AND THEN AGAIN by Tamara Pettit

….The online version of HOMETOWN NEWS is now available. Going digital is a major step for us and Shannon has worked hard to make it happen. We will continue to make changes as the site evolves, so be sure to give us your input. It has been a new and challenging endeavor and we believe it will enable us to bring the paper to a wider audience of readers. Soon we will include legals and advertising.
…..Most baby boomers have had the experience of having their non- techno savvy status mocked by their kids. When it comes to computers, cell phones and occasionally even the remote for the tv, I just don’t get it. My brain is not wired that way. But, my kids and grandkids understand technology like it’s a genetic gift. Their brains are wired that way. So much so In fact, that I’ve conjectured that might be why doctors kept them in the hospital for three days after they were born. We thought it was just to get us Moms rested up before we tackled dealing with an infant. Nope, they were wiring their little brains to be computer whiz so they could make us look bad..
……My laptop crashed last week. No, not the hard drive, but the whole laptop. I got up to let Max out and balanced it on the sofa arm and it came crashing down. The screen separated from the laptop for the umpteenth time (yes, that has happened a lot of times.) I was bummed cause I knew the time had come for a new laptop. I was more bummed because I had to have the conversation with my child that every parent dreads.
…….I knew it would be painful so I kept it short and to the point, allowing Shannon no leeway for insolence. “I have to buy a new computer. Do you want to go with me? I might need your help. “ I could hear the mirth in her voice “Sure, What do you need help with?“ “Well, I need to tell them what I need on it so I’ll have to leave it and pick it up later, right?” “What stuff?” She had me now. “You don’t need to save any articles because we delete them once they’re in the paper.” “But I need to have both my e-mails and Facebook on it.” She had me on speaker now for the enjoyment of her spouse and the dogs. “Wait… Mom, you do know you can access that from anywhere? It doesn’t live in your computer. I’ll go with you. It’ll be fun”
….She wasn’t done with me yet. On the way to Best Buy we revisited the e-mail and threw in Facebook “Mom, you do know you don’t install them on your pc?” A smart Mom would have said “Of course I know better, but the whole concept defied rational thought. I had no idea where these magical programs lived. “Where would they be then. Aren’t they out of California? Facebook’s in California.” “You do understand about the cloud?” she said as if everyone knew about the cloud, After we established, that much like I once thought of angels, Yahoo, Google and Facebook are living in a cloud I said I understood. I don’t. Not sure if the cloud is over West Virginia or not, but I know it never rains in California so they’re in trouble.
….. I have spent more time picking out an eye shadow palette than it took to locate an entry-level computer with no bells and whistles that was cheap enough not to break the bank the next time I dropped it. The Geek guy didn’t even have time to talk to us. Shannon threw it under her arm and sprinted for the check out. I gave a last gasp as I looked the shelves. “Wait I need to buy Word to put on the laptop.” She lost it dissolving into laughter that she explained to those around her, “I’m computer shopping with my Mom.” They understood, Evidently Word is living out there on a cloud too, but that cloud accepts credit cards and then Word comes down to live in your computer. Who knew?
…..As we headed home, I reminded her that I taught her to tie her shoes and I did not mock her when as a left-handed little girl she just didn’t get it. And, then she reminded me that actually I had been unable to teach her – I was right-handed, so her left-handed Grandma Margaret taught her.
…..Taxation without representation?? My thoughts on Alternate Route 2 through New Cumberland is that we have the representation, and those officials are fighting hard to get the ear of the Dept. of Highways. What we don’t have is “taxation without accountability?” The Department’s failure to show up for the meeting with City, County and State officials last week means they believe they don’t answer to us despite the fact that we are ones who pay the taxes. I would have no problem if the Dept. of Highways had shown and not told the people what they wanted to hear I do have a major problem with their not showing up and failing to communicate they would not show up. The message that is being sent to us dear readers is that we in Hancock County don’t exist??
…. What’s the most effective way to strip someone of power? Failure to respond….,.to acknowledge your existence….to fail to communicate. As a woman, I have felt that powerless feeling too many times in my career. I once attended a public hearing to speak on an issue and I saw the gentleman from the opposing side. I had never met him, and he was standing among people I knew. I approached the group, spoke to everyone I knew; held out my hand to him; and said “Hi, I’m Tamara Pettit.” He stared at my hand; did not take it; and did not speak. He was communicating to me that I did not exist; did not matter. That’s the message sent by the Dept. of Highways to us.
……The EPA continues its work on the AIR Building in New Cumberland. For those with an interest in looking at the Request for Funding and Removal Action, a copy can be found at the Swaney Library. According to the EPA memorandum, the original assessment of the soil took place from 2008-2011 to determine if there was a threat to the drinking water wells. In June 2018, the site was referred to the EPA by the West Virginia DEP due to concern over the soil left in place and concerning demolition effort, In 2019, sampling was conducted at the site with 22 samples taken, 12 were inside the metal building. Eight of the samples were analyzed for asbestos fiber. I am told that 700 tons of soil will be removed and that testing of that soil will determine if it can be disposed in a local landsite or must be transported to an out-of-state landfill specializing in contaminated soil. Special care is being taken by workers cleaning up the site to monitor dust levels. Great to get it cleaned up. Speculation has abounded over what finally spurred the EPA into action on the site. Don’t know…. but kudos to whatever or whoever brought it to their attention!
……. When I cast my vote, I have to tell you I don’t pick a candidate for the House of Delegates or State Senate who agrees with my views 100 percent. That’s a pretty near impossible match. I do give my vote, however, to the candidate whose character I trust not to lie or misrepresent facts to me. That’s why when I received a campaign mailer for Senate candidate Ryan Weld on Saturday from the West Virginia Senate Republican Committee my hackles went up at the content. It asserted that Randy Swartzmiller will take away your 2nd amendment rights. That’s a far, far stretch. Swartzmiller is endorsed by the National Rifle Association with a Grade A and the WV Citizens Defense League with an A+ rating. Weld is not endorsed by the NRA and has a Grade B. The mailer also asserted Swartzmiller would defund the police, yet Randy is endorsed by the WV Deputy Sheriffs and the WV State Police. Weld is conveying blatant falsehoods to get your vote for the State Senate Seat. My concern? If Weld is willing to misrepresent the record on those issues, can you trust him on any others?