And Then Again… by Tamara Pettit

…..New Manchester residents now have access to an ATM close to home. The New Manchester Volunteer Fire Depatment has installed an ATM on the side of its building. Prior to the ATM being installed, residents either had to drive to Chester or New Cumberland to access an ATM
. According the Department’s Facebook Page, the ATM is owned and operated by the New Manchester VFD with a $3 fee being charged.
……The most recent COVID count in Hancock County show over 2,000 residents being infected. Our most recent census indicates 29,000 people in Hancock County though I would venture to say the most recent census will show us to have less and that number includes children. Looks like 10 percent of our residents were infected with COVID.
……West Virginia became the first state to use a statewide registration system for the vaccine. Gov. Jim Justice announced the State had contracted with Everbridge on Thursday. Everbridge is a national company that does notification to residents in the event of fires or floods throughout the United States. You can register online or by phone and you will be notified about an appointment time and location in the same manner you used registered. This should allay the concerns of those who do not have access with or are not comfortable with using a computer.
…..”We’re getting more squeals out of the pig.” That was Gov. Justice’s description of how West Virginia is getting more doses out of their vaccine allotment. State health care providers found they could get six doses out of a five-dose Pfizer packet and 11 dozes out of a ten-dose Moderna packet, That means we are running at 106 percent doses per allotment.
…..Is there a speechwriter somewhere in a closet-sized room at the State Capitol who comes up with Justice’s homespun phrases or do they just roll off his tongue naturally? Sometimes the image his words conjure up are rather disturbing. Instead of seeing a health care worker maximizing the doses of the vaccine when he speaks, I see a little pig being squeezed at the vaccination clinic for one time too many. Ouch!
……The City of New Cumberland is conducting a search for a Full-Time water/sewage Clerk.
……Sorry to lose New Cumberland City Clerk Sara Hawkins. She and her husband, who is a nurse, are moving to Florida. A familiar face will be back at the City Building, however, with former City Clerk Tammy Jenkins approved by Council for the post.
…..Is there anyone out there with pleasant Valentine Day childhood memories? I doubt it unless you were the one boy and one girl who got to be Valentine King and Queen because they got the most valentines. It was a barbaric process in which you decorated a shoebox and cut a hole in the top to take to school as your Valentine Box. Your friends would then put Valentines in them. Those who didn’t like you didn’t put Valentines in your box. When I was in Sixth Grade they counted the Valentines in your box and the girl and boy with the top number of valentines were the Valentine King and Queen. They got to wear crowns. The rest of us got to feel miserable about a holiday that feeds off unrealistic expectations and just hurts your feelings. Do I sound angry about Valentine’s Day? That’s probably why I ran for office so I could finally get my share of Valentines….I mean votes.
….My guess is Valentine’s Day makes more people miserable than happy. When Hallmark created the hype, they conjured up an image that is hard to replicate.
…..Valentine’s Day is without a doubt the ultimate Hallmark Holiday. I am not a card person. When a holiday is near, I look for the card…I buy the card, but that’s pretty much where the card runs into trouble. I search for a stamp for the card to no avail and then I forget to mail the card in time for the holiday. More than likely, I put the card in a drawer thinking, I will use it next year when the season rolls around again I will be better at this.
…… It was no surprise then that when I couldn’t find a card for Abbi’s wedding gift, I grabbled the only card I could find. No matter that it was June and that the only card I could lay my hand on was a Christmas card, Abbi understood and her husband Brad is beginning to understand. I am who I am and have no “Hallmark” clone.
……Discussion has centered on the State Board of Education recently and its far-reaching power. Proponents of “bring control back to the local board” have been disturbed when the State Board told them to open up their schools to adhere to the State mandate. Some talk has circulated lately about electing the members of the powerful board. Given the low compensation, I would think a statewide campaign would be prohibitive. State Board members receive $100/per diem and expenses. For many of the members, their time on the board is service to their State.
…..Currently, nine of the eleven- member Board are appointed by the Governor. The two ex-officio, non voting members are currently Clayton Burch, superintendent of schools, Sarah Armstrong Tucker, higher education chancellor. The nine appointed members must have Senate confirmation. The terms, however, are nine years with one appointment a year. This means a seated governor can’t replace all the members with his people and allows for continuity.
I think it takes some of the politics out of it. That’s just some because we all remember that Gov. Justice declined to reappoint Gayle Manchin, wife of Sen. Joe Manchin, after Manchin and Justice had a falling out.
…..For the most part, members bring some level of expertise to the table. Much like the Lottery Commission the composition must be made of Republicans, Democrats, or no party affiliation. (The Lottery Commission not only specifies party, but must include someone with a financial, legal and public relations experience.)
…..Sometimes it’s good to step away from a locally charged issue. In the past, the State Board has had to take over school systems in Southern West Virginia due to financial problems.
……I picked up crocuses bulbs in a vase at Krogers. The first one has bloomed!