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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
August 23, 2014     Mountain Messenger
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August 23, 2014

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4A August 23, 2014 Mountain Messenger - The Weekend Paper for the Greenbrier Valley www.mountainme~enger.~Qm By Brenda Boykin Alderson Where Are the Doctors! I think t have actually seen my doctor as a patient, vice in about 3 years and that was on "well" vis- its• My son has not seen his doctor as a patient in over two years• It is not because I have not tried for us to see who we call our doctors. It takes months to get an appointment with "the doctor•" If you are sick, you can't wait that long• We have been forced to see Physicians Assistants and not the same one all the time over the years. I am not saying they are bad but I did not choose them to be the doctors. If the doctors only see you on "well" visits, it leaves me to wonder if they are really doctoring any more. In fact one time in these past few years I saw my doctor on a "well" visit and I was sent to three specialists. I had taken advantage of finally seeing her again and told her of some problems I was having. The next time I saw her on a "well" visit I reported that one specialist oper- ated inner ear growth and did not get it all, another had done two opera- tions on my eyes that failed, but the third specialist did seem to be help- ing with a problem that I had com- plained about for years that she had ignored. Maybe my telling the truth is why I can't see her. There is no doctor at the local clinic to be found except for two half days per month. Since my son can never see his doctor, he goes to the local clinic sometimes• It seems that medical care is just another big business operation• Al- though you rarely see a doctor any more, the costs have never gone down. It may be good that you don't see a doctor because the costs would be even higher• I guess gone are the days of know- ing your doctor and them knowing you. I chose our doctors based on who we felt comfortable with. It is bad enough to be sick, but not really feeling comfortable with the person treating you is certainly not going help you feel better or have confi: dence that you will be OK. When a doctor knows the patient they also have an advantage. They know if a patient has a high pain tolerance, a low pain tolerance, likes attention, needs a firm hand, or responds better to gentle coaxing. I hate going to the hospital because you are seriously sick then but thrown into the hands of strangers• I am sorry, but just be- cause you have a degree, doe not mean you are good at what you do. I like the comfort zone of, knowing and trusting my doctor. Please feel free to contact me at (put "Bits and Pieces" on subject line) or write to Brenda Boykin. P.O. Box 101, A1- derson, WV 24910• Letter to the Editor Survey part of 47th North Bend State Park's Nature Wonder Wildfood Weekend Dear Editor: In a survey of the favorite wild floods of each of West Virginia's 55 counties, Linda Waybright, former Greenbrier resident quickly men- tioned her choice of native chest- nuts as the best Of all the County's long list of favorites. But to Linda, a natural food advocate, the county's many free foods from the land are "natural food." She makes many de- licious concoctions using what gour- met wildfood specialists call wild, among them Greenbrier County mo- rel mushrooms. Linda is a 10ng-time participant in a Jackson County branch of the National Wildfoods Assoc. of which Edelene Wood is president and it was in this group early this year that Wood asked local members, many" of whom are natives of Other coun- ties to remember their favorite from their home county. Jackson attracted many workers from other counties when Kaiser Aluminum became a big employer there several years ago, thus the survey was off to a good start and expanded state-wide. The survey will be a part of the 47th North Bend State Park's Nature Wonder Wildfood Weekend on Sept. 19-21 at Cairo, WV, where noted mushroom authority-author Gary Lincoff will be featured, assisted by the West Virginia Mushroom group• At North Bend, as in other counties, wild mushrooms are part of the many wild foods known to local residents• Other Greenbrier choices may be called in to Wood at 304-428-9590• Sincerely, Edelene Wood Parkersburg, WV Tribute to Bricktop this Saturday in Alderson Dear Editor: The saying goes, "You are never famous in your home town" is be- ing challenged bY the good citizens of Alderson this Sunday evening be- ginning at 6:30 on the banks of the Greenbrier River, on the Monroe County side of the Memorial Bridge, with the professional performance of "A TRIBUTE TO BRICKTOP - An Alderson Original" by the success- ful talents of "The Rohinson-Kenga Trio" whose presentation will bring to life her music and times that will certainly, as it has to other audiences, entertain all who have the good for- tune to attend the performance and it is all without charge, meaning "free" as a salute to an artist who traveled the world, entertaining celebrities and RoYalty alike in her nightclubs and stage extravagances. According to Diana Ross, "she was charming, tough, independent" knowing everyone who was anyone and many who were not, famous for singing, "Embraceable You," "Miss Otis Regrets," "The Man I Love" and hundreds more to her paying customers• She was a headliner and a show stopper with genuine tal- ent the City of Alderson would like to share with you and this time, as Bricktop was known to say, "The check is on me." Jack D. Ballard Lewisburg Manchin statement on vote to save federal funding for transportation & highway projects US. Senator Joe Manch& this week released the following statement af- ter voting to pass the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, which will finance the Highway Trust Fund and continue federally funded infra- structure, transit and highway projects that are vital to our nation's economic growth. The measure will provide $10.9 billion to reauthorize the pro- grams until May 31, 2015• "Today, I voted to pass this short- term fix because without the stable funding provided by the Highway Trust Fund, more than 200 ongoing federally fun@d highway projects would have been jeopardized in West Virginia alone. I would have preferred to vote on a long-standing federally funded transportation and highway package or the Senate's version of this bill, which would have reauthorized the funding until Decembgr and would have allowed the opporhmity to craft a long-term deal. However, we simply could not afford to postpone funding these projects; not a single state could take that risk. We needed to vote on approving this funding immediately• "Reliable infrastructure is vital to the safety of West Virginians and Americans across the country and it essen Michael Showell. Editor & Publisher Peggy Mackenzie, Managing Editor Kathy Hunter• Business Office Leah Deitz. Advertising Jim Montgomery, Advertising Jonathan Collins. Tech Support Chris Kincaid, Production Layout Amanda Workman, Production Layout Jeanette Albaugh, Typesetter Julie Sweet, Ad Design Marti Marshall• Customer Service Mgr, Anna Workman Office Manager MEMBER 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, $18.95 Mailed, in State (WV) $31.00; Ma led, 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 24901 Visit us at Deadline for LETTERS is Wednesday Noon News from DC Federal funding for WV law enforcement Senators Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with U.S. Rep- resentative Nick Rahall, this week announced more than $1.4 million for local law enforcement. The fund- ing comes from the U.S. Department of Justice's (DO J)Edward Byme Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, which supports state and local law enforcement in their efforts to prevent and control crime• "Crime and substance abuse wreaks so much havoc on our fami- lies, our communities and our state," Manchin said. "This funding will provide our brave law enforcement officers, who put their 1,ives on the line day in and day out, with the necessary tools to keep our com- munities safe, while also supporting victims of crime, who have had their lives devastated by these illegal acts. I am very pleased that these grants will also fund prevention and educa- tion programs that will help increase awareness of the horrific effects of violence and abuse." "Funding our state and local law enforcement is critical to protecting our communities and tackling crime, substance abuse, and addiction across the state," said Rockefeller, who has led efforts to ensure federal funding for the JAG Program and other law enforcement grant pro- grams. "In addition to keeping our law enforcement personnel safe on the job, these awards also support meaningful programs and services aimed at curbing substance abuse and supporting victims of violent crimes•" "Our law enforcement profession- als deserve every resource possible to keep our communities safe. Fed- eral funding, like these JAGS grants, play an important role in bolstering crime-fighting initiatives, especially as we continue to battle back the scourge of substance abuse," said Rahall. The award recipients are: • The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services - $1,316,090 - The funding will go to- ward the Division's priority areas of violent crime and substance abuse. In particular, the funding will sup- port several programs and services designed to increase awareness of drug and violent crime, and to reduce drugs use and violent criminal acts through prevention, education, and investigative efforts. The programs also aims to lessen the impact of sexual assaults and educate victims and those who serve them within the criminal justice system• • The City of Charleston $136,264 - The fimding will be used to purchase law enforcement equip- ment to increase officer and commu- nity safety. is absolutely essential to the economic growth and prosperity of our business- es and our families. This legislation provides important investments that we need right now to repair and main- tain critical infrastructure projects and preserves countless good-paying jobs across West Virginia and this country. I hope to immediately begin working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle toward a long-terra extension of this vital fimding." Visit us at Send letters and comments to: Mountain Messenger, P.O. Box 429 Lewisburg, WV 24901 Call (304) 647-5724 or Fax (304) 647-5767 By Jonathan Wright It was absolutely the greatest fam- ily gathering possible--without be- ing connected to a funeral. I'm talking about a phenomenal event I attended last weekend in St. Simons Island, Georgia--none other than the one-hundredth birthday cel- ebration of my stepfather, Leonard W. Mann. Leonard has one of widest net- works of friends, family, and asso- ciates you could imagine• A good chunk of it comes from his 38 years as a United Methodist minister throughout Ohio and a few other lo- cations in the East, plus the 15 books he has penned. From these pastorates and literary endeavors have come an incredible "cloud of witnesses" who have filled his life with warm friend- ships and a rich heritage of faith. He and my mother, Sallie, were both widowed over a decade ago, one thing led to another, and they married in 2001. Leonard grew up in Greenville, my mother in Hun- tington, with many mutual family connections in Monroe County and Huntington, so it was a natural thing for them to come together in matri- mony. Although moving around more slowly now, Leonard, 100, and my mother, 95, have remained in re- markably good health these past few years, for which we profusely thank the Lord. The weekend gathering led not only me and my son, Zach, to travel to the Georgia coast--it also brought in an impressive assortment of rela- tives we had not seen for years• Some of these family members had not seen each other since child- hood--many, many decades ago• Whereas it's always a special trea to get together with people who related to you, it's an inexpres ible bonus to see those you've beem apart from for more years than yoa remember. The thought crossed • . ",vJ mind several.tnnes this past week end: "This is a small, taste of what heaven will be like.' ..... And indeed heaven will see a of this. While the focus for untold, millions of believers will rightfullv be mined constantly to our Creator and Savior while eternity unfolds, a fascinating incidental attraction be dramatic reunions with friendS:, and loved ones we haven't seen iff" 7' ages. The reunions I experienced a few days ago at St. Simons Island at my stepdad's l'00th birthday celebra- tion are but a faint preview of such expressible joy that's in the future of all who know Him. It remindedd% many of us relatives that we need do this more often. Way too frequently in way too many families, of course, we lament that virtually the only time extended'% family members get together is the death of one of them• That's a shame• Take time---and be deliberate .- % about it--to plan occasions forT bringing your family together• Such occasions are precious and worth any trouble it may be to see them through to reality. Don't wait until it's time to plan a funeral. Come to think about it. you don't22 even have to wait until a one-hun- dredth birthday. ";, News & Views From Capitol Hill Preventing substance abuse and mental illness Recently, I announced that West Virginia has been chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Pre- vention (CDC) to receive more than $1 million over the next three years for the development of an anti-drug abuse program that would serve as model for the rest of the Nation• This significant infusion of Feder- al funding will enable West Virginia to strengthen its prescription drug monitoring program. It also follows the recent expansion of the Appala- chia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which I advocated, to include Wyoming, Raleigh, and Mercer Counties. This expansion enables our State's law enforcement officers and officials to access addi- tional Federal resources to further its drug control and prevention efforts - shutting down pill mills and meth- amphetamine labs, and protecting Our homes and businesses from the encroaching drug trade. But, any successful anti-drug strategy must include a public health component - aimed at treating and preventing mental illness such as ad- diction• According to the National "Insti- tute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is-a chronic relapsing disease, not unlike diabetes and heart disease• As anyone knows who has had to help a loved one with" drug addiction, it can be devastating to individuals and families, and its harmful con- sequences can easily spread to the community at large. In the past few years, there have been vast i nprovements in the un- derstanding of mental illness. We know that it reaches beyond drug and alcohol addiction and affects many Americans who suffer from depres- sion and anxiety and social phobias. We know it affects our returning sol- diers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. And we know it is more common than is recognized, and that it can be treated and prevented with proper care. In Congress, I have advocated Federal programs that make fund- ing available to mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities in our State. I have pressed for Fed- eral resources so that our community clinics can not only expand their fa- cilities' capacity but also hire addP, tional physicians and mental health "! and substance abuse providersl I also have sought to expand the number of residency training posi- tions at our local health clinics, in- cluding in our VA health system, so that recent medical school graduates can train as mental health specialists and hopefully stay on for the long haul within our communities. ,, And I have sought to ensure that.,:i affordable health insurance is avail able to more West Virginians, so that; ' preventive care and mental healtb22!.i and substance treatment are acces;?:rl sible to those who need it, and noCi',:i just those who can afford it. ,%; For our veterans, we know that long deployments "and battle condi-/f tions can leave deep wounds - both '2 for returning veterans and familiesZ alike. The VA has a respor!sibility to ensure service members - active .... duty, and the Guard and Reserve - as well as family members, get the treatment and health care they need. :i With my support, Congress has iii i expanded the VA's budget for men,:5 tal health sex:vices by 64 percent in';.'?i; the last five years. As a result, t e.r.; Medical Centers in Huntington and::? Beckley have hired additional tal health providers to assist return-L£ ing veterans with behavioral health needs. ,~ At my urging, the Congress re:~':~ cently passed a package of VA forms aimed at hiring more doctors and health providers, including men- tal health specialists, and helping to, : ; strengthen the network of veterans, care between VA providers and their2) private sector counterparts. Increasing access to care, while: i strengthening our capacity to vide that care, is unquestionably a step in the right dlrectmn. I continue to press for the resources / i and support our health providerssi and citizens need to raise awareness:: 2 and improve care for those suffedng from addiction and mental illness. U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) iI~ represents West Virginia's Third/ : Congressional District ~