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Dear Editor:
Reflections on Tuesday, March 3, 2015:
This morning was one of those mornings where everything was perfectly still. There was a stark black and white contrast as the sun reflected all objects black – barns, cows, fences, houses, with a perfect snow white background.
It was a great morning on the local radio with “Asleep at the Wheel” – Linda Ronstadt, Paul Simon, etc. Weather report holds a flood watch or snowstorm or as D.J. Caroline says “it will be a window weather event – look out yours and you will see what is happening.”
It is a good day to be living in southeast West Virginia, nestled among the ice covered mountains. I guess there are a lot of people in West Virginia who are sad or unhappy and tell all of the national pollsters all about it, but no one ever asks me. When the zombies come – this is where I want to be!
Eighty percent of the world is not having a morning like me. They don’t know what they are missing.
Also, when our refrigerator quits working, the guys at Richardson’s will make a house call to fix it; when our tire is flat, Robbie at Eddie’s patches it on the spot; when the snow piles higher than our heads, neighbors Ray or Chuck shows up with a plow to help find the road; when you need a new truck, Brian at Mitchell’s will find the best deal for you. These are things that people in “happy” states don’t have.
Makes me wonder how they could be so much happier than us?
They must not know how good we’ve got it.
Appreciate your neighbors, look deep into the night sky, stand proud up on a mountain and thank the good Lord that you live where you do.
Tracy Samples
Pocahontas County

Dear Editor:
I would like to comment on the letter that Lyle Tallman had in the February 19 paper.
I am proud to be an environmentalist. I have been one for some 60 years. I started by picking up the trash that people throw out on the side of the road. I still pick up roadside trash. I welcome the day that people quit discarding their trash by the road.
I pay close attention to water. It is an abundant resource here.
I am aware that water is more precious than any coal or gas or oil.
Why?
Because we cannot live without it.
We most certainly can live without gas, oil and coal.
Perhaps if the subsidies given those businesses were stopped, we would have other, cleaner forms of energy. We have not yet been given the chance to develop them.
I am an import no matter where I go. You, Mr. Tallman, are, too.
As a newer import, I see things with different eyes than someone who has been here since they were imported by birth.
I do research, I hope, with an open mind. I am not employed by Dominion so I do not have to support the pipeline.
It bothers me that the studies that Dominion has done on the benefits of the pipeline to West Virginia total one page. The benefits to Virginia and North Carolina rate a 17 page report.
If you read their reports there are no guarantees of long term, well paid employment for West Virginians. There will be no decrease in the energy costs for the people of West Virginia but they fully expect Virginia and North Carolina to benefit by lower, more stable costs.
Why are West Virginia’s gas and energy bills higher than my Virginia gas and energy bills?
My house in Virginia is twice as big as my house in Pocahontas County, yet my electric bills are higher in Pocahontas.
My costs for gasoline are lower in Virginia than West Virginia.
Why is this state not doing more for its people?
This pipeline, once again, exports the resources of West Virginia to other states with very little benefit to West Virginia, job wise and money wise.
Please ask yourself why?
I will tell you what this environmentalist would like to see.
Instead of a huge pipeline cutting across national forest land with very little benefit to Pocahontas County, why not take that huge swath of pipeline land and move it north and south and create a highway from Rt. 64 in Lewisburg up to Elkins connecting with the Appalachian Highway. Then you would see some economic movement in this county.
I can hear the commotion now.
More realistically, our commissioners should have a countywide referendum about whether the pipeline should or should not be built.
The commissioners did residents and landowners a disservice when they sent the letter to FERC without giving everyone of voting age and a resident or landowner in Pocahontas County a chance to vote on it.
It does affect all of us. I call for a county wide referendum.
Sharon Kearns
Leesburg, Virginia
and Hillsboro

Dear Editor:
On August 5, 2002 a natural gas pipeline exploded and caught fire west of Rt. 622, on Poca River Road near Lanham. Emergency workers evacuated three or four families. Kanawha and Putnam counties in the area were requested to Shelter-In-Place. Parts of the pipeline were thrown hundreds of yards away, around, and across Poca River. The fire was not contained for several hours because valves to shutdown the line did not exist. The Orange Glow from the fire at 11 p.m. could be seen for several miles. The explosion and fire caused $2,735,339 in property damage.
On January 4, 2009, a 6.625-inch storage well line operated by Columbia Gas Transmission Company in Elk View (near Charleston), ruptured due to internal corrosion pitting complicated by low impact toughness of the pipe material, causing $29,011 in damage.[205]
A fire at a gas compressor station near Cameron on November 14, 2009 slightly burned one employee, and causes $5.6 million of damage to the facility.[224]
A Williams Companies 24-inch gas gathering pipeline failed on March 22, 2013. There were no injuries.
A flash fire at a pipeline gas compressor station broke out when natural gas liquids ignited in Tyler County on April 11, 2013, seriously burning three workers, two of whom later died. The workers were performing pipeline pigging operations.
A 12-inch Williams Companies gas pipeline failed at a weld in Moundsville. The following explosion and fire explosion scorched trees over a 2-acre area near Moundsville. Several houses were evacuated as a precaution. There were no injuries reported.
On January 26, 2015 a 20 inch ATEX pipeline carrying ethane exploded and burned, in Brooke County. Despite snow in the area, five acres of woodlands burned, and 24,000 gallons of ethane were consumed. Initial reports suspect a girth weld failure, with the pipeline being less than two years old. There were no injuries.
Source: wikipedia.org/ wiki/List_of_pipeline_acci dents_in_the_United_States_in_the_21st_century 
It has become apparent that the corporations that promote pipeline and hydrofracking do not have the welfare of the people in mind. 
It is very simple, no water means no life.  No plants, no animals, no people. 
I believe that Pocahontas County is the most beautiful place I have ever lived – not visited but lived.  Without our, and I emphasize our, water we will all be forced to leave or die. 
Those that hold power will try every dirty trick they can muster to convince you that this is not the case. 
Do not let them.
No industry has a perfect safety record, the pipeline, the fracking will fail eventually and we will have to deal with the consequences.
Progress, and jobs are sorry excuses for what they truly mask, an uninhibited greed. 
I implore every citizen to inform themselves and work together to prevent those that wish to rape and destroy our beautiful home from doing so.   
Sincerly,
Joe Rappold
Hillsboro

Dear Editor:
The story titled “PCHS math program selected for national collaboration” in the January 29 edition of The Pocahontas Times reported how we can continue to be thrown to the wolves.
Dr. Bechtel, County Education Superintendent, Board of Ed members, teachers, students and parents alike are sadly mistaken if they believe that developing classroom content, curriculum for Algebra I, for use nationwide is going to lend itself to the collective well-being of the citizens of the U. S. A.
The illegal nationalizing of our government education system continues to weave a web of deceitful tactics. Our federal government has no authority to mandate standards. Yet, we have assessment “test” to teach to which then drives the need for outcome supporting curriculum. Keep in mind these assessments are not mandated.
Through the U. S. Department of Education, a federal agency of non-elected, unaccountable employees are the ones making the decisions regarding how our children are to learn Algebra I.
Contrary to Common Core’s proponents, supporters and promoters statements regarding its origins, methodology and outcomes – Common Core is not state-led and the standards are not internationally benchmarked. All the while a nationalized curriculum – this, many have been told would never happen – is coming into being.
While we are marching to the beat of man-made globalized, world order, our children are being experimented on with some fuzzier than ever version of “New Math.”
Why are we in West Virginia trying to create curriculum to adhere to standards that are already lower than other states have had?
Dr. Sandra Stotsky is one of only two educators on the Common Core standards’ validation committee. She was Massachusetts’ State Board of Education Sub-Chairman. Under her tenure Massachusetts became #1 for public education. She did not sign off on the standards because of their inferiority. Mr. Milgram, Stanford University math professor and the only other academic on the committee did not sign off, as well.
Algebra I will be the new requirement to enter college. This is the new “college ready” standard.
College entrance requirements are being dumbed down to meet the diminished standards. Our leadership’s misguided and/or disingenuous efforts are attempting to create nothing but standardized, one-size-fits-all unexceptional Americans.
We must not turn our backs on our children; we must not tolerate the denial and defiance of Natural Law. This youngest generation and their leaders will be making decisions for us down the road. If we continue down this path of no absolutes, we are facing much more serious consequences to our general welfare than we have seen in the last 14 years.
Reclaim your right to raise your children as you see fit.
If you choose to send your child into your government education system there are “Opt-Out” steps that can be taken so your children are protected from being experimental lab rats subjected to marketing mavericks’ systems and government surveillance installations.
Common Core aligned texts and curriculum materials must be removed, as well.
our nation did not receive its abundance through communism via public-private partnerships or manifesting as “One Nation Under Allah.”
Homeschooling, home school co-op, magnet public schools or private Christian school alternatives are other considerations for taking back parental authority.
Beware the “Charter School” solution via vouchers.
From the land of the free because of the brave.
Monique Grimes
Green Bank

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