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Glenville, West Virginia
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May 4, 2012     The Glenville Democrat
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May 4, 2012
 

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Are West Virginia and Gilmer County 'good places' to five? With all of the polls about good, healthy living places being generated by dozens of "think tank" groups around the country these days, I'm glad that the most recent one from the University of Wisconsin didn't come out before the 2012 Glenville State College's Alumni Day. Otherwise, it may have scared away some of our regular Alumni Day visitors, who are true blue. According to the Wisconsin medical sur- vey, Gilmer County ranks 45th of West Virginia's 55 counties in a number of bad health areas. Aside from the obesity issue, I'd thought that we, Gilmer Countians, had been living pretty healthy lives. Most frighteningly, Gilmer was shown to have 335 reported cases of chlamydia in a Center for Disease Control (CDC), report based on 2009 data. Chlamydia is the most common bacterial Sexually Transmittedlnfection (STI) inNorth America and is one of the major causes of tubal infertility, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease and chronic pelvic pain. Bad stuff! There were only three other counties with numbers over 300 in this category. Cabell County reported 394 STIs and has a popula- tion of 96,378; Monongalia Co., 373 cases. with 96,791 people; and Kanawha. 315 cases with 192,976 people. By the way, Gilmer County has only "8.704 people." If you believe this Wisconsin sur- vey, you'd better watch out who you're shak- ing hands with! The Corcoran Column By David H. Coreoran Publisher-Editor Now. with our population including 1.700 federal government offenders incarcerated here. and with them having a high rate of STI's. I'd bet that this is why Gilmer County's numbers are so disappointing and distorted. I'm glad that the inmates are contained mostly behind bars. which should if factored into the Univ. of Wisconsin's equation place Gilmer County more realistically into the top 40 percent of the "good health counties," rather than being near the bottom. Good health efforts In fact. kudos to the Minnie Hamilton Health System's Free Diagnostic Clinic on last Friday. It took place at Gilmer Primary Care. and was a great success, in that it noted all of the services that the medical unit offers here in Glenville and Gilmer County. I got to meet Steve Whited. the new MHHS CEO. as well as Randy Lindauer. the outgo- ing one, along with quite a few of the facility's courteous medical technicians. Jim Sullivan, the health center's sociable public relations officer, was also there to meet the public, and he cooked up some mighty tasty hamburgers and hot dogs, to boot. Ug: In addition, another physician, Dr. Hilary Miller, has an office on SR 5 west at the city limits. Congratulations to her and husband, Dr. Eddie Anderson, on their new baby boy, who will be pampered by his two older sisters. Finally, the proposed GSC Pioneer Center plans to have a medical wing to it in order to offer 24/7 emergency care. This. too, Will be a medical boom to the county. Nevertheless, with these local healthcare providers available and MHHS hospital in Grantsville and Stonewall Jackson Memo- rial Hospital in Weston. I feel comfortable and safe, healthwise, by living and working in Gilmer County. Admittedly, we do need more walking trails, tennts courts and racketball/wallyball/squash facilities to get the proper physical exercise, but they'll come in time, I suspect. (I hate going all the way to WVW College to play a game of racketball. I find that this sport is the best for keeping my health up and sound.) So. GSC alumni and friends of Gilmer County, when it comes to our local health, just remember the old saying, "Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see!," especially in these "accurate" studies. Is West Virginia a good place? Although to me the Mountain State is the best place to live, another recent survey put us dead last among the other 49 states. And. like all other polls, they ranked New Hampshire as the "best state to live in." (These researchers never lived through a New Hampshire winter, where the depth of the snowfall is legendary. Continued on page 5A Springtime, graduations and Broadband Deployment are broached By the Honorable Brent Boggs, Majority Leader & State Delegate With the arrival of May, garden activity is picking up all over our area. In most cases that also means lots of fence-building in an attempt to deter the ever present deer herds from a free lunch later in the season. Hope- fully, the freezing temperature to summer heat and back again will give way to some tradi- tional spring weather. Let's also hope we're spared the flooding that often occurs about this time of year. Saluting the ports of unreliable service or frequent out- ages are becoming more common. Also compounding the problem is the lack of a clear regulatory path to address these com- plaints. Another question that is beginning to sur- face is connection speed. As we move to- ward more accessibility, we can't ignore the fact that connection speed increasingly lim- its our capabilities on the Internet. Even if we get every West Virginian access to high speed mternet, the very definition of "high speed" is not well defined or even universal. We need to be mindful of this as decisions are made over the next several years so that West Virginians stay current with the product they HON. BRENT BOGGS graduates! are offered. This may not seem important S-rin also brin-s today but it will be a key to new opportuni- p g g . .' .. some important mile ues into the next decade and beyond: stones. Graduation Summary of bills passed ranks among the major life markers along the way. In the next few weeks, the 2012 college grads will be completing their degree re- quirements, and then on to their chosen field. A few weeks later, our high school gradu- ates will be completing their studies and making some important decisions on further education, training or into the workforce. I'm very proud of our graduates and look forward to their future plans as they move into the next chapter of their lives. Broadband update On another issue, I've devoted consider- able time and efforts during my tenure in the Legislature to the issue of broadband avail- ability for residents of central West Virginia and other rural portions of our State. With my appointment to the Broadband Deployment Council by Speaker Rick Thompson, I hope to continue that work with even more effec- tiveness for our residents. In recent months, broadband has been de- ployed to ever increasing numbers of our residents by Frontier. Additionally, the re- building of local cable systems and the offer- ing of broadband service by Shentel provides another option to many for high speed internet. Even with those improvements in availabil- ity, a huge number of our residents remain unserved. As long as anyone is unserved, our job is not completed. Other Broadband issues As we continue to address the availability issue, other significant concerns arise. For those that have a connection, increasing re- Throughout the past few weeks since the completion of the 2012 sesston, staff has been working on a comprehensive summary of all bills passed. Over the next several weeks. I will be sharing brief summaries of many bills signed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. During the 2012 Regular Session, a total of 2.029 bills were introduced (678 Senate bills and 1.351 House bills) and of those. 214 were passed by the Legislature. The Gover- nor vetoed nine bills. If you would like a printed copy of the Wrap-up, please contact me or call my assis- tant. Jennifer McPherson. at 304-340-3942. We will mail you a copy promptly or send a PDF file document wa e-mail. Conference Committee Report for SB 160 (Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Bill) • Budget Totals by Revenue Source • General Revenue: $ 4.149.751,000 • Road Fund: $1,207,165,199 • Other Funds: $1,656,354,880 • Regular Lottery: $145,025,203 • Excess Lottery: $ 290,974,890 • Federal Funds: $ 3,792,019,112 • Federal Block Grants: $ 342,148,442 • Total: $ 11,583,438,726 Of the total of all funds, they come from the following sources: • General Revenue: 35.61% • Federal Funds: 32.54% • Other Funds: 14.21 • Road Fund: 10.27% • Federal Block Grants: 2.94% • Excess Lottery: 2.5% • Lottery: 1.25% General Revenue Surplus: 0.58% Disbursements from the General Revenue portion of the budget: • Education: 48.4% • Health and Human Resources: 20.9% • Higher Education: 10.9% • Military Affairs and Public Safety: 8.7% • Judicial: 2.9% • Administration: 1.8% • Commerce: 1.7% • Executive: 1.1% • Education and the Arts: 0.82% • Tax and Revenue: 0.73% • Legislative: 0.59% • Veterans Affairs: 0.28% • Environmelt: 0,2% .... Tranp0rtatiort: O::' ' • .Claims-Against W: 0.15% Many programs receive all or a portion of their overall funding from sources other than general revenue. For instance, the Road Fund is dedicated to transportation and recetves federal match funds. How to contact me! Please send your inquiries to the Capitol Office at: Building 1, Room 224-M. Charles- ton, WV 25305. Or, call the Capitol office at 304-340-3220; Assistant to the Majority Leader, Tom Bennett, at 304-340-3262 or House Leadership Analyst Jennifer McPher- son at 304- 340-3942 or fax to 304-340-3213. If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know. For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is: Brent.Boggs@ WVhouse.gov You also may obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave a message; please re- member 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 and on the Facebook site of the West Virginia other information from the Legislature's web site at http://www.legis.state.wv, us/ Remember to thank a veteran for his or her service to our nation and continue to remem- ber our troops -- at home and abroad and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Until next week, take care! Praises for the Appalachian Trading Company Dear Editor, The Appalachia Trading Company was a great idea and I hope it becomes an annual event. Granddaughter Robin and I opened the Holt House for tours that day and enjoyed talking to the people who came in to take a look around. The Historical Society is always interested in joining in on community events, such as this one the Folk Festival and Christmas Parade. Having the college and the community work together is good for everyone. Karen Pennebaker, Troy Attention Readers: Our 'Letters to the Editor' Policy We are in need of more letters to the editor. Feel free to send them m to us. Just remember our policy on the letters. Local newspapers have long been the sounding boards for political, personal, and patriotic views and this paper as no exception! Relative to writing responses, please keep in mind our Editorial Policy: we will accept letters on a space available basis only and they will be subject to the Editor's scrutiny as to content relative to libel, good taste and timeliness. A good length is generally one to one-and-a-half standard typing pages, double-spaced. The decision of the Senior Editor will be final. Letters must be signed in order to be published- e-mailed letters must include a phone number where your identity can be verified, but you may still be required to sign the letter via snail mail. Deadlines for Letters to the Editor" are Mondays at 10:00 a,m. for that week's paper. After 10 a.m.. they canbe accepted for that week as paid advertisements. However. it would appear for free in a future edition Also. for writers who consistently send in Letters week after week, these messages are constantly evaluated as to content and to purpose, so they may be considered as an advertisement, especially if they are weekly, lengthy, and repeats of previous letters. Nevertheless. you will be contacted if the latter is the case and will be charged only our regular advertising rate. For more information on this newspaper's editorial page policy, contact Dave Corcoran. Sr.. Ph.D., Publisher.Senior Editor-Owner, at 304-462-7309. -- Last Issue Before Election: News, Letters, & Ads ~ The long-standing policy of this newspaper has always been that if. in the issue before an election, one candidate or citizen makes allegations about another candidate or issue, that the other party be given the right of rebuttal. Readers of this newspaper know that we editors have had this policy in effect for the past 15 years in order 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. Also, all political letters or news stories submitted in the last month prior to an election are to be paid political adverstisements, except for biographical sketches in an Election Guide or special section. Editorials Don't forget to vote next Tues., May 8! Gilmer County's 2012 Primary Election for both political parties Democrat and Repub- lican and the nonpartisan Board of Education, as well, will be held on next Tues., May 8. There are a score of candidates, who have spoken out on many issues, for each voter to decide on. As a result, we urge all Gilmer County voters to go to the polls and to cast your votes for those candidates, with whom they feel the most comfortable. This is the only way we, in Gilmer County, can get the real democratic thing-- local and state government "by and for the people." In the past and for many times, the right to vote has been a subject of this editorial column. Just look at voting in your history books or see it on the Internet. Remember, you should treasure your "right to vote," because it was not a "natural right" for many American citizens over the greater part of our nation's history. In the Colonial Era, women, the poor, Blacks, small farmers and city dwellers were excluded from this franchise. In spite of this historical lack of franchise privileges, sadly and ironically, these days, many Americans couldn't care less. whether or not they cast their votes at all. During every election in recent decades, the growing cynicism of Americans about politics and exercising their constitutionally-protected right to vote has been seen by the dismal turnouts. A good example was in Glenville's June 2009 City Council and Mayoral Elections, when only about 200 of perhaps 900 eligible citizens chose to come out and vote. Mayor Tashua Allman was lucky, in that she won by only one vote. so had just two more people voted for the second place finisher, the whole election's outcome would have been dramatically different. Using hindsight, this editor knows that we selected a good, progresstve mayor who has put many of her good ideas to work in the city, but she didn't win by a mandate. In fact. when only 25 percent of voters participate, that's both tragic and un-American. Yes, it's important to exercise this sacred right to vote in order to insure that all of our governmental units are representative of the people they serve. The Gilmer County Clerk's Office at 304-462-7641 can answer any questions that you may have about voting. Also, remember that County Clerk Jean Butcher wants to remind citizens registering as Independents that they are allowed to request the ballot of either the Democratic or Republican Parties for the May 8 Primary Election. She also emphasizes that poll workers are not permitted by law to ask if Independents prefer to vote in either party's primary. If they don't ask for a party's ballot, they can only be given nonpartisan the Board of Education and Fire Dept./Emergency Services Excess Levy ballot. Also. if an Independent voter gets into the polling stall, finds that he or she can't vote for a certain candidate, there's a problem about switching to another ballot, especially if voting electroni- cally. Hence. if you're an Independent and want to vote in either party's primary, you must ask for that specific political party ballot-- Republican or Democrat at the time you check into the polls, she advises. See you at the polls on next Tuesday and thank you for showing your patriotism and belief in democracy by voting! DHC, Sr., Publisher-Senior Editor 65C Exams - Attn. GSC's students: Study hard/ Glenville State College's final examinations are taking place this week, so we editors, who have taken our share of finals, wish all of you students a successful exam period and that you earn the highest of grades possible. And, with the tests behind you, we hope that your 2012 Graduation or summer will be much more relaxed, happy, and meaningful. But, first things first: to achieve high marks in your subjects, you have to do your share of study. As your saying goes, "no pain, no gain!" Hints: I'd study my notes first, highlighting the main topics and concepts as I read them. These notes, in part, reflected the professor's thinking after years of research and study of the course's subject matter, so they are important. Then, I'd do the same thing with the major points that the textbook stressed. Finally, my study strategy would be to review these outlines, both of the notes and book(s) once again, before going to bed the night before the exam. Thus, my subconscious would ponder the material in my sleep, I'd hope. I'll confess that while a good night's sleep is the ideal preparation for exams, I often stayed up all night studying the subjects that I really enjoyed. I remember that I liked Professor Daniel McGarry's Medieval History classes so much at St. Louis :(MO) Mniversity .that I'tbumthe midnight oil studying for the tests. I had numerous dynamic teachers at the time, so I wanted to impress them -- letting them know that I appreciated their instructional efforts and that "I cared." They, in turn, reciprocated with great grades which ga,ve me a great feeling of achievement. Today, I'll admit, study is more difficult for you students, because many have to balance family and campus obligattons with your higher educational pursuits. Moreover, if finances are a concern, you are faced with finding and hOlding a part-time job in order to pay the tuition, room and board. Nevertheless, for this one final exam week, any student's extra effort in studying will pay off handsomely, and be well worth it. Moreover, the same study technique can by used by our local high school students. Good luck, GSC and GCHS students m your finals! DHC, Sr. Fa alarm???- County Health Rankings place Gilmer 45th April is truly "Sexually Transmitted Diseases Awareness Month" and should be taken seriously by our local parents, guardians and the general public. But, as reported on page 1 in last week's newspaper, to place Gilmer County as one rating system did at 45th of 55 counties in overall bad health rankings looks askew, unreal and false. For example, finding Gilmer, with only 8,704 people, with a whooping 335 reported cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) seems high and illogical, when Monongalia County, with 96,791 people and also with a major university reports 373. Could it be that the University of Wisconsin's figures, based on 2009 data, contained the 1,700 federal prison inmates, who have every type of disease possible, were included, as well? DHC, Sr. i Ed of the 9(,___2 by George Harper ('Je n'I for]et t pay io fl!) r- .4 L