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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
April 26, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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April 26, 1990

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Thursday, April 26, 1990 Trustworthiness, moral- ity, legality -- these are all elements one must deal with when one takes on responsibility-- especially when one is a politician or is employed by (or serves) a public organization sup- ported by contributions. For example: we have heard former Governor Arch A. Moore's confession of guilt -- where he admit- ted he had breached the trust we had placed in him; forgotten his moral obligations; dismissed the law of our state. To most West Virginians, this was no revelation. We knew Mr Moore did not take hon- esty, morality, legality, or trustworthiness too seri- ously (even as we voted him into an unprece- dented second term as governor!) Mr Moore's tragedy is not his alone -- it is a tragedy for all West Virginlans. Our complicity with Mr Moore is multi-faceted. If we voted tor Mr Moore, we must accept responsibility for placing our trust in a person who -we knew was not trustworthy. If we did not vote for Mr Moore and we did not demand he be impeached for his criminal activities, then we must be held equally accountable. The time has come for West Virginia to expect and demand the very best from those who have the responsibility (and enjoy the benefits) of serving the public. Too long have we been content with less than the best. We must not let our motto become "Mountaineers are always fr, e-- to be used". The exercise of power is a very delicate matter. For those who find themselves (or put themselves) in po- sitions of power, the re- sponsibilities are awe- some. Every powerful per- son must always keep the welfare of those whom they serve uppermost in their mind. They must put "sell" aside and work for the commonweal. Elitists must be given no quarter in a democracy. The Moore tragedy is re- peated daily all over the world (and, yes, also here in Greenbrier, Pocahontas. and Monroe counties) when the powerful be- come blinded by their own importance and begin to believe they know what ls best for Everyman. Everyman does have his chance, however. He has the right and the obliga- tion to vote. -- Chas. A. Goddard STAFF Chas. A. Goddard, Editor Dotty Brackenrich, Office Manager Troy Forren, Advertising Terri Boone, Advertising David Peele, Advertising Debbie McClung, Ad Design Betty Morgan, Ad Design Jonathan Wright, Staff Writer Lou Burroughs, Typesetting Brenda Ghernmn, Production 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/647-5724 Published every Thu rsday Circulation: 22,685 If you would like to submit material for publication: Articles submitted to The Mountain Messenger should be typewrit- ten or clearly written in order to be considered for publication. Please include your name and a phone number where you may be reached during business hours. The Mountain Messenger reserves the right to edit any material and regrets 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 en- velope. Material must be received in our office by: News Items: Fridays, Noon Display Advertising: Mondays, 2 p.m. Classified Advertising: Fridays, 10 a.m. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: In State, $14.84 In State Senior Citizens $13.78 In State Students $11.13 (9 mos.) Out-of-State, $15.00 $1 discount to Senior Citizens (IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII~ N N N N I,N The Mountain Messenger NN Ii Is Not Indifferent N N To Anything Which II 11" N N Influences II " Our Communities, State, Nation,World. = N 11 N We Strive To Bring You I= N N . The Best Country Newspaper , N N . You'll Ever Need. . N N N We Rely on You So You Can N II N It N N N ." Rely On Usl .' N N ~IXIIIIIIII Iili Illlil IlIlI IIl llIIIllN. To the By Jonathan Wright Ever since the timing was changed on the traffic light in front of the Ronceverte City Hall, I have done my best to get it changed back. I have spoken to quite a num- ber of public figures in the river city, for I strongly believe you should at- ways take your gripes to the people who can do something about it. All have listened politely and sympathetically. Their positive reac- tions to the case I set before them encouraged me and gave me hope. I'm still hanging onto that hope--- because nothing has been done yet! Most people who have ever been passengers in my car know I don't do a lot of speeding. I usually don't get hot under the collar at traffic lights, for all in the Greenbrier Valley are timed to regulate traffic evenly and reasonably--except the one in Ronceverte. Before late last fall, drivers along U. S. 219 (Main Street) could expect the traffic light at City Hall to stay on for a reasonable amount of time. It allowed a large number of vehicles to get through before drivers enter- ing the highway from Cedar Street got the green lig.ht. That was the way it should be. Traffic counts on Cedar Street are but a mere fraction of what comes barreling through on U. S. 219, for U. S. 219 is a major north-south highway. It would only seem reason- able, then, for the light to to stay green at least 40 end for U. S. 219 traffic,! Cedar Street drivers are 15 or 20 seconds. Lewisburg's busy U. S 60 intersection uses that more heavily traveled U. S. 219, whose green light lasting a seconds. U. S. 60 drivers seconds to make it That's the way it though some U. S. 60 argue that point at Now--what about the '. for the Ronceverte five seconds for U. S. and 20 for Cedar Street. boils down to is this: changing far too often, tying up U. S. 219 times when nothing, nothing, is coming off It's a simple matter of efficiency is not being traffic light. Every time I appr0= dreaded signal from a sign myself to slowing at an unnatural pace, there's no way I will make before it turns red again, always been that way. I~ stand why nothing is correct it. Enough. My collar's smoke. One of West Virginia's Finest Newspapers ountain essenger Enter Your Subscription Today 52 Issues:S14.84, in state $15.00, Out of state Name: Address: City: State: Send with your remittance to: THE MOUNTAIN MESSENGER 122 North Court Street * Lewisburg, W. Va. 24901 Dear Editor: I was in Ronceverte this Easter weekend past, visiting a relative, I took advantage of the weather Sat- urday to walk the banks of the Greenbrier as it flows past the island Park. The river was incredibly beau- tiful, and I was pleased to see a ca- noe rental business which was new since I last was here, My purpose in writing is to ex- press concern over what I now understand is a project of civic pride being constructed across from the ball field. I speak not of the amphi- theater, but of what I have been told is going to be a riverside picnic area. The area I speak of is a low-lying area which functions as a backwater area for the river when It is high. Many sycamores and~other species grow in this space, helping to hold the riverbank and undoubtabty slow- ing the water in time o~ flood. As I am newly acquainted with the joy of wild flower hunting, I was excited to find numerous species springing forth in this tiny corner of Roncev- erte. Mayapples and violets, Virginia bluebells and wild geranium, and at least eight other species I could not identify. As i toured this haven, I contemplated the solitude and q uiet offered in this spot, contrasting with the might and power of the green river flowing swiftly and endlessly just a few yards away. I also oh- served two other visitors to this sanctuary, one seemingly enjoying the day as much as !, and the other hard ~t work. The former was a Ca- nadian goose, paddling the still pool noiselessly and effortlessly, I thought perhaps a nest was near, but saw none, though most probably they are better at hiding than I am at finding. ! did observe, however, that his (or her) left leg had been banded. Some wildlife official, no doubt, had interest in this feathered fellow previous to mine. The other visitor was a woodpecker -- a sap- sucker or flicker or ladderback (sorry, rm still learning my birds). He was drumming his beak on a high branch, rattatat,., rattatat. Then he would cock his head back as if lis- tening for a reply~ and then repeated his job all over again. I say job, be- cause he was working at attracting a mate; working to continue his spe- cies in the cycle o{ life. My joy soon turned to sorrow as I o .,erved the area I had found now being filled with residue from the lo- cal lumber yard. The heavy, dark, mulch-like material was spread throughout the area to a thickness of six to eight feet, burying roots be- neath debris so as to slowly kill the towering trees that make the space so beautiful. Killing whatever flowers and plants were growing (was there a rare or undiscovered species here? it is too late now to know). The scenario is as clear as it is sad. Fill in a flood-plain, kill and re- move the trees, put in a man-made embankment, plant grass and put up picnic tables. Where there is any neighboring backwater area left, it will also eventually be filled-in, be- cause of the mosquitoes. Otherwise, they would hatch and come to bother the picnickers (good food for wildlife, but bad for people eating food). One day the river will rage again (I do not wish thi ;, but merely state a fact of nature). In its awe- some power it will come across its old familiar flood plain. Instead of trees to slow its pace,a man-made structure will block its path. The river will laugh, and wash all away. After- ward, no picnic area, no trees, no wildflowers will be found. Only mud and rock and ugliness. By now you say "you don't live here --- if you don't like what you see go home (and don't come back thank you!") But please, you've read this far, so at least hear me out. Wouldn't it make more sense to make this a natural area where chil- dren and adults could come and study nature? A footbridge already exists, and a trail could be devel- oped at little cost by volunteers (yes, rll drive back to help out!). The pic- nic area could surely be placed in an open area close-by. What a won- derful civic display this could be{ How many cities in America have such an opportunity to provide a na- ture-study area for .their students and older citizenry near such an his- toric and scenic waterway? And by saving trees it would be supporting President Bush's efforts at the re- greening of America through tree planting and.tree appreciation, by saving wildflowers it would be sup- porting the passion and lasting leg- acy of former first-lady, Lady Bird Johnson. But you still say, "butt out buddy -- this is none of your businessL" I believe natural resources, no matter how great or small, belong to us all. It is every citizen's duty to protect them. I hope someone in this com- munity might feel as I do and try to save this niche. Considering all of the vanishing habitat in America, here is an opportunity to keep more "wild" in "wonderful West Virginia." Thank you for letting me express myself. J. Michael McMahan Charlottesville, Virginia Dear Editor: As our (West Virginia's) image has diminished to the lowest level yet and humiliation and shame have descended upon the people, it's time we arise and try in every way we can to improve the unfortunate image some have caused us. When a person is hurt by someone's ill-mannered remark, a snub, slight or slur, or some unkind- ness, it is a very serious thing to the victim. Sometimes a sensitive per- son lives with that offense all his or her life. it causes a wound that never heals. And that is serious, sad and cruel. Multiply that by the some two mil- lion West Virgimans who must live with the hurt and embarrassment they suffer because of the greed and selfishness of some of those we honor with our votes. The offender seems to have no remorse for their offenses --- not even an "I'm sorry." Well, yes, I'm sorry for them. Their sins will find them out. We can repair some of the dam- age to our image by being better citizens, better West Virginians. That is, those of use who are not perfect. We can be more courteous and con- siderate of others when driving, more friendly, less arrogant, more humble. Show kindness to everyone we meet, do not litter, smile at someone now and then. Let us not avenge the hurt these misguided men have done to us. Rather, be happy we have so many good people who do so much for others. Be happy for those who min- ister to shut-ins, get their groceries, take them to their doctor, visit with them, cheer them and pray for them. Surely we can overcome our lowly image if we care enough. Then visitors, strangers, tourists will say: "My, these West Virginians surely are good people, warm and friendly, courteous, helpful, and very, very kind. Let our light shine . . . in West Virginia. Sincerely Henry Dunn Lewisburg Dear Editor: Education is once again in the news as our state grapples with the legitimate demands of teachers and the real problems of a faltering economy. In spite of the temporary controversy engendered by the re- cent teacher strike, we at the West Virginia Federations of Teachers (WVFT) believe that all segments of our state must work together to put West Virginia back on its feet. We remain convinced that education is the key to a brighter future. We also believe that the time to begin is now. That's why WVFT is developing a comprehensive plan to improve our schools, our tax base and our state economy. We believe teachers have an im- ~ portant role to play in leading West Virginia out of economic depression. But we also know we can't do it alone. We need help from business, labor, our elected leaders and the people of our state. We recognize too that partnership means coopera- tion and evenhandedness on all sides. In the coming months, we intend to develop a broad plan to create a more equitable tax base and intro- duce innovative and effective edu- cation reforms in our schools. WVFT will reach out to the entire commu- nity to begin the economic redevel- opment of our state. The attached op-ed explains how and why we are proceeding and just what we hope to accomplish. We believe that these issues are vital to all West Virginians. And we hope you will agree. After the Teachers' Strike: A Primer for Progress The recent teacher strike may have sparked controversy. But it can light our way to success. While rea- sonable people can disagree about the strike's merits, one thing all West Virginians can agree on is that it's time for our state to move ahead. It may seem paradoxical, but I believe this is the best time for West Virginians to build a consensus on the kind of school system we want and on the way that system wilt shape West Virginia's future. It's time to abandon tired tech- niques such as the assembly-line approaches that dominate too many of our classrooms and forego would- be panaceas like merit pay. Our state, like our schools, must be freed from outdated education. To do that, the West Virginia Fed- eration of Teachers (WVFT) is de- veloping a four-point approach to help our state compete in the de- manding world of the 1990s: *Develop Data -- Researchers at the American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO), WVFT's par- ent organization, are already taking a hard look at our state economy, our tax base and our educational system. They're asking tough ques- tions: Can we afford to continue ex- porting our best and brightest stu- dents? How can we train our stu- dents in the skills they'll need to help our state succeed in the 21 st century? Can we remain at or near the bottom nationally in the share of households headed by high school and college graduates? What is the fairest way to finance the investment we need in public education? We are talking with teachers, parents, business people and West Virgini- ans all over our state to find out what's wrong and how to make it right. *Prepare a Plan -- Later this spring, we will bring together these ideas in a practical plan to show how our schools and our state can change. Can we, for example, con- tinue to rely so heavily on shrinking industries as coal, steel and glass while failing to capitalize on our prime location near major East Coast markets? Can we continue to straitjacket county school districts by mandating so much from Char- leston? Do we need more flexibility at the local level in allocating re- sources? *Build Consensus -- Teachers alone will never change our state. We need broad support from busi- ness, labor, government and com- munity groups who understand that today's students are tomorrow's workers, we must stop exporting so many of our educated citizens -- both students and teachers. Skilled workers work smarter and attract new businesses. Skilled workers earn high wages that quality education and the cal public services needs to reverse our cline. *Pass Legislation ~ I scenarios, plans are useless unless policy. Only a coalition will convince and the governor that reform means goal must be action we are ever to ages and dark attitudes the strike. Openness as well as from all sides if we Our state will face challenges in the 1990s as ern Panhandle is Washington, D.C. tech growth Pittsburgh Pittsburgh; and mental regulations chemicals. Change The question is : pared for it? Quality education "" educators --- aren't the swer, but if We invest in1 they will pay handsome tomorrow. West Virginl8 of Dear Mountair Advertiser: Normally this WOl dressed "Dear Editor," boxes throughout the that if we readers are should thank advertisers which makeS touche gracias, you Mr (or Ms) Adve continue to support Messenger and we port you. We look forward to now takes almost as read as The Gazette. we are exposed to by your message. B allow Mr Goddard know of this 0reval rating. Heaven might decide to charge ~ More LetterS,