Speaking of the Sesquicentennial, to put the $300,000 the state is spending on the 150th birthday celebration in perspective, keep in mind the state is spending six times that much -- $1.85 million -- to be a primary sponsor of the Greenbrier Classic PGA golf tournament next month.
Heck, the $462,079 salary Jim Justice draws as president, treasurer and director of Old White Charities -- the nonprofit organization Justice set up to run the golf tournament -- is bigger than the state's Sesquicentennial budget ...
Speaking of the Capitol Building Commission, Supreme Court administrator Steve Canterbury has had an ongoing struggle to get permission to polish marble walls that are being cleaned in the East Wing.
Commissioners have been reluctant to give Canterbury the OK, since architect Cass Gilbert's specifications call for the marble in the East and West wings to be honed, not polished.
Gilbert may have wanted the dull, matte look to draw a distinction between the wings, originally intended to house offices of state agencies, as opposed to the main Capitol, where the Legislature and constitutional officers were to be located.
Canterbury contends that it's a matter of taste, not design. He noted that Gilbert also called for bare bulbs in many of the Capitol light fixtures. (When the Capitol was being designed, electric lighting was still fairly new, and the style of the time was to have bare bulbs and exposed cords and wiring to accentuate it.)
I suggested he could have also pointed out that when the Capitol was designed, it included only a couple of women's restrooms (or "retiring rooms") in the entire building, since it was presumed there would never be very many female legislators, state employees, or visitors.
Or, for that matter, that the building was not ADA accessible. In both cases, the Capitol has been modified from Gilbert's design to reflect changing times.
Bottom line, as Canterbury points out, people today expect marble to be shiny, and when it's dull, they assume its dirty or otherwise poorly maintained.
Finally, I rarely read press releases from beginning to end, so it was city editor Greg Moore who brought to my attention the header on a press release from first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin -- which spelled the first lady's first name with one "n."
I called her spokeswoman, Tina Amburgey, to verify it wasn't some sort of cost-saving measure enacted by the administration.
Amburgey assured me the headers were provided by the company that does webpage design for the governor's office, and that typo would be corrected.Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.