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April 9, 2009     Clinch Valley Times
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April 9, 2009

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, April 9, 2009 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing Ann Young Gregory Outsourcing: not a good resource The phenomenon began sometime during the 1980s, but I don't remember runninginto any particu- lar problems with it myself until more recently. Whenever it was, I don't believe I've shared any of my "horror stories" about it with anyone who hasn't come right back with a similar story of his/her own! I speak, of course, of job outsourcing, and how it's our individual lives. How it's affected the nation at large is another matter, of course, and I'll get to that in a minute. The problems I've had are, I'd be willing to bet, the same ones you've experienced. I speak, of course, of problems with jobs at call centers, customer service departments and other similar positions which have been outsourced to foreign countries. The English fluency of their populations varies from exce.llent to very bad, with the majority, at least in my experience, at the "very bad" end of the spectrum. I shared a couple of my stories with you a few weeks ago--I called to order a new service from an American company, waited on the line for 35 minutes, and then spent another hour and 15 minutes speaking with the company representative. Thinking I was all set, I learned a month or so later that the person on the other end of the line had completely fouled up my order, and I had to spend two more lengthy phone calls--and another month--getting it straightened out. I had another call the other day from someone sei'vice to mothers and fathers in the U.S. who need that sort of service in order to have a child. Now--this has been going on for 20 years, give or take a )'ear or two. In the meantime, starting in De- cember, 2007, the U.S., already having lost goodness knows how many jobs to outsourcing, began to slide into a recession which has developed into the worst economic crisis the country has experienced since the Great Depression, and of course the economy of the entire world is part of what is called by some "t]ae current economic downturn.". According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 663,000 more jobs vanished in March, making, the total 5.1 million jobs which have been lost smce December, 2007. There is no breakdown that I found as to how many were lost to outsourcing and how many to the economic hard times, but 5.1 million! Not only have big banks, giant insurance companies, the Big Three automobile manufacturers and other major corporations fallen victim to the recession, but also small businesses providing goods and services in many categories throughout the country are being negatively affected. And of course thousands of individuals have losttheir jobs and their homes. Many companies, looking for ways to save money, are reducing their labor forces, and some, who still re- quire bodies to continue doing whatever the company does, have opted to outsouree the jobs, thus com- pounding the problem of unemployment. who needed information for a directory (this is a At least one website recently announced nine jobs " publication in which we've been listed for years, so I which will not--actuaUy, cannot-be outsourced, so if knew it was a legitimate call). However, I finally told a teenager interested in preparing him/herself for the the young woman who was asking the questions that I workforce wants to be sure he/she will have a job, pay was unable to understand her. Although she was quite courteous, she just didn't have an adequate command of the language in which she was trying to commu- nicate, and I certainly couldn't converse with her in her language, whatever it was. She actually called attention: The reason that these jobs cannot be out- sourced is obvious, and there are y others which fit in the "you had to be there" category. The parti- cular nine cited in the website included Dental Hygienist, Pharmacy Technician, Fimess Professio- back (same girl) two days later to finish the interview, nal, Teacher Aide, Auto Repair Technician, Pet and I had to repeat that I wasn't able to understand C__og_mer (who knew?), Plumber, and Veterinary her, however slowly she spoke. Assistant. Of course, this list omits the professionals, The whole concept of outsourcing came about, I i.e., dentists, doctors, registered nurses, veterinarians, suppose, when various companies took jobs to foreign pharmacists, teachers and many, many others, but the countries where they could hire very cheap labor idea is one which is worth some consideration by without providing all the benefits that American those who are preparing to train for careers--on the off workers need, or, to put it more simply, to sub- chance that the idea of outsourcing doesn't eventually contract particular jobs to foreign companies. I think lose some of its charm because of its built-in pro- the original emphasis was on manufacturing jobs, blems. many of which didn't require previously-acquired One company, Sallie Mac (the SLM Corporation), skills. Just think of all the goods we buy which are which manages $180 billion in education loans), has made in China and India and Sri Lanka and Korea and already decided that perhaps outsourcing isn't the best other points north, sou,,east and--w-est-o]'--e 13tett way to go. Company officials.have announced that States! It is extremely difficult, in fact, to find- 2,000 previously outsourcea joos are oemg returnea products which are actually made at home! You to the United States. Because of the negative impact probably remember all the alarms which were raised not too many months ago about toxic substances which had been found in various products manu- thctured in China. Evidently quality control was non- that the economic situation has had on communities where SLM operates, Albert Lord, SLM's CEO, has announced that within the next 18 months, the com- pany will hire 2,000 people to fill call center, in- existent, since even baby formula was affected, formation technology and operations support posi- Other kinds of jobs began to be included-it was at tions, this stage, I suppose, that the telephone services began Interestingly, President Barack Obama has said to be part of the equation. I recently read that one of that it wouldn't be a good thing for all of these low- the most recent services which is offered to Ameri- paying jobs to be returned to the U.S, but that the cans in India is surrogate motherhood. There is a  country needs to create new high-skill, high-wage small hospital there which specializes in offering this jobs ro regain and maintain its sound economy! Letters to the edit, or.. Readers are inited to write letters on matters of general interest to. the public. Letters do nt necessarily reflect the philosophy or editorial policy of this newspaper, which reserves the right to edit letters. The Cfinch Valley Times will not print unsigned letters. Fo the Editor: The United Methodist Wo- men of Fort Gibson United Methodist Church in Castle- wood wish to thank each and every person who attended our recent fundraising luncheon. With your support of our project, we were able to raise money which will be donated to the Russell County Relay For Life. and which will be used to fight the dreadful disease affect- ;  ing so many in our community, " state and nation. o, Thank you. Sincerely, Fort Gibson United Metho- dist Women Castlewood To the Editor: Clean coal technologies, fu- sion energy, natural gas, utility- derived coal, fly ash utilization, solar energy, bio-energy and new electric-powered cars and natural gas-powered trucks are just a part of the 2009 Energy I'eclmology Summit to be held Monday, April 27, on the campus of The University of Virginia's College at Wise. the energy technology sum- mit will be held in the heart of Virginia coal and natural gas producing fields. Numerous cor- aorate energy produces will be on hand to discuss policy and potential energy technologies to change the energy dynamic to leverage for energy technology investment and solutions to the growing energy crisis. The summit sponsors have invited the state's four guberna- torial candidates to conclude the conference in the belief that energy policy should be dis- cussed in the region where car- bon-based energy has been pro- duced for the past 100 years. Each candidate for governor should step forward and make their schedule clear to attend the energy technology summit in remote southwestern Virginia and answer energy-related ques- tions where hundreds of jobs are at stake. Democratic primary and ge- neral election voters should be enabled to learn candidate plat- forms on the most important issue of our day while providing confidence that the same pro- posed policy message is de- livered in both Appalachia and Alexandria. Therefore, I publicly call up- on each of the four candidates for governor to step forward with policy conviction and lead- ership on energy and energy technology by attending and speaking to the 2009 Energy Technology Summit. The general public is invited to come to Wise and hear any or all of the gubernatorial candi- dates willing to attend to exclu- sively discuss energy policies over the next five years. Sincerely yours, Donald Purdie, Chairman VA Technology Alliance American Heart Association'q[y Fighting Heart Disease and Stroke Celebrate National Arbor Day with 10 free shade trees To help commemorate Natio- nal Arbor Day, everyone who joins the Arbor Day Foundation during April will receive 10 free shade trees. Natfonal Arbor Day and Vir- ginia's Arbor Day are celebrat- ed on the last Friday in April, which is April 24 this year. The 10 free shade trees are red oak, sugar maple, weeping willow, baldcypress, thornless honeylocust, pin oak, fiver birch, tuliptree, silver maple and red maple. The free trees are part of the nonprofit Founda- tion's Trees for America cam- paign. "These trees were selected to provide shade and beauty, and a variety of forms, leaf shapes and beautiful fall colors," said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "We can't think of a better way to celebrate National Arbor Day than by planting trees." The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting in April or May with enclosed plar/ting instructions. The six to twelve inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. "Planting a tree is auniqne expertence because you can watch it grow over the years," Rosenow said. "It truly makes you feel a part of the planet and the future, and connects us directly to nature." Rosenow added that planting a tree is a perfect family tradi- tion for parents, grandparents and children to enjoy together, because the trees will last for generations. "Years from now, our great- grandchildren will be able to say, 'This is the tree my ances- tors planted.' "he aid. To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to Ten Free Shade Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 67410, by April 30, or visit Lays Hardware Center for the Arts Coming up at Lays Hardware 276.284.9059. Center for the Arts located at 409 Front Street in downtown Coeburn. MUSIC Every Thursday night, Jam Sessions 6:30-10:30 (doors open at 6:00). No charge for admis- sion. Open to musicians and spectators. Every Friday night, Live bluegrass, 7:30 - 10:30 (doors open at 6:00). $5/adults, $1/chil- dren 6-12, under 6 admitted free. Friday, April 3 d, Bluegrass Messengers Friday, April 10 th, East Kentucky Tyme CLASSES Bob Ross Painting-Fourth Monday of every month at 10:00 a.m. Contact Jay Holdway at 423.612.7027. Yoga-Every Monday evening at 6:00 and 7:30. Contact Elizabeth Robertson at Stained Glass-Every Thurs- day evening at 6:00 pm. Contact Rita Porter at 276.395.6103. Coming Soon - Beginning Quilting! Contact Loretta Mays at 276.395.3323. WANTED: Instructors and students for music, art and crafts classes such as pottery, ceramics, jewelry making, music lessons, painting, etc. AVAILABLE: Studio space for rent to artisans. Lays Hardware Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organi- zation dedicated to the preserv- ation of Appalachian culture. We offer great entertainment in a smoke-flee, alcohol-flee family atmosphere. Contact Loretta Mays at 276.395.5160 or 276.395.3323 for more information.; APRIL IS KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL MONTH The month of April has been designated as a special time to encourage Americans to take greater responsibility for im- proving their local community environments. Keep America Beautiful Month is a great time for Southwest Virginians to volunteer in ways which will enhance the physical treasures found throughout our region. Keep America Beautiful, In- corporated is using its annual Great American Cleanup camp- aign to encourage individuals to "fight dirty" to improve their communities. Each year during the Great American Cleanup, millions of volunteers mobilize to prevent litter and graffiti while promoting beautification and waste minimization in their communities. Every spring, the Great American Cleanup campaign is organized and held from the month of March through May. This year more than 3 million volunteers will participate in 30,000 cleanup events in 17,000 communities nationwide. Keep America Beautiful, Incorporated is a national, non- profit, community improvement and public education organi- zation. The group works to form community partnerships with the goal of engaging individuals to take responsibility for caring for their physical surroundings. Since 1985, Keep America Beautiful has been leading the 'Great American Cleanup' program which is just one of its many programs to encourage voluntary participation in caring for communities in the United States. This year's 'Great American Cleanup' is expected to involve volunteers working to clean and beautify community areas such as playgrounds and recreational centers as well as rivers, lakes, and shorelines. These volunteer efforts add up to more than 8 million work hours, reducing the need for tax dollars to finance cleanups Last year, the Great American Cleanup effort re- sulted in 200 million pounds of litter and debris removed from landscapes, including 3500 illegal dump sites and more than 10,000 abandoned vehicles. Additionally, participants plant- ed more than 4.6 million trees, flowers and bulbs. As part of the effort, more than 178,000 miles of roadways were improved along with 121,000 acres of parks and public lands and 3900 miles of hiking and biking trails. Below are just a few of the suggestions that Keep America Beautiful has developed that individuals can use to clean up and beautify their communities. Work with the local civic groups to identify and eliminate eyesores, and beautify the local environment. Pick up a piece of litter every day. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper asking others to respect public lands and keep them clean. Help your local schools conduct recycling drives and clean-up projects. Create a beautiful green space by planting trees and shrubs in an area in need of improvement. Paint and fix up play- ground equipment. To learn more about the Great American Cleanup campaign, please visit the website for Keep America Beautiful, Incorporated at The website can provide useful information to individuals and groups residing in Southwest Virginia who are interested in participating in the Great American Cleanup to protect and enrich the natural wonders which abound in our region. To register as a Great American Cleanup in the Powell, Holston or Clinch River areas, contact the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable at 276-628- 1600. Congratulations to its "A and A" by Frank Kilgore Join with me in congratula- ting the Appalachian School Of Law (www.asl.edB) ht wimfmg its second national moot court competition against some very prestigious law schools. I also understand that ASL just won a national softball competition against 100+ law schools. Aca- demics and athletics, the two "A's" few schools master in the same year. ASL has overcome many struggles and a tragedy to reach these goals. Hopefully, the stereotypes that the national media continue to utilize against Appalachian people and institutions will be replaced by a case-by-case re- view of what works and what does not. ASL, which sits in the epicenter of Central Appalachia, is a story of struggle, success and now excellence. The school drives the economy in the town of Grundy, Virginia, just as the Appalachian College of Phar- macy ( is bring- ing renewal to the Oakwood Wise County Sheriff's Report The Wise County Sheriff's Office reports the following activities for the period of 3/23/2009 through 3/29/2009. Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,420 calls for this seven- day period. Of the total calls received 457 were dispatched to the Sheriff's Office. Total num- ber of Domestic calls for this period was 16. Criminal Process for the same period served 19 Felony Warrants, 68 Misdemean- or Warrants, issued 22 Traffic Summons and worked 0 Traffic Accidents. Civil process for this period served 506 Civil Papers. During this seven-day period 20 additional Criminal Investiga- tions were initiated and 45 were cleared by arrest. The Sheriff's Office provided 222 man-hours of Court Room Security for the three courts. The Sheriff's Office tran- sported 2 adult in state, 1 adult out of state, 6 mental patient, and 7 juveniles for a total of 16 transports, involving 59 hours. The Sheriff's Office unlocked 2 vehicles and escorted 5 funerals during this seven-day period. ASL for achievements! section of Buchanan County. The pharmacy school's charter class 0May, '05) had a 92 per- cent ndti' "oual boards first taker's pass rate, a 100 percent job placement rate, and almost 80 percent of its graduates are now working in Appalachia to help improve health care access. Say what they will, the pun- dits who write off Appalachia have driven past hundreds of success stories on their way to film the worst of the worse. Educatoin, sustained growth through locally owned enter- prises, reclamation, land resto- ration, tourism, wind, solar and thermal energy, high tech jobs, preventive health care and early childhood intervention are the keys to advancement, not 0nly in Appalachia but also to the nation and world at large. Cynics never built anything. Clinch i 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 1SSN: 767600