Marsh Fork Elementary Groundbreaking – NOT INVITED

The newest Dog and Pony show by the corrupt politicians and coal industry is being held at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Marsh Fork Elementary School.  These are the men that admittedly and publicly lobby for pollution laws to be lessened, who are in favor of Mountain Top Removal coal strip mining, and aren’t interested in funding or recognizing health studies. These are the men who ignore their constituents when it does not benefit the coal industry. Now, unbelievably, the local activists that donated their time and money, as well as enduring arrests, threats, and physical violence to make this happen for their children have not been invited to speak, or even attend the groundbreaking ceremony.

Had it not been for Bo Webb, Ed Wiley, Judy Bonds, and many, many others, there would be no new school. Then Governor Manchin ignored their pleas initially, even when told that the children were suffering breathing difficulties and other ailments from coal dust and microscopic blasting debris,  as well as being forced to attend a school at the base of a leaking 6 billion gallon slurry dam. Only when Ed Wiley walked from Charleston to Washington, DC., and found the ear of the Late Senator Byrd, did something begin to happen.  Even still, the total cost of the school was not going to be covered by the State of West Virginia, or Massey Energy – the owner of the mines, slurry ponds, and MTR site that caused the illnesses.  (Massey Energy by the way, was the coal company allegedly responsible for the deaths of 29 miners just three miles down the road from the original school due to mine safety negligence – now sold to Alpha Natural Resources). Finally, in response to the activists work, the Annenberg Foundation came up with the additional money proposed to make it happen.

The Marsh Fork Elementary School is funded through the Raleigh County School Board ($3.53 million); Alpha Natural Resources ($1.5 million); Annenberg Foundation ($2.5 million); the School Building Authority of West Virginia ($3.146 million); and Pennies for Promises, Coal River Mountain Watch ($11,000).

Now these selfless people who continue to stand up for their community and children are not invited.

Maybe it’s a good thing. Who would want to stand around with menacing, mean, greedy, self important, corrupt representatives of these political and coal concerns that really don’t give a flying fart in the wind about the people of the Coal River Valley.  It’s just another photo opportunity to look caring, and generous. Frankly,  given the fact that they only participated once they had no choice, goes to show where their black coal hearts are in this matter.

No matter whether anyone is subsequently invited to be there or not, the people of the Coal River Valley know who really made this happen. That’s all that really matters. Thank you, and you know who you are.  You don’t need recognition because God knows, and your hearts are stronger for it.

BO WEB ON THE RADIO (about 30 minutes into the Podcast) explains the entire ordeal from beginning to end.

Coal Tattoo article on Marsh Fork by Ken Ward, JR.

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11 Responses to Marsh Fork Elementary Groundbreaking – NOT INVITED

  1. Walt says:

    Does it really make a difference who speaks and who doesn’t, who’s invited and who’s not. Isn’t having a new school built the most important thing?

  2. Admin says:

    Not having to build a new school solely because it’s near an MTR site would be a much more important thing.

    Not having to be threatened, beat up, killed, spend time in jail, or go out and protest because you are getting nowhere asking for help would be good, too.

    Not having to waste huge resources of funds in the state on building a new school because an existing one is a health risk would be pretty good.

    Having politicians that ‘represent’ the people’s health and welfare instead of big coal would be a good start, too.

    And to answer your question, no, it IS incredibly important who is invited. Being not invited is, in effect, a public declaration that the people that brought this about are insignificant, and speaks volumes about this situation. Inviting them would concede that non-violent protests, and civil disobedience are viable ways of fighting corruption.

    It would be appropriate to honor those who spent their time, money, and energy against all odds and opposition by inviting them. Then it wouldn’t be blatantly obvious that their needs continue to be held as insignificant, and that the school is really being used as a platform for media hype about how ‘concerned’ and ‘generous’ the state and coal industry is about this situation. It would also show that it’s not political power being wielded here, but compromise and mutual respect.

    So there is no mutual respect, when there could be. Yes, I think it’s truly very important to consider how things appear in between the lines, as well as in them, represented by “who get’s invited.”

  3. Walt says:

    And after all of these years, I thought it was about the safety of kids who attended Marsh Fork, not some dried up environmmentalist who wants to see their name in the paper. Here let me pat you on the back and give you an atta boy. Feel better now?

  4. Citizen Harry says:

    It’s not the admin to this blog you need to thank, it’s Bo Webb, Maria Gunnoe, Ed Wiley, Debbie Jarrell, and Judy Bonds… whoops, oh I forgot… Judy can’t be thanked personally because she’s dead from cancer along with many others in her family after living near an MTR site.

    Way to skirt the issue and show again what bullies you and your kind really are. Keep up you feeble attempts to debunk the truth. It shines a perfect light on your agenda, and your personality. Enjoy that paycheck based on coal profits while you can, because when the coal runs out your janitor duties won’t be needed anymore.
    – Citizen Harry

  5. Walt says:

    How do you know Mrs. Bonds cancer was caused by Cancer? You don’t, it is just an easy out for you. What caused my cousin’s cancer who by the way has lived in Florida his entire life?

    How did I skirt the issue? During the past several didn’t enviro’s claim the children were in danger, because they lived below an impoundment and beside a rail loadout? Today a new school is being built that will place the students of Marsh Fork out of what you consider harms way, so you got what you wanted, but yet your still not satisfied. No you want you names in the paper and plastered all over the internet telling everyone look at what I’ve done. Isn’t that the truth Harry?

    Personally, I can’t wait until they decide the name, wouldn’t be ironic if it were named Massey Elementary or Blankenship Elementary. lol
    I’m sure there will be plenty of heated discussion over this at future meetings.

    Harry, for the hundredth time, what are we going to do when (as you say)we run out of coal in the next few years? You’ve dodged this question for the past two years, it tme to man up, if you don’t have a clue then just say so.

  6. Citizen Harry says:

    How do I know Judy Bonds cancer was caused by Cancer? Huh?

    I’d guess that her having to drink water that hosted fish kills and was black with coal tailings, breathing coal dust and blasting debris, as well living in an area that (coincidentally to being near a MTR site) has the high cancer rate just might seem to be the culprit. Heck, if cancer came with a name tag on it that said ‘coal mining’, it probably wouldn’t make any difference to the mentality of the politicians or coal companies CEO’s like Blankenship anyway, so that’s a mute point, unfortunately.

    I don’t see how you don’t understand, as a bunch of text has been written here already in reply to you on the topic. So let me reiterate… I think being invited, and being recognized for efforts by the people that actually put this into motion, and raised $11,000 in their Penny’s of Promise campaign, etc., (see previous posts) would simply be appropriate. Recognition, here, not because, as you so glibly put it, “to get their names in the paper”. NO. Again, you use your smoke and mirrors to degrade honest heroes, and degrade the bitter and unfortunate way they had to get this accomplished when dealing with corruption and greed of their unwilling political and economic representatives… having to resort to civil disobedience and protesting. And you never replied to what was said about ‘not having to build a new school at all’ because it exists next to a blight on the community and the world… an MTR site.

    It also has to do with the other issues brought up lately, like the congressional hearing in Charleston leaving out legal testimony. The flaunting of freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution… Those are the issues you’re evading with your attempt to minimize their heroic public struggles.

    I have replied to your question about alternative energy and “manned up” as you put it many times in this blog throughout the time I’ve written here. So let me say it again.

    There is no one real answer. So I’ll list just a few off the top of my head.

    Education, and not allowing kids to graduate high school without real knowledge of language, social studies, environmental studies, technology and mathematics.

    Term Limits for politicians, limits on campaign donations, and extreme penalties for taking or giving money for political favors.

    A moratorium on extreme environmental policies by corporations that result in pollution with huge monetary penalties.

    Utilize research and development for solar power, and make it economically feasible for solar farms to run like is being done in the U.K.

    Lastly, how can we change the minds of fat cat politicians and CEO’s that flaunt their power and influence? No answer for that. I guess there’s nothing you can do about self centered bureaucrats that want wealth more than an energy policy that would lead the world. We have plenty of resources to do things differently. What we really need is people that care more about the environment, real economics, all children’s future, rather than their own bank accounts.

    And until that happens, you’re right, Walt. Those that feel disdain for the common man hold back the movement towards a bright, clean energy future. The problem is, their kind won’t admit to that, and feel safer pointing fingers at good people fighting for their lives in your big corporate shadows.

    This county wastes tons of energy. People waste tons of energy. There is no real consciousness about that. When it does come crashing down, no one will be exempt from paying the real price for ignorance, greed, and corruption. And the day is coming sooner than short sighted people might think.

    It’s not a problem to be debated, it’s a life and death struggle that should be at the top of everyone’s minds. We need to move towards clean energy now.

    • Walt says:

      Yes, I made a mistake, but it’s not surprising that you could not put two and two together and figure it out.

      Cancer is not just limited to West Virginia. this illness is worldwide so tell me Harry, what causes cancer out in the Pacific Northwest? Or in the South surely you’re not going to blame it on MTR, so why are you trying to blame it on MTR here in West Virginia? Cancer rates are just as high in non-coal producing counties in West Virginia as they are in coal producing counties.

      I have no idea why their testimony was left out, IMO it should have been included. However I still stand by what I said, the kids are getting a new school is the main issue here and the adults need to act like adults.

      Your ideas may work if we had fifty or so years for them to be implemented, but we don’t, if you (environmentalist) have your way all coal mining operations would stop immediately. Basically your ideas are pointless to the question I ask, which was “how do you propose to replace coal as a source of electricity and steel). Environmentalist want to ban the production of coal, you want our government to ban the burning of coal, you don’t want offshore drilling or drilling in ANWR, you are protesting the proposed pipeline from Canada, and know you are starting to protest the gas industry. Still you don’t have any idea of how we can replace these sources. Heck you can’t agree among yourselves, some environmentalist want wind farms, others don’t, some want solar farms while others don’t, and most don’t want the new transmission lines that would be required by either solar or wind.

  7. Cathy Inman says:

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself Walter. Not recognizing the fearlessness and resolve of those people who really made it happen for the children of that Elementary is shameful. We should bring back tar and feathering for them politicians. You and your nasty words and meanings, are a waste of air, and and wasted on good people. Go crawl under a rock leftover from a mine.

    • Walt says:

      Why is it shameful Catherine? You wouldn’t have heard me begging for gratification or too be acknowledged, if I had been one of those that fought for a new school, all the while claiming it was for the children.

      I’m shocked Catherine, “go crawl under a rock”? Is that anyway to be from such an upstanding citizen as yourself.

  8. Cathy Inman says:

    Ok, crawl in a bear den near an MTR site, fi you can find one.

  9. Citizen Harry says:

    No Walt, I don’t see any posts here from the hero’s that fought tooth and nail for the new school asking for credit, or to get their names in the paper. I’m sure they’re satisfied with the new school, just not the method they had to employ to make this outcome happen. I just see people from blog posts on the outside questioning why it’s policy to hide their names, and not include them, especially since it was their hard work that made this happen. We all know that it’s completely obvious, and representative of the underlying issue of disdain, hatred and uncaring approach of the powers that be towards the folks and issues that are affected by this madness of MTR. No matter how much you twist it, everyone knows the truth, even those of you who publicly rant your rants. No words can change the fact that MTR is a blight against nature, humanity, and human dignity.

    Like I always say… keep up your rhetoric, all of us that read this blog love getting a first hand taste of your unconscious ability to paint a clear perspective on the self centered pocket stuffing mentality of the power people we have to deal with in this country. It also helps to initiate discussions with our children about how NOT to look at the world.

    Hopefully, there’s a few honest policy makers that are willing to be sensitive to the future of the planet, our country, and the people that live in it, rather than their own re-elections.
    -Citizen Harry

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