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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
June 13, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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June 13, 2018

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E A6 Wednesday, June 13, 2018 SUSANNE KOENIG Supporters :l urged to attend public hearing at 7 p.m. Friday ,Did you know? Your input - .whether by speaking up or simply by posting a card of support - can ,"Make it Happen!" I'm referring to approval for the proposed plan to build the Hill Top House Hotel. Make It Happen is a movement comprised of indepen- dent citizens promoting awareness of and support for approval of the Hill Top House reconstruction con- i' j cept. Not since the days of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd has such a plum ~' opportunity come to our neighbor- ~ood. But this opportunity has noth- i~ ling to do with national government ,~ .~but rests solely upon a negotiation of : ~eollaboration between town and pri- .~ :late enterprise. Launching this proj- i.~',ect ultimately rests with approval i* ~i~y the governing boards and coun- i~il of the town of Harpers Ferry. But ithis decision has potential impact of ~, such monumental consequence well ~, i'beyond the town boundary that a i~ ~, ~claorus o/support should be raised il as positive influence upon a favor- ~.~ :able vote. 9~,~ Do you have fond memories 11 ~ :.~ ' :: , I An artist's rendering of how the new of chicken dinners at the Hilltop House? Do you shake your head in wonderment and disbelief when you see the crumbling edifice that currently overlooks one of the un- surpassed views of the region? Does it strike you as a lamentable wasted opportunity that a resplen- dent new edifice fitting for that grand overlook hasn't been resur- rected? If you're nodding in agreement, take only a moment to jot your recollections or offer your senti- ments and send it to: Corporation Hill Top House Hotel would look overlooking Harpers Ferry. of Harpers Ferry, P.O. Box 217, Harpers Ferry 25425. To lend your voice of approval, please come to the public meeting at 7 p.m. Fri- day at Mather Training Center in Harpers Ferry. Construction of a new Hill Top House Hotel is something of the equivalent of an Amazon Center coming to the region. It is not an op- portunity that should be lost through complacency. This new hotel, design is a concept that celebrates the world class site presented by the overlook of the confluence of the Potomac : I look forward to reading the Spirit every Town mosaic which gloriously expresses many ~] ~ ~Week as there is always a wonderful mixture of of the things we have to be proud of in our com- ~~ ~:~ . . ~ ~ur local news and human interest stones, munity. ~;t Since mid-November, I have begun to look I encourage everyone to get a copy of the June , ~ 'first for Pet Peevy, the weekly cartoon cre- 6 Spirit to see Pet Peevy if you don't already ~]'i~:i'ated by Rob Snyder. I grew up trying to be the subscribe. Cartoons never fail to inspire young ~' ,~ ~|~one of seven children who sat on my dad's lap and old by their art, wonderful colors, crafts- ,~ ;~hen the Sunday paper amved and he read us manship and especially the stories and wisdoms :~ the comic strips. I was the youngest child so I they impart. ~ ~ i~ften got the coveted spot. I also encourage everyone to go to see the new ~:~ Much to my delight, "Pet Peevy" in the most Charles Town Isaiah Zagar mosaic on the wall i'~:~; ~%~gecent edmon was m color and included a sto- of Bars and Booths On North Charles Street. ~%i'v that gave the readers some history about Ev- Kudos to Clissy Funkhouser and Liz Goins who ~.~.~'~!yn and his "all-too-human" pet Peevy. I think were the masterminds behind t, his project. The i[~:~ : any of us shared Evelyn's sentiment as he told mural is a "feast for the eyes' - inspirational ,ta, -Peevy: "These are uncertain times. I feel like Iand healing, just like this week's cartoon. and Shenandoah rivers. It is a concept that embraces the town's momentous history, the re- gional geographic splendor and yet the wider ramifications of stra- tegic triangulation with Baltimore and Washington. This is a big, bold concept mindfully crafted to hon- or the design of the original hotel, lure guests from near and far, yet still earnestly striving to conform to the appropriate modifications and needs imposed by the limits of a small town and desired by neigh- boring residents. Harpers Ferry is a small town and such a grand arrival would be something like welcoming roy- als for a visit. Yes, how do you ac- commodate heightened traffic and parking demand? But like a royal visit, such an arrival brings pres- tige through admiring attention from the eyes of the world, and let's not overlook the welcome in- fusion of revenue (not just to the town, mind you, but the county and state as well). This will be a destination that ri- vals the likes of The Greenbrier. This will be a crown jewel not just for the town of Harpers Ferry. This is a treasure for neighboring Boli- var, nearby Charles Town, the whole of Jefferson County - and a shining welcome beacon at the eastern entry to West Virginia. Take notice! A new Hill top House Hotel is an opportunity not to be surpassed. Lend it your voice of support. Susanne Koenig writes from Harpers Ferry 'Inspirational and healing' art Cheers to the Spirit for accuracy 2018 is proving to be a tough year for rect quotes and background information. news outlet, including small, locally Truth and professionalism is what I expect owned new~apers :like our, 0Wn Spirit of frOm a news source and I am confident I Jefferso~. S~n~e readers are .quick' tO cry get that fromthe Spirit. : ~ : : : "Fake newsl" whenever they see an article It was no surprise to me to learn that they percei~ to be "'biased:' Many read- since 2012, the Spirit has earned numer- ers give :up,arid declare they are abstain- ous awards for news stories; editorials, ing from, r~ding the news in:0rder tO get columns, i~eatures and photography and some retief~ " " - has 'consistently received General Excel- The Spir~has not escaped these charges lence awards for large weekly papers in of bias by ~me in our county who appear our state. to consid~ as accurate only news pre- This record of journalistic achievement sented ,Wh~h reflects their own personal is a sign tllat I can have confidence in the point ofvi~w. To the contrary, tide Spirit truth and accuracy of the;:pa[~' r's report- follows st~dard j0umaiisticpractice, ex- ing. ! plan to keep readipg the Spirit to pressing o~inion based.on facts on the edi- learn about the local issues that affect my torial page. (rather than bias. where a fac- life here in Jefferson C0~inty; and I hope r ' 'iaeed some assurance that everything is going to tual basis is lacking), your 'other readers do, t0o. Thanks for a be okay." I was so happy the cartoon included BETH K. BATDORF I find the paper's, news feature~ to pres- job well done. ii She herdstown ph on Evelyn and Peevy looking at the new Charles P ent the facts of the topic supported by di- ' JAN HAFER:Sh erdst w ' th Spi it , Compton consider an apolo o e r I ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: I " In last week s Spirit, the paper published an editorial very farnghtofthe political spectrumln Jefferson County? !!~ ! ~2 'i countering a statement from Josh Compton, president of the Wouldn't she have been only a rubber stamp for any ESA , Jefferson County Commission, that the paper's previous re- deliberations brought before the right-leaning, conservative ~ ~~ ' porting on Ramona Wesling's candidacy for the county's Republican majority of the Commission? . ~~ ~ :~~- -: "2:~] ,~'i ]Emergency Services Agency board was "deplorable, and i; constituted a. defamation" of her character. ', The a~icle Mr. Compton is criticizing factually states Ms. I', Wesling s own on-the-record positions concerning coun- I! ty people and practices over the last few years. She stri- ,dently opposed Charles Town's annexation plan, compar- i l ing the mayor to Hitler; she vigorously opposed the ambu- lance fee the Commission eventually approved; she argued *', that the proponents of removing the Confederate plaque at ,; the courthouse were far-left agitators pushing a radical left , agenda. Not stated in the article are Ms. Wesling's equal- ly negative statements about the Common Core education. ,'~ standards, whose proponents Ms. Wesling faults for their a fellow Republican member of the JCC, who stood in op- T-lol|~-f~xxTn ]~/rt-~m~l~l~| ' ', ignorance and disdain for Constitutional liberties. Ms. Wes- position to him and to whom he pointedly denied, his sup- JL i~li~ v v .t Jr VJL~ JtJtJtVJt J.ObJt " ling's history dismisses and shows contempt for those on port in the prim .a~, election. Mr. Compton s long-suffering (~]~o~c~] T~t~O ,3 ]~o~f] ~' the left of the political spectrum. But her own positions are take on the Spirit s reporting is itself suspect. Can you re- ~,~11 .1, 13K71 IIKTKTU.O Ob II~i, IIU. , so far to the conservative right that she can't dodge the rad- ally believe, as he said in his critique, that he doesn t care i ical label herself. Ms. Wesling is the chair of the board of whether it s a Democrat or Republican casting a slur? Con- The Halltown Memorial Chapel Association needs commu- Liberty PAC West Virginia. sider again the quote above from the Conservative Mani- nity support. The chapel located on U.S. 340 in Halltown needs i l The Spirit never speculated one way or another about festo. What he himself says and does isnlt considered slam- $1,500 for maintenance of the grounds and for minor interior ~' what value she would bring to the Emergency Services ming or character assassination, is it? It s only vicious and repairs. , Agency as its proposed citizen board member. This is as it deplorable if those who disagree with him do it. The little chapel is a treasure, and a historical landmark in Jef- f! should be for any objective reporting. It's a matter for the The Spirit did its job. It didn t defame Ms. Wesling; it re- ferson County. The little chapel is a living example of ingenuity , readers to decide the hypothetical question of her suitabil- ported what she said. The Spirit s editorial in response to and determination. It must not fall into disrepair! ~' ity, based on the facts reported. Mr. Compton s harangue is exactly right and shows pre- Any resident of the county can use the chapel for approved ,', ~ But shouldn't we also consider why it was that the Spirit cisely why this is the paper our community truly needs. It activities such as weddings, family picnics and the like. If you ', decided to publish the article at all? Did the Spirit, in fact, i'3: have some hidden, nefarious, left-wing agenda in mind to derail Ms. Wesling's application? To answer this ques- ,: : tion, consider the extent to which the citizen representa- ~,[ five should at a minimum understand and respect the posi- !i tions of citizens other than those who share her own politi- cal beliefs. Would the citizen's representative be effective if .f. ~" ~he represents, let's say, only the one or two percent at the PL ' published the piece on Ms. Wesling's candidacy as a service to the wider community, to inform us. It did not publish it to deliberately challenge her candidacy, Mr. Compton's ob- jections notwithstanding. If Mr. Compton were not so one- sided himself, he would admit the truth of this claim and ex- tend his apology to the Spirit for trying to defame it. JIM BAUMAN Harpers Ferry are a resident Of the county or simply interested in preserving a piece of history, your support would be greatly appreciated. Contributions may be sent to Halltown Memorial Chapel As- sociation, c/o Philip S. Braxton. 148 Banks Drive, Winchester VA 22602. Anyone who would like more information may call me at 540-877-3568. PHILIP BRAXTON Halltown Memorial Chapel Association president