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February 12, 2009     The Glenville Democrat
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February 12, 2009
 

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The Glenville DemocratPathfinder Thurs.,Feb; 12, 2009  Page 3A Have we forgotten an important historical date: Lincoln's 200th birthday? The Corcoran Column By David H. Corcoran Publisher-Editor but Lincoln's should be today. Why? Well, his presidency was the most difficult one in American history. Upon being elected in 1860, the states in our southern area se- ceded from the Union. Had they been allowed to go their own way, America today would not be as strong as it is. Mr. Lincoln called up the troops to put down the secession in order to preserve the Union. of these United States of America. In another justified action, he ended the'abusive practice of slavery, which had been legal in those southern states, thereby making Thomas Jefferson's platitude of "all men being created equal" finally a reality in America. With the bloody Civil War in progress during his five-year administration, Mr. Lin- coln guided America through its darkest and most destructive days. After all. the Civil War was fought solely on our country's soil, de- stroying much of our resources and killing many of our people. It played out a different role in each contested state. In Gilmer County, the figures that I've seen show 300 men fighting for the North and 300 for the South, so it was literally brother against brother. Also, the southern sympathizers in the Old Pisgah Methodist Church bolted from it to form their own Job's Temple, about five miles down the road. Hence, the war caused tension in homes, churches, social groups, and the schools. Switching gears, probably each one of us remembers our schools days, particularly cel- ebrating the births of Presidents Lincoln and George Washington. They were always fes- tive and colorful times that we'd look forward to. Our teachers would decorate the class- Continued on page 5A Isn't Abraham Lincoln alive and well? Apparently, he isn't. Either that. or I just haven't heard of any 200th anniversary of his birth being planned or celebrated ! He was born on February 12. 1809. and by my calculations, that should make the same date in 2009 the bicentennial of his birthday. Am I wrong'? If not. America. and those of us who love our nation's rich heritage, have missed a golden opportunity to showcase one of our most famous presidents. After all. he's a regular on our penny that we handle daily, on the $5.00 bill that we use weekly (unless the recession has bottomed us out), in the Lincoln Memo- rial that we take our kids to in Washington. D.C.. and on Mt. Rushmore that we may be privileged enough to see at sometime during our lifetimes. For West Virginlans, we should be doubly grateful to Mr. Lincoln. because he helped to establish the Mountain State as a state, sepa- rate and apart from our Mother Common- wealth. Virginia. In his short life of 59 years, he left future generations with more wise phrases of wis- dom than many of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers blessed posterity with in their long lifetimes. Had we just been living back in 1865 when he was assassinated by that cowardly and self- centered actor. John Wilkes Booth, we'd have remembered exactly where we were and what we were doing at the time of learning of his sad death. Likewise, those of us of a certain age grimly recall when. in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Now, John Kennedy's birth anniversary of 1917 may not be remembered in 200 years, IG:ues iti00 00i!iilCO ii,i:!i 00uml 00,nii!00i00i!!FrOm00'i:'Thiei!i!Sitateiiiii!!iiE00!gii',l',s!latui00iiiii!,i iii00iiii!!,,iii!,,i!i;!iii!!,.i!,,i!iiiiiiiiiiiiii,, i!iiii::j Legislative attention focused on State-of-the-State Address By Brent Boggs, State Delegate (Gilraer-Braxton) After the constitutional 30-day delay in the 2009 legislative session, the time has arrived to convene the House and Senate for the business of the State. As I write this week, the final interim meetings are underway that lead into the regular session Returning and new members are in the process of moving in all the items necessary Senate follows the lead of Speaker Thompson and the House of Delegates in establishing a similar committee in the state Senate. This would be of great assistance in addressing the many needs and concerns of our senior popu- lation; one that'will continue to grow in num- bers in the coming years. B y taking on and giving more attention to senior issues, it will likewise allow for other committees to schedule more.time on other release of preliminary January figures indi- cated a major downturn that was not entirely accurate. As the month ended on a weekend, many end of month revenue receipts for Janu- ary was not counted until after February 1. When February numbers are released next month, the receipts that should have been included in the January numbers will be re- flected in February. So. the news may not be great, but likely not nearly as dire as at first from their homes across West Virginia. Full- issues to be considered and debated through- glance. '"rime'staff is'pt'ep/red fad pei' diem' :gt is ' 0tit the 2009 ei0fi: -. I d like to leave you with one final thought settling into their duties-and'responsibilitieS ........ Over'tlote.past-several weeks, I ha.re beet* ,,..for this week and a request,. The issues and with members and committees. In addition to the more public and visible role that I have assumed as Majority Leader, including working closely with Speaker Th- ompson and the Rules Committee. there are numerous responsibilities of the job that pertain to full- and part-time staff, the House Clerk's Office and all House members. I look forward to the opportunity and challenge. With all the major is- sues facing West Virginia. the drastic job loss through- out the state and nation will be of great impor- tance, as well as determining the best use of any federal funds that may eventually flow to state governments. I am very excited about the new standing committee of the House this session, pertain- ing to all aspects of sdnior citizens, their unique problems and concerns. TheCommit- tee on Senior Citizens Issues will be chaired by Preston County Delegate Larry Williams and Vice Chair Tim Ennis from Brooke County. Both are experienced legislators that are anxious to begin deliberations on bills referred to the committee. The main number for the committee is 340-3160. I hope the working with House attorneys on a bill to institute a notification system for missing adults, similar to the Amber Alert system used for missing children. This would take advan- tage of the system already in place with law enforcement to provide prompt notification for those who have medically documented conditions, such as Alzheimer's or other medi- cal problems that place them at risk, should they leave home or leave other facilities. Many times each year. we have many adults that become disoriented and lost. often ending in tragedy. I look forward to working with House members. AARP and other interested parties to develop a system that will better protect those that may be at risk. In the meantime, legislative attention this week will locus on Governor Manchin and the State of the State Address on Wednesday night. Governor Manchin usually keeps his agenda under wraps until the annual address and 2009 is no exception. Based on some preliminary statements and, with the current condition of the national economy, I am ex- tremely interested to learn of any new propos- als he will introduce and advocate. As I've mentioned before, the mid-year state surplus is gradually being eroded by reduced collections of certain taxes as a result of the economic downturn. However, the problems we will address as a legislative body are broad, complicated and important to all West Virginians. I humbly ask that you keep all legislators in your prayers as we strive to make the right decisions for our State in the coming weeks and months. How to contact me! Please address your mail to the Capitol office at: Building 1, Room 228-M, Charles- ton, WV 25305. My office telephone num- ber is 340-3220 or fax to 340-3213. For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is Boggs34@aoLcom You also may obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills. conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and other information from the Legislature's web site at http:// www. legis.state, wv. us/ If you write or leave a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and state government phone directory may be found at www.wv.gov Remember to thank a veteran for their ser- vice to our nation and continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Until next week, take care. [ !i!iiiii;iiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiZii!;iiii!iiii!i!!iii!!iiiiiiiiiiiiii;iiiiiii;iiiiii;Jiiiiiiiiii;iiiiiiiiiiii!!iii!iiiiii!iiiiii!iiiiiii!i tt  :iiiii!iiii!i!iliiiiiiiii!ii!iiiii;iiiii?!ili!iiiiiiil iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii;ii;ii!;iiiiiiiii!ii?iiiiiiiii!!!iiiiiiiiiiii t ait i i i: : :   : ;i!iiiiiiii!iiii:::::ili ii!ii!i!i!!iiiiiiiiiii!!iiii)ii!iii!iiii!iiiiii!i!i!iiiiiii;iiiiiiiiiiii!;ii;iiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiii;iiiiiiii;!iiii;ii;iiiiiiiiiiiii;iiiii!iiiiiiiiiii;!iiiiiiiii!iii!iiiiiiiiiiiii;iiiii!!ii We want what is best for children Dear Editor, We are writing this letter in response to some negative comments that have been made about our school, Sand Fork elementary. We know that our school was built in the 1920's, but we do not believe that our school is unsafe. We also have an annex building that was built after 1985. Sand Fork School was completely reno- vated in 1985. We remember this well be- cause several of us were attending school at Sand Fork then. We remember coming to school at the beginning of the school year and entering a newly-remodeled school. It was wonderful. We wish all current students in Gilmer County schools could have the same experience. We had fund-raisers that purchased new playground equipment last year. We had par- ent volunteers from other schools in the county that helped get our playground ready before school started. Parents from Sand Fork spent several hours weed-eating, cutting trees and clearing brush to make our school safer. This year we got new walt mats for our gymnasium to further protect our children. We had a public meeting in January to discuss the problems at Sand Fork. We did not have our meeting secretly. Everyone was wel- come to attend. We will be holding more meetings in the future to discuss our schools. Everyone is welcome to attend any meeting that we have. We just want to know what is going on with our schools? Our parents and teachers are concerned because we just want what is best for our children. Concerned Parents and Community Members from Sand Fork PTO Letters continued on page 5A Editorials 4caaemic trash - The Heather Bresch M.B.A. degree scandal throws bad light on WV Heather Bresch. who had her Executive Master's of Business Administration degree revoked at West Virginia University last year, is now questioning why her degree was no good, while 288 others, which were likewise proved deficient, are. Mrs. Bresch. the daughter of Governor Joe Manchin and a vice-president of Mylan Puskar's Mylan Inc. (the latter being a major contributor to WVU), had worked toward her e-MBA degree in the University's Business & Economics College in the 1990s and early 2000s. but had not finished 12 of her 48 required credit hours. Then. in October 2007. she was retroactively awarded the graduate school honor. Her academic deficiencies were first exposed by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. after Mrs. Bresch became a Mylan V-P. She had claimed to have the M.B.A.. a graduate business degree which is a "rite of passage" required for most major corporation executives. The Bresch affair, however, drew more attention, including the nation's higher educa- tional eye and ire. than just any other case of academic deficiencies. After all, she is the Governor's daughter, and he is a big WVU booster, along with her boss, Mylan Puskar. the name that overrides Mountaineer Field. The conclusion was that her degree was granted primarily because of who she was. and not because of any of her own academic attainments. The whole snafu at WVU caused then-President Mike Garrison to resign, as he had signed off on the awarding of her degree -- perhaps having pressured University records administrators to contrive grades for her in non-existent classes. She, though, argued that her final 12 credits were awarded for her work experience. Due to this problem which undermined the creditability of WVU's degrees, the University rightly called in the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Adminssions Officers (AACRA) to investigate the Morgantown school's academic record keeping and awarding of degrees. And. alas, the investigators discovered that 27 other e- M.B.A. degrees, like Bresch's, were awarded with deficiencies, along with 261 under- graduate degrees. So now. Mrs. Bresch apparently wants her degree back, because the University won't revoke those other 288 degrees which also lacked credits or requirements in one form or another. Carolyn Long, WVU's Board Chair and Braxton County's Superintendent. like most other weak school superintendents in this region, is mum on the issue, not wanting to comment to the press on this critical issue. In the balance, however, is the validity of not only some of our major state university's degrees, but also those granted at several, or maybe all, of our other state universities and colleges. While Heather Bresch's request for information to feather her own nest may be in her best interests, it certainly is not for her beloved native West Virginia which needs all of the positive publicity possible during this upcoming era of hard times. Indeed, her request was shortsighted and self-serving in resurrecting such a volatile and high profile controversy, in which no one can win. DHC, St., Publisher-Editor fairness assurea - Board of Review & Equalization now available At the Men., Jan. 26 Gilmer County Commission meeting, the commissioners officially opened the 2009 session of the Board of Review & Equalization. The commissioners will sit on this Special Board through Fri., Feb. 27. but this is by appointment only. The Special Board gives property owners an opportunity to have their assessed valuations reviewed, if they. feel that their property values have been over-estimated in error. In general, these assessed valuations are accurate, and there is no problem. Nevertheless, the Board of Review & Equalization is scheduled each February, so that the commissioners can rectify any discrepiencies that may exist. The public can contact the County Clerk's Office at 462-76,* 1. if they feel an appointment is justified And. that's each citizen's right! DHC, Sr. Good Call- A 911 Committee to be formed M Gilmer A Gilmer County 911 Feasibility Study Committeeis in the process of being formed. This body will be charged with gattleridg facts in 0rder to determine if it's financially feasible for Gilmer County to operate its own 911 Dispatching Center. For nearly the past two decades. Gilmer County has piggybacked with the Lewis County 911 Center. During the last election season, it was divulged that what, in Gilmer County, was thought to be the Lewis-Gilmer 911 Center; in Lewis County, it was just operating under solely a "Lewis County" sign and only known as the Lewis County 911. That came out after a Lewis County official asked if the Gilmer County Commission wanted the "Gilmer County" name on the sign. Furthermore, proponents of a Gilmer 911 Center estimate that the cost would be less than what the county is currently paying Lewis County to operate the facility. Nevertheless, Ed Messenger, Gilmer County's Director of Emergency Services. is taking the bull by the horns, and he presented the commissioners with a report, which outlined the steps the local Feasibility Study Committee would take. It will need to set goals and objectives, prior tO gathering the needed information. In addition, he suggested that the committee members may find it advisable to tour surrounding counties' 911 centers. Moreover. the directors from Barbour and Braxton Counties will be invited to a commission meeting to speak, since they are currently building new centers. Commissioner Brian Kennedy, who is a proponent of creating jobs for Gilmer County dispatchers, indicated that he had already contacted several individuals to be on the committee: however, he had not been able to contact enough people. It would be prudent, he thought, to have one representative from each of the county's districts, as well as one representative from each of the county's government and public service entities on it. as well. Ed Messenger seems to be approaching this task in a sensible manner; let all citizens wish him and the committee well in this initial exploration. If it creates jobs for Gilmer Countians, that would ceainly be a laudatory outcome. DHC, Sr. Et of the by George Harper FRENCH CK, FREDDIE. V. PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL? (THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME?)