"The People's Voice" - September, 2011 Edition
West Virginians Deserve The Best!!!
Thank You, Clark Sigman, For Supporting Bison Wrestling
The Buffalo High School Wrestling Team would like to express our highest gratitude to Mr. Clark Sigman with United Diving & Marine LLC for purchasing our singlets for the entire team. Our team would not have been able to compete in this years competition starting December 4, 2010 without the generous support of Mr Sigman. Buffalo High School Wrestling Team depends on local businesses like Mr Sigman for financial help so that our boys have the opportunity to participate more fully in this sport. Thank you again to United Diving & Marine LLC for your support.
Buffalo High School Wrestling Coach
Ingenuity In Training
The West Virginia National Guard is held in high esteem here in the Mountain State. Time and again, without hesitation they respond to the call when their state or their country needs them. Their consistency and efficiency have earned them the respect of West Virginia's citizens.
Yet there is far more to the West Virginia National Guard than their quick and reliable response when needed. This week, the Guard had a ceremony to dedicate its Combat Mobility Driver's Training Course at the Center for National Response, located at the Memorial Tunnel in Standard.
The training facility was developed by members of the West Virginia National Guard, who made use of part of a surface mine to simulate the terrain soldiers would encounter in countries like Afghanistan or Iraq.
The facility will allow soldiers from all over the country and from all branches of the military the opportunity to come to West Virginia to engage in training that may well save their lives during combat missions.
They are learning how to navigate Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles over challenging terrain, while at the same time learning how to operate and maintain the vehicles and their weapons systems.
Not only did members of the West Virginia National Guard develop the course, they are conducting the training.
But the story doesn't end there. The collaboration behind this project and the economic benefits it brings to the state are part of the story, also.
The added jobs, along with the participants who will stay in the local area are expected to bring $9.4 million to the local economy.
This project is the first in a series under a National Guard initiative, called Fort West Virginia that will involve reclaiming other suitable surface mine sites.
The Combat Mobility Training Facility is an example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors work together toward a common goal. By working with Tyler-Morgan Coal Company and Pardee Resources Group, the Guard found a creative way to take land that has been mined, and develop a unique way to use it. Concurrently, the company continues to mine other parts of the site.
I commend the West Virginia National Guard and all those who worked together to make this training facility a reality.
We can most certainly take pride in the talent and ingenuity behind this facility, knowing that it was West Virginians that made it happen.
Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
Disappointed In WV American Water Service
I am writing this letter to express my sincere disappointment in the service that we are receiving from WV American Water. My disappointment stems from a water leak that originated on 8-29-2011 in front of my neighbors house located at 67 Stuart Circle Hurricane, WV 25526. I made my first call to WV American Water on 8-29-2011.With no urgent response given, I called again on 8-31-2011 and was told that they are aware of the “minor” leak and it was scheduled to be worked on today 8-31-2011.To view this “minor” leak please visit www.PutnamLIVE.com. You can clearly see that this is more than “minor.” If indeed this is considered “minor”, I would hate to see what they consider “major.”
The residents of Stuart Circle patiently waited until 9-2-2011 for the leak to be repaired. With water continuing to run down the street, at a steady pace, I once again made another call to WV American Water. I was told that the repair was turned over to another WV American Water department. I asked for that department's phone number and was told “she didn‘t know the number.” I think this may be part of the problem. The lack of communication between departments. I can assure you that if the leak had been in front of a WV American Water CEO’s house, the departments would have been in constant communication.
This lack of effort prompted me to make a call to Mark Hallburn at Putnam Live. After expressing my concern and disappointment, Mark promptly came to my home to take pictures and get my side of the story. Keep in mind that Mark delivered his promise same day.
Mark called me on 9-6-2011 to ask if anything had been done to the road. My response was “no” and this prompted an article by Mark on Putnam Live regarding the leak. On 9-12-2011, I noticed that someone had marked the leak for “repair.” This would make it 14 days before WV American Water made their first physical response to leak. On 9-13-2011 WV American Water trucks and their crews were starting the repair. I can say that the crew was very nice and their initial efforts are greatly appreciated.
So now we have a fixed leak but this has created a new problem. Their repair required the road to be removed in places. Their excavation work and repair remains incomplete. I was told by the crew, on 9-13-2011, that they would repair 40 ft of the road. I am ok with the repair of the initial spot but this does not help the remaining portion of the road that is in poor condition. I was told that there is “ just not enough funding to complete the entire project.” For a company that is concerned about money, I would think that they would have responded sooner to my initial call. Each day that passed, thousand of gallons of water continued to run freely down the road. In this case, time does equal money. Can you afford to leave your water faucet on for 15 days straight? I ask, is “funding” the real issue?”
On 9-15-2011, I contacted WV American Water to follow-up on the road repair. I was told that an e-mail would be sent to the proper department requesting an “ Urgent repair.” With no contact from WV American Water, I called again on 9-21-2011. I was told that they would give the “Urgent repair” request to the local department and I would be contacted in the next 24-48 hrs. This again must fall under “lack of communication“, since 8 days have passed with no response.
I realize that we are not on a main street but our families pay taxes just like the next. I find it unjust that WV American Water would allow their paying customers to live with conditions that they personally would find unacceptable. We are all working citizens, within our communities, and deserve to be treated with respect.
E. Doug McGehee
Our operations assistant received confirmation today from Tri State Paving that they will be on site at the #67 Stewart Circle job first thing Friday morning.
Mr. McGehee and all of our customers deserve to be treated respectfully and have their concerns addressed promptly and courteously. I will personally call Mr. McGehee this morning to discuss this matter and apologize if any of our employees have caused him to feel like he's been treated otherwise.
Just to make sure the details haven't been lost in translation, I will also personally explain that our distribution department checked out the leak when it was first reported and did not classify it as a highest priority leak because, at that time, it was not causing any damage nor affecting any customer's water pressure or service. It's not that the leak was ever ignored; the work order remained an open order, but fixing other higher priority leaks than what we understood this one to be took precedent. The day that I received your call and the leak was reported as worse than it was at the time it was originally checked out, I contacted our distribution department, they noted it as a higher priority leak, and they scheduled a crew to fix it first thing the next morning. In fact, they actually went out and fixed it that very evening (9/13). A service ticket for road repairs was submitted to our paving contractor following repairs to the water line. It was submitted as a rush order, and our zone supervisor personally spoke with Mr. McGehee about the road repair process and addressed his concerns. I confirmed yesterday that the contractor has scheduled this work order for first thing Friday morning (9/23), and I will discuss this with Mr. McGehee as well.
External Affairs Manager
West Virginia American Water
Publisher's note: PutnamLIVE.com received a telephone call from Mr. McGehee Thursday afternoon. He stated that as a result of PutnamLIVE.com's pressure on WV American Water, his road was finally being repaired. Glad we could help your neighborhood, Doug!
Not A Fan Of The New Cow Creek Signal Light
Last night when I was coming home traffic from the new traffic light at route 34 and Cow Creek had west bound vehicles backed up all the way past West Teays Elementary. I understand that this was at "rush hour" between 5:30 and 6pm but the way they have that light programmed was crazy. When I went thru the light headed west their was only a couple of cars on Cow Creek and three cars headed east on 34.
I'm not so sure that this light is going to help matters much on 34 unless it goes to four lanes. The reason is that if you are headed east on route 34 and want to turn left onto Cow Creek the light holds up traffic that is eastbound on route 34.
I guess that time will tell, so far I'm not a fan.
David A. Raney
More Signal Lights Are Needed
A signal light is needed at the intersection of Teays Valley Road and Teays Boulevard. We have tried for years to get one installed there. Evidently drivers in our area do not understand the concept of a 4 way stop sign.
Thanks For Getting The Water Leak Repaired
I'm so happy you got this rolling. Keep up the good work for the people of Putnam county!!!
Ten Years Later, Remembering September 11th
On that Tuesday morning, ten years ago, citizens across our state and nation gathered around their televisions and watched an event unfold that was almost beyond comprehension. Collectively, we were stunned at the images we saw and how the news continued to worsen as the day progressed. September 11, 2001 changed our Nation forever.
It is a day we remember in vivid detail. Many of us clearly recall where we were, what we were doing and who we were with when we first heard the news.
While collectively, we experienced a depth of despair; it was out of this darkness we united as Americans, pooling our individual spirits to strengthen our Nation. Our renewed sense of patriotism, courage and faith demonstrated the indomitable and resilient nature of America and her people.
First responders, volunteers, recovery workers and members of our military moved front and center to join forces in helping those in need following the events of September 11. From the ashes of this tragedy, we heard stories of heroic bravery from people who would otherwise have described themselves as ordinary citizens before that eventful day. They were courageous without hesitation in the face of danger. The work they performed was truly remarkable and profoundly exemplified the tradition of "neighbor helping neighbor."
The events of September 11 placed a refreshed focus on just how important our military is to the Nation's defense. Almost immediately after the attack, and for months following, people from across the country joined or reenlisted in the military, energized to protect us from further threats. Not surprisingly, many of those individuals came from West Virginia. Our service men and women work diligently to protect the freedom we enjoy every day and we thank them. What we also realize is that the ability to enjoy that freedom comes at a price.
As a tribute to the victims, survivors and those who served during one of our Nation's greatest time of need, I invite all West Virginians to observe the National Day of Service and Remembrance. It is my hope that we take this opportunity to remember the fallen, and recognize those who dedicate their lives to protection, rescue and recovery. Whether they are our local first responders or members of one of the armed services, West Virginia is truly grateful for their hard work, dedication and sacrifice.
They go about their business from day to day, never asking for recognition or honor. To them, they are just doing their jobs. But to those they serve, they are truly heroes.
Ten years have come and gone, but we will always remember.
Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
Open Waves Of Fun To Humans, Too!
Maloney To Obama-Tomblin: Where Are The Jobs?
The American Jobs Act is all about saving two jobs: Obama's and Tomblin's. In a time of economic uncertainty, Obama wants our state to pay for more of his same, failed ideas. Similar to how Obama has allowed the country to fall in international rankings, Earl Ray has allowed West Virginia to fall to 49th in per capita income, 49th in median income and 50th in labor force participation. Obama wants us to pay for his $450 billion plan just like Tomblin wants us to pay for his 36 years of looking out for himself. Earl Ray Tomblin is obviously with Barack Obama and we cannot borrow ourselves out of this recession."
The Obama-Tomblin team has failed West Virginia and this type of performance can't be rewarded with reelection. Earl Ray needs to denounce Obama's job plan. 59,000 manufacturing jobs have left the state since Earl Ray took office. Unlike Earl Ray, I will actively campaign against Barack Obama. It's time for honest leadership to get West Virginia back to work.
Republican Candidate For WV Governor
Obama's EPA Regulation Rollback Is Wrong
Late Friday, President Obama overruled EPA science and blocked crucial new protections against smog pollution that have been years in the making.
The decision came after a major campaign by corporate polluters and Republicans to kill the rules. The result, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, is likely to be tens of thousands of premature deaths, as well as increased illness among seniors, kids with asthma, and people who have lung problems.
Worse, in announcing his decision, President Obama repeated discredited tea party talking points about environmental rules costing jobs. The reality is that these standards were the best thing for the economy and the environment. And clean air protections are the perfect issue to remind Americans that enforcing rules to protect citizens' health and safety is one of the most important roles for our government.
With congressional Republicans planning a series of votes starting this week to block other health and environmental standards, we need to set the record straight, right away.
What's more, Nobel-Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman pointed out that this anti-smog rule would actually create clean energy jobs: "It would have forced firms to spend on upgrading or replacing equipment, helping to boost demand. Yes, it would have cost money—but that's the point!"
Help push back against tea party Republicans' message that we can't afford to protect our health and safety.
Thank You For Your Professionalism
I wanted to thank you for the care and professionalism that you demonstrated in this article. (About Judge Orville C. "Hobby" Spaulding's ALS diagnosis.) I have forwarded to many of Hobby's friends with my comment that they really needed to read the article to see that there is at least one true professional journalist left in the world.
William "Bill" Gibson
Celebrating Labor Day
West Virginians are some of the hardest working people I know. It doesn't matter if they wake up bright and early to head into work or return from work when the rooster crows, West Virginians go to work each and every day and put forth their best effort. This work ethic has been passed down from generation to generation and it is something of which we can be very proud. This weekend, I would like to encourage all my fellow West Virginians to take time out of their busy schedules to not only enjoy the last long weekend of summer but more importantly recognize the significance of what the celebration of Labor Day is all about.
The first Labor Day holiday was coordinated by The Central Labor Union and celebrated on Tuesday September 5, 1882 in New York City. Two years later, the first Monday in September was proposed as the Labor Day holiday. Following the success of the first celebration, The Central Labor Union encouraged other cities to follow in New York's footsteps and celebrate the "workingmen's holiday" on that date every year to follow.
Samuel Gompers, the founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor, once stated that "Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation." This is what makes Labor Day so important to many Americans across the nation, it is a holiday dedicated to the economic and social achievements of the American worker.
As I travel around the state, I get to meet the hard-working men and women that make up our workforce. I often talk about how West Virginia is blessed with an educated and talented workforce. It's one of the first things I talk about with potential employers who are interested in coming to our state. In addition to the beautiful scenery, low crime rate and attractive business climate, our dedicated workforce is what attracts new businesses and allows established businesses to expand.
Just recently, Gallup, the national polling firm, reported that West Virginia is third in the nation in job growth. That's good news for the working families across the state. In fact, this is the third year for West Virginia to be ranked in the top ten for job growth in the survey.
I know the importance of work in today's society and providing for my family. That's why I focus so much of my energy on bringing jobs to the state.
I encourage all West Virginians to remember the real meaning of Labor Day. It is a day to honor the hard-working men and women that are the heart of this state and the power of this nation.
Whether you attend a parade in your hometown, or just a quiet backyard barbeque, enjoy a safe and wonderful Labor Day Weekend.
Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
Unemployment Numbers Are Alarming
Unemployment has remained at or above 8% for an alarming 31 consecutive months. Millions of Americans want jobs but can’t find them, and thousands more have stopped looking for work all together. Record debt and deficits, regulatory red tape and the threat of higher taxes have kept investors on the sidelines and small businesses from hiring.
House Republicans have introduced and passed multiple bills to help entrepreneurs by lifting burdensome regulations and crushing debt which continue to slow our economy down. Unfortunately, the Senate and the Administration continue to believe we can borrow, spend, tax and regulate our way to recovery. It’s time we work together to chart a different course. The American people deserve a new path forward.
Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito
Please Support Rod's Miles For Meso Event
What is Mesothelioma? Mesothelioma, more precisely malignant mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, the Mesothelium. It is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Its most common place is in the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur rarely in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart and the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart).
Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. It has also been suggested that washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma as well.
Unlike lung cancer there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking, but smoking greatly increases the risk of other asbestos-induced cancers.
Compensation via asbestos funds or lawsuits is an important issue in mesothelioma.
The symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) or chest wall pain, and general symptoms such as weight loss, loss of appetite, stomach swelling (if in the peritoneum).
The diagnosis is difficult and my be suspected with chest x-ray and ct scan and is confirmed with a biopsy and microscopic examination. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, the disease carries a poor prognosis.
Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing and really needs help and support.
ALL proceeds from my benefit will go directly to Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, http://www.curemeso.org/.
A little of my story:
My daddy was Richard (Dickie) Owen Dorsey (ROD), he was 65 when he passed away from the rarest form of Mesothelioma, Peritoneal Mesothelioma. He began feeling "not himself" in January of 2008. Thinking it was his new holesterol medicine he ignored it.
February 20th, my first, and only, child was born and named after his PawPaw Dorsey, Jaden Owen Bowles. In April we talked daddy into going to the doctor, after being admitted several times, in and out of the hospital, losing lots of weight everywhere but his stomach, finally having exploratory surgery on Friday June 13th, 2008 we
found out the bad news.
The strongest man of my life was deteriorating right before our eyes. He was not eligible for surgery, radiation or chemo at this time.... given 9-12 months to live he was sad to think he might not be here for Christmas. Him and my mother (his wife of 42 years, Sharon) moved in with me and my husband the end of June so we could help take care of daddy.
July 4th he was rushed to hospital due to coughing up blood, he never returned home to us but rather to the Lord's home. Daddy passed away on July 9th, 2008. That day I lost not only a great selfless daddy but a role model of my life and one of the best friends I could ever ask for.
I miss spending lazy Sundays with him and WVU football will never be the same again.
Daddy had two daughters, my sister Dena Brown lives in Ohio and I live in Bancroft.
Before daddy passed he asked me to do a couple of things. Get mommy saved, (done she was lead to the Lord Oct. 12, 2008), and he bought the land beside of me to make sure she would be here for us to take care of her. She has been in her new home for a little more than two years now.
I want to reach out and dedicate a part of my life to raise awareness and research funds in honor of him and all of those who have lost their lives to this non-curable cancer.
I will be honoring those who we have lost to Mesothelioma in a balloon dedication before the walk.
Mesothelioma is just now becoming more known due to the fact that ingestion of the asbestos fibers in the late 70's early 80's stays in your body for 30-50 years and strikes those unsuspected employees in their retirement years. Family members of these workers may also be subjected to the fibers through their clothing and be struck with Mesothelioma as well.
I am being lead by The Lord to do all I can to raise awareness and help in anyway I
can, so I put together my first ever event ROD's Miles for Meso benefit, held on September 25th at Eleanor Town Park which raised around $15k and had more than
This year it will be held on September 24th, 2011, at Eleanor Town Park. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., and the 5k walk is at noon followed by a catered lunch by Jimmy's Catering and Concessions and a Free Outdoor Gospel sing.
Some singers are Ed Johnson, Jim Edens, The Gracemen, Tonia Nichols, Elizabeth Browning and more.
The cost to walk is $20 in advance and $25 day of event with ALL proceeds going to Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
I want to thank our major sponsors SDK Law, Prim Law, Harvit and Schwartz Law and Dodrill Heating and Cooling. They help make this event possible.
We will also have a raffle and silent auction with GREAT prizes including COACH purses and childrens activities including face painting, jupiter jump, temporary tattoos etc.
I hope to make this an annual event.
All Americans Deserve Economic Dignity And Security
To all of you who work, who have worked, or who look every day for work, thank you. Our country, and the dream generations have built their lives and their hopes for their children upon, exist because of your labor and the labor of your parents and their parents before them.
Over time, Labor Day has become part of an extended weekend, a well-deserved respite from the daily grind, a chance to spend time with family and friends and to mark the end of another summer. For educators it often signals the start of another school year, and for all of us in the labor movement, it’s an opportunity to reflect on and honor the work we have done collectively to create opportunity, security and fulfillment.
But this Labor Day falls under the shadow of deep and broad joblessness, the effects of the worst recession since the Great Depression, insecurity about the future and, sadly, attacks upon the very workers whose labor we honor on this day.
The economic crisis was not caused by these people, who every day work hard and play by the rules. The tragic irony is that those who did cause it—the people who presided over the unchecked greed on Wall Street and the recklessness in the housing market—have recovered, while ordinary workers and their families are struggling to survive. Adding insult to injury, as many of you have witnessed in the last eight months, ideologues have made an art of giving short shrift to the workers who protect us; teach our children; care for our sick; and work the day shift, the night shift or the all-around-the-clock shift when—as happened last weekend—Mother Nature threatens. To these ideologues, teachers, police officers, firefighters, janitors and other public employees are convenient fall guys for their own greed, selfishness and irresponsibility.
We’ve heard plenty about America’s budget deficit, but not nearly enough about our jobs deficit and how our leaders plan to put our people back to work. If allowed to continue, our deficit of jobs will become a deficit of hope. Americans are determined to get back to work, and we can’t allow a dysfunctional political system to threaten the American dream. At its core, America’s trajectory—both as an economic powerhouse and as a great democracy—has been driven by our investment in human capital, most notably through education.
The AFT occupies a unique position at the nexus between public education as the equalizer of individual opportunity, and the labor movement as the leading advocate for economic dignity. We know that a strong public education system is central to achieving individual goals and restoring our nation’s economic strength.
Good jobs this century and beyond require an unprecedented level of education and training. The industrial model of education marked by rote memorization will no longer suffice. To flourish and succeed in the knowledge economy, our public schools must provide students the breadth and depth of knowledge they need to become critical and creative thinkers, problem solvers and inventors. And America’s universities and community colleges need support to provide relevant, high-quality preparation, training and retraining for those entering and re-entering today’s workforce.
None of this will be easy, and educators cannot do it alone. School budgets are being slashed at the very same time public schools are responding to two enormous challenges—the need to adapt to meet the requirements of the knowledge economy, and the need to respond to the devastating effects of alarming levels of family and child poverty.
The AFT will continue to fight for educational opportunity for all our children, and for economic respect for our members and all Americans who want decent jobs, fairness and a voice in the workplace, and a reinvigorated democracy. We will continue our work to forge new bonds—and strengthen long-standing ones—between labor and community. Because only together will we be able to chart a course where America believes and acts as if its best days are ahead of us, not behind us.
I’ve spent the last two weeks crisscrossing the country, visiting with members and seeing how they make a difference in the midst of these tough economic times. As they show so powerfully, it is precisely during tough times that Americans must put aside our differences and work to heal our economic wounds and strengthen our country.
America’s unions are the product of tough times, and they are built for tough times. From the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire 100 years ago to the demonstration of democracy in action throughout Wisconsin this year, ours is a proud history of grace, grit, perseverance and progress. The fight for economic dignity, collective voice and a check against unfettered power is as important today as ever before.
Challenges to our movement and our work abound. We may not prevail every time, but we will never prevail if we don’t take a stand. This Labor Day is a reminder of the values and aspirations we are fighting for, and I thank you for all that you do. Let us recommit ourselves to the fundamental premise that all Americans deserve economic dignity and security, and that we will not rest until we have achieved it.
American Federation of Teachers
Game Day In The Mountain State
"Game Day." It's a common term for sports fans across the state and nation. Regardless of the sport, if two teams are coming together to compete, it's "Game Day."
There's an excitement in the air as the fans gather and the stadiums are filled with the colors of the day.
Although the state's colleges and universities offer a variety of sports for students, the sport that draws the biggest crowd is football. And perhaps the biggest game in the state is the Friends of Coal Bowl between the West Virginia University Mountaineers and the Marshall University Thundering Herd.
This in-state rivalry has become one of the most talked about and anticipated events that take place in the Mountain State. From the first match-up, this game has entertained a sold out crowd, regardless of where it has been played.
It is a day in which West Virginians from every region of the state gather together to show their school spirit and support their team. It is a day of friendly wagers, good-hearted bantering and great tailgate parties with fans from both teams mingling together as proud West Virginians.
This year, I will have the honor and privilege of presenting the Governor's Cup trophy to the winner of the Coal Bowl. No matter which team gets to take the trophy home, we can count the fans and the people of West Virginia as the real winners in this tradition. This game creates pride in all of us.
I look forward to joining my fellow West Virginians for the start of the 2011 football season. I encourage everyone to get involved and cheer on their favorite team. With kick-off fast approaching, I want to wish the coaches, players and staff the best of luck.
"Game Day" is a tradition, and it is important to remember that our state is home to a number of football programs, both large and small. It is also home to other sports programs that offer opportunities for students to compete on a national level and fans to enjoy. Each program has a committed coaching staff that is dedicated to bringing out the best in each of its players. I also want each student athlete to know that we as fans recognize their dedication to their sport as well as their academic work. It takes true perseverance and we cheer you on for your efforts.
Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
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