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Lewisburg, West Virginia
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March 1, 2008     Mountain Messenger
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www.mountainmessenqer.com EE Rupert Law Enforcement Office and Tax Office moving Sheriff Roger L. Sheppard is pleased to announce that the Rupert Sheriff's Law Enforcement Office and Tax Office will be moving to Rupert City 'Hall on Main Street in Rupert. They will be at their new location on Monday, Mar. 3. Tax Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend "Issues and Eggs"--a political forum featur- ing candidates for the Greenbrier County Commission. The event will be held Tuesday, Mar. 4, 7:30 a.m. at the Underwood Center at the State Fairgrounds. Breakfast is $5 for Chamber members and $10 for non-members. To attend, please call 645-2818 or e-mail info@greenbrierwvchamber.org. Annual Housing Assessment Meeting The Greenbrier Housing Authority and S.A.R.A Inc will hold the annual Housing Assessment Meeting on Wednesday, Mar. 12, 8 to 10 a.m. at the Lewisburg United Methodist Church, 214E. Washington Street, Lewisburg. This will be a working session (with pastries). For more information, call 645-4966. Lumber Grading Course There will be a three-day Lumber Grading Course Mar. 18-20 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Raleigh County WORKFORCE West Virginia Career Center, 200 Value City Center, Beckley. The cost for registration is $295. For more information, please contact Deana Keener at (304) 929-2031. James Sitar, Ph.D son of Linda Cottrill of Fairlea, made public this week portions of his transcriptions of decades-old recordings of lectures given at Dartmouth College by America's bard, Robert Frost. The four-time Pulitzer Prize- winning poet was a frequent visitor to the historic New Hampshire college, a regular participant in the school's sto- ried lecture series. Until now, though, the popular lectures had never been heard or seen beyond the campus. "He had a loyal audience of students, locals, and good friends," Sitar wrote, "and he felt comfortable enough to speak from the gut he used poems by other poets as well as some of his own to illustrate poetry's unrivaled power to give voice to the human spirit." An illustration of the breezy, informal nature of his dis- course is this excerpt from a James Sitar, Ph,D, son of Linda Cottrill, Fairlea, has transcribed rare recordings of Robert Frost lectures given at Dartmouth College, cut your head off so you didn't (even) know it--until you sneezed." Sitar discovered the tapes when he was an undergradu- ate student in literature at The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce is calling Gov. Manchin and state lawl kers to expand West Virginia'g eco- nomic progress by enacting eight key solutions in the 12008 regular session, i] "The Chamber's list of!solu- tions will advance ~vVest Virginia's economic con~peti- tiveness, improve the state's business and human c~pital capacity and ultimately offer new employment opportu~ties to our citizens,"' said Stevei Rob, erts, Chamber President. ["This formula for success wil~help propel our state to new h~ights of prosperity and progresS." The complete release and list of solutions: 1) Workforce Trainil}g -- West Virginia must invest in more efforts to help provide employers with a trained and skilled workforce who possess the knowledge and capabllities needed in today's workl~lace. Through added public-private efforts and funding, we ~nust provide education and training programs that match the l~eeds of today's employers, particu- larly new programs focused on using advanced equipment and understanding technology fluency and proficiencieS. We must instill in workers---! oung and old--the vital need to par- ticipate in lifelong learning op- portunities and constantly im- prove their skills and l~owl- edge. Finally, employers need "to be able to ensure a drug free workplace, and prospective employees must be able to pass drug Screenings. Many employ- ers in a wide number of kidus- tries are seeking worker~, but report these jobs are going un- filled because applicants i can- not pass basic drug screer}ings. 2) Legal Climate -- West Virginia must continue i~s ef- forts to enact meaningful]legal reforms so employers feel more that our state has ~ fair and balanced legai system. West Virginia needs to qnact additional reforms so ii can come in line with nearly every other state, A fair and just le- gal system is essential to build- ing more confidence for busi- ness investment and growth. Also, West Virginia needsto get politics out of its court system by enacting nonpartisan elec- tion of judges and justices. 3) Asbestos Claims -- West Virginia needs to enact re- forms that will help to ensure 1947 recording: '~he only way Dartmouth. He undertook their that legitimate, properly diag- to carry cultural relations transcription as part of his doc- nosed asbestos claims and abroad would be through po- toral project at Boston Univer- cases are heard in an appro- etry and literature. You can'tsity, a thesis which he success- priate manner. Legislation go out and plug religion and fully defended in December. Heshould be enacted that would plug politics in Turkey it's began work in January as Ar- establish 1] minimum medical (sort ol) like the old story of the chives Editor for the Nationalcriteria and procedures for as- skilled headsman who could Poetry Foundation in Chicago. I Conservationists applaud new WV wilderness effoI.rt1 Several tmportant areas not mcluded in bill, leamng their future m jeopardy l The west Virginia Wilder- of forest as wilderness ex- "My organization not onl~ sup- ness Coalition praised the West PaTdiggt D:IIcYr S:dS,wiC(gb:e= P:2kinWigdefo7tshe buts h ySlb:etn Virginia Congressional delega- tion Jan. 29 for introducing leg- islation to protect new wilder- ness areas in the Monongahela National Forest. Coalition lead- ers celebrated the bill's intro- duction and vowed to support the effort, but lamented the fact that the delegation is missing an opportunity to include some of the forest's most popular and spectacular areas in the bill. Groups encouraged lawmakers to amend the legislation and include important areas like Seneca Creek, all of Roaring Plains and the East Fork of the Greenbrier areas. "We have a long proud tra- dition of protecting our state's wild and wonderful forests and we owe a great debt of gratitude to our Congressional delega- tion for commg together to pro- tect these special places," said Dave Saville, Coordinator of the West Virginia Wilderness Coa- lition. "While we support this new legislation, we are deeply disappointed that special ar- eas like Seneca Creek, Roar- ing Plains East and North and the East Fork of the Greenbrier areas have been left out of this proposal. These special places can't wait another 25 years for protection and we hope that the delegation will amend their proposal to include these places before the bill passes." The Wild Monongahela Act will protect over 47,000 acres Areas as well as protecting four new wilderness areas across the forest. A wide array of local groups, individuals and busi- nesses are supportive of the legislation. However, it has been initially criticized because it falls far short of the wilder- ness proposal put forth by lo- cal West Virginian's by nearly I00,000 acres. Since 2004, lo- cal wilderness supporters, in- cluding sportsmen, business owners, local lawmakers, reli- gious and union |eaders and others across the state, have successfully demonstrated their support for the citizen's proposal. Despite the disappointment, conservationists are excited about this historic effort and look forward to seeing it be- come law. It's been 25 years since the designation of Cran- berry and Laurel Fork Wilder- ness Areas and in that time the Monongahela National Forest's popularity has contin- ued to grow, becoming one of the East's premier recreation destinations for hunters, an- glers, hikers, campers, white- water paddlers, skiers and hundreds of thousands of other outdoor enthusiasts. Allen Johnson, founder of Christians for the Mountains emphasized the religious val- ues of wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest. convey to other faith-bas, ganizations and congreg, the spiritual value these 1 hold. Protecting Wildel however, is more than d or- lions ,laces aess, Lbout @ bestos and siilica claims; 2) re- quire a physlician with a phy- sician-patiemt relationship to diagnose amd establish the presence of tthese criteria in the exposed worrkers; and 3) re- quire disclosmre of present or future bankrtuptcy trust claims in state coturt proceedings. These chang{es are a fair way to improve tlne current system and help enmure that resources are available for those who are truly impaire d. 4) Healtfli Insurance -- West Virginia --business, labor, government, etc.--must act now to enact changes that will help to stemL health care cost increases, iimprove health in- surance ac,'cessibility and affordability and restructure our health care delivery system to a preventiton-based system. Health insurrance and health care costs r~main among the top concern,s of employers large and smlall. West Virginia must eliminate the cost shift from govermment health-care programs too private-sector plans and emact incentives to help small bmsinesses provide health insur:ance coverage to employees. WTe also must make investmentm in electronic health infornnation networks and telemedticine systems to improve ac,cess to critical health-care :services and im- prove efficierncies in our over- all health care management system. 5) Busimess Costs -- West Virginia needs to continue to reduce the, cost of doing busi- ness in the l~Iountain State. A major cost-drriver for state em- ployers is West Virginia's uncompetititve business tax structure, which ranks among one of the worst in the nation. West Virginia businesses need to see the e|limination of the business frarachise tax and in- ventory tax and see meaning- ful reduction in the state's cor- porate net-income tax rate. We also must continue with the privatization of the workers' compensation in our state and reduce premium costs so all employers can compete on a better playing field and maybe hire more workers. 6) Regulatory Permits West Virginia needs to im- prove the process used by businesses to obtain lawful environmental and regulatory permits. Many company man- agers tell me that getting an environmental permit needed for a plant expansion or retro- fit is too time-consuming, bur- densome and costly. Why has West Virginia created this dis- incentive when a business wants to improve or expand operations while still protect- ing the environment? 7) Coal, Manufacturing Industries -- West Virginia's coal and manufacturing indus- tries are under attack from a variety of forces. These are ma- jor segments of our economy, and they generate a large part of the jobs and economic activ- ity in our state. In addition, our energy and manufacturing economies provide a major por- tion of the tax dollars needed for education, public safety, health care services and other vital needs. West Virginia must protect its coal industry and manufacturing operations in order to have a stable, viable economy and healthy job base. State leaders need to enact specific legislation to address and alleviate the challenges facing these "goods-producing" segments of our economy. 8) Infrastructure -- West Virginia needs to continue funding important infrastruc- ture such as roads, highways, and bridges, making new in- vestments in advanced infra- structure, such as broadband and fiber connectivity, and sup- porting utility upgrades and expansions. Today's "just in" time, connected" business en- vironment means companies must be able to ship their goods and receive products in a timely manner and stay con- nected to offices and facilities via advanced telecommunica- tions systems. Enactment in 2008 of these recommendations, particularly those dealing with lawsuit re- forms, health insurance ~gnd tax relief, are vital to further advance the state's economic growth and create a more stable and competitive envi- ronment for businesses and professionals to operate, invest and employ West Virginians, Roberts added. "Our state has been the beneficim3r of a grow- ing economy, and enactment and implementation of these policies will improve the state's business climate and help: make West Virginia even stron- ger economically and morel prosperous," he added. West Virginia Chamber o.T~ Commerce--As the state's larg- i est, most influential generalI business organization, the West Virginia Chamber repre- sents all business sectors in every region of the state, rang- ing from small business enter- prises to Fortune 500 compa- nies. The organization's 5,000+ membership reach comes from its close relationships with 55 local chambers of commerce and dozens of statewide busi- ness and trade associations. The West Virginia Chamber is a proactive leader in the search for solutions to problems, a voice for free market competi- tion and a streamlined govern- ment, a catalyst for progressive thinking and problem solving, and a partner with government as appropriate. More informa- tion on the W.Va. Chamber can be found at www.wvchamber, com. I West I i Virginia's Land Grant Institutions By Joan C. Browning "Democracy Demands Mem- ory," the title: of Julian Bond's article in the spring 1997 Southern Changes, proclaims the necessity' for remembering the truth. On e of Julian's illus- trations: "Mi s-memory of this movement [[the civil rights movement] tthreatens to erase the reality off the often brutal past, the class divisions evi- dent in evers7 institution from church to sclhool, the failure of civic instituttions to service black communities, and most of all the cruelty and harsh- ness of American apartheid." Bill Frye"s West Virglnia Daily News coverage of the Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce recent annual brought Julian's words to my mind. Bill qutoted West Virginia University President Mike Gar- rison as saying: "Heather and I are honored to be here and represent the state's land grant institution," Just a few days later, a what it can do for hui runs. Wilderness is space for pod'sfriend sent rne an article from untrammeled creation. ilder-last summe,r's West Virginia ness is a reminder tha 'The Executive in which Garrison is Earth is the Lord's, and ~very- quoted as calling West Virginia thing in it belongs to God' University t]he state's flagship, (Psalm 24: I). Wilderness]is an land-grant u:niversity " In the ecological yardstick to measure brief article,Garrison labels our ability to use the rest of the WVU as the state's land grant earth well." ] institution at least three more Wilderness is also critical in times. protecting our native ]trout Garrison also told the West streams. "Wilderness i!s the Virginia Executive interviewer watershed managemenI tool that "Chairing the Higher Edu- most conducive to healin andcation Policy Commission gave recovery of trout streams," me in-depth knowledge about stated Don Gasper, retirec i DNR our colleges and universities " fisheries biologist and lot gtime fisheries manager or Monongahela National F In a poll conducted on the 0rest. rider- 2006, who hess in West Virginia in 90 percent of respondent Hmmm. How much "in- depth knowledge about our col- leges and u:niversities" does it take to knouv that West Virginia University lis not. our state's land grant i:nstitution? In fact, West Virgiraia has TWO land grant unive rsities. Such mits-memory of the state's experience with the land grant ~rogram "threatens to erase the reality of the often brutal past," especially West Virginia's experience with "all of the crueilty and harshness of American apartheid." What is ;a land grant insti- tution? Why does West Virginia have not or~e but two? Before the creation of land grant colleges, most higher education in America excluded identified themselves as hunt- ers or anglers supporte wil- derness for the Seneca ',reek area which h~is been ra d as one of America's top 1013 trout streams. Both the Greenbrie: and Pocahontas County Co lven- tion and Visitor's Burea~ls. as well as over 100 West V!rginia businesses have voiced their support for more wilderness. common folks, women, Africans and Native Americans. Classi- cal education was rationed mostly to white male govern- ment leaders, members of the professions, and the wealthy leisure classes. Meanwhile, the federal gov- ernment laid claim to millions of acres of land as the Native Americans were exterminated or pushed further west. Vermont Congressman Jus- tin Smith Morrill is proof that it is possible for visionary leg- islators to make government work better. Why not, he thought, use that federal land to provide higher education for working class Americans? President Abraham Lincoln signed the 1862 Morrill Act. It financed new colleges by grant- ing 30,000 acres of federal land for each of the state's members of the U. S. House of Represen- tatives and Senate. Thus. the new colleges were "land grant" institutions, WVU is the state's 1862 land grant institution. Not all mountaineers have always been free. Even after Emancipation from slavery, the 1872 West Virginia State Constitution prohibited white and Negro children from at- tending the same schools. West Virginia University excluded black students. The Second Morrill Act of 1890 provided $25,000 to each state for the encouragement of Agricultural Education and the Mechanic Arts. West Virginia. like the other 16 states practic- ing racial apartheid, had to cre- ate a separate land grant insti- tution to provide 'instruction m agriculture, the mechanical arts, English language and the various branches of math- ematical, physical, natural, and economic science: to the black citizens of the state where these students had no adcess to other higher educa- tion institutions." West Virginia complied by establishing West Virginia Col- ored Institute as a land grant institution. The West Virginia Colored Institute has now grown into West Virginia State University. West Virginia State Univer- sity is West Virginia's 18913 land grant institution. The U. S. Supreme Court~ ended legal school segregation. in 1954. The next year, West Virginia state government ter- minated West Virginia State's land grant status and sent its appropriations to WVU. State supporters worked for decades to restore West Virginia State's land grant status. They suc- ceeded in 2001. I am proud of both of West Virginia's land grant institu- tions. I brag about West Virginia University. I am especially proud of the Center for Women's Stud- ies (where I chair the Visiting Committee), the public history faculty, WVU Press, and the women's basketball team. The P. I. Reed School of Journalism rums out great writers. What would we do without WVU ex- tension service and hospitals? WVU students gave me a standing ovation when I was a guest lecturer. And I am still humbled that the WVU Presi- dent's Office and WVU Center for Black Culture and Re- search gave me the WVU Dr.' Martin Luther King Jr. Achieve- ment Award. I am also proud of my alma i mater, West Virginia State Uni- '. versity. Earning State's Regent's' Bachelor of Arts degree com- pleted my college education that had been disrupted 30 years earlier because I attended a black church. Having State President Dr. Hazo W. Carter, Jr hand me my degree is among my most precious memories. The first school song re- minded State students from whence they cam-: '"l'he West Virginia Institute was/Built by those oppressed/Who once were slaves, and destitute/Of liberty and rest." Mis-remembering that West Virginia has TWO land grant institutions reveals either ar- rogance or ignorance, or both. May we remember with grati- tude the extraordinary men and women who built both our land grant institutions and those who keep them serving us today. And may we endure the pain of remembering when some Mountaineers were not free by knowing that our very democracy demands such memory.