Experiencing a parade of a different kind
Its likely that at some time or another, youve
been a spectator at a parade whether a circus parade, festival parade,
patriotic parade or holiday parade. In the bigger ones, there are many
features, such as high school marching bands, floats, veterans organizations,
queens and princesses, etc. What a lineup! What a variety!
As a bystander, isnt life a lot like a big parade?
It can be a really happy time, with music, celebrities and flashy entries.
A well-planned parade is a good time, but it ends all too soon.
But then theres the other kind of parade the
one that seems to be never-ending. Its the parade of woes that everyone
watches pass by (experiences) every now and then. While viewing this
kind of parade, we can do just that view it and formulate our own thoughts
about what is marched before our eyes ... and our being. Or we can leave
the sidelines at the sign of the first spectacle that turns us off.
I can think of no euphemisms to soften the blow
of the undesirable situation nor do I care to try. Certainly its no
joy to experience living on the heel of society like a discarded wad of
bubble gum. Or feeling like a strip of elastic, stretched (if youre fortunate
enough to have a job) from payday to payday between the phone company and
the insurance company and whoever else, each demanding its share of the
pie and more.
Next in the lineup are the personal difficulties
that are inevitable for most average people. The car breaks down, the sudden
trip to the emergency room, the passing of a family member or dear friend,
Then there are the more lasting crises such as divorce,
losing a job or suffering injuries or damages from an accident or a fire.
Next in line come the smaller but nonetheless vexing
situations such as traffic jams when youre running late or waiting on
the telephone while corporations play the press one for ... game.
For those without adequate resources to circumvent
these major and minor inconveniences, it has become a way of life.
Maybe theres a different way to view this kind of parade from a calmer
perspective. Maybe we can tell ourselves that were not being singled out
for the tough time. All folks who lack the means to buy their way through
lifes crises come to see that theyre indeed not alone.
Come to think of it, when we encounter problems,
unless we flat out give up, were a little bit better off ... a little
bit stronger. As they say about physical exercise, No pain, no gain!
I suppose its also true of mental and emotional endurance. Or spiritual
Can any of us dare say weve been thankful for actually
having problems to solve? It may be a whole new, fresh approach.
As I hope Ive demonstrated in BobnAlong, if theres
something Ive included that isnt accurate, I try to emend the alleged
miscue. The following one pertains to my column of Good Friday, April 2
about Good Friday. It was basically a reprint of a column from Good Friday
1998, and concerned the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the Cross
nearly 2,000 years ago.
This letter was from Edwin P. Morrison of Route
1, Box 182 C, Jane Lew, WV 26378. He cited a portion of that column as
it appeared, as follows: And while the man was suffering and bleeding,
upright and prone on the cross, one of the soldiers drew his sword and
pierced it into the mans side.
Mr. Morrison stated: Please refer to St. John Chapter
19, Verses 30 through 34, in the King James Version of the Bible.
I believe you will find that Jesus was already dead and it was a spear,
not a sword, that the soldier used.
I appreciate Mr. Morrisons ability to promptly point out to me this
important oversight on my part.
States pay equity
law is just a first step
Just as we are about to enter a new millennium, West
Virginia, it seems, is ready to enter the 20th century. Were just now
getting around to the idea that women in the workplace are not paid enough.
The state took a big step toward correcting that inequity on Thursday.
Governor Underwood signed into law a bill that will
boost salaries at the states largest agency. In all, $11.7 million will
be used to increase pay at the Department of Health and Human Resources,
which is 76 percent female.
In West Virginia, women in the workplace only make
64 percent of what men earn. Nationwide, women average 74 percent.
Health Secretary Joan Ohl, who attended the signing
on Thursday, said for years pay hikes have had a low priority at the agency.
The department often found itself in financial crises and any available
money was used to fund programs instead of salary increases. This situation
should never have been allowed to develop.
The raises at HHR will not only bring the female
employees closer to the same salaries as that of their male counterparts,
but it should also mean a better agency overall. There should be less turnover
and the agency should be able to keep its better workers.
Now that state government is doing something to
erase the pay imbalance between men and women, its up to the private sector
to do the same. We have a long way to go, said Del. Barbara Fleischauer,
D-Monongalia. Women work just as hard in the same kinds of jobs with the
same families to support.
Gone are the days when women worked just to fulfill
career goals. Women work today because families need two salaries in order
to survive economically. They should be paid what theyre worth.
Letters To The Editor
Give handicapped workers the chances they deserve
Persons with disabilities in this state do not have
the same opportunities as everyone else when it comes to obtaining and
maintaining a job that would allow us to become economically self-sufficient
in todays society. Employers should evaluate a potential employee for
what he can do and not his particular disability.
If a person promises to alert that particular person
whether or not he or she was hired, that person should follow through
on what was promised. There have been too many times that I have been told
those very words and have not received any type of feedback. Just because
we are people with disabilities, it dos not mean that we cannot handle
We have had to handle rejection all of our lives
when it comes to opportunities such as these. Employers need to handle
us just like any other potential employee with dignity and respect for
our feelings. We do not want empty promises. We want the truth.
There are many volunteer opportunities for people
with disabilities. Unfortunately, this would not help me to afford a life
of independence, something that I have wanted for quite a while. State
legislators should sit up and take notice that we are residents of West
Virginia and should be allowed to have the same opportunities as every
other resident who resides in this state.
There are many programs within this state that provide
paying wages to the elderly. My question to you is: Why could there not
be the same type of assistance to the handicapped population as well?
I am sick and tired of all the talk that I have
heard in the past. It is time for these people to quit talking and start
acting. If they are supposed to be advocates for the handicapped, it is
time that they start earning their paychecks. People should never take
any opportunity that they have for granted.
It is a shame that people with disabilities have
to fight 10 times harder for every opportunity that they receive. Taking
things for granted will never become a part of our vocabularies. Give us
the chance that we deserve.
Junius Kimmel Musser IV
Let the chips fall where they may
In your Sunday, April 4 issue of the Exponent-Telegram,
I was chagrined at Mr. Knoblocks latest installment on the Y2K problem.
He inferred that any electronic device that contains chips is susceptible
to the Y2K problem. If Mr. Knoblock doesnt know that the Y2K problem is
a programming problem, not a chip problem, he shouldnt be writing about
Mr. Knoblock mentioned many electronic devices as
possible victims of Y2K. Only devices that contain a built-in time and
date clock and need the date for their operation are susceptible to Y2K.
Unless your garage door opener, etc., has a built-in time and date clock,
it will neither know nor care when Jan. 1, 2000 arrives.
Mr. Knoblock suggests that you check with
the manufacturers of your electronic devices just because it contains chips
to determine if they are Y2K compliant. This is unnecessary unless the
device has a built-in time and date clock.
The real Y2K problem is the harm these suggestions
may cause by playing on the fears of people who are not computer-literate.
Causing people to believe that they are about to become innocent victims
of an all-encompassing electronic disaster over which they have no control
To err on the side of caution is prudent, but it
can be overdone. I suggest that you keep both my letter and Mr. Knoblocks
column and, next Jan. 2, see which one is right.
We are caring people and would
never turn away the hungry
We are concerned how you feel about Rosebud Foodland
and our family after an article was printed in The Exponent and Telegram
on Friday. The story focused on a woman being ticketed for eating an egg
roll she didnt pay for in our store.
Shoplifting is a crime. Where do you draw the line
on the amount a person takes? It is our job as owners of the business to
protect the jobs of the 70 employees we have working and to protect our
customers so they wont have to pay higher prices.
Shoplifting costs the city, county and state millions of dollar each
year (in the form of your taxes).
We are caring people of this community and would
never turn anyone away who was hungry. We have fed thousands of people
in the past. We donate food daily to the Clarksburg Mission to help feed
people in need. We dont normally tell about the good things we do for
our community, but we are forced to defend the reputation of our store
There is normally more to a story than can be told,
but if you know us you already realized that.
Danny and Debbie Thomas
Owners, Rosebud Foodland
Can West Virginia survive without coal as king?
The West Virginia coal industry is facing a grim
future unless state residents rally around coal industry executives and
United Mine Workers alike. Our coalfield economy is at risk due to environmentalists
efforts to lobby for an international clean-air policy and to restrict
mountaintop mining. If we dont fight back, we are at risk of losing coal
as West Virginias most valued industry.
Another risk comes from cheap Western coal mined
in the Powder River basin that has replaced Appalachian coal as our nations
top energy producer.
If the environmentalists are successful in their
efforts, the remaining miners jobs in our state are likely to disappear.
Were talking about an industry where the average miner earns more than
$50,000 annually plus benefits, not to mention the millions of dollars
that will be eliminated from state and local taxes.
The question is: Can West Virginia survive without
coal as king? We believe the option shouldnt even exist. Rather, our political
and business leaders should actively embrace and promote coal to ensure
our own economic future.
Certainly our state is wise to diversify its economic
base. Successful efforts to develop high-tech and aerospace jobs have helped
to reduce our dependence on coal. But that doesnt mean we should turn
our backs on the coal industry altogether. We should continue to develop
other opportunities for good-paying jobs while, at the same, time protect
the remaining coal industry jobs that we have. Having Wal-Mart as our states
largest employer is simply not acceptable.
UMW President Cecil Roberts warned those in attendance
at a memorial service to dead miners, held this past week in Fairmont,
that the nations public policy is turning against the use of coal and
could cost miners their jobs.
The best example of the impact of these policies
can be exhibited by the layoff of 250 miners at Consolidation Coals No.
95 Robinsons Run Mine near Lumberport and about 250 miners at Loveridge
No. 22 mine near Fairview earlier this year.
Unless we embrace coal once again and actively lobby
for the preservation of coal as an integral part of our national energy
policy, our children will be forced to leave the state in order to have
a secure future. In West Virginia, coal is king. Long live the king!
Telegram editorial board member
So long to Executive Editor Bill Sedivy
Bill Sedivy is a consummate journalist, a good coach
and trainer and loyal to the people who work with him. Those are among
many attributes that have made him so valuable as the top news executive
of The Exponent and the Telegram.
However, Bill is leaving his post as executive editor
of our newspapers. His last day is Thursday and if youve been lucky enough
to meet him during his short term here then we hope youll call and wish
Sedivy has had a distinguished career as a newspaper
editor at newspapers in Mansfield and Warren in Ohio and also worked at
the Indianapolis Star. Newspapers that he edited won national and state
awards. He was teaching journalism at Utah State University when we talked
him into returning to the daily newspaper grind.
While here a little less than two years, he has
led our news department to a higher level of professionalism. His steady
hand and leadership have brought new and bright talent to our newspapers
as well as further developing the ample talent that was here on his arrival.
One result was that our newspapers won the General
Excellence top award in the 1998 West Virginia Press Association Better
Newspaper Contest. Although Bill will be long gone by the time the 1999
contest results are announced in August, were sure his efforts and those
of his staff will pay off with more awards.
When Bill arrived here in August of 1997, he was
told our companys goal is to become known among our readers and peers
as the best newspapers in West Virginia. We all realize we still have much
work to do to realize that goal but Bill can feel good about moving us
in that direction during his tenure here.
There were two reasons why Clarksburg Publishing
Company was able to attract Bill and Maryl Sedivy to West Virginia. One
was the fact that these newspapers are locally owned. He had a strong taste
of corporate-owned newspapers (85 percent of all the daily newspapers in
the country are now corporate owned) and didnt care much for it. He wanted
ownership that cared about the communities the newspaper served.
The second factor bringing him here was our communitys
proximity to some of the finest whitewater rafting in the world. The Sedivys
have spent many weekends rafting the New River and Gauley River. Often,
they would stay at campsites to share time with other river lovers from
around the country who traveled to West Virginia to enjoy its pristine
This river thing is not just a passing fancy. Bill
has been a professional guide and is highly accomplished at getting a boat
full of novices safely down a raging river. There is no doubt that he loved
working at newspapers but it is also clear he loves rivers even more.
That makes the new direction he has chosen for his
life make perfect sense. He is once again leaving the daily newspaper business.
He has accepted the position as executive director of Idaho Rivers United.
This is one of the largest state river conservation organizations in the
This will allow him to combine his work and pleasure
in a very natural way. We are very happy for him but will miss his influence
on our newspapers. Were happy we had him in Clarksburg even for the short
time he was here.
As for the future of our newspapers, Bill has left
a pretty solid team behind. Managing Editor John Miller will manage all
day-to-day operations of our news department for both The Exponent and
the Telegram. Julie Cryser, assistant managing editor and city editor,
will continue in her role. Also staying on in key management roles are
Sports Editor Matt Harvey, Lifestyles Editor Pam Marra and Chief Photographer
Bob Shaw. And Bob Stealey, editor, will continue to focus on his popular
Bob N Along column as well as his duties as chairman of the Telegrams
As publisher, Ill take a more active role in helping
editors through this transition. We plan to build on what Bill accomplished
and continue toward our goal of being the best newspapers in West Virginia.
Terry Horne is publisher of The Exponent and the Telegram.
His column appears weekly in the Sunday Exponent-Telegram.