Newspaper Archive of
The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
September 26, 1975     The Glenville Democrat
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September 26, 1975

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! 2 The Glenviile Democrat/Pathfinder Septembes 26. 1975 O Y President Gerald Ford has proclaimed October 5-7 Newspaper Week. Over 200 years ago, the very ideas of individual liberties were first brought forth from the press. Since then, the Libertarian press has become a unique phenomenon in the world of mass communication, much of which is dominated by state-censored publications and films. But in the U.S., ideas of free expression were circulated through the press and brought to realization through the advocacy of the press. Our nation was barely formed when the press fought the restriction on liberty in the Alien and Sedition Act. Our country was approaching its 200th birthday when the press fought the subversion of our constitution which was called Watergate. From Thomas Paine's rousing pamphlets which fired up the revolutionary spirit to the country newspaper which today is "keeping the record straight," the American press has been both the promoter and the protector of individual freedom in our nation. All through the history of this nation the growth of freedom and the increase of human liberties has followed a pattern. Leaders and visionaries see a great need. They write and talk about it. Their ideas get circulated because there is free press and free speech. Their ideas convince more and more people until they become reality. Every advance in human betterment in our nation has followed this pattern. Of course, through the years much of the press was complacent and protective of ruling interests. It preferred not to rock the boat. But where individual freedom and liberty were fought for and protected, some unit of the press was there sustaining and inspiring that movement. During this Bicentennial year, it will be well for all of us to remember that the free discussion of public business is the pre-requisite of liberty. We must keep in mind that any limitation placed on the right of free expression of any person or group.., no matter how repugnant their cause may be... is an infringement the rights: of all of us. As we*can see by looking at other countries, these same ideas of individual freedom and betterment are stifled or snuffed out under less ideal conditions. It is the free exchange of ideas and criticisms in the United States which has made freedom grow - and it is the free press which has promoted and spread each idea of freedom and growth, Freedom of speech and the press have made us a free people. May we, as a nation, have the wisdom to recognize and perpetuate that truth. Electric utility rates here have nearly doubled in the past year despite the fact that Congress is providing huge federal tax refunds to companies like Monongahela Power Co. In addition, it has been learned that power companies in West Virginia owe between $2 million and $3 million in unpaid consumer sales taxes, according to recent State Tax Department assessments. In making the audits, the department took the position that the sales tax should have been paid on certain activities when it wasn't paid, and said the companies took improper exemptions. Yet, despite windfall profits for utility stockholders in the form of federal tax refunds plus failure to pay proper taxes, utility companies continue to bleed consumers. In a mind-boggling study released Saturday by the Environmental Action Foundation of Washington, D.C., entitled "Phantom Taxes in Your Electric Bill," it was learned that Appalachian Power Co. received a tax refund from the government of $2.7 million, while at the same time charging its customers $93,819 for federal income tax purposes. The report also listed Monongahe- la as charging $5 million in federal taxes to consumers while only paying $3.4 million in federal taxes. This leaves $1.6 million in federal taxes charged to consumers but not paid by the utility. Statewide, utility companies paid only 6.3 percent of their taxable income to the federal government last year. But the statutory corporate income tax rate is 48 percent. And under the new tax rate enacted earlier this year by Congress, it appears unlikely that the utility companies will pay any federal income taxes in the future, according to the report. The report's author, Richard Morgan, makes a plea for stronger utility surveillance by State public service commissions. "Unless the bv lim lacobs state commissions crack clown on tax overcharges," said Morgan, "in the next few years the power companies will be allowed to collect billions of dollars for taxes that will never be paid." On the state level, State Tax Commissioner Richard Daily said his department has assessed major electric utilities between $2 million and $3 million in consumer sales taxes that have not been paid since the late 1960's. The assessments were made as a result of audits conducted by the department from 1969 to 1974. Daily did not identify the utilities or the amounts of taxes each owes. But he said one electric utility was assessed almost $1 million, another was assessed $690,000 and a third was assessed $500,000. This new information should give ammunition to those legislators who are concerned over automatic utility company rate increases. It should certainly fuel distraught consumers to take a hard stance when deciding whether or not to press utility company officials and legislators for explanations of higher rates. Despite the revelations made in Morgan's study, Monongahela and Appalachian will probably come out of the scheduled assessment hearings smelling like roses. Here's a likely "scenario:" After the state tax assessments are sent to the utilities, they have 30 days to reply. If the utility disagrees with the tax assessment, which is usually the case, a hearing is held by a hearings examiner in the tax department. A tax department lawyer is assigned to the case. As the case proceeds, the utility company may successfully argue that the company's position on tax exemptions was proper. In such an instance, it is likely that the examiner would recommend a reduction in the over-all tax assessment. So, fair warning to all you electric utility bill and tax payers: dig deep into your wallet or convert to wood. Barbara Williams I think we've been through a couple Extension office! Two weeks ago, of course, was the Farm always enioyable. Last Sunday afternoon a converged upon Nelson Garretrs property workout with feeder calves before going to next day. It must have helped, because we all! Out of 65 calves from Gilmer County, fancy category {for you non-cattle folks, that's crop.) Larry Butcher. from Cox's Mill championship in the Charolais class for hiJ Burkhammer now sports a new chrome winning the junior showmanship title. Ilia second in FFA showmanship. We had lots of other firsts and seconds. I~ with the judge, he mentioned that Gilmer home a disproportionate number of the accuse him of prejudice, because he didn't later. As usual. I had a delightful week {albeit flaunted my superior knowledge of livestock of you who are none-too-familiar with my THAT was sarcasm! I do think, though, that the men in our possibilities in the field of hairdressing, should to give up farming. After all-they wash. comb. and trim those calves to hide the faults and points, and that's what it's all about, huh 6ilmer Couty CaleJdw Wednesday, September 24 - W.Va. State F~1 at City Hall, 7:30 P.M. Wednesday, September 24 - Glenville business meeting, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. Building. Thursday, September 25 - Gihner County. Health Dept. Thursday, September 25 - Stuffer dish dinner, Hail, 6 p.m. Dr. Ron "Avoidins cemmmer ripoffs" September 25-27 - Eighth Arnoldsburs, Rt. 119. Friday, September 26 - ~ County ILS, 1:30 P.M. Against September 26 - GUmer Cmmty p.m. at Conrad lh~staurant. Saturday, September 27 - GSC football P.M. against Salem. Monday, September 26 - C_d]mer CmmtY Club meeting. City HalL 7 p.m. All Saturday, October 4 - 1~ Jec]b~ l)~ County Recreation Center; U.S. Sen. speaker., by Democrat Cdlmer Co. Democrat Womu's Club. The scales of justice were balanced last Friday, September 19 when ex-State Treasurer John H. Kelly and former Assistant Treasurer Joseph F. RyKoskey were sentenced to prison terms. There has to be some deterrent for those in public office.., Jail time gets that message across," said U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Young before sentencing 'Kelly and RyKoskey. The two were convicted for accepting illegal kickbacks from two Huntington bankers Bernard C. McGinnis Jr. and Theodore J.S. Caldwell. The bankers who showered Kelly and RyKoskey with cash gifts and expense-paid vacations, were both given three-year suspended sentences and $5,000 fines. In addition, both bankers were ordered tO seek immediate employment with a charitable organization for a two-year period. All too often, persons with political and financial clout have escaped prison punishment while less influential criminals are locked behind bars. It is also fitting that Judge Young made the bankers' punishment fit their crime. PuIMishecl Every Thursdm/ By GILMER COUNTY PUBLISHING, INC. At 10e E. Main St. Glemllle, WV 28381 Phone 462-730$ 8ec~nd-CIm potage paid at Glenvitle end at additional mailing offices Sutmcdpti~ prioe ~.00 IdUS 115 cents ~dm tax in Gilmer County, other West Virginia rmidents t6.o0 plus 17 cents t~, Out of m m~moripttom *SO0. Can not mmpt mbscdptiom for Im thin S momhs. JIM JACOI~ ................................... EDITOR JOAN LAYNE ................. CIRCULATION MANAGER |,, , i i I Ill Illll By CJmmmcey N. Ikewmiq Jr. Attorney The rip-off d the the public by transient home improvement "ex- perts" continues to be a plague on West Virginia consumers. Every day my office's Consumer Protection Divison {CPD) receives complaints from individuals who have been "taken" by some fly-by-night operator-and, regretfully, there is little the division can do in many cases to recover money handed out for work never fully completed or work that turns out to be unsatisfactory. T~e home improvement "experts," are quite adept at spotting peeling paint, leaking gutters, roofing pro- blems and other signs of needed repair. An offer to perform such work at a "special bargain" price is often hard to turn down. especially since established contractors are not always available on short notice. In the first intance, if you don't need what the salesman has to sell. don't let him in. Most home solicitation salesmen are extremely clever talkers; and once they have an opening. chances are they are going to make a sale. Secondly, if a contract is involved, it should only be signed and dated in your handwriting. This is particularly important because you have three business days from the date the contract is signed to cancel it in writing. The contract also must contain the notice of the right to cancel. However. I must emphasize that the right to cancel is only mandatory in credit transactions-door-to-door con- tracts which contain Finance charges or which permit installment payments. A consumer does not have the right to cancel such a contract if he pays cash. Normally. the "specialist" requires a substantial down payment to purchase materials, performs part of the promised work and then asks for the final payment, saying he will return the next day to Finish up. As you can imagine, that's usually the last time the homeowner ever sees the individual. The best advice I can offer to offset such situations is to suggest you ask for local references and decline to make any payment until all work is completed and meets your satisfaction. Other kinds of home solicitation sales-magazines, kitchen utensils. household products-also, can Lead to unhappy results. The majority of such sales are legitimate and are opened in a fair manner, but there are some routine guidelines everyone should follow in these transactions. Our new consumer protection statutes provide that if a contract is canceled within the required time. the seller has ten days to make reimburse- ment. Therefore. it is of major importance that you retain a copy of the contract and have the name and address of the salesman and the company he represents Most consumers are either unaware of their cancellation rights under certain home solicitation contracts or they simply are too timid about exercising that right, bellying it would become too involved. If you have experienced one of these "'problems," and have made an effort to get it resolved, as suggested above, and you will still fel you have been treated unfairly, contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of' the Attorney General. Charleston. By U.8. Senstor Much has been made of disastrous. the fact that America is a million w-as nation that was carved devalued out of the wilderness; con- to versely, too little has ~veen inal worth- said about how our nation dependence began in the depths of fi- there was nancial ruin. continental The Revolutionary War, culation which gave birth to the not worth United States, left the new printed on. nation and its citizens vir- SecondlY, tually penniless. England True, using the fixed strietive standard of the value of which gold. the war cost the olution in colonies only $104 million. In 1699. But that was a huge sum hibited ti~ in the 18th Century, and exporting was not easily raised. Aid pr~ from France and Spain per to amounted to just 10 per- world. cent of the total; and spe- cial war taxes levied on Empire the colonies accounted for anything only five percent, banned Most of the funds were textile raised through eontribu- new tions from landowners and the merchants who favored in- workers dependence __ men who States. staked their lives and for- So tunes on the rightness of that. t h e i r cause. Yet, even setts' though they were on the times side which prevailed, c~m- they tributors to the revolution, other like practically all Ameri- But cans. had to start anew from when the United States status gained freedom, now en, There were two main standard rea~ms for America's ira- h i s t o r '. t~werished Ix-ginnings. First. lhe Continental ber that (hHlgl'~.~S issued t(~) milch of the 0 lmixw r~mey during the pr~,-sivc war, and the results were taming t~f