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Obama’s Legacy

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Horoscopes: March 21, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

We are still riding high on the bright energy of the new moon, the total solar eclipse and the spring equinox of yesterday, with the Aries moon leading the way with the energy of a rambunctious child. Everything is a wonder seen through new eyes. “In the springtime, the only pretty ring time, when birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding.” — William Shakespeare

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Research shows that a stressed or nervous person can focus on only a few things at a time, while a calm person can take in more details. It’s one more reason for you to make yourself comfortable.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Part of the work ahead will have to do with healing family relationships or finding new ways of handling them. Focus first on your own feelings, especially the ones you’ve tried to push down or deny.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). The clock hands will smile on you. You’ll find shortcuts and ways to maximize your efforts. You’ll get the work done in half the time or fit twice the fun into your leisure hours.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). Softness and weakness are not the same thing. Anyway, forceful tools and attitudes won’t work today. A warm smile will put people immediately on your side.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). People aren’t always that nice. It’s why you choose to honor the kind ones you meet along the way with exchanges of appreciation and encouragement.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). In the culture of consumerism, effective marketing of substandard goods can net more profit than quality goods with bad or no marketing. You’ll busy yourself with the homework of a savvy consumer.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Trying to get a commitment out of someone is work, while trying to engage a person in one interesting moment is play. Don’t worry – you’ll be able to string those moments together with the right person.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You’ll truly feel like the master of your destiny this year, though you should understand that, as with all master-and-servant relationships, the servant also has quite a lot of power.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). A specific and unique reaction is a kind of gift that you give to another person, letting this person know that you are paying close and special attention to the nuances of who he or she is.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). You’ll be tested. You have an unfair advantage in this: your sharp powers of observation. If you watch and listen closely, people usually will subtly indicate to you exactly what they want you to do or say.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You’ll be inspired by a hero. This could be one you’ve long held in high esteem or one that’s created in a moment of valor. You, too, have heroic qualities, which is why you’re so impressed.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). On your quest to being a better person, you’re usually up for making improvements. What’s needed most now has nothing to do with action and everything to do with accepting and relaxing into how you are “as-is.”

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. You’re in sync with the cosmic clock, as evidenced by the “coincidental” good luck you experience over the next six weeks. May brings the kind of personal success that vindicates past slights. You’ll raise the morale and effectiveness of your family or a group. June shows you dancing with your love. Taurus and Capricorn people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 6, 17, 42, 38 and 21.

ASTROLOGICAL QUESTIONS: “The problem I’m having now is that getting along with everyone in my family and doing what a person has to do to keep a household of four running takes so much energy that I feel like I never get a break. I feel like I’ve been exhausted for nearly a decade. My husband is a kind person, but he is not very helpful or supportive. Whenever I get angry with him for being so self-centered as to expect that I’ll do everything around the house, work and take care of our children, he says, ‘At least I’m not a drug addict.’ I do not even know how to respond to that. What is an exhausted Pisces to do?”

The main thing is to sleep. Also clear the schedule to do things such as lounging around and loafing. There are many self-improvement and relationship-improvement techniques you might employ to make your life more organized or your husband more loving, but I don’t believe that will speak to your main problem as stated: exhaustion. And so, dear deeply empathetic, highly responsible, sensitive and caring Pisces, the very best thing you can do for yourself and your family might simply be to go to bed.

CELEBRITY PROFILES: Aries are known for youth and vitality, and the perennially boyish charms of Matthew Broderick prove the point. This father of three with wife Sarah Jessica Parker was born when the sun and Venus were in energetic Aries, and Mercury and Mars were in artistic, sensitive Pisces – ideal aspects for an actor’s life and craft. Look for Broderick in the upcoming Neil LaBute project “Dirty Weekend.”

Horoscopes: March 20, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

The new moon, the total eclipse of the sun and the spring equinox today are a fresh start, a “get out of jail free” card and a naming ceremony all in one. By the way, if you had to choose a different, more adventurous name for yourself, what would it be? Even if you only use this name when talking you-to-you, it could change your life.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You get a blast of cosmic sunshine and will continue to grow in vitality and power in the weeks to come. Already you may feel that you have the ability to see the potential in everything.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). When traffic lights aren’t working, the intersection becomes an every-man-for-himself situation. This illustrates the importance of clear communication. Be the functioning traffic light.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Face-to-face meetings will be extremely effective and well worth the trouble taken to make them happen. What you do for them may soon fade from memory, but what you do with them will stick.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). It’s like you have a velvet sack full of money, only it’s not money. It’s actually something much more valuable because it’s a currency that translates in every country without conversion. It’s love.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). A young Walt Disney once claimed to love Mickey Mouse more than any woman he’d known. Similarly, you’re falling in love with one of your own creations, and it will bring you great joy.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). You’ll use your natural comedic powers for good, helping people laugh at the absurd, the hypocritical and even at the painful experiences that go along with just being human.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Making people feel comfortable is a talent of yours, and you can put it to good use today, especially considering that one nervous person can ruin the vibe of the whole party.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). In a way, you’re an avenger ready to balance the scales of justice, though you’re not sure yet which methods and weapons are likely to work best for the situation.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Because you enjoy the ordinary, you are more likely to observe and experience extraordinary events. You’re headed into a cycle in which life will delight you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). The journalist Wes Izzard said, “If a man wakes up famous, he hasn’t been sleeping.” The hard work you do to gain attention for your cause, talent or project will pay off later.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). All relationships thrive on measured pacing. Reveal too much too soon, and the mystery is spoiled. Build anticipation instead. Make getting to know you a kind of adventure.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). As the sun leaves your realm, simple efforts may seem to take too much energy. When you don’t feel like it, do it anyway. Show up strong. Consistency will give more than it takes.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. Your equinox birthday is an omen for high energy, self-creation and self-declaration. You’ll lead others by being relatable and vulnerable and by connecting on the deeper levels that inspire true loyalty. Loved ones celebrate and spoil you in April. A professional win in July may inspire a new business later in the year. Scorpio and Gemini people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 4, 1, 22, 39 and 16.

WEEKEND LOVE FORECAST: ARIES: Confrontation can be loving or unnecessarily hurtful – make a heartfelt judgment call. TAURUS: If you compare everyone to an ideal, no one will be good enough. GEMINI: You’ll enjoy a well-matched volley of lighthearted argument – proof of a good match. CANCER: Your powers of observation are your most important dating tool now. See what the others don’t, and you’re golden. LEO: It is possible to enjoy the company of a totally self-absorbed person if you are also absorbed in this person. Otherwise, it’s a pain. VIRGO: You’ll either be holding out for someone of character or asking the one you’re with to rise to the occasion. LIBRA: Be careful what you say, write or send, as it could go on record for all to see. SCORPIO: Whether you get the social graces right or wrong, you’ll have an adventure. SAGITTARIUS: They’ll compete for you whether or not you realize you’re in a position of choice. CAPRICORN: Your compassion is luminous; your selflessness, heroic. AQUARIUS: With your best match, you can do more together than the sum of what each of you could do alone. PISCES: The ambivalence of people around you inspires you to commit fully to love.

COUPLE OF THE WEEKEND: The sun and the moon in Aries punctuated by an exciting total solar eclipse begs the question: Are two Aries a good match? These fiery, passionate, ever-young energies meld into a spectacular blaze that just might burn bright and then burn out. But if they stay together, it will never be boring. The couple can be saved or ruined by their love of competition, ala Brad and Angelina in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

Horoscopes: March 18, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person? If so, to what degree do spiritual pursuits impact your personal rituals, schedule and views? As Mercury and Neptune conjoin in the sacred realm of Pisces, you’ll ponder such matters. Even those who do not consider themselves to be very spiritual may find themselves searching the heavens.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Finding the blessing in each circumstance is like hunting for ancient buried treasure. You don’t even know what you’re looking for, but whatever object you strike, it will pay to mentally dust it off and investigate further.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). What you want to happen will require vitality, bravery and honesty. You have it in you, and you’re ready to do the work it takes, mainly because you see the worthiness of realizing this goal.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You can’t airbrush the present, but the past and the future can get as many touchups as you want to put on them. It’s not a bad idea, either. A little glamorization won’t hurt things.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). Set down the weapons you use against yourself, as they will not be required today. Neither will the weapons you use on the rest of the world. The events will unfold peaceably if you let them.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). The socialites and the dilettantes can be good friends to have, but you also need a few people in your mix who are ready to get their hands dirty and go to the deeper level of an interest that will take work. This is what inspires you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). When you’re not given the advantage you would prefer, what you are given instead is the chance for an up-by-the-bootstraps story that will show you (and the world) just how resourceful you are.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Disinterest can be mighty effective in making others try harder for your attention. That’s why you sometimes choose to deal reluctantly with something or someone you secretly can’t wait to get involved with.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Unprepared? It’s to your benefit. Today you’re the perfect candidate to try a relaxed approach. Stay ready to use whatever resources show up in the moment (including your charm).

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). The pursuit of pleasure won’t result in pleasure. This is because you don’t yet know what will bring you the most delight – it’s not the common or conventional thing. Today’s pleasure will come out of service to another.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). When the teller has to say “it’s a joke,” it’s not a joke. You’ll see right through lame humor and into the heart of a message. This is an opportunity for truth, and you’ll use it to set things right.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You’ll be in a contemplative mood. When you have to speak, you’ll do so with brevity and sincerity. Don’t be surprised if this makes you the most interesting person in the room.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). The reason you’re not moving as fast as you want to is because your mind is burdened. The mental ball and chain strapped to your ankle has physical consequences. You also hold the key, though, so free yourself.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. Adventure, financial bonus and exciting relationships are featured through the next three months. You’re prompt, and you prefer life events to meet you in that spirit. That’s why the waiting you do in August and September may baffle you, but will ultimately turn out to be your biggest blessing of the year. Love signs are Gemini and Sagittarius. Your lucky numbers are: 5,1, 3, 16 and 42.

UNUSUAL SPIRITUAL PRACTICES: The alignment of Mercury and Neptune in spiritual Pisces brings to question the role of spirituality in our daily lives. Certain spiritual practices may seem unusual to you, but different religions, cultures and individuals connect with their higher power in different ways.

Digambara Jain monks do not own or wear any clothing. At all. Ever. They have but two holy possessions: a feather broom and a gourd for water.

In some Mormon denominations, adult devotees wear undergarments considered so sacred that even speaking of them publicly is considered offensive.

The Mevlevi Sufi Order practices “whirling” to honor God. Wearing felt hats and long flowing garments, participants enter a state of religious ecstasy by twirling until dizzy.

African sangomas believe that to harmonize the energy between the living and the dead, animal sacrifices must be made. Sangoma rituals also include chanting, drumming, dancing and potions.

Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain their identity and religious sanctity by adhering to many strict rules. The list of forbidden activities includes the celebration of any holiday including birthdays, wearing a beard, getting a blood transfusion, saying the words “good luck” and purchasing Girl Scout cookies.

Horoscopes: March 17, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

May the luck of the Irish be with you this Saint Patrick’s Day, which happens under the socially uniting Aquarius moon. Also of note, Venus enters Taurus in the morning, a part of the sky that activates her cravings. Taurus is the sign of appetite, and people will be looking for sensual gratification, quality and luxury now through April 11.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). There are times when it’s better to risk, but not today. Chance will favor you because you make choices not to take chances. It’s as if chance appreciates the break.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). There’s a balance to strike between what you want to do and what life seems to keep leading you into. This has to do with a piece of history that needs to be revisited and forgiven.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You’ll get the best results because you turn it into a competition or because you realize you’re already in one. The challenge will be difficult, uncomfortable, exhilarating and productive.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). You don’t have to be fearful or tense. Your risk will be minimized by a safety net. When you feel like you have nothing to lose because you’ll be saved if you falter, you do much better.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). You’ll enjoy small talk and casual relationships now. A casual relationship that happens on a regular schedule will at times be more intimate than relationships in your inner circle.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). The family member who is misbehaving will get some of your focus, but try not to dwell there. You have better things to do with your thoughts and better emotions to feel, too.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). The thing is, you won’t know how much kindness is necessary for the situation, but it’s probably more than most people are applying. Anyway, you won’t be sorry if you give a little too much.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Change is much more strenuous than lazily pulling the covers over our head and staying in the cocoon of the life we’ve built thus far. This day pushes you up and out because you want the change badly enough.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). It doesn’t matter that they behave in illogical ways. Your own illogical reaction will be that you try to help and love them anyway. In this case, two wrongs do make a right.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Getting back on track might simply be a matter of making friends who have as much ambition as you have or used to have or want to have. They are out there. Put the word out.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). When you let go, you create space for something else to move in to your life. That doesn’t make letting go any easier, but it should make it more of a hopeful process.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You wouldn’t bet against yourself, and that’s what you’re doing if you project a negative and fearful view of the future. No worrying! This thing isn’t as major as your mind wants to make it.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. You’ll be proud of yourself at the end of this year for how hard you worked and how much you were able to accomplish. Stick with a tested plan for the next seven weeks – that’s how you’re going to be successful. After that, you can experiment, explore and push the boundaries. May and July are the most romantic months. Cancer and Scorpio people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 4, 2, 33, 37 and 19.

FORGET YOUR TROUBLES, COME ON, GET LUCKY, PART TWO: Shamrocks, leprechauns and the color green aren’t the only symbols that bring luck during this celebration of all things Irish. What talisman could your sign carry and keep to inspire greater fortunes? See the archives for yesterday’s part one report for Aries through Virgo! LIBRA: The mystic star is a seven-pointed star that not only represents your number of the zodiac, but also the seven treasures of the kings: wealth, happiness, love, luck, wisdom, respect and glory. SCORPIO: Your magnetic personality attracts greater fortune with actual magnets, especially naturally magnetic lodestone, also called magnetite. SAGITTARIUS: Dice are your lucky charm. These ancient game pieces have been used since before recorded history. They will remind you that in the risky game of life, anything can happen. CAPRICORN: Jade speaks to your earthy nature, and like you, it stays cool even when everything around it is hot. AQUARIUS: A good-luck compass tells you which direction to move for luck, love, money and more. There’s even an app version that suits your techno-style. PISCES: Pet fish bring good luck to you, specifically a goldfish or multiple gold fish. Note, it is said that for every eight goldfish, you should add one black one to the aquarium for temperance.

CELEBRITY PROFILES: Happy birthday to Rob Lowe, whose Hollywood life has been filled with the kind of poignancy, thrills, danger, political activism, comedy and romance that one might expect to see in the movies. The Pisces actor with Mercury and Jupiter in fiery Aries writes skillfully about it all in “Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography.”

Horoscopes: March 16, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Uranus and Pluto are playing a high-stakes game the likes of which will not be repeated for more than three decades. For this one, we’ll need to be daring and courageous, willing to do what’s radical, rebellious and even ridiculous. Note that sometimes acceptance, deep and real, can be the most radical move of all.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). This age-old business dictum will apply to you today: Sell them what they want; give them what they need. Also, note that it’s your attitude and not your skill level that will make a difference in your income.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You are capable of being fiendishly clever but will use your powers for good. Mostly you see the value of charming a certain someone, and this person is ready for your best moves.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). With those you love, there is a kind of “logic-free” zone today. You’re willing to extend your grace to include the things they say that don’t make total sense, as much of it won’t.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). What’s required is a perspective shift toward the lighter side. It’s a game, and you’ll go out there and win the game once you’ve approached it for the game it is.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). They might not like your ideas today, and that’s nothing to take personally, though it might bug you only because you know how right you really are. Approach again and tell them, “Let’s rework it.”

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). What you want to do has been done before and to great effect, and so all you have to do is tell your people how well it went. Describe in detail the wonderful future that awaits.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). The actions of the day bring both intended and unintended consequences. The less you try to control it the better. Grace will land you in interesting circumstances.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You have a tendency to overlook that which you know very well. You need good friends around you who will point out the qualities they admire in you, which are likely the ones you are blind to now.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). The tendency under this sky will be to stew and obsess on things. There may be an intellectual or comic benefit to doing so, but that doesn’t make it healthy.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Egyptian pharaohs weren’t the only people to bury themselves with their belongings as if it were possible to take it with them. Your realization that it’s all borrowed stuff will guide your choices today.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). It’s no use holding a mental seance for something you know is safely, patently gone. For you, this message is a reminder, but for the one who is obsessing about you, it’s a directive.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). For a while now, you’ve wanted to create some art. It’s not a matter of getting a chance; it’s a matter of seeing the chance. Try making quick things out of the sources available to you in any moment.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. You set your expectations of this year accordingly and find joy and satisfaction in many experiences. You have a gift for bringing people together to celebrate or make a difference in the world, and you’ll earn a role as a go-to social planner. April brings a windfall; June, a romantic surprise. Aquarius and Sagittarius people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 2, 24, 31, 29 and 50.

FORGET YOUR TROUBLES, COME ON, GET LUCKY: Tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration will happen under a friendly Aquarius moon, promoting goodwill, good fun and good luck. Shamrocks, the color green and leprechauns aren’t the only symbols that bring luck during this celebration of all things Irish. What talisman could your sign carry and keep to inspire greater fortunes? ARIES: The seeds of a puffy dandelion say that luck is in the air. Capture them in a glass to remind you that everything can change with a wish. TAURUS: Lentils are lucky, which is why in many cultures they are eaten on the first day of the year. Carry a few dried ones in your pocket for prosperity. GEMINI: A $2 bill in your wallet speaks to your duality and attracts money-doubling. CANCER: Driftwood is a beautiful call to your water-sign nature. LEO: Because your sign rules the heart, heart-shaped rocks that are naturally carved by wind and water speak to you. Collect as many as you see. VIRGO: A symbol of Lady Luck (typically a curvy bombshell swinging from a horseshoe) is another dimension of the maiden your sign is named for. Stay tuned for part two, Libra through Pisces, tomorrow!

CELEBRITY PROFILES: On this day in 1751, the father of the United States Constitution, the author of the Bill of Rights and the fourth American president, James Madison, was born. The sun was in Pisces, a highly intuitive, compassionate and theatrical placement, while Madison’s moon was in intensely motivated Scorpio. Mercury, his communication planet, was in Aquarius, which is the sign of the people.

Horoscopes: March 14, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Saturn goes retrograde and will continue this way until August. This change will not be as noticeable as the retrogrades of other planets and may even be experienced as a relief. Retrogrades tend to turn energy inward. Saturn retrogrades inspire people to work out their problems privately, which, for most, is the preferred method.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). It’s said that the smallest good deed is greater than the grandest intention. You’ll prove the point today with something you do spontaneously and unselfconsciously.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). If you can’t find time to exercise today, exercise your insides with laughter. Laughter makes your health better and your life longer. When you laugh, it’s because you can relate. It’s like your common sense is dancing.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). The altitude of your aim will make all the difference. You may not reach that flag, aircraft or star you’re shooting for, but you’ll get much further than the person trying to shoot at something on the same plane.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). All the seemingly good advice you hear today quite realistically is not. It’s because you can’t win in the future by doing the same things that worked in the past. Be inventive.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Experience may be the best teacher, but her methods are not for the faint of heart. The strong (like you) won’t mind how she tests you first and teaches you second.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). There are a lot of talkers around you. Don’t be seduced by their pretty words, because words are not enough. What people do only matters if they really do it.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). “What could have been?” is a question that seldom produces many helpful insights. The tendency is to fill in the blanks with a projection of a highly unlikely reality that is more glamorous and prosperous than this one.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You may feel that you are being experimented on, and that is not entirely untrue. But don’t be too paranoid. Instead, give the experimenter a run for his money.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). It’s not like you’re trying to fit in, but when you happen to go where people think, believe and do as you do, it’s a natural byproduct of the experience. Enjoy the perks that come with this, including close friendships.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). You’ll be tempted to go in for a quick fix. It might be the right answer for you, but don’t do it unless you’re sure. Examine all of your options first. You’ll regret acting out of impulsivity.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You have a unique way of connecting ideas and understanding the relationship between things. Some will find your methods “trippy,” but that won’t keep them from admiring and respecting you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). The pressure to be happy is too immense. Don’t succumb. People are not always as happy as they seem. Social media lies, and so does your internal voice at times.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. What you’re looking for will be less important than the journey. As soon as you win at one game, you’ll be on to the next. Power players will teach you the ropes in May. June will bring a windfall. Visitors will spice up your June. September will be a magical month during which improbable things will happen for you. Capricorn and Virgo people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 40, 2, 22, 28 and 39.

ASTROLOGICAL QUESTIONS: “For the past few years, I seem to be more in tune with the flow of nature, people and circumstances. I was born May 5, 1954, at 7:49 a.m. in Pasadena and was always very intuitive. About 20 years ago, I began working for large firms with all the technology that entails, but lately I’ve been drawn back to a simpler and greener life – and to using my favorite old film camera again. I’m even thinking of changing careers. Recently, I have had many dreams about flying, nature and history. And in the conscious world, animals of every kind respond to me as if I’m one of their own. What is going on?”

Beautiful! You’re spreading your roots. Taurus people feel most alive in the natural world, and as your life so beautifully illustrates, people can come back to their true nature at any time. Simplicity, animals, artistry, peaceful time spent in the wild – they’re all immensely satisfying to the Taurus-born. Your heightened sensitivity to the natural world and your gift for translating this artistically are evident. As the year progresses, revel in the different avenues for self-expression you’re discovering. You’re onto something.

CELEBRITY PROFILES: Early in his life, Albert Einstein struggled to harness and focus his extraordinary genius and was expelled from school. One of the greatest scientific thinkers of all time, Einstein was born under a Sagittarius moon. His natal Mercury, Venus and Saturn were in headstrong, curious Aries. His Jupiter in Aquarius suggests that his fortune came from a sincere sense of indebtedness to humanity.

Horoscopes: March 13, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Aristotle observed that reality looks different when experienced through various emotions. That’s why one can never assume that the others involved in an event are having a similar experience. The Pisces sun alerts us to tune in, check in and empathize with the intention of giving what’s needed wherever it’s needed most.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Integrate your talents instead of choosing between them. Anyone who tries to limit your activities isn’t being a friend right now, because you have the ability to do several things at once.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). There is no success without failure. No one feels good without the contrast of feeling bad. If you keep your attitude on track with the positive, the contrasts in this day will only make you stronger.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You build your reputation with each action you take. Little by little, day by day, your legacy is coming together. Tonight, someone new to your situation will give you a fresh point of view.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). You don’t want to “cry wolf,” and yet, in order to truly understand the strength of your support system, you have to put it to the test. Implement some version of a fire alarm.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Follow an orderly process, and you’ll be lucky. It will require more preparation than you think. In fact, most of the day will be spent in preparation for something that will unfold in less than an hour.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Heed the physical manifestation of hesitancy: a tightness in the throat and chest and/or a heaviness in the arms. While your ambition tries to push you forward, your intuition may hold you back.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). We all think things that should not be said out loud, but some people haven’t developed the social filter necessary to keep conversation polite. Luckily, your friends have you to keep them in check.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You love your family today, and you’ll treat most people you meet like they are a part of it. Domestic projects will be lucky, as will anything to do with feeding your people.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). What’s in your mind cannot be observed by anyone else, and today that’s a good thing, because you’re working on what truly belongs to you. Don’t share it. The world isn’t ready for it yet.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Wishes are not goals, but if you add a timeline, they will be. Tonight features an unexplainable spiritual bond. In the upcoming weeks, you’ll become more and more convinced that you belong together.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Your enthusiasm is catching. Your joy needs no qualifiers. It will open people up and make them feel like unleashing their own natural exuberance.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You’ll get better results when you ease up on yourself. Approve of yourself with that same generous approval you so readily give to others. Tonight will bring the end of a struggle.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. The next three months are a makeover for your life. You’ll fix the bothersome parts and celebrate three distinct wins. In June, a quest will take you to gorgeous locations where you’ll connect with interesting people. July brings a disruption to your plans, and the result you get in August will make it all worthwhile. Capricorn and Scorpio people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 40, 33, 1, 14 and 18.

WEEKEND LOVE FORECAST: ARIES: Happiness doesn’t come along every day. If there’s someone who makes you happy, treasure that person. TAURUS: You never know who is falling in love with your smile. GEMINI: As you search for love, keep this in mind: People who always do what they want are much weaker than those who regularly do what they don’t want. CANCER: They say people can’t make other people happy — that happiness is something generated from within. That premise will be disproved this weekend. LEO: Unlike cookies, you can’t copy a recipe for love, because there’s so much variation in the ingredients different people bring to the table. VIRGO: You wouldn’t believe who has a crush on you. You just wouldn’t believe it. LIBRA: Gold has no value until a human puts a price tag on it. Don’t be like that. Don’t wait for others to tell you what you’re worth. SCORPIO: When you laugh, you do it with your whole heart. That’s why loved ones laugh with you. SAGITTARIUS: When the ones you love are happy, you’re happy, too. CAPRICORN: Freedom means different things to different people. The restrictions you impose on yourself are more stringent than any imposed on you. AQUARIUS: Even though you have many attractive qualities, your humor will shine the brightest. PISCES: An intimidating someone is waiting for you to break the ice.

COUPLE OF THE WEEKEND: As the earthy Capricorn moon and the watery Pisces sun collaborate to cool down the fiery cosmic alliances of late, the natives of these two signs will feel increasingly attracted to one another. Capricorn is just the balance that Pisces needs, bringing structure, a winning attitude and a workable plan to the picture. Pisces paints Capricorn’s world with color, art, whimsy and deep emotions.

Horoscopes: March 12, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

When people change the subject, it can seem random, but it’s usually for a good reason. The universe is the same. Mercury’s shift from Aquarius to Pisces will be like changing the channel from the news to a Ted Talk. Don’t let the new programming throw you. You’ll still learn from it. The information will just hit a different part of your brain.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You admire self-control. That’s why you relate more readily to a person who is apparently struggling to hold back emotions and remain decorous than you do to someone who displays every passing feeling.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You wish your emotions had a volume control knob that you could twist at your leisure. Maybe they do! The more you practice the better you manage your feelings.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Your sense of humor will send a message: You’ve already risen above the petty squabbles and whatever other unpleasantness happens to be standing in the way of a good time.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). Everyone has insecurities about where they stand in a group. Your sensitivity to the topic will endear you to those who feel anxious and unsure of their standing. They are learning to trust you, and you are learning to lead them.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). You lived it, and you can’t unlive it. But you can put a new frame on this little piece of history – one that goes better with the new paint on the walls of your psyche.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). You may feel like you have to hide your true identity, but that’s not a horrible plight. Pretending to be less than who you are is the fate of all superheroes.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Avoid argument. A peaceful aura is attractive. In the evening, a loved one will impress you. Be sure to voice your feelings and share them. This person could use the validation.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Mistakes will happen during practice. Actually, mistakes are the very essence of practice. If there are no mistakes, it only means you’re not stretching enough.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). You don’t really need a rescue, but someone will offer you help, and you would be wise to take it. Not only will it make your life easier, but the “helper” will get more from the experience than you will.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). When the machines won’t let you accomplish what you need to do, it’s a sign. Instead of calling technical support, which could take hours, move on to the next (non-digital and ultimately rewarding) task.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Let someone in on your driving ambition, because help is all around you. With the support of a team, your best qualities will shine: a light heart, a witty tongue and a heartwarming laugh.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You have more charisma than you know what to do with. There are people out there gauging their social status by how much attention and affection they get from you.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. The biggest difference manifests because you take time for yourself every day this year. As your understanding of and relationship with your “self” deepens, so will your relationships with others. Love is a big theme starting in June, and you’ll move and change because of this. May and July are your biggest money months. Leo and Scorpio people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 1, 14, 38, 22 and 19.

ASTROLOGICAL QUESTIONS: “I’m a photographer, and I feel like I’ve gone creatively dead. Last week, I went out to take some pictures in a field I often use and brought two models with me. Nothing seemed to work or get me creatively sparking like it used to. I’ve lost my mojo, and the calls aren’t coming in. How can I get it back? I’m a Scorpio.”

Consider taking a break from models and fields to document the bits of your usual daily life. Scorpios have a talent for seeing deeply into ordinary things. But this is such a natural part of you that you tend to take it for granted. You often don’t even realize that what you see is different from what others see. Documenting a regular part of your typical day will help you appreciate what it means to be you and see like you do.

Ideas about what to document: a month of your breakfasts, the inside of your closet, the light from your favorite window at different times of day, the eyes of your favorite person – just the eyes – in a variety of moods. Put your mind to it, and you’ll come up with dozens of “studies” that will bring your mojo back!

CELEBRITY PROFILES: Sweet-voiced, soulful Pisces James Taylor has become a musical diplomat, serenading victims of terrorism and war. The multiple Grammy winner and occasional actor was born under a Pisces sun and an Aries moon. Each element of the zodiac is represented in his natal chart, suggesting varied interests and a well-rounded point of view.

Horoscopes: March 11, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Mars lines up with Uranus and then forms a square to Pluto, and the musical score goes “dum, dum, DUUUUUM!!!” Watch your step, choose your battles, and when things don’t feel quite right to you, do not hesitate to cross to the other side of the proverbial street. The best way to handle trouble is by avoiding it altogether.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Listen between the lines. In today’s case, “That might be possible, we’ll try our best . . .” may actually mean, “That seems pretty unlikely, and hopefully you’ll be satisfied with less.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). What one person considers direct, honest and necessary, another person may deem blunt, rude and unnecessarily hurtful. Test your audience before you choose your communication style.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Ask your question, and then wait and listen for the real answer. Don’t telegraph the answer you desire, or it will stop you from hearing the truth of what’s actually happening.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). Your gift from the cosmos is the gift of interpretation. You assign personal meaning to impersonal omens. You figure out what someone’s random acts mean to your life.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Statistics measure the past but can’t predict the future. It will be helpful to know about the past, because this will provide a rich context for the leap of faith you are about to take – a leap that flies in the face of historical evidence.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). The one who imparts a forceful and persistent vision will change the direction of a group. You’re still not sure whether you want that to be you or not. Take your time.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Right now there are more than seven billion lifetimes happening at the same time on this planet. A few of them are going to cross purposes with yours. Just remember, without challenges there are no adventures.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Today will bring the reality check you need. You don’t have to earn your worthiness. You were born with it. You have every right to speak up and push back, so do it unapologetically.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Ideas are fun to spin, but to manifest them in your physical environment, you have to make agreements with the truth and reality around you. Truth and reality are the foundational blocks you can build on.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). You’ll do the things that make you nervous. Don’t bother calming yourself down, because the nerves are precisely what will help people drop their defenses and relate to you on a human level.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Top performers know that you can’t always wait until your mood fits the task at hand. Neither can you rest on your personality and reputation. Whatever you lack in the moment, perform it. Pretending will make it so.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You are tempted to purchase a service that you don’t need. Is this a selfish splurge? Maybe and maybe not. If it makes you feel better and doesn’t put anyone else out, then go for it.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. This year you’ll be sunshine in the lives of those who need it. The next seven weeks amplify your passion, and you’ll be most persuasive – apply it to getting something big. April brings a seemingly high-risk opportunity (the odds are secretly and definitely in your favor). June features new friends and great love. Leo and Cancer people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 4, 15, 26, 33 and 5.

ASTROLOGICAL QUESTIONS: “My Taurus husband wants a divorce. I don’t want to get divorced because I consider that to be giving up. Also, I will feel like a failure at life if I can’t make my marriage work. Also, I’m afraid of how my three boys will be affected – a 5-year-old Gemini and two 8-year-old Capricorns. I do understand that we don’t have fun anymore as a family and that my husband and I have not had much between us for over a year. He wants to move on, and he thinks we’ll all be better off. Is there any way to save it? I’m a Gemini.”

If you fight your Taurus husband on this matter, he will only dig his heels in and become even more convinced that he is right. If he is to come around, it will have to be of his own accord. Your best bet is to get into a happy place with yourself and your boys. This may sound impossible at this juncture, but it’s well within your ability. Go on a vacation. Have fun. Get moving. Join a gym, take up karate or start a hiking club with your girlfriends. Make your own healing your No. 1 priority.

CELEBRITY PROFILES: The Madden Brothers, Benji and Joel Madden, turned the hard knocks and family pain of their youth into the music that ultimately liberated them from the financial and emotional hardship of their past. The creativity and soul of their natal sun and Mars in Pisces mixes well with the fiery theatricality of a Leo moon. Venus in Aquarius shows a strong impetus to “pay it forward.”

Horoscopes: March 10, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

The particular kind of fiery cosmic harmony that’s happening between Mars and Jupiter is not going to happen again this year, so be sure to act on the bourgeoning bold feelings. Go at your situation from a new angle. Ask a different question. Decide to play a fresh role in the scene and watch how this transforms the main action.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). There are things you want to do that your life isn’t allowing for right now. Good news: There will be time later. Hopefully, knowing this, you’ll be able to focus joyfully on your current responsibilities.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Riding the tide is easier in a friendly ocean. Do some research before jumping into a new situation. Ask around for personal recommendations. There are many choices out there, and some will be better than others.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You will get what you want, but not all at once. The small increments are a kind of test. When you’re grateful for each part of the blessing, blessings will keep coming.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). Get back in touch with your values and preferences. They’ve changed, and that’s why a decision has been difficult for you. Once you’re clear again about what matters to you most, deciding will be easy.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). You’ll walk the line between being super-responsible and being the kind of person just about everyone can relate to. Because people feel they can trust you while still having fun, you’ll win friends and new business.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Whether you’re trying to motivate colleagues, entice customers or simply ask a favor of someone, take time to set a mood first. A beautiful environment could be the difference between success and failure.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Some parts of the day will go according to schedule, and some will not. Keep your cool. An attitude of flexibility and friendliness will establish trust and promote good will.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Listen up! Loud silence will tell you more than soft words, especially when you’re communicating with a water sign (which are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces).

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). The best advice, input or direction you get will be downplayed. The magic words to listen for are, “This might sound crazy, but . . .” The phrase may come from your own psyche.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). You forge bonds with very few words and build instant rapport. You hesitate to use your talent for connecting with people for personal gain, though. There’s good reason to stop being so self-effacing. Get on your own team!

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Those who have great virtues are also capable of having great vices. That’s why it’s important not to place anyone on a pedestal. We are all equals with different circumstances.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You’ll be dealing with people who want to please you today. If you really want to know what they think, don’t share your own thoughts first. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. People like what you’re about. You’ll double your support base over the next 10 weeks. April brings heart-soaring adventure. You get serious about a personal goal in May. Pursue a business, product or invention in June, and continue working on it until you’re satisfied your work has made the world a better place. Cancer and Sagittarius people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 1, 8, 28, 4 and 15.

ASTROLOGICAL QUESTIONS: “Please tell me the best way to deal with my psycho ex-wife. She makes my life miserable at every turn. We have been divorced for 12 years, and she is still at war with me, even though she has remarried twice in that time period. As far as I can tell, she got her law degree simply so she could make my life a legal nightmare. She always makes it difficult for me to see my children, she turns them against me, and she bleeds me dry financially. Please help. She’s a Virgo, and I’m a Taurus.”

As two earth signs, you have similar values, which can make negotiations tough: You both want the same thing, mainly your children’s well-being, love and respect. Consider that you may be more stubborn than you want to admit, and try to own up to your part in this drama, if only to yourself. The honesty will help you stay calm and balanced. Avoid a fight. Give in wherever you possibly can, especially on the minor details that matter so much to her. Try to be civil even when she is not. Take heart in knowing that you will only be tied to her until your children are grown. The end is in sight.

CELEBRITY PROFILES: Carrie Underwood was feeling “too pregnant” to attend the Grammys this year, but the Pisces superstar was thrilled to win. The accomplished and yet still relatable country music superstar was born when the sun and Mercury were in Pisces, indicating strong intuitive guidance. Her Venus and Mars in Aries brings the endless energy she’ll need for juggling motherhood and a busy career.

Horoscopes: March 09, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

When the questions we ask yield unsatisfactory answers, the smart way is to resist the futile tactic of trying again with the same question over and over. Mars and Jupiter are coming together to form an auspicious fire-sign trine to inspire new questions, accompanied by the boldness to ask them. The answers will break our problems wide open.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). For now, it’s foolish to worry about consistency. You’re evolving. For all you know, you could have a completely opposite opinion tomorrow, and that’s fine. The important thing is that you trust yourself along the way.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Your success is riding on the way you talk to yourself and how you react to your own thoughts. When you get your inside game going right, your outside game will follow suit.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). When you talk about your friends, you put them in the best light possible, and they do the same for you. This habit is bringing your group closer together. More people will want to be a part of it.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). No one can know everything. Admitting when you don’t know (especially when it seems that everyone else does know) takes high self-esteem and a lack of ego.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Try to remember your dreams. The frustration of your dreams will show you the frustration in your life – ditto with the good parts. You will first solve a problem subconsciously, and then solving it actually will be easy.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is if no one knows about it and no one buys it. You’ll get the word out in both traditional and more innovative ways today, and what follows is that you get the success you seek.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). There’s a reason the idea keeps coming back to you. Stop pondering and get started. You may not feel like now is the right time, but if you wait until the feeling is perfect, you’ll wait all year.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Self-promotion isn’t really about you. It’s about showing the world how you can help. If you know you have something valuable to offer, then failing to offer it is a theft from those who need you most.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Steer clear of blanket judgments. If you listen to them, they will dull your mind, and if you spout them, they will dull the way you are perceived by others. Instead, be specific. Say what you really feel. Be you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). It’s easy to get down at this time, and that’s why when you opt for the more difficult choice, cheerfulness, you’ll show your superior character (and attract others of the same ilk).

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Your day feels like one long Internet surfing session. One link leads to the next, interests connect, the world enlarges, and you get a taste of many different sensibilities.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). The appearance of talented young people on the scene will influence events. All will adjust to make way for new ideas. Today you’ll be deciding your role in this.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. Your ambitions cannot be fulfilled alone, and you’ll get comfortable delegating, partly because you won’t ask anything of them that you would not gladly, proudly do yourself. Bonus money comes this month. April brings new responsibilities. An exciting trade happens in August. You’ll gain wisdom and spiritual insight. Scorpio and Aquarius people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 14, 4, 33, 39 and 50.

ASTROLOGICAL QUESTIONS: “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust another man again. And if I do, it won’t be a Capricorn. It turns out that my soon-to-be-ex-husband was cheating on me for years with not one, but TWO different women. And until a few weeks ago, I never suspected a thing. He covered his tracks so well! What should a Scorpio soon-to-be-divorcee do next? I want to get it right this time!”

Branding all Capricorn men as possible cheaters is not fair! Most Capricorn men are decent, honest and hardworking. Just because one match didn’t work out doesn’t mean you couldn’t create a better relationship with another person of the same sign. But that’s not what’s most important now. A year off of dating is the best “next move.” You’re not even divorced yet! You’re still spinning from all the new information you’ve recently received. Furthermore, you need time to process what has gone on in your marriage. Take responsibility for your part in it so that you don’t think of yourself as a victim who’s been wronged. You’re a powerful creator, Scorpio. One of your symbols is the phoenix, and like that magnificent and magical bird, you will rise up from the ashes renewed.

CELEBRITY PROFILES: Pisces is the sign of dreamy imagination, blithe spirit and deep empathy – qualities that Pisces actress Juliette Binoche brings to every project, whether she’s starring with the most famous monster in the world, Godzilla, or in a heartfelt drama like the recent “Nobody Wants the Night.” Binoche has her natal Mercury and Mars in Pisces, too, adding to the ethereal innocence she radiates at every age.

Horoscopes: March 08, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

When archeologists unearth the secrets of human history, they can’t help but simultaneously destroy the pristine arrangement of artifacts. That’s why meticulous record keeping is fundamental to the job. Considering this busy Libra moon’s various interactions, careful documentation will later help us reconstruct this blur of a day.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Sometimes it’s fun, but more often, making yourself remarkable takes arduous effort. Because you’re willing to go through the difficulty of mastering your talent, you’ll take the praise and awards in stride, too.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You have limits just like everyone else, but your limitations are not where you think they are. In fact, the boundaries are so movable, you shouldn’t even think about them. Instead, follow your curious mind.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You want truth. You want it more than money or even love. It’s not an everyday quest. There are times when too much truth can be a burden. But it’s perfect for now, and you’ll get what you seek.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). There is no reason to feel lost in the big world or afloat in the vast universe. Because the only thing you can experience right now is you, assume you’re at the center of it all, and turn it into a place that reflects you.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). You’ll find the outside world to be neither inherently helpful nor hurtful, and neither is it beautiful or ugly. Rather, it’s a neutral place awaiting your take on it. Once you decide what you want to see, you’ll see it.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). You’re a kind of one-man band now, using technology to do many things at the same time. Does it have to be this way? It’s certainly less complicated than it would be otherwise. At least you don’t have to report to anyone else.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). You’re curious about what you can become through thinking and action. Answer: anything you want to be, but not everything you want to be. You’ll focus on one thing and deliver.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You will air grievances and let them go. That doesn’t mean you’ll go back to the way things were before the problem came up. Relationships will heal, but the healing will change them, too.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). The natural world is a living mystery, full of clues. You’ll read the signs in nature and feel a great sense of connection when you figure out where those signs are pointing.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). If you had a personal sound effect today, it would be the sound of tumultuous applause, because so much of what you do will be met with enthusiastic approval. Your status is on the rise.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). There is not another church or creed on Earth that could inform you as well as your own intuition. It may be telling you to “do nothing at all,” and if so, that is as valid an instruction as any.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). The ocean tide may be mighty, but it’s a kind of drone really, obeying the gravitational pull of the moon. You and the moon have something in common now. You’re both more powerful than you realize.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. You’ve been afraid to share your vivid imagination for fear of what others will think. Well, the smart ones will think you’re a genius, so share! An inspiring person makes you work harder, and by the end of April, you’ll shine and win an award for it, too. June blesses your personal life, and July makes you richer. Taurus and Gemini people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 35, 28, 4, 14 and 11.

FORECAST FOR THE WEEK AHEAD: Feeling ambitious? This is a week when wishes become purposes. Airy-fairy dreams are netted and brought down so you can secure them to a newly poured concrete foundation. Imaginative realities get written down on paper, cast in clay molds or built into 3D virtual realities so others can play inside them. So who is insisting that the ethereal, dreamy tendencies of the Pisces sun get so realistic? In the early week, it has a lot to do with a fiery trine of Mars and Jupiter that serves to energize desire, set passion aflame and obliterate limitations.

Midweek, the lucky dust settles on the first signs of complication. There’s a Uranus alignment and then strife with Pluto that promises to stir up trouble. Here’s the good news: Trouble is easily avoided for those who heed their instincts. The Pisces sun gives intuition a stronger voice. On Thursday, Mercury crosses into psychic Pisces, too, further helping the situation. When you sense trouble, cross to the other side of the street.

But let’s say you don’t avoid the trouble, instead opting to take it on. In that case, just remember that without challenge, there is no adventure.

CELEBRITY PROFILES: “CSI: Cyber” star James Van Der Beek is a Pisces actor with his communication planet also in the sign of the fish. Was it fate that brought him to acting? He decided to try out for his school play after a serious football injury took him out of the sport. This twist of fate helped him find his passion for performing. Van Der Beek’s natal Saturn, the lessons planet, is in Leo, the sign of show business.

Horoscopes: March 07, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

It takes two flints to make a fire and two people to tango, and “it takes two to make a thing go right.” The Libra moon brings our attention to partnership and all that can be accomplished by working with another. Sure, there’s work that’s best accomplished solo, but even those activities will be a lot more fun when you involve someone else.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). If people aren’t responding the way you wish they would, maybe it’s not you – maybe it’s them. There are many who simply don’t understand the things you’re so good at.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Oddly, when you don’t expect to be paid for a job, you’ll approach it with more joy. An interesting relationship begins with your expert service to another person who desperately needs it.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You don’t bore easily because you’re always looking into the deeper layers of what’s going on. Write down your observations about life because they will add depth to a future project.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). The people who think it’s important to be right are actually quite wrong about that. Letting go of the need to be right will liberate your energy and vitality.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Once you bond, you don’t easily separate from a person. Today you have nearly telepathic abilities with someone you’re firmly attached to, and all you discuss will serve to further cement the tie.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). There are many types of bathing. You’ll bathe not only in water, but also in music, attention, beauty, intellect and love. So many wonderful things will wash over you that you will feel blessed, indeed.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). You get better at a game each time you play it. When it’s over, sign up for another round. Courtship is a kind of game, too, and it’s one you’ll enjoy this weekend.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You’re foolproof today – you absolutely can’t be fooled unless you choose to fool yourself. There might be good reasons for doing that. If you do go along with a falsehood, it will probably be in the name of compassion.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Fewer commitments mean less stress. Less stress means greater joy. Greater joy means extra powers of attraction. Extra powers of attraction mean more love.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). There’s a reason why life seems to go in slow motion when you encounter someone very attractive. Rushing around is for amateurs. Calm down, move slowly, enjoy your time, and get there early.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Just because a task is difficult doesn’t mean it will earn you points. Some of the easiest jobs will earn you adoring attention, like the job of listening carefully to others and helping them feel how important they are.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Kindred souls are all around, though you’ll have to look for them. When you find one who fits the profile, get all the relevant information to keep in touch. This is special. It’s a sign that there are many more out there.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. Your cosmic birthday present is remarkable clarity of mind. Apply it to April’s important decisions. Stressful burdens will be lifted in May, allowing you greater powers of self-discipline that enable you to establish positive habits. Your relationships with people of a different generation will make you rich in many ways. Cancer and Scorpio people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 20, 10, 24, 3 and 15.

ASTROLOGICAL QUESTIONS: “I’m a Scorpio. You wrote that honesty is liberating for Scorpios, and I’ve been practicing radical honesty lately. I love it. I told my sister that her stories are boring, my mom that her cornbread is dry and my girlfriend that I liked her old haircut better. Guess what? My sister won’t talk to me, my girlfriend broke up with me, and Mom is making me make my own food. If honesty is so great, why does everyone hate it except me? Should I just go back to pretending?” Sharing your negative opinions is honesty for amateurs and total jerks. Anyone can point out people’s flaws and tear down their mood and self-esteem. A person of good character is usually looking for (and finding!) something nice to say that will build people up. As for the liberating kind of honesty, it’s usually something that starts with telling the truth to yourself. For instance, maybe you can look deep into your own heart and psyche and ask: What is it that’s really bothering me that would make me want to alienate the people who love me? You may find the answer to that question liberating, indeed.

CELEBRITY PROFILES: Look for Jenna Fischer in the upcoming drama “Kiss Me.” The versatile Pisces is perhaps best known for her role as Pam Beesley in the hit television series “The Office.” With Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in Aquarius, Fischer feels strongly compelled to help those who cannot help themselves, especially animals who need advocates. Fischer fosters animals and hosts events to raise money for animal rescue.

Horoscopes: March 06, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Tending to personal responsibilities will take most of the day, but evening will bring a fresh perspective, as the lunar shift from Virgo to Libra brings a mood change. Letting loose will seem all the more imperative with the contrast of a hard day’s work. Also, the Libra lunar influence urges us to include friends and potential partners in the fun.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). An African proverb says, “He who is carried on another’s back does not appreciate how far off the town is.” That’s why you only carry those who truly need the lift.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You wonder sometimes whether you are making a choice or the choice is making you. This is the dilemma of the day, and your mindfulness of it will profoundly affect the future.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Do not proceed under the supposition that it’s supposed to be a good time. Is family involved? Weird friends? Difficult co-workers? Expect that it’s going to be a problem that’s just the right size for you to solve brilliantly.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). If you put the effort into being extremely clean, tidy and organized, you will also reap the benefit of this. You’ll be respected and well thought of. You’ll be chosen for something important.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). When life teeters on the edge of boring, surprise chaos will liven things up. Whew! That was close. It will take extra effort to set things straight again, but you’ll be laughing the whole time.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). You are favored for the win in whatever games and battles you take on. Before you agree to the fight, make sure the win is worth fighting for. Make sure it’s something that would benefit you in the long run. Think it through.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). The good thing about getting more money than you were expecting (a rare and wonderful cosmic gift of the day) is that it not only gives you more options, but it also gives you more hope.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You don’t practice childish ways, because you are past that age. As for your colleagues, you’ll have to set an example and hope that they will follow. The day will bring a minor intervention.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Animals puff up when they are threatened. Fur or feathers stand on end; fish take in more air to appear bigger; people do the same thing. When you see this reaction, ask: What is this person afraid of?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Partnerships are either a pain or an adventure. There is no in-between today, so don’t expect things to coast along. Tonight, open up your mind and heart, and something unexpected will happen.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You want to present something different to your people, but before you do, it’s good to adjust your expectations of their reactions. Some like change; some don’t. Everyone will need time to process the information.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Stick with the funny people. Laughter not only heals; it massages your insides. That’s why the silliness and comedy you pursue (even when you are supposed to be working) are worthy endeavors.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. This year you adapt to different circumstances. At first you’ll fit in, and then you’ll take charge, and ultimately you’ll thrive. The next seven weeks show you getting a specialized education. Invest in June. You’ll be promoted in an arena that matters to you in August. Family will celebrate you in September. Cancer and Sagittarius people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 14, 2, 29, 48 and 50.

WEEKEND LOVE FORECAST: ARIES: The best results come from a shared desire. Find out what the other person wants. TAURUS: People need space. Respect the boundaries, and you’ll be golden. GEMINI: Fitting in isn’t as important as being yourself. The right person will accept who you are. CANCER: Your faith in the other person will pay off. Figure out what you believe about him or her, and believe it completely. LEO: Regarding your ex: Take time to mourn what you’ve lost because you can’t go on until the mourning process is over. VIRGO: There’s a lot that needs tending to in the world. You’ll meet someone special or connect with someone you already love while you try to solve a local problem. LIBRA: Study. While you’re taking care of your mind, you’ll inadvertently take care of your heart. SCORPIO: Your open mind helps you learn about people and predict them better, too. SAGITTARIUS: Your logical mind may argue, but your heart (and the chemistry you feel) will know better. CAPRICORN: You make efforts to be lovable, although they would love you either way. AQUARIUS: You’re easygoing, and the people around you will enjoy every minute with you. PISCES: Sometimes you wish the people in your life were as loyal as the animals you know.

COUPLE OF THE WEEKEND: As the Libra moon reflects off of the Pisces sun, these two artistic signs will be drawn to each other. Both have a deep appreciation for the heart, soul and life choices that go into the mastery of a discipline, so events that center on celebrating the cream of the crop in any field will bond Pisces and Libra together. Music is another bonding agent for soulful Pisces and harmonious Libra.

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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'.

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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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