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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
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May 3, 2007     Clinch Valley Times
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May 3, 2007
 

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P, age 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, May 3, 2007 ;hoes and ships and sealing WaX by Young Gregory Almost two years If bureaucracies didn't get bogged down, if priorities were properly set and then addressed, if greed weren't at the heart of some of those who are occasionally in charge, then we wouldn't still be talking about any of this. However, bureaucracies DO get bogged down, priorities aren't always properly assigned and addressed, and greed does run rampant, so we are still discussing Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf coast on August 29, 2005, and we're still tryfi' ng to figure out just exactly what went wrong. Obviously, Katrina, the third-strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in the United States, is what happened. Also classified as the sixth strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, Katrina brought about such catastrophic destruction that at the request of the United States, the name has been retired so no other hurricane will ever again be called "Katrina." Over 1,800 people lost their lives during the hurricane and in subsequent flooding and related disasters. Only the Okeechobee Hurricane in 1928 was responsible for more deaths. With damages originally estimated at $81.2 billion, Katrina was also the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. While most of us, complacent in our ignorance, assumed that the appropriate structure was in place to help with the evacuation of New Orleans, eighty percent of which was under water, and take care of its people who had nowhere else to go, as well as provide help to all of the other affected areas While we tend to think of New Orleans as Katrina's primary victim, the devastating storm caused severe and catastrophic dmnage along the entire Gulf coast, including Florida, Mississippi and Alabama as well as Louisiana. The storm actually made landfall in southern Florida on August 25, went back out over the Gulf of Mexico, strengthened, and headed for the Gulf coast. But it's what happened afterwards that has kept our attention for the year and eight months since the hurricane wreaked its havoc on the United States and on our sensibilities. Federal agencies which would normally have leaped into action said they were available to support agencies of the local and state governments. New Orleans authorities, however, were understandably in the midst of chaos as many policemen had quit their posts, and there were no police headquarters in many areas of the city. To add to the chaos, there was no electricity, communications systems were non-functioning; and there were few vehicles which worked. Many employees of the eity were dead or missing. The state, however, sent in 3,500 members of the Louisiana National Guard, and announced that it, would house evacuees in the Superdome, although it, too, had been badly damaged. Over 7,000 National Guard members from the four affected states were reported to be on duty the day after the hurricane hit. Supplies arrived'at the Superdorne on September 1--and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) director Michael Brown, who later resigned, said he had not been aware that the thousands of displaced persons in the New Orleans Convention Center had been without food and water for three to four days. More food, water and supplies arrived on September 2, four days after the storm made landfall. And the story goes on--gets worse, even. A number of hospital patients, trapped in their beds without food, water, electricity or personnel to provide assistance, were later found dead. The Department of Homeland Security, of which FEMA is an agency, issued a report five days after the disaster saying that 11,500 lives had been saved, 25,000 citizens evacuated, and so on. News reports indicate that U.S. taxpayers have already spent $125 million during the aftermath of Katrina, but I believe that some areas of New Orleans still have no electricity, and some streets are still piled with the rubbish left by the storm. What do you suppose happened to all that money? Changing gears just a bit, consider another premise: we in the United States know that whenever disasters--earthquakes, tsunamis, catastrophic storms- -hit other countries, the U.S. is almost always first in line with money, food, clothing, volunteers and other needed goods. We don't--at least I don't--tend to think of the same kind of response being offered to us when WE have a disaster. Nevertheless, and I don't remember reading or hearing a word about this anyplace at the time, the outpouring of help from around the globe was astonishing. Countries acknowledged by the State Department as offering aid of many kinds include a list: of 70-plus countries from Afghanistan to Venezuela, plus agencies like the International-Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, NATO, The International Energy Agency, The United Nations, Organization of American States and the World Health Organization! Offers included money, manpower, ships, planes, helicopters, water storage tanks, water purification tablets, high-energy biscuits, generators, tents, oil and many other supplies which were needed. According to several news stories which were released over the weekend just past, a total of $854 million just in cash and oil was offered by the various countries, to be delivered, evidently, when they were told we were ready. At this point, only $40 million has been used. Some aid has been redirected to agencies such as the Red Cross; some offers, having gone unclaimed, have been withdrawn; and some items, such as cellphone systems and medicines, went unused because the government (federal, local and/or state) was unable to allocate them appropriately. Some contributions were spoiled, and therefore wasted. Criminal! The organizational skills of the U.S. government are evidently non-existent. There was a note--a comment in a page of blogs-- on the Internet the other day about this very subject. I can't quote him--I don't remember word-for-word what the young man wi, ote, but he was certainly perceptive. The bottom line of his reasoning was tO. question how in the world we can spend billions andr billions to wage a war in a place that doesn't want us and where our best and brightest are being killed, yet although we spend money, we still can't manage to take care of our own people in our own country when they are in desperate need of help--even now, almost two years after Katrina. Don't you agree that he has a point! Letters to the editor Readers are invited to write letters on matters of general interest to the public. Letters do not necessarily reflect the philosophy or editorial policy of this newspaper, which reserves the right to edit letters. The Clinch Valley Times will not print unsigned letters. To the Editor:. Recently I had the privilege of chaperoning three senior St. Paul Team Estonoa students to Radford University for a sym- posium on wetlands. Haley Kiser, Virginia Burton and Candace Castle represented their school with an impressive power point presentation and display board. Each presentation was full of striking pictures of the wetlands, projects complet- ed, awards earned and goals accomplished. Radford University construc- ted a similar wetlands project and is most impressed with Estonoa's student involvement. As a parent, I was blown away by the poise, expertise and passion exemplified in these stu- dents. Not only was the pre- sentation educational but inspi- rational. Kudos to Mrs. Vencil! Her dedication to the school's wet- lands and students is a rousing tribute to excellence in St. Paul High School. Amanda Castle Castlewood May 15 -deadline to pay real estate taxes : May 15 is the deadline to pay the first half of 2007 Real Estate for Wise County. Taxes can be paid on or before May 15 at the following banks: All Miners Exchange Banks, First Community Bank in Pound, Powell Valley National Bank in Wise and Big Stone Gap, and New Peoples Bank in Pound, Esserville and Big Stone Gap. You may also mail your payment to the Wise County Treasurer, PO Box 1308, Wise, VA 24293. For your convenience you can pay your taxes by credit card via touch tone phone from your home using the toll free number 1-888-272-9829. Information is entered and a verbal receipt number given. Another option is payment online. By logging onto officialpayments.com you can pay by via interact access. By usmg either method you must enter the jurisdiction code 1009 and the requested information from the tax bill. A convenience fee will be charged. If you have a question on the taxed item, please call the Commissioner of Revenue's Office at 328-3556. Penalty will be added to taxes that have not been paid by May 15. The penalty is 10% of the original tax or $2.00, whichever is greater. However, the penalty shall in no case exceed the amount of the original tax. An additional 8% interest per year will be added beginning June 1, 2007. For more information, call the Treasurer's Office at (276) 328-3666, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Stop for Pedestrians in the Library Crosswalk-- It's the law*. 6, 2~: i<~' Capitol Commentary URGING STROKE AWAi(ENESS May is Stroke Awareness Month Stroke is the third leading should occur. Stroke is a type of, i:-i, cause of death in the United cardiovascular disease. It affects,- States, and a leading cause of the arteries leading to and within. serious, long-term disability in the brain. A stroke occurs when:5 our nation. Every forty-five seconds, someone in America has a stroke, and every three minutes, someone dies from one. This year an estimated 700,000 people have a new or recurrent stroke, and approximately 60% of those victims will be women. Despite these striking stat- istics, many stroke victims are unaware that they have suffered a stroke, and many Americans are unaware of a stroke's sym- ptoms, causes and effects. To help raise stroke aware- ness and to combat this dev- astating disease, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Stroke Treatment and On-Going Prevention (STOP) Act, legislation which I co- authored. This legislation raises public awareness by authorizing funding for a national public information campaign to educate the public about stroke, including how to prevent it, recognize the warning signs, and seek emergency treatment as soon as symptoms occur. To help states fight stroke the bill establishes a grant program to ensure that stroke patients have access to quality care, and also provides opportunities to train appropriate medical personnel in newly developed approaches for preventing and treating stroke. While this legislation takes several important steps in limiting stroke, it is essential to educate yourself about stroke and to know what to do if one a blood vessel that carries,: oxygen and nutrients to the brai ) is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part:2, of the brain cannot get the bloocl (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts ,) to die. When part of the brain starts to die from lack of blood flow, . the part of the body it controls is/ affected. Strokes can cause para lysis, affect language and vision, and cause other problems. Treatments are available to minimize the potentially devastating effects of stroke, but? to receive them, one must recognize the warning signs, and act quickly. The most common warning signs of stroke are: Sudden numbness weakness of the face, arm,= or leg, especially on side of the body Sudden confusion, trou- ble speaking or undeF- -" standing Sudden trouble seeing one or both eyes Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balanczf or coordination =z Sudden severe headaclm with no cause With its devastating an&. long-term effects, stroke, is condition that must not ignored. Please take the time this. month to become more educategt about stroke and ways to preve it. To learn more about stroke;, please visit. www.strokeassociation.or . Wise County Sheriffs Report The Wise County Sheriff's Office reports the following activities for the period of 04/23/2007 through 04/29/2007. Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,517 calls for this seven- day period. Of the total calls received 495 were dispatched to the Sheriff's Office. Total num- of Court Room Security for the three courts. The Sheriff's Office tran~- sported 2 adults in state, 2 adults out of state, 7 mental patient , and 8 juveniles for a total of 19 transports, involving 81.5 man hours. The Sheriff's Office unlocked ber-of Domestic calls for this 6 vehicles and .escorted period was 22. Criminal Proce funerals duriiag this seven'd y for the same .period served. 35 Pefi0d. . i : I--r~ ~" " m r ~ Felony Warranis, 73 Misdemean or Warrants. issued 37 Traffic Summons and worked 4 Traffic Accidents. Civil process for this period served 580 Civil Papers. During this seven-day period 24 additional Criminal Investiga- tions were initiated and 85 were cleared by arrest. The Sheriff's Office provided 275 man-hours JR MISS CHS 2007 Ariel Tompa was crowned at the Jr Miss CHS Pageant on Friday, April 27 at 7:00 pm in the Castlewood High School Auditorium. The winners are, left to right, Kristin Johnson (Jr Miss Sponsor), Kesha Crabtree 2nd (4th runner up), Suzanne Fields ( runner up), And Tompa (Jr. Miss CHS 2007), Cherita Peterson (Jr. Miss CHS 2006), Courtney Clifton (1st runner up, Jr Miss Photogenic), Leslie Collins (3rd runner up, Jr Miss Director's Award, Jr Miss m Sarah Hileman (Jr Miss People's Choice). SPHS STATE FBLA PARTICIPANTS This picture includes all SPHS students who were participants at the FBLA State Leadership Conference in Reston on March 31. The picture published last week did not include all students. These students participated in competitive events, campaigned for AJ's bid for state president, and served as ushers at the general session. Left to right, front row Justin Kennedy, Lindsey Dickenson, AJ Delauder, Dezarae Ritchie, back row, Chris Porter, Ethan Fields, Drew Mullins, Amy Hoibrook and Dale Merlette. Junior 4-H Camp A week of fun and adventure awaits 4-H'ers at the 2007 nior 4-I-1 Camp at the Southwest , Virginia 4-H Education Center AbingdOn. This year's camp for Wi : and Buchanan counties will be held June 11-15. The vamp i$ for all 4-H members, ages 9-1 inclusive. Cost for the camp is $110 per person, and the registration deadline is May 25. For more information, or to request a 4-H camp application, call Lucy Robinson, 4-H Pror gram Assistant, at the Wise County Extension Office, 276, 328-6194. i .| VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Panl VA 24283, by the CLINCI-[ 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. dicals postage is paid at Post Office in St. Paul, V A 24283. Ann Young Gregory Edito Allen Gregory Advertising Susan Trent Adv./Graphics- Michael Robinson r xluction ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $25.00 in Wise and Russell counties; $27.50 in other 24- zip codes; elsewhere, $30.00. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, P.O. Box 817, St. Paul, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY - 50e 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 r