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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
February 21, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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February 21, 2012

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lairit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE Future Farmers Wednesday, February 22, 2012 D3 Hard-cooked eggs recalled for possible contami:aat" )n Food distributors and manufacturers should be on the lookout for hard-cooked eggs in brine that are being recalled in West Virginia and 33 other states due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contam- ination, according to Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Doug- lass. None of the eggs were sold directly to retail consumers, but they may have been used in products that were sold to retail outlets or used in food service settings. The eggs were produced by Michael Foods, Inc., and distributed in 10- and 25-pound pails under the Co- lumbia Valley Farms, GFS, Glenview Farms, Papetti's, Silverbrook and Wholesome Farms brand names. "Human health is the primary mission of the West Virginia De- partment of Agriculture," said Commissioner Douglass. "Food- borne pathogens can tum up anywhere, and we are working dili- gently to make improvements to our food safety laboratories. Hope- fully we will be able to move them to more appropriate facilities in the coming year." The recalled products have lot codes of 1 LOT 1350W through 1 LOT 2025W, and expiration dates ranging from 1/30/2012 to 3/10/2012. Only lot codes immediately preceded by a "1" AND end- ing in a "W" are affected. Michael Foods is working with customers who purchased eggs from these lots to ensure that affected product is removed from the market. Wholesale buyers who believe they might have purchased recalled eggs or those who are unsure should contact the original place of purchase. There have been no confirmed reports of illness associated with this recall, but Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. It also cause miscarriages and stillbirths. However, healthy individu- ais generally suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, se- vere headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea from Listeria infection. For more information regarding this recall, call Michael Foods at 877-367-3447, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. EST. I know, it's still too early in the year to be discussing taxes. By April 15, though, the sap will have risen and spring (and that mysteri- ous barbecue fragrance mentioned in our first installment) will be in the air and we'll find more impor- tant things to talk about. Around this date in 2000, I was notified that my business had been randomly selected for a tax 'audit by West Virginia. There are many emotions associated with receiving this news. Some of us who are in business here have a tax skeleton in the closet -- usually a small one. These little discrepancies are why West Virginia offered a onetime tax amnesty and created an elabO- rate and expensive brochure to an- nounce it. If all of us were to wake up as tax accountants tomorrow, the state tax people would be out of a job and we wouldn't want that. Civ- il War era history shows that West Virginia was agreed upon by Con- gress while the Virginia delegation was occupied elsewhere. Federal law requires that all representatives be present for such decisions so, in the strictest sense, West V'wginia doesn't really exist. Tax auditing in West Virginh00 (not to be confused with journ;t]ism in Tennessee) The reasons for the founding of West Virginia no longer exist, ei- ther. It may be just a matter of time before Vhginia exercises its right to our sovereignty and we move our eastern border to the Ohio River. We'll be sending our taxes to Rich- mond, from our "Virafia (West)" addresses so we don't want to make trouble for these people since their job security is so shaky to be- gin witli. But who "dropped the dime" and called the tax department on me? I've known competitors to do this in other busi- nesses but my oc- cupation doesn't have any competi- tion. There's plenty of work to go around simply because there are very few of us crazy enough to do it. "Think of some- one who really hates you" one old building contractor suggested. Well, that's pretty easy for most of us if we know anyone who is so inclined. Such persons may be our friends right now but these poor souls eventually wind up hating just about everyone sooner or later -- so give them about a week. The only problem with this theory is that since these pitiable, unhappy crea- tures (whose ancestry can often be traced to a root vegetable) engage in petty gossip about almost ev- erybody, they only have credibili- ty amongst themselves. The tax de- partment simply wouidn't believe them and are un- Far Muse Ted Kalvitis der no obligation to politely humor them as we are. Their correspon- dence would wind up in the wacko (circular) file. After much worry and specu- lation, I eventually concluded that the selection for an au- dit was totally ran- dom. Well, what a ya know -- just like it says in the notice -- (duh). But what about penalties? Re- member that "used furniture deal- er" in Chicago? They couldn't find enough evidence to convict him of his other, more shady business op- erations so they used charges of income tax evasion to put Mr. A1- fonse Capone away. Heavy stuff. Like many former New Jersey res- idents, I've probably benefited in some small way from organized crime activity. Hiking on the love- ly Gambino estate was one of these benefits that I enjoyed until the "gardeners" invited me to leave. (Their "garden tools" weren't Smith and Hawken but a similar brand name.) But I'm no Capone. Still, I found myself wondering if the state penitentiary issued a mini- mum security travel brochure. The notice said that the inquisitor -- I mean auditor -- would be in touch with me to set up an appoint- ment. Weeks went by and I started to entertain the notion that the state had forgotten about me and that I" might fall blissfully through the blessed cracks. But then it occurred to me that they might just be letting me sweat it out so that I would con- fess or engage the services of a bar- rister to plead my case. At last, the call came. As it turns out, these auditors were given an expense account in order to con- duct these audits at public ven- ues such as restaurants and librar- ies. He said that the choice of lo- cation was up to me -- I tried to imagine a place with the slowest response time for law enforcement. He nixed doing the audit in Virgin- ia -- I was probably considered an escape risk if I was charged with my crimes outside the jurisdiction of the Mountain State. He mentioned that he would be coming from Keyser and that we might construct our plans around that. I mentioned that my old- est daughter and her husband also lived there andwe discovered that they were close neighbors. We de- cided to conduct the audit at his home and I would haul a mess of my daughter's belongings that way to further justify the trip. I think that this dual purposing impressed him -- auditors ,are like that, you know -- efficient. We conducted the audit at his kitchen table and, as expected, my discrepancy was found. He sug- gested that I take oare of it as soon as possible and even offered to call the field office in Martinsburg to smooth things over and even set up a payment plan. No sooner had the audit begun -- it was over. As I was leaving, he noticed that my attention had been drawn to a row of small diameter iron gas pipes, complete with shutoff valves, protruding from the grotmd along the backyard fence. He ex- plained that this was his hot pep- per garden and that the pipes were some old scrap that he had found and was hsing them to stake the vines. He asked if I would likel to take some dried hot peppers aloag. I'm not crazy about hot peppers but my wife and daughters like them. I also thought that it might still be in my best interest to flatter him, so I accepted. Carrying the open flat box heaped with assorted dried p- pets, I walked around the comer to my daughter's place where I had left my truck. Much to her de- light, I was still carrying the box when I entered the house. Appar- ently, some of these peppers were quite rare and sought after by pep- per connoisseurs. "Where did you get them?" she asked. For a moment, I was still speech- less. I was expecting prison -- I got produce. I hope that their pol- icy hasn't changed. -" .... - ...... Snow Removal -- ........ m r'Ji[lt ,j,mm Seeding, Mowing  304--676--9537  Leaf Removal   Weed Control  If/'[ www.superi0rlandscapinoandservices.c0m :it  m.,..-..,;,., 'and mor e] Justin Morgan, Owner