December 12, 2014

December 11, 2014

Room to improve

Back in 2013, West Virginia took a long overdue step towards addressing prison overcrowding--and it's paid off. The state's juvenile justice system, meanwhile, is a mess.

That's the bad news .The good news is that an intergovernmental task force has been studying the issue with the help of folks from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Their major findings were released today at a press conference chaired by Gov. Tomblin.

Legislation will be introduced in the 2015 session aimed at reducing the number of juveniles now placed in residential facilities, particularly those held for status offenses, which are actions only considered to be offenses  by non-adults.

This is one area child advocates will be pushing in the coming session. I'm hopeful we can make a dent in this problem.

December 09, 2014

On possibly detecting a member of the order Rodentia by olfactory means, metaphorically speaking

Maybe El Cabrero is just uncommonly cynical, but does anyone else find anything fishy about the post-election miraculous recovery of Alpha Natural Resources? Back in July, they filed a WARN notice warning 1,100 workers of imminent job loss, a move industry supporters and some politicians attributed to President Obama's "war on coal." Now, a month after the elections, it looks like 750 will keep their jobs.

That's funny. I thought Obama was still president.

If memory serves something different but similarly fishy happened with Murray Energy after the 2012.

Things that make you go hmmmm.

December 08, 2014

Thought for the day

Here's a great quote from someone in my neighboring state of Kentucky, i.e. Wendell Berry. It speaks to my condition:

"it may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings."

December 07, 2014

There is a debt owed

This article focuses on tough times in Kentucky's coal country, but the story is also true for WV. Especially worth a look are these comments by Jason Bailey with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy:

"Government has found ways to help tobacco farmers and redwood loggers transition away from those industries, says Bailey. This region must be compensated for the cost it has borne “in providing the cheap power that built the modern American economy.”
“The region has paid it in spoiled water and degraded land and black lung disease, broken backs, torn-up roads, blasted mountains,” he says, noting these issues make it harder to diversify.
“I think there is a debt owed.”
WELCOME TO HELL, PART ONE. Here's a look at the link between right wing state attorneys general and energy companies. Including WV's current specimen.

WELCOME TO HELL, PART TWO. And here's a look at the fun and games that await in next year's legislative session.

Good times...