Pennies of Promise is a newly formed citizen action group in West Virginia. On Tuesday, May 30, the group launched a national campaign at the foot of the State Capitol to raise awareness for the Marsh Fork Elementary School in Sundial, West Virginia. The school children are dealing with a host of medical issues they believe are connected to the recently constructed coal silo, which sits 150 feet away from the school, and the toxic slurry pond, which is approximately 300 feet away from the school. Retired school teacher Mary Porter brought $400 dollars in pennies collected from school children in Harlem as a donation to the state of West Virginia to aid in the construction of a school in another location.
Almost Level, West Virginia
As the destruction of America’s Appalachian Range accelerates in the mad rush for cheap energy, activist Doris “Granny D” Haddock and former congressman Ken Hechler act as our tour guides as we fly over regions of mind-boggling devastation. Truthout filmmaker Rebecca MacNeice is aboard a SouthWings flight. SouthWings provides fly-overs of mountain top removal sites to promote conservation through aviation.
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Larry Gibson’s family roots on West Virginia’s Kayford Mountain go back to the 1700s. In 1906, after being swindled by a land company representing coal mine owners (as happened to countless other mountaineers), his family found itself with only 50 acres of its original 500. Now, Gibson hangs onto his mountain and observes family traditions, despite the disappearance of landscape all around him – the result of total environmental destruction caused by mountaintop removal mining. Keeping to family and Appalachian traditions of annually visiting the family graveyard, Gibson this year took other locals, environmental activists and journalists along with him.