A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices


Opinions

Young Leaders and Green Universities
The strong move towards sustainability in Tennessee and North Carolina universities, described in the story on page 12, is one of the most positive trends we have noted in years.
We are proud of the young people who are giving so much of themselves to lead our region towards a sustainable future. Their overwhelming success in Tennessee and North Carolina, and in most of Virginia’s universities, shows an admirable clarity of vision and firmness of character.
We know these young people speak for the majority of Americans when they insist that educational institutions lead the way towards a better future. For example, in a typical recent CBS poll, 87% of the population supported renewable energy while only 36% supported new nuclear power plants and only 43% supported new coal power plants. See https://www.pollingreport.com/energy.htm
Sadly, the will of the people seems to mean little to some parts of a deeply entrenched energy bureaucracy. We predict that this will change, and we believe the nation’s colleges will lead the way through the energy and commitment of their young people.
It has long been the mission of education to preserve the past. Now, as our young leaders remind us, it is also the mission of education to develop a positive vision of a sustainable future.

Cemetery Allegations Need Investigation
It is a fact that under West Virginia law, destroying human skeletal remains without going through the appropriate steps is a felony, punishable by two to five years imprisonment.
We don’t have the specific facts about what happened at the Stover Cemetery on Kayford Mountain. We do know that there are allegations of cemetery desecration, made to police, and that a serious investigation is not yet under way.
The allegations come from Kayford Mountain residents Larry Gibson and Bo Webb who, after more than a year of repeated requests, were finally allowed into the Stover cemetery on Aug. 4 to inspect the graves of their relatives.
The graves are in a small wooded area surrounded by a deep pit where coal is being mined. When they entered the woods, they found at least four graves missing, they said. The graves had once been located in a place where a bulldozer had taken away a dozen feet of ground. You can watch as Gibson forlornly searches through the woods and talks with state officials. (See blip.tv/file/328604 )
It is absolutely heartbreaking.
You would think that some modest measure of respect would be due, if not to the living neighbors of mountaintop removal mining operations -who must endure flying rock, choking dust and dangerous floods – then at least, to generations long gone, who lived in a time where desecration by bulldozer would have been impossible to even imagine.
Today it doesn’t seem so implausible. If the coal industry can be so horrifyingly reckless with the safety of children and so grossly cruel to its workers – all for the sake of money -- what difference does a tiny little cemetery make? Or, for that matter, the law?
It is true, the laws against cemetery desecration were written at a time when the threat seemed to be one of juvenile delinquency. Yet today, another kind of delinquency is loose in the land, and the rule of law is on the line like never before.
If West Virginia state government law enforcement has any hope of credibility, it will investigate these allegations. We need to learn the facts about what has happened to the Stover cemetery.

Dear Editor,
The “cautionary tale” story about a theft of standing timber in the last issue did a disservice to most logging people.
It ended with the idea that any time “a neighborly kind of guy … offers to help you out” with your timber, you should “waste no time in slamming the door in his face.”
Frankly, this seems rude, and I took a little offense.
I’ve cut timber all up and down the Appalachian Mountains all my life, and my family has made a living for logging for four generations.
People in the timber industry are honest, and most of the guys I know will still do some business hand to hand and door to door. They might dress rough in work clothes, but these are among the most decent and trustworthy people you will meet.
So please, people, do not slam the door in every good old country’s boy’s face that comes up to your door.
Thank you,
Daniel Boyd
Grundy, Va.

Dear Editor,
I enjoy your paper very much.
I read with interest about the man who had several flying squirrels coming to his feeders.
I too had about 20 – 25 flying squirrels coming to mine. However, I noticed that their numbers were diminishing. After about a week I finally noticed a red fox waiting under the feeder, helping himself to a meal.
The next year, a yellow cat moved in to help himself. While I enjoy watching the flying squirrels, I also have realized that I am luring them to an untimely death – Please print this in your paper and hopefully it may help save a lot of innocent squirrels.
Henry “Bucky” Clabaugh
Gate City, VA

Dear Editor,
I am a resident of Dickenson County, Va and I am just wondering why you don’t tell how much the gas industry is hurting our area. In this county we have gas wells next to gas wells. There’s a lot of forest cleared for these wells. I would like to see more coverage on this.
Patricia Hallbrook
Clintwood VA

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