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From Steve Conlon

By Staff | Mar 3, 2010

A writer posed several questions for the Wetzel County Action Group. She asked why people aren’t addressing all the other issues that have come down the pike. Unfortunately, one never knows “when will the bell toll for thee”. In addition, it is impossible to make planets line up. People respond to situations as they feel fit. In my case, 45 years ago, our family had a black exchange student from Alabama living with us for a year. My parents felt this was a good reaction to a nation slowly coming out of segregation. A few years later, my parents were on the Post Office steps every Saturday, silently and non-violently protesting our country’s involvement in S.E. Asia. In addition, our religion taught us how our ancestors in England refused to take their hats off to King George and later through one of their members, William Penn, were given the state of Pennsylvania. Obviously, questioning authority, speaking up and seeing all humans in equal terms, paid off grandly in this case.

We moved here 36 years ago. In our early years, we cared for 150 foster children. Then we set off on a course developing two businesses with two handfuls of employees and raised some boys. There are always numerous issues to consider and plenty of bandwagons to join. Last week, I felt motivated to travel to Charleston to discuss with Pethtel, Kessler, Edgell, the PSC,the DOH, the sheriffs of Wetzel and Marshall, coal people, and timber people the harsh realities of Chesapeake Energy’s style of gas development. If we were “blowing smoke”, no one would have showed up. (Chesapeake didn’t show up, to the chagrin of Dominion and IOGA). If this story had no traction, it would have died two years ago.

The best way that we have found to alter bad highway behavior is a simple device called a camera. If people are scared of cameras, too bad, unless they are Amish. There is a photographer’s bill of rights. We believe in it and follow it. My employees are as important as the gas guys. My load is as important as yours. Life is the game, the object is to figure out the rules. When the bell tolls for you, please answer.


Steve Conlon