this weeks edition:
Same ole thing…
The legislature is in its final two weeks and frankly, the end couldn’t come soon enough for me or for that matter the taxpayers in general. The legislature has continued to run at full speed nearly oblivious to the pubic in general again this week. I did get a ray-of-hope on Monday when an article that originally was printed by the InterMountain in Elkins came across my desk by way of the West Virginia Press Association.
That piece told how the House Committee on Technology and Infrastructure had to back up and redo passage of several bills from their committee after a civil liberties group threatened to sue them for continuing the meeting after the livestream audio coverage of the meeting failed which violated the Open Meetings Law. The Committee chair admitted that his group knew the livestreaming wasn’t working but continued the meeting anyway. That action illustrates how inept the republican controlled legislature is when it comes to the public. Only after the civil liberties group’s threat did the committee chair recommit the passed bills to the following days agenda for a do-over. It is a shame that it takes the threat of legal action to get the lawmakers to recognize that the public has a right to participate in the legislative process or… since they are not permitted to be there in person, at least know what is going on behind the locked doors.
Now we will have to hold our breath for two more weeks. I predict that the end of this session will look like those of more than a decade ago, when it was weeks after the mad scramble in the final hours before the public and elected officials actually realized what they had done.
Three cheers for Josh Porto…
On a much more pleasant note… I went to the High School last Friday to take pictures of the groundbreaking for the new greenhouse. That project was the brainchild of Josh Porto, Agriculture Instructor at BCHS. Over a year ago he presented plans to the Board for a new facility. Being somewhat pessimistic regarding the funding of such ventures by the Board of Education, I admit that I didn’t give the idea much hope of becoming a reality.
Well, Josh certainly didn’t share my feelings, though I imagine he shared some of my thoughts regarding funding. He was relentless in soliciting funds from corporations like Weyerhaeuser, government funds from entities such as the State Commission of Agriculture, as well as local private contributors. His students worked with him to write grants and conduct fund raisers. He set the bar high and cleared it with ease. He not only deserves the credit for bringing about this new facility that will benefit hundreds of students in the future, but he sets the example for his students by showing them that they can set a goal, work hard and achieve it. Now that’s a true teacher!