|1. It’ easy to tell the difference between right and wrong, it’s wrong if you get caught.|
2. During the first nine months of 2004, 190,000 illegal immigrants came to the United States.
3. Americans have more than 77 million pet cats.
4. Halloween ranks as the sixth largest spending holiday according to the National Retail Federation.
5. Tamarack greeted its 4 millionth guests in October 2004.
6. Schools are serving more free or discount breakfasts than ever, but about six in ten eligible students still go without regardless of income.
7. According to the National Audubon Society nearly 30 percent of North American bird species are suffering significant declines today.
8. People age 21 to 24 account for 30 percent of the nation’s beer consumption.
9. West Virginia unveiled a new pink license plate on November 10 in honor of breast cancer survivors.
10. Americans are only about half as likely to be murdered today as they were in 1991.
11. Identity theft shot up 79 percent last year from 2002, affecting 3.4 percent of U.S. consumers.
12. According to Marketing Intelligence Service, in the first six months of 2004 major food companies launched 1,865 reduced carb foods and beverages.
13. About 10 percent of the 1.3 million vehicles registered in WV this year sport specialized plates.
14. In a survey of more than 7,000 teenagers by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, one in five reported taking a prescription painkiller without a doctor’ prescription.
15. Nearly 200,000 laid off West Virginia workers applied for retraining under the Workforce Investment Act this year, 50,000 more than last year.
16. Nationally about 30 percent of older adults have untreated cavities and about 23 percent have severe gum disease.
17. Compared with non-smokers, mothers who smoke during pregnancy face about double the risk of having infants with colic.
18. Elephantiasis infects about 120 million people worldwide.
19. In the United States 639,000 people are hospitalized each year because of gallstones.
20. Osteoporosis affects an estimated 10 million Americans and each year about 1.5 million suffer a fracture as a result.
A YEAR OF GROWTH\
Sometimes it’ tough to take the time to stop and reflect on the progress made by a small band of volunteers. During the last 11 months, there is much to be said about WYAP-LP 101.7 FM.
Our band of misfits, the group that was told, you’l never get on the airwaves and “lay will NEVER have a radio station,” hosted Saturday night outdoor sings during the summer months. In the fall, Friday night football games providing a local perspective on Panther football action filled the 101.7 airwaves. We thought the year was over at the end of last game of the season. We were wrong. Thanks to help from Senator Shirley Love and the low power station operated by Tommy Syner over in Fayette County, Yap Radio broadcast playoff action between the Panthers and the Shady Springs Tiger.
With basketball season nearly here, and with the support of the community and some additional on air sportscasters, we plan to cover basketball action in Clay. Another first for the county. If you would like to provide the play by play or become a corporate sponsor, please let us know ASAP.
While we await full FCC licensing, sometime in 2005, our local content programming is growing. Llyn Drake began a variety show in November called the Bench Crew. One week later, the Dear Laura Beth and Dwayne Show aired. This show has a Dear Abby-style format with call-ins planned in the near future. The Bench Crew and Dear Laura complimented our already on the schedule “Jimbo in the Morning” gospel show and “The Jim Creel Show” 1:30pm offering Monday through Friday. One of our first regular programs, “Avis in the Afternoon,” continues to grow and be heard around the globe on the world wide web.
In November we also added independent, award winning newscasts from Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now, Between the Lines, and Making Contact. In early December another platform for discussion, Thinking Out Loud with Andy Waddell, will make the airwaves.
Funding is always an issue with any non profit organization. In this area we received some great news. The Commission on Religion in Appalachia agreed to funding our operation for another year. CORA makes grants available to non profits with a mission statement of reforming and changing conditions in low wage and underdeveloped areas of the Appalachian Mountains. As the holiday season approaches, pencil on your calendar the Yap Radio Holiday party December 4, 2004 beginning at noon. Have some munchies and tour the up and coming base for change located at 120 W Main Street.
It is the listeners, members and corporate sponsors along with the band of volunteers that have made 2004 a success for Clay County West Virginia. See you at the party!
Stumbler of the Week
By Andy Waddell
For 49 percent of the voters, Election 2004 was a heart breaker and then a head scratcher. During the week leading up to the election, the polls indicated John Kerry was slightly ahead and would be our next president. On November 2nd, the almost always accurate exit polling said the same thing, Kerry would win the whole enchilada.
Late, late, late on election night it all boiled down to the results from one state, Ohio. As the election results came in and after reports of voters standing in lines for hours, national newscasters thought out loud. The talking heads openly questioned the results. How could those exit polls all have been so wrong? Almost immediately, far right media outlets like Fox News said the vote for W was a strong message, a strong mandate from the heart of America for conservative faith based family values. Or was it?
After the 49 million Kerry supporters got over their post ll/2 depression, rumors of fraud and corruption surfaced. Something wasn’ right. How come poor black voting precincts experienced those long waits in line to vote while white Republican stronghold neighborhoods voted in a matter of a few minutes? Was it a high voter turnout causing the long wait at the polls?
Risking the sour grapes, finger pointing way of thinking, what if, just what if, the backroom Presidential handlers had worked another backdoor maneuver.
The Center for Public Integrity, Black Box Voting.com, Raw News.com and the independent and third party candidates all started collecting tidbits of info. The Ohio Democrat Committee went to the court system demanding all votes including provisional ballots be counted. With 155,000 provisional ballots and Dubya ahead by just 136,000 in OH, you could see their point, count every ballot, period. Before U.S. District Judge Michael Watson, the Demos argued that every vote counts and used the 2000 Gore/Bush U.S. Supreme Court decision as the basis of their plea.
It might be scary for some over in Ohio.
With all eyes on them, Ohio Election officials are strongly opposed to recounting ballots saying it would be too costly and the act calls into question the honesty of the workers. As of press time, no word on whether the courts will allow a paid for, constitutional provided for recount to be tossed.
While the Courts decide the Ohio recount effort, college professors around the country put their great minds to work and aided by computer models, came up with: it is likely 130,000 to 260,000 votes were erroneously awarded to Bush in Florida. In Broward County alone, 72,000 were most likely mis-awarded to Bush.
The online Orlando Weekly paper provided in-depth insight: Despite mainstream media attempts to kill the story, talk radio and the Internet are abuzz with suggestions that John Kerry was elected president on Nov. 2 – but Republican election officials made it difficult for millions of Democrats to vote while employees of four secretive, GOP-bankrolled corporations rigged electronic voting machines and then hacked central tabulating computers to steal the election for George W. Bush.
Crying foul this time around isn't just the province of whiny Democrats. Consider that The Wall Street Journal recently revealed that "Verified Voting, a group formed by a Stanford University professor to assess electronic voting, has collected 31,000 reports of election fraud and other problems."
Continued on page 6
Realizing that the 2004 election results are suspect, many prominent people and groups have begun to demand action. Recently, six important Congressmen, including three on the House Judiciary Committee, asked the U.S. Comptroller General to investigate the efficacy of new electronic voting devices.
Black Box Voting – the nonprofit group which spearheaded much of the pre-election testing (and subsequent criticism) of electronic machines that found them hackable in 90 seconds – is filing the largest Freedom of Information Act inquiry in U.S. history. The organization's Bev Harris claims, "Fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines."
Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jeff Fisher charged that he has and will show the FBI evidence that Florida results were hacked; he also claims to have knowledge of who hacked it – in 2004 and in the 2002 Democratic primary (so Jeb Bush would not have to run against the popular Janet Reno). Fisher also believes that most Democratic candidates nationwide were harmed by GOP hacking and other dirty tactics – particularly in swing states.
The Green and Libertarian Parties, as well as Ralph Nader, are demanding an Ohio recount, because of voting fraud, suppression and disenfranchisement. Recounts are also being sought in New Hampshire, Nevada and Washington.
Although the Internet is full of stories of election fraud, and major media in England, Canada and elsewhere have investigated the story, you'll find almost nothing in the major U.S. media. "I have been told by sources that are fairly high up in the media – particularly TV – that there is now a lockdown on this story," says Harris. "It's officially 'Let's move on' time."
A quartet of companies control the U.S. vote count. Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and SAIC are all hard-wired into the Bush campaign and power structure. Diebold chief Walden O'Dell is a top Bush fund-raiser. All early Tuesday indicators predicted a Kerry landslide. Zogby International (which predicted the 2000 outcome more accurately than any national pollster) did exit polling which predicted a 100-electoral vote triumph for Kerry. He saw Kerry winning crucial Ohio by 4 percent.
In 10 states where there were verifiable paper trails – or no electronic machines – the final results hardly differed from the initial exit polls. In non-paper-trail states, however, there were significant differences. Florida saw a shift from Kerry up by 1 percent in the exit polls to Bush up by 5 percent at close of voting. In Ohio, Kerry went from up 3 percent to down 3 percent. Exit polls also had Kerry winning the national popular vote by 3 percent.
There were thousands of complaints about Florida voting. Broward County electronic voting machines counted up to 32,500 and then started counting backward. This glitch, which existed in the 2002 election but was never fixed, overturned the exit-poll-predicted results of a gambling referendum. In several Florida counties, early-morning voters reported ballot boxes that already had an unusually large quantity of ballots in them. In Florida and five other states, according to Canada's Globe and Mail, "the wrong candidate appeared on their touch-screen machine's checkout screen" after the person had voted.
Voters Unite! detailed 303 specific election problems, including 84 complaints of machine malfunctions in 22 states, 24 cases of registration fraud in 14 states, 20 abusive voter challenge situations in 10 states, U.S. voters in 18 states and Israel experiencing absentee ballot difficulties, 10 states with provisional ballot woes, 22 cases of malfeasance in 13 states, 10 charges of voter intimidation in seven states, seven states where votes were suppressed, seven states witnessing outbreaks of animosity at the polls, six states suffering from ballot printing errors and seven instances in four states where votes were changed on-screen. In addition, the Voters Unite! website cites four states with early voting troubles, three states undergoing ballot programming errors, three states demonstrating ballot secrecy violations, bogus ballot fraud in New Mexico and double-voting for Bush in Texas.
Kerry's victory was predicted by previously extremely accurate Harris and Zogby exit polls, by the formerly infallible 50 percent rule (an incumbent with less than 50 percent in the exit polls always loses; Bush had 47 percent – requiring him to capture an improbable 80 percent of the undecideds to win) and by the Incumbent Rule (undecideds break for the challenger, as exit polls showed they did by a large margin this time).
On election night, after seeing Ohio slipping into the red column, one lady offered what many were quietly thinking: they stole the election and we’l never know how they did it! Maybe if the recounts are allowed to proceed and many groups taking the time to look into manipulated touch screen voting machines, that lady may be wrong. I hope so anyway.
Is all this sour grapes? Sore losers lashing out at nothing? Maybe, but even with Kerry conceding defeat, the election isn’ over until the Electoral College meets and ratifies the results December 13, 2004.
Blue is Beautiful!!!
During the recent general election November 2, 2004 I saw our state colored red. Red has not always been my color political. It was always used to show other countries such as Russia, China, etc. Personally red is my favorite color but not politically. But red was used to show that my state had voted for four more years of Bush.
All my life our state has consistently voted for the blue Democrats, but after the last two elections the color red has shown me that our state voted for the Republicans.
What has happened to our state? Have we now changed our color? Do we now not believe in what the Democratic party has been preaching for the last few decades - of standing up for individual or civil rights, balanced budgets, middle class values, working people’ issues, job creation, education, environmental concerns, etc.?
Has our state changed so that we now believe as the other red Republican states for limiting our personal freedoms, and civil rights, tax cuts that benefit the wealthy, limit on hourly wages, run away deficits, encouraging outsourcing of our jobs overseas, etc.?
What can the “ruly blue people”do now that our national government is controlled by the “ed people” These are some suggestions :
1. All blue people need to become more observant of current affairs. Write or email our national leaders on the issues that you have strong feelings about. When people in a democracy speak the leaders have to listen.
2. All blue people must commit to changing our Democratic party locally, state wide and nationally. Each blue person needs to go to meetings and speak up!
3. Think “lue is Beautiful.” Don’ be satisfied to accept the Rove concept of political activities of negative campaigning and trust your God given rights to find out if something is true before you preach it.
4. Don’ believe in labeling groups, political parties, or organizations as liberals, conservative, right or left, white or black, etc. Learn from all organizations and cull the best ideas from them. The ideas that would benefit the most people in our country.
5. We should stand up proud for the Blue Democratic party. We may have been defeated or knocked down but we shall rise again to new heights of glory. We believe in blue people who make a difference in the lives of Americans. But we should stand proud and tall. It is just two years until we have a choice to change colors!
A Clay County Blue Democratic
Letter to Brother Bill
By Evelyne McLaughlin
Dear Brother Bill: Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one. I remember the time all of us visited your family on Thanksgiving and it snowed and snowed. The roads were very slick.
By the way, the baby has arrived. Richard and Dixie Jarvis are the proud grandparents of Brady Harrison Jarvis. CONGRATULATIONS to the grans and the parents. We were sorry to learn of the death of Ray Hardman of Charleston, Betty Dennis of Newton, Dwayne Allen Friend of Ohio, and Warren Baker. Our condolences to these families. Sorry to hear that Ann Huddleston fell and is in the Charleston General Hospital. Get well wishes to Ann. We hope that Elaine Dawson, of Twistabout Ridge, is feeling better. Guy Moore is recovering from recent surgery. Please remember all these folks in your prayers.
Would you believe I found some nice tomatoes in my garden the first week of November? I know you dumped your garden a long time ago and re-plowed the patch. I received a nice phone call from Jincy Morton Rouse this week. Now I know where she is. Also, Lois Wilson Hughes, of Summersville, called concerning the big reunion next summer. E-mails were from Hope Shelton Noe and Buddy Moore, both of Ohio. Max Legg of the state of Washington plans to make it to this reunion. All of our former classmates (CCHS 1955) are welcome to attend. I need Jane Lou Roger's address if anyone can supply that for me.
Hello to Roberta Steorts of Kentucky - thanks for the nice letter. Hello also to Arnold Moore, Helen Traub Sutton, and Glenn Samples. Blendine Daubenspeck Blankenship, of Leon, has purchased a trailer and will be moving into her new home soon. Jeanie Davis and her family have been vacationing near Charleston, South Carolina, this week. Charleston is a beautiful town. Lots of old homes there.
Goldie "Pudge" Samples, of Horner's Fork, had a birthday this month. She was 97 years young. Aunt Delphia O'Dell, of Ovapa, has been visiting with Howard and Mary Ellen Friend this past week. She will be 90 next month. Reva Jett Whaling also had a recent birthday. Happy Birthday wishes to these folks. Marge Smith Thomas, of Lakeview, Arkansas, is visiting with friends in San Antonio, Texas, this week.
I promised to send you some of Mom's thoughts on living "Down on Big Laurel Creek." Some folks do not know where this place is. You go out to the end of the Twistabout Road and then down the hill to Laurel Creek, where our grandparents used to live and where the family grew up. Mom wrote "1917 - My mind goes back to a cold day in November. I was seven and Ruby was four. The day was dark and tiny frozen snow flakes were falling. Laurel Creek flowed by all cold and dark and the gray snow clouds came up over the Jane Copen field. Pa had piled his harvest of pumpkins up in the calf stall in the barn. There were large ones and small ones. We looked at the pumpkins and picked us out a cute little one with a neck for our baby.
We got a coffee sack which may have been damp and we spread it over the pumpkins that we had for our bed. Then we cuddled our baby in our arms and layed down. How long we stayed there I have no idea. That night I got the rare type of membranous croup. It all most took my life. I can remember I'd cough until I'd lose all consciousness. For three weeks I hovered between life an death. One Sunday when they thought I was almost gone, Grover left the house. Other folks that were at the house were Millie Starcher, Nancy Keller, Mrs. Flora Cox and her baby, Aunt Fannie Samples, Uncle Dave and Aunt Ann Samples, Dahlia and Cora, Hattie Keller and who knows who else. Gene was born on the 5th of December and I wasn't allowed out to see him. I was in bed in the back room. Well, I survived but my growth was effected and for five years I didn't grow any (at adulthood she was four foot ten.) Ma was so worried about that . I wasn't allowed to do some of the things that the others did and I suppose Ma was a little better to me than she was to Ruby and Delphia. She didn't punish me for she said I never needed it. Well, I tagged after Ma wherever she went. And I told them if Ma died I'd swallow a cake of soap or a file. When I was 12 years old I started to get a little bit taller. Ivy Keller taught school that year and during a revival I got saved. Ma thought I was too young to go to the alter but I felt the need. I went anyway. It was a terrific meeting. Bird, Alma and Cecil went and Cecil would sing "Oh! Jesus save you." Fred Harner was our teacher one year. He was pretty tough on us but, oh, I though he was my dream man. He did scold me at times. Cecil went to school that year and what fun he was. One day I ask Fred to let me move out of the sun. Of course, it was to get over where I could see Cecil and his antics. I saw a purple thing on the floor and I thought it was a purple crayon (Mom had poor eye sight), but it was a wet chewed up piece of paper so I threw it down. Cecil began leaping up and down and saying "Oh, dear teacher, Addie got her hand in hen sit.” Well the teacher couldn't believe it and so he asked him again - and Cecil told him again. Fred walked to the window and looked out . His shoulders were shaking while the other kids almost went wild. And, of course, I did too. (To be continued)
You certainly missed a good meal at the Clay County High School this past Sunday. The food was delicious and the gospel sing was great. This was the annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner which was sponsored by local churches. A nice crowd turned out and I understand 600 trays were sent out to folks who could not make it to the dinner. I understand approximately 2000 folks in all were served. This was a good day to renew acquaintances. I had a very good time visiting with friends and neighbors. This was the first time I had heard Adam Burdette sing and play the piano. He did a wonderful job. Adam is the son of Bill and Beverly Burdette, of Twistabout Ridge. I know his grandparents, the late James and Annie Burdette, would be mighty proud of Adam.
A few tidbits to get you through the day: These are all copied: "The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so." And, "The man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest." I think it was Pat Philson, your son-in-law, who said to me, “ou know the things in life that make you the happiest are free." And I will agree with him. Remember it is never too late to do what you want to do. Also, Matthew 19:26 we read that "with GOD all things are possible." Take care, Bro. Bill, stop and smell the roses and until next time,
HELP US ALL TO BE BRAVE! Love, Sis
SUPPORT IS ON THE WAY
Commissioner Sams received two letters of support for keeping his 10 Commandments display hung on the County Commission room wall. During the November 23rd meeting Jimmy Sams seemed pleased to have received both letters. Ms D’rco’ correspondence is included in this edition of the Communicator.
Sams posted the display during his 2000 reelection campaign. Back then locals warned him that such wall hangings typically violate the separation of church provisions of the Constitution. During those stormy meetings, Sams vowed to never remove the religious display.
On October 6, 2004, the County Commission received a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union in Charleston demanding the county comply with recent court decisions and the Constitution. With around 60 in attendance, Sams promised again, even if ordered by the Courts, he would not remove his big black plastic display from the public’ wall. Prior to the demand letter, Sams said that if the county doesn’ get religion at home he was going to see that they get it at the courthouse.
Shortly after the receipt of the ACLU letter, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from Kentucky where the Judge agreed such displays violate the First Amendment of the Constitution. As of Nov. 23rd, 1pm, the ACLU has not filed the civil challenge. AW
ODDS AND ENDS DON GREENE WV RADICAL
Thought I would take this opportunity to chew around on some odds and ends that I've jotted down but never got around to using.
We hear a lot of talk about bringing new, good paying jobs to West Virginia. It might pay to figure out what became of the ones we had first.
Since your elected and appointed officials seem, like ours, to take themselves way too seriously, I think it would do them and us a lot of good to see them doing something really silly, just for the fun of it. One idea is for them to race each other down the street on hobbyhorses. If that wouldn't get them off their high horse I don't know what could.
Think that you own your property? Better think again. Try not paying your property taxes. You'll find out real quick that you are only renting the property from the government. They can sell it right out from under you, if you don't pay your rent…oops, I meant taxes.
West Virginia desperately needs to change the date of our Primary Election to an earlier date so that it actually means a little something in the big picture. February or March ought to put WV right in the thick of things.
Speaking of high-horses, I've heard so many of the anti-abortion folks demanding that people that don't want kids or aren't fit to raise kids be forced to have them anyway. How about a national list of anti-abortion folks volunteering to adopt and raise one of those babies they don't want to be aborted? It sounds fair to me. It stops abortion, calms the anti-abortion peoples' agitation and puts the unwanted children in hopefully better homes.
What is it, the Politics of Religion or the Religion of Politics?
I'll tell you something else that I'm sick and tired of, the constant bombardment in the media of those darned "boy-men." You know, full grown guys that jump around and carry on like little kids. Sports and stuff are okay, if that's what you like, but you don't have to carry on like you're eight years old. Same thing goes for clothes, food, cars and, for Heaven's sake, even medicine. Just when did American men stop acting like men and become these developmentally challenged things we see all the time?
Here are some words of wisdom from Star Wars: "Who's the more foolish: the fool or the ones who follow the fool?" "Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." "Once you start down the Dark Path, forever will it dominate your destiny."
Out of space and still crazy after all these years, the WV Radical.
STOLEN Jim Creel is the Town’ Postmaster. Nice guy, clean cut, easy with a smile, and lives in the big gray house across from the post office. Two Saturday nights ago, November 13th, Creel’ Ford pick up was parked behind Telford’ Chevy. Didn’ last long as thugs came in through the topper and man handled the steering column enough to drive it away. It was later recovered south of town with much damage.
New Ginos Isn’ that a nice looking Ginos/Tudors on Route 4? All new and shiny and worth… well a bunch! During the Sheriff’ auction two weeks ago, it was sold for taxes.
Scanner listeners heard the call for an ambulance followed by a request for a HealthNet chopper November 15th. Word on the street had it a kid in the ALC room at the Standard Bryant Annex on Gump Street had overdosed, fell to the floor and CPR had to be performed to revive him. The chopper request was canceled after the student was revived and then was transported to Women’ and Children’ Hospital in Charleston. We talked to the father that night who said his son had not overdosed, but rather had had a seizure.
Drug Bust We received an email earlier this week mentioning a drug bust at Clay High and preferential treatment given the student due to the parent’ relationship within the school system. The e-mailer alleged we would simply let it slide and no mention would be made. Sort of like: we’e in the clique and also covering up stuff.
The truth is, the kids are protected from the media. For the most part, school board hearings on such matters are held behind closed doors. For the few public hearings on drug busts or student discipline, we generally don’ even include the student’ name then. There have been exceptions of course when the parents inform us of the need to go public.
So… for the e-mailer last week, keep sending them in, we appreciate the information base but even though the law allows the media to disclose juvenile names, we generally don’.
Back To The Future
By Jim Chafin
By coincidence I had an appointment with my doctor on election day, November 2. As I walked into his office the first words he spoke were: “ave you voted yet?” It was 10:15 a.m., and I replied, “o, but I intend to do so as soon as I get out of here.” The good doctor, knowing full well that I have always been vitally concerned about our country, continued, “ho do you intend to vote for?” Sensing his boldness I did not hesitate to answer, “ am voting for John Kerry because his public positions on matters of economics, security and foreign policy more accurately mirrors my own; not that I agree on every issue.” The doctor came right back with, “ am not voting for Bush because of what he has done or says he will do. I am voting for him because of what John Kerry did to the Vietnam vets.” Intrigued by his remark I asked the doctor, “hat did John Kerry do to the Vietnam vets? He also is a Vietnam veteran, and a decorated one I might add.” He replied, “ohn Kerry came back to this country and bad-mouthed our military; he told lies about what our men were doing in Vietnam.” So, I said to the doctor, “ook, neighbor, everything that John Kerry said on that subject is a matter of public record, and have been substantiated by many reputable people in sworn statements, documents, public hearings, as well as investigations on the ground in Vietnam. The facts are that this nation was bitterly divided about the reasons why our men and women were compelled to be on that tiny piece of real estate which had no strategic importance to our country whatsoever.” The doctor fired back, “ur boys received no recognition or thanks for their service upon returning home.” And I replied, “ave you ever heard about the Korean War? I served there honorably, and there were no marching bands, no cheering throngs, no mass public expression of appreciation, no tokens of thanks. The only hand shakes and hugs for me came from my dad and mother who were ecstatically proud and happy that I was finally home.” My doctor seemed visibly moved by my revelation that there are others besides Vietnam vets who have not been treated equitably for their service to this nation. Those Korean vets did it without hesitation or whimper, then came home and took up their duties of building homes, rearing families, supporting democratic institutions, and all the other things that decent folks do – without heaping recrimination. My final remarks to the doctor were these: “ook, bad things happen during war time. Innocent people are killed, individuals are maimed and families are destroyed; lives are lost. That is why war is not to be entered into lightly and without due consideration of all the costs.”
That is why I oppose all wars! Wars can only be condoned as a last resort – not the “ut”reaction, of which the Iraqi War is a prime example. This war is a war of convenience by those who occupy the Oval Office, surrounded by several layers of bureaucratic sound barriers that never hear or see the hurt they place upon the citizens of this land. And where were those soon to be Vietnam vets when coffins filled with Korean War dead began arriving back home and casualties filled military hospitals? Who supported those brave men? Only their families, the father and mothers, wives and children.
The point must be made that in this country, and in this election, one particular decorated veteran by the name of John Forbes Kerry was castigated and cut and drawn while his opponent was never brought to account for his actions during the same period. The same may be said of the former Commissioner of the Veterans Administration who was driven into the ground in his bid for election to Congress from the state of Georgia. The man who lost three limbs during his tour in Vietnam was victimized by one of the meanest and vilest political campaigns in recent history – short of 2004 that is.
The role of organized religion in today’ politics is a slap in the face of every person who holds the Scriptures as being the first and final arbiter of a moral universe. As practiced today, and as most folks know, religiosity can mean anything one pleases no matter how outlandish. We are reminded of the comments made in the Charleston Gazette article written by Ken Ward, Jr. quoting Massey CEO Don Blankenship: “ am a Christian – maybe born again Christian…” Which leads us to some interesting words spoken America’ second president, John Adams: “he United States of America’ governments have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature. It will never be pretended that any person employed in that service had interviews with gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships, houses, laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will be forever acknowledged that these governments are contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.” Meaning: By the will of man.
And then we hear James Madison, the father of our Constitution, say: “uring almost 15 centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in most places, pride and indolence in the clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity – in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.”
These men believed in God, but both awaited actions that could be equated as justice in the lives of people. They were stating an obvious fact – that Christianity, when used as a political tool, was on the same level as other great world religions. Scripture tells that the disciples were “irst call Christians at Antioch.” Was that a term of endearment, given that Antioch was a hotbed of idol worshipers and they hated Jesus? The Emperor Constantine and all other Roman rulers saw Christianity as a political force to be reckoned with. The imperial court of England saw the same thing. In medieval Europe religion and state walked hand in hand and the net result was persecution of the cruelest kind. So vile were the regimes of the Court of England that the people deserted their country like rats fleeing a sinking ship. “eligious freedom,”they cried. They wanted a government without a king, and a church without a pope. But, as they settled into “ew”England, they began to pass laws dictating every aspect of family life in these new colonies. The Bill of Rights written into our Constitution is the direct result of the most flagrant abuses heaped upon minorities by a hostile majority. And it is these same Amendments that organized religion is focused upon and seeking to destroy. They want freedom for themselves, but not for others.
Board Meets In Lizemores
The Clay County Board of Education met for their regular meeting at Lizemore Elementary in Lizemores on Monday, November 15. The Board travels to each of the schools for a meeting throughout the school year, to fulfill their obligation to meet with each school’ Local School Improvement Council (LSIC), and every year Lizemore has the biggest local turnout for the event. This year was the same – the school gym was packed, standing room only, with students, families, teachers and supporters of the school.
And, as usual for this school, the meeting was kicked off with entertainment provided by the students. The three squads of Lizemore Lionettes, all winners of state and/or national championships, performed their winning routines. It’ easy to see why the Lionettes, directed by Lori Morton, are bringing home awards. The routines included many intricate moves, and these young ladies performed them with confidence. It was announced that the Junior Team had been asked by the WVU Tech band director to perform during halftime when they were playing Charleston, and the Lionettes impressed him so that they’e been invited back to perform during the homecoming game.
Following the Lionettes, the preschool class sang for the crowd, then the kindergarten, first and second graders teamed up to sing “urkey in the Straw”– all costumed for the holiday season. The third, fourth and fifth graders joined together to display what they’e been learning in school as they sang four songs in Spanish.
Board members R.B. Legg, Jr., Kimberly Sams, David Pierson, Gene King and Beth Cercone were all present for the meeting. Business conducted by the Board included: accepted the resignations of school bus driver Randy Holcomb effective January 3 and Clay County High School (CCHS) softball coach Charles Paxton; approved transfers for Wanda Sue Workman to pre-school aide at Clay Elementary (Hallie Lyon’ former position) effective February 1, Rachel Thorne to evening custodian at CCHS (Forrest Drake’ former position) effective January 3, Dave Mullins from Bus #12 to Bus #6 (bus for the handicapped – Mike Taylor’ former position) effective March 1, and Norman Ramsey from Bus #41 to Bus #49 (Glen/Bomont/Queen Shoals – Randy Holcomb’ former position) effective January 3, all successful bids; Steve Stanley was employed as an after school teacher at Clay Middle School (CMS), to paid through the Gear-Up Grant; and Lisa Miller’ name was removed from the substitute cook’ list at her request.
The Board met with three architectural firms for presentations following their previous meeting, and at this meeting approved ZMM as the firm for the construction of the new elementary school to be built at Big Otter.
Advertisements were approved for substitute cooks and bus drivers, the Board hoping to hire five of each. Overnight travel for the CMS FBLA to go to the Stonewall Resort December 3rd and 4th , cost $195.67, was approved, as well as the request from the WAIT team to fund the $150 cost to bring a speaker to CCHS and CMS.
Last item of business was to increase the mileage reimbursement rate to 33 cents per mile. The Board’ policy states they must stay within 5 cents of what the state’ rate is, which had risen to 37 ½ cents per mile. All motions passed unanimously.
The Board made plans to tour a school in Cabell County, near Huntington, on December 7, that is about the same size as planned for the Big Otter school. ZMM did the work on this school.
Lizemore Principal Teresa Morton addressed the Board on behalf of the LSIC. Their requests were for gravel for the parking lot and help with supplies to start an in-house newspaper that Morris said she’ like the 5th graders to publish. She estimated the cost to be approximately $500.
A special award was presented to Susan Backus for her outstanding work, above and beyond the call of duty, at Lizemore Elementary. Superintendent Jerry Linkinoggor said when the water plant which purifies the water at the school, which she takes care of, was inspected, the inspector reported that it was the best kept plant he’ seen in the state. TK
DELAYED CCC MEETS Still Waiting for the Suit
Our County Commission met November 23rd at 1pm at the Courthouse. The meeting was scheduled for the 22nd but no quorum was available with Jimmy Sams out trying to blast Bambi and wayward Matthew “HAC” Bragg away from duty, as usual. After opening and a prayer by Sams, it was a quiet affair. Only one was in the peanut gallery.
There was the usual bill paying and revisions of course, but as far as meat, very little. A Paul Burdette asked about renting the little red garage near the Procious Post Office owned by the State Road but leased to the CCC. Commission President Triplett had read the lease and felt subleasing or rent was not allowed. Burdette is out of luck according to the boys up front.
The remodeling of the upstairs Family Law Court will cost a little more with the motion made and passed to purchase bullet proof material for the Judge’ bench. Cost went up $2227.00 from $1400.00.
Remember back in July when each department was told to make financial cutbacks to meet reduced budget estimates? During this meeting the CCC gave the green light for Circuit Clerk’ office to hire two part time workers with each working 2 days a week.
During the meeting Commissioner Sams asked Pete to read a recently received letter from a Ronda Schoolcraft which sounded to be in support of Sams to stand tight on his vow to leave his Ten Commandments plaque on the courthouse wall no matter if a judge orders their removal. Sams said he was not soliciting such letters but grinned as the letter was entered into the record.
Three months back, the state auditors revealed a discrepancy in Fola Coal’ land holdings to the tune of $1,218,500 in appraised value. Triplett said the settlement had been reached prior to the meeting and Fola had agreed to the findings of the WV State Tax Department.
45 minutes after opening, the meeting was adjourned.
After closing, Commissioner Sams asked Commission President Pete Triplett to read a second letter in support of keeping the “0”hanging on the Courthouse wall despite the threat of an American Civil Liberties backed lawsuit in the works. That second letter is found in its entirety elsewhere in this edition. During an October meeting, Sams sidestepped one important question: If this lawsuit happens and there is a cost to the County, will you pay the expense out of your own pocket? Sams has said the display was given to him and was his personal property.
During this meeting, Sams asked if anyone had heard of the lawsuit actually being filed. No one in the room provided him an answer. The wait continues. AW
RATE INCREASE SOUGHT
Clay Roane May Need More Money
Clay Roane PSD has a habit of needing money. Over the last 9 months, no less than 5 requests have come from the chairman, office manager and others for rate increases. Those pleas may come true before year’ end. The PSD voted a draft proposal for a rate increase during a special board meeting November 23, 2004. The meeting was held upstairs in the courthouse and attended by just three Boardsters, Chairperson Melissa Postelwait, Boardsters Gary Whaling and Glen Sutton. District Engineer Jim Hildruth also attended.
At the same time the calls went out for more money, spending continued to increase. First came a new truck, followed by $9000 in computer software, followed by reductions in the amount of cheaper to purchase water from the Town of Clay, and of late, the need for a new computer and turbidity gauge. The water provider operated the first three months of the new year without an approved budget. Last year’ budget finished in the red over $7000.00.
During the specially called November 23rd meeting, funders told the assembled of the need for a rate increase based on Clay Roane supplied data. According to Virginia McDonald from RUS, the old Farmer’ Home Administration, the rate increase may amount to $3 per month on average. Three years ago, the PSD received three rate increases including one they didn’ even ask for, during an 18 month period. Customers already pay the 6th highest water rates in the state.
While this paper didn’ attend the Punkin Water Line extension project meeting, we interviewed PSD Chair Melissa Postelwait afterwards for details. Postelwait made it clear, she did NOT anticipate ANY rate increase but the vote was cast “ust in case.” The following are excerpts from that interview.
Postelwait, “oday she came in and said in order to do the Punkin Ridge water project, we would have to have a $3 increase according to the way our accountant was doing our bills. She [Virginia McDonald] suggested that we switch accountants.”Clay Roane PSD’ accountant is Teed and Associates. In addition to the audit, they need a cash flow statement. After hearing of the suggestion, the assembled three agreed to hire Smith Cochran and Hicks as their accountant for the Punkin Ridge Project. During the last regular meeting of the board, the same CPA firm was hired to the numbers on the Amma Left Hand project already in progress in Roane County.
“mith Cochran and Hicks will provide an audit and a bill analysis. She is going to see what the numbers really are. There was a vote for a rate increase today if needed. We are not going to do a gigantic rate increase. The motion said to proceed with Punkin and the rate increase IF it is needed.. We have to wait until the accounting work is done to see if there is a need for a rate increase. She [McDonald] seems to think no rate increase will be needed.”
Anybody scratching their heads yet? How could changing CPA’ make a difference between a rate increase or not? Postelwait, “eed doesn’ give as much information. He wouldn’ sign off on the Amma Left Hand project. We switched to Smith Cochran and Hicks because they do water projects and districts all the time. They are also cheaper. Teed’ numbers for the operation and maintenance for the district just don’ add up.”
So why was there a special meeting? Why was it held during the day and away from their usual meeting place, the CDC building on Main Street? Again from Ms Postelwait, “he couldn’ give us the loan for the Punkin project unless she met with us and went over the financial aspects and tried to get a more reasonable audit and better numbers in there so we don’ have to do a rate increase. She thinks we will NOT have to have a rate increase.”
Any rate increase would affect the entire district. The Amma/Left Hand project got underway November 15th in Roane County.
OK.. based on inaccurate operation and maintenance figures, the 20 year in the stall-mode Punkin Ridge project has to be re-looked at and a rate increase has to be considered. So, why the ahead of time vote for a Rule 42 increase? Postelwait, “he motion was made in case down the road you need a 50 cent rate increase before going ahead with Punkin. We won’ have to go back in and ask for the rate increase. She doesn’ want a rate increase because we have such high bills now, that it just wouldn’ be economical to do a rate increase.”
Four years back, funder Randy Plumb mentioned during a public meeting, if rates are too high and there was a chance the community couldn’ or wouldn’ pay them, his agency would not OK funding a water line extension venture in Clayberry. Is that a consideration for the Chair? “o, no, no….That’ not a concern. We want to keep them from going up anymore and still do the project. There is no rate increase for the Amma project… She just needs the rest of the analysis. She thinks we won’ need a rate increase… that $3 rate increase part was just a guess on her [McDonald] part.”
Of the 420 water providers in the state, Clay County has three water providers in the top 10, price wise. For an average of 4500 gallons Clay Roane customers currently pay $46.60; Queen Shoals PSD customers pay $47.98 and Clay County PSD folks pay a whopping $50.28 according to WV Public Service Commission figures from Spring 2004. Based on those same 4500 gallon per usage figures, the lowest priced water providers are: Mariana PSD $2; Hiawatha PSD in Mercer County $3; and Beryl Water Co. in Mineral County with $4.38. The highest water rates are paid by Coolfont Luxury Resort and Health Spa guests in Pocahontas County, $76 for 4500 gallons.
Let’ see now. The current accountant who low balled the operation and maintenance figures said no rate increase would be needed. The funder, RUS, looked at the same figures and said upwards of a $3 per month increase might be needed, and after adding 33 miles of pipeline in the Amma project alone, the Chair thinks no rate increase will be needed.
For once, we agree with Commissioner Jimmy Sams who once said during a public meeting, “y we’e done a fine job appointing board members!” AW
11/10/04: Wiles – Michael Wayne Ford, fraudulent registration (11/01/04), case dismissed pursuant to plea agreement with misdemeanor cases - possession of marijuana less 15 grams and DWR/DUIA 2nd offense.
11/16/04: Belt – Joseph S. Larch, escape (10/26/04), preliminary hearing waived to the Grand Jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County; Belt – Jarrod Willis Lanham, breaking and entering (warrant 10/27/04), arrested, ROB; Stephenson – Alvin Ray Hardway, warrant issued for burglary, arrested 11/17, ROB.
11/17/04: Belt – Dixie Lynn Helmic, possession with intent to manufacture (11/09/04), preliminary hearing: probable cause found – bound to Grand Jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County; Light – Jeremy Bruce Gill, warrants issued for forgery and uttering; Light – Ronald C. Keenan, warrants issued for forgery and uttering.
11/19/04: Elswick – Phillip Jerry Payne II, operating clandestine drug lab and possession with intent to manufacture marijuana, arrested, ROB.
11/10/04: Wiles – Cory A. Cottrell, failure to yield to Trooper when signaled, appeared, ROB.
11/12/04: Bailey – Harlon Mark Taylor, possession of marijuana less 15 gms, appeared, ROB, 11/17 defendant plea no contest, placed on 6 months unsupervised probation, assessed cost.
11/14/04: Wriston – William Lanham, speeding, DUI, and DWR/DUIA, arrested, ROB.
11/15/04: Sizemore – Samantha Cummings, domestic battery, arrested, ROB; Sizemore – Raymond L. Brown, violation of protective order, arrested, ROB.
11/16/04: Wiles – Chadwick Muck, obstructing an officer X 3, arrested, ROB 11/17.
11/17/04: Light – Ronald C. Keenan, warrants issued for registration violation, no POI, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI, and false info to police officer; Elswick – Joseph Richmond Nicholas, driving revoked for DUIA, appeared, defendant pled no contest, assessed fine and costs, sentenced to 6 months in jail to be served on home confinement.
11/18/04: Elswick – Phillip Jerry Payne II, possession of controlled substance X 2, arrested, ROB.
11/19/04: Elswick – Paula Bird, giving false info to police officer X 2 and obstructing an officer, arrested, ROB; Rental & Development Co. – Margaret L. Prime, warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 2.
11/23/04: Connie Brown – Bessie Braley, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; R.B. Legg, Jr. DDS – Richard E. Bolser, Jr., warrant issued for worthless check complaint.
11/15/04: R.B. Legg, Jr. DDS – Christopher Elswick, money due.
11/16/04: Walter Stutler – David W. Starcher, money due; Melissa Postelwait – David R. Price, money due; Clay County PSD – Jerry Cash, money due; Candance Murphy, money due; Lisa Butcher Smith, money due; and Terry Hubbard, money due.
11/18/04: Dewie Jett – Steve Slider, wrongful occupation.
11/19/04: Benjamin M. Fitzwater – Jodie and Jennifer Pierson, money due, subpoena; and Stephen Woodard, money due, subpoena; Gassaway Concrete Co., Inc. – John Woodrum, money due, subpoena.
Worthless Checks Notices Issued
11/12/04: Clay Farm Cooperative – Wilma Boggs (paid 11/22); R.B. Legg, Jr. DDS – Richard E. Bolser, Jr., misdemeanor file opened 11/23.
11/15/04: Pennington Auto Supply, Inc. – Matthew Butcher (paid 11/23).
11/16/04: Bank of Gassaway – Greg’ Tree Service, LLC X 2.
11/18/04: Clay Supermarket – Melanie Moore.
11/19/04: Lila Dulaney – Carolyn S. Nichols.
10/30/04: DNR – Lisa Dawn Duncan, illegal method of hunting.
11/02/04: State Police – Darcy Anna Nichols, MVI and seat belt violation.
11/03/04: State Police – Corey A. Cottrell, speeding, MVI, and fail to yield to Trooper when signaled; Harlon Mark Taylor, possession of marijuana less 15 grams; Sheriff’ Dept. – Samuel Levi Moore, registration violation and seat belt violation.
11/06/04: State Police – Josh J. Adkins, operator’ and underage consumption; Kelly M. Conrad, speeding; Allen Legg, MVI and no POI; Sheriff’ Dept. – Samuel Todd Murphy, registration violation and concealed dangerous weapon.
11/07/04: State Police – Andy W. Adkins, operator’ and no POI; Joseph R. Nicholas, seat belt violation and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Sheriff’ Dept. – Rita F. Smith, seat belt violation.
11/08/04: State Police – Camillien Cloutier, speeding; Donnie Allen Friend, speeding; Lila Jean Ramkey, speeding.
11/09/04: State Police – Dana L. Pringle, no POI and operator’.
11/10/04: State Police – Daniel Francis Koch, speeding; Julie Noel Langford, speeding; Pedro Jose Torres, speeding.
11/12/04: DNR – Dana J. Burdette, pass in no passing zone; State Police – James T. Cottrell, operator’, registration violation, and no POI.
11/14/04: State Police – Chester Edgar Boggs, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Samuel Todd Murphy, speeding, seat belt violation, registration violation and operator’; Carolyn F. Nicholas, seat belt violation.
11/15/04: State Police – Tressy Beth Moore, operator’, registration violation, and no POI.
11/17/04: State police – Steven J. Shephkosky, no POI and seat belt violation.
11/22/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Eric C. Marshall, speeding; Timothy S. McLeod, speeding.