Newspaper Archive of
Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
August 9, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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August 9, 1990

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Thursday, August 9,1990 Time: The not-too-distant future -- "'Wake i11), Johnny. It's 4:30 a,nl. -- time to get ready lbr school." "O, Morn, let me sleep just a little longer, pa-lease," "Johnny, you know the bus will be by in less than 20 minutes. Put a move on it, boy!" Johnny wearily tumbles ollt of bed, switches on tile lights as he sleepwalks Ms way to the ba/hroorn. His mother is busy at tile kitchen stove, preparing lhe lad's breaklast. "Come on Johrmy. You'd better hllI'l-y.'" "Okey, Mona. I'm coming." "So's Chrislmas! Rasch! Rasch! Johrmy stumbles out the door. The winter's morning is dark and cold. Through the darkness, the golden rays of headlamps pierce the frosty air, Jotmny quicksteps to the bus shelter, still rubbirlg sleep trom his eyes. The bus squeaks to a halt and Johnny clinff)s aboard to be greeted by the sleepy smiles of other 13-year-olds. To the back of the bus Johnny plods. A green-grey glow emanates from the personal compulers attached to the bus' seal frames. Foldaway keyboards and portable mouse pads are moved into place as the children begin their early morn- ing "quality Iinle" with the mobile computer. An aulomatic tracking satellite antemm arcs slowly atop the bus -- con- nectmg the children to a nminlranm located somewhere in Kansas. Johnny plops down ixl his seat, accesses his file, signs on, and slowly begins to respond to the beeps and chirps emanat- ing from the liquid-cD, stal-display device in front of him. His consolidated school day has begun. Time: The not-too-distant past "Wake up, Johnny. It's 4:30 a.m. Time to get ready tor school. You'll have to feed Dobbin before you saddle him. you know." "Oh, please Marne, let me sleep just a litlle longer." "Johnny, you know it takes you ihree hours to get lo school on these winter mornings. The horse is gelling older and slower." Johnny tumbles otll o[ bed. Feels his way in tile dark to tile warm/h of the kitchen slove. His mother fills his porridge bowl as Johnny slowly dons his homespun clothes. His mother hands him a baked potalo to keel) his hands warnl on the long ride to school. The boy lakes lhe lantern to the barn and saddles up Old Dobbin. His pre-consolidation school day has jusl begun. Ah. progress! Chas. A. Goddard Dear Editor: Enclosed is a letter originated by the Potomac Highland Con- vention and Visitors Bureau to Commissioner Fred Van Kirk, Commissioner of the Division of Highways of the West Virginia Department of Transportation, in which we have expressed our disapproval of the State's of herbicide spraymg in controlling growth ahmg highway rights-of- way. Please let us have your assistance in whatever way you might be able to help to end the State's present policy of herbi- cide spraying along our beauti- ful highways! Perhaps you could also in- clude this in your editorial col- U Ilia. Sincerely Charles Ha nkinson Pi*esident Potomac Highland CVB Ada Kirkpatrick Office Manager Potomac Highland CVB Dear Commissioner Van Kirk: The beauty of West Virginia's famous country roads is being seriously damaged from herbi- cide spraying by the Department of Transportation. The Potomac Highland Convention and Visi- tors Bureau (CVB) requests your assistance in semng that this spraying is ceased immediately before further damage is done. At its ]uly meeting, Potomac Highland CVB members cited the unspoiled beauty of the Po- tomac Highlands as its number one asset for tourism. The Bu- reau also noted the destruction of roadside greenery, erosion, and unknown long-range haz- ards to streams and ground wa- ter as factors in seeking the ban on the current chemical defolia- tion program by the State of West Virginia. Noting that Agent Orange herbicide used m Vietnam was once believed safe, the Bureau requests the Department of Transportation to resume tradi- tional cutting methods of all highway right-ot-way foliage along roads, guard-rails, bridges, etc., and discontinue its use of chemicals for this pur- pose. The Potomac highland CVB noted West Virginia was cited by Reader's Digest for being a national model for beautiful highways which was achieved by cutting rather than the pres- ent practice of chemical herbi- cide control. The Bureau also expressed se- rious concern over the growing use of herbicide spraying along power line rights-of-way, add- ing that such practices are also adding to the deterioration of the State's natural beauty and creating harmful erosion, silta- tion and possible long-term threats to the State's priceless water resources. It is also requested that the Department of Transportation start reseeding areas where the greatest damage has occurred m~d to start seeding perennial native wildflowers along road banks, etc., as is the current practice in the State of North Carolina. The Potomac Highland CVB noted highway spraying is dis- placing native grasses and other foliage along the scenic U.S. Route 33 running eastward from Elkms through the Alleghemes. The Canaan Valley and Seneca Rocks areas, as well as numer- ous other sites throughout the 13-county region, are experienc- ing the unsightly spraying which is often done in the spring and fall so that the public is not immediately aware of its dam- ages and ugliness. The Potomac Highland CVB would again like to see green fo- liage and beautiful native flow- ers along the roadsides greeting our visitors and residents in- stead of brown, scorched earth and erosion which now appears along some of our beautiful and celebrated country roads. Sincerely, Charles Hankinson Aria Kirkpatrick STAFF Chas. A. Goddard, Editor Dotty Brackenrich. Office Manager Troy Forren. Advertising Ten'i Boone, Advert i sirlg Betty Morgan, Ad Design Matt Lenders, Act Design Jonathan Wright, Staff Writer Lou Burroughs, Typesetting i Brenda GhernlmL Production 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/64 7-5 724 I'ublished every 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 s~gnature and address. If you would like a photograph returned, please provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope. blaterial must be received in our office by: News Items: Fridays, Noon Display Advertising: Mondays, 2 p.m. Classified Advertising: Fridays, 10 a.m. SUBSCRItrrlON RATES: In State, $14.84 In State Senior Citizens $13.78 In State Students 11.13 ( 9 enos,) Out-ot:State, $15.00 To the point By Jonathan Wright State Fair time around these parts in many ways signifies summer's last gasps. By the cal- endar we have over a month of this season left, but for all practi- cal matters we know it's about O VID'. Kids go crazy over the fair ..... but they all realize that once the rides are disassembk~ and the food stands are packed up, school is just a matter of a few days away. The annual bom- bardment of back-to-school sales throughout the media doesn't make it any easier, either. Adults don't have it nmch better. "Sun> merholics" cnnge as the fair is torn down and leaves town, for ~t takes with ~t the caremx' days of vacations and temporary fwe- dora from responsibilities. We know only a couple of weeks remain until Labor Day, the un- official end ol summer through- out the United States. Look around you. Sure, the fair's on, goil~g fuil-blast in all its Pronto-Pup, cotton-candy, ele- phant-ear glory. But before you know it the fairgrounds wilt once again be vacant as the hundred ol vendors and carnival workers go elsewhere. The trees will soon be turning, the cold winds w~ll come, and winter wilt set in once more. It always does. That's the way liie is here m the Greenbrier \/alley. Dear Editor: 1 want to answer the letter about the veterans. Yes 1 agree very much that many veterans have been hurt and a many of their wives too. I am one who is deeply sorry the way veterans who fought in World War 11 have been treated. Some people do not care how many got shot down and wounded. I really know for I am a veteran's wile and my sweet husband would tell me he saw the handwriting on the wall. He served under General MacArthur and said he was a fine man and a good man. There is a man next door who was a sergeant. He only gets $117 a month. He lost his wife. No one seems to care to even come see about him and help him get his check. It looks like some good veteran, or one of the Lodge fellows, would help him. He told me ~)metimes he had to crawl to his work. I do hate to see anyor~e, even the veteran's wife cursed and abused. I say God help the ones who do it. My precmus mother used to say "What goes over the devil's back always comes under his belly." Some people are not thoughtful what those boys went through. They think that they were just having a good time. God rest each one who was wounded or killed. Linda Reed Marlinton My grandson said I have stayed in the mountains too long. Dear Editor: For the second year in a row the Jefferson National Forest (JNF) has lost more money, for the amount of timber harvested, than any other National Forest in the southern region. According to statistics re- ported in their most recent State- ment of Revenues and Expenses, the JNF has suffered a loss of $1,027,000 in an effort to harvest 21,171 thousand board feet (MBF) of timber. That works out to a net loss of $48.50 spent to harvest every MBF of timber. None of the other 14 National H)rests in the southern region, which stretches from Texas clear to Virginia, has done as badly as the JNF in setting this record sta- tistic of inefficient management. Budget restrictions, as a result of the national deficit, should in- fluence how the Forest Service rnanages our land. Reducing the amount of clearcuttmg will re- duce the amount of monev being lost. Changmg the management focus from timber to recreation makes sen,~ given the stagger- ing losses that below cost timber sales have caused. Economic considerations, wildlife benefits, conserw~tion of the soil and water resource and serving the public interest arc' all reasons to reassess the failed policms currently being prac- ticed by the JNF. If you want to see less clearcutting on the JNF please write Congressman Har- ley Staggers, U.S. House ot Rep- resentatives, Washington, D.C. 20515. Richard Ettelson Waiteville Dear Editor: 1 was delighted to read about the cloth diaper revolution at Humana Hospital-Greenbrier Valley. 1 used cotton diapers for nw two children and it really wasn't a big deal to wash them. I trust others will follow this lead set by Humane Hospital. I am very pleased to read regular reports of recycling ac- tivities in the Greenbrier Valley. We desperately need to modify our wasteful ways and Humane Hospital has set a wonderful ex- ample. Let's all do our part to keep %est Virginia "Wild and Won- derful.'" Sincerely, M artha Murray Alderson More Letters To The Editor, With the special legislative session for education fast ap- proaching, I feel it is only fair that the public be aware of'some very distorted figures bandied about rather carelessly by; manv newspaper editors .... -" and read- ers -- during the teachers' strike ol last w, ar. Firs{, let us consider the much discussed "low" pupil-teacher ratio for the state of West Vir- ginia, 15 to 1. Several editorials compared that 15 to I to the 17 to I of our neighboring state of Kentucky. Since, in all the years I taught 1 could remember hav- ing less than a half dozen classes whose enrollments were less than 20, 1 decided to call the Kentucky State Board of Edt, ca- tion to determine exactly how they arrived at their figure. A very helpful administrator there col{firmed what 1 already sus- pected -- when the division is made in that state to obtain this average, the number of students is divided by the nunlber of teachers only. In West Virginia, the divisor includes non-teach- ing personnel such as librarians, guidance counselors and school nurses. Special education classes are included in the total and nlanv are federally mandated to have; enrolhnents ~}f 8 or less. So, the comparison to other states is indeed unfair unless the ratio is arrived at the same way. In our state, where the southern coun- ties are sparsely populated, the ratio will seem low, certainly, because of their low enroll- meats. But nothing, save discon- tinuing schools there, can be done to pre,/ent that, Another distorted, much dis- cussed, figure was the average teacher's salary, which by anyone's standard, is low. But at least one press release, admin- istrators' salaries had been used as part of the total. Certainly these salaries are higher than those of teachers -- thus, the av- erage appeared higher than it really ,wa',~" In all, fairness, dis- pcnsers of informatmn to the general public should say what they are really quoting dad not dis{ort the facts. The one statement that both- ered me most was "If 7()'/, of our tax dollar is being spent for edu- cation, where is it going?" As one who had to "steal" paper in the spring of the year to be cer- tain I could duplicate my final exams, 1 really worried about that one -- so 1 obtained a copy of the state's budget for the last fiscal year and discovered some distorted information el ded figures hit the sad for all concerned. For once, a "qui needed -- to prevent school year from be the lowest teacher -- if it begins at all. It is bent upon our chosen do something to regain of those whose job is important in our state education of our youth. the short term answer they nmst consider plai'ming for total way our education tax are being spent. The following are situations that each senator should consider veloping, over the years, a plan ience for our state. The most drastic cuts come at the elementary ondarv levels. Our state, is figt{ting for its is still supporting year colleges and three schools, while our sister Virginia, which is nomically, has a much tax base and over our population, sup fifteen four-year two medical school~ smaller colleges are du many fields of afte(speaking with trative staffs of a sam five of them, 1 found of those five were ope year with full to capac tories. Our reunite colleges are the seams and are cultv expanding because ol f{mds. While it might politically popular to date and condense our system doesn't it sense to do that star~t!y' cut back stall tor our Y ~ ondarv students? It (mr fir~tt lbfio.rity sure quality education lower levels so that well-prepared students to our colleges in the The eight RESA mend more than of our tax money. Are rices and county cation duplicating What do these RESA ally do to benefit the chi the classroom and those ~ trying to teach them. There are 62 salari{ tions listed in the West interesting facts. Under the Bluebook for staff at broad heading of education a to- Departrnent of tal of $1,251,097,101 appears Charleston. These with the following receiving, with maintenance and portions of that figure, for those facilities are 1) State Dept. of Education say the least. Are our esalaries and maintenance of the and administrators maxmmm support and facility in Charleston). 2) School Lunch Program. 3) Vocational education. 4) State Aid to Schools $940,384,332. 5) Aid for Exceptional Schools. 6) School for Deaf and Blind. 7) F.F.A.-F.H.A. Conference Cen ter. 8) Division of Rehabilitation. 9) Board of Directors of the State College System 10) Board of Trustees for the University System. 11) Educational Broadcasting Authority. 12) Library Comrnission. 13) Division of Culture & His- tory. 14) Education and the Arts. Number 4 Public Aid to Education is the funding for the public schools. If the total $1,251,097,101, represents 70% of our budget, the amount for pub- lic schools, $940,384,332, repre- sents 75% of that. 75'~. of 70% is 52%. So let us not confuse the facts. During the strike, the total monies involved in all of the un- rest was not 70% but 52% of the total budget for the state. As August 22 draws near our legislators indeed have a great task before them. Far too often, in the past, during the waning hours of the sessions when their actions approach comedic status, they have looked for and hastily voted upon "quick fixes" to sat- isfy teachers and schoo, I person- nel--and then on to 'business from this body? Those of us who are, been, on the "front cation have heard of a stream of two and workshops held at parks and cities whose range from nutrition education to peer cipals' and teachers' have been held each college campuses, with few from each county dance. Various state gional officials travel 19o out of West Virginia conferences concerning the latest trends in a state where lem, all of these beneficial and ful to a certain situation. But this highly skeptical as benefit these ex hundreds of lars actually filters doWfl six-year-old in a first classroom who is trying to learn to read the high school senior, for a pre-med can't get both Chemistry 11 schedule because of teaching staff. As a retired spent 27 years in the portant profession on I implore those of you been elected to repre zens of West Vir as usual" for a few more years long, hard look at until another crisis occurs and picture of education another "quick fix" shuts every- If we don t have more one up for a while longer. Mean- spend, then please let while, the public school system what we do have witla deteriorates; teacher morale gets care. It is the lower because of lies and broken vival that this promises; and John Q. Public be- comes more confused as more White Sulph :