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WV Agriculture Commissioner Calls Press Conference to Reveal Plans for 2012 Election

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Longtime West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass has called a press conference at the West Virginia Department of Agriculture office in the West Virginia Capitol Building, Room E-28, Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM.

The purpose of the conference is to discuss his intentions regarding the 2012 general election.

Governor Orders U.S. and State Flags Lowered

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Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has issued a proclamation ordering all U.S. and state flags displayed at state facilities lowered to half-staff the entire day of Sunday, May 15, 2011, in commemoration of all federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty.

May 15 is recognized as Peace Officers Memorial Day.

“Our men and women in uniform ensure public safety and maintain order,“ said Governor Tomblin. “While we pay tribute to those who, because of their commitment to duty, have left us far too soon, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these brave men and women. We are truly thankful for the service that our officers provide and the passion with which they perform their duties.“

Peace Officers Memorial Day is held annually in the United States on May 15 in honor of federal, state and local officers killed or disabled in the line of duty, and is held in conjunction with Police Week, which will be observed May 15 through May 21, 2011.

WV Board of Education Seeks Input on Driver Ed

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The West Virginia Board of Education is seeking comment on proposed updates to state driver education content standards to address distracted driving and add rigor.

Board members voted Wednesday during their May meeting to place the policy revisions on a 30-day public comment period.

Updates to Policy 2520.8, Next Generation Driver Education Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia were suggested by teachers during the West Virginia Safety and Driver Education Conference in March. Teachers who worked on the proposed changes said the growing use of cell phones, GPS, and other technologies while driving has made distractive driving an issue soon to surpass driving under the influence as the major cause of car crashes among teenagers, based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The changes also incorporate 21st century learning and rigor to strengthen the standards.

Educators, parents and community members are encouraged to review the policies and make suggestions.

The policies can be viewed and comments can be submitted by going to the West Virginia Department of Education website at wvde.state.wv.us/policies.

Glenville: Gilmer County Gospel Sing - 05.14.11 - Today

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There will be a Gospel Sing today, Saturday, April 09, 2011 at 6:30 PM at the Gilmer County Senior Center in Glenville.

Special Singers: Stalnaker Sisters of Weston and McHenry Sisters.

Everyone Welcome!

Glenville: 3-Family Yard Sale – Saturday and Sunday

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There will be a large 3 family yard sale Saturday, May 14, 2011 and Sunday May 15, 2011 at Katrina Jones.

Going out of Glenville toward Sand Fork right below Appcon look for the signs.

Items to be sold 2 Dodge Stealths, dirt bike, guitars, some electronics, fishing hunting supplies, wagon wheel chandler, Halloween decorations, 7 foot Christmas tree, child golf clubs, lots of household items, boys toys, VHS tapes, girls size 12 like new jeans, and lots more.

Something for everyone so stop by and make a deal.

Gilmer County Republican Executive Committee Meeting – 05.16.11

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The Gilmer County Republican Executive Committee will have a meeting at the Best Western Conference Center on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 6:00 PM.

All Republicans urged to attend.

G-Comm™: The Persecution of John Demjanjuk

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“John Demjanjuk Guilty of Nazi Death Camp Murders,“ ran the headline on the BBC. The lede began:

“A German court has found John Demjanjuk guilty of helping to murder more than 28,000 Jews at a Nazi death camp in Poland.“

Not until paragraph 17 does one find this jolting fact: “No evidence was produced that he committed a specific crime.“

That is correct. No evidence was produced, no witness came forward to testify he ever saw Demjanjuk injure anyone. And the critical evidence that put Demjanjuk at Sobibor came—from the KGB.

First was a KGB summary of an alleged interview with one Ignat Danilchenko, who claimed he was a guard at Sobibor and knew Demjanjuk. Second was the Soviet-supplied ID card from the Trawniki camp that trained guards.

There are major problems with both pieces of “evidence.“

First, Danilchenko has been dead for a quarter of a century, no one in the West ever interviewed him, and Moscow stonewalled defense requests for access to the full Danilchenko file. His very existence raises a question.

How could a Red Army soldier who turned collaborator and Nazi camp guard survive Operation Keelhaul, which sent all Soviet POWs back to Joseph Stalin, where they were either murdered or sent to the Gulag?

As for the ID card from Trawniki, just last month there was unearthed at the National Archives in College Park, Md., a 1985 report from the Cleveland office of the FBI, which, after studying the card, concluded it was “quite likely” a KGB forgery.

“Justice is ill-served in the prosecution of an American citizen on evidence which is not only normally inadmissible in a court of law, but based on evidence and allegations quite likely fabricated by the KGB.“

This FBI report, never made public, was done just as Demjanjuk was being deported to Israel to stand trial as “Ivan the Terrible,“ the murderer of Treblinka. In a sensational trial covered by the world’s press, Demjanjuk was convicted and sentenced to hang.

But after five years on death row, new evidence turned up when the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia opened up. That evidence wholly validated the claims of Demjanjuk’s defenders.

Not only had Demjanjuk never even been at Treblinka, the Soviet files contained a photograph of the real “Ivan”—a larger and older man.

To its eternal credit, the Israeli Supreme Court reversed the conviction, rejected a request to retry Demjanjuk as a camp guard elsewhere in Poland, freed him and sent him home to America.

~~  By Pat Buchanan ~~

David McKinley: Raise the Debt Limit But Not Cut Spending?

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Over the years, Congress has spent trillions of dollars we didn’t have. The bill is now due.

To pay for it, the White House is asking Congress to borrow more money by raising the debt ceiling.

Amazingly, the president wants lawmakers to send him a “clean” bill to sign.

That’s Washington-speak for “blank check.“

In other words, Obama is calling for the status quo: another debt ceiling increase with no spending cuts or reforms in exchange.

It is worth noting that a non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office report made clear that “the debt limit does not control or limit the ability of the federal government to run deficits or incur obligations. Rather, it is a limit on the ability to pay obligations already incurred.“

Raising the debt limit does not increase or decrease spending; it simply allows the government to pay its bills. 

No one wants to see this country default on its obligations and incite a financial meltdown.

But I refuse to give this fiscally reckless president my vote to raise the debt ceiling unless he agrees to pair it with major structural restraints on Congress’ ability to spend money.

Whether it is a balanced budget amendment, enforceable discretionary spending caps in the future or serious spending reductions now — or some combination thereof — we must demand reform.

Suppose an irresponsible teenager was lent the family credit card to pay for gas but instead spent several hundreds of dollars on the latest entertainment technology, or fancy clothes, or a lavish dinner with friends.

As parents, you are not entitled to tear up the bill just because you did not authorize your teenager’s purchases.

But what you can and should do is take away the credit card and demand the teenager begin repaying the family for his excesses. 

This current Congress finds itself in a similar situation. It inherited a federal government that is $14 trillion in debt, borrowing 42 cents of every dollar it spends.

Washington spends $4 billion more than it takes in every day.

The state of West Virginia spends $4 billion to fund its entire government for one year.

In mid-April, we passed a bill to cut $38.5 billion in spending through the end of this fiscal year. This was the largest annual spending cut in American history, and it saved taxpayers nearly $80 billion from what President Obama would have spent had his own proposed 2011 budget been enacted.

But $38.5 billion is no more than a very small step in the right direction, and more must be done to work towards a balanced budget. While tough decisions are required to accomplish this, the first several steps are common sense.

For instance, the Government Accountability Office recently found that the federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on a duplicative programs: 82 programs to improve teacher quality, 80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation, 47 for job training and employment and 56 to help people understand finances.

If we consolidated most of these programs, the savings could be significant.

Truly getting serious about stopping illegal immigration is another potential source of spending reductions. A recent report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform notes that the federal government spends $29 billion annually on services for illegal aliens.

Another GAO report indicates Medicare lost $48 billion to fraud and other improper payments in 2010 alone. Congress’ failure to first address massive Medicare fraud before sharply reducing benefits for future retirees was one of the chief reasons I broke with my party on the budget that recently passed the House. 

Some in Washington say that the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling are unimaginably severe — that our financial markets will be thrown into a turmoil that would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, that the government will be unable to pay Social Security benefits and military wages, that the full faith and credit of the United States of America is at stake.

They may be right.

But the status quo is equally dangerous. We are on an unsustainable path that will lead to a troubling future for our children and grandchildren.

Thomas Jefferson recognized this, saying, “We shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves.“

We cannot raise the debt ceiling without simultaneously taking away Congress’ credit card for good.

President Obama and his free-spending supporters must realize that his request to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts is a non-starter.

Fundamental reforms that put us on a path toward fiscal responsibility are absolutely necessary to earn my vote on the debt limit.

Manchin’s Message from the Hill to the Mountains: RELIEVING PAIN AT THE PUMP

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In states across this nation, and particularly in West Virginia, countless families must drive to survive. For them, a jump in gas prices isn’t an annoyance, it’s a threat that hits hard in the pocketbook and threatens their way of life.

High gas prices are not a new phenomenon. We’ve seen this bad movie time and again, yet somehow it seems that Washington keeps expecting a different ending.

The right ending will only come when elected leaders decide that achieving energy independence within this generation is a high priority.

I know we can do this. Just this week in beautiful Mingo County, West Virginia, I helped break ground on a promising new project that could help bring down gas prices that are crushing our families..

There, entrepreneurs and the state and local governments are partnering to create hundreds of jobs at a cutting-edge coal-to-gasoline plant.

The plant is projected to convert 7,500 tons of West Virginia coal into 756,000 gallons of premium gasoline each day, which can be used to run our cars and trucks – and even some of our military equipment.

Over a four-year construction period, it’s estimated that 3,000 skilled trade workers will be employed. And when the plant is finished, it is expected to create 300 direct, full-time jobs with hundreds more ancillary jobs in the community.

In West Virginia and Mingo County, the government is acting as a partner, not an obstacle, and that’s the role our federal government should take going forward.

West Virginians are sending this very clear message: we won’t let ourselves be held hostage because we are dependent on foreign countries for oil.

West Virginia also proves that we can use all our domestic resources to break our cycle of dependence on foreign oil within this generation. It doesn’t matter whether your state has oil, coal, natural gas, geothermal, nuclear, biomass, wind, solar, or hydro – we have to harness all the tremendous resources right here in America.

That is one of the many reasons I’m cosponsoring the American Alternative Fuels Act with my colleague John Barrasso from Wyoming. The bill would break down barriers to alternative energy fuels, including those from coal.

There are also targeted actions we can take now to help reduce the price of gas for our families.

I’ve signed on to an important piece of bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Herb Kohl from Wisconsin – the No Oil Producing & Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act. The bill would finally allow the Department of Justice to go after foreign countries such as the members of OPEC for price-fixing.

We must also address speculation and oil company subsidies. Right now, there’s no lack of oil on the market. Our real problem is the pure greed of some who are taking advantage of the instability in the Middle East to line their pockets on the backs of American families.

We should reform tax policies that continue to subsidize oil companies even as the price of a barrel of oil continues to climb and profits are at a record high. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make these subsidies available only when the cost of production exceeds the price of a barrel of oil? That’s a commonsense approach that keeps us safe, ensures stable and steady production and doesn’t force taxpayers to fill the bank accounts of major oil companies.

Because we must do more to protect American families, I’ve encouraged the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to take aggressive steps in the short term to regulate and pursue the oil speculators who are driving the price of a gallon of gas through the ceiling.

While the most important thing our country can do is establish a national energy plan for independence, all of these commonsense actions can help make sure we relieve the financial pressures on our families and secure our nation.

As always, please share your ideas, priorities and concerns with me at “common_sense@manchin.senate.gov”. And please join me in person the next time I hold one of my “Coffee and Common Sense” events in your neighborhood. More information is available on my web site: manchin.senate.gov.

Congressman Nick Rahall: Peaks and Valleys of Oil Prices

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Americans have been hit by the peaks and valleys of oil prices repeatedly over the last several decades.  Each time, we collectively vow to do something about it – to generate a greater share of our own energy resources, to become more energy efficient, and to boldly advance cutting-edge technologies that can protect our family pocketbooks and national economy from the whims of foreign oil.


This time, there is real potential to see some positive, long-term actions taken and I am proud to be leading those efforts.


Recently, I introduced two bills to address rising gas prices.  The first, the Taxpayer and Gas Price Relief Act, would eliminate the largest tax breaks for big oil companies, repealing subsidies that cost taxpayers $31 billion at a time when the oil giants are making obscene profits from high gas prices.  It would save an additional $2 billion by fixing a flaw in leases in the Gulf of Mexico that currently allows oil companies to drill in public waters without paying any royalties to the American taxpayer.  It also would expand the authority of the President to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to combat market manipulation and speculation, and would make it illegal to sell gasoline at excessive prices, curbing price gouging.

The second bill I introduced is the Clean Coal-Derived Fuels for Energy Security Act, legislation aimed at promoting the development of an American coal-to-liquid fuels (CTL) industry.  I have long advocated the cleaner, cutting-edge use of West Virginia’s abundant coal supplies as a means to help reduce America’s over-reliance on foreign oil and this bill can help to further that effort.  This new legislation goes hand-in-hand with the $4 billion coal-to-gasoline plant now under construction in Mingo County.  As a long-time Member of, and now top Democrat on, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I have worked to secure transportation and pipeline infrastructure to make it and similar facilities possible.

In 2007, I hosted a national conference on coal-to-liquids fuels in Raleigh County that brought representatives of industry, academia, and state and federal government officials – including representatives of the Department of Defense – to help plot a future for American coal-derived fuels.

The U.S. Air Force has been working for the last several years to certify its entire fleet to fly on synthetic fuels like CTL, and I have been a key supporter of legislation to provide the Department of Defense with the authority it would need to enter into long-term contracts that could help to jump-start a domestic CTL industry.

I am also working to bolster U.S. efforts to develop capture and storage of the carbon dioxide emitted when coal is burned – something the coal industry recognizes as vital to establishing CTL production on American shores and for the continued use of coal for power generation throughout the foreseeable future.

We must invest in new energy research and technologies so that we can take advantage of our nation’s domestic energy sources like coal.  One of the great dangers in this budget-cutting environment is that funding for energy research and technology investments, along with transportation and infrastructure, is being targeted.  Now, with soaring gasoline and energy prices, it becomes even clearer why cuts in energy research must be resisted.

Rising gas prices are like kudzu, sprouting up and choking residents and small businesses alike.  We must drive rural routes, sometimes long distances over winding, mountainous roads.  We must get to work.  We must live our lives.  And we must have a long-term, sustainable energy policy that recognizes those facts.

You can be sure that I will continue to support legislation that expands the availability of domestic energy resources – including measures that provide for safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible onshore and offshore oil and gas drilling – to help diversify our Nation’s energy portfolio away from the dangerous peaks and valleys of foreign oil that have been hitting Americans for far too long.

If you have any questions please contact my office, at 202.225.3452 or feel free to visit to my website at www.rahall.house.gov and email me.

With warm regards, I am

Sincerely,
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Bon Appétit: Spinach Avocado Caesar Salad

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Ingredients:
2 slices crusty whole wheat bread (about 2 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 hard-cooked egg
1 avocado, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cups baby spinach

Directions:
Toast the bread.
Brush with the oil to coat.
Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning.
Cut into 1/2” cubes.
Set aside.
Peel and halve the egg and place the yolk in a large bowl.
Chop the white and set aside.
Add half the avocado to the yolk and smash against the side of the bowl with a fork until smooth.
Stir in the water, cheese, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper to form a dressing.
Add the spinach, remaining avocado, and reserved egg white and toss to coat.
Serve individual salads with the croutons scattered on top.

Daily G-Eye™ : 05.14.11

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Baldwin - Gilmer County, WV


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