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Letters to the editor

Dear Editor:

With regard to letters of November 12,  I enjoyed Dave Curry’s thoughtful writing.  I am somewhat prejudiced, having grown up in sight of the farm he described, but his comments are right on.

I understand the viewpoint of Eddie Fletcher in the same issue but disagree with much of his righteous indignation.

In my view we will be burning fossil fuels for several more lifetimes and it only makes sense to make the best of it.  Our only prayer of getting away from dependence on fossil fuels is nuclear power.  Some other massive congregation of pre-civilization advocates set that back 100 years by being unjustifiably hysterical over Three Mile Island.   In the next few decades,  I hope we come to our senses and shift quickly to nuclear power before we burn up what is left of the fossil fuels.  Fission will carry us for a few more decades until fusion can take over.

Meanwhile, fracking is nothing but a more effective technique for extracting natural gas and related “wet gas” byproducts. The pipe-lines, as Mr. Curry pointed out, are relatively unobtrusive in the long run.  I have one of those Dave described running through my farm  and it has never been a problem. Gas well surface damage, ponds and nuisance of hauling and construction need to be controlled by healthy contracts between the landowners and the drilling industry.  No reason why not.  It is a mess for a while during drilling,  but the landowners can and usually do get well financially for the inconvenience and mess. As for eminent domain,  there is no such thing for drilling or fracking.  There may be eminent domain for pipelines if enough people are served by the infrastructure – exactly as it has to be.  Even then the landowner should be well compensated and in the long term unharmed.

Prudence says that there should be a lot more public research into the underground effects of fracking.  Very little is published about the reality of the effects of fracking on the drinking water aquifers and other modes of contamination.  The entire topic is so explosive, due to instantly polarized folks sounding a lot like Mr. Fletcher,  that scientific truth is withheld and hidden like top secret material.  The University of Colorado just published a rare such paper supported by the National Science Foundation in the journal “Analytical Chemistry” stating that typical fracking fluids are harmless.  But that not only caused another big uproar but is only one paper.  Much more public research is needed.

So in summary, better access to natural gas is a very beneficial thing to most Americans.  There is little to no proof of long term damage from fracking but more research is needed. And what should be top priority is nuclear power which can (and should) make all of the above moot.

Bill Rymer

Lexington Park,


Dear Editor:

It takes many things to make a community great and to encourage people to want to live there: It takes great schools, great churches, great businesses and great individuals. It takes great places to play, a healthy environment and a great infrastructure. It takes a great government with a great tax structure. It takes great places to enjoy good food and fellowship. It takes a great newspaper and it takes great people who are genuinely concerned about each other. It takes great places to shop. It takes great organizations that support the town with great services such as healthcare.

Over the years the town of Marlinton has struggled through a variety of events that have stressed the future economic development of this beautiful town. Some may think that the future direction of Marlinton is irreversible. Many, however, are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that there is a bright future for our wonderful community.

There are many dedicated organizations in our town that work on behalf of its citizens in helping to support their needs. The Marlinton Woman’s Club (MWC) is one of these organizations. The MWC is involved in a variety of club projects that benefit our schools, our senior citizens, our churches and our children.

At a recent monthly meeting, the MWC discussed the challenges of our great town and as a result, we reaffirmed that one of the services invaluable to the future growth of this community is access to outstanding healthcare through our local hospital.

So here is the challenge we extend to the organizations and individuals of our communiy:

The Marlinton Woman’s Club has agreed to donate $1,000 in each of the next five years to the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital (PMH) Capital Campaign to help improve our community’s healthcare. PMH has provided healthcare to this community for more than 100 years and the MWC believes that in order to continue the goal toward community improvement, an outstanding hospital is a necessity.

We challenge every organization and individual in our community to participate in the PMH Capital Campaign and make a donation to help support our community’s growth. Make a difference in the renewal of our community by contributing a monetary pledge to this Capital Campaign. Let us know through this newspaper and or through our website at that you have committed resources to the PMH Capital Campaign and believe in the future of our community.

Thank you for taking up this challenge, you can and will make a difference.

With pride in our commitment to our community,

The Marlinton Woman’s Club


Dear Editor:


I read the article about local potter, Eric Stahl, attending a pottery class at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina.  The Folk School employs nationally recognized instructors and has state of the art studios. For these reasons, it is considered one of the leading art and craft schools in the country.   I have attended the Folk School myself and would highly recommend its non-competitive learning program to anyone interested in furthering their education in arts and crafts.  The drawback to attending the Folk School is the cost.


Eric and other Co-op members have attended the Folk School with the help of a scholarship provided by the Pocahontas County Artisans Co-op.  These scholarships are only offered to members of the Co-op to offset the cost of tuition and to help improve the member’s art.  The Co-op’s scholarship monies are generated from sales of member artwork at both the 4th Avenue Gallery in Marlinton and the Shops at Leatherbark Ford at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, and not from public funding.


I would highly recommend anyone wishing to further their education in arts and crafts to attend a class at John C. Campbell Folk School.  Interested persons wanting more information on the Folk School can contact the Pocahontas Artisans Co-op or you may find them on-line.  If money is a stumbling block and you do not wish to join the Co-op (to qualify for one of their scholarships), other avenues of assistance include asking the publicly-funded Pocahontas County Arts Council, whose mission is to advance arts education in the county, for assistance, or to apply to the John C. Campbell Folk School for financial aid.



David Woody Harman


Blacksmith – Pocahontas County Artisans Co-op




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