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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
June 6, 2013     Clinch Valley Times
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June 6, 2013

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Clinch Valley Ti ...... " - I - it - " "0.1GINIA "'")_, " The time has come, the walrus said, 'to talk of many things ' " w-..---. :.Ls:0c:?W,g---L: Vol. LV, No. 23 Thursday, June 6, 2013 Saint Paul, Virginia 50c IDA hears report At the IDA regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 28, a report was heard from Mark Podlin on what can be done toward downtown revitalization with the old Willis Building and what can be done in the down- town area. Debbie Baca reported that the IDA had total assets of $380,390.93 in its various accounts and CD's. The board voted to spend $1500 on the Sugar Hill Loop Trail to help be more accessible to those who use the trail. Chairman Bob Harrison gave an update on the Willis Building roof work. Harrison also reported the Town was going to pay for the material to work on the upstairs of the Hillman House and the work was going to be done b volunteers. The board had a closec session following the meeting pertaining .to sale or acquisitior of property. No action was taker, aler the closed session. .i FEATURED ARTIST...Nadya Warthen-Gibson, whose work was featured during the Festival Reception at the Railroad Museum on Thursday, was presented with flowers by Suzy Harrison, representing St. Paul Tomorrow. Clinch River Valley Initiative Branding & Marketing meeting what has been created. Monday, June 10 (Oxbow Center in St. Paul) 12-1:45 p.m. Environmental Education; 2- 3:45 p.m. State Parks; 4-5:45 p.m. Water Quality Tuesday, June 11 (Oxbow Center in St. Paul) 9-10:45 a.m. Down Revitalization/Entrepren- The Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI) is developing a regional brand to strengthen awareness of Virginia's Clinch River and increase local investment and strengthen the marketing reach of our events and communities. The firm Arnett Muldrow has been hired to help with it. They are familiar eurship; 1-2:45 with the regin and enjyed a Sp i l visit through the communities in ec a May. The next "step is to get input: You can help design the On Wednesday May 29, the Town Council heard a report on the Town's swimming pool from Mark Nash of C&S Custom Pools. Nash's company has been tools that will be used to better engage residents and visitors in connecting'to this world class environmental asset. On Monday, June 10 and Tuesday June 11, the CRVI doing the major repairs on the -t-a,ad4ngarn-w411 meet. in-a pool. series of hands-on, product- In hisrep0rt he covered all of the problems they have found during the work. There was a major problem found in the drain lines as the work was about to be finished. These drain problems came from Points Wednesday, June 12 (St. Paul Town Hall) 3:00 p.m. Present- ation of Brand Recommend- ations For more information about these meetings contact Doug Jackson at douglas.j ackson@dhcd.virginia. g_9_Y_ or at 276-780-3244. driven sessions around each qf the CRVI action teams. Come be a part of these sessions. Then, join the Steering Committee on Wednesday, Junb 12 at 3 p.m. at the St: Paul Town Hall to see '11 ........... p.m. Access Council meeting many causes. Nash reported that most all of the repairs were completed and given good weather could be done in 2 to 3 weeks. The problem that arose has added to the projected cost of the initial ontract: The Council on Tuesday voted to spend $40,000 to repair the pool. If it was found 'to be more, Debbie Baca was to pole the Council to get permission whether or not to spend more. Calendar of events... AA-Sundays and Tuesdays: Big needed-training available. Call 1- ...The Wise County School Board maintains a Policy Manual which is available to the public in the library of each school and in each county public library. ,,,Copies of the Russell County School Board Policy Manual have been placed in the office and the library of each school, and at the Russell County Public Library. SUPPORT GROUP-Women survivors of sexual assault are invited to attend Clinch Valley Communication Action, Inc./Family Crisis Services' sup- port group meeting with victims of similar situations Mondays, 10:30 am-12 noon. For information call Rande Hackler, 276-988-5583 or Ranetta Davis, 276-889-8206. FREE ADULT ED-Free adult, education classes are available in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Daytime and evening classes for adults who want to improve their basic skills. Instructors also assist adults with job-related skills including re- sume, writing and interviewing. For details, call 1-800-422-3433 or 276-386-2433. TRANSPORTATION-The Ap- palachian Agency for Senior Citi- zens Crovides disability transport- ation services in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties to individuals with disabilities, regardless of age. Call 1-888-656-2272. GENEALOGY GROUP-The Russell County Genealogy.Group meets 5:30 pm first Thursdays, Russell County Public Library, Lebanon. The Group purpose is "to learn, to share and to perpetuate family history.'" Call William T. Fuller, 276-623-3410 or JOIN THE FRIENDS-Join the Friends of J. Fred Matthews Mem- orial Library and help promote the improvement of facilities and services of the library. Send name, address and phone number, with a $5 membership gift, to J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, P.O. Box 1976, St. Paul, VA 24283. Make checks payable to Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library. EASTERN STAR-Clinch Valley Chapter #152, Order of Eastern Star, meets each fourth Tuesday, except for March and December, when the meetit{gs are on the second Tuesday. All meetings are at 7:30 p.m. VETERANS' CLAIMS-Dicken- son County-Oscar Silcox helps file veterans' claims. For appointment, call 276-835-8847 nights. Coeburn-A Dept. of Veterans Services representative will assist clients and answer questions at the Coeburn VFW Post from 9am- 800-572-2278. SENIOR CITIZENS-The Castle- wood Senior Citizens meet at 10 am Wednesdays at the Castlewood Lions Den. Anyone 60 or over is invited The Dante Senior Citizens meet each Monday and Tuesday at 10 am at the Dante Fire Department. Russell County residents 60 or older are invited. RUSSELL CO. LIBRARY- Hours at the Russell County Public Library, Lebanon, are M/Tuffh 9am-8pm; W/F 9am-5pm; Sa 10am-2pm MATTHEWS LIBRARY-Hours at the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul, are 9am-Spm Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays/Sat urdays, and I lam-7:30pm Tues- days and Thursdays. See Library for special program schedules. DICKENSON-BUNDY-The Dickenson-Bundy Log House is ' open weekly Thursdays through Saturdays, 10-3, and Sundays 12-4 pm. SOCIAL SECURITY-The Wise Social Security Office is open Mondays-Fridays from 9am-4pm. Phone numbers are 1-800-772- 1213 or 276-679-7633. LIBRARY FRIENDS-Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul meet at the Library on first Thursdays at 4 pm VFW POST 9864-VFW Post 9864, Lebanon, welcomes new members. If you served overseas during any war, write VFW Post 9864, P.O. Box 1419, Lebanon, VA 24266 and send name, address and phone number. Transfers welcomed. HEALTH SERVICES-The Wise County Health Department, Wise, is open from 8am-gpm first Thursdays. Clinics will be offered in family planning, pediatrics, school and adult physicals, WIC, Paps and immunizations. Ap- pointments are necessary for all but immunizations. For an appointment, call 762-328-8000. FACILITIES AVAILABLE-The Tacoma Community Center is available for reunions, birthdays and showers All proceeds rehabilitate the Tacoma School as a Community Center For infor- mation, call 395-6398. 100 ra BIRTHDAY-Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens recognizes persons in Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan and Taze- well counties who are 100 years old or older. Call Dana Collins, 1- 800-656-2272, to advise AASC of any upcoming 100 h birthday. SCHOOL POLICIES Stone Gap, 8 pm, Episcopal Church. Wednesdays: Wise, 8 pm, Trinity United Methodist Church. Fridays: Clintwood, 7:30 pm, Clintwood United Methodist Church. COPPER CREEK ELEMENT- ARY PTA-Jrd Monday, 7 pm school cafeteria ST. PAUL IDA BOARD-Fourth Mondays, .6 pm, St. Paul Town Hall. ST. PAUL TOWN COUNCIL- Third Mondays, 6 pm, Town Hall. CASTLEWOOD W&SA-The Castlewood Water & Sewage Authority Board of Directors, 6 pm second Mondays. ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT- First Tuesday, 1 pm, Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens office, Claypool Hill. Free. NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS- Tuesdays and Saturdays, g pm Presbyterian Church, Norton. CASTLEWOOD LODGE #231- Stated meetings will be held the third Saturday of each month. The School of Instruction will be held on fourth Thursdays at 7. ST. PAUL LODGE #343-Second Thursdays, 7:30 pro, Stated Com- munication; First Thursday, 7 pm School of Instruction. VFW POST #8652, DAV CHAPTER 12-4th Tuesday, 7 pm, VFW, Riverview, Ceebum. NEIGHBORS AID-Thursdays, 9:30 to 12. St. Therese's Neigh- bors Aid Building, new & used clothing for sale. RUSSELL CO. BOARD OF SUPERVISORS-First Monday, 6 pm, Lebanon. CLINCHFIELD LODGE #256- Stated Communication, 1st Satur- days, 7:30; School of Instruction third Thursdays, 7 pm RECOVERY GROUP-The Wise County Mental Health Center conducts a recovery group for sub- stance abusers and families Fridays at 10 am Call 276-679- 0810. ACOA MEETING-Adult Chil- dren of Alcoholics meet Mondays, 7 pm, First Baptist Church, Coeburn. Call 762-0016, 276-395- 6588 tr 276-679-7371. LITTLE LEAGUE-The Clinch River Little League Board meet at 4 pm third Sundays at the UMWA Building in Castlewood. All interested persons are invited to attend. H.O,P.E. ]-IOUSE-H.OP.E. Hou- se provides emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence in Wise, Russell, Dickenson, Lee, Scott and Buchanan counties and the City of Norton. Volunteers I I 3:30 pm third Thursdays except June. FOOD BANK-First Baptist Church, St. Paul, operates a Food Bank each Tuesday from 9-11 am at the church. Donations are welcomed. All in need of food are welcome. COMMUNITY CENTER-The West Dante Community Center meets at 7 pin first Mondays. For more information please call 495- 8473. CLOTHES CLOSET-The Wom- en On Mission group at First Baptist Church, St. Paul, opens a Clothes Closet from 9'-11 am Tuesdays. Anyone who needs clothing is welcome. FREE HIV TESTING-Health Departments in the Lenowisco Health District offer free confid- ential HIV testing throughout the year. For information, call Wise County 318-8000; Lee Co. Health Dept. 276-346-2011; or Scott Co. Health Dept. 276-386-1312. FREE GED CLASSES-Free GED classes are offered at the Oxbow Family Investment Center, St. Paul, Mondays and Wed- nesdays from 8:30 am-12 noon. Glenna MeReynolds is the teacher. Call 1-800-422-3433. GED ONLINE-The Regional Adult Education Program is offering free GED Classes online. This service is for qualifying and adult learners, with or without their own home computers, in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton: For more information, call GED Onlim Coordinator Marci Gore, 1-800- 422-3433 (in Scott County 386- 2433). GED TESTING-GED Testing is available Monday "through Tlmrsday and on Saturdays at the Wise Co. Alternative Education Center, Wise. Call 276-328-8612 for information concerning GED testing. IN CONTROL PROGRAMS-In Control, a free diabetes program, meets at Oxbow Center, St. Paul 5-6 pm 2 ' Mondays. DANTE LIVES ON-The Dante Lives On Board meets at 6:00 pm 3 rd Tuesdays at the Dante Museum with the Community Meeting following at 7:00 pm. GOSPEL SlNGING-A Gospel Singing will be held at 7 pm the first Friday of each month at The Celebration Center, 16607 Broad Street, St. Paul. All are welcome - admission is free. BOOK DISCUSSION-Book Discussion Group One of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library meets fourth Thursdays (except November and December are combined in early December) at the Riverside Diner at 6 pro. calendar on page 3 Ill[lt[l!i!tJi[l[tLl[t!t[illll Church and church-related activities 5.5K WALK/RUN...The walk/run, sponsored by Spearhead Trailblazers for National Trail Days, was held Saturday evening at 6:00 at the Oxbow Lake Park with a lot of participants. Fishing on the Clinch behind Grover Hillman's store Clinch River days gone by by Jerry Couch Last Saturday," between visitors, I sat on the porch at the St. Paul Railroad Museum watching the people on Fourth Avenue and listening to the happy sounds of the crowd at the Matthews Park. The downtown area looked much as it did ona typical Saturday, years ago. 1 thought about "Clinch River Days" then and now, and what the Clinch River has meant to me. I also thought about the Brown falnily,'the last residents of the St. Paul Railroad Mus- eum, and all the local events and changes they witnessed from this ideal observation point on Russell Street. It's good to see people taking notice of the Clinch River again. Good to see kayaks, canoes, inner tubes, and other watercraft passing by. It's good to see fishermen (and fisherwomen) on .the river's banks. Years ago they were so numerous their feet had worn deep, continuous paths all along the river's edge. People such as Bo Rhoton could be seen fishing every day, rain or shine. Many folks had home- made flat bottom wooden boats and used their boats to check trot lines stretched from one side of the river to the other. About all you could catch back then were little sun perch, suckers, carp, or catfish. This was because the Clinch River had become so heavily polluted that less-hardy species were starting to disappear. The Clinch River was a foul mess. It was filled with detergents, sewage, and often topped off with a shimmering layer of what smelled like kerosene. At such times I wondered if the river would catch fire and incinerate all of us. The large quantity of phos- phate detergents in the river altered its oxygen content, caus- ing certain types of underwater plants to burst forth in a lush and unnatural profusion. These plants choked the flow of water and raised its temperature, thus creating a vicious cycle which promoted even more plant growth. Then the first of two fish kills occurred. On the day of the first fish kill, my family were enjoying a picnic on our "beach" at Couch Hill. This beach featured a large quantity of sand which had been deposited by the river and we had picnics at that spot every summer (now part of Oxbow Lake). Everyone had eaten a fine lunch and we were all sitting around relaxing when we noticed something awful was taking place in the river. The water had suddenly turned muddy and its level had become elevated by a couple of inches. Fish were leaping out of the water and thrashing in agony. Their agony would not last long, however, for within a just a few minutes they were dead. All of them. It was one of the most shocking things I've ever witnessed. Word of the disaster spread quickly and the people who lived along Riverside Drive and in South St. Paul walked down to the riverbank to see what had taken place. Dead fish, an end- less stream of them, were float- ing down the river by this time. The cause of the fish kill was the accidental release of effluent from a large settling pond near the power plant at Carbo. The caustic contents of the pond acted like a huge dose of drain cleaner in the river. Nearly every living thing was killed, including the water plants and even the green moss on the rocks in the riverbed. For the first time in years, the river was sparkling clean. It was so clear you could easily see the bottom even in the deepest spots. It couldn't have been that clear, even at the time my family bought Couch Hill many years before - when the river was so clean they could drink directly from it. The weather was hot, and the bloated bodies of the dead fish which lined both side of the Clinch River's banks were an unpleasant foil to this new and unnatural state of cleanliness. The stench of decaying fish was ungodly. Sitting on our front porch was impossible. Most evenings, my family would walk to the top of our hill to try to escape the smell for a while. Unfortunately, the air was only somewhat better up there. There was nothing to do but wait it out. Meanwhile, there was con- siderable public outrage due to what had taken place. Fines were imposed upon the corp- orate culprit, and efforts were made to re-stock the river with fish. Species which hadn't been seen in years were re-introduced. Nature reasserted itself and, miraculously, the river healed. But ittook some time. In the aftermath of the fish kill, we all thought "It will never happen again." Unfortunately, it did happen again a few years later. Same horrific results, same corporate culprit, but new and stiffer penalties. Another foul-smelling summer. Another re-stocking of the Clinch River. The fish kills have receded into the past and I'd like to think nothing like them will happen again, l'm glad the river is cleaner netw, and the risk of water-borrie disease is no longer as great as it once was. In the 1960's our parents told us, "Don't swallow the water!" With chlorinated drinking water being the current norm, that's still good advice because most of us lack antibodies to ward off water-borne disease. I'm grati- fied that a new generation of people are experiencing the simple pleasure of wading in the river on a hot day or floating downriver on an inner tube. If you haven't tried it, my inner child recommends it highly.