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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
May 6, 1999     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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May 6, 1999

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4 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, May 6, 1999 Letters to the Editor that they did not have to do this bloodied teenagers, of lines of kids i '~) and were offthe clock at that time, streaming out of school doors with as well. We want them to know their hands over their heads, of that we really do appreciate the weeping parents, of wailing ambu- UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT way that they stepped in to help in lances has once again brought the Le MURPHY'S LANDING our time of need. unimaginable to life. To the Editor: We were on our way to join upWe live in an age of violence - .a. On Tuesday, April 27, in front of a room full of angry citizens from with 73,000 other teens from maybe no more violent than any the community who were in unanimous opposition to the proposed across the country and a few Ca- other age, but certainly more Laura Galvin Murphy's Landing subdivision, the Jefferson County Planning Corn- nadian provinces to attend the graphic, more pervasive, and re- p.o. Box 868 i mission unanimously declared thatthe new subdivision posed no ad- quireDay OnetheeVentFire. sponsoredA ministryby AC-de. WakeP rtedupWithto afarTodayleSs showreStraint'host 535-1 401,:~ a. verse community impact. The decision left those in attendance signed especially for teens, pro- looking a parent straight in the o: shaken by the total disregard for community concerns. A number of 4 unanswered questions linger, not because there was as insufficient rooting being an example to others face and asking, I understand Venezuelan Artists Welcomed is "cold," "unfriendly'. by living a Christian life. We were that your daughter is in excruciat- At a small reception hosted at, The family also enjoJ Rej information, but because the Planning Commission, in its zeal for able to celebrate the trust that we ing pain, how do you feel about the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public beautiful landscape ofthd a development, did not want to consider the implications of the truth, have in Jesus. The only hope that? ; sit with your children at Library painter Jorge Elieser Odd Fellow Newt tiq WHO IS BUILDING MURPHY'S LANDING? there is left for them in a world breakfast and read a newspaperContreras-Velasquez and his sis- The Odd Fellows of V*~ s The front row of the audience presented a carefully positioned set that seems to be crumbling before with 3-inch headlines screaming, ter Maria Del Voile, both from#1, in cooperation with t] =r of women, the mother and two daughters of the Murphy family who their eyes. I hope that you would 'Terror and Murder in Our Valle de la Pascua, Venezuela,Marine Infantry and Bar 81 were introduced as reluctantly having to subdivide their beloved farm. No one introduced the second row. There sat the two husbands of the Murphy daughters, one of whom is the largest developer in Prince George's County, Maryland. He has never lived in West Vir- ginia, and is a multi-millionaire. This paints a very different picture of the driving forces behind Murphy's Landing. WERE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO DEVELOPMENT? Project Engineer, Michael Shepp, presented the arguments for the development. He was part of the teams who in recent years have tried and failed to place 400 town houses and a 190-foot cellular tele- phone tower in the center of the School House Ridge Civil War Battle- field. Shepp described Murphy's Landing as "What is proposed is less that half the lowest density allowed". This makes it sound like there is some official requirement driving the development. The "lowest density allowed" is no development at all. Major pains were taken to talk about how magnanimous and com- munity spirited the Murphy family was in setting aside 47 acres within the development for open space. Mr. Shepp declared "this was largest amount dedicated to open space in a Jefferson County subdi- vision he had seen in his 20 years of working on such projects." No one mentioned Exhibit #6 of the submissions, the Restrictive Conv- enants. Section 6.5 of the Convenant states "The Declarant [Murphy family members] further reserves unto itself, its successors and as- signs the right to remove such Historical Ground from the terms and conditions of this declarations." This is no easement, this is no trans- fer of title. This is, in fact, a publicity stunt to help get the develop- ment approved. At some later point, when the development is well underway and the housing market strenghtens, all or part of the 47 acres can be put back into the mix and developed like the rest. The Murphy Farm is central to Harpers Ferry history. It contains the sites of a Native American settlement (on which four houses are platted to be built), several major Civil War battles, the pilgrimage site for the Second Niagara Movement (forerunner to the NAACP), and Camp Ordway, the Washington area training camp for World War I soldiers. Developing the Murphy Farm drives a stake in the heart of Harpers Ferry history and the scenic views from the Na- tional Park entrance and Bolivar Heights. For years overtures to preserve the farm have been rebuffed by attorneys for the Murphy family. While Mr. Shepp stated that the only offers related to out- right donation, the truth is that a multi-million dollar, multi-year acquisition plan, starting with an immediate $1 million down pay- ment, was rejected in October 1998. WHAT IS THE REAL IMPACT OF MURPHY'S LANDING? The Murphy's attorney and Mr. Shepp, stated that the 204 house development would be phased in over eight years and have little or no impact on the area. The fact remains that a town nearly three times larger in population than Harpers Ferry, which itself has taken over 260 years to reach its current size, is about to explode on the scene in the next eight years. How does one support, such a population? The Planning Commission's own Community Impact Statement Checklist show that #4 "Groundwater and surface water resources" remains uure. solved. Where is the water going to come from? During the public hearing Mr. Raco, the County's Director of Planning, refused to re- spond to repeated questions from the audience on this matter. How big will Murphy's Landing be? Page 9 of the Community Impact Statement asserts that the total development will house 546.72 persons. However, the Sewage Treatment Wasteload Alloca- tion required by the West Virginia Office of Water Resources and sub- mitted by the developers, asks, in section V (d) for permission to build a sewer system for 2,030 persons. So how big will Murphy's Landing be in reality? Section V (b) of the Wasteload Allocation document asks "Will this treatment plant handle sewage from towns/entities other than the owner listed above." The answer given by the Murphy developers is "no." Yet at the April 27 hearing Mr. Shepp openly welcomed the County to take over the plant and provide service to other develop- ments in the area, should they require it. Does this mean they incor- rectly answered Section V (b)? An additional 2,030 residents in the Harpers Ferry area will sweep away every public service in its wake from drowning the present intersection of 340 and 340/5 with cars, to swamping the lo- cal school system, hospitals, fire and police. A conservative estimate of impact is that $1.25 in services is required for every $1.00 raised in property taxes. Some attendees at the April 27 hearing stated that the number actually rises exponentially meaning it may be as high as $2-3.00 in services per $1.00 in taxes. Why should the taxpayers of Jefferson County bear the burden of supporting this growth? Why not require impact fees from the devel- opers who already are worth many times more than the average faro. ily who actually lives in Jefferson County? Mr. Bob Trumble the de- velopers' attorney from Martinsburg, stated that he foresaw the de- velopment attracting "younger families who are more willing to pay higher levies for quality education." So this is where matters were left on April 27 - local services swamped, numbers and certifications of fact that do not add up, and the hope that an influx of "younger families" will vote to drive up local taxes to cover all the costs. The Planning Commission reviewed this debris of unanswered questions and unresolved issues and unanimously approved the project. One new member of the Commis- sion asked before the vote "when does the community get to voice its concerns?" The Chair of the panel answered "they already have, to- night" to cries of protest from the audience. It was truly a moment to behold. Sincerely, Scot M. Faulkner President Friends of Harpers Ferry National Historic Park A HIGHER create our own rules (safe schools plans, character education pro- GOVERNING BODY grams, etc.) in lieu of the original Many of the social problems our rules set up by our Maker. Per- country has been experiencing haps we should have left the could possibly have been avoided Master's plan intact and avoided if our nation chose to keep God an trying to make ~omething better. integral part of our society. It of- As much as we may respect our ten amazes me to see the many political leaders and governing programs and laws being enacted bodies they are no match for the in an attempt to curb violence. We Lord. as a nation banned the Ten Corn- Patrick Blanc mandments from all public places. Charles Town Since that time we have at- tempted to create our own guide- lines and programs to teach our A HELPING HAND citizens right from wrong. When On April 23, we were on our one looks at the tragic episode in a way to Pontiac, Michigan with a Colorado high school and similar group of 59, consisting mostly of incidents, even our president's teenagers, when our bus broke sexual misconduct I can not help down a few hours from our church, but to think how our society may (Bolivar Pentecostal) in Harpers be different if we would have con- Ferry. When Kirk Ford in Han- tinued to instill basic Christian cock, Md found out that we were values in our children. These are stranded, they sent up several the exact behaviors prohibited by brand new vans with drivers to the Ten Commandments. It ap- transport us to a safe place to wait pears to me we have attempted to for further assistance. We realize have been proud to see 73,000 Schools!"; listen as you drive to were welcomed to the area. 3rd Pennsylvania Volunt~. teens give the Creator of the uni- work to the song lyrics of your The two artists are visiting enacting groups will beinl~ verse, a ten minute standing ova- children's favorite radio station; their brother Simon Contreras of Ferry for a Living HistorY ~1 tion. count the number of buildings Arlington, Va. graph of the Union Troops1 t~ Karen Rivas blown up and bodies brutalized in Contreras served as a liason cupied the Odd Fellows ~1 Ranson an average night of television; between the library and Jorge duringthe Civil War. I! watch the buckets of blood and Elieser when the artist donated The reenactors will be QUESTIONS U.S gore spilled in your children's Mona Lisa Venezolan" to the li- on the Odd Fellow Lodge l video games; calculate the per- brary three years ago and "El on Filmore Street May 8-I '~ NATO ACTIONS centage of movies rated "R for vio- Llanero" (The Man from the Flat The photo will be taken 12! ~ a Recently the U. S. House of lence"; and drift off to sleep to the Lands of Venezuela) this past both days. A copy of the 4 Representatives had two votes con- terrified voices on the 911 tapes year. photograph will be on disl~. cerning the US/NATO war against from Littleton. Jorge Elieser has no formal This event is free and ~) Yugoslavia. In the first the House Over the last eighteen months training in painting. He considers the public. Come visit the ~4 voted 249 to 180 to block funding we have lived with school violence his talent a precious gift from and experience Civil W~la for U.S. ground troops in the from Oregon to Kentucky, from Ar- Mother Nature'. His award win-life! i~L Balkans unless Congress first gives kansas to Pennsylvania, and now ning paintings are all over the Harpers Ferry NattO~ ~" its approval. In the second thein Colorado. We have tied ribbons, world: The Women's Museum in Historical Park NellJ House vote tied at 213 to 213, and, lit candles, and placed flowers. Washington, the Liria Palace in Harpers Ferry P~ therefore, did not pass a resolution We have watched graveside cer- Madrid, Spain, The Vatican and, Employees Complete Tt~ backing the Clinton/NATO policies emonies and memorial services, of course, Bolivar. Harpers Ferry Natio~l of bombing Yugoslavia. In each but what has changed - nothing! Jorge Elieser's sister Maria Del torical Park is pleased1 case Congressman Robert Wise vot- And nothing will until we change Valle is an award winning com-nounce and congratulate~l~ ed with the administration: 1. the climate of violence, poser and singer of traditional employees who have recen~ against prior Congressional appro- John Bagladi Venezuelan music, pleted medical and firefll~l Last year she became a na- training opportunities. ~l valing thef r groundVs/NAWotrOops,bombing.and 2. favor- Harpers Ferrytiona! celebrity when her compact Christine LaRue an~[~~ The US/NATO action is aggres- "IF YOU BUILD IT, disc Llano Y Sentimiento' (Prai- Shutts recently completes sion. It is illegal under the UN ries and Feeling)was released and Emergency Medical Tec!~.~3 Charter, the NATO Treaty, and the THEY WILL COME" her songs became immensely Basic Course and passed tl~' 1980 Vienna Convention on the As we enter the end of the 15opular in Venezuela. ten and practical examinat~e~ Law of Treaties. And the US-part school year with a busy summer Her songs 'are filled with deep certification. Bruce HassO~U may also be illegal under the ahead, I am reminded of the say- feelings about the land and the issa Hancock and Gary que Constitution which authorizes only ing, "If you build it, they will people of the Venezuelan prai-completed a First ResP~.? the U.S. Congress the right to come." In the movie Field ofries." First Aid Course taught by ~ : declare war. Recent Presidents Dreams, the "it" was a baseball Del Valle, a mother of two and David Tucker. ~c have used various devices andfield. In Jefferson County it's the elementary school teacher was Additionally, the pa~[.~ excuses to avoid this Constitutional Boys & Girls Club of Jeffersonable to put her teaching skills to trained thirteen new firefi~tc provision. County. work while visiting CW ShipleyCharles Anderson, I-Ifvi The NATO nations have a corn-At first glance the Club may and Harpers Ferry Junior High.Dorsey, Todd Holder, ~.~ bined population of about 800 mil- appear to be just a facility where Local youths enjoyed learning Hosford, Gregg Kleppinge~l 1 lion. Yugoslavia's population is youngsters play and have fun. A traditional Venezuelan song and McGee, Larry Moore about 10 million, and its industrial closer look reveals a safe haven dance during Del Valle's informal Owens III, Bryan capacity is not even proportional; where children learn and grow, re- presentation. Shutts, Michael Dixon, its size, 40,000 square miles is ceive guidance from caring adults Students were reminded that itStaubs, and John Mason. about that of Virginia, 43,000 and participate in character- is because of their town's name- employees completed square miles. Its air force and navy building programs, sake "Simon Bolivar", considered Firefighter, Introduction are almost nonexistent. Kosovo is What's happening inside Boys the "George Washington of South Behavior, and Basic I~ about 4,000 square miles, smaller and Girls Clubs undoubtedly America" and liberator of Venezu- Command System than Connecticut. works. Since the mid-1980's, Boys ela, that we enjoy the talents of join the park's This massive bombing against a & Girls Clubs of America has be- Jorge Elieser and Maria Del Valle. and experienced small nation is not about stopping a come the nation's fastest-growing This is Jorge's fist visit to Van Steinburg, Todd civil war and saving a people, youth development organizationAmerica and he is most impressed Bruce Hasson, Larry Surely, there must have been many b,v partnering with local communi- by the "friendliness" of Americans. Bryan Piercy, Melissa avenues that US/NATO couldhave ties such as Jefferson County to "They are very warm and Nancy Stanley and followed. 'Milosevic was given ari establish new locations and reach friendly." and will be added to the l ultimatum: surrender or be bombed, out to more young people. In Simon Contreras who trans- the NationaI Capital Miloeevic chose to be bombed and 1998, new Boys & Girls Club fa- lated Jorge's comments explained Team. US/NATO obliged, thereby hoping to cilities opened in the country at an that the stereotype of Americans Herb Fair prove to the world that they are not a average of five per week - 261 in The 14th Annual paper tiger. They have new worlds all. wi~y not use the victims fines to sponsored by the Har to conquer. This month marks the second purchase signs for the road? Or District of the The US claims that it must pro- anniversary of the President'swill someone have to lose their life be on Saturday, May 8 tect its interests. But what are Summit for America's Future, abefore we can have appropriate- 2 p.m. at the Band they? When d.o they need protec- nationwide appeal for adults to in- warnings placed at prominent Camp Hill. tion? When does protection become vest in America'S youth, led by sites of concern. How many acci- Over 100 varieties aggression? General Colin.Powell. While char- dents have happened on this well as Book Sale and Yugoslavia is Guernica? tering the official "2000th Boys & stretch of rural roadway? How vice will be available. Sincerely, Girls Club" lut year, Powell, a many more will there be? This let- Friendship William F. McLoughlin Boys & GirlsCluh of America gov- ter is just the beginning of my Bake Sale ernor, stated, These children fight. Something has to be done. T h e F r i e n i p[ OP SHOP NEEDS don't just see a building. What My son does not deserve this cita- Company's Ladies Auxili they see are people who care about tion. There is a principle involved sponsor a bake sale on VOLUNTEERS them and love them. What theyhere. The state has as much aMay 8 at 9 a.m. at the Fi~ To the Editor: see are people who have expects- part of accepting the responsibil- Donations of baked g0~ In July of this year, Harold and tions of them - who will not let ity with this matter as does it citi- needed and gladly Ann Kloth wig have completed five them fail." zens. Three accidents in the same Please drop off all dons years as coordinators of the OP Cormider General Powell's call spot in one month, no signs given morning of the sale. | SHOP on North Charles Street,and make a difference in young any kind of warning what so ever. Birthdays and they have advised the board of lives. During the week, take time Will the next victim walk away as Happy Birthday to the Old Opera House that theyto visit a Club - talk to a child, my son was lucky enough to do? I Carter and Susan Bark S would like to be replaced, teach a class, offer your expertise, realize that getting appropriate day, May 9; to Ron Rod The OP SHOP, as most of the You'll find that the Club is more signs erected won't solve the prob- Monday, May 10; to community knows, is a thrift shop than a building. It's the positive lems, but if we can post warnings Vliet, Alison Auvil and wholly-owned by the Old Operaplace for kicisI for deer crossings because of the ley on Tuesday, May 11;] House Theatre Company, the prof- For further information contact damage and harm they can do to a Dailey on Wednesday, M~ its from which subsidize OOH op- the Boys and Girls Club of Jeffer- vehicle, can't we warn about Angel Talton on Thursd erations. In recent years, the sub- son County at 728-3143 or 334 curves as dangerous as this one is? 13. J sidy has amounted to as much as North Lawrence Street, Charles From here I will contact every rep- Belated birthday wish $8,000 representing up to 8% of Town. resentative I can get to listen to cob Van Vliet on Saturd J our total operating budget. Our Sincerely,me. This time it was my son -to Angels Durkin and box office receipts offset only Tim Grove who's will be next? iams on Monday, May 3;] about half our total expenses and, Executive Director Mrs. Roy Dove Sr. Aronhalt and Tiffany DI therefore, we need to seek addi- Boys & Girls Club KearneysviUe Tuesday, May 4. tional funds in many ways; the OP of Jefferson County SHOP is one of our most impor- tant sources. All members of the OP SHOP A PARENT'S staff work as volunteers, includ- ROAD RAGE ing the Kloths. All of the volun- Yesterday I could have lost my teers and many of its customers son, along with his car when he know of the shop's importance to became involved in a very serious the continued financial well-being accident. An accident that could Ladies of the OOH. very well have been prevented, if The Kloths have been dedi- the state of West Virginia had SWIVEL cated managers and during their enough of a sense of duty to post tenure have introduced physical proper road signs. This is outra- and procedural improvements, in- geous. This month alone, there eluding upgrading of the merchan- have been other accidents on this dise and the physical plant. They same road - in the same spot as will be very hard, indeed, to re- told to me by the attending officer. place. But replace them we must. Even if you are traveling the We can only hope that someone, "posted" speed limit of 30 mph, somewhere in the community will you are on top of and into this grccn~ step forward and fill their shoes curve before you even begin to re- C for us. act to the sudden change. There is or aUV Sincerely, absolutely no warning of this up- Bill Francis coming curve wl at so ever. Natu- President, Old Opera House rally, my son w~ given a citation Theatre Company for going over the, centerline. Serving Jefferson County far over40 What line was the officer speaking of?. There are no lines painted on Furniture CLIMATE OF VIOLENCE Persimmon Lane. Just as there is. The tragic events in Littleton, no foreWarning about this deadly Mattress Co have held us spellbound and curve. My son does not speed and caused us to ask what is happening he was wearing his seatbelt. He is 309 W. Washington St to our children. In the past week not a reckless nor careless driver. Charles Town, Sat. we have been bombarded with im- I wonder what charges the other 728 8297 90 Days ages, interviews, and sound bites victims received from their noel- that seem to be more fiction than dent? Since a citizen can't sue real. An endless video loop oftheir state for what I feel is a total SWAT teams with guns drawn, oflack of concern for public safety,