Eating fresh produce from the garden is truly one of the pleasures of the season. Fresh salads, tomatoes, peppers and onions highlight the summer table. Sunday dinner with a table full of nothing but corn on the
cob, green beans cooked with new potatoes, onions and cucumbers in vinegar, fresh tomatoes. No main course is needed, just the bounty of the garden. Another important part of the garden was planning ahead to grow enough produce to “put food by” for the winter. Canning was always an important part of summer and fall life at home and on the farm. Aside from more traditional Appalachian families, canning and other preserving methods had been in decline over the past few decades. The convenience of the grocery store and a lack of connection to the farm or to food led to fewer and fewer home canners.
However, that trend has reversed. Not only is home food gardening at the highest level it has been in years, home food preservation is also. People of all ages are starting to can, whether they did it years ago and are finding their way back to home preservation or are learning for the first time. Fermenting and drying are also becoming popular means of preservation. Some people are even planning out their home preservation to reduce or eliminate the need to purchase certain produce items from the grocery store year-round. Home gardeners have a leg up when it comes to fresh ingredients, since they get to grow their own. Sure, you can buy fresh produce at the farmers market for canning. Learn how to successfully and safely use a pressure canner for low acid foods. This hands on learning class is being offered by the WVU Doddridge County Extension Service. The same class is being offered in the morning at 10 am and again at 6 pm at the Extension Office, Thursday, July 10. Please call the office to register for the time that works best for you. (304) 873-1801.
CHARLESTON, WV—A 44-year old Fayette County woman faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty today to mail fraud, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced. Cheryl Gray of Hilltop, West Virginia, entered a guilty plea before United States District Court Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. in Charleston. Gray is a former employee of the Fayette County Sheriff ‘s Department. While at the Sheriff ’s Department, Gray was charged with collecting application fees for concealed weapon permits, recording fees paid, and transmitting a list to the West Virginia State Police of permits issued each month. For over six months, from October of 2012 through June of 2013, Gray kept cash payments for permits and failed to record the names of persons who paid cash on the State Police report. To disguise her theft, Gray created a false set of receipt books. The fraud resulted in losses to the State Police and Fayette County Sheriff ‘s Department of approximately $40,000. Gray is scheduled to be sentenced on September 23, 2014 in Charleston.
The West Virginia State Police, Fayette County Sheriff‘s Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Blaire L. Malkin is in charge of the prosecution.
The Internet is free. By American, and even world standards, it’s an incredibly level playing field where agile small businesses can supplant large established companies. On the Internet, the value of a business is not judged by how many lawyers it has protecting it or how much capital it has to start with, the value of a business is based on its merit. That’s how a company like Facebook beat out MySpace, and how MySpace beat out Friendster. If a product is attractive, useful, and works, it has a genuine chance at popularity. The large websites we see today like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon were all borne of this completely free and level playing field. Currently this freedom is protected by a 1996 piece of legislation called Net Neutrality which essentially decrees that all data must be treated equally. Right now the Federal Communications Commission wants to change this.
Under the weight of cable companies like Comcast, the FCC has proposed a two-tiered system in which users will need to pay more for fast service or be stuck with a slow internet connection. What’s more, cable companies have begun charging content providers in order to continue streaming videos to users. In 2013 when Comcast was in negotiations with Netflix about the cost of streaming videos, the cable provider purposefully diminished the speed of video streaming to a crawl in a successful attempt to coax Netflix into accepting the new costs. This practice, reminiscent of a mob-shakedown, isn’t only toxic for established companies, it’s dangerous for start-ups as well. Potentially, cable providers could quash new companies by “negotiating” higher rates, rates a start-up may not be able to afford. The FCC is the government arm tasked with protecting the free internet, so why is it caving to the demands of cable providers? One needs to look no further than the FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler. Prior to his appointment to Chairman by President Obama in November 2013, Mr. Wheeler was a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry. As John Oliver so eloquently put it on his show, Last Week Tonight, that’s like needing a babysitter for your young child and hiring a dingo. A man whose former job was spent lobbying the FCC for the harmful changes desired by cable providers, is now the Chairman of the FCC.
It’s not just internet savvy twenty-somethings like myself who recognize the hazardous path we’re on, large companies fear the changes as well. In May of 2014 over 100 companies including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Ebay, and Facebook, signed a letter addressed to the FCC that expressed their strong opposition to the proposed changes to the free Internet. As of May 15th, the proposed “fast-lane bill” passed voting 3/2 and is now open for public discussion until July. If you care about a free Internet, not just for yourself but for future generations, I strongly urge you to comment on the open platform provided on the FCC website at fcc.gov. Better yet, contact the offices of Senators Rockefeller, Manchin, and Representative McKinley. For years the Internet has been an incredible source of free news, entertainment, and information. It’s in our best interest to keep it that way.