14 February 2014, Vol.1, No.5 > PPS & its 25 years of Deceit!
The POCAHONTAS CRIER
(Part of The Crier Coalition of Internet News Services comprised of
The Pocahontas Commentator, The Pocahontas Crier,
Signal Fires of WV & Echoes from the Holl’r)
ENDING THE ‘POVERTY PRESERVATION SOCIETY’ –
A Summary Review of 25 years of deceit!
Part I – Special Report by Robyn Ewe Blyne, Investigative Journalist
The information contained herein can be found in the public records of the Office of the Circuit Clerk, the Office of the County Clerk & old-newspapers at The Pocahontas Times.
For everyone who has ever wondered ‘WHY’ Pocahontas County has never advanced beyond the ‘minimum-wage’ instead of receiving a ‘Living-Wage’ – simply look around & contemplate – there are just a handful of jobs in this county, i.e., working for a convenience store/gas-station, working in Marlinton, or working at Snowshoe or Silver Creek in which all jobs have deliberately been held to BELOW the ‘Living-Wage’ standards applied elsewhere! By comparison, ‘wages’ in Charleston are about 70% of those found elsewhere in other major cities, and ‘wages’ in Pocahontas County are about 70% of those in Charleston! That’s why the richest 1% owns more wealth than the combined wealth of half-the-population of the entire world! < http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/01/20/davos-2014-oxfam-85-richest-people-half-world/4655337/ >! Is it not about the same here in this county? What follows is a Summary Review of how a handful in this county has benefited themselves at the expense of everyone else!
About 25 year or so ago when the Pocahontas Development Authority (PDA) first came into existence – under the pretext of bringing more businesses & providing more jobs – the PDA was comprised of approximately 20 local persons, including Phil Cain the banker, the late Walt Weiford prosecutor & PDA president, several others in public service, and the rest local business-folks all intent on one thing – holding onto their little monopolies and keeping out any business that might become a competitor! Its first scheme was the transfer in excess of $225,000.00 of public funds designated for Cranberry Glades that mysteriously found its way into the coffers of the PDA! Fortunately, Norman Lee Alderman was a County Commissioner at the time, and he filed a Citizen-Taxpayer lawsuit that required those funds returned for the use of Cranberry Glades!
Then suddenly, it was announced that Denmar State Hospital was to close due to old-wiring, old-plumbing & asbestos! The hospital sat on 7 acres surrounded by another 150 acres once used as the farm that supplied the hospital. The first person to know about the hospital closing was former State Senator Walt Helmick – and when Denmar’s closing was announced – all kinds of alleged offers sprang forth for it to become a ‘private-prison’, a new ‘private-hospital’, a ‘private-nursing’ home, and a ‘private-adult-educational-center’, etc. The latter was made by Jim Lambert on behalf of the Mennonite community since they do not use the name ‘college’ or ‘university’! A meeting was held at the Marlinton Courthouse where Mr. Lambert indicated his group was prepared to pay $250,000.00 for the old-hospital on the 7 acres, and was willing to spend upwards to $750,000.00 to replace the old-wiring, the lead-pipes & remove all asbestos – plus hire as many local folks as possible & buy all building materials locally – and then indicated that his group was willing to bid on the remaining farm acreage separately! But the PDA refused this offer! [Ed Note: A college is always a ‘positive-cash-flow’ to a county, while a ‘prison’ is always a ‘negative-cash-flow’ to a county!]
The irony of this whole fiasco was that the PDA did not have title to Denmar at the time, nor did the County Commission, howbeit that the commission expected title from the State in the near future. Several local guests at the meeting asked that since this was ‘government property’, why were there no plans to hold a ‘public-auction’ as the law required? Answer given was that the PDA was only there to hold ‘discussions’ as to Denmar’s possible future!
That answer proved to be a willful & gross fabrication, since then State Senator Walt Helmick was not only the first to know that Denmar was closing, but also the first to know that the State wanted to turn Denmar into a new minimal security prison! Thus all discussion regarding Denmar publicly disappeared until it was suddenly announced that the ‘Dean-Callison Group’ had agreed to buy all of Denmar, the building & seven acres plus all farmland for $255,000.00 with a $20,000.00 deposit – thanks to the PDA!
Coincidently enough, the ‘Dean-Callison Group’ happened to be kin & associates of bank directors of the First National Bank headed by Phil Cain. Cries of ‘Foul’ arose everywhere, including several lawsuits, and special news-reports in Lewisburg newspapers and even several ‘court orders’ for the ‘Dean-Callison Group’ and the First National Bank to produce a cancelled-check showing the $20,000.00 deposit plus a cancelled-check for the $235,000.00 balance – but true to form – only the $20,000.00 deposit check was ever produced! The ‘Poverty Preservation Society’ (PPS) got away with yet another scam – for without doing a single item of repair, within seven months the ‘Dean-Callison Group’ sold Denmar BACK TO THE STATE for $750,000.00! And all this was done in broad daylight without the ‘bandidos’ even wearing any masks!
When then County Commissioner, Norman Lee Alderman, filed another Citizen-Taxpayer lawsuit to demand an accountability, good-ole Phil Cain & Joel Callison were the first to ‘resign’ from the PDA and jump on board with the private-corporation (south-of-our border), the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC), and their resignations were followed by resignations from everyone else in short order – only to have the PDA reorganize with Ralph Beckwith as president. Then begins the sordid-tale of the West Virginia Shoe Company fiasco following the closure of Hanover Shoe Co. in Marlinton, and Howes Leather in Frank. The 14 acre property on which Hanover Shoe built their building carries ‘four-chain-of-title deeds’ requiring the land to forever be public-land owned in common by the people of this county. Upon request, the Town of Marlinton transferred it to the County Commission, which in turn transferred it to the PDA, which in turn ILLEGALLY transferred it to the private-for-profit West Virginia Shoe Co., Inc. – without public approval which could not be done anyway via the chains-of-title!
West Virginia Shoe meanwhile ran up a debt in excess of $2.5 Million to the State of West Virginia and other entities by using a deed prepared by Ralph Beckwith’s attorney at the time, Michael Doss, who left out the chains-of-title, and let the deed from the PDA to West Virginia Shoe show a payment of $650,000.00 from an appraisal from the Helmick-Manchin-cartel in Clarksburg at the time estimating $690,000.00 for the Hanover building! Thus without paying a single-penny, West Virginia Shoe obtained the Hanover building with an appraisal of $690,000.00 on paper – only to use that as collateral to indebt itself in excess of $2.5 Million of public-funds!
When discovered, a Citizen-Taxpayer lawsuit was filed and within five (5) days the Hanover property was returned to the PDA only this time Michael Doss showed the value of the transfer, instead of cash-money, to be $650,000.00 in ‘preferred-stock’! Problem was that the original corporate charter for West Virginia Shoe was limited to $500,000.00 for ‘preferred-stock’ & $500,000.00 for ‘common stock’! That meant that West Virginia Shoe was floating $150,000.00 of BOGUS PREFERRED & COMMON STOCKS on the street ILLEGALLY! So back to Charleston they had to go to pay their fees and increase their total stocks from $1 Million to $1.5 Million! Difference between ‘preferred’ & ‘common’ is that under a bankruptcy, the ‘preferred’ has to be paid back, while the ‘common’ is lost to all investors! Ironically, and true to form, West Virginia Shoe was able to ‘swindle’ many local residents into purchasing in excess of $160,000.00 of ‘common stocks’ which were lost to all investors when West Virginia Shoe bankrupted-out!
Then followed a lawsuit by the American Title Insurance Co. which had insured the title-transfer as being ‘legal’ based upon the filings of Michael Doss – but the filings were not proper since the chains-of-title were left out of the deed from the PDA to West Virginia Shoe, and from West Virginia Shoe back to the PDA! The result of this lawsuit was declared by Judge James Rowe, to be ‘void ab initio’ from the time Michael Doss prepared the deed from the PDA to West Virginia Shoe! What followed thereafter was almost 15 years of lawsuits trying to sort out the rights, status & legal relationships of all parties involved since by now West Virginia Shoe was well in excess of $3 Million in debt & counting!
And this scheming even included a supposed ‘sale’ of West Virginia Shoe to the American Shoe Co., owned by two Afrikan-American attorneys in New York who filed a ‘paper-corporation’ in Delaware, yet never bought or sold a single-shoelace! Their scheme included finding 25 ‘investors’ to pay $100,000.00 each into a holding company, American Shoe Co., until $2.5 Million was raised so as to apply for upwards to $20 Million in federal-grant funds – and basically do to the federal-grant program for ‘minority-owned-businesses’ what West Virginia Shoe had done to the several grant-funds in Charleston! Of note is the fact that the ‘contract’ for the sale of West Virginia Shoe to American Shoe contained a ‘clause’ that required West Virginia Shoe to bankrupt-out within 90 days of signing! Had the Citizen-Taxpayer action not been filed when it was done, then the Hanover building and the land it sits on might well have been lost & then some – although the original owners always wanted their land to be used for the ‘common-good’ of the people of this county! And now part of the building is being used to house & care for needy & abandoned animals!
It was these kinds of scams & schemes played out by the ‘Poverty Preservation Society’ on the PDA and general public, then jumping ship to the GVEDC, that caused the former PDA to finally go bankrupt – only to have the county commission then jump in bed with the GVEDC and allow Pocahontas County land & money to be continually stolen year after year by the GVEDC – to such an extent, that now the GVEDC wants to ‘rape, pillage & plunder’ Marlinton! The ‘plan’ of the GVEDC is to grab all the funds it can from the State of West Virginia, and elsewhere, under the pretext to rebuild Marlinton under its control, only to LEASE BACK THE LAND ONCE OWNED BY THE BUSINESS-OWNERS TO THE VERY SAME BUSINESS-OWNERS! And guess who is again leading the charge? Yep, good-ole Phil Cain & Joel Callison, the most prominent members of the GVEDC! You gotta ask yourself, when is enough ever enough with folks like these?
[Ed Note: For the record, every Citizen-Taxpayer civil action ever brought to the Courts in this county have been brought forward at the expense of the person(s) bringing the civil actions – and they have never received a single penny in return for their efforts – yet every civil action has brought forth ‘Positive Results’ for the Citizens of this county!]’
♦ End of Part I.
The Pocahontas Crier is an independent Internet News Service that has so far endorsed two candidates for County Commission, one a Republican & the other a Democrat – in addition to providing in depth news reporting on important issues directly affecting the Citizens of Pocahontas County!
♦ IF YOU are registered to vote as a Republican, you can vote
for Norman Lee Alderman in the Primary Election on 13
♦ IF YOU are registered to vote as a Democrat, you can vote
for Patti Heinemann in the primary election on 13 May
♦ If you are not registered to vote, then you must register to
vote on or before 22 April 2014;
♦ If you are registered to vote, but with no party affiliation,
then you MUST REQUEST LOUD & CLEAR either a
Republican or Democrat ballot on Primary Day when you
go to the polls; &
♦ Since Norman is unopposed, he recommends that you
request a Democrat ballot to vote for Patti so that this
county can again have an Honest & Just county
Send comments & suggestions to: The Pocahontas Crier at firstname.lastname@example.org & if you wish to financially assist, kindly send
all campaign contributions to: The United Campaign for County Commission (UCCC), c/o Citizens for Common Sense Alternatives (CCSA), a registered Political Action Committee, 7837 Wesley Chapel Road, Green Bank, West Virginia 24944-9063 ▼ Phone: 1.304.456.4565 or 3282 (also fax)