NOVEMBER 12, 2004

Dave’ Home
ELECTION 2004 Finale
The School Board Meeting
The Christian Service Center, Inc.
Letter to Brother Bill

With Judge Ric Facemire on the bench, a Clay County Grand Jury returned 6 true bills, indictments, during closed door sessions the first week of Nov. 2004. Indicted: Adam N. Jones, Billy J. Jones, Thomas Flores, Samuel Murphy, Betty Nicholas, and Tommy Young Sr.
With all the I’ crossed and the Ts dotted, here’ what we saw during the November 5th arraignment docket day. Prosecutor Grindo was over to the right side with only a pen laying on the table. It was completely cleaned off. To the left side, several attorneys waited their turn before the Judge.
The red headed, t-shirt and jean clad Billy Jones approached the bench charged with felony manufacturing a controlled substance. Court appointed attorney Wayne King was nowhere to be found and Jerome Novobilski stood in for King. Jones plead not guilty and asked the trial be held during the next term of court. Jones remains on $5000 bond.
Samuel Murphy stood before Facemire next with Kevin Duffy at his side. The 35 year old answered quickly, “ot guilty, your Honor.”Here’ a cute part, readers. It’ the norm for attorneys to ask for time for discovery, more time for motions, more time for changing light bulbs and passing gas. Duffy hustled this case boom, boom, boom right on through. Duffy had a whole stack of motions all typed up, signed, stapled, and ready to go as he asked for a December 6th hearing date and December 14, 9:00 a.m. trial date. He questioned the police report provided by the Prosecutor and insisted on being provided all notes and original criminal complaints against his client. The Judge concurred with the be-speckled, string bean length attorney.
Duffy didn’ fall off the turnip truck yesterday and knew he wanted our current Prosecutor Daniel Grindo to be in charge of the state’ case.
As for keeping things straight in courtroom land, here’ a screw up. Tommy Young Sr.’ name was called out. Instead of Sr., dressed in orange and shackled, a shaven headed Tommy Young Jr. was escorted into the room. They had the wrong Tommy!
With Jr. back out, Tommy Young Sr. limped his way to the front of the chamber and plead not guilty to five felony indictments from the August 2004 shooting spree on Murder Mountain. Attorney Novobilski commented more investigation was needed before the case could come to trial. Sr. will remain on $150,000 bond. He limped out of the room. Note: After the court time, Sr. showed a big ugly 4 inch tall healed over skin graft on the outer side of his left calf. Nasty looking!
Thomas Flores was stopped before he made his way to Facemire’ bench. On his hip were two razor blade knives in a leather holster. His pockets were also checked before being allowed up front. “ot guilty”came quickly from the out-on-bond ($1500), 27 year old. About the only thing Grindo said all morning related to the blades. Grindo, “e brought carpet tools into the courtroom!”Flores, “ was going to work.”With a grin, Facemire, “ suggest you leave those in your car [next time].”Once out of the room, Sheriff Fields handed the box cutters back to Flores.
Charged with forgery and with a freshly appointed attorney at her side, a 40 year old Betty Nicholas plead not guilty. Her trial date was set for December 7th at 9:00 a.m. and she walked out.
It’ always fun to see Grindo yelled at. Happened again, readers. With a lull in the action, Grindo asked for some time to go out and dig up his case files. With a grin, Facemire said something along the lines of: Prosecutors should be prepared for court and have the files with them. Around the peanut gallery other smiles were seen.
With Duffy at his side, Adam N. Jones appeared and plead not guilty to manufacturing a controlled substance. Remaining on a $5000 bond, Mr. Jones’case was continued to the March 2005 term.
Grindo quickly scurried out of the courtroom. Before returning, Facemire, “here is our Prosecutor?”Grindo returned with a 2 foot tall stack of file folders. He quietly sat back down and waited his chance to perform as a professional.
Bench warrants were issued to 14 others that didn’ show up for court.
Elvis Dawson showed up and was given a January 19, 2005 trial date with pre trial on December 6 at 2:15 p.m.
Here’ another zinger, readers. An older, gray headed Jerry Zane Boggs went up front with defense attorney Martin at his side. Martin told the court he had provided a motion that the indictment was wrong; that according to the indictment, his client would have committed the crime on November 15th and today was the 5th. “he crime would occur nest week!”All eyes were once again on Grindo who explained, “t’ just a typo.”The Judge didn’ buy it and repeated the November 15th part to the Grindo. Martin, “he time is unknown and is a major part of the defense!”Grindo came back with blah, blah, blah. Facemire said he would take the issue under advisement.
Ricky Bishop’ trial won’ happen till after March 2004. Jamie Smith will come to court November 30, 9:00 a.m. Her attorney, John Mitchell, Sr. hadn’ fallen off the turnip truck either.
More confusion on a Bradley Smith and David Ryan Stone case. Neither were present. Grindo, “ am confused on this one myself.”Then another screw up. With 8 charges against him, the incarcerated Ryan Bird was no where to be seen. He had not been transported back to Clay County.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, Judge Facemire had the honor of marrying Anthony and Cary Osborne.
And finally, from November 5, Clay Roane PSD attorney Tom Whittier worked in a back room to convince Smokey Paxton and family to sign a water line right of way agreement. It worked. An aggravated Paxton left the building. Whittier wasn’ done. Judge Facemire signed off on an eminent domain deal against Rick and Carolyn Z. Taylor allowing the Clay Roane extension project to proceed. Interesting enough, Paxton said he learned of the hearing not by certified mail but through a telephone call the night previous. In court, Whittier said he had informed the Taylors less than 24 hours earlier by phone. The Taylors were not in court during the proceeding.                         AW        

West Virginia spends more than $1 million annually to remove litter along the highways. Nationwide the annual cost for roadside litter pick up is $115 million. In Clay County the hillside dumps and roadside piles are disappearing quicker than liberals on election night.
         Twenty workers manned the Veterans Day “clean Up Clay”litter day. The event was hosted by the Clay County Solid Waste Authority and participants included the Department of Natural Resources, HRDF high school students, Family Resource Network, and the WAIT Task Team from the Health Department. Recycling coordinator Lynn Romano organized the event. Over two tons of debris was removed from a site along the railroad tracks in Pisgah. Romano, “he trailer was overloaded.. we had to leave some along the road for pick up.”Not all the work gets done as planned. Romano, “e planned to do it earlier during the Martin Luther King clean up day but we were snowed under back then. Then, because we were doing the river clean up all summer, we didn’ have the time to go back..”33 miles of the Elk River was cleaned of washers, driers, tires and assorted cast-offs during the summer months effort spearheaded by Human Resource Development Foundation coordinator Scott Bass in 2004.
                 A second site in Maysel netted another truck load of cast offs. Romano commented, “ou can see all the stuff along the road. We had to leave all that there… the truck and trailer was full…”
                 Statistics show highway litter is composed of 59 percent paper, 16 percent cans, 6 percent bottles, 6 percent plastics and 13 percent miscellaneous.
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         The items most often found during litter cleanups are fast-food wrappers. The second-most-often found items are aluminum beer cans, followed very closely by soda cans.
                 After a five year effort to rid the county of unsightly road side litter and trash dumps, the efforts of many are paying off. Ms Romano, on the number of dumps in the county, “here is another site at Hartland that we want to get to but ran out of time and already had too much stuff… I have been out looking for other sites but they are getting harder to find. They used to be everywhere. Now I have to go around and look for them.”Lynn said the county received a second place in the state award last month along with a $400 cash grant and a GPS locator for future eradication programs.
                 During this quickly called litter task, emails brought out the 20 volunteers. Future efforts may not be so easy.
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         The Coordinator mentioned that she can only use HRDF high school students during holidays.
         Efforts are now under way to include tourism in economic development projects. Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) Tourism Director Connie Lupardis has met with county leaders to grow the concept of Clay County being a tourist destination spot. Her efforts have included sprucing up the town of Clay’ streetscape and store fronts. Litter, highway litter in particular, costs West Virginia in tax dollars. Money is spent to clean up public areas that detract from the natural beauty of the state. Litter harms birds, animals and fish. Trash impacts road and water safety for bikers, hikers, picnickers and swimmers. Unsightly refuse degrades the quality of life in the state when economic development prospects choose a cleaner site for new business.
    Any person who litters in West Virginia can be fined no less than $50 and not more than $2,000 and may be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than 24 hours nor more than one year. Persons who create illegal dumps on highway rights-of-way can be fined up to $5,000 a day, with criminal penalties between $2,500 and $25,000 a day and up to a year in prison. WV Adopt-A-Highway volunteers pick up an average of 4,500,000 pounds of litter each year.

         Each individual produces four to five pounds of trash daily, amounting to one ton of trash yearly. A family of three produces about five pounds of used newspaper a week, 20 pounds a month or 250 pounds a year. One three-foot stack of newspaper weighs 100 pounds.
         With a truck and trailer overflowing with debris and other piles ready for State Road worker help, the Clean Up Clay Veteran’ Day workers headed over to the local pizza shop paid for by the Clay County Solid Waste Authority. Future efforts are being planned now.                                
         FOLLOW UPS        
          Talk about a stir in Clayberry! Our last edition highlighted the contentious separation of church and state issue in the County Commission room. With Commissioner Sams refusing to remove his religious wall hanging and the ACLU vowing to take the county to court over the display, here’ some back ground. During the October 25th County Commission meeting 60 residents attended along with a TV-3 camera crew. During that gathering a couple of people felt hanging the 10 Commandments was OK until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise. For ultra conservative Alabama Judge Roy Moore, that dog won’ hunt. In the Alabama case Judge Moore was told to remove his Christian monument from a government building. When he refused to obey the law of the land, he was removed from office. Other cases have netted similar results; that is, there cannot be a state sponsored religion in this country.
          Mentioned in the October 6, 2004 ACLU demand letter sent to the CCC, is a McCreary County, KY et al. v ACLU of KY case from 2003 where the court ordered the removal of a similar wall display. That case, as well as one from Texas are now being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
          So, what happened in Kentucky? Here’ some background from the 6th Circuit Court documents: On Nov. 18, 1999, seven individuals in three Kentucky counties (McCreary County, Harlan County, and Pulaski County) along with the American Civil Liberties Union (“CLU” filed three lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, alleging that these counties had erected displays consisting of framed copies of the Ten Commandments in the county courthouses of McCreary and Pulaski Counties,
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         as well as in the schools of the Harlan County School District, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Plaintiffs sought a declaration that the displays were unconstitutional, as well as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief enjoining the counties from continuing their display of the Ten Commandments.
         Shortly after the complaint was filed, Defendants modified the displays to include secular historical and legal documents, some of which were excerpted, and then filed respective motions to dismiss. Following a hearing held on April 20, 2000, the district court issued an order on May 5, 2000 in each of the three cases which denied Defendants’motions to dismiss and granted Plaintiffs’motions for preliminary injunctive relief; the court ordered that the displays be removed and that no similar displays be erected. Defendants filed a notice of appeal to this Court, and a motion to stay the injunction pending appeal. The district court denied the motion to stay, as did this Court.
          Defendants allegedly obtained new counsel and then filed a motion to clarify the district court’ preliminary injunction as to all Defendants regarding the court’ prohibition against erecting “imilar displays.”The district court denied the motion for clarification on September 15, 2000, stating that “he injunction speaks for itself.”
          Sounding much like those attending the Oct. 25th CCC meeting, the Kentucky locals decided they didn’ have to obey the law of the land and redid their Ten Commandment display. Again from the court record: Defendants, allegedly acting on the belief that a display containing the Ten Commandments could be erected within the parameters of the Constitution, voluntarily dismissed their appeal to this Court and erected new displays containing several additional secular historical and legal documents in their entirety, along with the Ten Commandments. The courthouse displays contained an explanation entitled the “oundations of American Law and Government Display”which explained that the displays included various documents that played a significant role in the founding of the American system of law and government. The school district displays contained similar documents to the courthouse displays, except instead of the “oundations of American Law and Government Display”explanation, the School Board displays contained a School Board Resolution. The Resolution addressed the historical context of the displays and opened a forum for the community to post an unlimited number of additional historical documents. As a result of these new displays, Plaintiffs filed a motion to hold Defendants in contempt for violating the district court’ preliminary injunction or, in the alternative, to enter a supplemental preliminary injunction order. Defendants responded to Plaintiffs’motion by arguing that the new displays were not similar to the previous displays, and contended that the “urpose for the display is to educate citizens of the county regarding some of the documents that played a significant role in the foundation of our system of law and government.” (J.A. at 151.)
         Here in Clayberry, Commissioner Sams hung up the big black plastic plaque and then Prosecutor Jeff Davis advised: If you want to try and keep them in the government building, you better call that wall a “istorical”wall and hang the Declaration and Constitution, too. Sams obliged. Sound familiar? It should, in the Kentucky case: After Plaintiffs filed suit, Defendants amended the respective displays “n an attempt to bring the display[s] within the parameters of the First Amendment and to insulate themselves from suit.”
         Despite Sams saying that there is no religion in his Ten Commandments display, on two occasions, Commissioner Sams told members of the public, “f they don’ get religion at home they’e going to get it at the courthouse!” Those attending the October 25th meeting said such displays of the Ten Commandments are completely legal. No so. From the McCreary case, here’ what the Judge wrote: The district court …. found that the new displays were “learly outside the bounds of these permissible uses and [were] violative of the Establishment Clause.”
                 What’ before the high court? The questions include: Whether the Establishment Clause is violated by a privately donated display on government property that includes eleven equal size frames containing an explanation of the display along with nine historical documents and symbols that played a role in the development of American law and government where only one of the framed documents is the Ten Commandments and the remaining documents and symbols are secular. Whether a prior display by the government in a courthouse containing the Ten Commandments that was enjoined by a court permanently taints and thereby precludes any future display by the same government when the subsequent display articulates a secular purpose and where the Ten Commandments is a minority among numerous other secular historical documents and symbols. Whether the “emon test” should be overruled since the test is unworkable and has fostered excessive confusion in Establishment Clause jurisprudence. Whether a new test for Establishment Clause purposes should be set forth by this Court when the government displays or recognizes historical expressions of religion.
          The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the McCreary appeal October 12, 2004, 6 days after the ACLU of WV sent their demand letter to our County Commission. It’ anticipated that the nine justices will render an opinion in early spring or no later than June 30, 2005.
                 Will Commissioner Sams’actions cost the county some money? He says nope. Others in the community disagree. Although he says he feels reaaal strong about leaving the 10 in the court room, he hasn’ said publicly he would be willing to spend ANY of his own money to defend his interpretation of the Constitution.         One other note. With his strong stance and support for keeping Christian documents in public view…. Doesn’ it seem like he would do so at his own private business ventures?
         ??? DID YOU KNOW ???
    1.        When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
2.        All cell phone numbers in China begin with 13.
3.        More than 10 percent of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were physicians.
4.        Since the Iraq war started in March 2003, more than 8000 U.S. soldiers have been wounded.
5.        There were 101,179 women in prisons last year, 3.6 percent more than in 2002 the Justice Department says.
6.        The American Cancer Society estimates that 216,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
7.        According to the National Center on Health Statistics, a baby born in 2002 is likely to live on average to the ripe old age of 77.4, thirty years longer than a child born in 1900.
8.        College students are 75 percent more likely to be readers of literature than adults who have attained only a high school education.
9.        The world’s atmosphere now includes about 380 parts per million of carbon dioxide, compared with 280 parts per million in 1800.
10.         The West Virginia Turnpike is 50 years old this year.
11.         Collisions with motor vehicles killed 17,180 Mountain State deer in 2003, slightly fewer than the five year average since 1999.
12.         Because of an 84 million incentive from the federal government, Governor Bob Wise will restore $50 dollar clothing vouchers.
13.         Vehicle travel in West Virginia has increased 30 percent since 1990.
14.         Wednesday, November 17, West Virginia University Marching Band will perform a free concert at the Clay Center in Charleston.
15.         West Virginia’s total honey crop is about 1.25 million pounds.
16.         A total of 29,385 passengers flew out of Charleston’ Yeager Airport last month, a 36 percent increase from October 2003.
17.         According to the Register Herald, the state Democratic party chairman has told party chairman who did not support all democrats in the general election that they should resign.
18.         More than one in three miles of West Virginia highway and 37 percent of the state’s bridges are rated as substandard.
19.         Since 1960 Kanawha County’ population has dropped 57,000.
20.         An average 403 people are killed in West Virginia in motor vehicle accidents. 50 percent higher than the national average.

Dave’ Home
Buying and Selling
Preparing sellers to show their homes

You have talked with your sellers about the physical work involved to get their home ready to show, but have you mentioned other events that may take place while the house is on the market? Giving sellers a basic education in Buyers 101 will help prepare them for the realities of showing a house. Here are some suggestions:
l. An open mind and an orderly house: same day and even last minute requests for showings are common. A seller with a “24 hour notice to show” stipulation cuts himself out of a good chunk of the buying market. The only standard hefty lag time that should be necessary is when you must give ample notice to a tenant. If sellers choose to make showings difficult, be sure they understand the downside.
2. Keep it flexible: Explain that most agents do try to arrive within the scheduled showing time, but sometimes it is just impossible. They may get stuck in traffic, or the house they saw before your showing took longer than expected. It happens, and sometimes it happens too late to be fixed by a phone call. Encourage sellers to stay away from the home a little longer than they think is necessary, just to make sure they don’ interrupt a showing.
3. Sellers who want to be present: Sellers think agents and buyers won’ be able to find everything, that they must be there to point out the important features. Truthfully, most just want to be present to see buyers reaction firsthand. Sellers should be aware that at the very least buyers feel uncomfortable when they are present, and that it can kill the sale.
*Buyers often won’ even open closet or cabinet doors when the seller is present because “It’ not polite.” If they cannot view the house comfortably, they’l hurry up and move on to the next one.
* Sellers want to talk, and not just about the house. You never know when a buyer will be turned off by the mood of the seller, or a statement the seller makes. Buyers are there to look at the house, not chit chat about hobbies or the weather. If sellers must be home during the showing, counsel them to go outside or stay put in one location, not wander around with the agent and buyers.
4. Pets: Pets should be out of the house during showings. If there are pet odors, talking with your seller about the subject can be tricky, because most people are not aware of odors in their own home. You may need to conjure up your best be tactful mode to deal with the subject.
Finally, the whole object of listing your property is to make sure that some buyer purchases the property. So the seller should take precautions to:
l. Make the house open with out much notice.
2. Be flexible and know that sales associates are sometimes late .
3. Encourage sellers to not help show the property.
4. Keep pets out of the house and take care of pet odor if present.
5. Sellers should know what role to play to make sure their home is shown properly to ensure that the buyer will purchase the property.

The article is brought to you by
Dave Derby, GRI at Greenlee Properties Inc.
GMAC Real Estate: Clay Office

Smoke Czar Coming
        Upon passage by the Clay County Board of Health in January 2005, smoking will be prohibited in all workplaces in the county. That’s all places except bingo halls, that is.
        The new regulations were handed out to Health Boardsters two months ago for their review. Little was made of that three page document during the meeting and little has been said since. Excerpted from those pages:
        All smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed public places including: elevators, restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, buses, taxis, all retail stores, all non profit entities, attorney offices, banks, Laundromats, hotels, motels, sports arenas, any and all public meeting places, waiting rooms, wards, private rooms of health facilities, any common areas of apartment buildings, nursing homes, trailer parks, polling places, auction houses, shopping malls, flea markets, fire departments and all emergency medical service facilities.
Why the ban? From the soon to be voted on Board of Health Document: The Clay County Health Department finds and declares that the purposes of this ordinance are 1) to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment, and 2) to guarantee the right of non smokers to breathe smoke free air and to recognize that the need to breathe smoke free air shall have priority over the desire to smoke.
So as not to tempt… All ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia shall be removed from any area where smoking is prohibited by the owner, manager or other person having control of such area.
Sounds good doesn’ it? Yes, until you read the one place in the county where clean air isn’ important, the one place where employees and workers are forced to breathe second hand smoke, the Clay County Lion’ Club Community Building on Main Street.
        Employers are responsible for enforcing the new prohibition and can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $1000.00 for infractions. The Health Department will employee a “Smoke Czar” to see the rules are enforced. Employers are required to let Health Department officials into their establishment. No search warrant is needed.
        Ditto for smoking within 10 feet of a front door, side door, back door, air vent…. Nope, that’ taboo, too!
        Note: We measured and found, for a legal smoke, the only place left is the center line on the pavement and the Bingo Hall on Main Street.
         Voting members of the Clay County Board of Health are, Loretta Bird, Connie Harper, Joe Morris, Herman Rogers, and Bobby Stover. According to Health Department Director Karen Dawson, the vote of the Board is final and no further vote by the County Commission is needed or mandated before implementation.                                


ELECTION 2004 Finale
        This year’ election cycle was one for the record books with surprises and dirty tricks. First the dirty part. Right after the October 25th County Commission meeting, County Demorats put their heads together and came up with a plan to keep the outsiders out. Those outsiders included Republicat Sheriff candidate Dave Mullins and Mountain Party County Commission candidate Andy Waddell. Here’ what they came up with.
         With the religious right all up in arms over the ACLU’ demand letter to remove Jimmy Sams’Ten Commandments display from the courthouse, in a back room a letter was typed to say: Mullins and Waddell were card carrying ACLU members committed to removing God and all religion from the entire county of Clay. Take your first born child too!!! Just kidding about the first born child part. The letter had a nice looking ACLU letterhead, a list of board members and so forth. Oh, it looked good, too.
         They had come up with the one item that could enrage every back sliding Christian in the county. Nothing smacks of a lynching more than mention of that nasty, surely communist, ACLU. That little paper over in Clay advanced their idea that any person or group supportive of the U.S. Constitution has to be evil. The rag made mention of states establishing a state religion and how great that was.
         The letter was FAXed around the county and dispensed from the Demorat headquarters on Main Street according to candidate Mullins. Clever it was and damage it did. Mullins was ready to pinch someone’ head off. Had he found the responsible person, we would be able to print an obituary this edition without a doubt.
         We had another first in the county! WYAP radio station hosted on-air live debates for the County Commission and Sheriff candidates. Around the station, cars and trucks parked side by side to listen and comment. Using their best judgment, Sheriff candidate Randy Holcomb said he could spend his time more wisely elsewhere. Mullins said if Randy ain’ comin’ he wasn’ comin. Demorat Commission candidate Fran King said she was 99% sure she couldn’ fit a debate in her schedule at any time! Truthfully, they knew how vulnerable they were to any public scrutiny.
         With 4111 voters exercising the right as Americans, it was a record turn out. 59% of our voters came out November 2nd!
         All precincts opened on time and no problems were reported during the ballot process. We even had one of those Charleston Republicat “allot watchers”in the county going from precinct to precinct.
         Despite their best efforts, Dubya carried the county with 2183 votes to Kerry’ 1824. Had the rest of the state followed Clayberry’ lead, Eric Wells (2079 to Capito’ 1887) would be our new Congressional rep and Warren McGraw would still be a WV Supreme Court justice. Locally we gave the thumbs up to Ken Heckler 2239 to Betty Ireland’ 1686.
         Locally County Clerk Judy Moore, Circuit Clerk Mike Asbury, both magistrates, and Assessor Elect Teresa Lane went unchallenged. We did have two local races.
         In the Sheriff’ contest: Demorat Randy Holcomb 2103; Republicat Dave Mullins 1689; write-in candidate Jim Paxton 171 and fellow write- inster Butch Gray, 48 votes.
         Demorat Commission candidate Fran King garnered 2324 votes to Andy Waddell’ 1065. Even after the dirty bogus ACLU letter campaign and every voter in the county having to jump party lines to vote for him, Waddell netted 1065 votes. Pretty amazing in anybody’ book. There’ another way of looking at it, too. It’ those same 1000+ who know the problems in the county and those are 1000 votes Commissioner Sams will start his 2006 campaign without.
         Without a doubt, there’ one more note to be mentioned. As Will Rogers called them, an unorganized party, the Demorats couldn’ hold it together for Kerry. The day of straight ticket voting is over. AW
         The School Board Meeting
          Clay County Board of Education members Gene King, Kimberly Sams, David Pierson, Beth Cercone and R.B. Legg, Jr. met for their regular meeting at the administrative office building in Clay on Monday, November 1. To follow the meeting interviews had been scheduled with the three architectural firms they had chosen at a prior meeting to consider for designing the new combined Valley Fork – Ivydale Elementary School to be built in Big Otter.
          Business conducted during the 35 minute meeting included payment of current bills; transfer of $493,417 within the budget; employment of Mike Schoonover as a substitute teacher for 2004-2005; employment of Patricia Taylor as assistant girls basketball coach at Clay Middle School (CMS); employed Alice Bow, Keith Brown, Deliah Cantrell, Gordon Moore, Patricia Morris, Kathy Sizemore, Elroy Stewart and Joshua Tanner as substitute custodians; resignations/retirements were accepted for teacher Larry Holcomb, teacher aide Hallie Lyons, both effective January 31, 2005, custodian Forrest Drake effective December 31, and bus driver James Mike Taylor, effective February 28, 2005; maintenance worker Geoff Hamrick was granted a transfer to electronic technician/computer repairman.
          After some discussion the contract to do construction for Clay Primary Care was approved pending requested changes. Clay County High School (CCHS) Principal Phillip Dobbins explained some changes to the contract he suggested be made such as the need for an extension of the time of completion in case of inclement weather, having a subcontractor do the finish work on the drywall, etc. Dave Pierson questioned the $14,000 amount the school system is to receive over the cost of materials in the contract, instead of the 10% discussed earlier and monitoring as the project progressed, but said if they thought that would cover the cost it would be alright with him.
          The board agreed to pay $168 in meal expenses for Jerrica Caudill, State Treasurer for the FBLA, at the National Fall Leadership Conference in New Orleans. And, a brief hearing was conducted to determine the status of a CCHS student. The student’ parents did not attend the hearing, and the board accepted the recommendation of Superintendent Jerry Linkinoggor and CCHS Principal Dobbins to place the student in Alternative School for the remainder of the school year. All motions passed unanimously.
          Parent Delford West addressed the board with a complaint that his child was harassed and cussed on the bus and that bus operator Tony Salisbury did nothing to stop it. He said he’ gone to Transportation Director Larry Legg about the problem for three years but nothing happened, and that Salisbury and Legg didn’ do their jobs. R.B. Legg told West he was getting redundant and should let Larry Legg and Salisbury defend themselves. West said they didn’ have this problem with former drivers in the past, and now his kids got kicked off the bus. Salisbury said the student started getting loud when he tried to calm the student down, and always blamed someone else. Larry Legg tried to explain the conduct slips he’ issued the student this year. Assistant CCHS Principal Jim Haynie said the student had been no problem in school so far, but had been disrespectful while in the office. West said his child had been treated like dirt for three years, cussed, and wouldn’ ride the bus because of Salisbury. Gene King defended Salisbury, and West left the meeting saying it had been a wasted trip.
          CCHS student Samantha Creel, a member of the Wait Task Team, asked the board for $150 in travel expense to bring speaker J.R. Kirk to speak at both CMS and CCHS. Kirk, who has HIV, speaks on abstinence and the risks involved with alcohol and drug abuse. Board agreed to make the request an action item on their next meeting agenda.
          Last, Superintendent Linkinoggor provided information requested at their prior meeting concerning the reimbursement rate for gas mileage. He said their policy requires that they reimburse at least no less than 5 cents of what the state’ current rate if reimbursement is. He reported the state rate is now 37 ½ cents per mile, making the board ½ cent out of compliance with their policy.
          Meeting adjourned, and the board prepared to start the interviews with the architectural firms. Next regular meeting of the board will be Monday, November 15 at Lizemore Elementary School starting at 6:00 p.m. TK
         The Christian Service Center, Inc.
          Hello friends! It’ good to be back with you this fine day. I don’ like really cold weather, but the crispness in the air at this time of year is so refreshing. God’ gifts are always great, and His wonders never cease – including the air we breathe.
          The Christian Service Centers, in both locations – Clay and Lizemores, are doing well. Speaking of air, the nasty smell that has been plaguing the Clay CSC, has been cured. Tom Auxier is the man to thank for fixing that problem. Shopping here should be fun and fume-free again, so come in to see us.
          Thank you Charles and Lois Dotson of Arizona for their wonderful donation. Mr. Dotson stopped by Freda’ to have pinto beans and cornbread while visiting family in the Bickmore area. He proclaimed them to be the best he had had in many, many years, and said restaurants just don’ offer real home cooking anymore. Mr. Dotson is seeking information about the “rench”mines (circa 1918) which had operated in the Bickmore area. He would like the names of people who had worked there. He would also like to know if anyone knows what the liquid was that was made from coal and placed in large bottles from about the same era. Contact Freda Auxier to find out how to reach him if you think you can help. Mr. Dotson is willing to pay a reasonable fee for the information.
          Prayers and get well wishes to Cheryl Neal, Cora Fugate, Bob Neal, Ab Pritt, Reba Wagonner, Gerald Perry, David Parcell, and especially to our own Susan Jackson. Thanks to all who remembered me in prayer, or thought kindly of me during my recent hospital stay and current recovery. I am going through quite a bit of testing right now and don’ know when I’l be back at the desk. I am thinking of all of you though, and hope to see you soon.
          The Lizemore Fire Department had a very good hot dog sale recently. They are planning a gospel sing in the near future, and have requested Tom Auxier and Silver Wings to perform. Watch for the signs and come out to support this worthwhile cause.
          Congratulations to newly elected sheriff Randy Holcomb and our other county officials as well!
          Freda’ is looking for an old-fashioned neon sign. It will do double duty for the restaurant and the CSC at Lizemores. If you think you might be able to help with this item call 587-7896.
          True Story: As a teenager in Ohio, Tom had been hanging out with a friend, waiting for the friend’ dad to take them someplace in his ’5 Oldsmobile. While they were waiting, the boys found a nearly empty bottle of Gallo wine under the seat in the car. They decided to fill the bottle about half full of Nehi grape pop and see what would happen. When the friend’ dad came out and got in the car, he fished around under the seat, pulled out the bottle, and happily took several big swigs of the grape pop. The next thing the boys knew, Dad was driving along taking both sides of the road – drunk as a monkey. This is a good case of mind over matter; it wasn’ wine affecting his mind, but it didn’ matter. Tom’ prayer that night might have went something like this: “ear God, please take care of Mom and Dad and Brother, Uncle Joe and Aunt Pauline, Grandma, Grandpa, and most of all, please God, take care of Yourself, Sir, or else we’e all sunk!”
          Look for a new recipe next time, folks – I’ experimenting in the kitchen! In the meantime, come see us at the shops, pray for us always, and remember God loves you and so do we.
                 The election is over and some of the people have spoken. I had the urge to title this "Nation of Nitwits and State of Simpletons" but that wouldn't be fair to the folks that cast their ballots with good intentions.
                 Make no mistake, I believe that George Bush is the most dangerous man in the world. He is so because he is advised by three of the most treacherous and dangerous men that have ever darkened a White House door - Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. I cast my ballot and came up on the losing end and will sadly be exposed to all the harm that these four will bring onto America in the next four years. There will be no improvement to our economy despite all the puffery about Wall Street and the corporations doing better. My eyes and ears tell me this country is in an economic mess and they caused it.
                 There will be more erosion of our basic rights and freedoms. The four horsemen of the apocalypse will have to strip more of our rights and freedoms in order to continue their march toward the brink of oblivion. I fully expect to see our own troops turned loose on us before this term is done. It will all be done in the name of national security but will be done none the less. I hope I'm wrong but doubt it.
                 There will be further steps taken toward making the U.S. a theocracy. It will be run by the ever-trusted evangelists that seem to have the ear of a president that doesn't belong to a church, seldom attends a service but still declares himself a "born again Christian," which is redundant, being that you can't be a Christian without being reborn. I often wonder if there are such things as "un-reborn Christians" out there in the hills somewhere.
                 The American dollar is worth less now than the British pound or the formerly scoffed Euro and will only be worth less as these four years pass. On top of a record deficit, we have borrowed all the law allows. Now the four horsemen want to change the law so they can run the deficit even deeper into the hole.
                 I'm not just spouting sour grapes. My concerns run to the core of my very soul. I am afraid of what the future holds for my children and grandchildren. If there even is a future. The four horsemen are giving the finger to at least three nations with nuclear weapons and threatening to stir trouble in this hemisphere. So just wait and see, friends. There are worse days coming and I hope the supporters of the four horsemen are first in line when the bad things start happening. I'm still radical and proud of it.
         Letter to Brother Bill By Evelyne McLaughlin
          Well, my yard flowers have fallen victim to Jack Frost. I heard on TV that we were in for an "old fashioned winter" - that was according to the Farmer's Almanac. I imagine everyone is glad the election is over. I lost a vote or two, as usual. The election this year was rather nasty I thought.
          Those on the sick list recently include Mary Hensley of Wallback, Shonette Shearer of Phoenix Arizona, Laura Gay Cristy of Charleston, and Vernon Hensley of Wallback underwent heart surgery. Caleb McLaughlin had a doctor's appointment this week. He is doing great following his surgery. Also, Guy Moore of Minnesota is doing fine after his surgery. Hope everyone has a quick recovery.
          Sorry to learn of the death of Teddy Taylor. His brother, Buck, told me about this last week. I think he told me Teddy had been living in Arizona. Our condolences to his family.
          Happy Birthday wishes to Joe and Nell Formen, of Kanawha City, and Donna Dawson Smyth of Charleston. Recent visitors of Mrs. Hugh Boggs, of Twistabout Ridge, were Ray and Lenora Hardman of Charleston, and Edward Hardman of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
          Hopefully by your next letter I will be able to tell you that Dixie and Richard Jarvis are grandparents. The grandson is due any day now. Dixie and I visited with her niece, Jill Hughes of Summersville, recently. Jill is the daughter of Glenn and Deloris Love Davis. She has a beautiful home and we had a wonderful visit. Talked by phone to Shirley Sutton Ashworth of Pedro, Ohio, this week. She sounded great. Shirley and I have been friends for many years. Her daughter, Rhonda, has had some health problems.
          The big Thanksgiving Dinner is scheduled for November 21 at the Clay County High School. This dinner is free for anyone who wishes to attend. It is sponsored by area churches and generous individuals.
          Last week I saw one of my former students, Tommy Livesay. He lives in Widen. It is always good to visit with my former students. Tommy told me that his brother, Stephen, was living in North Carolina. Hello to Tanya Harlow Salisbury. She was also a former student of mine. Howie Hanshaw is moving to my place on Pumpkin Ridge (The Ponderosa).
          I found the following on the internet: A Woman's Perfect Breakfast - She is sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee, her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box, her daughter is on the cover of Business Week, her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl and her husband is on the back of the milk carton.
          Mr. Tom Turkey has disappeared - not a feather around. One of the guineas has gone the way of all good guineas (I think Champ is the guilty party.) So it may not be very safe to be an animal at our place. You would be surprised at the folks who mention my "goats;" they are sheep, not goats.
          If you see or hear from any CCHS Graduates Class of '55, and they have not heard from me, I need addresses. Jincy Morton Rouse????? Where are you??????
          I think this is about it for this time, maybe just a little “ood ole country wisdom": l) Life is simpler when you plow around the stumps. 2) Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce. 3) Don't skinny dip with snapping turtles. 4) Forgive your enemies. It messes with their heads. 5) Two can live as cheap as one, if one doesn't eat. HELP US ALL TO BE BRAVE!!!!!
          Until then, God loves you and so do I. Sis
         10/22/04: Light – William Bruce Swindler, fail to register sex offender (10/04/04), arrested, ROB, 11/05/04 defendant signed waiver of counsel and waived preliminary hearing – case bound to Circuit Court.
         10/26/04: Belt – Joseph S. Larch, warrant for escape, arrested 10/27.
         10/27/04: Belt – Jarrod Willis Lanham, warrant issued for breaking and entering.
         10/28/04: Horrocks – Adam N. Jones, receiving/transferring stolen (09/16/04), Final Order: probable cause found – bound to Grand Jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County; Horrocks – Billy J. Jones, receiving/transferring stolen property (09/16/04), Final Order: probable cause found – bound to Grand Jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County.
         10/29/04: Belt – Alexander Richard Potter III, warrants issued for sexual abuse 1st degree and sexual abuse by a parent, arrested 11/01, preliminary hearing 11/05: probable cause found – bond to Grand Jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County; Wriston – Rodney Lee Jarvis, warrant issued for unlawful/malicious wounding.
         11/01/04: Wiles – Michael Wayne Ford, fraudulent registration, arrested, ROB.
         11/08/04: Belt – James Steven Myers Jr., possession with intent to deliver a narcotic drug, arrested.
         11/09/04: Belt – Dixie Lynn Helmic, possession with intent to manufacture, arrested.
         10/25/04: Larry Legg – Melissa Cummings, fail to cause child to attend school, appeared 10/26, ROB; Larry Legg – Darius Cummings, fail to cause child to attend school, appeared 10/26, ROB.
         10/26/04: Joyce Larch – Debra Tinnel, peace bond, appeared 11/03, ROB; Wiles – Alvin R. Hardway, warrant issued for brandishing; Belt – Robert Lee Rose, DWR/DUIA, arrested, ROB.
         10/28/04: Simms – Richard Scott Blankenship, warrants issued for petit larceny and destruction, etc. of signs X 6; Denvil H. Graham – Dale Deems, peace bond, appeared 11/08, ROB; Simms – Bobby Eugene Woods, illegal possession of wildlife and killing deer closed season, appeared, ROB.
         10/29/04: Bailey – Delmer R. Shamblin Jr., speeding, appeared, ROB; Wriston – Rodney Lee Jarvis, warrant issued for leaving scene of accident; Wriston – Robert James King, warrants issued for brandishing a deadly weapon and battery.
         11/01/04: Faith Triplett – Telenia Hanshaw, peace bond, appeared 11/09, ROB; Wiles – Michael Wayne Ford, possession of marijuana less 15 gms, no POI, MVI, DWR/DUIA 2nd offense, and registration violation, arrested; Belt – Joseph Newly Taylor, possession controlled substance less 15 gms, appeared, ROB.
         11/02/04: Belt – Mitchell P. Adkins, DWR/DUIA 2nd offense and possession less 15 gms, arrested, ROB.
         11/03/04: Wiles – Bryan M. Myers, driving under the influence-2nd offense, DWR/DUIA, no POI, MVI, and registration violation, arrested, ROB 11/10; Clay Supermarket, Inc. – Bessie L. Braley, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Wiles – Kristi Lea Nicholas, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI 2nd offense and no POI, appeared, defendant pled no contest, 20 day jail term suspended, placed on home confinement for 20 days, assessed fine and costs.
         11/09/04: Telenia Starcher – Mechille Triplett, peace bond, summons; Telenia Starcher – Faith A. Triplett, peace bond, summons.
         11/10/04: Belt – Marina Kay Lanham, speeding.
         10/28/04: Denvil Graham – Tammy Johnson and Dale Deems, wrongful occupation, judgment in favor of plaintiff 11/08.
         11/04/04: Ernie Sirk – Eric Thorne and Maria Thorne, wrongful occupation, subpoenas.
         11/10/04: Michael J. Hanshaw – Jimmy Burdette, money due.
         Worthless Checks - notices issued
         11/03/04: Clay Auto Parts – Melanie Moore.
         11/08/04: Main Street IGA – Carolyn Gray; Rental & Development Co. – Margaret Prime X 2.
         11/10/04: IGA Main Street – William P. Dennis Jr.; April Dennis X 3; Connie Brown – Bessie Braley.
         Citation Register
         10/17/04: DNR – Timothy Lewis Gould, hunt from motor vehicle and hunt ½ hour before and ½ hour after sunset; Christopher Taylor, hunt from motor vehicle and hunt deer ½ hour after sunset; Bobby Eugene Woods, game violation X 2.
         10/20/04: State Police – John R. Mosley II, registration violation and operator’s.
         10/21/04: State Police – Mitzi Haught, speeding and operator’; Natalie Mamashana, speeding; Brandy M. Samples, operator’; Delmer R. Shamblin Jr., speeding.
         10/22/04: State Police – Jason A. McKinney, MVI; Gary Dale Nichols, speeding; Joshua Vern Proskin, no POI; Lester R. Sevy, MVI; Rebecca L. Willis, passing double line.
         10/23/04: State Police – Kenneth R. Carte, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Gary W. Hill Jr., speeding; James L. Miller, operator’; Samuel E. Murphy, registration violation, MVI, defective equipment X 2; Harold L. Ramsey, speeding.
         10/25/04: State Police – Bobby Ray Hanshaw, no POI and registration violation.
         10/26/04: DNR – Richard Blankenship, destruction etc. signs posted; Sheriff’ Dept. – Steven A. Gill, operator’ and seat belt violation; State Police – John Richard Mosley, defective equipment; Amy M. Williams, no POI and failure to change address operator’.
         10/27/04: State Police – Steven Allen Brown, MVI; DNR – Thomas E. Simmons, shooting within 500 feet of dwelling.
         10/28/04: State Police – Loretta L. Stewart, registration violation.
         10/30/04: State Police – Donna Jean Doss, left of center; Christopher A. Lemon, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI and leaving the scene.
         10/31/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Billy Joe Deems, speeding; State Police – James Bryan Griffin, speeding; Allison Joan Lycans, speeding and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Steven Ray Spencer, operator’ and no POI.
         11/01/04: State Police – Gordon D. Facemyer, speeding and seat belt violation.
         11/03/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Barbara Shamblin, speeding.
         11/05/04: State Police – Christopher M. Cash, operator’.
         11/06/04: State Police – John Arthur Bishop, failure to check deer and illegal possession wildlife.
         Clarification: The individual listed in last issue’ Magistrate Report was not Carolyn Elaine Carte Rogers.
         Dear Sir,
          I have a question on what law do these banks have that gives them the right to charge people who receive government checks a five dollar fee to cash their checks? And if they do have the right, why such a large fee for a piece of paper that’ only about six inches or less long. I am sure it does not cost them a whole five dollars to send the cashed check back.
          Is this legal? For five dollars I can send a letter by certified mail. I never read anything in the papers or saw anything on television that there was a law that these banks could do this. Is it to push people into banking their money, and if so, what would be the purpose? People who are on fixed income don’ have any money after paying bills to bank. And if they did the government would take it from them.
          I was out of county a few days ago and was told by someone who worked in a bank that the fee would be going up to fifteen dollars a check. Seems like only the rich have civil rights, the (rights of the) poor is taken away by the rich and the government is letting them do it.
          I think people will have to go back to the ‘0’ again and fight all over again. If not, we poor are going to be like people in Russia were.
          The dollar rules.
                                         Funice Wyant
         BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
          The famous smoke-filled rooms of past political activity may be a distant memory, but it is tempting to speculate about the genesis of our present fearless leader, George W. Bush. Once upon a time in a think tank of not so fond memory, a scurvy group of power seekers plotted to change the course of American government. Their names are destined to become legendary in future American history. In order to avoid the difficulty of inventing a string of adjectives to describe these creatures, [odious, vile, shifty come to mind] let us merely settle for “epulsive.” A brief list of this rogue’ gallery consists principally of such as Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald (Fast Gun) Rumsfeld, and such established moral authorities as Newt Gingrich and William Bennett. One of the guiding motives of this motley crew was/is to erase the benefits accrued by Roosevelt’ New Deal. Further, part of their grand plan is to strengthen presidential power.
          The next chapter of this gripping political saga is straight out of the old fox, Nicolo [the end justifies the means] Machiavelli. The conservative coup was already 2/3 accomplished, with Republicans controlling both the Senate and the House. To complete the trifecta, the hardliners needed the White House in their trophy case. The neoconservative dream of a virtual lifetime presented itself in a semi-literate, intellectually-challenged, born-again, quasi-Texan who knew the “ight”people. “ere is raw clay we can work with,”they probably thought, and they were right on target. It would be uncharitable to suggest that George W. is a puppet, so let us just maintain that, in the early stage of his presidency, he was malleable, and the svengali who controlled him was the old sinister hack, Richard Cheney. Cheney once pulled off a political stunt that was breathtaking in its impudence. Selected to head the search for a vice presidential candidate, he modestly chose himself. Anyone for chutzpah? It appears that the present Vice President is now firmly established as Dubya’ secular surrogate father. How else is one to interpret Bush’ insistence that Cheney accompany him in testimony before the 9/11 Committee? It may also be significant that both men were not required to testify under oath. All others were so required, which may lead to the question: “as the divine right of kings returned to the 21st century?”
          Cheney, in common with many of the “adcons”remains undeterred by nasty old facts. On the campaign trail he kept chanting the tiresome litany of intimate connections between Saddam and al Qaeda. He also repeated endlessly by suggestion or direct statement that Iraq was complicit in the 9/11 attack. Moreover, the chief U.S. weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, in a comprehensive report delivered a few weeks ago put to bed the administration’ endlessly-repeated claim that Saddam had WMDs, that he had, in fact, destroyed them early in 1990. Meanwhile, Bush is out in the hustings, telling crowds that Duelfer’ report only proved that Saddam had been “ gathering threat.” It has taken the U.S. an investment of $1 billion to bring us to this particular moment of truth, a result which in times past brought scorn and vilification on the heads of Scott/Ritter and later, Hans Blix. We don’ shoot the messenger anymore, as the ancient Greeks are said to have done, but we make it hot for his reputation if he fails to manufacture “vidence”suitable to the purpose of 1990s neoconservative think tanks and their willing right wing stooges.
                                 Continued on page 10
          “ufficient unto the day is the veil thereof.” Cheney’ wondrous response to the question of whether Saddam Hussein might have been constrained enough by the sanctions and the weapons inspectors’reports, replied: “o delay, defer, wait wasn’ an option.” This is an old rhetorical trick. A rough translation is: “t’ true because I said it.”
          More observations about our venerable Vice President may merit a complete paragraph. The media keeps announcing how tough he is. A tempting reply is that he is not really tough. If he were he wouldn’ have to fight dirty. In the session with John Edwards, [to call it a “ebate”is to give it too much credit] Cheney’ replies to the young senator’ charges were a laconic: “ou’e misrepresented the facts.” He who seeks to refute is obligated to provide a counter argument. Cheney’ one sentence so-called rebuttal seemed to convey the attitude that he couldn’ be bothered to waste his time with such stupidity. Moreover, either the Vice President is senile or he is a liar. On two occasions he sawed off the limb to which he was clinging. Item one: he told Edwards and the audience that when the Senator walked across the stage that night it was the first time he [Cheney] had met him. It was a telling blow, a dramatic moment for the audience, both in the auditorium and at home. Score one for the Wyoming hit man! The trouble is, the claim was bogus. Postmortem film clips showed three occasions on which the two had met. In one of them they sat close to each other on the same side of the table at a two hour prayer breakfast. An even more stupefying mangling of truth came when Cheney denied that he had connected the 9/11 attacks to Saddam. Enter another TV flashback showing the old spinner saying what he had just denied. And we hoped the American public would remember Richard Cheney’ most historical utterance about Hussein’ WMDs – “e know where they are.” Anyone who swallowed Cheney’ propaganda blitz out there on the stump probably believes that he was appointed CEO at Halliburton because of his expertise at the extraction of oil, or that the Middle East connections he made while Secretary of Defense had nothing to do with his meteoric ascendancy in the business world.
          Anyone who has ever been involved in an argument or a discussion can recall brilliant points he could have made. Too often they come too late. President Bush told the nation that John Kerry had read the same intelligence reports that came to the White House. This is simply untrue. Occupants in the White House through various administrations have always had “yes only”reports whose disclosure is at the discretion of the president. Kerry let the moment pass. Lieberman made the same mistake in the 2000 debates when Cheney said that his success in business had nothing to do with his government service.
          If Queen Victoria were projected into the 21st century and heard George W. Bush mention “reedom,”it is likely that she would employ the royal pronoun and exclaim: “e are not impressed.” Bush keeps blathering about freedom and what it will mean to the Iraqis, yet his autocratic administrator, Paul Bremer, who apparently got out just in time by leaving in the dead of night closed down Mogtada Sadr’ newspaper because it criticized the United States. Is this the President’ idea of freedom? Bremer’ apparent idea of freedom was to privatize all of Iraq’ industries and award construction contracts to – guess who! After leaving Iraq Bremer announced that we didn’ have enough troops in that country for post war protection, not a clever career move. He can now say “oodbye”to any cabinet post in the future Bush administration. Former loyalists who contradict the company line are faced with a swift trip to political oblivion. Ask Richard Clarke, O’eill and Lindsey. Recently Crawford’ own said: “f the generals had wanted more troops, they would have requested them.” Besides being burdened with delusions of adequacy, he can be accused of incredibly disingenuous statements. No high-ranking officer in a war zone is likely to ask for more troops at this unhappy juncture. General X would be admitting failure. Commanders-in-Chief do not like news of that sort. Tell the boss that eventual victory is assured; the career depends on it. These possibly cynical observations are not made out of thin air. David Hackworth has written eloquently and scathingly about the military pecking order. No future stars are in a general officer’ horizon if he sends in negative reports. It may be more dangerous to mention the staggering ineptitude of Donald Rumsfeld than to suggest that the President is anything less than omniscient.
          About the tax cut – a fractured version of Winston Churchill might go: “ever, in the history of this republic has so much been given to so few by so few.” The deficit is a concept so abstract that few of us probably don’ fully understand it, but Bush has claimed and will continue to do so that the recession and 9/11 caused record deficits. However, the Congressional Budget Office estimates show that tax cuts caused about two-thirds of the 2004 deficit. Bush’ plans involve a gigantic care package for his fat cat corporate friends in the future administration. As Al Jolson used to say when he closed his act: “ou ain’ seen nothin’yet.”
          With malice aforethought,                 
         Clay Roane PSD Meets
                  Water service in Clayberry is poor. Few in our county of 10,400 have “ity”water. The majority of those wanting water service have waited year after year with nothing more than empty promises. New service lines are expensive and take time to build but in this county, it hasn’ been the lack of funds as the hold up, it’ been the administration running the Public Service Districts. Some want to operate from the back room. All spend into bankruptcy and then ask for rate increases and emergency operation grants from the Legislature. With millions setting in the bank at ready to supply new customers, it’ sad. Sad? You bet. The poor management has resulted in excessive debt load and some of the highest water rates in the entire state.
                 Clay Roane PSD has to be considered one of the worst run, mismanaged, tail wagging the dog operations in the state. The troubled board met November 11th and continued the tradition of yes, no, maybe, I doubt it, no way leadership. With Chair Melissa Postelwait at the helm and Boardsters Dave Saulsgiver, Susan Beard and Gary Whaling by her side, here’ our account of the latest edition in “Running Water Uphill.”
                 For two months the Clay Roane PSD has gathered at the table and argued over a high dollar service bill. A Cross Lanes based company was called in to repair/replace water pumps at the Procious Water Plant. A technician forgot to bring a second pump and made a trip back to town for the needed item. The labor cost for that trip was $200. The Board said last month and again on the 11th, they weren’ going to pay the $200 invoice.
                 Here’ the kicker. Each month the company is adding $270 in carrying charges for the unpaid account. Already owing the $540 in finance charges, the Board voted against paying the debt.
                 With no money in the bank, the Board approved the purchase of a new gadget. The state regulator boys say the device and a monitoring computer must be in operation by Jan. 1, 2005. Although the Board OK’ the turbidity gizmo, they didn’ OK the needed ‘uter! One thing more. They don’ have the money to pay for the inline turbidity gauge and are charging it. No, not the company that sold them the pump but a second outfit which they already owe $3000. During discussions on the need for a computer, they couldn’ figure out why no one would sell them the thing on credit and some even got huffy!
                 Office Manager Crystal Geiger informed the Board the Amma/Left Hand water line extension project would break dirt on Monday November15th. Sounds great doesn’ it? Wrong.
                 The question came up over new customers wanting to sign up now and pay the lower “ap fee.” All along the deal has been: if you sign up for water service before the project starts, the tap fee would be $100. If you wait until after the dirt starts flying, the fee goes up to $300. The PSD voted that into the original construction project years and years ago. Here comes the tail wagging the dog part, readers.
                 Motion made and passed on the 11th, anyone can sign up and pay the reduced tap fee AFTER the project starts if they live along the service line and the engineer gives the OK, and if there is funds for the tap.
                         CONTINTUED ON PAGE 12
         So for all the people that paid their fee ahead of time and did without the money all these years, the Board lied to you. Now, with this new motion, you have until the ditch digger is in front of your property before you have to cough up the loot and at the reduced price, too!
                 Around the room, heads were shaking in disbelief and even some grins were seen. Let’s talk money and priorities at Clay Roane PSD.
         There has never been a priority list. Nothing to go by. Nothing that says what gets bought first when funds are available. The normal mode of operation has been to buy whatever is brought before the governing body in whatever order it’s brought up. With that approach, nothing in the way of maintenance has been accomplished in 10 years.
         During this meeting a priority spending list was advanced to the Board. The list included long needed safety items, new pumps, telemetry monitoring devices to better control water waste, and such. The list was a good idea except for one problem. The PSD doesn’ have any money and is deeply in debt. When asked how they planned to pay for any of the priority items, the answer came: from emergency grant funds that haven’ even been requested! Understand? The bills keep adding up, there is a need for more, the folks at the head table keep drawing their checks and well, now that the money is all gone, it’ time for a rate increase.
         Here’ a gem. Chair Postelwait informed her fellow appointed board members that she had received a call from the WV PSC. According to Postel, the PSC wants confirmation that the PSD will commit any and all extra Amma/Left Hand Project funds to go toward a bigger and better Town of Clay Water storage tank. The motion was made to commit to the Jim Weimer inspired plan which would siphon any dollars to the Town.
         Susan Beard , “No, no, no, our engineer is not here!” Postel waited for a second to the motion and waited and waited. Trying to convince the assembled to vote in favor of the plan, she said any hesitation on the Board’ part could be disastrous for the Amma project. She waited some more. With little frowny lines in her forehead , another motion DID come. The motion was to NOT provide the funds for the Town of Clay storage tank. The vote was 3 to 1 with Melissa voting nay. She was ready to bite nails.
         Before the secret time write up, some back ground. Long time water plant operator Bobby Burdette went to Canaan Valley a few weeks back for a training and fun. During an earlier PSD meeting, the Board voted NOT to pay for his resort room accommodations, mileage, etc. after learning he did not attend the mandatory training sessions. Total bill for the fun time was around $1300.00. All that was done in secret time so don’ let anybody know you know that. Mums the word.
         Guess what time it is, readers? It’ secret time in water land! At 8:05 and lasting for 20 minutes or so, the kids up front went behind closed doors to discuss Burdette again. According to the Chair, Burdette wants all this done secretly. Here’ where all “H” broke loose.
         The motion came to rescind the earlier motion and pay Burdette for the fun time in full. It was obvious, Boardsters Saulsgiver and Beard wanted Burdett paid with Whaling and Postel on the other side of the fence. The motion died with Dave and Susan abstaining and no second for the motion. Blood pressure started to boil. At one point, Susan commented that the Chair doesn’ have to be Melissa.
         They got into parliamentary procedure and Beard made known her desire to have a parliamentarian on the Board. They argued over Roberts Rules of Order.
         How heated did it get? The quick motion for adjournment went without a second. They sat some more! Saulsgiver was mad, stood up, and made several steps to the door before demanding his check for service on the Board. He said he would pay Bobby out of his own pocket if he had to.
          The call went out for an attorney.
         As the meeting finally ended, the rift down the two sides of the issue was as wide as the ocean.
         Some closing notes….. Clay Roane is in trouble. With no money, no skilled leadership, and with little attention paid to the recently passed annual budget, Clay Roane PSD is in trouble. When the PSD gets into trouble, the customers are in worse shape.
         Second note…. Back on that priority list issue and the part about telemetry equipment and no funds for it. Five years ago, Clay Roane PSD went to the Clay County Bank and borrowed $50,000 to purchase that same equipment and high tech meter reading gear that was supposed to reduce operating costs. Instead of doing what they said they would, the money was wasted away. That $50,000 loan will now be paid away from the Amma/ Left Hand water project.
         Third note….. We mentioned that Jim Weimer name up above. Weimer is the guy still working behind the scenes to merge all the PSDs into one mega PSD. He wants the Town of Clay to finance (on their customers’backs) $80,000 to raise the Maysel water storage tank high enough so Clay Roane PSD won’ have to pay for high dollar booster pumps. Why? Additional expenses on the Town’ water project will force them to raise rates. The Town’ rates are some of the lowest in the state while Clay Roane’ are the 7th highest in the state.
         Fussing, fighting and fuming, the Clay Roane PSD trudges on with little in the way of financial management, forethought, or planning. It wasn’ a pretty sight, readers.