The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 29, 2012

Our Readers Speak - Thursday, November 29, 2012

Firing of Dr. Marple draws no sympathy

There has been a lot said of the recent firing of Dr. Marple from the position of superintendent of the State Board of Education, the same Board of Education that recently took over Fayette County schools and sent them in a tailspin to reach 53rd of 55 counties. Whether it was done fair or by current rules have come in question.

I don’t remember Dr. Marple’s concern toward fairness when Mount Hope High School was closed. When asked for considerations whether Mount Hope be allowed to keep a middle school considering the school the students would be sent to being the most populated school in Fayette County and keeps security officers on hand because of constant fighting. Whether it would provide any consideration toward making the merged Mount Hope and Oak Hill High School one that both towns could be proud wasn’t a concern of Dr. Marple either.

Mount Hope High School criticized as having low test scores was the public reasoning for closing. Then a delegation of Mount Hope citizens was told it was for financial reasons and that other school closures were to follow. The board has attempted additional closures. How’s that for fairness or following rules? What about the rule that the buck stops here? West Virginia’s school system is pathetic. Who is responsible for the current condition of our schools if not the superintendent?

The recent firing of Dr. Marple draws no sympathy from yours truly with one exception. If only the rest of the state board of education could receive the same treatment. Now that would draw some satisfaction.

Dr. Marple, it’s called karma. When you treat others with a lack of respect, don’t expect to receive any when your time is up. If only the rest of the state board could receive the same treatment, justice will be served.

Thomas “TB” Brown

Mount Hope

Stop complaining, how about helping?

Just like to respond to the reader from Nov. 18, 2012. First, I’d like to say that Sandy has done a lot of damage not only at Little Beaver but all across are state. Trails all over have trees down and debris all over them.

Little Beaver only has three full-time employees, the rest (summer) temp help. One of them goes to other parks from time to time. So that only leaves one superintendent and one maintenance person to clean up at the park. Around this time, they all take vacation days because it is the off-season for them.

So far as a chainsaw crew, there is none, no money in the Little Beaver tiny budget for them  just a chainsaw/maintenance guy. The trucks they are driving they needed; the ones they used to have were worn out. The truck they got is what the park system sent.

As far as you having to leave, that is the rule. Park gate closes at 10 p.m. in the summer; in the winter after closing you can park outside of the gate or on the hill above the lake and still fish; they won’t tell you to leave.

I’m the president of a cycling club. I and others take care of the 20+ miles of trails for the last 12 or 13 years, built bridges, installed signs, clean the trails, put up markers on trees, made the trail map, made new trails — on a volunteer basis. No pay, just a lot of work. We average 100-150 hours a year doing this and I would say more than that because people do things that I’m not aware of.

This year with two bad storms, so far 177 man hours of work has been done at Little Beaver, maybe more. We have started clearing trees and debris and will work on them until the weather gets bad.

So instead of complaining, how about helping? We would love to have more people give us a hand. That way we would have more time to ride our bikes and enjoy the beauty of Little Beaver State Park.

Gary Morefield


Raleigh County Cycle Club