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West Virginia Miner Updates

  • Relative Says That W. Va. Miners' Left Notes to Tell Loved Ones They Didn't Suffer [AP/ABC News]
  • Mine Survivor May Have Brain Damage [AP/Yahoo! News]
We are attempting to locate details on how you can contribute to scholarship funds for the children of the victims of this tragedy. More details on that this evening.


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» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Relative: Miners Left Notes for Family

Comments (24)

Hmmm.Frankly I'm n... (Below threshold)


Frankly I'm not donating.

It's a tragedy but that's what insurance is for. There's no way that these miners aren't covered by several forms of insurance including through their union. Additionally the ICG, owners of the mine, have opened a fund for the families with an initial deposit of $2 million.

IMHO it's a nice gesture but there's been a strange trend in blogging where the announcement of anything results in a call for donations.

Ed, You're all heart... (Below threshold)

You're all heart. I honestly pray that if you should soon die in a tragic accident, people make charitable donations so as to help your family.
Don't be callous just for the sake of callousness. Of course you want to donate. Perhaps you won't, but of course you'll want to.
Insurance is not a panacea for tragedy. It's just there to help. And it sure as hell has no interest in putting a dead coal miner's son through college.
Get real.

The Eagles said it the best... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

The Eagles said it the best

You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash
But you might feel better if I gave you some cash
The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight
You don't want to work, you want to live like a king
But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

Get over it
Get over it

Wow!That's really de... (Below threshold)

That's really deep. Do you take all of your personal philosophies from dried-up Eagles tunes?
I suppose you believe that the children of West Virginia coal miners should "Get over it. Get over it."
That's nice.
C'mon Rodney. You can do better than that.

Cash won't solve their prob... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

Cash won't solve their problems, Dan
You need to Get Over it, just like they do.
Sorry it was too deep for you to understand

Our prayers our with their... (Below threshold)

Our prayers our with their families. Its a tough job and even harder when something like this happens.
Raymond B

Hmmm."You're all h... (Below threshold)


"You're all heart. "

Ok Dan.

I've got ESRD, End Stage Renal Disease. Both kidneys are non-functioning. I pay $200 a month for medication, on a prescription plan btw, and my monthly cost for kidney dialysis is ... oh screw it.

Look these people lost family and friends. That's tough. But nobody goes into a mine without knowing the risks. Do you propose to provide for the children of fishermen? Loggers? There are a lot of dangerous jobs in America and a lot of people that suffer. All we're doing here is rewarding people with air time on tv.

Provide prayers for them? Yes!
Provide money? No!

Frankly I don't have much incentive to donate money to people who are retaining lawyers to sue a company that has owned the mine for six weeks. Like I wrote; nobody is a miner without knowing the risks. Just like anybody who has ever done logging knows the risks.

And what the hell. If you really still want to call me heartless then my hand is out. Write a damn check, right the hell now!


Ed- I'm struggling to find ... (Below threshold)

Ed- I'm struggling to find just the right words to sum up my reply to you.

hmmm... Oh, I've got it.

Fuck You.

Ed, I'm really not... (Below threshold)


I'm really not certain that we're rewarding anyone with airtime on TV. Shots and comments from grieving family members no doubt get great ratings, but it's not good for the grieving families, and it's not good for our culture as a whole, as it causes us to somehow celebrate victimization and defeat.

However, no one is claiming that you have to give money to these people. I like the fact that the blogosphere gives me the means to find out how to help people who've died tragically, just like I appreciate the little jars that you occasionally see in some of the local stores about helping out local people in need. I want to help people, and I appreciate what Wizbang and other blogs do to help me find people who could genuinely use a hand.

You don't like it, fine, don't donate. But don't berate us if we happen to feel a bit of compassion for our fellow man.

At what point does individu... (Below threshold)

At what point does individual responsibility play in providing for your family when you know you're playing russian roulette with a risky job, sport, hobby, etc.

Not trying to be disrespectful, but I bet ed didn't plan on his renal disease, and I would rather give money to someone who is suffering from something they didn't choose, vs someone who chooses an activity that is potentially fatal (working in a mine) which was a choice for those involved.

I dont have money to send, ... (Below threshold)

I dont have money to send, and I think a lot of people dont right now. Im sure that condolences and prayers will make those people feel better and know that someone cares about their troubles. The death of any man diminishes me, for no man is an island unto himself. . . isnt that how it goes? We are all connected and refusal to connect to anothers suffering is refusal to be human. My prayers are for all those who have posted as well as with those families in West Virginia.

BTW, coal mining is not a c... (Below threshold)

BTW, coal mining is not a choice. Go to West Virginia and see for yourself. Its the only way to earn money to support your family, the alternative is starvation and death. Its just what they do to survive, so think on that. And you could say they should move, but moving costs money and requires transportation. I have family up there that only have four-wheelers for transportation. Most dont have indoor plumbing. A lot still dont have electricity and there is sewage running in the streets. Its a hard life and there is nothing to do but mine coal.

so, mary, how much did thos... (Below threshold)

so, mary, how much did those four-wheelers cost? last time i checked they cost easily enough to cover the cost of a used pick-up or beater car.
i lived in Randolph County(right next to Upshur where the mine is) for my high school years in the 80's and i never met anyone without electricity who wanted it. the county and state will go to great lengths to bring it to those who want it. i did know of a few folks without indoor plumbing.
there are lots of other jobs/industries than coal mining. in my experience, most of the people who chose the mines did so because of family tradition/connections or because they couldn't trouble themselves enough to get a decent education.
life is as hard as you make it and there are alternatives to the mines.

Hmmm.1. I grew up ... (Below threshold)


1. I grew up in rural area of New Hampshire where the biggest local industry was logging. I chose to not become a logger and so I went into the military. I chose to not to return to that part of New Hampshire so now I live in New Jersey.

There are choices and those miners made them with open eyes. Nobody who has ever lived in a town dedicated to a dangerous job has ever been ignorant of those dangers. Fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers. All will bear the marks, scars, lost limbs and gravestones.

Do I feel sorry for these people? Sure I do. But they're going to get a helluva lot more money than any poor unlucky fisherman who just got caught on the wrong side of a reef. Or a logger on the wrong side of a log. Or a miner caught in a mine explosion without the media coverage.

And let me point out another thing. ICG, the company that recently bought the mine, has put $2 million into a fund for these families of 14 men. Then there's the life insurance policy carried on these men by the company. Then there's any insurance carried on these men by the union. Additionally these families are planning on suing for even more money. Anybody want to bet the company will settle out of court rather than deal with the potential bad press?

Frankly I really do feel sorry for these people. But I'd rather not see yet another situation where a chosen few can cash out while a lot of other people get the shaft. Or shall I point out how much money many of the 9/11 families made out in comparison to the families of soldiers killed in the Pentagon. Or in Afghanistan. Or in Irag. Or in the Khobar Towers. Or in Kenya. Or Somalia. etc etc etc.

But what the hell. If you really want to add your $50 to their $2+ million then go right ahead.

2. "Fuck you".

Love your debating skill. I'd take umbrage at that but I'm frankly so unimpressed with your lack of originality I'd just as soon ignore you.

3. "ESRD".

Hey I'm not asking for anything from anybody. I just listed that to point out that life is shitty for a lot of people. Donate or don't donate. But donating money to people because they're the cause du jure isn't my thing. I donate money to support education in poor countries. I donate money to support the troops in Iraq. I donate money to bloggers in crappy countries. I donate money to education funds for fallen soldiers.

But I'm definitely not going to donate to this one.

And if that makes you not like me ... well then you're going to have to ask yourself if I really give a rat's ass.

Geez, I'm not sure where Ma... (Below threshold)

Geez, I'm not sure where Mary gets her info but I grew up in Appalachian coal country. My mother ran a hospice where we routinely took care of black lungers. I worked as a nurses aide, delivering meds, giving baths, etc...

I rode through every manner of hill, valley, to all sorts of dilapidated shacks. Shacks of plywood with pigs living in the house. Shacks with way too much kerosene burning in the winter time. Shacks where they might use newspaper to block holes from the wind. Shacks of very old and debilitated people who didn't benefit from the government safety nets that we have now. I'm talking 1975-1985.

I never saw any sewage in the street and they ALL had electricity. The younguns (as they are called in that region) always had everything they need and a bunch that they only wanted. Decked out pickups, fishing boats, rifles, sound systems, good clothes and gear...plumbing.

I had a good chuckle reading a blog from a guy who lives near the Sago mine. His post began something like, "I just got in from feeding the cows." So he feeds cows before he comes in and blogs! Amusing to me.

Coal mining is a choice. There are places in the world to live besides coal country.

My father's family hails from Wyeth West Virginia. My grandpa was a miner and a mine supervisors. His brothers were miners. One lost his leg on a track into the mine. He took up a life of door to door sales after that.

His children?

My dad is a doctor, my uncle manages a trucking company, my aunts married an electrician, a diplomat, and a manufacter.

In fact, they all got the hell of of West Virginia.


I'm sorry that miner Randal... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry that miner Randal McCloy is still fighting for his recovery, I wish him well.

But, imagine if his name had been McCoy instead of McCloy - since the Sago Mine spokesman is named Hatfield, I would have thought, "Oh no! That fued is still going on!"

Mary, what a joke!... (Below threshold)

Mary, what a joke!

I work in a West Virginia coal mine and the average salary is $65,000 per year!

>I work in a West Virginia ... (Below threshold)

>I work in a West Virginia coal mine and the average salary is $65,000 per year!

That's very interesting. Are you on vacation?

Because you just posted from Pitt. PA.

Further you don't say WHAT jobs average 65,000. Certainly in coal mines -as in any business- people make a variety of incomes. Your comment does not ring true.

Can you offer a shred of information that should make me believe you?

So far I don't.

Actually I am in Morgantown... (Below threshold)

Actually I am in Morgantown, WV. Adelphia, my ISP is probably routed through Pittsburgh.

A non-operator, P&M #1 wage is around $19/hr for a UMWA miner. So that is $40,000 a year without working a minute of overtime. In the mining industry you work overtime and lots of it! There are P&M #3 hourly employees that made over $150,000 last year at my location. Given, they practically live at the mine, but it is absolutely possible.

A foreman in a Consol Energy Mine starts out at $65,000/year. They are at the bottom of the management chain with most of the salary employees averaging around $75,000/year.

A young engineer straight out of collage with no experience at all will start at $50,000/year.

Let me know if you would like me to expand further.

I have family in WVA, thats... (Below threshold)

I have family in WVA, thats where my information comes from. And like I said, if you dont beleive me go to Logan and ask those people how much of a choice they have in things. My father isnt a miner because he went to drive a truck and got out that way, but most people couldnt do that with families to help take care of. Also, Im talking about a whole family(a couple of generations) going in together to get a four-wheeler so they can get to town. Im not talking everybody and thier kids have them. You just dont know how bad things are in our country until you experience them for themselves. Now I do agree with ed that pushing for every penny and suing and all that is uncalled for, but I also know the companies are crooked and dont care about the people who work for them. And electric companies wont run wires to someone who cant afford to pay for it. And you cant have indoor plumbing unless you pay for a well, septic tank, etc. The city runs sewage into abandoned mine shafts, which ends up running out into the streest. My grandparents had one up the hollow from their house. Its hard for someone with clean water, indoor plumbing, and all these luxuries to imagine that their are third-world condtions in our own country. For our family reunion, my one persons well went dry because they were the only person with running water, so everybody went there to bathe, etc.This is not to say that these miners had those conditions, but their are a lot who do. Also, ask the miners what they are making, and it wont be 50000/yr. Are you kidding? Maybe a foreman or something. Fireboss or whoever, but the guys that actually dig the stuff dont make that kind of money. All you are doing is looking at numbers you found on the internet. Maybe you have a cushy job separate from the actual miners and dont have a realistic view of whats going on. They havent got a lot to do with reality, just what the companies publish to make mining look jike a great industry to get into. Also, there were some questions about this mine being non-union and therefore would not let union rescue crews into the mine to save those guys. They had to wait until the non-union workers could come to help. Has anyone else heard this? I was not aware that they had non-union mines in WVA, the mines in Logan are union.

There isn't a coal miner in... (Below threshold)

There isn't a coal miner in the state that makes less than $18/hour UMWA would not settle for it and a non-union mine would just vote to go union and they would get the wage.

The union mine rescue teams not being allowed in the Sago mine is also BS because my mine rescue team, from a union mine, had to spend the day in Pittsburgh getting grief counseling from bringing the deceased miners out of the mine.

Also, ed, I donate to child... (Below threshold)

Also, ed, I donate to childrens funds when I can. You cant go wrong with kids and education. I dont feel bad for loggers and fishermen, but I do feel for their kids. Maybe a donation to a better educational program to help kids get the hell out of WVA, or flood the place with educated workers to attract better industry. Im not into the politics of it, but at least these guys are working the mines to support their families rather than depending on the government to support them. Your situation sounds bad, and I know you can and do relate to the ones who didnt choose their fates. And I understand that some people will exploit a situation to get publicity and money, which is sad but happens all too often.

We just want to send our sy... (Below threshold)
Jim and Mary White:

We just want to send our sympathies to all the miner's families! God bless you all. We have prayed for you all week and will continue to do so. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Well, I am proud to say tha... (Below threshold)

Well, I am proud to say that I am a West Virginian (which is WV by the way not WVA). I am from a traditional coal mining and I have work in the coal industry (laboratory). I do not know where some of the information here has been collected but to say it is wrong is an understatement.

We DO have electricity-as well as telephones, Internet, traffic lights, etc.. and educated persons just in case anyone was wondering.

We also sewer systems, people have septic systems if not on a city sewer system. Here is a big surprise we have very stron EPA laws and it is illegal to run septic systems in rivers, mines or what ever.

Not all of go around barefoot, although I do it lot in the summertime...hee hee :)

As for the money coal miners (my father, grandfather, uncles, cousins etc...) make a very good living 40k + per year and they are "just regular" miners not bosses.

Yes all miner do know the dangers of the industry, it would be a hard thing to ignore would it not.

Miners have responsiblity to be safe as do the companies.

People in WV have a choice of their career as in any other state.

Mary please refrain from generalizing the entire state of WV by a "few" under educated and uninformed, hard luck stories that you know.

For myself I do not own a four wheeler and do not care for them.

A lot of us (West Virginian's) are informed, educated, interesting, and dare I say well spoken individuals.

As with any industry when a accident occurs it gets new coverage and it picked up nation wide at times. It just depends on what kind of news day it is, don't you think.

Thank you,







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