Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 13, 1975 · Page 13
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 13

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 13, 1975
Page 13
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f . 1975 ECQND RONT Lincoln Questions Left Unanswered BY Sti» Jtl HAMLIN - The books have been closed in the Pennzoil Co. pollution cases resulting from its early 1975 drilling activities in Lincoln County, leaving behind some unanswered questions. Pennzoil paid a total of $3,200 in fines in the offices of Justice of the Peace Orner Estep and Robert Price, both of Alum Creek, which is a far cry from the $34,000 in fines once faced by the company. The big break for Pennzoil came in one case where three willful pollution charges were eventually merged into one and a total of 132,000 in fines was reduced to J1.200 following a plea-bargaining session. In another case, two six-month jail sentences handed out by Estep against Penn- zoil area foreman Robert Kelley were dropped, but $2,000 in fines was retained. The major unanswered question is who in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) agreed to a reduction of the $32,000 in fines. LINCOLN COUNTY Prosecuting Attorney Boyce Griffith said he got the impression that "the field officers in the DNR were saying one thing and the higher-ups in the DNR were saying something else." Griffith described it as "an agreement but no agreement." According to Griffith, final settlement was reached in negotiations between Martin Tighe, a water resources inspector for the DNR who signed the pollution complaints, and Houston Smith, a Hamlin attorney who represented Pennzoil. "But I doubt that it satisfied him (Tighe)," said Griffith of the agreement. Griffith said it was his impression that the field officers involved in the Pennzoil cases "weren't getting backing from higher up." The prosecuting attorney said he initiated the order for the final settlement on the basis of the verbal recommendation he received from Tighe following the latter's negotiation with Smith. Records of the Pennzoil cases on file in Griffith's office indicate that a recommendation on a final settlement was never received in writing from anyone in the DNR, although Griffith asked DNR water resources chief John Hall for such. A letter from Hall to Griffith suggested that Pennzoil "should be assessed an appropriate fine" and that "the question of the amount should reflect the seriousness of the charge.'" The Pennzoil file also indicates that a meeting was held between DNR director Ira Latimer Jr., Hall and two Pennzoil attorneys at which a settlement was discussed. Apparently as a result of that meeting, agreement on a settlement was reached, although nothing in writing was communicated to Griffith. The case involving the two jail sentences handed to the Pennzoil area foreman by Estep--believed to be the first jail sentences on pollution charges ever handed out in West Virginia--didn't stir up quite so much muddy water, but it wasn't without controversy. The jail sentences were quashed by Lincoln County Circuit Judge Don E. Jarrell, who ruled the warrants had been improperly written, and at that time water resources chief Hall said he doubted any further action would be taken. However, new warrants were later written, with the jail sentences dropped, and Pennzoil paid $2,000 in fines. JUSTICE of the Peace Estep, a Lincoln County cattle farmer, believes the DNR field officers have been caught in the middle in the Pennzoil pollution cases. "They're just hard-working guys trying to do their job," he said. On the entire matter of DNR vs. Penn- zoil in Lincoln County, Prosecutor Griffith takes the philosophical view that "there's enough fault to go around." As far as Pennzoil's relations with Lincoln County residents are concerned, Griffith sees it as similar to the fuss over strip mining elsewhere. "Those who are affected by stripping are against it," he observed, "while those who are getting royalties or are benef itting in some other way are for it." He acknowledged that Pennzoil drilling activities have damaged farmland in the county and have caused water pollution, but added that it comes down to a question of "whether or not we're going to extract gas from the ground." Pennzoil currently isn't drilling in Lincoln County, contending that "harassment by the DNR" led to a corporate decision to suspend activities here. Help Wanted: 13 Openings on 5 Panels yDelights Girl ||: -Tteiiirst ^]Lte^'i^iiiifl^;Va^^|^_T|M Derby champibri- fship is 12-year^id ifirri Watts of St/Albins, shown squeezing into her racer (left) before a run Saturday at Little Creek Park in South Chafleston. A few moments later, she streaked across the finish line (bottorriyright) a; few inches ahead of runnerup Brian Dingess. She ./'was given a trophy and a smooch by face director Bob Power (top Bright) while her mother stood by ; Run .will compete for the national title Aug. 16 at Akron, Ohio- V '·' . ': . " · ' ' · - . · ' · ' . , ' ; ·-'·:·'··' (Staff Photos by Lawrence Pierce) Virginia Crude Always on Sunday LyB.S.Palausky Horrors. Also, shucks. I really goofed last \veek. . In my eagerness to share the joys of the Bicentennial Ba-Boom Float with all of you, I forgot to list a few. basic precautions and to urge just a bit of moderation. My goodness gracious, the response has been fantastic. A lot of it is in the form of complaints, but as an ancient first cousin of mine, Stanley X; Andrusius used to say, "At least someone's paying attention." The letter I enjoyed most started out, "Dear Dummy ..." The writer went on to tell about his uncle who had a Ba- Booom or two or three too many. The uncle, he said, did all of this in the following" order: went stone rigid, hair turned white, eyes got red arid;the skin a deep blue. A wiseacre neighbor, the, writer continued, suggested that the uncle probably wouldn't mind being flown from the family flagpole for a couple of days . . . For those of you who were on vacation when the recipe for the Bicentennial Ba- Booom Float was printed, here's an instant replay; Take a large glass, fill it half way with tomato juice, dump in a scoop of white ice cream (not necessarily vanilla out of consideration for those who turn queasy at the sight of vanilla), and then fill the glass with blue vodka. You get blue vodka through food coloring. What I forgot to mention last week was the maximum average limit for the average person. The limit is three. Three will produce a hangover that will satisfy even the hardiest of elbow-benders. The cure for this hangover is simple. Take two olives with the red things (pimentos) in the center, and pry the red things out. In the olive cavities, jam three of your favorite aspirins (right, three in each). Now, drop these into a large glass and add two of the popular fizzing antacid- headache tablets. So, holding the glass tkfirmly in the left tend, poor it half full of Tlat beer. When till fizzing dies down, add two or three jiggers of good gin. drink it By Herb Little The Attofiated Preti Gov. Moore's scramble to find a new state treasurer, a matter of can't-wait priority, has obscured the fact that numerous other less conspicuous but still important gubernatorial appointments are pending. These include appointments to 13 seats on five major state boards or commissions. That is the situation as this is written, although weekend appointments could change the statistics. In 12 of these 13 instances, board or commission members whose terms have expired are still serving. Because of what may seem to some an inconsistency of state law, expiration of a fixed term does not vacate a post unless and until a successor is appointed and seated. Still serving under these circumstances despite expired terms are three members on the Board of Regents, two on the Board of Education, three on the Human Rights Commission, one on the Air Pollution Control Commission, and three on the Board of Health. Regents terms of Albert M. Morgan of Morgantown, new president of the 10-member board; Edward H. Greene of Huntington and Dr. F.L. Blair of Parkersburg all expired June 30. Speculation about what Moore will do in these instances is heightened by his clash with the Regents over their decision not to implement Moore-recommended legisla-, tion for establishment of a state osteopathic school. " _ On the 11-member State Board of Education, Moore so far has made no appointments for new terms in the seats held by E.L. Snoderley of Fairmont and Mrs. Anagene Bartram of Kenova, whose terms ex- Statehome Note Book expired June 30,1973. cated by the agendas of the nine prior spe- P. cial sessions he has called in 6Vz years as IT PROBABLY was wasted effort, but Governor. His operating definition of what , r. i.__ T :,, TW M n vioni,o ixRa. the "public safety or welfare" requires obviously hasn't been restricted to nar- LJTTLE Foster of Bluefield, which ran out June 30 this year; Dr. Harold B. Ashworth of Moundsville, which expired June 30,1974, and Edgar B. Moore of Clarksburg, which House Speaker Lewis N. McManus, D-Raleigh, tried to discourage a long laundry list of business on the agenda of the special legislative session Moore has announced plans to call. In a letter to the Governor, responding to Moore's solicitation of legislators' thoughts on special session business, McManus cited the constitutional language that provides the Governor's authority to call extraordinary sessions. It says: "The governor may convene the legislature by proclamation whenever, in his opinion, the public safety or welfare shall require it." McManus' view is that this means the agenda should be restricted to items the Governor considers "emergency in nature," and he urged Moore to view it that way. That Moore is not likely to do so is indi- rowly defined emergencies »· DEMOCRAT JOHN H. Kelly's resignation as state treasurer, shortly before he pleaded guilty to extortion, bribery and mail fraud, is causing reassessment of some 1976 political plans, now that it's certain there won't be an elected treasurer running for re-election. Among those re-thinking their plans is House Speaker McManus, who previously thought he might run for state auditor. Now Democrat McManus is seriously considering running for treasurer . . . Del. Phyllis E. Given, D-Kanawha, three-term member of the House of Delegates, is spreading the word that she has bigger ambitions for 1976-a race for secretary of state or possibly the State Senate. The Instant It Happened and stay out of sight for at least two days. What drove me to giving out the precautions and the antidote was a phone call Bertram 01 ivenova, vmuoc «=i m* =»- from a very sweet-sounding young lady. * ired 20 months ago and eight months ago, shp sairt hr 82-vear-old maiden aunt had ,. eSDec tivelv The nine-member Human Rights Commission has two members whose terms expired June 30 this year-Mrs. Ancella Bickleyhof Institute and Jack Dineen of Charleston-and a third-H.R. Richards of Parkersburg-whose term ran out June 30, 1974. In addition, the HRC has a vacancy caused by the resignation effective June 1 WHAT'S OUR GOVERNOR up to now? of John A ' J ° nCS ° f I think I've figured it out. Most of you have (Jrobably noticed that busy swimming pools develop a pretty fair oil slick every day. Science tells us that we all have a cer- She said her 82-year-old maiden aunt had whipped up a huge cooler of Ba-Booom Sunday afternoon and was last seen strolling naked through the residential section of West Sissonville proclaiming, "Hi, I'm Molly and I've got my pitcher right here 11 Those Ba-Boooms do bring out the patriotism . . . tain amount of fats and oils in our bodies. A lot of this is thrown off daily as we perspire and breathe. Heat makes us perspire and breathe more. Our Governor has heard about the world's oil problem. So, his plan is this: Both houses of the legislature are here in the dead of summer breathing and perspiring like blue blazes because even though the coal-by-wire air-conditioners are laboring mightily they can not begin to overcome the combination of heat, anger and frustration. As the fatty-oily perspiration slides off the legislators, it is gathered into two huge funnels (one under each house) and delivered by pipeline to separate vats in the cellar of the Governor's Mansion. Here, the impurities are boiled away and the resulting oily substance will probably be proclaimed by Our Governor as West Virginia Crude. Lobbyists will be held as a reserve for the State National Guard. I guess West Virginia Crude - State SenaS Grade will probably cost more than House of Delegates Grade. Also expiring June 30 this year was the term of Jack Adams of Wheeling on the seven-member Air Pollution Control Commission. The expired terms on the nine-member Board of Health are those of James L. Marion Residents May Send Mail On Packet Boat FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - Marion County residents will be able to send their letters by mail packet boat Monday - but it will cost them extra. The river craft, the first on the Monon- cahela River since the 1880s, was scheduled to arrive here from Pittsburgh's weekend. Outgoing mail which has ' id will leave on the for the return dwn and when 1 side up he had that sinking /^^ ^ m 15 The best laid plans of mice, men and pil- Derby is putting his old biplane through b ^^"^J^^ariy^nd he ots sometimes seem all up in the air. its paces at an air show at Oakland, Oct. 2, "««»"«' .* . Having learned to fly. man immediately 1949. Hang on to your seats and watch began testing his wings. If you can fly closely, folks, because this daring young right side up can you fly right side down? man in his flying machine is going to loop onday for the return mp. , Some intrepid but forgotten airman tries upside down over the field trailing smoke Mantobedeliveredontheboatwillcost it Yo u can. Then, there are loops and rolls to leaveapretty; circle in the air. . , with the proceeds going to an d picking handkerchiefs off the ground In fact, Derby is doing it nght now. And, ', __.=..:,, I ^ ra ^ tip and daredevils balancing O h. wow, here come three B29 Superfor- outs id the cockpit-and all the aerobatics tresses in formation for a low level flyov- w , iwivicatl .. 'emlainwi a°spokesman at the U.S. I that put cricks in the necks of countless e r. Up. up, up upside down comes Derby. stunt plane . I »*;·--;-";.,,-.- in Fairmont. cow pasture spectators. He scoots a scant five feet beneath the and t^ght it might make a different pic et boat is the Bicentennial I Th»n Uw«» is Chet Derby, another air wing of one of the bombers. Some stunt, tuie ^jth them in the shots, it ow. by H.D. Bennett of Findley- Pa.. B m Crouch of the pakland Tribune was into the sky. I was

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