Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor
I hope this finds you doing well. I enjoyed the visit with you and compadres, am sure I’ll be seeing you soon. I am going to attempt to type my poem that I had printed in the newspaper. This was written when I had enough of just sitting quietly by and letting my granddaughter be one of the mice in the worlds dumping ground.


I have sat quiet as the shiny sterilized truck marked “radioactive” slips up the hollow at the edge of dark.
I have sat quiet as the coal truck haulage covered by tarp, permeates the air with the stench smell of rancid garbage down Route 3.
I have sat quiet as the dark holes on Montcoal Mountain have been filled in and filled in, giving the impression of undisturbed graves.
I have sat quiet as the hoses have been laid over the edge of the slurry pond under the guise of darkness, pumping out filthy black sulrry hurriedly before inspectors came.
I have sat quiet as the run-off from the ponds have been guided to our mountain springs- chemicals added making the water appear clean, preventing the glancing eyes from knowing their dark secrets.
I have sat quiet as the massive dirt dams have been erected, peering out over the mountains and looking as ominous as Godzilla in Hong Kong.
I have sat quiet as one by one our mountains are made to look like flattened biscuit dough as the chef rolls and manipulates it with his hand.
I have sat quiet as the men from the mines get their disability checks for black lung from the air they breath, yet watch as my granddaughter mounts her schoolbus only to breath the same air as the miner, day after day.
I have sat quiet as I tell my granddaughter, when rains trouble me, “stay home today, there may be a little flooding” not wanting her to be aware of the dark terror that grips my heart.
I can honestly say I sit quiet no more

Debbie Jarrell
Rock Creek wv

Exaggerations Weaken the Argument

I was most pleased to find a copy of Appalachian Voice on a recent trip to Virginia. I consider myself an “environmentalist,” so I resonated with many of the articles.
I was dismayed by the “guest commentary” in the Early Winter 2005 edition. I was particularly troubled by the sentence: “And our roads will be safer without enormous SUV’s flipping over every time a gust of wind blows across their bow.” I know Mr. Cooper knows better and that he does not mean that literally. However, I believe he weakens his argument by such gross exaggerations.

I also think it weakens the whole paper. We need to be careful not to overstate things (as I often see from the people who want to exploit our resources). I would encourage you to be more selective of what guest commentaries you include in the paper.

Thank you for being a voice for the land.

John Quimby

Learning First Hand about MTR

My name is Chrystal Gunnoe. I live in West Virginia. My hometown is in the heart of the coalfields. The coalfields are where most of the coal comes from that provides energy for the rest of the country.

Mountaintop Removal (MTR) is a new, dangerous and destructive form of extracting coal. Three million pounds of explosives are used per day t5o blow off the tops of the mountains to expose the coal inside. MTR is destroying the coalfields and the people who live there.

When MTR started, so did the changes in my life. I started noticing these changes very fast. The water from our faucet tasted different, like metal. Coal and rock dust from the deafening blasts cover everything in our home. Our yard is eroding from flooding. Beasue of the flooding I had less room to ride my bike, and when I did ride my bike, I had to walk it to a safe place to ride.

Until the flood of June 16, 2003, which destroyed five acres of our property, I still didn’t know what was happening.

But then that was like a wall of information hitting me – I began to understand that MTR was not good. I wanted to tell people about it. I did a science fair project on MTR. I bought a video documentary called Kilowatt Ours to show to my class and I talked to my friends about MTR.

One of my friends got interested in MTR with me. She told her grandmother and now she’s interested, too.


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