this weeks edition:
Facts are sometimes hard to come by…
You will note two stories on the front page of this issue that deal with the rumored closing of Bakers Run Campground near Centralia on the head waters of Sutton Lake. Like many of our readers, we first heard the rumors a few weeks ago. We began looking into the situation at that time, but facts were hard to come by. No one we spoke with was willing to go on the record and in this business, unlike social media, we need facts. Those facts did eventually come which resulted in the stories you see here.
I have often said, in this space, that I don’t care for many of the adverse effects of social media. This is one example. Yes, it served to heighten awareness, but many of the statements were totally incorrect. Often these incorrect statements make real news gathering much more difficult in that you have to check out all of the inaccurate statements, which are time consuming, before you can move on to the real facts.
I will also say the Corps of Engineers is not the easiest agency to deal with. Local representatives are certainly cooperative, but all too often are not permitted to make statements to the media. I will say that I didn’t talk to anyone on the local level who wanted to see Bakers Run closed. There are issues with that campground that make it somewhat more troublesome than the other one, but everyone was quick to point to the great group of volunteers that have taken over much of the work to make the facility a real asset to the lake and the community.
Of course let’s face the real facts… The Corps of Engineers would prefer to be flood control only. It would make their job much easier if all they had to concern themselves with was managing the water flow. Many are not as old as yours truly, nor have they had an opportunity to see, what the Corps of Engineers promised our community 40 or 50 years ago when they took a big chunk of our county. That plan and two of three revisions have fell by the wayside. All of this adds up to my main point here. This battle is not won. The snake will rear it ugly head again, if not next year sometime. I would encourage everyone to be vigilant. Just remember, the only way to combat this type of bureaucracy is to do it in Washington where the real decisions are made. Only our federal representatives truly have any influence so we need to keep their numbers on speed dial… we’ll need them sooner or later.
A generous offer…
There is another story of great interest to those of us who attended Gassaway High School on the front page of this issue. It tells of a GHS alumni who has very generously offered to match any donation made between now and the end of September to the GHS Scholarship Fund. This is a great opportunity to help our local youth with their higher education. College is expensive. I, like many of you, know this first hand. So, a contribution now will double in size. That’s a pretty great accomplishment. Anyone who may want to make a donation that will be matched by Mr. Gerwig’s offer can make their checks payable to: Gassaway High School Alumni Association and send them to Nancy Carr, Co-Treasure, 1105 Chapel Road, Gassaway, WV 26624.