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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
June 6, 2015     Mountain Messenger
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June 6, 2015

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4A J ne 6 201 _ Mountain Messen er- Th : Weekend Pa -r for_the Gr www.mountainm OPINION Bits & Pieces By Brenda Boykin Alderson Abuse of Authority I wrote a column before about bul- lying in school. Abuse of authority is a form of bullying. Unfortunately, it is done by adults who can disguise their bullying under the guise of their authority on their jobs or positions. War time is a perfect excuse for some to be as bad as they can think of to other human beings. Any con- flict between peoples, whether it is an official war or not, seems to work well for those that love showing their evil side. I realize that some people are following orders. Some would share the same fate or worse if they do not follow orders. Some are ruled by fear. The leaders are the ones that don't care about the fates of those in their charge. Even if they don't physically commit the acts themselves, they are responsible. Our police forces have had a prob- lem with showing up in their ranks also. Even with training and testing, the undesirable find a way to get in. Of course, some would say that the job turns them that way. I once knew someone that had been on the job for less than a year and was already beating up his wife of less than a year. About three years later he got kicked off the police force too. His job did not turn him that way. He was a jerk before he got on the police force. Another high ranking poliCe- man was on the force for years, and beat his wife and sons on a regular basis. One son turned out to be a criminal, and the other used drugs and lived in fear. The father retired years later, pension and all, from the police force. On the other hand, I have known some very good people t that work in law enforcement. Not only have they helped others, but they helped me personally. It's too bad that the evil ones come to our attention and the good one have to defend their jobs in the eye of the public. Then there is the abuse of author- ity in the work place. Almost every working person has knowledge of someone that falls into that category. Some don't even need hardly any power to lord themselves over oth- ers. Having been in several posi- tions of authority, even in positions to fire people, I never saw the need to toot my whistle. I figured every- one knew who I was and what my position was, so there was no need. Anyone that I had to fire was always given at least one discussion and chance to Correct the situation and it was done quietly, including the dis- cussions. (There was that time that one woman went out on the floor and told everyone that she was go- ing to put Voodoo on me. All of us were nervous for awhile after that.) Discussions were very important because some can talk the talk, but not walk the walk. Some discussions revealed other problems. The truth is people work because they have to and most need the money including the one in authority. Very few people work because they want to. People are simply co-workers with different responsibilities. Some people have the ability to be leaders, and some don't and try to compensate by be- ing abusive. A good leader is never abusive. Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Our Community Works to Fight Hunger By Cindy Lavender-Bowe Executive Director, United Way of the Greenbrier Valley There are simple things we all need for a good life: basic needs like food and shelter; quality education that leads to a stable job; income that sup- ports a family through retirement, and of course, good health. These are the building blocks for a. good life. Lose any one of these and the rest can tum- ble away. The United Way of the Greenbrier Valley works to make these things attainable for everyone in our com- munity. This is possible through the hard work and dedication of so many people who call Greenbrier County home. As the executive director of our local United Way, I see firsthand just how local folks are working hard to achieve these goals and to shape our communities. Each year, United Way of the Green- brier Valley and WVSOM TOUCH Committee join forces for a Day of Caring. Day of Caring is an opportu- nity for communities to show what it means to LIVE UNITED. Volunteers from WVSOM and the community demonstrate their intentions to im- prove lives in measurable and lasting ways by getting involved and joining a volunteer activity within the com- munity. When young volunteers donate their time and talent to improve their local communities, they learn lessons about empathy, social responsibility and community service while learning a new skill, increasing self-esteem and developing new social skills. Young people realize in a hands-on way that everyone can make a difference in ad- vancing the common good. LIVING UNITED means being a part of the change. When students and employees vol- unteer for a Day of Caring project they: Help area nonprofit agencies com- plete much-needed projects. Gain a better understanding of how United Way gifts are helping our com- munity Demonstrate volunteer spirit and commitment to making our commu- nity AND... have fun while building team spirit and morale! "The annual Day of Caring is a fantastic opportunity for WVSOM's' new students to get to know the local community," said Rebecca Morrow, WVSOM's Director of Student Af- fairs. "We really want the .students to integrate into Greenbrier County and especially to engage in community service hours, WVSOM is committed to training great doctors who will be civic leaders in their communities, and the students love to give back. United Way's willingness to partner with us has helped the students focus their ef- forts on meaningful projects that make a positive difference." Each year, volunteers serve at sev- eral different project sites. Past proj- ect sites have included: Family Ref- uge Center and Greenbrier Episcopal School hosted painting, playground and spring cleaning projects; Habitat for Humanity hosted a clean-up of Camp Wood; Monroe Health Cen- ter and the Town of Rainelle asked volunteers to help with landscaping and litter clean up; volunteers com- pleted clean up and refurbishment at the Roncerverte Born Learning Trail; volunteers worked with the Lewisburg Literary Festival helping with art in- stallations and speaking events. Day 0f Caring is designed to engage volunteers and to focus on making a difference in improving the lives of people. When we as individuals think outside ourselves, we have the power to facilitate change. When we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. Webuild the strength of our neighborhoods. We bolster the health of our communities. And we change the lives of those who walk by us every day. Together, united, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow. Day of Caring and living UNITED means being a part of the change. If you see a someone wearing a LIVE UNITED T-shirt during Day of Caring or at other times of the year, chances are they earned it while pick- ing up trash, paintingr cleaning, repair- ing a roof, or a variety of other com- munity centered projects. It shows that they are working to "Be the change you want to see in the world." For more information about becom- ing a Day of Caring volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, or how your organization can apply as a Day of Caring site location, call the United Way office at 304-647-3783 or email us at For more information about the United Way of Greenbrier Valley visit us at I untain Michael Showell, Editor & Publisher Sarah Mansheim, Managing Editor Peggy Mackenzie Editor David Esteppe. Writer Kathy Hunter. Business Office Leah Deitz, Advertising Jonathan Collins. Tech Support Philip McLaughlin. Production Layout Amanda Workman, Production Layout Jeanette Albaugh, Typesetter Julie Sweet, Ad Design Marti Marshall, Customer Service Mgr. Brandy Wykle. Office Mgr. The Mountain Messenger is a weekly publication. Periodicals postage paid at Lewisburg, West Virginia. The known office of publication is Box 429, Lewisburg, WV 24901 USPS 013784 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE MOUNTAIN MESSENGER Box 429, Lewisburg, WV 24901 Subscribe to the Mountain Messenger SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Mailed to Greenbrier and Monroe Counties, $29.95 Mailed, in State (WV) $35.00; Mailed, out of State $39.00 Phone (304) 647-5724 Name Address Phone Number Email Address Total Amount Enclosed WE ACCEPT VISA. MASTERCARD. DISCOVER & AMERICAN EXPRESS Account No. Expiration Date CVV # Signature The Mountain Messenger Box 429. Lewisburg, WV 2490 l Visit us at Letters to the Editor Open letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission June 2. 2015 Ms. Kimberly Bose, Secretary Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 888 First St., NE, Room 1A Washington, DC 20426 Docket #PF 15-3 Dear Ms. ose, No pipeline, no pipeline, not now, never. This correspondence is in refer- ence to the proposed construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in my community which includes the West Virginia Counties of Monroe, Sum- mers and Greenbrier; and the Virginia counties of Craig and Giles. I reside in Monroe County, West Virgima, and, therefore, specific details wil] center around my home county. The history of white man's Mon- roe County begins with explorers in the 1750's; followed by surveying and land grants, then by early settlers whose activities precipitated deadly conflicts with the Native Americans who hunted extensively in this area. The County was chartered in 1799 and 64 years later, in 1863, in the "Time of Unpleasantness," Monroe County, Virginia became Monroe County, West Virginia. During the 45 years before official WV statehood, the County of Monroe was home to numerous prestigious re- sorts centered around healing spring waters. Wealthy people from locations such as Charleston, SC traveled long and hard in stagecoaches to "take the waters." Summers were for partying, escaping southern heat and disease, and mingling with the business and 3olitical leaders of the day. Monroe's county seat of Union became the area's center of commerce because it held close ties to one of the wealthiest fami= lies in the southeast, this due to sugar, sugar cane in Louisiana and Cuba. Agriculturally based for over 200 years, torn apart by Civil War, then by-passed by the railroads, the county continues to thrive in a peaceful, trust- ing and self-reliant system. Monroe County has no minerals or rivers to speak of and thus, big industry was not interested, and, being a lightly popu- lated rural area, the US government was not interested either. Thus, Mon- roe County happily maintains itself. During my time living in Monroe County, I have worked an interesting variety of jobs, always for the people: the older adults, newborns, frail el- derly, pregnant women, kids, many people, wonderful folks. Through my close involvement with people and community groups including soccer, PTA, historical society, basketball, watershed groups, housing and the Monroe County Schools, I have devel- oped a keen understanding of local and state dynamics. As an employee of the US Census Bureau I've been collect- ing confidential data for the US De- partment of Commerce for the last 10 years. The design of survey questions coupled with the method of random household selection does not provide a true picture of my community. The time is now to give rural citizens their just voice, a right to be hear d, a right to be treated with respect. The State of West Virginia is pres- ently in a precarious, quasi legal situa- tion. Legislators, et. al. are attempting to jump from the King Coal bonanza to the gas boom with no thought to the PEOPLE. The Jan. 2014 MCMH chemical spill which contaminated water for over 300,000 people is nearly forgotten by our WV Legislators. Mr. "King Coat" Blankenship is counting on a "not guilty" verdict for his com- pany's mine safety violations which lead to the deaths of 29 coal miners. The WV Department of Environmen- tal Protection does not have enough inspectors for the ever-increasing hy- dro-frack wells. The safety and sensi- bility of a 42" natural gas pipeline is in question. Our water, our air, our land and our peace of mind. We the People. Who is looking out for us? We are. We the People. In closing, I request the FERC to deny the application for the construc- tion of the Mountain Valley pipeline. Furthermore I am requesting the fol- lowing issues be studied: 1) The historical significance of Monroe County, WV in its entirety; 2) Particulate matter in mountain top removal sites as compared to par- ticulate matter in pipeline construction and hydro frack sites, as related to people's health; 3) All WV Ethics Commission cases concerning violations and pending vi- olations in regards to WV governance and corporations conducting business in WV; 4) All the historic springs located in my multi-county community, their water composition and flow rate, to be a part of the Environmental Impact Wright to the Point By Jonathan Wright Simpler--things were oh-so-much simpler back then. Absolutely no doubt about it. I don't mean to sound like a hopelessly-lost-in-the-past oldster who hasn't made it yet into the 21st century, but the plethora of radical changes regarding various lifestyle and technological choices some- times becomes almost overwhelm- ing. And yes, in discussing this vital topic I find there's no preferable alternative to using those dreadedl overused words that have been a favorite of parents for time imme- morial--"Back when I was growing up. ." So here goes. Back when I was growing up, we weren't on our phones every few seconds. Of course, our phones were attached to the wall or sat on countertops, and we had to stay right there at the fixed location of the phones to use them. It took very de- liberate action to go to a phone and make a call--as opposed to today, when people are on their mobile de- vices seemingly every minute, from the time they get out of bed to the time they finally, reluctantly plug in the charger and go to sleep. Back when I was growing up, presidential races didn't really get cranked up to any appreciable de- gree until the actual election year. And then you really had no idea who the candidates would be until--if you can imagine this--the time of the actual Democratic and Republi- can conventions that summer, only two months or so before the actual presidential election. Now, of course, contenders start announcing their intentions only halfway into the incumbent's cur- rent term of office. By the time the conventions roll around (way; way later), the media has pretty-much determined for us who the two con- tenders will be, so the conventions seem nothing more than a kickoff for the already-decided-upon candidate. Back when I was growing up, re- spect for life permeated our entire society, from conception to death. We realized it as a precious, non- negotiable gift to be protected at all costs despite any difficult circum- stances. Now, of course, many think noth- ing of terminating a life for the sake of convenience and, of course, a "woman's right to control her own body"--with, incidentally, never, ever a mention of the rights of the innocent life inside her. Never. Back when I was growing up, marriage was a sacred institution in our country, understood almost ev- erywhere as between two people, a male and a female. The possibility of its ever being something else was totally off the radar. Now, however, society is falling all over itself in praise of a whole new definition of "marriage" as also including two people of the same gender. This new definition may seem to the masses as perfectly lov- ing, accepting, and logical, but it begs the question: if we're re-defin- ing marriage to include two people of the same gender, then what's to stop us from eventually expanding it to include other definitions, such as between three or more people of the same--or different--genders? There's really nothing to halt the re- defining process once we open the gate to the current one. The often-disturbing compli- cations of our present age can, if you're not careful, almost short out the brain. These rapid changes are coming at us with increasing rapid- ity, creating in many of us the wistful longing for the simpler times of our youth. This indeed is life in 2015. Catch your breath from time to time if you can. More questions than answers Dear Editor: The article in the Daily News on Thursday, 21st of May, about the Public Hearing on the Rural Fire Service Fee created several more questions than answers. The biggest question I have at this point is, "what is the huge rush to get this Service Fee enacted?" I suspect that I can answer that question myself. The mayor of Lew- isburg and the city council knows that the more people become aware of what the Service Fee is all about, the more questions they will have to answer. The tactics they are using are not Democratic at all. Hold two city council meetings, vote in favor and than pass it at the next council meet- ing. Hurry up and get it enacted be- fore anyone knows what's going on. The mayor of Lewisburg had to table the second vote because a few people showed up and asked perti- nent questions. He ended the meet- ing saying that they would take all comments into consideration but that there would not be any more public hearings on this. Here is a direct question to the mayor of Lewisburg, you were elected along with your city coun- cil members to represent the folks of your town, then why are you not willing to take the time needed and address all concerns about this Ser- vice Fee? Why are you cutting off any more public hearings? Why are you not willing to listen to your con- stituents? I would have thought that as the Mayor you would really care about what the citizens in YOur t wn have to say, instead it seems you are setting yoursel up to be the "Su- preme Ruler" of Lewisburg. This mad rush to enact this fee, Statement. 5) Data collected bythe US Depart- ment of Commerce and other govern- ment agencies for both outlying and incorporated areas of my community. Thank you for your time. Please do not hesitate to contact me further. . Respectfully, Jill Fischer [Editor's Note: Letters to FERC must be sent by June 16] will in fact affect the entire County of Greenbrier and you know this. White Sulphur has already announced in the .Beckley paper, their plans to follow right along with Lewisburg on this. The rest of the towns in the County will fall right in line also. You keep saying this only affects Lewisburg, and it's "First Due" area, but that is not the case and you know it. The whole County will adopt this service fee. This brings me back to the March of 2013 "special election" that cost the citizens in Greenbrier Co. an un- necessary $55,000 rather than hav- ing the Fire Levy voted on during the regular election schedule. The Fire Levy was defeated. Soundly. Rea- son being for lack of real planning. Looks to me like the Service Fee that Lewisburg is pursuing is without real planning also. Undoubtedly this whole "Fire Ser= vice Fee" is an end run around the March 2013 Fire Levy defeat. It is politics as usual, underhanded, ma- nipulative and very unprofessional. I have a novel idea, why can't we have a new Fire Levy? Present it to all the citizens of Greenbrier County in a reasonable, comprehensive way. Thoroughly planned and thought out with fairness to each Fire Department throughout the County. Every home owner and business being assessed a fair "Fire Tax"? According to the 2014 Census there are 15,400 house- holds in Greenbrier Co. At $100 per home that is $1,540,000. Over ten years that is $15,400,000. Business owners should be treated like hom- eowners. There are about 950 busi- nesses in this County. That's an ad- ditional $95,000 per year. $950,000 over ten years. We need all the em- ployers we can get in this County and should not burden them with any out- landish fees. So, that's $16,350,000 " over ten years. I don't think anyone in the County would say this isn't fair. You may not be able to build a brand new $5,000,000 firehouse like Lewisburg wants but I'm .sure it would provide a pretty good cash flow for all fire departments through- out Greenbrier County. James G. Livesay Ronceverte