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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
February 13, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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February 13, 1990

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Tuesday, February 13, 1990 O q Depending upon which table you use, Greenbrier County has 11 per cent unemployment or 14.3 per cent unemployment; Monroe has either 5.9 per cent or 7.8 per cent; Pocahontas 7.1 per cent or 9.4 per cent. Or, curiously, it may not be any of the above! These figures are supplied by the West Virginia Division of Employment Security. This agency publishes a tightly-printed five-page report every two months. If you look at one table, "for Economic Analysis", you are given one set of figures. If you look at another table, this one "for Economic Assistance", you get a completely different set of statistics! Whoever said "figures don't lie" didn't know anything about the poppy- cock issuing on a bimonthly basis from the West Virginia Division of Employ- ment Security. I'm sure there is someone at the Charleston offices who would willingly try to explain to me exactly what they mean by having different sets of figures for different purposes. Whoever that someone might be, they could use a state car to drive up to Greenbrier County to explain in person, or they could use the telephone (have you noticed how terrifically expensive in-state calls are these days?), or they could sit down at one of the many sophisti- cated computers and spend several hours and many hardly-existent state dollars in order to try to make confusion out of chaos. I really don't want an explanation, all I want is for them to say what they mean and mean what they sayl Do you think that is asking too much of a government employee? Let's take a closer look at the "statisticS". In one column of figures the government says there are 14,480 persons in the civilian labor force in Greenbrier County, or 14,510 --if you use the "revised November 1989" numbers. Turn the page and they tell you tl~ere are 15,822, or 15,901 employed persons here! Take your pick. Unemployment figures fair no better. Look at one total and they say there are either 1,590 or 1,120 persons on this list, You guessed it, turn the page and they say there are either 2,264 or 1,923 persons out of work. That makes for either 11 per cent or 14.3 per cent -- or somewhere in that vicinity -- unemployed in Greenbrier County, I guess it might be alright to be 470 persons off in your count of unemployed persons --- for those of us who are employed. But try and tell the 470 that they don't counN Come to think of it, I have a sneaky suspicion that those 470 already know it. The figures for Monroe and Pocahontas counties don't look any better. Monroe has anywhere between 4,780 and 5,176 employed; somewhere be- tween 170 and 300 unemployed. Pocahontas has maybe 4,980 (or is it 4,410?) employed and something like 220 or, perhaps 385, unemployed! Skip on to page nine now. This is the page with the "West Virginia Labor Force Statistics, By Labor Market Area. Approved By The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics For Revenue Sharing and Grant Application Current Popu- lation Survey Adjusted to Bureau of Labor Statistics Procedures December 1989 figures" (phew!) According to this page the Ronceverte --- White Sulphur Springs (Greenbrier and Monroe counties) has a whopping 12.7 per cent (or is it 10.5 per cent?) unemployment figure. They say there are 20,953 (or is it 21,077?) in the civilian labor force in that area. They go on to say 18,288 (or maybe 18,854) are employed and 2,665 (or is it 2,223?) are unemployed. Of course when the 1990 Census is completed, all these figures will be subject to drastic change. What's really sad is the 1990 Census figures will be used until the year 2000. Why is it the state can get away with using a different answer to a math problem than its citizens can? 2 + 2 = 4? I think so, unless I want to adjust my answer to the "1988 benchmark" or use it for "economic analysis", or maybe I want to come up with an answer which will be beneficial to me for "economic assistance". What's the real answer? - --Chas. A. Goddard I LOOKS GOOD IN THE MOUNTAIN MESSENGER I I I Dear Editor: My inno- cent people gEcross- fire, I don't you ~.:be one of them." When innocent people get ".caught in the c~ssfire= we must all ~ok at the bullet,~the gun that fired it, Who paid for the boots, uniform, radio, poncho, flashlight, backpack, bedroll and cartridge belt (humani- tarLan" aid which is still supplied to the Contras by the U. S. congress)? Who paid for the amino, for the Ouns and bombs used in Et Salva- dor? In all these cases the suppliers of these deadly tools are you and L It is our tax money that purchased and delivered them. Some of our Congressional Rep- prom- ised to rights El Salvador and Guatemala and the U. S. funded Nicaraguan Contras However, our representatives assur- ances are still unrealized. Have our representatives assurances are still unrealized Have our representa- fives compromised and thus given their consent to the killing that is a result of these policies? There is widespread disapproval of the current U. S. policies in Cen- tral America. At a demonstration in S~n Francisco, I witnessed an ex- tremely diverse group fo people ~ing arrested. These people acted their commitment and disap- pmval to U. S. hard the en- t~'y of a van which was shuttling workers into the federal building. ili Physically this woman sat herself L~ down in front of this large, tinted windowed van. Her mind seemed to be in another place and time -- she i l was one of the Chinese students at Tiananmen. She was apart of the anti-Nazi resistance movement. She was one of the many Eastern Euro- peans demanding freedom and re- form of oppressive governments. Meek, yet steadfast, she refused to give her consent to the murder and suppression of other peoples. Inaction is a clear form of con- sent to current U. S. Administration's policies. Find out what is actually happening. Rely on first hand sources, not a reiteration of state department press releases which are reported as if they are facts. The state department and the Bush ad- ministration cannot be impartial. They are the ones who are funding and carrying out these policies. It is you who must stop people from getting caught in the crossfire. U. S. (~itizens have been direct vic- tims of our own policies. Just re- cently the U. S. funded Contras killed Maureen Courtney, a sister of St. Agnes from Wisconsin. Hun- dreds of thousands of Central Americans are the direct victims. However we are all certainly the co- murderers by purchasing and deliv- ering the guns and bullets which kill. I don't want to get caught in the crossfire -- don't you buy the bullet. Peace through peaceful action, Jeff Kessler Lindside P.S. I am a West Virginia resident who will spend the next year volun- teering with Witness for Peace in Nicaragua. Witness for Peace is an independent religious group. I will in a rural I~rt of Nicaragua documenting all human rights abuses including contra attacks, should they continue. I will also help lead delegations of U S. Citizens visiting Nicaragua. For more infor- mation write W.V. Witness for Peace, Rt. 1 Box 235, Lindside, W. Vs. 24951 or call (304) 772-3580. The Mountain Messenger 122 North Court Street Lewlsburg, West Va. 24 901 Phone (304) 645-5724 Published Every Tuesday Circulation: 22,595 Staff Charles A. Goddard, EdiIor Dotty Brackenrich, Ofc. Mgr. Troy Forren, Sales Terri Boone, Sales Deborah McClung, Ad Design Betty Morgan, Ad Design Jonathan Wright, Staff Writer Lou Burroughs, Typesetting Brenda Gherman, Production Subscription Rates In State: $14 per year Out-of-State: $15 Seniors: Deduct $1 from rates Students (9 mos.): $ i0 By Jonathan Wright I remember when cassette tape recorders were latest thing in mod- ern technology. They've been around for a long time now and have continued to be an important part of our daily lives. It's interesting, however, to think back to the time when they still had a novelty about them. when people played around with them in more original ways-- when people like me recorded con- versations in the old college dormi- tory. Those times of sitting around the room with a bunch of friends are for- ever etched in my memory, and I'tl treasure them until the day I die. They were days in which our minds were seemingly strained to the limit with learning. We therefore relished those minutes and hours when we could forsake the books and term papers temporarily and escape Into conversations which could be both profound and nonsensical. I am forever grateful I recorded a small segment of those conversa- tions onto cassette tapes. My dormi- tory friends soon got used to my microphone. For some reason my room frequently drew quite a num- ber of them. Perhaps it was the fact my door was often open, it was pleasantly decorated, and my bed Dear Editor: "Yes, there is a Williamsburg, West Virginia". A slogan created by the Williamsburg Junior Womans Club. Williamsburg is a small farming community in the heart of Green- brier County. Within the boundaries of this little town live some of the most hard working, proud, kind hearted, patriotic people, in the country. We are a town of volun- teers. Volunteers made America what it is today. We have a Volun- teer Fire Department and Rescue squad, a health clinic, a Junior Womans Club, a Ruritan Club, Farm Womens Club, Little League Team, Williamsburg Community Action Group, Williamsburg Historica Soci- ety, numerous church groups, Music Boosters, Athletic Boosters and PTO. Many of us belong to all of the above. All of this is shared by the communities of Trout, Sunlight, Friars Hill, Cornstalk and Clinton- ville, they are a part of Williamsburg. Sore's call us small. Some say our school is to small to remain here, they want to move our children into the 21st Century, to enhance their education. Never mind the fact our school ranks second in county- wide testing of ninth grades. Never mind we have no drug problem in our school. Never mind there is no animosity among the students. Never mind everyone has equal chance to participate in all activities offered in the school. Never mind we all work together as one Large family to make this one of the best schools in the county. Bigger is not better. Since 1978 there have been over 95 state and county speech awards m our school. The choir and band have both recewed excellent and superior ratings in the festivals and parades they have participated in for the last ten years. The winner of the was always made (not all rooms in Chapman Hall were so neat!). Regardless of what drew my friends into my room, I often seized the opportunity to record our talk sessions. We talked about every- thing from life in west Texas to slip- shod study habits to methods of "catching women." Comments were so candid and spontaneous that they almost appear to have been read from a script. Fifteen years later I can get one of those tapes out and almost feel as if I've been transported back to Bethany, Oklahoma, Chapman Hall, Room 105 in the early and mid- 70's. The voices are as clear as ever. I am continually amazed at what such simple devices as a cas- sette tape and recorder can do to merge the past into the present. I'm a nopelessiy nostalgic per- son. I don't regret that, for I am for- tunate to have a multitude of pleas- ant memories which continually en- rich my life as I think on them from time to time. I'm glad the cassette tape re- corder has been around for a good part of my life. There's nothing quite like the stimulation one gets from lis- tening to vigorous, unstymied, friendly conversations---especially among family and close friends. countywide essay "Read your way to the Governor's Office" was from here last year. Just to name a few. We have new uniforms fop our ball team, band uniforms, everyone in band has an instrument to play. We have new stage curtains in our gym, our parking lot is paved, we have a ball field, tennis courts, and playground equ,pment. We have a TV, VCR and computer equipment. The teachers provide their own com'- puters. We pay for our band, choir and basketball trips, we supply the schools' general fund. We do this, not the County Board of Education and that is a fact. Consolidationis not the answer for us. Splitting our town and school into two separate ways is wrong. A school with 1100 is not going to im- prove anything. Sure a new school in Fairlea will be great for Lewis- burg. But how about the rest of us? Williamsburg, Renick, White Sutphur, Afderson and Ronceverte. We will have to drive many miles to be part of our children's educational lives. Many of us will not be able to. This is America. What happened to "We The People...." Where are our rights in this decision? Why should six or seven people decide on our lives? If you are against con- solidation let your voices be heard. This is the least we can do for those we love and live our lives for.., our ch ildren. Caroline Haynes Williamsburg Dear Editor: As we Americans go about our busy lives everyday, we sometimes never give much thought to the rights we take for granted. Like the right to live where we want and the right to a good education. I chose to live in Williamsburg to raise my three children, ahd there- fore I chose Williamsburg School as By Roberta Patton Abraham Lincoln When I think of February and its special days, I think especially of Abraham Lincoln, America's six- teenth President. I chose him be- cause he definitely was a freedom lover until death. He definitely had a big heart for the freedom of human beings created by God. When I think of Abraham Lincoln I can see him in my mind's eye, as a young boy, reading the Bible by firelight. I can see him walking back to a country store carrying a penny to give it back to the storekeeper who gave him a penny too much in change. "Honest Abe" became his nickname. t can hear him say "All I am I owe to my darling mother!" Abraham Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks of West Virginia. It would be an honor to his memory for West Virginia to put a memorial where she lived in Kanawha County I believe. In my office I have a special pic- ture of him. I also have a black top hat similar to Abraham Lincoln's top hat, in addition to these mementos, I have a copy with this address deliv- ered at the dedication of the ceme- tery at Gettysburg, November 19, 1863. As we were traveling through Kentucky once upon a time, we were fortunate to tour signs listed on our AAA thrilled to stop in the coin National Historical is a stately stone the spot where Lincoln near Hodgenville. Inside tt is the Little Log Cabin in coin was born. Some of you history climb those steps (looked! 100 of them) adorning building. For instance: Droop Mountain; Witt Ronceverte (thinking Creek, West Virginia); a teacher of history at East High School in ompson of Lynchburg, (daughter of the late gie Nickell, of Nickell's Fleshman sisters, Jean Maxwelton, Hope Aliff and Annie Lawrence of and you, you, you -- Paul Lilly of Greenbrier County's leadif ans~ Haskell Shumate, County Historian; Eloise Pickaway. My flowers to you the tulip/iris tops frost on them. By Carol Hall What's in a name? A recent trip to Pittsburgh turned out to be a real eye-opener for me. I needed to get a copy of my birth certificate and decided the quickest way was to make the trip to the State Office building in Pittsburgh. When we got there (my son Seen accompanied me) the office was full of people. When we got up to the counter, the woman clerk startled me by saying loudly, "Birth or death?" I, naturally replied "Birth." She proceeded to place a form on the counter for me to fill out with all the relevant information pertaining to my birth. She took the form and ran it through the computer and came back saying "Are you sure this infor- mation is correct? I can't find it on the computer." I told her I had a driver's license and social security card and I must have had a birth certificate to get those. So, she re- turned to her computer and ran it again. Then came my undoing. She placed my birth certificate before me. I checked it to make sure every- thing was correct. Birth date -- cor- rect. Place of birth -- correct, name --Baby Girl Murray. Whaaaat? I must have made some noise because everyone in the room looked up at me. "What is... how come.., who.., why..." I could only sputter. Smiling, she said, "Ap- parently your mother forgot to name you." Forgot to name me! What on earth? Does that mean that for the last -- for all my life I didn't have a name? Does that mean that all those letters and stuff marked "Resi- dent" really were for ME? The clerk interrupted my fantasy by telling me I would have to write to or go to New Castle (Pa.) to have my birth certificate corrected. So off we went to New Castle. We found the place easy enough and there were the usual long lines of people waiting. When my turn at the counter came I, somewhat shamefacedly, told the no name. Although, for called myself and have some names. But I down on paper. Now, I need a name. The clerk nodded cally. "What shall I write?' me. Well, I couldn't after all, I had name was Carol. exact. But now? Who "Ahem," said the name," she said with I need a name I told shall I name Me? Elizabeth...? again, "could you just name?" "1 need a name." is no easy matte~.-I about it." I guess I could self something real haps after some movie tap, tap, tap. She loudly on the counter. people are waiting," me. So I thought, well I with it. I remembered people, friends and strangers seemed to call so nicely, and if I even my family said "Well, just call me thinking that would lem, "Is that the name name you're known me. "No, I go by Carol for Murray," I told her. Then she explained made it Carol M. in effect, would be Murray. "Can't you put Ann?" I asked. But for some reason with having proof of couldn't use "A" for my IDs said "M" for just said "Forget it, jL Carol," and got my cats and left. So, if you see me member by name --- "Baby". the "choice" school for "my boys. Nowhere will you find more dedi- cated teachers than the faculty of Williamsburg School. Nowhere will you find community members who w'~,k as hard to make our school what it is today. Nowhere will you find more pride in a child's face when he tells you he's a "Wil- liamsburg Warrior". And now, the Greenbrier Board of Education has proposed to take our junior high away. To take our junior high away and say, students, you are no longer "Williamsburg Warriors". We will strip you of your pride. Your are no longer entitled to the excellent edu- cation you are now receiving. You must be sent to a crowded school so you can take home-economics and learn how to bake a potato. You must be sent to a crowded school so you can learn how to plant a garden. You must be sent to a crowded school so you can be pushed in a corner once a week. I don't understand of Education would which was built 'in 1951 the students'to a 1921 and a school don't understand would crowd an crowded school. I don1 why the Board children's lives by over dangerous roads. I don't understand of Education except for J they must think that important than education. Instead of the Board t being worried about Junior High School's opportunities, I think we worried about the Education's lack