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Dear Editor:
As is often the case, there are issues of some importance facing the residents of Pocahontas County. A good number of people in the county feel very strongly about what goes on in our schools, the details of the Snowshoe area sewage system and RAD, the possibility of a natural gas pipeline, whether loud jet noise in our skies is good or bad, and numerous other matters perhaps not on my radar screen, but right in the middle of yours.
People take sides and often disagree quite strongly on many of these issues. What one person considers as fact, his neighbor down the road may view as an ill-informed opinion.
It is probably safe to say that most people who live here want what is best for the county, but we are not likely to be in agreement about exactly what that is, because it isn’t the same for everyone.
Undoubtedly, there are influences that come into play with many of these issues that originate far beyond the county’s borders, whether they be in Charleston, Richmond or Washington D.C., and the old saying that “money talks” certainly applies.
Dominion’s full page ads are good for the bottom line of any newspaper in which they appear, but many in our community take issue with the picture that is painted in them, and I doubt that anyone who opposes the proposed pipeline will be swayed by them. 
Is the person who abhors the noise of low flying aircraft and finds it to be completely at odds with the otherwise peaceful serenity of his abode any less patriotic because of his position on the matter than his neighbor who considers it “the sound of freedom?” I don’t believe that he is.
It is my hope that open discussion and debate on issues important to our community continue, and that people who feel strongly about these issues respect those with differing opinions.
Who knows, perhaps it is possible to reach some middle ground.
Doug Bernier

Letter to the Editor,
Many have asked me what happened to the mother of the three bear cubs I now possess and whose picture was in the paper.
Well, the story is a sad one, but unfortunately too typical here in West Virginia.
A couple of guys were out “hunting” with their dogs a few weeks ago.  And, of course, the dogs found a bear den.  The dogs entered and a fight ensued. One of the four cubs with the bear was killed and then the bear killed one of the dogs.
In retaliation one of the guys shot the mother bear.  
She ran off and died.  
One of the guys heard the other cubs, retrieved them and eventually his wife found me on the Internet.
The amazing thing is that the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) investigated the situation, confirmed all of the above facts and only issued citations to the guys for not having a hunting license.  
Killing a bear out of season is illegal unless the bear poses a direct threat of bodily harm.
The DNR [officer] gave these guys a present by not charging them with their more serious crime. All too often the DNR gives hunters like this a pass.
This is exactly why even the hunting laws are ignored by many.  And, of course, it is exactly why dogs should not be “run” in the spring and summer. Any responsible hunter knows this despite the law allowing them to do so.
One early summer day I was in town and overheard two “bear hunters” brag to each other how their dogs had killed a couple of bear cubs.  
Bears right now are emerging from their dens with this year’s cubs. Far too often dogs kill the cubs or run off the mother so that the cubs are permanently separated.  Almost always no one knows about this, sometimes not even the dog owners know because the dogs are so far away from their owners.  
I would hope that responsible hunters everywhere would condemn this and urge the DNR to protect our wildlife according to the hunting regulations.
Joel Rosenthal

Dear Editor:
Will I ever be able to retire?
Not too many years ago, one may not have asked that question. On this April 4th, being the 41st anniversary of my father’s death, I ask questions about morals he instilled in me.
He taught me to not lie, cheat or steal, do unto others, work hard and I would be rewarded, among other things.
My father was a good man.
Yes, he had faults as we all do, but for the most part, he was a good man.
I watched a President of this great nation lie to this whole world, now he makes millions of dollars giving speeches. I often see people totally able to work who would rather let someone else work for them, so they may have a free ride, and for some reason we, as taxpayers, allow this.
I am not pointing fingers at people with a true disability – be it physical or mental, but I think this handout would be better spent on the working poor.
These are working people who do their best to make ends meet, but for one reason or another are unable.
It seems the harder I work the reward is for me to pay more taxes. Do not get me wrong, I think I have a great life, I have no problem sleeping at night and that is without drugs.
When my father came home from WWII it was a whole different time, a whole different atmosphere, a whole different pride. I hope we, as a nation, can get that back and win the respect of the world we once had.
My hope is all the readers will look in the mirror and say, “could I do better? Could I be a better person?”
I know I could be.
I love Pocahontas Coun- ty. So far I have been accepted. I hope this will continue.
I would also like to give a shout out to the state road department. Our roads are great.
Also please support your fire departments. Those volunteers give a lot for our safety.
Do not forget the sheriff’s department, whose help I hope I will not need, but I know they are there for us.
Chris Cantrell
Droop Mountain

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