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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
March 28, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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March 28, 2012

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pirit o, JEFFERSON and FA .'S VOCA Ed ito rial/N ews Wednesday, March 28, 2012 Letters FROM PAGE A4 the Spirit. The quality of re- porting, paper layout, and general service -- including making the paper available on the Web -- is outstand- ing. I really appreciate hav- ing not only a long-stand- ing community newspaper in Charles Town but one that is growing with the times. I re- ally appreciate your efforts. Thanks. Rich Bringewatt Charles Town I am a member of the Giv- events and a fully stocked li- ing Circle and we are always brary. Nonprofit Organizations happy to have others 'who like Alcoholics Anonymous might be interested in joining us. If you would like to learn more, please contact the East- ern West Virginia Community Foundation. Ellen May Charles Town Maxey will bring the community together Thank you, our two-river district , con- APUS rains many bridges. Som'e af- ford a quicker route into town. Others provide a scenic route , i want to take this opportu- for hiking. Some are weath- nity to publicly thank Ameri- eyed. Others are newly built. .can Public University for the But what they all have in com- wonderful colloquium they mon is their means of connect- .held on Saturday, March 10: ing people to their destination '.',History, Identity, and Heri- and to each other. tage of West Virginia's East- When my husband and I first e.rn Panhandle." We couldn't moved from the hyper-devel- ask for a better community oped area of Silver Spring, .partner than this institution. Md. t.o the verdant Shannon- . I found all of the presen- dale subdivision, we expe- .tations excellent and learned rienced the importance of a .a lot more about this special community bridge, too. We place, witnessed the St. Andrews o It was also very rewarding Mountain Community Center, to learn that many of these for instance, transform from a efforts were poss!ble because sleepy, historical structure to a of. the support from AHA vibrant meeting place. Friends ,and the Two Rivers Giving and neighbors now enjoy fit- Circle, locally based philan- ness classes, preschool activ- thropic organizations, ities, film screenings, music and the Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition meet regularly in the former 1900s orphanage. Much thanks for the surviv- al of our community center is owed to John Maxey, Board Chair for the Saint Andrews Community Center Project (SAMCCP) and candidate 'for 66th West Virginia House Dis- trict delegate. When the build- ing was being threatened by the promise of real estate sale, Maxey volunteered to help re- vitalize the center and keep it in community hands. He now helps organize activities and leads new projects along with a dedicated group of volun- teers. But his willingness to clean a 100-year-old base- ment; fix floor boards; stand in 90-degree sun to greet yard sale folks; and fervently pur- sue grant funding for the build- ing's upkeep is what makes him so inspiring. I have met and continue to meet so many of my neigh- bors at that community center. More importantly, I regularly witness folks of seemingly dis- parate interest~ unite under one roof to support a young musi- cian; check out a book; or keep their toddler busy. Everybody who walks through the center's doors has its continued success in mind. And Maxey is the bridge'that helps make that possible. Vanessa Stolarski The Locavore Project Harpers Ferry Miller FROM PAGE A4 education, replacing them with so- called "regional school manage- ment areas." It's unlikely this sin- gle inter-county elementary school project can do that. But the oppor- tunity to be more user-friendly to youngsters and their parents along the border of these two counties is a worthwhile move. the company decided to locate the condition to make this happen. new facility in another state. There Finally, good grades are always is still hope for a small cracker plant appreciated, whether it's your child somewhere in the Kanawha Valley or even state government. And in but it will not reach the $2 billion the case of West V'wginia, its rank- minimum cost required to take ad- ing for providing online informa- vantage of this lavish tax incentive, tion about how the state's tax rev- The consolation prize may be enues are spent has gone from the a $300 million ethane catalytic basement to the penthouse, accord- "cracker" plant that would provide ing to a study released by a nation- new jobs for as many as 200 peo- al public interest group's ranking of ple at the Institute Industrial Park the 50 states. : Meanwhile, so much for the high in western Kanawha County by The report, entitled "Follow the profile attempt to woo a $2 billion 2015. Money, 2012: How the 50 States cracker plant to West Virginia by An announcement on this proj- Rate in Providing On-Line Access providing a property tax break of as ect, originally planned for last to Government Spending Data," in- much as $25 million to $30 million week, apparently has been post- dicates West Virginia has jumped a year for the next 25 years. The poned for a few weeks, according from a dismal failing score of 28 plant will be built in neighboring to state Commerce Secretary Keith to a score of 91 in one year, which Pennsylvania, just a few tantaliz- Burdette. But he insists that he is ranks it as sixth in the country. The ing miles from this state's northern "very optimistic" about the smaller state's improvement can be traced panhandle border, facility planned by Aither Chemi- to its decision to copy the example Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin had the cals. The more certaln aspect is that of Texas, which ranked first both in signed bill in his hand when he state officials apparently can expect the 2011 and 2012 reports, and set flew to Texas to make his pitch to this company to request a similar up the web- Shell Oil Co in late January but tax break from West Vtrginia as a site. W.Va. court spells out re-registry requirements CHARLESTON (AP) -- A state appeals court has victed on a third-degree sexual abuse charge in 2002. ruled that sex offenders are only required to re-regis- He was arrested in May 2010, on a charge of accessory ter their information after a conviction, not after an ar- after the fact to breaking and entering. Police arrested rest. Judge because he didn't update his sex-offender regis- The court ruled last week that the West Virginia try entry. State Police lacked the right to arrest 30-year-old Tim- The Charleston Gazette reports that Thursday's othy Judge of Tyler County forfailure to re-register on opinion says the language regarding the offender-reg- a sex -offender list upon his release from jail in 2010. istration requirements should be rewritten to more Judge complied with re-registering after being con- clearly reflect the law's requirements. CHARLESTON (AP) -- plan', the Public Employees Re- aviator served between 1978 From West Virginia's last liv- tirement System. The board es- and September 1992. Seeking ing Medal of Honor recipient timates that around 1,100 of its five years' credit, he has ap- to the,former military chief of enrollees retire each year, and pealed after the board recog- its National Guard, veterans between one-fourth and one- nized just eight months of his are calling for a more fair and fifth of them receive some mili- service. consistent process for boost- tary service credits. Represented by Simmons, ing the pensions of state em- This plan enhances a retiree's Wood argued in a March 8 ill- ployees who have served in length of employment by up to ing that his case should become a the armed forces, five years, for active duty ser- class-action to resolve these dis- But officials at the Con- vice during a draft or "a peri- putes over service credits. solidated Public Retirement od of armed conflict." The law Citing the pending court cases, Board defend their awarding lists an array of conflicts, dat- Holley-Brown declined to com- of military service Credits, ing back to the late 1800s. The ment on the specific arguments and say they reflect one of the most recent mentioned is the raised by the veterans. most generous policies of its Persian Gulf War of the early She said members of the sys- kind in the country. The board 1990s. tem have the right to appeal the also continues to study the is- But the law also refers toboard's decisions, and the courts sue through a special subcom- "any' other period of armed will determine the correct inter- mittee and notes that the Leg- conflict by the United States." pretation of the law. islature is reviewing the topic Veterans have repeatedly cited "(The board) continues to make as well, spokeswoman Diane that language as they appeal the decisions based on policy and fi- Holley-Brown told The Asso- denial of service credits. They nancial implications," she said. ciated Press also argue that the board has Before he stepped down last In the meantime, however, shorted them credits for serving month as state Administration the board keeps ending up in during the dozens of military secretary, Robert Ferguson was court over its service credit operations that have happened a member of the board. Ap- decisions. A series of veterans since the 1973 end of the draft, pointed by then-Gov. Joe Man- have alleged that they were in such places as Lebanon, Gre- chin in 2005, Ferguson was denied pension increases they nada, Panama, Somalia and Ko- asked by Manchin, veterans' had earned through their ser- sovo. groups and individual veterans vice. Recently retired National Complicating the policy dis- to clear up the service credit is- Guard Adjutant General Allen pute, the board decided shortly sue, records show. Tackett is among them. after the September 11, 2001, Ferguson served as a Marine Another veteran sued in terrorist attacks to credit all Corps officer for more than 21 March, and three more have service from that point forward years, according to military dis- upcoming administrative ap- --with no end date. charge papers he provided to peals. At least one circuit Simmons said there were AP. Assigned to combat mis- judge has ruled the board many conflicts between 1973 sions during the Gulf War, Fer- wrongly shorted a veteran on and 2001. guson was also on active duty benefits. One pending Ka- "They just simply ignore all during several of the operations nawha Circuit Court appeal that, and that's what all this liti- invoked by the appealing vet- seeks to become a class-ac- gation has been over," he said. erans. Ferguson says he hasn't tion case. Simmons helped Daniel applied for any service cred- "Legislatively, they just. Olthaus go to court in 2008 over it, and Simmons said Ferguson can't seem to figure out what his pension benefits. Olthaus had disqualified himself when- to do with it. When you look sought the full five years after ever the board considered the at it politically, perhaps they'd serving 20 years in the Navy as cases that he's aware of involv- rather have the court address a nuclear engineer, from August ing veteran-retirees. it," said Lonnie Simmons, a 1983 until September 2003.Those crediting Ferguson for Charleston lawyer who repre- The board credited him with 33 his efforts include the Veter- sents several of the veterans, months, for service during the ans of Foreign Wars, the Amer- He added, "The elephant in Persian Gulf War and for his ican Federation of Teachers- the room is how much of this two years following 9/11. West Virginia and Hershel W. is going to cost. But that's not Kanawha Circuit Judge Tod "Woody" Williams, the State's what the board's is supposed Kaufman agreed with Olthaus last living Medal of Honor re- to be looking at. They're sup- in 2009, ordering the board to cipient. posed to follow the statutes." award him the full five years. Awarded the nation's high- All of the state's tradition- "The Legislature, through est military honor for actions al pension plans offer credits the clear and unambiguous lan- during World War II's Battle for military service. But they guage of this statute, never in- of Iwo .Jima, Williams wrote differ in key ways. As a re- tended the military service cred- Ferguson in December 2008 in cruiting tool, for instance, the it awarded to be limited to the support of an evenhanded ser- State Police pensions add five. specific armed conflicts listed," vice credit policy. years toward the retirement Kaufman said in his ruling. "I would not be in favor of of a trooper who's a veteran, Kaufman also wrote that giving one veteran more credit in exchange for least 20 years many deserving veterans are than another because that per- with the department. The denied military service credits son was in combat. Most of us Teachers Retirement System to which they are entitled, but did not have an option of where offers up to 10 years' worth he limited his ruling to Olthaus' we would serve," Williams' of credits -- but only to en- case. letter said. He added, "A vet- rollees who served during the Several veterans have in- eran is a veteran and the cred- draft, which ended in 1973. voked the Olthaus case, includ- it should be because he served Most of the court cases in- ing Keith Wood. The former(his) country in her time of volve the state's main pension Army intelligence officer and need." F ", dlt,Z Downtown Charles Town JEWELERS, INC. 304-725-7411 Family Law DUI Divorce ARNOLD & BAILEY Gregory A. Bailey S: Andrew Arnold 208 North George Street Charles Town, WV 25414 Voice: 304-72B-2002 or 304-876-1575 info@acbattorneys.corn iiiiliiiiii i liiiiii i iiii li iiiii Professional Quality Service Done Right The First Time! 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