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January 26, 2017     Clinch Valley Times
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January 26, 2017

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:7 Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, January 26, 2017 wax.. by Ann Young Gregory Holidays Reprinted from January 24, 2008 For reasons which have been excruciatingly obvious over the past few weeks, I've always considered January to be my most un-favorite month--the only good thing about it is that the first month of each New Year contains our wedding anniversary! It seems to me as though January lasts longer than April-May-June put together. It's usually so dreary, is often snowy, and almost always is COLD. I used to love experiencing each of the four seasons, but the older I get, the wiser I believe those people to be who spend winters in Florida! Thank goodness January just has a week to go. I always feel that February, while still cold and wintry and dreary, is at least a little closer to spring, which, of course, it is. It looks like the people, whoever they are, who set the dates for various holidays would have paid mote attention to having festive and colorful holidays sched- uled for these bleak winter months January has New Year's Day, and several political holidays like Lee- Jackson Day and Martin Luther King Jr., Day when state and federal employees don't have to go to work, and commemorative programs are held, but most are solemn. The lack of any sort of holiday-generated excitement really doesn't give everybody a chance to sort of wind down from all the activity that most of us experience from the beginning of the holiday season (that's when Christmas decorations begin showing up in stores before Thanksgiving) through New Year's, and that adds to the dreariness of January. Of course, on the second day of the second month, we get to watch Punxsutawney Phil on television to see whether or not he sees his shadow; and halfway through February, we get to observe Valentine's Day. We use to have Lincoln's birthday on the 12th and Washington's on the 22nd, but Congress combined them into President's Day, which, it turns out, provides little more than an opportunity for federal (and many state) employees to have another day off. At least Washington's birthday used to be the inspiration for remarkable sales at many retail stores. So other than Valentine's Day, February doesn't offer much in the way of special days, either. So I thought I'd explore the possibilities for both January and February--to see if we can't come up with at least a few good new holidays which would give us a chance to celebrate something. Thanks to Google (which I love), I've retrieved some birthdays of famous and/or infamous people around whom some of these days could be structured. These are examples: January 1 (1899)--J. Edgar Hoover (although we really don't need a holiday to conflict with New Year's Day, do you suppose anybody would want to consider ways to salute the FBI?); January 2 (1904) Sally Rand--a day in her honor might be a bit risqur, so maybe Isaac Asimov (1920) and a Science Fiction Day would be better. January 3 (1905)--Ray Milland ("Lost Weekend" Day?). January 4 (1838)--Charles "Tom Thumb" Stratton, made famous by ET. Barnum. Perhaps (is this self-serv- ing of me or what?) a day to honor short people would be a good move. January 5 (1914)--George Reeves, television's first Superman, could inspire a day of noble deeds. January 6 (1412)--Joan of Arc would provide a real reason for a day of noble deeds; and then there's (1880)--Tom Mix, my favorite radio hero from child- hood--this could be a "collect boxtops" day. January 7 (1800)--Millard Fillmore, one of our less- er-known presidents, could be a focus of a "Learn More U.S. History Day." January 8 (1911)---Butterfly McQueen, "Prissy" of GWTW, could inspire an (annual) national day for everybody to watch "Gone With the Wind" one more time. You get the idea. Some others, most of which are listed without my gratuitous remarks, include: 1-9-19.13 Richard Nixon; 1-10-1869 Rasputin; 1-11- 1755 Alexander Hamilton; 1-12-1876 Jack London; 1- 13-1832 Horatio Alger (everybody could spend the day twenty miles west of where they live); 1-14-1741 Benedict Arnold; 1-15-1937 Margaret O'Brien; 1-16- 1911 Dizzy Dean; 1-17-1706 Benjamin Franklin ("Go Fly A Kite Day"?); 1-18-1904 Cary Grant (I include him because he was my mother's favorite movie star); 1-19-1807 Robert E. Lee; 1-20-1930 Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin; 1-21-1824 Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson; 1-22- 1875 D.W. Griffith, noted early movie director (could honor him by having everybody go to the movies that day); 1-23-1957 Princess Caroline of Monaco (cele- brate her day by going to see one of her mother's movies); 1-24-!941 Neil Diamond; 1-25-1882 Virginia Woolf (observe by going to an Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton movie); 1-26-1880 Douglas MacArthur (set aside the day to honor "old soldiers"); 1-27-1832 Lewis Carroll (take a day off to contemplate cabbages and kings); 1-28-1936 Alan Alda (everybody stay home while all television networks and cable/satellite chan- nels show nothing but reruns of "M*A*S*H" all day); 1-29-1945 Tom Selleck (go see a Tom Selleck movie or watch "Magnum EI." reruns); 1-30-1882 Franklin Delano Roosevelt (actually, all of January continues to remember him with the March of Dimes); and 1-31- 1919 Jackie Robinson (see February 5 and 6 below). February offers some great choices: to name just a few: February 1 (1901)----Clark Gable, an excuse to watch "Gone With the Wind" again. February 3 (1907)--James Michener, and I can think of no better way to celebrate his life than to re- read Hawaii and then go there for a visit! February 5 (1934) Hank Aaron, and February 6 (1985) Babe Ruth. Combine with 1-31 (Jackie Robinson) and spend the three days discussing what will probably happen during the upcoming baseball sea- son which will begin shortly. February 11 (1847)--Thomas Alva Edison could be honored as each person spent the day making a list of all the aspects of his/her life dependent upon Edison's inventions. February 15 (1564)-----Galileo Galilei. Combine this one with February 19 (1473)--Nicolas Copernicus and cel- ebrate the discoveries of these two geniuses. February 25 (1841)Pierre Auguste Renoir and his colleagues could be honored by attending an exhibit of Impressionist paintings! Nothing very remarkable about any of these "spe- cial" days, except that they would provide a way to break the monotony of a cold and dreary winter! Senator Chafin General Assembly Session Update Session Update: Week #2 Dear Friends, Is has been a busy first full week for the General Assembly as our commit- tees begin work on legisla- tion. The Southwest Virginia delegation has also been meeting with constituent groups from back home including stu- dents, public school offi- cials, and healthcare providers. Legislative Update I have introduced a leg- islative package that con- tains several bills to com- bat the opioid epidemic in the Commonwealth. Southwest Virginia fami- lies and communities know all too well the extent of the damage that this crisis continues to cause. HB2166 is one of the bills I have introduced. This bill will require the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to separate Virginia crime codes for offenses involv- ing frequently abused sub- stances. Under the current system, Schedule I and Schedule II substances have the same code. I pre- sented this bill to the House Courts of Justice Criminal Subcommittee on Wednesday. This change will enable us to collect better data and monitor trends when it comes to reporting fre- quently abused substances. The bill does not change existing penalties. I am pleased to have worked with our Southwest Virginia Commonwealth's Attorneys and judges on this proposal which will help us determine Where resources should be going. I appreciate their enthusi- astic support and work on this important issue. The subcommittee recommend- ed reporting HB2166 by a vote of 11-0 and the bill will now be considered by the full House Courts of Justice committee. Other opioid-related legislation is currently pending before Health, Welfare and Institutions subcommittee #1. Additionally, I have introduced HB2169 which extends the sunset date to January 1, 2020 for the local gas severance tax that is dedicated to the local Coal and Gas Road Improvement Fund, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Fund, and water, sewer, and natural gas systems and linesl The subcommit- tee voted 10-0 to recom- mend reporting. The bill will now be before the House Finance Committee. Constituent Meetings School systems across Southwest Virginia are experiencing a loss of school funding, due to a decline in student enroll- ment. To address the prob- lem, legislators represent- ing Southwest Virginia coordinated a productive meeting on Wednesday between the superintend- ents and members of House and Senate leader- ship. We had the opportu- nity to discuss school fund- ing with our legislative leaders and will continue our work on legislation to provide solutions. I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with constituents from across the Fourth District this week. It is great when folks have an opportunity to come to Richmond dur- ing session to discuss proj- ects and legislation. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of assistance. During session, you can reach us in our Richmond office by calling (804) 698- 1004. It is an honor to rep- resent you in the Virginia House of Delegates. Senator Ben Chafin The 45 -day General Assembly Session is con- tinuing at a rapid pace with legislation quickly moving through the committee process. Many visitors and constituents from Southwest Virginia will make the trip to Richmond this week. On Thursday, January 26th, the Southwest Virginia Coalfield Counties' Annual Reception will take place here in Richmond. It is a wonderful event that helps highlight the region while the General Assembly is in session. With the sharp decline in the coal industry, we have been working to diversify the economy in Southwest Virginia and create new industries. Together with Delegate Kilgore, I am carrying leg- islation to fast track the construction of multiple hydro pump storage facili- ties in the coalfield coun- ties. My colleagues and I have been in discussions with power utility compa- nies in Virginia about their interest in building hydro pump storage facilities. My .legislation will stream- line the regulatory process and break down the bur- densome barriers for com- panies to invest in Southwest Virginia. The construction of two hydro pump facilities in Southwest Virginia could create over 2000 construc- tion jobs over several years and up to 100 long term high paying jobs to run the facilities. The new facili- ties will also create much needed tax revenue for the coalfield counties. Hydro pump storage works with one reservoir of water at the top and bottom of a hill or mountain. Water is released from the upper reservoir to travel down underground pipes and spin massive turbines at the base of the mountain or hill. The near instant gen- eration of power created from this type of energy production helps utilities meet peak demands and prevent brown outs to their customers. We are excited to con- tinue our work to create jobs in Southwest Virginia and spur new investment. My legislation to help build hydro pump storage facilities will be a big boost to the region and our efforts to diversify the economy. Every year during the General Assembly Session, it is my goal to fight for coal miners and the coal industry. While we are working to diversify the economy in Southwest Virginia, protecting coal is always a priority. During this session, I am carrying several pieces of legisla- tion to support coal and coal miners. Under Virginia Worker's Compensation law, coal miners are able to apply for benefits for black lung in addition to the fed- eral black lung "benefits. My Senate Bill 1489 will help make it more likely for deserving coal miners to receive worker's com- pensation benefits for black lung. Coal miners and their families deserve the benefits afforded to them under state and feder- al law. One of the several provisions to help miners creates a presumption of benefits if the miner has worked underground for over 15 yeats. Also, the bill will increase the likeli- hood of a family receiving benefits if it is determined a coal miner passed away due to complications with black lung. Mining coal is a tough and dangerous occupation. It is my duty to fight for coal miners and their families and I am hon- ored to carry legislation to help them. For several years now, I have carried legislation to extend the coal tax credits. Unfortunately, the bill is always vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe and voted CHS's Partnership with Business Team down by Senate Democrats. However, I "Tips and advice for when you will not stop fighting for Southwest Virginia and coal. I have introduced the legislation again to pre- serve coal jobs and help make Virginia coal more competitive in the market. It is estimated that the bill could save or create up to 500 jobs in the coalfields. Also, the bill will help Virginia coal to be utilized in Virginia electric power facilities, such as the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in St. Paul. We are hopeful we can reach a compromise with the Governor and Senate Democrats to get the bill passed to fight for coal. Thank you for your con- tinued support. It is an honor to represent Southwest Virginia in the General Assembly. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with your questions and comments during ses- sion. You can contact my office by phone at 276- 889-1044 or by email at di strict3 8 @ senate.vir- Be on the look- out for my weekly General Assembly Session update in your local paper and on my Facebook page. The 38th Senatorial District includes all of Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Pulaski. Russell, and Tazewell Counties, the Cities of Norton and Radford, and portions of Montgomery, Smyth, and Wise Counties. cook homemade meals for your by CHS's FBLA Partnership Team Your pet's food is full of preservatives and fillers, that's why it is better to cook homemade meals for them. You can find plenty of tasty recipes for them on the internet that are healthy and nutritious for you pets. Before you whip up a home cooked meal for your furry friend, here are some tips and facts: A diet that is homemade can improve the overall health of your pet If your pet suffers aller- gies, skin conditions, uri- nary tract issues, and gas- trointestinal problems, then a homemade food plan is the best option for your pet's health, and their taste buds! Home Cooked meals may encourage hesitant eaters Sick or elderly pets sometimes lose their appetites. Instead of spend- ing large amounts of money on trying to find" a brand that your pet will enjoy, try fixing something like chicken and rice. If you aren't carefully you could actually hurt your pet's health Sometimes feeding human food to your pet's can deprive them of the nutrients they need. Store bought food has added ingredients that a home- made meal may not have. Adding supplements to their food will help ensure their health. Remember to always ask your vet before making changes in your pet's diet!! ! Clinch Valley Times MEMBER VIRGINL~. PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 2.4283, by tim CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC. The Clinch Valley Times serves tim four-county area of Wise, Russell, Dic -kcnsoa and Scott. with offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES blfilding, 16~41 Russell Street. Periodicals postage is paid at the Post Office iu St. Paul, VA 24282 Allen Gregory Editor/Adv. Susan Trent Adv./Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIFFIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and Russell Counties; $30.00 in other 2A-zip-codes; elsewhere $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, EO. 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