Here is another one for the books. Results of studies have shown that when kids are crowded into classrooms air quality can go down and learning drops off. Why? Kids become drowsy.
How does this relate to the new GCES? We were told that the ultra modern school had monitors in the class rooms to measure air quality and when needed the HVAC system would kick in to adjust levels to be OK for proper learning.
That claim for automatic air quality adjustments turns out to be untrue.
Who was responsible for the mistake?
Cramming 40 kids into a class room is uncalled for in the first place and air quality problems resulting from it are another community concern for the new $14,000,000 school.
Another one for “you couldn’t make it up” chalk ups under State control.
Sounds like there is a family cemetery on the James’ property and the deceased might have had a will clause to be buried there, but the James’said no way and the mortuary was just following the deceased family’s direction and never asked the James’. Just my opinion. I am sure there is more to this story.
The BO staff should cease its active PR campaign for what should be done to solve severe crowding at the GCES.
When the Cedar Creek school project was terminated after more of the County’s money was wasted, G. Devono informed the community that he, his BO staff, and Williams and Shriver had come up with plans for the GCES.
You see what that group got us to verify importance of the County’s school board to use its newly established full authority to decide on the best way out of the crowding quagmire.
It is to late obvious that if competent planning had occurred when the GCES was designed, kids out there would not be packed in like sardines, and teachers would not be facing the demoralizing conditions thrust on them.
WVDNR Law Enforcement Participates in “Operation Dry Water” Nationwide
Natural Resources Police Officers with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) will participate in Operation Dry Water and will be out in force June 24-26, 2011 looking for boaters whose Blood Alcohol Content exceeds the state limit of .08%.
Operation Dry Water will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, and checkpoints as well as boater education.
“We intend to stop intoxicated boaters and to educate as many boaters as possible about the hazards of Boating Under the Influence (BUI),” said Lt. Tim Coleman, DNR’s State Boating Safety Program coordinator. DNR has added six additional patrol boats to its fleet this year and will be patrolling all major rivers and lakes during the boating season.
A boat operator or passenger with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit runs a significantly increased risk of being involved in a boating accident. When impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more likely and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard.
BUI is a primary contributing factor in nearly one in five boating fatalities nationwide, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Five boating-related fatalities have been recorded in West Virginia in 2011.
Operation Dry Water, a multi-agency, education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA ) in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, puts thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide the last weekend in June to give BUI enforcement high visibility during the peak boating season.
“There will be arrests this weekend, and some boaters will face the consequences of boating under the influence,“ said Lt. Coleman “We want recreational boaters to enjoy themselves, but there will be zero tolerance for BUI.”
Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the West Virginia DNR, NASBLA, the U.S. Coast Guard and several local law enforcement agencies.
Registration forms for the 2011 Senior Olympics hosted by Central West Virginia Aging Services are now available.
The Olympics will be hosted at Holly Gray Park in Braxton County July 27-29, 2011.
Registration fees are $15, with full meal plans being available for $35 and includes registration fees.
There will also be overnight accommodations available for those wanting to stay on-site and RV spaces can be rented for a nominal fee.
“This year proves to be even more exciting than previous Senior Olympics as entertainment is being schedule throughout the entire event, and the general public will be admitted for free and meals will be available for a nominal fee,“ a spokesperson said.
One of the highlights of this event will include a pig roast on July 28, 2011 and many more surprises.
For more information, call Shelly at 800.814.8514 or email “email@example.com”.
Opens Friday, June 24, 2011 | Runtime: 1 hr. 53 min.
Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in “Cars 2” when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile and the stunning spy-in-training Holley Shiftwell. The fast-paced fun includes a colorful new all-car cast, complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.
Cast: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, John Turturro, Eddie Izzard, Michael Caine
House of Delegates Speaker Rick Thompson has appointed five members to serve on a Marcellus Shale committee that will look at possible regulations for natural gas drilling.
• Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia;
• Tom Campbell, D-Greenbrier;
• Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie;
• Bill Anderson, R-Wood;
will serve on the committee that will be chaired by:
• Tim Manchin, D-Marion.
Last week, Senate President Jeff Kessler appointed five senators to the 10-member committee.
Marcellus Shale regulations could be brought up in special session later this year.
Thompson says he wants the committee to be ready to deal with the issue.
“I know the House has been very deliberative in working on guidelines for the relationship between oil and gas extractors and the owners of surface rights and mineral interests that protects the environment and ensures proper labor practices,“ Thompson said. “This Select Committee will continue that effort in preparation for a special session.”
A special session will likely come in early August.
It is unclear whether Marcellus regulations will be a part of that session.
G-Comm™: The New FBI Powers: Cointelpro on Steroids
“The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them.”—John Lennon (1966)
“When governments fear the people there is liberty.. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”— Thomas Jefferson
Listen closely and what you will hear, beneath the babble of political chatter and other mindless political noises distracting you from what’s really going on, are the dying squeals of the Fourth Amendment. It dies a little more with every no-knock raid that is carried out by a SWAT team, every phone call eavesdropped on by FBI agents, and every piece of legislation passed that further undermines the right of every American to be free from governmental intrusions into their private affairs.
Meanwhile, President Obama and John Boehner are exchanging political niceties on the golf course, Congress is doing their utmost to be as ineffective as possible, and the Tea Party—once thought to be an alternative to politics as usual—is clowning around with candidates who, upon election, have proven to be no better than their predecessors and just as untrustworthy when it comes to protecting our rights and our interests. Yet no matter how hard Americans work to insulate themselves from the harsh realities of life today—endless wars, crippling debt, sustained unemployment, a growing homeless population, rising food and gas prices, morally bankrupt and corrupt politicians, plummeting literacy rates, and on and on—there can be no ignoring the steady drumbeat of the police state marching in lockstep with our government.
Incredibly, with little outcry from the populace, the lengths to which the government will go in its quest for total control have become more extreme with every passing day. Now comes the news that the FBI intends to grant to its 14,000 agents expansive additional powers that include relaxing restrictions on a low-level category of investigations termed “assessments.” This allows FBI agents to investigate individuals using highly intrusive monitoring techniques, including infiltrating suspect organizations with confidential informants and photographing and tailing suspect individuals, without having any factual basis for suspecting them of wrongdoing. (Incredibly, during the four-month period running from December 2008 to March 2009, the FBI initiated close to 12,000 assessments of individuals and organizations, and that was before the rules were further relaxed.)
This latest relaxing of the rules, justified as a way to cut down on cumbersome record-keeping, will allow the FBI significant new powers to search law enforcement and private databases, go through household trash, and deploy surveillance teams, with even fewer checks against abuse. The point, of course, is that if agents aren’t required to maintain a paper trail documenting their activities, there can be no way to hold the government accountable for subsequent abuses.
These new powers, detailed in a forthcoming edition of the FBI’s operations manual, extend the agency’s reach into the lives of average Americans and effectively transform the citizenry into a nation of suspects, reversing the burden of proof so that we are now all guilty until proven innocent. Thus, no longer do agents need evidence of possible criminal or terrorist activity in order to launch an investigation. Now, they can “proactively” look into people and groups, searching databases without making a record about it, conducting lie detector tests and searching people’s trash.
Moreover, as FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni revealed, agents want to be able to use the information found in a subject’s trash to pressure that person to assist in a government investigation.. Under the new guidelines, surveillance squads can also be deployed repeatedly to follow “targets,” agents can infiltrate organizations for longer periods of time before certain undisclosed “rules” kick in, and public officials, members of the news media or academic scholars can be investigated without the need for extra supervision.
All of this has been sanctioned by the Obama administration, which, as the New York Times aptly notes, “has long been bumbling along in the footsteps of its predecessor when it comes to sacrificing Americans’ basic rights and liberties under the false flag of fighting terrorism” and now “seems ready to lurch even farther down that dismal road than George W. Bush did.” In fact, this steady erosion of our rights started long before Bush came into office. Indeed, it has little to do with political affiliation and everything to do with an entrenched bureaucratic mindset—call it the “Establishment,” if you like—that, in its quest to amass and retain power, seeks to function autonomously and independent of the Constitution.
What we are witnessing is a coup d’etat that is aimed at overthrowing our representative government and replacing it with one that outwardly may appear to embrace democratic ideals but inwardly is nothing more than an authoritarian regime. And the Establishment is counting on the fact that Americans will gullibly continue to trust the government and turn a blind eye to its power grabs and abuses.
The relationship between the American people and their government was once defined by a social contract (the U.S. Constitution) that was predicated on a mutual respect for the rule of law and a clear understanding that government exists to serve the people and not the other way around. That is no longer the case. Having ceded to the government all manner of control over our lives, renouncing our claims to such things as privacy in exchange for the phantom promise of security, we now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being trapped in a prison of our own making.
It is a phenomenon that Abraham Kaplan referred to as the law of the instrument: “Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.” Or to put it another way: to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Unfortunately, in the scenario that has been playing out in recent years, we have become the nails to the government’s hammer. After all, having equipped government agents with an arsenal of tools, weapons and powers with which to vanquish the so-called forces of terror, it was inevitable that that same arsenal would eventually be turned on us. As Michael German, a former FBI agent, recently observed, “You have a bunch of guys and women all over the country sent out to find terrorism. Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of terrorism in many communities. So they end up pursuing people who are critical of the government.”
One such person is Scott Crow, a relatively obscure political activist who has been the object of intense surveillance by FBI counterterrorism agents. Other targets of bureau surveillance, according to the New York Times, have included antiwar activists in Pittsburgh, animal rights advocates in Virginia and liberal Roman Catholics in Nebraska. “When such investigations produce no criminal charges,” notes the Times, “their methods rarely come to light publicly.”
In the case of Scott Crow, those methods were revealed as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request to see the FBI file on him. At a massive 440 pages, Crow’s file speaks volumes about the way in which the government views the American people as a whole—as potential threats to national security, not to mention what it says about the leeway given to the FBI to completely disregard the Fourth Amendment’s protections against searches and seizures of our property and persons. Over the course of at least three years, Crow had agents staking out his house, tracking the comings and goings of visitors, monitoring his phone calls, mail and email, sifting through his trash, infiltrating his circle of friends, and even monitoring him round the clock with a video camera attached to a phone pole across the street from his house.
Given that no criminal charges whatsoever were ever levied against Crow, it might appear that the agency went overboard in its efforts to monitor his activities, but as the FBI’s new manual reveals, such surveillance—even in the absence of credible evidence suggesting wrongdoing—is par for the course. For the federal government to go to such expense (taxpayer expense, that is) and trouble over a political activist, in particular, might seem rather paranoid. However, that is exactly what we are dealing with—a government that is increasingly paranoid about having its authority challenged and determined to discourage such challenges by inciting fear in people.
Then again, this is nothing new. Between 1956 and 1971, the FBI conducted an intensive domestic intelligence program, termed Cointelpro, intended to neutralize domestic political dissidents. According to the Church Committee, the Senate task force charged with investigating Cointelpro abuses, “Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone ‘bugs,’ surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens.” The report continued:
Groups and individuals have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed—including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths. Intelligence agencies have served the political and personal objectives of presidents and other high officials.
Commenting on the methods employed by the FBI in the implementation of Cointelpro, the Church Committee noted, “The unexpressed major premise of the programs was that a law enforcement agency has the duty to do whatever is necessary to combat perceived threats to the existing social and political order.” The Committee added, “While the declared purposes of these programs were to protect the ‘national security’ or prevent violence, Bureau witnesses admit that many of the targets were nonviolent and most had no connections with a foreign power. Indeed, nonviolent organizations and individuals were targeted because the Bureau believed they represented a ‘potential’ for violence—and nonviolent citizens who were against the war in Vietnam were targeted because they gave ‘aid and comfort’ to violent demonstrators by lending respectability to their cause.”
Following the Church Committee’s report, then-Attorney General Edward Levi implemented a set of guidelines designed to preclude FBI abuse regarding domestic investigations. These guidelines were tweaked by subsequent Attorneys General, substantially relaxed by Attorney General John Ashcroft following the September 11 attacks, further weakened by AG Michael Mukasey in 2008, and now under Eric Holder, any such restrictions are just about nonexistent.
Thus, it would seem we’re back to where we started, only this time we’re facing Cointelpro on steroids—pumped up on the government’s self-righteous quest to ferret out peace activists and dissidents and energized by an arsenal of invasive technologies that make the phone tapping equipment of the 1960s look like Tinker Toys. In fact, this modern period of FBI lawlessness resembles Cointelpro operations in a variety of ways. In both instances, the FBI singled out outspoken critics of the Establishment for scrutiny, attempted to assign them terrorist ties (none were found), and continued the investigations long past the point at which they were found not guilty of having committed any crimes. For example, an attorney for those targeted in a September 2011 FBI raid—including an activist-minded couple that sells silkscreened baby outfits and other clothes with phrases like “Help Wanted: Revolutionaries”—describes his clients as “public non-violent activists with long, distinguished careers in public service, including teachers, union organizers and antiwar and community leaders.”
With all of the so-called threats coming from outside the country, why is the government expending so much energy on a relatively small group of peace and anti-war activists whose First Amendment activities comprise the totality of their “suspicious” behavior? It’s the hammer and nail analogy again. Having acquired all of these new tools and powers post-9/11, of course the government wants to hold onto them and what better way to do so than by using them to ferret out “potential” threats. A prime example occurred in 2002, when the FBI dispatched a special agent, armed with a camera, to a peace rally to search for terrorism suspects who might happen to be there, just to “see what they are doing.” The protest was sponsored by the Thomas Merton Center, an organization dedicated to advocating peaceful solutions to international conflicts, and composed primarily of individuals distributing leaflets. The Office of Inspector General, in its report on FBI surveillance of domestic organizations, characterized the task provided to the special agent assigned to the Merton protest as a “make-work” project.
Mark my words: we’re going to find, as time goes on and we come under greater and greater surveillance, that we have all become part of the government’s “make-work” project. What this means is that in order to justify their existence and earn their pay, they’ll be investigating perfectly harmless, innocent citizens.
So what’s to be done?
First, the American people need to get their heads out of the sand and their butts off the couches and act like rea Americans for a change. And by that I mean taking to the streets and truly protesting this deplorable state of our nation. March on Washington, march on your town hall—but whatever you do, make your voices heard. If they can do it in Europe and China and the Middle East, there’s absolutely no reason we can’t do it here.
Second, once we’ve gotten Congress’ attention, we need to push for a legislative response to these FBI abuses. It can be done, but it will take Americans coming together across party lines and calling for Congress to pass legislation restoring the Fourth Amendment and restricting what government agents can do, especially without a court order. Congress may be largely corrupt and incompetent, but with the right kind of citizen pressure, changes can be had. Whatever you do, however, beware of promises made on the campaign trail. As we have seen repeatedly, they never stick.
Third, act now before it’s too late. That dying squeal, the sound of the Fourth Amendment having been gutted and bleeding to death, is getting fainter and fainter. Once it goes silent, there’ll be no turning back.
Patrick W. Gower and Jamie Lee Dodd of Glenville announce the birth of their third child, a daughter, Madison Jolee Dodd, on June 01, 2011, at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.
She weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces.
Her mother is a homemaker.
Her father is a rig hand.
2 pounds pork belly, cut into 8 pieces
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Two 12-ounce bottles dark beer
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
Salt and ground black pepper
8 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
8 ounces parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sear the pieces of pork belly until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the meat to a plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.
Lower the heat to medium and add the onion, shallots and garlic.
Cook, stirring frequently, until tender and beginning to caramelize, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the beer, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 10 minutes.
Return the pieces of pork belly to the pot.
Add the carrots, parsnips and chicken broth.
Bring up to a simmer and cook for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pieces of pork belly to a plate, cover with foil and set aside.
Bring the remaining ingredients up to a boil and reduce to 2-1/2 cups.
Working in batches as needed, transfer the mixture to a blender and carefully puree.
Return the puree to the pan, then stir in the heavy cream and balsamic vinegar.
The Little Dipper extends almost straight up from the North Star, Polaris, in early evening.
It is part of the constellation Ursa Minor, the little bear.
The dipper spans about 20 degrees—the width of your spread-out palm held at arm’s length.
Making Moondust II
Here on Earth, the consequence of tracking dirt into the house is usually a scowl from the one who has to clean it up. But on the Moon, tracking in dust could be deadly. So scientists are studying moondust to get a better handle on the possible problems, and to help engineers design machines that can survive prolonged exposure to the fine, abrasive material.
KUHLMAN: It gets everywhere, so you need to know how it works with seals, how it mucks up lubricants or whatever. Anything that’s exposed to the dust is going to react with it one way or another. You really should know at least, with the mission-critical parts, how they’re going to react, especially in the hard vacuum of the Moon.
Kim Kuhlman is a researcher with the Planetary Science Institute. She’s studied “fake” moondust that was created to help prepare for future lunar missions. She notes that Apollo astronauts had problems with moondust—and people who stay for weeks or months could face even worse ones.
KUHLMAN: Some of the astronauts got hay fever—what they called hay fever—from the dust that they brought in on their spacesuits. Jack Schmidt said that he smelled gunpowder. That means there’s a chemical reaction going on between the dust and his body. There’s some indication that the really fine stuff can go right through the blood vessel wall. It can get into the blood.
Studying the artificial moondust can help scientists figure out the problems with the real stuff—and design ways to keep machines and people safe as they explore the Moon.
Major Dennis Ray Smith
U.S. Army Retired, former Lockheed Martin Plant Manager of the Lockheed Martin Pike County Alabama Operations passed away June 19, 2011 at Spalding Regional Medical Center.
He was from Covington, Georgia and was born August 09, 1935 in Covington, to Flora Smith and Master Sergeant Dennis Alexander Smith, a career soldier who served in the 2nd World War.
He graduated from Newton County High School in Covington, in 1952 and attended Emory University for 2 years before going to work for the FBI in 1954.
He married his wife the former Tessie Campbell of Stumptown, West Virginia in 1956 and is survived by her and 2 sons; Dennis in Whitman, Massachusetts, and Darrell of Monroe County, Georgia.
He is predeceased by his son David who was killed in an automobile accident in 2007.
Dennis was drafted into the US Army in 1957 and served over 20 years, retiring in 1977 as a Major in the Ordnance Corps and subsequently retired from Lockheed Martin in 1999. He continued his schooling while in the service and earned 2 bachelor degrees, one in Business Administration, and one in Technical Management from Athens College, Athens Alabama. He also attended the Florida Institute of Technology working on a Master’s degree. While in the Army, he served tours of duty in Germany, Greece, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam as well as tours all over the United States. His primary assignments in the Army were in Program Management, Procurement, Nuclear Weapons, Missiles and Ammunition. Among the awards and decorations received while serving in the Army were the Legion of Merit, the Meritious Service Medal, 2 awards of the Joint Service Commendation Medal, 2 awards of the Army Commendation Medal, numerous service awards and several foreign decorations from the governments of Thailand and Vietnam.. After retiring from the Army in 1977 he went to work in the aerospace industry where he held senior management positions with the Raytheon Company in Huntsville, Alabama and with Lockheed Martin at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Orlando and Ocala, Florida, and finally as Plant Manager of the Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations in Troy, Alabama. During his employment with Lockheed Martin, he was twice named to the top 100 employees in the company, and in 1995 was named Lockheed Martin Manager of the Year. During his tenure at Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations, his facility received numerous Department of Defense, Industry, and State recognitions including: Industry Weeks “Top 10 Plants in America”, The Alabama Quality Award, The Alabama Teaming Award, The Department of Defense Industrial Security “Cogswell” Award, and many other awards in Production, Safety, Quality, Security, and Recycling. He retired from Lockheed Martin in 1999. He was very proud to have been named “Pike County, Alabama Citizen of the Year in 1996 by the Troy Citizen Newspaper, and “Who’s Who’s in Aerospace” in 1997. He served as a member and officer of the Pike County, Alabama United Way, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Alabama Governor’s Commission on Aerospace, Science, and Industry. Dennis was very proud to have been associated with the Boy Scouts as both a boy and as an adult leader. He had over 40 years of service in the Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in 1952 and being awarded the coveted “Silver Beaver Award” as an adult in 1962. He relocated back to the Georgia area in January 2003 and attended People’s Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon and taught a Men’s Sunday School Class.
In addition to his wife and sons, Dennis is survived by his brother David Smith of Covington, 3 sisters, Mary Ella Bruce, Karlean Hester, and Jean Brizzi of Covington, Georgia, 3 granddaughters, Stephanie Smith of Jackson, Georgia, Samantha and Nicole Smith of Whitman, Massachusetts, and 2 grandsons, David and Douglas Smith of Orlando, Florida, a great grandson, Nolan Jones and a great granddaughter, Lila Davies, both of Jackson, Georgia.
Funeral services for Major Smith will be held at 11 o’clock Thursday, June 23, 2011 at the Chapel of Harwell Funeral Home with Dr. David McCoy and Reverend Craig Holmes officiating.
Interment will be held at the Covington City Cemetery.
The family received friends at the funeral home from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Wednesday, June 22, 2011.