Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 8, 2012

Resilience shines in storm aftermath

It sure has been hot. On any hot day my uncle John would say “It’s hotter than the Fourth of July.” The heat has taken its toll on a lot of area folks, especially  those who have lost their electrical service due the recent wind storm.

Until the storm passed through this area, I had never heard of a derecho. These things are unusual in our neck of the woods. The storms can produce destruction similar to a tornado. But there is a distinct difference. While tornados have circular or cyclonic motion, the damage a derecho causes is typically directed in one direction along a straight line path.

West Virginia also suffered damage from one of these storms on April 9, 1991. Our area escaped the wrath of the storm while winds in some locations reached velocities of 100 mph.


Sometimes you hear things near the courthouse steps and sometimes you hear things at the garage. In regard to the recent heat wave, hail and derecho, the gist of the story went something like this. “Well, you can blame all of this on Al Gore — he is the one that started all of this global warming stuff.” I’m not so sure that the person who made that remark hasn’t hit on something. I suppose if we have to blame someone, Al Gore is as good as anybody.


Down in the Brier Creek area, just a few miles past Davy, and in the Indian Creek area the power was out. It was hot down there and bagged ice is not readily available. However, the folks over there were coping very well in spite of the inconvenience. They are accustomed to having power outages and dealing with the aftermath of severe storms. It’s no picnic, but they were not complaining like the folks do in some urban settings.

In a recent statement about West Virginians dealing with the problems created by the recent storms, First Lady Joanne Tomblin commented, “It never ceases to amaze me — the resilience of West Virginians.” I could say the same for the people that live on Indian Creek and Brier Creek.


Some states are pushing to have the voting rights of ex-felons reinstated. In West Virginia individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release.

In Virginia individuals convicted of most felonies are eligible to apply for a gubernatorial restoration of voting rights three years after completing their sentence. Those convicted of violent felonies, drug sales, and electoral offenses must wait five years before applying.


Following the recent devastating storms that left more than half of the state without electricity and other services, Gov. Tomblin initiated a recovery relief effort to assist those most directly affected. Friends of Coal rose to the occasion and pitched in to help fellow West Virginians.


The elections this November are the most important elections in history. Some believe our Constitution is outdated and no longer applicable to the function of the government. That is where the problem lies. In this day and time it is imperative that our president and our Congress observe strict constitutional limits on federal government power.

We have 435 members of the House of Representatives, 100 members of the Senate and one president. Five hundred and thirty-six people decide what they think is right for 313,857,000 Americans and a large number of illegal immigrants.

Each member makes the following pledge to his fellow Americans “I, (name of member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God”


Abraham Lincoln observed, “All this is not the result of accident. It has a philosophical cause. Without the Constitution and the Union, we could not have attained the result; but even these, are not the primary cause of our great prosperity. There is something back of these, entwining itself more closely about the human heart. That something, is the principle of ‘Liberty to all’ — the principle that clears the path for all — gives hope to all — and, by consequence, enterprise, and industry to all.”

Some of our elected in this country are of the opinion that our leaders should work within the Constitution if they can, or find “ways around it” if they can’t. That is not supporting or defending the constitution.


There you have it, a few comments on items of interest to the area. On July 8, 1886, the West Virginia Bar Association was organized in Grafton. I hope that you are having a great blue sky day.

Wilson Butt, a resident of Bluefield, is a retired Department of Highways official.

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