www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2017, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: May 04, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT01/305049963 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT01/305049963 Thu, 4 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Broyles, Jeannine 11 a.m., Allen Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Burger, Thomas G. 7 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Good, Weldon 11 a.m., Domico Funeral Home, Fairmont.

Gray, Lois 1 p.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Johnson, Bobby 12:30 p.m., Walker Memorial Park, Summersville.

Kimpel, Margaret C. 1 p.m., Basilica of the Co

Kirk, Sylvia 1 p.m., O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Smith, Charles 6 p.m., Ingram Funeral Home, St. Marys.

Stevens, Arthur 11:30 a.m., Fidler and Frame Funeral Home, Belle.

Stover, Teena 1 p.m., Assembly of God Church, Dorothy.

Ralph Adkins http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT/305049969 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT/305049969 Thu, 4 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Ralph K. Adkins, 76, of Gainesville, GA, passed away. A gathering of family and friends will be from 5 to 8 p.m.,  Friday, May 5, at Akers-James Funeral Home, 400 Main Ave., Logan, WV 25601. Graveside service will be 11 a.m., Saturday, May 6, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Pecks Mill, WV. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations to the Mountain Education Charter High School, 65 Kenimer St. Cleveland, GA 30528. Memorial Park Funeral Home, Gainesville, GA, and Akers-James Funeral Home are in charge of the arrangements.

Mary Maxine (Butler) Anderson http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT/305049978 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT/305049978 Thu, 4 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. II Timothy 4:7-8

Our mother went to sleep in Jesus at the Hospice House West on May 2, 2917. She was a loving mother, friend, grandmother and great-Mother (as Arianna) would call her. She was 90 on April 14, and was able to celebrate getting to that age. She was born April 14, 1927. She was the only child of William and Rosa Butler to live to see 90 years. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Lesley Anderson, and 10 brothers and sisters.

She was a retired and loved to garden and go to church. When she became unable to go to church, she enjoyed reading her Bible and listening and watching the many preachers on her television. She always would say you got to know when to listen and when to turn the off knob.

She is survived by her son, Harry Wayne (Joyce) of Duck, W.Va., and her daughter, Millie Ann (Millard) of South Charleston. She has four grandchildren (whom she adored each one in their own perspective) and 10 great-grandchildren and two beautiful great-great-granddaughters. She is also survived by two sisters, Betty Robinson of South Charleston and Emaline Shaw of Grove City, Pa.

Service will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 6, at Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston, with Rev. Dwight Priestly and Rev. Roe Smith officiating. Burial will be in Orma Methodist Church Cemetery, Orma, W.Va. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, at Good Shepherd Mortuary.

Kenneth R. Beard http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT/305049968 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT/305049968 Thu, 4 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Kenneth R. Beard 79, of Witcher Creek, Belle, passed away Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Cooke Funeral Home, Cedar Grove, is serving the Beard family.

George Blakey Jr. http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT/305049964 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/OBIT/305049964 Thu, 4 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Mr. George "Skeets" Blakey Jr., 82, of Mt. Hope, W.Va., formerly of Whipple, W.Va., died Sunday April 30, 2017. Funeral service will be noon, Saturday, May 6, at Glorious Church of God in Christ, 421 Main Street, Mt. Hope. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements entrusted to Ritchie & Johnson Funeral Parlor, Beckley.

Most WV Kroger locations cutting prices, ending senior discount program http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ03/170509808 GZ03 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ03/170509808 Thu, 4 May 2017 16:40:30 -0400 Staff reports By Staff reports Most Kroger locations in West Virginia will slash the prices of about 3,000 items but nix a senior discount program, the grocery chain announced this week.

The senior discount program will be discontinued May 23. The only West Virginia stores to not receive the change are those in the Wheeling area, which are not a part of Kroger's Mid-Atlantic Division like the rest of the state. Kroger did not provide a specific reason for ending the program.

In a statement sent from spokeswoman Allison McGee, Kroger said it will communicate directly to affected seniors through mailers and email messages.

"They will benefit from the lower prices every day and from special offerings, including digital coupons," the statement reads. "The outcome will be savings for all customers every day."

Through the senior discount program, customers ages 59 and older receive a 5 percent discount on Tuesdays in most West Virginia locations, according to a Kroger customer service representative.

Replacing the program are reduced prices on certain items. This includes, meat, natural foods, grocery items and health and beauty aids in each store.

"We studied research of our customers to learn what items they were buying most often, and selected those items for the price reductions," McGee said.

The number of reductions is triple that of previous years, according to McGee.

Specific items being reduced include Aspirin (81 mg) from $5.99 to $3.19, T-Bone Steaks from $10.99 per pound to $5.88 per pound and potato chips (8.5 ounces) from $2.29 to $1.49.

There will be no price increases in other items or changes in coupons, McGee said.

Other stores in the Mid-Atlantic division undergoing the changes include all locations in Virginia and select locations in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

Boil-water advisories: May 5, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0112/170509810 GZ0112 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0112/170509810 Thu, 4 May 2017 16:23:44 -0400 n Logan County Public Service District has issued a boil-water advisory for Cow Creek in Omar. The advisory follows an interruption in service.

n West Virginia American Water has issued a boil-water advisory for approximately 375 customers in the Smith Road/Sherwood Forest area in Charleston. The affected streets include Smith Road from Hunters Ridge Road to Kanawha Forest Drive, Hunters Ridge Road, Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood Road, Cornwall Lane, Kirklee Road, Coventry Lane, Tinsley Lane, Abby Drive, Nottingham Road and Shamblin Place. The advisory follows a water main break.

n West Virginia American Water has issued a boil-water advisory for customers on Bougemont Road, Ramu Road and Goddard Road in Charleston. The advisory follows a water main break.

n West Virginia American Water has issued a boil-water advisory for customers on 2nd Avenue in Huntington from the railroad tracks south to 9th Avenue. The advisory follows a water main break.

n Danese Public Service District has issued a boil-water advisory for Chestnut Knob Road and Layland area in Danese. The advisory follows a water main break.

n Lincoln County Public Service District has issued a boil-water advisory for all customers on Middle Creek Road off W. Va. 3. The advisory follows a water main break.

Customers in these areas are urged to boil their water for at least one full minute prior to use until further notice.

n Putnam County Public Service District has lifted the boil-water advisory for Mount Vernon Meadows customers.

Jeff Kessler: Those business tax cuts we passed didn't work (Gazette) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0405/170509814 GZ0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0405/170509814 Thu, 4 May 2017 14:58:12 -0400 By Jeff Kessler By By Jeff Kessler Thankfully, Gov. Jim Justice vetoed the budget passed by the Legislature, saying signing it would amount to signing West Virginia's death certificate and amid his not so subtle suggestion that its only redeeming feature was its huge potential for a Win, Place or Show award at a "cow chip" hurling contest.

After spending 19 years in the state Senate, I sat back this year; mostly kept my mouth shut and watched the happenings and events under the dome from afar.

What struck me the most from the 2017 session was the inability of the Republicans, who hold significant majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, to reach any consensus on a comprehensive budget plan during the 60-day regular session - and even now as they - and we - await the outcome of a special session. Their apparent unwillingness or inability to lead in addressing our looming budget crisis is striking.

Despite a much ballyhooed year-long study on tax reform and repeated promises that "We have a plan" to address the budget, in the end, all we got was a last-night, hastily enacted budget that raised no new revenue, levied deep cuts to higher education and health care and raided $90 million out of the state's Rainy Day Fund - all horrible choices but even worse public policy!

Since the "Let the Chips fall where they may" veto, Senate leadership has continued to meet with Gov. Justice to work on a "compromise" tax bill as part of budget negotiations. However, news reports suggest that the House is either uninterested and/or out of the capital power loop.

It appears this "compromise tax plan" will not only shift the tax load onto working families to make room for a big tax cut for the wealthy, but it will punch a huge $150 million dollar hole in our future budgets. A recent analysis of the plan shows that 80 percent of our residents would see a tax increase, while West Virginia's wealthiest 20 percent would get a nice tax cut. So much for the GOP's newly proclaimed interest in taking care of the middle class!

Under this plan, the state's personal income tax collections, which are our largest source of revenue, would be reduced by 20 percent. Such a tax cut may sound good, but it DOESN'T work. For confirmation, check out Kansas' disastrous results with a similar plan, a huge downgrade of credit rating, a depleted Rainy Day Fund, deep cuts to education and anemic economic growth.

I remind the readers that West Virginia's challenges are not new and that those who choose to ignore history are prone to repeat it. Today's leaders have a chance to address the state's fiscal needs and the needs of its citizens by funding initiatives that invest in our people and infrastructure, rather than enacting further harmful cuts.

Unfortunately, the current Senate leadership seems insistent on enacting more "reverse Robin Hood" tax cuts under the guise of tax reform. Such trickle-down tax policies don't and won't work! How do we know? Been there, done that!

Nearly 10 years ago, under then Gov. Joe Manchin, the Legislature (myself included) made major cuts to its business taxes on the promise of job growth. Those tax cuts, i.e., a phase-out of the business franchise tax and reducing the corporate net income tax from 9 percent to 6.5 percent, were not pegged to any identifiable performance measures and, in retrospect, West Virginia and its people have not reaped the promised returns. In fact, we have fewer private-sector jobs today than we did before enacting the business tax cuts. So much for "If you cut it, we will come." These business tax cuts, when added with the repeal of the food tax, have cost the state over $425 million annually in lost revenue, nearly the amount needed to close our current budget gap.

More budget cuts are not the answer, and we can't cut our way to prosperity! Our families have already faced over $600 million in cuts to vital services. In the past five years, significant cuts to funding of higher education have led to corresponding tuition increases at our public colleges, thereby making it much more difficult and expensive for our young people to raise themselves - and us - up!

Any chance for success in diversifying and growing West Virginia's economy revolves around improving the quality and quantity of our workforce, which simply means improving the education levels, training and skills of our people. NOW is the time to double down on support and funding for education programs, rather than advocating additional cuts. That's the wrong path for West Virginia.

In today's world, businesses want to invest in communities that have a well-educated, highly skilled and sober workforce. As a model, one need only look at what's happening in Tennessee and New York - where both states are offering free or assisted community college to its residents.

Now is not the time to stand by and watch as the economies of other states take off like - to borrow a phrase from our governor - "a rocket ship ride" while we remain grounded by No Growth policies. You show your values by the budget you pass, and now is the time to invest in, and cultivate, our most valuable resource - our people.

Jeff Kessler, a lawyer in Wheeling, is a former state Senate president and minority leader.

House OKs GOP health bill, a step toward Obamacare repeal http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0101/170509816 GZ0101 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0101/170509816 Thu, 4 May 2017 14:35:31 -0400 By Alan Fram and Erica Werner Associated Press By By Alan Fram and Erica Werner Associated Press WASHINGTON - Relieved Republicans muscled their health care bill through the House Thursday, taking their biggest step toward dismantling the Obama health care overhaul since Donald Trump took office. They won passage only after overcoming their own divisions that nearly sank the measure six weeks ago.

All three members of West Virginia's congressional delegation voted to pass the bill.

Jubilant Republicans, celebrating what they hope will soon be the demise of "Obamacare," sang the pop song, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" as the end of the voting neared.

The measure skirted through the House by a thin 217-213 vote, as all voting Democrats and a group of mostly moderate Republican holdouts voted no. A defeat would have been politically devastating for President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Passage was a product of heavy lobbying by the White House and Republicans leaders, plus late revisions that nailed down the final supporters needed. The bill now faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, where even GOP lawmakers say major changes are likely.

"Many of us are here because we pledged to cast this very vote," Ryan said. He added, "Are we going to keep the promises that we made, or are we going to falter?"

Leaders rallied rank-and-file lawmakers at a closed-door meeting early Thursday by playing "Eye of the Tiger," the rousing 1980s song from the "Rocky III" film.

Republicans have promised to erase President Barack Obama's law since its 2010 enactment, but this year - with Donald Trump in the White House and in full control of Congress - is their first real chance to deliver. But polls have shown a public distaste for the repeal effort and a gain in popularity for Obama's statute, and Democrats - solidly opposing the bill - said Republicans would pay a price in next year's congressional elections.

"You vote for this bill, you'll have walked the plank from moderate to radical," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., warning Republicans that voters would punish them. "You will glow in the dark on this one."

The bitter health care battle dominated the Capitol even as Congress prepared to give final approval to a bipartisan $1 trillion measure financing federal agencies through September. The House passed that legislation Wednesday, and certain Senate passage will head off a weekend federal shutdown that both parties preferred to avoid.

Ryan canceled a March vote on the health care bill because disgruntled conservatives said the measure was too meek while GOP moderates said its cuts were too deep.

He abandoned a second attempt for a vote last week. As late as Tuesday The Associated Press counted 21 GOP opponents - one short of the number that would kill the measure if all Democrats voted no.

Over the past few weeks, the measure was revamped to attract most hard-line conservatives and some GOP centrists. In a final tweak, leaders added a modest pool of money to help people with pre-existing medical conditions afford coverage, a concern that caused a near-fatal rebellion among Republicans in recent days.

The bill would eliminate tax penalties Obama's law which has clamped down on people who don't buy coverage and it erases tax increases in the Affordable Care Act on higher-earning people and the health industry. It cuts the Medicaid program for low-income people and lets states impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. It transforms Obama's subsidies for millions buying insurance - largely based on people's incomes and premium costs - into tax credits that rise with consumers' ages.

It would retain Obama's requirement that family policies cover grown children until age 26.

But states could get federal waivers freeing insurers from other Obama coverage requirements. With waivers, insurers could charge people with pre-existing illnesses far higher rates than healthy customers, boost prices for older consumers to whatever they wish and ignore the mandate that they cover specified services like pregnancy care.

The bill would block federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year, considered a triumph by many anti-abortion Republicans.

GOP candidates including Trump have made repealing Obama's statute an epitome of their campaign pledges, claiming it's a failing system that's leaving people with rising health care costs and less access to care.

Republicans will "gut Obamacare and rescue the American people," said Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga.

Democrats defended Obama's law, one of his crowning domestic achievements, for expanding coverage to 20 million Americans and forcing insurers to offer more generous benefits. They said the GOP measure would toss millions off coverage while delivering tax cuts to the wealthy.

"How can you do this to the American people, how can you do this to the people you represent?" asked Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that the GOP bill would end coverage for 24 million people over a decade. That office also said the bill's subsidies would be less generous for many, especially lower-earning and older people not yet 65 and qualifying for Medicare.

A CBO estimate for the cost of latest version of their bill will not be ready before the House conducts its vote.

Earlier this week, moderates objected that constituents with pre-existing conditions could effectively be denied coverage by insurers charging them exorbitant premiums.

But GOP leaders seemed to win over a raft of wavering lawmakers after adding $8 billion over five years for state high-risk pools, aimed at helping seriously ill people pay expensive premiums. That was on top of $130 billion already in the bill for states to help customers, though critics said those amounts were insufficient.

The House overwhelmingly approved a second bill that Republicans wrote to snuff out a glaring political liability. The measure would delete language in the health care measure entitling members of Congress and their staffs to Obama's coverage requirements, even if their home states annul them.

Associated Press writer Andrew Taylor contributed.

'Getting to know you' event set for Forks of Coal Natural Area http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0702/170509817 GZ0702 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0702/170509817 Thu, 4 May 2017 14:00:06 -0400 John McCoy By John McCoy ALUM CREEK - Combine lots of nature with lots of history, and you end up with something that looks a lot the Forks of Coal Discovery Day celebration to be held Saturday at the Forks of Coal State Natural Area.

The single-day event, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will focus on the natural and historical features found on the 103-acre tract that opened to the public last spring. Kim McCluskey, president of the Forks of Coal Foundation, said the six-hour shindig is designed to help local residents get acquainted with the state's newest natural area.

"We sit close to Charleston, but we felt no one really knew we were here," McCluskey said. "So we've put together this even to sort of familiarize people with the area, teach them a little bit about how it came about, and just to show the area off a little bit."

As the name suggests, the area is located where the Coal and Little Coal rivers join, approximately 10 miles south of Charleston on U.S. 119 (Corridor G). The late Jack Workman, an Alum Creek businessman, donated the property to the state Division of Natural Resources a few months before he died.

DNR officials want to carry out Workman's wishes for the property, which include the construction of a nature-education center named for his late wife, Claudia. Kevin Dials, who oversees the Forks of Coal area for the DNR, said the agency already has plans for the center drawn up.

"We want a high-quality center," Dials said. "Folks from DNR have gone to other nature centers in Kentucky and Tennessee to glean some ideas, and plans have already been drawn up. We're poised and ready to go, ready to act as the funding becomes available."

The Forks of Coal Foundation was created to raise funds for the center and for the area's continuing upkeep. Saturday's event, which is free and open to the public, is designed to boost enthusiasm and, eventually, to boost the foundation's fund-raising effort.

"This celebration is going to be extremely family-oriented," said Diana Green, the foundation's secretary and acting treasurer. "It also will definitely be education-oriented."

The day's proceedings will kick off at 9 a.m. with a brief introduction. A bird-oriented nature walk will follow at 9:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m., re-enactor Doug Wood will portray Gabriel Arthur, the first European to explore the Kanawha and Coal River watersheds. Wood's "living history" portrayal will explore the area's rich natural and human histories.

From noon to 1 p.m., workers at the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center will conduct a birds-of-prey presentation that features live hawks and owls from the center's collection. At 1:30 p.m., Wood - also a renowned naturalist - will lead an interpretive nature hike through a portion of the area's 3-mile trail network.

At 3 p.m., the event's organizers will conduct drawings for door and raffle prizes.

Educational booths and wildlife exhibits will be open throughout the day. "Cabela's is going to have an archery booth," Green said. "Beyond the Backyard [an organization that helps young people enjoy the outdoors] will be there. The state's mobile aquarium will be there, along with the reptile and amphibian exhibit from the DNR.

"Trout Unlimited members will be on hand to demonstrate fly tying. And the Coal River Group will be here. They do a great job promoting the river and its recreation, and they'll be talking about the history of the river."

Concessions will be available. One of the concessionaires is the Alum Creek Lions Club, which will conduct a hot dog sale.

Foundation members have extended invitations to local civic groups, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. They hope members of the general public show up, too.

"We want people to come away having learned something and understanding the importance of wildlife education," Green said. "This is a great place to do it. You're surrounded by nature, birds, mammals and two rivers. This is a really cool location to focus on wildlife education."

Reach John McCoy at johnmccoy@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1231 or follow @GazMailOutdoors on Twitter.

Kanawha man charged with 22 counts of sex abuse, assault against minors http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0118/170509818 GZ0118 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0118/170509818 Thu, 4 May 2017 13:35:09 -0400 Giuseppe Sabella By Giuseppe Sabella Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies arrested a St. Albans man on Thursday after they said he abused two young girls in the last three years.

Michael Bryant, 40, sexually abused a girl, age 10, on a regular basis between 2015 and 2016, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

The abuse took place on a bunk bed, in which a young boy also slept, the complaint states. "He would do it every time I was there," the girl reportedly told a forensic interviewer.

Bryant's alleged abuse started when the girl entered third grade, and it ended the next school year, according to the complaint.

In another case, a mother discovered her daughter, age 3, was in pain last month, according to the complaint. The girl, who was under Bryant's supervision, then said he sexually abused her.

The girl reportedly told an interviewer "she did not love him because he touched her," the complaint states.

Interviewers spoke with both girls at the Children's Advocacy Center, and each survivor reportedly said Bryant urged them not to tell anyone about the abuse.

Authorities charged Bryant with 11 counts of sexual assault and 11 counts of sexual abuse. He remained at South Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bail Thursday afternoon.

To find an advocacy center in West Virginia, visit wvcan.org or call 304-414-4455.

Reach Giuseppe Sabella at giuseppe.sabella@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5189 or @Gsabella on Twitter.

Rick Wilson: Beware 'compromise' that takes from poor, gives to rich http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0405/170509820 GZ0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0405/170509820 Thu, 4 May 2017 12:47:30 -0400 Gov. Jim Justice seems confident that a deal on the state budget is within reach, having told those attending a news conference, "I think we're on a pathway to pass a budget that's going to be really special."

Of course, things could be "special" in all kinds of ways.

I really appreciate the governor's sustained effort on behalf of a budget that benefits all West Virginians and doesn't throw any of us under the bus (not to mention the fact that he raised the bar significantly on any and all future news conferences involving visual props).

While I understand the desire to reach a deal with the Republican Legislature, I hope the result isn't a "compromise" that would hurt working families while giving a tax cut to the wealthy and causing more serious fiscal problems down the road.

Some elements of a proposed "compromise" proposal now being discussed are pretty ominous. These include major cuts to the state's income tax, which is the only tax based on the ability to pay; increases in regressive consumer taxes; and the promise of long-term and ongoing budget deficits that could further slash the things we need to thrive in the years to come.

As Brad McElhinny reported for Metro News, the proposed compromise would "raise revenue up to $50 million for the coming fiscal year but cut revenue by $170 million each of the following two years, an analysis says."

An assessment by Mark Muchow, deputy secretary of the Department of Revenue, estimates that, by 2020, this will cause a revenue decline of $220 million due to income tax cuts. This would come on top of year after year of major budget cuts.

On top of that, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the proposed compromise would raise taxes for the bottom 80 percent of West Virginia households, while cutting them for the wealthiest 20. The biggest winners would be the wealthiest 1 percent, who would see a cut of over $3,700.

This comes at a time when revenue increases are needed for the things we value most: schools, higher education, infrastructure, kids, seniors, veterans, parks, recreation, etc.

It's one thing to raise revenue to maintain our quality of life, but making the tax system more unfair to low-income families in order to give yet another break to those who don't need it is just wrong.

As Sean O'Leary, from the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, recently tweeted, "If WV is going to increase taxes on working families, it should be for investing in schools, roads. Not to pay for tax cuts on the wealthy."

What West Virginia needs is a compromise that doesn't compromise our future.

Rick Wilson, director of the American Friends Service Committee's Economic Justice Project, is a Gazette contributing columnist.

'The Circle' isn't half bad, but it's only half good http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0606/170509821 GZ0606 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0606/170509821 Thu, 4 May 2017 11:30:15 -0400 By ANN HORNADAY The Washington Post By By ANN HORNADAY The Washington Post "The Circle," a technological thriller starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, didn't screen for critics, usually a sign of fatally damaged goods. But the movie, an adaptation of a 2013 Dave Eggers novel about a young woman coming to terms with privacy, ethics and humanity while working at a Facebook-like company, isn't half bad. Directed by James Ponsoldt, who brought such atmospheric authenticity to the films "Smashed," "The Spectacular Now" and "The End of the Tour," from a script he co-wrote with Eggers, "The Circle" starts out with promise, as Watson's character, Mae, leaves a dead-end customer service job with a Bay Area water company to work for Eamon Bailey (Hanks), the bearded, laid-back, effortlessly charismatic leader of a many-tentacled tech behemoth called The Circle.

At first, Mae is dutifully dazzled by all the Circle has to offer: Pétanque on the lawn! Beck at the company bash! Hot and cold running yoga! And when Bailey announces, at the company's weekly "Dream Friday" event, a new spherical camera that can be planted anywhere to capture anything and anyone at any time, she's inspired by his pitch that it will bring tyrants and terrorists to heel.

But soon, Bailey's scheme is involving Mae in personal ways that have devastating results, developments that sadly make "The Circle" more overworked and plotty and less convincing as the story plays out. There are tantalizing morsels of nascent satire throughout the movie, including a staccato interview scene in which a human resources exec played by Nate Corddry peppers Mae with a series of which-is-better questions (she's for early Paul, late John). The penny drops when he barks "Needs of society or the needs of the individual?" and she replies, "I think they should be the same."

During another funny-creepy sequence, two colleagues browbeat Mae - who has the tune of "Simple Gifts" as her ringtone - to up her social media usage, so that her data can be shared throughout the Circle campus. (They launch the words "community" and "connection" with ballistic force.) While she becomes increasingly popular within the cultish company, her down-to-earth parents (Glenne Headly and the late Bill Paxton, in a wincingly realistic performance) and childhood friend Mercer (Ellar Coltrane) are keeping it real, adamantly sticking to analog values of home, hearth, nature and old fashioned eye contact.

"The Circle" couldn't be more timely, as Facebook grapples with murders performed live on its platform, the U.S. Congress seeks to gut privacy protections for Internet users, and ideals of transparency and accountability curdle into the far darker norms of surveillance capitalism. But that's also made the film seem strangely out of step with times that seem to be outrunning it every day. It feels both prescient and dated; realistic and outlandish; fresh and hopelessly derivative of everything from "The Truman Show" to the superb Netflix series "Dark Mirror."

Although Watson does a sturdy job of holding the screen for much of "The Circle's" running time, Hanks is woefully underused. What the viewer thinks might be a battle of the wills between their two characters instead becomes a convenient set of schematic, perfunctory encounters. Patton Oswalt and John Boyega are similarly wasted. in roles that feel thin and, in Boyega's case, painfully forced. (Among the supporting players, the Scottish actress Karen Gillan does a particularly good job as Mae's friend Annie, going from on-fleek knowledge worker to strung-out corporate drone with impressive credibility.) Despite its relevance, flashes of insight and welcome portrayal of a female protagonist unencumbered by the usual romantic-sexual tensions with her male peers, "The Circle" can't help but be a disappointment, given its provenance and potential. It may not be half bad, but that also means it's only half good.

- - -

The Circle is rated PG-13 for a sexual situation, brief strong language and some mature thematic elements.

Jim Lees: Is there a party that will say WV is more than coal? (Gazette) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0405/170509827 GZ0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0405/170509827 Thu, 4 May 2017 08:45:00 -0400 By Jim Lees By By Jim Lees

A Washington Post-ABC poll shows that 66 percent of Americans believe the Democratic Party is out of touch with the concerns of the American public. And according to the new poll, almost half of registered Democrats believe their Party is out of touch (reflecting the split between supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton). My guess is that here in West Virginia, a state that still has more registered Democrats than Republicans, the West Virginians that believe the Democratic Party is out of touch is even higher than the 66 percent national number.

As to why these attitudes are so prevalent in West Virginia several reasons are obvious. Nationally the Democratic Party believes in some type of reasonable restraints/checks on the purchase of guns, a view that most likely will never be a majority view in a rural state populated by many hunters who simply are unwilling to make the effort to distinguish between things like background checks on handgun sales versus banning weapons used to hunt for sport.

And nationally the Democratic Party has supported the law of the land which permits women to choose to abort a pregnancy early in the term, a view that is opposed by many West Virginians who religiously believe this approach to abortion needs to be changed to a strict pro-life stance.

While certain "Democratic" politicians, Sen. Joe Manchin among them, have managed to adopt and publicize both pro-life and pro-gun positions throughout their careers while staying inside the Democratic Party tent, even a modest and sincere effort by such a Democrat as Joe Manchin to increase the use of background checks in the wake of the tragic killings of elementary school children in Massachusetts has met with scorn and derision by the NRA groups and its followers here in West Virginia.

Unless, therefore, the Democratic Party changes its positions on these two issues, something that I do not advocate nor do I foresee anytime in the future, most likely the majority of West Virginia citizens will always find the Democratic Party out of touch with respect to these two issues.

But that does not mean the Democratic Party is doomed to losing elections based upon irrelevance as we look to the future.

Psychology teaches us that information which is made most available is considered the most important (the Availability Bias).

Karl Rove in 2000 used this bias to make social issues (abortion and guns specifically) much more available in that election so as to move West Virginia and its five electoral votes to the George W. Bush column, thus electing him President of the United States. And West Virginia has never looked back, steadily progressing to a solid Republican majority some 17 years later.

My question today is simple: what is the information/position that the Democratic Party in West Virginia needs to make most available to the electorate in order to change these negative attitudes and make West Virginians start believing in the Democratic Party once again?

I have given this matter a great deal of thought over the years since I have run for office. I have always believed the concept of a Party that believes government can be a positive force for improving the quality of lives rather than an obstacle. At its root, that is the reason why I belong to the Democratic Party. I know government can and has screwed up royally from time to time, but I also know that life lived in the 21st century is far superior to other points in history because of government, whether it be our modern highway system, our education system, the efforts made to provide clean drinking water and disease free food to our population, Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP, and/or the safety net of Social Security and SSI. Government has and will continue to improve the quality of our lives, if the right people with the right philosophy are in charge of the government.

These beliefs, however, which I hold near and dear to my heart, are not sufficient to trump the specifics of social issues like abortion and guns. Generic platitudes about political philosophy simply do not provide the electorate the red meat and potatoes necessary to drive decision making to swing back to the Democratic Party when it comes to electing the people needed to run our government. And please spare me the overused generalities of the Party supporting "good jobs" and "growing the economy" as a successful messaging campaign. Everyone supports good jobs and everyone loves babies. Enough said.

The West Virginia Democratic Party is in desperate need of a defining issue to separate it from the Republican Party, an issue or position that makes people stop and think and actually discuss candidates in terms of their support or non-support for the major policy position of their respective Party. And after giving this matter much thought I would like to suggest that we, the Democratic Party of West Virginia, once and for all time stop following the tired dogma of "West Virginia is coal, and coal is West Virginia" and stand up for a new West Virginia that bets its future on something other than coal.

My Dad was a coal miner, and I still have his miner's hat proudly displayed in my office. We rightly have coal and the many men and women who worked in the coal industry to thank for the lives many of us live today. But coal is not the future of West Virginia, any more than whale oil was the future of Massachusetts hundreds of years ago. And having Democratic Party candidates like Natalie Tennant in a United States Senate race mimic the Republican tag line about Obama's War on Coal is not only misplaced but useless in defining the Democratic Party for the next generation of West Virginians.

While coal will continue to have a place in the economy of West Virginia it does not and should not define our state or our economy. It is a negative for many young people looking to relocate to a state that offers much of what West Virginia has to offer, and it does nothing to attract the venture capital desperately needed to fund entrepreneurial growth to grow our economy.

Gov. Jim Justice understands the need for venture capital, but he, too, is wedded to a fading industry that is more about the past than it is the future. His only option therefore is to increase taxes and tolls to generate some venture capital, whereas the private sector and investment opportunities need to take front and center in freeing up the capital needed for future growth.

I welcome the Republican Party's vision of treading water with no plan for internal economic growth and a fantasy belief that somehow staying the course and cutting needed services will spur economic growth. It will not, and do we really need to wait yet another 20 years in order to look back and see the fallacy of this Republican worship of coal coupled with a lack of any plan for growth except wishing and hoping?

Now is the time for the leadership of the Democratic Party to be bold, not fossilized. For goodness sakes, break with the past, take the next logical step, and declare that the Democratic Party of West Virginia stands at last for severing the umbilical cord between West Virginia and the coal industry.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are not coal. We are so much more than that, if only one political party will finally find the courage to stand up and lead this State into a better and brighter future.

Jim Lees is a lawyer in Charleston.

Charleston woman struggles to afford care only available out of state http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0115/170509832 GZ0115 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0115/170509832 Thu, 4 May 2017 09:30:00 -0400 Douglas Imbrogno By Douglas Imbrogno Debbie Kinder said she doesn't like to be the one seeking help.

"I like to help. I don't like to be on the receiving end of help," said the 50-year-old Charleston woman.

But it is help she needs, as Kinder suffers from gastroparesis, a condition characterized by stomach paralysis for reasons that are not always clear and are often undiagnosed, according to specialists.

The severity of her case - the condition causes one's stomach to empty slowly or not at all, leading to chronic nausea, pain and disability - has led to her inability to work in the social services field she loves.

Kinder is in need of surgery that will be performed at the Cleveland Clinic on June 6, and friends have mounted an effort to help pay for the operation and after-care, which will require her to reside near the clinic for several weeks after the procedure.

Her case underscores the challenges of dealing with a condition that requires specialized care in a facility out of state and many hours away.

Abdullah Shatnawei, a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic, is one of the doctors who has been working with Kinder.

"We work with patients all the time who live far away," he said. "We have two hotels and one guest house and one hotel in the hospital itself. We have financial offices and patient liaison offices."

In the case of difficult conditions that may require multiple visits out of state and extended stays, the process can require a lot of coordination, he said.

"I made a lot of exceptions to accommodate her on my schedule because I understand she comes from a distance," he said.

Kinder has a severe case of gastroparesis, he said.

"Part of her problem, a lot of investigations failed to diagnose her," Shatnawei said.

Others in the health system thought she might be making stuff up, which sometimes occurs with this under-diagnosed condition, he said.

Patients go to their physicians, they do some testing and are told they are normal, he said.

"And they say there's nothing wrong with you: 'Go live with it or deal with it.' It's frustrating for her and for the physicians in the health system," Shatnawei said. "That's why she came to Cleveland Clinic."

Gastroparesis is a difficult condition to nail down and, while often seen among the diabetic population, its cause is not clear, Shatnawei said.

"The most common cause of gastroparesis is unknown. We call it idiopathic, which is a fancy word for 'we don't know,'" he said. "This is a very unusual disease. We don't have literature to guide us with regard to what we're going to do. So we have to take things on a very individualistic basis."

Kinder has had various medical issues, including a heart condition requiring a pacemaker. She has had to rely on disability payments after having to abandon work in the social services field.

Kinder - who has wrestled with depression and anxiety - said she has had trouble convincing doctors she was not making up her symptoms.

She has been an advocate for raising knowledge about the condition and helped to form a local gastroparesis support group as part of G-PACT, the Gastroparesis Patient Association for Cures and Treatment. She said she knows all too well the impacts of a condition which can upend a person's life.

She first visited the Cleveland Clinic in 2012 and has traveled back and forth a number of times. Unable to get enough nutrition into her system, she has had IV nutrition, which led to repeated infections in and around the IV site, leading to frequent emergency room visits and trips to the Cleveland Clinic.

Along with other efforts, she has also had a gastric pacemaker installed to help her system process food better.

"None of them have been successful in aiding in the betterment of my body," said Kinder, who is currently using feeding tubes in her stomach and cannot take regular food through the mouth.

As of Wednesday, Kinder and her supporters were about halfway to a goal of raising $15,000 (at www.youcaring.com/Gutsygal) to pay for her next round of treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, which entails surgery to do a gut rehab on her stomach, rerouting her digestive system to help her stomach work again.

The fundraising will help pay for her treatment, including the eight weeks of lodging near the clinic after surgery so she can be closely monitored with a volunteer caregiver at her side and her doctor within reach.

"The reason you have to stay in Cleveland, if there's an obstruction or something not going right, he prefers to see what's going on if something goes wrong and be right there, not four hours away," Kinder said. "That's why I have to stay up there during the immediate recovery."

If the surgery is successful, Kinder said she has a 50/50 chance of eventually being able to eat normally and work again.

Barbara Frierson has helped spearhead the effort to raise money for Kinder's visit to Cleveland in June.

"She told us she had been given the go-ahead by the Cleveland Clinic to have this surgery, which seems like a last-chance effort to get some kind of normalcy back in her life. I just decided I would do whatever I could to make sure she had the chance to do this," Frierson said.

As for Kinder, she hopes this latest attempt to treat her condition will result in her being able to return to some kind of community work.

She has tried to do what she can in the past, creating packets of toiletries, snacks and gift certificates in a reusable coffee mug and offering her Mugs on a Mission to homeless people. In December, she sewed scores of Christmas stockings; solicited donations of soap, tooth paste and other necessities to fill them; and delivered dozens of gift bags to the Covenant House Christmas party.

She said she also wants to be well enough to help others with the condition that has affected her life and to encourage care within West Virginia so she and others would not have to leave the state.

"I want to be part of creating awareness and the need for medical care here," she said. "I just want to help others not to go through this nightmare."

She said she also wants to get back to work.

"I can't wait to get back into the field where I like to be," she said.

In addition to Youcaring.com, people can also send gift cards and checks made out to North Charleston Baptist Church to North Charleston Baptist Church Debbie Kinder Surgery Support 1009 Woodward Drive, Charleston WV 25387-1217.

There is also a raffle fundraiser from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Habitat for Humanity, 815 Court St. Admission at the door is $10, and raffle tickets cost $1 for one or $5 for seven. For information, email snark2010@yahoo.com or call 304-744-9478.

Reach Douglas Imbrogno at


304-348-3017 and

@douglaseye on Twitter.

Robert J. Samuelson: A budget primer for Trump and everyone else (Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/DM0405/170509836 DM0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/DM0405/170509836 Thu, 4 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 WASHINGTON - I have been writing for some time - not years, but decades - that we are slowly turning the federal government into an old-age and health care agency.

The relentless rise in the costs of Social Security, Medicare and other health programs is slowly draining funds from other areas, from defense to education.

Still, it's hard for many people to grasp what's occurring, because the year-to-year changes seem small and inconsequential.

So let me try a different instructional tool: a table. Consider it a budget primer, good for President Donald Trump and everyone else.

The table below shows the major categories of government spending as a share of our national income - the economy or gross domestic product (GDP).

The figure for the year 2000 is an actual amount; the numbers for 2017 and 2037 are projections by the Congressional Budget Office under existing government policies and plausible economic assumptions.

What is obvious is that government spending is dominated by Social Security, Medicare and other health programs. Indeed, their share of spending has grown over time.

In 2000, these programs represented roughly 7 percent of GDP (4 percent for Social Security, 3.1 percent for health care). That was nearly half of all government spending, excluding interest on the federal debt.

By 2017, their share is more than half of non-interest spending at more than 10 percent of GDP (4.9 percent Social Security, 5.5 percent health care).

Looking ahead and considering the floodtide of baby-boom retirees and the high cost of health care, the CBO sees more of the same.

By 2037, Social Security and federal health programs would absorb nearly 14 percent of GDP, or about one-seventh of national income.

So the message is clear. You can't control the budget unless you're willing to make changes in Social Security, Medicare and some other health programs.

For years, I have urged that we gradually raise eligibility ages and trim some benefits of wealthier retirees. These steps would recognize longer life expectancies and the greater financial well-being of many older Americans. Introduced slowly, they would not have been disruptive.

Little or nothing has been done. You might say that by inaction, Congresses and presidents - of both parties - have created a national priority: almost all other programs should be subordinated to the needs of Social Security and health spending.

From 2000 to 2037, all the increase in federal spending (as a share of GDP) will reflect these programs, the CBO projects.

Look at the table again. The category labeled "defense/domestic discretionary," which includes defense and many other routine government functions (research, national parks, the FBI, the Coast Guard and much more), actually shows a decline in spending as a share of GDP.

From 2017, so do "other entitlements," a category covering food stamps, unemployment insurance and other "safety net" protections.

The budget outlook is worse than these figures suggest, because they ignore that we're already running annual deficits of about $500 billion, roughly 3 percent of GDP.

The larger message from this budget primer is that, under the influences of an aging society and high health costs, the government is quietly being redefined.

All the other agencies and departments face continuous pressures to shrink or cut corners.

Government is narrowing its focus even while it's becoming larger. That paradox is the real lesson of the budget table.

One Month at a Time: Taking YMCA classes for a spin http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0507/170509838 GZ0507 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0507/170509838 Thu, 4 May 2017 08:30:00 -0400 Bill Lynch By Bill Lynch Some months, the topic for One Month at a Time comes from a long and constantly expanding list. A few times people have suggested I give something a try or invited me to participate.

Every once in awhile, it's just dumb luck.

Originally, I'd made plans for May, but the project was complex. Scheduling moved slowly, and the clock ran out on me before I could get started.

While I was thinking about a good plan B, I saw a flyer for Red Cross Lifeguard certification classes at the YMCA.

I'm a regular at the YMCA - mostly.

On a good week, I make it into the weight room at the YMCA in Charleston three or four times to make faces and ape-like noises while trying to get my bench press up to 300 pounds.

I have a long way to go.

For ages, I've noticed the flyer for the class and thought about it, not because I have some burning desire to spend my weekends with my nose slathered in zinc oxide, inhaling chlorine fumes.

But I used to.

Back in high school, I'd wanted to be a lifeguard. It seemed like a teenage dream job. All summer you got to hang out at the pool, goofing off with your friends. As a lifeguard, you never really have to think about your wardrobe, and you could pretty much raid the snack bar at will.

That's how I imagined it, and my best friend, Brad, was a lifeguard. If he could do that, why couldn't I?

Well, money, actually.

The certification and classes were usually held in the late spring or early summer and cost more than I could scrape up from mowing the lawn - at least not while I was steadily spending every cent I had on comic books, bad movies and orange soda.

Was it too late?

Just as I was pulling the paper out of the rack, I started reading the other flyers, which I'd seen over and over for years but had mostly ignored.

I've been coming to the YMCA for years and barely ventured beyond the weight room and the pool. I don't think I've ever been in the sauna.

The flyers listed a wide range of fitness classes and programs. There were spin classes, golf lessons, boot camps and something called "Cardio Pump Party," which sounded like a death match dance invitational.

So I grabbed a handful of schedules and emailed CEO Monty Warner and asked him if I could try to just dig in at the YMCA for a month and try everything.

He was nice enough to say, "Sure."

So over the next few weeks I'll be gorging myself on fitness classes and training. I'll go to boot camps, try pilates and piloxing, and probably pick up a golf club at some point.

I'll also be attempting to get certified as a lifeguard through the American Red Cross.

Success is not guaranteed.

Just to take the certification class, you have to pass a skill evaluation. The evaluation includes a 300-yard swim, two minutes of treading water using only your legs, and a timed event in which applicants have to swim without goggles and then surface dive to a depth of 6 feet.

From there, you swim along the bottom of the pool for 10 to 15 yards, retrieve a 10-pound object and then swim back 20 yards using only your legs, and somehow exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

I'm a fair swimmer, but that seemed like a lot.

YMCA lifeguard Daniel Frame told me, "A lot of people can't do the 300-yard swim. You wouldn't believe the number of people who sign up for the class and can't even do that."

"Treading water for two minutes without your arms?" I asked.

"Yeah, you need to keep your arms up in the air," he said.

Oh boy.

Daniel smiled. It didn't seem that hard to him, but I haven't had to tread water since George W. Bush was president. I'm out of practice.

"Just don't think about it, and then it's over," he said.

Nobody was going to let me drown.

What bothered me was fetching the 10-pound object from the bottom of the pool. What was that?

The YMCA had two, Daniel said, and then he showed them to me. Both were unwieldy black bricks. One was slightly heavier than the other.

In May, evaluations and classes are offered during two different weeks.

I opted for the later, figuring it might be a good idea to go ahead and practice a little in the pool before I showed up.

My first class was the Saturday morning Camp Cycle, an exercise-bike-based spin class overseen by Tony Centofanti.

Just before 8:30 a.m., I crept in the door of the spin studio. The room was about half-full, which seemed like pretty fair attendance for a Saturday morning.

I recognized a couple of faces but opted to take an exercise bike in the very back.

The guy next to me looked over and said, "First time, huh?"

I nodded.

"I've never been in a spin class," I said. "I've been on bicycles and exercise bikes, but this is kind of new to me."

The man nodded, introduced himself as Paul DiMarco and told me he'd been coming to spin classes for well over a decade.

"It's good fun," he promised. "I wouldn't keep coming if it wasn't."

Then he explained the knob on the bike just below my crotch would control the resistance of the wheel. Periodically, Tony would call out for the resistance to be increased or decreased as we rode.

"But it's your ride," he said.

I didn't have to make it any harder on myself unless I wanted to.

A couple of minutes before class, Tony spotted me and came over and began adjusting the seat of my bike, which is important. The height of the seat controls how much your legs have to extend to pedal. If the setting is too high or too low, you end up doing more work than you need to, and the exercise can become a chore.

After a couple of tries, Tony figured out the happy medium for my stumpy legs and then repeated what Paul told me about the class.

"It's your ride," he said. "Have fun."

Just as Tony began plotting his playlist of songs for the session, Paul went to the front of the room, retrieved a bottle of water and handed it to me.

"Here, you're going to need this," he said.

Paul was right.

Over the next 55 minutes or so, I sweat buckets.

Spin class was a hybrid between cycling and aerobics. While the greatest dance hits from the '80s, '90s and today blasted from the stereo, Tony guided us through a ride of fictional inclines, declines and flat places.

We raced along hypothetical roads against imaginary competitors, not against each other.

You can't jockey for position when the bike is posted to the floor.

From time to time, we jumped up from our seat or stood, but we never stopped pedaling.

It was a great workout, and fun.

After the class was done, Tony talked to me for a minute, told me he'd been a spin instructor at the YMCA since the facility had received its first batch of bikes about 14 years ago.

"You can't beat it for the cardio," he said. "You go to a doctor, and they'll tell you that cycling and swimming are the best for you if you're just getting into fitness or if you're a little older."

Nothing against the runners, he said, but for someone like him - a big guy approaching 300 pounds - an hour of running was setting up an appointment for pain and suffering.

"It's just so hard on your joints," he said. "I feel it in my knees and hips. You just don't want to get out of bed the next day."

With cycling, impact was transferred to the bike. So no damage to the knees, hips or ankles.

The spin classes, along with some of the other classes offered at the YMCA, Tony explained, used high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which was better than just pedaling your brains out on a stationary bike in front of a TV.

Specifically, Tony said, the spin classes followed the Tabata technique. Based on a study by Japanese training expert Izumi Tabata, the technique calls for a burst of 20 seconds of intense exertion, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for four minutes.

This, supposedly, improves cardio function and increases performance.

Exercise isn't the only reason why people come to spin class or any of the other classes, Tony said.

Group fitness is social. Many of the people who come to his classes are regulars. Some of them, like Paul and his wife, Wanda, have been coming for years.

"We're friends here," he said.

Reach Bill Lynch at 304-348-5195,

lynch@wvgazettemail.com or follow @LostHwys on Twitter. Follow Bill's One Month At A Time progress on

his blog at blogs.wvgazettemail.com/onemonth. He's also on Instagram

at instagram.com/billiscap.

Daily Mail cartoon: May 4, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/DM0408/170509839 DM0408 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/DM0408/170509839 Thu, 4 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400

Readers' Vent: May 4, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0407/170509859 GZ0407 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0407/170509859 Thu, 4 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Susan Rice giving advice to president Trump on national security. That is really rich.

To the venters who think health care can be free: I think they need to find some good economic glasses.

We have the two most egotistical people on earth playing patty cake with nuclear weapons hoping the other one will back down. Holy cow.

If you came into this country by anyway other than legally applying to come in to be a citizen then you are here illegally. Even if you are working and paying taxes you are still doing an illegal thing and you are breaking the law. Go back out and come back in legally.

To get moles out of your yard go to Lowe's and buy some Tomcat mole killer. It works. My yard is mole-free and I personally guarantee it.

Gov. Justice canceled the proposed fees so I wrote a check to my favorite state park. If you can afford to donate please do so.

You must remember when a person wants a job they will find one any way they can. Even tearing out the water lines or electric lines from a home. They want to work. They may have their directions going in the wrong way but they are working.

I bet former presidents Obama, Carter, Clinton and the Bushes are having a good laugh. President Trump said that he didn't know it was going to be so hard to be president. He thought it was going to be easy. Seems he liked running for president more than being president.

Why does Gov. Justice want to cancel everything that is good for the state like the $2 park fee, but he doesn't mind property taxes being raised?

Ivanka Trump has no right to move into the White House. She was not elected and she and her husband should not be allowed to serve in the administration. Just proves that nepotism is alive and well in Washington. Greed is the name of their game.

I believe a multi-sport complex at Shawnee Park is a fantastic idea. I have traveled all over the country to sporting events and have wished we had something like that in our area. Thank you for that idea.

The biggest lie is that health care is a right. The really good kind is expensive and able people will have to pay for it in the end.

Since Trump got elected I have got my coal miner job back. My insurance is now 90/10 with no premium. I have gotten three raises since he has been elected. Trump looks pretty good to me.

For anyone in the Knollwood area of Charleston. Give a big shout out to Cheryl Kincaid for cleaning the trash up out of the street. Thanks. We need more of that.

No surprise a Democrat would downplay the job Mac did cleaning our voter registration lists. Only reason there was little evidence of voter fraud is the Democrats never looked for it.

Yes FOX News is slowly becoming like the other networks. Not legitimate like you think. Just more fake news like CNN, MSNBC and CBS.

So, what is the Republican plan to create jobs for the poor? Just empty rhetoric as usual? They don't create jobs for anyone much less the poor. Their trickle-down economics has been a failure throughout history. The rich get richer but they don't create more jobs.

As a Trump supporter, I see no reason to lose a Boone County teacher for a jacket saying "TUCK FRUMP." Whatever happened to our tolerance of political heretics?

It appears that fortunately Rep. Evans Jenkins stepped in to address the funding issues at Yeager Airport even though it's not in his district. Apparently, the 2nd District congressman didn't know that it was in his district. I'm sure he was more successful in funding infrastructure in Maryland.

If you have ever used a bike lane or trail in a town or city, you would understand why they are part of what makes a place more livable and attractive to new residents. Fix the roads, too; infrastructure matters.

Why does Trump cozy up to so many awful dictators who are not our friends - Putin, the Philippines President and now praising North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un. It's time to impeach him and get a president who supports the USA instead of lining his pockets with government money.

Even with right-to-work unions have a strong presence in West Virginia. That why they're building a new aluminum plant in Kentucky vs. reopening the one in West Virginia. Aren't those higher wages grand?

Dear Abby: Sister concerned about brother's bullying wife http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0507/170509863 GZ0507 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170504/GZ0507/170509863 Thu, 4 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Dear Abby: My brother has been married for 11 years to a woman who is very controlling. She's 32, he's 38, and they have two kids.

She has all the traits of a bully. She decided if, when and how they got married, whether to have kids, when and how many. She also decides what he wears and what friends he has. She doesn't allow him to socialize with his friends, controls his work schedule, home schedule, etc. When things don't go her way, she yells and screams.

I'm afraid this unhealthy relationship is beginning to affect their kids. I hate to see him taken advantage of. What can I do or say to him to help him be more assertive? Or should I talk to her instead? - Concerned Sister

Dear Concerned Sister: You can't wave a magic wand and make someone who isn't assertive be assertive. Nowhere in your letter did you mention that your brother has confided that he's unhappy with his wife running things. If he does, suggest he talk to a psychologist for tips on how to change the dynamic in his marriage. If not, you should stay out of it.

Dear Abby: I am a man in my 70s. I want to be married. I have never been, but I have always wanted the experience of a wedding.

The bulk of my life has been spent acquiring five graduate degrees beyond high school. I have terminated several long-term relationships and had two failed engagements.

Is there any hope for a wedding for me before my Maker calls? - Forlorn in the U.S.A.

Dear Forlorn: You may yearn for the experience of a wedding, but have you considered what responsibilities may come afterward? Weddings are expensive, but divorce can be even more so.

I find it interesting that you would ask this question without mentioning that you had a particular love interest in mind. Until you figure out why you have a history of failed relationships, I do not think you should rush to the altar. Throw a nice party instead.

Dear Abby: I am a 35-year-old woman who is returning to community college after a 10-year absence. I'm disturbed by the lack of respect that some of my classmates show. Many times they show up 30 to 45 minutes late. (The classes are only an hour and 15 minutes long.) Also, some of them constantly talk during the lectures, forcing the teachers to talk over them.

When I was in college the first time, teachers were allowed to deny a student entry to class if they arrived late and to kick students out if they were causing a disturbance. These students are robbing us of our class time because the teacher must make time to let them in, wait for them to stop talking, etc. Is this just me being too serious, or is this a generational problem of parents not raising children to respect others? - Cranky College Lady

Dear Cranky: Neither one. It's a case of a teacher not being in control of his/her classroom. Talk to the teacher about how you feel, and to the head of the department if you think new rules should be put in place. Your point is valid.

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.