Story recalls great time in Ukraine
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I enjoyed the story "Sleeping Beauty" re-created in Kiev Museum by Maria Danilova very much.
I could not control my laughter as I read. I recently traveled to Ivano-Franko and spent several terrific days in this Ukranian city. The city center was well maintained, landcaped and had outdoor cafes with hanging baskets of flowers everywhere. All the Ukranian people were open and more than glad to talk with me. Most were amazed that I was 65 years old, was traveling by myself and had no fear of getting off the beaten path, even though I didn't speak their language. One of my walks turned into 11 miles in one day. I met many wonderful people who were very curious about me, West Virginia and what part of Virginia I was from.
I was determined to find the rural village that my mother was taken from when she was 14 years old. Hitler's war machine needed workers, thus she became a POW. My mother would never see or hear from her mother, half brother or half-sister again. Of course this was 1941, and like many young Poles, she would not gain her freedom until 1945, when American tanks and soldiers rolled through that part of Germany. Yes, she is Polish and Ivano-Frank was Stanislau, Poland, in 1939.
I began my search for family members that my sisters and I never knew growing up. Providing my mother's story and some pictures to the Ukranian government will provide answers. I was informed if records exist and the KGB had turned those records over, then the information I wanted could be in Kiev. All I can do now is hope and wait, even though my mother is 85.
I would tell anyone to visit the Ukraine and spend some time with these people. If you go to Ivano-Franko, email Maria Semenyak at atriumho...@ukr.net. She was watching out for me. This city may be asleep, but it is alive with its history. Cobblestone streets, churches and most of all the Ukranian people. Hope to see more articles on that part of Europe.
Magistrate staff pay to be cut for some
I am writing to bring to your attention the four counties in the West Virginia Magistrate Court System facing a salary decrease on Jan. 1 due to the salary rules outlined in West Virginia codes 50-1-8 and 50-1-9. Due to a decrease in population in Lewis, McDowell, Wetzel and Wyoming counties as reported by the 2010 Census, 18 staff members will be hit with this salary decrease after the first of the year. The magistrate clerks of these counties will have their annual salaries decreased by approximately $5,100 while the remaining Magistrate Court staff will have their annual salaries decreased by approximately $3,300.
The fact of the matter is that this salary decrease will only save the state approximately $70,000. And what makes this salary decrease insulting is that even though the population of these four counties has decreased, their caseload is as high as or higher than some counties in the higher-paid salary-tier who are not threatened by the salary decrease in 2013. This means that beginning Jan. 1, 2013, the magistrate staff of these counties will be doing more work than some higher-paid counties but getting paid less to do it.
My hope is that someone with the power to do so will prevent this upcoming salary decrease for these counties and that action will be taken soon.