WV Observer

WV Observer The Observer publishes a monthly newspaper, covering the stories of Jefferson County and West Virginia. The Observer looks beyond the headlines to inform the public discusssion on important topics relevant to the community, including the local economy, environment, education, politics, and public health.

We also spotlight local artisans, artists, musicians, businesses & community organizations.

Operating as usual

07/31/2020
Contemporary American Theater Festival

CATF on location in downtown Shepherdstown, WV

CATF explores downtown Shepherdstown and meets with the awesome business owners and their staff.

Celebrate the start of summer with Westvirjeni -- 2020 will be a unique event for our times, with both live and virtual ...
06/11/2020
Broad View Events

Celebrate the start of summer with Westvirjeni -- 2020 will be a unique event for our times, with both live and virtual options. Proceeds to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness--Cumberland Valley, Inc. See the blog at Broad View Events for event details and how you can participate and reserve your "party-in-a-box" kits.

Westvirjeni's Annual Summer Solstice Party benefits Breast Cancer Awareness--Cumberland Valley, Inc. Head over to our blog to see how we’re going to keep the party going June 20, 2020! We think we've got a pretty amazing event lined up for you!

https://broadviewevents.com/2020/06/08/giving-back-with-westvirjenis-3rd-annual-summer-solstice-party-june-20-2020-6-8pm/

Berkeley Medical Center (WVU Medicine East) to host blood drive to address nationwide blood shortage THIS SATURDAY, JUNE...
06/01/2020

Berkeley Medical Center (WVU Medicine East) to host blood drive to address nationwide blood shortage THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 6.

WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center and the American Red Cross will host a blood drive THIS SATURDAY, June 6, to help address the nationwide blood shortage due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The hospital has hosted three blood drives in response to COVID-19 and all available appointments were filled within hours of announcement due to an overwhelming response from the community.

*** Berkeley Medical Center will host an additional blood drive at Medical Office Building 3 (880 N. Tennessee Ave., Martinsburg, West Virginia), from 10am-3pm, this Saturday.

Donors must schedule an appointment in advance using sponsor code BMC20 to participate. Schedule an appointment by phone at 800.733.2767 or online at www.redcrossblood.org. Walk-in donations will not be accepted—to limit crowds and ensure proper social distancing.

Donating blood is considered an essential reason to leave your home. Healthy individuals with no symptoms who are eligible to donate blood are urged to do so.

The American Red Cross has implemented additional precautions to ensure safety of donors and staff. Donors will be screened for potential exposure to COVID-19 upon arrival and may be asked to have their temperature checked. To follow social distancing practices, beds will be spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart.

For more information about the American Red Cross Donation Safety Protocol or to sign up to donate, visit www.redcrossblood.org

A message from the Contemporary American Theater Festival: Even though we cannot gather together in person, we couldn’t ...
06/01/2020

A message from the Contemporary American Theater Festival:

Even though we cannot gather together in person, we couldn’t go a summer without thinking, eating, and breathing new plays with you. So, we crafted an online experience to quench that new play thirst.

* CATFUNMUTED gives you an exclusive deep-dive into what it takes to produce six BOLD, NEW PLAYS. In true CATF fashion, we’ve created a repertory schedule where you’ll hear from playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and the other team members that work together to bring these plays to life.

Opening Weekend, you’ll see scenes from each play and you’ll talk theater with special pre-show discussions, lively happy hours, and for the first-time ever, individual Q&A sessions with ALL SIX playwrights.

We’re not sharing everything, but you’ll wish that it was already July 2021!

Save the dates for Opening Weekend: July 10-12, 2020

And be on the lookout for even more CATFUNMUTED soon!

Webinar: Putting Your Team Back to Work: New Rules, Regulations and Requirements for Employers in the COVID-19 Era Prese...
05/30/2020

Webinar: Putting Your Team Back to Work: New Rules, Regulations and Requirements for Employers in the COVID-19 Era

Presented by Bowles Rice LLP – with offices locally in Martinsburg, West Virginia – topics on this webinar will include:

Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; Strategies for Mitigating COVID-19 Safety and Health Risks in the Workplace; and Equal Employment Opportunity Considerations During the Pandemic.

Hosted by the Jefferson County WV Chamber of Commerce.

Find out more here: https://www.bowlesrice.com/industries.html

SHEPHERDSTOWN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH KICKS OFF VIRTUAL PRIDE MONTHShepherdstown Presbyterian Church (SPC) will be celebrati...
05/29/2020

SHEPHERDSTOWN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH KICKS OFF VIRTUAL PRIDE MONTH

Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church (SPC) will be celebrating Pride NEXT WEEK, June 3 – 7, with a variety of events in which the entire community can participate.

June is LGBTQIA+ Pride month in many locations around the world, and the streets in many towns and cities will be empty this year because of the pandemic. SPC is taking Pride virtual!

* On June 3, SPC will kick off the Pride vibe by decorating the church at 100 W. Washington Street, Shepherdstown, with a festive window treatment facing the post office, a rainbow light show at dusk on the north side of the building, along with pride flags and rainbow bunting.

Take a drive (or stroll) by to refuel your pride!

* On June 4th, at 6:30pm, the WV Eastern Panhandle Youth Alliance - EPYA will once again be conducting a training for volunteers via Zoom. EPYA works with local LGBTQIA+ youth by providing a safe and supportive space to be together; meetings with the youth are currently being held virtually. In the meantime, we need more volunteers to sign up for the two-hour training.

See the above FB pages to sign up.

* On June 6th, Saturday night at 7pm, EVERYONE is invited to join a Pride Dance Party with performer Gem LaVie. Go to SPC’s page at 7pm for love, laughter, and dancing for all ages in a Facebook live extravaganza! https://www.facebook.com/groups/spcworks/

* On Sunday, June 7th, join SPC on Facebook at 11am for the Sunday Meeting House Live service highlighting More Light, a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community of the Presbyterian Church.

Later that afternoon at 4pm, National More Light Presbyterians will be holding a virtual service, followed by a showing at 7pm of “Out of Order,” a groundbreaking feature documentary revealing the complex and painful struggles faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer faith leaders within the Presbyterian Church, USA.

SPC thanks Eastern Panhandle Pride for helping to get the word out.

Also watch SPC’s page on June 8th for a short video in which church members relate personal, 60-second insights into what Pride means to them.

WVU Medicine hosts virtual walk with a doc events - Next One is THIS SATURDAY WVU Medicine University Healthcare Physici...
05/28/2020

WVU Medicine hosts virtual walk with a doc events - Next One is THIS SATURDAY

WVU Medicine University Healthcare Physicians, the Rotary Club of Charles Town, and the WVU Rural Family Medicine Residency Program are now offering virtual Walk with a Doc events.

The Walk with a Doc program is designed for anyone looking to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle and encourages healthy physical activity in people of all ages and ability levels. Coordinated by a non-profit organization of the same name, Walk with a Doc now has more than 500 chapters worldwide.

With in-person events around the country being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WVU Medicine has begun offering free virtual Walk with a Doc events to encourage the community to remain active and socially connected while maintaining proper social distancing.

Virtual Walk with a Doc events take place at 9am every other Saturday with the NEXT SESSION meeting THIS SATURDAY, May 30.

During the event, a WVU Medicine provider or a resident from the WVU Rural Family Medicine Residency Program leads an interactive Zoom meet-up. Participants are encouraged to download the Zoom app on their smartphone and join the meet-up for a 30-minute group walk. During these interactive walks, participants will have the opportunity to connect with other group members and participate in conversations with a medical provider.

To participate, join the WVU Medicine East Virtual Walk with a Doc Facebook group or follow the WVU Rural Family Medicine Residency Program page. Walk details will be posted to Facebook prior to each walk.

For more information, contact Madison Humerick, M.D. at [email protected].

Repairs Are Underway on Harpers Ferry Pedestrian FootbridgeThe National Park Service has issued a permit to CSX to repai...
05/27/2020

Repairs Are Underway on Harpers Ferry Pedestrian Footbridge

The National Park Service has issued a permit to CSX to repair the Goodloe E. Byron Pedestrian Walkway (footbridge) across the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

CSX began the project last week and anticipates that it will be completed by the end of July, assuming no weather or pandemic-related delays.

CSX and the NPS are coordinating to fund and operate a shuttle service to provide free transportation for Appalachian Trail hikers and other visitors around the footbridge closure. The start date for this shuttle service is still to be determined.

For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/hafe/planyourvisit/information-about-train-derailment-at-harpers-ferry-on-december-21-2019.htm.

— — —

** Background:

In the early morning of Dec. 21, 2019, multiple cars of a train owned by CSX derailed from a railroad bridge crossing the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The derailment damaged a portion of the pedestrian footbridge, which is attached to the railroad bridge, preventing access across the Potomac River. Since the derailment, the NPS has been working with CSX to determine next steps.

The footbridge is used by hikers and visitors to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Testing Opportunities for Minorities and Other Vulnerable Populations Announced** Free testing available THIS WEEKEND in...
05/27/2020

Testing Opportunities for Minorities and Other Vulnerable Populations Announced

** Free testing available THIS WEEKEND in Berkeley, Jefferson, Kanawha, Mineral, and Morgan Counties **

— — —

As part of Gov. Jim Justice’s initiative to increase testing opportunities for minorities and other vulnerable populations in medically underserved counties, the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, with support from the WV Department of Health & Human Resources (DHHR) and the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) announced locations for testing THIS FRIDAY & SATURDAY, May 29 and 30.

The testing will be held from 9am-4pm in in Berkeley, Jefferson, Kanawha, Mineral, and Morgan Counties with support from local health departments and community partners at the following locations (locally):

* Berkeley County: Musselman High School, 126 Excellence Way, Inwood, West Virginia, 25428

* Jefferson County: Hollywood Casino, 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, West Virginia, 25414

* Morgan County: Warm Springs Middle School, 271 Warm Springs Way, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, 25411

— — —

Identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address, is required to be tested. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Under the direction of Gov. Justice, the testing plan was developed by the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, DHHR and WVNG and targets residents who have struggled to be seen by a physician or do not have insurance to pay for testing. This optional testing is free and available to all residents in selected counties, including asymptomatic individuals.

For more information, visit https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/pages/testing.aspx.

A update for JUNE from The Shepherdstown Public Library: ** Tuesdays in June: Jefferson County Schools, WV will continue...
05/26/2020

A update for JUNE from The Shepherdstown Public Library:

** Tuesdays in June: Jefferson County Schools, WV will continue to offer five-day meal packs for County students from June 2–August 4. Pick-up locations will be listed soon at www.jcswv.org under 'Child Nutrition Schedule.' You may walk or drive up to these food distribution sites every Tuesday from 11am-12pm.

Read more here: http://jeff.ss18.sharpschool.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=481615&pageId=29586430&fbclid=IwAR1l0YTWjKHXddcNHPBJpyzPiYRzat0ciTHqJ-32TQpBnazWrsgYj4S2Fgs

— — —

** The FOSL Book Club will not meet in the Library on Friday, June 5, but asks its members to stay tuned for details about books to be discussed in the coming months.

— — —

The ELECTION

** June 6: Early voting begins on Wednesday, May 27, and continues through Saturday, June 6. In Jefferson County, vote at the Courthouse at 100 East Washington Street, Charles Town, West Virginia – Mondays through Saturdays from 9am to 5pm. For other counties' early voting locations please go to https://sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/GoVoteWV.aspx.

** June 8: Please hand-deliver your Absentee Ballot to the County Clerk's office by Monday, June 8. If you mail your Absentee Ballot, it must be postmarked by Tuesday, June 9, (Primary Election Day) and it must be received by Monday, June 15. For more information call toll-free 1-866-767-8683 or email [email protected].

— — —

** June 10: The Board of the Shepherdstown Library will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 10, at 7pm. You are welcome to view it live by going to the Library's page (above). If you have comments or questions, please call 304-876-2783.

— — —

** The months of June and July: The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is offering appointment-based scheduling for services that must be done in-person. You may schedule an appointment by calling them at 1-800-642-9066 or visiting www.dmv.wv.gov to see all the details, and then schedule online.

The WV DMV has granted an extension to August first if your CDL or regular driver's license, or vehicle registration, expired March 1, 2020 or later. Note that although the Charles Town DMV office in Kearneysville is currently open by appointment, the Martinsburg DMV is still closed. More openings will be announced in the coming weeks.

— — —

The Library of Congress has something for everyone! Go to www.read.gov/webcasts to see authors, illustrators, and poets: you can enjoy Julia Alvarez, Jan Brett, Cassandra Clare, Toni Morrison, R.L. Stine, or others. There are Civil War maps at www.loc.gov/collections.

Teachers and homeschoolers will find lesson plans for grades 3–12 at www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials. You can also read classic books online.

— — —

For fans of regional or roots music, an entertaining website is www.folkcloud.com where you can search by country, region, or artist. Although there are some well-known artists like Rhiannon Giddens or Doc Watson, you can enjoy traditional music from Cuba, Jamaica, or Mali. Then try a random playlist or post a song.

The Shepherdstown Visitors Center's FB page and website are full of valuable and up-to-date information for everyone dur...
05/25/2020
Stay Current on Corona-Related Information for Shepherdstown - Shepherdstown Visitors Center

The Shepherdstown Visitors Center's FB page and website are full of valuable and up-to-date information for everyone during COVID.

Check out the latest recap via the blog page right here: https://shepherdstown.info/stay-current-on-corona-related-information-for-shepherdstown/

As the country attempts to come back online in whatever form and function works best for each particular state, city, and town, we all have a role to play. Especially since West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle once again caught some media attention for its recent spike in COVID cases. While that spik...

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College (13650 Apple Harvest Dr., Martinsburg, West Virginia) is making it easy to ex...
05/24/2020

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College (13650 Apple Harvest Dr., Martinsburg, West Virginia) is making it easy to extend your education during complex times—waiving application fees and offering a free class to high school graduates.

Read more right here: https://www.blueridgectc.edu/future-students/unity-campaign/

The Shepherdstown Farmers Market will be up and running tomorrow in the White Hall parking lot at the corner of High and...
05/23/2020

The Shepherdstown Farmers Market will be up and running tomorrow in the White Hall parking lot at the corner of High and Princess Streets in downtown Shepherdstown, from 9am-12pm. Get your pre-orders in now (though they will do walk-up business depending on what inventory is available).

Check out the images provided for who to order from, and where to find them.

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131 West German Street
Shepherdstown, WV
25443

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Comments

I don't see a May edition at https://wearetheobserver.com/latest-issue/ -- are you guys still going?
https://www.estately.com/listings/info/2874-summit-point--2 Our beautiful home in Summit Point is for sale $239,000 3br3ba + 1 bonus office 1.33 acres 2400 sq ft
The Children’s Tree House, Inc. is a nature based, non profit child development center housed at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV, where wild things, gardens, and creative minds grow. We have openings and are looking for families that believe that having your children outside and learning in nature is an amazing way for then to grow and develop. Contact us today at 304-876-7354 or by email at [email protected] 501(c)3, incorporated and licensed in accordance with regulations of the state of West Virginia since 1999 #54-1960448
The 2019 Eastern Panhandle Regional Middle School Science Fair to be held Tuesday April 23 at the Ranson Civic Center NEEDS volunteer judges. Learn more and sign up at www.pricescience.com/volunteer.html.
As many have noted here on this page, if the infrastructure for Rockwool gets built, other heavy industry will come to our area. Francis O. Day, Co., the Rockville MD-based asphalt manufacturer, owns 310 acres with frontage on Charles Town Road (old route 9). The property is situated in both Jefferson and Berkeley counties, between Charles Town Road and the railroad tracks. The company has not developed the property as yet, even though they have been paying taxes on it since 2015. Wonder what they are waiting for? The proposed FRACKED GAS PIPELINE, maybe? (the one that would also serve the Rockwool site) “Hot mix asphalt” must be kept at 300-325 degrees. Gas would be an ideal fuel source because it is cheaper than fuel oil. Asphalt is made from crude oil and contains many toxic and carcinogenic compounds The large parcel of land owned by F.O. Day is located just east of the Washington Trail Subdivision and the V.A. Medical Center.
I wrote to the WV DEP today, letting them know that we were promised a hearing and we mean to get one. (Text of that letter below.) Here is the contact information if folks could please a take a few minutes to email or call the DEP: Mr. Harold Ward Deputy Secretary for Operations 304-926-0499 ext. 1483 [email protected] Yogesh Patel Engineer Chief, Division Of Water And Waste Management 304-926-0499 ext. 1014 [email protected] Connie Anderson Construction Stormwater Program Manager 304-926-0499 ext. 1073 [email protected] Dear Mr. Ward, Mr. Patel, and Ms. Anderson: I write to express my disappointment that the DEP hearing originally scheduled for February 21st has not been rescheduled yet. The hearing is about the extension of the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project to the Rockwool site in Jefferson County, permit number WVR311281. Our groups here in the EP informed local residents about the DEP storm water permit application needed by Mountaineer Gas back in November of last year. We asked our friends and neighbors here in the Eastern Panhandle to contact your agency to request a local, public hearing. I worked with the WV Sierra Club to set up a link for citizens to use to make such a request. The Sierra Club informs me that 175 people requested such a hearing through their link. This number does not include the many citizens who emailed or called the DEP directly. In January, I was contacted by the DEP. The DEP representative let me know that a local hearing had been scheduled due to the high level of public interest in the pipeline extension issue. The DEP representative said the date and location would be published in a local newspaper. A notice was published on January 25th of this year, stating that the hearing would be held on February 21st at the Ranson Civic Center. On January 30th of this year, I attended a different DEP hearing at the Ranson Civic Center, at which several of us met representatives of the agency, namely Rick Adams and Terry Fletcher. Mr. Adams told us that the hearing would be rescheduled due to a scheduling conflict at the Civic Center. He said it would probably be rescheduled for February 20th instead of the 21st, due to this conflict. He said the new date would be published. Over the next few weeks, I repeatedly checked the newspapers and contacted Mr. Adams by phone several times. He indicated that the DEP was having trouble finding a location at which to hold the hearing. February 20th came and went, and still no date had been published. I also contacted Mr. Fletcher, who was much less communicative than Mr. Adams, saying simply that he could provide no information on the matter. On March 5th, I spoke to Mr. Adams. He stated that there were security concerns surrounding the hearing and that perhaps a hearing should not be held at all based on these concerns. He said that, “they could not guarantee our safety”. Such concerns are 100% unfounded. There were no violent incidents, or any other security-related incidents. whatsoever at the two DEP hearings I have been to in recent months at the Civic Center. There have been no such incidents at any of the numerous public meetings that have been held since August of 2018 about the pipeline issue or the Rockwool issue. The Public Service Commission hearing about the pipeline back on October 24th, was likewise totally peaceful. There is no reason whatsoever to not hold a local, public hearing here in the Eastern Panhandle, as promised back in January by the notice in the Journal. Significant public interest has already been shown, and continues unabated. I ask that the DEP please re-schedule the hearing promptly. Respectfully,
My daughter is my favorite!
The annual JHS Alumni Baseball game will be held August 11th at Jefferson High School's Sager Field at 7pm. The Rotruck building will be open at 4:00 for hitting and pitching practice. Re-live the glory days afterwards at Glory Days Grill in Ranson! Cost is $20 per player. This includes a shirt for players with a special alumni sleeve and refreshments at Glory Days. Questions? Please contact Michelle LaFollette at: [email protected] in order to get put on the emailing list and/or receive more information. Please spread the word! Free admission for anyone who wants to come on out and cheer our former Cougars on.
I love the cover photo on the June, 2018 edition. I noticed you mentioned the photographer but not the musician. He is Logan Hughes of Harpers Ferry. He hosts an Open Mic night every other Sunday at the Barn in Harpers Ferry from 7:00 - 9:30
We have been advertising in The Observer for almost 3 years now and really appreciate the attention that Leslie and the entire staff give to our ads. We receive a lot of feedback from people in the community who say "we saw your ad in The Observer". It's a great publication and I always look forward to receiving it every month. I'm glad we are able to be apart of it.
Is there a website that gives a summary about each of the candidates- their views, priorities, etc? Would you please consider publishing a “voters guide” for future elections? Thank you.