Newspaper Archive of
The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
April 18, 1975     The Glenville Democrat
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April 18, 1975

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2 The Glenville Democrat/Pathl~der April ZL 1975 I i i ill I I II 0 ! Politicians often tell West .Virginians that out-of-state residents look down on them as dumb hillbillies. Then they extoll the virtues of the state as a potential source of fuel for the rest of the nation and, because of this, mountaineers will have the last laugh; they'll be respected as never before. We don't think this is the case at all. When people who live outside the state think of West Virginians they probably consider strip mines and battered hillsides. Appalachian poor folks. black lung and the recent textbook controversy; a general exploitation of land and people probably comes to mind. People know a little bit of history. They know that the country people in West Virginia really reflect the best values of our long ago heritage. They know that mountaineers and hardy people like them are the offpsring of the heroes that settled this country. They remember the legends and they reminisce among themselves of how warm and friendly and down-to-earth and helpful West Virginians are. Just as in "the olden days," when, they believe, everyone was more concerned about their fellow man. They probably feel that something has come between the legendary "olden days and olden ways" and the people of this state. They know that some outsiders took advantage of West Virginian virtue and integrity that some persons equate with stupidity. It's not that West Virginians were or are stupid. and, therefore, easily manipulated or fleeced. They have been. because of their particular brand of straightforwardness, ripe for the big steal. The degrading stereotype that the media have exploited for so many years - the hillbilly - is pure exaggeration. Most thinking people reject this fabricated image 'of Appalachian people. If anything, they are beginning to respect Appalachian art, craftsmanship, music, history, literature and enduring human integrity now more than ever. The "back to the land" movement is patterned after the still-viable rural lifestyle of West Virginia and the rest of Appalachia. Our neighbors envy our green mountains and runs and hollows and natural beauty. They envy the rural peace and traditional reciprocity so prevalent in our country. They finally are coming to recognize the value in our lifestyle, freer of material concerns and social frills. Many want to be and live like us. We are no longer dumb hillbillies to people outside West Virginia. If anything, we have come to be admired and respected as independent, proud, creative, and honest people. A rare and continuing tradition in a time of doubt, pessimism and turbulent change. Unfortunately, however, West Virginia has not truly reaped the riches of her mineral Wealth. And ff coal and other mineral wealth is to be taken out of the state to provide fuel for the rest of the nation, many out-of-state corporations are going to realize a lot of money. Because they've been here for a long time. Perhaps, if it's these corporations which are contemptuous of West Virginians as dumb hillbillies. then we say to our elected representativs: Make certain "that when this state supplies the energy needs of the nation, the people that dig the coal do not suffer illness and hardship. Make certain the land is not scarred forever. Make certain that people are not alienated from their native farmlands. Make certain that the money for this fuel comes back to the state so that poverty is not so visible here as it is now. Out-of-staters already know that Appalachia and West Virgi a have been exploited. That's the true picture that people have of us. Further exploitation of this state's riches without adequate protection and compensation will not endear us any further to those who live outside Appalachia. If anything, it will give cause for them to further mourn the demise of a rural way of life they ahve come to respect. Our elected rep -ntatives are in the best position to see that we are never humiliated again. if our interested are not looked after when the of coal tom by |ira ]acobs By U.S. Senator Congress Strengthens a Basic Land in West Virginia has been abused, misused, transferred and purchased by out-of-state interests for so long to exploit mineral wealth, many persons are even complacent about it. But in Lincoln County, in the southwest part of the state, some folks have adopted a unique, land-saving plan or community land trust known as "Trust in the Hills." It's the kind of movement that intrigues me because it involves people caring for and cherishing our most precious commodity: people who are strong enough and farsighted enough to protect their legacy. Compomed of members from four central and southern West Virginia communities, the nonprofit trust was incorporated last year and officially began operation April 4 as an effort to "hold land for the common good" and "to protect it from developers and industrial despoilers." A= set forth in the' bylaws, the trust was "established to administer and hold in perpetuity land for the purpose of: Six parcels of land are currently committed. Three are in the Lincoln County, one in Roane, one in Summers and one in Greenbrier. The trust organizers are two young men who operate a Catholic Worker farm in Hamlin, Chuck Smith and Sandy Adams. They are promoting the organization by word of mouth and exploring ways to attract people who share the group's philosophy and would hke to put their land in trust. At present, approximately 500 acres of land are committed to the trust, which Adams says is the key word behind the corporation. "I'd like to emphasize the fact that it's a trust between people as well as a legal trust," he said. The group's reasons for forming the trust are clearly outlined in the by-laws which read, in part,".., land is a necessity of life with which we have a responsibility to live harmoniously, sharing the land with animals and plants, recognizing that land is the common heritage of us all." -Providing access to land for the landless poor: -Promoting the ecological use of land for the common good; -Protecting land from specula- tion; -Encouraging a new relationship with land that sees it as the common heritage of all people, not the private property of a few or a commodity to be exchanged; More and more, land prices, increasing taxes, the accumulation of large holdings of land in the hands of wealthy people and large corpora- tions limit poor people's access to the land." "We hope that as people come to share our belief that land is not to be, exploited for profit, or hoarded to, make more money later, the trust will receive gifts of land to which access can be made available to those who nepd it. Trust in the Hills land cannot . -Developing networks of support be/ sold or mortgaged, rented or and fellowship that will strengthen su~l'ehs~d'oi; givbn away."" ~ ........ those on trust lands in times of need or ecological threat to the land --Supporting efforts for land reform everywhere; -Seeing that no person or entity shall make profit from or through the corporation." Land acquired by the trust will be made available to persons who have definite, acceptable plans for its use. These persons would then enter into a written agreement with the trustees and would pay land taxes and their share of aqy fees generated by the agreement. Otherwise, the land would be free. trust is also designed to fight the separation of timber and mineral rights so prevalent in many sections of the state. The by-laws state that users of the land are pledged to the protection of the land from ecological threat "even to the point of nonviolent direct action or civil disobedience." As members of the Catholic Workers, an action-oriented group which espouses rural communal and Christian principles, Smith and Adams publish "The Green Revolu- tion," bimonthly newsletter. Their unique plan deserves a close look by others who are devoted to beneficial land use. II I I I I II To the ~t~r: Strengthening changes tion Act in the Freedom of Infer- principle mation Act became after- files except tire February 19- straws rifle in the new wind of open- feast, trade hess in government that isvestigations,~ blowing across Capitol Hill, memos, ctc.~ and that, hopefully, will available to make all of the federal lie. It was,!! government more respon- Congress in siva to the people and moreopposition candid, bureaucracy. ~i The covcrups a b o u t Congress which the country heard changes to d so much l&xt year gave tinuLing buri secrecy in government a ance to the bad name, indeed. But Departments Congress was moving to- ties will now ~| ward more openness before working dayS~( that, It passed the original public reques~ C~ Freedomof Information meats: ex~mi. law nine years ago; and fees will be ~ t~ there are other evidences winners of co~.ul to indicate that it does, in force release ~ fact, believe in the people's have their l~r right to know. for by the ~ Of Many Committees of President ~ ot Congress, for example, are open and cat~ia~4 now meeting in public to some persons ~= transact business that for- ties who have ~ merly was handled behind Oval Office, ve~"~ closed doors. And, as read- because of E~ ers of this column may Branch op~l know, for some time I haveBut the Cong~ 1c C.] been advocating the tale- him. ,,~J~ ~ vising of sessions of the Like other Senate. I believe that willtutions, C~ ultimately be done. from perfect-It| The trend toward open- u~ many tl~.i~ t~ nes~ is a healthy one. ] instincts fav0rJ, F emphasize that there are, good, and it of course, national security much mor~ f~'| ! not be publicized. But ins~ critics are ,v~a far as it is practical to do In strength. so, the public's business Freedom of ~Pri Act, Congress ~ at should be conducted in the ened a basicS, iz public view. The Freedom of Informa- concept. ~ :A ~,_ "rlbursday, April 24 - Food Health Department, Mineral ltd., 7:30 Thursday, April 24 - PTA- basketball, Sand Fork School. 7:30 Friday. Alm~ ~1~ ,- llbd~k~b Saturday. April 26 - AAUW Rummage Sale, 115 IF.. Main St., 9 a.m. Saturday. April 26 -'Film, "Cur~ Senior ~ Center, after 6 p.m. School. T~msday, April 29 - Kanawha Street Lodge, 7:30 p.m. City Hail, 7:30 p.m. _ ~. Saturday, May 3 - Retired ~re~ This letter of emmtrtmtive criticism is written with the hope that the quality of The GlenviUe Democrat will be improved. 1. Photography needs improvement {better focus; less light}. 2. Proofreading is a must. 3. Pacts; not fabrication are the key to a good newspaper. 4. Sports stories should be on the sports page, not at random roughout the paper. 5. Captious and headlines should "iive" with the photograph or news story. These are only some of the needed improvements - but, ff they are heeded, they will surely help upgrade the "weekly" Glenville Democrat. Sharon K. Phares Glenvme / II ~ / I 8erboro W~- JIM JACOBS: ................................ ...... ~. ............ EDITOR MANAGER I III One edmy m mr k u makes the world a lot rougher place for ths sound harsh? WelL as long as the gensrel ~ ret {in the old sense of the word} take what is that: goods of secondary quality, ff that! ;~c~ like wildfire {black humor intended) as r~ a garments. These items are even labelled #~ flammability standards and we still no green for them. Only baby clo es resistant now-however, many are still ~'~ that were stocked before that law went Servers t, of prk ., importu apldiance or stay other ~, such ss d First: compare warrenties for statements, and READ THE FINE Seared: deal where you have had Don't reward sloppy service with before you go to serviced, have a speaking knowledge with your car, lady? .... WelL Fm not thing-a-ma-pg, the what you-ma ll-it thong! Do you think my tires mi_ght be rm currently interested in puff mechanics course just on the your car in an emergency, how to how to have a general idea what's hood (unless it's your neighbor's cat). interested, call 462-7061 between 8 a.m. ! your name. After all--you auto know a little