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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, March 10, 2016 wax.. Ann Young Gregory Didn't happen a minute too soon! Reprinted from March 22, 2007 Vernal Equinox, along with youth, the morning star and It happened at 8:07 Tuesday night, March 20. That's when the Vernal Equinox occurred, or, in simpler terms, that's when Spring began in the Northern Hemisphere! It usually happens on March 21, but often occurs on March 20. Many years ago, when my family first moved to Paintsville, Kentucky, ! had made friends with a partic- ularly pleasant elderly couple (who were very patient with little girls) who lived across the side street from our house, which was on a comer. It became my habit on many late afternoons during pleasant weather to sit on their front porch and them to talk. I remember only one topic from all those very nice occasions, and that was close to Easter--it must have been in 1946. I, usu- ally curious, realized that Easter fell on different dates each year, and I asked my friend, Mr. Barber, "How do they decide when Easter is?" He said he'd tell me, but only if I'd promise always to remember what he said. I promised. That was sixty-one years ago. Here's what Mr. Barber told me: "Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox." That's the first time I ever remember hearing the word "equinox." An astronomical event which occurs twice each year, an equinox happens when the Sun is directly above the Earth's equator. On those two days, we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of dark. In fact, the word "equinox' is taken from the Latin words aequus, which means equal, and nox, night. (The word 'vernal' derived from the Latin ver-, which means Spring.) Even so, one source I found related the fact that various characteristics of the Sun and the Earth make daylight plus-or-minus fourteen minutes longer than night at the equator on these two days each year, with different variations depending on the location. That's a detail we don't even need to consider as far as I'm concerned! Our Vernal (or Spring) Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere, and we switch with them (this year, anyway) at 5:51 a.m. on September 23, when Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere, and Spring in the Southern. Having a background in astronomy, I'm beginning to gather, would be quite a help to under- standing all of this. An extension of that thought is the information that the reason that we have different seasons is because the rotation axis of the Earth is not perpendicular to the path of its orbit. That means that for six months, the Northem Hemisphere tips toward the Sun, with the maximum around June 21, while for the other six months the Southern Hemisphere' is slanted toward the Sun. ; TransIating all of this to my question of Mr. Barber, the earliest that Easter can occur is March 22, since the Vernal Equinox is considered by the Christian Church always to fall on March 21. It's interesting to note that the Vernal Equinox is observed many different ways in various countries. In Japan, for example, Vernal Equinox Day is an official national holiday much like our Memorial Day. Mother's Day is observed in many Arab countries on the day of the Vernal Equinox. Very early on, the Saxon goddess, Eostre, represented dawn--a time of new light, which was equated to the the east. The'word 'east' and our 'Easter' were both derived, incidentally, from the name of the Saxon god- dess Eostre. The age of technology must pay attention to the two equinoxes, because they have a temporary disruptive effect on communications satellites. Since the effect is probably impossible to counteract, everybody who uses co~mmunications satellites, and that would include all the people who subscribe to television satellite service the two days cause problems which are inconveniences at least or they could be catastrophic (in the case of gov- ernment communications, perhaps). One of the really weird bits of trivia surrounding the Vernal Equinox comes from various European countries whose folklore relates that only on the day of the March Equinox can one balance an egg on its smallest end. However, since whether or not an egg can be so bal- anced is determined by its internal structure, one has just as much chance of balancing an egg on end (it CAN be done, by the way) on any day of the year, and not just the Vernal Equinox. Even so, a woman in New York, Donna Hanes, is said to have demonstrated that the egg balancing act is more easily accomplished on the day of the Equinox. But getting back to the maifi point of the whole thing, Spring is finally here! While we had what most people call a moderate winter season, most of February was fierce. I don't consider ten degree temperatures (with wind Chili temps below zero) to be anything approaching 'moderate,' and I doubt that those people in Oswego, New York, who had feet upon feet of snow consider their weather to be 'moderate,' either. We've already had some jonquils blooming, although the cold weather last weekend tried its best to wipe them out. The Bradford Pear trees are all filled with buds, and, given a few days of decent warm weather, will show us all their glory! Although we've had some really pleasant afternoons of sixty-five and seventy degrees, we haven't had any entire days of warm weather. Monday's thermometer, for example, got up into the high sixties, but I had solid ice on my windshield when I unlocked my car to drive to the office at 9 a.m. We need warm mornings as well as afternoons and nights to get all the trees and other early spring flowers blooming. To continue with my theme of Mr. Barber's infor- mation, I had to consult several calendars to learn that the "first full moon after the Spring Equinox' occurs on Monday, April 2. And sure enough, Easter this year is on Sunday, April 8, 'the first Sunday after the first full moon...etc.' So Easter will be observed by all the Christian world on April 8 this year as the most joyous holiday on the church calendar. And for those who think eggs don't fit in at all, eggs represent new life, and have been used throughout Christian nations for centuries as ways to mark and cel- ebrate the holiday. Coloring eggs and sharing them with friends is a long established tradition of the Easter observance. So Spring is here-----everybody, I'm sure will 'be watching closely to see that the thermometer under- stands 'the season! Get warm, enjoy the flowers, and look forward to several months of wonderful warmth! Cedar Bluff man indicted on75 counts of sexual assault of a minor On March 1, 2016, the Indecent Liberties with a Russell County Grand Jury Child. indicted Kenneth Allen Salyers, a 44 year-old man from Cedar Bluff, Virginia. The indictments were for 37 counts of Object Sexual Penetration, 37 counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery, and one count of Taking The offense dates for the charges range from July, 2013, to August, 2015. On each count of the Object Sexual Penetration charges, Salyers faces up to Life in prison, for a total of 37 Life sentences. On each count of the Aggravated Sexual Battery charges, Salyers faces up to 20 years in prison, for a total of 740 years. On the count of Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child, Salyers faces up to 10 years in prison." Salyers is being held in the Southwest Virginia Jail Mobile home fire at Swords Creek at Abingdon, Virginia, without bond. The trial for these charges is scheduled for April 14, "2016. The investigation will remain ongoing and no fur- ther details can be released at this time' At 4 p.m., Saturday, March .5, 2016, Russell County emergency respon- ders (Honaker Volunteer Fire Department, Russell County Sheriffs Office, New Garden Rescue Squad, American Red Cross, and Russell County Emergency Management) and Richlands Fire Department were dis- patched to a structure fire at 1779 Hortons Ridge Road, Swords Creek, VA 24266. This was the llth structure fire of the year that has displaced 34 resi- dents in Russell County. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Ms. Kathryn Whited, her daughter, and her 5 year old granddaughter, escaped the heavily damaged mobile home, as shown in the attached image, without injury. The family does not have insurance and is being assisted by Russell County Emergency Management and the AmeriCan Red Cross Mountain Empire Chapter. One person is in custody at this time as the investigation continues. The family would appreci- ate any assistance offered. 66th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Smokies Experience the splendor of a Smoky Mountain Spring during the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in Gatlinburg, Tennessee from April 19 to April 23, 2016. The five-day event in Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers professionally guided programs which explore the region's rich wildflowers, wildlife, ecology, culture and natural history through walks, motor- cades, photographic tours, art classes and indoor semi: nars. In addition to the hands on experiences in the National Park, participants will have the opportunity to hear nationally recognized speakers. Emmy-award winning producer and author Bill Landry is a featured evening speaker during the event. AS host of The Heartland Series and author of many books, Bill has spent nearly 30 years sharing the rich history of the Southern Appalachians. Sevierville, Tennessee native Nelson Ziegler will also be honored at a reception as the 2016 Featured Wildflower Artist.There is also a photography contest and vendor fair at Pilgrimage headquarters located in W.L. Mills Conference Center. The 66th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is sponsored by The University of Tennessee Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Great Smoky Mountains Association, Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Southem Appalachian Botanical Society, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, The Gatlinburg Garden Club and the City of Gatlinburg. Also, Russell Printing, The Glenstone Lodge and Smoky Mountain Living. Pilgrimage t-shirts can be pre-ordered online with a 20% discount. Keep up with Pilgrimage updates on Facebook. For more information and online registration, visit www.springwildflowerpilgrimage.org. We are now one week away from the scheduled end of our 60-day legisla- tive session. This week was a productive week for the House of .Delegates. We are finishing commit- tee work, reviewing amendments from the Senate, and continuing to work on the budget. As we wind down our General Assembly session, I want to update you on a few important areas. Clean Power Plan Update This past week, Governor McAuliffe announced his veto of Senate Bill 21, which is identical to legislation I co- patroned in the House (HB2) that would require General Assembly approval before Virginia complies with President Obama's Clean Power Plan regulations. This legisla- tion would protect the Commonwealth from expending taxpayer resources on a set of unconstitutional regula- tions that are now being reviewed in court. In fact, the Supreme Court stayed the official implementation of the plan because it may be unconstitutional. Because of the Govemor's veto, the House included a budget amendment that would prohibit any funds from being spent to comply with the Clean Power Plan. This budget amendment will effectively stop the Governor from continuing to implement this plan without approval of the Commonwealth's elected representatives. Domestic Violence Update The domestic violence legislation that passed the House earlier this session is making progress in the Senate. Several bills that, would combat domestic violence by enacting tougher penalties for repeat offenders passed out of Senate committee and will be making their way onto the Senate floor in the next several days. Legislation to empower women to pro- tect themselves from domestic violence offend- ers has already passed the Senate and is awaiting sig- nature by the Governor. All of the bills received broad, bipartisan support and show that the House is leading the effort to com- bat domestic violence. Budget Update Last week, I detailed the House's budget proposal. The House budget is a strong, conservative, and structurally balanced two- year budget that invests in the core functions of gov- Clinch Valley Times Deadlines: Editorial copy 3 pm Monday Advertising noon Monday emment while protecting taxpayer dollars. I am proud to report that our budget passed by a wide bipartisan margin in the House. The Senate also passed their version of the two-year budget. We now begin the budg- et conference process to work out the differences between the two budgets. The Speaker has named House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Delegate John O'Bannon (R-Henrico), Delegate Tag Greason (R-Loudoun), and Delegate Luke Torian (D- Prince William) as the budget conferees. Senate Budget confer- ees are Senate Finance Committee Co-Chair Senator Thomas K Norment, Jr. (R-James City), Senate Finance Committee Co-Chair Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R-Augusta), Senator Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax), Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D- Fairfax), Senator Stephen D. Newman (R-Bedford), Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr. (R-Mecklenburg), and Senator Frank W. Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) The Senate and House conferees met throughout the week to discuss a final budget proposal. The House remains committed to conservative principles and ensuring the final budget does not contain any tax or fee increases, reduces the amount of bond borrowing, and increases the Commonwealth's "rainy day fund" that acts as a savings account. I am con- fident we will pass a budg- et before the General Assembly adjourns next week. Please continue to keep in touch with me and my office as we enter the last week of session. It is important for me to hear your concems while the House is considering legis- lation. Also, ~ please remember that we are here to assist you, so don't hesi- tate to contact my office if we may be of assistance. Clinch Valley Times MEMBER" VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. paul, VA 24283, by the CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC. The Clinch Valley "Vtmes serves the four-eotmty area of Wise, RusseR, Dickenson and ScoU, ~4th offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES building, 16541 Russell Street. Periodicals postage is paid at the Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283 Allen Gregory Edltor/Adv. Susan Trent Adv.IGraphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in WLs and Russell Counties; $30.00 in other 24-zip--codes; elsewhere $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address cha~es to: Clinch Valley Times, P.O. Box 817, St. Patti, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY- 50e Classified Advertising: mini- mtmx charge $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance; 25c per word after 20 words. Display Advert- ising rates on application Periodicals publication Post ISSN: 767600 tJ ~- L