NOVEMBER 15, 2001
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ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT LYNN SHERR TO SPEAK AT ACLU OF WV BILL OF RIGHTS DINNER
NEW DAY FOR CCEAA... MAYBE
DID YOU KNOW
KAY'S COOKING CORNOR
PHONE AS REMOTE CONTROLLED BUGGING DEVICE
MAYSEL MANOR MANAGEMENT COMPLAINTS AIRED
WATER METERS WRONG
ABOUT FACE AT TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
INVESTIGATIONS AND HIGH EMOTIONS AT CLAY ROANE PSD
ABC News Correspondent Lynn Sherr to Speak at ACLU of West Virginia Bill of Rights Dinner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 13, 2001
CHARLESTON, WV The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia is proud to announce that Lynn Sherr, Correspondent for ABC News' 20/20, will deliver the keynote address at its 2001 Bill of Rights Benefit Dinner to be held on December 1. The ACLU will be honoring former ACLU of West Virginia Executive Director Hilary Chiz, and Andy Waddell, the ACLU plaintiff in Waddell v. Clay County Commission that evening.
"In the post 9/11 political landscape in which the assault on civil liberties is only adding to our national tragedy, we are privileged to have Lynn Sherr, Hilary Chiz, and Andy Waddell remind us what one individual can do to realize the promise of the Bill of Rights," said Andrew Schneider, ACLU of West Virginia Executive Director.
Lynn Sherr's keynote address will be about the undiluted patriotism that inspires civil libertarians and the ACLU in todays climate of fighting terrorism. She will also be speaking about her newly released book America the Beautiful. A book signing will follow her speech.
Prior to her assignment at 20/20, Sherr was a national correspondent for ABC News and, before that, a general assignment correspondent since 1977. She has covered a wide range of stories, specializing in womens issues and social changes, and has done investigative reports for which she has won numerous awards.
During the 1992-93 season, Sherr received a Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood for her report on the continuing battle over Ireland's abortion amendment. She is also the recipient of a Pinnacle Award from the American Women in Radio and Television organization for "How Far Is Too Far?" her 20/20 segment on sexual harassment. Her alma mater, Wellesley College, honored her with its Alumnae Achievement Award for her distinguished career. In addition, she won an Emmy Award in 1980 for her coverage of the years election.
In addition to America the Beautiful, Sherr is the author of Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words, Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes and co-author of Susan B. Anthony Slept Here: A Guide to American Womens Landmarks and ten editions of The Womens Calendar. Advance tickets for this benefit are $60 and can be obtained by contacting the ACLU of West Virginia office at 304-345-9246. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and take place at the Holiday Inn Charleston House, 600 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston
A NEW DAY FOR CCEAA
NOTE: You wont believe this readers BUT.. it may be a new day for the Clay County Emergency Ambulance Authority. Get this, it almost seems like the gang finally realized immediate action is needed now or the service will perish. It seems that the back door sliding of past due bills under the table to make financials look better, may be over. It almost looks like the CCEAA now realizes that local dispatchers have to go. Only time will tell, but things look encouraging!!
Clay County Emergency Ambulance Authority met in regular (legal) session November 12. Present: Chair Bob Ore along with Larry Cole, Arlie Fulks, and Gene King. Member Fran King absent.
Under old business this listing: Supply Officer. Immediately Gene King stated that he thought they had all agreed to cut out this extra duty job and pay in an attempt to stay afloat. Ore reminded all that each director candidate interviewed agreed to take on extra duty like that of Supply Officer. New working supervisor Cookie Johnson is now the supply officer as well.
Ore, being a little humorous, mentioned that during their recent illegal secret meeting where they were discussing a fishing trip to Canada, they also discussed doing away with local dispatchers. Marie Haynes raised concerns over Laurel Nursing not being able to call in with non emergency transports if no local dispatcher is available in the future. NOTE: E-911 in Nicholas County does not dispatch for non emergency transports. Larry Cole commented that the last figures he saw indicated that the agency could save $18,000.00 per year by doing away with local dispatchers and using E-911 in Summersville. Cookie Johnson disputed that by saying volunteers can man the position and do so with no cost to the county. She did add, however, that volunteers will not work night time hours.
In support of keeping some kind of local dispatching service, Bev King,@ 911 will make you wait 45 minutes.... Sometimes they won=t answer..... Sometimes the radios don=t work..@
During the discussion, Cookie noted that there is a new notice on the wall stating that dispatchers may NOT sleep while the duty crew is out on runs.
CCEAA was ready to vote out local dispatching but stepped back one notch and decided: if all dispatchers are volunteers, local dispatching may continue. NOTE: No mention was made on the liability issue of using poorly trained and no trained high school students and CWEP workers for the dispatching job. Also not mentioned was the number of higher paid workers often seen doing the dispatching duties and doing so on overtime rates.
Gene King brought to light that the person in charge of supplying the group with regular financials at each meeting, Joretta Gray, was absent, and he wanted to see some dollar figures on how well or bad the month of November was going. King,@ We=ve been spending more than we take in!@ King went on to dispute what was said at the last meeting about the books being off by $6000.00 and off in favor of the CCEAA. Mr. King said he had checked with the County Treasurer, the Sheriff=s office, and yes, the books are off over $6000.00, but they are off , in the red, not in favor of the CCEAA. With discussion hovering on financials, Supervisor Johnson brought in hand written ledger sheets that she is maintaining that indicated that so far in the month of November, the Ambulance Service was holding it=s own.
Want to hear something refreshing? Member Arlie Fulks firmly stated that he was tired of A bills being pushed under the table@ to make financials look better at the end of each month!! Marie Haynes reminded all that some bills are so over due now that late penalties have been added. In what sounded like a mini coup against Joretta Gray continuing her spot as financial guru, Ore,@ My concern is over lack of info. Is Joretta Gray going to have us one [financial report] in the future? I gather not!@
Back on the issue of bills being slid under the rug for months at a time, Gene King,@ We thought we were caught up a while back, then Cunningham=s bill came up... We need to know about the bills..@ Ore, AWe need to get Fran to the meetings also.@ King was referring to back in July of this year and being told that the $100,000.00 loan had paid off all the old debt load.
As a way to cut costs further, Gene King advanced the idea that 6 telephone lines was too much for such a small operation.
Talk about eye opening, paramedic Mary Hanshaw asked: why was Laurel Nursing still calling locally for emergency transports instead of using the taxpayer paid for E-911 center. Hanshaw, A It happens continuously.... sooner or later the Laurel people need trained to use 911..@
Get it folks? Finally, solid solutions to cutting costs and it only took 6 and 2 years to get to this point!
And then one of those sticky little points rarely brought up in public. Gene King made mention that if night dispatchers are done away with Kings Wrecker would have to be compensated for towing ambulances free of charge. CCEAA member Fran King owns Kings Wrecker Co. in Clay.
On another subject, Jill Epstein from WV Credit Bureau gave a presentation on what her collection company will do for the CCCEA . After a big long presentation, Epstein=s presentation boiled down to : letters will be sent out to those owing for ambulance bills and if they refuse to pay up in a timely way, Epstein and crew will list the debtors as bad credit risks at the Credit Bureau. In return for her work, if any money is collected, WV Credit Bureau will skim off 30% of the proceeds.
Currently, nearly $125,000.00 is outstanding in past due invoices at the CCEAA. Epstein said her company cannot re-bill an insurance provider nor can they garnish wages or file suit against the debtor.
Under the heading of quick decisions: 1) the Ambulance Service will finally begin using three part carbon less work orders for any repairs done at Holcomb=s Garage. 2) They are still waiting on the $20,000.00 Budget Digest Grant to show up and Commissioner Jimmy Sams suggested that they use part of that money to replace the carpet at the office instead of asking the County Commission for more money. 3) On the subject of who is going to pay for last spring=s purchase of the new washing machine, County Commission or the CCEAA, Cookie Johnson felt the bill had not been paid yet by anybody! Four Big Otter firemen will volunteer to drive ambulances in an attempt to cut costs in that end of the county
And, and, and get this! Remember a long time back when Big Otter volunteers collected money to buy Adrop chains@ for the Big Otter ambulance? Did you know that the chains are laying over at Dana Holcomb=s garage and NOT installed on any vehicle? True true true! Seems the chains will not properly fit or work on a vehicle that strays off of nice smooth evenly paved roads.
Haven=t heard much about this in a while, but Abirthday pay@ is once again in the news at the Ambulance Service. Over two years ago that benefit, being paid extra for working on your birthday was taken away by the CCEAA members. Seems that order never quite made it on the books and now those that were not paid birthday pay over the last several months will have to be reimbursed for the time worked. Decision made this time around: Birthdays will be paid for until the Employee Manual gets reworded.
This ones a little more confusing but here goes. Ok was given for employees with lots of vacation time saved up to sell some of that time back. Reason: A little extra Christmas jingle.
And finally, in this always too brief report, as of meeting time November 8, the Clay County Ambulance Service is operating in the red so far this month, and traditionally, November is a very, very light month for receiving checks from the Federal Government. Way back up at the top was mentioned that this may be a new day for the CCEAA. After reading this meeting coverage does it sound like it to you? Believe it or not, things are better! Just think back a couple of years ago when everything was done in secret and the only question asked was,@ I wonder if the Communicator will find out about this?
???DID YOU KNOW???
May heaven grant that the principles of liberty and virtue, truth and justice, pervade the whole earth. Samuel Adams
Those with the desire will always beat those who only have ability.
Over the past five years, state high school graduates who go to college have increased from 47 to 55 percent.
The most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in West Virginia is prostate cancer.
Of the more than thirty chemicals federal authorities say have the potential for mass destruction in large containers, 28 are manufactured in West Virginia.
West Virginia has 950 registered sex offenders.
Tattoos featuring red, white, and blue colors and American flags are becoming the rage for West Virginians.
Almost $300,000 in tax rebate checks are waiting to be claimed by taxpayers at the IRS office.
About 149 million children in the world are malnourished.
Researchers say brain structures that are activated by food or sex are also turned on by music.
Since the September 11 incident, applications for concealed weapons permits have increased considerably .
A broad survey of high school students found nearly one in 10 girls and one in 20 boys reported being raped or physically abused on dates.
As many as two thirds of senior citizens who live by themselves have poor nutritional habits.
About 76,000 West Virginias died from heart disease from 1988 to 1998 according to the 2000 County Health Profiles.
More than 250,000 children, teens, and adults in the United States have survived cancer.
About 42 percent of the 220,000 children in the state passed the Presidential Physical Fitness test.
About a third of the jobs in the U.S. are related to cars in some way.
Motorists spend an average of 36 hours a year sitting in traffic.
A study has found over the counter pain relievers like Advil and Motrin appear to protect against Alzheimers.
All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. Adlai Stevenson
Kays Cooking Corner
QUICK & EASY DIABETIC RECIPES
Good for You! Sure, you can use any type of sausage in this recipe, including a sweet Italian type or even a pork sausage, but whenever you make substitutions like that, remember to keep an eye on how they change a dishs nutritional analysis. Enjoy...
Roasted Sausage n Peppers
Serving Size: 1/6 recipe, Total Servings: 6
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 pounds hot Italian turkey sausage links
3 medium bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green), cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium-sized red onions, each cut into 6 wedges
2 large zucchini, cut into l-inch pieces
1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a 9 x 13 baking dish combine the oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Add the sausage links, bell peppers, onions, and zucchini; toss to coat completely.
Exchanges: 2 Medium-Fat Meat...3 Vegetable...1Fat...
- Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the vegetables and sausages baste with the pan juices. Roast for 15 to 20 more minutes, or until the sausages are cooked through.
Calories...279...Calories from Fat...145...Total Fat...16 g
Saturated Fat...5 g...Cholesterol...89 mg...Sodium...894 mg.. Carbohydrate...13 g...Dietary Fiber...3 g...Sugars...8 g
Didnt think you could indulge in cheesecake? Well, get your fork ready because this ones for you! And if you think its going to have less flavor since theres no crust...uh uh! Only fewer carbo.
Serving Size: 1 square, Total Servings: 12
2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, divided
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2) In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar; beat well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice until well combined.
3) Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Do not turn off the oven.
4) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice; mix well. Spread over the top of the cheesecake and bake for 10 minutes.
5) Let the cheesecake cool, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Exchanges: 1 Carbohydrate...2 1/2 Fat Calories...169...Calories from Fat...98...Total Fat...11 g
Saturated Fat...7 g...Cholesterol...86 mg...Sodium...188 mg Carbohydrate...12 g...Dietary Fiber...0 g....sugars...11 g
Developing good eating habits and changing your lifestyle may take a little time. Be patient, and dont leave it all behind when you eat out! Continue to think moderation and you should be fine. Hope you enjoyed this weeks recipes.. Until later.... Kay
School Board Meeting - New Band Director Hired
November 5, 2001 the Clay County Board of Education met for their regular meeting at the administrative office building in Clay. All Board members were present - R.B. Legg, Jr., Gene King, Fran King, Scott Legg, and David Pierson, Jr.
R.B. Legg offered prayer and called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. After approving the agenda and previous meeting minutes without discussion, gifted teacher Nancy Updegrave provided a power point presentation on the October 18 field trip her Clay Middle School (CMS)career exploration class took to WSAZ TV, in Charleston. WSAZ Producer Jeff Slater allowed the students to produce their own news show. Updegrave played the tape the students had made, WCMS News, and their program was excellent.
Following the presentation, Board moved on to approve payment of current bills and Business Manager Loretta Gray provided the monthly financial report. Gray said they=d received a sizable tax collection in October, probably the last good one until March - $194,000 from regular taxes and $65-66, 000 from the excess levy. Also, the first Title I payment was received. The largest expenditure for the month was for three new replacement buses.
Employment was approved for the following: Chuck Manackie as the new band director at Clay County High School (CCHS) and elementary band instructor. Assistant Superintendent Larry Gillespie said Manackie has 20 plus years of experience, and wants to work closer to Charleston where his wife works for the State Dept. of Education. Some of the Board expressed concerns that Manackie may stay only a year and then retire. Gillespie said he couldn=t make promises, but he didn=t think that would be the case; Amy Conner Siders as substitute teacher pending successful background check; Pamela Ratliff and Barbara Williams as substitute secretaries. Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger explained that they=d never had sub secretaries before, but wanted to as teachers aides are used to fill secretary absences, and other substitutes didn=t like that; Glenwood Nichols was rehired as a substitute bus driver. Linkinogger said Nichols had just moved back, and they=d already spent about $300 to certify him
Contract bus driver Jeremy Holcomb resigned, but will work until the contract is awarded to someone else. An ad for bids has been sent to the newspaper. Linkinogger said Holcomb said he may bid on the contract again.
An overnight trip to Marshall University was approved for the CCHS Drama/Theater class to attend the WV Theater Conference competition. Date wasn=t announced. Board will provide $650 financial support.
Election officials for the January 19, 2002 special excess levy election were approved. Names were recommended by the two executive committees, and the Board also chooses representatives. Linkinogger will work as an election official. He said he checked with County Clerk Judy Moore, and was told he could do that.
A policy was approved concerning the billing and collection for student lunches. Linkinogger said that since they allow students to charge their lunches they must have a procedure in writing on how they go about collecting. Apparently the policy inferred that students with overdue bills would have to pay cash for their lunch. Scott Legg was concerned that kids might not be allowed to eat. Larry Legg, Director of Student Services, explained that the biggest part of the students qualified for free or reduced lunches, and if they could be identified, they could be signed up for the program (which reimburses the schools). Linkinogger said , AWe let them eat. I=m not refusing any kid to eat. We have to have a policy or kids will have to carry cash all the time.@
A hearing to determine the status of a CMS student was conducted in executive session at the request of the child=s mother. The Board concurred with Linkinogger and Assistant CMS Principal Phil Dobbins recommendation to place the child in alternative school for the remainder of the semester. If he accomplishes three tasks specified he can then go on to CCHS, if not, he is to remain in alternative school.
All motions passed unanimously.
Moving on to discussion topics, Board agreed to change their next regular meeting date to Tuesday, November 27, due to the Thanksgiving holiday and the fact that 5 of the teachers from Lizemore will be in a class on Monday of that week. The next board meeting will be at Lizemore Elementary, and the Board will meet with the Local School Improvement Council (LSIC).
Mr. Linkinogger announced that Lizemore Elementary had the best staff attendance in September and October. H.E. White Elementary had the best student attendance during those months.
Linkinogger also said an article had been sent to the Free Press concerning the confusion over an article placed by Vista in that newspaper.
Last, Linkinogger presented the Board with a letter he=d drafted to Mr. Habjam (Valley Gas Company) concerning the gas outage at the school on Monday, October 29. He said they couldn=t get the furnace lit in the old part of the building, no pressure at all, while it ran fine in the new part. Linkinogger said it could be the equipment. Habjam replaced the meter and regulator. Linkinogger asked, AMail or table the letter?@ (Possibly, the letter requested payment of the $10,000 that Habjam agreed to in the event that he did not provide sufficient gas to heat the school as Fran King said, AHe proposed the agreement, not us.@) Not sure of the cause of the problem, Pierson suggested that Habjam be asked to place a pressure gauge on his side of the meter, then they would know for sure the cause of the lack of pressure. Scott Legg agreed saying, ATell him (Habjam) that=s the only thing (placing the gauge) keeping him from paying the $10,000.@ Board generally agreed to wait and see what develops during the next cold morning.
Meeting adjourned at 7:13 p.m.
WV Infrastructure & Jobs Development Council
The following are excerpts from last year=s 2000 Annual Report from the WV Infrastructure Council on public sewer systems within the state. A lot to digest readers but the fine print is very revealing. Note that County Commissions do own and operate sewer plants, regular yearly customer price increases are planned into most projects; and, price increases are planned to help defray the cost of building new sewer plants.
This is the second inventory and assessment report issued by the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council. The various agencies comprising the Sewer Technical Review Committee, chaired by the Division of Environmental Protection, have worked together to formulate this report. Field inspections of chosen facilities have been performed and findings translated into estimated dollars needs. Several data bases exist within the agencies containing a variety of information about the systems. Data can be obtained from the National Permit Compliance System, Bureau for Public Health, Division of Environmental Protection, and the Public Service Commission.
WEST VIRGINIA'S PUBLIC SEWER SYSTEMS
Within the State of West Virginia, there are currently 1,191 sewage systems which include 205 publicly owned treatment plants, 60 publicly owned sewage collection systems and 926 privately owned sewage treatment systems. A complete printout of the facilities containing the permitted name, address, receiving stream, ownership type, permitted flow, West Virginia/ National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WV/ NPDES) permit number, location, latitude and longitude of the discharge, contact person, and treatment units for the publicly owned treatment works is available.
An examination of available data indicates approximately 50% of the state's population is served by some type of central sewer system. Exhibit 1 shows a summary of residents by county served by a central sewer system. The 1990 Census of Housing for West Virginia published by the U.S. Department of Commerce reported a total of 427,930 out of 781,295 housing units in the state are connected to a public sewer system. More than 137,000 housing units have no treatment and discharge directly to streams and rivers. Entities identified in this report as having the responsibility for sewage service within each county are municipalities, public service districts (PSDs), privately owned utilities, and the county commissions. County commissions are included because they create the PSDs and establish whether the PSD will have the authority for water, sewer, or both and are responsible for those areas that are not within the boundaries of an established PSD.
The current estimate of the cost to meet the State's sewage infrastructure needs is approximately $ 1.8 billion..
OBSTACLES, ISSUES AND RELATED PROBLEMS
The factors affecting the ability to construct sewer facilities to serve the remaining population have not changed much since the 1996 report. They include rough terrain, low population densities, state and federal regulations, individual attitudes about the necessity and cost of sewage treatment and what constitutes proper treatment. Attitudes play a major role in the development of wastewater
disposal systems. Decisions pertaining to proper treatment and effluent levels are necessary to protect the State's waters and affect the cost and feasibility of building treatment systems. Judicial decisions also impact the development of sewer systems.
Grant sources still in existence today include USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS), Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), US Housing and Urban Development Small Cities Block Grant (SCBG) program and the US Economic Development Administration (EDA). Low interest loan dollars continue to be available through the Division of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS)
program. The CWSRF requires a 20% State match each year to capture federal funds at a 5 to 1 ratio.
While the principal burden of financing a project is usually placed at the state and federal levels of government, the local governments need to be more pro-active in defining financial needs and solutions for their customers.
Suggestions include the following:
Customers need to be advised that a $5.00 to $15.00 average monthly utility bill is unrealistic. Environmental and health concerns require constant system maintenance and improvements that often necessitate annual or biannual sewer bill increases. When a large rate increase is necessary to implement a project, the community should consider a series of rate increases spread out over the design and construction period. This could also generate additional revenue to help defray the cost of the
Early rate implementation on planned projects would also reduce the user rates over the long term by reducing the amount of money borrow. The financing period should never exceed the expected life of the system.
In determining the feasibility of a project, the total cost per customer must be considered and compared to household incomes to establish affordability.
Phones as remote controlled bugging devices.
Editors Note: The following article was retrieved from the world wide web and seems well documented.
There exist two methods for using a non-modified telephone as a remote controlled bugging device.
- One is called frequency flooding, and has beenknown for a long time. This analogue technique requires physical access to the targets telephone line, and can thus not be used in a grand scale. It is probably also best suited for older telephones, which don't contain electronic.
- The other method has its first reference from 1986 but was noticed by a broader audience in January 1998 when it was included in a report to the European parliament. It affects only modern ISDN-phones. This digital method is more technically advanced and it is difficult to find references that prove if it even exists.
A report, dated, 6 January 1998, titled; "An Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control" has been sent to the European parliament 'Civil Liberties and Interior Committee.' It comes from the European parliaments department for 'Scientific and Technological Option Assessment (STOA).
One chapter in the report warns about how an ISDN phone can be turned into a bugging device. But the claim is not backed up by any reference to the CCITT - recommendations. This chapter in the report can therefore not be verified. Other researchers can use my notes on how far I got into tracking the references of this claim.
"4.4 National & International Communications Interceptions Networks Modern communications systems are virtually transparent to the advanced interceptions equipment which can be used to listen in. Some systems even lend themselves to a dual role as a national interceptions network. For example the message switching system used on digital exchanges like System X in the UK supports an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) protocol. This allows digital devices, e.g. fax, to share the system with existing lines. The ISDN subset is defined in their documents as "Signaling CCITT1-series interface for ISDN access. What is not widely known is that built in to the international CCITT protocol is the ability to take phones 'off hook' and listen to the conversations occurring near the phone, without the user being aware that it is happening. (SGR Newsletter, No. 4,1993) This effectively means that a national dial up telephone tapping capacity is built into these systems from the start. (System X has been exported to Russia and China) Similarly, the digital technology required to pinpoint mobile phone users for incoming phone calls, means that all mobile phone users in a country, when activated, are mini-tracking devices, giving their owners whereabouts at any time and stored in the company's computer for up to two years. Coupled with System X technology, this is a custom built mobile track, tail and tap system par excellence. (Sunday telegraph, 2.2.97)"
Tracking the origin on reference on telephone bugging (SGR newsletter 4, 1993) The source reference "SGR Newsletter, No. 4, 1993" is below with approval from the author, Alasdair Phillips. It was first published in New Scientists 3 July 1993. New Scientists has a large (over 100 000 copies) sales, and is stocked by most public libraries in UK and at many European university libraries. It also gets sold right around the world.
The abbreviation, SGR, stands for Scientists for Global Responsibility, http://www.gn.apc.org/sgr/ However, their list of SGR Publications does not include this newsletter. I received the article after emailing to attention; Kate Maloney, Administrator, at mailto:%firstname.lastname@example.org. The organization can also be contacted at: Unit 3, Down House, The Business Village, Broomhill Road, LONDON SW18 4JQ. Tel.: + 44 181-871 5175.
--- Start of article in SGR Newsletter, No. 4, September 1993, page 7. ---
Over recent months there have been various bits in New Scientists about telephones giving out odd tinkles. I wrote them a letter, which they printed on 3rd July. It is reproduced here for SGR readers:
Dear New Scientist Letter Editor,
A little tinkling in the night Just to check your line's are alright, A little tinkle in the day just to listen to what you say...
I have read with interest your comments in recent months on the telephone tinkling phenomenon. I have some further information.
The UK telephone network now supports the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) protocol. This allows digital devices such (eg FAX) to share the system with existing phones. The ISDN sub-set that BT implements is defined in their document BTNR 191, "signaling CCITT I-series interface for ISDN access".
On modern tone-dialing phones, the "ringing" is controlled by the local controller chip rather than a high voltage ringing signal from the exchange. The network indicates the arrival of a call to your phone by sending a SETUP message. This is the start of an electronic conversation between your phone, fax or modem with the exchange, and is how BT can check your line without the phone ringing (hopefully!). The Subscriber Line Interface Circuit, which holds this conversation on your behalf, powers the analogue telephone and controls the ringing, the on/off hook supervision, and call barring and diversion facilities.
Built into the international CCITT protocol is the ability to take your phone 'off hook' and listen to conversations occurring near the phone without the user being aware this is happening. BT states that this is not implemented in the UK system, but then they also deny that our transatlantic calls are monitored by the US security services at Meanwith Hill. It is difficult to find the truth in areas considered to be of National Security.
In the meantime if you want to keep your secrets safe - remember that someone may be listening to your every move! This includes office PABX phones and is even a publicized feature in some.
Delk - Douglas Lee Bottenfield: 09/05/01 setting fire to personal property, continued to 11/26/01.
Bailey - Paul A. Holcomb: 09/27/01 poss./delivery of controlled substance, continued to 11/26/01.
Foreman - Jimmy Koch: 10/16/01 unlawful/malicious wounding, continued to 11/26/01.
11-05-01: Guthrie - Amanda Lee Hunter, aiding and abetting, waived to Circuit Court; Guthrie - Jason LaDuke, aiding and abetting, waived to Circuit Court.
11-08-01: Delk - Randy Owen Weese, DUI-3rd, fleeing from vehicle while DUI, arrested.
11-09-01: Hosey - Bobby R. Hanshaw, accessory after the fact, arrested, ROB.
10-29-01: Belt - John Simpson II, fail to stop vehicle for school bus, summons sent.
10-30-01: Cunningham Motors - Joshua M. Phillips, warrant for WC; Brandy W. Nichols, warrant for WC x 2; Tammy K. Swindler, warrant for WC.; Guthrie - Michael Joseph Neal, possession less than 15 gms. marijuana, pled guilty, placed on 6 mos. probation; Belt - Adrian R. Thompson, failure to keep right, ROB.
11-01-01: Delk - Leonard Ray Morris, Jr., DUI, arrested, ROB.
11-04-01: Guthrie - Robert Howard Ferrebee, domestic assault, arrested, ROB, trial set.
11-08-01: Delk - Randy Owen Weese, DWR/DUIA-2nd, arrested.
11-09-01: IGA - Eugenia M. Cook, warrant for WC; Gino=s - Pam Lytle, warrant for WC; Sarah Rogers, warrant for WC; Bailey - Rickey M. Barker, DUI, no seat belt, arrested, ROB.
10-30-01: BB&T - Billy J. Duffield, money due.
11-01-01: Clay County PSD - Jason Grose, money due; Angie Taylor, money due; Adam Arnold, money due.
11-05-01: St. Francis Hospital - Rosalie Ramsey and Donald Ramsey, PS.
10-29-01; Darlene Morris - Carolyn Peck, $38.00 (paid 11/01/01).
10-30-01: Clay Farm Cooperative - Eugenia M. Cook, $74.09.
10-31-01: Bank of Gassaway - Alicia Schindler, $950.00.
11-05-01: House=s Market - Mitchell P. Adkins, $30.00.
11-06-01: Ramona=s Pizzaria - Deana Hudnall, $20.38 & $7.42.
11-07-01: Clay County High School - Pam Dalzell, $21.00; Cindy May, $35.00; Tina Murdock, $9.00 (paid 11/13); Teresa L. Taylor, $45.00; Teresa Gill, $14.60; Donna Marie Smith, $7.00; Dora E. Layne, $29.00; Jason Triplett, $25.00 (paid 11/09).
10-27-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Scott A. Kiger, speeding; Jeremy G. McKenzie, loud muffler and seat belt violation.
10-28-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Erica Conrad, speeding.
10-30-01: State Police - Robert O. Oquinn, speeding and no POI.
10-31-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Hallie Hill, failure to stop/yeild.
11-01-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Leonard Ray Morris, DUI.
11-02-01: State Police - James R. Schoonover, seat belt violation, no POI, and registration violations.
11-03-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Melissa A. Drake, no POI.
11-05-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Melissa Peck, no POI; State Police - Don Tinney Jr., defective equipment and registration violations.
11-06-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - James E. Brown, MVI and illegal tires.
*There has been lots of interest over last week=s listing of county school system salaries in this newspaper. Please note, as the article reported, the salaries listed were the total compensation for the calendar year 2000. Some of the employees have extra duty contracts in addition to their Aday@ work.
*Retired Ambulance Director Jackie Pierson commented on November 12 that the $20,000.00 Budget Digest Grant from Delegate Bill Stemple was NOT intended to be used to purchase a new ambulance for the service but rather the grant was to provide for permanent equipment and improvements within the Ambulance Service. This paper reported that the purpose of the money was to purchase a new ambulance and later the change was made to buy stuff like computer repairs, uniforms, etc. We stand by our original statement.
*Around Halloween, much of the student body at Valley Fork Elementary School was out with a sudden illness for half of that week. Some suggested food poisoning while others advanced the idea of a virus. County Sanitarian Teresa Morton did a bunch of sampling and such during the investigation. Although Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger said on TV early last week the problem was a virus, as of November 9, lab results have not come back. According to Ms Morton, the state lab is swamped with extra work during the anthrax scares which have recently rocked the country. Morton and Health Department Director Karen Dawson were unavailable as of November 14 for an update on the test results.
MAYSEL MANOR MANAGEMENT COMPLANTS AIRED
Sometimes the meek have a hard time being heard by the masses and government leaders. Such may be the case with continuing concerns and allegations of mismanagement at Clay County=s low rent , federally subsidized housing complex, Maysel Manor/Anderson Heights. Scanner listeners can vouch for the endless number of police responses headed for the nearly new two story structure. Another indicator of problems within the system may be the number of vacancies and the high turn over of residents within the complex.
On November 5 a meeting was called to air complaints from tenants, family of tenants, care givers, and anyone else that wanted to attend. The meeting was called for 10:00am by the private company that manages the accommodations, Encore Management from Charleston, WV. According to resident Manager Linda Hanshaw, Encore Supervisor Wanda Vickers was to conduct the meeting.
According to the WV Secretary of State=s office web site, Encore Management Corporation was founded in November 1995 as a for profit corporation at 1591 Washington Street East in Charleston. The incorporators were Douglas E. Pauley, Alice E. Pauley, and Jennie W Curry. The current address for Encore is 1511 Washington Street E; Charleston , WV 25311 and can be reached at 343-3535
Before the November 5 meeting, residents and supporters of residents exchanged different viewpoints over controversial, uneven policies, favoritism of some residents, visitation by the public, changes in lease agreements, increase in rent and safety issues at Maysel Manor. Additional issues over Freedom of Speech at the facility have also been raised by others. Prior to the meeting, and maybe a reason for the meeting, a petition was circulated which garnered 24 signatures from 10 residents, 3 ex-residents, and many family members as well as care givers and friends of residents there. There are 33 apartments at Maysel Manor.
Please note that this newspaper was not allowed to attend the November 5 meeting. Resident Manager Linda Hanshaw said that she had no problem with the media coming to the meeting but since Supervisor Wanda Vickers had called the meeting, Vickers needed to give an Ok for attendance. After many attempts to contact Vickers, Hanshaw stated that Vickers would call this newspaper before starting the 10:oo am meeting and say whether the public could actually attend as the meeting flyer indicated. Vickers chose NOT to do that.
Maybe there was reason to keep the public away. According to care giver Rhonda Dennis, the meeting and Wanda Vickers, got pretty hot. Dennis, A She called the law on me . She told me to leave. She told another worker to leave, to get off the hill, that we had no business there..... I had the paper in my hand that gave me an open invitation. She said that Wanda Vickers was going over to our bosses and keep us out of here.. The law man said he couldn=t do nothing about us being up here....@ Ms Dennis was referring to Deputy Robert Belt being called to remove some of those attending the meeting. Dennis, AHe was in the community room of the building. On the paper [invitation] it said anybody with a complaint could speak.....She told me to SHUT MY MOUTH!!!. It was Wanda Vickers.@
According to others that attended the meeting, much of the criticism was directed at Resident Manager Linda Hanshaw. According to Ms Dennis, Wanda Vickers was very supportive of Hanshaw=s performance and, A She [Ms Vickers] said that Linda Hanshaw did her job right. It was our fault what was going on here. I asked her why she asked me to leave. The answer was >because you parked your car up at the top.@ Dennis was referring to another example of alleged favoritism by management where some visitors were allowed to park close to the building while others were forced to park vehicles in a lower, farther away parking lot (away from the apartments). Later during the meeting and again, according to Dennis, Vickers loudly ended the meeting with ,= I=m not going to talk to this bunch!!!=...She said she couldn=t talk to a bunch like us!! She ordered everyone to go where she wanted them to go.@
Immediately after the contentious meeting, resident Linda Stephenson was served an eviction notice. Rhonda Dennis served as a care giver for Stephenson.
One of the most serious issues of concern raised by the group of dissidents was the lack of fire extinguishers at the facility. The WV Fire Marshall=s office has been contacted on that point. Ms Dennis sighted a recent incident where an elderly man caught the floor in his apartment on fire and how the fire alarms aren=t proper. Ms Dennis, A No one responded. Their system is not hooked up to the fire department....Nothing happened. The floor has a big ole burned spot in it.@
Representatives from Rural Development visited the center at 2:00 pm, November 5.
Later in the day, on November 5, a reporter for this newspaper had the following telephone conversation with Wanda Vickers.
ASounds like you have a hornets nest going on up there?@
Vickers, ANo, not really, nothing that I can=t handle.@
Reporter,@ What is going....@
Vickers, A Nothing. I don=t want anything put in the newspaper. OK? AND I DON=T HAVE TIME FOR ANY MEETINGS. OK?@
Reporter, A Would there be a time that I could call back that would be more convenient?@
Vickers, A I doubt it because I have to go back to Charleston. OK.@ Immediately, Vickers hung up the phone.
Allegations by Ms Dennis and others against Linda Hanshaw, Wanda Vickers and Encore Management for unfair policy and unsafe conditions at Maysel Manor are still up in the air. This newspaper can comment in a first hand way on the rude actions, less than professional attitude, and arrogance of Wanda Vickers as well as that of her employer, Encore Management.
Of course, anybody can have a bad day and maybe November 5 was such for Ms Vickers. A certified letter was forwarded to Encore owner, Doug E Pauley, informing him of the less than professional behavior of his underling and a request was made for an interview in an attempt to get both sides of the issue at Maysel Manor on the table. As of November 14, 4:00 pm., this paper has received no response from Encore Management.
The now proven demeanor and viewpoint of Encore Management surely indicates that the Vickers demand of no newspaper coverage will surely be in vain.
WATER METERS WRONG
Are you ready readers for another one of those, >I can=t believe it=s true@ stories?
Many water customers in the Procious Clay /Roane PSD service areas were shocked when they read their monthly bills received for the October period. In the Procious, Clay/Roane PSD service area many residential customers reported bills of hundreds of dollars for water. Two customers had bills for $1000.00 each. The bills were mailed October 29, 2001.
How could this be? So many huge bills for so many people and all at the same time? Officially, from Clay Roane PSD water Clerk Trina Neff , AWe don=t know... we don=t know if they were miss read or what...@ Chief water operator Jennifer Traub felt that a clearer picture would be available after the next billing cycle. On many occasions, some of the most informative parts of a local PSD meeting come during Amutters@. Mutterings are those almost quiet half sentences spoken in near code like language that are intended for the inner circle of the organization. During the mutterings of the last Clay Roane PSD meeting, there seems to be a finger pointing at now laid off meter reader and maintenance man Ric Burdette.
Here=s the background. Burdette read water meters for Procious and Clay Roane PSDs ( before the merger of the two groups) for several years. Mr. Burdette=s replacement is Dale Deems. New to the job, Deems along with Jennifer Traub, read the meters in October. Here=s an interesting part, it has been reported that many of the meters were covered over with ground covering and other matting indicating that the meters had not been read for months. A shovel had to be used to unearth some of the meters while a metal detector was employed to find others.
How much money was the PSD shorted after maybe years of Aestimated meter readings? Again, Ms Neff,@ I wouldn=t even have an idea and we don=t know how long this has been spread out over. We don=t know if they were misread or what.@ When asked if they think Deems correctly read the meters and in the past, the meters had been misread, Ms Neff responded, ARight.@
So far, about 50 adjustments have been made for the customers that have called in with complaints. An adjustment is the term for substantially reducing a bill after a water leak or other loss. On this matter, adjustments were made to reflect what the customer paid for the October 2000 water bill.
Neff realized that many of the bills were outrageous before mailing and attached a note to each questionable bill asking the customers to phone the office for assistance. Ms Neff,@ We had a couple of them that were a $1000.00 [bill]..The reason that I or Jennifer didn=t think that customers should pay for it is because we don=t know how many years that went on. I don=t want to say anything bad about Ric or anything,... to us, it looks like the meters have just been estimated.. We just have to take a loss on it. That was water that was pumped who knows how long ago.@
Ric Burdette worked for the PSD for over 6 years.
Ms Neff felt that the loss of water and money would amount to thousands and thousands of gallons of water not charged for by the PSD. So far there is no investigation into the matter and the PSD Board of Directors is aware of the situation.
Will things be more accurate in the future? Neff, AEvery one of them [meters] has been read now and we have the correct readings. I don=t think it would have been in anyway fair to make them pay for that. How can you break that down and tell them this much was used for this and this was used for that month.@
This past spring, Procious PSD received two rate increases. At the time the PSD Board could not figure out why they were losing money and water each month. As a result of that increase, base water rates went from $22.92 to $27.87 for the first 3000 gallons of water used. Additionally, Clay Roane PSD received a 39% rate increase to cover monthly shortfalls in revenue. The WV Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the increases after doing a thorough in depth cost analysis on each public agency. It now appears the thorough, on site analysis may not have been so thorough after all. The PSC did identify major water losses in each PSD and told Clay Roane PSD to spend $38,000.00 for new meters which would offer more accurate readings.
| On November 14, at 4:00 pm, Mr. Burdette said he had no comment on the allegations against his work and to date, had never heard a word about the subject from any board member.
I read the tidbits section of the Communicator, the mention of aquaculture for Widen. I was very disappointed to learn that aquaculture is not feasible for Widen. I had 2 aquaculture specialists from WVU come down and visit the site with me. Here is what they say: There is enough water for aquaculture for part of the year. In other words, during the wettest part of the year which yields high flows the water is sufficient. However, any aquaculture system has to be based on the low flow. The low flow times of the year apparently does not yield enough water. The amount of water from the outlet varies during the year. The last time I was up there it measured 763 gallons per minute. We have also measured it at around 240 gallons per minute, which apparently is not enough for an aquaculture business.
I asked if the water source could be combined with another source, such as Buffalo Creek, but the creek is not a desirable source. The bacteria and introduction of disease risk would be too high.
None of us have given up. There are other experts to question and other opinions to seek. If nothing else, we could possibly create a series of ponds for pay-fishing, or just as a feature of the community to enjoy. Possibilities abound even yet, it is just a matter of examining options and weighing them out and see what develops as we pursue the project. All, of course, with the permission of the land owner.
| Aquaculture as a business may not be feasible in Widen, but that water can and should be put to use for the residents.
Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) held both a Board of Directors and an Economic Development Committee meeting on November 6 at their Main Street , Clay office. The following are the highlights.
During the 4 pm Eco/Dev meeting, Manfred Kuentzer, owner of Filcon Manufacturing, addressed the group and asked for his CAEZ loan payments to be postponed until February 2002. According to Kuentzer, he has had his ups and downs this year; has some cash flow problems; the building at Ovapa is now going up; he has lost his contracts for manufacturing filters because his company was not ISO 9000 certified; and he has secured additional funding from a local bank which now totals $300,000.00.
Of the $300,000.00, $100,000.00 has now been spent. He also commented that he has spent $30,000.00 to get the ISO 9000 certification. CAEZ has loaned Filcon $140,000.00.
Kuentzer=s request is for the CAEZ to forgive loan payments until February 2002. The Committee was told Filcon is three payments behind. Member Red Derring felt that interest should be charged Filcon in lieu of full payments. Derring, A I think we should get the interest... We=re running short of funds, too..@ After much discussion on the new arrangements and after being asked if he could afford to pay the interest each month, Kuentzer,@ I probably could.@ Remember that, readers, when someone tells you that Filcon promised to pay the interest, his response was ,@ I probably could.@. When asked if he could pay the interest now on the months of delinquent payments, his response was, no, but that he could Ain around three weeks or so.@
Mr. Kuetnzer said he now has three full time employees and 4 part time workers.
The Committee agreed to recommend to the full Board that Filcon Manufacturing be allowed the arrangement as long as he makes the interest payments each month with full loan payments resuming February 2002.
CAEZ Director Jerry Sizemore told the committee that their revolving loan fund has just $26,229.15 in it. With that being said, Sizemore introduced Thomas J. Lennox with BTC Management Systems. BTC is a new start up company which markets vehicle fleet tracking computer programs . BTC needs $100,000.00 for cash flow to get them over the hump.@ After stating that the CAEZ has just $26,000 or so available for loans, Sizemore recommended that the committee loan BTC x dollars after review of the firm. Lennox commented that 75% of the needs will go toward salaries; the company has leased office space in Sutton but doesn=t have a phone nor staff there. As for loan security, Lennox said they would give a promissory note from the first customer which has already been secured. Member John Gibson, AWhat if you don=t get the $50,000.00 from CAEZ?@ Lennox,@ We go scramble some more.@ Elizabeth Sampson, having just heard that the CAEZ has just $26,000.00, AWhere did you get the $50,000.00?@ Gibson,@ Maybe something I know about.@ Hmmm.... Readers, you might want to cut that one out and hang it on the frig for sure. Sure sounds like something is in the works behind the scenes.
After 75 minutes, the Eco/Dev committee adjourned
Don=t stop reading , now for the full Bored, I mean Board meeting.
With a quorum in place, but still no Jimmy Sams or Lynn O=Dell to be seen, the CAEZ Board of Directors began their meeting at 6 pm. Usually the reading of minutes and treasurers report is a bim bam, done deal, sort of thing. Not so this time. Elizabeth Sampson insisted that the minutes reflect the full financial arrangements made during that Special meeting where the CAEZ loaned Global Contact $2 million and hocked the entire Mt Hope Industrial Site to float the papers. Not over yet, member Larry White voted no on the acceptance of the minutes because the public was not given at least 48 hours notice before the meeting. White,@ I feel it was too short a notice.@ Minutes and treasurers report finally Okd.
Much time was spent trying to keep the CAEZ doors open financially. Discussion centered around cutting costs like copier rentals and maintenance contracts.
As with all Eco/Dev committee recommendations, the full board has to vote them up or down. Much discussion was held on the Filcon loan recommendation. During that discussion and after much digging, it was revealed that Filcon was not three months behind in loan payments but rather, payments were due for August, September, October, and November as well. According to Mr. Sizemore, loan payments are $1400.00 per month with interest being $426.00 of that amount. Darlene Morris,@ We have been awful lenient with this man...@ Peter Selich,@ We have not provided him a building...@ Red,@ We ought to have had something for him to move into...@ Sampson,@ We didn=t have any property..@ Selich, A He is talking about a major manufacturing firm..@ Sizemore,@ It is not in our best interest to foreclose on him.@ John Gibson suggested that the CAEZ provide Mr. Kuentzer with a strict time line for payments and interest amounts to help guide him. Darlene Morris,@ He=s just going to keep on going on..@
During this meeting an update was given on Global Contact Services over in Fayette County. According to CAEZ Chair (and Oak Hill Mayor) Michael Martin: Pray Construction is starting construction on the building; the footers are in; the blocks are going up; the plumbing is in; and the building will be completed by February 15, 2002. The CAEZ floated the $2.5 million dollar loan for the project with the monthly payments being around $25,000.00. Mention was made that during the construction period and before Global starts making payments to the CAEZ, CAEZ has to cover the payments.
Near the end of the meeting, Director Sizemore commented on the recently completed Round Three funding for Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities similar to the CAEZ. Sizemore said he was astounded by the cost of preparing the Round Three Grant and felt that even after paying $8000.00 for the grant preparation, there were still serious problems with the application. Translation: It don=t look like CAEZ will receive additional dollars from the Federal Government this time around. Sizemore, A I don=t feel like we got our money=s worth...@ Winner of the new Federal dollars will be notified by December 30 of this year.
ABOUT FACE!! @ TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
For a reporter, different meetings lend themselves to different reporting techniques. Over the last six years, many of the Ambulance Authority meetings have been out right hilarious and out of control making those meetings easy to write about. Recently the coverage of the power struggle between the finances in the County Prosecutor=s office and the County Commission turned into a humorous piece not because anything was funny but because things were so tense and clouded with threats of lawsuits and other legal mumbo jumbo.
Ditto for the Clay Development Corporation meetings. So serious with such strong implications for those in need, written coverage has had to turn to humor just to keep from crying over such a secret abysmal group of dealings under the name of social services.
This is going to take a while readers so tell the kids to go away and take the phone off the hook as well. This one, the meeting of Clay Town Council, held November 8, has major ramifications for the county as well as for those customers served by this county=s water supply over in Roane County.
Around the table on November 8th were acting Mayor Betty Murphy, Council persons Arthur Jarrett, Dave Derby, Helen Morris, Sally Legg and Wanda Chambers.
Number One: Council voted unanimously on the second reading of the big time super duper sewer rate increase ordinance . Earlier in the day, a little advertised public hearing was held to gather public comment on the soon to be law rate increase which many in the community feel will drive even more folks out of the county=s only municipality and reduce the business base to boot. No one attended the public hearing, not one person.
Number 2: On the agenda was Jimmy Duffield. It was anticipated that Duffield was coming to speak out in support of his daughter , Tammy, who recently resigned from water clerk duties after reports of missing water account dollars surfaced during the last Council meeting. With no Duffield present, no mention was made of the missing money, or if bonders will cover the loss, or will the water clerk position be filled any time soon, nor was there any discussion on the effect on Town finances.
Number 3: Mayor Murphy told Council that the Regional Intergovernmental Council (RIC) had asked them to re-vote a motion made in March 1997 that made Chapman Technical the engineering firm for the proposed water plant. Re-vote? Yep, it turns out that there is no record of Town Council authorizing Chapman Technical to build the water plant. Although discussion made it sound like the minutes from that 1997 meeting had been lost, that was not the case, folks. The minutes indicated that no vote was EVER taken on the subject! RIC needed the paperwork. Mayor Murphy said she was not in favor of agreeing to Chapman being the builder since the Town was no longer involved in the construction project.
NOTE: A regional PSD has been formed to build and operate the regional plant.
The split within Council showed during the vote NOT to hire Chapman Technical. Dave Derby asked Council to reconsider the RIC request and A to look at the consequences@ of voting no. Legg, A It has no affect on us..@ Wanda Chambers, A We have no right to hire them..@. Derby again, A When you hire and then fire .... I have my doubts about it..@ Legg and Chambers were referring to the Regional PSD now in charge of the regional water plant project and the Town has little to do with it.
Number 4: Here=s a biggy folks! There has been a consensus that the town of Clay would supply water to Clay Roane PSD until the new water plant is built. Currently Clay Roane buys water from the Procious water plant. During past meetings, concerns have been raised over folks living in Roane County getting water service before those that have been waiting for years in this county get a drip of new water service. That=s the background.
Now for what happened November 8. Mayor Murphy asked Council to vote on a new deal between Council and Clay Roane PSD. Murphy, @Here=s what I think we should do...... A. Murphy said that Clay Roane is currently paying for salaries, benefits, computers, supplies, etc., to Procious PSD and the town should receive similar compensation for providing water to Clay Roane.
Murphy=s plan calls for: Clay Roane to furnish one operator, pay salaries, taxes, benefits; Clay Roane to pay the same water rate to the town that they are currently paying Procious for water service; Clay Roane to buy a new 70 gallon per minute water pump for the Maysel booster station; Clay Roane to be responsible for all maintenance of the pump and lines serving Clay Roane.
Wow, talk about a wrench in a gear!!! Ms Murphy said that she had already talked to Clay Roane PSD Boardster Gary Whaling who indicated to her this was no big problem since his PSD already does that for Procious. Wrong!!! NOTE: Be sure to read Clay Roane coverage elsewhere in this edition of the paper
The vote was unanimous in favor of the Murphy Plan. All sitting around the table felt that the town should come out a little ahead on the WV Public Service Commission inspired plans for this county to supply water to Roane County in front of local needs. Council also agreed to limit the amount of water sold monthly to Clay Roane PSD.
OK, take a break... We=ll wait... Are you back? Here we go with more:
Number 5: Council person Arthur Jarrett said he had spoken to an attorney about all the problems with the town=s three year old sewer plant. According to Jarrett, the advice was to bring lawsuit against Chapman Technical, engineers and builders of the plant, instead of some whimpy little complaint to the WV PSC. Murphy,@ We have a sewer plant that we can=t do anything with...@ Sally Legg,@ I think it is definitely needed.@ No vote was taken to sue Chapman Technical but the consensus: It will be done shortly.
Number 6: In yet another change , Council voted yet another resolution that could change the complexion and smell for that matter of water service for years to come. Here=s the background. Back in May of this year and under the guidance of then Mayor, Glen Nichols, Council voted to throw away a perfectly good water plant; allow another group, the Regional PSD, to build and operate a new water plant; and to keep the Town=s old decaying water lines only.
The fight and vote back then was bitter with Mayor Nichols breaking the tie vote to proceed with the plan. On November 8, Town Council voted to RESCIND that vote and throw it OUT!. Null and Void!!
And now for the new deal.
Murphy came up with this idea: If the town is being forced out of the profitable water treating business, then the town should not be stuck with operating the debt ridden, high cost, sewer plant!! That=s right, Murphy is saying: We=ll get out of the water business but the new Regional PSD MUST take the sewer plant business in the deal as well. Mayor Betty ,@ They can take it all or leave it..... They can use sewers all over the county.... The town is getting in bad shape......they can move it [sewer lines] all over the county with the water lines. Don=t leave us just the bad lines.@ Wanda Chambers,@ Sounds good to me@ and later,@ That would solve a lot of headaches..@
Here it is folks, Arthur Jarrett,@ The sewer plant put us in the hole..@ Hear that? Jarrett has changed sides since the earlier vote to get out of the water business in March of this year!!!. It=s a whole new ball game. That leaves only Helen Morris and Dave Derby supportive of giving away a perfectly good water plant and getting nothing in return! Murphy continued,@ We have bargaining now , later we=ll be stuck.... They can make a go of it, they have the means, we can=t...@
And now the rift. Helen and Dave worked hard to get the Murphy motion off the table. To get it stalled for a later time. Dave Derby,@ I think we need to table this and think about it.@ Jarrett,@ That sewer plant is dead!@ Legg,@ Greg [Belcher] stood down there and lied like a dog... lied like a dog. You want me to say it again, Andy?@ Chambers, chiming in,@ Greg Belcher and all of them.@
The vote: 3 in favor with Derby and Morris voting Nay. The new deal? If the new Regional Water Plant is to happen, the Regional PSD folks will have to get into the sewer business as well!!!!!!!
Think about it readers.... the WV Public Service Commission endorsed and approved the town=s sewage plant, so they have to publicly say the plant is wonderful. County Commissioner Tim Butcher was mayor of the town when the sewer plant was being approved, which means Butcher has to say the plant is a great thing. Chapman Technical which engineered and over saw construction of the sewer plant has to publicly say that the plant is the greatest thing since canned soup. Not one big cheese can publicly say what many are saying behind the scenes which is,@ No way are we having anything do to with that worthless, debt ridden sewage plant!!!!!! A
Of course the fight ain=t over yet. See number 7.
Number 7: Knowing full well they are out manned and on the run, Derby and Morris formed up to force the issue of replacing acting Mayor Betty Murphy with someone more in line with what some around the county want! Derby,@ What=s the story with getting a mayor?@ Morris,@ Everybody is asking me... what do I tell them???@ Quickly sensing the insurrection, Murphy,@ Tell them I=m taking care of everything!!! I started it and I=m not finished.@ With Ms Morris on one side and fighting Murphy supporters from all sides, Morris, A I am NOT going to argue with you... Do you want me to have Paige call you Wanda???@ Things got hot quickly. Both Derby and Morris called for the item to be on the agenda for the next meeting. Morris, A I thought you were elected Recorder!!@ Betty,@ It=s saving you $500.00 /month!!@ Morris, A I think Mr. Nichols did a fine job!@ Sally Legg questioned if anyone could do a good job with the existing mess.
Folks, it was juicy to say the least. The long standing rift among the sides was in full body armor. To finish off the eye opening time, Dave Derby asked about the town >s attorney and the need for one. Legg, AWe had a lawyer...@ Morris,@ And all we got was bills!@
Get this readers, all this, a complete change around for the future in water and sewer service and ALL DONE in less than 40 minutes
Is it over? Not a chance. Watch for the WV PSC to come out swinging in full battle dress and with some other plan in their back pockets!! For the folks over at the PSC in Charleston... did Mr. Spark Plug=s name come up during the heated debate? Well, let=s just say, don=t be expecting any Christmas Cards anytime soon.
Stay tuned !!
IVESTIGATIONS & HIGH EMOTIONS @ CLAY ROANE PSD
Days of old and Procious PSD are long gone. The new and improved, merged Clay Roane PSD is up and running, albeit rocky to say the least. Present for the November 8 board meeting: Chair T.G. Cruickshank, along with Garrett Samples, Roy Ellis, Lefty Summers and Gary Whaling. Packed into the teeny tiny office spot within the Procious water plant were six in the peanut gallery.
New officers for the new PSD are... drum roll please T.G. Cruickshank, Chair, and employee Trina Neff as Secretary/Treasurer replacing Gary Whaling.
Now on with the show!
Mention was made that Dave Foster from the WV Public Service Commission suggested that the new PSD NOT meet at the Newton office owned by the PSD nor the Procious Water Plant but rather the meeting should be held at another location so more locals could attend the meetings. TG suggested the Lion=s Club building while Trina added the Nutrition Site as a possibility. Trina will do the leg work and report back.
Perk your ears up Procious folks, this one has been a long time coming. Dave Foster is also looking into the Pumpkin Ridge area and why water service was never provided there since money was allocated for the project years ago. Get this readers, that ole Foster even asked about what happened to all the money for the water lines.
NOTE: Dave Foster, if you are reading this, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!! Questions like that can get you hung in Clayberry!
Discussion centered around water line dollars being diverted years ago to Paxton Fork, the Nichols property, and water lines and fire hydrants out Don Samples way.
Now for the hot button issue of the night, the hiring of a maintenance person for the PSD. Regular readers remember that Phillip Whaling was hired for the position during a special meeting of the PSD six weeks ago. That meeting was later deemed illegal and Whaling could not start to work for the PSD until he was legally hired. After hearing that he had the job and before the special meeting was thrown out, Phillip quit his old job. Another candidate, Raymond Samples also felt he had been hired and he, too, quit his job of 11 years and readied himself for the new position. To add icing to the cake, locals went ballistic when they found out Phillip was the son of boardster Gary Whaling.
With hired, then un-hired, Phillip Whaling in attendance, T.G. Crucikshank opened the discussion with ,@ Who wants the floor?@ No one spoke up. It was quiet. Again TG tried to get things open, A I got a lot of negative feedback... the PSC looked down at nepotism, hiring relatives... we had other applicants...@ Someone said that Raymond Samples was no longer interested in the job. As for Raymond, someone mentioned that Raymond Samples was a third cousin to Boardster Garrett Samples and that, too, may be considered nepotism. Twice someone mentioned the name of a third candidate, a Travis Mullins. Still, no one appeared to want to talk, there was tension in the air. TG suggested hiring the Mullins fellow since they were sure he wasn=t related to a board member. Still stalling.... finally Roy Ellis suggested that Phillip be allowed to speak up.
And boy did he ever. Phillip said that was well trained in the military for the position and that according to Jim Weimer at the WV PSC there was no conflict of interest if the father, Gary Whaling, abstained from voting on the hire. Here=s one readers, Phillip said,@ Weimer told me, >He advised you all not to hire me because he didn=t want his name in the paper!!!@ Clerk Trina Neff commented that she had spoken to both Weimer and Jim Boggess who both advised not to hire the son of a board member for the job. Phillip, A Daddy abstained from voting. I don=t understand this!! Weimer is an expert at covering his rear end!!@
Emotions were high during the vote. Travis Mullins was hired with an Aye vote from TG, Garrett, and Lefty. Gary sat quietly near the corner. Phillip wasn=t! With a voice loud and cracking with emotion , Phillip,@ I=ve been SCREWED!! Why DID YOU HIRE ME!!!.... I LIVE JUST TWO MILES AWAY!!!!.... I AM A SINGLE PARENT WITH A TWO YEAR OLD!!!.... YOU ARE TAKING FOOD OUT OF MY KIDS HOUSE!!!!!!!!!@ Phillip Whaling left the building.
Having sat quietly through out the discussion, Gary Whaling spoke up,@ I apologize to the Board. Every parent wants the best for their children.@ With his voice also cracking with emotion, Gary Whaling continued,@ I knew it was wrong... I had to try.@ With that, it was over. The first big issue before the new and improved Clay Roane PSD has been painfully settled.
Here comes the next learning experience!
Near the end of the meeting came first word of discrepancies in the meter readings of various customers within the system. Gary Whaling called the discrepancy, A a cursory read, he didn=t read them!@ Gary Whaling was referring to now laid off meter reader Ric Burdette. Whaling, A We owe people... one person we owe her 74000 gallons.@ More details on this alarming breach of public trust can be found on the front page of this edition of the Communicator.
Garret Samples asked why one bill, his, had a late fee added to it the day it came out.
Some things never change. Gary Whaling told fellow Boardsters that they had a money situation and the bank had called him. THE PSD WAS OVERDRAWN LAST WEEK $900.00. Whaling went on to say that he took more of the loan money to cover the bank overdraft. NOTE: That >loan money= is the money set aside to purchase new water meters so the PSD can have more readings and fewer leaks too.
Now 80 minutes into the meeting, here is one last little morsel for your mind to chew on. Now we just caught a tiny piece of this one, but here we go. According to Gary Whaling, Jim Weimer from the WV PSC suggested that Phillip Whaling be hired a little later when the newest, biggest, Regional PSD is operating! Gary, AWhat=s the difference?@
For once, this reporter agrees with Mr. Whaling.