‘Global warming’ making me shiver

How’d ya like the weather the past week or so?

Cold enough for ya?

Has been for me.

Any time I can do a little chore and not sweat… it’s too cold. Like I say, I am my wife’s “bulky sweater.”

Always sweated a lot… 90 degrees, I sweat… 50 degrees, if I’m exerted in any way… but haven’t had that problem for several days.

Feeding the critters the other morning and cleaning two horse stalls was enough to make aging fingers ache with cold. Didn’t get numb… just hurt.

Going straight into the house for a shower and the warm (not hot) water made those cold fingers feeel like they’d been stuck in scalding water. Took forever for them to quit hurting.

‘Course some people like this kind of stuff… yeah, most of them are young.
Anybody seen Al?

He must have been around somewhere.

You know Al… he’s the guy that has the weather phenomenon named after him.

The Gore Effect.

Yep, Global Warming Al. Every time he shows up somewhere to give a speech on how hot the planet’s getting it either snows or the temperatures dip for no apparent reason.

Been happening for years.

Wrote about it several times.

And he’s made one heckuva lot of money making speeches, selling books, even made a movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Too much compromise
led to many problems

“Work across the aisle…”

“Compromise…”

“Finding middle ground…”

“Give and take…”

All buzz words that are used to suggest, “let’s all just get along.”

It’s always good to “get along,” but for some, getting along is nothing more than getting their way.

And there has been entirely too much “getting along” over the past half century – or more.
Compromise has become little more than being politically correct.

And politically correct has led to all kinds of idiocy…ie., “lineman,” “postman” are “lineworker,” “letter carrier”… “chairman” is now “chairperson”… “mankind” is now “humankind”… “blind” is now “vision impaired”… “deaf” is “hearing impaired”…

“handicapped and “disabled” are now “challenged.”

“Mentally retarded” has become “special needs,” “mute” is “without speech.”

Our President won’t call Islamic Jihadists “terrorists,” nor will he refer to the slaughter of soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, a terrorist act – it is “workplace violence.”

All the politicians – from school board cliques to state legislators to Congress – run on the promise of “working across the aisle” as if that is such a big thing.

Sometimes it is, but sometimes these representatives of “we the people” take it too far and instead of meeting in the middle, give away the farm.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Politicians are serious,
time voters were, too

Once again, Election Day looms. And once again, politicians are getting serious about getting elected (or re-elected) and pulling out all the stops.

As we said in Wednesday’s column, for the past several months Congressman Nick Joe Rahall has been campaigning heavily in the local area. How many times was he here last year?

He’s also increased the number of emails to the paper. In October of 2013, his office notified us six times about what he had been doing – as of Friday, we’d received 33 for the month.

It’s Election time.

And then Wednesday, who should come to town but U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, making a pitch for Evan Jenkins, Rahall’s challenger.

Yep, things must be gittin’ tight.

But while the politicians are serious, not enough voters are.

True, some 900 have voted early, but Wayne County’s turnout has not been good historically.

As of May, there were 30,038 registered voters in the County but during the Primary Election, only 7,653 thought it important enough to cast a ballot – slightly more than 25 percent.

So only one in four registered voters, taxpayers in the county, thought three new faces on the school board were important enough to vote on – not even considering the national offices.

No wonder so many dopes hold office!

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

‘Stick with Nick’ a good idea?

The battle between incumbent Congressman Nick Joe Rahall (D-W.V.) and challenger Evan Jenkins is one of the hottest of this election season.

Claims by both sides have been debunked, but several of the 19-term Washington insider’s actions do “stick” out.

Although the President’s policies have (to say the least) raised eyebrows of West Virginia voters (more than 40 percent of whom voted for a jailbird in the last general election), Rahall has proven to be just another “Yes Man” for the failing leader.

According to Congressional Quarterly, Rahall supported the President 94 percent of the time in 2009 and 88 percent in 2010. His support has been somewhat lacking in the past three years however, falling to 65 percent in 2011, 64 in 2012 and to only 58 percent in 2013 as he evidently began preparing for this year’s election cycle.

A year ago, we received six notifications in October informing us of various actions or stands Rahall took as our sitting congressman.

So far this October, we’ve received 26 emails about everything from Rahall’s obtaining funding for a myriad of West Virginia needs and proclaiming his support of Head Start, promising to save coal and its related jobs, supporting religious freedom, energy assistance money for the needy, to a smaltzy piece on how “Fall Forests Warm Our Spirits and Our Homes” in which he discussed the use of wood pellet stoves reducing carbon emissions more than fuel oil.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

‘I’d like to be a broker,’
my friend commented. . .

Lot of folks know I was a car dealer for more than 30 years and during that time a lot of friendships were made, along with learning a whole lot about the economy and the way things work…

It also provided a lot of “people” experience.

There are the down-to-earth kind who are just great and several other kinds as well… some of whom it is best to ignore.

There are all kinds of automobile dealers: rich guys whose hard work led to huge homes and large bank accounts; heirs to those fellows who continue, and sometimes expand, on Daddy’s holdings; the average guy who is just trying to make a living; and those who are just trying to keep the doors open another day.

These people also fall under all the other categories in the human race: good, honest and hard-working; the lazy and slothful who are living on family money; the dishonest who foist junk on the elderly or disadvantaged and then there are those who are just “better” than everyone else.

Everyone knows these folks. They’re in every line of work. They’re smarter, prettier, funnier… they think their B.O. is perfume.

In buying cars, many dealers prefer to look at, open and inspect the interior (some smells can’t be overcome), and even test drive cars the day before so as not to get a surprise after making the winning bid. With a number of proven buyers in town, the two major auto auctions in Columbus would always take a number to dinner the night before their auction.

The “Tuesday Sale,” Ohio Auto Auction, took dealers Monday evening and Columbus Fair Auto Auction, “the Wednesday Sale,” went Tuesday evening

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Where did we come from and where are we going?

How did our country get in such a mess?

The U.S. is engaged (?) in conflicts across the globe, we have a possible epidemic brewing with one of he most dangerous diseases known to man, our economy is a wreck, our government is at a standstill and everyone from the middle class down is suffering some kind of turmoil.

We have a President who would rather golf than make decisions, who instead of working on the nation’s problems prefers to attend fund raisers and whose administration seems intent on ruining the country by refusing to close its borders. The administration is enforcing radical rules and regulations that prevent growth.

Our President spends millions of taxpayer dollars on extravagant vacations for himself and his family, endorses policies in direct conflict with the Constitution and refuses to perform the duties for which he was elected.

Our state officials, in turn, refuse to stand up for “we the people” and go along with the Washington crowd that was elected (for the most part) by special interest groups and the uninformed.

The Washington bureaucracy continues to grow at an unprecedented pace fueled by its own interests and led by inept, corrupt and egomaniacal officials intent on maintaining and increasing their power over the common man.

Using entitlement programs, the Washington bureaucracy has created an entire culture whereby they can maintain their seats of power and wealth.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Muslims ‘in a blanket:’
Terror against terror

Am I the only one getting tired of a milquetoast leader who refuses to lead?

We’ve now had four people beheaded on global TV in the Middle East and another right here in the Heartland of America (Oklahoma City) and what does the President do?

He arranges for pinprick air raids on barbarians in Iraq and Syria and the leader of the United States, once known as the most powerful man in the world leading the most powerful country in the world… sends a message to the Oklahoma City mosque where a nutcase was brainwashed in the Religion of Peace thanking the mosque for “its service.”

Huh?

Did I miss something?

Service? What service?

Did the imam teach the Oklahoma killer how to hold the knife?

The message, hand-delivered by an administration official last Saturday: “Your service is a powerful example of the powerful roots of the Abrahamic faiths and how our communities can come together with shared peace with dignity and a sense of justice,” the message said.

We all know that not all Muslims are bloodthirsty barbarians like those who have joined ISIS (ISIL, Khorasans or whatever Al Qaeda calls itself this week), but no so-called “moderate Muslims” have spoken out about those who are killing in the name of Allah.

The most potent air strike of the President’s “degrade and destroy” campaign against ISIS killed 29 suspected militants Monday, but the army of “true believers” continues to besiege city after city in the Iraqi and Syrian countryside, even threatening to annihilate 50,000 men, women and children in one northern Syria town.

According to experienced combat leaders, the “pinpoint” bombings that kill one or two of the fanatics or dent some of their trucks – are worthless. It merely delays the inevitable.

Someone, don’t count on Turkey (they’re chicken), or any of the other countries making up the President’s much-publicized coalition (he won’t name who’s in it), is going to have to send in troops, armor and humanitarian aid to end the slaughter.

And it would be better to do it now, rather than later, as the death toll mounts and ISIS grows stronger daily, both in wealth and numbers.

But instead of taking care of business now, the President is opting to “train” 5,000 troops sent from the countries ISIS is destroying this very day. The training will take a year…

How big, how strong, how powerful will ISIS be in a year?

Estimates say the mad men now number about 50,000. How many will there be in a year?
And he’s training 5,000?

The only way to defeat terror is with terror.

Here’s an idea taken from action attributed to Gen. “Blackjack” Pershing when he served in the Philippines around 1900, while others say it was U.S. Army Col. Alexander Rodgers of the 6th Cavalry, but:

According to the Q’uran, Muslims are not allowed to eat, touch or in any way contact pigs or anything associated with them.

Pershing’s men allegedly captured 50 Moros, (indigenous Muslims) who had been attacking U.S. servicemen.

Pershing had large pigs brought in (the numbers vary), had them slaughtered in front of the captives and had bullets dipped in the pigs’ blood.

According to the story, 49 of the prisoners were shot with the hog-blood bullets, their bodies were then dumped in a hole with the rest of the blood and innards of the unfortunate swine poured in on top.

The sole survivor was freed.

The attacks stopped.

Some have suggested wrapping the dead barbarians in a pig’s skin (not a football, but a real pig’s hide), or wrapping them in bacon.

They could never meet Allah that way.

Think of it… farmers would make money selling grain for the farmers and hog farmers could sign government contracts to supply the blanket material…

Muslim in a blanket, anyone?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Islam: Religion of Peace?
Not so in world history

“Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us.”

The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam, Tabari 9:69

Tarikh at-Tabari (839 AD-923 AD) was a scholar who studied many subjects so as to further his knowledge of the Islamic Qur’an (Koran) and the religion of Islam. He was known as a commentator on the Quran, an expert in Islamic law and as an historian. His most famous book was Tafseer (explanation) of the Holy Qur’an and the other an encyclopedia on Islamic history.

Islam, one of the world’s youngest religions, didn’t begin until the seventh century, about 620 AD, after the orphan Muhammad had become a great general forged an empire through assassination, bribery, religious appeals and outright butchery to finally become a “Prophet” of God and establish a religion with a following that now numbers 1.5 billion.

As a general, he fought eight major battles, destroying cities and killing populations, including children and terror was key as he beheaded his enemies intimidating the weak.

Three separate hadith (supplements to, and clarifications of, the Qur’an) note that Muhammad merely “shrugged” when told that innocent children were killed in raids by Muslims against unbelievers.

”They are of them (the enemy),” he said simply, Muslim hadith 19:4321-4323.
In many of the battles and raids conducted by the Prophet, prisoners were taken, usually women to be raped or sold into slavery. But even this was a last resort.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Gonna miss Billy, ‘specially
as a source for my columns

Yesterday was William Rosenberger’s last day as communications consultant for the Wayne County Board of Education.

I’ll miss Billy.

Anytime I wrote a column he didn’t think showed the Board in a good light (which was often), he responded via email wanting to know where I got my information and telling me I had it all wrong.

Too many times however, he would make some kind of claim that was easily torn apart and proven to be in error all the while backing up my original assertion.

Bill did help get the recent bond passed to build new schools at Crum and Ceredo-Kenova and kept his finger on the pulse of the county school system. He always managed to let the paper know about the good things going on in the local schools and set the county up with twitter and other social media, organized a Career Technical Expo highlighting those county programs and set up a website outlining progress of school construction projects. He did some good things.

But Bill’s primary job with the BOE, public relations, was to put the proper spin on Board activities, no matter what, and he tried to do that.

Once, in a back-and-forth email chat, I acknowledged it was his job to make me look bad – and I didn’t care.

Bill was tenacious in trying to make everything seem rosy “up on the hill.”

He found exceptional fault when we ran letters from a group of folks at Tolsia High. Even though we knew who the writers were (and have hard copies with a signature), we allowed them to be published as written by “Jim Nasium” because the authors could have suffered because of their stands.

He thought that was terrible, but according to sources “on the hill,” the claims made in those letters weren’t news and only skimmed the surface of the problems at the school.

As he left, I think Bill offered a parting shot, so just to be balanced… in a story about his time with the county, he said a couple of things that well, just don’t really add up.

In explaining his efforts to highlight the achievements of local students, he said, “You can have the best teachers, brightest students and most amazing learning taking place in schools, but if you don’t tell anyone about it, all they’ll ever know is what they read in the newspaper. And too many of those headlines are about the struggles.

“Essentially, the poorest-achieving schools and struggling students receive more attention than the teachers who are making a difference and students who push themselves for greatness.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Many ‘blissfully ignorant’
and want to stay that way

A fella was talkin’ the other day about his 15-year-old.

“Doesn’t know anything,” he lamented, then stood in deep thought for a while, “just… just blissfully ignorant,” he finally blurted.

“And doesn’t want to know anything.”

That’s the case with a lot of young people today – and some older ones, too.

They want to know only what they need to know. How to communicate with each other using the latest technology. What the latest fad is. Where to get the best tattoo. The trendiest clothes. What’s on sale.

Like all those idiots who stood in lines, blocks long, to get a chance to buy the new i-Phone?

Took a younger guy to lunch a while back. Thought we could talk a little bit… about his work, his life, his new family.

Nope.

Every time I started to say something, the phone came out and he was texting.

Last time we go to lunch.

At a cookout a short time ago, got to talking about all the politically correct thinking going around and how atheists and liberals have hijacked our religious freedoms. When a couple of instances were brought up a very dear older friend commented that he had never heard of them.

The mainstream media, I explained, never mentions it when Christian values are threatened or stolen. CNN and MSNBC, NBC will never talk about those things.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Has media lost its purpose?
Journalism may be dying

Sometimes it’s almost embarrassing to tell strangers that I write for a newspaper.

At one time, it was a source of pride. Reporters and media were respected.

The purpose of the media, as set up by the Founding Fathers, is to monitor the political process to ensure politicians do not abuse their power.

Thus, the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

News reporting is supposed to be objective, but lately it is anything but.

Can’t remember exactly where the term, “fourth estate,” was first mentioned…could have been John Murphy, Roscoe Hale or Hazel Hutchinson…one of those good Buffalo teachers in the distant past.

The “fourth estate” is now known as the media, the press (newspaper), TV or radio whose purpose, according to the Founders is to be watchdog of the public’s interests, to safeguard citizens from incompetent, corrupt or tyrannical government.

The other three “estates?”

The Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government, in fact, all government…from the President (think Watergate), Congress and the Supreme Court all the way down through state, county, city and yes, even school boards.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Coal: Party before country
still huge problem for us

Looking through the Sunday Herald-Dispatch, a headline on Page 3A caught my eye, “Legislature says coal rhetoric not helping.”

Since when has any rhetoric really helped anything?

In the Associated Press article those masters of rhetoric, our own state legislature, were condemning national candidates for focusing on federal regulations that have curtailed, and threaten to destroy the country’s coal industry.

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Miley and Senate President Jeff Kessler told the AP that larger forces are determining the future of Appalachia coal.

U.S. Senate and House candidates hammer on incumbents’ acquiescence to the current administration’s actions allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to run roughshod against coal – and energy production in general.

In a conversation last week, an acquaintance brought up the fact that in 2013 West Virginia had 168 active coal mines.

Currently there are 97.

And there is no “War on Coal?”

According to the AP story, “”natural gas is cheap and plentiful, coal seams have thinned out, domestic and international coal markets are lousy and other states and countries provide stiff competition.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Jim Nasium, apologies
and why the heck not!

Well, well, well.

Got an email the other day from a teacher at Tolsia High School taking exception to The Wayne County News printing letters from Jim Nasium who criticized both the Wayne County Board of Education and the administration at the school for allowing the school’s students to suffer both in the classroom and athletically.

Many people know that Jim Nasium is a pseudonym for a number of people, teachers, parents, athletic boosters and others in the Fort Gay-Crum area who are concerned about their school but were afraid, and rightly so, of retribution.

The disgruntled teacher wanted a “sincere and swift printed apology” to the former principal who had bid on, and received another job in the county school system.

We emailed the teacher and asked if the letter was meant as a “letter to the editor,” but that option was declined and more criticism was leveled.

In the teacher’s reply email was the question, “how (do) you justify dragging our entire community through the mud?”

That question is easily answered. The Tolsia community was not dragged through the mud. This comment sounds as if it came directly from our ole buddy Charlie, upset when we disagreed about the price of real estate in Crum (and he owns a lot of property there).

The Jim Nasium writers were upset that their school was constantly getting the short end of a long stick and they, teachers, boosters, the entire community, were never given any opportunity to participate in decisions made for – or in – the school.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Dubya versus King Putt

Okay, okay, okay.

Know what you’re thinkin’.

But…

Can you imagine our current President marshalling a nation like George W. did following the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon?

“Well uh, er, uh, we will pursue these criminals and uh, bring’em to justice,” our Milquetoast President would say. “I will not rest until we uh, put them on trial in New York City – just as I have not rested since I uh, said uh, I would not rest until our economy uh, is booming.”

Or Al Gore, who had just lost the election to Bush the Younger 10 months before: “We will have to find those rich people who built these towers and have the EPA prosecute them for using so much carbon-based material. With all this smoke and pollution, global warming will be upon us in the next two weeks.

“If we don’t get this mess cleaned up soon, the ocean will rise so much it will cover the Eastern Seaboard all the way to Ohio.

“Spruce Knob will be nothing but a tiny atoll,” he would have stated matter of factly.

“Oh, and by the way, we will be selling some carbon offsets beginning tomorrow.”

Bush caught a lot of grief for his actions on Sept. 11, 2001. Critics say he shouldn’t have stayed at the elementary school he was visiting, that he should have shown more alarm when informed about the attacks, that he should have abruptly left the school and flown directly to Washington.

As far as heading straight to Washington, he obeyed protocol and boarded Air Force One and flew to a secure air base to preserve the Presidency. But soon after, he broke protocol and insisted on going back to D.C., where Congress and all other government bigwigs were sheltered following the Pentagon attack.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Only Kool-Aid drinkers
can support a do-nothing

Don’t begrudge anyone a vacation. Most people need one.

Even those who’ve played golf 190 times in a little over five years and gone on numerous vacations. But…

Our President and his family have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 million dollars on vacations, some of them taken solo by the free-spending First Lady, without the Golfer-In-Chief, according to The Daily Caller.

That’s a lot of money for vacations – I don’t care what anyone says.

The First Couple’s “date night” to New York City in 2009 cost more than $1 million.
Now that’s a night on the town!

They’ve gone to Hawaii several times (on separate flights), Spain, Ireland, Africa and of course, Martha’s Vineyard. Moochell’s China trip was written off as business.

Heck, they even went to France trying to convince the International Olympic Committee to award the games to Chicago. That bill was $467,175, not including two Boeing 747s and several Air Force cargo planes (those figures are still unavailable, according to Judicial Watch).

All costs for the trips haven’t been accounted for, as some records are hard to find. Many of the above costs are for flight-time only in Air Force One and do not include rent and other expenses.

In 2013, the pair had $7.4 million in flight expenses only, Bizpac Review said in March.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

The Peter Principle’s theory alive and well in education

The Peter Principle is alive and well.

Today it can be seen in a variety of places from the Presidency of the United States to the local level, and is even more evident in our education system.

Popularized by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book of the same name, the business concept in a nutshell says:

“In a hierarchy (organization for those who only made it through college) every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.”

The theory infers that in all organizations, workers or members are promoted as long as they work competently, but sooner or later are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (“their level of incompetence”), where they are stuck, unable to gain another level.

Peter also suggests, “…in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out their duties” and that “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.”

From research into education in West Virginia – and Wayne County – this theory could almost be proven.

The state’s Department of Education with its 700 employees, many of whom found they couldn’t teach or administrate on the local level… the School Building Authority, with its membership of political hacks and union tools, lawyers and others are examples of organizations filled with those who have risen to levels where they are incompetent.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Loss of Southern States big blow to area farmers

Last Tuesday night’s closing of Huntington’s Southern States Cooperative store didn’t affect only that city’s flower and small gardening population, it will be felt for quite some time by most of the entire area’s farming community.

Unable to close the store last year due to outrage from customers and public officials, this time corporate suits came to shut down the location despite the fact that it had generated some $100,000 in profit in the past 12 months.

“It’s like losing a friend,” a member of the Wayne County Cattleman’s Association said Thursday evening.

Norman Davis, chairman of the local board of directors, said the Marshall Business School had sent advisors to the store and several new accounts had been added.

“But it was too little, too late,” he said.

Many local farmers were surprised by the action taken by the Southern States corporate office in closing the store at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

One young grower commented: “They just waited until everything settled down from last year and things got quiet again.

“They intended to do it all along. They were surprised by the turnout last year and weren’t going to take a chance this time.”

Shareholders were allowed to vote last August on whether to close the store and voted 86-52 to keep it going.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

How’s your garden?
Hope better than mine

How’d your garden do this year?

We always have a big garden, but this year we cut it to less than half. Then along came the ‘coons and the deer…might have got enough sweet corn for two “messes,” but the tomatoes…

A few years back my wife canned tomatoes. Lots of them. We gave them to neighbors, friends and family. This year however, deer ate the blossoms…most of the plants…then went to the hayfields and ate the alfalfa down to the ground so it can’t come back.

Middle of August and no tomatoes out of my own garden and no alfalfa in the hay.

Can’t do anything about it. Department of Natural Resources won’t let me.

According to the DNR website, deer damage costs a total of $100 million in agricultural crops, $750 million in forest regeneration and $1 billion in vehicle accidents. It also says deer generated $14 billion in economic and recreational benefits.

Phooey!!!

“A simple and economical one strand electric fence 3 foot high has proven effective” the website says. DNR doesn’t know the deer in Wayne County.

The varmints either go over the wire – or through it. Wire works well for horses and cattle, but not deer.

The DNR also suggests repellants. Ever bought any? How much would it take to spray a large patch of sweet corn? What would it cost?

And rain washes it away.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Farm, agriculture knowledge benefits more than farmers

One late spring day nearly 20 years ago, after spending 10 or so hours at the office, I got on the tractor and plowed up the garden and worked it into planting condition.

Of course, the little guy (about four or five years old at the time) was there with me, watching, riding the tractor and asking questions.

After setting out a couple dozen tomato plants that we’d started from seed, and probably some peppers, I got the corn planter and filled it with seed and proceeded to take a break.

Sitting cross-legged at the end of the soon-to-be rows, I leaned back to rest a spell when the youngster plopped down on my left knee. Seems like only yesterday…

Looking up at my grimy face, with sweat running into aging eyes, the boy said matter-of-factly:

“Dad (he always started that way), when you get old, I’ll plant the garden for you.

“I’ll plow it, I’ll drag it, I’ll disc it, I’ll get it ready and I’ll plant the tomatoes and the peppers and the corn.

“And if you feel like it – you can help.”

Looking down into those blue eyes, my first thought was “How kind!”
But then…

“How many kids this young in Wayne County; in the state; or even the entire country know the procedure to plant a garden?”

That was in 1996-97, some 20 years after county schools quit offering vocational agriculture and gave up its Future Farmers of America chapters.

Today we would find even fewer.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Somebody oughta tell Al –
there’s no global warming

Ever hear of John Coleman?

He’s a former broadcast meteorologist of the year for the American Meteorological Society (AMS) with 60 years experience.

He also founded and served as CEO of the Weather Channel.

He quit the AMS, he says, because “the politics had gotten in the way of the science.”

If evidence existed of man-made global warming, Coleman said he would dedicate his life to stopping it.

“I love our wonderful earth,” he said. “If I though it was threatened by global warming, I would devote my life to stopping it.”

These comments were made to American Prosperity News Network in March.

He told WHDT Channel 9 News in Boston global warming is a “fictional, manufactured crises” by certain scientists and politicians have “engaged in fraudulent activity based on bad science.”

“There’s been no warming for 17 years and six months,” Coleman told WHDT. “We have hit a plateau in the warming period.

“Is this the end of the interglacial warming period that’s been going on for 12,000 years? Are we going to start cooling off for the next Ice Age? Or is this just a pause in the gradual warmup that comes? Think about it,” he said.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Not so common common
sense needed in Missouri

Once again our Golfer-In-Chief has inserted himself into a situation that should be left up to local authorities.

Just like in 2009, when he stuck his nose into a controversy between a black professor and the police in Cambridge, Mass., the President flew off the handle to criticize police and stirred up even more distrust between the people and those sworn to protect them.

In March 20012, he proclaimed, ”If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon (Martin)” during the dustup over that young man’s death.

The latest butt-in came as rioters protested the police shooting of a young black man in Ferguson, Mo., last weekend.

Rioters and looters burned and robbed stores in the suburb of Kansas City and local police, with military gear, tried to contain the unruly mob.

This week, the vacationing President told a press conference in Martha’s Vineyard,

“There’s…no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights,” the Huffington Post reported.

And of course, Al Sharpton showed up.

Thursday night however, with the Missouri state police taking control of the situation, the protests were more subdued and less destructive.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Airport’s Maynard firing:
Absence of leadership?

Bob Maynard lost his job and his home recently due to what he says (and others agree) was a personal vendetta by his boss. Caught sleeping in his office, he was fired. The right to continue living in a home he had repaired and used for more than 37 years was also terminated.

Leadership, like people, comes in all different shapes and styles.

Liaises faire leaders ignore what happens beneath them until issues fester and then blow up, our current government is a good example.

Micromanagers must have their fingers in every detail and usually have a short leadership span before burning out or causing major problems to worker morale or production.

Dictators issue orders and expect them to be carried out, regardless or the outcome. They will not listen to worker suggestions or solutions to problems because the dictator is convinced he (or she) knows everything – they think.

Leaders are not necessarily the one in overall charge of a corporation, business or bureaucracy.

A board of directors, a committee, a city council, a board of education are examples of groups, although usually with a chairman or president or CEO, who lead an organization.

Those directors and members, along with their chosen head, lead.

These boards, councils or other governing bodies must shoulder the burden of responsibility for the actions of those they select, appoint or hire to carry out their wishes.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Agriculture teaches youngsters to be responsible

Growing up on a farm until recent years was pretty much the norm.

Then came the war (WW II) and a post-war boom in manufacturing and technology which led many families to flee the often barely subsistent farm life and head to more populated areas for decent paying jobs.

Nowadays, most kids are raised in town or a subdivision and have no knowledge whatsoever about farming or what it is like.

A Wayne County farm kid like me learned a lot. We raised Hereford cattle (went to Angus after I took a fulltime job), hogs (Hampshires at first, then Landrace and Yorkshire mix) and always had horses or ponies, or both.

Bought most of my own clothes with “pig” and “cow” money, bought my first few cars and paid my college tuition.

Not bragging – that’s just how a lot of Wayne County kids did then.

But, as Richard Chadwick recently told the Wayne Board of Education, “most kids today don’t even know how to plant a tomato.”

Most schools in the area in the mid-1900s offered Vocational Agriculture (Vo-Ag). Coupled with the Future Farmers of America, classes alternated between beneficial farming techniques, a certain amount of “shop” class (at Buffalo we built gun cabinets and other simple items) and proper ways to manage a successful farming operation.

Members of the FFA learned Robert’s Rules of Order, how to keep farm records and how to judge farm animals – hogs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, chickens – and even prepared cured hams and bacon and inspected and classified eggs.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Circle of life proving to be truly a circle

I once wrote that life is like a circle.

The Lakota Sioux believe that life is a sacred circle in which all things are connected.

Nature, animals and humans all intertwine.

Everything spiritual is inside that sacred circle which is broken into four parts, each having to do with a direction and stage of life: infancy – west, youth – north, adulthood – east and elder – south.

So it has been with this humble scribe (don’t qualify for the wordsmith description) as my life is completing its own circle.

As a child growing up there weren’t any neighborhood kids around, so making up imaginary playmates was the norm. I was usually the Lone Ranger taking on rustlers who were trying to steal our Hereford cattle.

But I was never alone – Tonto, that resplendent redskin was always close by to lend me a hand and get me out of trouble.

Wearing out broomstick after broomstick, we traveled through the west (made up of the front and backyards of the farmhouse on Sweet Run).

At six, a pony. Then at 12 a horse as maturity began to set in. Fewer and fewer outlaws to chase, but summertime horse shows became the norm.

The west – infancy.

In school, reading and writing took hold. Sixth-grade teacher Hazel Hutchinson bragged to the high school librarian, Evelyn Pyles, that I had read 66 books.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Letters generate spin, maybe some action

Quite often newspapers, either through articles they print, comments made by columnists, or just the facts dug up by enterprising reporters…step on toes.

Sometimes an individual, sometimes a group, will take exception to what is printed.

Recently, The Wayne News has printed letters attributed to a “Jim Nasium,” who has taken it upon him (or her or them) self to articulate concerns by a number of people in the Tolsia High School area.

When we receive Letters to the Editor, we require the author give their correct full name and how they may be contacted. However, just like other rules, there can be exceptions.

The primary exception to this requirement is the fact that by making certain issues public; the “whistleblower” can be subject to retribution. In that case, we will make an exception.

Such is the case with Mr.(s). Nasium.

We know the identity of the writer (s). We have signature (s) on the letter, but due to possible retaliation, we kept the author (s) name secret.

Last Tuesday’s letter, the second from “Jim Nasium,” elicited a quick and snarky response.

William Rosenberger, well-known spin-doctor for the Wayne County Board of Education, and (as he likes to tell everyone) a former reporter for the Herald-Dispatch, got his Fruit of the Looms all in a knot over the latest letter.

In an email received at 8:01 Wednesday morning, he jumped off the handle and voiced his opinion, “We bit our tongue on the first one, but this second one is ridiculous. A real newspaper won’t print such scathing letters unless the author has the guts to sighn (sic) their name.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

New sheriff, deputies in town

A new superintendent and three new members highlight the latest education news in the county.

And for the present, it seems like an old Western. A new sheriff, new deputies and new attitude as the latest edition of the Wayne County Board of Education, at least at Monday night’s meeting, proved much different than previous boards.

From discussions about Robert’s Rules of Order to quicken the pace of meetings, to possibly limiting time for delegations, to publicizing jobs, to increasing transparency of school board actions, one thing was clear…

The three new members have brought a new energy to the panel, along with a passionate new superintendent.

From board President George (Trey) Morrone to Johnita Jackson to Lois Little, there were questions and suggestions about board finances, policies and ways the board can improve its closed-door image by keeping fewer secrets and making more things public.

A gust of fresh air from the hill.

But…

The naming of the new superintendent showed a marked division on the board, as all three new members voted for Sandra Pertee while the two leftovers, JoAnn Hurley and Vickie Boyd, voted against.

Pertee prevailed over nine other candidates, five of whom made the final cut for an interview with the board.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Party affiliates now party addicts

“(Party politics) serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
• George Washington, September 17, 1776

Newspapers have always, due to ownership and management, taken one side of a political argument, either liberal or conservative.

This should be done on the editorial – and opposite – pages of the newspaper where this column is always found. The rest of the paper should have news from both sides, balanced as much as possible. But sometimes, due to news availability, it is not practical.

The Wayne County News has recently offered news releases from Democrat Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, currently involved in possibly the toughest race of his career, with Republican candidate Evan Jenkins. These releases highlighted actions the Congressman has taken to benefit West Virginia, and usually are associated with the EPA and the coal industry.

We say “recently” because it seems that prior to about six months ago, all Rahall did is go along with the agenda set by the Democratic administration and ignore his constituents.

In today’s edition, readers will find several stories about Jenkins’ foray Thursday into Wayne County, long a hotbed of Democratic Rahall supporters.

We were told of Jenkins’ visit Wednesday, and due to the fact the other local paper refused to send any coverage; we decided to attend several of his planned visits.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Superintendent decision and other challenges


The Wayne County Board of Education soon will select a new superintendent from the five finalists who made it to the interview stage.

Last night, the public was offered a chance for input into the pick, but could not use any names as those who chose to speak their mind offered up their choices.

Kinda like choosing which kind of cake for dessert, but not being able to say “chocolate” or “white” or “pineapple upside-down.” Well, we’ll try the same thing.

Out of the five, two come from the state Department of Education, usually where teachers who can’t teach and administrators who can’t administrate, go to retire. They become just another state employee in a bloated bureaucracy that instead of helping our students, become another expense on the state’s bottom line.

One has quite a number of acronyms after her (I can say her, right) name. If she was any good in all those roles, she might have a lot on the ball.

The other state employee, was a former principal at Lincoln County High School. While a teacher at Lincoln County High, he instituted a successful Career and Technical Education program.

But a 2012 audit by the state found secondary education was “deficient” in Lincoln County “in all indicators or assessment,” citing the challenge of having three principals in three years and two new assistant superintendents. The audit suggested more “stability and continuity at the high school.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Quit readin’ Quit learnin’


“I don’t read The Wayne County News any more, or the Herald-Dispatch.”

“I quit reading the newspapers.”

“I dropped my subscription. I didn’t like what was in the paper about me.”

That’s fine.

That’s your prerogative.

That’s also a very elitist attitude.

It’s also the attitude of the majority of voters in the last two presidential elections.

Uninformed.

How’s that workin’ out?

The delegate we most like to pick on said he’d quit reading this paper a while back. He didn’t like the responses to some of his responses.

His arguments were easily dissected into tiny, bite-sized pieces. His side of the debates were so often full of holes, or liberal talking points, they were easy to dismiss.

We also frequently questioned some of the bills he brings before the legislature…prescriptions for over-the-counter drugs, more tax on tobacco products, etc., etc…

So he doesn’t read us any more. Too bad, he could learn a few things.

Like what is important to his constituents…what they think about his stance on various issues before the legislature…what things they would like for him to bring up…what he should fight for…or against.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

A real look at crisis in Texas


We hear and see on TV every day how South Texas is being inundated with illegal immigrants, many of them children, in epic numbers.

According to reports 180,000 to more than 190,000 have crossed the border illegally in the Rio Grande Valley so far this year. Estimates range as high as 60,000 children.

Although not really a valley, but a floodplain, The Valley consists of only four counties, Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron. The largest city, Brownsville in Cameron County lies close to the Gulf of Mexico, while the next largest city, McAllen is 60 miles west in Hidalgo County.

With its palm trees and citrus groves, huge farms that provide melons, fruit and vegetables to America’s tables, The Valley could be mistaken for Florida or California.

But in the 2012 census, it was home to 1.3 million, mostly Hispanic Americans. McAllen, Pharr, San Juan, Weslaco, Donna, Edinburg, Mission and Alamo are separated much the same way as Ceredo and Kenova. The only way to know you’ve left one and entered the other is a city limit sign.

Just across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, Mexico, the area where my friend lives is 90 percent Hispanic, maybe more.

Today, The Valley is being overrun by thousands of Central American children who have no clothes, no food and in some instances, no parents. Many are sick.

It has become a humanitarian crisis and the U.S. government, the administration and the President don’t seem to care. The President has a visit planned, but to fund raise, not view the situation.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

To new Wayne BOE:
Perception is reality


Here’s a couple of observations and some questions about rumors and innuendos circulating throughout the area for the new Wayne County School board to think about:

A while back another elected entity came under scrutiny for conducting meetings without properly notifying local media.

In those meetings the members elected certain people to positions of authority, and in one case, conducted an election that was not on the agenda. In that instance, several members of the group who were told the election was not going to be conducted that day did not attend, therefore the absentees had no say in the election process – or the person elected.

In a later discussion with the chairman of that organization, we strongly suggested that whether actions taken were lawful, correct and done properly, the fact that the actions were taken out of the public eye gave the appearance of impropriety.

Whenever any board, commission, council or other elected committee or group takes action “behind closed doors,” the public feels that it is being hornswoggled.

This has been true from day one.

Perception becomes reality.

Whether actions taken in secret or in executive session are lawful or not, the perception is that something underhanded is going on. And historically, with the Wayne Board of Education, the public has been right too often.

Nepotism and favoritism, political posturing, infighting and paybacks have not been unusual – quite the opposite.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Fan club continues to grow,
academic achievement slides


The fan club is growing.

Got a call the other day from someone who of course wouldn’t leave his name, but took exception to a comment made here last Wednesday when I wrote that threats made by “a slimy bunch of political hacks and union duds in Charleston…” had led to the closing and soon to be demolition of the venerated Ceredo-Kenova High School.

Objecting to the term “duds,” he asked, “What do you have against the working man?”

He then interrupted before I could answer that working people are what has made the country great…that I have nothing against “the working man”…that I consider myself a “working man” (anyone who has at least two jobs should rate that description)…and that he has the term “working man” confused with blind union loyalty.

Evidently, he’s not read many of the scribblings on this page, or he would know that there is no ill will her for private sector unions, only those that are part of, or influence government that prevent the proper actions of government.

He evidently didn’t want an explanation (I could have lied, saying it was a typo that should have read “dudes” but didn’t) as he then began a passionate tirade that soon showed a distinct lack of linguistic imagination.

What the newest fan club member failed to understand is that when the legislature passed the bill creating the state School Building Authority, it was to “facilitate and provide state funds for the construction and maintenance of school facilities to meet the educational needs of the people of the state in an efficient and economical manner (WV State Code 18-9D).

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Irresponsibility at the top: can’t get any better


A prominent state official who has been responsible for the displacement of thousands of students and the allocation of millions of dollars, if not a billion, in taxpayer money…

A person who has spent the past eight years bribing, wheedling, cajoling and threatening county agencies across the state…

A Charleston bigwig who has been a conduit for millions of dollars for special interest groups and selected businesses…

The director of a bureaucracy that controls school construction and consolidation throughout the state…

The man who has given so many speeches and so many interviews about how his agency has provided “help” for so many West Virginia students…

Another hack who’s made a career of nursing on the public teat and whose only qualification for many of his jobs is his family name…

Yep, our ole buddy Mark Manchin…

Lost his state car.

Yes, suspend reality for a few minutes and just let your mind go places it probably has never gone before – or will again.

Pretend you have a cushy job with maybe a state credit card or expense account and other perks. Imagine you are driving a car that belongs to someone else, in Manchin’s case, the State of West Virginia.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Summertime, creek banks,
poison ivy and sweating


“You’ve worked yourself out a job,” my mentor and friend, Claude Crabtree, said late one summer day in 1967. “All the cars are clean, all the wrought-iron’s painted, you’ve got the garage cleaned up … I don’t have anything else.

“Unless,” he paused, “you’re not allergic to poison ivy.”

I had been working in Kenova at Bloss & Crabtree Inc. for more than a year. The primary job was washing and detailing cars for Crabtree’s car business (he generally kept 25-30 in inventory), but when needed would report to the business’ repair shop and work for his partner and brother-in-law, Doyle (Stoney) Bloss.

Hating to be idle at that age, I could wash every car on the lot and make sure they were standing tall in one day. Detailing, however, most often took at least a day per car.

He advertised the cleanest cars in the area and I was proud of that, ‘cause I kept’em that way.
But once in a while, maybe sales would be slow or some other reason there wouldn’t be anything for me to do. So he would look for something. He knew a college kid always needed cash and if he had a good worker, he’d find work for them.

“Poison ivy,” I said. “Don’t bother me at all. I can eat it.”

Fact. The late Kelly Eastham, a grade school pal, and I used to pick the plant out back of Central Grade School on Buffalo Creek. We’d smile as the girls screeched and we ate it.

“Well, if you want, I’ve got a creek bank that is nothing but poison ivy and it needs cleaned up,” Crabtree said. “I’ll take you there in the morning and you can look at it and see what you want to do.”

At that time, with no local dams, area creeks like Twelvepole, would often overflow their banks and get into low lying houses and over roads.

Crabtree had what he often referred to as a “camp,” just outside Ceredo on the banks of Twelvepole. He and his wife, Gladys, and son Butch, would go to the camp quite often on hot weekends.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Amerika: one reason for the mess we’re in


We’re not the same country we were in 1960.

Just out of World War II, economy booming. The Interstate system under construction. Korea, in all its misery, was more or less over – if it will ever be.

America was influencing the whole world.

Immigrants were standing in line to come and be a part of the greatest country in history.
But now?

Our current leaders (and this is where it gets interesting), by pandering to political pressure from minority groups have curtailed growth, energy independence, military strength and economic stability.

Ah, but these people didn’t start the decline.

No. One of the most revered presidents (by many, especially dyed-in-the-wool Democrats) did something that, like numerous other well-intentioned ideas, got hijacked and became an albatross around the neck of the American people.

On Jan. 19, 1962, John F. Kennedy signed executive order 10988 establishing the premise: “Whereas participation of employees in the formulation and implementation of personnel policies affecting them contributes to effective conduct of public business…”

Unions in the public sector.

A simple little executive order, number 10988, allowed a fantastic growth of membership in The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Education Association.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Where do these people
get their crazy ideas?


Skimming through the competition the other day and just happened to see what one of their resident columnists had to say…the one who says America was not founded on biblical principles and has not been blessed by divine power because of tragic events.

Billed as a retired minister and theologian, the columnist has made some pretty outlandish claims, but not many worse than the above – or the one made Friday.

Last week, he claimed the economy is humming much stronger now.

Hmmmm.

Just call me Rip van Winkle, ‘cause I must have been sleeping.

He claims the administration’s “financial bailouts saved the banking and automobile industries” and that U.S. unemployment rate has “eased” downward to 6.3 percent.

The “theologian” also said “only the lethargic job market raises eyebrows.”

How ‘bout a cup of coffee, please. I must have been out for a long, long time.

It’s okay to have different points of view, but if you voice them – get the facts straight.

Although the administration took credit for saving the banks, how many of the banks literally stole millions? Clients and customers lost big, but cronies of the administration came out of the debacle with bundles of cash.

As far as saving the automobile industry – nothing could be further from the truth (to use a Mark Manchin phrase).

The only ones saved were the unions.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Administration nothing
but huge embarrassment


The liberal progressive administration that is in charge (not leading) of this country is nothing but a huge embarrassment to anyone who believes in the American way, American exceptionalism, and the American dream.

The recent trade of five terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay for a possible deserter was nothing more than a political ploy to divert attention from the multiple scandals racking the most corrupt administration in U.S. history. The idiots who came up with the idea thought Americans would be overjoyed at the release of a soldier from enemy hands.

But like everything else they touch…

It turned into that stinky brown stuff.

By making the swap, those in charge did nothing more than put a price tag on the head of all Americans, military of civilians, in country or overseas.

Five for one.

That’s what they will expect in return the next time – and there will be a next time.

One Taliban commander told TIME, “It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people. It has encouraged our people. Now everyone will work hard to capture such an important bird.”

Meanwhile, instead of praise and laurels for the idiots who released the baddest of the bad, more and more information is becoming available about the former captive.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Advertising

e-Paper* Subscription Information

The new e-paper is NOW AVAILABLE! Simply go to the subscription page, print and mail in your subscription. Or click on the sample e-paper front above to email us your information today! *e-Papers will be delivered via email in PDF format. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the document. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a FREE downloadable program. We will provide you with a link upon subscription.

Common core’s name not just a clever pun

Common Core educational standards. You either love them or hate them.

I, for the most part, are against them. I will admit that until Monday night, I was basically against it because of some predetermined bias shaped by family and friends. Then within the last week things have began to change.

First came last week when my daughter brought home her second-grade math homework. On the worksheet were all these pictures of blocks. I thought, “how great they are teaching our kids graphs and charts at such a young age.” Little did I know that is how you apparently count in the schools’ of America.

She was having some difficulty with a problem. I looked at the paper and imagine my surprise when I saw this “math problem.”

I could write a book on this and have limited space, but let’s just say that 7+7=14. It does not equal four drawings of blocks, my child to count her fingers (which is an actual teaching method used now), nor does it constitute 7+3=10 then 10+4=14 to get to the answer. No! 7+7=14. Plain and simple.

Strike one.

After seeing the “hated” Common Core in action… I was not impressed. So when a WV Against Common Core Town Hall Forum was announced for Barboursville this past Monday, I jumped on board not only to cover it for a story, but also to get more information as a parent.

What I learned from the meeting was not comforting. I basically learned that Common Core is the glue that holds student data mining together. Through these so-called, Next Generation” standards, education is being used by the government to mine all kinds of data from our children. Through what is called “personalized education initiatives,” everything a student does will be collected and stored.

From test scores to behavior to emotional response… all will be monitored. How will this be done? Well, through testing and distribution of tablets, of course. Disguised as technological advances in education.

Everything from facial recognition technology to monitors in the tablets that record heart rate, blood pressure and temperature; to sensors in chairs that monitor posture and other pervasive means are being utilized in other states and are coming to a school near you.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Tolsia administrators and failing grades

What would you do if your school administrators received failing grades? What if the administrators were the direct cause of your school failing?

Well, that is the question parents, teachers, staff and students are faced with now at Tolsia High School.

Since last school year, 2013-2014, as one instructor put it, Tolsia is slowly being destroyed from the inside out.

Tolsia’s Report Card for 2013-2014:
Math Proficiency: 11% WORSE
Reading and Language Arts Proficiency: 9% WORSE
Attendance: 12% WORSE
School Climate: WORSE
Employee Morale: WORSE
Community Involvement: LESS
Employee Involvement: LESS

This is the report card for Shayne Carey, principal of Tolsia, even with $50,000 extra from a grant to spend on students other schools didn’t have. Doesn’t your student deserve a better opportunity for education? In any normal company, we would see a change in management. How in the world did we let this happen?

Well we didn’t.

The previous Board Of Education president’s inexperienced nephew Shayne Carey, with one year as a Wayne County Schools employee behind his belt, was vicariously imposed upon the school as principal. With no experience as a high school principal, having never taught a single Wayne County student, filled with a better and smarter than us attitude, Mr. Carey implemented his “bell-to-bell teaching” mismanagement style at Tolsia last year.

How’s that working for us? It’s NOT.

Tolsia eleventh graders last year, compared to the same group of students in the tenth grade two years ago, performed 11 percent worse in Math and 9 percent worse in Reading and Language Arts proficiency under Mr. Carey’s administration.

The attendance rate dropped 12 percent last year as compared to two years ago, also under the fine tutelage of Mr. Carey.

School climate and employee morale at the school is worse and community and employee involvement is virtually non-existent. One West Virginia Department of Education official felt it was a shame how divided the school has become.

What’s behind Tolsia’s recent failure? The only change last year was putting in charge inexperienced, out-of-town administrators that don’t seem to have a clue how to run a school, work with professionals or connect with the local communities. Students don’t want to be here either, which is evident from the rise in the absentee rate. Just last Friday, the attendance rate for the school was 83 percent, also the average of last year, down from 95 percent in previous years.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

TILII: TXTNG makes U SFX dumb

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. Or more specifically, the death of writing.

Maybe it’s because all I hear is how the new education standard, Common Core, supposedly isn’t preparing our kids for the rigors of being a contributing member of society. Maybe it’s a society that’s increasingly communicating with weird shorthand for actual words and phrases like “TILII” (tell it like it is) “L8R” (later), “m.02” (my two cents) or “SFX” (sound).

When I was a substitute teacher, I theorized to a class of science honors students that with the pervasiveness of texting and smart phone use, humans will evolve in a few hundred years to have tiny heads and gigantic thumbs.

Now it’s coming out that many elementary school students are no longer being taught cursive handwriting. Cursive, some do-gooder in an office somewhere says, is rapidly becoming obsolete. Tell that to any bank that needs your signature here, here, here and here.

We’re animals with an incredible ability to communicate, yet we seem to be regressing in our ability to share our thoughts.

We’re losing our eloquence. Gone are the days of painting a picture with words, at least for the majority of people.

Take for example the following message sent via text message. The person who sent this is supposedly a young person, late teens to early 20s, and declaring their love for someone. I’ve not edited this in any way. It’s as it appears at the Website Love-meter.net.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

The Political one percent pandering

The November elections can’t get here soon enough.

I can hear my mother saying “Scott, don’t wish your life away.” Usually she said this when I was saying how I couldn’t wait until Christmas, the end of the school year, graduation from high school, whatever. But none of those desires even compare to my wish for this election season to be over.

I’m not opposed to the election process.

I’ve never voted straight party ticket and I’m a registered member of a third party.

I consider myself an informed voter.

What I’m sick of seeing is the pandering to a minority group in West Virginia.

What minority group you ask?

Miners.

Every ad you see during the day on local television shows a candidate, walking among miners at a processing facility or actual mine and talking about the importance of mining and miners.

I’m very sure if I were a coal miner I’d want to have politicians coming to my job and telling me how important I am to their campaigns. But let’s look at some numbers.

The entire population of West Virginia, according to 2012 U.S. Census numbers, is 1.855 million people. Take the figures from West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training’s Website which says the West Virginia Coal Industry provides about 30,000 direct jobs in W.Va., including miners, mine contractors, coal preparation plant employees and mine supply companies.

Thirty thousand jobs out of a population of 1.855 million people. That means each and every day, a political hopeful dons a hard hat, walks among mined coal and talks about the importance of the work done by 1.62 percent of West Virginia’s population. Now why do you suppose that is?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Redskins and my First World Problem

Back in January, my wife and I decided to cancel cable. I would like to tell you it’s because of some sort of noble (there’s nothing good on TV) reason but it’s not.

The move was strictly financial. Cable and internet packaged together through our local provider was running us about $100 a month and that was for what is the basic digital package offered by our provider at the time. So it wasn’t like were splurging on premium channels and DVR. It was the second-to-lowest bundle, plus our internet.

Ridiculous, right? That’s what we thought.

Now we have Netflix and a small digital antenna hanging on the wall next to the TV. It’s enough for me. The kids miss Spongebob Squarepants, but they can get their Spongebob fix when they visit their Granny and Papaw.

I miss NASCAR. Once it’s off FOX, I’m relegated to reading about the races instead of watching them. It’s honestly not bothering me that much. OK, maybe just a little.

But as football season gets ever closer, I’m starting to sympathize with my two Spongebob-addicted offspring. How will I watch football if all I get through my antenna are NBC, FOX and a few other channels that I know aren’t going to have football? That’ll leave me with two, maybe three games a week and there’s no guarantee teams I care about will be involved.

This is a First World Problem is there ever was one

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Lack of criticism for Putter-In-Chief

I used to play golf, when I could justify the cost of green fees and the occasional trip to the driving range.

But then the economy collapsed, I was laid off from two different jobs in four years and my annual income dropped by about $15K a year. Sort of hard to justify dropping $25 on a round of golf when the electric bill needs to be paid.

But a failed economy, a farce of a recovery and political and social fires haven’t kept Barack Obama off the golf course.

George W. Bush was roundly and justifiably criticized for his apparent lack of sympathy for the plight of the world when he spoke about terrorism while standing in the tee box on a golf course. After speaking about the evils of terrorism, he then told the reporters to “watch this drive.” Michael Moore played the clip in his “documentary” Fahrenheit 9/11 and used it as an example of how detached Bush was from the realities of war and governing a country.

Notice the lack of any noise from the media or celebrities about Obama’s love for the fairway.

According to the Website Obamagolfcounter.com, the Putter in Chief has hit the links 182 times since taking office. His first round as Putter in Chief was 22 days after his first day in office. In all, his longest span of not playing golf has been 98 days. Imagine the horror of not being able to get away from it all and relax on the golf course for 98 days.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

North Bend fest will be really ‘Wild’

It’s going to get wild at North Bend State Park in September.

The West Virginia Wild Food and Mushroom Enthusiasts join to present the 47th Annual Nature Wonder “Wild Foods” Weekend September 19 through 20.

Organizers are looking for favorite wild foods from all 55 counties in West Virginia. That burden would have to be left up to you, dear reader, because I wouldn’t know the difference between a good mushroom and a bad mushroom.

All I know about mushrooms is there are the kind that are delicious on a pizza or steak and there are the kind that help you taste the color orange, if you know what I mean.

Comedian and modern philosopher Bill Hicks once spoke about taking mushrooms. Here’s what he experienced:

“Three weeks ago two of my friends and I went to a ranch in Frederick, Texas, and took what Terence McKenzie calls “a heroic dose.” Five dried grams. Let me tell you, our third eye was squeegeed quite cleanly. Wow! And I’m glad they’re against the law, ‘cause you know what happened when I took ‘em? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours, going ‘My God, I love everything.’ The heavens parted, God looked down and rained gifts of forgiveness onto my being, healing me on every level, psychically, physically, emotionally.

And I realized our true nature is spirit, not body, that we are eternal beings, and God’s love is unconditional ‘n’ there’s nothing we can ever do to change that. It is only our illusion that we are separate from God, or that we are alone. In fact the reality is we are one with God and He loves us. Now, if that isn’t a hazard to this country...”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Today’s country music: The de-evolution of a genre

Country music.

I hate it.

Today’s modern country music is nothing but noise for the lowest common denominator.

Now that I’ve offended most of you, can we talk about something?

A few nights ago I was channel surfing television at home when I stopped on Zuus Country. I stopped because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing.

Before I go on, let me tell you a story. When my wife and I were first married we went on a road trip. On this trip we started a conversation about how someday country music artists would cover power ballads from “hair” bands of the 1980s. So we both, with our most ridiculous and over the top country twang began singing power ballad staples like Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” and Cinderella’s “Don’t Know What You Got.”

One of the songs we twanged up was Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home.” This is what caused me to stop, watch, listen, and throw up a little in my mouth at the sight of what was on my television.

Country artist Justin Moore is the offender. He, with the blessing of Motley Crue, has released a cover of Home Sweet Home. His voice is more twangy than I could ever hope to mock.
I thought it was a joke. Nobody, I mean nobody, can sing naturally with that much twang. But clearly I was wrong because there it was.

I let it go when the Scorpions’ “Rock you Like A Hurricane” was used in a Fiber One commercial. But this is just uncalled for. Is Nashville trying to take all my teenage musical memories out in the woods and shoot them in the back of the head?

To be fair, I used to like country music. I still like to settle down in a comfy chair, put on my headphones and listen to Hank Williams Junior’s album “The Pressure is on.” But what assaulted my ears and eyes wasn’t country music. It was an abomination before the Lord.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

The nonsense: I see dead people

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” - Mark Twain

What would you do if someone who shared your name died, but the physician’s group to which your doctor belongs thought it was you and cancelled all future doctor’s appointments?

This is exactly what happened to my mother recently.

In this column, names have been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent. For the purpose of this column and to head off any potential legal ramifications, my mom is named Jane M. Doe. Sorry mom.

For a few years now my parents have been (for lack of a better word), harassed by bill collectors and other telephone bounty hunters because a Jane M. Doe apparently failed to pay her bills.

So what’s a company looking to recoup money it’s owed to do? Look up Jane M. Doe in West Virginia on Internet people searches and begin calling her.

One problem with that strategy: They were calling the wrong Jane M. Doe.

My mom tried to convince the people on the other end of the line that she wasn’t the Jane M. Doe they were looking for. Some apologized and moved on. Others became indignant and smarmy. This is where the mother I know now – the doting grandmother, VA volunteer, active DAR member and Sunday school teacher, became the mother I remember from my youth. The mother who appeared when I sang The Devil went Down to Georgia with the line “I told you once you son of a ...” or when I spilled chocolate milk in her new kitchen.

So, kudos to those collection callers for bringing out the devil in Jane M. Doe. No, not the Jane M. Doe they were looking for – the other one.

But this incredible inconvenience came to a crescendo when mom, Jane M. Doe, was trying to confirm a doctor’s appointment with University Physicians only to discover all her appointments have been wiped from the books because, according to University Physicians, Jane M. Doe is dead.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Back to school in August?

Back to school.

Those three words bring back horrible memories of failure, struggle and disappointment for this writer.

But at least when I was in school we didn’t have to go back until a few days before or after Labor Day.

Starting school the first week of August is ridiculous. Just one month ago my family and I were watching fireworks and celebrating July 4th. Now, I have to try and roust a surly, foul tempered, six-year-old from her slumber to get her on the bus by 7:15 a.m. This is after I have to roust a surly, foul tempered, 40-year-old from his slumber. Let me tell you, that six-year-old apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

I have yet to see a compelling reason to start the school year so early. I have been told it’s because, in order to reach the state-mandated number of education days, the schools must start early to account for potential snow days in the winter.

Allow me to destroy this logic. If the main roads are clear, school should be in session. If a child isn’t there, count them absent. It’s a good lesson for life.

In this column “Timmy” will be my generic student of any age. Mr. Moneysworth will be a generic boss. Here we go.

“When it snows, Timmy, your boss Mr. Moneysworth doesn’t care that there’s three inches of snow on the ground. He wants you at work.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Dangerous animal bill nothing but more laws

It seems public pressure, or maybe public shaming, has caused the state of West Virginia to amend their Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

In it’s original form, the Dangerous Wild Animal Act would have banned the ownership of animals like lions, tigers and elephants. It also banned owning rabbits, turtles, sugar gliders and tree frogs.

In a recent meeting, a board charged with coming up with the list removed some of the more laughable animals that were banned in the original list. Or, as they put it, clear up the confusion.

There were more than 200 public comments made on the proposed law. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture also received public comment on rabbits, alpacas, ferrets, and guinea pigs, although Jewell Plumley, state veterinarian/ director of the animal health division of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, said those animals are exempt from the law.

Here’s where I have to disagree. The original list has species broken down by category and by scientific name. The part where rabbits were included in the banned list is pretty clear. Under the mammals category there’s Lagomorpha. In parenthesis next to Lagomorpha are pikas, rabbits and hares. What follows this is pretty airtight when it comes to understanding – “all species prohibited.”

What part of “all species prohibited” am I, nor 200 other West Virginians not understanding?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Social media: Now Tool and cesspool

Social media can be a powerful tool. It can help reunite friends and keep family in touch across the world.

It’s also a cesspool of self-indulgent celebrities, wannabe activists and a forum for complaining when actually doing something about a problem is too hard.

I’ve been a long-time participant on Facebook and recently joined Twitter. It hasn’t taken long to realize any sense of decorum or personal responsibility goes out the virtual window when it comes to either one of these.

The worst is the “hash-tag activism” that permeates Twitter. It’s where people who can’t, or won’t, do something about a problem in the world will voice their opinions on Twitter with a statement prefaced by a “hash tag” visually represented by the pound sign (#).

Even our very own first lady is guilty of hash tag activism. When 270 schoolgirls were kidnapped in Nigeria, the FLOTUS posted a picture to social media holding a hand-written sign with “# bring back our girls” written on it. FLOTUS looks sad in the picture, so her message looks sincere, and I’m sure it was. But as of July 14, the girls are still being held hostage, so clearly the kidnappers didn’t understand the importance of a hash tag on social media.

It’s a shame, if only FLOTUS knew someone who has an army and could actually help these girls. Nah, a picture on the Internet is good enough. #useless.

After the Supreme Court ruled a closely held company didn’t have to provide benefits the owners of the company view as offensive to deeply held personal beliefs, social media exploded.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Michael Hupp

Positively impacting a community

So often the things I write are not…well, positive.

When I decide to opine on a topic it generally is a rant or scathing piece about something going wrong in Wayne County. It is not very often the opportunity presents itself to write about someone doing right.

Fortunately there are several people doing grass roots campaigns in Westmoreland this month, making this small community unique. What is making the events even more special are young adults under 40-years-old (or near) conducting the events.
It all started this month with Westmorlapalooza.

Charley Bailey and Daniel Wiles, along with friends, had a cookout three years ago at Wiles’ Westmoreland home where ideas were shared on how the younger generation could contribute to the community. Old-timers and youth alike that grew up in Westmoreland until Vinson High School closed have often spoken of the community’s glory years when numerous events centered on community enrichment.

Bailey and Wiles wanted to bring a piece of those memories back to Westmoreland and thus Westmorlapalooza was born. It has grown each year with more community members participating. The group recently sponsored a community cleanup that brought 60 volunteers to the streets of Westmoreland to pick up trash off the streets.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Nepotism: Taxpayer money in action

There is a big misconception that this country is a Democracy.

In fact, it clearly states what this country is when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance…“and to the Republic….”

What is the difference?

A Republic is our government system in which we, as citizens, vote for individuals to represent us at different levels of bureaucracy. A true Democracy is when we all pile into a room while openly and directly vote on issues or topics which would lead to mob rule.

Think old Massachusetts township format or “town hall.”

Today we elect everyone from mayor to president in private voting booths with only ourselves really knowing whom we directly voted for.

That is freedom of choice – another wonderful facet of this country, but what about the elected officials themselves? Should their decisions be left to secrecy if they were elected by us to represent us?

I have a huge problem with the way personnel is handled by our school board. I understand that West Virginia law protects the hiring and firing process, but something inevitably creeps into the system time and again – nepotism – and in some cases favoritism.

Recently in the past two years there have been a few examples of this in our local school system. There is no issue if the person selected is the most qualified, but what about when the person is not as qualified as another and gets the job due only to a last name?

I wrote a column several weeks ago where following state law and the practices of our board I did not use names to put my point across. I will continue to do so.

Like the last column I am sure those familiar with the situation can fill in the blanks.

Here are the examples:

A new school is opening. Two administrators in the county bid on a job at the new school. Admin A is given the job.

Admin B files a grievance because the person believes they deserve the job.

Administrator A loses the grievance after being told Admin B had more experience and A has to bid on another job.

Meanwhile, Nepotism A is in the wings waiting to be put into the system. Nepotism A has no to minimal administrative experience and is from out of state, never had teaching experience in West Virginia – but has an ace in the hole.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

––––––––––––––––––––––––

Saving us from ourselves, one rabbit at a time

By SCOTT PARSONS
Sports Writer

HUNTINGTON – Into every life a little rain must fall.

Lurking just outside your window is a threat you probably never imagined. Heck, you might even have one living with you. Your child might be holding one right now!

But don’t worry, the Department of Natural Resources and Bureau of Health, among others, have imagined them for you.

Back in the winter when the Legislature was in session, they took it upon themselves to pass a bill to clamp down on ownership of animals deemed too dangerous or exotic for the average citizen to own.

Animal rights proponents applauded the effort. After all, who wants to see a majestic lion or noble elephant caged in a single-wide trailer at the head of some holler, right?

But the celebration was short lived and the applause stopped in hilarious fashion when it came to light that the legislature had passed the bill without ever providing a list of the dangerous animals that would be banned.

The bill, now known as the West Virginia Dangerous Animals Act, required various agencies to determine which animals are dangerous and which are not. The list was devised by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the state Department of Natural Resources and the Bureau of Public Health under the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Last week, the list of banned animals was made public with the Department of Agriculture as the lead agency listed on the document.

Among the animals that fall under a total ban are all species of rabbits, hares and turtles.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Most destructive force lives with me

By SCOTT PARSONS
Sports Writer

What’s the most destructive force on earth?

You may be thinking a tornado or earthquake. Maybe you even thought of a volcano. But you’re wrong.

The correct answer is a two-year-old boy. More specifically my two-year-old boy, Levi.

Don’t let Levi’s little Chiclets-like buck teeth and small stature fool you. His destructive powers could be the envy of even the most vengeful Greek god.

The marker on the walls of my house and the crushed cookie crumbs in the carpet speak to the destructive powers of his little hands. How can something that weighs less than 30 pounds create such havoc?

His big sister tried to play with him, and usually they play very well together, but there are some days when it just seems like chaos reigns supreme in our house.

Levi has a gift for getting under the skin of his big sister – maybe that’s just hardwired into the brains of little brothers. If Claire, my six-year-old, is having a bad day, Levi knows just how to make it even worse.

“Levi! Leave me alone!”

Levi will leave her alone for a few seconds. Then he gets a mischievous grin and will just reach out and touch her.

“Levi! Stop it!” Claire will yell. Levi giggles and walks away. Then he’ll walk back toward his sister and touch her again. I stress that he’s doing nothing more than touching her. He’s not hitting or slapping her; he’s merely pointing out his finger and touching her.

“Levi! Daddy, Levi is annoying!” Claire will yell. Then Levi runs away laughing.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Your Christian denomination
may depend upon a comma

By SCOTT PARSONS
Sports Writer

With Easter weekend upon us, there has been a lot of talk about Heaven in the media this week.

The movie “Heaven is for Real” premiers this weekend. It’s based on a book in which a little boy says he went to heaven and describes to his parents what he saw.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted as saying, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

There’s not enough space in this newspaper for me to point out how wrong this statement is theologically. I’ll just say he’s clearly an idiot.

Also, this week, I stumbled upon an online debate about whether or not when one dies, we immediately go to heaven or hell or just go to sleep until the judgment.

For the sake of this column, let’s think about Christian theology regarding the afterlife.

The root of this debate is Luke 23:43 where Jesus tells the repentant thief who’s being crucified next to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Or is it “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.”

Do you see the difference? A simple comma. And that, as I told my wife, is why there are so many denominations of Protestants.

Of course there are dozens of English translations of the Bible. Your translation may vary.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

How to write a letter and get $6,000 from the Wayne County school board

On Tuesday, June 3rd, parents and students from Tolsia High School attended the Wayne County Board of Education meeting. For Tolsia parents, it was the apex of a problem the school has had for the past year, and enough is enough.

Basically the community has lost nearly all connection with the school, and Tolsia has been turned into a prison for our students. But, the principal recently received a $6,000 Superintendent recommended and Board approved raise just for requesting it. It’s time you know some of the magic that has been happening at Tolsia High School.

Last year, bids were issued for new high school basketball coaches, both the head coach and assistant coaches at Tolsia. In every instance in all three high schools of our county, a representative from the Athletic Boosters is part of the interview committee to select the coaches. Qualified persons did bid on the positions, but were not interviewed. A phone call was made and a person that did not even bid for the position, from outside the community, was appointed as head coach with only middle school experience. Not a single interview was made of those local community members who bid on the position, even though a highly qualified person had placed a bid. The Athletic Boosters were not allowed to be part of the process. It was all done by the new Tolsia high school administration and central office before the community members were even aware of it. The students suffered through the season last year with the inexperienced, appointed coach, but it was vowed not to allow it to repeat again. Tolsia students deserved better.

Even though Tolsia has only existed since 1988, it has a rich history and tradition with the communities in athletics, academics and after-school programs. Part of this comes from the desire for the communities to accept the consolidation of Crum and Fort Gay High Schools, and many of the traditions from those schools became part of Tolsia. Yet, Tolsia has been borne to suffer the past year from many poor decisions by the new high school administration and central office.

First, it is important to note that both administrators assigned to Tolsia High School this year had little to no high school administrative experience and are not from our community. In fact, Mr. Shayne Carey, the current principal of Tolsia, was not a resident of Wayne County and has never taught a single student in Wayne County. Sadly, because of many of the administrative decisions made throughout the year by Mr. Carey, attendance is down, teacher morale is the lowest ever, ties with the community are strained or severed, and he got a $6,000 raise for being a yes man to the central office.

Let me give you some examples of what has been going on at Tolsia over the past year:

One teacher took students on two occasions for college tryouts helping them to secure athletic scholarships for college. The teacher’s time was docked for doing this. Probably not a great motivator for helping students get scholarships for college. Another teacher was asked by a student to attend the funeral of a family member and he only missed a few class periods. This teacher’s time was docked too. What you have to understand is under normal circumstances teachers cover classes for each other when needed for special circumstances to help the students, so a substitute teacher was not required. For some students, the people at Tolsia are family, sometimes the only family they may have, and Tolsia, in turn, has always been there for them, but not anymore. Another teacher received a below standard evaluation from the principal because of his number of missed days attendance. Yes, the teacher missed 22 days, but his young child had been diagnosed with cancer and he had to travel with her out of state for cancer treatments.

Yet, every time there was some event at school that needed his attention, he and his students worked over and above the call of duty, but he still received a below standard evaluation. Another staff member had three deaths in the family over a short period and was informed because of the missed workdays during this time it was being considered to place her on a plan of improvement.

Teachers have been docked even when attending something related directly to student educational improvement, but later had their pay restored after complaints were made to the central office. Another teacher left early due to an injury at school, and rest assured the compassionate Mr. Carey instructed the office staff to dock the instructor.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Bill Rosenburger

Wayne County students among the best and brightest

By BILL ROSENBURER Communications Officer for Wayne County Schools

Education is best served by data because numbers don’t lie. So, it’s true that West Virginia as a whole spends more on education than most states in the nation, yet collectively ranks near the bottom.

However, there are so many shining stars in Wayne County that its nearly 7,500 students might be more of an exception than the standard.

Last month, hundreds of students earned their high school diplomas, given in public graduation ceremonies. In the week leading up to commencement, though, many of those nearly graduates were recognized at senior award assemblies as scholarship recipients.

Of those 464 graduates, the scholarship money awarded is in the millions of dollars. And, 77 of those students received West Virginia’s PROMISE Scholarship—50 at Spring Valley, 12 at Tolsia and 15 at Wayne – representing 16.5 percent of the combined graduating classes. That’s about $1.5 million just for PROMISE Scholarship recipients.

Throughout the school year, students across the county rose to the high expectations our teachers set. Nicholas Caudill, who just received his diploma from Tolsia, earned the school’s first-ever medal in the state’s SkillsUSA carpentry competition – and it was a gold.

Spring Valley and Wayne high schools also had students place in the SkillsUSA competition, with several gold-medal winners qualifying for the national event this summer in Kansas City.

Students placed in the annual Marshall University SCORES Academic Festival, earned Golden Horseshoes, were recognized at local and state levels for their art and musical abilities, qualified for National Math Field Day, competed in the state History Bowl, earned invitations to the Fourth Brigade Best of the Best JROTC Raider Challenge and participated in West Virginia Young Writers Day.

Two of our school’s choral programs took part in 25th annual America Sings, and one, Wayne Elementary, performed the national anthem at the West Virginia Power baseball game.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Misc.

 

AP taking potshots at Maynard, Blankenship

In an Associated Press (AP) editorial poorly disguised as news, hatchet man Jonathan Mattise belittled Mark Maynard who beat “the most trusted lawyer” to ever grace the streets of Williamson for his longtime senate seat.

Mark, so reports the AP, is a lowdown polecat that is a used car salesman and owns a towing business. Additionally, instead of a more refined pursuit (like ambulance chasing) he is on a professional drag racing pit crew.

Mark had no issues of his own, instead he agreed with almost all of his Democrat opponents. Senator-elect Maynard even plays the guitar and sings country and gospel music – how much more vulgar can you get!!

Republican senator and used car lot owner Bill Cole is said to be a mentor of Mark Maynard. I wonder how the many auto dealers who also have used car lots feel about seeing their profession so denigrated in the newspapers.

After all, newspapers derive a lot of advertising dollars from the very business the AP is making fun of.
Apparently West Virginia’s longest sitting senator was not worth much after all. Mark did not have to spend “a dime” to defeat him.

This sort of sleazy journalism is a trademark of the AP. In what should have been a simple news item about Don Blankenship’s’ indictment, the AP proceeded to describe Don as steely-eyed and dubbed him “the dark lord of coal country.”

The same reporter, Mattise, makes fun of Mr. Blankenship’ s mustache. What does that have to do with the fact that he has been accused and not convicted?

If I were a publisher I’d tread lightly publishing such things as news. The judge in this matter has imposed a gag order on all concerned. So how can the AP and the news outlets they serve, poison a jury pool and convict a man without a trial.

Suppose the prosecutor can’t prove his case? Who will Blankenship’s’ legal team go after first?

I was guessing when I suggested Bob Pylmale and Company should visit Massachusetts and Connecticut to learn why their schools are so good. Turns out they, along with New Jersey, are in the top five.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Education key
to State’s future

How many more times do we have to hear the same old refrain about development, training and improvement?

I’ve been hearing about clean coal technology for at least 30 years, perhaps more. Coal is not “clean.” People have been burning it for hundreds of years – it makes smoke, soot and when it is burned a lot of undesirables are liberated into the atmosphere. Years ago Ashland Oil took on the task of turning coal into a motor fuel called the H Coal Plant. Despite the best technology at the time it was a flop.

I’ve read and heard the same great sounding words about re-training and improving education for years.

Every time it is the same old throw away lines that never get done. Just what sort of training are they talking about? Many of our citizens did not graduate from high school. If they did, 56 percent of them can’t pass the GED test. You can’t do much training if the student can’t read.

Those in our legislature could stop this lack of education, but that would deprive them of the low information voter that keeps the same tired bunch in office election after election. One of them told me that our teachers should not expect any more money because we are a poor small state. Rubbish!

West Virginia is bigger than Massachusetts and Connecticut put together, they have few natural resources and depend on us for their electric power. So how did they manage to become so wealthy?

Answer? Education.

Nothing is going to happen in West Virginia until we get our people educated. What do I mean… educated?

Education is obtaining the knowledge or skill that people are willing to pay for. Anything to do with science, technology, engineering and math fits the bill. Almost anything related to healthcare will assure you prosperity. You can make a good living driving a truck if you own the truck.

Rush Limbaugh makes his money talking. Sam Maloof, famous woodworker, that I admire, sold his signature rocking chair for $25,000 each and was booked five years ahead when he died.

Southern West Virginia has depended upon coal for employment long before I was born and not much else. Now it is reported that there are only 68 coal mines left in operation in our state.

State Democrat leaders squandered the riches of our coal. The miner was kept ignorant and paid just enough to keep the coal flowing for the benefit of the few, or people in Cleveland or St. Louis.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Tougher stance on addiction needed in West Virginia

According to his quote in the Herald Dispatch, Perdue plans to again try his time worn solutions to West Virginia’s drug abuse problems.

Nothing new, it is the same old claptrap (that is what he has called me). By now, most of us understand that the current solutions are not working; instead they continue to cost us more and more money.

My solution goes like this:

There are two parts of the drug problem.

Liberals conveniently renamed addiction a disease, just as they did alcoholism. I suppose this makes the dope addict feel better. Addiction is a self-inflicted addiction – nothing more.

Is tobacco a disease? Is being obese a disease? Why not call serial murder a disease. The first step in overcoming addiction is for the addict to accept that it is self-inflected and ask for help.

The other part is those who peddle and sell the stuff. Fact is, Don thinks he knows a lot about drug addiction, but what he knows is wrong. I’ve seen the drug problem on a massive scale. Something most of us can’t imagine; millions of dollars worth of heroin on a single boat.

The U.S. Coast Guard works 24/7 and they can’t catch it all because the demand in the U.S. is so great. Drug pushers are murderers and should be quickly shot – that would make an impression.

Kaddafi was a murdering dictator. President Reagan sent the U.S. Air Force to kill him. Two of our fighting men lost their lives in the attempt, but that put him in a box for the next 20 years.

The drug problem on the criminal side is a self-licking ice cream cone with all participants divying up the cash. The police catch the pusher then the “system” lets him out.

There was one example in the H-D just the other day, a man from Detroit who has been a revolving door, coming and going between here, Detroit and Kentucky. It is a cash cow for the legal community and those who administer justice. All those people depend on a continuing flow of drug criminals for the living.

Only until the legislature imposes really stiff punishment will the criminal decide to go straight or take his business elsewhere. That $25,000 Perdue arranged for the police departments is spitting into the wind, and he darn well knows it.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Shot in the foot, or taxes and election politics

Ever wonder how come West Virginia continues to be at the bottom of the totem pole?

West Virginia has the highest gasoline tax of any neighboring state. I wonder how much money we are losing as people cross the border to buy fuel. I hardly ever fill up in Lavalette because we load up on essentials at Sam’s so we fill up while there.

West Virginia’s gas tax is 54.1 cents while Ohio is at 46.4 cents. Any Ohio road is just about twice as good as any West Virginia road; why is that?

If you happen to live near the border with Virginia you can buy gas for 18.4 cents less – based on taxes alone. West Virginia would be smart to charge the lowest tax, then I bet our tax revenue would increase.

The Tax Foundation just released its index, ranking West Virginia at 23… lowest of any of our neighbor states. Reason – Democrats are feeling the hot breath of Republicans on their neck.

If the stars are aligned just right, on Election Day we will become the majority in the house, rid ourselves of Rahall, and elect our first lady senator.

In a reported four-way back and forth between the candidates for the 16th district, there was a tortured discussion about why an inventory tax can’t be removed. It pointed out just how dependent West Virginia is on taxiing everything.

No wonder most of us are broke.

Why is it that our elected can’t get it through their head that business does not pay a dime in taxes? Every tax imposed ends up passed on to “we the people.”

Don Perdue, the savior of those addicted to illegal drugs, now wants to increase taxes “a little bit” on beer and alcohol to spend on dopeheads. Don, like most all the bleeding heart libs, calls drug addition a disease, which it is not.

I guess calling it a disease makes those addicted feel better. What hypocrites they are collecting taxes on alcohol, marijuana or tobacco – the very things they tell us are so bad.

All of them are addicted to the tax money alcohol and tobacco generates.

The report goes on about jobs and what to do to get them. Hillary Clinton says business and corporations do not create jobs. She infers that it is the politicians who create jobs. So all you Democrats who have been running West Virginia into the ground for the last 85 years, where are the jobs that you create?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Time to clean house, elect new faces

 

Joyce Holland, a Republican, has been reading my columns because she is correctly echoing my points about those who are desperate to hold onto their cushy delegate seat for another two years.

I notice that Don Perdue is once again up to his old tricks of vote buying and I see he is again wearing his Indian prayer beads.

One of the other candidates for another two-year spin was disappointed because I told him his campaign slogan is just throwaway lines. Joyce asked the same questions; what difference has been made? What about the jewels, “families, education, jobs,” or the ever popular “new ideas?”

Name for me just one new idea!

There is a lifelong resident of our community that made something of himself – he has, and continues – to benefit all of us.

This guy is a candidate to replace Dale “Yard Sign” Stephens, or Delegate Doug. Reynolds is talking more like a Republican, so I think he is turning away from the dark side.

Clearly, this man has nothing to gain politically except he wants to help stop the downhill slide of our state. I do think he might be thought a bit crazy for a physician to enter into the political arena. Come to think of it, for every doctor we can elect that’s one less Democrat in the house.

Who better to cure our ills than a doctor?

Joyce says Democrats are suggesting (what else) raising taxes. Surely not, Joyce.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Accusations and the truth: Sometimes not the same

 

I’ve been accused by some that I’m a rabid right wing conservative.

I’ve been told nobody reads my stuff.

I’m guilty of being a Republican. Fact is, there are a whole lot of nobodies out there from Florida to the south end of Wayne County that do read my stuff and have called or written to say so.

Fact is, people are just about at the end of their rope over the lack of results from the very top (Washington) down to the most peon delegate in West Virginia’s House.

The people are fed up with “I tried” and empty promises and throw away lines that only kick the can down the road a bit. So I take my frustration out on poor old decrepit Don Perdue.

Rick Thompson promised an education overhaul. This last session the House spent all of two weeks talking about what teachers can and can’t do at their meetings.

That water bill that was so great, according to a political letter I received, is nothing of the sort and the real details have yet to be put on paper.

That 911 building was promised by several would never cost a million is now costing about three million.

No one ever did anything about incorrect 911 fees going to Cabell Co. I got mine fixed by threatening to take the matter to the Attorney General. I actually did discuss the matter with him.

We are still paying that baron property tax.

Nobody really knows what our politicians think and not one is willing to tell us face to face a reason to vote for them. We get to choose between Congressman Rahall and State Senator Jenkins – both Democrats.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

To catch a thief and right to bear arms

The headline is the title of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller about a master cat burglar (Cary Grant) and his romancing of Grace Kelly.

Cary is accused robbing expensive jewels from the wealthy living on the French Riviera. All sort of intriguing story lines, suspense and drama leads Grant to catch the real thief and Grace too.

It is now reported in a story just as complicated about our Justice Department (think Eric Holder), the FBI (remember those guys were brought in to catch an abortion clinic bomber in North Carolina, but after two weeks of searching the woods they got tired and left).

There are various defense and prosecuting lawyers, middle-level functionary judges in Philadelphia and a fictitious defendant who was charged with “carrying a firearm without a license – a felony...”

The so-called crime (that never happened) was carrying an unloaded pistol, not concealed.

 

This matter started back in 2012 with the FBI trying to ferret out a corrupt judge who was accepting political donations (and who know what else) in exchange for his “help.”

A thief by another name.

I’d like to know the taxpayer cost of this caper. Tell me which judge would never manage going easy on one of his brother-in-laws or the nephew of a political supporter. Such things happen in real life all the time. One U.S. Senate majority leader became a multimillionaire, it has been reported, wheeling and dealing for the benefit of himself and relatives.

Would someone please direct me to the section in our U.S. Constitution where it says, “the right of the people to keep and bears arms shall not be infringed.” And by the way, you gotta have a license to keep and bear one, even if not loaded.

Just the other day I heard of a man who said he was born with a license to carry arms. The constitution says a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. I think regulated means organized.

In the U.S., all able-bodied male citizens between 18 and 45 years old who are not already members of the regular armed forces, members of the National Guard, organized Reserves and the naval and marine reserves, constitute the organized militia – all others (over the age of 45) are the unorganized militia.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Money hasn’t helped War on Poverty

Great!! Goba, goba! The sky is falling again because all the money poured down the rat hole fighting poverty over the last 50 years has not amounted to a hill of beans.

Sean O’Leary, an economic analyst, says the Census numbers are a wake-up call that we can’t just rely on general economic growth to fight poverty. What economic growth, Sean?

Economic growth in West Virginia has been anemic for decades.

Federal and state spending on poverty programs annually amount to about $943 billion dollars. How much more does the Herald-Dispatch have in mind?

Already about a third of the U.S. population gets some kind of welfare.

The number of people living in poverty is about the same as it was when the war was started. Actually the Census figures say that if anything, it is worse.

I’ll tell you where the focus should be instead of debating which animals are dangerous and not fit to be a family pet, our elected leaders should be spending their time to fix what is wrong that West Virginia can’t put its unemployed back to work.

If it takes imitating someone else then who cares – if it will work?

Something is sure working in Texas and those guys (and gals) only meet every other year. Must not be all that complicated.

Lets be a copycat. First thing that must happen is for the Democrats in this state to relinquish their 80 years of control over state government.

Twice now I’ve read about politicians (i.e. Democrats) that bad mouthing the so-called war on coal is “not helpful (for the party?). I was criticized for saying our elected should stop sucking up to teacher unions and start demanding education improvement now or face being replaced.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Liberals have some of the craziest ideas

 

Just when you think the liberals in this country can’t possibly out-do their last embarrassing “cause”... they do. There appears to be no limit to the ridiculousness of the left.

Wesleyan “University” (less then 3,000 students and a whopping graduate program of 200 students) in the middle of Connecticut is now requiring the fraternities on campus who have a frat house (men’s dormitory) to accept women.

The college says it is doing this in the interest of “safety.”

There is no mention of the sororities accepting men.

Wesleyan is following Trinity College, near Hartford, that started this wacky idea in 2012. Trinity also requires the Greek organizations to maintain a 3.0 grade average for its members.

Now that might be a darn good idea for Marshall University’s athletics, especially football and basketball. Shucks, if that would happen Marshall might not win many games but what would its legacy be?

Instead of getting one’s self beat to a pulp or running around in short pants on a wooden floor there would be doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers and Indian chiefs graduating.

Getting back to coed fraternities… I can visualize it all now.

Girl/Boy fraternities with a maternity floor addition on each Frat house. The progressive liberals would have an annual fund drive to support a Planned Parenthood abortion provider.

No doubt the Nancy Pelosis would tell us how great this is and point out all the new jobs the abortion clinic would provide. Liberals actually have the cockamamie belief that welfare is an economic stimulus because the recipients spend the government money they get. Not so in the economic classes I endured.

There are two kinds of work – value adding and value losing. In order for any society to prosper there must be those whose work adds value to the product that is produced. When the work performed does not add an additional value, society degrades and will finally fade away.

Welfare in all its forms does not contribute one thin dime to add value, but instead it reduces it.

Politicians usually do not add value. Labor Democrat Don Perdue’s silly (to prove he has guts) legislative attempts would have cost West Virginia citizens (who pay taxes). Doubling the tax on cigarettes, requiring a prescription to buy cold medicine and mandating more spending to “help” drug addicts do not add any value for our state.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Liberal “wars” cost much, accomplish not so much

 

In a recent column I listed a few of the wars Democrat liberals have started… the war on women, drugs, and poverty…just to name three.

Now, after 50 years of “fighting,” LBJ’s War on Poverty has accomplished absolutely nothing except to spend $22 trillion of other people’s money. That is about three times more than our country has spent on all real wars since the Revolutionary War.

We hear it often in West Virginia about how much good welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, free phones, healthcare and those programs to help drug addicts are doing.

All totaled, there are about 80 welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing, and medical care to low-income Americans and illegals living in our country.

The total annual cost runs about $943 billion. One third of all U.S. citizens receive an average of $9,000 each, not counting social security, Medicare and unemployment payments.

So after all the spending about 14 percent of our population is “poor” – not much different than when the war started in 1967 – if anything, it is worse.

Liberals claim the reason the war failed is because – you guessed it – we didn’t spend enough. As always, liberals want to throw more of your money at the problem.

Here in West Virginia, government spends more money on social programs as a percentage of our GDP, than any other state.

The first step toward fixing this is to vote against any liberal.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Liberals think government can solve all problems

 

Rush Limbaugh says that we should never get rid of all the liberals, instead keep a few around so we can never forget all the misery they have caused.

Diane Mufson writes a column most weeks that appears in the Herald-Dispatch. DW, as I call her freely, admits to being a flaming liberal and mostly keeps a good nature when I poke fun at her views…especially her propensity to refer to the New York Times to add credibly to her prose. Recently she wrote that the State must do something about our declining population here in West Virginia.

I could not make up a better example coming out of the mouth of a liberal to prove just how wacky they are.

I suggested that DW could make a great step toward improving our declining population if she would give up her praise, affection and support for Planned Parenthood which provides abortion on demand at public expense.

Using a New York Times article as a reference to our problem, especially since that rag is smack dab in the middle of the bluest of the blue where one is six residents are leaving for greener pastures down south, did not strike me as a good medicine for us.

The real tragedy is New York residents are so infected with their parents and environment liberal views they proceed to inflict the same thinking to ruin their new home.

Think Colorado and the south end of Florida.

Why, pray tell, must the “state” do the acting?

That is the whole trouble with liberals (think Don Perdue, that Labor Democrat); they expect and believe government can solve every problem.

Can’t anyone recognize that West Virginia’s problem IS government?

We were assured a new law would protect us from another spill like the one into the Elk River. Here, almost a year later and we still do not have a law, plus there is all sorts of back peddling about what was promised

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Many Frontier 911 fees going to Cabell County

 

Three or four years ago, I don’t recall exactly when, I discovered that the phone company (Frontier) was collecting 911 fees on my phone bill and sending the money to Cabell County 911.

That was before our grossly expensive 911 building was built.

I brought the matter to Bill Willis, our 911 director, our public servant Don Perdue, and Bob Paisley who was a commissioner by then.

All of them assured me that they would investigate. Yipee!!

After a long wait with no action I started going up the chain of command at Frontier. I was told it was not their fault.
Don, Bob and Bill said as much, too.

Finally, after much hell raising, I did get my bill corrected, but Wayne 911 did not get any sort of refund.

Perdue was able to find out that about $55 million is collected statewide for 911. The West Virginia State Police retirement fund gets a cool million from that fund I was told.

Fast forward to 2014.

I took a look at a phone bill that we had just paid and yes, you guessed it, I’m paying Cabell County 911 fees – again.
Who bothers to check each item on their phone bill, there are so many? I don’t know how long this has been going on.
I did a bit of investigating. Just as before, if you live on a Huntington postal route and have a zip code that looks like Huntington, then you are catagorized as a Huntington resident.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Ned Jones left out
Edwards contribution

 

The Sunday, August 31, Herald-Dispatch opinion page featured a column penned by former state Senator Ned “Tell It Like it Ain’t” Jones.

To read Ned’s version of how Marshall got the Joan C. Edwards football facility, Jones, Tom “Hod Man” Craig and Jim “Straight Edge” Schneider laid every brick by themselves.

For the record, the old Fairfield Stadium was not condemned. Fresh plastic grass was installed with the promise that when the new field was ready the turf would be moved to the new field. Really?

Citizens were told the place was unsafe for Marshall football while others continued to use the place for years.

The most important point that can be derived from the Ned Jones football field scenario is a whole lot of politicals, appointees, governors, and board members wheeled and dealed to build a new place for Marshall in spite of West Virginia University. Coincidently I met Tom Craig at a Friends of The Farm event. Tom is a big enough guy to be a good “Hod Man” but he said he had little to do with getting the Edwards Stadium.

Many WVU types did not oppose a new football stadium and there were many that did. The Morgan Holes also fought tooth and nail to stop our medical school, any sort of nursing school expansion, stood in the way of the pharmacy school and are seeing red now over Marshall’s brand spankin’ new school of engineering.

There is never enough lawyers (apparently) and if ever there is a place for a law school it is Marshall, named after all for John Marshall, a Chief Justice of the United States.
Won’t that be a hoot to poke our collective thumb in WVU’s bloodshot eye?

At the very least, Senator Jones could have devoted some of his piece, make that most of it, to the person who provided millions of dollars toward construction of the stadium.

Joan Edwards wrote that check.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Is this what you call Education?

As anyone knows who carries the title of senior citizen, we do not have a “health care provider” – we have a staff.

My hearing doctor, young Dr. Touma (I first knew him as a boy scout years ago), got a chuckle when I told him he was in good company as a member of my heath care staff. While waiting for my turn to see him for the annual oil change and kicking of tires, I found an article titled “The Gift of Education” in Focus on West Virginia magazine May/June 2014.
West Virginia taxpayers, those who play the lottery, and everyone who pays federal income tax, pays dearly for education in our state. The education offered by most any measure is substandard.

Just so those who believe I’m picking on West Virginia – I’m not. Our education system nationwide stinks and continues to get worse as evidenced by the many reports that our country can’t even mange to rank in the top 20.

Frankly, I don’t buy the idea that we here in West Virginia should strive to be “average,” as Governor Tomlin suggested. He said he wanted us to be there in seven years.

Why seven years? How about now?

Three years have already passed and I sure don’t see or hear about progress. Our kids still believe math and science subjects are hard and they can’t manage. The simple first step would be to say math is fun and science is interesting – then make it so.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Claiming ACA costs won’t increase is pure rubbish!

Anyone who claims healthcare costs have not gone up because of Obamacare and calls such talk a myth is wrong – matter of fact – it is rubbish.

There is a provision in the law (passed 100 percent by Democrats) that imposes a tax on insurance companies, hospitals, device makers and drug companies. Democrat reasoning was that since these companies and hospitals will be gaining a fat windfall of new customers, then lets impose a tax on that windfall.

Remember the “Windfall Profits Tax” that Hilleary Clinton is so fond of?
Coming soon (Sept 30), the first $8 billion tax is due. Where do you suppose the ones getting the windfall will get the money to pay the tax?

USA Today says it will come from states and the Fed who will “give” $700 million to pay for the tax. So where does that money come from?

No matter how much the pea under the cup is shuffled, at the end the taxpaying public will pay the bill.

Let’s not forget that in order to make the Obamacare books balance Democrats appropriated over $700 billion of future Medicare funds to help pay for Obamacare.

Yes, it is so that there are cost cutting provisions, but not like you might think. Instead, in order to make it appear that healthcare cost have not gone up for the consumer, the Federal government has increased their reimbursement percentage.

After much stumbling, West Virginia for a time led the nation in signups of new Medicaid insured people.

Don Perdue wrote a column about how wonderful it was that now these folks and “the children” will have healthcare. He did not bother to explain that Medicaid is paid for 100 percent with state and federal dollars. So where does that money come from?

Another provision no one ever explains about Medicaid, is that those who get the benefits also sign away any assets they might own at death.

Democrats have no understanding of living within your means. Republicans have gone along with robbing Peter to pay Paul – put another way – borrowing now and never asking who will retire the debt.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

It’s you, Mr. Hankins who is bamboozled

It is true that politicians have been riding the “Clean Coal” promise for a very long time; however, nothing has ever become of it.

The H-Coal operation could only manage to convert 3-4 railroad cars of coal into a liquid fuel per day. The U.S. Department of Energy sold the physical plant to Ashland Oil for a dollar in exchange for the return of $300 million not yet spent.

Long before that, liquefaction of coal was promoted so it could be transported by pipeline. That idea was lobbied to death by the railroads.

As for coal mining in a cold (50 degrees the year round), damp, hole in the ground, this could pass soon. If we can fly an airplane in Afghanistan from a control room in Nevada, we can sure mine coal with machines operated from a comfortable control room above ground.

Carbon capture is very expensive and depends on compressing carbon dioxide into a liquid (not a normal state) then pumped deep underground. Trouble is, the deeper you drill the hotter it gets which reverses the liquid CO2 back into a gas. There is no guarantee that this whole scenario will work.

What becomes of the CO2 when the disposal well springs a leak?

The carbon waste (CO2) Milt refers to used to recover crude oil ends up in the environment as the crude is extracted. After 200 years of burning coal, the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere is less than .04 percent. The estimated amount of CO2 caused by man (about 28 billion tons annually) is miniscule when compared to the other gases in our atmosphere.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

State news media in need of training, knowledge

Recently there was a long winded opinion piece criticizing West Virginia’s government for not having a cadre of experts to “do something” about the Elk River spill.

As usual, more training is the solution and having a real epidemiologist on the state payroll is something we really need???

If you ask me, it is the media that needs to look into some training and arranging to have on call people knowledgeable about chemicals, what a water filter looks like and a civil engineer or geologist that might at least provide an educated opinion about a so-called sinkhole that ate Cincinnati.

Time after time the media in general, tries to get an exclusive report that there is a sinkhole in a grade school play ground, or the stuff that spilled into the Elk River was a coal cleaning chemical (which it was not), or a chemical slick (that weighs about 13 pounds per gallon) is “floating” down the Kanawha River.

The Environmental Protection Agency once accused Cabell Chemical of dumping “dangerous” stuff out their back door. The EPA dug and tested and bulldozed and drilled. They installed a high chain link fence around the whole place (you know who paid for that) – some place out Ona way as I recall. Bob Brenner of WSAZ reported the progress every night.

When the Federal EPA could find nothing they left in the middle of the night, leaving Brenner with nothing more to report. The only thing Cabell Chemical ever made was tomato dust, a mixture of powdered limestone and 1-2 percent Sevin, an insecticide.

Someone discovered a 100-pound drum of sodium cyanide in a downtown alley.

Holy smokes!!

The sky was falling, so said the media.

The material was intended for a chrome auto bumper company. Nasty stuff, but not near as nasty as hydrogen cyanide used to execute in the gas chamber.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

That doesn’t cut it in Westmoreland

BY MICHAEL HUPP
Staff writer

Been by Vinson Middle School recently?

If you have, then you have seen the awful condition the school’s grounds are in. The grass is up past your ankles. There is no life to the school building. There are not any inviting landscaping or spots of grass that resemble any pride at the place.

To me the fact it is just the third week of school and the grass is that high shows little interest in the school’s appearance by administration, and to an extent, the community.

My daughter cheers E-Team for the Vinson Tigers. As many in the Westmoreland community know, the girls have practiced for years on the grounds of the school as the boys practice on the field in different spots.
We showed up to practice this past Monday to find the grass up above my ankles, which meant to some of those little girls, the grass was almost to their knees. The grass is high, itchy, full of bugs and most importantly a disgraceful eyesore.

So me, being the awesome Dad I am, and what many other parents like myself have had to do in the past, went to my house and got my lawnmower. I proceeded to cut a space large enough for the team a spot to practice. I was even going to cut the rest of the grounds and try to pay it forward, which is something I preach to my kids all the time, ad nauseam.

Unfortunately, my little push mower could not cut through the tall grass. It was so high my poor little mower just stalled out and clogged every few feet.

I asked to see if a few people I knew possibly had access to the gym for the kids to use, only to be told for “unforeseen” circumstances, no key was available.

Frustrated and defeated I put the mower in the truck and went home stewing at the fact the center point of our community looks like an abandoned horror movie set. For months now, community groups such as Project Westmoreland and Westmorelapalooza have been preaching the importance of keeping our neighborhood clean and beautiful – the importance of pride. And yet here we all are – just letting the school appear as it does.

So me, being like every Gen X or Y’er, I went straight to social media to show my disgust when I got home. You know what bit of information I found out? Apparently, at least one of the above mentioned groups had asked if the school would like any help with mowing, only to be turned away.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

We need leaders who will try to get things done

On the way to checkout at Wal-Mart an old friend came into view. At his age of 82, I do mean old.

I was surprised by his praise of the columns I write. He told me. “I have to tell you I agree with what you write.”

I always thought him a liberal (Democrat) but working in politics means you sometimes keep your mouth shut.

Either all great minds are running the same channel or there are those who secretly read my prose to get fresh ideas for themselves. Rush Limbaugh calls this the echo effect.

I’ve written several times about West Virginia’s terrible education record. My last was about Ben Franklin’s quote, “the best investment is knowledge.’

I’m pleased to report the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce is going to address the same subject at its annual meeting. Too bad many attendees will be distracted by the grand jour of The Greenbrier instead of finally putting education first.

I wrote about Wayne County being in the middle of an agriculture desert (as described by the Department of Agriculture) about a year go). I spoke to our Economic Development Authority on the same subject, asking why they never consider farming as development.

I asked, how can Canada grow hot house tomatoes, ship and sell them here, yet Wayne County can’t?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Best investment for state? Education, not buildings

I say this using different words; the absolute best investment West Virginia could do is to spend our taxes on educating our young people.

If our elected leaders truly want our state to be prosperous, then the first priority should be to provide the best education money can buy.

All the billions spent on buildings have so far done nothing to improve the quality of our education system.

I am in very good company because it was Ben Franklin who said the best investment is knowledge. My dad said it a different way. He told me often, “Get as much knowledge between your ears as you can and no man can take that away form you.”

I believe it was three sessions ago that our governor proposed a seven-year plan to get our education program out of being in last place every time we are compared to other states. I sure don’t see much happening yet. At the same time, Speaker of the House Rick Thompson promised us an overhaul of our education system.

Time and time again I have asked our Board of Education what is being done, or what do you propose to do that will improve those national evaluation test scores? The ones that ranked our kids Number 47 out of 50 in math and science.

It is not only West Virginia that is in the dumps. International Student Assessment has released the results of a report they do every three years about the condition of math, science and reading skills in 65 countries.

The United States showed zero improvement from the first evaluation done in 2003. In math we rank 29th between Slovakia and Lithuania.

Three excuses have been offered. Lack of investment – for Heaven’s sake, we are spending more then any other nation already, yet we can only manage 29th place in math?

Insufficient training for teachers – if that is so, then let’s get them up to speed and let’s administer testing to find out if they really know their stuff.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Government mandates: just another word for ‘tax’

I’ve written several times about this subject, so finally at least one other scribe has joined the Fred Friar Club that points out these government imposed mandates without a provision to pay for them.

Government mandates are nothing new.

The conspicuous one that I like to point out is that multimillion dollar 911 building that was promised to not cost one million dollars (Bob Paisley and Don Perdue). No one even tried to contain costs. Specifications from on high inflated the building cost to well over $2 million and perhaps even three.

Bulletproof windows? Board of directors-type meeting room?

The Lavalette area is blessed with Northern Wayne County Public Service – the sewage collecting system. No one now is wiling to admit they had a hand in choosing the most expensive system in West Virginia.

A system befitting an upscale neighborhood in Connecticut. Fact is, the system was so expensive to construct some areas have never been included (Bowman Hill Road for example).

Huntington does not have a storm water collection system. The floodwalls that now protect Huntington from the mighty Ohio River include pumps that will assist in keeping the flood water out. Nobody bothered to maintain these pumps and it was reported not so long ago that they are now antiques.

Soon, if not already, government will demand new pumps or everyone will have to buy flood insurance.

Government mandates come in all sizes.

Don Perdue’s perpetual campaign is to force people to obtain a prescription to buy cold medicine that can also be used to cook Meth. Don never considered the cost of a doctor visit, the time, and gas to acquire such a prescription.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now mandating what “we the people” should feed our students at school (which whey won’t eat). Removing food vending machines and banning the maggot wagons is a violation of the interstate commerce clause.

In 1956 I believe, West Virginia came up with the mandate to have every vehicle inspected annually. First it was $2 which over the years became $6 and then doubled. The extra $6 goes to the state police retirement fund. Another mandate the government never bothered to pay for.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Education: Just get
back to the basics

I started reading an article the other day about an “expert” lawyer in Charleston who has been writing and researching about education for 30 years.

He is holding seminars around the state wanting to change things again. Ever notice that lawyers believe they are the solution to everything?

What happened to “new math?” What about, “No Child Left Behind?”

The crackpot “common core” idea is the last thing this nation needs. We sure as heck do not need or want our kids to be taught using a “one size fits all.” Our widely diverse views and opinions are what makes our country so successful.

The more it is standardized the worse things become.

West Virginia is a great example of what you get when everyone thinks alike (Democrats).

For Heaven’s sake, babies are now required to start school (kindergarten) at age four and I think I heard Washington wants universal childcare starting at age three.

There is no solution for education, because there would be no problem if educators would return to what worked so well for the first 150 years and made our country the most successful in the world.

Everyone wanted to be educated here.

My grandson got his computer recently. I can’t help but wonder what the high-tech generation is going to do when their computer crashes and they have find the square root with a pencil and paper (make that chalk and a piece of slate). A computer is only as good as the person pushing the buttons.

Yes, iPads, computers and such have speeded up knowledge advancement thousands of times, but you have to know and understand some basics like the periodic table (of elements).

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Fast food joints and education

Have you noticed the “new” McDonald’s buildings?

The design is about as creative as the current crop of school buildings – cracker boxes with a lot of doodads plastered around. If that is a golden arch then tell me why it looks more like a gilded bow, less an arrow.

I don’t know about the interior because after trying one of their chicken wraps I just can’t bring myself to patronize Mickey D’s again. The wrap was nothing like the picture, instead if was half full and loaded with a lot of drippy goo.

Someone told me the other day to try Wendy’s pretzel burger.

For heaven’s sake, have the fast food joints forgot what a real hamburger is like?

The pretzel-like bun was stale, no taste – just like a pretzel without salt. Mine was supposed to have red onions but I did not get any. There was one piece of wilted green stuff. The advertised “generous” slice of tomato was lost in the mire of honey mustard.

Who ever heard of “honey mustard” on a hamburger?

Again the darn thing looked nothing like the stylized photos. I’m thinking of starting a trend, if the food served does not look as advertised, then I won’t bother to buy. Wendy’s has remodeled some of their outlets and the result reminds me of some sort of correctional facility, drab, cold, pale, gray floors. Flat, no color interior with dull furniture to match. Running the AC to the max tops off the atmosphere.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Boy, that didn’t take very long!

 

Sandra’s words as she was chosen to be our new school superintendent were refreshing to me.

She said she wanted to get across to us (you know those who foot the bills) that she understands where the money comes from. I thought I heard that she was most interested in EDUCATION.

Now only a few weeks into her new job she wants an “administrative assistant.”

Good grief! The Superintendent already has three (count’em) executive secretaries; can’t one of these positions become the assistant. Try out each one for a few months to see who can do the best job.

I can’t find a single sentence concerning education in Michael Huff’s’ report. There is a $130,000 cut here laying on the table there; who is bidding on what job?

Ms. Pertree wants to spend another $6,000 bucks, she says that is being fiscally sound. It sure was not fiscally sound to hire a public relations guy as if our BOE is some sort of a Madison Avenue Corporation.

How much money and time was squandered going after land in a floodway at the ridiculous price of over $30,000 an acre?

I said that was stupid idea from the day it was announced.

Talk about fiscally responsible! The best PR Wayne County could ever ask for would be an improvement in those national test results – you know what I’m talking about – 47th place in math and science.

I’d like to hear directly from those who are our school system, instead of a guy who does not even live in our county. What became of journalism is taught at Wayne High; the program that won all those awards?

I bet they could do a much better job writing about our school system. You’d get the skinny – unvarnished and perhaps a bit embarrassing. Students would get real experience and you sure could not beat the price.

Pertee promised a transparent administration (again) so here is your chance, Sandra.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!