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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
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September 1, 1987     Mountain Messenger
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September 1, 1987
 

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4A i The Mountain Messenger, Tuesday, September 1, 1987 0 O 0 Mornin' The housebuilding obsession By JOHN MANCHESTER Th is is the time of the year when most people are trying to squeeze in that last little vacation before school starts and while the weather is still summerlike. More likely than not, these vacations involve descriptions of expanses of sand, soaring thermometers and plenty of salt water. My family has been experiencing all these features without heading for the beach; we're hard at it working on our new house. The large sand piles for the masonry projects and the rivers of .sweat pouring down our faces while pushing the work along are commonplace on the worksite. But it's hardly what you call a vacation. Housebuilding is more an obsession than a vacation. As the nights start to chill and you sense the inevitable comingof winter, the pace of work quickens. All spare moments are spent planning or building. The "vacations!' are better defined as the time spent relaxing in the truck travelling back and forth to lumberyards to pick up materials. You know that you're truly in the , right building frame of mind when you start enjoying the extra flavor that sheetrock dust adds to your sandwich and cup of coffee. Only your close family and true friends can put up with you when you're in the midst of housebuild- ing. All you do is talk shop -- drywall finishing, plumbing parts, wire nuts and paint primers. Five n~ornings out of six the first words spoken while getting dressed or eating breakfast concern a design detail that needs to be dealt with. The catalogs and product literature piles up. Meals are ~simplified. Only the bare minimum is done at the old house while the new one is being built. It's a true race to see which will give out first...your stamina or your bankroll. Right now, we plan on things taking 3 times as long or costing at least twice as much as we estimate. Then you use these only as starting figures. We'll keep you posted as things progress. National energy policy urged by Byrd Saying that events in the Persian Gulf are leading the United States down "a one-way path toward another energy crisis," U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-WV., recently called on the Administra- tion to develop a national energy policy. "As the situation in the Persian Gulf deteriorates and the American military involvement escalates, we are, once again, witnessing the disastrous consequences of the Administra- tion's refusal to develop an energy policy,". Byrd said in remarks delivered in the Senate ..... "How often must we be reminded that the national security of the United States rests upon our energy security? And why must the energy security of the United States be protected first with guns and not with brains or our 'homegrowm' natural resources," Byrd said. Byrd said the Reagan Administration not only has refused to develol~ its own energy policy, but also has worked to dismantle energy policies that have been in place since the energy crisis of the mid-1970's. As a result, Byrd said, the United States has become more dependent on foreign oil. For example, Byrd said, the volume of imported oil increased 24 percent last year, "The Administration's support of my Clean .=(;oat Technology Deployment program is an important step in reducing our dependency on foreign oil, but this is only one step," Byrd said. "The United States has the resources and the technology to develop the energy security that would free us fromthe despots and uncertainties of the Middle East," he said. "We need a comprehensive national energy plan that will fully develop our massive coal reserves, as well as our oil, gas, and other energy resources," Byrd said. Money Matters required of departments hoping to qualify for the annual disburse. ment, each year a few departments are left out. But through a campaign of assistance I started in my office, 43 departments which received no funds last year were added this year. The second funding .source is the State budget. In the fiscal 1987 budget, there is about $244,000 remaining in the Treasury that was appropriated for the VFD's but With all the budget crunching going on both here in Charleston and in the various County Commission and City Council chamgers all across the state, the 400 volunteer fire departments are facing serious reductions. The situation with VFD funding has always been bad and the elimination of Federal Revenue Sharing to cities and counties and a shortfall in the State finances may mean crippling cuts in this life :P :b State patrol kept traffic moving BY JONATHAN WRIGHT Well, the State Fair of West Virginia is over for another year. the dust is settling, and it's back to business as usual. Like many other local residents, I watched with great interest to see how traffic would move through Fairlea with its new one-way system. I was thoroughly impressed. Throughout the course of the gigantic Fairlea extravaganza, the ease of getting through the area to my home continually astonished me. Much of this had to dowith our now having two lanes, rather than one, going in the same direction, but a significant portion of the credit must in no uncertain terms go to our West Virginia State Police. Our State Patrol was out in full force. A full 22 officers brought in from detachments throughout the state to help with the seemingly infinite number of motorists converging on Fairlea for the nine- day event, and their presence was formidable. At nearly every strategic intersection and trouble area they were there to facilitate the flow of vehicles, and the dreaded fairtime traffic fiasco anticipated by so many local residents not going to the the fair found smooth sailing past the fairbound crowd and could get to nearly any place in town with ease unheard of until this year. It's a well-known fact that our public law enforcement officers are underpaid. In numerous situations they are at great personal risk to protect us and our belongings. In less threatening situations they are there to keep things going more smoothly, such as traffic. They deserve more compensa- tion that we're gaving them. Perhaps the day will soon come when we can correct that problem, but until then it's comforting to know that there are many wearung that uniform who give the job their best no matter what the situation is. The efficient handling of the 1987 fair traffic is silent testament to the dedication of our West Virginia State Police. It didn't happen, even with the heap of our one-way system. They made it happen, and they deserve our sincere thanks. METHANOL: COAL'S LONG-TERM TRUMP CARD by Senator Jay Rockefeller Some day in the not-too- distant future, you'll be able to pull into your neighborhood gas station, roll down your car win- dow, and tell the attendant to fill it up with "methanol hi-test." If U.S. policymakers get smart, that day could arrive soon- er than we t~.'nk -- which couldn't come as better news to those of us worried about energy security, ozone pollution, and how to get Appalachia's coal industry back on its feet. ., Why? What is ~re about methanol, ethanol, and other "al- ternative fuels" that holds such enormous promise? And if they're so great, why has it taken so long to put policies in place to promote them? It pains me to say this, but when it comes to energy policy the~ United States has had its head in the sand. For over a decade, we've known that the West has been dangerously dependent on unreli- able Middle Eastern oil. All we have to do is flip on the evening news and see U.S. Navy ships es- corting Kuwaiti tankers through the Persian Gulf to remind us of just how narrow and futile our energy policies have been. With two-thirds of the free world's~ known oil reserves in the Middle East, the West will remain hostage to events there as long as we remain addicted to oil. We will only free ourselves from this cap- tivity when we fully develop and me the tremendous coal resources right here in America. Clearly, it's time to rekindle the rational debate over how best to secure America's energy future. A deep commitment to alternative fuels, in my judgment, ought to be at the very center of that debate. ~'/iTo get private and public Falling into Another policymakers refocused on alter- native fuels, especially transporta- tion fuels, I recently introduced legislation aimed at spurring the building of vehicles that use methanol, ethanol, and natural gas. My bill, which received wide bipartisan support, would give American carmakers something they haven't had before: a tangi- ble economic reason to produce and market cars capable of run- ning on alternative fuels. It would give automakers modest relief from a federal fuel efficiency stan- dard--if they begin producing dual-fueled or alternative-fueled cars. Methanol, which can be made from coal, wood, or natural gas, is the front-runner among alterna- tive fuels in my book. Indy 500 cars have run on methanol for years. It's a flexible, clean fuel that will significantly lessen tailpipe pollutants that create ozone and smog problems. Indeed, that ex- plains why smog-plagued Cali- fornia is pushing the use of metha- nol-powered cars so aggressively. A full-scale commitment to methanol would provide a huge boost to our struggling coal indus- try. UMW President Rich Trum- ka estimates that if 20 percent of the American automobile fleet could be converted to methanol, some 45,000 jobs would be creat- ed in the coal mines. My bill is a step in that direction. This opportunity to promote the use of alternative fuels can't be squandered. We need the energy security benefits, clean air im- provements, and technological edge provided by an alternative fuels programs. In short, we need to develop an adequate supply of energy that will carry us into the 21st Century. OPEC Energy Trap By U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd During the 1970's, Americans In 1986, the U.S. imported 37 learned how vulnerable our coun- percent of its total petroleum try's energy supplies are to foreign needs, compared with 31.5 percent crises, a year earlier. and property saving effort. ' In West Virginia, voluntber fire departments have basically .relied on charitable contributions and benefit functions to fund their operations. Everyone is aware and many of us patronize the bake sale, ramp suppers, carnivals, socials, pancake feeds, bazaars, toll roads, nd all the other methods used to raise money. And of course, charitable raffles and bingo, which have been utilized by fire departments to raise money for years, became legal in the state only a couple of years ago. Recently, two other limited sources of funds have become wmportant, however extremely inadequate they are. You may have seena news report a few days ago noting that 1 had released $1,996,928.10 to the volunteer fire departments in West Virginia. The news story said this was a 17% increase over last year, and so it was. But noone shouldget the impression that volunteer fire departments are adequately funded in West Virginia. The funds I distributed came from a 1% State tax on gross fire and casualty insurance and went to de~ as eligible by the State Marshal. 398 departments received a one-time share which amounted to $4,916.78 and 12 part paid/part volunteer departments received which was not spent. In the fiscal 1988 budget, no money was In the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, requested nor appropriated, with and following the overthrow of only the remaining $244,000 theShah of Iran in 1979, Ameri- remaining to be granted to various cans suffered through gasoline departments this year. With 400 lines, soaring energy prices, and departments despertely needing the money, you can see how short the funding is. Some counties have resorted to the passage of a special fire tax levy to support their fire departments. While this has been a boon in those areas, most sections of the State are not covered by this additional tax, and voters seem relunctant to increase their tax burden at a time when property values are changing so rapidly and where the only aspect of West Virginia taxes people can throughly understand iS the high rate. with the increasing cost of firefighting equipment, communi- cations, and training, every dollar is important and useful to the men and women who volunteer their time and endanger their lives every day as members of a local fire department. As a volunteer Fireman myself for nearly 50 years, ! recognize their courage and their in spiraling inflation. Fighting back, and supported by a coast-to-coast consensus, Congress, on a bipartisan basis, put into place a number of innova- - tire public and private efforts to develop new energy resources. In 1981, however, the current federal administration took a meat ax to America's domestic energy programs. Asserting that the best ener- gy policy is no energy policy, the administration emasculated the Department of Energy, disman- tled federal programs to develop fossil and synthetic fuels, slashed energy conservation programs, put the brakes on filling the national " petroleum reserve, and providing emer- gency plans to meet new energy The current Iran-Iraq clash mis- ris for the United Right now, Iran can threaten economy by pments Of those 1986 imports, 46 percent came from members of the OPEC cartel, up from 35 percem from OPEC countries in 1985. Ominously, America's most expert energy authorities have es- timated that, at current rates, for- eign oil imports could constitute as much as 50 percentof our nation- al consumption by the mid-1990's. How often must we be reminded that America's national security rests on our energy secu- rity? The United States possesses the resources and the technology to develop the energy security that would free itself from the despots and uncertainties of the Middle East. We need the determination to put into place a long-term ener- gy policy that could harness West Virginia's nearly measureless coal supplies through modern, clean- burning technologies; that could renew the development of liquid fuels from coal; that could launch the search for new petroleum and natural gas resources; and that could free us from the blackmail of potential petroleum cutoffs. Before the gasoline lines form again, and while we still have the opportunity, let us take the steps needed to ensure America's future energy security. By Roberta Umbrellas! Faith! Pra Have you been carrying one or two umbrellas, praying for rain? I heard a minister tell this story in the pulpit recently. It seems that a church was having a meeting, called a prayer meeting. A lady came that bright sunny day carrying two umbrellas to the astonishment of the congregation. "Why, Mrs. Doe, why are you carrying two umbrellas on this sunny day?" Mrs. Doe replied; "Thought we cameto pray for rain!" Faith in the power of prayer! We just had a visitor in our house from Virginia, and the reports are hot and in their section too, as well as so many other parts of the U.S.A. This visitor had become a little bit of an unbeliever in our Creator in the last few years. All of a sudden she became observant of the grass, the trees, the flowers, and the gardens drying up. Each time she would go out and especially over the Greenbrier River Bridge, she would say: "If it doesn't rain soon, we will all perish, everything will dry up!". I would reply, "You know the weather is something we humans cannot do anything about!" Have faith in prayer! I carry an umbrella for either sun or rain! So many people have said, "1 would be glad to leave my umbrella at home, just to get a much needed rain! I would be glad to get soaking wet or just stand out in it, I would be sothankful!" Where is our faith? It will rain again soon, as it always has. Just yesterday I was talking to Judy Withrow, who was so thankful for the rain that she went out into the yard without an umbrella and stood with her hands outstretched and allowed the rain to drench her, it was so refreshing! Faith m prayer was Mrs. Doe in her talk with the Lord. So she went to that prayer meeting in faith with two umbrellas. Personally, I love umbrellas! My first umbrella was a fancy little one that I fair. They were paper. They weren't rain, but maybe the that they are these days. Sort of loved them! Those of you General Patton durinti career, as a those of you who in the service his command to one "To pray when he was Germany over the which the Germans no one would be because Hitler secret weapons!. his command The snow sto immediately! have faith in the Sunday, while Charlie Pride show Mae Shires sitting u~ umbrella shielding the hot sun, and wash If it had rained been protected as so many folks wouldn't care how rain, I wouldn't care How many of happen if it didn't would all humble pray in faith! I saw a in an antique shop. so beautiful. It for its looks and am almost tempted, childhood memories~ I just bet Peggy an umbrella today. Just as I thought, marroon one to her dress? Instead of would, out? Be like Mrs. great faith that it will Governor's project youth in getting" Governor Arch A. Moore Jr. announced recently that a new Youth Employment Preparation Project initiative is under way which should help more young West Virginians become employ- ed. "1 have directed the Department of Employment Security to operate this program through the 19 Job Service offices in our state," Governor Moore said. A youth employment specialist has been designated to coordinate project services to be offered in each ofthe offices. "While our Job Service offices service youth on a continual basis, this project is designed to identify disadvantaged youth and provide them with the assistance to make them more competitive in the labor market," Governor Moore said. "Our ultimate goal is to make them employable and employed." Governor Moore said youth ranging from 16 to 21 years of age will be eligible to program which will guidance, training, skills, placement employment-related Youth assistance parents or ex potential and dropouts, under~ (including those education and and any others in need of training, job placement services. The Governor said will be operated Department of Division of Anyone needing a: information about Employment should contact the Service office community. The Mountain 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/647.5724 Published weekly and distributed throughout the greater Greenbrier Valley. STAFF John Dottle Brackenrich Troy Forren, Dennis Worlledge, Julie Windon, Ad Debbie McClung, Patti Hager, Carol Hall, If you would like to submit material for Articles submitted to the Mountain must be typewritten and double spaced margins in order to be considered for pu Please include your name and a where you can be reached during The Mountain Messenger reserves the any material and regrets that articles c~ returned. Letters to the editor must include a full and address. If you want a photograph returned, a self-addressed, stamped envelope or office soon after you see the picture runin t Views expressed in editorials and necessarily those held by the Mountain or its staff members. 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