Letters to the editor 12/07

December 10, 2002

Questions about river rail-trail

To the editor:

Just what is this rail-trail study? Is the park service looking for a way to get rid of something they didn't want - the seven miles in West Virginia - when they purchased the right-of-way in 1980? Back then they met several times with the landowners with the possibility of selling it back to them. For some reason it never happened, so now we have another study. Hopefully, it will be sincere and fair.

There have been things written in favor of a trail in "letter to the editor" in several newspapers, referring to the landowners as narrow and personal. I would agree it is somewhat personal, just as some of the owners felt back around 1900 when they didn't want to sell to the railroad.

They were told the land could be condemned and taken. Now would be a great opportunity to show some consideration to the owners, which my brother and I are. We own a tract that's been in the family for more than 120 years.


Another item of great interest is the six magnificent bridges. The writer talks of the great scenery up and down the river, which is true. What hasn't been talked about is that all the bridges are more than 100 years old. The abutments they sit on have been in the river that long. There have been several major floods, log jams and ice jams banging into them. How safe are they? What's the cost for repairs?

Now to Morgan County, W.Va., and its benefits. The only place in the county it could possibly help would be Paw Paw. The trouble is, the proposed trail doesn't go into Paw Paw, it goes into Maryland, in fact, about the same place as the canal tunnel near Route 51.

It's one of the biggest attractions for the length of the canal. What the majority of Paw Paw wants is not a trail on the old railroad, just a connection between Route 51 from the canal tunnel into Paw Paw. Hopefully some of the visitors to the tunnel would go over.

The proposed trail would be from Pearre, Md., to the canal tunnel near Paw Paw. With Pearre as point "A" and the tunnel as point "B" you already have a trail to get to these points called the C&O Canal Towpath. We don't need two trails to get to the same place.

In another article, I found the study of the Greenbrier River trail interesting. The users tend to be highly educated with incomes in excess of $60,000 a year. I certainly don't make that amount and am not highly educated. But I know it isn't necessary to have two trails to get from point "A" to point "B" for such affluent people to hike and bike.

I feel that the money it would take to open said trail would be better used for something else, such as upkeep of the towpath.

Tom Galliher

Doe Gully, W.Va.

Leaving the funeral business

To the editor:

After being in business for nearly 60 years, the Watsons Funeral Home closed its doors, effective Dec. 1. Since my illness, I have decided to pursue a less stressful interest as a consultant in the field of organization and leadership in higher and adult education. My doctorate and professional expertise is in curriculum development and evaluation in nursing education.

It was my pleasure to be able to purchase the funeral home in 1978 and get my license as a funeral director, in an effort to help preserve the memory of my husband's late uncle, John R. Watson, who started the Watsons Funeral Home in the 1940s.

But I realized following my surgery last year that I was going to have to make some major changes in my life on the advice of my doctors, both in New York and at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the Watsons Funeral Home and for helping me to continue John R. Watson's legacy of providing high-quality funeral service with dignity, to the people of the Jonathan Street community.

Once again, thank you and best wishes for the upcoming holiday season.

Mary F. Watson


Great staff

To the editor:

I recently had same-day surgery at Washington County Hospital. For whatever reason I had to stay for an extra day-and-a-half.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved; the prayers of family and friends, Dr. Anhtai Nguyen, same-day surgery staff, all three shifts of the seventh-floor nursing staff, Blue Ridge Anesthesiologists, Community Rescue and County Medical Transport. I was cared for and cared about.

Unfortunately, we take so many things for granted. We are very quick to criticize, but very slow to praise. I hope my appreciation will add to somebody's day. Everyone was wonderful to me. The very least I can say is thank you. The most I can say is God bless you all.

Carolyn Monroe


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