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October 17, 2013     The Glenville Democrat
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October 17, 2013
 

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Thurs., Oct. 17, 2013 -- Page 3 O0 Addresses; possible chicanery in State Government; area tidbits & more First, and before relating about the latest State Government alleged chicanery, the e- mail, phone numbers and some mailing ad- dresses are noted in this column for citizen action, if you've been reading the crux of my editorials for the past two weeks. Addition- ally, this contact information makes it easier for you to let our federal government repre- sentatives know YOUR mind about this gov- ernment shutdown and the jeopardy being placed on our nation's credit rating. Most importantly, let us citizens speak to our elected officials or their agents to let them know of our disapproval of these on-going political shenanigans that place our nation's federal employees, structures, buildings, parks and credit rating at-risk. Hence, to contact U.S. Congressman David McKinley (R-lst Dist.), check on his internet website at: http://mckinley.house.gov His Washington phone is 202-225-4172. Mr. McKinley's Parkersburg Office is in the Federal Building, 425 Juliana Street, 26101 (Phone: 304-422-5872. Also, to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D- WV), who is waffling on these crucial issues, let's tell him to stand up for "common sense" and to do what's necessary to bring an end to this gridlock. Senator Manchin's WV Office in Charles- ton is at 300 Virginia St. East (25301); Phone: 304-342-5855. Sara Payne is head of that office. The Senator, himself, can be e-mailed at his Washington, D.C.U.S. Senate office at: common_sense@manchin.senate.gov Joe says, "common_sense," well, let's prac- tice it, Senator! These are our main Gilmer County players at the National Capitol. Neither Senator Jay Rockefeller nor Representative Shelley Moore Capito's phone numbers were imme- diately available to us. Although, comments to any member of Congress anywhere would be helpful to end this gridlock, for our local federal employees are working without pay; hence, they are having a rough time making ends meet right The Corcoran Column now. Nevertheless, we editors do commend them for staying at their stations in case of a regional emergency or natural disaster. Is it "towering" graft? The West Virginia State Auditor's Office is currently investigating the awarding of fed- eral stimulus monies for a contract to erect 17 broadband transmission towers throughout the state. The towers' purpose is to provide emer- gency services' communications throughout the state. The job for the $38 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program was given to Premier Construction, of Jane Lew in Lewis County, according to a 41-page audit. Nevertheless, no contract was signed, the pre-bid meeting with two other bidders was faulty and other unrelated side jobs were tacked onto the project.during the bidding process, the audit noted. In other words, the goals of the multimillion dollar tower con- struction project were a "moving target," thereby making it difficult to get qualified bidders. According to last week's Weston Democrat, Lewis County is at the center of the possible fraud allegations, because, among other rea- sons, Joe Gonzalez, the State's Communi- cations Director, is a resident of Jane Lew, the headquarters of the low bidder. Also, one of the towers, which was underwritten by a $307,347 grant applied for by the Lewis County Commission, is located at Roanoke, so the page one article in the Oct. 9, 2013 edition of The Weston Democrat states. All in all, the projects, we take it, haven't been completed in a timely or professional manner, thereby leading to the state Auditor Office's audit. The other major player in this questionable and "alleged bid rigging deal is the state's Homeland Security Director Jimmy Joe Gianato (pronounced "Jen-Net"), who was originally a then Governor Joe Manchin appointee and a Governor Earl Ray Tomb- lin holdover. Two things I know about him: 1.) He's from McDowell County; and 2.) He advocated the towers in Legislative Broadband Commit- tee sessions. 1.) Surprise struck me some years back when learning that Jimmy Joe had been ap- pointed to a top state post by Mr. Manchin. In McDowell County, he had worked for years as a sort of Mr. Gianato's "man Friday." Mr. Gianato owned the largest auto dealership in Welch at the time. Jimmy Joe was somehow related to the owner, and essentially did his bidding, i.e.. driving cars around the lot and county, taking them to the buyers, running errands, etc. I don't think he was a salesman, because his communications skills seemed to be lacking. Moreover, when talking to him, many people think it's like conversing with a brick wall without all the bricks being in place. For example, during our county's latest big flood when Mr. Manchin and Jimmy Joe flew into Glenville to assess the damage, the gov- ernor told him to help out the locals here, because, at the time, flooding traditionally came in regular 2-to:3 year cycles. Neverthe- less, I haven't heard anything from Jimmy Joe about any proposed flood control initiatives for this area since then. Don't get me wrong: Jimmy Joe's a nice guy, a good o1' boy and well connected, politi- cally speaking-- facts no doubt leading to his appointments to top salaried state jobs. You readers, I believe, get the picture. 2.) At the legislative hearing on extending broadband throughout the state, Jimmy Joe advocated the building of these 17 towers everywhere. Others did too, probably more eloquently. At least, strong enough to get the legislators and goyernor to buy into the pro- Continued on page 5 Federal Government's By the Honorable Brent Boggs. State Delegate & House Finance Chairman I feel compelled to vent this week in light of the ongoing federal government shutdown and looming default on our nation's debts later this week. As Congress -- our federal legislative branch of government --is charged with the power of the purse, it is beyond time to put aside partisan bickering and do the right thing for our na- tion. Reports regarding the lack of services to veterans and benefits delayed to the families of deceased military personnel killed in ac- tion sent this from an HON. BRENT embarrassment to an BOGGS outrage. If this dysfunc- tional action extends beyond this week, the likelihood of causing economic harm to every American is magni- fied greatly. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the crisis may have been resolved. Let's hope that some leaders will step up to the plate, stop "kicking the can" down the road, and put service ahead of partisan political one-upmanship. Early this week, I will be in Biloxi, Missis- sippi to attend the Southern States Energy Board meeting. From the Senate, Senator Facemire and Senator Kirkendoll will also be in attendance. The meeting is both important and timely, as the 16 states that comprise the board work jointly to influence energy poli- cies, funding and innovative technological advances to make the best use of our energy resources for today and tomorrow. Restoring a balanced energy policy is needed. Problem: Coal Severance's decline With the domestic coal market declining and coal exports keeping the mining industryI legislative breakdown & state's Interim Sessions afloat in portions of West Virginia, our coal 2:0o PM Judiciary Subcommittee B, Senate Judiciary severance revenueis runningbelow estimates. 3:00 PM Select Committee on Outcomes-Based Fund- As a result, our state revenue collections are ing Models ifiHigher Education, House Judi- running about $30 million beloiv estimatedciary collections thus far in the 2014 fiscal year. 4:00 PM Government Organization Subcommittee B, - Gas production is up and helping, but gas House Gov. Org. severance tax revenue is not anywhere near 4:00 PM Legislative Oversight Commission on Health what coal severance generates. Should thisand Human Resources Accountability, Sen- trend continue through the end of the calendar ate Finance year, the possibility of midyear budget cuts is 5:00 PM Government iDrganizatiou Subcommittee C, one option on the table for the Governor. House Gov. Org. October's Interim Mtgs. 5:00 PM Legislative Oversight Commission on Work- force Investment for Economic Development, Finally, interim legislative meetings are Senate Judiciary Scheduled for October 21 - 23 at the Capitol. 6:00 PM. Labor and WorkerSafetyIssues, Senate Judi- Below is the schedule for the upcoming meet- ciary ings: 6:00 PMParks, Recreation & Natural Resources Com- Monday, October 21, 2013 mittee House Gov. Org. 9:00 AM Joint Standing Committee on Finance, House Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Chamber (the last notatioll on each line is 9:00 AMEducation Subcommittee A - Public Educa- where that specific committee meeting will be tion, House Judiciary held at the State Capitol) 9:00 AMJoint Committee on.Government Operations, 9:00 AM Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary, House Chamber House Gov. Org. 9:00 AMJoint Standing Committee on Government 10:00 AM LegislativeOversightCommit{eeonRegional Org., House Chamber Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, Sen- 10:00 AM Employee Suggestion Award Board, Room ate Finance W-330 10:00 AM SeleetCommitteeonVeterans' Affairs, House 10:00 AM Joint Commission on Economic Develop- Gov. Org. ment, House Gov. Org. 11 :IX) AM Education Subcommittee C - Audit Issues, 10:00 AM Select Committee on PEIA, Seniors & Long House Judiciary Term Care, Senate Finance I 1:00 AM Finance Subcommittee C, House Finance 12:00 PM Joint Committee on Children and Families, 11:00 AM Government Organization Subcommittee A, House Gov. Org. Senate Judiciary 1:00 PMLabor and Worker Safety Issues, Senate Judi- 12:00 PM Forest Management Review Commission, ciary House Gov. Org. 1:00 PMPost Audits Subcommittee, Senate Finance 12:00 PM Joint Standing Committee on Pensions and 2:00 PMSelect Committee on Infrastructure, Senate Retirement, House Judiciary Judiciary 1:00 PMCommission on Special Investigations, Sen- 2:00 PMLegislative Rule-Making Review Commit- ate Finance tee, Senate Finance 1:00 PMJoint Committee on Technology, House Fi- 3:00 PMCommissiononlnterstateCooperation, House nance Finance 1:00 PMLegislativeOversightCommissiononEduca- 3:00 PMLegislative Intern Committee, House Judi- tion Accountability, House Judiciary ciary l:00 PM Select Committee on Minority Issues, Senate 4:00 PMFinance Subcommittee A, Senate Finance Judiciary 4:00 PMJointLegislativeOversightCommissionState 2:00 PMEducation Subcommittee B - Higher Educa- Continued on page 5 tion, House Judiciary Dolly Parton's 'Free Book' project afive, due to local generosity Dear Editor, to expand into the remaining counties in the children, whether the grants or funding come Gilmer County and its citizens deserve a coming years, or go. Because of caring citizens and organi- big commendation. During 2012, over 150 children in Gilmer zations, our children are, once again, receiv- OnbehalfoftheyoungerchildrenofGilmer County registered for the program and began ing their books every month. County, we extend our heartfelt appreciation receiving books on a monthly basis. In No- We are the only county in West Virginia for your generous support of the "Dolly Par- vember, our Library received a letter stating that has stepped up and paid for this program ton Imagination Library" program. This book that funding would no longer be provided for out of our own pockets. It just shows what the program is TOTALLY FREE to participating Gilmer County. TheWVlegislature cancelled people of Gilmer County can do when there is children. Each enrolled child receives a high funding for over 24 counties in November of a real need and the cause is just. quality, age-appropriate book each month 2012 (right after the election). In January, the It costs only $25.00 per child for an entire until their 5th birthday, children received a post card, saying "Sorry, year. We are well on the way to making this a The West Virginia Department of Educa- no more books." permanent program for our young Gilmer tion and the Arts began replicating singer TheBoardofTrusteesfortheGilmerPublic Countychildren.Ifyoucandonateanythingat Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, Library believesso strongly in the importance all, please come by the Library, call one ofour www.imaginationlibrary.com, in selected of this program that they formed a fund- staff at 304-462-5620, or simply click on the counties throughout the State of West Vir- raising committee to find the money to con- donate button on the Gilmer Public Library ginia during 2012. With funding provided by tinue the Dolly Parton Imagination Library home page, (please visit our web site to learn the West Virginia Legislature, there were 36 books for our children, about what we, in Gilmer County, offer) at West Virginia counties participating in the We are striving to continue this program, www.gilmerpublib.org Imagination Library program. The goal was which is so important to the future of our Again, thank you so much and bless you for your generosity. I .'Robin Spencer, Pres., ". Board of Trustees now Susan Atkinson, Library Director, Walnut Street, GlenviUe, WV26351 l- 000 is it After another week of "gridlock" on ending the federal government's shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, the boys and girls, who we voters elected to Congress, are still acting like spoiled kids and dragging their feet in getting the country moving again. Indeed, at what cost to this nation and its people will it take to motivate the Congress to unite and to pass a "clean continuing resolution and debt limit increase" to keep the country's post- recessionary economy moving forward? Worst case scenarios: Would it take irate federal government workers to walk off their jobs to get the Congress to act? Or, would it take a downgrading of the country's international credit and creditability to do it? Finally, and the least desirable, would it take the reigniting of the old recession to bum the Congress into voting for a clean continuing resolution and debt limit increase through the legislative branch that the president will sign? On these issues, President Barack Obama is standing on the high ground, as the Congress continues to flounder with its endless debates, strident speeches, do-nothing conversations, irrational proposals, and flawed compromises while the nation suffers. The president is quite right that a "clean" measure needs to be passed NOW, and without re- debating the Affordable Health Care Act, which, if debate was allowed on it, the Congress could argue the related issues to death, without passing the continuing resolution and debt limit hike. Hence, and in addition, the bill to start-up government would be further delayed, with government employees having to wait even longer for another bill to restart their operations and to get their justly earned back pay. Truly, the government shutdown will eventually hurt us all, even affecting us in central West Virginia. For example, the federal prison's payroll is approximately $48 million annually, so if the employees aren't getting their pay, they can't spend locally or regionally. That, in turn, hurts our area's economy. Also, with the Bulltown Campground being shut down prematurely this season and the campers being told to "get out," that hurts, too! Add in the cancellation of the Battle of Bulltown's annual October reenactment with its hundreds of participants from both near and far away, this development also diminishes area tourism, thereby reducing the revenues that area businesses have come to depend upon for each autumn's economic cycle. Hence, we editors propound that all of this congressional tomfoolery is just no darn good! To the contrary, our U.S. Congressman David McKinley (R= 1 st Dist.) thinks the opposite, arguing that the Congress has to "make a stand" in order to force the president to negotiate away several sections of the Affordable Care Act, before the continuing resolution and debt ceiling limit can be passed. He and his fellow Republicans so far have been successful in holding government and the nation hostage, relative to these issues. The House Republicans don't want to pass a "clean" bill, because they contend the president and the Democrats in Congress won't negotiate on any of the entitlement programs. This is just plain hogwash! Of course, since the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives want to debate the healthcare act, once again, they can do so in their House and Senate Committees, as well as on the floor of those two bodies -- they've made their point, and we editors believe that the president will respect their request. Nevertheless, he won't budge on the necessity of getting the clean bill passed, and he shouldn't. Time is of the essence, both regarding paying the government's bills and increasing the debt ceiling. CongressmJn McKinley wants to "make a stand" on this issue, but he and his Tea Party Republican friends may just be creating their own modem "Custer's Last Stand" when it comes to their next reelection campaigns. Like President Obama, we editors urge Congressman McKinley and all of his cohorts, including Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-2nd Dist.), to pass a clean bill for the continuing resolution and debt limit increase. Then, the entitlement program reforms, including.that of the Affordable Health Care Act, can be discussed and reasonable adjustments be made. The foundation of this nation's federal gov'emment is based on a legislature where reasonable debate occurs, sound decisions ate made and compromises are ironed out. Unfortunately, in this current gridlock on Capitol Hill, these time-honored principles of legislative tradition are not being practiced -- a condition that would make Washington, Jefferson, Madison and out other Founders turn over in their graves. David H. Coreoran, Sr., Publisher-St. Editor J Thanks, Christopher, for discovering America that became the 'Land of the Free; On Monday, we Americans celebrated "Columbus Day" in memory of the Faithful Navigator who discovered America. In 1492, this Italian sea captain, who was working for the Spanish royal family, set out into the unknown Atlantic Ocean, where no man or woman had ever gone before. At the time, most of the ignorant world believed that the earth was fiat; hence, any ship would just fall off its outer boundary, thereby killing its captain and crew. Thebrave and adventurous Columbus, however, proved them all wrong when he landed in the West Indies and stepped down on American soil. Of course, he found Native Americans already here, so they were the original Americans. Yet, he opened a whole new world for the European nations to flock to, colonize and develop. That's why most of us current Americans ended up here. Our ancestors had the vision, courage and resourcefulness to move away from totalitarian or repressive governments and to come to this "Land of the Free." A historical lesson: Let's always keep it that way -- free! DHC, St. H0STAGE e of the CONGP ES$ by George Harper (!I,,~E_..gT Till9 tglTTER TEI~ AND E.-E. WI41~T (T":g DOING TO T!4E. o_..OUNTRY'P)