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July 13, 2017     Clinch Valley Times
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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, July 13,i2017 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax.. Cre ory Consider the alternative Reprinted from July 24, 2008 Several weeks ago, the Clinch Valley Times featured on its front page a press release from the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), one of the "green" organizations which has protested--and continues to protest----construction of A quote in that release is from SELC's senior attorney. Here is part of what he said about carbon dioxide emissions: "...And yet Dominion has no plan to capture the 5.4 million tons of global- warming pollution the plant would emit every year-- equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide output of all the cars and trucks on the road in the greater Richmond metropolitan area." I found those words to be quite interesting and revealing, suggesting another solution to the problem in addition to the one SELC proposes. Let's get the General Assembly busy and insist that it approve legis- lation which would outlaw the operation of any and all internal combustion engines in the greater Richmond metropolitan area! The SELC apparently wishes not only to halt construction of new coal-fired power plants, but also to close all those which already exist. But hey, I thought, if that's indeed the case, and if we're con- cerned about carbon dioxide emissions, let's outlaw the internal combustion engine in all of Virginia. If we're really serious, we could engage the attention of Congress and do away with internal combustion engines altogether. Most of the carbon dioxide would be gone. Of course, so would most of our transportation. Both ideas are ridiculous, of course. And I hasten to say that my sarcasm isn't intended to treat the subject of global warming and the inherent dangers of carbon dioxide lightly. Those issues need to be addressed--not only in the U.S., but throughout the world. The task becomes harder with that last admonition, since both China and India are building coal-fired power plants and consuming gasoline at a record pace, without any of the precautionary measures that are required by the U.S. government. But back from the problems of the world, we should consider SELC's premise of halting construction of the Dominion plant because of the quantity of carbon diox- ide that it and groups it represents project will be emit- ted from the plant. In a perfect world, we wouldn't be having this dis- cussion about fossil fuels and global warming. Alternative means which inflict no damage at all, to either air, water or anything else, would already have been put into place. Unfortunately, Utopia isn't yet with us, so the world isn't perfect, and some detrimental even damaging, side effects to civilization's methods, practices, ways and means DO exist. I'll bet, for instance, that all of the persons who are quoted in the SELC article we ran two weeks ago and all the mem- bers of the various organizations who have formed the coalition to fight the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center--I'll bet that all of them have cars. Yes, some may have hybrid cars, and maybe even a few of them have electric cars, but if a real count were made, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that an overwhelm- ing majority of them have normal, everyday cars just like mine and yours--maybe even some SUVs. In addi- tion, I'll bet that each of those people lives in a house or an apartment oF a condo which is served by electricity, whether it's used to operate all systems within the household, including heating, cooling, lighting, cook- ing, dish-and-clothes washing and drying, television/radio operation, computers and printers, or just for a few of those modern necessities/conven- iences. Incidentally, electricity is one of-if not THE least expensive of all the household, business and industrial requirements of civilization today. I certainly don't begrudge any of those people their right to enjoy the way we live today, with electricity at the core of almost everything we do. My intention is not to make fun of them or to ridicule them. Rather, my intention is to point out that this is how it is today, and until other ways are found, this is the way it's going to be until better ways than fossil fuels are developed to use for all the tasks we depend on coal and oil to per- form today. New technologies are being improved and widened every minute----one of the most recent, in fact, is research being done by Virginia Tech--I think this is the term they're using --to sequester carbon dioxide underground, As these technologies are developed, they should by law be routinely incorporated into existing systems to make the environment cleaner. As it is now, probably the majority, if not all, of envi- ronmental organizations promote renewable or sustain- able energy, such as that which can be provided by wind, water, geothermal and solar power. Some areas already have some of those systems in place, but I learned through a little research that not all of them can be adapted to all areas of the country. For example, the potential for the widespread use of solar energy is great in parts of California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. While it's possible to use solar energy in other areas, those are the spots where it would be practical to depend on solar energy as a major supplier of electrici- ty. Practical application of wind as a major generator of electricity is possible primarily in states west of the Mississippi River, although certainly not in all of them. Hydroelectric power is produced in almost all the states. Delaware, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Montana, Indiana and Florida appear from a map I found to be among those which do not host hydroelec- tric plants. Of course, ttie water to run such a facility must be present in order for this kind of system to be built and used. Natural gas is already a power plant fuel, but it's more expensive than the fuels that are more commonly used. Nuclear power works and is relatively inexpen, sive, but it isn't popular among environmentalists, either. It will help if we learn to conserve---drive no faster than 55, turn off lights and other electrical appliances not in use, replace incandescent light bulbs with the new fluorescent ones, turn heat down, air conditioning up, look for Energy Star labels, and insist to Congress that newly developed technology, as it emerges, be incorporated into existing facilities. We could, of course, decide to stop using coal and gasoline, but I don't know of a single place whose res- idents would find that to be a viable solution. Common sense and conservation will have to do for now. By Lee H. Hamilton I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to jour- nalism, I'm a traditionalist. Old-fashioned, even. But I don't think it's a coinci- dence that even while con- fidence in the media drops to new lows and Time magazine feels moved to wonder, "Is Truth Dead?" on its cover, huge numbers of Americans have Come to believe the media is not as authoritative as it once was. Straightforward, responsible journalism is an indispensable public asset, a cornerstone of democratic life. This is threatened by the trends reshaping the media land- scape. With less consensus around information and data, the cohesiveness of our society is diminished. I'm not just talking about the rise of deliberate- ly "reported" misinforma- tion and disinformation. Some news outlets may not be as egregiously destruc- tive of democratic values, but their urge to chase viewership and clicks at the expense of solid, fact- based reporting is doing us no favors. Indeed, I think a lot of people want what I do and feel they're not getting it: more facts and fewer opin- ions; more investigative reporters and fewer pun- dits; more substance and less fluff; more policy exploration and less poli- tics; more respect for con- sumers and fewer efforts to manipulate them. Is it really behind the times to expect journalists to seek accuracy above all? To pay attention to fair- ness? To strive to keep government honest and the voters informed? To check facts, use multiple sources, and welcome rigorous edit- ing? I don't think so. Nor do I believe that infusing the news with a political agenda serves our society or news consumers. There may be no such thing as absolute objectivity, but you can sure strive to get as close as possible. Some news organizations do this. Too many don't. This is not to say that editorializing and express- ing opinion have no place in journalisml But opinions should be separated from reporting. Too many jour- nalists want to be pundits and not reporters. I've had any number tell me they're in the business to express their own opinion rather than report the truth. When I turn on the television and find five or six pundits vociferously sharing their views, it's diverting, but in the end I'm not that inter- ested in what they think. I'd rather have someone tell me the facts so that I can form my own opinions. In a media world in which opinion serves as the chief currency, rather than straigfit-ahead reporting of hard truths, politicians face less scrutiny of their state- ments and less accountabil- ity. They are succeeding at manipulating the media by using Twitter, refusing to hold press conferences, restricting questions and cameras, employing set speeches, and refusing to conduct a free-wheeling discussion of their opinions in front of the press. The result is that signif- icant policy decisions affecting millions of Americans are being drawn up with less scrutiny and promoted as beneficial without the clarifying debate that a representative democracy depends upon. Without it, we know less about our officials and leg- islators, what they think about the issues and what they do. The picture is not entire- ly bleak. We are fortunate to retain a number of high- quality news organizations with first-rate reporters. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Economist, CNN, PBS, ProPublica, Politico, and other news organizations continue to dig deep and uphold high journalistic standards even in the face of the tsunami of media disruption that has taken place over the past decade. They and others have stepped up their games in recent months, partly in response to citizens desper- ate for hard-nosed and accurate reporting. And where they've gone astray, they've usually owned up to it quickly. This is crucial, because we live in an era when solid reporting rooted in high standards of accuracy is not just a goal, but a vital, small-d democratic necessity. As consumers of news, we need to encour- age the media to undertake it and hold its members to account when they stray. And we need to shoulder our responsibility for help- ing news organizations improve. After all, we're the ones who tum to fluff rather than substance and consume only stories that reflect our own perspec- tives. As citizens, we need to step up our own game; tOO. Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the lndiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. The real story of July 4th from Constitutional Facts We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United State~ of America as an independent nation. But July 4, 1776 wasn't the day that the ContinentalCongress decided to declare inde- pendence (they did that on July 2, 1776). It wasn't the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775). And it wasn't the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn't happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776). So what did happen on July 4, 1776? The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They'd been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submit- ted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits arid changes. July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now ~tisplayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It's also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when peo- ple thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remem- bered. In contrast, we celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th of each year, the anniversary of the date the Constitution was signed, not the anniversary of the date it was approved. If we'd followed this same approach for the Declaration of Independence we'd being celebrating Independence Day on August 2nd of each year, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed! How did the Fourth of July become a national holiday? For the first 15 or 20 years after the Declaration was written, people didn't celebrate it much on any date. It was too new and too much else was happen- ing in the young nation. By the 1790s, a time of bitter partisan conflicts, the Declaration had become controversial. One party, the Democratic- Republicans, admired Jefferson and the Declaration. But the other party, the Federalists, thought the Declaration was too French and too anti-British, which went against their current poli- cies. By 1817, John Adams complained in a letter that America seemed uninter- ested in its past. But that would soon change. After the War of 1812, the Federalist party began to come apart and the new parties of the 1820s and 1830s all considered them- selQes inheritors of Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans. Printed copies of the Declaration began to circu- late again, all with the date July 4, 1776, listed at the top. The deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4, 1826, may even have helped to promote the idea of July 4 as an impor- tant date to be celebrated. Celebrations of the Fourth of July became more common as the years went on and in 1870, almost a hundred years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4 to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recog- nize several holidays, including Christmas. Further legislation about national holidays, includ- ing July 4, was passed in 1939 and 1941. The Wise County Sheriff's Office reports the following activities for the period of 06/26/2017 through 07/02/2017. Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,875 calls for this seven-day period. Of the total calls received 368 were dis- patched to the Sheriff's Office Total number of Domestic calls for this period was 4. Criminal Process for this period: Served43 Felony Warrants, 23 Misdemeanor Warrants, 2 DUI Arrests. Civil Process Served: 371 Civil Papers Traffic Accidents: 6 12 Additional Criminal Investigations were initiat- ed and 16 Cleared by Arrest. Sheriff's Office provid- ed 240 man-hours of Court Room Security. Unlocked Vehicles: 22 Escorted Funerals: 3 The Sheriff's Office Total Transport for this period: 6 Total Transport Hours: 71.25 1,739 Visitors to Courthouse. Clinch Valley Times MEMBER VIRGINLa~ 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. Periodicals postage isl paid at the Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283 David Gregory Editor/Adv. Susan Trent Adv./Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCR/PTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and Russell Counties; $30.00 in other 24-zip-codes; dsewhere $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, EO. Box 817, St. Paul, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY - 50e Classified Advertising: mini- mum charge $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance; 25c per word after 20 words. 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