Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

This year, more than ever, the people of Pocahontas County have been without power. This situation has cost money. Not to mention anxiety.

There is a need for a sub-station to meet demands, new power lines – not patched ones. Trees need to be cut back and off power lines.

All it takes is a puff of wind and no power.

I am not the only customer who feels this way – just addressing the problem.

H. Phillips



Dear Editor:

I was reading the January 16 issue of The Pocahontas Times about the town council meeting, and really couldn’t believe what I was reading.

With all the problems that Marlinton has at this time, someone is complaining about Christmas decorations and the “Merry Christmas” ads in the paper.

I think these people could put their minds to better use and find a way to fix Marlinton.

And, by the way, I thought the lights were very pretty.

Ann Meeks

Ridgeway, Pennsylvania


Dear Editor:

I have been wanting to write this letter for a couple weeks now.

I am so angry about the chemical spill into the water for the Charleston area. Eight counties had poison water? For days and days, maybe still? Into the Elk River (which starts in Pocahontas County, along with four other rivers).

So the water leaked out from a storage tank put in right above the city water supply? Who would let that happen? And the company – Freedom Enterprises – weren’t even aware of it. They had to hear it from an old man across the river who woke up and smelled “licorice.” And then they “just couldn’t say” how much water had leaked out.

Are they kidding?

Here at High Rocks we have a 3,500 storage tank for spring water. We put a $50 gauge on it, which would allow us to see easily if 100 gallons leaked out. I guess Freedom Industries were free to not buy gauges or inspect the tanks. They didn’t have any inspection laws because they were only “storing” chemicals instead of “using” them . And of course, if they weren’t required to be inspected, they wouldn’t inspect their own tanks, because no one really cared about it personally.

So why did the Coal Company use Freedom Industries to store their chemicals? Because they could save some money. Since Freedom won’t be liable for the poison leak, I bet no one will be able to sue them for poisoning. In fact, no one even seems to know what kind of chemicals came out or what the health effects are, or where they have leached into ground.

So I’m sure thousands of people were affected. And this time they weren’t just poor people, it was everyone. The Governor’s family, all the businesses, all the school kids, the old people who smelled licorice.

And who of these people feel enraged and shamed that they let this event happen?

We know about high rates of cancer in West Virginia, and specifically in the Greenbrier Valley where the wind brings smoke from Charleston. We now see right in front of us what happens when a whole area loses their water. Cancer doesn’t happen all at once, so events like this probably, over time, work on people’s immune systems, and will never be proved. We can’t even say the name of the chemical. This state is not important enough to even count the diseases caused by poisons here – which blow through the air, and trickle down the streams. Our governor-to-senator Manchin seems to be saying, “Well, its what we have to do, because no one else wants to but they all want the chemicals.”

Where are the elected politicians who are trying to take care of their people as a number 1 priority?

They have turned that responsibility over to the companies and corporations that we have no access to.

To me, and I’m sure to many in Pocahontas County, it’s an eye-opener about what happens when you lose good water. The leak may be washed downstream – to God knows where. But what if it was Pocahontas County and it went in the ground and through the caves and affected the whole County that is also the “Birthplace of Rivers?”

Who would be responsible?

No amount of money would undo that damage.

What would happen to us?


Susan Burt

Mill Point


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