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The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
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January 29, 2009     The Glenville Democrat
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January 29, 2009
 

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Why is a 'bridge,' especially an old one, so important? Different issues affect people differently. That is to point out that any one particular public concern, or controversial matter itself, will not be of interest to most people, but, the same issue, might--to the contrary --inspire or even fire up another person, or persons, to action. For instance, saving the Hi,storic Steel Truss Bridge in downtown Glenville hasn't drawn much public support in spite of one local man's dedication and many= appearances be- fore local governmental officials to explain the structure's uniqueness, beauty, and utility, and to plead for help and financial support in preserving it. Indeed, Jim Bailey, the longtime chair and kind spokesman for the Gilmer County His- toric Landmarks Commission, has gone. to various public body meetings, such as the County Commission and City Council's, and spoken until he's blue in the face. He advo- cates saving this stately bridge which was constructed in 1885 -- a preservation initia- tive that could become a major community effort. Sadly, the bridge, which has been out-of- service to vehicular traffic since perhaps the 1960s and neglected ever since then, is now sliding off its foundations. Although pedestrian traffic was allowed on it for several years after the traffic was prohib- ited, that former usage has now also been forbidden, due to the structure's slow move- ment off its beautifully cut stone foundations. Drastically, it's now roped off, fenced off, posted off, so, consequently, made impass- able by either vehicles or f6ot traffic. In my memories, this editor used to joyfully jog across the span along a running route weaving through the downtown, but that was a few years back, when my feet didn't hurt so much. The Corcoran Column Publisher-Editor Now, that type of pleasurable usage of the bridge for any resident or college student is impossible. I felt so strongly about saving this neat, cute bridge in the center of our small town that I wrote an editorial about it in the January 15 edition. It'll probably be reprinted in a future issue, if enough community support rises to the bridge's rescue. Like many of our local editorials, we editors got about as much re- sponse a mouse could hear. So, I was very surprised when late one evening, I got a phone call concerning it. Oddly I thought, another person was inter- ested to see it preserved. Her name is Mary Crhwford Clawsey, a Baltimore, MD area resident who grew up in Glenville. She stressed to me that she not only has fond memories of the historic landmark, but also wants it to be restored and preserved. "Why hasn't there been a bank account set up, so those of us who have fond memories of it can contribute to its rehabilitation," she feistily inquired, switching gears into the of- fensive? Well, that was a good question, of which I had no answer and was left speechless. Estab- lishing a bank account would certainly, be a practical first step to saving this bridge, which is also listed on the prestigious National Reg- ister of Historic Places-- a compilation of the U. S. Dept. of the Interior's National Parks Service. By way of information, Mary is the daugh- ter of the late Robert T. Crawford, who was initially a one-room school teacher, then a math professor in the 1930s, and, later, a dean and president of Glenville State College in the 1940s. A tribute to him, along with the other college presidents, is located on the Presidents' Wall at the GSC President's House. President Crawford, a native of Walkersville in Lewis County, was highly qualified, in that he was a GSC, Harvard and WVU-educated gentleman. Her mother was Mabel Rose Crawford, a native of Braxton County. Her parents, I take it, met at GSC. Mary, herself, proves that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. She's now a retired Coppin State College English professor, who had earned her Ph.D. in comparative litera- ture. After 35 years of teaching at that Balti- more area college, she recently retired. As a child, she lived with her family in the Brooklyn neighborhood in the red brick Cape Cod home, next to Leon and Phyllis Starkey. As a result, Mary had ample opportunities to walk across the old span, in fact she did so daily in gCng to and from the elementary school. Many of her fondest memories of it are recalled from that era. Notably, she'd run across the bridge, if she was eager to get home. Also, she'd walk her dog over'it, which was a thrill for both of them. Once, during a chilly winter's day like our current ones, she was running across the bridge when her scarf blew off, only to be saved by another little girl who grabbed it for her before it blew into the Little Kanawha River below. She, further, has many more pleasant recol- Continued on page 5A GueSt C01u n F 0m Tfi Stat EegisiatO i Final Interim: Roll up yours/eaves, legislative work continues/ By Brent Boggs, State Delegate (Gilmer-Braxton) Now that the Inaugural events are over for both President Obama and Governor Manchin, the heavy lifting now begins. On the Federal and international level, there are innumerable obstacles to overcome the various economid problems that plague our nation. Untbrtunately, it appears that there is the unemployment insurance system. As someone that has worked for over 30 years on the railroad, unemploy ment statistics are meaningless if you are laid off from your job or cannot find another one. Like many of you, I've been there, and know how it feels. In the days and weeks ahead, there are likely to be many economic development initiatives from Washington DC: the purpose of which is to assist in jobs and economic PEIA. Seniors and Long Term Care, Senate Finance 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Joint Committee on Technology. Senate Finance 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Parks, Recreation and Natural Resource Subcommittee. House Gov. Org. 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Select Committee B - Veterans' Issues. Senate Judiciary 1:00 PM- 2:00 PM: Select Committee F - no consensus on how best to fix the growth. When the picture becomes clear as to Volunteer Fire Department~, House Finance economy. Even the experts cannot even 0gree_ #xactlv wilt level of suonort the federal g~v- 2"00 PM - 3"00 PM; Joini, Standing Com- :,on the root-euuse:ofthept~Oble~/fs~sh~:qulc~~ 6}hl, iet~twiflprbvid~;gtategoverfitngntslfius( ~mfft&e on Fifiance,Ho,~se (3~iamber,' economic repaW t~rYebfffl~d'NflNSt ~ct~t~f C'~r- ['a~lor poliCieS'f0 i~axfm~z~e any potentml fen: 2:00 I:~ - 3f00 PM: Jo~m Committee on the mght On the state level, it will be up to the Governor and Legislature to strike the balance o f building on West Virginia's recent economic strength. while making prudent de- cismns on short-term spending and long-term budgeting. The last thing we want is to become one of the 43 other states that are operating in moderate to severe deficits. Area's unemployment Locally, both Gilmer and Braxton Counties saw unemployment rates increase slightly, but remain within the state average range. Tucker (7.8%) and Calhoun (7.7%) Counties regis- tered the highest state unemployment rates. Overall, the statewide rate inched up by .3% to 4.4% for December 2008. Many econo- mists predict the unemployment average for our State to continue upward in coming months as the national economic downturn begins to have a negative effect on many more of our industries. This will place additional strgin on efit to our state, our businesses, ahd our mti- zens. As I've mentioned before. West Virginia's mid-year $75 million surplus is gradually shrinking and is projected to further decrease as we move closer to the end of the fiscal year on June 30. I don't believe this is a time for doom and gloom, but moving forward with caution seems to be the reasonable course of action, while being flexible enough to make necessary ecormmic decisions q uickly, if nec- essary. Final Interim Mtgs. The final interim meetings prior to the 2009 regular session are scheduled for Sun. Feb. 8 through Tues., Feb. 10. Here is the schedule for the meetings, all of which are open to the public: Sunday, February 8, 2009 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Equal Pay Commis- sion, House Finance 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Higher Ed Capital Project & Facilities. House Judiciary 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Legislative Intern Committee House Gov. Org. 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Select Committee on Judiciary, House Gov. Org. 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Commission on Spe- cial Investigations. Senate Finance 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Select Committee D - Health (Subcommittee Certificate of Need), House Finance 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Select Committee E - Broadband, Senate Judiciary 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Joint Standing Com- mittee on Education. House Chamber 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Joint Standing Com- mittee on Government Organization. House Finance Monday, February 9 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Joint Commission on Economic Development. House Gov. Org. 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Legislative Over- s~ght Committee on Regional Jail and Correc- tional Facilities. Senate Finance 10:00 AM -11:00 AM: Employee Sugges- tion Award, Board W-330 10:00 AM- 11:00 AM: Select Committee A - Committee on Children, Juveniles and Other Issues, House Finance Continued on page 5A West Virginia doesn't need another prison, just a better justice system Dear Editor, Dd-ja vu! West Virginia's politicians are playing the "overcrowded prison" card again. Several articles over the past few weeks are reporting government chatter concerning the overcrowded conditions in the State's prisons a cud that these politicians have been chewing on for about 10 years now. There's talk about organizing a "commis- sion" where further talking can take place. And those talks will inevitably lead to sym- posiums, special study groups, other com- missions, committees, summit meetings, spe- cial task forces, brainstorming sessions, and/ or tea parties, all charged with the job.of talking further about the problem. And. when the talkers get together at re- sorts like Stonewall Jackson Lake (at tax- payer expense, no doubt), there will be more talk about the need for money to build an unspecified number of prisons, sentencing [estructure, alternative sentencing, more money, rehabilitation, an effective parole sys- tem, and money all, a total lack of which is resulting in too many warm bodies irt West Virginia's prison industry. West Virginia is once again attempting to convince the taxpayers that public safety is at risk and it needs to build another prison. West Virginia relies heavily on the anxiety factor to make the "prison placebo" a little easier to swallow. Get your heads out of your alimentary ca- nal, people ! The problem is not prison over- crowding. There are more prison cells than the, state needs already available even if all inmates were housed one to a room. Prison overcrowding is a result of several problems, and those problems are oveg_o_eg~ ment-related problems and are not going to be solved by requiring the state's already overburdened taxpayers to build more pris- ons for a self-serving, ineffectual govern- ment, especially since it hasn 't even finished the one # started building 13 yearsago at Mt. Olive. Following is an excerpt from a letter sent to Governor Joe Manchin some years ago con- cerning the 'problem' of overcrowding in this state's prisons. The very same problems that existed then continue to plague this state today! !! QUOTE: "If one listens to the State politi- cians, the problem has nothing to do with the failed court 'system' that is incarcerating an inordinate number of its citizens every year for crimes that weren't committed, or who were convicted of more serious crimes than were committed. It has nothing to do with the number of inmates who were hood-winked or coerced into 'plea bargaining' to something they didn't do, in order to avoid the threat of spending the rest of their lives in prison, or for the system judges handing out ridiculously long sentences. Continued on page 5A ii! ii ; ii!i iii i i ii i iii i i i iii i i i i;i i i!ii i ii ;:ii;: !:i i: :i i:i !% i; i i::: /:iii!i!iii i iii iii i i i i i i i ;)i i iii;i i i i iiii i i i!i iiiii i ; i i ! ii!iii:i i!i:ii iiiii !iii ;: ii! " C iii iiii!i !iiii i i i i;i i i!i i:i i!iii:ii i;!;!iii i ii iiii i i i i iiiii ii i:ii)i;i ii iii i iii ii ! ii; i!ii i/i i: ! i: !i ii i/i:i!!:ii 'ii:i: :ili iiiiiiiili,iiii ::. :.: i? '!i;:;.ii: ;i:iiiiii:iii;!ti! !iiii;::!:ii2: i.-::i:i?::iii.iii~ i:i.: ii:: iiiiii.~iii? 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