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The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
May 20, 2004     The Glenville Democrat
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May 20, 2004

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Glenville The Democrat/Pathfinder surprises in Thursday, May 20, 2004 -- Page 3 I I From what's been told to me on the street, the general public is glad its over. But, if The people are already fed up with politics now, our state government may have to re-activate llll~ Corcoran some of ~ose empty rooms at the old Weston State Hospital by November's General Elec- IIIIIi~#M Column tion. At this time, the political season is a long ]]][[l~ ByDavidH Corcoran way from being over, so we editors hope that Pu~ishet-Edt0r the up-and-coming raw politics doesn't drive anyone here "crazy." In Gilmer County, several candidates, who tell me that his new face, friendly attitude and ;tobe were elected, deserve some comment. (The pre-certification figures are used in this col- umn because the final ones were not in at the time I wrote it.) Popular candidates It seems that Gilmer Countians really like Gary Wolfe, the incumbent Democratic As- sessor who was the top vote-getter with a total of 1,535 ballots cast for him. In November's General Election, he'll be seeking another four-year term. Running closely behind Gary was Beverly Marks, the incumbent Democratic County Clerk who garnered 1,528 ballots. And, in November, she's seeking her second six-year term and, like Gary, ran unopposed in the | primary. Heated & contested races so many candidates for Gilmer County sheriff threw their hats in the ring for that four-year term, the race perhaps got the most attention from the public's watchful eye. And, Mickey E. Metz's 635 votes was enough to get him elected as the Democratic nominee for the fall General Election. A po- litical newcomer, he did all of the right things to win this competitive race -- advertising early on, appearing personally at many public functions and shaking a lot of hands. People I I enthusiastic approach to law enforcement won him the job. At the same time, former sheriff and current county commissioner, Charles (Dave) Hess, another Democrat, ran second with 439. Some locals voiced criticism of a sitting commis- sioner running for another elective county office without resigning from the commis- sion. Nevertheless, he was within his legal right to run that way, and, over the years, has served the county in different capacities well -- all in his low-key manner. What was surprising to most of the folks with whom I spoke was Jimmy Charles Gregory's third place finish with 339 votes! For a young man, he shows alot of dedication, energy, popularity and promise. Ironically, the city of Glenville's Police Department, which boosted perhaps the most qualified candidates, didn't fair so well at all, in that Chief of Police John William Moss, Jr., garnered only 233 votes, with his principal lieutenant, Samuel (Sam) Cutlip mustering the least with 215. But, in traveling around the county, both Chief Moss and Lieut. Cutlip seemed to win the most "signs contest," or maybe they were just well placed so that the majority of motorists could see them. Of course, working full-time gave neither one of them enough free time to attend the public meetings and to shake hands. One City Coun- cil member expressed relief that neither won because the city has had such a hard time finding and retaining good, qualified and pro- fessional policemen. In the other highly contested race, Larry B. Chapman, the incumbent Democrat with 1,091 votes, retained his county commission seat for a fourth consecutive four-year term, outdistancing his political challenger, Tom Ratliff, who accumulated 721. The youthful Mr. Ratliff ran on a platform, saying, "It's time for a change," while his opponent, Mr. Chap- " man, got solid support from a wide variety of constituencies, notably the senior citizens and the business community. BOE's non-partisan race The popularity of Kelly Radcliff, who was running for the seat representing the DeKalb- Troy District, was affirmed by her top vote- getting total of 1,244. Kelly has children in the school system, is very active in Sand Fork's PTO and manages her family's restaurant, The Common Place in Glenville. It's hard to imag- ine living in Gilmer County and not ever meeting thi cheerful candidate and winner. So, her victory was no surprise. The surprise came when Alton Lane Skin- ner, II, a political unknown, won the Glen- ville District's slot on the BOE so easily with 989 votes. He's a local businessman. The last seat available was taken by veteran educator, Dorothy ft. Rhoades, also from the Glenville District, with 883. Her years of excellent service were well-rewarded. She'll be a leading player on the soon-to-be re- organized BOE. Continued on page 5A Don't Get Me Started. Love and marriage ,'2 By Kristal Sheets, City Editor & Columnist The word "marriage" has three definitions in the American Heritage dictionary: "1. the condition of being mar- ried; wedlock; 2. a wed- ding ceremony; 3. a close intimate union." Belgium, Denmark and the Canadian Prov- inces of British Colum- bia, Ontario and Que- bec have all legalized same-sex unions. Ver- first state in our country to legalize gay mar- riage. I mentioned in an earlier column that I hoped the issue of gay marriage would lay low on the national radar until after the general election in November. It hasn't. In a column a few months ago, Fran Schmetzer talked about this issue. She brought up an excellent point when she mused, "Why not call just it something else" when it comes to gays seeking the rights to marry. I agreed with her then, and I agree with her now. For one thing, any word would be a welcome substitute for "marriage" if it would keep the issue far enough at bay to not figure fight now, that's a scary thought. All one has to do is turn on the evening news, or listen to the news reports on the radio, or pick up a newspaper to know the state of our union. Most evidence, from my point of view, suggests that we have worse problems in this country and all over the globe than whether or not two women or two men can get "married." Opponents of gay marriage keep insisting that if homosexuals can get married, the insti- tution will be become weakened and irrel- evant. Since 50 percent of all mamages end in divorce, half the time "marriage" has become a word forced to carry the baggage of failed oat legalized civil unions between hetero- inpeople'spoliticaldecisionsduringthiselec- relationships due to incompatibility, infidel- ; .sexual and homosexual couples in 1997, and tion year. I know that there are voters inexpli- ity, domestic violence - just to name a few of ; ities like Seattle have passed domestic part- cably fanatical enough about this one topic to the reasons people dissolve their marriage .' nership laws. Many corporations extend in- voteforthereelectionofourcurrentpresident unions. i surance coverage and pension benefits to their based solely on his official stand regarding It would be seem, based on this, that mar- ; associates' domestic partners, gay mamage, riage is having no trouble being made "irrel- But on Monday, Massachusetts became the Considering what a mess this country is in Continued on page 5A I! I1 ! A'Iusings of an oldtimer--- Pleasant visit with extended family '/~y Frances Myers Schmetzer, ;Glenville Columnist knifeinjustsuchapatch, and he knew he must So Bill drove to Dallas to find a job and not put his hands in to find it. Then, abrashl0- housing for his family. He took his oldest year-old, I bragged, "I can get the knife with- child, David. For lack of money, they slept in One of the nicest experiences a person can outgettingpoison." Ihadnotseen itfall, sothe the car and were reduced to eating peanut :- ave is the attention of a good listener. It was search was extensive. Nor did it help to wash butter and crackers, but it all developed into ; specially pleasant for me this past week with my hands with Octagon seap (remember the the perfect career for Bill. And I finished this visit of extended family members, brown soap?). Oh, the itching of the bumps tale by giving Nancy some plates from the :: My North Carolina brother, BillMyers, had between my fingers! They even oozed, and, plastics factory where her dad had worked .' ffered to take a grandson home to Michigan by then, I had touched my face. It broke out during the Dallas schooling. i rom his college in South Carolina. He invited and swelled so badly I had to 'eat' through a When Nancy mentioned her children's use another grandson to help with the return driv- straw for several days. (I am not sure my two of wooden cigar boxes for their treasures, I tier qng and Glenville seemed a good place to great-nephews were listening.) told her that Bill had been able to use remains Off 'spend the night. After a stint in the Army during World War from three old clocks to make onethat worked. )so The end result was that his Michigan daugh- II, Bill graduated from Glen,cille in 1951 with I was his helper, and we kept the parts in a f.. ter and three other children came to meet them a secondary degree. He did not want to teach, cigar box, which we hid in a Mimosa tree (a /here. Trying to find a happy way to make a living, favorite perch of mine forreading books). We As I came up with a childhood story of her he took an aptitude test for a school in Texas made a rope sling for the box, then threw the father, Nancy egged me on with questions, where he could learn to repair main-frame rope over a limb, making it long enough to How we talked! computers, but he was turned down for admis- lower the box from the ground. For instance, the two youngest boys and sion because of his age. Bill was my constant playmate when we Nancy and I took a hike in the woods, finding A year or so later, Bill got an invitation to were children on the farm, and now more F a bumper crop of poison ivy. When Bill was enroll, saying he had made the highest grade stories come to mind. Hurry back, Nancy! seven years old, he had dropped his pocket- that had ever been made on the test. :O ra. in U- aS Or ad in to to GSC's Harry an in Dear Editor, The information contained in this letter will be biased and one-sided. I say that be- cause I am writing al out my. father, Harry Rich. Saturday, May 8 was the last commence- ment he attended at Glenville State College as a professor. He finished his twenty-ninth year as a professor of music in West Virginia, the last 19 years at Glenville. - While I have no scientific proof, I believe that through his work in higher education, he has positively influenced more lives in those 29 years than almost any other person in this state. I feel the need to report this, because many times the public measure of a man's greatness or worth based on singular acts. We easily forget that the culmination of thou- sands of small struggles and achievements can greatly outweigh a 20-win season or the one-time philanthropy of a multi-millionaire. Harry Rich's greatness as an educator is not singular. His dedication toward creating not just excellent music teachers but people who care about the youth of West Virginia will be felt for generations to come. Mr. Rich is a great West Virginian -- some- one I would be honored to know even if he were not my father. David Rich GlenviUe More 'Letters to the Editor' on Page 5A N Attention Political Candidates: Our 'Letters to the Editor' Poficy We are in need of fimre 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" Just remember our policy on the letters. . that week's paper. After 10 a.m., they can be accepted for that week as pa/d newspapers have long been the sounding boards for political, advertisements. However, it would appear for free in a future edition. personal, and patriotic views and this paper is 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 will accept letters on a space available basis only and they will be subject to be considered as an advertisement, especially if they are weekly, lengthy, and the Editor's scrutiny as to content relative to libel, good taste and timeliness, repeats of previous letters. Nevertheless, you will be contacted if the latter is A good length is generally one to one-and-a-half standard typing pages, the case and will be charged only our regular advertising rate. double-spaced. The decision of the Senior Editor will be final. Letters must For more information, contact either Dave Corcoran, St. orJndi at 304-462- be signed 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 ~ The long-standing policy of this newspaper has always been that if, in the i ssue 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 eight 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~ w In new If Gilmer County is to progress, and thereby become a nicer place to reside, we citizens must make a systematic, concerted effort to clean up our yards, businesses and neighbor- hoods of the debris that is collected and piled there over time. So often, motorists passing through our area may get the wrong impression of Gilmer County just because they may see some unsightly rubbish, trash or large eyesores in someone's front yard. Of late, the Gilmer County Economic Development Association has even made a big issue of this "image concern," consequently coordinating a gigantic effort to extend an invitation to the federal prison's employees to buy or build a home in our county and, then, to move here. One added benefit to them would be that they'd be closer to work, thus cutting down on the spiralling gasoline costs of commuting. Sadly, after seeing Gilmer County for the first time, most of the newcomers have chosen to live in the nearby big cities, such as Weston, Buckhannon, Bridgeport and Clarksburg. This has hurt our county by losing potential tax base and in curbing our governmental and school system's financial outlooks. As we -- the editors -- have emphasized in the past, one way to market Gilmer County is to stress that we have the "cleanliest county" in Central West Virginia and, then, to make it so. That's why we're enthusiastic about this weekend's impending Second Annual Metal & Appliance Clean-up Campaign. This mega-event gives our area's homeowners and business people, in particular, the ideal opportunity to rid their premises of many unsightly junk appliances and other forms of metal and related debris that has been collected over the course of this past year. So, please use this great chance to discard those unneeded metal items on your properties! This all happens from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thurs.-Sat., May 20-22 at the Drop Site behind the old Kinney Shoe Factory (Spenco) on SR 5 West at the Glenville city limits. The sponsoring Gilmer County Family Resource Network, under Executive Director Donna Waddell and many dedicated volunteers, personally invites the general public to bring in their metals and appliances to this Drop Site. Just remember these few simple rules: Bring steel items, such as empty appliances, air conditioners, empty refrigerators, car engines (no fluids), tin, empty gas tanks (limit three), and car batteries. Also accepted are window frames and storm doors (all glass removed), and wire fencing (without wood frames). Additionally, as to junk cars, their engines, gas tanks, tires, batteries and all fluids must be removed before bringin~ them to the- .~im Finally, the following items are prohibited and cannot be accepted during this specific clean-up: household trash, paint, plastic, glass, any liquids, televisions, propane tanks, paint cans, nails, furniture (including mattresses, couches and chairs), plastic dishwashers, plastic gas tanks arid computers. The organizers and many participating public agencies and private companies respect- fully ask that you to adhere to these above-noted rules and exclusions. For any other details, call Mrs. Waddell, at 304-462-7545. Hope to see you there this weekend! DHC, St'., Publisher-Editor Many of our local civic, women's and fraternal organizations lack the necessary number of members to keep achieving their goals. For example, just over one month ago, the Glenville Moose Lodge found itself without an adequate number of active members to fill the officers' complement and to keep the club's doors open. Sadly, some members thought that the relatively new lodge might be better off being closed due to this "lack of interest." Fortunately, that didn't happen because several good members stepped forward to assume leadership positions. Most impressively, the new leaders, with the help of each individual member, are turning that civic club around and are making it a real asset to this community. Nevertheless, all of our local clubs, including the Folk Festival Committee, Rotary, Lions, Historical Society, and Woman's Club, are hurting for members, not having enough active people to promote the laudable community improvements that have been sought over the years. As another detraction, this lack of participation by individual citizens has --- in many instances ---- crippled their personal opportunities for self-improvement -- a benefit that typically accrues to their memberships. Ironically, fewer people are joining and participating in these very civic-minded groups. Although 20 years ago these san)e organizations were booming with members, today the television and this age's easy life consume the lion's share of each citizen's time. To the contrary, we Gilmer Countians can't sit idly by and let these many worthwhile organizations die on the vine because of a "lack of interest." Why not demonstrate your interest in making Gilmer County abetter place to live, work and to be entertained? To achieve these beneficial goals, though, you'll have to share your personal talents with others via by participating in the non-profit organization of your choice in order to create that better county ideal. DHC Edge of IW Qeorgo IlmlXW DIRTY POLITICAL ADS -- GSC Art Professor Emedtus George Harper is already getting "fed up" with the current round of television and radio advertisements on the heating up presidential race. Recently, President George Bush has been attacking U.S. Senator John Kerry's congressional voting record in an attempt to cast doubts about the Massachusetts Democrat's leadership ability. On the other hand, when one watches the daily news and listens to the White House's rhetoric, Professor Harper wonders if the President, himself, has the ability to lead. The Professor adds, actions taken by our President are becoming 't ro, lbling' (to quote Bush's ad about Kerry). Isn't it time for some truth in advertising?" GH & DHC i