Cumberland Times-News

Jan Alderton - Opinion

April 21, 2009

Byrd among Pig Book ‘Oinkers’

Citizens Against Government Waste issued its Pig Book last week, detailing what it perceives as wasteful tax dollar spending in Washington.

Among the Pig Book “Oinkers” of 2009 is U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) for the $200,000 his congressional district received for a tattoo removal program.

U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) received the Highway Robbery Award for a $9.5 million allocation for Corridor H.

Michigan Sens. Carl Levin (D) and Debbie Stabenow (D) received the Dim Bulb Award for a $951,500 expenditure for downtown Detroit energy efficient street lamps.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was cited by the group for garnering $700,000 for Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green to complete a monitoring system that will collect real-time weather observations through a statewide grid of stations in the state. “Apparently the Weather Channel is not sufficient,” the Pig Book said....

Although Wal-Mart expressed an interest this past year in building a new store near Frostburg, there appears to be no movement forward. A State Highway Administration said the company desired a traffic light for the new store but the state would not comply.

After the light request was denied, Wal-Mart apparently scrapped the pro-ject....

One of the largest casinos on the East Coast opened last Wednesday at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino near Washington, Pa., in the southwestern portion of the state.

The new 35,000-square-foot casino offers direct competition for the two racetracks in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle — Wheeling Island in Ohio County and Mountaineer Casino Racetrack Resort in Hancock County. The new facility has space for 3,700 slot machines.

“We really think we can reach out into extended areas of Ohio, West Virginia and, certainly Maryland,” David La Torre, Meadows spokesman, said....

Although the company would not say how many workers were affected by the closure of the American Woodmark plant in Moorefield, W.Va., the number appears to be well over 200.

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Jan Alderton - Opinion
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