Repairs to parking garage long needed,
Okay, okay, using the City of Clarksburgs Hewes
Avenue parking garage is going to be a little bit inconvenient for the
next few months.
The stairwell isnt wide enough for more than one
person. The elevator is going to be out for a few weeks. Its dusty and
some monthly parkers will be forced to switch floors temporarily while
work crews continue making repairs to the 20-year-old structure.
The city began upgrading the five-story parking
facility in early March. The $900,000 improvement project is expected to
take several months.
But boy, once its finished, the city garage will
be a nicer, safer and a better place to leave a vehicle while working or
shopping downtown. And good, safe parking is something downtown Clarksburg
When all is said and done, the garage will be structurally sound and
-Have a better drainage system to handle snow melt in the winter.
- Have better lighting.
- Have a new security system.
- Have a dependable elevator to transport customers to the upper floors.
In our view, the inconvenience now is worth the end result.
We just wish the city would have stayed on top of
maintaining the building during the last 20 years. Perhaps then, all this
work wouldnt have had to have been done at once.
Nevertheless, having safe, covered parking in downtown
Clarksburg is a real plus for the city. And even with the increase in parking
rates needed to pay for the improvements, fees to park there are still
So customers, be patient. The work being done on
the city garage may be a pain now, but, we think youll all find it was
worth it in the end.
Todays editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial
board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser,
James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.
W.Va. was a state where people could enjoy life AND
prosper at one time
West Virginias track record in keeping natives and
long-time residents of the Mountain State is a sad commentary indeed
on its political, business and educational leaders.
It is a virtual crime that those who were born in
West Virginia or have lived here for a number of years find themselves
in a position of having to leave the mountains and the natural beauty to
which they have become so attached.
But depart they must. Todays expenses for housing,
food and other needs are not as high as in, say, New York or New England.
Still, West Virginia has become known as a state with exceptionally low
income levels and exceptionally few employment and career opportunities.
The latter distinction seems to more than overset the former.
World War II has been partly to blame for the states
first population decline in 40 years. West Virginias population grew steadily
from nearly 960,000 to 1.9 million people from 1900 until 1940. Then from
1941 through 1944, state population totals declined by 201,000, U.S. Census
figures have shown.
Although coal has been one of the states few economic
aces in the hole, it was in the 1950s when the coal industry mechanized
that the states population began its steady drop. From 1950 through 1957
during the period West Virginia lost 40,000 mining jobs the population
West Virginia dropped from 2 million to 1.8 million, while the rest of
the nation prospered.
From the first drop of 116,000 people from 1960-70,
the trend in the 10-year census figures has never been reversed. There
were small spurts of recovery during the 1970s and early 1980s like a small
roller-coaster, but not nearly enough to become a catalyst for an economic
turnaround. By 1990, the states population was down to 1.79 million.
Many native and long-time West Virginians stuck
it out as long as they could and finally moved out of state, especially
down the Hillbilly Highway to North and South Carolina.
There are several points to ponder here. Obviously,
those who live in West Virginia must earn a living. Many would like to
do it in the state they love so well, rather than rushing to where the
grass grows greener immediately after high school or college. Jobs are
more plentiful in surrounding states, but the magnetism of the mountains
and valleys have managed to keep a number of people in the state.
The beauty of the mountains and valleys, however,
does very little to put bread on West Virginia families tables.
That is where business and industry enter the picture. But for those businesses
that have survived, the only movement except for smaller businesses
has been toward mergers and acquisitions. And thats after the brightest
and best have already gone. This has generally led to smaller rather than
larger workforces. And let us not leave out all those regressive taxes
that burden state residents and small businesses.
We could have printed a list of industries and businesses
in West Virginia that have closed since 1970, and another list of business
consolidations and takeovers, but why? The hard evidence is in the lines
at unemployment offices and welfare departments and in empty stores and
factories. Education systems in the state have failed to adequately prepare
young people for the jungle out there. Computers may be the answer, but
realistically, a relative few in the state can operate them.
The American dream might have indeed could have
been as real for West Virginians as New Yorkers, Texans and Californians,
while still earning a decent living. But those who have had the power to
make that happen have instead been too worried about lining their own pockets.
Our state is still down, for sure. But we are not
ready to concede that its out. Voters, the popularity contests will not
get the job done. It is up to the real movers and shakers to make a difference.
Remember that in 2000.
Robert F. Stealey
Telegram editorial board chairman
While opening some fan mail, it made me feel cool
by Bob Stealy
Remember Daileys Coffee Kitchen in Wilsonburg, known
as the home of the Boston cream pie? I recently received on loan, from
Doris Hustead of West Milford, a cardboard fan bearing the name Daileys
Coffee Kitchen, on National Highway, four miles from Clarksburg.
The slogan also printed on the back of the fan was
Eat Boston cream pie daily at Daileys None superior and few equal.
Also included was some verse, as follows:
Just fan away the stagnant air
Let cool refreshing breezes share
But please remember all the while
Our service always brings a satisfying smile.
Also printed on the fan:
We give you this fan for three reasons:
1. To keep our good friends cool.
To inform you we are always ready to give you the best in our line.
3. On July 13th, 1928 is our anniversary of six years in business.
Thanks, Mrs. Amos, for the real fan mail.
An e-mail came my way from my friend Steve Griffith,
whom I saw last week for the first time in some time. He mentioned that
last week, in the Telegram photo feature series A Look Back in Time,
there was a picture from the old Traders Barber Shop.
He wrote, Some of the men I remember, and some
I dont, but the one for whom you had no name, the white-haired gentleman,
could have been Arley Fletcher. I remember him from there, and later he
worked at the little barbershop that used to be at the end of the Main
Street Bridge across Elk Creek, where Monti-Mart is today.
Arley Fletcher was the best man at my grandfathers
wedding. I didnt know that when I met him, but I do remember my dad telling
me that later. He was a nice man.
I remember one time when Arley cut my hair, he
brought out an electric clipper that looked like it had come over on the
Mayflower. He seemed to be proud of the clipper, and said he had worked
it over and wanted to try it out on me. My hair was thicker than today,
and it actually stalled. He was lucky, or, more likely, I was lucky that
he got it out without taking any hair with it.
Thanks, Steve, and it was good seein you again.
The item about the barber reminded me of some barbers
who used to cut hair in Stealey, including: Shorty Frame, whose shop was
on Euclid Avenue, directly next door to what was then Ridenours Store (later
Wagner Brothers, but now an empty building); Ernie Meyers (or Myers, I
dont remember which), in the 200 block of Milford Street, and Dana F.
Miller, on North Avenue. All were pretty good barbers.
Bob Wagner, a member of the Washington Irving High
School Class of 1965 and now president of the Allegheny Region Chapter
of the Studebaker Drivers Club, e-mailed me earlier this week to say that
in Mondays A Look Back in Time in the Telegram there was a picture of
the Budweiser hitch.
Most everyone knows that the horses, of course,
are Clydesdales, but how many readers know that the wagon is a Studebaker?
He continued, Studebaker started making wagons
in the 1850s and continued to do so until the early 1900s. Car and truck
production continued in the United States until December 1963. They not
only made general purpose wagons, bug buggies and coaches. Some of the
coaches were used as presidential transportation, and several are on display
at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana.
Bob, I remember you from WI and I thank you for
this information. Being a Studebaker enthusiast, Im sure you remember
the Avanti. I just always thought it continued to be made into the latter
60s. You might clear me up on that.