LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Unwanted drugs accepted

Our Berkeley County Sheriff has created a temporary drop off location for unwanted drugs of all kinds in the office at 802 Emmett Rousch Drive, which is off of South Queen Street just to the rear of the Health Department building near Martinsburg High School.

The mailbox-type of drop off to the left in the front lobby is a convenient and safe depository whenever the office is open. This is a long needed service to the community and much appreciated.

A permanent collection site is planned for the sheriff’s office under construction on South Raleigh Street.

Medicines, including liquids, should be left in the original containers with only the person’s name and prescription number marked out.

Please do not flush medicines down the drain or place in the garbage. They will eventually enter our water supply, which we need to keep clean and safe. We also need to protect our children from abusing drugs that seem harmless, but can be killers when mixed with other agents.

This information is from a brochure distributed by the Eastern Panhandle Medical Society. Volunteers who will help with distribution may call 304-263-0303.

Sara H. Townsend

Martinsburg

Reader recommends candidates

Election to the Jefferson County Board of Education is conducted during the May primary. There are two seats to be filled and there are five candidates.

The candidates are Gary Kable, currently a board member; Mark Osbourn, current principal at Shipley Elementary who is retiring in June and has much support from staff, parents and students at that school; Jim Jenkins, long time teacher in Jefferson County but for financial reasons now teaches in Virginia; Laurie Ogden, former teacher and now raising four children and is active in education programs. The last candidate is Lori Stilley. Recently, she served as a board member and for a time as president. She was not re-elected to serve another term. I suggest that voters not in Jefferson County during her tenure, contact friends, neighbors and school staff to determine her success or lack thereof.

For what it is worth, my choices are Mark Osbourn, who will bring much educational and management experience to the board and Gary Kable, who will continue his work to get what he believes the county needs to increase our level of education.

Membership on the Board of Education is a big responsibility and we should all do our homework before casting our votes.

Good luck to all of us.

Charles Cheezum

Charles Town

Endorses Kable and Osbourn

The purpose of this letter is two-fold. The first is to thank the voters of Jefferson County for their past support. The eight years have been rewarding to me, and I hope have had positive results for Jefferson County Schools.

Secondly, I want to endorse two candidates in the May primary for the two open seats on the Jefferson County Board of Education. I am endorsing Mark Osbourn, who is currently Principal of C.W. Shipley Elementary and Gary Kable, currently a member of the board.

Mark has spent most of his 38 years in education with Jefferson County Schools. Twenty-three of those have been as a principal. Under his leadership, C.W. Shipley has been named a West Virginia School of Excellence once and a West Virginia Exemplary School five times. Mark is a man of unquestionable integrity who deserves the support of the voters of Jefferson County.

I have served for six years on the present Board of Education with Gary Kable. Gary currently serves as vice-president of the local board. His primary focus has always been on the welfare of our students. He has earned the respect of his colleagues statewide, which is evidenced by his selection as vice-president of the West Virginia School Boards Association. If re-elected, next year he will be president of that body. He deserves another term.

I urge the voters of Jefferson County to vote for both Mark Osbourn and Gary Kable for Jefferson County Board of Education in the May 8 primary election. Thank you for your consideration.

Alan Sturm

Jefferson County

Board of Education

Maxey’s preservation efforts lauded

Our two-river district contains many bridges. Some afford a quicker route into town. Others provide a scenic route for hiking. Some are weathered. Others are newly built. But what they all have in common is their means of connecting people to their destination and to each other.

When my husband and I first moved from the hyper-developed area of Silver Spring, Md., to the verdant Shannondale subdivision, we experienced the importance of a community bridge, too. We witnessed the St. Andrews Mountain Community Center, for instance, transform from a sleepy, historical structure to a vibrant meeting place. Friends and neighbors now enjoy fitness classes, preschool activities, film screenings, music events and a fully stocked library. Nonprofit organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and the Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition meet regularly in the former 1900s orphanage.

Much thanks for the survival of our community center is owed to John Maxey, board chair for the Saint Andrews Community Center Project and candidate for 66th West Virginia House District delegate.

When the building was being threatened by the promise of real-estate sale, Maxey volunteered to help revitalize the center and keep it in community hands. Yes, he now helps organize activities and leads new projects along with a dedicated group of volunteers. But his willingness to clean a 100-year-old basement, fix floorboards, stand in 90-degree sun to greet yard sale folks and fervently pursue grant funding for the building’s upkeep is what makes him so inspiring.

I have met and continue to meet so many of my neighbors at that community center. More importantly, I regularly witness folks of seemingly disparate interests unite under one roof to support a young musician, check out a book or keep their toddler busy. Everybody who walks through the center’s doors has its continued success in mind.

And Maxey is the bridge that helps make that possible.

Vanessa Stolarski

Founder, The Locavore Project

Shannondale

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