Sportsmen being neglected by Rahall

Sportsmen, hunters and fishermen of West Virginia are not being represented by Congressman Rahall. I have made numerous phone calls, sent many e-mails, and attended two meetings over the last five years. In all of my attempts to get Congressman Rahall to support and fund wildlife management programs for the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia they have failed. Monies that should have gone to West Virginia were redirected to fight fire in California. There is no shortage of appropriations, just a misuse of these funds.

Congressman Rahall’s voting record is 70 percent in agreement with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Congressman Rahall was instrumental in setting aside thousands of acres as wilderness designated forest for the Wilderness Society.

I am confused and disappointed at Congressman Rahall because of the lack of leadership. Funding that was approved for a Ruffed Grouse Management area, known as the Buskirk property, near White Sulphur Springs three years ago has never been implemented.

Today there are 300,000 hunters and fishermen in the state of West Virginia; we are not being heard or represented.

I will continue to ask for leadership and the funding for wildlife management programs in the Monongahela National Forest. I urge all sportsmen to contact Congressman Rahall, Sen. Rockefeller and Sen. Byrd and demand accountability.

   

Charles Brown

Spring Dale

Voice comments, concerns to court

The West Virginia Supreme Court recently announced a much-needed overhaul of the state’s appellate rules — a proposal that will substantially affect the legal rights of all West Virginians.

The last major changes to West Virginia’s appeals process took place more than three decades ago. Since that time, our state’s legal standards have fallen far outside the legal mainstream.

West Virginia is currently the only state in the nation with a 100 percent discretionary appeals process — meaning that state residents have no actual right to an appeal. We are also in the minority of states that do not have an intermediate appeals court to provide an extra layer of judicial review.  Legal reform panels have recommended changes to the state’s appeals process for years.

The Supreme Court’s proposed rules attempt to remedy identified problems, in part, by providing at the very least an abbreviated decision on the merits in all future appeals.  And with a two-week series of public education seminars on the suggested rule changes complete, the public now has an opportunity to be heard. Members of the public can submit written comments or concerns to the court until July 19.

It is essential for West Virginians to get involved during the court’s public comment period, as it could be decades before the rules are changed again.  Now is the time to let the court know that a true right of appeal cannot exist without meaningful opinions in all properly filed appeals.

Richie Heath

Executive Director West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Charleston

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