The Rotary Club of Elkins is one of 33,000 clubs worldwide. Its members are a part of the more than 1.2 million that strive to make their community and communities throughout the world a better place to live, work and play. They donate their time and resources toward attaining the goals of not only their local club but those of the international organization as well. Their creed "Service above Self," is not taken lightly.
In keeping with its creed, the Elkins club will host its major fundraising event on March 13 at the National Guard Armory beginning at 6 p.m.
Leave the cold and snowy weather behind while you let the DJ's music take you on a five-hour luau in the warm and peaceful climes of the South Sea Islands. Dance away the evening to a wide variety of music genres including Latin, pop, rock 'n' roll and whatever else you'd like to hear. Enjoy a buffet dinner of salmon and beef entrees throughout the evening furnished by Fine Food Catering. Soft drinks, beer and an open bar featuring your favorite legal beverages will also be available. Casual dress will allow you to enjoy the event in comfort. A live and silent auction of items donated by Rotarians will add to the excitement of the evening. Bill Johnson will entertain you with his unique auctioneering style as he cajoles you to bid on the many exciting items for sale.
The proceeds of the evening will help Rotary provide grants to local libraries and schools and provide funding for other projects and needs of local organizations.
Tickets are $100 for single or couple and are obtainable from any Rotarian. If you would like to attend the event and do not know a Rotarian, you may contact me at 304-636-6723 or by email at Contrails@cebridge.net. I will do all I can to help you get a ticket.
A subject was discussed at the Downtown Merchants' Meeting on Feb. 9 that I didn't have room for in last week's column that I want to mention. Some of the merchants are concerned about the city's metered and two-hour free parking policies. While most of the merchants agree with the two-hour free parking policy, their concern centers on violators, especially during difficult parking situations created by the heavy snows we've been having. Apparently, people, including storeowners, who are parking their vehicles in these spaces and leaving them there for most if not the entire workday. The ramifications are obvious and need not be discussed here. What is of concern is why the parking codes are not being enforced. It was suggested that there is little fear of getting a citation for violating parking limits or not paying the meters during inclement weather - the only time one needs to worry about receiving a citation is during good weather.
Mayor Duke Talbott fielded the questions and said that the folks who check the meters and free parking spaces and issue citations perform several other duties within the city's code enforcement department, and other departments as well, and simply do not have time to watch the parking situation constantly.
The mayor was also queried regarding the issuance of citations to people who run the "red lights" in town and along the Beverly Five-lane. (I've heard many people say that the intersection of Chenoweth Creek Road at the Five-lane is the most dangerous intersection in the area.) When asked how many citations had been issued in the last six months for this violation, he said, "Not as many as there's going to be after we get our police department back to full force."
That's encouraging news - usually it takes a major accident with serious injuries or even death to spur action. Fortunately, we haven't experienced an accident at any of the intersections for quite some time, but it is only a matter of time until another one does occur. Perhaps we should take the mayor's remarks as a warning to be more observant of the traffic signals. Are serious injuries or the loss of a life worth the few minutes' wait avoided by speeding up and running the red lights?
Most of us take summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.
The caller claims to be a Jury Duty Coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give the caller any of this information and, bingo, your identity was just stolen.
So far the fraud has been reported 11 states. This swindle is particularly insidious because the callers use intimidation to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system.
This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below). Please pass this on to everyone in your e-mail address book. It is spreading fast, so be prepared should you get this call.
The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their Web sites warning consumers about the fraud.
For more information, log on to the FBI's Web site, http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm. Information is also available at www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.htm.
Just in case you missed it in last Saturday's issue of The Inter-Mountain, General Motors announced that its new CEO Ed Whitacre will receive a $9 million pay package for 2010. That's $3.5 million more than his predecessor Fritz Henderson, who was forced out of the job, received for his last year in office. Henderson, by the way, was rehired as a consultant and will work 20 hours per month at a salary of $59,090 a month. No, those numbers are not a misprint.
Every now and then, a children's book about living on a farm comes along and is a delight for us old fogies who grew up on the farm. It's all the more reason for one who has lived the experience being written about to share it with a grandchild or great-grandchild. There are still a lot of children growing up on farms who, given the chance to read her book later in life, will look back and identify with the experiences written about by Helen Groves Hedrick. Her latest children's book is titled "Life and Times of Ole Roan."
The book tells the story of a family's ole milk cow and how she was a fondly loved "member of the family," as well as a provider of the family's milk. It teaches children about many other things about the farm - the home, the horses and how they worked, the warmness of the home, spring planting, summer tending, fall harvesting and storage and the things they did for fun, even riding Ole Roan.
Hedrick, born near Petersburg in June 1942, reaches back into her Appalachian Family history circa 1920s and tells a warm story showing how a pioneer family depended on their milk cow. The bond of love between the children and the faithful cow was unmistakable when their foolhardy trip ended safely.
For many children today, reading books of this kind are probably as close to experiencing life on the farm as they will ever get. It is a delightful read that I believe every child from age 5 or 6 until the time they start reading chapter books will enjoy.
"Life and Times of Ole Roan" is published by and available from McClain Printing, P. O. Box 403, 212 Main St., Parsons, W.Va. 26287 or from Hedrick at HC 59, Box 146, Petersburg, W.Va. 26847.