www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2016, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: August 25, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT01/308259969 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT01/308259969 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Cantrell, Paul J. Noon, Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston.

Chamberlain, Mary J. 2 p.m., Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.

Divers, Jamie Noon, Davis Creek Church of God, Charleston.

Given, Charles E. 1 p.m., Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.

Gray, Catherine 1 p.m., The Glorious Church of God in Christ, Mount Hope.

Lane, Truman A. 1 p.m., Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs.

Maynard, Shelia J. 11 a.m., Cherry Tree Church of God, Cherry Tree.

Melkus, Joseph W. Jr. 11 a.m., Hinkle Funeral Chapel, Davis.

Messinger, Bernard Noon, Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin.

Miller, James P. 1 p.m., Taylor

Neace, Joshua L. 1 p.m., Pads Fork Freewill Baptist Church, Hanover.

Parsons, Carl R. 7 p.m., Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Perdue, Paul D. Jr. 1 p.m., Akers

Rucks, Laura B. 2 p.m., Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Cedar Grove.

Shank, Sue 11 a.m., Casdorph & Curry Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Spry, Silas 11 a.m., Evans Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Chapmanville.

Tackett, Norma J. 1:40 p.m., High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Joyce Karen Adkins http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259981 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259981 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Joyce Karen Adkins, 66, of Joes Creek, passed away peacefully on Aug. 23, 2016 at home with her family by her side after her battle with cancer.

She was a loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She attended Mount Herman Freewill Baptist Church, Joes Creek, and is now reunited in Heaven with her mother, Inez Marie Buzzard Adkins; father, James Kall Adkins; and sister, Kathy Ann Adkins.

Surviving are her son, Stephen Michael Adkins; sisters, Betty Adkins, Brenda Estep, Mary Sue (Dee) Sloan, Teresa (Jimmy) Bradley and Shirley Rouse; brothers, Doug Adkins and Rick (Barbara) Adkins; grandchildren, Courtney (Josh) Estep and Justin and Joshua Adkins; great-granddaughter, Courtlyn; along with many nieces and nephews.

Funeral will be 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet, with the Rev. Ray Thomas officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Hope Cemetery, Dawes Mountain.

Friends may call two hours prior to the service at the funeral home.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.leonardjohnsonfuneralhome.com.

Savina R. Allen http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259989 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259989 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Savina R. Allen, 91, of Frametown, passed away peacefully Aug. 18, 2016. She was born in South Charleston on Aug. 31, 1924 to the late John Corbett and Mattie B. Samples.

Savina was married to her beloved husband, Forrest "Foss" E. Allen, on Sept. 20, 1944. She loved making her home a welcoming place for her friends and family. Savina was known as "Nannie" by her loved ones. She loved to provide a table spread, which always included cornbread and biscuits for all to enjoy! In earlier years she loved to bowl and crochet, both of which she did quite well. Savina was a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ and she and Foss faithfully attended New Life Chapel near Gassaway for many years.

After the death of her beloved husband of 69 years, Nannie made her home with her loving son, Forrest Ray, whom she called "Buddy," and his wife, Jill, on Weberwood Drive in South Charleston. She spent much of her time doing word search puzzles, enjoying her flowers and watching game shows. Savina loved to laugh, as she had a terrific sense of humor.

Savina is survived by her brother, Moyer (Mo) Samples; daughter, Sandra K. (Allen) Glassman and her husband, Mike, of Victoria, Kan.; son, Forrest Ray Allen and his wife, Jill; grandchildren, Allen Burch, June Karlin, Chris Livengood, Melissa Eskew, Jonathan Allen, Patrick Allen, Erin Gonzales and Adam Mick; 16 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. Savina was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Elliott Samples; and her husband, Forrest E. Allen. She was blessed with a happy, long life, and for that we celebrate, though she will be missed immensely.

Friends will be received from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway, where services will be held on Saturday morning, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. with Pastor Adam Mick officiating. Following the service, friends are invited to Sugar Creek Cemetery, near Gassaway, for a short graveside service.

Condolences may be extended to the family at www.roachfuneralhome.com.

Wanda Mae Arthur http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259971 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259971 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Wanda Mae Arthur, 78, of Dunbar, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.

She worked for many years at Charleston Department Store and later at Elder-Beerman.

Wanda was preceded in death by her parents, Wilbur and Lucy Baldwin; brother, Carol Ray Baldwin; and sister, Glenneth Jean Brannon.

She is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Charles Arthur; daughter, Jean Arthur of South Charleston; sons, Rusty Arthur and wife, Cheryl, of Hurricane, Danny Arthur and wife, Margo, of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Darren Arthur and wife, Nancy Spencer, of San Antonio, Texas; grandsons, Joshua Arthur and wife, Rene, of Scott Depot, Andrew Short and wife, Amber, of Midway, Ga., and Adam Short and wife, Jenna, of Louisville, Ky; granddaughter, Amy Henson and husband, Rob, of Teays Valley; great-grandchildren, Isaac, Kaitlyn, Savannah Arthur, Hadley Short and Alex Henson; "little brother," Larry Bailey and wife, Nadine, of Dunbar; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 27, at Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar, with Pastor Greg Wallace officiating. Burial will follow in Grandview Memorial Park, Dunbar.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, August 26, at Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Jason S. Beverly http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259979 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259979 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Jason Stuart Beverly, 45, of Cabin Creek, passed away Aug. 18, 2016 at Hubbard Hospice House, Charleston, following a short illness.

Jason was a butcher and a lifelong resident of Kanawha County.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Danny Emmitt and Tessia Daphine Stewart Beverly, and brother, Joey Beverly.

Surviving are his son, Jason Beverly of Giles; daughter, Marcedies Kirk of Cabin Creek; brothers, Danny Beverly of Eskdale, Jamey Beverly of Elkview and David Beverly of Columbus, Ohio; sisters, Helen Beverly and Janet Wilson, both of Cleveland, Ohio; and grandchildren, Isaiah and Noah Kirk.

In keeping with Jason's wishes, his body will be cremated and there will be a gathering of family and friends held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at Sharon Church of God, Sharon.

To send the family online condolences or sign the guestbook, please visit our website at fidlerandframefuneralhome.com.

Donna Rae Bostic http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259974 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259974 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Donna Rae Bostic, 54, of Cedar Grove, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 at home after a long illness.

She was a homemaker and a member of New Life Church, Cedar Grove.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Betty Wright.

She is survived by her husband, William "Buddy" Bostic; daughter, Meghan Wilkinson of Cedar Grove; sisters, Sandy (Darrell) Wolfe of Hugheston and Gloria (Walter) Workman of Cedar Grove; nephew, Dustin L. Workman; and father, Melvin B. Wright of Cedar Grove.

Friends may call from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Service will be 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, 600 Old Fort St., Cedar Grove, with the Rev. Jeff Floyd officiating. Burial will follow the service at Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens, Glasgow.

Cooke Funeral Home, Cedar Grove, is assisting the Bostic family.

Sharon L. Bowyer http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259973 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259973 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Sharon Lorraine Williams Bowyer, 53, of Beckley, passed away Aug. 17, 2016. Service will be 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope, with visitation one hour prior.

Brian Corwin Davis http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259990 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259990 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Brian Corwin Davis, 54, of Bradenton, Fla., passed away Aug. 19, 2016 due to heart complications.

Brian was born Sept. 17, 1961 in Huntington to Jack Corwin and Annette (Harshbarger) Davis. He received his bachelor's degree in English with a minor in history and his master's degree in English from Marshall University, Huntington. He went on to get his second master in teaching and learning from the New York University Graduate School, and was just short of obtaining his doctorate. Brian also had a master from Rutgers University. He also received his certification as a certified generalist/middle childhood from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He had been a resident of Manatee County for almost 15 years, coming from New York. Locally he worked for the Manatee County School Board, where he taught from 2002 to 2010 at Oneco Elementary School, then from 2010 to 2015 at Manatee Elementary School. He then transferred in 2015 to the school board office, where he served as the elementary math specialist for Manatee County. Brian was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, International Reading Association, National Council for Social Studies, National Council of Teachers of English, National Science Teachers Association and National Staff Development Council. He was also a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Bradenton.

He was preceded in death by his father, Jack Corwin Davis, and his stepfather, Merrill C. Lunsford.

He is survived by his mother, Annette Lunsford of Milton; sister, Shari (Steve) Parsons of Stafford, Va.; two nephews, Nathan (Lindsey) Parsons of Texas and Joel (Brittany) Parsons of Maryland; and many extended family members and friends.

A memorial service was held Wednesday in Florida.

Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at Heck Funeral Home, Milton. Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at the funeral home with Pastor Allen Stewart and Father Dean Borgmeyer officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Memorial Park, Milton.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.heckfuneralhome.com.

Richard "Rick" Fowler http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259987 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259987 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Richard "Rick" Fowler, 51, of Julian, passed away Monday, Aug. 22, at CAMC Memorial Hospital, Charleston, surrounded by his loving family.

He had previously been employed by Overnite and Yellow Freight. He was of the Baptist faith.

He was preceded in death by his father, Jolly R. Fowler, and a brother, James "Coonie" Fowler.

He is survived by his mother, Ann Fowler of Julian; his nephew, Levi Fowler of Julian; and many much-loved aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Service will be 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at Handley Funeral Home, Danville, with Jimmy Lawrence officiating. Burial will follow in Memory Gardens, Madison.

Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

You may express your condolences to the family at www.handleyfh.com.

James David Harless http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259991 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/OBIT/308259991 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 James David Harless, 58, of Sod, passed away suddenly Monday, Aug. 22, 2016 at Thomas Memorial Hospital, South Charleston.

He was a mechanic for M.H. Equipment in Charleston.

David was preceded in death by his parents, James and Frances Harless, and brother, Terry Harless.

He is survived by daughters, Jessica Wood and Lindsey Harless; brother, Johnnie (Cindy) Harless; and sisters, Brenda (Bobby) Baldwin, Deanna (Dick) Sammons and Shelia Richardson.

Service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek, with Pastor Jimmy Lawrence officiating. Burial will follow at Harless Family Cemetery, Sod.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.curryfuneralhome.org.

Curry Funeral Home, 2097 Childress Road, Alum Creek, has been family owned and operated since 1950.

PREP FOOTBALL PODCAST: Week 1 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0203/160829721 GZ0203 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0203/160829721 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 01:28:31 -0400 Tom Bragg By Tom Bragg Charleston Gazette-Mail sports web editor Tom Bragg is joined by Gazette-Mail prep sports reporters Rick Ryan and Ryan Pritt to take a look at the upcoming first week of the 2016 prep football season in West Virginia.

Dear Abby: I feel betrayed by my dad for dating his ex after mom died http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0507/160829724 GZ0507 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0507/160829724 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Dear Abby: I have a complicated family situation. My dad was married to a woman named "Cynthia" for 16 years until they divorced. He met and married my mother the next year. My parents were married for 40 years, until Mom died of cancer a year ago. Since her death, I have gone with my dad to a few holiday events hosted at his other daughters' houses, where we saw them and Cynthia. Everyone was cordial and welcoming.

A few days ago, Dad told me that he and Cynthia are dating, and he asked me to wish them luck. My immediate reaction was "Why?!" I left immediately, and have ignored his phone calls ever since.

I cannot express how upset this made me. I realize he's a lonely old man who would like to maybe start dating again, but his EX-WIFE? It feels like a total betrayal of my mother and me, like we were only some sort of intermission from his first family.

There are so many reasons why this feels like a sad and terrible idea, up to and including the havoc it will wreak on all of his daughters if something goes wrong again. I feel like he hasn't taken into account anyone's feelings but his own.

Am I selfish to feel this way? Is there anything I can do to stop this dead in its tracks? I don't want to be the bad guy, but I will NEVER be OK with this. - "Intermission" Daughter

Dear Daughter: If you are never OK with this, you will punish only yourself. Your father's divorce from Cynthia appears to have been amicable. His attraction to her may have more to do with the fact that he is drawn to someone familiar than any lack of feeling for you and your mother.

Instead of punishing him by ignoring his calls, I urge you to talk to him. What he's doing isn't disrespectful. He has mourned your mother's death for a year. Let him find happiness if he can, because if you do, I predict that it will spill over into your own life.

Dear Abby: "Hiding My Smile in New Jersey" (Feb. 28) was embarrassed by the condition of her teeth, which she had neglected for years. Your advice to her/him was excellent, but I'd like to add one more suggestion:

Schools of dentistry often have programs in which care is offered to lower-income patients under a reduced-fee structure, based on the client's income. Care is provided by dental students under close supervision by their board-certified dental professors. Students participate as assistants in procedures prior to being allowed to perform these procedures. In the latter case, the senior dentist serves as the assistant (and guide). - Patricia in Kentucky

Dear Patricia: Thank you for offering that suggestion, one that was echoed by many readers who wrote to lend support to "Hiding." Some of them also advised looking into a company that provides credit to finance medical and dental work. Usually it's a no-interest loan for a certain period, which allows patients to pay over time without having to wait for their care. The dental care provider may be able to recommend one.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

John P. David: Employment stats don't capture copper, pills, food pantries http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0405/160829725 GZ0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0405/160829725 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Recently, it was reported that the national unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 percent in June 2016. It is important to ask three questions. Is it accurate? What does it mean? Does the information matter?

The accuracy of unemployment rates has been a contentious issue. Methods used by the federal and state data collectors are not identical, which contribute to varying sets of numbers.

In addition, data are typically based on those seeking work at one-stop centers and telephone polling. Many West Virginians gave up long ago going to regional employment offices, and those who are unemployed often do not have phones or phone numbers that remain the same for very long. Thus, since the data are collected the same way monthly, they are mainly useful in a comparative sense. Many economists routinely double or triple the reported numbers to gain a realistic sense of accuracy.

To help resolve this problem, the U. S. Department of Labor also calculates a little-reported supplemental unemployment rate when discouraged workers are included, as well as those who work part-time but seek full-time work. If these categories are included, June's unemployment rate jumps to 9.6 percent. If one looks at the rate for young adults under age 24, the rate doubles again.

The meaning of unemployment can also be subject to misinterpretation. A job is counted as a job even if the individual lost a union job with benefits and picked up a part-time job at minimum wage.

Obviously, this situation creates two quite different incomes and creates two quite different impacts on the economy. Since jobs in West Virginia are migrating toward part-time minimum-wage jobs at the expense of manufacturing and mining jobs, the economy is sliding downward.

A related factor that is seldom measured is underemployment. If West Virginians who are experienced, trained or educated to do jobs that could pay well are instead relegated to low-wage jobs, the economy is either sliding downward or not performing at its potential capacity.

The question about relevance can be answered both yes and no. Agencies such as the Appalachian Regional Commission that peg programs to such information yank counties from certain levels of eligible funding based on the baseline unemployment rate.

In reality, there is no relationship between the level of unemployment and whether people can live on what they make. A worker who is part-time and earns minimum wage may be statistically employed but not be able to have a sustainable life.

If one earned minimum wage and worked a full week, it would take one day to pay for gasoline and two and a half days to keep a roof over one's head. This leaves a day and a half for food, clothing, utilities, medicine and other necessities - which is an impossibility.

For this reason, food pantries such as the two in Fayette County operated by the Southern Appalachian Labor School are reporting major increases in the number of visitors.

In West Virginia, we have become a state where most citizens struggle for sanity and survival - and the state is hitting those who have the least with nickel-and-dime taxes and fines.

Every town and county has thousands upon thousands of unpaid tickets with multiple court costs tagged on. More and more West Virginians have lost their drivers' licenses due to unpaid fines for minor violations.

More and more West Virginians buy lottery tickets or play the false hope that it will be their turn for a major score. And West Virginia continues to rely heavily on a regressive non-food sales tax that taxes low-income citizens on every dollar earned because every dollar is spent.

As people realize that something is wrong with the storyline, desperate actions become options. Wire is stolen with considerable risk. Catalytic converters are sawed off newer vehicles during early morning hours. Fentanyl patches, hydrocodone pills and meth became options that are used as opportunities to forget tomorrow. Bizarre robberies suddenly multiply.

In a nutshell, the unemployment rate information is a deception. The goal to achieve quality economic development "After Coal" for the benefit of everyone in West Virginia is still a major challenge before us.

John David, professor emeritus of economics at WVU-Tech and director of the Southern Appalachian Labor School, is a Gazette contributing columnist.

Mark Buchanan: Great cities must protect their watersheds http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0409/160829726 GZ0409 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0409/160829726 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 By Mark Buchanan By By Mark Buchanan

The world's great cities could hold the key to the prosperity of the human race. Yet a comprehensive new study points to a worrying trend: The water they need to grow is getting more expensive, because they're failing to protect the nature that purifies it.

Cities are amazing engines of productivity. As the hubs of our modern societies, they mix together people with a diversity of skills and create fertile ground for learning and invention. In many respects, bigger tends to be better. Larger cities have more patents and inventions per person, and achieve better energy and resource efficiency thanks to economies of scale. For example, they require less conducting cable per person to carry electrical power where needed.

Concentrating people in cities also leaves more space for nature. It's one reason that Paul Romer, recently appointed as chief economist of the World Bank, has been championing the idea of charter cities - brand new cities that we could build and use to experiment with large-scale innovations in technology or government. Dozens of such cities could help us explore more sustainable ways of living, and also help meet the need to house many of the additional 3.4 billion people expected to be living by 2050.

It turns out, though, that protecting the surrounding nature is also crucial for cities to work. Any city draws its clean water from a natural watershed area - some close by, others farther away. The rainfall that drains into the area is filtered and purified by natural land cover - forests, marshes and grasslands - before entering as the "raw water" of treatment facilities. The water for New York City, for example, comes from large reservoirs located an average of 100 miles away in upstate New York.

As cities have grown, the land in their watersheds has been cleared to make way for housing, factories and agriculture. As a result, water quality has declined. Agricultural runoff, for example, boosts concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment. Treatment centers must then remove these impurities, requiring the use of increasingly complex and costly technologies.

A new study, led by ecologist Robert McDonald of the Washington-based Nature Conservancy, suggests that the cost of water treatment is becoming a very large burden on a global scale. Looking at changes from 1900 to 2005 in the watersheds of 309 large cities, all with populations larger than 750,000, it finds that more than 90 percent have suffered degradation, and that nearly one-third experienced a significant rise in treatment costs - many by more than 50 percent.

The study confirms what environmental economists previously only suspected: The loss of natural water purification capacity is systematically increasing the cost of treatment around the globe. The best estimate puts the added expense at more than $5 billion per year. And it's set to get worse: Watershed degradation is expected to become more severe in the next decade or so, as cropland continues to expand. By 2030, global fertilizer use is projected to rise by nearly 60 percent.

The lesson is that our cities will require concerted investment in watershed preservation. The good news is that it need not be terribly expensive: Targeted projects can make a big difference. Since 1997, for example, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection has moved to protect more than 130,000 acres of valuable watershed, and the city now has very low water treatment costs relative to other U.S. cities.

New York's forward thinking can and should be replicated globally. McDonald and others estimate that roughly one in four cities - home to about 800 million people - could reap a positive return on investment aimed at conserving watersheds. In other words, it's worth doing, and it would be an important step toward securing the kind of environment we need to survive.

Mark Buchanan, a physicist and science writer, is the author of "Forecast: What Physics, Meteorology and the Natural Sciences Can Teach Us About Economics." He wrote this for Bloomberg View.

Gazette editorial: Flood or fire, climate change is playing out http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0404/160829727 GZ0404 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/GZ0404/160829727 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Two August weather disasters killed Americans and caused billions in damage. Louisiana's record-shattering flood cost a dozen lives and forced 30,000 to be rescued from inundated homes. California's colossal wildfires burned hundreds of homes and caused evacuation of 35,000 families.

Don't forget: Both floods and wildfires are symptoms of global warming, caused by fumes from fossil fuels that form a greenhouse layer in the sky, heating Earth's surface and driving weather extremes.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claims that climate change is a hoax - and even says the hoax was invented by Chinese to weaken America. The GOP and the coal industry (and some West Virginia Democrats) generally share part of this view.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says Trump "has gone deep down the rabbit hole," espousing "a foolish, dishonest argument." He wrote that Trump "may be talking nonsense, but anyone his party was likely to nominate would have been talking pretty much the same nonsense."

Krugman pointed out that worldwide heat records are being broken almost daily. July was the hottest month ever recorded. Fourteen of the 15 hottest years have occurred since 2000. Climate change is real - happening before everyone's eyes.

The only hope of curbing worse weather disasters, and averting massive coastal inundation, lies in replacing fossil fuels with pollution-free energy sources like wind, solar, nuclear and geothermal. Of course, West Virginia's coal industry resists such a transition.

Krugman wrote that America now has "fewer than 60,000 coal miners, that is, less than 0.05 percent of the work force." Five hundredths of 1 percent is just one worker out of every 2,000.

Fortune magazine notes that far more Americans now work in wind and solar jobs than in coal jobs. In 2015, U.S. solar employment climbed past 200,000, and is expected to reach 240,000 this year. That is quadruple America's coal employment.

Climate change is happening. Extreme weather damage is happening. The shift away from fossil fuels is happening. A mighty drama is in progress, whether people believe it or not.

Daily Mail editorial: Happy birthday to the Promise Scholarship http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0402/160829749 DM0402 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0402/160829749 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 For 15 years, the Promise Scholarship has helped West Virginians pursue better lives. Its origins and impact were celebrated this week at West Virginia University, complete with a cake and an appearance by former Gov. Bob Wise, the main force behind establishing Promise.

"We believe in investing in the most important natural resource in our state - our people," Wise told the WVU crowd, according to an article in the Daily Athenaeum student newspaper.

"Fifteen years ago, a lot of people wondered if this would make a difference for our state. We've found that yes, it has."

Using money from video lottery tax proceeds, Promise has awarded more than $548 million to more than 40,000 West Virginia students since the awards began in 2002, when Wise was governor. Since 2010, eligible students have received up to $4,750 or full tuition and fees, whichever is less.

It's a huge help, as recipients will tell you.

"I don't know if I could have gone to school without it," 26-year-old WVU doctoral student Rachel Nieman told the Daily Athenaeum. "Now I'm getting my doctorate degree. It's crazy to think that I wouldn't be taking this step if it wasn't for Promise. I'm very grateful."

State government budget woes worried potential scholarship recipients and their families earlier this year. Potential scholars received letters from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission saying the state couldn't guarantee the scholarships would be available ahead of a possible government shutdown that never transpired.

Keeping Promise safe and secure should continue to be a priority for state leaders.

As a 2014 WVU College of Business and Economics study showed, Promise scholars are more likely to stay in West Virginia and contribute to the crucial knowledge economy.

That's a gift that keeps giving back to our entire state.

Daily Mail editorial: EpiPen price increases put lives at risk http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0402/160829750 DM0402 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0402/160829750 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Estimates indicate more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, including 40 percent of children, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. And the number of allergy sufferers - and associated health care costs - is increasing.

EpiPen, the epinephrine auto injector that treats people with life-threatening allergic reactions by relaxing muscles and opening airways, is at the center of a wide-ranging controversy.

As the Gazette-Mail's Andrew Brown reported, the cost of the drug has increased by more than 400 percent since Pennsylvania-based Mylan Pharmaceuticals - led by Heather Bresch, daughter of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin - bought the rights in 2007. A twin pack of EpiPens cost about $100 just a few years ago. Today, patients can expect to pay about $600 per pack.

Some members of Congress have called for a hearing, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into the situation.

But EpiPen isn't the only life-saving drug to see price increases. According to CNN, the price of Albuterol, a medication used to treat asthma, has gone up, and last year Martin Shkreli's Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines after the company increased the price of Daraprim, used to treat cancer and HIV/AIDS, from $13.50 to $750.

For patients who can't afford the skyrocketing prices of these drugs, few options exist. One alternative to EpiPen, called Auvi-Q, was recalled and is now off the market. What's more, epinephrine doesn't have a long shelf life, so EpiPens must be refilled annually. For allergy sufferers who require an EpiPen within arm's reach at all times, that's quite a lot of money out of pocket.

The issues surrounding EpiPen highlight problems with America's health care system and the way drugs are brought to market. As The Atlantic reported, many employers are moving toward high deductible insurance plans as a way to combat ever-increasing health care costs. But those plans, in turn, put a heavier financial burden on the patient. And getting a competitor to market is difficult.

"There are problems at every level - including inefficient government policies, Food and Drug Administration regulatory rules, physician prescribing practices - that contribute to manufacturers' abilities to charge high prices, leading to high drug spending, and unfortunately suboptimal public health outcomes," Dr. Aaron Kesselheim told CNN.

Americans need and deserve a better health care system. Undoubtedly EpiPen has saved many lives, and patients shouldn't have to take shortcuts or do without vital medicine simply because they can't afford it.

While Congress investigates Mylan's price gouging, it also would behoove our elected officials to take a second look at the rules, policies and regulations within government bureaucracy that discourage competition in the health care market and allow companies to take advantage of consumers.

Sen. Mitch Carmichael: West Virginians deserve workplace freedom (Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0403/160829751 DM0403 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0403/160829751 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400

There has been much controversy surrounding the passage of West Virginia's Workplace Freedom Act, commonly referred to as "right-to-work" legislation.

In fact, based on this one particular issue, many strident big-labor bosses have vowed to defeat any legislator who voted in favor of this important initiative.

While I admire and encourage the involvement of all informed citizens in the political process, I respectfully disagree with these union bosses and submit that right-to-work is a vital and necessary component in the effort to transform West Virginia into a prosperous, job-producing state.

To understand the importance of this issue, it is necessary to consider the historically poor performance of West Virginia's economy and to examine the negative impact that the status quo has had on West Virginia working families.

A few key statistics illustrate how important reforms like the Workplace Freedom Act are for our future:

West Virginia has lost thousands of jobs since 2007, and is presently one of the worst states in the nation in terms of job growth;

West Virginia ranks second worst in the nation in per capita personal income;

West Virginia is the only state to have a workforce participation rate below 50 percent, meaning that less than half of our state's citizens are working or looking for work.

West Virginia is losing population faster than any state. We are the only state to have lost overall population since 1950.

It is abundantly clear the status quo is hurting working families. These horrible statistics are a clear indication of the failed policies of the past and of the need for bold economic reforms to move our state forward.

Many labor leaders want to defend a system that has produced these poor results for its workers. Far too often, they use scare tactics to accuse pro-growth, pro-job legislators of being against working families.

Nothing could be further from the truth. We care deeply for working families and want to do everything possible to provide more opportunities and higher wages for each precious West Virginia citizen.

The fact is that legislators supportive of the Workplace Freedom Act and other economic reforms are seeking to improve the lives of all working families by attracting more employers and more jobs to our wonderful state.

Supporters of the Workplace Freedom Act want to empower the individual worker with the freedom to make his or her own choice with respect to whether or not to join a union. No worker should be forced to make a choice between paying union dues to keep a job or feeding their families.

The freedom and liberty upon which America is founded vests each citizen with the fundamental right to pursue their dreams, earn a living and provide for their family in a manner free from forced membership or mandatory association with any organization. The status quo is not working for working families.

Why would anyone want to defend a system that has caused West Virginia workers to suffer some of the most devastating economic impacts in terms of lost jobs and lower wages than any other place in America?

I sincerely believe the future is bright for West Virginia. By continuing on the path of reform chartered by this historic 82nd Legislature, our state will create jobs, opportunity and progress for our citizens.

All but one of the 26 states that have adopted right-to-work laws have higher per capita incomes and more jobs than we have in West Virginia. Our state will similarly benefit from right-to-work legislation. West Virginia has no place to go but up. This means more jobs for union and non-union workers alike.

It is time for West Virginia to embrace a new direction and start working toward a brighter future.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael represents the 4th Senatorial District.

Robert Samuelson: Is student debt ruining the recovery? (Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0405/160829753 DM0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0405/160829753 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400

WASHINGTON - Maybe the college student debt burden isn't so crushing after all.

That's the surprising gist of a new study by economists at the president's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).

It's surprising because burgeoning student debt has become a new economic worry and a political "cause celebre."

It adds to the hurt of millennials, who already face a tough job market and are living with parents in record numbers.

Defaults could go higher. Strapped borrowers won't qualify for home loans. The recovery will suffer. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton made proposals to lighten the debt load.

What are the facts?

Clearly, college student debt has exploded. Since 1996, outstanding loans have risen from $200 billion to $1.3 trillion, says the CEA.

The number of borrowers has nearly doubled over a shorter period, from about 23 million in 2004 to more than 40 million now. Counting undergraduates at community colleges and four-year colleges, more than half (56 percent) borrow.

Almost all these loans are backed by the federal government. If borrowers default, taxpayers pick up the tab.

The justification for federal support is that both individual borrowers and society benefit.

College graduates earn about 70 percent more than high school graduates, a gap called "the college premium." Higher earnings make it easier to repay the loan, and the country benefits from a better-educated workforce.

That's the theory. The reality, as the CEA discovered, is more complicated.

For starters, the college premium may be overstated. Some of the earnings advantage enjoyed by college graduates may stem from inherent talent or harder work.

As the report says: "Students who attend college may [be] more skilled or more connected." They would do better even if no one went to college.

Similarly, debt burdens may be exaggerated. Although the average loan balance - after correcting for inflation - rose 25 percent to 30 percent from 2009 to 2015, the "debt owed by the typical student remains modest," the report asserts.

For undergraduates who attended two- and four-year colleges, more than half of loans were less than $20,000, 42 percent were less than $10,000 and only 10 percent exceeded $40,000.

Graduate students incurred the largest debts; 43 percent of loans exceeded $40,000. But their repayment record was the best of any group, mainly because they took better-paying jobs and were "better equipped to manage [their] debt."

Still, default rates have risen. At five years out of school, about 70 percent of loans are being repaid or have been repaid. Of the rest, some are in officially sanctioned "deferment" or "forbearance" and will someday resume repayment. The highest default rates occurred at community colleges (23 percent in 2012) and for-profit colleges (18 percent). Most hurt, the CEA says, were some low-income and minority students, who never graduated but have unpaid debts.

The good news about this bad news is that the debt levels aren't yet high enough to depress the overall economy, the CEA contends.

As a share of the economy, student debt today is about one-ninth the size of mortgage debt in 2007, when the country was on the brink of the financial crisis. The smaller student debt today curbs the danger to disrupt the economy.

For example, student debt didn't cause home buying to collapse among the young. True, homeownership for those 24 to 32 dropped from 42 percent in 2005 to 33 percent in 2014.

But the main reason, says the CEA, was an almost 20 percent decline in the earnings of recent graduates. A comparison of homeownership rates for college graduates with and without debt showed little difference - and none by age 34.

The lesson of all this seems obvious. The young today don't need debt relief.

They need good jobs. If those materialize, repayment rates will rise. So will homeownership rates. It's as simple and difficult as that.

Daily Mail cartoon: August 25, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0408/160829754 DM0408 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160825/DM0408/160829754 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:01:00 -0400