< P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793  <


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 August 2, 2007 Edition

<Ritchie Named Principal at Powhatan Elementary School

Neil Ritchie, right, named last week to serve as principal at Powhatan Elementary, accepts the keys to the school from former principal George Richardson. Richardson was hired on June 21 as the district's assistant superintendent. Ritchie, a resident of the Lewisville area, assumes his duties at Powhatan on August 1.
Photo Courtesy Neil Ritchie

by Arlean Selvy

The naming of a new principal at Powhatan Elementary and support for keeping the Woodsfield High School building were highlights of the July 26 meeting of the Switzerland of Ohio board of education. A report on
the status of splitting the district was also given.
Named principal, with a three year contract, was Neil Ritchie.
"We"re very lucky to have him," said Larry Elliott, district superintendent. "He is an outstanding gentleman and has been with the district for a number of years." Ritchie, who has been teaching seventh and eighth grade science and computer application at Woodsfield Elementary, is excited to begin his duties as principal at Powhatan Elementary. According to Elliott, Ritchie is "success-oriented and has a vision for the future."

A resident of the Lewisville area and graduate of Skyvue High School, Ritchie is active with the 4-H Endowment Fund and Skyvue Alumni. Read more about Ritchie in the special Back to School section which will be distributed in the August 9 Beacon.
Asked about the status of splitting the school district, District Supt. Elliott said he and Kevin Robertson, district treasurer, attended the recent state school board meeting. He said at that time, the sub-committee on land transfers and acquisitions
presented to the board a recommendation to conduct a study to deconsolidate the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District.
The state school board voted to direct the Ohio Department of Education to do the study and report back at their September meeting. That action, according to Elliot, means the ODE will come into the Switzerland of Ohio district to ask questions - obtain information - and decide if deconsolidation is feasible. At the September meeting, the state board of education will take action on the recommendation.
Over 50 residents crowded into the Central Office to voice concerns about speculation that the school board
might close Woodsfield High School.
After public comment, it was noted by school officials that closing WHS had been neither
recommended to, nor discussed by, the board Ken Robison, an assistant wrestling coach, suggested
the activities taking place at WHS be listed, "so that everyone has a good idea of what's going on in the
community for the kids." Robison said if it were not for Woodsfield High School, there would be nothing
for the kids.
"I think the whole issue here is not in the building, it's in the plan," said Cindy Antill. "What is the
plan for our children?" She said her brother graduated from WHS in 1975, the first year board members said it
wasn't fit, and a new school was promised at that time. Antill noted that families "waiver" in their decision
about where their children should go to school. With regard to her junior high school son, she said he
should go to Monroe Central, but she doesn't feel good about that decision. "We don't feel good about the
facility," she said. Antill said the district needs a genuine plan - it needs to pull together and have something solid.
Debbie Archer asked for a breakdown of the amount of tax money going to the individual school. She said she
would be back at the next board meeting for an answer.
The next board meeting is set for August 16 at 6 p.m.
After over an hour of public comment, board member Teresa Gallagher said, "I do not remember ever sitting
here and saying we have to close the high school. We have discussed options," she said. She said she toured
the building, and noted the auditorium could be salvaged, but she has definite concerns about other parts of the building. "I'm not a construction person," she said, "I have no clue what can be fixed and what cannot." She said as far as picking and choosing between WHS and Cameron, "I don't think sports can be held at Cameron." Gallagher said her
feelings are that options need to be explored.
"Why would we close Woodsfield when we don't have anyplace to put the kids?" said Ron Winkler, board
Elliott said he envisions a new building. In the short-term, however, they need to put a new roof on the Cameron building. "Nowhere in the agenda did I recommend closing Woodsfield High School," said Elliott. He said the district needs to "maintain WHS and Cameron until we have a new building."
Later in the meeting, when the agenda called for a vote to put a roof on the Cameron Annex, there was no motion. It was noted that, although a quote had been obtained, the project would have to be bid since the cost is over $25,000.
With regard to asbestos removal from all schools, a motion by Dierkes to have the work done died for lack of a second. There was one proposal quoting a cost on some schools and an hourly rate on others. Discussion led to the decision to get additional quotes.

<Help Sought for Jericho Bridge, Business Incubator Discussed

The Jericho Bridge in Benton Township is in dire need
of repairs, which are estimated at over $90,000. The
bridge, the only marked WPA project in Monroe County
and one of only six such bridges in Ohio, is 156 ft. long,
23 -and -a -half feet wide and stands 30 feet above the Little Muskingum River. The bridge is part of the county road system in Benton Twp.  Photo Courtesy Dale Dietrich

by Arlean Selvy

Dale and Sandra Dietrich, Benton Twp, talked to county commissioners recently about the Jericho WPA
Bridge on County Road 12 connecting Brownsville and Graysville.
The bridge shows extensive deterioration due to "time, salt exposure and weather." According to a report prepared by Swiss Valley Associates, Sardis, the bridge superstructure including the supporting arches, columns and bottom of
the bridge deck appear to be in satisfactory condition.

In a recommendation for bridge restoration prepared by Jeff Morrow and Matt Brake, following a visit to
the bridge, they said the bridge can be restored to its original design. According to SVA, the estimated time to complete the work is eight weeks with a crew of five. The estimated cost of labor is $64,000; materials, $14,000; and
engineering to create project drawings and specification is set at $7,000. With a 10 percent contingency, the estimated restoration cost is set at $93,000.
"I think it's the only marked WPA project still in our county," said Dietrich. He explained that WPA is an acronym for Work Projects Administration, which started about 1933 with funding ending in 1939.
Dietrich asked that commissioners or county engineer try to get the bridge listed on the National or State
Historical Registry. He said there should be funding for restoration if the bridge becomes an historical landmark.
He said the Transportation Enhancement Fund may be another source of revenue to restore bridge. He noted
also that funding must be sought four years in advance. Dietrich submitted photographs of the structure to
commissioners and noted that Renee Wilde, while she was the Grants Writer, did some research and verified
from the Ohio Historical Society that there were only six bridges of this type. It's called a "low-arch open
spandrel arch bridge." According to information supplied to Dietrich, one of the six bridges was destroyed last year and two others have been modified. He indicated that one of the two bridges modified is located in Columbus.
The bridge is 156 ft. long and 23 ft. -six inches wide. He said it stands 30 feet above the waters of the Little Muskingum River. "It's a beautiful bridge," said Sandy Dietrich.
"I would like to see this stay as a treasure in our county," added Dale Dietrich. "Our grandfathers, uncles, aunts, everybody in that valley basically worked on this project," said Dietrich. That;s what the WPA was all about - it
provided funds in the depression era for people to get money and also provided infrastructure for the area.
Dietrich said he received a letter of support from Washington Electric Cooperative. He noted they would
hate to see the bridge lost, not only from an historical point of view but in the case of a power outage. The WPA bridge is part of the main route between Graysville and Brownsville. Dietrich said he could probably obtain letters of
support from fire and EMS personnel with regard to response time.

In other matters, Dan Greenlee approached officials about a business incubator. He said at an April meeting, it was decided to move forward with obtaining a 501-3c. He noted a suggestion for a feasibility study.
Greenlee said that in 2004, a review had been done regarding feasibility studies. The bottom line, he
said, according to the Small Business Administration Center in Marietta, was that a business incubator in
this area (Monroe - Washington counties) "has been 'feasibilitied' to death. Just do something."
He said Misty Casto, Buckeye Hills - Hocking Valley Regional Development District, does not see enough
interest in a business incubator in Monroe.
"Where do we go from here?" asked Greenlee, noting commissioners had indicated to him that something was
needed here. "I've put a lot of time and effort into this, and I don't want to put anymore into it unless I know there is some kind of support somewhere."
Commissioner Francis "Sonny" Block said it seems to him the incubator, ... "is a project that somebody
really has to concentrate on ..."  He indicated the person working on it will have to know all the avenues with regard to financial resources and where to find prospective businesses. Block added, "It seems like there's a lot involved in
making a business incubator come together. "

"And that's kinda what Buckeye Hills said to me," noted Greenlee. "Somebody has to go out and make it
happen." Noting he isn't all that knowledgeable about it, Greenlee asked officials, "What are your thoughts - do
we keep pursuing a business incubator? If so, is there support locally - if nothing else, moral support?"
"We have a great interest in it," said Block. "My feeling is that you probably need someone with knowledge in the area of economic development to be able to concentrate on that as one of their projects to make it happen. I think what we need immediately is funding so that we can have an economic development office in Monroe County so that we can have someone that will be able to work on projects like that."
Block said he is in support of a business incubator. Commissioners Bill Thompson and John Pyles said they support the project as well.
Commissioners Pyles said without economic development "we can't get projects going." He commented that everybody has to "get on the economic development bus and go in the same direction."

<Shadow Lake Reopens to Public

Shadow Lake Campgrounds and Resort has reopened to
the public. On hand to mark the reopening were, from
left: Dick Sulsberger and Kathy Moore, representing
the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce; campgrounds
owner Francis "Sonny" Block, Clarence and Eileen
Ackerman, Block's sister and her husband; Dean
Gramlich, Monroe County CIC president; and Vicki
Wiley, also of the Chamber.
Photo by Martha Ackerman


Members of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce gathered July 26 at Shadow Lake Campground and Resort in recognition of its reopening to the public.
"Our goal at Shadow Lake is for all of our guests to have a positive experience, creating wonderful memories that will last a lifetime," said campgrounds owner Sonny Block.
According to its owner, Shadow Lake was built during the late 1920's using teams of horses equipped with plows, slip scoops and scrapers. The name "Shadow Lake" was derived from the vivid reflections in the deep waters of the lake.
In the early years, Shadow Lake was a retreat for the former owners, Clem and Bess Peters. Clem was the owner of Conservative Life Insurance, a Wheeling, W.Va. company. Bess was a nurse in Wheeling. They came to Monroe County and purchased 100 acres from the family farm. This was the beginning of Shadow Lake. Clem's hobby brought deer, elk and buffalo to the land. The Peters' friends and neighbors were invited to socials and other festivities. This was their way to relax and have a good time.
"I've talked to people now in their 80's and older who came here when they were little and still remember their experiences at Shadow Lake, the great times they had with family and friends. "Now, Shadow Lake is open again for all to enjoy," said Block. "I think they would be pleased. Shadow Lake is a lot more than a campground and resort. It is an experience. People of all ages come to Shadow Lake to spend quality time with family and friends. Shadow Lake offers a clean, wholesome facility where families and friends can create memories that will last a lifetime."
Campsites are available with electric and water, picnic tables and fire rings. There is a shower house with laundry facilities. Two bedroom cabins with bath, kitchen, living and dining area and spacious front porches are available. There is also a lodge with four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths for larger groups. Guests have access to the swimming pool, miniature golf, hiking trails, four well-stocked fishing lakes, shuffle board, basketball, volleyball and horseshoes.
There is also a recreation hall that has a full kitchen and a large deck with an attached gazebo. The hall is available for social events. Helping Block with office work and maintenance of Shadow Lake are his sister Eileen and her husband
Clarence Ackerman.
For more information or reservations, call 740-472-1530.

<"Some" Monroe Property Values Being Increased by State

County Auditor Pandora Neuhart received an order last week from the Ohio Department of Taxation to increase
"some property values in Monroe County." Agricultural property values are to be increased by 15 percent and
commercial property values are to be increased by five percent.
The increase is the result of a three-year study of Monroe County property values performed by the Department of Taxation. The study is performed every six years as mandated by law. The Department of Taxation examines all property sold in an arms' length transaction during the three-year study period, and compares the selling price to the auditor's appraised value. (Property transferred between family members, or property for which no money was paid is not
included in this study)

The determination of the Dept. of Taxation was that an increase in property values was necessary to bring the auditor's appraised values in line with current sale prices. Neuhart must have the increased, or updated, values in place for Real Estate tax bills to be issued in January, 2008.
Due to the tax calculation process, Monroe County property owners may not see their Real Estate taxes increase by the entire percentage by which values will be increased. While property values may be finalized by the end of October, the actual amount of taxes to be charged for property will not be available until the Ohio Department of Taxation concludes its tax calculation work in December, following certification of November election results.
Neuhart reminds property owners that there are programs to assist taxpayers available through her office. Information on tax reductions for senior citizens (age 65 or older) or the permanently disabled, Monroe County residents who both own and occupy their home, or those who farm ten acres or more of property, may be obtained from the Auditor's
Office. Individuals may also be eligible to receive a tax reduction if buildings have been destroyed or damaged. For specific guidelines for each program, or to find out how your property values may be affected by the update, call the auditor's office at 740-472-0873 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

< Obituaries
(read the full obituary in the paper) 

< Wanda Jean Raper Burns died July 29, 2007, peacefully from her 12 year courageous battle with cancer at the
Hospice Center in Houston, Texas. She was born Jan. 30, 1936, a daughter of Ernest Eugene Raper and the late Mary Helen Hartman Raper. Sympathy expressions at www.grisellfuneralhomes.com

< Charles E. Bender, 77, 19559 Salt Run Rd., Caldwell, died July 29, 2007, at his home. He was born May 14,
1930, in Phillipi, W.Va., a son of the late Walker and Leona Gregory Bender. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com

< Jeannette M. Pittman, 59, Lewisville, died July 27, 2007, at her home.

< Charlotte L. Stewart, 67, Sardis, died July 31, 2007. Arrangements are pending at Grisell Funeral Home,

< John L. "Rock" Ramsay, 44, 34937 Miltonsburg-Calais Rd., Woodsfield, died July 24, 2007, in UPMC
Presbyterian Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa., following injuries received in an automobile accident on July 16, 2007. He was born Dec. 27, 1962, at Bellaire, a son of Jeanie Pletcher Ramsay of Woodsfield, and the late Gary L. Ramsay.
For online condolences - www.wattersfuneralhome.com

< Kevin Dean Howell, 47, 51650 Howell Rd., Summerfield, died July 30, 2007, at Southeastern Ohio Regional
Medical Center, Cambridge. He was born July 29, 1960, at Lincoln, Nebraska, a son of Delores Pruyn Howell,
Summerfield, and the late Robert George Howell. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com

<Around the Burnside

By Denny Easterling

Fools have no interest in understanding, they only want to air their own opinions. A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as fresh as a bubbling brook. Horseshoes, I used to say this when I sneezed, however, it is a good sport and pitching the shoes is popular. A horseshoe pitcher has lived on top of the hill above us and I didn't even know it until he went down south to pitch and I read it in the Beacon. I also have another horseshoe pitcher on the other side. I suppose now I'll be hearing horseshoe pitching stories. I just hope they're as good at pitching horseshoes as they are pitching your know what. I've listened to two so far. I've enjoyed pitching a shoe once in a while but like other sports I was only average or below. In fact, if the classification they use for pitching horseshoes is based on the number of ringers you throw, I would be placed on class "Hardly Ever". Hey, I remember pitching horseshoes with honest to goodness real horseshoes, not the shoes used today. Like most sports, horseshoes has a number of different matches and how serious the game are. For example, when horseshoe pitching first started at our county fair everyone had to use the shoes furnished by the fairboard and you drew for partners. I'm not sure how it's done now. I'm not sure or know all the ins and outs regarding horseshoe pitching but I do know it's a fun sport and I would not pitch horseshoes except for the fun of it. Come to think of it, I kind of wonder if I would be able to pitch a horse shoe 40 feet. On the other hand, a good many of the shoes I throw run as though they are still on the horse. I understand the National Contest is to be held in York, Pa., this year. I expect several Monroe County pitchers will be attending. To be truthful, I did enjoy sitting on the bank and watching the horseshoe pitchers go at it during the fair. Now was it sitting on the bank or watching the pitchers? OK, both. A new game or maybe a sport is probably a new version of the old bean bag game we used to play. The name is "Cornhole." I guess it got started as a way to pass the time during the tailgate parties at football games. I really wondered the first time I read about the game as I'll explain later. The game consists of a box with a hole cut in it and square bags filled with corn thus the name Cornhole. The idea is to toss the bag through the hole. I'm not sure if you score points by landing on the box or not. I assume the game can be played with one box or two boxes like horseshoes. the upcoming Cornhole tournament to be held at the Betsey Mills Club in Marietta, the holes will be 33 feet apart. Now if you Buckeye fans want to get fancy I saw in the Buckeye Corner Catalog you could purchase a box for around $50 and bags for $8 each so you could get into the Buckeye Cornhole spirit for around $75. I pass on this one, I don't need the fancy decorated equipment. I understand there have been several cornhole tournaments held and I expect several more will be planned as the game catches on. Actually, it does sound kind of like fun. Now for the thing that startled me a bit when I first read of the cornhole game not knowing anything about the game. My memory is fuzzy, however, I kind of remember that the word cornhole was a word not to be mentioned in mixed company. I'm almost sure I remember the reason. On the other hand, maybe we're fortunate the developer of this game didn't decide to fill those square bags with peas. I'm sure some senior citizens could and do enjoy both of these games or sports or whatever you want to call them, even to the point of getting a grabber so there will be no need to bend over to pick up a shoe or bag. I've seen horseshoe pitchers use one. You know times change and when you get a certain age it's tough not to think about things that happened and how it was. For example, you knew just about everyone you came in contact with and knew where they lived. We moved to Fairview when I was in the third grade so I consider growing up there. Fairview is about seven tenths of a mile long and only two houses wide including "Turkey" town. I could start walking at one end of town to the other and tell you who lived in every one of the houses on both sides of the street and they knew who you were. I'm really not sure how good this was because the town had an excellent pipeline and we kids couldn't get away with much. No air conditioners, no TV, no video games so the men were on the liars bench and the women visiting or just sitting on the front porch. What a life! I expect there was plenty of gossip floating around but all were friends and I don't even remember an old grouch. The only thing that can keep on growing without nourishment is an ego. Ideas are such funny things; they never work unless you do. Enjoy Church? I do! Bible readings: (Mon.) Psalm 145:13-21; From Jeremiah (Tues.) 30:18-22; (Wed.) 31:1-9; (Thurs.) 31:10-14; (Fri.) 31: 33-37; (Sat.) 29:1-9; (Sun.) 29:10-14.

< Letters to the Editor
Dear Editor,
First, I would like to begin by thanking Terry Comstock for responding to my first letter to the editor. I was told by several individuals, prior to writing that letter, that if anyone would take the offensive and write a letter of opposition, it would be someone who is either directly or indirectly responsible for the problem. Secondly, to respond to Comstock, I have enclosed several references in regards to trihalomethane in drinking water. I encourage the public to visit these websites and see for themselves what increased levels of trihalomethane can do to our bodies. There are hundreds of websites. I have listed five of them to get you started. http://www.joyneslaw.com/news/news_in_a_glass_of_water.htm http://www.epa.gov/safewater/hfacts.html http://www.southerndatastream.com/thm/index.htm#health http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trihalomethane http://www.theolivebranch.com/water/trihalo.htm In addition to researching trihalomethane and the serious health risks that it imposes, I have spoken extensively with several individuals. One of those people was Annette Spavin, former of Chesapeake, Va. She, along with several other women in her community were involved in a class action lawsuit regarding increased trihalomethane levels in their community�s drinking water. Many of these women suffered several miscarriages and had children with birth defects as a result. She has also included a letter to the editor in this week�s edition of the Beacon and I encourage everyone to read it as well. In last week�s letter written by Comstock, he tried to discredit most of what I was saying. He stated that I read a �different� letter from the utility office than everyone else, and that nowhere in the letter did it state the elderly and/or children were at higher risk. I will now refer to that letter. Section 5: Who needs to take special precautions? {141.154} Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, SOME ELDERLY, AND INFANTS can be particularly at risk from infection. Some elderly and infants? Which ones? Could it be my children? Your grandparents? Or maybe it�s the neighbor kids down the street. Does anyone really want to take that chance? In December of 2003, the EPA lowered the maximum contaminant level allowable from 100 ppb to 80 ppb. Surely there was a reason for this. No one does anything that is going to cost more money unless it will avoid a bigger problem down the road. The village of Woodsfield�s trihalomethane level of 83.3 is an average of several readings done in 2006. Also included in the letter from the water department was the range of those readings. They were between 22 and 155. that means that one of those readings came back at 155, which is 75 ppb over the maximum allowed contaminant. To verify these readings, feel free to contact the water department. Comstock also stated that I failed to contact him or his office to get the facts and information about the trihalomethane levels in our drinking water. He is correct, I did not contact him because I wanted a third party, non-biased opinion. You never go to the source of the problem for the facts. For example, everyone has heard of pharmaceutical companies being sued for millions of dollars because their products contributed to someone�s untimely death. It is in the news all of the time. Take the maker�s of Vioxx for example. Up until the day it was yanked off of the shelves they stood behind their product stating that it was harmless. Apparently, the United States judicial system disagreed when they ruled against them. Comstock went on to list several other health risks in his letter to the editor, and I agree with him that they are harmful. However, I disagree on one thing. ALL of the risks listed in his letter can be controlled by an individual. I can limit the amount of fatty foods that my family consumes, I can limit my children�s exposure to the sun, and I can eliminate their exposure to second hand smoke. On the other hand, I have absolutely no control over the level of contaminants in our water. That is the reason I submitted a letter to the editor in the first place. I do not have a personal vendetta against anyone, and I do not know Comstock personally. I couldn�t pick him out of a line up if someone made me. I simply do not want harm to come to anyone in the community. I have lived here all of my life and am proud to say I hail from Monroe County. As a healthcare professional, I feel it is my duty to advocate for those individuals that are incapable of doing so themselves. I was certain of all of my facts before I submitted my previous letter, and I encourage everyone to visit the websites that are listed above. They contain links to several studies done by State Governments, and also independent studies done by various universities. One, the University of North Carolina, did an independent study on the amount of trihalomethane absorbed by the skin. It is very interesting. Comstock said in last week�s letter, and I quote, �Problems occur as they do in all things, but they are never allowed to continue once they are realized by these operators.� I take great comfort in knowing that he will not allow the increased levels of trihalomethane to continue, and look forward to seeing the next reading. Hopefully it will be published in this newspaper. I will be he first to commend him on a job well done. In closing, I would just like to say that I also agree with Comstock on another statement he made in his letter last week. I am proud of many of the public service individuals that work throughout our community. My intentions were never to attack this group of people as a whole, even though Comstock�s letter insinuated that I did. Most of them have nothing to do with the contamination in our water, but one might believe this is my opinion based on the way Comstock worded the final thoughts of his letter. He should have never enlarged the group to include those individuals that work in various other areas of the community just to simply divert some of the heat.
Jeffrey Daniel Woodell Woodsfield

Dear Editor,
I would like to respond to letters that I have read from the past two weeks concerning the trihalomethane (THM) levels in the town�s water supply. The first letter was from Mr. Woodell responding to a letter that he had received from the Superinten-dent of Water & Wastewater, concerning the recent violation of THM levels in the town�s water supply. The second letter was a response from Mr. Comstock, Superintendent of Water & Wastewater of the Village of Woodsfield. I would like to commend Comstock for sending out a notice to the residents after the first, and hopefully only, violation of THM levels. The residents of the town need to be aware of the Serious Health Concerns that are associated with elevated levels of THM�s. I also commend Woodell for researching and finding more information for those that do not have the venue to do so on their own. I feel that Woodell is trying to make people aware of the health risks that are involved with high THM levels over an extended amount of time. I am sorry that Comstock seemed to take it so personally. I do not believe that anyone was questioning the ability at the towns Water & Wastewater, or their dedication to their jobs. I do think that he would of liked for Comstock to have added more to the letter that came from his office. I also think that everyone needs to know that there are long-term effects of high levels of THM�s in drinking water. It is true, as Comstock said that after one time there is no immediate danger. But, according to the EPA-(US Environmental Protection Agency), under the heading Drinking Water Contaminates and Total Trihalomethane�s, some people who drink water containing THM�s in excess of the EPA�s standard, over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys or central nervous system, and many have an increase of cancer. These are things that can happen after long-term exposure. I find the statement that Comstock made comparing water contaminates with the dangers of quote �Sunlight, fatty foods, sugars, grilled foods and the air we breathe�; those were a few that came to his mind, to be ridiculously over reacting. We, as citizens, limit our own amount of sunlight, fatty foods and sugar intake. We do not have control of the city�s water supply. That would be Comstock�s job, and as he commented in his previous letter: his job would be easier if the people he served understood the work he does. I put to you, Comstock, please tell the people that you serve-What you know about the true effects of Trihalomethane, so that they can be aware in the future.
Respectfully, Annette Spaven Virginia Beach, Va

Dear Editor,
I am reluctantly writing this letter, but I feel that I must clear up some confusion that has happened because of the letters in your paper the past two weeks. My son Jeffrey Daniel Woodell, who�s 30 years old, wrote a letter two weeks ago pertaining to the quality of the water in Woodsfield. He was very specific in the last paragraph of his letter to state that it was him and not I that was writing the letter. However, there have been a multitude of people who have asked me why I wrote the letter or things like: boy you and Comstock are really going at it. Many people, who did not read my son�s letter and then read Comstock�s last week, immediately thought that I was the Woodell that he was referring to. People who thought that I wrote the letter said that they look at who writes the letters and decide if they want to read them, then they skim through them and most didn�t read the final paragraph then ultimately thinking it was me. My son, Jeffrey, who I am very proud of just recently graduated from nursing school with an R.N. degree and his knowledge in the medical aspects of our water supply are more than most of us. Most people who know me, know that I am not afraid to stand up for what is right or what I believe, which made it easier for people to think that the letter was from me. It also makes me proud that my son is not afraid to voice his opinion or stand up for what he believes. My son and I never discussed Woodsfield�s water situation before he wrote his letter and haven�t talked about it as I write this. I also checked into the nature of the letter that all of the Woodsfield residents received about the EPA notice concerning our water. I called Terry Comstock and inquired about it and was given what I feel was a reasonable explanation. I asked Terry if he felt that there was anything to fear from our water and he said no. I also asked him if it were a threat to our health, would not the EPA shut the water plant down and he responded yes. I feel comfortable that our water is safe and personally have no concerns regarding the quality of our water, but that is my opinion. It�s kind of interesting that a father and son could both have a concern about a situation and never converse about it and come to two separate conclusions. I guess that is what makes this country in which we live so great, we are allowed to publicly express our opinions without fear of persecution. We can disagree with our government, have Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives etc. and still go to bed at night one nation under God and wake up in the morning with freedoms like no other country in the world. I want to thank my son and Terry Comstock for engaging in a good healthy debate about our water supply, because people need to be informed and their letters informed us more than the EPA form letter did.
Sincerely, Jeffrey Dean Woodell Woodsfield (the old man)