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February 5, 2004     The Glenville Democrat
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February 5, 2004
 

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Editor goes to Legislature and finds lots of Gilmer Countians Unlike most of the last few legislative ses- sions, Glenviile State College seems to be getting good reviews at the State Capitol this year. Two of the most helpful GSC programs, both of which project a positive image for the college, are the CANA and World War II initiatives. These projects demonstrate that the college is not only providing a first-rate education to its students but also promoting community service throughout its region as well. The CANA project Glenville State College and the Center for Appalachian Network Access (CANA), which is affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, sent their representatives to the State Capitol on January 21 to explain to the lawmakers what impact the wireless broad- band Interact access project will have on Central West Virginia and the rest of the state. The GSC-CANA display was also a good fit for "Technology Day at the State Legisla- ture," an industry summit organized by Hughes Booher, president of the West Virginia Tech- nology Association, a private, not-for-profit corporation which serves as a trade associa- tion for the technology industry. Part of the Technology Summit was a panel discussion with GSC' s President, Robert Free- The Corcoran Column By David H. Corcoran Pul:~stun'-E~a" Technology, Larry Baker, making strong pre- sentations. They werejoined by John White- hill, CANA's project originator, and other involved entities, such as the Benedum Foun- dation and the Motorola Corporation. With Glenville being the wireless broadhand's pilot project in rural West Vir- ginia, those people who visited the GSC- CANA display walked away with a better understanding of the challenges and benefits of getting Mountain State areas connected to high-speed Internet access and how their de- livery can be expedited throughout the state. Indeed, Hughes Booher, who is a technol- ogy authority and the industry's lobbyist at the Legislature, argues that the future of West Virginia rests, in greater part, with the state's uses of the latest technologies. (g( man, and Associate V-P for the Office of Relative to CANA'srole, John Whitehill, a Pittsburgh entrepreneur and CMU agent, out- lined CANA's mission of providing wireless broadband Internet access to link rural com- munities to larger areas and vice versa. In fact, he foresees CANA establishing a vast net- work of connected rural communities to the larger word outside West Virginia. Whitehill states that this GlenviUe State- CMU pilot project will "spread, like wildfire, across the landscape .... we hope to create a vast network of connected communities." This is an ambitious goal, which the legis- lators must note, especially during tough eco- nomic times. After all, the wireless broadband Internet access project here, among other fac- tors, could open the door to a wide variety of technology businesses to establish here and in other West Virginia areas. That spells an increase of taxable revenues on income and property -- a development which would help the state to move out of its current economic slump. Although Mr. Booher wasn't satisfied with the attendance at the Technology Summit, he's working with the Legislature's leadership to schedule next year's tech meeting at a time when more legislators will be available to attend it. Nevertheless, the fact that GSC participated in this statewide industry presen- Continued on page 5 'Don't Get Me Started' ... By Keistal Sheets Surely most people with a computer receive an e-mail each September listing the techno- logical advancements that "a freshman enter- ing college this fall has never lived without," along with cultural touchstones these young- sters are often in the dark about. After Sunday' s Super Bowl half-time show, an item that can be taken off the list is one of Janet Jackson's breasts. I'll confess now: if there's one thing I don't like about the Super Bowl, it's the emphasis on football, so I didn't see Janet Jackson's accidental disrobing. Even ifI had, I would not have been shocked. You see, 20 years ago I was one of those people who saw Madonna on "American Bandstand" during her fLrSt North American television appearance, so nothing on TV shocks me. I know you don't believe me. But wait. I've always wanted to add to those lists about college freshmen something about today's youth knowing, almost without ex- ception, what their favorite singers look like, sometimes even before these musicians hit the airwaves. And these days, like on Sunday, today's youth have the opportunity to find out even more about what every part of their favorite singers look like. This is more, maybe, than some of the rest of us want to know. Though it's been said before, I think it's worth mentioning aga 'n, if only for the cul- tural import of such an observation: had tele- vised appearances and music videos been as ubiquitous in the 60s and 70s as they were in the following decades, people like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Joni Mitchell would never have stood a chance of becoming the icons they are, now. To be absolutely fair, though, if music vid- eos had never caught on, we might have been blessed with never having heard of 98 De- grees, the Backstreet Boys or 'N Sync, mainly because it would have been even more diffi- cult to tell them apart. Since we grew up in a tiny West Virginia. coal town (pop. 900) in the 70s and 80s, my childhood friends and I can always top the seemingly untoppable in the category of"Oh, heck, we didn't even have... We had telephones and microwaves, rest assured, as well as basic cable and VCRs. For a while, what we didn't know we didn't have was never any real cause for feeling out of touch. In our minds, we were Gods with our boom boxes that boasted dual and auto-reverse cas- sette decks. Still, it was an era when Billy Idol and Pat Benatar were not joking: you really did have to "call your cable company" and say "I want my MTV!" Had to, because it wasn't a given that this crazy, faddish "Music TeleVision" channel would ever be an integral part of the cultural landscape all across our nation, espe- cially in the type of rural area where I grew up. When the song "Holiday" was released by a new singer called Madonna, video had not, much to our increasing chagrin, killed the radio star for my friends and me. Though we'd never seen the video for it, we loved this catchy song by -really? Just the one word? Madonna? Oh well. Kind of like Cher! Or Liberace! If "Holiday" came on the radio, we turned up the volume and did our little 80s dances, which'always included, at some point, stiffly throwing one's arms out to the sides and kicking at imaginary soccer balls. We learned these dance moves from watching "American Bandstand," which aired every Saturday on ABC at 12:30. One afternoon early in 1983, Dick Clark announced that Madonna would be one of his musical guests. I was excited, and called my friend Jenifer to let her know "that girl who sings 'Holiday'" would be on TV. It was probably the first time a lot of people had the chance to see what Madonna looked like; I hope they were more prepared than my friend Jenifer and I were. I suffered through all the "American Band- vs. Madonna stand" dancing, the record rating, and the Clearasil commercials until SHE appeared. The moment Madonna bounded into view, my mouth fell open and my eyes popped out of my head. I ran to the phone to dial Jenifer's number for a second time that afternoon. Naturally, because I was so desperate to reach her, Jenifer's line was engaged. In those days, the very notion of call:waiting had probably never entered many minds, much less been devel- oped. At least not as far as we knew. Score another point for childhood depriva- tion, right? So I kept hanging up and redialing, never taking my eyes off the shocking spectacle on my television (probably moving my head side to side and kicking imaginary soccer balls). It's almost surreal to imagine that long ago, in a universe very much like this one- only with far fewer gadgets, there were basic things about celebrities that could still be shocking. But if Madonna were having her top ripped off by, say, Huey Lewis or David Lee Roth, it wouldn't have shocked me half as much as what I was actually seeing. I'll freely admit that seeing M onna for the very first time on "American Bandstand" was even more shocking than seeing the nude photos of her in Playboy magazine three years later. (The thing I rmmernh~ beat about that, of course, was saying many times to my boyfriend, with whom I was sharing the expe- rience as if it were some strange-and-tedious- but-required-to-graduate school project, "Un- derarm hair? Madonna didn't shave her un- derarms? Eeeewww! Gross! Ptooey!") Finally, my call went through and Jenifer answered, breathless. After our initial ex- change, I realized that we'd been frantically trying to call each other the entire time I'd been rebuffed by the busy signal. As soon as Jenifer heard me ask, "Are you watchingT' our brains fused and we squealed, at exactly the same moment, exactly the same observation. "MADONNA' S WHITE !" Musings of an oidtimer --- More on By Frances Myers. Schmetzer, Glenville Columnist Elderhostel programs provide interesting experiences and a few that are unthinkably surprising. In Phoenix I attended aclass on "Mysteries" ' &hich included medical evidence in unsolved crimes. An "extra-curricular" opportunity was provided for us to visit a cadaver at Grand Canyon University/Phoenix campus! We had an hour with a young woman who had gradu- ated the year before and was now employed as an instructor before going on to medical school. She was delightful. Years ago, I had been told by a young doctor that students in the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg are so appreciative of the donors that they" treat cadavers with respect. Their annual me- morial service is an emotional event for them. Since some day I expect to be occupying such a laboratory at the WVU School of Medicine in Morgantown, I was intensely interested. Since this school in Phoenix has no medical college, the question was asked if anyone in addition to pre-med students took such a class. There were four cadavers in the room, in air and temperature controlled containers on widely separated tables. We were told that athletic trainers, massage therapists and any student who was interested would take the courses. Our instructor named for us the bones, muscles, tendons, nerves and major organs. There were many questions, but one brought (&) a roar of laughter. As we were almost through examining the only cadaver we saw, called Lucy, a woman asked where the pr(:state is that she had read so much about! At least five of our class had chosen not to attend this session (including my sister, Olive, who went to the library), and three or four had to leave after it started. The formaldehyde bothered some. The next activity was lunch! For people who like adventure, I recom- mend Elderhostels. The elder must be 55 years or older, and singles are as comfortable as couples. Courses are held in all 50 states and many foreign countries. Every library in the United States has catalogues, or they may be found on the Internet at ElderhosteLorg. To contact me, usefranschmetzer@hotmail.com Dear Editor, Remembering heSo sad to lose bur favorite Bird Man. Still, will always be with us by leaving the pretty .carved birds that are now in the care of; OWners all over the evorld. " The special room at the Glenville State :College Library for Claude and Ethel Kemper a_.. fitting memorial to a life weU lived. He Claude Kemper certainly has left his footprints in the "Sands Our lives are richer, better, of Time." I feel sure his "Birds in his Hollow" too are closing their eyes in sadness. He has helped to get these lonely birds the recogni- tion they truly deserve. His influence will go on forever. His passing leaves us lonely, Since he has passed our way. Thanks for interesting "home" news week. Best wishes for a great.2004. each S/ncerety, Grace Moss Rinehart But we can truly say, More Letters to the Editor on Page 5 -- Additional writers on community Issues are needed Our 'Letters to the Editor' Policy We are in need of more letters to the editor. Feel free to send them in to us. sign the letter via snail mail. Deadlines for letters are Mondays at 10 a.m. for Jt~t .remember our policy Oil the letters, that week's paper. After 10 a.m., they can he accepted for that week as pa/d , toe.a] newspaPers have long been the sounding boards for political, advertisements. However, it would appear for free in a furore edition. Personal, and patribtic views and this paper ~s no exception! Also, for writers who consistently send in Letters week after week, these ...Relative to writing responses, please keep in mind our Editorial Policy: we messages are constantly evaluated as to content and to purpose, so they may ~u,.41c:~. pt letters on a space available basis only and they will be subject to be considered as an adve~isement, especially if they are weekly, lengthy, and u~=Editofsscrufinyastocontentrelativetolibel, good taste and timeliness, repetitious of previous letters. Nevertheless, you will be contacted if the latter ~_ .g~i length is generally one to one-and-a-half standard typing pages, is the case and will he charged only our regular advertising rate. ~m~ub. le-spaced. The decision of the Senior Editor will he final. Letters must For more information, contact either Dave Coreoram Sr. or Jodi at 304-462- oc stgned in order to be published - e-mailed letters must include a phone 7309. number where your identity can be verified, but you may still be required to - Last Issue Before Election: News, Letters, & Ads - or.The long-slanding policy of this newspaper has always IJeen that if, in the issue before an election, one caadidate or citizen makes allegations about anothea" canddate !ssue, that the other party be given the fight of rebuttal. Readers of this newspaper know that we editors have had this policy in effect for the past eight years in ! oraer to make certain that the journalistic and ethical principles of fairness and equality be assured on these pages relative tO both the news and advertising side. J ..J The Stumptown-Normantown water --more sign-ons needed One of the most important public works projects in Gilmer County is slow at getting started. It's the prospective Normantown-Stumptown waterline. The proposed $2.9 million, 22-mile line will provide a reliable public water supply to the Cedar Creek, Normantown and Stumptown areas. It will be laid roughly along SR 3.3/119. In addition to having a better water supply than the private wells :urrently in use, it will cut down the chances of getting diseases through the water, the Normantown School's children will have enough water, and the fire insurance rates along that line will be reduced. Most importantly, it will open a new door for possible commercial real estate, business and private property developments. Thus, those central and western sections of the county would be able to enjoy some of the economic benefits that other areas of Gilmer now have. In spite of all of the positive benefits of the waterline, only about 100 of the needed 167 customers have signed up for the service to-date. This is a shame, because in this case', time is of the essence. Once the governmental loan and grant agreements are closed, the cost of the now minimal $100 tap fee will dramatically rise. Gilmer County's Public Service District President Bill Stalnaker and board members, Ed Talbott and Nelson Smith, have consistently listened to the requests of the general public. Since the Normantown-Stumptown waterline project has been advocated hy quite a few individuals and businesses in the county over the past five years, the PSD Board felt that the project was a "done deal." To the contrary, when it came time for the residents to sign up for the service, they haven't done so, thereby jeopardizing the entire project. If the necess0ry 167 customers don't step forward for the new water service, there's a danger that the entire grarlt-loan package will be lost. According to PSD board members, many West Virginia communities would give anything to get these budget allocations in order to build better water facilities. PSD General Manager Brenda Lawson stresses that after the loans are closed, the hook- on fee of $100 will he increased to $250, making it more economical to sign up now rather than later. Hence, this is what we'd urge area residents to do all along that line. Now, if you have any questions about the value of this project, just come to the next PSD meeting to get the answers. The board set its next meedng for 7 p.m. on Men., Feb. 9. Growth and progress in Gilmer County depends, in part, upon an informed citizenry and people willing to make a difference. As a result, we urge all county residents along the waterline's right-of-way to sign up now for the new service or to attend the above- mentioned meeting to get your questions answered. DHC, Sr., Publisher-Editor Progress at Fire Department happening The Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department has needed a new Fire Station in Glenville for several years. Their current quarters on West Main Street are too cramped on the inside and don't have enough parking places on the outside. As a result, it is good that R. D. 7_.ande & Associates, a well regarded architectural firm in the state, was contracted to do the blueprints for the new building and to see the local fire officials through the often-times complicated construction phases which will be on- going as soon as the winter weather breaks. The proposed building plan calls for'a 11,000 square foot structure, covers two floors and costs an estimated half-a-million dollars. It will, also, be a well constructed building that will last for many years to come. We commend the volunteer firemen and their auxiliary for all of their fund-raising efforts to-date to make this functional new building happen. Most importantly, we're glad that President Larry Chapman and the other County Commissioners have joined with the firefighters to get this job done fight through the use of a professional architectural firm. DHC, Sr. The Vision Plan and citizen involvement Mr. Bruce Hathaway, a Glenville resident, has re-awakened the interest of local citizens in seeing Glenville move ahead as the county seat and home of Glenville State College. In a recent Letter to the Editor in this newspaper, titled "Many Gilmer County Improvements Can Be Made NOW" and at his stop on January 22 at the County Commission meeting, he recommends a follow-through by the "Community Initiative or Economic Development Summit," a previous group of citizens brought together several years ago to form five committees to plan community improvements. Citing improvements such as the Gilmer County Welcome signs, .Hathaway asserts to the commissioners that the sign project was brought into being by a small band of citizens independent of committees. He implores the commission to take a more Mads-on approach to "reformatting the volunteer groups into action." Hathaway affirms: "We can pick one project at a time to work toward and eventually the county will be a better place to live." With governmental funds being in such short supply these days, it seems only prudent for the county's leadership in economic and community development to involve as many volunteers as possible to push these projects, like "Glenviile's Vision Plan for beautifica- tion," ahead. DHC, Sr. Did the cows ever think about of the Meadow by George Harper II BACK ON THE FARM AND IN WEST VIRGINIA-- For several years now, West Virginia and Wisconsin have been vying for the "honor" of being called the flattest" state in America. In Wisconsin, they eat too much cheese, while here in the Mountain State, we typically drown ourselves in biscuits and gravy. As GSC Art Professor Emeritus George Harper points out in this week's "teen," there is, at least, one species in the Mountain State not counting their calories. As we all probably made New Years resolutions to diet a bit this year, Professor Harper's cow-teen is a nagging reminder of that promise to ourselves. I DHC, St., Publisher-Editor I