And Then Again by Tamara Pettit

……Wow!  I guess readers do enjoy our newspaper and we’re so happy to be getting those e-mails so our subscribers can continue to read Hometown News  online.  I knew people who didn’t own a computer would be unhappy and for that we’re truly sorry.  A few comments caught me off guard though.  The one from the reader who said his elderly parents couldn’t enjoy the paper anymore was puzzling.   His elderly father graduated the year before I did!  Or the reader who lambasted us on our Facebook page attempting to tie us to the auto dealer who bankrupted  a paper that had no connection to us.  Need I point out that the reader was on Facebook and our e-mail yet he didn’t want his paper online.  He told both Shannon and me that “he was done with us!”  We, too are done with him.

…..We were very clear to point out in our last issue, that anyone who opts not to get their newspaper online, needs only to contact us and we would refund what was left on his/her subscription.  Our creditability is important to us and our commitment to our readers is very strong. 

…..I thing you will enjoy our new feature The Dogs’ Life.  

….A lot of controversy has surrounded the removal of the unofficial logo of the Weir High Red Riders.  I think the key word is “unofficial” because I can’t believe any official member of the school administration would have approved the caricature that somehow made its way onto promotional material.   The logo is cartoonish in that the depiction of the Native American and as I understand it, that version hadn’t been used in years.  Would I be offended if my heritage or race was depicted in that manner?  I sure would.  In fact, anyone of any descent should be offended because a logo like this dehumanizes the race.

…..While some can argue that journalism has gotten worse, I think it’s gotten better.  I like to go back and read newspapers from the 40’s and 50’s 60’s.  News was little more than public relations being fed to the public back then.   In the forties you see cartoonish Japanese and Chinese depicted almost like monkeys in the media.  That was an effort to dehumanize them thus making it easier to hate and kill your enemy.    

….Are we in a cancel culture?  I believe we are addressing issues which may have been demeaning, denigrating or hurtful to certain cultures and to me that’s a good thing.

….Bluefield State will not establish a satellite campus at the former Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling.   The West Virginia  Community and Technical College Commission (CCTC) unanimously voted to deny Bluefield’s request to do so  at a meeting this week according to WV Metro News.      A memorandum of understanding signed by Bluefield and the City of Wheeling which now owns the OVMC building set off a firestorm back in March when Bluefield President Robin Capehart made a pre-emptive move to offer three associate degree programs: Civil, Electrical and Mechanical  Engineering,  in Wheeling. Bluefield is located in Mercer County and Wheeling is way out of its service area.   Capehart, former president of West State College, clearly was infringing upon the mission of West Virginia Northern Community College and poaching its students.   The lack of communication between those colleges who would be adversely affected by Bluefield’s move and the City of Wheeling was evident when WVNCC, West Liberty and Wheeling University spoke out against establishing a program in their midst at a City Council meeting.

…..President Capehart stated that he had met with area businesses and learned there was a need for the program.  Not so, according to the community and technical colleges who  regularly conduct GAP analysis to determine if the programs being offered reflect the job market.   Apparently, there is no growth in those engineering fields  and the CCTC said there was a flat demand for engineers in the area.  The U.S. Dept. of Labor predicts a 0.3% growth in engineering jobs in the next five years.

….Capehart must have known the CCTC approval was a lost cause because even though Bluefield was advised the matter was on the agenda at the Commission’s meeting,  no representative was on the call or at the meeting from Bluefield.

……A lot of taxpayer dollars, both on Bluefield State and the City of Wheeling’s part, were wasted on a proposal that should have never seen the light of day.   Colleges such as Bluefield who look to build enrollment based upon  new programs without doing the research or present misleading research on job demand do  potential students a major  disservice. 

…..A lot of concern has arisen over the newly surfaced Route 8 aka Veteran’s Boulevard.  One reader noted the road is already in need of patching.    I’m hearing from Dept. of Highways that the job has yet to be completed.  It’s a new process that requires several layers prior to being done and the rain has delayed the steps necessary.  More on this next week.

….Is the slide going up at Tomlinson Run State Park swimming pool?    I’ve seen renovations taking place, but no slide yet.   I’m assured that the State Park is just awaiting the arrival of the slide.  It was supposed to arrive May 15 and as soon as it arrives it will be erected.  Area residents can plan for lots of summer fun this year.   Unlike last summer, there will be no restrictions on the number of people allowed entrance to the pool and the pool will be open 12 noon to 7:30 p.m., seven days a week.   While I have heard other areas have had trouble getting life guards, Tomlinson Run is good to go on that front.  Did you know that Tomlinson Run is the only State Park in West Virginia where you can go camp in a Yurt?

…….All last summer I lamented that I didn’t have pool.  All I wanted to do was go float on a raft and while the summer afternoons away.  Of course, by  mid summer there was nary an above ground pool to be had.  By the end of summer I was eying the baby pools in front of Dollar General.   That idea has been bouncing around in my head all winter and when the sun came out I went on the hunt of the right pool… too big…..not too small… that is easily erected in the summer,  but can be  takes  down come fall.   The pool is arriving  Saturday so my next quest is to get it put together.

…..I can’t say enough about how beautiful New Cumberland Cemetery’s Avenue of the Flags looked on Memorial Day. 

……It’s looking like all the events we love about summer will be making a return.    Plans are in the offing for all those community celebrations you missed and all the family gatherings you put on hold.  Take pictures….take lots of pictures and then share them with us on our Facebook page for our Small Town Summertime feature.