US Senator Shelley Moore-Capito visited the Green Bank Observatory Friday to learn more about the facility with regard to past and current research as well as the need for government funding and funding partners going forward. If you are seeking information about the GBO, perhaps there is no better way to get the full view than by making your way to the top of the Green Bank Telescope – 450 feet above ground level – looking out over the facility, while GBO Director Karen O’Neil and Business Manager Mike Holstine talk about the world-wide impact of the work done there, the need for future funding, and the focus on the education of future scientists, beginning with fifth grade students in the county and science camps for eighth graders through graduate students from around the country and around the world. Pictured, mid-way up the GBT with the dish behind them, l to r: Capito, O’Neil and Holstine.
In discussing more local issues, the subject of broadband was paramount. Capito has been heading her Connect America project in hopes of attaining equity in broadband service for rural America, and rural West Virginia feels this inequity more than most. Pocahontas County ranks last in the state for broadband service and there is deep concern about how this affects the local job market, after-school education, recruiting and retaining employees, and attracting new businesses while maintaining existing ones. J.Graham photos