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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
May 15, 2013     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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May 15, 2013

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iilii! iii i"'iiiiii!i!i ii! !i!:~:!~iiii~iiiii!i?iiiii "No government ought to be without censors and where the press is free, no one ever will." -- Thomas Jefferson pirit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE Wednesday, May 15, 2013 EDITORIALS For those disappointed by Monday's he was required to tmdertake in his role sentencing of onetime Jefferson Coun- as a law enforcement officer. And that's ty Sheriff Robert "Bobby" Shirley, they where Shirley's sentence is a just one. must at some measure take heart that the Haines might have served as a stand- man who accused Shirley of beating him in for anyone's son, for anyone's grand- will still be serving time in federal pris- son, for anyone's husband or father who on long after Shirley is a free man. And might have someday found themselves that's as it should be. on the wrong side of the brand of justice Mark Daniel Haines led police on a put into effect by Shirley that night. And wild race through two counties On the it cannot be tolerated. night of Dec. 27, 2010, endangering not Shirley's conviction brought to an end only the lives of those employees at the a 30-year career. A sad end to many who bank he had just robbed, but also anyone know him and whom he befriended dur- who might have gotten in his way as he ing his years of service. fled the scene. His actions were grossly Indeed, there will be many here in Jef- irresponsible and dangerous, ferson County who will welcome Shirley But Shirley himself acknowledged back to the community upon his release. in his guilty plea that h~ crossed a line During testimony on Monday, a number in subduing Haines. However, Haines of area officials said Shirley remains wel- might have resisted his arrest, whatever come in their homes, and in their nelgh- injuries he might have sustained through borhoods.He should take heart in that. that resistance, the punishment he re- It's likely Haines will receive no such ceived by Shirley exceeded that which warm reception. at A forum held Monday for candidates borly with allegatiofls of vicious dogs and, to the Charles Town City Council was more absurdly, out-of-area educations, but instructive not just for shedding light on also one that irresponsibly alleges miscon- those who-are running, but served also as duct. Guests at Monday's gathering right- a primer about citizen engagement, ly demanded of those seeking their votes On a number of occasions during the that they behave better if they want their forum, candidates were peppered by votes. The issue, they proclaimed loud and members of the audience to explain their clear, Was that they are interested in elect- decis!ons to publish misleading or deroga- ing to the Council members of their com- tory ads and to clarify rather than obscure munity those who are willing to serve to previous positions. As Councilman and help make Charles Town a better place to candidate Rich Bringewatt noted during live, to raise a family, to conduct their dai- the close of the night, the gathering was a ly lives, to invest in and maintain a busi- good exercise in participatory democracy ness and to improve the town's economic and hopefully forces those seeking office viability. to reconsider tactics against their opposi- We thank those residents who demon- tion. To be sure, this contest among neigh- stinted the resolve enough to make that bors has been something other than neigh- point. (Vi~ ~:~~.:~:~ ~/~ ~ ~.~~2 . .::- ~ ~ i~ ~ ~ ~_ ~ 'o ~ ~ ~~: ~ Medicaid expansion benefits outweigh costs In deciding to loosen West Virginia's expanding coverage. The state's hospitals tight restrictions on the state's Medicaid will save an estimated $20 million to $30 program, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin made million a year annually in uncompensat- the right call. ed care provided now to the uninsured. Taking into account a variety of factors, The move also will take some pressure off the governor announced Thursday that the many employers, who must decide wheth- state will expand Medicaid under the con- er to provide health insurance for their em- troversial federal health care reform law ployees or pay a penalty to the govem- that goes into full effect on Jan. 1. ment. By expanding Medicaid, many of The chief result is that an estimated their employees will have another avenue 91500 state residents who now have no to gain insurance and the employerwon't health insurance will have the oppommity have to pay a penalty. That could mean a to get coverage; based on an income qual- savings to them of anywhere from $6 mil- ification that is far more reasonable than lion to $18 milfion a year, the study sald. it is now. The federal law urges states to Many Republican officials are critical extend Medicaid benefits to people who of Tomblin's move, arguing that health make less than 138 percent of the feder- care reform - or Obamacare, as it's wide- al poverty line. That's about $32,499 for a ly called -- will hurt the state and national family of four. economies. That, of course, remains to be West Virginia now has one of the strict- seen. est limits in the country, prohibiting adults But the fact remains that health care re- from enrolling if their household earns form is the law of the land. West V'Lrgin- more than $8240 for a family of four. ia, based on its residents' relatively low The expansion won't come without a income levels and the poor health of so cost to the state budget,an analysis ordered many, has a greater need than most states by Tomblin showed. That study estimat- for extending insurance coverage to more ed that West Virginia's support of Med- people. Should so many of its residents be icaid will increase by $375 million over deprived for the sake of making a political the next decade under the expansion. The point? bulk of the increased costs will be bome Tomblin said"No" to that question, and by the federal government, to the tune of it was the correct answer. about $5 billion over that same span. The study also cited other benefits for --from the Huntington Herald-Dispatch Background check bill must be read to be believed There has been a lot Said lately about to the text of the amendment is provided The Public Safety And Second Amend- at the end of this column. ment Rights Protection Act. How will this legislation affect gun vi- The amendment, authored by Sen. Joe olence in America, which seems to be on Manchm, D-W.Va., an.d Sen. Pat Toomey, the rise each passing year? R-Pa., went down to defeat last month, There are no certainties in life; that is falling short of passage in the Senate by a understood. Criminals hell-bent on com- mere five votes, mitting violent acts are going to always We've heard about it from the politi- be a threat. cians. We've heard about it from the af- But why not diminish the likelihood temoon talk show hosts. We've heard of their rampage ending in senseless vio- about it from the evening newsc~ters, lence against innocent people, by having We've heard about it from the commen- in place a system that denies or even de- tators on weekend news shows. Social lays their access to weapons? media have been abuzz onthe topic for The bill just makes sense. the last month. There's been so much rhetoric spewed Your neighbors, friends and co-work- forth, it has added only confusion. Re' ers have likely voiced their opinions, searchit.Reviewit. It's the absolute best whether you've offered them your ear way to form an educated opinion. To or not. But Manchin believes it's time to check it all out, go to manchm.senate. read it for yourself. And we agree. Our gove_and follow the links. hope is that our readers will take the time -- from the The Register-Herald in Beck- to read it for themselves. An online link ley Recalling a love that began in Harpers Ferry' This letter is written to my West Vir- ginia friends. As manyof you proba- bly know by now, my love and constant partner since 2010, Joe Bnssard suffered a brain hemorrhage on April. 8 and was removed from life support on April 10. He and I were classmates at Harp- ers Ferry High School from the seventh grade through graduation. We attended one year at Shepherd College together, after which we lost touch for 49 years. His wife had died in 2008 and I had been divorced for 30 years when we saw each other at our 50-year high school re- union in 21309. It wasn't long before our phone calls turned into nightly two-hour chats as we spilled our life stories to each other. When I visited Joe in Pennsylvania in 2010, we confessed that we both had prayed to be given the mate that was meant for us. We vowed to love and care Joe Bussard and Evelyn Allocco for each other for the rest of our lives, and we believed we had many years left to be together. Help paint Charles Town purple We invite all area business owners to take part in Paint Your Town Purple the week of June 3 to June 8 in celebra- tion of Relay For Life of Jefferson Coun- ty and to inspire others to follow. It's easy and it's fun! Add a little curb appeal to your store or business by deco- rating it purple for Relay For Life. Your patrons will appreciate your passion for the fight against cancer. Here are some ideas to get you started: Wear purple clothing Decorate your storefront window with purple balloons,streamers and Relay For Life materials in your b~iness Hang Relay posters in your store win- dow Decorate your front entrance or your door with purple Give out purple candy to clients Have a Relay for Life percent of sales night and donate to the Relay event Sell "feet" for a donation and display feet in your store Have Relay collection cans on display for cash donations Ideas just for restaurants: Use purple flower arrangements for your tables Place purple votives on the tables Create a purple drink or a purple dish Turn your menus purple Host a Relay For Life percent of sales night and donate to the Relay event "We will be decorating the streets be- ginning June 2. Contact Donna Harri- son (304-671-3542 or DonnaMHarri- for more information and for Relay materials, coin cans, post- ers and "donation" feet. Charity Hopkins & Donna Harrison Relay For Life of Jefferson Co. chairs No more no-growthers For the upcoming Charles Town City Council election, I have one question for my left-wing liberal friends who have only been in Charles Town for a, few years but have the goal of controlling City Council to spend our tax dollars like the Obama.Administration: Do you hate Charles Town and its longtime residents that much that you continue to .rgcruit no- growth liberal candidates to disrupt this city and change itto your likes? The newest liberal candidate regis- tered to vote in Charles Town seven months ago. He has not lived heremuch longer than that. Whereas mainstream candidate, Don Clendening, has lived in Charles Town for decades but has'only been on Council for eight years so he is not a lifetime politician.. His accomplishments, which are many, are listed on clendeninforcitycoun- volunteers a tremendous amount of his time for various Charles Town causes and City Council since he is retired. Both liberal candidates lost in the last election and they are desperate again because Don Clendening is like a hawk watching our tax dollars. Liberal '(Jon- athan) Wertman failed to address ques- tions about himself during this campaign or give us Specifics on what he would ac- complish. Typical liberal, just trust me. Does anyone else see a problem with my liberal left-wing friends' logic and hon- esty when they are supporting a guy that just registered to vote seven months ago in Charles Town? Mark Meredith Charles Town Experience needed for city council I have read and reread Mr. Wertman's Charles Town City Council campaign website. I can't figure out why he is a candidate. He has no experience so he doesn't want a referendum on his challenge tO Ward 3 councilman Mr~ Clendening's experience and service. He offers instead his youth and edu- cation as qualifications for a Ward 3 city Councilman. His website appears to say he is a personal injury lawyer, an art historian, urban planner, archi- tect, sociologist, criminologist and an actuary. In some places he say he works in D.C. and in others he works in Martinsburg. I don't know how he has time to serve on city council. Wertman on his website has said that there are problems in Charles Town, but he doesn't say what they are. He says that promises made over a decade ago have been kept or delivered on, doesn't say what they were/are that a resident of only a few months knows about. He also indicated that people have no voice and no way to be heard. The council has an open comment ses- sion preceding every meeting. He says he has vision but doesn't say what it is. He says he has solutions, but doesn't say for what. I don't know how he will be able to communicate with citizens, the mayor or other members of the council if he can't communicate what he says he knows. I can't figure out why Wertman is a candidate. He must be the smartest, most educated person to ever mn for city council. He won't communicate all the ideas he has so I can't figure out if he understands how the city council works. He can't say what people have been trying to say and where they have been trying to say it so how will he say anything to anybody about anything? I know why Clendening is standing for election -- dedication, commitment to the citizens, sense of public service, to help neighbors and the capability to actually do the hard work and make a difference. He is recognized and ap- I recently heard someone say, "Joe came from nothing and became very suc- cessful." I beg to differ. He came from humble beginnings, with hard-working parents who suffered great losses and sacrificed much for their children. They taught him the meaning of devotion and loyalty to loved ones and provided him with the character and perseverance to become the successful businessman he Was. Continuing life without Joe seems im- possible, but I wasn't given an option. As his brother Michael says, "We all know who writes the latest chapter of life.~'Though the body I loved has been taken from me, I know that the soul I love will be with me throughout the re- mainder of my life. To Joe, let me say: "Enjoy your new adventure ... my heart is there with you." Evelyn Allocco Florida' preciated for his service and citizens~ have confidence of his continuing to do the "heavy lifting" needed in elect: ed city office. He earned the pOsition of mayor pro temp for reason. He does the job and always seeks win/win so- lutions for the city and its citizens. I just can't figure out why Wertman is a candidate. Lade J. Mumaw Charles Town Stop the negative campaign This letter is written to express my disappointment with Charles Town City Councilman Don Clendening's decision to run a negative campaign as he seeks re-election to his council seat. Specif- ically, I was surprised that he would choose to criticize his opponent, Jona- than Wertman, for having attended and graduated from West Virginia Univer- sity. As a lifelong resident of the East- em Panhandle, I would think that Wert- man should be applauded for choosing his state school. And for the life of me, I simply do not understand why C!enden- ing would attack him for doing so. As a two term council member, one ~nust question why Clendening has chosen to run a negative campaign: Perhaps he should concentrate on his accomplishments instead. His cam- paign literature states his involvement in bringing Tractor Supply and CVS to our city. And while these businesses brought a few minimum wage jobs to our city, perhaps this may answer why Clendening has chosen to attack Wert- man. If minimum wage job] were the best I could offer, I guess I would go on the offensive, too. As the husband of a former council member, Clenden-. ing and all the current council members should be thanked for the civil service they provide. Being an elected official is a lot of hard work with little financial reward. However, the problems that our city faces cannot be solved with nega- tive campaign tactics. I have been a resident of our fine city since 2001. During this time, neither Clendening nor the mayor and most of the remaining city council members have ever knocked on my door. I wel- come them to do so. I would welcome the opportunity to show them some real problems, including sidewalks in disre- pair and abandoned buildings. And I would discuss real, problems like high electrical rates-that are confronting their constituents. Finally, I would ex- . plain that our city deserves public ser- vants interested in making things bet- ter, not questioning where their oppo-: nent attended college. Thomas S. Gannon-Miller Charles Town I