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The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
October 28, 2004     The Glenville Democrat
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October 28, 2004

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GCEDA ntributions bers! ;tate ,ard nominations vhy he nomi- plained how h the Young the state. He ad more than arbro said, "I ited...This is them to have his praise of tt he needs to Jrman of the :ock enough. hat Hancock n couldn't be vith Hancock ; of the West ~enator John 3t his flyers s and got the I believe he :hosen at the has done an Secretary of i!! ii i!iiiiiiii iii!!!!! I Why Alan Wolfe should be proud to support our schools! if we didn't know Alan Wolfe better, and based on his past two "Letters to the Editor" about Gilmer County High School, we'd think that this once master of logic and current master wine-maker had been drinking too much of his award-winning Chambourcin Rose or Seyval at his Jones Cabin Run vine- yard and winery. I like his wine, too, but it's not a good practice when an individual is trying to write logically and effectively. If I drink it, I fall asleep at the computer, like he must have done when writing his two letters to this newspa- per. Two years ago, his comments about educa- tion on these newspaper pages were so widely read, and apparently believed, that be and his followers defeated the Board of Education's Special Excess Funding Levy. Since he is possibly calling into action the same anti- education forces to defeat the current School Levy's continuation in next Tues., Nov. 2nd's General Election, I had better bring his recent charges to your attention and dispel these contentions as untrue, frivolous, and prepos- terous. Torecap the good Mr. Wolfe's thoughts and line of reasoning as he advanced in the Oct. 14, 2004 edition, Chimer County students, who attend West Virginia colleges, perform "the worst" in the state, academically. Indeed, he maintains that most need remedial classes in college in order to he br6ught up to average. Basing his judgment solely on a Public Radio report and a statistical analysis of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Com- mission (HEPC), he pro.pounds, "Because Gilmer County had the worst performance of The Corcoran Column By David H. Corcoran Pul~-E~or all West Virginia counties, with fully 85 per- cent of high school graduates unable to per- form at the college level without remedial education, mostly in English and math, in a state that ranks 49th of 50 in terms of quality of education, that makes the Gilmer County school system among the very worst in the entire United States, at least by this measure." Continuing in his words, "The report is not the rabid raving of the lunatic left or the radical right. It is factual information and as close to the truth as anyone is likely to find in this world ... When 85 percent of high school graduates that go on to college cannot perform college level work without remedial educa- tion, every member of the school system must hear responsibility. Other counties working under the same system and with the same rules, have done much better. If the problem is not the system, it's the people in the system." As a result, he condemns Gilmer County's administrators and teachers, particularly those at the high school, by saying, "You are not doing a good job!" In another letter, he recounts that new Gilmer Superintendent of Schools, Ed Toman, vhoned him to explain an error in the HEPC facts. Mr. Wolfe disregarded his answer by stating that if Gilmer County High School wasn't'the worst in the nation, it was, at least, among the worst. Alan's data, he notes, are available on-line at www.hepc, wvnet, edu under HEPC's report, "Performance of High School Students En- rolled in Public Colleges and Universities (in W. Va.), Fall 2003." I, too, got a call from a local educator about Mr. Wolfe's letter. Dr. Kathy Butler, Glen- ville State College's civic-minded academic vice-president, wanted to explain the misin- formation to me. Unlike Alan, I listened to her explanations, and I am writing this column '&ith the report laying before me. I wonder if good friend, Alan, actually read it before flying off the handle in writing his letters? First of all, HEPC, meaning West V irginia's "Higher Education Policy Commission" is headed by Chancellor J. Michael Mullen, not a friend of GSC. (Haven't I commented on his agency's ineptitude, insensitivity and negativ- ity before? Back to that, later!) Secondly, lefs just look at the "85 percent" figure cited for Gilmer County High School graduates needing remedial classes in their freshman year of college. This figure should jump out at anyone who is truly scrutinizing this report, because it is 17 percentage points above the second "worst" county, Summers, and 21 above the third worst, McDowell, both of them being located in the depression-rid- den southern coalfields. An update: "the McDowell County schools have been taken Continued on page 5A Musings of an old-timer --- 't 'State t By Frances Myers Schme~r, Giem~le Columnist At one time, I could name the state colleges in West Virginia. I competed in high school typing contests at New River State College in Montgomery and went to a graduation at Morris Harvey in Charleston. Becldey College was private when I got to know a teacher there in 1992. She told me that they had three new presidents in four yews. Then West Virginia bought it - and changed the name. I can't tell which it is on any list of state colleges. Institute got a new name, as did the three colleges named in the first paragraph. I no longer can match them all up. Eventually, I learned-that New River had become West Virginia Tech. But which one is West Vir- ginia State College? Beckley or Institute? And what can be the name of the other one? I soon stopped having trouble with Morris Harvey; the University of Charleston gives us the city in which it is located. Now there is a new one in the eastern panhandle that I can't name and the New River name has been attached to several community colleges. I don't know how many. Back when West Virginia Tech was New River State College, it had a special place in my heart. Miss Fit Riddle took typing stu- dents there to statewide high school contests. Madelyn Conrad and I won second place medals as a fn~t-year team in 1937. Agnes Wright and Marjorie Bush, Glenville's see- end-year team, placed fifth. The following year I received second place as an individual. Madelyn and I, by then, were second-year students, placing fourth as a team. The first- year students in 1938 were Oma Heckert and Enid Given. Both years I visited with one of the profes- sors in Montgomery. Years ago he had taught with my dad at Penn State. Our family and Dr. Spangler's family went together on a camping trip to Canada in 1929. That school has now lost its identity for me. Of three schools, I can come up with only two names. And I don't know which one I am leaving out! I understand the reasoning be- hind changes in academies - but couldn't the . names ~ more meaningful? i' Dearr F.d/tor, I felt compelled to write in response to the recent "eowtoon in your paper depicting a gun shop displaying automatic weapons for sale .and encouraging hunters to increase their "kill- mg power" this season. I would t'h-st like to say that the weapons ban that was not renewed did not make it legal for our local gun shops to sell automatic weal>- 21 paper is ons. Furthermore, it is, and always has been, unlawful to hunt with an automatic weapon. You go on to call automatic weapons "weap- ons of mass destruction," owing to the ghastly schoolhouse death crimes and to terrorists looking for ways to kill Americans: The facts are that there has never been anyone killed in a school shooting by an automatic weapon, nor has there ever been an American in t America killed by a terrorist with an auto- matic weapon. The printing of this "cowtoon" reminds me of the stories that I have read in your paper about how the Republicans bash the Demo- crats by missing facts, and shooting off their mouths without knowing the facts. Van R. Ramsey, Glem4Jle McKinney in Dear Editor, A point of correction regarding the Democrat's reporting of the GlenviUe State College homecoming parade. Professor John McKinney is the GSC music instructor re- sponsible for the formation of, and develop- ment of, the GSC Percussion Ensemble. Pro- fessor McKinney is, obviously, the force be- hind the fine success of this group, not I. Harry Rh:h, GlenvUle ( Editor's Note: We editors apologize to Pro- fessors Rich and McKinney for getting that fact wrong. Of course, having attended the Percussion Ensemble Annual Concert for many years, we knew that it was Professor McKinney's baby. But, in the rush to get out last week's GSC Homecoming Parade pic- tures into print, we goofed. Thanks for bring- ing this error to our attention. DHC, Sr.) enator Kerry's gun vote is DearS, Just to set the record straight, I am writing in response to the NRA ad in the September 30 Glenville Democrat which stated: "John Kerry voted to allow big city politicians to sue the American firearms industry and hold legiti- mate firearms manufacturers and dealers re- sponsible for the acts of criminals." This ad is misleading because Kerry's vote was against a bill that would have "protected gun manufacturers from lawsuits." The bill was defeated in an overwhelming 90-8 vote. Larry Graig, a Republican Senator and NRA board member, who wrote the bill said that it "Should not pass." Even the original support- ers of the bill voted against it, after other measures such as the renewal of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and the "closing the Y g Dem loophole that allows the purchase of guns at gun shows without a background cheek" were added. The information in this letter was obtained from the March 3, 2004 article titled, "Senate kills protecting gun makers." Morgan Ames, Pres, of GCHS Young Democrats Club 's A couple days ago, Ed Toman, the new Gilmer County Superintendent of Schools, 'phoned to advise me that the information l .~te~l. in_my Letter to the Editor that appeared October 14th edition of The Glenville Democrat was inc, on'~L The correct percent- age of Gilmer County High School graduates f who went on tO college or university and who required remedial education was nearer 47 percent, he said, not the 85 percent repurted by the WVHEPC. I verified Mr. Tornan's information with the WVHEPC, and he is right. The correct num- ber is approximately 47 percent. According to an e-mail from the WVHEPC to myself, "the Mr. Toman remediation rate computed for your high school and county was based on information submitted to us from the colleges. It has been discovered that Glenville (Glenville State College) erroneously classified several of their Continued on page 5A Attention Readers: Our 'Letters to the Editor' Policy us We are in ~ of more letters to the editor. Feel free to send them in to .; us~ remember onr policy on the letters, ~ have long been the sounding boards for political, r--=-,.~.., . m,u. ~.ouc views and this paper is no exception! Kelauve to Wrltl -- . . w .............. ng responses, please keep m wand our Editorial Pohcy: = wm ~ mm~rs on a space ava//ab/e bas/s only and they will be subject t~nee~esE~s.'~s ~m. tiny as to content relative to libel, good taste and pages, spaced. The deciston of the Senior Editor will he final. Letters must be signed in order to be published - e-mailed letters must include a phone number where your identity can be verifie, but you may still be required to sign the letter via snail mail. Deadlines for letters are Mondays at 10 a.m. for that week's paper. After 10 a.m., they can be 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 he 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, contact either Dave Corcoran, Sr., Charlene or Rebecca at 304-462-7309. ~ Last Issue Before Election: News, Letters, & Ads ~ anot eri . ionrgi policy.of newspaper has always been that if, in the issue before an election, one candidate or citizen makes allegations about c~moma tssne, mat the other party be gtven the nght of rebuttal. Re.aders 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. j Our Endorsements -- don't forget to vote on this next Tues., Nov. 2 In the finest tradition of American journalism --- a practice that is slowly vanishing among many of our spineless and dollar-conscious newspaper industry brothers, The Glenville Democrat and Glenville Pathfinder proudly announce their endorsements for next Tues., Nov. 2nd's General Election. To back off from this leadership responsibility would be an unconscionable omission by us to the people of Oilmer County, the region and our readers elsewhere. You -- as responsible voters and citizens --- need to see a second set of picks in print, so that you can compare and contrast tl~m to your own preferences and, perhaps, to challenge your own beliefs. As in the past, we editors cannot recommend a "Straight Party" vote that you'll see at the top of the ballot, which, co-incidentially, is reprinted by our County's Circuit Clerk Lane Smith in this edition on pages 4- 5 of Section B. Both parties have some strong and weak candidates, so an office-by-office analysis is called for here. It will neither please any political party's faithful nor the special interest groups (PACs) which have informed, cajoled, entreated and, even. threatened us during the course of this election campaign. Truly, our endorsements can't be bought, except by an incumhenfs incontrovertibly record of providing good government or a challenger's promise of practicing good government for the common people, if elected. National Ticket For President -- John F. Kerry, Democrat, will offer much improved leadership, vision, enthusiasm and follow- through for this nation than has George W. Bush, Republican, over the past four years. Democratic presidents have traditionally stood up f~ the middle class and poor which is about 90 percent (and climbing) of the American population, while the Republican presidents, like Mr. Bush, have benefited the nation's most wealthy, especially Big Oil. And, to vote for any Third Party candidate, like the aging and delusioned Ralph Nader, is a "lost cause;" don't throw away your vote this election, for it's significant. U. S. House of Representatives (lst Co--hal Dist.) --- Alan B. Molloban, Dem., is distinctly preferable to his opponent, Alan Lee Parks, who didn't even bother to campaign for the post to any appreciable degree. Mr. Mollohan, whose mother is a CAenville native, has been good to this area, Glenville State College and the county's Historical Society and Public Service District. State Ticket For Governor -- Joe Manehln, HI, Dem., the current Secretary of State, is our choice over untested and testy Monty Warner, Rep., and hapless Jesse Johnson, Mountain Party (whatever that is). Secretary of State -- Betty Ireland, Republican, is a newcomer to politics, a Charleston businesswoman and young enough to live out a four-year term in the service to all West Virginians in contrast to the venerable, yet feeble Ken Hechler, Dem. State Auditor-- Lisa Thornburg, Republican, a Cabeli County leader, will make a good change from Glen B. Gainer, lII, Dem., who apparently doesn't feel that he needs to campaign too hard among West Virginia's people, since the post has been occupied by his father and grandfather before him. State Treasurer -- John Perdue, Dem., the incumbent, has done a splendid, even dynamic job, so a good term deserves another. Mr. Perdue has widely publicized, via his "Gold Rush" circulars to the state's newspapers, the fact that man y citizens have lost track of their money, so he's encouraging them to find it. His opponent, whom we editors do not know, is Bob Adams, Rep., of Shenandoah Junction (wherever that is). Commissioner of Agriculture -- Gus IL Douglass, Dern., the incumbent, is preferred to unknown Andrew Yost, Rep. Mr. Douglass has kept the state's agricultural community up-to-date on new ideas and fanning techniques, not to mention being a strong advocate of this state's agrarian industry in the nationwide arena. Attorney General -- Hiram Lewis, IV, Republican, is a political newcomer, an up-and-coming Morgantown attorney and youthful Iraq War veteran. Although he doesn't have the experience of curreat ARmney General Darrell McGraw, Mr. Lewis does have a burning desire to serve the people of his state in some capacity, attorney general being his preference now. Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals -- Warren R. McGraw, Dem., the incumbent, is vastly superior to his opponent, Brent D. Benjamin, Rep., who has depended solely on a large, negative and even vicious attack electioneering funded by Big Business interests. Mr. McGraw, both in the State Senate and Supreme Court, has a solid record of standing by the little people who don't have a voice in governmental or legal affairs. In fact, we editors believe that the Benjamin campaign strategy is an insult to the intelligence of all Wesf Virginians --- no one can buy a jndicial office like this Republican is trying to do through his coal company and National Chamber of Commerce contributors. State Senator -- Bill Sharpe, Dent., the incumbent, is tried and true to this area. He's an effective State Senate leader, a strong backer of Glenviile State College and a legislator who gets things done for Gilmer County and Central West Virginia. His opponents, Stephen L. Weaver, Rep. and John M. Williams, Mountain Party, didn't even care enough for us to publicize their platforms in Gilmer County, to our knowledge. Members of the House of l)elegat~ -- 33rd Delegate D~t Willtam F. "BIH" Stemple, Dem., the incumbent, has been chair of the House's important Agriculture Committee, is a friend of Glenville State College and supports the area economy's backbone, the Oil & Gas Industry. He's our choice over opponent, Charles W. McKown, Rep. 34th Delegate District Brent Boggs, Dem., the incumbent, needs no introduction to the readers of this newspaper, because he cares enough about us Gilmer Countians that he writes a weekly column for this newspaper to keep us informed of the major governmental issues. He's running for another term which is well-deserved. He's a proud GSC graduate and steadfast hacker, along with being a leading advocate of the Research Zone designation and wireless broadband lnternet technology for both Gilmer and Braxton counties. His opponent, Bradley N. Shingler, Rep., is an unknown. County Ticket Circuit Clerk -- -Lane Smith, Dem., the incumbent, has served the county effectively, alertly and with concern for the courthouse's employees and general public. He's not afraid to speak up to the County Commission when something goes awry, so be's a good advocate for the county. Dave Craft, Rep., hasn't campaigned enough for us to know what he stands for in this election. County Commi~oner-- Larry Chapman, I)rm, the incumbent, is the only candidate listed on the ballot and our choice for this CAlmer County Commission seat. He's a local businessperson, understands governmental wocedures thoroughly and is willing to appear in public to represent the county whenever needed with dignity. His opponent, Darren Flea, is a political newcomer who has mounted a write-in campaign only during these past three weeks. He needs to run again in the future in order to give the general public more time to know him, his credentials, stands on the issues and actual determination to serve. County Clerk --- Beverly Marks, Dem.; Prosecuting Attorney Gerald Hough, Dem.; Sheriff --- Mlckey E. Metz, Dem.; Assessor -- Gary L. Wolfe, Dem.; Magistrates -- Carol Reed Wolfe and IL W. "Bob" Miulgh, and Surveyor -~ Charl~ "Rick" Sypolt, Dem. -- all are running unopposed and are recommended for your vote. State Amendment No. 1 -- "For the Amendment" is our recommended vote to compensate West Virginia's veterans who have served -- in time of war -- in Kosovo, Afghanistan and lraq. We understaud that this Amendment "would provide a veteran or his/her family anywhere from $600 to $2,000. This is a small, yea considerate courtesy to extend to them for risking their lives (or losing them) in defense of our Great Nation. Finally, "For the Levy" votes are recommended, as we detailed at length In last week's editorini, for all of our local Gtlmer County levies: the Ecunomic Development Assoclatinn, Community Resources, Inc., Fire and Ambulance Departments, and Board of Education. In conclusion, let's have a completely honest, orderly and 100 percent voter turnout in this 2004 General Election! By its very nature, democracy can only really work, if the general public actually exercises their constitutionally-gnaranteed right to vote. Or, if you can't vote on Election Day itself, go to the County Clerk's Office and vote anytime up to this Sat., Oct. 30 by absentee ballot. With our state's new "no fault" absentee voting option, there is no excuse for every registered citizen not to vote~ DHC, St'., Publisher.Editor b Ed, of Yo f..,,doof[teJ by George Harper