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G-LtE™: Help Raise Tobacco Excise Taxes in West Virginia

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It saddens me to think that there is corruption in WV government, I mean, I’m shocked, shocked I say), but I have come to no other conclusion.

I have sent several emails to the Governor, Joe Manchin and Doug Facemire to no avail, asking them why the tobacco excise taxes in WV is $0.55 and in places like New York it’s $4.35 for a pack of cigarettes.

Why is this?

As you can probably tell I am against tobacco products.

I have Emphysema as a result of 40 + years of smoking and will probably die from it.

I guess I have no one to blame but myself - (except that the U.S. Army used to provide me free of charge cigarettes on a daily basis).

I don’t wish to see anyone else suffer from the effects of tobacco products.

I am also very concerned about the healthcare costs associated with this.

It appears to me that the government of West Virginia has been bought and paid for by the tobacco companies.

Why else would they condone a seriously detrimental and deadly line of products like tobacco?

Wait, I know this answer….$$$$$.

I hate to be this way, but I’m not getting any responses from OUR government. (It’s as if they can’t remember who they work for.)

Is there anybody else out there who feels the same as I do.

Can we maybe get a protest together and rally in Charleston or something like that?

Thank you for your time.. Bill Parker


PS: I have started a petition online if you care to sign it. – Click H E R E

States Target Tax-Cheating Business Software

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Cash-strapped state governments that are searching every crevice for money have found a new target: computer programs that enable businesses to keep two sets of books simply by plugging a flash drive into their cash registers.

The so-called tax-zapper software lets businesses, especially those that deal mostly in cash, underreport taxable sales and pocket money that should go to the government.

Five states — Florida, Georgia, Maine, Utah and West Virginia — have enacted laws cracking down on the programs, and about a dozen others are considering similar proposals. One expert said states are losing billions of dollars to the software.

It has always been illegal to cheat on taxes, but the new laws are the first to specifically target tax zappers, making it illegal to possess or install any devices designed to falsify a cash register’s electronic records.

The software, which sells for about $500, can be installed directly in registers or through small memory devices that plug into them. During business hours, cashiers record the true sales and give customers accurate receipts. A log of real sales can also be stored electronically.

After hours, a memory stick that contains the zapper is inserted to remove a given amount in sales from the day’s receipts. For each transaction, the zapper will also recalculate the receipt, creating a second set of books.

Trout Records in West Virginia

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Spring is here and trout season is in full swing in West Virginia.

The state has records for five species of trout.

The hills are home to mountain creeks and streams, rivers cross the state, and many ponds and lakes creating numerous spots to fish for trout.


Brook Trout

The longest Brook Trout in West Virginia was caught on the Lost River in 1981.

Jack E. Foltz caught the 23.5” fish that weighed 4.78 pounds.

In 2004, Gary M. Chapman caught one that was an inch and a quarter shorter on Shavers Fork.

Chapman’s fish weighed nearly 3 pounds more than the one Foltz caught.

The fish weighed 7.64 pounds.


Brown Trout

Paul Barker caught West Virginia’s largest Brown Trout in 1968 on the South Branch.

The fish had a length of 32” and weighed 16 pounds.

In 44 years, no one has caught a Brown Trout longer or heavier.


Golden Rainbow Trout

Gerald Estep caught the longest Golden Rainbow Trout in West Virginia in Stonecoal Lake in 1987.

Gerald’s fish was 27.5” long and weighed 8.63 pounds.

In 1998, Danny Crider caught a shorter Golden Rainbow Trout that was heavier.

Crider caught a 26.4”-long fish that weighed 9.31 pounds in Brushy Fork Lake.


Rainbow Trout

Six years after it produced a record Golden Rainbow Trout, Stonecoal Lake produced a record regular Rainbow Trout.

In 1993, John P. Arnett caught West Virginia’s longest Rainbow Trout.

The fish was 31.7” long and weighed 11.74 pounds.

In 2005, Aaron Propps caught a 30.5” fish that weighed 15.65 pounds in a pond in Monroe County.


Tiger Trout

The biggest Tiger Trout in the Mountain State was caught in 1986 in the Greenbrier River.

John Duncan caught the 26” long fish that weighed 6.68 pounds.

Twenty-six years later, no one has caught a longer or heavier Tiger Trout in West Virginia.

WV Governor Vetoes Exotic Animals Ban, Other Bills

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A bid to restrict exotic animals in West Virginia is among a half-dozen bills vetoed from the recent regular session.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin disapproved the measures by Tuesday’s deadline to act on legislation.

The Division of Natural Resources’ concerns regarding funding and enforcement prompted the exotic animal veto.

Two other vetoed bills involved fees. One proposed special municipal charges, but was deemed unnecessary because of existing law. The other involved housing development improvement fees for future infrastructure. Tomblin cited pending litigation over such fees.

The governor called for further study when he vetoed a proposal to ease the process for erasing felony convictions.

Technical errors doomed bills targeting graffiti and updating rules for archiving government records.

Tomblin earlier vetoed bills addressing antique autos and the Municipal Pensions Oversight Board.

Gilmer County 4-H: Spring Fling 2012

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G-Comm™: Running Out

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Is it possible to cope with the immense dangers posed by the rapid consumption of the world’s resources? In The Race for What’s Left, Michael Klare claims that it is — but only through a significant change in behavior.

Klare is the author of fourteen books, the most recent of which focus on resources and international conflict. He is also the defense correspondent for The Nation and the director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

In The Race for What’s Left — a book displaying his stunning knowledge of drilling and mining techniques, obscure minerals, geology, and remote regions of the world — Klare argues that “the world is entering an era of pervasive, unprecedented resource scarcity.” Both government and corporate officials “recognize that existing reserves are being depleted at a terrifying pace and will be largely exhausted in the not-too-distant future.” In their view, “the only way for countries to ensure an adequate supply of these materials, and thereby keep their economies humming, is to acquire new, undeveloped reservoirs in those few locations that have not already been completely drained. This has produced a global drive to find and exploit the world’s final resource reserves” — not only energy and mineral resources, but arable land. Thus, a great scramble by private corporations and government entities is now underway to own or control resources in the Arctic, in northern Siberia, in the deep waters of the Atlantic, in remote regions of Africa, and in other previously inaccessible, largely undeveloped regions of the world.

Of course, there has long been a competition for resources among nations. But, as Klare shows, the current struggle is becoming fiercer. “Whereas previous centuries generally witnessed conflict between just a few dominant powers,” he notes, “today many more countries are industrialized or on the path to industrialization — so the number of major contenders for resources is greater than ever before.” Moreover, “these new challengers also often harbor large and growing populations, whose desire for consumer goods of all sorts cannot be long denied. At the same time, many existing sources of supply are in decline while few new reservoirs are waiting on the horizon.” Consequently, “with more nations in the resource race and fewer prizes to be divided among them, the competition is heating up and governments are being pressed to assume a more active role.”

A skeptic might ask: What is wrong with this competition? The obvious answer, implicitly accepted by corporate and government officials alike, is that there are not enough resources to go around. In this situation, prices will rise and the living standards of many people throughout the world will fall. In the midst of growing scarcity, some will emerge winners and others losers, with the poorest among them starving and dying.
But, as Klare demonstrates, there are other great drawbacks, as well. One is that corporations and governments, in their determination to reach previously inaccessible resources, are employing extractive technologies that are destroying the environment. BP’s deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, corporate hydrofracking in the northeast United States, and the massive Canadian tar sands operation are three well-known examples of this phenomenon. Also, the rising consumption of fossil fuels will accelerate climate change.

Furthermore, wealthy investors, hedge funds, and a growing number of governments (including those of Saudi Arabia, other Persian Gulf nations, China, India, and South Korea) are busy buying up farmland in other nations — in 2009 alone, an estimated 110 million acres, an area the size of Sweden. According to Susan Payne’s Emergent fund, “Africa is the final frontier,” with land that is “very, very inexpensive.” Thus, Emergent promises to achieve a very high rate of return on such agricultural investment — exceeding 25 percent a year. The return to African peasants, forced off their ancestral lands to make way for overseas agribusiness and profits, will almost certainly be much less.

Of course, intensive resource extraction will also lead to foreign support for exploitative, dictatorial regimes, as it has in many African nations. Certainly, the average citizens of these countries have experienced little benefit from their resource wealth. Klare observes: “Ever since the early Cold War period, when Niger was still under French rule, uranium extraction has been a significant industry in the country, but it has mostly enriched only a few well-connected government officials and the companies that own the mines. Few of Niger’s sixteen million people have ever seen any benefits from the mining, and two-thirds of them still live on less than $1 per day, making Niger one of the poorest nations on earth.”

Finally, the scramble for global resources provides the potential for heightened military conflict. Klare remarks: “In all probability, countries with major resource deposits will receive more weapons, military training, technical assistance, and intelligence support from states that wish to curry favor or establish closer ties. At the same time, combat forces will be deployed abroad to defend friendly regimes and protect key ports, pipelines, refineries, and other critical installations.” Amid competing resource claims, the Arctic, Africa, and the East and South China Seas have recently experienced new tensions and military buildups.
Fortunately, as Klare points out, there is an alternative to the “race for what’s left” — a “race to adapt.” This would entail a contest among the “major political and corporate powers … to become among the first to adopt new materials, methods, and devices that will free the world from its dependence on finite resource supplies.” It would “reward the governments, companies, and communities that take the lead in developing efficient, environmentally friendly industrial processes and transportation systems.” Replacing “finite natural resources with renewables” and focusing “on increasing efficiency” would not only allow the global economy “to escape from the trap of diminishing resource supplies,” but would “allow many nations to free themselves from military pacts and other diplomatic arrangements currently employed to cement ties with foreign resource providers.”

Although Klare does not suggest running this “race to adapt” as a cooperative one, it could proceed much like the women’s races of some years ago, when participants joined hands while crossing the finish line. Wouldn’t it be a grand moment in human history if people of every nation collaborated in facing the challenge of dwindling resources that confronts us all? But, whether cooperatively or competitively, we must begin adapting to the limits of our resources, and Michael Klare’s outstanding book — exhaustively-researched, beautifully-written, and convincingly-argued — helps move this vital project forward.

~~  Lawrence S. Wittner - Professor of History emeritus at the State University of New York/Albany ~~

Bon Appétit: Roasted Veggie Pasta

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Ingredients:

  1/4 pound fresh asparagus
  2 red bell pepper, sliced
  1/4 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
  10 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
  1/2 tomato, quartered
  1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  2 tablespoons olive oil
  8 ounces dry fettuccini noodles
  1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  2 tablespoons tapenade


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Prepare asparagus by trimming woody base and cutting diagonally into 4 inch pieces.

In a roasting pan, combine asparagus, bell pepper, mushrooms, roasted garlic and tomato.

Sprinkle with rosemary and oregano, then drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Toss with Parmesan cheese, tapenade and roasted vegetables.

Daily G-Eye™: 04.04.12

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The newly refurbished Gilmer County fire siren being lifted on to the courthouse roof for installation
... Should be up and working within the month


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Submit photos for this daily feature. You may select to have your name listed as well.
Send your photo(s) to “tellus@gilmerfreepress.net”

Stargazing - 04.04.12

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Auriga, the charioteer, drives across the western evening sky this month.

Its brightest star is yellow-orange Capella, which stands high in the west-northwest as darkness falls.


Snow Line

As the temperature creeps upward during spring, something else also creeps upward: the snow line—the altitude on a mountain where snow can fall.

Star systems have a snow line, too. It’s the distance from the star where it’s cold enough for certain compounds to freeze—like water. It’s also the dividing line between dense, rocky planets and bigger, puffier planets. In our own solar system, it’s in the middle of the asteroid belt.

When the planets were taking shape, it was too hot for ices to form close to the Sun. That left only grains of rock to clump together to make planets—worlds like Earth. Farther away, the grains of rock mixed with grains of ice. That allowed the cores of the planets to grow much larger, and to sweep up some of the gas leftover from the Sun’s birth.

Just because a planet was born above the snow line doesn’t mean it has to stay there, though. Astronomers have discovered giant planets quite close to their stars. These worlds formed beyond the snow line but were somehow pulled closer in.

It’s also possible that changes in the snow line could create giant ocean worlds. Such a planet would be bigger and heavier than Earth, and would have been born with a lot of ice. As its parent star settled into maturity, though, the environment around the planet would grow warmer. That would melt some of the ice, creating a planet topped by deep oceans of liquid water—a world inside the snow line.

G-MM™: Meditation Moment - 04.04.12

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God has given me a voice, that I may know how to sustain with a word those who are weary.

The crass betrayal by Judas has to resonate with each of us as we review our own past weaknesses and infidelities.

Money may not be in the failing, but faults are there that remove us from the love that Jesus taught and lived.

Lent is a good time to make amends in active ways.

Simple things like turning off the TV and internet, not hooking into the latest political event, not eyeballing the sports match/results, are choices for all of us.

Taking quiet time, allows us to respect our in-built sensibility and it follows that we can take time with someone who needs a friendly presence, engaged listening.

And most of all, we can find a place to read and ponder the above words of Isaiah.

We have those gifts to share this Easter.


Isaiah 50:4-9. Lord, in your great love, answer me— Ps 68(69):8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34. Matthew 26:14-25.

Bradford L. Wilson

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Bradford L. Wilson

Age 79, of Big Springs, WV passed away Saturday March 31, 2012 at the Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston, WV., where he received the Last Rites from Fr. Carlos Melocoton, of Sacred Heart Church.

He was born in Calhoun County, the son of the late Audra L. and Ollie Ellen (Hopkins) Wilson.

He served in the Armed Forces and was retired from the Calhoun County School System where he served as school health nurse for more than 20 years.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Pauline (Berry) Wilson and one brother, Billy B. (Roberta) Wilson.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a sister; Betty J.(Wilson) Ritchie and a brother, Calvin (Hack) Wilson.

At Brad’s request, his body has been donated to science to aid in the continued advances and learning of the human body, at the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, WV.

There will be no services.

04.04.12

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History on April 04, yyyy

Today is Wednesday, April 04, the 95th day of 2012. There are 271 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.“—Martin Luther King Junior (1929-1968).


Today’s Highlight in History:

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On April 04, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.


On this date:

In 1818, Congress decided the flag of the United States would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state of the Union.

In 1841, President William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia one month after his inaugural, becoming the first U.S. chief executive to die in office.

In 1850, the city of Los Angeles was incorporated.

In 1859, “Dixie” was performed publicly for the first time by Bryant’s Minstrels at Mechanics’ Hall in New York.

In 1887, Susanna Madora Salter became the first woman elected mayor of an American community: Argonia, Kan.

In 1912, China proclaimed a republic in Tibet, a move fiercely opposed by Tibetans.

In 1933, the Navy airship USS Akron crashed in severe weather off the New Jersey coast with the loss of 73 lives.

In 1949, 12 nations, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, D.C.

In 1960, Elvis Presley recorded “Are You Lonesome Tonight?“ in Nashville, Tenn., for RCA Victor.

In 1975, more than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crash-landed shortly after takeoff
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from Saigon.

In 1981, Henry Cisneros became the first Hispanic elected mayor of a major U.S. city: San Antonio.

In 1991, Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., and six other people, including two children, were killed when a helicopter collided with Heinz’s plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pa.


Ten years ago:

President George W. Bush urged Israel to pull its troops back from Palestinian cities and dismissed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as a failed leader who had “betrayed the hopes of his people”; Bush ordered Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region to seek a cease-fire.

Two teenagers were sentenced to long prison terms in the murders of Dartmouth College professors Half and Susanne Zantop. (Robert Tulloch received life without parole; James Parker was sentenced to 25 years to life as an accomplice.)


Five years ago:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE’-neh-zhahd) announced the surprise release of 15 captive British sailors and marines.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad over White House objections.

Radio host Don Imus outraged some listeners by jocularly describing the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as “nappy headed hos.“ (Despite an apology, Imus was fired by CBS Radio and cable network MSNBC; he was hired elsewhere by year’s end.)


One year ago:

Yielding to political opposition, the Obama administration gave up on trying avowed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators in civilian federal courts and said it would prosecute them instead before military commissions.

President Barack Obama’s campaign announced in a web video that he would run for re-election in 2012.

The Connecticut Huskies beat the Butler Bulldogs 53-41 for the NCAA men’s basketball title.

Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin, Artis Gilmore, Arvydas Sabonis, Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, Harlem Globetrotter Reece “Goose” Tatum and Boston Celtic Tom “Satch” Sanders were elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Elizabeth Wilson is 91

Author-poet Maya Angelou is 84

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is 80

Recording executive Clive Davis is 80

Bandleader Hugh Masekela is 73

Author Kitty Kelley is 70

Actor Craig T. Nelson is 68

Actor Walter Charles is 67

Actress Christine Lahti is 62

Country singer Steve Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) is 61

Actress Mary-Margaret Humes is 58

Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 56

Actor Phil Morris is 53

Actress Lorraine Toussaint is 52

Actor Hugo Weaving is 52

Rock musician Craig Adams (The Cult) is 50

Actor David Cross is 48

Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 47

Actress Nancy McKeon is 46

Actor Barry Pepper is 42

Country singer Clay Davidson is 41

Rock singer Josh Todd (Buckcherry) is 41

Singer Jill Scott is 40

Rock musician Magnus Sveningsson (The Cardigans) is 40

Magician David Blaine is 39

Singer Kelly Price is 39

Rhythm-and-blues singer Andre Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 38

Actor James Roday is 36

Actress Natasha Lyonne is 33

Actress Amanda Righetti is 29

Actress Jamie Lynn Spears is 21

WV Lottery - 04.03.12

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9-5-0


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4-4-9-2


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04-08-12-13-16-17


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11-35-38-41-52     Mega Ball: 40   Megaplier: x 4  

CommunityConcerns™: Endless Bullying Problems at Gilmer County High School

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Bullying has long been known as unavoidable during the awkward, angst filled teenage years.  It is viewed by some as a rite of passage or just simply an unpleasant part of growing up. However, what began as “harmless” taunting and a battle for control between children seems to have transformed into uncontrolled verbal harassment, physical abuse and sexual harassment at Gilmer County High School.

The system in place to protect those precious lives entrusted to our schools has not evolved with the times. Those in charge continue to ignore and disregard bullying, leaving children to fend for themselves or worse yet feel targeted due to constant observation as a weak attempt at prevention or proof it doesn’t happen.  A watched pot seldom boils. Our school administrators and legislators need to rethink the current course of action when dealing with bullying perpetrators and their victims. In our situation, what seems to happen in response to bullying cases is something close to nothing.


Incident 1:

Apparently the “student body” represented by the student council decided they did not care for cheerleaders of Gilmer County High encouraging individual players.  Oddly enough when that attention was focused on a student of different ethnicity the student leaders decided to form their own cheerleader support group.  When student cheerleaders were offended and did not join in the enthusiasm for the project they were publicly humiliated at a game, publicly bullied with name calling and foot stomping. It is maintained that the bullying has carried over into day to day student interactions and via the social networks after school.  No one has denied this happened but I ask you, why were students making such decisions?

Where were the Adults in charge? As a result of such poor oversight and relegating authority for such decisions to immature youths, the resulting upheaval has cost us students who no longer wish to attend Gilmer County High School leaving parents and guardians to question whether they can trust that the system operates in the best interest of the children.  Administration remains silent, telling parents they are looking into it and adds another program to the agenda to handle the problem for them. It would seem they are so insecure in their own abilities to handle this issue and so protective of their social status they have not brought in outside, professional, objective help to assist with mediation and counseling for staff, student and parent concerns.  Wouldn’t that be the educated and responsible path to take?


Incident 2:

Another report of a more delicate nature.  It would seem some male students may have been acting out in a promiscuous manner in the classroom resulting in possible exposure of female students to body fluids which are capable of transmitting blood borne pathogens such as HIV.  Not only has the professional response reported been disappointing and ineffective but it makes one question if in fact OSHA requirements regarding the cleanup of such fluids were followed by the mandated disinfecting of hard surfaces, clothing and skin. Our community is not immune and possible medical implications should not be ignored.  Once again, socially unacceptable behavior is addressed poorly at best.  The Administration remains silent while they “look into it”.


Incident 3:

One more upsetting episode reported involving possible physical abuse of a special needs child by a fellow student and the reaction of go to your classroom speaks for itself.  The logical sequence of events when bullying goes unchecked, untreated and without consequence. It is of no less importance and speaks volumes about how ineffective the programs have been in erasing the bullying mentality at Gilmer County High.  More effort must be put into solving this problem.

Inadequate handling of such inappropriate behavior in a public setting has the potential of long term psychological effects regarding acceptable treatment of a member of the opposite sex at a very crucial time in childhood development. If not addressed, the resulting trauma to fragile egos may carry over to a lifetime of low self-esteem regarding body issues and even into future relationship building and societal roles. No child should ever be allowed to exploit, intimidate or harass another child.  They must understand that bullying and abuse will not be tolerated under any circumstance and consistent consequences put in place for such actions while continuing education on the subject is provided with family involvement.

The parents, guardians and care givers are certainly first in line as a child’s perception of normal social behavior toward others and what actions are acceptable outside the privacy of the home is formed (whether that child is a 4.0 student or one of lesser academic achievement).  Our administrative educators stand equally responsible and are getting a failing grade.  They need to update their own resume by seeking continuing educational opportunities and objective, outside professional guidance from those more knowledgeable in the field.

Although shocking and perhaps more than a little embarrassing to some, all of the Adults in charge must find a way to calmly and intelligently discuss such problems. Parents must be included knowing that any action must show care and concern for the emotional development of all children involved while establishing clear rules of acceptable conduct in the school and establishing responsibilities for the decision making process.

Whether one has religious guidance regarding such private matters or tends toward a more lenient viewpoint, neither the perpetrators nor the victims are receiving outside, objective counseling where they may speak freely and with anonymity.  Those taking part in such activity seem to be unaware that acts of bullying, sexual harassment and physical abuse while disturbing, are in fact illegal, and can lead to future involvement within the juvenile court system.  Every concerned citizen needs to take the time to educate themselves, show sensitivity and do better for the children of Gilmer County.

~~  Author and Source on File ~~

GFP - 04.03.2012
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West Virginia’s Revenues on Track for Surplus

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There are a few indications that more West Virginians are working and more are deciding to spend some of the money they earn.

Tax collections numbers for March show withholding taxes up more than 9% and personal income tax and sales tax revenues were both above where WV Tax Department thought they would be for the month.

WV Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow says sales tax revenues for the first nine months of this budget year are most interesting.

“We’re running ahead of last year in the neighborhood of six percent,“ Muchow said. “That’s probably the biggest surprise of all—- is the increase in consumer spending out there.“

Muchow says the gain in consumer confidence has also shown up in the automobile sales tax collections also.

In other collections numbers, Sales tax revenues were $4 million above estimates in March and personal income tax revenue was nearly $10 million ahead of projections.

Muchow says severance tax collections were down for the month as coal production begins to level off.

“It’s begun to slow down and the forecast is that it will continue to slow down the rest of this fiscal year and into next fiscal year,“ Muchow said.

Through three-fourths of the fiscal year the state has collected a total of $2.9 billion in taxes, which is $54 million above estimates. Muchow believes the state is on target for a $100 million surplus in collections.

The governor and the legislature have already decided how to spend the money.

“If that occurs we’ll be able to put money into our Rainy Day Fund and the legislature has appropriated $65 million for Medicaid out of those surplus monies,“ according to Muchow.

WVU Extension’s 2012 Garden Calendars Explore Family-Friendly Gardening

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Gardening is a time honored tradition for many West Virginia families.  Not only does it provide a great opportunity for kids to learn about math and science in their own backyards, but it can also bring families closer together.  The 2012 WVU Extension Service Garden Calendar is designed with this in mind.

Throughout the year, gardeners will explore “Kids’ Gardening Adventures,” in the 2012 calendar.  It includes gardening articles written by WVU Extension experts with youth in mind. This year’s calendar also exhibits exclusive artwork designed by West Virginia 4-H’ers. 

The free garden calendar, WVU Extension Service’s most-requested publication, is now available at the Gilmer County WVU Extension office.

The monthly calendar and gardening guide offers information helpful to both beginning and avid gardeners. The calendar provides day-to-day planting and harvesting reminders for the entire year. Daily tips range from when to design your garden layout to when to prune bushes and turn compost.

In January, readers are reminded to order seeds and fertilizer for their spring garden. In February, reminders include tips about seeding vegetables indoors and cleaning dust from houseplants. The important notes continue throughout the growing season into December.

Each month, the calendar features a short article on gardening written to encourage children’s interest in gardening and to increase family gardening knowledge. Learn to grow the ingredients for a pizza in your garden, including basil, oregano, onions, peppers and tomatoes.

Also outlined is how to start and build a garden project at school and how to distinguish garden-friendly bugs from pests. Each monthly article is coupled with corresponding artwork created by 4-H’ers from all over the state.

For the first time, the calendar features QR codes that can send readers to more information from WVU Extension Service seamlessly from their smartphones. Once the QR code is scanned with a smartphone equipped with a QR code reader, readers will be sent to more information specific to that month’s article, right there on their phones.

The calendar lists the phone number of each county office of the WVU Extension Service.

To begin the 2012 gardening season with a green thumb, look to the experts. Pick up your WVU Extension Service Garden Calendar at the Gilmer County office of the WVU Extension Service it the Gilmer County Courthouse Annex, or reserve your copy by calling 304.462.7061.

Ohio Man Appeals Dismissal of Ethics Complaint against Gilmer Prosecutor

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The WV Record Reports:

Citing a failure to consider new evidence, an Ohio man is asking a state ethics panel to reconsider his complaint of improper conduct by Gilmer County’s prosecuting attorney in his 2005 criminal case.

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel on Sept. 6 dismissed the complaint Dan Bingman filed against Gerry Hough. In her dismissal letter, Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel Jessica Donahue Rhodes, said the information Bingman included in his Aug. 24 complaint of Hough paying one of Bingman’s relatives to testify against him, and advertisements Hough placed in the Glenville Democrat-Pathfinder accusing Bingman of “cyberbulling,“ not only failed to show a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, but was also time-barred.

“Nothing in those two (2) documents reflect [sic] any violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct,“ Rhodes said. “Furthermore, you have not provided any proof that Mr. Hough paid Mrs. Rafferty to testify during the trial.“

“Those allegations are far too vague and unclear to discern what actions you believe Mr. Hough has taken that amount to an allegation of a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct,“ Rhodes added. “It appears you have been aware of most of what you allege in your second complaint when your first complaint was filed and two (2) years before the first complaint was filed.“

“Thus, your complaint appears to be time-barred,“ Rhodes said.

Records show, Bingman, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was indicted in March 2005 by the Gilmer County grand jury on a charge of grand larceny, a felony. He was accused of stealing, and later selling farm equipment, a brush hog, valued at nearly $2,500 on Jan. 31, 2002.

However, a jury on Dec. 14, 2005, convicted Bingman of petit larceny, a misdemeanor. Bingman maintained he should’ve never been indicted, let alone convicted, since the brush hog was valued at less than $400, and sat idle for over 20 years on property belonging to his family.

In his complaint, Bingman accused Hough of suborning perjury by getting Roanna Rafferty, Bingman’s aunt, to testify falsely she had a 1/6th interest in the property. Also, Bingman maintains Hough was aware the value of the brush hog was well below the $1,000 threshold for a grand larceny charge.

The allegations raised in his Aug. 24 complaint were similar to ones raised in a complaint he filed against Hough on Dec. 20, 2007, that was dismissed a month later. However, in his response dated Sept. 8 to their dismissal letter, Bingman said ODC failed to consider two new pieces of evidence included in his recent complaint that came to light last year.

One was a title opinion that was introduced last July in a civil suit showing Rafferty did not own the 1/6th share of the property she claimed. Another was bills received in October for back taxes on the property that, Bingman said the county previously refused to let his family pay.

The title opinion and tax tickets, Bingman says, show that his new complaint against Hough not only falls within the statute of limitations, but also he had no business prosecuting him in what amounted to a family squabble.

“The new evidence in this case proves that it should not be time-barred,“ Bingman said. “It proves that due diligence was not practiced and a human being suffered severely as a result.“

“A case should never be brought to court by a Prosecutor who has not used due diligence to establish the facts,“ he added. “When Hough could not locate the 1/6th claimed, the court should have been notified (despite his embarrassment) a mistrial declared and perjury charges brought against the Prosecutors [sic] witness in my opinion.“

“Because there was no title proof of ownership, the jury, and the court could not know that there was equal ownership in a property dispute that somehow turned into a criminal case, although experts say it should have been a civil action all along.“

In response to his letter, Chief Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel Rachel L. Fletcher Cipoletti said ODC was treating Bingman’s dissatisfaction of their dismissal of his complaint as an appeal and would be placing it on the agenda for the next meeting of the Lawyer Disciplinary Board’s investigative panel. Though she did not say when the next meeting would take place, Cipoletti said she would notify Bingman in writing of their decision.

When reached for a comment about Bingman’s complaint prior to its dismissal, Hough said he had yet to see it. However, he said this was Bingman’s latest attempt to retry his case.

“Every citizen has a right to complain and have their voice heard somewhere,“ Hough said. “He’s been busy for the last four years reinventing the trial that took place, and his conviction, which was found by a jury of his peers guilty of larceny from his family.“

~~  Lawrence Smith - WV Record  ~~

‘Rosie the Riveters’ Visiting GSC - Wednesday, April 04, 2012

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Several real-life ‘Rosie the Riveters’ will be on the Glenville State College campus on Wednesday, April 04, 2012 at 1:00 PM in the GSC Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

They will be telling stories and answering questions about their experiences as ‘Rosies.‘

‘Rosie the Riveter’ is an American icon that represents the women who, during World War II, went to work in factories while eligible men went to war. Their mantra, ‘we can do it,‘ has crossed many generations signifying the power and ability of women.

“All are invited to this wonderful event. Many veterans will be present and able to meet the women who supported them from home while they served our country,“ said GSC Veterans Affairs Coordinator Jennifer Wenner.

‘We Pull Together: Rosie the Riveter Then and Now,‘ a documentary by B. J. Gudmundsson, is being shown at the event. This documentary is part of the West Virginia Rosie the Riveter Project. This program began in 2009 to find the real ‘Rosies’ and share their stories. Since inception, the program has captured stories through text, photo, audio, and video from more than seventy West Virginia women that worked on the home front building equipment for the Armed Forces along with other factory jobs.

This project is sponsored by Thanks! Plain and Simple. The West Virginia non-profit organization’s mission is to unify the people of West Virginia around the well-being of soldiers and veterans, and to guide veterans to contribute at home. The organization is still searching for original ‘Rosies’ to share their stories visit thanksplainandsimple.com/rosies/IntroduceRosie.htm.

While on the GSC campus, the ‘Rosies’ will be interviewed by the West Virginia Veterans Legacy Project Director Bob Henry Baber. The program through the GSC Robert F. Kidd Library will include an oral history collection of recollections, memories, and stories of local men and women who have served in the U.S. military.

For more information about the ‘Rosies’ visit to GSC and the film, contact Wenner at “Jennifer.Wenner@glenville.edu” or 304.462.6056.

New Members of the National Technical Honor Society at Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center

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OddlyEnough™: Urine-Soaked Eggs A Spring Taste Treat in China City

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It’s the end of a school day in the eastern Chinese city of Dongyang, and eager parents collect their children after a hectic day of primary school.

But that’s just the start of busy times for dozens of egg vendors across the city, deep in coastal Zhejiang province, who ready themselves to cook up a unique springtime snack favored by local residents.

Basins and buckets of boys’ urine are collected from primary school toilets. It is the key ingredient in “virgin boy eggs”, a local tradition of soaking and cooking eggs in the urine of young boys, preferably below the age of 10.

There is no good explanation for why it has to be boys’ urine, just that it has been so for centuries.

The scent of these eggs being cooked in pots of urine is unmistakable as people pass the many street vendors in Dongyang who sell it, claiming it has remarkable health properties.

“If you eat this, you will not get heat stroke. These eggs cooked in urine are fragrant,“ said Ge Yaohua, 51, who owns one of the more popular “virgin boy eggs” stalls.

“They are good for your health. Our family has them for every meal. In Dongyang, every family likes eating them.“

It takes nearly an entire day to make these unique eggs, starting off by soaking and then boiling raw eggs in a pot of urine. After that, the shells of the hard-boiled eggs are cracked and they continue to simmer in urine for hours.

Vendors have to keep pouring urine into the pot and controlling the fire to keep the eggs from being overheated and overcooked.

Ge said he has been making the snack, popular due to its fresh and salty taste, for more than 20 years. Each egg goes for 1.50 yuan ($0.24), a little more than twice the price of the regular eggs he also sells.

Many Dongyang residents, young and old, said they believed in the tradition passed on by their ancestors that the eggs decrease body heat, promote better blood circulation and just generally reinvigorate the body.

“By eating these eggs, we will not have any pain in our waists, legs and joints. Also, you will have more energy when you work,“ said Li Yangzhen, 59, who bought 20 eggs from Ge.

The eggs are not bought only at street stalls. Local residents are also known to personally collect boys’ urine from nearby schools to cook the delicacy in their homes.

The popularity of the treat has led the local government to list the “virgin boy eggs” as an intangible cultural heritage.

But not everyone is a fan. Chinese medical experts gave mixed reviews about the health benefits of the practice, with some warning about sanitary issues surrounding the use of urine to cook the eggs.

Some Dongyang residents also said they hated the eggs.

“We have this tradition in Dongyang that these eggs are good for our health and that it would help prevent things like getting a cold,“ said Wang Junxing, 38. “I don’t believe in all this, so I do not eat them.“

~~  Reuters ~~

Pie Bake-Off Taking Place at GSC – 04.13.12

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The Glenville State College Appalachia Trading Company committee members are hosting a Pie Bake-Off on April 13, 2012.

All entries must be brought to the GSC Mollohan Campus Community Center between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM that day with judging taking place at 3:00 PM.

“All pies will be judged on taste, flavor, texture, consistency, creativity, and overall appearance,“ said ATC Project Director Tashua Allman. Plaques will be awarded to the First, Second, and Third Place winners at the ATC Square Dance being held that night at 7:00 p.m. in the GSC MCCC ballroom. The pies will be served while West Virginia square dance legend Mack Samples calls the steps.

The Pie Bake-Off is one of many events being held during the Appalachia Trading Company, a two-day exposition and exploration of Appalachian culture.  Events include a black-iron cook off, photo exhibit, wine tasting, guest speakers, performances, and demonstrations such as quilting.  All events are free to the public through a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

All Pie-Bake Off rules and regulations along with a schedule of ATC events can be found at www.glenville.edu/community/atc.

For more information, contact Allman at Tashua at “Allman@glenville.edu” or 304.462.6051

GSC Easter Buffet 2012 - Sunday

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The public is invited to the Glenville State College Mollohan’s Restaurant on Sunday, April 08, 2012 from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM for GSC’s Easter Buffet.


The menu includes:

•  Roasted Lamb with Mint Au Jus

•  Southern Fried Chicken

•  Brown Sugar Honey Ham

•  Scalloped Potatoes

•  Herbed Rice Pilaf

•  Honey Glazed Carrots

•  Green Bean Casserole

•  Angel Hair Pasta Station

•  Ambrosia Salad

•  Fresh Fruit Salad

•  Biscuits and Rolls

•  Assorted Cakes and Pies


The costs for the Easter Buffet are $9.50 for guests, $8.50 for seniors and faculty/staff/students using flex dollars, $4.75 for children under 12, and free for children under five.

Please call ahead for reservations, which may be left on the voice mail.

To make reservations or for more information, contact the GSC Dining Services Office at 304.462.6360.

GSC Library to Host Cooking Demonstration - Wednesday, 04.04.12

Employees at the Robert F. Kidd Library at Glenville State College are hosting a culinary demonstration on Wednesday, April 04, 2012 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM with Chef Hans Friedmann.

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Friedmann is currently employed at the Crazy Mountain Ranch near Clyde Park, Montana.

The Lewis County High School graduate previously worked at the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, West Virginia.

He was an Award winner at the 2007 and 2008 ‘Cast Iron Cook-Off ‘ held at the Stonewall Resort.

Friedmann is in the process of starting his own private chef service for corporate and private events.

He is the son of GSC Robert F. Kidd Library Associate Jane Friedmann.

Chef Friedmann will be demonstrating knife skills used in food preparation and presentation, fish filleting techniques, and he will prepare a soup using some local ingredients such as ramps and morel mushrooms.

He will also discuss tips and tricks of the trade, foraging, soups, stocks, bases. There will be a tasting and question and answer period after the demonstration.

The presentation will take place in the café area of the main lobby of the library.

All GSC students, faculty, staff and the general public are cordially invited to attend this free event.

For more information contact the GSC Robert F. Kidd Library at 304.462.4109.

G-TechNote™: Intel and Microsoft’s Secret Weapon Against Apple

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Intel and its partners are about to launch the biggest promotion of a new product category called Ultrabooks since the company’s Wi-Fi based Centrino launch early last decade. And Microsoft is about to launch a major update to Windows called Windows 8 that introduces the new Metro touch user interface. Together they are critical products for the future of each company individually.

In the case of Ultrabooks, I actually see them as the natural evolution of laptops and not revolutionary, as Intel would like us to think. Rather, they take advantage of the industry’s constant push to make things smaller, lighter, thinner and with better battery life. For mainstream users who have had to lug around their rather bulky laptops for the past five years, they would be justified in asking Intel and the PC vendors, “What took you so long?” given that Apple has had their MacBook Air on the market for five years and defined what an Ultrabook should be.

And with Windows 8 and Metro, Microsoft is also following an evolutionary path toward touch user interfaces with its Metro-based smart phones and soon-to-be Metro-based tablets and PCs. Again, consumers could ask Microsoft, “What took you so long?” since Apple has had its touch user interface on the iPhone for five years and on its iPads for two years.

But both products will face several interesting challenges when they launch later this year. In the case of Ultrabooks, they’ll most likely have starting prices of between $799 and $899, though I hear there could be at least one — a stripped-down model — that could be as low as $699. At these prices, they’ll completely miss the mainstream laptop market that represents the bulk of laptops sold at prices between $299 and $599.

In the case of Windows 8 and Metro, while Metro is great on Microsoft’s phones and works very well on the tablets I’ve tested, it doesn’t translate well to the laptop or PC, since 100% of existing PCs don’t have touch screens. And most PC vendors are not putting touch screens on the majority of their new laptops because to do so adds at least another $100 to $150 in cost to the customer. If you’ve tested the consumer preview of Windows 8 and Metro on an existing laptop, you know how frustrating it is to use with existing trackpads. I consider this a potential Achilles’ heel for Windows 8, and one that could really hurt its short-term prospects.

To be fair, Microsoft three weeks ago released recommended guidelines for next-generation trackpads, and a new design I’ve seen from Synaptics could make laptops work well with Metro once it rolls out.

But this should have been something Microsoft focused on a year ago so it could have all the new laptops Metro-enabled at launch. My sense is that Microsoft should have launched Metro only on tablets this year and gradually moved Windows 8 Metro to the consumer PC markets once it had it optimized for laptops. Instead, I predict significant consumer confusion on the horizon when people try to use Metro on existing trackpads or any other nontouch input device, as the experience will be confusing at first and frustrating afterward. You’ve noticed that Apple hasn’t put touch screens on its laptops and desktops? That it has instead worked extra hard to create trackpads and external trackpads that map to the touch experience on the iPhone and iPad?

I consider the initial pricing for Ultrabooks and putting Metro on laptops and desktops issues that could slow down any early adoption of these products this year and perhaps deliver a graduated adoption in the future. However, I believe Intel and Microsoft have a secret weapon in the works that could win them kudos from the marketplace and be a key driver in getting users really interested in both companies again.

The secret weapon is a new form factor often referred to as hybrids. These are tablets that can be docked into a keyboard, effectively making them either a laptop or a laptop with a detachable keyboard. You might think those two are one in the same, but they’re actually very different in terms of design goals. In the former’s case, the design is specifically around the tablet, and the keyboard dock is modular. We already have a lot of examples of this with the iPad, where the tablet is the central device and the attachable Bluetooth keyboards are more of an afterthought. In this case, the keyboard just supports the input functions of the tablet.

But in the latter case, the design resembles more a slim laptop or Ultrabook-like casing, and the screen can be taken off and used as a tablet. I believe this design is the secret weapon that Microsoft and Intel can use against Apple and, at least on paper, give Apple a run for its money, especially in business and enterprise. And to a lesser extent, it could be hot in some consumer segments where the keyboard is critical and users want a laptop-centered experience as well.

This is where Apple’s current strategy can be challenged. There’s the iPad that stands by itself, and then the MacBook Air, Apple’s Ultrabook that — like the iPad — also stands by itself as a separate product. But each has its own operating system, and although Mountain Lion brings a lot of iOS-like features to OS X, the two are still distinct and separate operating systems.

With the introduction of Windows 8 — especially as used on a laptop-centered hybrid in which the screen (tablet) can be detached and used as a true tablet that takes full advantage of Metro — Microsoft and Intel give their customers the best of both worlds in a single device. When in Ultrabook laptop mode, users can work with the comfortable Windows 7–like user interface they’re accustomed to while maintaining access to hundreds of thousands of Windows apps. But when the screen detaches, it automatically switches to the Metro user interface and the touch experience is now central to the device. In this mode, apps designed for Metro can give users a rich tablet experience out of the box.

If done right, the user would end up with a Windows 8 Ultrabook with a detachable screen (tablet) and need to purchase only one device instead of two. And our research shows that IT and even some consumers would have no trouble paying $999 or more for this combo product. At that price it would be a bargain. Most IT-purchased laptops are in the $699-to-$999 range now, and those who bought iPads to augment their users’ work experiences cost at least $499, so a combo device at even $1,299 to $1,399 is more than reasonable for them. Intel knows this and believes that as much as 50% of all Windows tablets will be hybrids. And Microsoft will push these types of products especially if Windows 8 laptops don’t take off as planned.

Could anything potentially derail Intel and Microsoft’s hybrid strategy? If Apple applies its innovative design knowledge to create a hybrid that blends the iPad and the MacBook Air into a single device, it could have an impact on their ability to dominate this market. On the other hand, it would validate Intel and Microsoft’s strategy as well. And if they beat Apple to the market with their version, which is likely, since at least four hybrids are set to come out by October, it could be the hero product of the launch that highlights the value of an Intel-based x86 ecosystem and convinces Windows users of the need for Ultrabooks and tablets running Windows 8.

~~  Tim Bajarin - President of Creative Strategies Inc.,  ~~
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GSC Appalachia Trading Company Event - April 13-14, 2012

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Gilmer County Senior Center April 2012 Activities

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Glenville: Bennett Building Is Available for Rent

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The Bill and Reva Bennett building is now available for rent.

Make this your next place to hold your Special function or gathering.

For rates and availability please call, Office: 304.462.7653 or Cell: 304.266.0020


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McKinley Votes to Protect Medicare; Opposes GOP Budget

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Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) voted against the 2013 budget passed by the House on Friday, saying that although he shares the goal of reducing the deficit, he cannot support the drastic Medicare cuts included in the bill.

McKinley also stated that he remains unequivocally opposed to the latest budget devised by President Obama, as well as other alternatives that raise taxes. President Obama’s plan was unanimously rejected, 414-0, by the House on Wednesday.

“Since coming to Washington, I have voted to cut $5.5 trillion in federal spending, but we still have a long way to go,” said McKinley. “I certainly recognize what Congressman Paul Ryan is trying to achieve. Government spending is out of control, and we all know something must be done.

“However, I can’t support a plan that cuts Medicare, removes widely-used tax credits for homeowners and health care, and still doesn’t balance the budget for 28 years,” added McKinley. 

“There are aspects of the Ryan plan and other budget proposals that I like.  Unfortunately, the legislative process for the budget resolution does not allow us to ‘cherry pick’ the proposals that we like; it is all or nothing.

“Again, my votes to cut $5.5 trillion in spending since coming to Congress serve as a demonstration of my commitment to fiscal responsibility. But whether it’s President Obama’s budget, the budget passed today or any other proposal that has been offered thus far, I do not believe the right solution has been found yet.”

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