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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
August 2, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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August 2, 1990

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Thursday, August 2,1990 Strange --- in a democracy --- there such a small power elite who make our laws, set our taxes, dictate morals and fashion, and generally tell us what we are to do. We, through our willingness to relinquish our democratic rights, allow this to happen. Interesting -- in a democrac ..... to watch those persons who perceive themselves to be influential, powerful or cunning manipulate their way into the ruling class. Pathetic -- in a dernocrac3, ........ to become aware of our weaknesses and see us acquiesce to the whims of such a small group of "rulers". The "silent majority" remains mute in the face of the vocal minority. The mute ones become afraid to voice their opinions, or worse yet, they don't care -- they become apathetic and come to believe their Opinions aren't worth the powder to blow them up. In Case you're wondering, we are not advocating anarchy. We are advocating a pure democracy where fairness and equality are the major tenents. Your Mountain Messenger is keenly aware of the difference between "selfishness" and "selflessness". We are advocates of the latter. We believe a free and unfettered press is the most essential element in our society --- in our democracy. Consequently, this newspaper treats all who come to us the same -- no excep- tions. It matters not the weight of your purse, nor the achieve- ments of your ancestors. The Mountain Messenger is your newspaper. Let us know how you feel and what your needs are. We rely on you in order that you may rely on us. Enough 'said? --- Chas. A. Goddard I "Love is a symbolof eternit_q. It wip' out aff, sense of time, destroying aft ntemory era 6eginninfl and aft fear of at! "end -- Madame de Sta61 (1766-1817) Dear Editor: Rarely in West Virginia politics has there ever been an opportunity to make a substantial change in the future of the state, as that which now exists in the 1990 Congres- sional race for the second district. I would urge all registered voters to look at the Congressional race more closely and to make a decision based on the following philosophy, tf you are satisfied with the current state of affairs in West Virginia, keep voting for Staggers. If you look around you and you like what you see, keep voting for Staggers. If you think West Virginia is progressive, keep voting for Staggers. If you think our current C(~kqgressman is competent, keep voting for Stag- gers. However, if you answered ' no" to any or all of the above, ~pu have an option this year) Oliver Luck is an intelligent, conservative, open- minded individual who has demon- strated the leadership skills neces- sary to bring benefit to the citizens of West Virginia from the halls of Congress. I! you think that 40 years of a Staggers tn Congress is some- thing that should be continued, then keep voting that way, but don't com- plain about the shape West Virginia is in. 1 say put Oliver Luck in the game. West Virginia needs to score a few political touchdowns and fast. Sincerely. James D. Helsley, MD Berkley Springs Dear Editor: The flag of our country is a float- ing piece of poetry. Its red and white stripes speak sublimely of the origi- nal thirteen states maintaining the Declaration of Independence. Its white stars on a field of blue is our national constellation receiving a new star with every new state. White is for purity, red is for bravery and blue for justice. I1 you are in a for- eign country, our flag is companion- ship and country itself. We should all uphold it with our hands. Whether it be shining in the sunshine of prosperity, or as a sign of hope in gloomy times, let it cheer you, Listen to it. There is no speech or language where the voice of the stars and stripes are not heard. It has magic in its web. It has answers for every question of duty. It has a solution for every doubt and prob- lem. It speaks of earlier and later struggles. It speaks of victories and of defeats on land and sea. It speaks of patnots living and dead. Its voice is ever of Union and Lib- erty, of the Constitution and the Laws. Ruth O'Brien Ronceverte Dear Editor: The West Virginia Public Service Commission representatives have recently discussed the possibility of consolidating the two Public Service Districts here in Greenbrier County. This idea may be well and good, but first, let's do a little homework. Billie Jean Hutsenpiller, Western Greenbrier County Commissioner, has noted a public hearing will be held soon. Will this hearing be widely publicized in all media -- in- cluding area t.v.? Will press repre- sentatives at the meeting be given a chance to ask some "hard" ques- tions concerning why now the move for consolidation? If consolidation is such a good idea why was this idea of consolidating the two Districts not done years ago or why weren't the two Districts consolidated from in- ception? Most importantly in the minds of Western Greenbrier County citizens -- and possibly to Hutsenpiller (Hut- senpiller refused an interview with me recently), since she lives in the P.S.D. #2 District and in that she represents the people out here, is why the $1.7 million in delinquent payments as Tom Bennett, P.S.D. #2 Board of Directors member and Rainelle businessman reported to me in May? (A representative of the Federal Home Administration had just paid a visit to the P.S,D. #2 Board members and the F.H.A. rep- resentative was investigating the de- linquent payments shortly before I interviewed Bennett.) Let's put first things first! It be- hooves all Greenbrier County citi- zens -- and certainly would put a tot of issues in the minds of County citi- zens to rest -- if a Federal repre- sentative of the Justice Department or a comparable investigatory agency (repeat Federal) came m and did a thorough audit of all prac- tices (financial, personnel, equip- ment, policies, rates, etc.) of the Public Service Districts in Green- brier County. Then, and only then -- The Mountain Messenger STAFF C,has. A. Goddard, Editor Dotty Brackenrtch, Office Manager Troy Forren. Advertising Terri Boone, Advertising Helen Searle, Advertising Betty Morgan, Ad Design Matt "Landers, Ad Design 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/647-5724 Published every Thursday Circulation: 23,120 Jonathan Wright, StaffWriter Lou Burroughs, Typesetting Brenda Gherman. Production If you would like to submit material for publication: Articles submitted to The Mountain Messenger should be typewritten or clearly written in order to be cons~lered for publication. Please include your name and a phone number where you may be reached during business hours. The Mountain Messenger reserves the rig'nt to edi! any materia) and regrets ar- ticles cannot be returned. Letters to the editor must include a full s~nalure and address. It you would like a photograph relumed, 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 $15.00 $1 discount to Sen or C t zens To the point By Jonathan Wright Now that the height of the sum- mer tourist season is upon us, the proud residents of Madinton, Union, Alderson, and Ronceverte are en- joying the fruits of their labors in sprucing up their downtown areas. I mention these particular four cities because of their recently completed downtown renovation projects. Despite competition from shop- ping centers, downtown areas con- tinue to offer a peculiar type of charm and atmosphere not repro- duced elsewhere. Regardless of what other parts of town offer, the core of the downtown business dis- trict continues today as a major focal point of social and economic life. It is the showplace of the community. Of course, some cities continue to be plagued with the ruins of urban blight--abandoned store buildings whose owners were wcttms of the big shopping centers and the Siren- calls of big chain discount stores. fast-food restaurants, and easy ac- cess. Many downtown businesses fought for their existence as long as they could--and lost. It's the 90s now. People across the United States are waking up to what they lost---and what they stand to gain by reviving this valuable piece of Americana. Frequently it comes only by hard work, years of grant applications, and aggressive recruitment of new businesses to fill those empty stores, but the rewards are obvious. One of the most striking signs of this progress is the addition of benches, railings, landscaping, and nostalgic streettights. Our towns throughout the Greenbrier Valley are prime examples of what can be done to bring people back to town. People in each community can tell you there are still projects waiting to be tackled, but it's good to sit back once in a while and bask in the pride of what we've been able to accom- plish. We're on the right track. should Greenbrier Countians be faced with the decision of whether consolidation of the two P.S.D. dis- tricts is in our best interest. I am sure I speak for a majority of citizens in the Western District of Greenbrier County n wanting a thor- ough investigation of this issue, Again, why the $1.7 million delin- quent payments in P.S.D. #2? We want answerst) Thank you Sincerely, Pritchard Farley Collins Rupert Dear Editor: On this day the Secretary of State issued a proclamation which has had, as the years have passed, a far-reaching effect on American Democracy. It was then t hat the sec- retary declared the 19th Amendment to the Constitution ratified. After a long and tedious fight, to which many had devoted years of effort, women throughout the coun- try were given the right to vote. The Amendment simply stated "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." It meant that the women of America had at least been given one of the treasured re- sponsibilities of a free land. We, the women of this great na- tion, have a responsibility to go vote as well as gelling our men folks to go too. Mary Walker Ralnelle Dear Editor: Reference: a letter written to you by Henry Dunn about the Manage- ment of Lewisburg Manor and Jeanie Anderson. Every word he wrote is true. Jeanie is a wonderful lady and her husband is a nice guy. I lived there once. I was treated wonderful by Jeanie and, if we by chance meet in public, she is the nice lady she is at the Manor. I lived in Wildwood Apartments at Beckley. Also at Hinton House Apartments. i'm sorry I can't speak of being treated with love there as Jeanie treats all who live at Lewis- burg Manor. Bertle Belcher Union Dear Editor: It has been about two years since I last wrote a politically-ori- ented letter. I used to write fre- quently. Several times I wanted to wnte -- long and painful letters -- but I could not. Why? Suddenly one day I realized why I had become inactive. I felt as if I had been raped and was totally avoiding all sexual overtures. Who raped me? Gaston Caperton, Arch Moore, Arnold Margotin directly, and A. James Manchin indirectly, Larry Tucker -- and the list goes on. It was a gang rape, and not only did the West Virginia Legislature partici- pate, but so did the United States and Congress. Some raped me with their deceit and lies and outright thievery; others with broken prom- ises and a continual contribution to overspending and raised taxes. And to top it off, the politicians, in general, have prostituted them- selves with their PAC deals. Any- time they take gifts in any form and vote their way because of PAC money, instead of voting in favor of the general populace, they are pros- tituting themselves. Then they smile at me and say, 'Tm your servant." They should be my servant -- I'm paying for their salaries, their retire- ment, their health benefits, their franking privileges, their expense accounts, their lime's, their chauf- feurs. Any time their spouses and their kids get advantages they're not entitled to, any time they ride in that time, any time they take a plane ride at government expense, any time they vacation "on a business trip," they are raping me. In reality we have become the servants. And my taxes go up, but my in- come doesn't. In fact, it goes down because my taxes went up. Now they want more money --- maybe a tax on gasoline. Pity the poor worker who just barely makes it with the gas gauge sitting on E by payday --- running on fumes to get to work to get the small check which keeps him or her off welfare. What then, when the worker can no longer afford to drive to work --- and you know most town and country people don't have public transportation --- and if they do, the fares will also go up. Boston Tea Party anyone? Martha Asbury-Faulknsr Lewisbu g By Desmond O'Brien In the past few weeks I have been dismayed by the lack of local attention paid to the death of Mitch Snyder. 1 can remember when, in 1970, West Virginia because of its cheap land prices was the Mecca of the longhaired, the enlightened, the "on the bus" people, the people of consciousness. Those who were on the Journey to the East. A few weeks ago one of us on that journey killed himself. I'm writing this be- cause not only did I share Milch Snyder's dream of America, I knew him. Our lives crossed two times. The first time we met was long be- fore his fasting and his celebrity status. The last time we met he was deeply involved in his sadhana, his work for the poor and oppressed and the homeless. He remembered me then and offered me a berth be- side him. It's a long story. I first met Mitch in a bar in D.C. D.C. is my hometown. I was born there, I know all the streets in that city. When I was a kid I would spend my summer vacations paying twenty-five cents" from the suburbs to the White House on the bus. My mother died when t was young so I had a longer leash than most kids have. I met and know homeless people long before they were called "homeless." In my father's lexicon they were all "bums." Not true, I wanted to say but I kept my mouth shut. A friend of mine and I gave a poetry reading in D.C. and afterward we went to a bar not far from Dupont Circle. The're was Mitch at a corner table. We took a side seat within hearing distance. Mitch pontificated about the government, Christianity and the war in Vietnam. He was fond of Thomas Merton at the time. I didn't know until much later that he had studied under the Berrigan brothers while locked in the same prison with them. I had had the pleasure of spending some time with Daniel Berrigan myself and the more I listened to him the more I wanted to talk to him. At last I intruded my- self into the talk at his table and we wound up together all night -- argu- ing. Mitch felt being a poet wasn't an activist activity and t expounded the opposite opinion. I pointed out all of the slaughtered poets throughout history and he pointed out all the murdered saints throughout history. The snow as falting that night and the bar closed and my friend and I invited Mitch to an apartment just off of the highway near the bar. My pal fell asleep while Mitch and I drank cheap Italian wine and talked until dawn about life and politics and The Path. I was in favor of a yogic, coun- try life. He was in favor of confronta- tion. He didn't respect my idea that a man with an acre of land and a pen could do more to radicalize the Dear Editor: How else can they cause hurt to the Veterans? This latest was an ugly thing -- not the flag itself this time but an- other symbol of our country . . . the beautiful "Song of the Flag"... " '1he home of the brave, land of the free." The Star-Spangled Banner, the music of America, respected, revered. Another symbol brave men fought and died for -- for you and for me. The first shame of America, in our time, was the cold and heartless "welcome home" we gave to the Vi- etnam veterans. And then, the flag burning ; . . something else they fought for.., the flag. And July 26, a disgusting and obscene incident, before thousands of people, perpe- trated by a person apparently con- temptuous of the national anthem. A shocking display of vulgarity and coarseness of manners and lack of respect for things we hold dear. (Reference television performeY Roseanne Barr's singing at a San Diego Padres baseball game.) If the woman thought her act was a funny, laugh-provoking, amusing joke, the disapproval of the fans showed she misjudged her audi- ence. Maybe we can summon up enough pity for those persons who let money and success and high liv- ing go to their heads and cause them to do outrageous and crude, indecent things. Sincerely, Henry Dunn Lewisburg consciousness of our tim* man with zeal and a sacrifice could. He didn't me that they were one same. Mitch wasn't into was an out-front fighting ass. The last time I saw him put on his army came one of his me that morning that he my opinions, that he hear them, but that my his path. I wished him We hugged each other andi it for a few years. I used to read about papers. When I was fat would mail a few bucks have been homeless. seventeen years old I was in New York, New York. a brutal life it is. To my I found myself homeless 1980. How I wound up would bore my talked to Mitch in years. I headquarters and asked I was shocked that he phone himself. I told plight. He told me where panhandling spots in D.C, also told me that if I had he could share his remembered me after years. When he came he said, "what's ha hindsight I regret that me much mercy. I enough to eat and get way to a friend's house urbs. I didn't spend that Mitch in his cot and I didn't. When I learned of cried my eyes out. And I'm! mental. Milch Snyder was a was a thorn in the side of( eminent and our was theatrical but street-scholar, he was a really was a Ghandi and a white cracker with he~ willing to confront and confrontations. His death cloud the manner of his was a brave man. He was) in the Shambala sense. I will miss Mitch Sn, and his kindness will be all whose path he crossed. all el us who shared picture of a finer and a and compassionate lose hope. mighty mountain to friends. Light a dhini for Hold a prayer Torah of Psalms. Krishna. Light a wick Baba. Have a Sufi dance kiss the ground. Why? have known a good man walked our same earth time that we have. Interce[ Dear Governor Caperton As a West Virc appeal to you for ) ter concerning the schools and consolidate and children into one new cared at site Fairlea, Greenl As a parent with two ing school, I find a stress ready descendin~ upon school mates, wroth coming decision to close their J The effects of closing will cause negative and harm to all the children within County, Many students will hours, each way (3 hours more, to and from school. conditions, coupled with roads (some are gravel/dirt require more time traveling, I safety hazard. Quality of the number of students per classroom therefore, tention factor, participation edge levels to deteriorate. ceptable. Furthermore, students eting greater distances to school will not be afforded nity to participate ties after school hours. This needed participation physical, and social develo students living closer to eling shorter distances wilt unquestioned advantage ing at greater distances This is unacceptable. To compound the employment in our county greater losses by requi teachers, staff, and sonnel. This is not a sign for the county or state, Attached for your copy of a petition form which' and presented to you by Please be aware that the Greenbrier County will be own petition and will age to you as well. I appreciate your and response to these reached at home 645-6564.