Folk has what it takes


While I am a resident of Jefferson County, I felt compelled to write in support of Mr. Mike Folk, who is running for West Virginia House of Delegates — 63rd District in Berkeley County. I have been a professor of psychology at Shepherd University since 1986 and have been blessed with many fine students over the years. Folk was one of my first students at Shepherd and I’d like to share with you some of my views regarding him. To begin with, Folk is a bright, young man and has a tremendous desire to succeed. Folk took at least three classes with me and in each class, he worked very hard and did extremely well.

Folk also played football at Shepherd and his high level of motivation and athletic ability resulted in Folk experiencing a great deal of success on the team.

I consider myself fortunate to have been able to maintain a friendship with him over the years and see the man he has become today. Happily married, and the proud father of four, Folk has spoken to me about getting into politics and really making a difference in Berkeley County.

I urge all readers to vote in the upcoming election for Folk for West Virginia House of Delegates 63rd District. I’m convinced he can and will do an outstanding job.


Joseph Merz, Ph.D.

Shepherd University


Vote for the individual, not the party


Do you want your voice heard in Charleston? Have you ever said the capital is too far away and they forget the Eastern Panhandle? Well, it’s time to forget your political party and vote for the individual that has a proven record of not forgetting us. That individual is Sen. Herb Snyder.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sen. Snyder during my term as Mayor of Charles Town. I know first hand the power he has in the Senate and in Charleston. We cannot afford to lose him. He chairs one of the major committees in the senate, the Senate Government Organizations.

One of Snyder’s greatest accomplishments for the citizens of the Eastern Panhandle is Senate Bill 245. He wrote this bill to provide state financial support for eight counties under an unfunded mandate to meet Chesapeake Bay standards. To get this bill passed shows Snyder’s dedication and loyalty to his constituents. Millions of dollars are needed for the upgrades in Berkeley and Jefferson County. This bill will help fund new and improved sewer utilities and in the long run help the rate payers.

This is just one example of Snyder’s accomplishments. Let’s keep him in office.


Peggy Smith

Charles Town


Maxey will hold electric company accountable

I have lived on the mountain for over 10 years and have a good basis of comparison of service levels both when Allegheny Power was our utility provider, and now.

Allegheny Power was not without its problems, but the reliability of electric power on the Blue Ridge has decreased dramatically since Potomac Edison has taken over. After several informal complaints by me to the Public Service Commission regarding Potomac Edison’s unreliable service, the PSC recommended I file a formal complaint. This complaint can be found on the PSC web site — reference PSC Case 12-0932-E-C.

Based on information received through the various filings in my case, I have learned that the circuit that serves my area (approximately 1,800 customers along the Blue Ridge) is one of the worst performing circuits for the entire company, and is predicted to become the worst-performing circuit in the company in 2013. Based on their numbers, since Potomac Edison has taken over as our utility provider, the number of outages has increased by 36.7 percent, and the duration of the outages (length of time between power loss and power restoration) has increased by 50 percent. Their answer to the problem is to segment the circuit, so that other customers are unaffected.

Potomac Edison places all the blame for its unreliability on off-row trees.

These trees have been there the entire 10 years I have been a resident; they did not just sprout up overnight. This company and its sister companies, which provide utility services with no competition for the entire state, serves areas very similar to and even more densely wooded than the Blue Ridge. So, one wonders why our circuit really performs so poorly.

The state currently guarantees these companies a 10 percent rate of return on capital investments. A better idea would be to tie rates to reliability indexes — forcing companies to actually serve their customers. There is only one candidate currently running for office that has proposed such an idea – John Maxey.

Maxey is a resident of the Blue Ridge and is affected by and is informed about the problems plaguing the area, and of the larger county. He runs a business here. He is very involved in several issues affecting Jefferson County (and District 66 citizens), including the Blue Ridge watershed and the Mountain Community Center. He will fight for us in Charleston.

I encourage all District 66 residents to vote for Maxey!


Jami M. Hadden

Harpers Ferry


What is the definition of pro-life?


I say if you claim to be pro-life; prove it! I begin by saying a pro-life label is an oxymoron. Everyone is for life. But, since some insist on a label to denigrate political opponents, I say prove your pro-life stand by what you actually stand for! Pro-life has to be more than denying victims of rape access to Medicaid-funded abortions, or insisting that rape victim did all in her power to fight the aggressor, or forcing women to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds, or insisting on or an unbelievable assault on contraceptives.

Pro-life has to be about quality of life in America. Pro-life needs to stand for increase in minimum wage so that parents don’t have to work two jobs each and leave children unattended. Pro-life means standing for the Paycheck Fairness Act so that equal pay is given for equal work. Pro-life stands for strengthening the Violence Against Women Act, not weakening it. Pro-life would not reverse Obamacare, which says you can’t deny medical service because of a pre-existing condition. A decent healthcare system gives quality to life and the individual mandate assures every adult and child universal quality care. If we go backwards, we are putting insurance companies back in charge of who gets care and who doesn’t.

Pro-life would not disparage the investments that Senior Citizens earned as entitlements and deny Senior citizens their benefits. They would stand up to the fossil fuel industry to determine our relationship to the environment. As long as we allow the fossil fuel industries to take charge, we are heading for catastrophic environmental collapse. Pro-life would not disparage the investments that senior citizens earned as entitlements and deny senior citizens their benefits.

Pro-lifers would not allow schools to suffer continual cuts to education so that eventually only the wealthy have access to quality education and job opportunities. Pro-lifers would not claim that the top one percent are severely overtaxed and need relief, while denying the working poor and those on Medicare assistance. Pro-lifers would stand for the unions, which created a more equitable way of sharing our natural resources.

The Constitution reminds us we are to provide for the general welfare of our citizens. The Judeo-Christian tradition and every other religion represented in the USA has a version of the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do to you. I have a hunch that’s a more complete way to say pro-life.


Virginia Lynch Graf

Charles Town



Simon: Yes!

Skinner: No!


A recent article in the Charleston Gazette highlighted the differences in fundraising between the two candidates vying to represent West Virginia’s 67th district in the House of Delegates, Republican Elliot Simon and Democrat Stephen Skinner.

The newspaper reported that “a handful of West Virginia counties are becoming pricey battlegrounds.” The article specifically mentions that, as a trial lawyer, Skinner has attracted the second largest amount of political contributions among House candidates “with fellow lawyers and labor union political action committees among his donors.” Political allies have funneled over $80,000 to a public office that pays $20,000 a year. We do not need more special-interest politicians like Skinner in Charleston.

Simon, on the other hand, is retired and can dedicate his full-time attention to listening to the needs of Jefferson County residents. He believes in limiting government to make it responsive and accountable. If elected, Simon will promote freedom for all through common-sense reforms to the state budget, tax rates, stifling regulations, public education, and the court system.

Simon has experience representing residents’ concerns while serving on the board of the Eastern Panhandle Organization of Homeowners Associations. Furthermore, he knows how to bring economic prosperity and job creation to West Virginia from his experience as a small-business executive with responsibility for hundreds of employees.

Simon has been walking Jefferson County for months in a door-to-door campaign to meet with citizens. If he hasn’t reached you yet, you can find out more at simonfordelegate.com.

I hope that others will join me in voting for Elliot Simon on Nov. 6!


Todd Metzgar

Harpers Ferry



Support smart growth


I’m voting for Frances Morgan for County Commissioner because I want well-planned, economically-diverse growth in Jefferson County that preserves the best of our county and builds on our historic and natural resources. I was born here more than 60 years ago and I have seen, more than most, what has happened to this lovely county because previous County Commissions basically gave developers free rein to build thousands of houses wherever they chose, even in areas zoned as rural or agricultural. This willy-nilly method of development was particularly rampant during the housing bubble that peaked in the mid-2000s when Morgans’ opponent served on the commission as a supporter of “anything goes” housing development.

You may think all of this is in the past as you have watched the housing market tank. We have been lulled into thinking that we no longer need to worry about housing developers controlling the County Commission. That time is over. We need to wake up to the fact that housing developers are coming back in this county — to build previously approved but dormant developments and to get approval for new developments.

Right now we have a County Commission dominated by three commissioners who will send us right back to the “anything goes” development of the past. Already they are voting 3-2 in favor of housing developers who have come to them in recent months for various favors. Morgan and Lyn Widmyer are the only two Commissioners voting for planned, smart growth decisions.

We need to return Morgan to the County Commission and in two years elect two smart-growth proponents to gain a 3-2 majority working for a prosperous, economically diverse, well-planned Jefferson County for the 21st century.


Susan Rissler-Sheely


Morgan for Commission

Charles Town




Thank God there are still some honest people around.

Last Saturday, my wife lost her billfold in the parking lot at McDonalds.

Some dear lady — an angel — found the billfold and took it inside and told the clerk she found it. I saw it and told her it looked like my wife’s. Inside was my wife’s license.

I thanked the lady and in no time she disappeared.

If she would please contact us, we would like to tip her and meet her. My address is 801 Morison St., Charles Town WV 25414


W. Glenn Ramsburg

Charles Town

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