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February 9, 2017

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, February 9, 2017 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax.. Ann Youn Gregory Not much excitement, but oursstill counts Reprinted from February 7, 2008 As I write this, "Super Tuesday" is well underway, with voters in 24 states indicating their choices for their party's nominee for President of the United States. "Super Tuesday" refers to the day in early February or March when the most states hold their primary elections (some Democratic-only, some Republican-only, some for both parties)--and is the time when candidates for the nomination can pick up many votes which help secure their party's nomination when the national con- ventions are held later in the summer. While the con- clusion of Super Tuesday might provide some clear-cut decisions, thus calming down the frantic pace at which this endless campaign has been running, it also may produce some closer races than we already have. ~Fhe phrase "Super Tuesday" was first used in 1984, when the pry-convention frenzy resulted in three "Super Tuesdays," the third of which locked up the Democratic nomination for Walter Mondale. Depending upon which reports/comments you read or hear, this w~ek's Super Tuesday could make the decision, or it could do the opposite, making the races even more "interesting" than before. The "ours" mentioned above refers, of course; to Virginia's contribution to the primary climate. Virginia WILL have. a primary election this year--actually, a dual primary, meaning that voters have to indicate whether or not they want to vote for a Democratic or Republican candidate. For some reason, the people who make these decisions at the state level decided not to include Virginia's primary in the Super Tuesday mix, but instead, it is to be held Tuesday, February 12---one week after all the hoopla. It's possible to surmise, I sup- pose, that if a Democratic candidate and/or a Republican candidate is shown to be far ahead by Super Tuesday's results, that undecided voters in other states, such as Virginia. could be swayed by that fact. and cast their votes accordingly. For that reason ii~ for no other, it seems to me that it would have been prudent to have held Virginia's primary right along with the others on Super Tuesday. But they didn't ask me. In any event, unless television's political offerings change drastically during the commg week, the candi- dates aren't spending too much time or money trying to encourage Virginia voters at least not those of us who live in Southwest Virginia. The only television com- mercials I've seen for a candidate are those on behalf of Republican Mike Huckabee. who evidently doesn't have much of a chance of securing the nomination, according to the prognosticators. At this point (prior to having the results of Super Tuesday), John McCain leads Mitt Romney, and is thought to be the probable Republican candidate--at least that's what most of the television commentators are saying. Speaking of that particular race, I was curious as to the origin of Romney's first name. According to sever- al Internet sources, Willard Mitt Romney (his name was given on several sites as Willard Milton Romney) was named "Willard" after his father's good friend J. Willard Marriott. and "Mitt" after his father's cousin, Milton Romney, who played football for the Chicago Bears from 1925-1929, whose nickname was Mitt. The current Romney, who is a former Governor of Massachusetts, is the son of George Romney, who was Governor of Michigan and a 1968 presidential candi- date. While we're on the subject of names, another of our candidates has an unusual name--Democrat Barack Obama. The rumors about his origins have run rampant, begun, evidently, by his detractors, so I looked him up on the Internet, too. He was born in Honolulu in 1961 to a father who was from Kenya, and an American mother (from Wichita, Kansas). They met while attend- ing the University of Hawaii. (His father later pursued a Ph.D. at Harvard.) I suppose "Barack" is a Kenyan name, although the website I used didn't say that. It did clearly state, however, that while Barack Obama's father and grandfather were Muslims, the now-Senator from Illinois was reared a Christian, and is said to be devout. As a young child he lived in Hawaii, and from ages six through ten, he lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, with his mother and Indonesian stepfather. He then lived with his maternal grandparents in Hawaii from fifth grade through high school graduation. He graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Lest someone believe that ITm trying to ignore the other candidates--I've mentioned John McCain, who is a war hero; and Mike Huckabee, who is a minister; and then of course there's Hillary Clinton, a graduate of Yale Law School and a brilliant woman. As you might expect, as someone who is quite interested in women's rights and women's achievements, I personally feel quite partial to Hillary. I found an interesting commentary on and list of presidential names on one of the websites I found--and if either Mitt or Barack should be elected, either name would certainly be a first on that list. In alphabetical order, we've had one Abraham. two Andrews, one Benjamin, one Calvin, one Chester, one Dwight, two Franklins, three Ge0rges, one Gerald (interestingly, this one wasn't on the list I found), one Grover (who served two separate terms), one Harry, one Herbert, six Jameses, four Johns, one Lyndon, one Martin, one Millard, one Rich .ard, one Ronald, one Rutherford, one Theodore, one Thomas, one Ulysses, one Warren, four Williams, one Woodrow and one Zachary. (Count 'emmand if you count "Grover" twice, you correctly come up with 43). But getting back to the point of this whole thing, Yes, Virginia, Virginia IS going to have a primary election. Anyone may vote for either a Democratic candidate or a Republican one, but must tell poll workers in which primary he/sh~ will vote. There are no "loyalty" oaths, nor does anybody have to promise to continue to sup- port the person for whom he/she will vote in the pri- mary. Remember, if you want to have the right to complain about government, which we're blessed to be able to do in this country, then by all means'you must participate in the process. The first opportunity for Virginians to do that is next Tuesday. See you at the polls! Session Update: Week 4 Dear Friends, Rounding out week four of the General Assembly session, both the House and Senate are preparing for crossover, the point at which bills must pass one chamber or die. On Sunday, February 5th, the committees responsible for the budget bills will unveil their complete proposals. Two important deadlines will happen next week. Tuesday is Crossover, the deadline with which each chamber must complete kvork on bills that originat- ed in their chamber. Thursday the House will vote on their version of the budget. House Appropriations 10-10-10 Plan For years now, schools in rural areas have been struggling primarily due to the economic downturn and enrollment losses. As jobs left, so have students and their families. Enrollment has been on a steady decline, even spik- ing at times with unexpect- ed enrollment losses. In fact, last year, the coalfield districts lost about 3 per- cent of their enrollment in the span of about six months. Since our education funding formulas are based on a per pupil basis, as the students leave the schools, so does our education funding. Fewer students means fewer 'dollars to fund education. Many of our schools have taken a major financial hit. They have cut programs, consol- Senator Chitin General Assembly Session update Senator Ben Chafin The Virginia General Assembly has reached the half-way point of Session known as crossover. After Tuesday, February 7th, all Senate bills will move to the House and all House bills will move to the Senate. Over the last weeks of Session, I will be presenting my legislation before House committees as they move through the legislative process. Once a - bill passes the House and the Senate, the bill then goes to the Governor to sign or veto. In addition to crossover, this week marked the announcement of the House and Senate budgets presented by the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. One of the most important functions of the General Assembly is to pass a conservative and fiscally responsible budget for the Commonwealth. In normal circum- stances, Virginia's two- year budget is crafted in even years. HoWever, the Commonwealth experi- enced a sharp revenue shortfall during 2016 regardless of the Governor's projections used to make the budget. When this occurs, we must reviseand amend the budg- et during odd-year Sessions due our constitu- tional requirement to pass a balanced budget. I am very proud of the work done by the Senate Finance Committee pro- posing a fiscally conserva- tive budget that focuses on the Core functions of gov- ernment. One of the main portions of the budget sep- arate from the spending the General Assembly Session, the House and Senate will be working ~to unify the budget.proposals and work out the differ- ences. By the end of the Session, the House and Senate will pass a balanced budget for the Commonwealth. I will make sure to keep you updated on the changes in the budget and how my legislation progresses in the House. 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 district38@ 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. idated buildings, all in an effort to save money to bal- ance their budgets. The House Appropriations Committee has a plan called the 10-10- 10 formula. The plan will be formally presented on Sunday. This initiative will look at the last 10 years of student population in a school district. If in the last 10 years, there is a 10% or more decline of students, and the school district has a population of less than 10,000 students, the state will provide a 15% enroll- ment loss supplement. While this plan covers most school districts in Region 7, not all meet the criteria the Committee is proposing. I will continue cuts is the emphasis to restore pay raises to our Pound man pleads guilty to using a valuable state employees. In addition to the 3% raise for state employees, much communication device to solicit a needed compression pay for our Sheriff's minor child Departments and a 2% raise for state supported local employees like con- Stormy Chance Dotson, fully brought to a 'conclu- raise awareness of the need stitutional offices and age 24, of Pound, pleaded sion through the efforts of for parents in our region to teachers is included in the guilty in the Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney take steps to protect their Senate proposed budget. Circuit Court to using an Chuck Slemp and assistant children online." In the past year, we have electronic communicationCommonwealth's Attorney Slemp stressed his heard a lot about the rev- device to propose a sex act Josh Newberry. appreciation for the dili- enue losses our school sys- with a minor child under Slemp commented, gent efforts of law enforce, tems are experiencing due the age of 15. Dotson "The intemet continues to ment to protect children to a lossin enrollment and pleaded guilty without abe an amazing tool to from abflse & neglect, the decline in local revenue plea agreement; thus, a expand our knowledge andspecifically Sheriff Ronnie caused by the losses in the judge will determine how share information. Oakes and investigators at coal industry. After the many years he will serve in However, social media and the Wise County Sheriff's Coal Equity Summit and the penitentiary. He faces a online instant messagingOffice. the meeting earlier this total maximum penalty ofwebsites can also be a dan-Dotson is scheduled to year With leadership, it is 10 years incarceration, ger to young people. We be sentenced on March 30, exciting to seemuch need- The case was success- hope that this case will2017. ed enrollment loss funding included in the budget for our school systems. Our 8ubsoribe 1;o the Times! school systems were in dire needs of additional funding DeadLines: Copy-Monday 3 pm and I am glad we were able todeliver. Ads-Monday 12 noon Over the last week of to work with my col- leagues to see if there are additional avenues through which all of our Southwest school districts are cov- ered. While I am not on the Appropriations Committee, I appreciate their work and attention to this critical issue. Legislation to combat opioid epidemic advances As you know, I have been working on a legisla- tive package to combat the opioid epidemic in Virginia since early last year. This week, I spoke on the House floor about that gravity of the situation. You can click here to see the video. Following my remarks, the House passed each of the seven bills I introduced without any opposition. The bills address various aspects of this epidemic to include: creating a work- group to identify resources to help substance-exposed infants, developing core competencies and stan- dards for our health profes- sionals in training, restrict- ing Subutex to pregnant patients for treating sub- stance use disorder, and directing the Boards of Medicine and Dentistry to develop regulations on the prescribing of opioids including dosage limits, treatment plans and Prescription Monitoring Program utilization. This legislation will now be considered by the Senate. . As I have said before, we cannot address this epi- demic with a one person, one mindset approach. Thanks to the work of stakeholders from across the state, including many from Southwest Virginia, we have advanced solid public health initiatives to combat the opio~d epidem- ic with a shared focus on prevention and treatment. Whether in district or Richmond, my door is always open. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. While we are in session, you can reach me in my Richmond office at (804) 698-1004. It is an honor to represent you in the House of Delegates. Thank you for your continued support. Clinch Valley Times MEMBER Vi'RGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 24283, by the CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO. INC. The Clinch Valley Times serves the foray-county area of VVise, Russell Dicken~son and Scott, with offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES bu'flding, 16541 RusseU Street. Periodicals postage is paid at th~ Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24285 Allen Gregory Editor, Adv. Susan Trent Adv/Crraphics AN~AL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and RusseU Counties; $ other 24- zip-codes; elsewher~ : $32.50. POSTNLZ, STER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, EO. 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