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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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March 7, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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March 7, 2018
 

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.PAGE A5 and FARMER'S ADVOCATE NEWS Wednesday; March 7, 2018 Strike FRoM PAGEA, "We have reached a deal. I stood rock solid on the 5 percent teacher pay raise and delivered. Not only this, but my staff and I made additional cuts which will give all state employees 5 percent as well. All the focus should have always been on fairness and getting the kids back in school." The deal does come with a sobering caveat. Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, said the upper cham- ber signed off on the 5 percent raises by also making "very deep" cuts to the bud- get, including a $20 million slash to gen- eral services and Medicaid. The cuts go beyond those already planned for the Department of Commerce and Division of Tourism. "There's going to be some pain," Blair said. On Monday evening, Blair and Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, said Senate Republicans did not be- lieve Justice's revised revenue figures, though the House had accepted them and passed the 5 percent raise package last week. West Virginia's 1990 teachers strike lasted 11 days but only included schools in 47 counties at its peak. Some teachers and lawmakers at the Capitol did note Tuesday that concerns about rising costs of state workers' Pub- lic Employees Insurance Agency health insurance coverage remain to be fixed for the long term. Lawmakers say they'll provide enough funding to keep premium increases and benefit cuts off the table at least through mid-2019, and Justice has promised a task force to study permanent solutions. As word spread Tuesday morning that state Senators - after nearly a week of heel-dragging - had agreed to a 5 percent raise for teachers and other state workers, educators on the picket lines expressed relief, and hope that this time the deal would actually go through. We talked with striking teachers gathered Monday along W.Va. 9 near Panera in Ranson about their concerns. A sampling of what they had to say: David Waters, pre-K teacher at Driswood Elementary "It's great to see how we are all standing together. United as one, but we will still rank 48th in the country for teachers' salaries. We have been misled by the governor when he promised the 5 percent raise. It just isn't right." Keri Mahoney, assistant principal at South Jefferson Elementary "I think the Legislature underestimates teachers. We are on top of what is happening. We're educated about the legislative process. Leg- islators seem to be digging in against us for no reason." Brian Collins, fifth-grade teacher at South Jefferson Elementary "I just want this to end. I want to get back to our kids. It's taking so much time. The governor and the House have been working with us. It's being held up in the Senate, I think egos are getting in the way. The state doesn't value education. They're not putting money where it counts." Jaime Bowden, English teacher at Washington High "The Legislature is stalling They were extremely disrespectful to our superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson and the other superintendents. Legislators sent aides to talk to them and made them wait for hours. All we've been hearing is, 'Go back and do your jobs.' We want to be in the classroom, but we want the governor to keep his promise for the 5 percent raise." John Glymph, a history teacher at Washington High School Jefferson schools chief Bondy Shay Gibson "has been great, but the Senate is blatantly disrespectful. They are showing their true colors. They have turned against us and are dragging this thing out." Bridget DeRonda, a school counselor at TA. Lowery Elementary "The superintendent has been great with her support. I don't think the Legislature really understands the daily work that we do for the children. We want to be back with them." Brian Bauer, sixth-grade teacher at Harpers Ferry Middle "We all want to be back at school. We are thankful for the support e ROBERT SNYDER Lorena Nathan, who works at Ranaon Elementary, picketed Monday. from the community and the board of education." Kathy Lloyd, a school nurse at Wildwood Middle "I've seen teachers who are not able to afford to go to the doctor. They come to me when their children have health problems to ask whether or not to go to the doctor. It's astounding the level of disre- spect the Legislature has for all of us." Sue Moore, a special education teacher at T.A. Lowery Elementary "I saw [Gov. Jim Justice] change his mind [about the 5 percent raise] when a youngster in Wheeling said students are the leaders of tomor- row. But teachers are poor, living paycheck to paycheck. Education is not a priority." Clay Anders, a gym teacher at C.W. Shipley Elementary "I'm so glad that we are standing together and a large number of community members are backing us. It seems so difficult for the Sen- ate and House to pass a bill. There is still no clear-cut answer for fund- ing the PEIA." - Bonnie Williamson at the top of the cliff where Rocks FROM PAGE A1 Chestnut Hill Road and U.S. 340 intersect was made worse Watershed Coalition, said the by clearing done by First En- fix for the rock face requires ergy nearly five years ago. more work than the Depart- "There's no doubt that the ment of Highways can do un- clearing needed to be done in der its jurisdiction. The DOH order to secure the electrical only has a right away of 25 lines," Maxey said. "That's to 30 feet on each side of the not the problem." road- but the problem extends The problem, as Maxey ex- hundreds of feet above it. plained, is that the work was When you strip the trees and the vegetation, you're strip- ping what holds the soil to- gether. "You can't just cut it and leave it and expect that it's not going to have an im- pact. What you have is hard- core granite and debris, mud, gravel and boulders. If you're not careful with water runoff, you can have erosion and de- of rain in 24 hours. Debris flows left 150 people dead. L. Scott Eaton, a geology professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va has studied flooding in Appalachia for years. "These storms normally strike every three years some- where in the Appalachians when there's 10 to 30 inch- es of rain in less than a day," The Blue Ridge Mountains done with little thought for bris flows." Eaton wrote to the Jefferson ' i are, in a geological sense, an- potential wear and erosion Maxey said that a debrisCounty Planning Commis- i : cient. Millions of years of down the line. flow is a form of a landslide sion in 2007. ! erosion have smoothed out : The clearing had been that can produce deadly re- The same thing happened : the edges 0f th9 rock ]faces done in such a way wheresults, in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan and caused a situation Where it was not mindful of the He points to what happened stalled in North Carolina and rocks, mud and debris can slope," Maxey said. "There in 1969 in Virginia whenpunished the area with a day slide easily off the side of a are issues of clearing on a Hurricane Camille moved of heavy rains, which caused mountain, steep slope, especially with north and stalled over Nelson massive landslides. Maxey said the problem the Blue Ridge Mountains. County, dumping 28 inches Eaton said these examples Arthena Roper Jeffi, rson County SchooZ Board of Education hrlhenoRoper4J(S. om County Commission LORENZETTI has lived and worked within Jefferson County for 30+ years. LORENZETTI advocates for input of all county citizens for decisions made concerning the future of Jefferson County. Ralph wants to hear your views and has a reputation for fairness and willingness to listen. IVARC--I d "7,'8 By Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten COMEDY I PG13 AUTHORIZED BY LORENZETTI FOR COUNTY COMMISSON, PHILIP MCDONALD - TREASURER Iorenzetl @earthlink.net 304-725-6263 are pertinent locally, in that the terrains in both places are similar to Jefferson County's. A big problem in formulat- ing a strategy to address the problem is the number of en- tities involved. The West Vir- ginia Department of High- ways has the final say down at the road level but higher up there's a combination of enti- ties. Part of the land is owned by the National Parks Service and part is controlled by Po- tomac Edison as it pertains to the right of way with its pow- er lines. Add to the fact that this is happening right on the state border with Virginia and you have a lot of groups that don't normally communicate. Maxey said the answers aren't easy. On the one hand, he understands Potomac Edi- son's efforts were to increase reliability to the electric grid for local customers. "What I think [Potomac Edison] should have done, and I know this is expen- sive, but there should have been grant money avail- able. They should have done some planting along the edg- es, something to prevent the problem." Maxey said that perhaps the biggest issue in solving this problem might be per- ception. "West Virginia is known as the Mountain State, but everywhere else in the state they think of the Eastern Pan- handle as flat," Maxey said. "You can go to the Division of Highways and say that we have a rockslide problem in Jefferson County on the Vir- ginia state line and they' 11 just look at you like you' re crazy because their impression of Jefferson County is that it's flat. They deal with rockslide issues across the state, but they don't expect to have to deal with them here." The Southern-Fried High School Reunion Comedy[ Presented by Bankj Ct'~J~ Town Contact me today to get started. THOMAS JONES Jones Insurance 300 W Washington St Charles Town, WV 25414 (304) 725-3434 jonest12@nationwide.com Products undn~ntten by Nalionwide Mutual Insurance Company and effiliat8 companies, Co~umbbs, OH. Nationwide and the Neti~w~(le N and Eagle are servke marks of rlatie~w~ Mutual Irn.ura~n Eompany. ?0iE Rati~w~d~ 5762%0 In this Southern-fried comedy, the Verdeen cousins are up against the clock as they attempt to produce the ultimate high school reunion before the old building is demolished. Chaos is side-splittingly achieved! A gut-busting Jones Hope Wooten farce! The Last Round-Up of the Guacamole Queens is the third and final comedy in the Verdeen Cousins Texas Trilogy that began with The Red Velvet Cake War and Rex's Exes. "~ ~}i, " {!{i~ ~>.;:i~ii ~i~!~iiiii{iii{iiiii .{~i~i~i~i~ :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: A Communi~.Thrift Store 115 N. Charles St Charles Town (304) 725-6605 Operated by dedicated volunteers; all proceeds are used to enhance programming and maintain Charles Town's historic Old Opera House. The Old Opera House 204 N. George Street Charles Town, WV 25414 (304) 725-4420 www.oldoperahouse.org *, ,