30 YEARS IN THE MAKING – In April of 2012, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, surrounded by officials and community members, is all smiles after signing Senate Bill 362, funding about $28 million for the lodge at Beech Fork Lake. Tomblin recently vetoed issuing the bonds for the Beech Fork project. WCN photo by Diane Pottorff

State needs to “find a way” with Beech Fork lodge

Wayne County
News Editorial

It was a pretty April day in 2012 when West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin sat on the shores of Beech Fork Lake and signed a bill authorizing a bond sale of $28 million to construct a lodge and conference center at the state park.

But the bonds were never issued, and the project Wayne County leaders have worked on for decades remained in limbo for another three years.

A legislative effort this year to get the ball rolling again turned to disappointment once more, when this week Tomblin vetoed issuing the bonds for Beech Fork and another project at Cacapon State Park. The governor explained he felt issuing the bonds would downgrade the state’s bond rating because of declining revenue in the state lottery fund.

This latest setback has some questioning whether state leaders were ever really behind the project.

“I am bitter about all of this,” Delegate Don Perdue told the Wayne County News on Tuesday. “The way it looks, it is like this administration never had a real desire to see both of these projects go forward.”

Tomblin’s office maintains he remains committed to the projects and “continues to work with his administration to explore other options to finance the project while remaining committed to fiscally responsible policies.”

Residents of Wayne and Cabell counties need to make sure Tomblin does not forget his pledge. If lottery-backed bonds are not a workable approach, the state needs to find another funding source, because the lodge represents a solid investment in local and regional tourism.

Building the planned 75-room lodge with restaurant, indoor swimming pool and meeting facilities would enable the already popular state park to host conferences, reunions and other events. That could be an important boost to tourism in Wayne County, but the project also holds great promise beyond that.

Wayne County has the potential to tie into the growing Hatfield McCoy Trails for all terrain vehicles. An enhanced Beech Fork State Park would provide an additional gateway to the trail system on the western side of the state with air service and interstate access to easily connect with large population centers in the Midwest.

This is a project that benefits our region and the entire state of West Virginia, and it is time to find a way to get it done.
Contacting the governor
MAIL: Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, WV, 25305.
PHONE: (304) 558-2000.


Current board continuing
previous panels’ miscues?

There have been mumblings and grumblings from various and sundry Wayne Countians over the past three-plus years of my association with The Wayne County News concerning salaries of the county Board of Education’s Central Office.

The complaints and gripes have come from private citizens, teachers, business people and even certain elected officials.

Many have called for an “investigation.” Others have just shaken their heads, while some have “tsk, tsked” and noted that’s the way it’s always been.

One, however, pointed out the salaries of those school officials “On the Hill” far exceeded those of “this entire school” as he swung his arm encompassing one of the county’s largest seat of academic instruction.

One of those elected to a county office even mentioned that courthouse officials will make no comments regarding what goes on “across the street.”

With the latest recommendation from the county board to increase the pay of current Superintendent Sandra Pertee to bring her pay to a level enjoyed by others with the same jobs in other counties, we did a little research.

You can, too. Just google “wveis.k12.wv.us/schoolFinance/sf000018.cfm.”

If you do, you will find 21 directors, coordinators or those with titles, account for $1,595,679.95 of Wayne Count schools budget. This includes the board’s attorney ($92,600) and treasurer ($83,830.59).

Or, an average yearly salary of $75,984.76. This includes one coordinator who only earns $22,273 and another’s whose pay is $48,663.45. If these lower salaries were taken out of the equation, the average pay would be more than $80,000.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Holder, other racists at fault in Ferguson

Managing Editor

Last summer, when a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shot Michael Brown, every race baiter in the country, every liberal, every liberal media outlet in the world, jumped on the bandwagon, condemning a cop who killed an unarmed black youth.

None of them waited for the facts.

Wednesday night, two police officers overseeing demonstrations there which flared after the Ferguson police chief resigned, were shot.

As of Thursday afternoon, race-baiter, community organizer Al Sharpton had not uttered a word and only U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had said anything about the ambush of the two policemen.

Holder, whose Department of Justice had just released a scathing condemnation of the city’s police department, noted the shooting was “inexcusable and repugnant” and “heinous.”

It was.

What is also inexcusable and repugnant is the response from some citizens:

“I don’t know about you, but this #Ferguson news makes my morning so much better. Wether (sic) the shooter was a cop or criminal. Nice aim.”

“I used to think it was terrible when a cop got shot, now when I hear two have been shot in #Ferguson all I can think of think is ‘serves them right.’”

“Just glad the protesters are okay. I’m glad whomever (sic) shot seemed to be aiming rather than randomly shooting.”

Holder’s DOJ report did, however, systemically break down the reasons that officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting the unarmed thug, Michael Brown. The report showed witnesses who came forward saying Brown had his hands in the air were, in fact, lying and that Wilson had been injured by Brown before Wilson pulled the trigger.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Billary not needed anymore

Some people just need to go away.

No, no… not pass away – just go away.

The Clintons, Bill and Hillary… Billary if you wish… should just go back to the Arkansas hills from whence they came.


Bill, good ole randy Bill, continues to make millions with his good old boy, aw shucks, golly would you look at her charm, even though everyone knows what a cheater (in more ways than one) he has always been.

Hill is another story.

Shrill Hill – “What difference, at this point, does it make?” – continues with the pair’s lifestyle of being above it all.

They are above criticism… rules and regulations… and even the law.
And the American people don’t seem to care.

The couple’s eight-year stay in the “People’s House” was filled with controversy. In fact, an online encyclopedia (not the best source of facts, but in this case fairly accurate) even lists them in alphabetical order.

And now poor Hillary is at the center of yet another storm.

Seems as Secretary of State under our new king (oops) President, she was obligated under rules announced in 2005, updated in 2009 and yet again in 2011, to use government email servers so that any correspondence could be traced.

Often lauded as one of the smartest women in politics – ever – she is now asking voters to believe her ignoring laws and rules in place was simply an oversight. She didn’t realize her actions might be controversial.

“It might have been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone,” she said impudently.

Reminds of Ms. Piggy… “Moi?”

The government servers are also updated regularly with the latest fraud and security systems available to prevent hackers, both foreign and domestic, from compromising official communication.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

‘Thor:’ winter’s last gasp?
If not, we’ve had enough

In Norse mythology, ‘Thor’ was the god of thunder and weather.

Didn’t hear any thunder this week, but doggone it, we sure got the weather.

Despite local meteorologists’ lackluster past predictions, they get kudos for predicting Wednesday and Thursday’s snow and cold.

A foot of snow hit the Kenova area and coming on top of Wednesday’s all-day rain, a base of ice made travel of any kind, nearly impossible.

By late evening Wednesday, inches of the white stuff had covered the county and the “falling weather” didn’t let up until mid-afternoon Thursday.

Schools in all 55 West Virginia counties were cancelled, businesses were closed, and again, Wayne County and surrounding areas were virtually at a standstill.

A traffic snarl on hilly I-65 near Louisville left motorists stranded for some 15 hours as 21 inches of snow hit the area.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared states of emergencies.

The Huntington Mall in Barboursville and Charleston Town Center closed early.

West Virginia University, Fairmont State, Bluefield State and Marshall also closed Thursday. Marshall remained closed Friday.

Many residents throughout the Tri-State were without power, some even on Friday due to the heavy snow uprooting trees, breaking limbs or downing power lines. Some 80,000 customers lost service in the storm.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Drug tests a good idea
for assistance applicants

A former “friend’ of mine who happens to be a delegate in the state legislature recently wrote a column, published in the Herald-Dispatch, explaining why applicants for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families with previous drug-related convictions should not be required to undergo drug tests as a qualification for the program.


Why not?

If the former friend needed a job, he would probably be required to get tested.

When The Herald-Dispatch bought The Wayne News, those who were hired back had to submit to a drug test.

I had to pee in a cup for my other job with an auto parts company.

Why should someone receiving state money, federal money (my tax money) be exempt?

They are being paid.

The delegate said the cash assistance could amount to $460 a month for a mother of four.

True, that’s not a lot of money for five people, but if they are poor they would also qualify for other programs.

He says they should be exempt because they are poor.


I’ve been poor most of my life, I just happened to marry someone with a good job.

What’s being poor got to do with taking a drug test?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Compromise and too many laws

The recent column printed in these pages from Senate President Bill Cole was, in one sense, refreshing.

But in another, rather depressing.

Cole was emphasizing the fact that the current legislature, controlled by Republicans, has been quite successful in passing bills and creating new laws.

This, he said, is the result of “compromise.”

As he stated, compromise is not a “dirty” word. He stressed that many bills are the result of Democrat and Republican lawmakers each giving up something to gain a better law.

This can work in many cases, but not always.

We have seen this countless times on both the state and federal level.

As a matter of fact, it happened this week in Washington, District of Corruption, as Republicans gave into Democrat demands to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

The Republicans surrendered their demand for the elimination of the President’s amnesty plan for illegal immigrants.

And what did the Republicans get in return?


Only that they might not be held responsible for failure to fund the DHS (which, by the way, spent $150 MILLION on office furniture in 2014).

In the state legislature two weeks ago, a “compromise” resulted in passing a bill to partially eliminate the prevailing wage requirement for state funded projects.

The compromise: that only projects of $500,000 or less would not require the prevailing wage.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

It’s WWIII now and we are not looking to win

In case no one’s noticed, we’ve been in World War III for more than 50 years.


And our President and his minions refuse to acknowledge the war is with Muslim terrorists.

In September 2009, the President talked about how much Muslims have meant to the United States.

“The contributions of Muslims… are too long to catalog because Muslims are so interwoven into the fabric of our communities and our country,” he said as the Ramadan celebration began.


So we googled “Muslims in American history.”

According to a website titled “Islam 101,” the first mention after 1732, was in 1790 when “Moors from Spain are reported living in South Carolina and Florida.”

Further mentions are only about slaves, as about 30 percent of imported slaves were Muslim.

It should be noted that most of these Muslim slaves were captured and sold by other Muslims to enterprising traders, many of whom were – you guessed it – Muslim.

One other item told of Hajji Ali, a Muslim, was hired by the U.S. cavalry to experiment with the use of camels in Arizona in 1856.

In 1870, a Methodist “reverend” converted to Islam, but it was not until 1913 that a significant Muslim action took place. Timothy Drew (Noble Drew Ali) established the Moorish Science Temple of America in Newark, N.J., to teach Islam to “Negroes in the United States.” It is said this organization is responsible for many African-American converts to this day.

The number of converts and immigrants has grown immensely until today Islam is the third largest religion in America.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

‘Extra snow,’ a lot to handle

On the drive to “Out Wayne” Wednesday, some weather guru on the radio said we could get some “extra snow” later that day.


Lordy! Far as I’m concerned the very first flake that fell this year was too much. It was “extra snow.”

All you cold weather lovers out there need to ignore me. It seems the older I get, the less I like ole Man Winter.

About five years ago, my son and I went to McAllen, Texas, for the wedding of my Army buddy’s daughter.

It was the middle of November. Every day the temperature was 75-80 degrees. Shorts and tennis shoes were the norm.

In November!

‘Course it does get cold there occasionally.

One day, he mentioned it was going to get into the 40s, “with rain. Going to be cold,” he said.

Not like the minus-12 at my house Friday!

During my time stationed at Fort Lee, Va., in the late 60s, he said he had never seen snow except in pictures and on TV.

He came home with me every weekend but one, and on one occasion as we left Huntington (AWOL again), it snowed. He was amazed.

A few years back, he sent pictures of his first white Christmas in McAllen.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

‘Extra snow,’ a lot to handle

On the drive to “Out Wayne” Wednesday, some weather guru on the radio said we could get some “extra snow” later that day.


Lordy! Far as I’m concerned the very first flake that fell this year was too much. It was “extra snow.”

All you cold weather lovers out there need to ignore me. It seems the older I get, the less I like ole Man Winter.

About five years ago, my son and I went to McAllen, Texas, for the wedding of my Army buddy’s daughter.

It was the middle of November. Every day the temperature was 75-80 degrees. Shorts and tennis shoes were the norm.

In November!

‘Course it does get cold there occasionally.

One day, he mentioned it was going to get into the 40s, “with rain. Going to be cold,” he said.

Not like the minus-12 at my house Friday!

During my time stationed at Fort Lee, Va., in the late 60s, he said he had never seen snow except in pictures and on TV.

He came home with me every weekend but one, and on one occasion as we left Huntington (AWOL again), it snowed. He was amazed.

A few years back, he sent pictures of his first white Christmas in McAllen.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Some tips from an old driver

Monday morning’s cold and snowy start brought tough driving conditions and a few frozen water lines (at the Ferguson Plantation) and a lot of inconvenience.

But the weather cannot be an excuse when folks have jobs. Many workers, such as government, can usually stay home (quite often it benefits the rest of us) and still get paid, or at least are not penalized.

But headed to work at 7 a.m. Monday morning, after a certain young engineer had thawed the water lines, other drivers’ habits on the snowy roadway drew attention.

Although the local highway department has worked diligently to keep roads passable, single-digit temperatures and below-zero wind-chills are not favorable to treatment of roadways.

Growing up in the 50s and 60s, there weren’t many four-wheel drive vehicles around. Now there are four in our three-person household. And, there are two four-wheel drive tractors.

Back then, we learned to drive in the snow with only two-wheel drive – and only rear-wheel drive – and we did okay.

Sure, once in a while we’d get stuck, but help was usually only a phone call (maybe at the end of a walk) away. Try driving a 60s muscle car in four to six inches of snow… Too much muscle and not enough traction.

But with the marketing of so many four-wheel drive vehicles, owners think they can go anywhere at any speed.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

‘Compromise’ leads to
prevailing wage cave

Last week’s community forum between area representatives and local residents quickly devolved into little more than a combined union-political rally and Thursday that rally ended with a “compromise” on the repeal of the proposed ending of the prevailing wage requirement on public construction in the state.

Attending last week’s “forum” were members of the West Virginia legislature, delegates Doug Reynolds, Kenneth Hicks, Don Perdue and Senator Bob Plymale. Senators Mike Woeffel and Mark Maynard and Delegate Matt Rohrbach could not attend.

Impassioned pleas and stories from union leaders and members took center stage as the subject of the recently introduced bill to end the prevailing wage law was brought to the floor.

Building trades union members and leaders bemoaned the possible passage of such a bill and former teachers in attendance echoed the same sentiments.

Meanwhile, our local “Labor Democrat” condemned the measure, foretelling a dismal future as Republicans took control of the legislature, saying the GOP is trying to create prosperity through cuts.

All four attending “electeds,” when discussing the situation with the union people, noted they had received a number of letters – all against the potential bill.

They even noted that much of the mail came from contractors and contractor associations.

They should do some research on these associations.

If they should happen to investigate just who is opposed to curtailing union influence in West Virginia, lawmakers would find many, if not most, of the associations are nothing more than bargaining groups for unions and are staffed by union representatives and members in an effort to increase union participation in construction and other projects using public money.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Joe Manchin: really just
another liberal-progressive

Never was a big fan of our Senator Joe Manchin.

He did some good things as governor of West Virginia, I’m sure… think he left the office with the state in pretty good financial condition… can’t think of much else.

‘Course at that time, things had been going pretty good for the whole country and only those places where the true dyed-in-the-wool liberal progressives were in charge were suffering.

Coal was still being mined and over all, most folks who wanted to work had a job.

A couple of things Manchin did as governor kind of irk those of us who happen to believe our elected officials should look out for us commoners, to take the responsibility of their positions seriously and do the job they were elected to do.

While governor, Joe adopted and endorsed the Common Core curriculum currently under fire in many states, including our own, West By God.

“I support these Common Core State Standards because they provide clear, consistent guidelines for children across our nation. It is time that we ensure all students – no matter where they live – are learning the essential skills they need to succeed and that they are reaching the appropriate benchmarks for their grade,” Manchin said. “I am pleased to see this major state-led effort come into fruition.”

Not only did Manchin adopt the educational fiasco, he wasn’t adverse to a little nepotism.

After appointing his cousin, Mark to head the West Virginia School Building Authority, Joe also named his wife to the state Board of Education.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Real Wayne Countian,
and darn proud of it

We here in West Virginia are always caricaturized in movies and on TV as illiterate, ignorant, inbred fools who are married to our cousins, quit school in the first grade, chew tobacco, carry a jug of moonshine, live in squalor and are just downright – stupid.

Think the “Buckwild” TV program, a reality series about some idiot kids who were drunk half the time and crazy all the time. The show lasted until one of the stars (and two relatives) wound up dead and another jailed on drug charges.

True, some of us chew tobacco and some probably carry moonshine around. Lord knows there’s lots of dope available, but… we all didn’t marry our cousins and some of us managed a third or fourth grade education.

Wayne Countians are a bit different than other West Virginians.

Several years ago, in a heated discussion with a bank manager brought in from the Northern part of the state, I told him that, “If you haven’t noticed, people in this area are a little different than those up North.

“People around here are more dependable – you can take them at their word and they’re not out to take advantage of other people. We’re different here than those… even from Milton north.”

“I have noticed,” he said.

It’s true. Don’t know if it’s the Appalachian heritage or the influence of the true South and its gentility, but Wayne County people as a whole, are more polite and respectful than those up North.

Examples of that rudeness are as common as chants from visiting teams. Several years ago, supporters of Spring Valley sports were often slammed with slurs from other teams, one local school in particular would chant, “Wayne… County… trailer trash!”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

There are peeves, and peevishness

Got to the paper last Friday and glanced at the Herald-Dispatch, answered a couple of calls, talked to a reporter about a breaking story, checked emails and wrote a brief synopsis about the state Agriculture commissioner’s talk to the Wayne County Economic Development Authority when former News publisher Tom George asked if I’d read the column in the HD from the area’s leading Kool-Aid drinker, former pastor and author.

The guy was talking about his pet peeves.

Sure, we’ve all got ‘em. But he made a list of his.

He was upset that Ashland, the biggest city in Eastern Kentucky isn’t on local weather maps, cops who speed needlessly, how media soon forgets a “major” crisis before it is announced over and a few others.

I agree with the last two, but the first one… not so much. I like Ashland. Worked there for almost 10 years. Fine people in Ashland and its surrounding area. At one time, probably knew more about Ashland and vicinity than Huntington.

But weather probably isn’t much different in Ashland than Huntington. No big hills in between, both about the same latitude and only about 16 miles apart, and it would be kind of hard to get both names on a map since they are so close.

Greenup and Grayson and Pikeville are much further away from the major Tri-State city, Huntington, but he didn’t like the fact they were on the map and Ashland usually isn’t.

He also commented that he tipped generously – but was against tipping at all. He thinks everyone should earn a “livable” wage.

He thinks servers, garbage men, newspaper carriers and others should be paid more.


For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

It’s World War III while our leaders sleep

Have been for years.

But many leaders of the world’s most successful countries have been sleeping.

Our own President, King Putt, would rather campaign and play golf than take a stand against the common aggressor – Islamic radicalism.

Hiding his head in the sand while trading known al Qaeda leaders for a traitor and releasing captured terrorists from confinement at Guantanamo Bay (30 per cent of whom have been proven to return to the battlefield), the empty suit masquerading as what was once the most powerful man in the world is, in effect aiding the enemy in its effort to control the world.

He has allowed Islamic jihadists free rein to take over large portions of Iraq by withdrawing all troops before that country could build an adequate system of defense.

And he’s doing the same thing in Afghanistan.

While Congress mulls action to increase pressure on Iran to end its endeavors of producing nuclear weapons, he vows to veto any such bill.

He doesn’t want to jeopardize current “talks” with Iranian leaders.

Putt doesn’t understand these talks are nothing but delay tactics used by a tyrannical government that will say anything while doing what it wants… and what it wants is nuclear weapons to destroy Israel.

Meanwhile, the world is burning.

In France three armed terrorists forced their way into a satirical newspaper Wednesday and killed 12 people, even shooting a policeman in cold blood as he lay on the sidewalk with his hand stretched upward in a pleading motion.

The policeman was Muslim.

Friday morning, two of the killers took a hostage in a small town near Paris and, saying they “wanted to die as martyrs” …

Did so.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Football fans ‘bowled’ over

I love football.

Have for years and years.

High school, college, pro… doesn’t matter.

Even midge (oops! gotta be politically correct) “youth” football, when played the right way with all the players getting a shot, and not running up the score with the first team the whole way, can be interesting. It’s nice to see the youngsters learning the game and proper techniques to block and tackle, seeing it truly takes a “team.”

And, I’m a lucky husband. My wife likes the game just as much, if not more, than I do. Soon after we tied the knot, I was telling her about a movie we had talked about but had not seen, being shown on TV that evening.

“But isn’t there a football game?” she asked.

“Yeah, but it’s somebody like the Jets and Buccaneers who haven’t won three games between them,” I said.

“I know – but,” she came right back, “it’s football.”


Thinking about how many guys who liked football, but whose wives refused to watch it with them…

I think the Jets lost.

Saw the movie on reruns.

Over the Christmas-New Year’s break we always watch a lot of football and this year was no different. A few days this recently the big screen was tuned to bowl games from noon to midnight, while the normal-sized TV went virtually unwatched.

Lots of games.

The motto at the Ferguson farm is “Watch as many bowl games as possible, ‘cause it’s a long time before football starts again.”

But, I think even we were a little bit “bowled out” over the number of bowls. Seems like half the major college teams played in post-season games.

Wait a minute…

There are 128 schools listed in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision of the NCAA…

And there are 39 bowl games!

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Natural vs. artificial turf:
Grass is still the best

The debate goes on.

Natural grass vs. artificial surfaces.

Football on grass, dirt, mud…

Football on Field Turf…

We’ve all seen a player taken off the field on a cart with a severe leg injury.

It’s a terrible thing, whether it’s a professional player or a high schooler. Whether they’re playing for money, a scholarship or just to be part of a team.

Happens all the time.

Players now are bigger, stronger, and faster than when football first began.

Collisions are more violent.

The human body can take only so much.

Remember when AstroTurf came on the scene?

The Houston Astros, a professional baseball team in Texas, built the first indoor sports facility and couldn’t get grass to grow. Not enough light.

So somebody came up with a green, grass like material that looked like grass, kinda felt like grass and laid it down over the field.

The Astros used it and those who saw it thought it to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The Houston football team, the Oilers, used the same facility.

Everyone went “WOW!”

Players felt they were faster. Their uniforms didn’t get dirty and, since they were playing inside, the building could be heated or air-conditioned.


Being plastic, the material could also be used outdoors. So very soon, practically every pro, then college, stadium in the country went to the “plastic grass.”

Spectators didn’t have to wonder if it was number 88 or 86 or 80 who made the play since there was no dirt or mud to obscure the letters.

How wonderful!

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Interesting facts about
New Year’s resolutions

It’s that time again.

We look at ourselves, or our lives and vow to do better.

We’ve all done it.

Yep. I’m too fat so I’m going to lose some pounds.

I’m out of shape, gonna have to start running… lifting… working out… whatever.

Gonna treat my wife (husband) better…

Goin’ to visit the folks more often…

Again… whatever.

So you make a promise to yourself (and often tell others) you are going to do the things you feel are shortcomings.

How successful were you?

Probably not very good.

I’ve never been – but this year is different.

I will definitely succeed.

According to Wikipedia (a not very reliable source for most research), New Year’s resolutions are a “secular tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere (isn’t that global?), in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice… beginning New Year’s Day.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Yelling ‘Fire!’ and its responsibility

Does the law say one cannot yell, “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater?


It does not.

What the law says, is that if you do, you will bear the resulting consequences.

Responsible people would never think of causing undue panic. They would know that panic could lead to injury – or worse.

Over the years, thousands if not more, have been injured or even killed trying to flee from fire or other potential dangers while in a crowd.

Currently we have a number of people, who are supposedly responsible, who are in effect, screaming “Fire” at the top of their lungs.

Only it’s not “Fire” – it’s racism.

The racism clamor, led by a number of famous (or infamous) so-called “leaders” has led to the cold-blooded killing of two New York police officers – both of whom were minority races – Asian and Hispanic.

Leading the “fire” brigade is, as usual, the slime-trailing Al Sharpton.

Slipping and slip-sliding through Al’s slime is the socialist (if not communist) mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio.

And of course, our President and his henchman, Eric Holder are in on the act as well.

Since Trayvon Martin met his maker a couple of years ago and the President said, “If I had a son…” to the recent Ferguson, Mo., death of strong-armed robber Michael Brown, these have been the leading voices of unreason.

When a New York grand jury did not indict a police officer in the death of a black man selling black market cigarettes, de Blasio announced plans for retraining police officers to “help them treat all citizens with equal respect and with equal regard for their safety,” according to National Public Radio.

Some of the lessons concern waiting for backup and supervision, and “de-escalation,” he said.

NYPD officers said de Blasio “was throwing them under the bus.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

“Electeds” in dire need
Of Christmas presents

Let’s not forget the reason – for the season.

We all need to enjoy our family time and pray for the safe return of our servicemen (and women) overseas so that they might also share in the warmth of home.

At the same time, we should also remember those in need. There are many needy people in the county – and the entire country.

According to Bankrate, an economic website, says that even though the economy reportedly has added 431,000 jobs, since 2007 employment is down 6.8 million. Many are out of work, or can’t find fulltime employment and need food or housing or presents for their little ones.

Then there are the disabled who cannot work, the retired on fixed incomes… those who face difficult choices of whether to buy food or pay the rent.

And there are those who “we the people” have elected.

In some instances, they are the most needy of all.

But the things they are most needful of cannot be gift-wrapped in colorful paper with big, shiny bows.

It’s really hard to put what they need in a box.



Common sense.

These things are what our electeds really need.

Our senators and representatives in Washington need courage to stand up for the Constitution, for what is right – not what is politically correct. Courage to go against the party dogma. Courage to truly represent the people, not just those who voted for them, but all who live in the area the electeds supposedly serve.

Courage is also needed in Charleston where incoming senators and delegates are deluged by lobbyists wanting their share of the taxpayer pie and who wheedle and plead and cajole and probably in some instances, even bribe.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Just some Christmas thoughts

Merry Christmas to you.

And you.

And you.

Yes, even you.

Didn’t say Happy Holidays.

Didn’t say Season’s Greetings.

Merry Christmas!

I sincerely hope Christmas brings each and every one a very joyous day. A day surrounded by those that matter and enjoyed by all.

If you haven’t noticed it yet, take a look on Page 5. There you will find a short poem written by a World War II soldier, far from home but with home and his Mother on his mind.

The same story of Christian soldiers from every country.

Home for Christmas.

Us Americans have our Christmas Eve celebrations, sometimes involving food and, or, gift exchanges and usually gifts are opened Christmas morning. (At least, that’s how it’s been at our house for years. If a young one opens too many presents Christmas Eve, sleep can be hard to find. And… Santa can’t show until kids are sleeping.)

But our (American) traditions aren’t followed around the world.

Other countries have their own traditions. While rummaging through cyberspace the other day, we came upon “10 Wacky Christmas Traditions Around the World…”

The Christmas Pickle – Some say Spain, other Germany, but whatever… A pickle ornament is hidden on the tree and the first to find it gets an extra present. Article didn’t say if it was sweet or dill.

Skating to Mass – From Dec. 16-24 in Caracas, Venezuela, streets are closed before 8 a.m. to allow Misa de Aguinaldo (Early Mass) participants to skate to mass. (Father forgive me, I drove at 7 a.m.)

Spider Web – In the Ukraine, the story goes that a poor family awoke on Christmas morning to find their bare tree full of spider webs shining silver and gold in the morning sun. Hmmm, call the exterminator.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Hindsight, fore sight
and political sight…

Met John Davison Rockefeller IV in 1970 at a journalist SDX (Society of Professional Journalist) meeting in Charleston shortly after he “moved” to West Virginia.

Being young (a long, long time ago) and full of the proverbial vinegar, I thought meeting the rich, also young, man and hearing him give a short speech was important.

Asked about “Jay” as he came to be known after the dinner and speech, I noted it was probably the precursor to a political campaign for a state government office (guess cynicism has always been there), but I noted, he was already richer than six feet up a bull’s …, so he at least wouldn’t need to steal from his poor West Virginia constituents.

Indeed, the heir to much of the Rockefeller fortune ran for, and was elected to the governorship of our state in 1976.

It was a bad time to be governor anywhere.

Jimmy Carter, who has become known not only as the second-worst President in U.S. history but also a firm believer in the rights Palestinians, was elected to office and the country, as well as West Virginia, suffered.

Rockefeller watched the state suffer through loss of manufacturing plants and the closing of coal mines, and was virtually powerless to stop – or even slow the process.

West Virginians faced inflation, high fuel prices and loss of jobs throughout the first four years of Rockefeller’s eight years as governor. The last four years weren’t a whole lot better, but the whole country was hurting.

Following his terms as governor, Rockefeller was elected senator in 1984, replacing Jennings Randolph. He has served on several committees in various roles since.

He served as vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 2003-2007 and as chairman in 2007 and 2008 and is currently chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

Soon after the 9/11 attacks, the entire country was edgy.

Who were these guys? Where did they come from? How did they get here? Who’s financing them? Is there going to be more? How can we stop them? And…

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Petulant children or political ploy?

A Jihadist recruitment tool was made public Tuesday…

By our own government.

A condensed version of a Democrat-backed report that cost taxpayers some $50 MILLION about the interrogation methods used by the Central Intelligence Agency is now available to any Islamic terrorist in the world to use as a tool to convert or to enrage those whose primary aim is to harm America or the Western World.

Taking five years to produce, the report says the CIA routinely misled the White House and Congress about information it obtained from detaining and interrogating terror suspects and indicts the CIA, its contractors and puts every American citizen overseas, as well as any of our allies’ citizens, at risk for kidnap, assault or assassination.

The report says little information was gained from the waterboarding, the sleep deprivation, or any other of the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA and its operatives.
Although there is some “new” information in the nearly 500-page report, most of the data contained therein is “old” news.

So, why now?

Either the Democrats are behaving like petulant children who didn’t get their way in the recent election as Republicans took enough seats to control the U.S. Senate and picked up more seats in the House of Representatives to wrest control away from the liberals…

Or, releasing the documents knowing full well the ramifications internationally on U.S. interests and those of its allies, the Democrats are counting on the resulting loss of life, chaos and increased terror attacks to make life miserable for the incoming Republican majority and give Democrats an opportunity to regain power in two years.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Is something out of whack?
or is my education lacking?

Got a phone call the other day from the area’s local Tree House Master, who sidelines as a broom maker at Heritage Farm (in between making those expensive rocking chairs), who informed me that only 19 students in Paterson, N.J., scored high enough to qualify for college.


Thought New Jersey had one of the nation’s top school systems…

A little bit of research found several items showing the grey-haired woodworker was correct – only 19 out of 594 students that took the Scholastic Aptitude Test in Paterson scored high enough to be deemed “college ready,” according to The Report Card, a website dedicated to expanding the teaching of civics to the nation’s students.

Then, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, New Jersey’s “scores and growth are among the nation’s best” using data from 2003 through 2011 and the Common Core reading curriculum.

According to The Education Trust, New Jersey came in sixth in improvement of fourth-grade reading, and was second in 2011. The figures are from a 2013 study.

Points were given for improvement, as well as the speed improvement was made.

The same study noted that “states demonstrated a wide range of trajectories: while Alabama and Maryland gained more than 12 scale points, West Virginia actually lost almost five points.”

West Virginia, “not only demonstrated weaker performance than the nation, but improved more slowly as well,” the study said.

According to the study, “Maryland was the only state whose overall performance and improvement were above the national average in all four grade and subject areas.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Lunch menus example of
Do not as I do, do as I say

Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, maybe some ham, sweet potato casserole, corn, rolls (maybe homemade), macaroni and cheese, green beans…

Desserts of pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, cherry pie, cobblers, chocolate cake, ice cream, whipped cream… and all the different drinks.

I’ll bet everyone got their fill last Thursday, and maybe since, with all the leftovers.

Even the school kids emptied plates of the delicious goodies.

But they can’t get anything close to that stuff at school.

Oh, no!

Our First Lady has pressured the Department of Agriculture to alter school lunches to the point where students are refusing to eat them.

“Forcing us to put broccoli on our plate is not going to make us eat it,” a Florida student said.

“Kids can’t take two ketchup packets because that would set them over on calories,” an Ohio district food-service secretary and assistant said recently.

Some schools offer as many as five different items and students must take three, such as a chicken patty, glob of potatoes and milk (upper left) which qualifies as a balanced, low calorie meal.

Some students refer to the meat sarcastically as “mystery meat.

“Forget mystery meat,” Florida newspaper reported. “Students are discovering mystery vegetables in their lunch line now, and they can’t check out without loading up on them because of increasingly strict federal rules that tell cafeteria workers what they must serve – and what’s forbidden.”

New York’s North Tonawanda Board of Education is one of the latest districts to lash out at the new lunch rules championed by the First Lady.

After taking comments from parents, the board president said, “We left thinking, what are we feeding these kids?

“We have students of all different shapes and sizes. Some of these kids have lunch at 10 a.m. and then they’re limited and can’t buy other things. It’s a broken system.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

‘Global warming’ making me shiver

How’d ya like the weather the past week or so?

Cold enough for ya?

Has been for me.

Any time I can do a little chore and not sweat… it’s too cold. Like I say, I am my wife’s “bulky sweater.”

Always sweated a lot… 90 degrees, I sweat… 50 degrees, if I’m exerted in any way… but haven’t had that problem for several days.

Feeding the critters the other morning and cleaning two horse stalls was enough to make aging fingers ache with cold. Didn’t get numb… just hurt.

Going straight into the house for a shower and the warm (not hot) water made those cold fingers feeel like they’d been stuck in scalding water. Took forever for them to quit hurting.

‘Course some people like this kind of stuff… yeah, most of them are young.
Anybody seen Al?

He must have been around somewhere.

You know Al… he’s the guy that has the weather phenomenon named after him.

The Gore Effect.

Yep, Global Warming Al. Every time he shows up somewhere to give a speech on how hot the planet’s getting it either snows or the temperatures dip for no apparent reason.

Been happening for years.

Wrote about it several times.

And he’s made one heckuva lot of money making speeches, selling books, even made a movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Too much compromise
led to many problems

“Work across the aisle…”


“Finding middle ground…”

“Give and take…”

All buzz words that are used to suggest, “let’s all just get along.”

It’s always good to “get along,” but for some, getting along is nothing more than getting their way.

And there has been entirely too much “getting along” over the past half century – or more.
Compromise has become little more than being politically correct.

And politically correct has led to all kinds of idiocy…ie., “lineman,” “postman” are “lineworker,” “letter carrier”… “chairman” is now “chairperson”… “mankind” is now “humankind”… “blind” is now “vision impaired”… “deaf” is “hearing impaired”…

“handicapped and “disabled” are now “challenged.”

“Mentally retarded” has become “special needs,” “mute” is “without speech.”

Our President won’t call Islamic Jihadists “terrorists,” nor will he refer to the slaughter of soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, a terrorist act – it is “workplace violence.”

All the politicians – from school board cliques to state legislators to Congress – run on the promise of “working across the aisle” as if that is such a big thing.

Sometimes it is, but sometimes these representatives of “we the people” take it too far and instead of meeting in the middle, give away the farm.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Politicians are serious,
time voters were, too

Once again, Election Day looms. And once again, politicians are getting serious about getting elected (or re-elected) and pulling out all the stops.

As we said in Wednesday’s column, for the past several months Congressman Nick Joe Rahall has been campaigning heavily in the local area. How many times was he here last year?

He’s also increased the number of emails to the paper. In October of 2013, his office notified us six times about what he had been doing – as of Friday, we’d received 33 for the month.

It’s Election time.

And then Wednesday, who should come to town but U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, making a pitch for Evan Jenkins, Rahall’s challenger.

Yep, things must be gittin’ tight.

But while the politicians are serious, not enough voters are.

True, some 900 have voted early, but Wayne County’s turnout has not been good historically.

As of May, there were 30,038 registered voters in the County but during the Primary Election, only 7,653 thought it important enough to cast a ballot – slightly more than 25 percent.

So only one in four registered voters, taxpayers in the county, thought three new faces on the school board were important enough to vote on – not even considering the national offices.

No wonder so many dopes hold office!

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

‘Stick with Nick’ a good idea?

The battle between incumbent Congressman Nick Joe Rahall (D-W.V.) and challenger Evan Jenkins is one of the hottest of this election season.

Claims by both sides have been debunked, but several of the 19-term Washington insider’s actions do “stick” out.

Although the President’s policies have (to say the least) raised eyebrows of West Virginia voters (more than 40 percent of whom voted for a jailbird in the last general election), Rahall has proven to be just another “Yes Man” for the failing leader.

According to Congressional Quarterly, Rahall supported the President 94 percent of the time in 2009 and 88 percent in 2010. His support has been somewhat lacking in the past three years however, falling to 65 percent in 2011, 64 in 2012 and to only 58 percent in 2013 as he evidently began preparing for this year’s election cycle.

A year ago, we received six notifications in October informing us of various actions or stands Rahall took as our sitting congressman.

So far this October, we’ve received 26 emails about everything from Rahall’s obtaining funding for a myriad of West Virginia needs and proclaiming his support of Head Start, promising to save coal and its related jobs, supporting religious freedom, energy assistance money for the needy, to a smaltzy piece on how “Fall Forests Warm Our Spirits and Our Homes” in which he discussed the use of wood pellet stoves reducing carbon emissions more than fuel oil.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

‘I’d like to be a broker,’
my friend commented. . .

Lot of folks know I was a car dealer for more than 30 years and during that time a lot of friendships were made, along with learning a whole lot about the economy and the way things work…

It also provided a lot of “people” experience.

There are the down-to-earth kind who are just great and several other kinds as well… some of whom it is best to ignore.

There are all kinds of automobile dealers: rich guys whose hard work led to huge homes and large bank accounts; heirs to those fellows who continue, and sometimes expand, on Daddy’s holdings; the average guy who is just trying to make a living; and those who are just trying to keep the doors open another day.

These people also fall under all the other categories in the human race: good, honest and hard-working; the lazy and slothful who are living on family money; the dishonest who foist junk on the elderly or disadvantaged and then there are those who are just “better” than everyone else.

Everyone knows these folks. They’re in every line of work. They’re smarter, prettier, funnier… they think their B.O. is perfume.

In buying cars, many dealers prefer to look at, open and inspect the interior (some smells can’t be overcome), and even test drive cars the day before so as not to get a surprise after making the winning bid. With a number of proven buyers in town, the two major auto auctions in Columbus would always take a number to dinner the night before their auction.

The “Tuesday Sale,” Ohio Auto Auction, took dealers Monday evening and Columbus Fair Auto Auction, “the Wednesday Sale,” went Tuesday evening

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Where did we come from and where are we going?

How did our country get in such a mess?

The U.S. is engaged (?) in conflicts across the globe, we have a possible epidemic brewing with one of he most dangerous diseases known to man, our economy is a wreck, our government is at a standstill and everyone from the middle class down is suffering some kind of turmoil.

We have a President who would rather golf than make decisions, who instead of working on the nation’s problems prefers to attend fund raisers and whose administration seems intent on ruining the country by refusing to close its borders. The administration is enforcing radical rules and regulations that prevent growth.

Our President spends millions of taxpayer dollars on extravagant vacations for himself and his family, endorses policies in direct conflict with the Constitution and refuses to perform the duties for which he was elected.

Our state officials, in turn, refuse to stand up for “we the people” and go along with the Washington crowd that was elected (for the most part) by special interest groups and the uninformed.

The Washington bureaucracy continues to grow at an unprecedented pace fueled by its own interests and led by inept, corrupt and egomaniacal officials intent on maintaining and increasing their power over the common man.

Using entitlement programs, the Washington bureaucracy has created an entire culture whereby they can maintain their seats of power and wealth.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Muslims ‘in a blanket:’
Terror against terror

Am I the only one getting tired of a milquetoast leader who refuses to lead?

We’ve now had four people beheaded on global TV in the Middle East and another right here in the Heartland of America (Oklahoma City) and what does the President do?

He arranges for pinprick air raids on barbarians in Iraq and Syria and the leader of the United States, once known as the most powerful man in the world leading the most powerful country in the world… sends a message to the Oklahoma City mosque where a nutcase was brainwashed in the Religion of Peace thanking the mosque for “its service.”


Did I miss something?

Service? What service?

Did the imam teach the Oklahoma killer how to hold the knife?

The message, hand-delivered by an administration official last Saturday: “Your service is a powerful example of the powerful roots of the Abrahamic faiths and how our communities can come together with shared peace with dignity and a sense of justice,” the message said.

We all know that not all Muslims are bloodthirsty barbarians like those who have joined ISIS (ISIL, Khorasans or whatever Al Qaeda calls itself this week), but no so-called “moderate Muslims” have spoken out about those who are killing in the name of Allah.

The most potent air strike of the President’s “degrade and destroy” campaign against ISIS killed 29 suspected militants Monday, but the army of “true believers” continues to besiege city after city in the Iraqi and Syrian countryside, even threatening to annihilate 50,000 men, women and children in one northern Syria town.

According to experienced combat leaders, the “pinpoint” bombings that kill one or two of the fanatics or dent some of their trucks – are worthless. It merely delays the inevitable.

Someone, don’t count on Turkey (they’re chicken), or any of the other countries making up the President’s much-publicized coalition (he won’t name who’s in it), is going to have to send in troops, armor and humanitarian aid to end the slaughter.

And it would be better to do it now, rather than later, as the death toll mounts and ISIS grows stronger daily, both in wealth and numbers.

But instead of taking care of business now, the President is opting to “train” 5,000 troops sent from the countries ISIS is destroying this very day. The training will take a year…

How big, how strong, how powerful will ISIS be in a year?

Estimates say the mad men now number about 50,000. How many will there be in a year?
And he’s training 5,000?

The only way to defeat terror is with terror.

Here’s an idea taken from action attributed to Gen. “Blackjack” Pershing when he served in the Philippines around 1900, while others say it was U.S. Army Col. Alexander Rodgers of the 6th Cavalry, but:

According to the Q’uran, Muslims are not allowed to eat, touch or in any way contact pigs or anything associated with them.

Pershing’s men allegedly captured 50 Moros, (indigenous Muslims) who had been attacking U.S. servicemen.

Pershing had large pigs brought in (the numbers vary), had them slaughtered in front of the captives and had bullets dipped in the pigs’ blood.

According to the story, 49 of the prisoners were shot with the hog-blood bullets, their bodies were then dumped in a hole with the rest of the blood and innards of the unfortunate swine poured in on top.

The sole survivor was freed.

The attacks stopped.

Some have suggested wrapping the dead barbarians in a pig’s skin (not a football, but a real pig’s hide), or wrapping them in bacon.

They could never meet Allah that way.

Think of it… farmers would make money selling grain for the farmers and hog farmers could sign government contracts to supply the blanket material…

Muslim in a blanket, anyone?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Islam: Religion of Peace?
Not so in world history

“Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us.”

The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam, Tabari 9:69

Tarikh at-Tabari (839 AD-923 AD) was a scholar who studied many subjects so as to further his knowledge of the Islamic Qur’an (Koran) and the religion of Islam. He was known as a commentator on the Quran, an expert in Islamic law and as an historian. His most famous book was Tafseer (explanation) of the Holy Qur’an and the other an encyclopedia on Islamic history.

Islam, one of the world’s youngest religions, didn’t begin until the seventh century, about 620 AD, after the orphan Muhammad had become a great general forged an empire through assassination, bribery, religious appeals and outright butchery to finally become a “Prophet” of God and establish a religion with a following that now numbers 1.5 billion.

As a general, he fought eight major battles, destroying cities and killing populations, including children and terror was key as he beheaded his enemies intimidating the weak.

Three separate hadith (supplements to, and clarifications of, the Qur’an) note that Muhammad merely “shrugged” when told that innocent children were killed in raids by Muslims against unbelievers.

”They are of them (the enemy),” he said simply, Muslim hadith 19:4321-4323.
In many of the battles and raids conducted by the Prophet, prisoners were taken, usually women to be raped or sold into slavery. But even this was a last resort.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Gonna miss Billy, ‘specially
as a source for my columns

Yesterday was William Rosenberger’s last day as communications consultant for the Wayne County Board of Education.

I’ll miss Billy.

Anytime I wrote a column he didn’t think showed the Board in a good light (which was often), he responded via email wanting to know where I got my information and telling me I had it all wrong.

Too many times however, he would make some kind of claim that was easily torn apart and proven to be in error all the while backing up my original assertion.

Bill did help get the recent bond passed to build new schools at Crum and Ceredo-Kenova and kept his finger on the pulse of the county school system. He always managed to let the paper know about the good things going on in the local schools and set the county up with twitter and other social media, organized a Career Technical Expo highlighting those county programs and set up a website outlining progress of school construction projects. He did some good things.

But Bill’s primary job with the BOE, public relations, was to put the proper spin on Board activities, no matter what, and he tried to do that.

Once, in a back-and-forth email chat, I acknowledged it was his job to make me look bad – and I didn’t care.

Bill was tenacious in trying to make everything seem rosy “up on the hill.”

He found exceptional fault when we ran letters from a group of folks at Tolsia High. Even though we knew who the writers were (and have hard copies with a signature), we allowed them to be published as written by “Jim Nasium” because the authors could have suffered because of their stands.

He thought that was terrible, but according to sources “on the hill,” the claims made in those letters weren’t news and only skimmed the surface of the problems at the school.

As he left, I think Bill offered a parting shot, so just to be balanced… in a story about his time with the county, he said a couple of things that well, just don’t really add up.

In explaining his efforts to highlight the achievements of local students, he said, “You can have the best teachers, brightest students and most amazing learning taking place in schools, but if you don’t tell anyone about it, all they’ll ever know is what they read in the newspaper. And too many of those headlines are about the struggles.

“Essentially, the poorest-achieving schools and struggling students receive more attention than the teachers who are making a difference and students who push themselves for greatness.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Many ‘blissfully ignorant’
and want to stay that way

A fella was talkin’ the other day about his 15-year-old.

“Doesn’t know anything,” he lamented, then stood in deep thought for a while, “just… just blissfully ignorant,” he finally blurted.

“And doesn’t want to know anything.”

That’s the case with a lot of young people today – and some older ones, too.

They want to know only what they need to know. How to communicate with each other using the latest technology. What the latest fad is. Where to get the best tattoo. The trendiest clothes. What’s on sale.

Like all those idiots who stood in lines, blocks long, to get a chance to buy the new i-Phone?

Took a younger guy to lunch a while back. Thought we could talk a little bit… about his work, his life, his new family.


Every time I started to say something, the phone came out and he was texting.

Last time we go to lunch.

At a cookout a short time ago, got to talking about all the politically correct thinking going around and how atheists and liberals have hijacked our religious freedoms. When a couple of instances were brought up a very dear older friend commented that he had never heard of them.

The mainstream media, I explained, never mentions it when Christian values are threatened or stolen. CNN and MSNBC, NBC will never talk about those things.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Has media lost its purpose?
Journalism may be dying

Sometimes it’s almost embarrassing to tell strangers that I write for a newspaper.

At one time, it was a source of pride. Reporters and media were respected.

The purpose of the media, as set up by the Founding Fathers, is to monitor the political process to ensure politicians do not abuse their power.

Thus, the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

News reporting is supposed to be objective, but lately it is anything but.

Can’t remember exactly where the term, “fourth estate,” was first mentioned…could have been John Murphy, Roscoe Hale or Hazel Hutchinson…one of those good Buffalo teachers in the distant past.

The “fourth estate” is now known as the media, the press (newspaper), TV or radio whose purpose, according to the Founders is to be watchdog of the public’s interests, to safeguard citizens from incompetent, corrupt or tyrannical government.

The other three “estates?”

The Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government, in fact, all government…from the President (think Watergate), Congress and the Supreme Court all the way down through state, county, city and yes, even school boards.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Coal: Party before country
still huge problem for us

Looking through the Sunday Herald-Dispatch, a headline on Page 3A caught my eye, “Legislature says coal rhetoric not helping.”

Since when has any rhetoric really helped anything?

In the Associated Press article those masters of rhetoric, our own state legislature, were condemning national candidates for focusing on federal regulations that have curtailed, and threaten to destroy the country’s coal industry.

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Miley and Senate President Jeff Kessler told the AP that larger forces are determining the future of Appalachia coal.

U.S. Senate and House candidates hammer on incumbents’ acquiescence to the current administration’s actions allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to run roughshod against coal – and energy production in general.

In a conversation last week, an acquaintance brought up the fact that in 2013 West Virginia had 168 active coal mines.

Currently there are 97.

And there is no “War on Coal?”

According to the AP story, “”natural gas is cheap and plentiful, coal seams have thinned out, domestic and international coal markets are lousy and other states and countries provide stiff competition.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Jim Nasium, apologies
and why the heck not!

Well, well, well.

Got an email the other day from a teacher at Tolsia High School taking exception to The Wayne County News printing letters from Jim Nasium who criticized both the Wayne County Board of Education and the administration at the school for allowing the school’s students to suffer both in the classroom and athletically.

Many people know that Jim Nasium is a pseudonym for a number of people, teachers, parents, athletic boosters and others in the Fort Gay-Crum area who are concerned about their school but were afraid, and rightly so, of retribution.

The disgruntled teacher wanted a “sincere and swift printed apology” to the former principal who had bid on, and received another job in the county school system.

We emailed the teacher and asked if the letter was meant as a “letter to the editor,” but that option was declined and more criticism was leveled.

In the teacher’s reply email was the question, “how (do) you justify dragging our entire community through the mud?”

That question is easily answered. The Tolsia community was not dragged through the mud. This comment sounds as if it came directly from our ole buddy Charlie, upset when we disagreed about the price of real estate in Crum (and he owns a lot of property there).

The Jim Nasium writers were upset that their school was constantly getting the short end of a long stick and they, teachers, boosters, the entire community, were never given any opportunity to participate in decisions made for – or in – the school.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Dubya versus King Putt

Okay, okay, okay.

Know what you’re thinkin’.


Can you imagine our current President marshalling a nation like George W. did following the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon?

“Well uh, er, uh, we will pursue these criminals and uh, bring’em to justice,” our Milquetoast President would say. “I will not rest until we uh, put them on trial in New York City – just as I have not rested since I uh, said uh, I would not rest until our economy uh, is booming.”

Or Al Gore, who had just lost the election to Bush the Younger 10 months before: “We will have to find those rich people who built these towers and have the EPA prosecute them for using so much carbon-based material. With all this smoke and pollution, global warming will be upon us in the next two weeks.

“If we don’t get this mess cleaned up soon, the ocean will rise so much it will cover the Eastern Seaboard all the way to Ohio.

“Spruce Knob will be nothing but a tiny atoll,” he would have stated matter of factly.

“Oh, and by the way, we will be selling some carbon offsets beginning tomorrow.”

Bush caught a lot of grief for his actions on Sept. 11, 2001. Critics say he shouldn’t have stayed at the elementary school he was visiting, that he should have shown more alarm when informed about the attacks, that he should have abruptly left the school and flown directly to Washington.

As far as heading straight to Washington, he obeyed protocol and boarded Air Force One and flew to a secure air base to preserve the Presidency. But soon after, he broke protocol and insisted on going back to D.C., where Congress and all other government bigwigs were sheltered following the Pentagon attack.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Only Kool-Aid drinkers
can support a do-nothing

Don’t begrudge anyone a vacation. Most people need one.

Even those who’ve played golf 190 times in a little over five years and gone on numerous vacations. But…

Our President and his family have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 million dollars on vacations, some of them taken solo by the free-spending First Lady, without the Golfer-In-Chief, according to The Daily Caller.

That’s a lot of money for vacations – I don’t care what anyone says.

The First Couple’s “date night” to New York City in 2009 cost more than $1 million.
Now that’s a night on the town!

They’ve gone to Hawaii several times (on separate flights), Spain, Ireland, Africa and of course, Martha’s Vineyard. Moochell’s China trip was written off as business.

Heck, they even went to France trying to convince the International Olympic Committee to award the games to Chicago. That bill was $467,175, not including two Boeing 747s and several Air Force cargo planes (those figures are still unavailable, according to Judicial Watch).

All costs for the trips haven’t been accounted for, as some records are hard to find. Many of the above costs are for flight-time only in Air Force One and do not include rent and other expenses.

In 2013, the pair had $7.4 million in flight expenses only, Bizpac Review said in March.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

The Peter Principle’s theory alive and well in education

The Peter Principle is alive and well.

Today it can be seen in a variety of places from the Presidency of the United States to the local level, and is even more evident in our education system.

Popularized by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book of the same name, the business concept in a nutshell says:

“In a hierarchy (organization for those who only made it through college) every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.”

The theory infers that in all organizations, workers or members are promoted as long as they work competently, but sooner or later are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (“their level of incompetence”), where they are stuck, unable to gain another level.

Peter also suggests, “…in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out their duties” and that “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.”

From research into education in West Virginia – and Wayne County – this theory could almost be proven.

The state’s Department of Education with its 700 employees, many of whom found they couldn’t teach or administrate on the local level… the School Building Authority, with its membership of political hacks and union tools, lawyers and others are examples of organizations filled with those who have risen to levels where they are incompetent.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Loss of Southern States big blow to area farmers

Last Tuesday night’s closing of Huntington’s Southern States Cooperative store didn’t affect only that city’s flower and small gardening population, it will be felt for quite some time by most of the entire area’s farming community.

Unable to close the store last year due to outrage from customers and public officials, this time corporate suits came to shut down the location despite the fact that it had generated some $100,000 in profit in the past 12 months.

“It’s like losing a friend,” a member of the Wayne County Cattleman’s Association said Thursday evening.

Norman Davis, chairman of the local board of directors, said the Marshall Business School had sent advisors to the store and several new accounts had been added.

“But it was too little, too late,” he said.

Many local farmers were surprised by the action taken by the Southern States corporate office in closing the store at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

One young grower commented: “They just waited until everything settled down from last year and things got quiet again.

“They intended to do it all along. They were surprised by the turnout last year and weren’t going to take a chance this time.”

Shareholders were allowed to vote last August on whether to close the store and voted 86-52 to keep it going.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

How’s your garden?
Hope better than mine

How’d your garden do this year?

We always have a big garden, but this year we cut it to less than half. Then along came the ‘coons and the deer…might have got enough sweet corn for two “messes,” but the tomatoes…

A few years back my wife canned tomatoes. Lots of them. We gave them to neighbors, friends and family. This year however, deer ate the blossoms…most of the plants…then went to the hayfields and ate the alfalfa down to the ground so it can’t come back.

Middle of August and no tomatoes out of my own garden and no alfalfa in the hay.

Can’t do anything about it. Department of Natural Resources won’t let me.

According to the DNR website, deer damage costs a total of $100 million in agricultural crops, $750 million in forest regeneration and $1 billion in vehicle accidents. It also says deer generated $14 billion in economic and recreational benefits.


“A simple and economical one strand electric fence 3 foot high has proven effective” the website says. DNR doesn’t know the deer in Wayne County.

The varmints either go over the wire – or through it. Wire works well for horses and cattle, but not deer.

The DNR also suggests repellants. Ever bought any? How much would it take to spray a large patch of sweet corn? What would it cost?

And rain washes it away.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Farm, agriculture knowledge benefits more than farmers

One late spring day nearly 20 years ago, after spending 10 or so hours at the office, I got on the tractor and plowed up the garden and worked it into planting condition.

Of course, the little guy (about four or five years old at the time) was there with me, watching, riding the tractor and asking questions.

After setting out a couple dozen tomato plants that we’d started from seed, and probably some peppers, I got the corn planter and filled it with seed and proceeded to take a break.

Sitting cross-legged at the end of the soon-to-be rows, I leaned back to rest a spell when the youngster plopped down on my left knee. Seems like only yesterday…

Looking up at my grimy face, with sweat running into aging eyes, the boy said matter-of-factly:

“Dad (he always started that way), when you get old, I’ll plant the garden for you.

“I’ll plow it, I’ll drag it, I’ll disc it, I’ll get it ready and I’ll plant the tomatoes and the peppers and the corn.

“And if you feel like it – you can help.”

Looking down into those blue eyes, my first thought was “How kind!”
But then…

“How many kids this young in Wayne County; in the state; or even the entire country know the procedure to plant a garden?”

That was in 1996-97, some 20 years after county schools quit offering vocational agriculture and gave up its Future Farmers of America chapters.

Today we would find even fewer.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Somebody oughta tell Al –
there’s no global warming

Ever hear of John Coleman?

He’s a former broadcast meteorologist of the year for the American Meteorological Society (AMS) with 60 years experience.

He also founded and served as CEO of the Weather Channel.

He quit the AMS, he says, because “the politics had gotten in the way of the science.”

If evidence existed of man-made global warming, Coleman said he would dedicate his life to stopping it.

“I love our wonderful earth,” he said. “If I though it was threatened by global warming, I would devote my life to stopping it.”

These comments were made to American Prosperity News Network in March.

He told WHDT Channel 9 News in Boston global warming is a “fictional, manufactured crises” by certain scientists and politicians have “engaged in fraudulent activity based on bad science.”

“There’s been no warming for 17 years and six months,” Coleman told WHDT. “We have hit a plateau in the warming period.

“Is this the end of the interglacial warming period that’s been going on for 12,000 years? Are we going to start cooling off for the next Ice Age? Or is this just a pause in the gradual warmup that comes? Think about it,” he said.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Not so common common
sense needed in Missouri

Once again our Golfer-In-Chief has inserted himself into a situation that should be left up to local authorities.

Just like in 2009, when he stuck his nose into a controversy between a black professor and the police in Cambridge, Mass., the President flew off the handle to criticize police and stirred up even more distrust between the people and those sworn to protect them.

In March 20012, he proclaimed, ”If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon (Martin)” during the dustup over that young man’s death.

The latest butt-in came as rioters protested the police shooting of a young black man in Ferguson, Mo., last weekend.

Rioters and looters burned and robbed stores in the suburb of Kansas City and local police, with military gear, tried to contain the unruly mob.

This week, the vacationing President told a press conference in Martha’s Vineyard,

“There’s…no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights,” the Huffington Post reported.

And of course, Al Sharpton showed up.

Thursday night however, with the Missouri state police taking control of the situation, the protests were more subdued and less destructive.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Airport’s Maynard firing:
Absence of leadership?

Bob Maynard lost his job and his home recently due to what he says (and others agree) was a personal vendetta by his boss. Caught sleeping in his office, he was fired. The right to continue living in a home he had repaired and used for more than 37 years was also terminated.

Leadership, like people, comes in all different shapes and styles.

Liaises faire leaders ignore what happens beneath them until issues fester and then blow up, our current government is a good example.

Micromanagers must have their fingers in every detail and usually have a short leadership span before burning out or causing major problems to worker morale or production.

Dictators issue orders and expect them to be carried out, regardless or the outcome. They will not listen to worker suggestions or solutions to problems because the dictator is convinced he (or she) knows everything – they think.

Leaders are not necessarily the one in overall charge of a corporation, business or bureaucracy.

A board of directors, a committee, a city council, a board of education are examples of groups, although usually with a chairman or president or CEO, who lead an organization.

Those directors and members, along with their chosen head, lead.

These boards, councils or other governing bodies must shoulder the burden of responsibility for the actions of those they select, appoint or hire to carry out their wishes.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Agriculture teaches youngsters to be responsible

Growing up on a farm until recent years was pretty much the norm.

Then came the war (WW II) and a post-war boom in manufacturing and technology which led many families to flee the often barely subsistent farm life and head to more populated areas for decent paying jobs.

Nowadays, most kids are raised in town or a subdivision and have no knowledge whatsoever about farming or what it is like.

A Wayne County farm kid like me learned a lot. We raised Hereford cattle (went to Angus after I took a fulltime job), hogs (Hampshires at first, then Landrace and Yorkshire mix) and always had horses or ponies, or both.

Bought most of my own clothes with “pig” and “cow” money, bought my first few cars and paid my college tuition.

Not bragging – that’s just how a lot of Wayne County kids did then.

But, as Richard Chadwick recently told the Wayne Board of Education, “most kids today don’t even know how to plant a tomato.”

Most schools in the area in the mid-1900s offered Vocational Agriculture (Vo-Ag). Coupled with the Future Farmers of America, classes alternated between beneficial farming techniques, a certain amount of “shop” class (at Buffalo we built gun cabinets and other simple items) and proper ways to manage a successful farming operation.

Members of the FFA learned Robert’s Rules of Order, how to keep farm records and how to judge farm animals – hogs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, chickens – and even prepared cured hams and bacon and inspected and classified eggs.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Circle of life proving to be truly a circle

I once wrote that life is like a circle.

The Lakota Sioux believe that life is a sacred circle in which all things are connected.

Nature, animals and humans all intertwine.

Everything spiritual is inside that sacred circle which is broken into four parts, each having to do with a direction and stage of life: infancy – west, youth – north, adulthood – east and elder – south.

So it has been with this humble scribe (don’t qualify for the wordsmith description) as my life is completing its own circle.

As a child growing up there weren’t any neighborhood kids around, so making up imaginary playmates was the norm. I was usually the Lone Ranger taking on rustlers who were trying to steal our Hereford cattle.

But I was never alone – Tonto, that resplendent redskin was always close by to lend me a hand and get me out of trouble.

Wearing out broomstick after broomstick, we traveled through the west (made up of the front and backyards of the farmhouse on Sweet Run).

At six, a pony. Then at 12 a horse as maturity began to set in. Fewer and fewer outlaws to chase, but summertime horse shows became the norm.

The west – infancy.

In school, reading and writing took hold. Sixth-grade teacher Hazel Hutchinson bragged to the high school librarian, Evelyn Pyles, that I had read 66 books.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Letters generate spin, maybe some action

Quite often newspapers, either through articles they print, comments made by columnists, or just the facts dug up by enterprising reporters…step on toes.

Sometimes an individual, sometimes a group, will take exception to what is printed.

Recently, The Wayne News has printed letters attributed to a “Jim Nasium,” who has taken it upon him (or her or them) self to articulate concerns by a number of people in the Tolsia High School area.

When we receive Letters to the Editor, we require the author give their correct full name and how they may be contacted. However, just like other rules, there can be exceptions.

The primary exception to this requirement is the fact that by making certain issues public; the “whistleblower” can be subject to retribution. In that case, we will make an exception.

Such is the case with Mr.(s). Nasium.

We know the identity of the writer (s). We have signature (s) on the letter, but due to possible retaliation, we kept the author (s) name secret.

Last Tuesday’s letter, the second from “Jim Nasium,” elicited a quick and snarky response.

William Rosenberger, well-known spin-doctor for the Wayne County Board of Education, and (as he likes to tell everyone) a former reporter for the Herald-Dispatch, got his Fruit of the Looms all in a knot over the latest letter.

In an email received at 8:01 Wednesday morning, he jumped off the handle and voiced his opinion, “We bit our tongue on the first one, but this second one is ridiculous. A real newspaper won’t print such scathing letters unless the author has the guts to sighn (sic) their name.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

New sheriff, deputies in town

A new superintendent and three new members highlight the latest education news in the county.

And for the present, it seems like an old Western. A new sheriff, new deputies and new attitude as the latest edition of the Wayne County Board of Education, at least at Monday night’s meeting, proved much different than previous boards.

From discussions about Robert’s Rules of Order to quicken the pace of meetings, to possibly limiting time for delegations, to publicizing jobs, to increasing transparency of school board actions, one thing was clear…

The three new members have brought a new energy to the panel, along with a passionate new superintendent.

From board President George (Trey) Morrone to Johnita Jackson to Lois Little, there were questions and suggestions about board finances, policies and ways the board can improve its closed-door image by keeping fewer secrets and making more things public.

A gust of fresh air from the hill.


The naming of the new superintendent showed a marked division on the board, as all three new members voted for Sandra Pertee while the two leftovers, JoAnn Hurley and Vickie Boyd, voted against.

Pertee prevailed over nine other candidates, five of whom made the final cut for an interview with the board.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Party affiliates now party addicts

“(Party politics) serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
• George Washington, September 17, 1776

Newspapers have always, due to ownership and management, taken one side of a political argument, either liberal or conservative.

This should be done on the editorial – and opposite – pages of the newspaper where this column is always found. The rest of the paper should have news from both sides, balanced as much as possible. But sometimes, due to news availability, it is not practical.

The Wayne County News has recently offered news releases from Democrat Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, currently involved in possibly the toughest race of his career, with Republican candidate Evan Jenkins. These releases highlighted actions the Congressman has taken to benefit West Virginia, and usually are associated with the EPA and the coal industry.

We say “recently” because it seems that prior to about six months ago, all Rahall did is go along with the agenda set by the Democratic administration and ignore his constituents.

In today’s edition, readers will find several stories about Jenkins’ foray Thursday into Wayne County, long a hotbed of Democratic Rahall supporters.

We were told of Jenkins’ visit Wednesday, and due to the fact the other local paper refused to send any coverage; we decided to attend several of his planned visits.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Superintendent decision and other challenges

The Wayne County Board of Education soon will select a new superintendent from the five finalists who made it to the interview stage.

Last night, the public was offered a chance for input into the pick, but could not use any names as those who chose to speak their mind offered up their choices.

Kinda like choosing which kind of cake for dessert, but not being able to say “chocolate” or “white” or “pineapple upside-down.” Well, we’ll try the same thing.

Out of the five, two come from the state Department of Education, usually where teachers who can’t teach and administrators who can’t administrate, go to retire. They become just another state employee in a bloated bureaucracy that instead of helping our students, become another expense on the state’s bottom line.

One has quite a number of acronyms after her (I can say her, right) name. If she was any good in all those roles, she might have a lot on the ball.

The other state employee, was a former principal at Lincoln County High School. While a teacher at Lincoln County High, he instituted a successful Career and Technical Education program.

But a 2012 audit by the state found secondary education was “deficient” in Lincoln County “in all indicators or assessment,” citing the challenge of having three principals in three years and two new assistant superintendents. The audit suggested more “stability and continuity at the high school.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Quit readin’ Quit learnin’

“I don’t read The Wayne County News any more, or the Herald-Dispatch.”

“I quit reading the newspapers.”

“I dropped my subscription. I didn’t like what was in the paper about me.”

That’s fine.

That’s your prerogative.

That’s also a very elitist attitude.

It’s also the attitude of the majority of voters in the last two presidential elections.


How’s that workin’ out?

The delegate we most like to pick on said he’d quit reading this paper a while back. He didn’t like the responses to some of his responses.

His arguments were easily dissected into tiny, bite-sized pieces. His side of the debates were so often full of holes, or liberal talking points, they were easy to dismiss.

We also frequently questioned some of the bills he brings before the legislature…prescriptions for over-the-counter drugs, more tax on tobacco products, etc., etc…

So he doesn’t read us any more. Too bad, he could learn a few things.

Like what is important to his constituents…what they think about his stance on various issues before the legislature…what things they would like for him to bring up…what he should fight for…or against.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

A real look at crisis in Texas

We hear and see on TV every day how South Texas is being inundated with illegal immigrants, many of them children, in epic numbers.

According to reports 180,000 to more than 190,000 have crossed the border illegally in the Rio Grande Valley so far this year. Estimates range as high as 60,000 children.

Although not really a valley, but a floodplain, The Valley consists of only four counties, Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron. The largest city, Brownsville in Cameron County lies close to the Gulf of Mexico, while the next largest city, McAllen is 60 miles west in Hidalgo County.

With its palm trees and citrus groves, huge farms that provide melons, fruit and vegetables to America’s tables, The Valley could be mistaken for Florida or California.

But in the 2012 census, it was home to 1.3 million, mostly Hispanic Americans. McAllen, Pharr, San Juan, Weslaco, Donna, Edinburg, Mission and Alamo are separated much the same way as Ceredo and Kenova. The only way to know you’ve left one and entered the other is a city limit sign.

Just across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, Mexico, the area where my friend lives is 90 percent Hispanic, maybe more.

Today, The Valley is being overrun by thousands of Central American children who have no clothes, no food and in some instances, no parents. Many are sick.

It has become a humanitarian crisis and the U.S. government, the administration and the President don’t seem to care. The President has a visit planned, but to fund raise, not view the situation.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

To new Wayne BOE:
Perception is reality

Here’s a couple of observations and some questions about rumors and innuendos circulating throughout the area for the new Wayne County School board to think about:

A while back another elected entity came under scrutiny for conducting meetings without properly notifying local media.

In those meetings the members elected certain people to positions of authority, and in one case, conducted an election that was not on the agenda. In that instance, several members of the group who were told the election was not going to be conducted that day did not attend, therefore the absentees had no say in the election process – or the person elected.

In a later discussion with the chairman of that organization, we strongly suggested that whether actions taken were lawful, correct and done properly, the fact that the actions were taken out of the public eye gave the appearance of impropriety.

Whenever any board, commission, council or other elected committee or group takes action “behind closed doors,” the public feels that it is being hornswoggled.

This has been true from day one.

Perception becomes reality.

Whether actions taken in secret or in executive session are lawful or not, the perception is that something underhanded is going on. And historically, with the Wayne Board of Education, the public has been right too often.

Nepotism and favoritism, political posturing, infighting and paybacks have not been unusual – quite the opposite.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

Fan club continues to grow,
academic achievement slides

The fan club is growing.

Got a call the other day from someone who of course wouldn’t leave his name, but took exception to a comment made here last Wednesday when I wrote that threats made by “a slimy bunch of political hacks and union duds in Charleston…” had led to the closing and soon to be demolition of the venerated Ceredo-Kenova High School.

Objecting to the term “duds,” he asked, “What do you have against the working man?”

He then interrupted before I could answer that working people are what has made the country great…that I have nothing against “the working man”…that I consider myself a “working man” (anyone who has at least two jobs should rate that description)…and that he has the term “working man” confused with blind union loyalty.

Evidently, he’s not read many of the scribblings on this page, or he would know that there is no ill will her for private sector unions, only those that are part of, or influence government that prevent the proper actions of government.

He evidently didn’t want an explanation (I could have lied, saying it was a typo that should have read “dudes” but didn’t) as he then began a passionate tirade that soon showed a distinct lack of linguistic imagination.

What the newest fan club member failed to understand is that when the legislature passed the bill creating the state School Building Authority, it was to “facilitate and provide state funds for the construction and maintenance of school facilities to meet the educational needs of the people of the state in an efficient and economical manner (WV State Code 18-9D).

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!

e-Paper* Subscription Information

The new e-paper is NOW AVAILABLE! Simply go to the subscription page, print and mail in your subscription. Or click on the sample e-paper front above to email us your information today! *e-Papers will be delivered via email in PDF format. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the document. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a FREE downloadable program. We will provide you with a link upon subscription.

Michael Hupp

I have been trying to reach an operator

Anyone remember the old days when you picked up the phone only to hear an operator on the other line ask to connect your call?

I rarely do as a child. By the time I came of age, party lines were all but a thing of the past except in rural communities such as Prichard –or at least that is what my wife has told me about growing up on White’s Creek.

Funny thing is, apparently people are still looking for an operator in Prichard.
The Prichard Intermodal Facility is supposed to be finished and ready for business by the end of 2015. By my estimates, that means businesses will soon be ready to start rolling in like our state officials have led us to believe.

Prichard should become the Boise of the East, filled with new shopping centers, new homes filled with a well-paid local workforce and the excitement of an economic boomtown.

Too bad, I was just describing what Louisa is about to come.

West Virginia is notorious for missing the boat – always a day late and a dollar short. We lack innovation, forward-thinking, education and just about anything else you can imagine, according to whichever new poll/study was released this week.

That makes me sad. I love Wayne County and I love West Virginia. I want to see what is best for this area, but sadly it is like watching history repeat itself.

Prichard is about to be completed and the state has still not found an operator. The Port Authority interviewed, from my understanding, upwards of 15 possible candidates several months ago.

That is progress. Now in two West Virginia “powers that be” fashion, let’s take two steps back.

The Port Authority announced shortly after the interviews that it needed to burn even more taxpayer dollars to hire a firm to make the decision as to what operator gets the job.

Reason why? you ask. I mean they are the Port Authority….

The reasoning was that the Authority did not believe it had the expertise to make that decision.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Diane Pottorff

Oscars not bad despite protest

Being cooped up in the house because you can’t get out due to a foot of snow is fun.

For one day!

Granted I did get some stories written for The Wayne County News by gathering information using a landline telephone (cells do not work well were I live in rural Cabell County) and social media.

One thing that can be boring is watching television, especially when you have seen all the reruns on the Dish Network channels.

Anyway, Sunday was a day of different shows. The Daytona 500 was on and the driver I liked to watch, Jeff Gordon, is retiring and did his last 500.

But, what I was looking forward to was the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars.

In years past, there has been controversy and this year’s hubbub concerned a lack of minorities being nominated.

Who cares! It is the work that matters and maybe some of the work that was presented was not as good as the ones that were nominated.

Before the schedule was changed for televising the award shows, the Oscars were shown close to my birthday in March.

I was never one to really care about this type of show as I thought they were boring and I don’t really care as to who thanked who for receiving an award.

But, the Oscars are different. It is where anything can happen.At my house, when it was someone’s birthday, that person got to select a show to watch on television. Mine was the Oscars.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Snow days not like they used to be

Snow days just are not as much fun as when I was a kid.

I watched the weather forecasts like a hawk the night before, setting my snow gear out – ready to explore the possibilities a frozen white tundra presented.

That was more than 20 years ago.

Now fast forward to that same kid – only with six children of his own, arthritis and a short patience threshold. Snow Days are looked at with dread.
Why the change?
Because, as any parent can attest the first day of a snow day is the best. The adults get to sleep in, we get to spend time as a family and all is well. That little kid still lives inside me that enjoys waking up to the joy of a freshly fallen snow.

Then reality hits….

“Dad I’m thirsty!”

“Dad she is touching me!”

“Dad I’m hungry!”

“Dad, Gavin just tried to flush the cat down the toilet!”

“Dad, Olivia spilled her juice!”

“Dad, Skylar won’t let me watch cartoons!”


(Hello, Dad is unable to come to reality right now. Please leave a message at the tone and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience.) BEEEEEEEEP BEEEP BA BEEP BEEEP!

Do not get me wrong. I love my family and would crawl over broken glass with one arm to do anything for them. Despite my own angry, sometimes overly dramatic take on my kids and sometimes over the top dictator parenting style, I know they will only be young once.

And that does make me sad.

But Mother Nature is a woman that is on my list right now.

One day of no school equals a deep breath and a stiff drink after the day’s events…but two or more makes you start to re-evaluate your priorities as a parent.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


It was a NyQuil, gummy bear Christmas

I have six kids.

Yes, I know what causes that and yes, I have no nerves and yes, it is never a dull moment in my household.

We are a focal point of finger pointing, laughter and open discussion when we go anywhere outside the walls of our humble abode. Those escalate during the Holiday Season and this Holiday Season was no different.

My holiday was spent with two sick kids and myself falling ill. They are young and rocked through it, passing on their pestilence to the rest of their brothers and sisters. We have gone through numerous breathing treatments, a trip to the emergency room, snot pukes (not snot and/or puke, snot pukes) and myself believing I was near death.

It was quite the Holiday Season – but the holidays are about family and the children, so the show had to go on.

Well, Christmas Eve my lovely wife and even lovelier mother-in-law (who was supposed to stay with us through New Years, but magically left yesterday to go to her sister’s house to stay the New Year) needed some time to cook dinner for the family.

Anyone with one child, let alone a house full, knows that is nearly impossible to do. So despite my chest cold and copious amount of fluid leaving my sinuses, I manned-up and took the kids on “errands” to free up time for the feast’s preparation.

Me, with a severe head/chest thing, and six kids on a mission…

Our first stop was to the grocery store for last-minute items, then back home to drop them off. Happened without a hitch, except the baby (who by the way is almost three, but still my baby) cried the whole trip to Foodland and the whole trip back.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Anyone seen ‘Wayne County Band Follies’

And the music stopped…literally this month in Wayne County.

There have been two incidents involving county high school bands in the month of December. Instead of ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ or ‘March of the Wooden Soldiers’ coming from local high school bands – the actions have mirrored the Drama Club more than band.

Rest easy Tolsia High School. This isn’t about you for a change.

Merry Christmas.

Instead, the county’s other two high school band directors’ actions could only be compared to ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”

One reminds me of the Dr. Seuss version – comical with a light-hearted ending. The other one… more like the live action Jim Carey version – a little more realistic and not as fuzzy.

It all started earlier this month when the Town of Wayne had to cancel its scheduled holiday parade December 13. It is pretty difficult to have a parade without the town high school’s band.

The reason the Wayne High School band could not participate?

Huntington was having its parade basically at the same time and the Marching Pioneers had already committed to the Huntington parade. At least that is the story the Wayne Town Council received.

So with great disappointment in their hearts, the Council cancelled the parade.

December 13 came and when folks from Wayne attended the Huntington Parade they were shocked to find something missing. The Wayne High School Band was nowhere to be found.

I am still waiting to hear the reason for this, but to me it’s funny. That is why this is the warm, fuzzy cartoon version. No one could possibly be as deliberate in their actions?

I mean, the man had dealt with the embarrassment of the “Mud Festival,” where only two bands could compete and those that did lost shoes and uniforms to the mud.

That is the only reason I hope Wayne figures out how to turf their field. Football is meant to be played in the mud. Quit being delicate snowflakes.
But the band deserves better.

Then this past week, Spring Valley got the Jim Carey Grinch. After months of planning for the Wolf Pack student section and a pep band to play at the games, the band director at Spring Valley decided not to participate.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Hupp “band follies” folly

I would like to respond to the article written by Michael Hupp, “Anyone seen ‘Wayne County Band Follies,’” and perhaps give him some insight he is obviously lacking. I believe this is the finest example of “creative journalism” I have ever seen. Let’s start at the beginning and work our way through the web, shall we?

The reason the Wayne High School Band could not participate in the Wayne Christmas parade, according to Mr. Hupp, was that the Huntington Christmas Parade was on the same date. HHHmmmm. Let’s analyze this for a moment. Let’s assume this story is correct. The Huntington Christmas Parade has its date set in stone months before the parade actually begins. So if Huntington’s date was set first (as it was) shouldn’t the Wayne Town Council schedule their date on a day that does not interfere with this one? It seems logical if you want a band to participate, you would make certain your date does not interfere with any others. I also find it hard to believe that another date could not be set for this Christmas parade. Now, let’s look at the archives of the Wayne County News and find the story that was reported earlier…”The Wayne High School Band had already “winterized” their uniforms and were not going to participate due to this fact.” While Mr. Hupp may not read the Wayne County News he writes for, I do.

The fact that Mr. Hupp found it prudent to cast shame and embarrassment on Mr. Dunfee at Wayne High School for the “Mud Festival” as he called it, revealed so much about him personally. Let me say, since Brian Dunfee has taken over the Wayne High School Band, that program has done nothing but succeed. He is a fine band director that puts in countless hours before and after school, which by the way he does not get paid for, to make that program a success. I find it difficult to compare him to the cartoon “Grinch” as Michael Hupp has done, but easier to compare him to Mr. Holland (look that one up Michael).

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Tolsia administrators and failing grades

What would you do if your school administrators received failing grades? What if the administrators were the direct cause of your school failing?

Well, that is the question parents, teachers, staff and students are faced with now at Tolsia High School.

Since last school year, 2013-2014, as one instructor put it, Tolsia is slowly being destroyed from the inside out.

Tolsia’s Report Card for 2013-2014:
Math Proficiency: 11% WORSE
Reading and Language Arts Proficiency: 9% WORSE
Attendance: 12% WORSE
School Climate: WORSE
Employee Morale: WORSE
Community Involvement: LESS
Employee Involvement: LESS

This is the report card for Shayne Carey, principal of Tolsia, even with $50,000 extra from a grant to spend on students other schools didn’t have. Doesn’t your student deserve a better opportunity for education? In any normal company, we would see a change in management. How in the world did we let this happen?

Well we didn’t.

The previous Board Of Education president’s inexperienced nephew Shayne Carey, with one year as a Wayne County Schools employee behind his belt, was vicariously imposed upon the school as principal. With no experience as a high school principal, having never taught a single Wayne County student, filled with a better and smarter than us attitude, Mr. Carey implemented his “bell-to-bell teaching” mismanagement style at Tolsia last year.

How’s that working for us? It’s NOT.

Tolsia eleventh graders last year, compared to the same group of students in the tenth grade two years ago, performed 11 percent worse in Math and 9 percent worse in Reading and Language Arts proficiency under Mr. Carey’s administration.

The attendance rate dropped 12 percent last year as compared to two years ago, also under the fine tutelage of Mr. Carey.

School climate and employee morale at the school is worse and community and employee involvement is virtually non-existent. One West Virginia Department of Education official felt it was a shame how divided the school has become.

What’s behind Tolsia’s recent failure? The only change last year was putting in charge inexperienced, out-of-town administrators that don’t seem to have a clue how to run a school, work with professionals or connect with the local communities. Students don’t want to be here either, which is evident from the rise in the absentee rate. Just last Friday, the attendance rate for the school was 83 percent, also the average of last year, down from 95 percent in previous years.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


“Check please,” mankind is done!

Lost in all the commotion about the militarization of police, race riots and the new Star Wars trailer, something happened recently that has cemented my belief that humans as a species, like the dinosaurs before us, are done ruling this planet.

Dear Lord, let the life-killing meteor fall from the sky. I'm calling for a cosmic "check please" because we're done here.

What has sullied my usual sunny demeanor? Simply put, someone broke the Internet.

That someone is you. Yes you, person reading this column. I can safely blame you because statistically speaking you are one of the 2.15 billion people who have watched the "Gangam Style" video on YouTube.

That's as far as the counter can go. A team of computer programmers had to recode the site so it could count even higher.

Somehow, the South Korean musician Psy horse-danced across the screens of computers, smart phones and televisions 2,147,483,647 times and counting…

Even Google, who owns YouTube, wasn't prepared for this kind of foolishness.

On December 1, Google posted a statement saying: "We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer... but that was before we met Psy."

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


TILII: TXTNG makes U SFX dumb

Sports Writer

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. Or more specifically, the death of writing.

Maybe it’s because all I hear is how the new education standard, Common Core, supposedly isn’t preparing our kids for the rigors of being a contributing member of society. Maybe it’s a society that’s increasingly communicating with weird shorthand for actual words and phrases like “TILII” (tell it like it is) “L8R” (later), “m.02” (my two cents) or “SFX” (sound).

When I was a substitute teacher, I theorized to a class of science honors students that with the pervasiveness of texting and smart phone use, humans will evolve in a few hundred years to have tiny heads and gigantic thumbs.

Now it’s coming out that many elementary school students are no longer being taught cursive handwriting. Cursive, some do-gooder in an office somewhere says, is rapidly becoming obsolete. Tell that to any bank that needs your signature here, here, here and here.

We’re animals with an incredible ability to communicate, yet we seem to be regressing in our ability to share our thoughts.

We’re losing our eloquence. Gone are the days of painting a picture with words, at least for the majority of people.

Take for example the following message sent via text message. The person who sent this is supposedly a young person, late teens to early 20s, and declaring their love for someone. I’ve not edited this in any way. It’s as it appears at the Website Love-meter.net.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


The Political one percent pandering

Sports Writer

The November elections can’t get here soon enough.

I can hear my mother saying “Scott, don’t wish your life away.” Usually she said this when I was saying how I couldn’t wait until Christmas, the end of the school year, graduation from high school, whatever. But none of those desires even compare to my wish for this election season to be over.

I’m not opposed to the election process.

I’ve never voted straight party ticket and I’m a registered member of a third party.

I consider myself an informed voter.

What I’m sick of seeing is the pandering to a minority group in West Virginia.

What minority group you ask?


Every ad you see during the day on local television shows a candidate, walking among miners at a processing facility or actual mine and talking about the importance of mining and miners.

I’m very sure if I were a coal miner I’d want to have politicians coming to my job and telling me how important I am to their campaigns. But let’s look at some numbers.

The entire population of West Virginia, according to 2012 U.S. Census numbers, is 1.855 million people. Take the figures from West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training’s Website which says the West Virginia Coal Industry provides about 30,000 direct jobs in W.Va., including miners, mine contractors, coal preparation plant employees and mine supply companies.

Thirty thousand jobs out of a population of 1.855 million people. That means each and every day, a political hopeful dons a hard hat, walks among mined coal and talks about the importance of the work done by 1.62 percent of West Virginia’s population. Now why do you suppose that is?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Redskins and my First World Problem

Sports Writer

Back in January, my wife and I decided to cancel cable. I would like to tell you it’s because of some sort of noble (there’s nothing good on TV) reason but it’s not.

The move was strictly financial. Cable and internet packaged together through our local provider was running us about $100 a month and that was for what is the basic digital package offered by our provider at the time. So it wasn’t like were splurging on premium channels and DVR. It was the second-to-lowest bundle, plus our internet.

Ridiculous, right? That’s what we thought.

Now we have Netflix and a small digital antenna hanging on the wall next to the TV. It’s enough for me. The kids miss Spongebob Squarepants, but they can get their Spongebob fix when they visit their Granny and Papaw.

I miss NASCAR. Once it’s off FOX, I’m relegated to reading about the races instead of watching them. It’s honestly not bothering me that much. OK, maybe just a little.

But as football season gets ever closer, I’m starting to sympathize with my two Spongebob-addicted offspring. How will I watch football if all I get through my antenna are NBC, FOX and a few other channels that I know aren’t going to have football? That’ll leave me with two, maybe three games a week and there’s no guarantee teams I care about will be involved.

This is a First World Problem is there ever was one

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Lack of criticism for Putter-In-Chief

Sports Writer

I used to play golf, when I could justify the cost of green fees and the occasional trip to the driving range.

But then the economy collapsed, I was laid off from two different jobs in four years and my annual income dropped by about $15K a year. Sort of hard to justify dropping $25 on a round of golf when the electric bill needs to be paid.

But a failed economy, a farce of a recovery and political and social fires haven’t kept Barack Obama off the golf course.

George W. Bush was roundly and justifiably criticized for his apparent lack of sympathy for the plight of the world when he spoke about terrorism while standing in the tee box on a golf course. After speaking about the evils of terrorism, he then told the reporters to “watch this drive.” Michael Moore played the clip in his “documentary” Fahrenheit 9/11 and used it as an example of how detached Bush was from the realities of war and governing a country.

Notice the lack of any noise from the media or celebrities about Obama’s love for the fairway.

According to the Website Obamagolfcounter.com, the Putter in Chief has hit the links 182 times since taking office. His first round as Putter in Chief was 22 days after his first day in office. In all, his longest span of not playing golf has been 98 days. Imagine the horror of not being able to get away from it all and relax on the golf course for 98 days.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


North Bend fest will be really ‘Wild’

Sports Writer

It’s going to get wild at North Bend State Park in September.

The West Virginia Wild Food and Mushroom Enthusiasts join to present the 47th Annual Nature Wonder “Wild Foods” Weekend September 19 through 20.

Organizers are looking for favorite wild foods from all 55 counties in West Virginia. That burden would have to be left up to you, dear reader, because I wouldn’t know the difference between a good mushroom and a bad mushroom.

All I know about mushrooms is there are the kind that are delicious on a pizza or steak and there are the kind that help you taste the color orange, if you know what I mean.

Comedian and modern philosopher Bill Hicks once spoke about taking mushrooms. Here’s what he experienced:

“Three weeks ago two of my friends and I went to a ranch in Frederick, Texas, and took what Terence McKenzie calls “a heroic dose.” Five dried grams. Let me tell you, our third eye was squeegeed quite cleanly. Wow! And I’m glad they’re against the law, ‘cause you know what happened when I took ‘em? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours, going ‘My God, I love everything.’ The heavens parted, God looked down and rained gifts of forgiveness onto my being, healing me on every level, psychically, physically, emotionally.

And I realized our true nature is spirit, not body, that we are eternal beings, and God’s love is unconditional ‘n’ there’s nothing we can ever do to change that. It is only our illusion that we are separate from God, or that we are alone. In fact the reality is we are one with God and He loves us. Now, if that isn’t a hazard to this country...”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Today’s country music: The de-evolution of a genre

Sports Writer

Country music.

I hate it.

Today’s modern country music is nothing but noise for the lowest common denominator.

Now that I’ve offended most of you, can we talk about something?

A few nights ago I was channel surfing television at home when I stopped on Zuus Country. I stopped because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing.

Before I go on, let me tell you a story. When my wife and I were first married we went on a road trip. On this trip we started a conversation about how someday country music artists would cover power ballads from “hair” bands of the 1980s. So we both, with our most ridiculous and over the top country twang began singing power ballad staples like Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” and Cinderella’s “Don’t Know What You Got.”

One of the songs we twanged up was Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home.” This is what caused me to stop, watch, listen, and throw up a little in my mouth at the sight of what was on my television.

Country artist Justin Moore is the offender. He, with the blessing of Motley Crue, has released a cover of Home Sweet Home. His voice is more twangy than I could ever hope to mock.
I thought it was a joke. Nobody, I mean nobody, can sing naturally with that much twang. But clearly I was wrong because there it was.

I let it go when the Scorpions’ “Rock you Like A Hurricane” was used in a Fiber One commercial. But this is just uncalled for. Is Nashville trying to take all my teenage musical memories out in the woods and shoot them in the back of the head?

To be fair, I used to like country music. I still like to settle down in a comfy chair, put on my headphones and listen to Hank Williams Junior’s album “The Pressure is on.” But what assaulted my ears and eyes wasn’t country music. It was an abomination before the Lord.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


The nonsense: I see dead people

Sports Writer

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” - Mark Twain

What would you do if someone who shared your name died, but the physician’s group to which your doctor belongs thought it was you and cancelled all future doctor’s appointments?

This is exactly what happened to my mother recently.

In this column, names have been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent. For the purpose of this column and to head off any potential legal ramifications, my mom is named Jane M. Doe. Sorry mom.

For a few years now my parents have been (for lack of a better word), harassed by bill collectors and other telephone bounty hunters because a Jane M. Doe apparently failed to pay her bills.

So what’s a company looking to recoup money it’s owed to do? Look up Jane M. Doe in West Virginia on Internet people searches and begin calling her.

One problem with that strategy: They were calling the wrong Jane M. Doe.

My mom tried to convince the people on the other end of the line that she wasn’t the Jane M. Doe they were looking for. Some apologized and moved on. Others became indignant and smarmy. This is where the mother I know now – the doting grandmother, VA volunteer, active DAR member and Sunday school teacher, became the mother I remember from my youth. The mother who appeared when I sang The Devil went Down to Georgia with the line “I told you once you son of a ...” or when I spilled chocolate milk in her new kitchen.

So, kudos to those collection callers for bringing out the devil in Jane M. Doe. No, not the Jane M. Doe they were looking for – the other one.

But this incredible inconvenience came to a crescendo when mom, Jane M. Doe, was trying to confirm a doctor’s appointment with University Physicians only to discover all her appointments have been wiped from the books because, according to University Physicians, Jane M. Doe is dead.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Back to school in August?

Sports Writer

Back to school.

Those three words bring back horrible memories of failure, struggle and disappointment for this writer.

But at least when I was in school we didn’t have to go back until a few days before or after Labor Day.

Starting school the first week of August is ridiculous. Just one month ago my family and I were watching fireworks and celebrating July 4th. Now, I have to try and roust a surly, foul tempered, six-year-old from her slumber to get her on the bus by 7:15 a.m. This is after I have to roust a surly, foul tempered, 40-year-old from his slumber. Let me tell you, that six-year-old apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

I have yet to see a compelling reason to start the school year so early. I have been told it’s because, in order to reach the state-mandated number of education days, the schools must start early to account for potential snow days in the winter.

Allow me to destroy this logic. If the main roads are clear, school should be in session. If a child isn’t there, count them absent. It’s a good lesson for life.

In this column “Timmy” will be my generic student of any age. Mr. Moneysworth will be a generic boss. Here we go.

“When it snows, Timmy, your boss Mr. Moneysworth doesn’t care that there’s three inches of snow on the ground. He wants you at work.”

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Dangerous animal bill nothing but more laws

Sports Writer

It seems public pressure, or maybe public shaming, has caused the state of West Virginia to amend their Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

In it’s original form, the Dangerous Wild Animal Act would have banned the ownership of animals like lions, tigers and elephants. It also banned owning rabbits, turtles, sugar gliders and tree frogs.

In a recent meeting, a board charged with coming up with the list removed some of the more laughable animals that were banned in the original list. Or, as they put it, clear up the confusion.

There were more than 200 public comments made on the proposed law. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture also received public comment on rabbits, alpacas, ferrets, and guinea pigs, although Jewell Plumley, state veterinarian/ director of the animal health division of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, said those animals are exempt from the law.

Here’s where I have to disagree. The original list has species broken down by category and by scientific name. The part where rabbits were included in the banned list is pretty clear. Under the mammals category there’s Lagomorpha. In parenthesis next to Lagomorpha are pikas, rabbits and hares. What follows this is pretty airtight when it comes to understanding – “all species prohibited.”

What part of “all species prohibited” am I, nor 200 other West Virginians not understanding?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Social media: Now Tool and cesspool

Sports Writer

Social media can be a powerful tool. It can help reunite friends and keep family in touch across the world.

It’s also a cesspool of self-indulgent celebrities, wannabe activists and a forum for complaining when actually doing something about a problem is too hard.

I’ve been a long-time participant on Facebook and recently joined Twitter. It hasn’t taken long to realize any sense of decorum or personal responsibility goes out the virtual window when it comes to either one of these.

The worst is the “hash-tag activism” that permeates Twitter. It’s where people who can’t, or won’t, do something about a problem in the world will voice their opinions on Twitter with a statement prefaced by a “hash tag” visually represented by the pound sign (#).

Even our very own first lady is guilty of hash tag activism. When 270 schoolgirls were kidnapped in Nigeria, the FLOTUS posted a picture to social media holding a hand-written sign with “# bring back our girls” written on it. FLOTUS looks sad in the picture, so her message looks sincere, and I’m sure it was. But as of July 14, the girls are still being held hostage, so clearly the kidnappers didn’t understand the importance of a hash tag on social media.

It’s a shame, if only FLOTUS knew someone who has an army and could actually help these girls. Nah, a picture on the Internet is good enough. #useless.

After the Supreme Court ruled a closely held company didn’t have to provide benefits the owners of the company view as offensive to deeply held personal beliefs, social media exploded.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Positively impacting a community

Sports Writer

So often the things I write are not…well, positive.

When I decide to opine on a topic it generally is a rant or scathing piece about something going wrong in Wayne County. It is not very often the opportunity presents itself to write about someone doing right.

Fortunately there are several people doing grass roots campaigns in Westmoreland this month, making this small community unique. What is making the events even more special are young adults under 40-years-old (or near) conducting the events.
It all started this month with Westmorlapalooza.

Charley Bailey and Daniel Wiles, along with friends, had a cookout three years ago at Wiles’ Westmoreland home where ideas were shared on how the younger generation could contribute to the community. Old-timers and youth alike that grew up in Westmoreland until Vinson High School closed have often spoken of the community’s glory years when numerous events centered on community enrichment.

Bailey and Wiles wanted to bring a piece of those memories back to Westmoreland and thus Westmorlapalooza was born. It has grown each year with more community members participating. The group recently sponsored a community cleanup that brought 60 volunteers to the streets of Westmoreland to pick up trash off the streets.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Saving us from ourselves, one rabbit at a time

Sports Writer

HUNTINGTON – Into every life a little rain must fall.

Lurking just outside your window is a threat you probably never imagined. Heck, you might even have one living with you. Your child might be holding one right now!

But don’t worry, the Department of Natural Resources and Bureau of Health, among others, have imagined them for you.

Back in the winter when the Legislature was in session, they took it upon themselves to pass a bill to clamp down on ownership of animals deemed too dangerous or exotic for the average citizen to own.

Animal rights proponents applauded the effort. After all, who wants to see a majestic lion or noble elephant caged in a single-wide trailer at the head of some holler, right?

But the celebration was short lived and the applause stopped in hilarious fashion when it came to light that the legislature had passed the bill without ever providing a list of the dangerous animals that would be banned.

The bill, now known as the West Virginia Dangerous Animals Act, required various agencies to determine which animals are dangerous and which are not. The list was devised by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the state Department of Natural Resources and the Bureau of Public Health under the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Last week, the list of banned animals was made public with the Department of Agriculture as the lead agency listed on the document.

Among the animals that fall under a total ban are all species of rabbits, hares and turtles.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Most destructive force lives with me

Sports Writer

What’s the most destructive force on earth?

You may be thinking a tornado or earthquake. Maybe you even thought of a volcano. But you’re wrong.

The correct answer is a two-year-old boy. More specifically my two-year-old boy, Levi.

Don’t let Levi’s little Chiclets-like buck teeth and small stature fool you. His destructive powers could be the envy of even the most vengeful Greek god.

The marker on the walls of my house and the crushed cookie crumbs in the carpet speak to the destructive powers of his little hands. How can something that weighs less than 30 pounds create such havoc?

His big sister tried to play with him, and usually they play very well together, but there are some days when it just seems like chaos reigns supreme in our house.

Levi has a gift for getting under the skin of his big sister – maybe that’s just hardwired into the brains of little brothers. If Claire, my six-year-old, is having a bad day, Levi knows just how to make it even worse.

“Levi! Leave me alone!”

Levi will leave her alone for a few seconds. Then he gets a mischievous grin and will just reach out and touch her.

“Levi! Stop it!” Claire will yell. Levi giggles and walks away. Then he’ll walk back toward his sister and touch her again. I stress that he’s doing nothing more than touching her. He’s not hitting or slapping her; he’s merely pointing out his finger and touching her.

“Levi! Daddy, Levi is annoying!” Claire will yell. Then Levi runs away laughing.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Your Christian denomination
may depend upon a comma

Sports Writer

With Easter weekend upon us, there has been a lot of talk about Heaven in the media this week.

The movie “Heaven is for Real” premiers this weekend. It’s based on a book in which a little boy says he went to heaven and describes to his parents what he saw.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted as saying, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

There’s not enough space in this newspaper for me to point out how wrong this statement is theologically. I’ll just say he’s clearly an idiot.

Also, this week, I stumbled upon an online debate about whether or not when one dies, we immediately go to heaven or hell or just go to sleep until the judgment.

For the sake of this column, let’s think about Christian theology regarding the afterlife.

The root of this debate is Luke 23:43 where Jesus tells the repentant thief who’s being crucified next to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Or is it “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.”

Do you see the difference? A simple comma. And that, as I told my wife, is why there are so many denominations of Protestants.

Of course there are dozens of English translations of the Bible. Your translation may vary.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


How to write a letter and get $6,000 from the Wayne County school board

On Tuesday, June 3rd, parents and students from Tolsia High School attended the Wayne County Board of Education meeting. For Tolsia parents, it was the apex of a problem the school has had for the past year, and enough is enough.

Basically the community has lost nearly all connection with the school, and Tolsia has been turned into a prison for our students. But, the principal recently received a $6,000 Superintendent recommended and Board approved raise just for requesting it. It’s time you know some of the magic that has been happening at Tolsia High School.

Last year, bids were issued for new high school basketball coaches, both the head coach and assistant coaches at Tolsia. In every instance in all three high schools of our county, a representative from the Athletic Boosters is part of the interview committee to select the coaches. Qualified persons did bid on the positions, but were not interviewed. A phone call was made and a person that did not even bid for the position, from outside the community, was appointed as head coach with only middle school experience. Not a single interview was made of those local community members who bid on the position, even though a highly qualified person had placed a bid. The Athletic Boosters were not allowed to be part of the process. It was all done by the new Tolsia high school administration and central office before the community members were even aware of it. The students suffered through the season last year with the inexperienced, appointed coach, but it was vowed not to allow it to repeat again. Tolsia students deserved better.

Even though Tolsia has only existed since 1988, it has a rich history and tradition with the communities in athletics, academics and after-school programs. Part of this comes from the desire for the communities to accept the consolidation of Crum and Fort Gay High Schools, and many of the traditions from those schools became part of Tolsia. Yet, Tolsia has been borne to suffer the past year from many poor decisions by the new high school administration and central office.

First, it is important to note that both administrators assigned to Tolsia High School this year had little to no high school administrative experience and are not from our community. In fact, Mr. Shayne Carey, the current principal of Tolsia, was not a resident of Wayne County and has never taught a single student in Wayne County. Sadly, because of many of the administrative decisions made throughout the year by Mr. Carey, attendance is down, teacher morale is the lowest ever, ties with the community are strained or severed, and he got a $6,000 raise for being a yes man to the central office.

Let me give you some examples of what has been going on at Tolsia over the past year:

One teacher took students on two occasions for college tryouts helping them to secure athletic scholarships for college. The teacher’s time was docked for doing this. Probably not a great motivator for helping students get scholarships for college. Another teacher was asked by a student to attend the funeral of a family member and he only missed a few class periods. This teacher’s time was docked too. What you have to understand is under normal circumstances teachers cover classes for each other when needed for special circumstances to help the students, so a substitute teacher was not required. For some students, the people at Tolsia are family, sometimes the only family they may have, and Tolsia, in turn, has always been there for them, but not anymore. Another teacher received a below standard evaluation from the principal because of his number of missed days attendance. Yes, the teacher missed 22 days, but his young child had been diagnosed with cancer and he had to travel with her out of state for cancer treatments.

Yet, every time there was some event at school that needed his attention, he and his students worked over and above the call of duty, but he still received a below standard evaluation. Another staff member had three deaths in the family over a short period and was informed because of the missed workdays during this time it was being considered to place her on a plan of improvement.

Teachers have been docked even when attending something related directly to student educational improvement, but later had their pay restored after complaints were made to the central office. Another teacher left early due to an injury at school, and rest assured the compassionate Mr. Carey instructed the office staff to dock the instructor.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Bill Rosenburger

Wayne County students among the best and brightest

By BILL ROSENBURER Communications Officer for Wayne County Schools

Education is best served by data because numbers don’t lie. So, it’s true that West Virginia as a whole spends more on education than most states in the nation, yet collectively ranks near the bottom.

However, there are so many shining stars in Wayne County that its nearly 7,500 students might be more of an exception than the standard.

Last month, hundreds of students earned their high school diplomas, given in public graduation ceremonies. In the week leading up to commencement, though, many of those nearly graduates were recognized at senior award assemblies as scholarship recipients.

Of those 464 graduates, the scholarship money awarded is in the millions of dollars. And, 77 of those students received West Virginia’s PROMISE Scholarship—50 at Spring Valley, 12 at Tolsia and 15 at Wayne – representing 16.5 percent of the combined graduating classes. That’s about $1.5 million just for PROMISE Scholarship recipients.

Throughout the school year, students across the county rose to the high expectations our teachers set. Nicholas Caudill, who just received his diploma from Tolsia, earned the school’s first-ever medal in the state’s SkillsUSA carpentry competition – and it was a gold.

Spring Valley and Wayne high schools also had students place in the SkillsUSA competition, with several gold-medal winners qualifying for the national event this summer in Kansas City.

Students placed in the annual Marshall University SCORES Academic Festival, earned Golden Horseshoes, were recognized at local and state levels for their art and musical abilities, qualified for National Math Field Day, competed in the state History Bowl, earned invitations to the Fourth Brigade Best of the Best JROTC Raider Challenge and participated in West Virginia Young Writers Day.

Two of our school’s choral programs took part in 25th annual America Sings, and one, Wayne Elementary, performed the national anthem at the West Virginia Power baseball game.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!



Studies: W.Va. Growth industry


Who has been telling you now for years that studies in West Virginia is a growth industry?

CBS News, Sacramento, California, reveals that a study made by a California outfit and another in Finland concluded there are too many studies.

Studies from the last few years, commissioned by Democrats, all turned out to be a means to convince the voting public that they are accomplishing something.

Perhaps the most silly, was media darling Senator Joe Minchin’s study to find out how to save money. He ordered up the study, conducted by a study mill in Pennsylvania, without regard to seeking completive bidding to the tune of about $600,000.

Remember the big push from a few years ago to build a new airport in Lincoln County?

That time, there was at least two studies because the first one did not give the movers and shakers the right recommendations.

I believe several million was spent between those in favor, and the Yeager Air supporters who were against the idea. My numbers could be wrong because toward the end of the effort no one was willing tell us just how much public money was squandered.

As I write this, the so-called “engineered fill” at Yeager is sliding into the creek. Perhaps Yeager should not have been against a new airport after all..

Two or three legislative sessions ago, there was a study asking what needs to be done to fix our broken education system. I think that one cost about 300 grand.

There was another 300 grand model looking into our healthcare system. The specifics that time, was ill health resulting from tobacco and alcoholism.

It also gave recommendations about obesity caused by over eating and a poor diet; it might also have studied drug addition.

Then again, there might have been a separate study of drug addition.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Union, Social Security, facts and figures


“The top two items on the republican’s agenda, for years, have been to rid our country of Social Security and break the unions. These two things saved this country,” so says a commenter.

I sure have no idea how anyone could construe that Social Security saved our country.

In today’s news, their inspector general reports that there are 6.5 million people on the SS rolls that are 112 years old.

Wow! Talk about senior citizens!

There are those who have assumed some of these Social Security numbers, including President Obama.

Apparently, Social Security is so bloated with antiquated accounting methods they have no way of knowing when people pass on to that Happy Hunting Ground.

Roosevelt told the people that their Social Security money would be invested to earn interest, but that never happened.

Like all government “lock boxes,” politicians dip into the funds as fast as it accumulates. There are only IOUs in the trust fund of Social Security, the highway trust fund and who knows what else.

Obama took a $700 Billion advance from the Medicare fund to balance the books of Obamacare – and that was not enough.

I took the opportunity to ask a real living SEIU union member “What has the union done for you?”

“If it was not for the union, our employer would fire us without cause.”

“Really?” I asked.

“You have an important job here, do you really believe that?”

She likes it that the union “backs us up.”

I then asked if she knew that SEIU took $34 million dollars of union dues to put Obama in office.

She didn’t know that.

What about SEIU raising union dues in California for the purpose of spending it on more political activity?

Nope, she did not know that either.

I asked her if SEIU has ever offered any sort of additional training to make you a more valuable employee?

Answer. “No.”

I asked have they spent any of your dues for the betterment of members besides wage increases.

I suggested she do some reading about SEIU for herself. She told me I had given her cause to wonder.

It is no secret that our education system continues to decline.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Liberal columnist blames GOP for Democrat failures


If only she would subscribe to the Wayne County News so she could read my columns she’d already know that West Virginia is the sickest, most addicted, least educated, most obese, most welfare dependent, least business friendly and just now reported – the most unhappy.

Each of these is the legacy of Democrat rule.

All this, Diane Mufson is now blaming on the new Republican majority in the House and Senate.

It took 80 years for the Democrats to get us into the shape we are in now, surely it all can’t be reversed in the time frame of a single legislative session.

Indeed, when God created West Virginia, He blessed us with vast natural resources, beautiful vistas to see, plenty of water, magnificent mountains, and a Goldilocks climate. So much was provided all the other states are so jealous they could spit.

The Archangel Gabriel asked God, “aren’t You over doing it?”

God said, “Yes, perhaps, but I’m making things more equal so the other states can better compete by filling West Virginia with a pack of liberal Democrats.”

My liberal buddy, DW Mufson (I call her DW for short), is the Eleanor Cliff of the Herald-Dispatch.

DW starts off with the chemical spill into the Elk River she says was poison.

That is not so!

A calamity?

Yes. But no one died. Some got sick and many signed up with ambulance-chasing law firms to see how much money they could get.

The real calamity was the knee jerk reaction by the Democrats in the legislature to hurry and pass that water bill to solve all our water problems. The concern was tank size instead of what might be in the tanks.

Turns out, the law is so convoluted it is unworkable and needs serious re-writing or junked for a totally new law.

Despite the fact that nicotine is the most dangerous and most addictive of all drugs, tobacco in all its forms remains legal to sell on every street corner.

DW is not concerned about that, instead she doesn’t like allowing people to smoke or chew in designated places.

The real reason tobacco continues to be used is governments are not willing to give up all the tax revenue.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Constitution did not require a gun permit


It has been in the news lately that the largest shopping mall in the United State is now a target of Muslim extremists – make that terrorists.

Because that is what they are.

Never mind the contorted reasoning of Barack Obama and his lightweight empty suit staff.

Along with assurances of increased security by management staff of the Mall of America they have signs posted “weapons are prohibited inside the mall.”

Wow! I feel better already.

I don ‘t know about the Huntington Mall (that is in Barboursville); do they have such signs too?

I can just see a group of black-dressed terrorists wearing their balaclavas stopping by (on their way to another mass beheading) to buy fresh undies and checking their weapons at the door.

Our founders thought it was wise to provide that U.S. citizens can arm themselves against assault by tyrannical governments, criminals and terrorists.

The very idea of a piece of paper or plastic to allow you to arm yourself is absurd.

There is no place in our constitution that says you must have permission to carry a firearm, the second amendment grants that permission – period.

The uncertainly that a person might be armed is a good deterrent. Remember when Crocodile Dundee explained the difference between his knife and that of the punk kid?

Now there is a bill in the West Virginia legislature to dismiss the concealed weapon permit requirement.

Such a permit sure does not stop criminals from carrying a weapon, does it?

Sheriff Tom McComas thinks it does.

Memo to Sheriff Tom; criminals and dope peddlers could not care less about a conceal carry permit.

Sheriff Tom believes that the permit promotes safety.

That’s just more hogwash.

What more is there to understand about a shootin’ iron than to know where the business end is, how to load it and how to pull the trigger?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Constitution did not require a gun permit


It has been in the news lately that the largest shopping mall in the United State is now a target of Muslim extremists – make that terrorists.

Because that is what they are.

Never mind the contorted reasoning of Barack Obama and his lightweight empty suit staff.

Along with assurances of increased security by management staff of the Mall of America they have signs posted “weapons are prohibited inside the mall.”

Wow! I feel better already.

I don ‘t know about the Huntington Mall (that is in Barboursville); do they have such signs too?

I can just see a group of black-dressed terrorists wearing their balaclavas stopping by (on their way to another mass beheading) to buy fresh undies and checking their weapons at the door.

Our founders thought it was wise to provide that U.S. citizens can arm themselves against assault by tyrannical governments, criminals and terrorists.

The very idea of a piece of paper or plastic to allow you to arm yourself is absurd.

There is no place in our constitution that says you must have permission to carry a firearm, the second amendment grants that permission – period.

The uncertainly that a person might be armed is a good deterrent. Remember when Crocodile Dundee explained the difference between his knife and that of the punk kid?

Now there is a bill in the West Virginia legislature to dismiss the concealed weapon permit requirement.

Such a permit sure does not stop criminals from carrying a weapon, does it?

Sheriff Tom McComas thinks it does.

Memo to Sheriff Tom; criminals and dope peddlers could not care less about a conceal carry permit.

Sheriff Tom believes that the permit promotes safety.

That’s just more hogwash.

What more is there to understand about a shootin’ iron than to know where the business end is, how to load it and how to pull the trigger?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Who can tell if
you’re a Christian?


Ruddy Giuliani, while giving a speech, said he did not think Barack Obama loves his country.

That got expanded to questions about Mr. Obama’s Christianity.

I believe most of us have a very strong affection for the place where we were reared. The older I get the more emotional I am. I get teary eyed watching one of those Hallmark TV love stories, especially if there is a dog in the show.

I can’t recite much of West Virginia’s real state song without chocking up. I’m hopelessly a West Virginian.

Obama was raised in Indonesia, so I suppose he has fond memories of that country. Truth is, Democrats were so eager to regain the White House they did not bother to learn much of anything about the man.

The only thing we actually do know about President Obama is he has no life experience about anything.

My home was on top of the Beckley-area mountains, so I just never understood why anyone would love Logan where the sun does not rise until about 10 a.m.

I’m sure Governor Tomlin loves Logan as much as I love my Friar Patch Mountain.

I had a business acquaintance in Amman, Jordan, who told me he could never be happy unless he lived in the desert.

My Jamaican brother lived in a tropical paradise.

Eskimos would not have it any other way than eternal snow.

I do not believe for a minute that President Obama has any real deep understanding about the history of the United States.

Does he like what he has been given?

Who would not like a free college education, the cushy Senator job and all the benefits of President of the United States?

He has zero comprehension of what it means to be a United States soldier. He is in good company because there is a lot of our citizens that don’t know either.

I doubt he gets that tingle when he hears the Star Spangled Banner and I doubt he knows why Francis Scott Key was on an English Man-of-War when he wrote the lines.

Few people have ever heard about the yellow butterflies that are always near the tomb of the unknown. Too bad so much of our heritage is lost to us because such trivial things are not worth learning.

The people who should be teaching us about our history are not because they were not taught either.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Right to work


Just about every union boss in West Virginia has jumped on the bandwagon, saying that a right to work law in West Virginia is wrong for “the working man.”


A federal judge in Texas points out that the Obama administration has, “granted the right to work lawfully to people it chose not to deport.” President Obama has issued a Do Not Deport executive order that allows about 5 million people who are in our country illegally the right to stay here and the right to work.

If a right to work law is good enough for illegals, then certainly it should be good enough for law-abiding citizens of the United States.

If not, then unions are making their members second-class citizens.

The second Continental Congress says it is self-evident that “we the people” are given unalienable rights – one of them is Liberty.

“We the people” created our government to secure this right. If the government is not willing to protect this right, then “we the people” can abolish it (vote out of office current members) and elect new ones.

That is what happened in West Virginia; Democrats not willing to protect the rights of all have been replaced.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year (2014) only about 10 percent of West Virginia’s work force was unionized. Almost half of that are our hard working under-paid and over-worked schoolteachers.

Most West Virginians recognize that college educated people by and large do not need the protection of a union. The West Virginia legislature should have long ago insured that the teaching profession is well-paid, well-respected and recognized as very necessary for the well being of our West Virginias citizens but they did not.

This is the only reason there is a teacher union. Each and every politician puts education first in his or her bucket list when running for office. Yet once in office, all those lofty words and promises are ignored.

Before I continue, please understand there is nothing wrong with being a union member provided membership is a freedom of choice and not a condition of employment. Unions were derived from trade unions that were derived from trade guilds.

Guild members were, and continue to be, a respected part of society. Membership indicates you are a master of your craft. In the days of guilds, apprenticeship was an integral and necessary part of a guild. This insured continuation of the high quality expected from a guild members.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Water bill still a disaster: A West Virginia fable


I still have that dopey D. Clayton Perdue political letter he sent out last March telling us how great Senate Bill 373 was.
It “generated state and national recognition,” so wrote Prayer Beads.

A year later after the state EPA guys actually wrote the darn thing it is incomprehensible, labeled not workable and seems headed for a complete re-write by the Republican majority and is ridiculed by everyone.

I don’t hold Uncle Donald at fault, he was only doing what he was instructed to do to – upstage Republicans when they were in the minority.

The fault is the whole Keystone Kops legislature who gave us the worthless Clean Water bill.

Now a year later, the manure pile is stirred up again. The terrible derailment and fires in Boomer eviscerates the Water Bill and shows our water supply is not any safer now than it was before the Elk River was so seriously contaminated in January 2014.

Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from the safety of their homes while a snowstorm was raging.

The Kanawha River is contaminated by the crude oil from the tanker cars, and the derailed cars are still burning as I write this.

Who knew that the CSX Railroad was moving tanker cars of crude oil from North Dakota through our state, apparently with no special precautions and to make matters even worse, in the middle of a major snowstorm?

Moving oversized loads on our highway requires special precautions and a permit. Did CSX have a permit?

John D. Rockefeller recognized the folly of moving crude oil in railroad tank cars 100 years ago. Have we not leaned anything since that time?

Common sense tells me that at least moving hazardous materials by rail or motor freight should be done during daylight hours only – and at a reduced speed.

Was this shipment so urgent that it had to be done during a major snowstorm?

This whole scenario tells me that much cooler heads should prevail this time to really come up with problem solving legislation.

We need an ounce of prevention instead of the pounds of cure.

We met years ago when Carlos Bozzoli was working for a company in Argentina involved in industrial water treatment.

He was seeking an alternative to a very expensive water-hardness analyzer. I was able to help, and from then on we enjoyed a good relationship for many years.

When Marshall’s MBA Capstone trip was already arranged, they realized they needed someone in Argentina to be their guide.

I asked Carlos if he could be of service and of course he was very helpful.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Why do I care?
I’ve got mine


I have been very critical of our elected leaders for their refusal to meet with the citizens of Wayne County.

Every time I brought it up to “Thin Skin” Perdue, he’d give me one of his excuses why he was so busy and that he stays in contact over the phone.

After Cabell County held its first town meeting, I was hopeful that we in Wayne County could have a successful one as well.

Thanks to Doug Reynolds for organizing it, he did not look too happy with the proceedings.

No thanks to Senator Mark Maynard who was “tied up.”

Sorry Dr. Rohrbach couldn’t lend his respect.

Senator Pylmale left early (a prior commitment). I wanted to hear what was learned on his China trip.

Delegates Hicks and Perdue deliberately turned what could have been a place to hear new ideas into a cheerleading rally for unions without pom-poms. This from your public servant Don Perdue, who bills himself as a “Champion for collaboration and not division.”

Yes, I was disappointed and before anybody jumps me for not attending, my excuse is legitimate.

I asked my editor, who corrects my poor spelling and punctuation, why I should be so concerned.

I’ve got mine, so to speak. My kids are well educated with good jobs, everything we own is paid for and we get two fat Social Security checks each month, plus the money we saved continues to earn dividends and has appreciated in value.

Medicare pays for my broken ankle treatment. For the record, I started paying into Social Security at age 14.

Despite all of West Virginia’s warts and problems – I do care.

I am concerned about my fellow West Virginians, especially our young. They deserve a much better West Virginia than we have now.

I know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and our people should not have to do that. I’m sorry for those on welfare and food stamps. It is demeaning and people are ashamed they have to depend on others for a living. I’m sure most folks would rather earn their own living.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Lot more to right-to-work than union vs. nonunion


Once again our senior delegate for Wayne County has made another one of his preposterous pronouncements.

“I am absolutely opposed to anything that hurts working people; that’s organized labor and non-organized labor, period.”

This is clearly a case of having your cake and eating it, too.

How can, “I’ll always be a labor Democrat” favor only organized labor without hurting those people denied a job because they are not in a union.

When West Virginia enacts its right to work law, all the union members will be out of a job, so predicts the screwed up mind of Democrats.

In right to work states, union membership did not decrease because people were given the freedom to have a job that did not require them to pay dues to a union.

Fact is, unions are the reason the membership is in decline. Once upon a time in the coalfields of Kentucky, West Virginia, etc., there were over 500,000 union coal miners. Unions priced their members out of a job.

Time after time in recent years, unions have attempted to unionize only to be turned away because they do not offer any good reason to join. Illinois, one of the most politically corrupt states in our union, has three former governors are spending time for their transgressions. Now the new Illinois Governor Rauner signed an executive order barring forced collection of union dues as a condition of employment.

“An employee who is forced to pay unfair share dues is being forced to fund political activity with which they disagree. That is a clear violation of First Amendment rights—and something that, as governor, I am duty-bound to correct,” the governor was quoted saying.

Times are changing. I hope West VIrginia will not be the last state to recognize it.

A major reason businesses are not lining up to move to West Virginia is they do not want to be constrained by union-only employees.

When a self-righteous pompous liberal says working man, those who play by the rules, he means union members, folks who are down trodden by the one percent and people who lack enough education or skills to earn beyond a minimum wage.

A small business owner or a doctor, dentist, nurse, lawyer or engineer does not actually work in the eyes of Bill Clinton believers.

It never occurs to these believers that these are the real work force that pays the largest share of taxes. These people work far beyond a 40-hour week and might have spent 15 years or more just to obtain the skill they now perform.

The small business owner and his employees represent over half of this nation’s work force.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


just looking to
buy something
of value

Once I attended Small Business Day in Charleston to see how our state government is run (so we were told).

I met more legislators on Artist Day than Small Business Day wondering up and down the hallowed halls of our Capitol.

After a Dutch treat lunch at the Capitol cafeteria located in the basement, our group assembled in a room to allow representatives to come by to say a few words. Only one state senator showed up – no delegates.

Oshel Craigo told us that we should employ a real lobbyist. I asked the senator if representing us was not his job and he quickly made a hasty retreat from the room.

I never bothered to attend another Small Business Day.

A lot of money changes hands in the legislature coming from lobbyists. I don’t believe any delegate or senator who says lobbyists do not expect something in return.

Another time, members of the District Export Council were part of a group meeting at the Governors house beside the Capitol.

Senator Byrd and Rockefeller were there; I don’t remember if Rahall attended. There were a lot of men from Japan in attendance looking for business relationships.

Senator Byrd told me, along with three or four other guys as we sampled the finger food, that he despised lobbyists and would not allow them in his office.

He said he was the lobbyist for West Virginia.

Banning for a year – no, make that “cannot be registered as a lobbyist” for a year, members of the administration or legislature is purely cosmetic.

Those who employ lobbyists are seeking influence – plain and simple.

Lobbyists closest to the administration or legislature, or have the deepest pockets, are the most effective.

Eleven Democrats now want to slap the wrist of political party chairs.

One Mingo County Democrat says this is not a political party issue. No, no, it is an ethical issue to prevent special interests from intertwining with politics.

Heaven forbid a special interest group would even think of jumping in bed with politics.

With halos over their heads, these Democrats said we want to be ethically sound. Another Democrat, Isaac Sponaugle, sporting his halo, says we are not attempting to make Democrats look better than Republicans.

That’ll be the day!

There is nothing ethical about lobbying. It is gaining influence in exchange for things of value like friendship, food, booze, political donations, or worst of all, cold hard cash delivered in a plain brown wrapper.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Tired of hearing same “Fighting for you,” vow

Don’t you get tired of hearing one of our politicians say something like this, “I have heard it loud and clear from the voters that they want action.

“Be assured that I will be FIGHTING for them in Washington.”

What a bunch of poppycock.

Our new congressman, Evan Jenkins, said just about the same thing on the morning TV news.

“Fighting” for us sounds down right crude if you ask me.

For 38 years I heard it over and over out of Rahall.

All you ever heard out of Senator Rockefeller was “I’m fighting for you.”

I did not want Mr. Rahall to fight on my behalf; I expected him to represent West Virginia to the best of his ability.

I never expected him to be in Guam, instead of meeting with his constituents. I never expected my congressman to make a fool out of himself in Las Vegas. I sure did not mean for him to pander, passing out public money for this and that, to endear himself to voters.

Mayor Williams said he shuddered to think what Huntington would do with out Nicky Joe.

Well he’s gone, so start shuddering Mr. Mayor.

I want our new congressman, Mr. Jenkins, to represent our state in a very dignified way.

I suggest he keep his eyes and ears open and his mouth shut. Work hard without fanfare to get things done. Earn the respect of your colleagues. Once you really have a meaningful accomplishment it won’t be braggin’ if you done done it.

Most of all, earn the respect of all your constituents. Prove you want what is best for all and not just those vocal special interest groups.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Things in Washington are beyond the pale

Things that come out of Washington, D.C., continue to be beyond the pale.

It is in the news that ISIS (which I thought was a children’s action show from 30 years ago) has hacked into the Pentagon’s social media network.

Strangely, however, the people who know how to do such things traced the hacking back to Maryland USA.

Who is it in Maryland that would benefit from more security – the NSA (National Security Agency)?

This is the bunch that has consistently lied about their activities even to the U.S. Congress who is supposed to have oversight of the NSA. Could it be that one part of our government is spying on another?

Sure, it goes on all the time. A California senator was spied on until it was learned who it was, and then she openly exposed who the spies were.

The most ridiculous part of this story is the fact that the Pentagon has a social network. Why would the nerve center of our military need such a thing?

I say once you go to work at the Pentagon, stick with business and leave your socialization until a time you are not on the job. Just think for a minute how downright silly it sounds to say our generals are tweeting each other.

The cartoon, Tweety Bird, comes to my mind.

From the bozos in the White House to the tweety-bird generals, even to the peon infantry, they are much too eager to share each and every detail about our military.

Why does the U.S. Navy participate in such TV shows as “The Secrets of Navy Seals?” Do our enemies need to know anything about a sniper rifle?

The only thing I want know about our USS Reagan is it is faster than you can imagine. Air Force Pararescue specialists (PJs) do extraordinary things but I just don’t need any details.

Many of our people’s identity should never be revealed, such as Obama identifying who it was that neutralized Bin Laden.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Washington, just another fantasyland

After finally recognizing just how much liberalism is into Hollywood, I now understand that the whole town of Washington, D.C., is a fantasyland.

If Democrats (same thing as a liberal) say it often enough, it becomes fact in their mind. For example, “labor” Democrat Don Perdue believes that requiring the general public to obtain a doctor’s prescription for cold medicine will prevent meth labs.

Don is one of the never never land guys who actually believe that if you throw enough money at the “drug problem” it will be fixed. Just the other day, it was reported that Charleston city council continues to recommend requiring prescriptions for cold medicine.

I’m not saying all this is good news; what is good is reality has arrived and you can look forward to the light of day turned on to reveal the cockroaches run.

Washington is not the only place that lives in a wonderland. The morning shows on TV bump into each other to report the latest Hollywood scandal and which movie is top rated.

Another place that fits my description is “The Royals.” It is bad enough that so many Brits eat it up, but what the kings and queens and dukes and Earls are doing today spills over into the colonies.

West Virginians (I hope) have come to recognize Democrats have been feeding us nothing but hot air and empty promises.

Every politician says they are in favor of improving our education system, including all the new replacements. For the last 80 years all are just throwaway lines.

Delegate Doug talks about making a difference.

Well, Doug, get on with it.

He opines about how long it takes to get something done in the legislature. That is the Democrat way, Doug. Time for you to leave the dark side.

West Virginia is in last, or near to last, in every sort of comparison one can think of. What about the most recent that says we are the least educated?

Must we wait another three or four years for our school system to be fixed?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Rocker customer Mary’s family proof of possibilities

A rocker customer of mine I’ll call Mary, is president of a very successful security firm that provides security for major companies and our government in several cities.

The family owns a weekend retreat in West Virginia. While visiting Mountain Made in Thomas, West Virginia, she bought one of my rockers.

One of her sons, an Annapolis graduate, chose to fly helicopters instead of fighters so he could be close to the men. He was in Iraq.

Her oldest son, a West Point graduate, is in Special Forces and she says nobody knows what he does.

Another son was in medical school and the daughter was just finishing up dental school. Over three years, Mary bought a rocker for each of her children.

Mary called me to order another rocker – this time for herself.

It was great to get brought up to date on this wonderful family. The helicopter pilot served his time in the Marines, then joined the company but for only a few months. He is now in medical school at age 36.

The son who was in medical school is now an orthopedic surgeon.

Her daughter is now finishing up residency to be an oral surgeon.

And the Special Forces son is still out there some place defending our country.

These people could have joined the family business for an easy life, but instead chose to work hard and make something of themselves.

Mary and her husband started the company years ago with nothing but hard work to make it what it is today. We agreed that the USA continues to be the place of unlimited opportunities.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Another first for state! W.Va. least educated


I suppose someone has to be in last place, but does it always have to be West Virginia? Now the staff of The Street Magazine has juggled numbers to come up with which state is least educated.

West Virginia is first on the list.

California is the most educated – as for me, I’ll take Almost Heaven over dead broke with billions in debt California.

I was just making fun of them a few days ago over their ongoing drought. They were complaining about too little rain and citizens were praying to God to lift his drought, when he did, they complained about too much rain – is that most educated??

The story is in a pint-sized financial rag that I never heard of.

You only need to know it was founded by loudmouth Jim Cramer to understand the staff thinks much too much of themselves. They call themselves “leading” and I wonder, leading to where?

Nevertheless, it does once again tell that the leaders we have been voting back in office for the last 80 years did not do much for education. One of the very first commenters on this story described our situation as follows: “Poorly funded schools are only part of the problem.

W.Va. has a very difficult mountainous topography that has made productive use of the land and generation of wealth from farming and easy transportation of manufactured goods a chronic problem. Poor wealth generation and retention with industries focused on resource extraction (coal, timber) or lax regulation (chemicals) that do not invest significantly in the state, lack of an efficient road system, landlocked with no seaports, few universities, have kept the state an economic backwater. Tourism brings in some outside money, but not enough to generate significant wealth to improve living standards. Much of the state is inside the traditional Appalachian region with its long history of isolation and poverty.”

Yeah, yeah, I have heard this same swan song for years; that we live in a difficult mountainous topography.

No other way to describe this but MEADOW MUFFINS! That which comes out of the south end of a bull going north.

Just last week, I read that Switzerland is the best place in the world for expatriates. Some how Switzerland managed to be a world banking center, maker of super high tech machinery, the place to go, come vacation time, and has a very diverse economy.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Band director more than just a teacher


Far be it from me not to expand on the story about two Wayne County band directors. They are ignorant and don’t know they are in the wrong line of work.

A school band director/teacher holds a very special position in that he or she is the only person who can teach a skill that can become a lifelong profession. All the other teachers build on what was taught before, but none single handedly teaches what an audience is willing to pay for.

The band director holds a job that demands much more time than any other subject. The director first must have a real deep affection and respect for music. It takes a lot of discipline and dedication to be a band man – clearly these two are sorely lacking.

I had the privilege to be a student of an outstanding band director, many say the best ever in West Virginia. He set a standard so high that few can ever hope to match it. If you search the Internet for Glenn Sallick, Woodrow Wilson High School, you’ll find just what I’m writing about.

Kids started band in 7th grade at Beckley Jr. High. We had no idea about this man, Mr. Sallick, who came to teach band everyday. He taught high school band in the afternoon.

I wanted to play drums because my mother’s brother had played drums and I got his drum. There were clarinets, trombones, saxophones, trumpets, coronets and drummers. Since drums make a lot of noise, our practice the first year was on a rubber practice pad. It didn’t take long before we were making real music.

Those who did better were moved along with the best musician holding first chair. We got to attend concerts presented by the high school band so appreciation of music came along with the teaching.

Everyone lived for the time to be in the high school band, The Flying Eagles. I believe at 9th grade we got to wear hand-me-down uniforms from the high school during our first concert.

First year in high school the best musicians joined the band, those that did not quite make the grade were relegated to second band. Usually there were 30-40 band students in that group hoping someone would not make the grade so they could take their place.

Being a Flying Eagle band member meant a lot of extra hard work. Band practice started the same day as football practice – it was all day every day for the entire month of August.

Band took precedence over everything else. No, you did not get to take a vacation that month if you did you ended up in second band.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


“Moving forward,” a meaningless cliché

Are you getting tired of hearing and reading the cheerful refrain, “moving forward?”

Seems it comes out of the mouth of most every TV talking head, expert and politician.

Forward to what?

I tried to think of a better choice of words but I can’t.

A thesaurus lists a whole bunch of synonyms, but none of them comes close to describe the Mell-of-a-Hess we are in.

Perhaps advancing to the rear or a strategic retreat might sort of fit. Clearly “moving forward” is a meaningless cliché.

Think about it, when the Pharaoh moved forward chasing Moses… it didn’t work out too well.

Once upon a time back in the days of LP records, The New Christy Minstrels had an album with the title “A Company of Cowards.”

The cartoon cover of the LP was a group of Civil War soldiers retreating along with the commanding officer riding backwards on his horse with sword drawn. One verse says they have come to save the day.

The cartoon describes so well the sort of government we have today.

Can’t help thinking those leaderless Republicans are coming to save the day – we will soon see won’t we?

What a short memory our journalists have when praising the Obama administration about low unemployment rate and the number of jobs created.

Near the end of the Bush presidency, the Democrats and the media hammered Bush relentlessly, saying that at least 700,000 new jobs (dopey Joe Biden said once 900,000) must be created per month to get us out of the recession hole.

Now, 300,000 new jobs a month is hunky-dory.

Sure the unemployment rate is low – because so many prospective employees have stopped looking for work.

Last number I recall is about 90 million of our people are without a job. That percentage-wise is worse than when Hitler assumed power before WWII.

One finding shows no employment growth for native born US citizens since 2007.

I’m ashamed of my country for allowing a communist pipsqueak government to exist all this time only 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Liberalism makes no sense; plenty of water for everyone

Liberalism makes no sense at all.

The great liberal state of California has been suffering from a lack of water now for three years we have been told. Lake Mead is now (liberalese speak) half empty.

God created liberals so I suppose He loves them, too. Many have been praying for the Almighty to lift His drought.

Apparently He heard the prayers but like most liberals, now they are complaining about Him refilling their lakes, dams and rivers too fast.

NASA says California needs about 11 trillion gallons of water.

I sure don’t see what NASA has to do with water, but if the math is right, that amounts to about 10 cubic miles of the stuff. Sounds like a lot until you know that God provided 326 million cubic miles of water for plant earth.

Shucks, that 10 trillion is only about .03 percent, which is less than the tiny amount of carbon dioxide (.04 %) that liberals get so upset over causing globing warming errr, little ice age, errr climate change, errr, Republicans taking over in Washington.

California is just not near as big a deal as some would like us to believe.

During my water treatment days, I’d give a little tale every now and then about all the special wonders of water, including the fact that for each and every human being on earth several million gallons is provided.

Isn’t that more than enough for those Californians?

We who live in the Tri-State Area can go watch 2.6 billion gallons flow past Huntington every day.

There are three kinds of water: heavy, semi-heavy and light.

Heavy water, called deuterium, has extra neutrons in the hydrogen atom where as light water does not.

Water is nature’s universal solvent; that is, given enough time, water can dissolve anything.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about water is when frozen, it becomes lighter than liquid water so it floats. Thank goodness, who ever invented water had the forethought to include that characteristic, else what would have become of us.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


All our politicians are turning out to be Democrats


I’m starting to realize that indeed those we send to Washington and Charleston are all Democrats – no, not the members of the Democrat Party, but people like Don Perdue who only represent those who voted for him.

Turns out that conservatives are doing the same thing.

On the surface, Democrats (the party), and Republicans are deeply divided over immigration into our country. You have already witnessed Obama and Company arranging large numbers of noncitizens into the USA for the longterm goal of making the Democrat Party the majority permanently.

The definition of a democracy – majority rule.

Only a dummy would accept that all those “children” just happened to cross into our country at the same time and by coincidence there were buses, trains, airplanes and vans standing by at the border to give these poor people a lift to already arranged quarters.

We are within days when Republicans assume control of both houses of Congress.

If you believe that they will now close our borders and enforce immigration laws, you have been staying up too late.
Following the money, as Limbaugh often says, is what Democrats (those who are in favor of a US democracy) posing as Republicans are doing.

For one thing, millions have been spent lobbying Republicans to increase guest-work visas. The reason for more guest workers is they work for less pay. Just like fruit pickers and construction workers from Mexico.

Obama, we were told, signed an executive order that prevents the justice department from deporting who knows how many of those found to have over stayed their welcome. Turns out he didn’t sign a darn thing – there is a simple inter-office memo to Homeland Security.

A Virginia Republican congressman hosted a Silicon Valley fundraiser to the tune of $10-40,000 per guest. Fund raising for what?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Lawmakers have become slave masters to many


Over the Thanksgiving weekend I watched a TV movie titled, “The 10 Commandments” (Charlton Heston was not Moses).

I thought it was pretty good.

After God finished with the Pharaoh and his people, Moses began his work to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage to the Promised Land.

The wilderness was a desert.

During one of many episodes of the people showing their discontent and misery, Moses confronted one of the men who was stealing another man’s water.

An argument ensued with the man saying he was better off in Egypt, but did not want to be a slave.

Moses told him if that is so, then start acting like a freeman and don’t take anything that does not belong to you.

That started me to thinking (yes that’s dangerous)… many of our people (West Virginians) are like those Israelites who have lived their entire life depending on others for their every need.

Welfare is just another way of describing slavery and bondage.

I know most people taking food stamps, welfare, etc. know they’re not better off and do not like taking what does not belong to them.

Our state motto, “Mountaineers Are Always Free,” flies in the face of the facts on the ground. Our slave masters, although they won’t like being called that, have come to the place that they can’t squeeze any more blood out of we turnips.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


A brief commercial – then everyday tests we all take


Before you read my stuff, humor me, by reading the following commercial.

Today, Saturday the 6th of December is Christmas Market at Heritage Farm, a Wayne County show place that many of you have never visited. The artisans there will be offering their handmade crafts for sale.

Please come by and allow us to show off what we can do.

Bring money!

Speaking of money, I'm very gratified and appreciative of the compliments I receive from you. It seems that many people who read the efforts of Ron Ferguson and me are not subscribers, but are stealing another person’s paper. If you really like what we write consider buying a subscription. Our columns are becoming treasured artifacts – so don't miss out. For a nominal extra fee Ron and I will autograph our work at the soon-to-open, Tom George's Greasy Spoon Café.

Thank you for your attention.

Got to thinking how many tests we citizens take without a second thought.

The first real test was for that driver's license when we were 15-16 years old (I got my mine at 15 in Virginia).

Nurses have to pass a board exam before they are allowed to practice nursing. Truck drivers now have to pass a drug test and an exam to prove they actually know how to handle a $200,000 truck. You can't be a plumber until you are tested to get your plumber's' license.

Every sort of contractor has to have a license these days. Once upon a time, WVU law school graduates did not have to pass the state bar exam – wasn't that cozy. A doctor cannot practice medicine without first passing a test.

You must pass two tests to earn your pilot’s license. Trey Morrone's dad administered my test flight… I was terrified because his reputation as a strict examiner was exaggerated. Turned out he was very fair. Or it could have been that George wanted to spend the least time possible flying with me. I did a short field landing and he let me go.

Professional engineers must work under other PE engineers for three years and take a very exhausting test before they earn the PE license.

There is a lot of testing by example. That Internet web site, Angie' List, is a way to identify a really good painter, window washer, or babysitter. We all have tested restaurants – if the food is no good, we don't go back.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Focus magazine sharpens thoughts on education, jobs


Saturday, my son dropped off his copy of West Virginia Focus magazine. Being a promoting member of the influential Professional Engineers Society he gets a complementary copy.

I had never heard of this publication and was surprised to see two darn good articles about two of my favorite subjects, education and the Tolsia highway.

Despite spending a pile of hard-earned tax money on education, everyone knows what a stinking job the so-called educators are doing in our state – fourth from the bottom. Perhaps the most egregious part is highly qualified people, with extensive backgrounds in specific subject areas, are not allowed to be in the class room because they do not have that precious certification.

According to this article, education majors must spend two or more years gaining college credits to be certified.

There are two exceptions to get around this obscure requirement called Transition to Teaching (started in 2010) and a federal program called Troops to Teachers.

Under the Transition program, qualified people with years of professional experience and advanced academic degrees can bypass the certification requirement by a simple correspondence course offered on the Internet.

The transition program also offers a mentor to help guide them during their teaching. If one can get the required citification with a correspondence course over the Internet, then pray tell why we require student teachers to spend two or more years in a class doing the same thing.

I believe the time would be much better spent taking advanced work in their chosen field.

Only seven counties in our state are using the Transition program and Wayne is not included. How come?

There is another source for teaching excellence called Teach for America but our legislature, intimidated by teacher unions who fear competition, allowed themselves to be influenced by teacher unions so it was quickly dropped from consideration.

The secret to good teaching is to know many ways to teach the same subject, especially in math and science, including chemistry and physics.

Time and time again, so-called best ways have been tried and failed (new math and common core for example).

I was a victim of phonetic spelling and to this day I can’t spell “kat.”

Dr. Lahoda, master math teacher, had the gift to see he was not getting through to his students so he’d shift to another way until he was sure everyone knew the solution. I have experienced great teachers and those who should not be in the classroom.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


AP taking potshots at Maynard, Blankenship

In an Associated Press (AP) editorial poorly disguised as news, hatchet man Jonathan Mattise belittled Mark Maynard who beat “the most trusted lawyer” to ever grace the streets of Williamson for his longtime senate seat.

Mark, so reports the AP, is a lowdown polecat that is a used car salesman and owns a towing business. Additionally, instead of a more refined pursuit (like ambulance chasing) he is on a professional drag racing pit crew.

Mark had no issues of his own, instead he agreed with almost all of his Democrat opponents. Senator-elect Maynard even plays the guitar and sings country and gospel music – how much more vulgar can you get!!

Republican senator and used car lot owner Bill Cole is said to be a mentor of Mark Maynard. I wonder how the many auto dealers who also have used car lots feel about seeing their profession so denigrated in the newspapers.

After all, newspapers derive a lot of advertising dollars from the very business the AP is making fun of.
Apparently West Virginia’s longest sitting senator was not worth much after all. Mark did not have to spend “a dime” to defeat him.

This sort of sleazy journalism is a trademark of the AP. In what should have been a simple news item about Don Blankenship’s’ indictment, the AP proceeded to describe Don as steely-eyed and dubbed him “the dark lord of coal country.”

The same reporter, Mattise, makes fun of Mr. Blankenship’ s mustache. What does that have to do with the fact that he has been accused and not convicted?

If I were a publisher I’d tread lightly publishing such things as news. The judge in this matter has imposed a gag order on all concerned. So how can the AP and the news outlets they serve, poison a jury pool and convict a man without a trial.

Suppose the prosecutor can’t prove his case? Who will Blankenship’s’ legal team go after first?

I was guessing when I suggested Bob Pylmale and Company should visit Massachusetts and Connecticut to learn why their schools are so good. Turns out they, along with New Jersey, are in the top five.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Education key
to State’s future

How many more times do we have to hear the same old refrain about development, training and improvement?

I’ve been hearing about clean coal technology for at least 30 years, perhaps more. Coal is not “clean.” People have been burning it for hundreds of years – it makes smoke, soot and when it is burned a lot of undesirables are liberated into the atmosphere. Years ago Ashland Oil took on the task of turning coal into a motor fuel called the H Coal Plant. Despite the best technology at the time it was a flop.

I’ve read and heard the same great sounding words about re-training and improving education for years.

Every time it is the same old throw away lines that never get done. Just what sort of training are they talking about? Many of our citizens did not graduate from high school. If they did, 56 percent of them can’t pass the GED test. You can’t do much training if the student can’t read.

Those in our legislature could stop this lack of education, but that would deprive them of the low information voter that keeps the same tired bunch in office election after election. One of them told me that our teachers should not expect any more money because we are a poor small state. Rubbish!

West Virginia is bigger than Massachusetts and Connecticut put together, they have few natural resources and depend on us for their electric power. So how did they manage to become so wealthy?

Answer? Education.

Nothing is going to happen in West Virginia until we get our people educated. What do I mean… educated?

Education is obtaining the knowledge or skill that people are willing to pay for. Anything to do with science, technology, engineering and math fits the bill. Almost anything related to healthcare will assure you prosperity. You can make a good living driving a truck if you own the truck.

Rush Limbaugh makes his money talking. Sam Maloof, famous woodworker, that I admire, sold his signature rocking chair for $25,000 each and was booked five years ahead when he died.

Southern West Virginia has depended upon coal for employment long before I was born and not much else. Now it is reported that there are only 68 coal mines left in operation in our state.

State Democrat leaders squandered the riches of our coal. The miner was kept ignorant and paid just enough to keep the coal flowing for the benefit of the few, or people in Cleveland or St. Louis.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Tougher stance on addiction needed in West Virginia

According to his quote in the Herald Dispatch, Perdue plans to again try his time worn solutions to West Virginia’s drug abuse problems.

Nothing new, it is the same old claptrap (that is what he has called me). By now, most of us understand that the current solutions are not working; instead they continue to cost us more and more money.

My solution goes like this:

There are two parts of the drug problem.

Liberals conveniently renamed addiction a disease, just as they did alcoholism. I suppose this makes the dope addict feel better. Addiction is a self-inflicted addiction – nothing more.

Is tobacco a disease? Is being obese a disease? Why not call serial murder a disease. The first step in overcoming addiction is for the addict to accept that it is self-inflected and ask for help.

The other part is those who peddle and sell the stuff. Fact is, Don thinks he knows a lot about drug addiction, but what he knows is wrong. I’ve seen the drug problem on a massive scale. Something most of us can’t imagine; millions of dollars worth of heroin on a single boat.

The U.S. Coast Guard works 24/7 and they can’t catch it all because the demand in the U.S. is so great. Drug pushers are murderers and should be quickly shot – that would make an impression.

Kaddafi was a murdering dictator. President Reagan sent the U.S. Air Force to kill him. Two of our fighting men lost their lives in the attempt, but that put him in a box for the next 20 years.

The drug problem on the criminal side is a self-licking ice cream cone with all participants divying up the cash. The police catch the pusher then the “system” lets him out.

There was one example in the H-D just the other day, a man from Detroit who has been a revolving door, coming and going between here, Detroit and Kentucky. It is a cash cow for the legal community and those who administer justice. All those people depend on a continuing flow of drug criminals for the living.

Only until the legislature imposes really stiff punishment will the criminal decide to go straight or take his business elsewhere. That $25,000 Perdue arranged for the police departments is spitting into the wind, and he darn well knows it.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Shot in the foot, or taxes and election politics

Ever wonder how come West Virginia continues to be at the bottom of the totem pole?

West Virginia has the highest gasoline tax of any neighboring state. I wonder how much money we are losing as people cross the border to buy fuel. I hardly ever fill up in Lavalette because we load up on essentials at Sam’s so we fill up while there.

West Virginia’s gas tax is 54.1 cents while Ohio is at 46.4 cents. Any Ohio road is just about twice as good as any West Virginia road; why is that?

If you happen to live near the border with Virginia you can buy gas for 18.4 cents less – based on taxes alone. West Virginia would be smart to charge the lowest tax, then I bet our tax revenue would increase.

The Tax Foundation just released its index, ranking West Virginia at 23… lowest of any of our neighbor states. Reason – Democrats are feeling the hot breath of Republicans on their neck.

If the stars are aligned just right, on Election Day we will become the majority in the house, rid ourselves of Rahall, and elect our first lady senator.

In a reported four-way back and forth between the candidates for the 16th district, there was a tortured discussion about why an inventory tax can’t be removed. It pointed out just how dependent West Virginia is on taxiing everything.

No wonder most of us are broke.

Why is it that our elected can’t get it through their head that business does not pay a dime in taxes? Every tax imposed ends up passed on to “we the people.”

Don Perdue, the savior of those addicted to illegal drugs, now wants to increase taxes “a little bit” on beer and alcohol to spend on dopeheads. Don, like most all the bleeding heart libs, calls drug addition a disease, which it is not.

I guess calling it a disease makes those addicted feel better. What hypocrites they are collecting taxes on alcohol, marijuana or tobacco – the very things they tell us are so bad.

All of them are addicted to the tax money alcohol and tobacco generates.

The report goes on about jobs and what to do to get them. Hillary Clinton says business and corporations do not create jobs. She infers that it is the politicians who create jobs. So all you Democrats who have been running West Virginia into the ground for the last 85 years, where are the jobs that you create?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Time to clean house, elect new faces


Joyce Holland, a Republican, has been reading my columns because she is correctly echoing my points about those who are desperate to hold onto their cushy delegate seat for another two years.

I notice that Don Perdue is once again up to his old tricks of vote buying and I see he is again wearing his Indian prayer beads.

One of the other candidates for another two-year spin was disappointed because I told him his campaign slogan is just throwaway lines. Joyce asked the same questions; what difference has been made? What about the jewels, “families, education, jobs,” or the ever popular “new ideas?”

Name for me just one new idea!

There is a lifelong resident of our community that made something of himself – he has, and continues – to benefit all of us.

This guy is a candidate to replace Dale “Yard Sign” Stephens, or Delegate Doug. Reynolds is talking more like a Republican, so I think he is turning away from the dark side.

Clearly, this man has nothing to gain politically except he wants to help stop the downhill slide of our state. I do think he might be thought a bit crazy for a physician to enter into the political arena. Come to think of it, for every doctor we can elect that’s one less Democrat in the house.

Who better to cure our ills than a doctor?

Joyce says Democrats are suggesting (what else) raising taxes. Surely not, Joyce.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Accusations and the truth: Sometimes not the same


I’ve been accused by some that I’m a rabid right wing conservative.

I’ve been told nobody reads my stuff.

I’m guilty of being a Republican. Fact is, there are a whole lot of nobodies out there from Florida to the south end of Wayne County that do read my stuff and have called or written to say so.

Fact is, people are just about at the end of their rope over the lack of results from the very top (Washington) down to the most peon delegate in West Virginia’s House.

The people are fed up with “I tried” and empty promises and throw away lines that only kick the can down the road a bit. So I take my frustration out on poor old decrepit Don Perdue.

Rick Thompson promised an education overhaul. This last session the House spent all of two weeks talking about what teachers can and can’t do at their meetings.

That water bill that was so great, according to a political letter I received, is nothing of the sort and the real details have yet to be put on paper.

That 911 building was promised by several would never cost a million is now costing about three million.

No one ever did anything about incorrect 911 fees going to Cabell Co. I got mine fixed by threatening to take the matter to the Attorney General. I actually did discuss the matter with him.

We are still paying that baron property tax.

Nobody really knows what our politicians think and not one is willing to tell us face to face a reason to vote for them. We get to choose between Congressman Rahall and State Senator Jenkins – both Democrats.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


To catch a thief and right to bear arms

The headline is the title of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller about a master cat burglar (Cary Grant) and his romancing of Grace Kelly.

Cary is accused robbing expensive jewels from the wealthy living on the French Riviera. All sort of intriguing story lines, suspense and drama leads Grant to catch the real thief and Grace too.

It is now reported in a story just as complicated about our Justice Department (think Eric Holder), the FBI (remember those guys were brought in to catch an abortion clinic bomber in North Carolina, but after two weeks of searching the woods they got tired and left).

There are various defense and prosecuting lawyers, middle-level functionary judges in Philadelphia and a fictitious defendant who was charged with “carrying a firearm without a license – a felony...”

The so-called crime (that never happened) was carrying an unloaded pistol, not concealed.


This matter started back in 2012 with the FBI trying to ferret out a corrupt judge who was accepting political donations (and who know what else) in exchange for his “help.”

A thief by another name.

I’d like to know the taxpayer cost of this caper. Tell me which judge would never manage going easy on one of his brother-in-laws or the nephew of a political supporter. Such things happen in real life all the time. One U.S. Senate majority leader became a multimillionaire, it has been reported, wheeling and dealing for the benefit of himself and relatives.

Would someone please direct me to the section in our U.S. Constitution where it says, “the right of the people to keep and bears arms shall not be infringed.” And by the way, you gotta have a license to keep and bear one, even if not loaded.

Just the other day I heard of a man who said he was born with a license to carry arms. The constitution says a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. I think regulated means organized.

In the U.S., all able-bodied male citizens between 18 and 45 years old who are not already members of the regular armed forces, members of the National Guard, organized Reserves and the naval and marine reserves, constitute the organized militia – all others (over the age of 45) are the unorganized militia.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Money hasn’t helped War on Poverty

Great!! Goba, goba! The sky is falling again because all the money poured down the rat hole fighting poverty over the last 50 years has not amounted to a hill of beans.

Sean O’Leary, an economic analyst, says the Census numbers are a wake-up call that we can’t just rely on general economic growth to fight poverty. What economic growth, Sean?

Economic growth in West Virginia has been anemic for decades.

Federal and state spending on poverty programs annually amount to about $943 billion dollars. How much more does the Herald-Dispatch have in mind?

Already about a third of the U.S. population gets some kind of welfare.

The number of people living in poverty is about the same as it was when the war was started. Actually the Census figures say that if anything, it is worse.

I’ll tell you where the focus should be instead of debating which animals are dangerous and not fit to be a family pet, our elected leaders should be spending their time to fix what is wrong that West Virginia can’t put its unemployed back to work.

If it takes imitating someone else then who cares – if it will work?

Something is sure working in Texas and those guys (and gals) only meet every other year. Must not be all that complicated.

Lets be a copycat. First thing that must happen is for the Democrats in this state to relinquish their 80 years of control over state government.

Twice now I’ve read about politicians (i.e. Democrats) that bad mouthing the so-called war on coal is “not helpful (for the party?). I was criticized for saying our elected should stop sucking up to teacher unions and start demanding education improvement now or face being replaced.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Liberals have some of the craziest ideas


Just when you think the liberals in this country can’t possibly out-do their last embarrassing “cause”... they do. There appears to be no limit to the ridiculousness of the left.

Wesleyan “University” (less then 3,000 students and a whopping graduate program of 200 students) in the middle of Connecticut is now requiring the fraternities on campus who have a frat house (men’s dormitory) to accept women.

The college says it is doing this in the interest of “safety.”

There is no mention of the sororities accepting men.

Wesleyan is following Trinity College, near Hartford, that started this wacky idea in 2012. Trinity also requires the Greek organizations to maintain a 3.0 grade average for its members.

Now that might be a darn good idea for Marshall University’s athletics, especially football and basketball. Shucks, if that would happen Marshall might not win many games but what would its legacy be?

Instead of getting one’s self beat to a pulp or running around in short pants on a wooden floor there would be doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers and Indian chiefs graduating.

Getting back to coed fraternities… I can visualize it all now.

Girl/Boy fraternities with a maternity floor addition on each Frat house. The progressive liberals would have an annual fund drive to support a Planned Parenthood abortion provider.

No doubt the Nancy Pelosis would tell us how great this is and point out all the new jobs the abortion clinic would provide. Liberals actually have the cockamamie belief that welfare is an economic stimulus because the recipients spend the government money they get. Not so in the economic classes I endured.

There are two kinds of work – value adding and value losing. In order for any society to prosper there must be those whose work adds value to the product that is produced. When the work performed does not add an additional value, society degrades and will finally fade away.

Welfare in all its forms does not contribute one thin dime to add value, but instead it reduces it.

Politicians usually do not add value. Labor Democrat Don Perdue’s silly (to prove he has guts) legislative attempts would have cost West Virginia citizens (who pay taxes). Doubling the tax on cigarettes, requiring a prescription to buy cold medicine and mandating more spending to “help” drug addicts do not add any value for our state.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Liberal “wars” cost much, accomplish not so much


In a recent column I listed a few of the wars Democrat liberals have started… the war on women, drugs, and poverty…just to name three.

Now, after 50 years of “fighting,” LBJ’s War on Poverty has accomplished absolutely nothing except to spend $22 trillion of other people’s money. That is about three times more than our country has spent on all real wars since the Revolutionary War.

We hear it often in West Virginia about how much good welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, free phones, healthcare and those programs to help drug addicts are doing.

All totaled, there are about 80 welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing, and medical care to low-income Americans and illegals living in our country.

The total annual cost runs about $943 billion. One third of all U.S. citizens receive an average of $9,000 each, not counting social security, Medicare and unemployment payments.

So after all the spending about 14 percent of our population is “poor” – not much different than when the war started in 1967 – if anything, it is worse.

Liberals claim the reason the war failed is because – you guessed it – we didn’t spend enough. As always, liberals want to throw more of your money at the problem.

Here in West Virginia, government spends more money on social programs as a percentage of our GDP, than any other state.

The first step toward fixing this is to vote against any liberal.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Liberals think government can solve all problems


Rush Limbaugh says that we should never get rid of all the liberals, instead keep a few around so we can never forget all the misery they have caused.

Diane Mufson writes a column most weeks that appears in the Herald-Dispatch. DW, as I call her freely, admits to being a flaming liberal and mostly keeps a good nature when I poke fun at her views…especially her propensity to refer to the New York Times to add credibly to her prose. Recently she wrote that the State must do something about our declining population here in West Virginia.

I could not make up a better example coming out of the mouth of a liberal to prove just how wacky they are.

I suggested that DW could make a great step toward improving our declining population if she would give up her praise, affection and support for Planned Parenthood which provides abortion on demand at public expense.

Using a New York Times article as a reference to our problem, especially since that rag is smack dab in the middle of the bluest of the blue where one is six residents are leaving for greener pastures down south, did not strike me as a good medicine for us.

The real tragedy is New York residents are so infected with their parents and environment liberal views they proceed to inflict the same thinking to ruin their new home.

Think Colorado and the south end of Florida.

Why, pray tell, must the “state” do the acting?

That is the whole trouble with liberals (think Don Perdue, that Labor Democrat); they expect and believe government can solve every problem.

Can’t anyone recognize that West Virginia’s problem IS government?

We were assured a new law would protect us from another spill like the one into the Elk River. Here, almost a year later and we still do not have a law, plus there is all sorts of back peddling about what was promised

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Many Frontier 911 fees going to Cabell County


Three or four years ago, I don’t recall exactly when, I discovered that the phone company (Frontier) was collecting 911 fees on my phone bill and sending the money to Cabell County 911.

That was before our grossly expensive 911 building was built.

I brought the matter to Bill Willis, our 911 director, our public servant Don Perdue, and Bob Paisley who was a commissioner by then.

All of them assured me that they would investigate. Yipee!!

After a long wait with no action I started going up the chain of command at Frontier. I was told it was not their fault.
Don, Bob and Bill said as much, too.

Finally, after much hell raising, I did get my bill corrected, but Wayne 911 did not get any sort of refund.

Perdue was able to find out that about $55 million is collected statewide for 911. The West Virginia State Police retirement fund gets a cool million from that fund I was told.

Fast forward to 2014.

I took a look at a phone bill that we had just paid and yes, you guessed it, I’m paying Cabell County 911 fees – again.
Who bothers to check each item on their phone bill, there are so many? I don’t know how long this has been going on.
I did a bit of investigating. Just as before, if you live on a Huntington postal route and have a zip code that looks like Huntington, then you are catagorized as a Huntington resident.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Ned Jones left out
Edwards contribution


The Sunday, August 31, Herald-Dispatch opinion page featured a column penned by former state Senator Ned “Tell It Like it Ain’t” Jones.

To read Ned’s version of how Marshall got the Joan C. Edwards football facility, Jones, Tom “Hod Man” Craig and Jim “Straight Edge” Schneider laid every brick by themselves.

For the record, the old Fairfield Stadium was not condemned. Fresh plastic grass was installed with the promise that when the new field was ready the turf would be moved to the new field. Really?

Citizens were told the place was unsafe for Marshall football while others continued to use the place for years.

The most important point that can be derived from the Ned Jones football field scenario is a whole lot of politicals, appointees, governors, and board members wheeled and dealed to build a new place for Marshall in spite of West Virginia University. Coincidently I met Tom Craig at a Friends of The Farm event. Tom is a big enough guy to be a good “Hod Man” but he said he had little to do with getting the Edwards Stadium.

Many WVU types did not oppose a new football stadium and there were many that did. The Morgan Holes also fought tooth and nail to stop our medical school, any sort of nursing school expansion, stood in the way of the pharmacy school and are seeing red now over Marshall’s brand spankin’ new school of engineering.

There is never enough lawyers (apparently) and if ever there is a place for a law school it is Marshall, named after all for John Marshall, a Chief Justice of the United States.
Won’t that be a hoot to poke our collective thumb in WVU’s bloodshot eye?

At the very least, Senator Jones could have devoted some of his piece, make that most of it, to the person who provided millions of dollars toward construction of the stadium.

Joan Edwards wrote that check.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Is this what you call Education?

As anyone knows who carries the title of senior citizen, we do not have a “health care provider” – we have a staff.

My hearing doctor, young Dr. Touma (I first knew him as a boy scout years ago), got a chuckle when I told him he was in good company as a member of my heath care staff. While waiting for my turn to see him for the annual oil change and kicking of tires, I found an article titled “The Gift of Education” in Focus on West Virginia magazine May/June 2014.
West Virginia taxpayers, those who play the lottery, and everyone who pays federal income tax, pays dearly for education in our state. The education offered by most any measure is substandard.

Just so those who believe I’m picking on West Virginia – I’m not. Our education system nationwide stinks and continues to get worse as evidenced by the many reports that our country can’t even mange to rank in the top 20.

Frankly, I don’t buy the idea that we here in West Virginia should strive to be “average,” as Governor Tomlin suggested. He said he wanted us to be there in seven years.

Why seven years? How about now?

Three years have already passed and I sure don’t see or hear about progress. Our kids still believe math and science subjects are hard and they can’t manage. The simple first step would be to say math is fun and science is interesting – then make it so.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


Claiming ACA costs won’t increase is pure rubbish!

Anyone who claims healthcare costs have not gone up because of Obamacare and calls such talk a myth is wrong – matter of fact – it is rubbish.

There is a provision in the law (passed 100 percent by Democrats) that imposes a tax on insurance companies, hospitals, device makers and drug companies. Democrat reasoning was that since these companies and hospitals will be gaining a fat windfall of new customers, then lets impose a tax on that windfall.

Remember the “Windfall Profits Tax” that Hilleary Clinton is so fond of?
Coming soon (Sept 30), the first $8 billion tax is due. Where do you suppose the ones getting the windfall will get the money to pay the tax?

USA Today says it will come from states and the Fed who will “give” $700 million to pay for the tax. So where does that money come from?

No matter how much the pea under the cup is shuffled, at the end the taxpaying public will pay the bill.

Let’s not forget that in order to make the Obamacare books balance Democrats appropriated over $700 billion of future Medicare funds to help pay for Obamacare.

Yes, it is so that there are cost cutting provisions, but not like you might think. Instead, in order to make it appear that healthcare cost have not gone up for the consumer, the Federal government has increased their reimbursement percentage.

After much stumbling, West Virginia for a time led the nation in signups of new Medicaid insured people.

Don Perdue wrote a column about how wonderful it was that now these folks and “the children” will have healthcare. He did not bother to explain that Medicaid is paid for 100 percent with state and federal dollars. So where does that money come from?

Another provision no one ever explains about Medicaid, is that those who get the benefits also sign away any assets they might own at death.

Democrats have no understanding of living within your means. Republicans have gone along with robbing Peter to pay Paul – put another way – borrowing now and never asking who will retire the debt.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


It’s you, Mr. Hankins who is bamboozled

It is true that politicians have been riding the “Clean Coal” promise for a very long time; however, nothing has ever become of it.

The H-Coal operation could only manage to convert 3-4 railroad cars of coal into a liquid fuel per day. The U.S. Department of Energy sold the physical plant to Ashland Oil for a dollar in exchange for the return of $300 million not yet spent.

Long before that, liquefaction of coal was promoted so it could be transported by pipeline. That idea was lobbied to death by the railroads.

As for coal mining in a cold (50 degrees the year round), damp, hole in the ground, this could pass soon. If we can fly an airplane in Afghanistan from a control room in Nevada, we can sure mine coal with machines operated from a comfortable control room above ground.

Carbon capture is very expensive and depends on compressing carbon dioxide into a liquid (not a normal state) then pumped deep underground. Trouble is, the deeper you drill the hotter it gets which reverses the liquid CO2 back into a gas. There is no guarantee that this whole scenario will work.

What becomes of the CO2 when the disposal well springs a leak?

The carbon waste (CO2) Milt refers to used to recover crude oil ends up in the environment as the crude is extracted. After 200 years of burning coal, the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere is less than .04 percent. The estimated amount of CO2 caused by man (about 28 billion tons annually) is miniscule when compared to the other gases in our atmosphere.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


State news media in need of training, knowledge

Recently there was a long winded opinion piece criticizing West Virginia’s government for not having a cadre of experts to “do something” about the Elk River spill.

As usual, more training is the solution and having a real epidemiologist on the state payroll is something we really need???

If you ask me, it is the media that needs to look into some training and arranging to have on call people knowledgeable about chemicals, what a water filter looks like and a civil engineer or geologist that might at least provide an educated opinion about a so-called sinkhole that ate Cincinnati.

Time after time the media in general, tries to get an exclusive report that there is a sinkhole in a grade school play ground, or the stuff that spilled into the Elk River was a coal cleaning chemical (which it was not), or a chemical slick (that weighs about 13 pounds per gallon) is “floating” down the Kanawha River.

The Environmental Protection Agency once accused Cabell Chemical of dumping “dangerous” stuff out their back door. The EPA dug and tested and bulldozed and drilled. They installed a high chain link fence around the whole place (you know who paid for that) – some place out Ona way as I recall. Bob Brenner of WSAZ reported the progress every night.

When the Federal EPA could find nothing they left in the middle of the night, leaving Brenner with nothing more to report. The only thing Cabell Chemical ever made was tomato dust, a mixture of powdered limestone and 1-2 percent Sevin, an insecticide.

Someone discovered a 100-pound drum of sodium cyanide in a downtown alley.

Holy smokes!!

The sky was falling, so said the media.

The material was intended for a chrome auto bumper company. Nasty stuff, but not near as nasty as hydrogen cyanide used to execute in the gas chamber.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


That doesn’t cut it in Westmoreland

Staff writer

Been by Vinson Middle School recently?

If you have, then you have seen the awful condition the school’s grounds are in. The grass is up past your ankles. There is no life to the school building. There are not any inviting landscaping or spots of grass that resemble any pride at the place.

To me the fact it is just the third week of school and the grass is that high shows little interest in the school’s appearance by administration, and to an extent, the community.

My daughter cheers E-Team for the Vinson Tigers. As many in the Westmoreland community know, the girls have practiced for years on the grounds of the school as the boys practice on the field in different spots.
We showed up to practice this past Monday to find the grass up above my ankles, which meant to some of those little girls, the grass was almost to their knees. The grass is high, itchy, full of bugs and most importantly a disgraceful eyesore.

So me, being the awesome Dad I am, and what many other parents like myself have had to do in the past, went to my house and got my lawnmower. I proceeded to cut a space large enough for the team a spot to practice. I was even going to cut the rest of the grounds and try to pay it forward, which is something I preach to my kids all the time, ad nauseam.

Unfortunately, my little push mower could not cut through the tall grass. It was so high my poor little mower just stalled out and clogged every few feet.

I asked to see if a few people I knew possibly had access to the gym for the kids to use, only to be told for “unforeseen” circumstances, no key was available.

Frustrated and defeated I put the mower in the truck and went home stewing at the fact the center point of our community looks like an abandoned horror movie set. For months now, community groups such as Project Westmoreland and Westmorelapalooza have been preaching the importance of keeping our neighborhood clean and beautiful – the importance of pride. And yet here we all are – just letting the school appear as it does.

So me, being like every Gen X or Y’er, I went straight to social media to show my disgust when I got home. You know what bit of information I found out? Apparently, at least one of the above mentioned groups had asked if the school would like any help with mowing, only to be turned away.

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!


We need leaders who will try to get things done

On the way to checkout at Wal-Mart an old friend came into view. At his age of 82, I do mean old.

I was surprised by his praise of the columns I write. He told me. “I have to tell you I agree with what you write.”

I always thought him a liberal (Democrat) but working in politics means you sometimes keep your mouth shut.

Either all great minds are running the same channel or there are those who secretly read my prose to get fresh ideas for themselves. Rush Limbaugh calls this the echo effect.

I’ve written several times about West Virginia’s terrible education record. My last was about Ben Franklin’s quote, “the best investment is knowledge.’

I’m pleased to report the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce is going to address the same subject at its annual meeting. Too bad many attendees will be distracted by the grand jour of The Greenbrier instead of finally putting education first.

I wrote about Wayne County being in the middle of an agriculture desert (as described by the Department of Agriculture) about a year go). I spoke to our Economic Development Authority on the same subject, asking why they never consider farming as development.

I asked, how can Canada grow hot house tomatoes, ship and sell them here, yet Wayne County can’t?

For more on this story and many others, subscribe to the WCN or the WCN e-paper today!