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March 17, 2011     Clinch Valley Times
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March 17, 2011
 

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"Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, March 17, 2011 It's been nearly 66 years since the United States dropped atomicl bpmbs on Hiroshima, Japan, and then J Nagasaki--the dates are August 6 ,and August 9, 1945.. Those bombs ended the war, and probably saved several thousand lives, but they were dropped on civilian populations, which has made a lot of us feel uneasy o6( 'the years. SomeWhere between 90,000 and 1i6;000 thousand were killed in Hiroshima, an'dretween 60,000 and 80,000 in Nagasaki. The-.ffide variance is probably because many of the victims died well after the bombs were dropped, suffering from radiation sickness or, eventually, cancer caused by the radiation. I remember pic.tiar.s in Life Magazine of victims of those terrible final days of the war. Based on all of that--and how tlie'war affected Us, as well, it looks like enough hormi was created during those years to do for several lifetimes. Those were horrible days--and in the ensuing years, Japan h grown to be the fifth largest economy in the world, hnd;-thanks to good practices after the war, our two countries have again become friendly. So the 2011 earthquake/tsunami been almost as indescribable a,horror to us as it has been to the Japanese. In the'.fishing village of Minamisnriku, which had a polpulation of 17,000, the 33-foot tsunami which followed the earthquake virtually wiped out the'tdwn, and 10,000 people who lived in the town are still'missing. NBC's Ann Curry is one of the staff reporters who is in Japan--and she's been broadcasting fr0"nh that village which is now missing 10,000 of its residents. The earthqufle--the fifth largest to have occurred on he planet s'mce records have been kept, has been upgraded from'its  original 8.9 magnitude to 9. It is the most severe ever to hit Japan, which is not a stranger to earthquakes by any means. The epicenter of this particular quak'&.,as about 81 miles off the east coast of Japan's Oshlk Peninsula. The five mot' powerful earthquakes on record are the following:' .9'.5, Chile, 1960; 9.2, Prince William Sound, Alaska,-1961; 9.1 if the coast of Northern Sumatra, 2000,19.0 Kamchatka, Russia, - !952; and 9.0, Japan, 201t.: One of the scariest things about the earthquake, othE.-than the fact that it killed so many people and desffed so many buildings and personal property is that it moved one GPS (40bal Posiloning System) statior/iifi:'Japan about eiglit feet. :- Remembering'that the Pacific Coast of the United States makes up 'part of the "Ring of Fire," which includes a huge-circle of which Japan is a part, and geologists who sdy what's going on with the earth, declare that the ,West Coast is due a BIG earthquake-- they can't say.when it'll happen, but it's not a "maybe," but A),llais is going to happen" kind of announcement. It's scary. To add to all'of the other horror, Japan, which depends in large part on nuclear power for its and ships..and sealing wax..by A.. Young Gregory Indescribable horror electrical needs, has a nuclear emergency at hand, due to the earthquake and tsunami. The nuclear stations closed down, as they were programmed to do in the event of an earthquake,, but the tsunami cut off the flow of water which is used as coolants, and a meltdown at the Fukushima Power Plan is feared. The plant, located about 240 kilometers north of Tokyo, experienced the first explosion, which took out the containment building, over the weekend, and the second on Monday. Eleven have been wounded by the explosions so far. Reacting to the alarm, more than 210,000 residents of the area have been evacuated. Considerable concern has arisen about the Chernobyl incident which did extraordinary damage to the Ukraine some years ago, but the experts are saying that this incident is different. One can only hope. Now. Everybody can help with the restoration of Japan--decide which way you'd like to contribute, and be sure that the agency you select is one which uses most of the money it receives in donations for the emergency at hand and not for administrative costs. We like the United Methodist Committee on Relief, which uses every penny of donations for the disaster it's covering. I don't know what the Red Cross's percent of donations is used for the disaster, but I assume that it's pretty good--otherwise, the Red Cross wouldn't have been able to manage the good reputation it has. Even if you're not able to give a large amount, neither are millions of other Americans, so if all the small contributions were added, you could see just how much help you would provide. Next, how worried should we in the United States be about earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear fallout? While we experience small earthquakes quite often, our part of the country doesn't have a history of powerful earthquakes. The West Coast not on13  has a history of big earthquakes, but a prediction of"the big one" has been made--and authenticated! The Japanese tsunami hit Hawaii and parts of Oregon and California, Damage to Oregon's ports caused damage in excess of $13 million, Damage to California's harbors and boats totaled about $4 million; while damage to homes, hotels and businesses in Hawaii was in the tens of millions. The most recent figure I could find for damage in Japan was 15 trillion yen-- which translates to three percent of the country's gross national product. That's in addition to the thousands of those whose lives were lost--that number probably won't be available for'a while. Remem- bering that Japan is a well-financed country which was geared to the danger of earthquakes, know that the death toll in the Haitian earthquake was 230,000. Haiti, of course, is an undeveloped country which wasn't prepared for the disaster which hit. The bottom line of all this horror, I suppose, is that we all have a responsibility to take care of each other--to pay attention to the disasters which hit others, and do our best to avoid disasters at home. ,'_" .7 Don't exceed the speed limit! ] Be especially careful at intersections which[ have no traffiC.lights! Observe stop signs! [ tyboatsales.or9 FREE:2-Ntght Vacation I Self-defense for students at CHS Bill Watson, deputy sheriff of Russell County, and Cuba Porter, officer, presented a class in self- defense for students in the 21 st Century Community Learning Center Grant REACH after- school program and Caroline Sabo's English classes on Tuesday, February 15. Watson demonstrated several defensive techniques that would help young people fend off would-be attackers. His philosophy of "action over reaction" is based on the concept of surviving rather than panicking. Watson's presentation allowed students hands on participation in practical, life-saving skills. Students in Sabo's classes have react several short stories, where young protagonists have found themselves in bad situations and lacked the knowledge necessary to help them survive. With Watson and Porter's class, students were able to see how quick thinking and a few simple moves could save their lives. As part of the business partnership with Castlewood High School, the Russell County Sheriff's Department involves itself in the education of young people in the afterschool program as well. Students from all grades who are in the afterschool program were allowed to participate in the presentation. WellmOnt Physician Services welcomes back Dr. Galileo Molina to Wise Medical Group. Dr Galileo MolirT& offers: Pdmary ceservices for adult men and women A commitment to providing superior health care Seamless access to the services provided by Mountain View Regional MOlcal Center and Wellmont Health System :2 Dr, Mollna 18 now aooeflng IIierd, Please call (276) S79-5880 to hedule an appointment. Wise Medical Group 340 Anderson Hollow Road Norton VA 4.273 Dr:. Molina also sees patients in his Pennincjton Gap office located at 127 Health Care Dnve Pennincjton Gap VA p v South overturn federal Americans for Limited Gov- ernment (ALG) President Bill Wilson urged passage of a bill by South Carolina State Repre- sentatives Bill Sandifer and Dwight Loftis that would allow the manufacture and purchase of incandescent light bulbs in South Carolina that are subject to a federal ban that begins to take effect in January 2012. "State Representatives Sand- lifer and Loftis are taking the lead in protecting the rights of South Carolina consumers, who don't want the federal govern- ment telling them which light bulbs they must use," Wilson said. "The basic concept of the bill is to allow the citizens of South Carolina to be able to continue to buy incandescent light bulbs," said State Representative Bill Sandlifer, Chairman of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee. "It is my strong belief that the feds have overstepled the Tenth Amendment, and now are venturing into telling us what kinds of lighting we can have in our homes," Sandlifer added. But how can the federal government ban light bulbs? "They are trying to use again as they have so often done, the Commerce Claus. But I have a real problem with Big Brother intruding in how I live in my home," Sandlifer declared. Explaining what the bill does, Representative Loftis said "it provides for the option of an entity manufacturing these bulbs in South Carolina to be sold in South Carolina". Wilson explained, "since the bulbs would be made entirely in South Carolina and sold in South Carolina, the federal government has no power to regulate it under the Interstate Commerce Clau se." Sandifer said that there would be more hearings at the subcommittee level before it comes up for a final vote in his committee. He is hopeful for full House approval for the bill. Loflis blasted the federal ban Virginia State Carolina bill would light'bulb ban on incandescent light bulbs, saying, "On the one hand, the reds say we need to do something about cleaning up the environment, and on the other hand, they impose requirements that we use this particular light bulb that has hazards with the disposal of it." The new fluor- escent bulbs are laced with mercury, raising concerns over the costs of proper disposal and over mercury seepage back into the environment. "All in all, it's just something that the reds really I think have no business in regulating," Loftis said, saying that the supposed cost savings from using the bulbs simply will not be there for consumers. Loftis said that passage of the bill may depend on how environmental groups respond to it. "What side are they going to take?" Loftis asked. "Are they going to take the side of clean disposal? Or are they going to take the side of potentially putting some of the hazardous materials in the landfill or back out into the environment?" Wilson said the issue came down to protecting the. rights of consumers to be free to make their own choices, saying, "The government is attempting to micromanage our decisions as consumers. The federal government has no power to tell South Carolinians, or any citizens, what types of lighting they are allowed to use. Representatives Sandifer and Loftis deserve the support of their constituents to help overturn this tyrannical dic- tate by the federal government to use unsafe, mercury-laced bulbs." Wilson concluded, "Thomas Edison would be turning over in his grave if he knew that his in- Vention, one of the greatest in human history, was being ban- ned." The federal legislation ef- fectively banning incandescent light bulbs, the "Energy Inde- pendence and Security Act," was enacted in 2007. Police offer rewards for information vehicle thefts The Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Theft Program (H.E.A.T.)i.s 1.ooldng for the publics' help in putting an end to the illegal towfflg of'ibafi-. doned, disabled or otherwise unattended vehicles. This state- wide problem is the result of the rising price of scrap metal. In an effort to combat this problem, the H.E.A.T. Program is offering rewards up to $25,000 for infor- mation about illegally towed vehicles or salvage yards that are purchasing these vehicles. These vehicles are being towed from the side of the road and private properties as well as from public parking lots. It only takes eight seconds to a couple of minutes for a tow truck to pick up a car and drive off. The cars and trucks that are being stolen are generally older, heav- ier vehicles. Ultimately, these cars are sold to salvage yards or demolishers for their scrap metal value. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to find an .unmarked tow truck getting ready to haul off your vehicle. When questioned, the dri.ver says he's at the wrong addi'ess, but can't provide the correct address. Or, your car has some engine trouble, so you pull off the high- way, call a friend to come pick you up so you can get help, and When you get back to your car, it's nowhere to be found. These are just two examples of how unscrupulous tow truck drivers get away with stealing abandoned or unattended vehic- les. If you have any knowledge about illegal towing, contact the H.E.A.T. Hot Line at www.heatreward.com or 1-800- 947-HEAT (4328). If you have information that leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a H.E.A.T. reward of up to $25,000 and you will remain anonymous. The H.E.A.T. Program is also offering the following advice to help Virginia citizens hang on.to their vehicles: Drivers should always lock your vehicle and take the keys. Park in a well-lit area. If you have a front- wheel-drive vehicle pull in to the parking space. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles should be backed in to the parking space. Always set the emergency brake. Don't leave disabled vehicles abandoned on the side of the road. Call a reputable tow truck, operator or contact local law enforcement or the Virginia State Police. Tow truck operators may attempt to coerce drivers into surrendering their vehicle, which may result in the vehicle being shredded or held for about exorbitant storage and recovery fees. , Drivers :shou d record i1[ information about the, tOW ,truck, including to.w truck company name and phone number, the truck's tag number, the operator's name and the tow truck's description. ' The company name and phone number must be displayed on the side of the truck. Drivers should not let anyone tow their vehicle if that information is not prominently displayed. If you have any knowledge about illegal towing, other vehicle thefts including motor- cycles, or information about chop shops, contact the H.E.A.T. Hot Line &t www.heaWeward.com or 1-800- 947 HEAT (4328). If you have information that leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a H.E.A.T. reward of up to $25,000 and you will remain anonymous. Clinch Valley Times MEMBER VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in, St. Paul, VA 24283, by the CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC. The Clinch Valley Times serves the four-county area of Wise, Russell, Dickenson and Scott, with offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES building, 16541 Russell Street. Perio- dicals postage is paid at the Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283. Ann Young Gregory Editor Allen Gregory Advertising Susan Trent Adv./Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and Russell counties; $30.00 in other 24- zip codes; elsewhere, $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, P.O. Box 817. St. Paul, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY - 50c Classified Advertising: Minimum charge. $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance: 25c per word after 20 words. Display Advertising rates on application. Periodicals publication Postal ISSN: 767600