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

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Thursday, July 26,1990 I'm beginning to understand why the folks in the western districts of Greenbrier County often are accused of poor- mouthing it. You'd think, with the great amounts of coat and timber extracted from that area, they'd have it pretty easy. Not the case, however. As in most coal mining districts, the econ- only is pretty lean. This has been the case in West Virginia ever since coal was first dug down at Cannelton on the Ka- nawha -- since the first trees were cut --- since West Virgini- ans lost control of their own destinies. Now comes the big junior high school consolidation issue. The Greenbrier County Board of Education has decided to build an $8 million high school near Lewisburg. All of that $8 million comes from public funds. $8 million is a lot of money no matter how you look at it. It seems unlikely we will have that much money, or anywhere near tt}at amount, again in the foreseeable future. The Greenbrier County Board of Education decided to spend the entire amount on one facility located not to serve the entire county, but to serve the eastern districts alone. They didn't even throw the western districts a bone not one dollar appears to be destined to benefit the folks in Quinwood, Leslie, Crawley, Rupert, Rainelle. Now comes a legal suit you can read all about it on page one of today's newspaper. I'm not the suing kind, so I find it lamentable that we have come to this. However, I now believe, after talking to dozens of parents from throughout the county, that perhaps this suit may be the only way for all Greenbrier Countians to achieve some modicum of fairness some sem- blance of equality. After reading the "prayers" of all the petitioners in this un- fortunate suit, 1 don't find they are asking consolidation phms be abandoned. They are asking for adherence to the laws of West Virginia, the laws of the United States of America. They pray for fairness. They beg tbr equality. Now we must all await the decision of the judge. our Home: West Virginia There's No Place Like It! Mountain Messen STAFF Chas. A. Goddard, Editor Dotty Brackenrich, Office Manager "rmy Forren, Advertising Ten-i Boone, Advertising Belly Morgan, Ad Desig{n Jonathan Wright. Stall" Writer LoU Burrout.{hs, Typesetlillg Brenda Gherman, I)roduclion 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/64 7-5724 Published evmT Thursday Circulation: 23,120 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 envelope. 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, $1,5.00 i i To the point By Jonathan Wright It was a scene from the past, brought to life in 1990. I had not seen one of those contraptions for years, and here was someone using one as if they had never gone out of style. "Earlier this week I was getting into my car and just happened to notice a lady across the street mow- ing her grass with a non-motorized hand mower. I specify "non-motor- ized," since "hand mower" today usually refers to a motorized mower you push--as opposed to a rider mower or a self-propelled model. There it was, and there she was--using it to mow her small yard. The whirring blades brought back memories of my early child- hood when we had one of these in- struments--but only as a plaything for us kids, since we rarely used it for serious mowing. It was a remnant of those times before gaso- line-fueled engines were added to mowers to make them faster and more efficient. I took a look at this lady's mower and noticed it looked new. Could it be that they are still sold today--in the 90's? If a person has a small- enough yard, it could certainly be all he needs to keep his grass looking tidy. But then, has she perhaps taken extraordinary paros through- out the years to preserve the ap- aearance and good condition of her mower--painting it. oiling it. and sharpening the blades? I may ask her one of these days. In the meantime, it's good to know there are still some things left which nave never quite completely surren- dered to modern technology. We need these links with the past. rm glad they're still around--and are being used. Greenbrier County Board of News and Views from Chestnut By Bailey All total, only 17 persons at- tended the July 17 meeting of the Board of Education. Of this number 14 were e~ther Board members and/ or staff employees. The meeting began quietly enough but rapidly escalated into heated discussions concerning the acquisition of land for the proposed site for the new junior high school and a brutal con- frontation between Board President Sessions and Pritchard Collins. It all started with the recommen- dation by Superintendent Baldwin that the Board enter into negotia- tions for the purchase of 25.6 acres of land located near Greenbrier East High School. The Superintendent noted that even though the School Building Authority felt that 30 acres would be best, he felt that the new school might jointly share 4.6 acres with Greenbrier East to meet the re- quirements set forth by the Author- ity. It was then that new member, Jim Anderson, pointed out his many objections to the proposed site, re- minding the Board members that he was against a new consolidated school. Anderson objected to the site as recommended due to the in- creased traffic congestion, the inter- mingling of the junior and senior high students that would result from such proximity and lastly, the high cost of acquiring land in that area. (It must be noted here that in the pro- posed budget the Board will not re- lease, $1.1 million has been set aside for the purchase of land and preparation of the building site. An- derson also noted that a different s=te might lessen the travel time of students living outside of Lewisburg. Baldwin felt that traffic problems would not increase as Junior High students would not be driving to school, the same buses bringing Greenbrier East High students would transport the Junior High stu- dents and although other sites were considered, the site adjacent to Greenbrier East was in his opinion, the best site, Board member C. Grif- fith then made a motion to accept the recommendation of the Superin- tendent. What happened next would seem hilarious were it not pathetic. Anderson called for a roll call vote, such that each member once his/her name was called had to ( vote rather than alt sim aye or naye. Anderson castll no vote with Griffith, Bowling voting for. noted that Board sions did not give a voice said he had to go on vote. Sessions argued president did not have to derson countered that quire this. Sessions said if Anderson was trying! him to show his position, vote yes. What is sad this is that it has been so Board members have had give a vote separate and from each other, that not ber knew the proper roll call vote. Even would have to review the Sessions asked for a ruling matter. The matter between and Collins erupted wanted to ask a question Board was in session on before the Board. told Collins he would turbances from him, and meetings were not public If a person wants to ask of the Board, that person up 15 minutes before the begins, Sessions said. It to me that Board meetin public affair. If the public and designed to community a chance to concerns, what is the tween these meetings sessions? Secondly, why public given the opportunl questions while the Board sion. Is it not probable tl one in the audience might keener perspective on an bring some enlig lem the children are educational institutions? mend to the Board also be granted time for similar'to the way the allows persons to ask within a given time frame. Superintendent Baldwin, speak up, somebody is ing to what you have to Dear Editor: Thought you might be interested in a copy of the letter I sent today to the Monroe County Commission re- garding the Monroe Jail. It needs to be closed. Sara Wickline President, Monroe County Com- mission Courthouse Union Dear Commissioner Wickline, I have followed with interest the latest developments regarding the Monroe County Jail, specifically the Supreme Court Facilities Review Panel's most recent recommenda- tion that the jail be closed. I want you to kn(:~iN that I agree with the Panel's conclusions. As a citizen of Monroe CotJnty, and as someone who has eve1[ the last 15 years examined the cbnditions of many jails and prisons in several states (including the Monroe County Jail), I would urge the County Com- mission to folloWthe Panel's advice. Let's close the lail! The Monroe County Jail does not meet state and federal standards governing the operation of a jail fa- cility. For many years it has not met these standards. Instead, the county has either ignored the State Supre- men Court's recommendations or has simply lacked the monetary re- sources to make the necessary improve ments. Our jail is bad: -- It is a fire hazard; there are many defimencies noted by Fire Marshal inspections. -- Indoor and outdoor recrea- tional activities are limited or non- existent. -- Visitation is inadequate. --- Medical/health care is sub- standard. -- Prisoners' dietary/nutritional needs are not met on a daily basis. -- Supervision of inmates is lax. -- There are virtually no pro- grams -- educational, rehabilitation (drug, alcohol, child/spouse abuse, etc.), vocational -- available to Monroe County jail prisoners, It is also tremendously costly to the county and, I think, unnecessary to maintain a jail for so few prison- ers. This seems particulady true for a jail that has never been able to pass constitutional muster. Rather than build a new additional scarce revenues vamping the existing jail, it would make much more sense to simply abandon the jail altogether. What would we do with the pris- oners? For starters, if the jail is closed, we could easily house the handful of inmates m surrounding iails, as the Facilities Review Panel has suggested. The Greenbrier County Jail in Lewisburg is one such iail But with a little foresight we could, rm certain, develop and util- ize alternatives to incarceration which would probably make it un- necessary for Monroe County to have to incarcerate anyone, save for the truly dangerous, psychotic of- fender who is a violent threat to the citizenry. Our courts can be much more creative in their pretrial rulings, making decisions which would no longer have to mean incarcerating suspected offenders while they await trial. Judges could also de- velop alternative "sentencing schemes, sentences that would keep the offender out of jail and un- der some form of community super- vision Of course this means the com- munity -- you and me and our fellow citizens --- would have to be willing (or made to be willing) to get more involved. Existing social programs, the churches, civic groups and indi- viduals could be available to offer unsentenced and sentenced offend- ers such things as therapy, drug and alcohol counseling, educational op- portunities (GED), job training pro- grams, and so forth. A victim-of- fender mediation project could be established. Meaningful restitution programs could be implemented. It made so much more sense for us to work to instill responsibility in an of- fender, to make honest attempts to alter, in a constructive way, the be- havior in someone that offends soci- ety. It has been my experience that positive, long lasting behavioral changes does not -- cannot --- hap- pen to someone who languishes in a jail or prison cell. I realize that, on the face of it, closing the Monroe jail would be a politically unpopular thing for any elected official to do. But you who occupy important governing posi- tions are often asked to make tough even unpopular --- decisions, de- cisions which we hope will ultimately benefit us all. I think closing the Monroe County iail would certainly be a tough decision, but it would be a w~se one as well. It would be the right decision, one which in the long run will make our county a better place in which to hve We all need To learn to accept responsibility for one another, to help restore those who are broken, forgive those who offend us, comfort those who have been victims of crime. Our jail does noth- ing of the kind. I am conwnceo that Monroe County should get out of the jail business. Thanks to the Supreme Court Facilities Revue Panel's re- cent recommendations we can do just that, and close down our old, dilapidated, unconstitutional jail. We at Alderson Hospitality House stand ready to help you in any way we can if such assistance can mean the dis- continuation of the jail's use. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, John Cole Vodicka for the AHH Community Dear Editor: I am pleased to announce that the City of Lewisburg has been awarded a Drug Control grant in the amount of $9,677 to implement Proj- ect DARE, It is vitally important to the future of Lewisburg and West Virginia that we make every effort possible to rid our communities of drug trafficking. Project DARE is an awareness and drug education program designed to equrp young people with the skills to resist peer pressure to experiment with harmful drugs. DARE Project Director Chief Richard Weikel of the Lewisburg Po- lice Department has appointed Lieu- tenant Daniel Fisk to receive DARE training. Lieutenant Fisk will conduct classes at Lewisburg and Roncev- erie Elementary Schools during the coming school year. Sixth grade stu- dents at both schools will receive training the first semester, while fifth grade students will be involved the second semester. Project DARE of- ricer Fisk will also attend civic meet- ings, PTO meetings and teacher ori- entation meetings. A recent report by an organized cr~me commission concluded that the only way to significantly reduce the drug problem in the United States is b~/ eliminating demand. The Lewisburg Police Department thinks the place to start =s w~th young children. Our school children, particularly elementary students must be better educated to recognize the dangers of drug use and to resist the subtle and direct pressures on them to ex- periment with and use drugs. Project DARE is an attempt to provide bet- ter drug ec ucation. P. L. Gainer, Mayor Lewisburg Dear Editor: Thank you for printing the article on our squad completing the Emer- gency Medical Technician Course. I would, however, like to make a cor- rection and add something to it. The course that our squad took was a 110-hour course, not a lO-hour course as reported by the paper. The course took from January till April for members to complete. I would also like to add that our squad now has in addition to the 12 E.M.T.s, nine Certified First Re- spenders. They are: Genevieve Hartley, David Hawks, John Judy, Rusty Judy, Joe Kliaber, Charlie Lewis, Calvin Nutter, Avery Stidom, David Tito. My intention was not to deliberately omit these names from the previous article. Would you please correct the amount of hours spent in class and get me oft the hook by adding the above men- tioned nine names. Sincerely, Dear Editor: Ellen McCoy Training Officer Williamsburg Arch Moore =s going to jail. He deserved a stiffer sentence in my opinion. He deserved a less "resort- like" facility in which to serve his time. After all, Moore is FIRST a West Virginia citizen, and THEN an elected- politician -- what sentence would an "ORDINARY CITIZEN" have gotten under the same circum- stances (felonies) as did Moore? AND where would that same citizen have served his jail time for compa- rable felonies? To answer the above questions I have passed: the "ordinary citizen" may have gotten the maximum sen- tence -- or certainly more than Moore! Second he/she would probably do "hard time" at a "hard lime facility" --- not a "camp.," Now with Moore's dilemma be- hind us, let's move forward for the betterment of West Virginia! DEMO- CRATS OF WEST VIRGINIA, DON'T GLOAT OVER ARCH MOORE'S FATE! Do the political names Barren, Tucker, Tonkovich et al. (all DEMOCRATS) mean good government to you? Hardly. Will there be others that join the "shameful rolls?" U. S. Attorney Mi- chael Carey has said the federal probe of corruption in West Virginia has not been completed. Republicans, re-group and go lorward and make sure the candi- dates nominated and elected are "clean as hounds' teeth. Only then can we have government in West Virginia that ALL West Virginians and America can be proud of. Sincerely, Pritchard Farley Collins Rupert Dear Editor: Yes, my dear Susan Rosen- baum, your sojourn back to Lewis- burg after an absence of 35 years and your reminiscences and memo- ries of your childhood days on Church Street, evoked a flood of memories on the part of this corre- spondent. Yes, I knew your grandfather, Louis Schuchat. I remember the many discussions we had in the earty 50s in attempting to solve the fate of the world, discussions held on the street corner of his Green- brier Mercantile Co. or in my office on occasion. In passing, my office ,was on the second floor of the R. B. Wood Building, the structure situ- ated between the Lewisburg Motel and Flanagan's Barbershop. At the street level, now occupied by a res- taurant, Mr Wood had his grocery store at that time. On the second floor, facing Washington Street, was the Greenbrier Insurance Agency, owned and operated by Mr Hass, a dignified and pleasant gentleman, followed next by the office of Coun- selor Francis Davis, then yours truly and finally at the end of the hall the office of the Justice of the Peace, the venerable Squire Jess Hutchin- son, who dispensed justice with a firm and even hand to the many liti- gants who darkened his door. For 31 years I have lived just above your Grandfather's home and pass that stucco house each and every day. Moreover, I arn one of the few remaining here who rem Schuchat, an gentle man. In any event, I cherish[ lection of having known father in those bygone long ago and thank you for having refreshened ter such a long era in my life. Dear Editor: Having just returned to ti after a two week vacation, now catching up on my the weeks of news that someone on the cation should sit down and consolidation issue out. Thi~ one which, tO me, makes f at all. When it was first was surprised, but would take around a until someone realized absolutely no sense. Half of the money build the school (not purchase price) could to each school for stead of $10 million for and thousands for fuel to for three to four hours have the board that buses have to be hops the saner head of Anderson can convince the this issue doesn't make e sense, Also my thanks g(~ out Tyler for her coverage of meetings. In times like public needs someone keep us informed. The public has got to people know that this is you wanted when you members into office. Thank you, Gilbert L. To The