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State-Junior-Conservation-Camp-Scholarships-Still-Available

The Free Press WV

Scholarships are still available for West Virginia Junior Conservation Camp, where kids ages 11-14 can learn about environmental science from the state’s most knowledgeable forestry, wildlife and preservation experts. Scholarships cover the full cost of camp, which is $172, and are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Scheduled June 20-24 at Cedar Lakes in Ripley, the overnight camp offers classes in wildlife, archery, recycling, fishing, canoeing, and more, inspiring over 200 campers to protect the state’s natural resources. The camp is sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Each day, campers have the opportunity to learn about environmental preservation in engaging new ways, outside of a classroom setting. Past presentations have explained energy efficiency and air quality, demonstrated the work of fire dogs in forestry, and displayed the operation of mechanical deer and turkey used to protect out-of-season animals.

Campers also swim, play volleyball, run relay races, and engage in many other activities with their peers. After the day’s festivities, campers gather around a campfire, creating fellowship with one another. The camp concludes with an assembly on Friday morning.

Many dedicated experts from the DEP, Division of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, and WVU Extension Service serve as camp counselors, presenters, and leaders. For more information about Junior Conservation Camp or to inquire about scholarship availability, contact camp Director Diana Haid at 304.926.0499x1114, or . The deadline to register for camp is May 02.
The DEP also would like to remind youth ages 14-18 that the 75th annual West Virginia State Conservation Camp at Camp Caesar in Webster County is scheduled for June 13-18. That camp is organized by the WVU Extension Service, West Virginia Conservation Agency and several more state and federal agencies.

For more information about that camp, go to www.wvconservationcamp.com or call Allen Miller at 304.293.9425.

Key Things To Know About Federal Land Ownership In The West

An armed group occupying the headquarters of a national wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon wants the federal government to relinquish the land to local officials so it becomes more accessible for ranching, mining and other uses.

Less visible efforts to wrest control of federal lands date back more than a century in the West, where the U.S. government manages most of the land in some states.

The Free Press WV


HOW MUCH LAND DOES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OWN?

It controls about a million square miles, mostly in the West, according to the Congressional Research Service. It owns 81 percent of Nevada, 66 percent of Utah, 62 percent of both Idaho and Alaska, and 53 percent of Oregon.

Most of the land is managed by U.S. agencies including the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

The federal government also owns significant portions of California and Wyoming, at 48 percent each; Arizona, at 42 percent; Colorado, at 36 percent; New Mexico, at 35 percent; Montana, at 29 percent; and Washington state, at 28 percent.


HOW DID THE GOVERNMENT ACQUIRE SO MUCH LAND?

As the country expanded West, the federal government sought to protect some areas, such as Yellowstone National Park in 1872, and took control in the 1900s of unclaimed areas that were generally too harsh and difficult for homesteaders to make a living.

For example, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management administers much of the sagebrush steppe of the Great Basin, which is habitat for the imperiled sage grouse but unsuitable for farming.


IS THE LAND-CONTROL CONFLICT NEW?

No. The debate over management of federal land has spanned decades. Some state officials and others contend that state control would mean less regulation and greater freedom for ranchers, miners, recreationists and others, boosting state income.

Critics of that view say the land would be too expensive for states to maintain and would be sold off to private interests, cutting off access to the public.

Congress approved a law in 1976 saying that remaining public land would stay under federal control.


WHAT EFFORTS ARE STATES MAKING TO CONTROL FEDERAL LAND?

State lawmakers, notably in Utah and Idaho, have sought a legal way to take control of federal land. However, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has said the state’s constitution gave up claims to the land when Idaho joined the union.

Congress has the authority to turn over federal land to the states, but efforts to pass such a law have failed so far.


WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THE LAND IN OREGON?

President Theodore Roosevelt created the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 1908. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 300-square-mile refuge is partly a marshland that’s a key rest area in the Oregon high desert for migrating birds.

The number of migrating shorebirds qualifies the refuge as a Regional Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve, the wildlife service says. It also supports more than 20 percent of the state’s breeding population of greater sandhill cranes, as well as many other species.

Birding is a popular pastime at the refuge, which also draws anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers.

Passage of Sportsmen’s Act OF 2015

Legislation will increase public lands access for sportsmen and promote West Virginia’s outdoor recreation economy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, applauded the bipartisan passage of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. The legislation will enhance hunting, fishing and recreational shooting opportunities by increasing access to federal lands. It also includes the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill passed the ENR Committee by a voice vote.

“As a lifelong, avid sportsman, I know firsthand that our hunting, fishing and outdoor heritage is so important to who we are as West Virginians and as Americans,” Senator Manchin said. “In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along, from one generation to another, a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer. I believe that we should protect these traditions that help define who we are. This bipartisan bill will boost West Virginia’s economy while expanding hunting and fishing rights and allowing people a greater ability to enjoy the outdoors.”


Senator Manchin’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

As an avid sportsman, I believe that hunting and fishing are an integral part of the American culture and a powerful force of good protecting and preserving the natural world around us.

In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along – from one generation to another – a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer.

One of my top priorities is to make sure that the people I represent can carry on that tradition by ensuring they have access to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on our nation’s public lands.

In my home state, we have more than 1.6 million acres of public land open to hunting with 28 shooting ranges on these lands.

We have a year-round fishing season, with more than 20,000 miles of streams and more than 100 public fishing lakes.

But this is about more than heritage and family tradition – hunting and fishing are big business in the Mountain State.

In 2011 alone, sportsmen and women spent $870 million on hunting and fishing in West Virginia and paid $81 million in state and local taxes.

Title II of this bill establishes an important precedent that seems pretty common sense to me – Federal land should be open to hunting and fishing, within existing laws, unless there is a reason for it not to be.

Nothing in the bill opens any sensitive areas that are already closed to these activities.

It merely establishes the precedent that our public lands should be open to the public so that people can enjoy them.

I think it’s a shame that we all too often get caught up in debates between environmentalists and sportsmen – both of whom want to preserve and protect the great outdoors.

Gale Norton, Secretary of the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush, once said:

“Dating back to Teddy Roosevelt, hunters have been the pillar of conservation in America, doing more than anyone to conserve wildlife and its habitat.”

I’m a firm believer that introducing someone to the great outdoors through hunting and fishing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to show them why conservation matters.

I was also very pleased to see that the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was included in this bill.

In West Virginia, LWCF has helped maintain and expand access to some of our State’s natural treasures for the benefit of all.

Access projects funded by LWCF, in places like the Monongahela National Forest, Canaan Valley, and the Gauley River, not only keep public lands public for sportsmen, but also promote West Virginia’s thriving and growing outdoor recreation economy.

A Section 6 habitat grant was the centerpiece of a project up in Cheat Canyon that leveraged state, local, and private funds to protect another incredible river that provides outdoor recreation in the northern part of the state.

A different type of grant protected key battlefield areas around Harper’s Ferry last year. 

The permanent reauthorization of the LWCF is another one of my top priorities, and I commend my colleagues for working together, across partisan lines, to include it in this bill.

For the past two Congresses, we have tried and failed to pass a Sportsmen’s package through the Senate despite strong bipartisan support.

I commend Senator Murkowski and Senator Heinrich for their leadership on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act this Congress, and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill.

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council hosts Campfire at WV Governor’s Mansion

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council hosted the ultimate campfire at the WV Governor’s Mansion with special guest and Girl Scout Alumna, First Lady Joanne Tomblin on Tuesday evening.

The First Lady lead the fun as the girls sang songs and listened to stories of her Girl Scouting experiences growing up and how they shaped her into the strong leader she is today.

Over 44 Girl Scouts from across the state of WV were in attendance at this unforgettable event.

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About Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership organization for girls, with 2.8 million girl and adult members worldwide. Working in partnership with nearly 4,000 volunteers, Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council serves about 12,000 girls in 61 counties in West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. For more information on how to join, volunteer, or donate to Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council, call 1.800.756.7616 or visit our website at www.bdgsc.org. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

THIS YEAR WILL BE THE FIRST YEAR FOR “JAMBOREE AT THE SUMMIT” FOR GIRL SCOUTS IN GRADES 4-12

CHARLESTON, WV — Girl Scouts will take over the home of the National Scout Jamboree this July.

The Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council is hosting “Jamboree at the Summit” on July 22 – 26 at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette County, one of four high-adventure bases the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America manages nationwide.

The event is open to groups of Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors in grades 4-12 from West Virginia and across the U.S. Girls who are not yet Scouts can also pay a $15 fee to join the organization and attend the Jamboree.

“There are14 different high adventure activities for girls to participate in while they are there and we’re just so excited to be able to do this event at a world-class facility right here in West Virginia,” said Beth Casey, CEO of Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council.

The Council is made up of Scouts in 61 counties in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Maryland.

The Gilmer Free Press


This year is the first year for “Jamboree at the Summit” which will include ziplining, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, skateboarding, kayaking and more. Participating Girl Scouts will earn four badges.

Of the site, “I have been so impressed every time I’ve been there, just the quality of the facilities and how beautiful it is and the support staff there have been really great also,” said Casey who participated in “Girl Scout Day” at The Summit last August.

The cost to attend this year’s “Jamboree at the Summit” is $300 per girl.

More information about the event is available by calling Suzanne Goralczyk or Kathy Storage at 304.345.7722 or by clicking H E R E.

Looking ahead, the 2017 National Scout Jamboree will be the second one held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

The Summit will host the World Scout Jamboree in 2019, the first time the event will be held in the U.S. in more than 50 years.

This year’s World Scout Jamboree is scheduled for July 28 – August 08 in Yamaguchi, Japan.

Junior Conservation Camp Scholarships Available

The Gilmer Free Press

Campers Learn Valuable Environmental Lessons, Useful Outdoor Skills

RIPLEY, WV – Hundreds of children from across West Virginia will converge at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County next month to learn how to protect our environment at the 35th annual Junior Conservation Camp.

The camp, being held June 15-19, is open to West Virginia children ages 11 to 14 and includes activities designed to teach participants about forestry, wildlife, archery, recycling, hunter safety and fishing, canoeing and other outdoor activities. The classes are outdoors, very hands-on, and engaging. They are taught by dedicated and knowledgeable instructors from agencies that include Department of Environmental Protection, the Division of Natural Resources, the Division of Forestry, and the WVU Extension Service. There are multiple scholarships available to cover campers’ lodging and meals.

“Junior Conservation Camp is important for many reasons,” said Camp Director Diana Haid, who heads up the DEP’s Youth Environmental Program. “The campers learn good environmental management practices and become stewards of our natural resources. Most importantly, they’re having fun outside. Each year there are several children who’ve never been to a camp before, never fished or shot a bow and would not have been able to without the financial assistance provided by our camp sponsors. I am very proud to say that Junior Conservation Camp provides a very positive camping experience full of fun and environmental learning to about 200 West Virginia children each year.”

Several camp sponsors have requested that scholarships be made available to children from certain areas of the state. Parents with children interested in attending camp can request these scholarships if the children reside in the following counties: Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Harrison, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Mercer, Nicholas, Raleigh, Ritchie, Summers, Tyler, Wayne, Webster and Wood. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The scholarship requests should be emailed to Diana Haid at .

For general information about camp or to obtain an application form, go to www.dep.wv.gov and click on the “Junior Conservation Camp” link on the right side of the screen under the “Events” heading. The application deadline has been extended to May 20. The cost for children without scholarships is $172 each. To apply, mail the application and a check to DEP, Attention Diana Haid, 601 57th St. SE, Charleston, WV 25304.

This year’s Junior Conservation Camp sponsors, to date, are: Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia; Appalachian Power; Antero Resources; the shareholders of West Virginia American Water; the Braxton, Doddridge, Fayette, Harrison, Jackson, Lincoln, Marshall, Putnam, Taylor, Upshur, Wetzel and Wood county solid waste authorities; the Region VIII Solid Waste Authority; Jackson Resources Co. of Hamlin; the Berk-Mar, Forest Ridge, Hill and Hollow, Kanawha Estates, Lubeck Acres, Quiet Dell, St. Albans, Salem and Vienna garden clubs; the GFWC woman’s clubs of Bridgeport, Capitol, Charleston, Clarksburg, Clendenin, Cross Lanes, Elizabeth, Elkins, Grafton, Huntington, Mannington, Montgomery, Ronceverte, Shady Spring and South Parkersburg; the Parkersburg and Philippi Lion’s clubs; the Newark Shining Stars 4-H Club; the Hancock County 4-H Foundation; the Capitol, Elk, Little Kanawha, Tygarts Valley, Upper Ohio and Western conservation districts; the Pink Chucks Studio of St. Albans; the Moundsville Tuesday Arts Club; Weyerhaeuser of Braxton County; S&S Engineers of Charleston; OPB&E Rentals LLC of Fairmont; Guy’s Buick GMC of Ranson and the West Virginia Breeders Classic Ltd.

Contact:
Jake Glance
304.926.0440

G-Eye™: Playground…

Campground at Burnsville Lake
Burnsville, WV

The Gilmer Free Press

The world is a looking glass and gives back to
every man the reflection of his own face.
~~  William Makepeace Thackeray ~~

The Gilmer Free Press

The best and most beautiful things in the
world cannot be seen or even touched
—they must be felt with the heart.
~~  Helen Keller ~~

The Gilmer Free Press
Nature will bear the closest inspection.
She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf,
and take an insect view of its plain.
~~  Henry David Thoreau ~~

Gilmer County Recreation Center Trail Rider

The Gilmer Free Press

This was the trail ride that took place at the Gilmer County Recreation Center two weeks ago.

There were over 60 riders they came and stayed at the Gilmer County Recreation Center for two days.

The ride was sponsored by Rob Lowther and Ronnie Williams.

A great time was had by all .

Stonewall Resort to Host Second Annual Cardboard Boat Race- August 16, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Stonewall Resort is “Calling all Captains” to participate in the Second Annual Cardboard Boat Race, to be held Saturday, August 16, 2014 on Stonewall Jackson Lake and presented by the Stonewall State Park Foundation and the Stonewall Jackson Lake Boaters Association, resort officials announced.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director at Stonewall Resort, said, “Gather your crew, build your cardboard boat and join us on Stonewall Jackson Lake for this unique and fun event.”

Norris said teams are to construct their vessels out of cardboard, following the rules on the registration form.

On race day, teams are to have their “boats” at the launch site by 9:00 AM Boaters will meet in the boat loading parking lot, located behind the Roanoke Activity Plaza.

The area will be marked with signs directing participants where to go.

The race begins at 9:30 AM.

Trophies will be awarded for first through third places, for best overall design and also for the most spectacular “sinking”.

There is a small fee per boat and all boat crews will receive a t-shirt.

For event rules and registration, please visit StonewallResort.com and click on the Calendar of Events tab or call the marina at 304.269.8895.

To ensure the desired t-shirt size, participants are encouraged to register as quickly as possible as the event is only a few days way. There will be late registration at 8:00 AM the day of the event at the Roanoke Activity Plaza.  All registered participants must meet at the Roanoke Activity Plaza, no later than 9:00 AM.

Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in the boat.

“This will be a great event for participants and spectators and we encourage all groups – Boy, Scouts, Girl Scouts, school groups, 4-H groups and others – to register and compete in the race,” Norris said.

Stonewall State Park Foundation to Host Children’s Nature Camp July 14-17, 2014

Stonewall State Park Foundation will host a four-day, hands-on Nature Odyssey camp July 14-17, open to all children going into grades 2-7.

The foundation conducts a variety of special programs each year at Stonewall Resort State Park.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director for Stonewall Resort, said, “Stonewall Resort State Park offers many educational and recreational opportunities for children. Nature Odyssey campers will have the opportunity to learn about area wildlife, hike throughout our trail system and explore the nature around them.”

The Gilmer Free Press


Norris said the day-camp runs from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM and will be led by Barbara Tucker, a skilled education professional with many years of experience. Tucker is a longtime resident of Lewis County who currently teaches at Jane Lew Elementary school.

Campers will be divided into groups by age – second through fourth graders and fifth through seventh graders – and will spend the day working within their groups. Lunch will be provided and is included in the cost of the camp.

The cost is $35 per child per day with a $5 discount (per day) for those who complete early registration for the entire week. Registration will include all supplies needed for the educational and recreational activities.

All registrants must complete a liability waiver, emergency contact form, and a medical overview of special needs.

This camp was made possible by donations from BrickStreet Foundation, ACCESS Midstream Partners, CONSOL Energy, Lewis County Commission, Central Supply, GAI Consultants, Jane Lew Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Weston.

To register or for more information, visit www.stonewallresort.com or contact Samantha Norris at 304.269.8820.

GSC Women’s Basketball: Kids Day Camp 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Outdoor Adventure Weekends at North Bend State Park Feature Mountain Biking and Kayaking

The Gilmer Free Press

North Bend State Park helps people get interested in outdoor recreation by offering hikes, swimming and games on a daily basis. However, physical activity options are being cranked up with mountain bike and kayak clinics scheduled over three summer “Outdoor Adventure Weekends.”

Mountain bike clinics include three sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours. “It’s a get-started program to encourage biking as an outdoor pursuit, said Steve Jones, North Bend State Park superintendent. “However, the clinic also caters to intermediate bikers.” Participants must bring their own equipment. Topics covered include “your bike,” “ride safely,” “basic maintenance,” “motor efficiency” and “skill development.”

The adventure weekends expand to include kayak clinics that include one training session lasting two hours and one future free rental. Equipment is provided. Basic instruction for flat water kayaking is the dominate focus. Topics include “boats and equipment,” “getting started,” “skill development,” and “different points of view.” Kayaking is conducted on the 305-acre North Bend Lake. Kim Coram is the lead instructor with other qualified instructors assisting. Class size is limited and small groups are welcomed.

Outdoor Adventure Weekend dates are July 05-06, August 16-17 and September 06-07, 2014, at North Bend State Park.

The program is open to day visitors or overnight guests.

The registration fee is $30 per clinic (bike or kayak) or $50 for both clinics.

Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling 304.643.2931.

Blennerhassett Island Frolic and Picnic Meal - A Different “Out-to-Eat” Experience June 28, 2014

The summer season’s first of three “Island Frolic and Picnic Meals” is set for Saturday, June 28, from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at Blennerhassett Island State Park.

“If you’re looking for something out-of-the-ordinary to do with your family, try a relaxing evening on Blennerhassett Island, complete with sternwheeler ride, horse-drawn wagon ride, Mansion tour and dinner,” said Pam Salisbury, activities coordinator for Blennerhassett Island State Park.

The Island Belle sternwheeler will depart for the island from Civitan Park, in Belpre, Ohio, at 6:30 PM.

The cost of the Island Frolic is $27 for adults and $22 for children ages 3-12.

The Gilmer Free Press


The picnic-style meal starts around 7 PM and features hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, fresh fruit cup and a beverage.

Bicycles will be available (at no charge) for visitors to ride.

The island gift shop and snack stand will be open throughout the evening.

After an evening of frolicking on the island, visitors will return to Civitan Park at about 9:30 PM.

Tickets are sold at the Blennerhassett Museum in downtown Parkersburg and must be reserved in advanced.

Other dates for “Island Frolic and Picnic Meals” events are July 26 and August 23, 2014.

Learn more about Blennerhassett Island State park at www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com or call 304.420.4800 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Stonewall State Park Foundation to Host Children’s Nature Camp July 14-17, 2014

Stonewall State Park Foundation will host a four-day, hands-on Nature Odyssey camp July 14-17, open to all children going into grades 2-7.

The foundation conducts a variety of special programs each year at Stonewall Resort State Park.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director for Stonewall Resort, said, “Stonewall Resort State Park offers many educational and recreational opportunities for children. Nature Odyssey campers will have the opportunity to learn about area wildlife, hike throughout our trail system and explore the nature around them.”

The Gilmer Free Press


Norris said the day-camp runs from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM and will be led by Barbara Tucker, a skilled education professional with many years of experience. Tucker is a longtime resident of Lewis County who currently teaches at Jane Lew Elementary school.

Campers will be divided into groups by age – second through fourth graders and fifth through seventh graders – and will spend the day working within their groups. Lunch will be provided and is included in the cost of the camp.

The cost is $35 per child per day with a $5 discount (per day) for those who complete early registration for the entire week. Registration will include all supplies needed for the educational and recreational activities.

All registrants must complete a liability waiver, emergency contact form, and a medical overview of special needs.

This camp was made possible by donations from BrickStreet Foundation, ACCESS Midstream Partners, CONSOL Energy, Lewis County Commission, Central Supply, GAI Consultants, Jane Lew Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Weston.

To register or for more information, visit www.stonewallresort.com or contact Samantha Norris at 304.269.8820.

West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officers Preparing for Operation Dry Water 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Concentrated effort to curb drinking and boating scheduled for June 27-29, 2014

The Law Enforcement Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will be participating in Operation Dry Water June 27-29, 2014, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI).

The mission of Operation Dry Water also brings awareness and education to recreational boaters about the dangers of alcohol and drug use on the water.

During Operation Dry Water, being held the weekend of June 27-29, officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the state limit of .08.

This weekend will include increased patrols as well as boater education on impaired boat operations. Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties.

“We are dedicated to keeping boaters safe on our waters. Boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime when people stay alert and follow the rules,” said Lt. Tim Coleman state coordinator of the WVDNR’s boating safety education program. “You will see our officers out on the water looking for boaters who are operating a vessel under the influence.”

Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to be a major problem across the nation. U.S. Coast Guard data reveals that alcohol is the primary contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities. Intoxicated boat operators and passengers run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident.

Operation Dry Water is a nationwide education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Operation Dry Water 2014 is a joint program of West Virginia, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, visit www.operationdrywater.org.

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Consequence of the Shutdown: Poop Problems

The Free Press WVSome parts of Yosemite have had to close down due to human feces, urine   [ .... ]  Read More

Meet the FBI of the National Park Service

The Free Press WV There are 33 agents assigned to the Investigative Services Branch and they handle the tough cases that arise on land most of us visit for only a few hours or days at a time [ .... ]  Read More

North Bend State Park to host 51st Nature Wonder Weekend September. 21-23, 2018

The Free Press WVNorth Bend State Park’s Nature Wonder Weekend, North America’s premier and longest-running wild foods even [ .... ]  Read More

New River Gorge National River gets grant for activities

The Free Press WV The New River Gorge National River in West Virginia will receive a grant to bolster a partnership aimed at getting local residents involved in recreational activities [ .... ]  Read More

Aiming to increase outdoor sportsmanship, conservation

The Free Press WV With six national parks, dozens of state parks and a national forest that spans nearly a million acres, West Virginia has plenty of woods [ .... ]  Read More

State Parks look to cater to top outdoor activities

The Free Press WV Although accommodations for most popular outdoor pursuits are good, parks chief wants to make them better [ .... ]  Read More

National parks draw 1.7M visitors to West Virginia in 2017

The Free Press WV The spending supported 1,080 jobs and $28.8 million in labor income [ .... ]  Read More

West Virginia State Parks anticipate a great camping year in 2018

The Free Press WV Campsite reservations began February 15, 2018 [ .... ]  Read More

WV Legislation Would Support Healthy Forests and Expanded Recreational Opportunities in WV

The Free Press WVRestoring and improving the health of West Virginia’s state park lands while creating expanded public recreational opportunities are the goals of West Virginia Senate bill SB270 and its House companion HB4182 [ .... ]  Read More

Tests for Natural Resources Police Officer positions

The Free Press WV The tests are scheduled for February 02-03 at the South Charleston Community Center, starting at 9 a.m. Walk-ons are accepted. Applicants are required to take a written exam at the West Virginia State Police Academy, either day at 12:30 p.m. Interviews for successful applicants are scheduled February 14-16. Times and a location will be announced at the PAT [ .... ]  Read More

Last Native American village in Yosemite being rebuilt

The Free Press WVThe last Native American village in Yosemite Valley, destroyed 40 years ago, is being rebuilt in the same spot so that Miwuk Indian youths can learn about their culture…  Read More

U.S. national parks to slash number of free days for visitors

The Free Press WVNational parks in the U.S. will sharply drop the number of days they allow visitors to get in for free, a move that was criticized by opponents of the parks’ plan to raise entrance costs at other times of the year.

Gift Idea….

The Free Press WVGifts for avid hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen

Fire Claims Life of a Camper

The Free Press WV  A person was killed in a camper trailer fire near the town of Dixie close to the Fayette/Nicholas county line.

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Readers' Recent Comments

During intervention the State had dictatorial control of our school system to include all decisions related to the GCES.

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

An investigation is needed to determine who was responsible for the bad decision, and what role the no-bid architectural firm had in designing and constructing the school.

Something major happened to cause the GCES to be built too small. Was something dropped at the expense of adequate class room space as a result of having to spend extra money because a poor site was selected?

Minimally, gross incompetency on the State’s part is the explanation for the disaster foisted onto the County.

A question pertains to the new gym. Lots of effort was taken by the State to try to convince the public that a competition gym instead of a regular gym was needed.

Did the competition gym cost extra money at the expense of needed classroom space? If the answer is affirmative who was responsible for deciding on the more expensive gym?

What about the enormous pit at the GCES? Was money spent on it at the expense of classrooms because something was wrong with the school’s site that was selected by the State?

Nothing similar to the pit has been seen at other sites where new WV schools were built.

Why has there been a failure for a thorough investigation to have occurred to expose the facts?

The obvious explanation is that powerful elitists in control do not want tracks leading to them, and they have veto power over a meaningful investigation including one done by a leading newspaper.

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Pat McGroyne is spot on.
High speed internet is simply another failure of WV state government.

If the elected in our state, were doing the job expected by voters….we should have very few problems or issues?

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Muddling has another distinct symptom. It is the tendency for administrators in control to emphasize processes and procedures while avoiding disclosure of progress, or the lack thereof, in achieving learning results.

The purpose is another way to avoid personal accountability for school system failures.

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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West Virginia is number one!
Our politicians are the best that can be had.
They are also the lobbyers dream come true.
No one—-can out-muddle our elected reps !

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Suggestion after reading strategic plans for the GCHS and the GCES.

How about the school board requiring that for each school an informative executive summary be written to include——where each school stands on reading, math, and science proficiency, what the term proficiency means to eliminate the confusion, student proficiency goals for the two school, target time to expect goals to be achieved, and a statement to commit to keeping the public informed of progress in achieving the goals at designated intervals (e.g. quarterly) during a school year.

Omit confusing abbreviations and technical terms understood only by a select few in the education field, and written for comprehension by reasonable persons.

Leave it up to the County’s professional educators to determine how to get the job done with continual laser-like focus on getting results.

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Muddling infects federal, state, and local government entities where personal accountability for top officials to get measurable results rarely exists.

Muddling practitioners are famous for passing off information unrelated to measurable proof that effective problem-solving has occurred. A common example is emphasizing how much public money is being spent to attempt to convince tax payers that magnitudes of expenditures are always directly correlated to levels of problem-solving successes.

Muddling by an organization is characterized by the existence of thick planning documents replete with vagueness and lack of clarity, undefined technical terms, and mysterious acronyms.

Muddling thrives on intentional ambiguity and confusion designed to protect muddlers and their organizations.

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Gilmer County is not the only place in the USA that has been faced with its students failing to meet proficiency standards for science, reading, and math.

The difference here is that evidence is lacking to conclusively demonstrate that Gilmer County’s officials in control have exerted proper efforts to profit form powerful lessons learned elsewhere to use that knowledge to help solve learning deficiencies in our schools.

In fact, a convincing argument could be made that the approach in the County has been the one professional planners designate as muddling through.

Classic symptoms of muddling through include failure to thoroughly analyze categories of causes contributing to problems followed up by using the information to develop a comprehensive plan to do the most good in getting better results by treating key causes instead of symptoms.

Muddling typically involves officials assigning blame for lack of progress to outside forces e.g., the “culture”, the State did it to us, and poverty. Haven’t we heard plenty of that?

Muddling must be eliminated if we want progress in solving non-performance problems within the County’s school system. Does anyone disagree?

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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It is unclear after reading school board meeting minutes what progress if any is being made by GCHS and GCES principals in improving student proficiency in reading, math and science.

Why not allocate a few sentences in the minutes to summarize what the two principals reported to the school board?

All it would take to get the critical information out to citizens would be for the new school board to act on this.

Does anyone have a problem with the suggested change to keep Gilmer’s bill paying public informed?

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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“High speed broadband – a necessity for today’s homes, businesses and other institutions – remains a huge unmet need for rural residents, despite promises by a succession of Governors from both parties (a contributing factor in why we’re losing population at a rate higher than any other state).“

I disagree with much of what Mr.Boggs believes.  That said, high-speed broadband is the single most important step the State of WV could take to improve the business climate and provide more opportunities for its citizens.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Conversation at local eatery.
Shortly after election.
Individuals were educators.

‘You think we have school problems now, wait until these new folks take the steering wheel’.

‘Students, parents, staff are all going to be in the soup’.

Sounds as if Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving vacation-deer season times have all taken a big hit.  If that is true, the union teachers need to come together, stand their ground, along with parents, and hold this new board accountable.

Have a local strike if need be.
Request resignations.
Vote of no confidence.

Schools employees can win.
You have done it before.
Just stick together.

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Scholarship must be the most important focus in Gilmer County’s schools.

Brought up the ZOOMWV Data Dashboard site to review the most recent State achievement test results for GCHS’s 11th grade.

Folks, Gilmer is in serious trouble. Proficiency for math=24%, reading=41%, and science=24%.

On an A through F grading scales the GCHS gets an F for all three subject areas.

What does the new school board have to show for inroads it has made since last July to make critically needed proficiency improvements at the HS? Citizens deserve answers to the question.

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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A thorough accounting for where all the public money went could be easily achieved by a competent accountant.

Isn’t there a special account at the County’s school board office for expenditures related to all bills paid and who got the money?

Following the money trail always gets results along with verification of means, motives, and access.

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If central office financial records for all public money paid out for everything from site planning, site studies and development, and everything else to get to completion of the GCES and the LES—- what is the reason?

It is known that money was spent on the Arbuckle site and Cedar Creek, and public money was paid out for the LES too.

Were County records for the spending purged and if that happened who ordered the action? The records are either in the County’s central office or they aren’t.

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Hasn’t the time come to finally start naming names and making people accountable?

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

For 3 or 4 months now we keep hearing about the millions of dollars of tax revenue collected.

Millions and millions above ‘estimates’.  Were those ‘estimates’ honest, or fudged to begin with, so as to request higher tax rates?

Well, Justice and the Legislature now have our dollars, what will become of this windfall? Will we see tax rates lowered?  Doubt full, but we should.

Likely this windfall, created by “over-taxation”, will simply create a “party atmosphere” of legislative spending. Watch the Charleston ‘gangsters’ get their wish lists ready this coming session.

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Yes.  The blame Does seem to fall to ‘local’ people. In small places like Gilmer County, it’s just a poker game, boys, and the deep pockets win.  Money speaks volumes where ‘officials’ stay silent.  Go ask for the records, see what they’ve got.

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Teachers and staff knew from the beginning that the GCES was going to be too small. They were ordered by the State to keep quiet about the shortfall and other serious concerns too.

A sixth grader could understood how many rooms were needed by dividing total student numbers to attend the school by how many students should be in a classroom.

Under sizing was the State’s fault and it cannot be rationalized any other way including to assign the blame to local people. Same applies to the over sized LCES.

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There will never be a full, public accounting of the gross mishandling of tax dollars during WVDOE intervention.
Too many local jobs and too many embarrassments of both elected and appointed bureaucrats.
These types cover dirt for each other.

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

One school built short 4 classrooms and another built with 5 too many.  Can it get more stupid than that?
Mr. Degree and Ms. Common Sense seldom travel together.

By Full accounting will never be revealed. Never. on 11.18.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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GCBOE when the two principals give reports at board meeting could the gist of what they said be summarized in minutes to keep the County informed?

It was a welcomed development by the Board to require principals to give reports particularly if there are required updates on progress designed to improve student learning for reading, math, and other subjects.

We still have not been informed about the status of science proficiency at the GCHS based on the latest testing. Why has the State failed to release the data? Were results too dismal?

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If it is going to cost extra money to eliminate over crowding at the GCES the financial information referenced by Do It Ourselves should be presented to Charleston and the press too.

That would help frame a solid case that crowding problems were not caused by Gilmer County because all decisions related to facilities were dictated by officials over whom the County had no oversight authority during the State’s intervention.

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is assumed that all records for spending to include money paid out for the LCES, dropped Arbuckle site, dropped Cedar Creek site, and all bills for the GCES are in the Gilmer Schools central office.

The new GCBOE has authority to get to the truth by demanding a thorough accounting for all the spending.

Afterwards the financial officer in the central office could easily access existing computerized records and to use the information for a report to the GCBOE and the public.

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Notice that most of the ‘officials’ in Gilmer County also hold regular day jobs - sometimes working on more than one paying ‘job’ at a time in the same office space. This common practice is concerning for many reasons, and it needs to be talked about when so many go without.

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There are two views in the County related to the under built GCES. Although the State built the school with inadequate classrooms one group believes that we should move on to let go of the past.

Isn’t this a form of advocacy for a coverup to prevent accountability for the State’s incompetence and mismanagement?

The other group believes that there should be a full accounting for all public money spent up to the time the GCES was completed to include disclosure of recipients of the public money. 

The accounting should be done for all public money spent at the LCES, the Arbuckle site, Cedar Creek, and finally the GCES.

Reasons for the under built GCES should be fully disclosed too. When the State was in control this information was kept secret from the public with loud claims that there was adequate space at the GCES.

Now it is known that there is inadequate space at the GCES and the problem is left to Gilmer County to fix. Only in WV!

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Unprofessional issues,rude commentsand rolling eyes at the high school has become an issue. Being on cell phone talking to boyfriends,when parents etc.going into the office. Since the teachers were ask not to be on them while students in the classroom. The one in the office should not be allowed to talk personal to her boyfriend, or whoever. Also, I hope this is corrected, the personal days, etc that the board provides to staff shouldn’t be allowed to use to work or operate a second job. Let’s get the priorities straight.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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GULMER COUNTY BOE. It is time for me to let you know some issues that is going on at the High school.  I’m hoping this will be addressed at the next board meeting. 1. It should not matter if an employee has a second job or run a business. The priority job is for the board. One should not be allowed to use any time from the board to run your business. There is going on
If they want to run your business than go but not on the boards time. I would like for all employees be treated the equal. They should not be allowed to use the time the board gives them for other jobs.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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While at it there should be an investigation of why the LES was build with too many classrooms and the GCES was built with too few. At the very least what happened is a WV horror story example of the State’s waste and mismanagement.

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is obvious that the GCES has a major space problem.

What options for dealing with the State’s mismanagement to cause the serious blunder are being considered by the Board of Education?

Could the original architectural design for the dropped Cedar Creek site be compared to what resulted at the GCES to accurately determine the extent of classroom space alterations?

If the architectural design at the GCES is different than the original plan for Cedar Creek the next step should be to determine reasons for the changes and where the money originally planned for needed classrooms went.

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It’s long been known that Justice doesn’t happen in Gilmer County “because it all comes down to money”. And for those in charge of handling it and making decisions, it comes down to being competent to do the job,  keep accurate books and accounts and I’m sorry to say, that is seriously lacking in Gilmer County.

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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What is GSC’s BOG’s plan for getting money for the next payment on the $38,000,000 bond loan the Gilmer County Commission approved?

Will the State pay or will the money come from private donations?

Money will have to come from somewhere to avoid a default.

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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So sorry to hear of Kendall’s passing. I have fond memories of him at Uncle Paul’s store and the family reunions. I’m sure he will be missed greatly by those closest to him.
Please accept condolences from me and my family.

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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GSC’s present plight is no secret and its future existence is in question.

Instead of expressing attitudes that GSC is being picked on could the Blue Ribbon Commission reveal why the College “tested out” as it did to fail to get more State money?

Was the “grading system” based on student enrollment trends, retention, time taken to get a degree, academic reputation, inept governance and administration, and other factors to block more funding? Informative specifics were not disclosed.

Teachers know that concerned students who want to do better always seek advice on what needs to be done to get better grades.

Similar to concerned students GSC’s supporters should be informed of what needs to be done to position the College for improved chances for survival to include eligibility for more State funding.

Saying that GSC is being picked on does nothing to help solve its nagging problems.

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Well thank you, Details Please,  for asking!  So many problems in Gilmer and education is just one.  Look at the town, take a good look around.  Remember who runs unopposed at election time.  Vote.  Make a difference.  Hold authority figures responsible.  Allow videos, minutes and more to be shared on GFP again, for transparency.  Know your neighbors, help a friend.  Be good to each other. Amen.

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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I will truly miss my Uncle Stephen.  Telling me so much information about from gardening to canning. Just to listening to him talk with such passion for everything that he does… he had a sense of humor that always warms my heart.. listening to him play the banjo sometimes even when he didn’t feel good. he is always willing to share his recipes and his ways of doing things… his solar information he was always studying something ... I’m remember one time we asked him where he got his blackberries when it wasn’t Blackberry season and he go there’s a store down the road it’s called Walmart they have everything… He was so funny.  I love you.. xoxo.

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Sorry for your loss. He sure did look like his father.

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Reader 7, please give details for your suggested solutions to the County’s concerns you addressed.

The information would be helpful for consideration by school system administrators and the general public.

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is speculation that the plan is for GSC to convert to an education center for low risk federal inmates. Is this something the County and central WV needs?

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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Dr. Pellett’s commentary in the 10/26/2018 issue of the Gazette includes a statement that GSC is responsible for injecting $28,000,000 into the local economy.

If GSC were to close loss of the money would cause the County to have more severe poverty than it has now.

The pressing challenge is for GSC’s administrators including its Board of Governors to exercise effective leadership to prevent closure.

Why can’t GSC take action on the long standing suggestion for it to be an innovator by establishing a five year teacher education program to enable students to earn a masters degree by graduation time?

Something must be done in WV to deal with the 700 positions for which certified teachers including those for math, science and special education are not in the classrooms.

Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors why is a new teacher education program at the College not a viable option? Nothing else seems to be working.

The need exists, a similar program of excellence does not exist anywhere in the State, and GSC’s status would be elevated by having a masters degree program.

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Paine: Plan to improve math scores to focus on algebra where a third of teachers aren’t certified'.

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GSC could make a valuable contribution to WV by doing a study to report on how grade and elementary schools with excellent results in math and reading did it.

Then, other schools could use the information as guidance instead of going it alone to reinvent the wheel.

With the Ed.D. expertise at GSC it would be a natural to take on the assignment. Dr. Pellett, would you back the initiative?

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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There is reference to signing an agreement with the State for math4life for all WV school districts. What has Gilmer County agreed to do to fix our problems?

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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This important news has potential for making significant progress in improving math and reading outcomes in WV.

It hinges on how quickly advantage can be taken from lessons learned in schools that excelled.

The WVBE could do an analysis of reasons for excelling and to quickly provide guidance information to other schools.

That is the way the private sector approaches problem-solving because chronic failures have consequences and the unfit are weeded out.

Dr. O’Cull could help if the WVBE is not responsive. There could be panels of individuals from excelling schools to make presentations at WV School Board Association meetings to explain what their schools did to make the achievements.

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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A characteristic of a good strategic plan is to simplify language to enable a clear understanding of all its details.

Regarding the comment about abbreviations, a simple fix for them and terms (e.g. lexile) would be to insert an asterisk or a footnote symbol the first time one of them is used to refer readers to a section at the end of the documents where the entries are defined.

This comment is not intended to be a criticism. All specialty fields have a language of their own including the teaching profession.

Suggested clarity improvements in the plans would not be time consuming for principals at the County’s two schools.

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Looked at the strategic plan for the GCES. It is a major achievement for the new GCBE to provide the information to the public.

Suggestion. Could the GCBOE post a meaning of all abbreviations in the plan? Doing that would make it far easier for readers to understand details in the plan.

By Help Understanding on 10.17.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Thanks Mrs. Lowther and the BOE for providing meeting minutes for the public to read.

Those of us who voted for the levy would appreciate receiving specific information for what is being done at the grade school and the high school to make needed improvements for college and career readiness.

Could a current overview and updates throughout the school year be provided to the public?

Why not put the details on websites of the two schools to give the principals a chance to shine?

By Levy Supporter on 10.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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“engage in pedantic colloquy?“

No Bill.

By WEKNOWYOU on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Correct.  I do not wish to engage in back and forth useless ‘banter’ with big words and no results.  What I AM interested in is Gilmer County, in all it’s ways.  Education, Food, Law and Transparency.  Fancy words are often used to hide, divide, and distract..  Plain words speaking truth for the safety and well being of the people is what I’m looking for..  Gilmer is suffering… I want it to stop. I want to see the citizens healthy, educated and strong. I want to see more jobs instead of food banks.  I want Committee meetings for all to see. I want the law to do what it should, when it should.  Plain english would work fine.  Thanks for asking.

By Reader7 on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Lol 7, you do not wish to engage in a pedantic colloquy?

By Smart Feller on 10.13.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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All nice but a small request? Can we simplify some of the language?  Don’t mean to be rude, but fancy works aren’t needed for the Truth.

By Reader7 on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Stop living the delusion the state will fix education.
They have caused the problem.
Remember, for them, job one IS job protection.

Rare in history, that the cause of a problem, has come forth with a solution to what they have caused. They keep resetting testing standards so as not have any ‘yardstick’ they can be measured against.  Apparently people just don’t get it?  And the WVBOE is so happy about that.

By it-ain't-a-gonna-happen. period. on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is a continuum for sophistication regarding what is done with data.

Collecting and compiling it is at the low end of sophistication.

Synthesis is at the high end.

This means using results and other information to make specific recommendations for making improvements.

The State took its typical easy way out by failing to go beyond the data compilation stage.

By Easy Way Out on 10.10.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The comment about need to find out what was done at high performance schools to determine what we could do in Gilmer County to get the same results merits a comment.

The comment flags what is wrong with the State BOE in failing to provide effective leadership.

Does anyone recall a single instance, after tens of millions of dollars were spent on amassing data, when the State BOE did anything to effectively address lessons learned at high performance schools for application at other schools?

Of course not! It is the easy way out for those in high income brackets in Charleston to collect data instead of using it to the maximum to take full advantage of lessons learned.

Could the WV School Board Association help fill the gap?

By Lost Opportunity on 10.07.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Harry, So sorry to hear of the passing of your wife.  I’m also sorry that I never got to know her because if she was anything like you, I’m sure she was pretty special.  Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.  May God’s love be with you my friend.

By Greg Garvin on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Judith “Judy” Carolyn Buckley Rich'.

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What is the BOE’s proficiency goal for English and mathematics and what is the time frame for achieving the goal? That is news citizens want.

Then too, how can citizens at large get involved to honor and to encourage students who improve, and what of a similar nature could be done to give special recognition to outstanding teachers who contribute to improved learning for English and math?

By Positive Changes Made By New BOE on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The BOE and Mrs Lowther deserve high praise for disclosing proficiency information to the public.

It is the first time since 2011 anything like this has happened.

We still do not know about results for science, and it is understood that Charleston is still “working” on it.

Now we know our serious shortcomings in math and English and there is new hope for burrowing out of the mess with everyone in Gilmer working together.

By Thanks Gilmer BOE on 10.03.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Well, dear citizen… sometimes the local ‘law’ gets it wrong.  #truth #JusticeForGilmer

By Transparency matters on 09.30.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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Soooo…...why do we never see a big drug bust in Gilmer?
With the college and others, there are plenty sources.
Seems strange?

By citizen 3 on 09.23.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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If you access http://www.mywvschool.com it is evident that some schools outpace others for math and English.

For examples look at data for Lizemore Elementary in Clay County, Alum Creek Elementary in Kanawha County, Rock Branch Elementary in Putnam county, and Greenmont Elementary in Wood County.

Gilmer BOE why not assign someone to evaluate what is being done at those school and others to make them State standouts and to apply lessons learned to our elementary schools?

The same applies to learning from others regarding how to get high marks at GCHS.

By Learn What Works From Others on 09.23.2018

From the entry: 'WV and Area Counties Balanced Scorecard for School Year 2017-2018'.

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I have not read anyone blaming our teachers.  Quite the contrary.
There have been some well thought out comments submitted too.
I am old enough to remember when we had few issues about quality education.

Forget Charleston? Better not.
Believe we are still in their “probation” period.
You better check out just what that means.

By GC--still on state probation? on 09.22.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Why not go for it on our own and use the tried and widely accepted Iowa Test of Basic Skills to evaluate learning proficiency of our children?

It is the longest running test in America and it goes back to 1936.

One outcome of using the test is that each grade would be evaluated and compared to performances to schools in other parts of America.

We would probably have to go through hoop jumps of the State’s everchanging testing too.

By Iowa Test For Gilmer on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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To compound complexity of the issue, Gilmer is different from McDowell and both are different than Monongahela.

The implication is that getting out of the crisis must be county-specific and there is no one size that will fit all of WV’s 55 school systems.

Each county is on its own and ones with the best planning, local boards of education, and administrators will shine. Forget about Charleston!

By County-Specific on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Similar to most complex problems there are several categories contributing to WV’s dismal failure in improving education results in our grade and high schools.

Information in referred journal is beginning to show up. Some of the categories include curriculum issues in high schools, block scheduling failures in high schools, inordinate emphasis on sports at the expense of academics, inadequate prep of grade schoolers to ensure that they get firm foundations in math and English Language Arts, failure to instill need for life long learning at early ages, failure for school systems to fund continuing education of teachers to prepare them for newly emerged practices for enhanced student learning, cultural impediments including failure of some families to encourage children and to give them extra learning help at home, dysfunctional families for children to grow up in caused by drug and alcohol abuse and chronic unemployment, grade inflation characterized by too many As and Bs and attitudes that nobody fails so pass them along, failure of school boards to hire the best qualified superintendents and teachers because of local emphasis on favoring “home grow” individuals, failure of school boards to define performance expectations for superintendents to make effective accountability impossible, constantly changing types of State mandated testing to cause chaos and morale problems, poor compensation of teachers necessary to attract and keep the best and the brightest, etc.

To blame all problems on teachers is a cruel travesty.

One of the weakest links contributing to a lack of progress in improving WV schools is that instead of analyzing the full spectrum of contributing problems and focusing on ones with the biggest payoff potential, the trend in Charleston is to constantly apply band aid approaches with hopes that “cures” will be stumbled on accidentally.

By Do Not Blame It All On Our Teachers on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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The problem with preK-12 education in WV is that a holistic and and technically defensible evaluation of contributing factors to cause WV’s problems and how to deal with them has not occurred.

Instead, under direction of clueless politicians ineffective muddling prevails while selling what is done at a particular time as the definitive solution.

How many times have we witnessed muddling over the past 20-30 Years? It still goes on in Charleston.

Why not obtain a grant to have qualified experts analyze success stories around the Nation and use findings to craft a demonstration project in Gilmer County to improve our school system?

Regardless of what we do there must be open minds in seeking out what to do in homes, schools,  teacher education programs in our institutions of higher learning, continuing education for classroom teachers, and to involve various factions in our community to achieve acceptable results. Everyone must band together as a unified team to make it work.

One trap is over emphasis of sports. If the same magnitude of attention and importance were to be focused on solving preK-12 education problems in WV, great strides could be made to benefit deserving children.

By Muddling on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Our heartfelt condolences on the passing of Mr. Ron. I too know this pain of losing a beloved father. Both of these men were taken way too soon. Praying maybe Mr.Ron, my Dad, and all the former Westinghouse employees in heaven are getting together. Love and prayers from, Adrienne and family.

By Adrienne (Trimper) Johnson on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'Ronald J. Vanskiver'.

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West Virginia’s educational failures is NOT because of classroom teachers.

It IS because of the WV Board of Education’s failures of the past 20-30 years.

That 9 member, lopsided governor board is a crime against children and education in WV as a whole.

It needs 3 teachers, 3 general public parent members, and 3 governor appointees.

Until that governors click gang is broken up, you simply see repeats of the past.  NO progress in education.

It will take the legislature to fix it, but they are too busy with the legislature created court system failure, while trying to line pockets with gas and oil money.

By Tell It Like It Is ! on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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What is the plausible rationale for Gilmer not disclosing detailed facts similar to what Superintendent Hosaflook did?

Wood County reported 11,176 students in its 27 schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

In comparison Gilmer had 734 reported students in our two schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

Wood County had 15 times more students than Gilmer and it is reasonable to assume that it was 15 times more demanding to administer with its 27 schools.

If Wood County could get detailed facts out to the public with its significantly higher work load what keeps tiny Gilmer from doing the same?

By Why Gilmer BOE? on 09.18.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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We have not had a responsible, functioning, WVBE for 20 years.
Not one that would accept any responsibility.

They just keep changing ‘score keeping’ so there can be no accurate tracking of student progress.

State ranks 48th or 49th on educational outcomes. Still.
Colleges still have to give remedial classes.

The ONLY thing that changes are the names of the governor appointed players.
And just look at the ‘cost-per-pupil’ spending!
We are about the highest in the nation.

West Virginia State Board of Education = complete failure.  Nothing less.

By just more smoke and mirrors on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released for Public Schools in West Virginia'.

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Never could figure out why working people, retirees, volunteers are picking up trash left by adults?

Not when we have the numbers of bored prisoners we have locked up doing nothing??

By No solution here- on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Adopt-A-Highway Fall Statewide Cleanup Set for September 29'.

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Go to http://www.mywvschool.org to access more official State information about Gilmer’s schools. There are serious red flags in need of immediate corrective attention.

If you access Lewis County schools on the same web site you can review info for LES. Look at the red flags there. Worse than GES.

Instead of using the info to criticize it can be useful in seeking out opportunities for making immediate improvements.

For those who take apologetic stands that Gilmer is doing as well as some other WV counties and everything is fine, it does not mean that inferior educations for our children are acceptable.

By Look At Red Flags on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Who is responsible for Gilmer’s oversight of the LES?

If you access the State’s website you will learn that math and reading is red flagged for the LCES to be as bad as it can get.

Why is it that nothing is reported in Gilmer County about how that school is doing when we know that our sixth grade finishers from over there will go to the GCHS to finish their educations? 

It is like our students who attend LCES are forgotten about. Someone needs to be watching out for them.

By Who Minds The Store on 09.15.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The really sad stories are left out.
The students who accrue debt and for whatever reasons, drop out of school after a year or two.

They have little hope of improving incomes, but still have debt.
More of them than you think.

By More sad ones to be told. on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Information made ‘public’ forces accountability.
Do not hold your breath lest you turn blue.

‘They’ want elected. Get their place at the trough.
Then discover ‘exposure’ makes their work more difficult.

Informed citizens make informed decisions.
Why do we see the same names being elected over and over and over?

By WHEN we're allowed to see it......? on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Lots of work to be done with schools in Gilmer County. 2017-2018 Summative Assessments out today for student achievement.

Gilmer County High School.

For Math
*Exceed or Meet Standards=40% of Students.
*Fail to Meet Standards=60% of Students

For Reading
*Exceed or Meet Standards=36% of Students
*Fail to Meet Standards=64%

The scores speak volumes. What was done to accurately determine causes of failures and what will be done about it? BOE, the public has a right to know answers.

By Public Demands Answers on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The Founding Fathers screwed up, we should not have to work and pay our bills. Let that man behind the tree work and pay for it all.
Free education should be a right.
Free food should be a right.
Free healthcare should be a right. 
Free transportation should be a right.
Free entertainment should be a right.

By Smart Feller on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Thank you BOE members and Mrs. Lowther. Let’s work together at all community levels to make Gilmer County an educational power house in West Virginia. We can do it as an effective team and provision of information will be the key to success.

By Better Times On The Way on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Accountability - good point - and across Gilmer County.  We’ve seen glimpses and pieces of news WHEN we’re allowed to see it, mere mortals that we are. But never any follow up.  And the information come in bits and pieces (remember when we actually got to SEE what the Gilmer County Commission was up to?)  My question is, why do we never see the accountability or repercussion for actions of current Gilmer ‘elite’??

By Transparency matters on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Encouraging news that the superintendent will present her goals for Gilmer Schools on 9/10.

We assume that there will be a commitment for specific goals to achieve, measurable outcomes, completion dates for different steps and final goal achievement, and a meaningful monitoring program to determine if we are on track or there is need for mid-course fine tuning.

If any of this is missing there will not be meaningful accountability. Excellent business plans have all the components addressed above.

By Waiting To See on 09.09.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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