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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
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February 20, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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February 20, 1990
 

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Tuesday, February 20, 1990 By U.S. Senator Robert C., Byrd Rebuilding the Foundations In West Virginia and across the country, signs of wear on such facilities as dams, highways, bridges, water and sewer systems, city streets, barge locks, and other important public facilities are becoming commonplace. Thousands of miles of the na- tional Interstate Highway System, begun in the 1950's, need repair and upgrading. Roughly half of the nation's more than 500,000 road and highway bridges are classified as unsafe or obsolete. An estimated one-fifth of America's dams and reservoirs are reportedly in need of safety im- provements. In large cities and small towns alike, water and sewer systems are breaking down or proving inade- quate to meet today's demands. Some estimates set the na- tional cost of rebuilding our public services at several trillion dollars. Before the crumbling of these public works becomes a national crisis, we need to undertake the necessary reconstruction and replacement required to keep our country and state running smoothly and efficiently. For that reason, one of my priorities for West Virginia has been to appropriate federal monies to rebuild certain outmoded or decaying public projects. For example, I have helped to secure funds to replace a number of locks and dams on the Ohio River, including current work to replace the Gallipolis locks and dam near Point Pleasant, which is estimated to cost $336 million; to rebuild the Winfield locks and dam on the Kanawha in Putnam County, estimated at $195 million; and to rebuild Locks 7 and 8 on the Monongahela River north of Morgantown, estimated at $256.8 million. Additionally, I have obtained approximately $2 million to replace or rehabilitate roughly 60 primarily rural bridges in West Virginia, using native hardwoods and modern timber design, pro- cessing, and construction. Moreover, 1 helped to obtain funds to replace the Wheeling- Steubenville bridge, the Marietta- Williamstown bridge near Parkersburg, and the Sixth Street bridge in Huntington. Within the last two years, I have also been able to add more than $100 million in funding for Appalachian Corridor Highways G and H in West Virginia. Although this is new construction, these roads will provide modern alternates to currently outmoded routes. Further, I have assiste t scores of communities in our state to ob- tain funds to upgrade, expand, or modernize existing public water and sewerage systems. As we move into the 1990's and face the dawning of the twenty-first century, repairing or replacing our public support systems will become increasingly vital to America's and West Virginia's economic futures. Keep in Touch With Your Hometown While You're Away Take out a subscription to the Mountain Messenger f : InState $14.00 Out of State $15.00 Students $10.50 ( 9 mos.) I iii ,i, ii iii i q , i i,.i i i , III By Jonathan Wright Is it just me, or are some of the rest of you out there distressed by how some folks interchange the words "afternoon" and "evening"? I don't claim to be an authority on the English language, but I do know when things just don't quite sound right with a person's choice of words. Arrogant-sounding or not, I will never be able to get used to how some people say "evening" when they're referring to only 2 or 3 ruffle anyone's feathers, said, "We'll be back in here at one o'clock this evening." I gritted my teeth and kept my peace. It was difficult. A few days ago a good friend and I were lightheartedly talking about Sunday afternoon naps. At one point I was completely taken off-guard when my friend said, "Yeah--I always try to work in a nap on Sunday evening." It was more than I could take. Did he not realize o'clock--in the afternoon! what he was saying? Who takes It has been my understanding naps after 6 p.m.? I had seen him in throughout my nearly 37 years that church numerous Sunday evenings, "morning" refers to any time be- Is that when he took his naps? (I tween midnight and noon. "After- wouldn't know---I sit several seats in noon commences at noon and ends front of him,) at 6 p.m. "Evening"--now get this-- Very nonchalantly I queried, "You goes from 6 p.m. to midnight, or at mean Sunday afternoon?" He, didn't least until the time one goes to bed. blink an eye but readily agreed to The term "night" is a more general expression of the hours of darkness. I'll agree there are some legitimate variations of interpretations on these terms, but overall I believe they are the most traditionally accepted. Once I was at an all-day seminar in Charleston and this matter hit me squarely between the eyes, so to speak. We were getting ready to break for lunch. The moderator was telling us what time we would recon- vene, and ever so innocently, with no perceivable bad intentions to my interpretation. I'm glad. I didn't mean to make a big deal of it. I was only hoping he would see the con- spicuous error of his expression and think twice before doing it again. Sure--there are worse things in life than this afternoon-evening con- fusion of terms. You don't want to confuse your audience any more than necessary in this day of ram- pant doubletalk, though. I'm only trying to create more human under- standing. rm also tired of gritting my teeth. The Mountain Messenger 122 North Cour~ Street Lewisburg, West Va. 24901 Phone (304) 647=5724 Published Every Tuesday Circulation: 22,595 Staff Charles A. Goddard, Editor Dotty Brackenrich, Ofc. Mgr. Troy Forren, Sa/es Terri Boone, Sa/es Deborah McClung, Ad Design Betty Morgan, Ad Design Jonathan Wright, Staff Writer Lou Burroughs, ipesetting Brenda Gherman, Production Subscription Rates In State: $14 per year Out-of-State: $15 Seniors: Deduct $ I from rates Students (9 mos.): $10 By Emily Holswade In recent weeks, readers of the local newspapers have noticed fre- quent "letters to the editor" and ar- ticles decrying the return movement of people with developmental dis- abilities (in particular, people with mental retardation) to our commu- nity. The underlying theme in those letters is based on fear and on the desire to keep the status quo --- no changes. One thing we can count on in life, is change. What's impor- tant is how we deal with change. In- dividuals entering the community af- ter years of institutionalization are challenged by enormous changes in their lives. Most of us might wonder if we could or would adapt and learn as well as they do. We take for granted the way we have become accustomed to living and continue to live -- sometimes spending a life- time without any major moves or changes. Perhaps, that's why it's hard for some of us to understand what is at stake for people with men- tal retardation as they try to accli- mate themselves to the community. In the best of the "real world" most people realize they must accept people with diverse opinions, char- acteristics and in this case pecple with disabilities. Aside from the hurtful letters and Lewisburg City Council's hurtful resolution, which has inflicted un- necessary pain and sorrow on people with disabilities and their families, there are the overriding is- sues of the human and legal rights of these citizens and the obligation of local agencies and the Lewisburg City Council to assure equal oppor- tunity and equal access. Many of us know there is more than one way one can become a citizen. The way most people ac- quire citizenship is through birth. No I.Q. test is used to qualify us so that we can enjoy all the rights afforded under the Constitution nor is an I.Q. test applied in order for use to par- take of the promises of the Declara- tion of Independence: "... we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed with the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happi- ness." America's promise of equality, freedom and justice under the law applies to all of its citizens. When one group of citizens tries to deny others their rights based on sex, race, religion or handicap, they en- danger their own rights. This is sometimes little understood (except in context of the Nazi experience during World War II). Individuals in any society who be- lieve they can somehow reserve the right to themselves to speak the thoughts, feelings and aspirations of fellow citizens, whom they don't know or may have never ,net, or whose I.Q. might not be "just right," represent the height of ignorance and arrogance. One only has to im- pose this behavior onto oneself to find out how this philosophy wears. When the Lewisburg City Council passed a resolution on January 16, 1990, stating negative and errone- ous information regarding people with severe disabilities, they be- haved in an irresponsible manner. The Council's action has served to endorse or legitimize popular mis- conceptions about people with dis- abilities -- portraying them as "non- persons," without feelings, thoughts, aspirations or hope. The Resolution also encourages lawbreaking -- it is against the law to discriminate against the handicap in housing. In a recent court decision regarding at- tempts to block the development of group homes in suburban Chicago Heights agreed to pay $45,000 in damages --- $30,000 to Residential Facilities management Services, Inc. and $1,000 to each of the first 15 people who were to live in a group home. "This sends a clear sig- nal to communities everywhere that discrimination in housing based on mental retardation will not be toler- ated," said Paul Marchand in The Washington Post. Mr Marchand is spokesman for the Association for Retarded Citizens of the United States. We believe the City Council has an. obligation to set the record straight by becoming informed them- selves and then educating the public about "state of the art" thinking, edu- cation and training of people with disabilities. They owe this to citizens with disabilities all over our commu- nity -- not just those in group homes. I'm sure that the Greenbrier County Board of Education, Depart- ment of Special Education; Division of Rehabilitation Services and Se- neca Mental Health/Mental Retarda- tion Council, Inc.; West Virginia De- velopmental Disabilities Council and the West Virginia Advocates would be more than happy to tell the Le- wisburg Council their expectations of individuals whom they serve and their obligations to educate, train and protect these citizens. One of the greatest things I love about Americans is our ability to rec- ognize and correct "people" mis- takes. Children used to work in fac- tories up to 12 hours per day, six days a week. Women were consid- ered property and couldn't vote. Afri- can-Americans were enslaved over 200 years. Babies, children and adults were institutionalized --- locked up --- without ever having committed a crime. Most of them just had no place to live, no family and no friends. There were no help- ing agencies to support families. A lot of change has occurred over the past 30-40 years in the way we think about and support people with dis- abilities. NOW, we are trying to cor- rect this grievous error. In correcting the error, of course, agencies responsible for carrying out the corrections are only as good as we "good people" require them to be. I would urge those dissatisfied, or those who feel threatened, to look at the issues of community living as twofold and separate: 1. The right of individuals to live in the community as normally as possible and not have to defend themselves or be defended before the Lewisburg City Council. 2. The responsibility of the Lewis- burg City Council and the local agencies who receive funding to educate, habilitate, rehabilitate, and provide housing, to speak out in be- half of the people with disabilities for whom they work, and to educate the public about our belief that all people can learn, grow and partici- pate in the American Dream. By Roberta Patton "Quilting Bee!" "A memo calendar 1978 with this beautiful Americana scene: A room with ten women sitting at a table in unmatched chairs, which indicates a typical living room or dining room of yesteryear. Each occupant must have brought in an extra chair from various corners of the house. The ladies are getting ready to continue quilting a beautiful quilt. The outer edges on both ends are squares with the flower basket de- sign in the centers. The basket is done in red material (possibly scraps from Helen's dress material, left over from that new Christmas pinafore, Morn made). The next set of squares are black and white blocks, alternating with pastel green, and another block, of a grass green and pink. The corner squares are blocks of flag blue and white. Join- ing the next pattern are squares of pink, blue, green, white, red,\ and green stripes! The inset is sur- rounded by a large pattern of squares and long strips of green,\ with blocks of red in the four cor- ners. Centering that is the highlight of the quilt --- twelve large squares with a star center. These center blocks are in red and dark green. The ladies all have their hands on the quilt. I believe they are planning to quilt. Final stagesi Wonder if it is being made for a bride to be, a craft show, to give to the last of 14 chil- dren, for a sick person, or to be put into a trunk for a legacy? Whatever the reason, it has kept them from having cabin fever through the big long lasting snows of December, January, and a part of February. Nobody was laughing, no teeth were showing! They were serious quilters. Other activity in that large room included a young boy, wearing a red toboggan and wrapped up in a scarf, carrying two logs for the fire blazing in a red brick fireplace. There are black fireplace accesso- ries, including a shovel and pokers. A banjo is leaning against the fire- place on one side and a natural straw boom is on the other sidet A young boy is popping popper filling a large circle hand-crocheted rug of blue-green, adorned On the mantel was a ored clock--time 10 eleven. A bright fuschia stein, and a candle. On side of the clock --- a bright blue plate and a tall i On a blue and pink directly over the mantel, isi with a blue sky, white trees, white house and The picture was framed Lighted lamps are on the mantel! The flooring and door most of the chairs were high-backed. Sitting on were ladies dressed in touching the floor, in pink and blue, yellow pink and red dots, blue pale blue and white, brown, pink and blue, with light blue and white white ruffled petticoats yes, the curtains were ruffled in white with backs. There are three~ and underneath one, a pot of gold flowers. A with a little blond-haired beside a basket of haired grandma with cradle with a gold side. There are also two and a doll watching her. young girls, embroiderin chair and a bench! There is a with 10 minutes after ing, and a sampler in a which reads ~ "Good Long." The quilt was new brides Jennifer All of Texas, or Deena Sulphur Turnpike, to they live "happily after!" For all of 4you is the name how many actior were illustrated in that showing that 1890 not too much different quilting )arties. etters to Dear Edltor: When I first entered the teaching profession my youthful enthusiasm made me determined to fill each day with inspiring lessons in all fields of study. I quickly learned there was no possible way to teach children all that the state criteria "ordained" they should know. In asking myself "What items or subjects must have prior- fly?" I found I had to answer the question, "What type of child do we want to "graduate" from our halls?" This led to the final questions: "What type of adult does America need? What must our population have in order for DEMOCRACY to survive?" For that is the big question, is it not? Democracy must flourish, or our "America" will perish. These, then, were my priorities. Democracy must have a "thinking" individual, someone who knows how to gather information and arrive at a reasonable conclusion. Democracy must have honest folk. A democratic nation has its ground work laid in honest participation. We must have people with high self esteem. This allows them to see beyond them- selves to the needs of a people, a country, and a world. We must have people who work to their best abili- ties (who are achievers). If this is on the job, it is called "performance." in school it means: if a child can do "A" work, he should be expected to get "A"s, if he can do "C" work, he should receive praise and recogni- tion for this achievement. And finally we must raise children who have courage -- courage to make rea- sonable and wise choices, though perhaps, unpopular ones at times. I teach in a small school that offers these priorities. We are about to be consolidated because our county cannot afford to keep the school open. It is my opinion DEMOCRACY cannot afford to close us (and many like us) down. Is there evidence which shows that the large schools graduate hon- est, hardworking, high achieving, responsible students? Our school does. Is there evidence that the large schools have high attendance, low drop out records? Our small school does. Is there evidence that large schools have conquered the drug problem? We have drugs in school. Is there evidence wide range of courses large schools, that a capable, well student? In our small school, every student pates in a performing gram or has his art in an extensive art one is an achiever. Our little school chance to excel: From routinely come state winners of the tional Oratorical winners from science studies fairs, county writing contests and awards too enty-five per cent of compete in athletic every student has 8 some faculty member his or her ment, Can this be large schools? We in a program where-bY! before he completes will have visited his tional capitals, and ernments. This is often junior high. In our year. our graduating ranked second in the CTBS scores. What should our be? I hear that not good the fer a wide rangest this be our I: AMERICA need? Our school aims to world an honest h= proud, thinking, Some of these, centage of these, achievers. More LetterJ to the