To the Editor:
Ken Springer’s “The Local Paper” in the Watoga report was an interesting read, especially in this time of online news. He asked why was, and I would say is, the local paper important. Each year my family made an annual trip to Watoga, however the summer of 1968 provided me with a love of the printed word in a newsprint I had not considered before. Today, I look forward each week for my copy of the Times to arrive.
In 1968 former Governor Barron was under indictment and while the office at the park saved a copy of the Charleston Gazette every day, The Pocahontas Times and The Hillbilly were also read with fever. Especially interesting were the biting commentaries of Jim Comstock of the The Hillbilly with Chilton of the Gazette. However, by reading The Pocahontas Times I learned to appreciate the county beyond Watoga.
I continued to read all three papers for as long as I could. The Hillbilly eventually closed and while the Gazette is still available online, The Pocahontas Times is the only one I am able to enjoy with the hard copy and sit down with my coffee or tea to enjoy. I read that my friend, John Dean, said the Times had an impact on his decision to major in journalism. I believe these papers also provided my daughters a desire to become journalists.
If you dip your toes in the Leatherbark Creek, you will never leave Pocahontas County; the loudspeaker would blare on the trip up the mountain aboard the Cass Scenic RR. I dipped my toes in the Leatherbark many years ago.
I always feel like I am home when I’m at my cabin, and The Pocahontas Times gives me a similar feeling each time it arrives at my home in Morgantown. This is why the local newspaper is important.
Well, well, Jamie Strauss certainly stirred the bucket.
Freedom of speech and the press are cornerstones of democracy.
I am so happy this week for two reasons: 1. I always look forward to receiving The Pocahontas Times, and 2. Mr. Knight felt it necessary and took the time to personally attack my under- standing of the First Amendment rights, Biblical Theory, and my ability to count 600 words, as the maximum limit for “Letters to the Editor.”
A personal attack on me, instead of addressing the issues of my well-worded letter is a tactic often used today to diffuse a lost argument. Don’t bother us with truth, just launch into a character or personal assassination. This argument won’t be lost in that manner.
I am also willing and pleased to discuss Mr. Arrington’s view which only relates to the degrees that socialism eventually progresses into communism and ends with absolute loss of religion, property rights, a level of reduced freedoms with low standards of living for all. Are we there yet?
Answer is, “not yet,” or as Maggie Thatcher said, (paraphrasing), “Socialism only ends when you run out of other people’s money.”
We’re on our way, in part, beginning with Democrat Presidents, Woodrow and Roosevelt, of the early 20th Century.
My final task is to offer a small and unimportant fact with this response:
My first letter had 516 words and this one has 264.
Robert F. Hickson
Dear Pocahontas County parents and citizens;
There are a lot of changes with school this year and many of the policies are confusing and many of you may still have questions about your children and families. The Pocahontas County school re-entry plan is a good plan with what guidelines we have to work with from the state and federal directive.
Our teachers went back to work last Tuesday and they will be reaching out to you soon with specific instructions for the children assigned to them so watch for that. For those of you that have opted for the virtual plan, you will be receiving specific instructions for that, as well. Right now, we are a code green for school and school related activities, and I can’t emphasize enough how important each citizen’s responsibility is to be so very careful with personal hygiene such as washing your hands, wearing the dang mask, staying away from large groups and social distancing when possible. Just a few cases of Covid 19 in our county will take us to code yellow or code orange and that will put a temporary halt to school and related activities such as sports and clubs so please use caution and practice safe measures.
Also with limited in-person class time, it is important that parents have children properly prepared for school and that good student behavior is paramount for us because we just can’t waste a minute of classroom time dealing with bad behavior.
I am excited about the challenges we face and want to wish all of you a good back to school experience!
If you have any questions you can call the BOE office at 304-799-4505 and or me at 304-651-5695 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We can do this Pocahontas County!
Board of Education