www.wvgazette.com http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: January 28, 2015 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT01/301289968 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT01/301289968 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:56 -0500 Adkins, Shirley Noon, Dodd

Blake, Allie 1 p.m., Stockert

Burdette, Virginia M. 1 p.m., High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.

Dean, John T. 1 p.m., Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Fair, Mark Noon, Montgomery Memorial Park, Montgomery.

Hatcher, Jack D. 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Hughes, Jacob C. 5 p.m., Barlow Bonsalld Funeral Home, Charleston.

Johnson, Robert 11 a.m., Highlawn Baptist Church, St. Albans.

Jones, Charles K. 11 a.m., Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.

Marchi, Daniel 2 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Parker, Sharon 6 p.m., O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Payne, Robert Sr. 2 p.m., Gateway Christian Church, St. Albans.

Pennington, Ruth I. 2:30 p.m., Orchard Hills Memory Gardens, Yawkey.

Selbe, Earl 1 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.

Sergent, Dail F. 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Hamlin.

Walker, Roy J. 2 p.m., Matics Funeral Home, Clendenin.

Westfall, Opal 2 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Wine, Franklin E. 11 a.m., Taylor

Frances A. Barr http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289996 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289996 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:25 -0500 Frances A. Barr (nee Pauley), 90 years of age. Beloved wife of the late David E. Barr. Devoted mother of Mary Barr Rhodes and David E. Barr Jr. Loving grandmother of Chelsea Barr Rhodes and Chandra Backus Rhodes. Great-grandmother of Ronin Ellsworth Rhodes. Preceded in death by two sisters and three brothers. Passed away Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Friends may greet family from 4 p.m. until time of service at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at Vorhis & Ryan Funeral Home, 11365 Springfield Pike, Springdale, OH 45246. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Cincinnati or Alzheimer's Association. See www.vorhisandryan.com.

Alta Bartram http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289991 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289991 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:30 -0500 Alta Bartram, 82, of Blair, died Jan. 22, 2015. Service will be 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at Freeman Funeral Home, Chapmanville. Visitation will be 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, at the funeral home.

Mary M. Brown http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289969 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289969 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:55 -0500 On Jan. 27, 2015, Mary M. Brown went to heaven, leaving her family with the promise that she would save them a place at the table of eternal life with Jesus. Mary celebrated her 87th birthday on Friday, Jan. 23, with family and friends. For the last three weeks Mary valiantly struggled to overcome a fall with remarkable faith. She continued to show the same unending love and concern for her family, who never left her side. Her strength was clear to all who knew and loved her. Even while fighting to heal she made us smile and laugh through the tears. Surrounded by her family, Mary expressed her wish to be with her Lord and left us to be with the angels.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph A. Brown; her mother, Ida Mae Tanthory, who she loved dearly; as well as three brothers and two sisters.

She is survived by her children, Betty J. Salvatore and husband, Joseph W. Salvatore, of Fayetteville, Linda Brown Carroll of Atlanta, Ga., Joseph Michael Brown and wife, Pam, of Smithers and Toney Brown and wife, Mary, of Kimberly.

She leaves five grandchildren, Janette Walker, Anthony and Jaime Salvatore, Amanda and Tiffany Brown, who will miss her dearly, especially Janette, Anthony and Jaime. Our mother played an especially active role in helping raise these three grandchildren and we can see her teachings in each of them as they raise their children and believe in her God. She also leaves Katie Shelton, one of her very special children that she babysat throughout the years. We send our greatest love to Katie who, as a nurse, came to be by Mom's side and give her the care of an angel, making Mom very comfortable, but most of all, happy.

She leaves nine great-grandchildren, Dugan, Maggie, Josie, Addy, Ella, Matthew, Ryan, Ashton and Elijah. In addition, she leaves many children that she cared for over the years as a babysitter. She is affectionately known as "Mommaw Brown" to all of her children.

Funeral service will begin at noon Thursday, Jan. 29, at Fayetteville United Methodist Church with the Rev. Clare Sulgit officiating. Burial will follow at Huse Memorial Park, Fayetteville.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, at Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville.

For those wishing to express condolences to the Brown family, you may do so by visiting our website at www.doddpaynehessfuneralhome.com.

The family has entrusted arrangements to Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, 350 W. Maple Ave., Fayetteville.

Walter N. Cantley http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289993 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289993 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:28 -0500 Walter N. Cantley, 76, formerly of West Virginia and North Carolina, passed away at his home in Irvine, CA, on January 18, 2015.

Anna Dean Casto http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289978 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289978 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:47 -0500 Anna Dean Casto, 83, of Rochester, Minn., formerly of Davenport, Fla., died Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 at St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester.

She was born Sept. 20, 1931 in Charleston to Frank and Mae (Thaxton) Cavender. Anna Dean grew up in West Virginia, graduating from Dunbar High School. On Sept. 1, 1950 she married Robert Harold Casto. During their 64 years of marriage they lived in Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina before retiring in Davenport, Fla., in 1990. They moved back to Minnesota to be close to family.

Anna Dean enjoyed ceramics, playing the organ and baking for her family. She so loved her grandsons and great-grandchildren, and always looked forward to spending her summers with them in Minnesota.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Bud Cavender.

She is survived by her husband, Robert Harold Casto; daughter, Terri (Dan) Penz; grandsons, Todd (Autumn) Penz, Cory (Hilary) Penz, Jared (Kristen) Penz and Troy Penz; four great-grandchildren, all of Rochester, Minn.; and brother, Jerry Cavender of Winter Haven, Fla.

A graveside service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes. Visitation will be two hours prior to the service on Friday at Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

LeRoy Cook http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289982 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289982 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:41 -0500 LeRoy Cook, 62, of Gassaway, died Jan. 26, 2015. Service will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, at the funeral home.

Charlie W. Darby http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289994 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289994 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:27 -0500 Charlie W. Darby, born Aug. 18, 1966, passed away Jan. 26, 2015. He is survived by his loving companion, Deanne Williams; mother, Elizabeth Childress; brother, Howard Darby; and three sisters, Pat Dingess, Opal Woodzell and Julie Rusnak.

Gary Rome Dunlap http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289980 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289980 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:45 -0500 Gary Rome Dunlap, 43, of Charleston, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.

He was a graduate of Marshall University and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

He loved being outdoors, fishing, playing pool and was an avid baseball and hockey fan.

Most of all, he loved spending time with his daughters and family.

Gary was a cable splicing technician for Frontier Communications. He took great pride in his work and was a loved employee and co-worker.

Gary was a devoted husband and father. His passing has devastated all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret "Maggie" Dunlap; daughters, Regan and McKenna Dunlap; mother-in-law, Cathy Montali; father-in-law, David Montali; mother, Clella Dunlap; father, Gary Dunlap (Carla); sister, Dr. Abbey Zink (John); and brother-in-law, Matthew Montali.

Memorial service will be 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston. A reception will follow the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, 1820 W. Webster Ave., Suite 304, Chicago, IL 60614 and/or the American Heart Association, 162 Court St., Charleston, WV 25301.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.barlowbonsall.com.

Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston, has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Charles Lee Evans http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289970 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/OBIT/301289970 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:02:55 -0500 Charles Lee "Charlie" Evans, 61, of St. Albans, passed away Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 at his residence.

He was born Oct. 23, 1953 in St. Albans to the late Richard and Reba Evans. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Lewis B. Ward, and sister and brother-in-law, Shirley and Arnold Davis.

He was retired from Davis General Contracting and Home Moving.

Surviving are his loving wife of 28 years, Sandra J. Moore Evans; daughter, Angel Daniels of St. Albans; son, Charles Evans Jr. of St. Albans; and sister, Mae Erwin of Hurricane. Also surviving are his loving grandchildren, Caleb Evans, Cody Evans, Hunter Paul, Charles Evans, Hannah Evans, Heavenly Adkins, Waylon Keiffer, Tyler Evans and Cierra Adkins.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, St. Albans, with Pastor Gina Meadows officiating. Burial will be in Teays Hill Cemetery, St. Albans.

Friends may call one hour prior to the funeral service.

You may share memories or condolences with the family at www.chapmanfuneralhomes.com.

Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 409 Sixth Ave., St. Albans, is honored to serve the Evans family.

Bob Seger at the Civic Center http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/GZ01/150129256 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/GZ01/150129256 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:03:44 -0500

Music at opening of state Senate session http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/GZ01/150129257 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/GZ01/150129257 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 -0500

Community briefs for Wednesday, Jan. 28 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM01/150129279 DM01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM01/150129279 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 -0500

The 3 Betties Foundation is sponsoring a "Cure-e-oke" fundraiser at the Southridge Quaker Steak and Lube at 6 p.m. today. All the monies raised will go to work with local cancer patients and their families.

"Cure-e-oke" will be a special karaoke night event in which participants will donate to the cause in order to sing their favorite songs. There will also be ribbon pins, bracelets and information about the foundation.

The 3 Betties Foundation Inc. was created to help fill in the service gaps for cancer patients and their families in the Kanawha Valley who are having difficulty receiving the service they deserve. The foundation serves as a beacon of hope to those feeling lost in the darkness of a cancer diagnosis.

The Putnam County Collaborative Pre-K Program is opening registration for its free 4-year-old pre-K program. Packets are available for parents at all elementary schools, existing pre-K sites, Head Start centers, Putnam County Schools' central office and on the pre-K website at www.putnamschools.com.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, parents and guardians may go to www.putnamschools.com and make a registration appointment via an online site. Those without Internet access can call 304-586-0500, ext. 1940 to schedule a registration appointment. No early calls will be accepted.

Registrations will be held on Feb. 27 and March 20 for the Hurricane, Scott Depot and Teays Valley areas and March 13 for all other areas of Putnam County.

Children must reside in Putnam County and turn 4 before Sept. 1, 2015, to be eligible. If your child will be 5 before Sept. 1, 2015, call 304-586-0500, ext. 1133 for further information.

More information can be found at www.putnamschools.com or by contacting 304-586-0500, ext. 1133 or ext. 1107. These extensions are only for information, not registration.

The 17th annual HospiceCare Tennis Tournament fundraiser will be held Friday through Sunday at the Charleston Tennis Club.

Over the last 16 years, the event has raised $400,000 to benefit HospiceCare, a Charleston-based non-profit health care agency that serves more than 2,500 families annually in 16 counties across West Virginia.

Matches begin 5 p.m. Friday, and run through championship brackets Sunday afternoon. Spectators are welcome.

All interested doubles teams may register by going to www.USTA.com. Go to www.charlestontennisclub.com for more information.

The West Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council will meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 4 in the third-floor conference room of the Division of Rehabilitation Services office, 10 McJunkin Road, Nitro. All materials distributed during council meetings and activities by staff, presenters or participants must be provided in accessible formats. Contact the SILC office to identify required formats for SILC meetings. Formats for all other activities must include large print, computer diskette, audiocassette and Braille.

In order to ensure all meetings and activities are safe and generally considered nonhazardous to individuals with environmental illnesses, the SILC requests that everyone refrain from wearing scented personal hygiene products such as perfumes, colognes, scented lotions, etc.

The Marshall University community in the Point Pleasant and South Charleston areas will welcome Interim President Gary G. White with receptions in February. Both receptions will run from 5 to 6 p.m. and are open to all Marshall students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.

The first reception will be held Tuesday at the university's Mid-Ohio Valley Center, 1 John Marshall Way, Point Pleasant. Then, on Feb. 19, there will be a reception at the South Charleston campus, 100 Angus E. Peyton Dr., South Charleston.

White was appointed by the Marshall University Board of Governors last month to replace Dr. Stephen J. Kopp.

A businessman and coal mining executive, White graduated from Marshall in 1997 with a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree. He is a former member and past chairman of the university's Board of Governors, former member and vice president of the West Virginia Board of Education, and former member of the University of Pikeville Board of Trustees.

Putnam County Parks and Recreation will host a beginning photography class by Laura Moul from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 17, 24 and March 3. The class is limited to 10 people, and the fee is $80. For more information, contact Moul at 304-743-8281 or visit www.moulphotography.com. To register, call 304-562-0518, ext. 10.

To submit an item, send it by email to yournews@dailymailwv.com, fax it to 304-348-4847 or mail it to Community Briefs, Charleston Daily Mail, 1001 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV 25301.

Editorial cartoon, Wednesday, Jan. 28 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129305 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129305 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Editorial cartoon, Wednesday, Jan. 28

Megan McArdle: Fill up on cheap gas while you can http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129306 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129306 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Raise that thermostat and fire up the SUV: West Texas Intermediate crude is hovering around $45 a barrel, and the Costco near my house is currently vending gasoline for under $2 a gallon.

But don't start pricing Hummers just yet, because we don't know how long this will last.

No one knows exactly what factors are causing prices to fall so far, so fast, but there is a strong suspicion that Saudi Arabia, which you can think of as the central banker of OPEC, is letting prices fall in the hopes of killing off the competition from U.S. and Canadian shale oil. The question, then, is: Who will blink first?

At first blush, you might think that Middle Eastern oil producers have the upper hand. Their oil requires relatively little investment to get out of the ground; it's not quite as simple as sticking a straw in the desert and sucking out the black stuff, but it sure looks like that compared to the complexity of a fracking operation. And fracking wells dry up fairly quickly, requiring even more investment just to stay in place.

But the shale oil producers also have some advantages. First of all, the Saudis need high prices to support their government spending -- the IMF estimates that they require a price of about $90 a barrel just to pay the bills. That means they can't keep up a price war forever.

Second of all, upstart industries tend to improve pretty quickly in their first years or decades of operation, and fracking is no exception; my Bloomberg News colleagues report that the break-even point for many operations is $70 or less, which is lower than OPEC nations can sustain.

Even if they manage to push U.S. and Canadian fracking operations offline temporarily, the technology and expertise still exist. It took less than 10 years from the time when prices started soaring to the point where the U.S. was producing more oil than most OPEC members. If oil prices soared again, it would take even less time to get up and running again.

So if Saudi Arabia wants to keep those producers out of the game, it's not enough just to push the current producers out of business -- it has to keep oil prices permanently low enough to deter investors from going back into the shale fields.

That sounds like a price of about $60 a barrel, which would put a whole lot of OPEC nations in a whole lot of financial pain.

Meanwhile, unlike Saudi Arabia, the shale fields are investing money that's raised in other sectors -- many of which will boom thanks to lower oil prices.

If they can convince those investors that prices are headed for a rebound, they will have deeper pockets than the Saudis to fight a price war.

It's not surprising, then, that a new Bloomberg News survey of investors and analysts suggests that a majority think the Saudis will blink first.

Production will be curtailed, prices will rise and many shale operations will stay in business, even if some of the more expensive ones have to cap their wells and move on.

So enjoy that $2 gasoline while you have it.

Megan McArdle is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes on economics, business and public policy.

Laurie Lin: Overly broad laws threaten all of us http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129307 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129307 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 -0500 The case of three missing fish could have big implications for millions of Americans who believe themselves - probably mistakenly - to be law-abiding citizens.

In 2007, commercial fisherman John Yates was fishing off the Florida coast when state fish and wildlife officers boarded his boat.

They examined his catch and determined that 72 red grouper were too small. But when Yates returned to port and officials re-inspected his catch, they found only 69 undersized fish.

A full three years after the incident, federal officials charged Yates with a federal crime. By throwing three grouper overboard, they said, Yates had violated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a law passed in the wake of the Enron scandal and aimed at public companies and accounting firms.

Yates was convicted and sentenced to 30 days in prison and three years of supervised release.

If you're wondering how a law that was enacted to prevent accounting scandals sent a fisherman to prison, you're in good company.

Yates appealed to the Supreme Court. It heard his case in November.

The government argued that a section of Sarbanes-Oxley aimed at shredding documents could apply to destroying fish.

Some members of the court were skeptical. "This statute, as you read it, is capable of being applied to really trivial matters," said Justice Samuel Alito.

Justice Antonin Scalia noted that the statute carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. "What kind of mad prosecutor," Scalia asked, "would ask for 20 years" in prison for destroying three fish?

The problem the Supreme Court faces is that the law is so vaguely written that its literal terms apply to what Yates did, even though the result borders on absurd.

There are many such laws. "Citizens from all walks of life," writes civil liberties advocate Harvey Silverglate, "have found themselves the targets of federal prosecutions, despite sensibly believing that they did nothing wrong, broke no laws, and harmed not a single person."

Silverglate's book, "Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent," highlights how vague laws and overzealous prosecutors trap people for things they'd never imagined were criminal.

When criminal laws are written and interpreted so broadly, nearly everyone, from the teenager across the street to your elderly grandmother, is technically guilty of some crime or another.

That puts immense power in the hands of prosecutors. It's been said that the power to tax is the power to destroy, but surely the power to prosecute is that and more: the power to tarnish a person's reputation, to bankrupt him with legal bills, to deprive him of his livelihood and liberty.

Prosecutors have enormous discretion over which cases they bring to court, and even the most ethical would tell you that there's more to it than simply going after the worst of the worst.

Sometimes they prosecute a highly visible public figure to set a cautionary example for the public. You can ask Martha Stewart, formerly of West Virginia's Alderson federal prison camp, about that.

And sometimes it's worse. Sometimes people are charged with crimes not because of what they've done, but because of who they are.

Most frequently we see this play out in the political arena. In some places, holding elected office when the opposing party controls the legal apparatus can be a dangerous business.

There are plenty of crooked politicians. But prosecutors, don't forget, are often aspiring politicians themselves.

And if you're an ambitious district attorney looking to grab headlines by bringing down a big target, vaguely worded laws like the one in the Yates case are a gift.

We saw this happen in Texas last year when a special prosecutor in Texas indicted governor Rick Perry for the dastardly crime of using his constitutionally granted veto power.

That indictment was roundly mocked by both the right and the left as a political stunt. Nonetheless, there are now mugshots of Rick Perry. The mere fact that he was indicted will be a political milestone for the rest of his career.

Politicians or not, we all have a stake in resisting the overcriminalization of American life. When everybody's a potential criminal, nobody's really free.

Laurie Lin is a Daily Mail columnist. Contact her at laurie.lin@dailymailwv.com or follow her on Twitter at @wvpundette.

Editorial: More debate needed on school vaccine proposal http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129308 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129308 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 -0500 If you need to be reminded of how important vaccines are, look no further than last week's headlines. An outbreak of measles originating at Disneyland in California has seen over 100 children fall ill, the majority of them unvaccinated.

A bill being considered in the state Legislature would change the law regarding mandatory vaccines for West Virginia schoolchildren in two significant ways.

First, it would streamline the process for requesting medical exemptions. Due to immune deficiencies or other medical conditions, a small number of children cannot safely receive certain vaccines, so current law allows for exemptions in special circumstances.

Parents have complained that the process for getting medical exemptions is overly dependent on bureaucrats rather than doctors and leaves them mired in red tape. Fixing that problem is a worthy goal.

Second, the bill would create an exemption for parents with religious objections to vaccinating their children. West Virginia and Mississippi are the only states without such exemptions.

Why create a religious exemption? Supporters say that currently, religious objectors tend to home-school, avoiding the vaccine issue entirely. The bill sets up an application process for the religious exemption that includes mandatory education about vaccines in both a community health office and a doctor's office.

The goal, they say, is to make getting the exemption more of a hassle than simply getting the vaccine. That, plus the information parents would hear when they apply for the exemption, will nudge more parents in the direction of vaccinating.

The bill's supporters say it will increase vaccine rates in West Virginia. Still, it undeniably creates a religious exemption where there currently is none.

A religious exemption isn't necessarily a recipe for widespread vaccine avoidance - many states with religious exemptions actually have higher vaccine rates than we do - but it's worth looking closely at the numbers and asking if we're sure this will be a net positive.

The question is whether the change will lead to more kids being vaccinated. Lawmakers should get to the bottom of that question and vote accordingly.

Editorial: Let race tracks survive on their own http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129309 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129309 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Only a government program can be so convoluted. In an outdated effort to preserve a dying pastime, gaming casinos in West Virginia are sending a significant portion of their profits to the state Lottery Commission, which in turn sends those profits to support greyhound racing.

We are not talking about subsidies to help incubate a promising new growth industry for the state. We're talking about government-sponsored subsidies that prop up an increasingly unpopular industry that is very likely to, and should, die a just death without the subsidies.

As explained in Tuesday's Daily Mail by Capitol Reporter Joel Ebert, West Virginia's subsidy for the greyhound racing industry comes from payments made to the Lottery Commission from Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, both of which operate video lottery, table games and greyhound races.

The Commission transfers those dollars - about 10 percent of casinos' gross gaming revenue - to accounts for the greyhound racetracks and to the West Virginia Racing Commission, which makes payments out of the state's Greyhound Breeding Development Fund.

"At issue is whether that practice should continue or be modified and what would be the economic impact of ending the subsidies or modifying them," the report explained.

The data show that greyhound racing does not come close to supporting itself. The amount of money that patrons wager on live races declined 55 percent from 2004 to 2013.

Beyond decreases of in-state wagering, money awarded increased by 446 percent between 1990 and 2003, in large part due to government subsidies, according to researchers at Spectrum Gaming Group, a firm that provides independent research and services to the gambling industry and state governments.

As a percentage of racing purses, state subsidies have increased since 1995, when it was just 49 percent. Today, state subsidies account for more than 95 percent of total purses.

Despite increases in state-funded subsidies, West Virginians have not benefited, the report found.

"Our review of purse awards shows that for every dollar awarded to West Virginia resident greyhound owners, nearly two dollars are awarded to greyhound owners who live out of state," the study said. "In fact, 2013 Wheeling Island purse awards to Kansas residents were higher than purse awards to West Virginia residents."

The report goes on, including data about dog injuries, deaths and cruelty.

We've heard enough. It's time to end the subsidies for greyhound racing in West Virginia.

Your vents, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129313 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/DM04/150129313 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 -0500 n How about 50 percent of working-age West Virginia citizens not working? With all of the government programs, why should they work?

n We need law enforcement on Dalewood Drive in Cross Lanes to stop all of the ATVs and dirt bikes driving around on the road. They don't have headlights or nothing. It is a total nuisance. They are violating the disturbance of the peace law and everything else. It is against the law for the dirt bikes to be on the road.

n If the DNR wildlife biologist had not been concentrating so much on getting themselves huge pay raises and title changes, they might have had time to work on what they were hired to do, which is managing the deer seasons without 30 percent "D" time.

n Now that Danny Jones' son has formally been indicted for several felonies, is it a coincidence that he is appearing in front of same judge who put him on probation for other felonies? It looks like someone else would like to handle this.

n What is the status of the charges against Natalie Tennant for campaigning in front of the voter's registration office when it was open for voting? It seems that was swept under the rug. It needs to be brought back out and dealt with.

n Before the city of Charleston has another municipal election, city council should get together and pass some type of ordinance limiting the number of terms for elected officials everywhere throughout the city. It would benefit everyone.

n Are there any actual legal attorneys in this state? Or are they all a bunch of crooks?

n For those of you who believe Obama is a wonderful president and have never heard him lie, I suggest you read Thomas Sowell editorials and watch the Fox News channel. You will see the proof of his many contradictions. Enough said.

n Hey Mayor Danny Jones, Thanks for the street lights in Kanawha City. We are now able to see the pot holes to dodge them.

n These predatory telemarketing calls have done great harm to some of our most trusting and vulnerable citizens. How long would this last if the phone company was losing money rather than making money hand over fist? Could it be time for a frivolous law suit?

n If the GOP-backed XL pipeline is such a jobs bill, why did the GOP-controlled Senate vote down two Democratic amendments that would have assured that oil pumped through the pipeline be prohibited from being shipped overseas, and that only American-made steel be used in its construction? The GOP talks the talk, but they don't walk the walk.

n People worry that liberals are brainwashing their children, while at the same time forcing them to go to church to be brainwashed. 

n If humanity ever accepts the facts that nobody is going to live forever and there is no proof that any god has ever existed, maybe we will finally have peace on this blue marble.

n If you're still asking your friends to give you five examples of Obama's failures, your friends are laughing at you for still being so foolish to believe he's doing a good job.

n The Republicans have only been in office for a few days and have already improved the economy for some of our citizens.  The legislative leaders gave huge raises to the staff people they replaced the Democrats with.  This proves two things: First, they showed they are taking care of their own and second, they proved Democrats don't need as much money as Republicans do.

n Thousands are out of work in this state. Republicans want to pass laws to bring in jobs and get people back to work. Unions are against this. They'd rather have people out of work than working non-union. I think the unemployed just want to work.

n Amused by a recent vent that claims Alex Mooney is not a "carpetbagger" since he moved to West Virginia from Maryland, "a slave state."  However, one of the two definitions for "carpetbagger" listed by dictionary.com is: "any opportunistic or exploitive outsider." Accordingly Alex Mooney is a "carpetbagger."

Judy Grigoraci - From the Kitchen: You're never too young to learn how to cook http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/GZ05/150129323 GZ05 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150128/GZ05/150129323 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 -0500 I was fortunate a couple weeks ago to spend a little time with a group of young potential chefs at their basic-training headquarters.

Young and very basic is accurate because, after all, how much experience can they have had since the gaggle of adorable culinary co-eds are only three, four, and five years old!

"This is the first year pre-K has been offered at Weberwood Elementary," says teacher Stacy Lazo-Deiss, hereafter referred to as "Miss Stacy."

"The curriculum suggests a cooking center and that's what we're doing in our pre-K room with the cooking classes, along with keeping up with the standard units of learning. It's a plus for the students that they get to eat their class work."

She has help in the room from assistant Barbara Stutler (that's "Miss Barbara" to us) and aides "Miss Lisa" and "Miss Jill."

Miss Stacy has been teaching pre-K for 13 years and came to Weberwood from Grandview Elementary where student cooking was part of her classroom.

During her time at Grandview one study unit was based on nursery rhymes, so Miss Stacy selected eggs, borrowing from the Humpty Dumpty tragic-ending saga.

"For six straight weeks we did eggs every conceivable way," she recounted. "We worked with them raw, hard boiled, in quiche, frittata, eggs Benedict, and huevos rancheros, then we ended up doing a little cook booklet of those recipes."

She generally likes for the children to cook what they play with.

"For example, salt dough ornaments that we did here this past Christmas are reminiscent of play dough."

She considers cooking as encompassing science and math, an exploration of different cultures through food experiences, and an exposure to life skills.

"The Weberwood school kitchen is a great help to us," she says. "Not having an oven in my room, they bake the items we can't. I alarmed the cooks with the dough ornaments because they thought we had made sugar cookie cutouts and, fearing I had a failure, the concerned cooks told me the children's desserts had turned out like hockey pucks."

So far this year one of the more popular dishes was guacamole.

"It was in October, closing in on Halloween, when we did a unit on monsters," Miss Stacy recalled.

"Naturally the kids were most interested. In fact, I thought we'd never move away from monsters.

"During that cooking session, many of my students were introduced to the avocado, which they then transformed into the flavorful guacamole. I think naming it the 'green monster mash' led to its attraction. The kids loved the finished dish and some wouldn't throw away their plates."

Since then, besides the dough ornaments and guacamole, the class has mastered (uncooked cucumber) refrigerator dill pickles, surprisingly delicious pumpkin-apple bake (a fresh whole pie pumpkin hollowed out and roasted with spices and fall fruits), pumpkin seeds and pumpkin bread in a (soup) can,

I got there too late in the day for the latest session with the animated group - ice cream. You could say the students were all shook up, because the cream base is in a baggie, surrounded by another baggie full of ice and salt. It all gets shaken by hand until ice cream forms.

The ice cream recipe is here, especially if you are looking for a hands-on activity with a youngster of your acquaintance.

Super Bowl is coming, so maybe you might like to see how the Weberwood pre-K gang preps for a party, via their avocado recipe, at the same time scaring away monsters.

Reach Judy Grigoraci at jg@suddenlink.net.

Big Green Monster Mash (guacamole)

3 pitted and diced avocados

Half a diced onion

Juice of 1 lime

1 diced tomato

2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

MASH diced avocado with back of a fork; add remaining ingredients, mixing with a spoon.

REFRIGERATE until ready to eat. Serve with tortilla chips and/or veggies as a dip.

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)

Ice cubes

6 tablespoons rock salt

½ cup whole milk, half and half (or heavy cream for extra richness)

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla

1 pint-size (or quart) plastic food storage bag

FILL the gallon bag half full of ice; add rock salt; set aside while filling the second bag.

COMBINE milk, sugar and vanilla in small bag; mix well; seal bag well.

PLACE small bag inside the large one and carefully seal the top completely. Shake and tumble bag until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes. Wipe off any water from top and sides of the smaller bag, then open it carefully and enjoy!

Note: The ½ cup milk will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so recipe may be doubled but no more than double if preparing with smaller children. The weight of the ice in larger quantities might be too heavy for them to handle. Another tip - the procedure does lead to cold hands. For mint ice cream, flavor the mixture with peppermint extract and stir in mini chocolate chips.