It was in early spring, April 1941, I was 22 years old.
I and a couple hundred other West Virginia draftees were marching down the main street of Keyser to catch a train to a new way of life.
We didn’t know where we were going, but we know why we were going. There were three thugs in this world that were bent on taking away our freedom and our way of life.
We knew that they had to be taken down.
Thoughts were going through our heads, wondering what it would be like, or when and if we would ever get back home again. (Some of them are still there.)
“We were from the greatest generation.” Just think, that was over 72 years ago.
Those three thugs were taken down and now forgotten. But now, here we are again faced with the same fiasco, only on a smaller scale.
I’m talking about the smoking ban that was put in effect by the non-elected health department board of Mineral County.
There are five Mineral County residents that were appointed by the Mineral County commissioners to do their bidding.
So they came up with this rule called “the clean indoor air regulation” for all businesses, including all Veterans of Foreigns Wars, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans in their private club rooms and bars.
The rule was to take effect on Oct. 1 this year, but the date has since been changed to Jan. 2, 2014, so as to give everyone time to adapt to the smoking ban.
Now then, I have a couple of quotes taken from the Cumberland Times-News, Sept. 17, that were made at one of the special meetings of the Mineral County Health Department.
Quote No. 1: Board member Gerri Mason questioned how second-hand smoke would effect the non-smokers and asked Commissioner Jerry Whisner to look at both sides.
“They have a right to not be exposed to that health risk if they don’t have to be” said Mason.
Quote No. 2: “The main goal of the board of health is to look at the over all health and well-being of the community, period,” said A.J. Root, administrator with the Mineral County Health Department.
And I agree 100 percent, Mr. Mason and Mr. Root. I’m sure that the majority of the citizens of the county feel the same way, especially the citizens of Ridgeley.
So, let’s get back to the smoke deal, if the members of the board of health feel as such about smoke.
Then I invite you all to come down to the town of Ridgeley when Smokey Joe, (the nickname I gave him), the Cumberland scenic railroad, is making his run belching out the black dense smoke while he makes his run through the center of Ridgeley to the station in Cumberland.
The smoke is so heavy, black and thick you don’t only see it, you smell it and you eat it.
I have seen it so heavy and thick some days that it blocked out the sun.
When you see something like that, then you can talk about and wonder about the health of the county.
William A. Jewell
It was in early spring, April 1941, I was 22 years old.
The first step
If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.
Translations differ, but the message is eternal
This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).
Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters
After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.
Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing
The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.
Where to look
Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.
Midterm elections give chance to return to American values
A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the outcome of the November election if they all respond.
We’ve never been big fans of speed cameras, primarily for two reasons. First, because the cameras are not always accurate, and secondly because many jurisdictions seem to create revenue by installing cameras and issuing high numbers of speeding tickets.
Group wants status quo on Sunday hunting
Many Maryland residents have grown very concerned about two legislative bills that are arriving on the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley after being approved by both the Senate and House chambers this session. With the governor’s possible signature of these bills into law, hunting would be allowed on certain state lands on Sundays — a day in the past reserved for rest and non-hunters to enjoy public lands.
New policies will grow better streamside buffers
Well-functioning forest buffers along streams are perhaps the most effective and least costly best management practice we have to restore the Chesapeake Bay.
National Day of Prayer events begin April 30
The Cumberland National Day of Prayer Committee has finalized plans for the 63rd annual observance, with a prayer rally, a breakfast, an outdoor worship ceremony and youth rally planned April 30 through May 2.
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