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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
January 9, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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January 9, 1990

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Tuesday, January 9, 1990 i "Sound bites" -- I first heard of them on a shortwave broadcast from The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) in London. Then, a few days later, National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" did a short piece on them. What are sound bites (or is it bytes)? According to the BBC, sound bites are the recorded comments of persons interviewed by the electronic media and then these comments are woven into the broadcast news story. What is interesting about sound bites is their length. A Harvard College study, just completed, shows that the average length of an electronic news media sound bite today is nine seconds -- that's about nine or ten words. In 1968 the aver- age length of a sound bite was 42 seconds. The BBC commentator drew the conclusion from these statistics that viewers today have less information and less knowledge about more subjects than ever before. Whaduhyathink? Have you ever heard the word "silviculture"? Our Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in their December 26 news release, used the term. A Close substitute for "silviculture" is '1orestry" -- ad- mittedly more commonly understood. The DNR are the same ones who refer to the killing of deer and bear in West Virginia as "har- Vesting". For strip mining they are saying "resource extraction"! This is the same organization which said they couldn't let "little things" like flood plain elevations and cracks in safety devices stand in the way of granting permits to hazardous industry. "If we let little things like that influence us, we'd never grant a permit," one DNR em- ployee eloquently stated. Words are wonderful little things which can be carefully chosen and carefully used to fine-tune exactly what you wish to communi- cate. In this "computer age" the manipulation of words through "processing" is becoming more and more mechanical and less and less literate. For instance, if I should happen to misspell a word the computer can catch me up smartly. It will even "suggest" a correot spelling. Some of the suggestions are ludicrous. Ill make you a list sometime. To a computer there is no such thing as context. It just merrily hums along and doesn't worry about differences between their and there, here and hear, bee and be, see and sea, die and dye, for and four, grate and great, by and buy, way and weigh, turn and tern, meet and meat, no and know, bow and bough. Hear we are, busy as we can bee buy the see. It is grate to meat you and to no we have computers to help us along weigh. It's your tern to take a bough. --Chas. A. Goddard STAFF I Chas. A. Goddard, Editor I Dottic Brackenrich, Office Manager Troy Forren, Advertising Sales Tcrri Boone, Advertising Sales Debbie McClung, Ad Design Betty Morgan, Ad Design Jonathml Wright, Staff Writer Lou Bu=oughs, Typesetting l.ora Smith, Production 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/647-5724 Published weekly aJ~d distributed throughout the greater Grcenhrier Valley. Circulation, 21,948 If you would like to submit material for publication Articles submitted toThe Mountain Messenger should be typewritten and double spaced with ample margins in order to be considered for publication. Please include your name and a phone number where you may be reach- ed during business hours. The Mountain Messenger re- serves the right to edit any material and regrets that articles cannot be returned. Letters to the editor must include a full signature and address. If you would like a photograph returned, please provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Please observe the following deadlines: News Items: Thursday, 12 Noon Display Advertising: Thursday, 5 PM Classified Advertising: Friday, 9 AM SUBSCRIPTION RATES" In state, $14.00; Out-Of-State, $15.00 Students (9 mos.) $10.00 All at town halls, 'unless noted otherwise Alderson Second Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Hillsboro Second Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., Fire Dept. Lewlsburg Third Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. [Lewlsburg Planning Commission: First Thurs., 7:30 p.m.] Marllnton Oulnwood Ralnelle Renick Ronceverte Rupert Union White Sulphur Springs First Monday, 7:30 p.m. First Monday, 7 p.m. Second and fourth Mondays, 7 p.m. First Monday, 7 p.m., Mt. Hermon United Methodist Church First Tuesday, 7 p.m. Second Thursday, 7 p.m., First Wednesday, 7 p.m. Second Monday, 7:30 p.m. NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS --- 1990 My first thought on making a list of 1990 New Year Resolutions was not to bother, as we soon forget them or break them. Here in our Fairlea apartment January 1, 1990, I have my pen moving and my brain saying "Go ahead and make a list. You might keep at least one resolu- tion, especially if its one you like!" 1. Count my blessings, prayer- fully, as I awake each morning. Er- win Sharp, anewscaster, says each morning, "You have a billion of them!" More appreciation and greater understanding! 2. Blessings in the form of resolu- tions: a. I can still see with both eyes b. I can still write! c. I can get out of bed. d. I can walk. e. I can think. f. I can read and love it. g. I can eat but must cut out sugar and fats. h. I can take showers. i. I can comb and brush my hair. j. I can file my fingernails. 3. I must get into an organized routine. 4. I must continue tocompliment folk who say 'thank you" -- Mary Irvine --- Pauline Coffman. 5. I must try to con~ol my emo- tions. 6. Eliminate stress by organizing my time. 7. Keep eating cholesterol free foods, "for instance, sugar free foods and fats. 8. Save steps and time 9. Put God first -- number one. 10. Write thank you notes right By Roberta Patton Rod away. 11. Remember my most Christmas gift. May I share you folks? My oldest living sister, Hughart, has been attacked heimers' Disease. She is 88 old. I cannot do much to help called to wish her a mas. "What did you say?" tioned. I repeated, "Merry to you." "Who did you say you she asked. "Your sister said. Conversation: "Where are "My apartment," --"No, our ment over the store." This conversation continued for minutes ---"Merry Chris1 Nuna." "Oh," she said, "Merry mas to you. "This is the best gift I could get -- just my family is around me is gift!" "Thank you, Nuna," my lips, swallowing emotion~ wiping a tear. This is my too! Resolutions to be my health. To keep those know who have other illnesses in my Darnell -- Fairlea. Sam Bell wisburg. Oretha Craft -- These folks are among forget as quickly as they Prayers for those families suffering along with them, for nurses and doctors who the challenges of learning about diseases. Being understanding. Thanks again to Vara and Hatfield, Lewisburg and for ful folk, Mary Irvine and Coffman, Virginia Crawford of son, arld Mrs Bill Sibold of and so many more. j of West The continual beauty }s. st Christmas Poinsettia goes to ,indon|~ of you ! * . I I .Inl Dear Editor: "Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand: With their summits bathed in glory, Like Our Prince Immanuel's land!" We West Virginians love to sing of the natural beauties of our State. "Is it any won- der then, That my heart with rapture thrills, As I stand once more with loved ones On those West Virginia hills?" But should we, our children and our grandchildren, want to s=ng of West Virginia's future? Will our hills remain bathed in glory or will they be buried beneath mountains of trash, our owr7 and trash shipped into West Virginia from other states? Will our streams and groundwater be maintained at just their current mildly polluted levels or will rivers like the Greenbrier River be turned into industrial sewers polluted with carcinogenic and mutagenic com- pounds such as chromated copper arsenate? West Virgi~ians, w~e must awaken to the fact that our state is under attack by out-of-state compa- nies who want to rr~ake it a national dumping ground for vast quantities of trash, medical and hazardous wastes which they are not permitted to dispose of in their own states. Other compan,es, some owned and L oDerated by West Virginians, want tO be allowed to pollute our streams. :rivers and groundwater with chemi- dais so toxic that a teaspoon in 25 million gallons of water causes can- cer in human beings. Many of our own citizens have rushed to partici- pate in such schemes, no matter how damaging the consequences. for a chance to make a few dollars. The Department of Natural Re- sources (DNR) inept and uncon- scionable granting of an operating permit for a wood treatment plant on a recently flooded, poorly-drained site near an area where well water is the only source of drinking water has amply demonstrated that West Virginians cannot depend on their own state government to protect them. Neither the DNR Director nor his staff have any grasp of what they put at risk by routinely granting these permits. They have no envi- ronmental sense of values. There is an old West Virginia saying. "If we don't change our di- rection we may get where we are heading." The pollution of our groundwater, which over 60 per cent of us use for our only source of drinking water, would be an irrevers- ible calamity. Trading a few low-pay- ing jobs for perpetually contami- nated drinking water would be an extr~ety poor trade. We would be fools to allow this to happen. j'O the hills, Beautiful hills, How love those West Virginia hills." Yes, we West Virginians love to sing of the beauties of our state. But will we fight to defend them? In past wars West Virginians were first among all of the states to volunteer to defend Europe, Asia, and our own country. Will we now dedicate our lives and our resources to sav- ing those homes of which we sing?" "If o'er sea or land I roam Still I'll think of happy home, And the friends among the West Virginia hills." Many West Virgmians, like the Concerned Citizens of Alderson/ Glen Ray, have already been on the environmental battlefields: before public hearings, county commis- sions, city councils, appeals boards - and in the courts; They are spending their resources, fighting as best they can for a West Virginia you and I, our children and our grandchildren can continue to sing about. Won't you join us by sending a contribution to the* Concerned Citi- zens of Alderson/Glen Ray, or other local group, and by insisting that the next session of the state legislature enact a strong groundwater protec- tion bill that will force our state gov- ernment to protect us? Stephen P. Bailey Deborah E. Bailey Charleston Dear Editor: May I make some more remarks about renaming Foster Street, Ger- man Street? I want the good citizens of Greenbrier Valley, who carry Ger- man names, to stop laughing at my situation. Also, stop asking me who was responsible for it not being re- named. It wouldn't do you any good to know. So many people w~o ob- jected so strongly know nothing of our history, period. Now German street carried that name from 1782 until January 2, 1940 when a man of German de- scent appeared before the city council. His proposition to change carried without any objections at all. Pray, tell me what objections could there be to placing a sign right under the Foster Street sigh, stating --"Formerly German Street" 1782 to 1940 -- ? I don't want anyone getting lost between Foster Street and the Post Office. By the way, The Sons of the American Revolution agreed to changing the name at our last meet- ing. The Lewisburg Foundation ,s in favor of the change. The Historical Society and the Daughters of the American Revolution are the two mare hold outs. What is so ,ronic ,s that these last two named organiza- tions are made up of citizens who carry more German blood in their veins than any other group in the Valley. I want to apologize to all for fum- bling the ball on the one yard line at the first go round. Paul R. Lilly Dear Editor, Lewisburg Today a friend gave me a copy of The Battle of Lewisburg, published by the Lewisburg Visitor Center. The brochure is informative and well done but contains one fraudulent myth. The same myth is immortal- ized in Lewisburg on a commemora- tive plaque near the Confederate Cemetery. The myth that I refer to is the one that General George Cook captured the Apache Shaman of War, Gokhalayeh, better known to us as Geronimo. According to the book Watch For Me On the Mountain, by Forest Car- ter and corroborated by Nine Co- chise in his autobiography, Geron- imo willingly surrendered to the United States Cavalry commanded by General Cook in order to save the lives of the last remnant of the free Apache nation that he had hid- den deep in a valley of the Sierra Madre mountains. So keen were the governments of Mexico and the United States to take Geronimo's scalp that two massive armies were readying to enter the Sierra Madre from the north and the south with orders to leave no canyon un- searched or stone unturned until he was captured or murdered. Fearing the discovery of his hid- den village and the obliteration of his people, the Apache chief ar- ranged through the Indian scout, Tom Horn, to send a message to the General of his intent to surren- der. On September 4, 1886 Geron- imo walked calmly out of the foothills of the Sierra Madre -- unarmed and holding the hands of his young son and young daughter. By this date he had been made a widower three times by either the Mexican Army or the U.S. Cavalry and had lost seven of his nine children. Unlike the infamous General Sherman who advocated that "exter- mination is the only answer," Gen- eral Cook was an honorable soldier and a conscientious administrator of his jurisdiction. He dealt fairly and tried to end the corruption in the U.S. Government agencies that had turned Apache Reservations into concentration camps of starvation, disease and death. Despite his military experience, General Cook was no match for Geronimo in warfare. The Apaches had been fighting the Spanish for over three hundred years before the United States Cavalry blundered onto the scene. Geronimo was a superb leader and, among his people, a man of great spiritual strength and accomplishment. To the Apache he was a holy man. The claim that he was run-to-ground af- ter a savage battle, as military dis- patches of the time declared, is not only untrue and dishonorable, it is laughable. His surrender was one selfless act in a life devoted to the welfare, the sovereignty and preser- vation of his nation. The "capture" of Geronimo, '1he tiger of the West," made good yellow newspaper copy, advanced medi- ocre military careers, looked good in history books and whitewashed the sordid, brutal and heartbreaking truth of the history of the Apache and the "last warrior." Desmond O'Brien Dear Editor: Lewisburg How could Jonathan Wright do it? He apparently interviewed city of- ficials from Ronceverte, Rupert, White Sulphur, Alderson, Lewisburg, Union and Marlinton, but completely missed Renick and Rainelle. Admit- tedly, Rainelle is way out there in the west end, but golly, it isn't as far off the beaten path as Union or Alderson. Rainalle, after all, is an important historical and economic population center and is most cer- tainly a part of the Greenbrier Val- ley. And how about Renick? If one is to report on the Valley's municipali- ties then he should report on all of them. I am sure Mr Wright knows where Renick is. He spent a great part of the last couple of years there. Could it be that he worked in that community all that time and didn't know it was incorporated? He could have at least called Mayor Betty Yates and asked about the city's plans and accomplishments. It wouldn't even be a toll call from Le- wisburg. Since Jonathan didn't, I will take it upon myself to give (The) Messen- ger-readers a run-down on Renick. Sorry, I can't help him with Rainelle. The City of Falling Springs (Ren- ick) applied significant resoumes to maintaining and improving the aes- thetic quality of the town during 1989. Many miles of grass were kept trimmed, and encroaching vegetation cut back from public thor- oughfares. On-going efforts to ob- tain a street paving grant were re- newed, and the city building was moved to a new Io~ation downtown. Renovation of the old commercial district was completed with the re- moval of the last remaining empty store and the debris cleaned up. Clean up of the unauthorized refuse dump on Third Street was 80 per cent completed at the beginning of inclement weather and the Town expects to finish the job in the spring. The Town's snow removal equipment was repaired and refur- bished during the summer and Mr Donald Vandervort engaged as op- erator. All-in-all, it t~as not been a bad year for this river community and Ms Yates and the Town Council are to be commended for their efforts and community spirit. Bob Harvey Renick Dear Editor: We picked up a copy of the Mountain Messenger at the airport when we were there in October and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. We lived in Lewisburg many years ago and own some land on Spring Creek mountain. I have enclosed a check for a year's subscription and request you mail it as seth as' possible. We spend the summer at Cass and usually visit Lewisburg a few times. ~" We'll be watching for the Moun- tain Messenger weeky. Thank you. Mildred D. Wolfe Burkburnett, Texas Dear Editor: The Legislature should roll back part of the 1989 tax increases on food and gasoline, and substitute instead a tax on large landholders. Taxpayers on fixed incomes are re- ally mad that they have to bear the heavy burden of tax increases on necessities, while the big corporate landholders -- many from out-of- state -- get away with minimal tax payments on their huge holdings. Kanawha County Senator James Humphreys, who sponsored an ex- cess acreage tax in 1988, is inter- ested in this new proposal, as are Speaker Chambers and Mingo County Delegate James Reid and other members of both the House and Senate. Past efforts even to study the problem have been sty- mied by furious lobbying, but the atmosphere is far different in 1990 because the people are rising up to demand greater fairness in the way they are taxed. Ability to pay has been shoved into the background in the desperate efforts to balance the state's budget. The time has come to lift these onerous burdens from those least able to pay, and to help tong-term economic development at the same time. The corporations division collects a one-time fee of 5i per acre upon the incor any company owning over 1( acres. This is sort of like a licefl a very low rate and it doesn't to approach the fairness tax system should have. We ought tb realize that~most southern West Virginia where big railroad, coal, land companies own huge have sufferedthe sharpest population in recent years. tragic fact is that the best and est of West Virginia's young are leaving these southern where the big landholders contributing their fair share to schools, health clinics and public services. Since the increased ~asol is dedicated to the repair ways and bridges, there is son why an increased tax couldn't be devoted to the things. A lot of critics have i constitutional issues against posal, but I am advised by expert constitutional law, legislation can be drafted to come these objections. I also plan to forestall evasions of tax by lawyers who schemes to split up the big ers into parcels dummy corporations. The only way for this plan ceed is for the people of ginia to stand up and insist their government, and the demand it be run in the all the people. Ken Secretary ofi NOW YOU SEE IT' NOW YOU DON' Udun~ wni and wa~r~b Mountain Messen