another semester. His words to my child’ father were, “…that’ my final decision.” If a child’ education is so very important then why would someone who is supposed to be seeing that a child receives the best education be so bent on my child not finishing his last two years of school. And all this over an allegation from Mr. Haynie, who calls himself a Christian, of a child flipping him off. It is a good thing that we don’ become this angry at everyone that ever flips us off. In my opinion, a Christian man that is a vice principal at Clay County High School should be able to look over a child maybe flipping him off instead of putting a cease to his education. Mr. Haynie forgets that he once was a child himself.
Renee L. Boyd
Dam Sampson For those interested in the progress of our best hope for economic development growth in the county, this is the month for the ground breaking ceremony according to community activist Fred Sampson. Look for a big photo op later this month as equipment and crews get started on a 14 acre lake and shooting range in the Summers Fork section of the county near the Wallback exit of I 79.
CDC Clay Development Corp organized a Myrtle Beach trip for senior citizens last month. The five day affair went well according to accounts provided during a Special CDC Board meeting held July 1. Word on the street had it that some seniors felt they were dropped off far from home and housed in inadequate motel rooms. If there was anything to those stories, no one spoke out during the 1 pm meeting. Those assembled spoke in glowing terms of the five day vacation.
The next meeting of the CDC Board is slated for Sept 2004. When Boardsters were asked if they thought they should meet monthly, concensus around the table: nope!
Starcher’ Used Auto Service Center burned to the ground Saturday morning July 3rd. No one was working at the time of the fire. The State Fire Marshall’ office was seen investigating the scene Tuesday, July 6th just after lunch.
STILL DOIN TIME Last edition we published the hair raising account provided by Coach Jim “ohn Wayne”Haynie and his encounter with a juvenile with a pistol. In that article we did not print the kid’ name. With the consent of his mother, Rene Boyd Young, we have an update on Tommy Young, Jr., the 17 year old involved.
Since last edition, a petition for arrest was signed by Judge Alsop for Tommy Young, Jr. After a routine traffic stop by Buckshot Butcher, the petition (warrant to pick up a juvy) was served by Deputy Rider and Tommy Jr. ended up before Magistrate Boggs. On that Sunday evening, and after realizing he was headed to juvy jail, the un-cuffed Tommy Jr. made a dash for the door and Magistrate Boggs grabbed him by the shirt and, holding the kid by the leg, both went to the floor. Young was later handcuffed but not before Boggs’glasses were crushed in the encounter. Potty mouth was heard from Boggs and the boy’s father, Tommy Young, Sr. Additional charges were filed against Jr.
According to the mother, Rene, bond was not allowed despite allowance for such on the original Alsop pick up petition. As of July 8th, Tommy Jr. remained in the Kuhn Correctional Center with a bond hearing scheduled for July 9th.
Rene reminded our readers that there is always two sides to a story and has penned a Chatter elsewhere in this edition of The Communicator.
BUDGET DIGEST: Even without homegrown Legislative leadership, Clay County received its fair share of Charleston favors this year during the Legislative Budget Digest process. After sifting through hundreds of grant awards, here’ what we gleaned: Clay High School - $3,600; Ivydale Elementary - $4,500 ; Valley Fork Elementary - $2,700 ; H. E. White Elementary - $1,800 ; Clay Senior Citizen's Center - $25,000; Clay County Primary Care - $48,000; Widen Days Festival - $2,000; Clay County Golden Delicious Festival - $5,000; Clay County Communications (trailer) - $5,000; Clay County Health Department (generator) $10,000; Clay Co. Drivers for Food (van) - $6,500; Clay Co. Commission (new ambulance) $30,000; Clay Co. Sheriff's Dept. (equipment) - $5,000; Multi-Cap, Inc. (handyman program) - $10,000; Big Otter VFD - $5,000; Clay Elementary School $4,680; Total - $168,780
FLOOD RELIEF: FEMA came into Clay July 5th setting up shop in the parking area beside the Courthouse. The onsite 40 foot long motor home and pull-behind self contained communications center trailer provided locals affected by the end of May floods a place to seek answers and fill out disaster relief requests. 28 applications for assistance were filed before the mobile unit left Clayberry July 8th heading to Pax, WV.
PAUPER FUNERAL Mary May Walls was oft seen walking the streets of Clay in a daze. At times she appeared to be our bag lady. At other times, she graced the Magistrate Report for mistreatment of animals (50 or more the last time) after being caught starving the animals at her Spread Park dwelling. Mary died June 30th and as of July 8th remained at Wilson Funeral Home without the family or resources to be buried. Listed as indigent, even the Welfare Office won’ cover the cost of burial. According to one spokesperson, DHHR has been without funds for such services since April 1, 2004 and since Ms Walls died on the last day of the old fiscal year, they can’ help. Can you? With Wilson Funeral Home agreeing to cut fees substantially, a donation drive is in progress to raise $2000 for burial.
MURDER TRIAL Nearly two years ago Chad Salisbury died of gun shot wounds in Widen. Wife Tonya Salisbury stands charged with murder in that death. The on again, off again court case appears heading for trial July 21st. Braxton County’ Dan Dodson was hired by the Salisbury family to serve as Prosecutor in the case. He will be aided by our own Prosecutor, Dan Grindo.
IVYDALE ELEM Vandals entered the community school sometime over the 4th of July weekend by pushing in a plexi-glass window. Once inside, a digital camera, binoculars and a large but empty safe were stolen. Since the window opening was small in size and located high up on the wall, locals feel wirey teenage thugs made the illegal effort. Once inside, the hooligans discharged fire extinguishers requiring a massive clean up effort. Police are investigating the incident.
School Board Members Take Oath of Office
The newly elected and reelected members of the Clay County Board of Education took their oath of office during an organizational meeting prior to their regular board meeting on Tuesday, July 6. Gene King, elected to District B this time, board appointee Kim Sams, new to the board Beth Cercone, and R.B. Legg, Jr. were sworn in by Superintendent Jerry Linkinoggor. Board member David Pierson has two more years to serve on his current term of office.
Pierson offered a motion to leave the board officers as they are, Legg as board president and King as vice president, and vote was unanimous to do so. Kim Sams will continue as the board’ RESA representative. Meetings will continue to be held the first and third Mondays of each month at 6:00 p.m. unless the day is a holiday, and the meeting will then be held the next day on Tuesday.
Beth Cercone asked if a special meeting would be held for planning, working on the mission statement, doing a yearly agenda, etc., that she said had been recommended during her orientation on becoming a board member. Cercone, “o five year planning to determine where you want your schools to be…?” She suggested a less formal special meeting, and said the State Board offered to send someone to talk to county boards about this type of long range planning. Legg said they don’ like to have more than two meetings a month, save the taxpayers some money, but maybe they could do it after a regular meeting. The board generally agreed they probably should take a look at their current 10 year plan, and Legg asked Mr. Linkinoggor to see if he could come up with something.
The regular meeting was called to order and the agenda, previous meeting minutes and payment of current bill was approved with little discussion. Business manager Loretta Gray presented financial update for June, the end of their fiscal year. The report was accepted without questions.
The Board accepted resignations from Mike Kearns as assistant wrestling coach at Clay Middle School (CMS) and Ann Triplett as Head Cook at CMS, effective June 30. Addie Cole’ transfer from teacher at Clay Elementary to Technology Integration Specialist for Clay Elementary and CMS, successful bid, was approved, and Heather Roebuck was hired as a Technology Integration Specialist at CMS and Clay County High School (CCHS). These new positions are paid through a technology grant. Gary O’rien was hired as a substitute mechanic. A student transfer from Fayette County Schools to CCHS was approved.
CCHS Agriculture Science teacher Robert Morris asked the board for $700 to help send students to the Annual State Leadership Camp and Conference at Cedar Lakes. Total cost for the trip is $1,700, and most of the funds were raised by Morris and the students from CCHS greenhouse sales. Cercone asked if there was a policy on how money was dispersed for these types of requests. Linkinoggor replied that the requests always come through his office and he tried not to present the board with anything they couldn’ stand (fund). Gene King said he was grateful for the levy money that enabled them to send kids to events and, “ don’ think we’e ever turned down a bus request in this county.” The board agreed to fund the $700 request.
Able Soft representative Gary Walker (the company working on the distance learning project delivering the wireless internet service) asked the board to allow them to place a 65 foot tower on a corner of the property behind the middle school to broadcast the signal. He said the needed a 10 ft. by 10 ft. space. Sams asked if there would be a fence around it, and Walker told her he didn’ know if that was written in the contract he’ brought to be signed, but if the board wanted it they would fence it. He said they’ made the contract so the board wouldn’ be liable for anything. Walker said he’ like to have four schools up by the end of July. The request was granted and the contract signed.
Last on the agenda, the board approved the renewal premium for property insurance from Nationwide Insurance Company. Linkinoggor said the premium was $2,700 higher than last year, but they’ kept adding things. All motions passed unanimously.
Up for discussion again was a policy change for service personnel substitutes. The board was presented lists of substitutes that had worked less than the current policy’ 50 percent of call outs. Special Education Director Jenny Sirk, who calls out substitute teacher aides, Director of Student Services Larry Legg, who calls out substitute bus drivers and cooks, and Superintendent Linkinoggor, who calls out substitute custodians, all agreed that they think 50 percent is too high a requirement and suggested 33 percent. Sirk pointed out that there were names on the list that she would hate to lose. An example she gave was of one substitute that could only work certain days of the week due to another job, and would always come out on those days. But, due to the seniority list, Sirk has to call her out on days she already knows she can’ work and that causes the sub to fall below the 50 percent requirement. Sirk said the names on this list that worked 10 percent or less are the ones who don’ come out. There were still questions on whether the board could ask bus drivers who don’ come out when called to pay the cost of their yearly physicals and license to stay on the list. Service Personnel rep Dave Mullins said that since state code requires the licensing and physical he didn’ think the board could legally do that and wanted to get more information before they decided. Linkinoggor said he’ talked to their legal counsel and there may be a way to do that. The board asked Linkinoggor to come up with a policy for the board to work on.
Administrative Assistant Kenneth Tanner distributed copies of a list of the state’ 123 high schools that was compiled in a study done on school consolidation and educational performance by the Center for Business and Economic Research, Marshall University, for the West Virginia School Building Authority. The list compares each school’ APM (Adjusted Performance Measure), enrollment, and 11th grade SAT 9 score. The data used was from 1997-2001. APM was defined as “chool performance given demographics, poverty, education level, rurality, and other factors beyond the control of school personnel.” Clay County High School ranked 17th on the list. A high APM was interpreted as suggesting that the school is doing better than would be expected given its measured characteristics. George Washington High School in Charleston was ranked first on the list.
Next meeting of the board will be Monday, July 19, at 6:00 p.m. at the administrative office in Clay.
From the Christian Service Center
We want you to know that we did very well at the gospel sing on June 5, 2004, for the needy family. Thank you for your donations, and we need to thank all of the singers: Tom Auxier and the Silver Wings, Wilma Jean Ramsey, Hilda Moore, Joe Mullins Trio, Marlene Wood, Next Generation, Sabrina Grose and Terri Walker, Freda Auxier, and Kay Ramsey. We’ also like to thank Joe Mullins, of Mullins Grocery Store in Dixie, for the food that was donated. Many stopped in for the friendly atmosphere.
Congratulations to Chrissy Mae Neal of Lizemores on the birth of a baby girl May 25th. She is named Chloe Michelle and weighed 2 lbs 6 oz. She now weighs 4 lbs and is going to get to come home soon. Good luck and God bless you both.
We are sending our prayers out to Allen Ramsey of Lizemores. He was involved in a motorcycle accident early in June. He is doing well and had a gospel sing Sunday, July 4, at his home. Allen, our prayers are with you.
Radio station 101.7 FM in Clay is now having live entertainment every Saturday evening from 6 to 8 p.m., weather permitting, and broadcasting live on the internet. Tom and Freda Auxier and the Silver Wings performed live on June 26, and were invited back for a July 3 performance.
The ladies at the Christian Service Center would like to thank the Communicator for letting us publish this newsletter in their paper – thanks again.
We would like to send out our prayers for Tona Bird. She and Mary Kincaid were in an accident June 2 at Dixie; we hope both are doing well. And, we’ like to wish Mr. Ed Mullins a speedy recovery and want to let him know that we miss him. Ed Stone of Lizemores is also in our prayers.
Marlyne Wood stopped in. She and her husband Roy had been down to see her daughter and granddaughter in North Carolina to celebrate their granddaughter’ 6th birthday. Happy birthday Mariah Duffield!
Congratulations to Daniel Brown, formerly of Lizemores, on the birth of a new baby boy June 28. Grandpa is Dale Brown of Lizemores.
During the holiday weekend, Tom and Freda Auxier had their family in from Ohio and all over and had a great time.
Over the weekend the Center received a lot of donations. We would like to thank EVERYONE who donated, and to say it all goes to a good cause.
We are planning to have a car wash and yard sale, and will announce the date and time soon – look for flyers everywhere.
Just a reminder: we are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to noon. Come in and see all the good things we have! Until next time, GOD BLESS.
Up, Up, Up, and Away We Go – Again! By Jim Chafin
In an earlier segment of my life, I spent some time in the auto industry as part of the manufacturing process. During those many years of which I intentionally strove to instill quality into the products that provided a living for myself and my family, I also sought to turn the industry away from much of the frivolous accruements that were finding their way into the products, many of which had no utility value for the customer at all, existing solely for the purpose of enriching the corporate bottom line. I felt then, as I do now, that there would be plenty of work to do if we kept our eyes upon the unmet needs of this country and produced vehicles that were dependable, serviceable, utilitarian, and at a cost most people could afford. This, it seemed to me, was the best way to make the most of our natural resources; this would be conservation at its best and highest use. I also felt that there were ways to squeeze out better fuel mileage without destroying the serviceability of the automobile as we know it. Ways that would enhance longevity of the vehicle as well as improving customer satisfaction. That, I believed then, should be the goal of the auto industry as well as this nation.
But in the late 1960’ the industry began the trend that it is on to this day – that is, to rearrange the whole theory of what it means to own personal transportation. The industry began to move away from the designs that promoted serviceability by the owner, shifting this responsibility back to the industry through the service departments of corporation dealers. Each new model year has brought forth vehicles that are less and less serviceable and more complex. Until now, the cars this nation drives are completely out of control of those who are forced to shoulder the costs. The technology being used in today’ autos renders null and void all the knowledge most folks of my generation have acquired in a lifetime, the net result being that not only have the initial costs of these vehicles skyrocketed, but so have the service costs. An example of this may be found in the hourly rates charged by company dealerships and the repair times for completing needed repairs, which have doubled, even tripled, with the advent of front-wheel drives, computers, and the related circuitry required for such gadgets. By way of passing let us add here that if this nation’ military used the same technology in its vehicles on the sands of the Middle East, Saddam Hussein would have kicked our pear-end post haste.
All of today’ new vehicles use the same type of circuitry – a series of sensors placed strategically around and about the engine to monitor (?) how well the engine is performing. These monitors, made of space age materials that vary according to the task required of it, are given full control over the operation of the vehicle. There are no overrides or redundancy for the customer’ convenience and only the services of a mechanic equipped with a trusty engine analyzer is capable of diagnosing, much less performing, needed repairs. However, it is in fact those sensors that are causing much of the difficulties associated with this class of electrical circuitry. Have you heard this one before: “esterday the car ran fine, but this morning the engine wouldn’ start at all…” So, the common solution would be a tow to the dealer’ repair facility, a three day wait before a mechanic can get to the car, then a $65 computer diagnosis; another two day wait for parts to be delivered (parts are stocked at “oint of need”regional facilities), four hours of R&R (remove and replace), resulting in a gross bill of $529.50 for a part approximately the size of a fifty-cent piece. That is for repairs made locally. What, do you suppose, those same repairs would be had the breakdown occurred 200 miles away from home in a strange city?
And the plastics, in some of the most unusual places, that break without warning, like in the heart of the timing mechanism, the distributor. My present car has had a defect that prevents it from starting without warning, and without rhyme or reason. A problem that, to date, has not been amiable to diagnosing with that marvel of the ages, the diagnostic computer. And this has been going on for more than one year.
The purchasers of the new Toyota Prius spoke in glowing terms about their new toy as being “he car of the future.” But given their ability to heft the kind of transactions that are inherent in purchasing two expensive automobiles in less than two years, one can surmise that their income is well above the average, and they most probably will not keep the car long enough to incur many of those heavy maintenance costs that most everyone else has to endure. These new hybrid cars have absolutely no customer serviceable parts at all, and so the buyer is now totally dependent upon the dealer for any and all service, more so than even those current types of which we have been speaking. Think and consider the consequences should anyone be unfortunate enough to be stranded on a darkened superhighway with a mechanical malfunction in one of those “ars of the future,”with only a dealer, who is open only 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during daylight hours, to depend on. In that day and time, two chickens in every pot and two cars in every garage may not be enough.
06/23/04: Stephenson – David Ryan Stone, breaking and entering (05/26/04), preliminary hearing waived; case to Circuit Court.
06/24/04: Bailey – Robert H. Ferrebee, arson, arrested, ROB 07/01/04.
06/28/04: Delk – Michael E. Lanham, battery on police officer-2nd offense X 2, arrested; Delk – Robert Allen Soard II, fugitive from justice warrant, arrested, to Circuit Court; Bailey – Darrell N. Backus, driving under the influence-3rd offense (06/06/04), preliminary hearing continued by Court.
06/29/04: Delk – John David Hickman, driving while revoked for DUI 3rd offense (05/09/04), preliminary hearing continued by State .
06/30/04: Stephenson – Jason Boggs, breaking and entering (05/27/04), preliminary hearing continued by State.
6/22/04: Light – Freddie Alan Hardway, more than one passenger on ATV, appeared 7/06, ROB.
6/23/04: Belt – Diane Cottrell, trespassing; Belt – Dimple Rogers, petit larceny, warrant, arrested 6/30, ROB.
6/24/04: Sizemore – Michael Hanshaw, battery, warrant; Bailey – Robert H. Ferrebee, violation of DVP order and battery, arrested, ROB 7/01.
6/28/04: Carte’ Carry Out – Paula Burniston, WC complaint, warrant; Clay Supermarket – Paula Burniston, WC complaint, warrant; Clay Supermarket – Naylene Harvey, WC complaint, warrant X 2; Clay Supermarket – Gary Lee Ramsey, WC complaint, warrant; Delk – Jarrod Willis Lanham, domestic battery, arrested, ROB 6/30; Belt – Terry Keenan, obtaining under false pretenses, summons; Belt – Charles Ellis, obtaining under false pretenses, summons; Slack – Pam Ferrebee, battery, summons, appeared 7/02, ROB; Stephenson – Patricia Jo Moore, poss. less than 15 grams, appeared, ROB; Delk – Michael E. Lanham, obstructing an officer, destruction of property, arrested.
6/29/04: Sizemore’ IGA – Helen A. White, WC complaint, warrant, 7/01 def paid; Light – Andrew B. Cash, poss. of marijuana, summons; Sizemore’ IGA – Anna E. Duffield, destruction of property, summons.
7/01/04: Belt – John Thomas Lowery driving suspended/revoked non DUI, appeared, ROB.
7/02/04: Slack – Shonda L. Tanner, driving suspended/revoked non DUI, third offense, arrested, ROB; Tammy Summers – Betty Gill, peace bond, summons.
6/28/04: Robert Sizemore – Wayne Welch, wrongful occupation, subpoena.
7/01/04: Robert Johnson – Brian Jones, money due.
Notices issued -
6/30/04: Pennington Auto Supply – Tammy L. Shepherd, Naylene Harvey, Melissa G. Hill, Sherry Jo Mullins; Clay County Middle School – Darius Cummings, Sandy Weiland.
7/01/04: Big Otter Food Mart, Inc. – Joseph L. Taylor, Joseph Mollohan, David Cavender, Eric Martin, Shannon Cavender, Dustin Reed x 2, Tanya L. Hinzman x 2, Elizabeth Meadows, Pamela Connor.
7/02/04: Clay Supermarket – Tom F. Ratliff.
06/06/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Steven E. Childers, improper turning.
06/07/04: State Police – Christopher S. Walls, MVI and registration violation.
06/10/04: State Police – Michelle L. Bailey, MVI and no POI; Bobby R. Hanshaw, MVI and no POI; Erica Shawn Keener, no POI; Stefan Andre Zakaib, MVI.
06/11/04: State Police – Paul Allen Brown, Jr., MVI; Thomas R. Holcomb, defective equipment, no POI and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Patricia Jo Moore, possession less 15 grams.
06/13/04: State Police – Anne Mae Walls, left of center.
06/14/04: State Police – Regina D. Carpenter, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI and registration violation; Jeremy J. Cummings, speeding and registration violation; Loretta Kay Rogers, no POI; Sheriff’ Dept. – Ross Eugene Setchell, failure to maintain control.
06/15/04: State Police – Matthew R. Butcher, no POI; Darius J. Cummings, Jr., operator’.
06/17/04: State Police – Joseph Moore, MVI and no POI; Sheriff’ Dept. – Christopher Taylor, no POI X 2 and registration violation X 2.
06/19/04: State Police – John A. Bishop, Jr., MVI; Regina D. Carpenter, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI and no POI; William E. Lanham, speeding.
06/20/04: State Police – Ashley Kay Hatfield, speeding; Ronnie A. Holley, MVI and no POI; Micheal Southall, speeding and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Isaiah A. Stephenson, operator’.
06/22/04: State Police – Robert Keith Adkins, operator’; Jesse R. Gill, operator’; Samantha D. Gray, operator’, no POI and registration violation; Freddie A. Hardway, more than one passenger on ATV; Andrea Lea Johnson, MVI; Leroy Lafever, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI and no POI; Sheriff’ Dept. – William Lee Collins, no POI.
06/23/04: State Police – Diane Cottrill, failure to pay for gas and destruction of property; David Lynn Holcomb, no POI; Kevin L. Wyant, registration violation.
06/25/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – John Thomas Lowery, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Thomas Leroy Lowery, no POI.
06/28/04: Municipal Police – Nathaniel L. Kinter, operator’.
06/29/04: State Police – Kristi Rene Workman, no POI.
Letter to Brother Bill
By Evelyne McLaughlin
Hello Brother Bill: Just a few lines to say hello and to let you in on a little of the local news. Rod, Melissa and I went out to the A. J. Samples Cemetery recently. We took the flowers that Allie had left for the graves. The cemetery was mowed and looked really nice. I talked with Garland Samples concerning the upkeep of the cemetery. He told me several were mowing, such as Randy Samples, Todd Samples, Randy's son Don Samples and, of course, Garland. Needless to say, it was in good shape.
Belated birthday wishes to Shonette McLaughlin Shearer, of Phoenix, Arizona, Carliss Smith of Sacramento, California, and Uncle Bob Runion of Wallback. Hope you folks have many more birthdays. Belated happy anniversary wishes to Edward and Sandy Hanshaw Smith, of Oak Hill Ridge.
Blendine Daubenspeck Blankenship, Angel McCoy and daughter Angel McCoy, and Kevin Asbury, all of Leon, have been vacationing at the beach. Blendine expressed that she did not care for the beach. I love to watch the waves, and doing that I think WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE.
Our sympathies to the families who have recently lost loved ones: Mrs. Grace Osborne, Mary May Wall White, and Mrs. Shawn Pauley.
Brother George Stricklen tells me that his grandson was in a go-cart accident over the weekend. He needs our prayers. Hugh Boggs, Jr., is in very poor health. He is in the Laurel Nursing Home. Alton Legg is in a Charleston Hospital. His sister JoAnn Legg Reed, of Ohio, has requested prayer for him and her other brother, Kline Legg, of Big Bend, Kansas. Aunt Maycle Samples is in the Montgomery Hospital again. I do not know the address but I am sure she would enjoy cards and letters from her friends.
The Joe Dawson Family Reunion was held July 3rd, in Jackson, Ohio. Donna Dawson Smyth, of Charleston, tells me they had a very good time. Some other folks attending were Imogene Dawson Walden, of Mill Creek, Shirley Smyth, of Charleston, Lloyd Dawson, of Jackson, Ohio, Lloyd's daughter, Gidget and her husband, from Utah, Mr. and Mrs. Neil Dawson of Marion, Ohio, Mr. and Mrs. Lankin Dawson of Ohio, Neil's daughter Hope and her husband, and also Kerry Dawson, Ray Rhodes and Joe Rhodes. Due to other commitments, David Dawson and his family could not attend this year. Donna tells me that next year the reunion will be held in West Virginia.
Nancy Samples and her son Jeremy Samples, of Procious, were traveling to various sites in West Virginia over the weekend. Sounds like fun to me.
We are still having church services at the Blue Knob Church, ten o'clock Sunday mornings. The Blessed Hope Church is having services at two-thirty Sunday afternoon. Everyone is welcome.
We have lots of our young men on the battlefield. They need our prayers, letters of support and often other items. You can adopt a service person by logging on to HomefrontHugsUSA@aol.com, HomefrontHugs.com, or www. operationMilitaryPride.org. Let our service folks know we are thinking of them and cheer them up a little. If you can't get through to anyone, call me and I will give you a number to call for more information.
Not much happening around our house, Champ de-feathered one of our guineas. No, he didn't kill it but we had a yard full of feathers. I picked up a cup full of pebbles along the creek bank, brought them in and washed them. I put them in a cup on the counter to dry. In the meantime, Don thinks they are nuts and tries to eat one. I think his dentures are still intact. Not too many dull moments around our house.
Hoping you have an awesome day, and know that someone has thought about you today. In the meantime, Help Us All to be Brave.
| Love, Sis\|
BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
“hese are the times that try men’ soles,”old Tom Paine observed, with the advent of the women’ movement. Paine would have been criticized for his sexist language. Still, it can be argued, the remark has even greater currency when applied to the lunatic fringe holding sway in our crumbling republic. We seem to be living in a time when the eternal verities have become perverted or reversed. Perhaps it has always been thus, but the classic golden rule applied to our contemporary value system, or rather to its disintegration would read: “e who has the gold makes the rules.”
A few decades ago when burlesque was the vogue, the English Music Hall was the favorite venue for the lower class. One of the old songs still reverberates in these trying times, a cockney favorite, whose lyrics echo a common theme.
…It’ the same the whole world over.
Ain’ it all a bloomin’shame?
It’ the rich what makes the trouble.
And the poor what gets the blame.
In order to get the flavor of this passage, the reader should hear the cockney pronunciations: thus, “ame”becomes “ime” “in’”“n’,”etc. This sentiment is not so far removed from the Molly Ivins contention that there are some people too rich to go to jail [Read Kenneth Lay, et. al.].
Out of the mouths of the lower class, the dispossessed, the powerless occasionally comes profound truths. If we equate “he rich”with “he powerful,”we may arrive at a parallel to the cover-up currently being staged in the aftermath of the grotesque scenario at Abu Ghraib Prison. Nothing should exonerate the seven soldiers from their disgusting, subhuman behavior, but are we to believe that military reservists were sufficiently educated in Muslim culture to know that public nudity is one of an Arab’ ultimate humiliations, or that, in the Muslim world, dogs are considered “nclean?” The insignificant few who are targeted for punishment have attempted to use the infamous “uremberg Defense,” I was only following orders. That tack didn’ work for the Nazi defendants, but there may be an element of truth here. There may be what we might call accessories to the crime – on high, that is. A few minions will take the fall, but the Big Fish will slide by. They always do. In the world of Realpolitik, the beat goes on. Army Special Agent Tyler Pieron, who investigated the Abu Ghraib case for the Criminal Investigation Division reported on May 1:
…These individuals were acting on their own. The photos I saw, and the totality of our interviews, show that certain individuals were just having fun at the expense of the prisoners.
What a surprise! It seems fairly certain that this report will gladden the hearts at the Pentagon and the White House. Moreover, it is a safe bet that Pieron, whatever his rank, has a rosy future. Perhaps a promotion is in the offing.
It is one of the oldest tricks in the political book for a power figure to instruct his flunkies: “o whatever it takes; just don’ tell me about it.” That may have been the case in Reagan’ Iran-Contra scandal, as it may well be true of the Abu Ghraid sadistic orgy. Still, there are numerous reports that his omnipotence Donald Rumsfeld knew about it months before the pictures became public, and Seymour Hersch publicized his New Yorker column. This is, after all, an administration that has suspended, or at least dismissed, the Geneva Conventions, and in a moment of unsurpassed verbal intervention, coined the unforgettable term, “nemy combatant.” This brilliant semantic ploy enables our government to imprison people for an indefinite period, deny legal counsel, even to refuse family members information concerning detainees’place of detainment. Presumably, these unfortunates would receive better treatment if they had been designated “risoners of war.” There is both inconsistency and irony here, since the administration’ endlessly-repeated litany is that we are, in fact, at “ar.” In dealing with such weighty matters, or as Sherlock Holmes was fond of saying, “eep waters,”we must be careful to avoid irreverence. Who would be so bold as to question endeavors with such grand names as “peration Enduring Freedom,”or the earlier “esert Storm?” We have seen at an earlier time the peril of questioning noble concepts such as the Patriot Act. Look what happened to former Senator Max Cleland. He voted against the act for a number of reasons. One of them was that civil servants would be assigned to the gigantic Homeland Security Department, and by executive fist would therefore lose their union status. Any political junkie knows that union members usually vote the Democratic ticket. This was another nail in the coffin of the rapidly-dying union movement. Cleland, who left three of his limbs in the rice paddies of Vietnam, lost the election in Georgia to a dependable Bush loyalist, aided by the Rove political machine and uncounted millions. With his usual subtlety, Rove, often dubbed “ush’ Brain,”distributed photos of Cleland side-by-side with Saddam Hussein. The tactic worked. Apparently, the Georgia voters decided that former lieutenant and triple amputee Max Cleland was not patriotic.
At the risk of seeming unkind, it may be time to resurrect these immortal words of old P.T. Barnum: “o man ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.” Should you take umbrage at these nasty assertions, consider the following: 70% of the American people believe that Iraqis piloted the 9/11 suicide planes. Over 50% believe that Osama bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein plotted the attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon in tandem. Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice still announce that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. It is just that they haven’ been found yet. We are ruled by people whose complacent and poisonous certitude cannot be penetrated by something as significant as facts. Crusty former Vice President John Nance Garner once complained: “he Vice Presidency ain’ worth a pail of warm spit.”[The scholarly opinion is that he probably didn’ say “pit”]
The stratospheric ego of Cheney, exceeded only by cosmic bungler Don Rumsfeld, would not allow him to serve as a subordinate. Cheney makes Bismark, Meiternich, Cardinal Richelieu, even the Earl of Warwick look like rank amateurs.
Last week a high government official, who understandably insisted that his name not be revealed, said that if a specific 25 people in Washington D.C. were to be exiled to a desert island, the United States would not be in Iraq. Has this republic ever been saddled with such a rogue’ gallery of this magnitude? Even now, as this deliberately subversive column is being cobbled together, that oft-mentioned “rchitect”of our Iraq policy, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, is testifying before the Armed Service Committee. Entombed in ideological concrete, Wolfowitz’ distance from reality is breathtaking in its scope. Earlier, when asked about the death count, the Secretary was a stunning 300+ short in his estimate. He mentioned that the Iraqis love us, that the “errorists”are Saddam loyalists, that the 100 estimated people killed in the June 25 episode are merely “ast grasp”[his very words] actions, implying that everything will be hunky dory, tickety-boo after the June 30 installation of the new government. [Disclaimer: he did not use those colloquial terms.] After all, Wolfie used to be a college professor. We know what they’e like. As expected, the committee seems to be finding that questioning Wolfowitz is as frustrating as attempting to predict the next pattern of a kaleidoscope. He now says that the U.S. did not go to war because of the constantly implied bin Ladin-Hussein connection, or because of the threat of WMDs, but because of Iraq’ violation of United Nation’ resolutions. No one on the committee chose to employ the old Appalachian adage: “hat dog won’ hunt.” Wolfowitz had tap-danced into a delicate and dangerous area. By this pathetic attempt at logic, we should then invade Israel and Turkey. They rank one and two in the world of those having violated UN resolutions.
An interesting project for some devoted network junkie would be to count the number of generals now serving in our armed forces. One almost has the impression that the Pentagon has some kind of magic Xerox machine that grinds out flag rank officers. There appears to be more of them than we had in World War II. The seemingly endless parade of officers wearing giant stars on TV, telling us that our adventures in the Middle East continue to be the implementation of a near-perfect plan is becoming tiresome, often insulting. It would be refreshing to hear from a few grizzled sergeants.
It is sometimes wise to change horses in the middle of a stream.
Saying “y country, right or wrong”is like
saying “y mother, drunk or sober.” -J.B. Priestly
Where, oh where is HAC? Clay County Commission met in regular session June 28th with CCC Prez Peter Triplett and Jimmy Sams in attendance. Wayward Commissioner Matthew Bragg was again absent from duty. After opening and Sams’prayer, action got under way at 10:05 a.m.
Each year the boys up front go through the ritual of applying for federal grant dollars. Each year those efforts fail. None the less, after a public hearing, the vote was made and passed to seek $360,000 for fire department equipment and building additions.
From the agenda, this: to authorize volunteer fire departments in Clay County to charge reasonable fees for personnel and equipment used in performing fire fighting services, vehicle accidents, victim rescue or clean up of debris or hazardous material…. Without comment the charges were approved by Sams and Triplett.
In an effort to help out the Town of Clay, motion made and passed to donate one of the Sheriff’ black Ford cruisers. Marking and radios will be removed prior to the hand over.
Remember last time around when Magistrate Boggs asked the CCC to pay $2000 in paint chip damage to his car? Ain’ going to happen. Boggs claimed that community service workers spewed rocks and gravel on all sides of his white Chevy as they weed whacked around the old Courthouse. Triplett said that some judge didn’ think it was anybody’ fault and besides that, there’ no money there to cover such damages. Triplett said Boggs would have to prove the workers actually did the damage. Motion to deny the claim passed.
With layoffs just 2 days away, discussion turned to who’ cutting who. Triplett explained to the 15 person peanut gallery: the County Clerk is laying off one full time worker and another is cut to part time status; the Circuit Clerk’ office is cutting two employees to part time status but the part timers will receive $9.40 per hour; Prosecutor Daniel Grindo will not be funded an assitant this fiscal year; and, the total cut back amounts to 19.5%. As for the Sheriff’ plans to lay no one off for four months, Commissioner Sams, “f that’ the case, I am going to object. A little bit of coverage is better than none..”
The Assessor’ office may be pulling a quick one, readers. No lay offs there! The boys up front explained that Assessor Legg will use a special $30,000 account to keep her staff full time. With Legg leaving office December 30th, it may make the second half of the year (for new Assessor Teresa Lane) tougher to manage. Sams, “t’ a short term fix.”Sams explained that the lay offs were not temporary things but permanent reductions in force.
For those seeking a new 911 address from the County Clerk’ office, the only days for such paperwork are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays.
Months and months back the County Commission agreed to give up their meeting room so the Family Law Master could turn the place into a court room. Last fall, the CCC reversed their vote and decided to give the Law Master a cubby hole upstairs beside the Prosecutor’ office. That formal agreement was passed during this meeting. The people get to keep their meeting place!
We call it the new courthouse but it’ really 30 years old and the roof is leaking. The question before Commission is whether to patch the asbestos laden roof or replace it. The cost for replacement is well over $35,000.00 and the Commission pocket book is pretty slim these days. A Budget Digest grant has been requested.
Each year various county board members have to be appointed, axed, or reappointed. During this convening of the boys up front: Clint Salyers was not reappointed to Parks and Recreation being replaced with Don Gray; Mike Evans and Morgan Gibson were reappointed to the Business Development Authority along with newcomer Brian Moore replacing the resigned Mack Samples; on the 911 Advisory Board Mitzie Adkins was reappointed with Dave King replacing Paige Willis; reappointed- Connie Harper to the Health Board; Gary Clifton to Library Board; Peter Triplett to Solid Waste; Pam Truman to Landmarks; and Kenneth Tanner to the Deputy Sheriff Service Board.
Commissioner Sams agreed to set on the BDA. He resigned during a stormy period last year when the BDA voted unanimously to continue using attorney Barbara Schamberger as their legal counsel.
Health Director Karen Dawson asked that Mardell Nevans be appointed to the Health Board to replace resigned Mary Lou Devlin. CCC held up that nomination and will put it on the next agenda.
Much time was spent hearing a Jim Lively presentation on liability insurance on county holdings. Cost through the state run Board of Risk, $74,483.00 which reflects a 6% increase. Another option would have reduced the premium amount to $50,000 but also reduced coverage and raised deductible levels to $5000. With questions raised over ambulance service coverage, no decision made during the regular meeting.
Scheduled for this November’ ballot is an Emergency Services levy vote. George Jones is the Chairman of the pro-levy crowd. The levy would fund the ambulance service and local fire departments. There are problems with the effort and the main problem is lack of support from the Lizemores area and the Lizemores Fire Department in particular. According to Jones, after holding five organizational meetings, Lizemores reps have been truant 4 times. Sams, knowing full well that without the support of the entire county no levy has a chance, suggested Jones hold the next meeting in the Lizemores area. During previous discussions, the difficulty seems to be with funding the often troubled county ambulance service. As for passing a levy and the lack of interest in Lizemores, Sams, “ithout them involved, it’ going to be real tough.. It’l be tough anyway!”
During the levy discussions, Paige Willis asked to see each fire department’s financials and budgets. He wanted to see where their existing dollars are going. CCC seemed to agree with the need-to-know idea.
As for new 911 communication equipment in the county, we’e still waiting, readers. Seems our slow poke Prosecutor drug feet for several months failing to do needed paperwork and the FCC not ruling on a frequency change needed to get the Gauley Mountain repeater legal and operating.
Probably the big news of the day came from BDA Chair Paige Willis who informed Sams and Triplett the Filcon, Inc. site near Ovapa was once again in the hands of the BDA free and clear of all liens and encumbrances. Willis said the deal with the Clay County Bank had been completed that morning. AW