Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why I Do What I Do

Written by On The Road Again Program Speaker Wendy Johnston's 13 Year Old Niece and Mercer County, WV Resident Hannah Howard.  This statement will be delivered tonight at a WV Department of Environmental Protection Public Hearing of a Proposed 35-acre Strip Mine Expansion.

Hannah Howard
My name is Hannah Howard, I am a thirteen year old girl from Mercer County, West Virginia. I've lived in Mercer County all of my life, and I refuse to live anywhere else. I love West Virginia, and all of it's scenery. The luscious rhododendrons, the luminous greenery, and most importantly the mountains.

When I go to my grandparents farm, I usually go and help my grandfather with the gardens, which happens to be on the top of a mountain. Everytime I'm up there I stop what I am doing, and look at the view. There, on the top of that mountain, are two trees, kind of close together, yet far enough apart, in order to see the beautiful mountains in between them. It has been the most beautiful sight I have seen in my thirteen years, and if you don't mind, i'd like to keep that.

Honestly, I think what the miners of the strip mining groups are doing is just horrible things to do to the Wild, and Wonderful West Virginia.

Two of the most importnant resources in life, is water, and air, and all that strip mining industries are doing is taking that away. Without fresh water, and air, how will the people survive? All of the toxic chemicals are going into the water, and air. One example of where this is taking place is on Browning Lambert Mountain. There are families up there. They need fresh water, and air. There are families of young, and old. Why would you want to cut anyone's life short, without fresh water to drink, and fresh air to breathe.

Existing Strip Mine on Browning-Lambert Mountain, WV
When I heard about strip mining, I was disgusted with what West Virginia had come to. I come from a family who fights for what we believe in. We aspire to end strip mining once, and for all. No matter what how long it takes, or how severe the consequences are. We will fight for what we belive in!
In conclusion, we will accomplish our goals. We will do whats right, and make West Virginia a better place. All the D.E.P needs is a little help, and together, we will end mountaintop removal. Thank you.

Sincerely, Hannah Howard

P.S. I oppose the granting of Amendment No. 1, permit No. S401808.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mountain Keepers Music Festival

Written by Huntington, WV Event Planner Natalie Vanderpool


On Saturday, July 2nd and Sunday, July 3rd, the annual Mountain Keepers Music Festival will be held at Kayford Mountain's Stanley Heirs Park. The two day event will feature then local and regional musicians playing a variety of bluegrass, gospel, country and old time music, as well as poetry, and pot-luck meals. This is a free concert that will celebrate Appalachian life and attendees are encouraged to bring a covered dish.

The purpose of the concert, according to local citizen activist Larry Gibson, is to “bring family and friends together for a weekend of celebrating West Virginia’s heritage and freedom." July 2 and 3 will see people from all walks of life, bound by their common love of our mountains and people. This will be a safe festival as festival organizers will have trained security present and all are invited to peacefully enjoy this Festival.

The festival will feature many emerging artists who celebrate their homes and heritage. Legendary and Award Winning West Virginia musicians Michael & Carrie Kline will be singing old time West Virginia folk songs and ballads. Crystal Good, 2004 Winner of the Governor’s Innovative Artist Award, of the Affrilachian Poets will also perform her unique poetry. Kate Long, winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association Song of the Year award, will be singing her Appalachian Styled music.  Ben Sollee, a renowned celloist who defies convention by mixing in a soulful voice which earned him a place in National Public Radio’s list of Top Ten Unknown Artists in 2007, will be performing on Saturday evening. Following Ben Sollee will be the popular Charleston Rock n' Roll band Almost Adam as well as "Old Style Rhythm & Blues, Gospel Soul & Country Funk" band The Carpenter Ants.

Attendees are encouraged to camp out on Saturday night as more musicians will be performing casually around the campfire. Sunday afternoon will kick off with a gospel service and followed by the musical acts of Jane Branham singing Virginia Mountain Music and Country Roots Musician John Lilly. The annual pot-luck meal will also be held on Sunday.

Please Invite Friends to our Facebook Event

While this is a free festival, we are asking you to chip in with a donation to help us cover the cost of maintaining Stanley Heirs Park on Kayford Mountain and put on this Festival.
Saturday's Schedule: 
1:00 PM = Festival Welcome

1:15 – 2:15 = Michael Carrie Kline

2:15 – 2:30 = Crystal Good

2:30 – 3:30 = Kate Long

3:30 – 3:45 = Crystal Good and/or Another Affrilachian Poet

3:45 – 4:15 = Carpenter Ants

4:15 – 4:30 = Speaker

4:30 – 5:30 = Ben Sollee

5:30 – 7:00 = Almost Adam

7:00 – Dark = Carpenter Ants

Sunday's Schedule:

11 AM = Preacher

11:30 – 12:30 = Jane Branham

12:30 - Close = John Lilly