There are no professional jobs in Martinsburg - 7/4/2010
We need jobs in Martinsburg, so that people with professional degrees should not have to travel over 1 1/2 hr to find employment. They are building all these houses but no jobs for people to afford them. I want to move back to Martinsburg, but my biggest fear is, where am I going to work? Why should I settle for just any jobs when I went to college and earn my Master's Degree. What is happening to Martinsburg. Can the government assist Martinsburg, or has they forgotten about this little town. It is sicking and pitiful.[more...]
| David |
Can this town be saved? - 1/7/2008
Martinsburg saw its heyday in the 1940s, and it's pretty much been downhill ever since. Although surrounding Berkeley County is the nation's 56th-fasting growing county in the nation (per 2007 statistics), its inner core --Martinsburg -- remains a decrepit mill town, without a vision for how to reinvent itself, short-changed by the exodus of business to other nearby cities (Hagerstown, Maryland, and Winchester, Virginia) and disabled by abysmal growth and development leadership and policies (if you can call them "policies") by Berkeley County officials.
Think of this concentric geographic ring as a sugery, calorie-ridden junk food doughnut, with a distasteful, bitter center -- that about sums up Berkeley County and Martinsburg: cheap suburban tract housing being thrown up in former rural apple orchards, decaying row houses remaining in the forelorn and foresaken center-city.
Not that it couldn't change. Martinsburg has a well-built and well-preserved stock of downtown commercial buildings, lovely turn-of-the-century churches, an excellent inner-city library, and a few cultural attractions (Roundhouse train center, Boarman arts center, Apollo Theatre, Belle Boyd Civil War home) that could form the nucleus of a mini-revival for Martinsburg. The elements are all there. But vision eludes the community. Indeed, many long-time residents seem to prefer Martinsburg in its present condition, and routinely fight off the occasional attempts to revitalize the downtown. Political and editorial leadership seem to venerate the status quo.
Martinsburg's ace-in-the-hole remains its vital rail corridor direct to Washington, D.C., offering daily MARC and Amtrak service to the Nation's Capitol in less than 2 hours. (You'd think that D.C. expatriates would be flocking to low-tax, low-stress West Virginia, eager to gentrify Martinsburg's affordable colonial and Victorian housing stock, secure in the knowledge that they could walk to a train station for an occasional "cultural fix" in D.C., while bidding goodbye to all of the hassles that accompany life inside the Washington Beltway.)
Martinsburg remains antagonistic to newcomers and daily commuters, however, and can't see what a vital economic shot-in-the-arm their dollars could mean to city coffers. The local newspaper's call-in line routinely hypes debates between "old-timers" and "newcomers," with "if you don't like it, then move!" the predominant theme.
Yet Martinsburg doesn't improve ... or its progress remains glacial. Its one downtown shopping attraction (Blue Ridge outlet mall) was stolen away years ago and reconstituted as Interstate 70's Prime Outlet Mall in Maryland, miles away. In its place is a new Shepherd University/Blue Ridge academic center -- a wise move at reuse of existing buildings, but one that doesn't seem to have elevated and energized the cultural and restaurant scene one bit. Start-up downtown enterprises like the progressive Meteor Cafe and The Daily Grind coffee house both closed in 2007, for lack of business.
Regressive policies on parking, permits, and taxation discourage small businesspeople from attempting start-up retail stores, and the downtown grows dead at night. The railroad offers no weekend service to the big city, the Martinsburg Mall's Wal-Mart syphons away what precious little retail business remains within-state, and a nightly trip through downtown Martinsburg is a dusky sojourn among occasional lost souls, aimlessly wandering empty streets amid shuttered businesses, back to the only center of nightly activity, the nearby downtown Rescue Mission.
| Erik |
The Burg - 11/20/2007
Martinsburg is in West-By-God-Virginia, but it is nothing like the rest of the state. We are in the Eastern Panhandle, which means we are located between Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, which leaves us in the best part of all four worlds. People are friendly, and there are a lot of people who commute to/from DC, Baltimore, and all points in between. Housing is super expensive, but the bubble burst and prices are coming down. Don't know anything about schools because the last time I had any experience was when I was in them, about 12 years ago.[more...]
Martinsburg, WV - 7/11/2005
Martinsburg is a really small town. It doesn't have much on culture or art, or anything else. The main entertainment is "gentlemen's clubs"...I think there is about 7 or 8.
The only good thing about Martinsburg is the weather is fairly decent...the winter is usually not too difficult.
There are a lot of people who live in Martinsburg and surrounding areas who work in Washington, DC, so recently a lot of housing has been developed.
Even so, Martinsburg is just another exuse for a walmart.[more...]