Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

I enjoy the seasons here in southern Pocahontas County, as beautiful, breathtaking scenes can be witnessed throughout the year. Although we’ve not seen it here in the past few years, the cold frosty mornings and sunny days in September would result in such astounding tree color in October that you just couldn’t sit still and look at it.

My husband would make an annual Fourth of July visit to a cave near Beartown while he was Superintendent at Beartown State Park. It was amazing to him that although it was summer, there was still ice in the cave, so he started an Independence Day tradition of getting ice for his iced tea there. He kept a journal and for the first 14 years or so the cave never failed to have ice on July 4th, but in subsequent years it would start to melt off earlier in the summer and would not have ice on the Fourth quite as consistently.

Dr. Steven Kite from WVU monitored the ice at that cave near Beartown for several years, and did similar studies on Ice Mountain and at Meadow River Gorge. The results were varied, but showed a definite warming trend.

For the last couple of years, my tomato plants still had blooms and green tomatoes on November first, because the killing frost was so late at our elevation. We hardly ever would see a mosquito in the summer, and now they are a frequent pest here on the mountain. The deer ticks are on the rise, perhaps because of less snowfall, and our county has been affected. There were at least six confirmed cases of Lyme disease here in 2018, while there was only one confirmed case in Pocahontas County from 2000-2014, according to the state record.

With all of these observations, it seems our climate has certainly changed.

Have you noticed anything different in your neck of the woods?

Christine Smith

Dear Editor:

I am writing to express appreciation for the management and staff at The Pocahontas Times. The work you do that connects the community is impressive and adds so much to the enjoyment experienced by your readers. I have been reading The Pocahontas Times for many years and always appreciate the excellent writing and focus on the community, good news stories, history and nature.

For example, I am working with a team – Hunter Wilfong, Bartow; Bryan Hudkins, Johnstown; Jan Orndorff, Monterey, Virginia; and Pam Johnson, McClintic Library – using information originally developed by Ruth Wilfong Horner to research and restore the Calhoun Family Cemetery located near Boyer.

In October 2018, you graciously published an article and photograph describing our progress on the research and associated restoration of the cemetery and road. The article mentioned that not much was known about the cemetery.

One of your readers cut out the article and sent it to Calhoun family members in Pennsylvania. Subsequently, I received emails from the Calhoun family – together with a generous donation toward renovation and maintenance costs – and we now have much more information about the Calhoun family; including a photograph of Rev. Allen and May Kathryn Calhoun, who originally owned the property and who are buried in the cemetery.


In addition, Jan Orndorff invited Hunter Wilfong and me to participate in the forthcoming Pocahontas Genealogy Group meeting on April 23, at McClintic Library.

You and your staff contributed significantly to this outcome, as the restoration is now complete including a kiosk with a plaque containing information on all who are buried there, lighted U.S. and West Virginia Flags, fence and gate, road improvements; and signs to help folks find the Calhoun Cemetery.

Thank you for all you do every day that makes Pocahontas County and surrounding areas such a great place to live and visit.
With sincere appreciation,

Terry McNair
and Burke, Virginia

Dear Editor:

I’m writing this letter to challenge defaming statements made by Bob Orndorff, state policy director for Dominion Energy. The Pocahontas Times, (April 11, 2019, pages 2, 8) reprinted Orndorff’s lengthy quotes in an article by Kate Mishkin of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Sore at court-ordered work stoppages on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), Orndorff lashed out at the “organizations that appealed the permits [as] ‘rogue’ because they had received out-of-state funding … they had no connections to West Virginia … no concerns for what happens in West Virginia … nor the population in West Virginia … and they want to destroy the economy in West Virginia.”

Organizations that I volunteer with are the “rogues” that Mr. Orndorff smears.

As President of our local Eight Rivers Council, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Allegheny Blue-Ridge Alliance (ABRA) consisting of about fifty coalition organizations in West Virginia and Virginia, I know that almost all these groups and their members live in these two states and are affected by the ACP. My home for the past forty years is but six-hundred yards from the route. Along with many of the other coalition members, I volunteer hundreds of hours annually for no pay whatsoever. Most of the organizations have sparse operational funds.

I therefore challenge Mr. Orndorff to reveal his own handsome income backed by his employer’s $100 billion assets.

Mr. Orndorff is not only dishonest in charging us opponents as opportunistic out-of-state rogues, but hypocritical. The anticipated high profits for the ACP would go to faceless Dominion Energy investors, few of whom live in or are connected with West Virginia, and undoubtedly, most of whom care little for our state since maximizing profit is their primary goal.

Furthermore, the courts obviously sided with us “rogues” on our legal challenges. After all, citizens do have the responsibility to uphold just law.

We so-called “rogues” are not finished.

On April 5, a brief was filed in a lawsuit challenging ACP’s FERC certificate. Among our many points is FERC’s reliance on Dominion’s stated energy need. Yet U.S. Department of Energy studies and reports from independent consultants show that existing pipelines can provide all of the gas needed and projected in Virginia and North Carolina. Customers would be saddled with billions of dollars to pay off the ACP when existing pipelines are available that have been mostly paid for over the years. With projected future energy demand flat, all of Dominon’s large gas-fired power plants that were said to need the ACP have been cancelled.

If we truly want more jobs and lower cost energy, we must change our energy system. Jobs in energy efficiency and renewables are the fastest growing sector in our economy and they already outnumber all of the jobs in natural gas, coal and oil in the U.S.

The dictionary defines the word “rogue” as a dishonest scoundrel. If Mr. Orndorff is going to use “rogue” to describe us who love our lands, quality of life, and upcoming generations more than money, then so be it.

Allen Johnson

Dear Editor:

It has been brought to my attention that many people feel that the Father-Daughter Dance is structured for young children or young ladies. 

Know this, if my father was living I would jump at the opportunity to have a special “Date Night” with him. 

Our Annual Father-Daughter Dance is structured for fathers and daughter of all ages. 

Would you take this opportunity to spend time with your daughter to show her how a young lady should be treated by men? 
Memories are forever.

In attendance will be a gentleman in his 70s escorting his 40 year old daughter.

You’re never to old to create many wonderful memories with family. 

Please join us April 27 for the Inaugural Father-Daughter Dance.

This year’s theme is “Enchanted Garden.”

Tickets remain on sale through April 25.

Shawn Smith
WVRP Director

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