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St. Paul , Virginia
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August 11, 2010     Clinch Valley Times
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! ~ _ .: , _ ~ .... -- __ ....... Jil~H~i-Ili~.illi Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St: P_ aui, VA, Xhursday, August 12, 201_0 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax..by Young G ego y But it's only August! Those of you who've been around for a few more years than almost everybody else (which describes me to a T), will acknowledge as the truth my contention that the older one becomes, the faster time goes by. It seems like 0nly yesterday that it was December 18 and we were having a terrible snowstorm--possibly the worst in 25 years--and it was freezing cold, and the electricity went out. All of a sudden, it's August, and the thermometer has risen from December's eight, nine, ten degrees to today's ninety=something. Here I am, almost still waiting for spring, and we have just over a month to go before autumn sets in. August has never been one of my favorite months, since there are no special days to speak of--unless, of course, you or someone in your family or a close friend has a birthday, or an anniversary or some other major event to celebrate. August just plain has no holidays. My calendar notes that August 12 is Ramadan, but unless one is a Muslim, that day is like all others in the month. Under "August 21" is the note that the date has been designated "Homeless Animals Day," but I don't know that anybody or any organi- zation, at least around here, calls attention to this observation, if, indeed, there is one. Back in the days of my childhood, and believe me, that was a while ago, August was the last month of summer vacation, which, in those da~,s, lasted for three complete months. All the children in my neigh- borhood relished these last days before the more structured days of public education became their norm, and we were outdoors every minute that we could manage. I don't remember that we were particu- larly affected by the heat, although I'm certain that it must have been as hot, at least every now and then, as it is today. Certainly nobody I knew lived in a house that was air conditioned, nor was any store, either in our neighborhood shopping center or downtown, air conditioned. Even so, I don't remember that anybody complained. Aren't we spoiled! And back then, when we were dismissed for the summer at the end of May, and weren't expected to return to school until the day after Labor Day, I don't remember that we had any breaks in the regularly scheduled school year because of snow or cold. The elementary school I attended was about two blocks from my house, and ! always walked to school, as did almost everybody else who attended there. As far as I can recall, there were no school buses that served my school, since it was, I guess, considered a neighbor- hood school by the Lexington City SChools: I' suppose a few.were drivenAoschool by their parents, but, most of our families just had one car (this was during World War II, when tires and gasoline were strictly rationed and new cars were non-existent! I think it would have been considered unpatriotic to have two cars without a really good reason.). I don't ever remember being driven to school, nor did I expect to be. Nor do I remember having a "snow day," although getters t 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: The news item our local news i paper and television concerning ',the approval of the construction '. of a Muslim cultural center near :the site of the 911 attack should :not surprise America. Socialism :is going strong in its fight to :replace Democracy and the :American way of life with a ',Socialist Government. As a ,senior citizen I will not see this ',type of government in my life ',time, but it's in the future. You ',only have to look at New York ',State, California, .Illinois State :Government, and Washington ',DC. All Americans who vote :should be very careful in how ',they select there local, state and ',federal officials. Check there !history and not what they say :during there campaign for pffice. It dos not take the IQ of a .dead chicken to see the future of ;America if the present elected state and federal officials are left to change our way of life Have you ever noticed the first thing an elected official will do lfter his/her oath of office is to 3I to change lanes, policy's the ;onstitution or the Amend- aents. Is that not Perjury. Ed Amburgey Orlando, Florida To the Editor: I am writing to you on behalf of my mother, Geraldine Dot- son, former mayor of Cleveland, Virginia. I'm doing the writing because my mother puts her faith in God to work out her problems while I am of the mindset that God can use others to do His work. My mother has served the town of Cleveland as a council member and mayor for the past 19 years. She chose not to run in the last election due to health reasons, but I have no doubt she would have stayed in office had she ran. During her time as mayor, she did more for the town of Cleveland than any other mayor in recent history. She was instrumental in the town getting a grant,to bring the internet to the people. She start- ed a computer center and library in the Town Hall for the people of Cleveland, but primarily for the children The town budget is healthier than it has ever been, probably due to the distinct lack of corruption among the former mayor and her council. She has accomplished all of this and much more with a handful of supporters within a sea of apa- thy and naysayers. Upon her recent departure from office, she was not thanked publicly or privately for her faithful service to the people of Cleveland. However, she did receive a letter from the new mayor, telling her that she owed Cleveland for water used during her last year in office. Since all of the positions are voluntary, free water was sometimes used as a means of showing apprecia- we certainly had our share of snowy weather in Cen- tral Kentucky. I don't think there was a rash of absen- ces during bad weather, either. Of course, all of this is being dredged up from my memory, but we went to school for nine months and were "out" for three. (In addition, everybody went home for lunch, since our school, considered to be one of the best in the city, didn't have a cafeteria. Many didn't, back then.) These days, of course, we have a minimum number of days when school must be held--in Virgi- nia--it's 180--and teacher contracts are for 200 days, but I'm sure similar rules were the case back when I was a child, although I don't know that for certain, nor do I know how many days we were required to go to school per year. More children live farther from school now, and many depend upon school buses And instead of being in a nice mostly fiat city, our roads are up and down and curve all around, so during serious snows, it would be irresponsible to send a school bus onto snow-covered roads, many of which aren't reached by snow plows until all the major streets and highways have been cleared. So we have snow days--more, certainly, in Southwest Virginia than in most other parts of the state, but our children are still required to attend school for 180 days, so, figuring all the holidays and other days when school must be closed for one reason or another (like election day, the school year almost always has to run into June, although it's usually scheduled to end in late May. Then, considering that most school divisions in this part of the state write some "snow days" into their schedules, the starting date is moved from the day after Labor Day, which is still the norm in much of the country. In fact, Virginia has a regulation (or at least DID have--I assume it's still in place) that school will start the day after Labor Day. However, with appropriate documentation, certain school divisions are allowed to start early in order to compensate for the missed days because of weather. Richmond is occasionally skeptical of Southwest Virginia's snow days (many of those people, remem- ber, routinely refer to us as being "out there"), and I'll never forget once--probably in the early 1980s--when a relatively new State Superintendent of Public Instruction came to Wise County for some special occasion. Wise County's Superintendent, eager for this man to understand some of the unique problems , that we h~ve,~ ,drove, him ,from Tfir, City~ Airport to, Wise by way of Wadlow Gap..Anyway, when theygot to Wise, our visitor said" if that road was repre- sentative of our bus routes, he wouldn't blame us if we called school off in April! We continue to build extra days in school schedules to accommodate snow, but most area children, who went to school until mid-June, are already back--and it's early August! What in the world do you suppose has happened to time? Guest-ecommentary tion. My mother and her council were not the first to implement the program, nor will they be the last. I am so disappointed in the town of Cleveland and its new leadership that I can hardly express it in words. Their petty power play is an embarrassment to the citizens of Southwest Virginia and only feeds the preconceived notions and biases of those who believe that country people are ignorant. My mother deserves better and I hope that the people of my hometown of Cleveland let their new mayor know that. Sincerely, Anthony G. Dotson LTC, U.S. Army (Ret.) Richmond, Kentucky Applications to Christian Homeschoolers The Christian Homeschoolers of Southwest Virginia is accept- ing applications for membership until August 16. For more information, call R.J. and Wanda Rose, 276-395- 7141. Miss Autumn ...... Princess pageant The 2010 Miss SWVA Autumn Princess pageant will be held Saturday, August 14 at 2:00 p.m. at J.I. Burton High School in Norton. Entry fee for beauty is $25 (sides are optional and are an additional $25). For more infor- mation call Cassandra Presley at 926-8197. Capitol Comm BROADBAND BENEFITS SOUTHWEST VA BUSINESSES Business Owners Urged to Participate in State E-Commerce Assessment Beginning August 24, 2010, the Commonwealth's Office of Telework Promotion and Broad- band Assistance in cooperation with the Center for Innovative Technology will be conducting an assessment of business con- nectedness to determine the ways businesses are connecting to and using broadband tech- nologies including services and applications. The assessment will help the Commonwealth with its broadband mapping init- iative that is currently underway. The broadband map will help determine the areas ita .Virginia where future expansmns of broadband service, as well as Internet training programs and other assistance, are needed. More than fifteen years ago, I encouraged local governments throughout the Ninth District to find a means of deploying bro- adband networks so that afford- able high-speed Internet access would be available to businesses and residents throughout our region. My goal in making this recommendation was to set our region apart in comparison to other rural areas of the nation, to make us more attractive than the typical rural region to industries looking to expand their opera- tions into new locations, and Jto create technology-based jobs for Southwest Virginians. Today, I am pleased to note that many of the communities in our region are making great strides in deploying high-speed Interact access services. Last Week, I visited the Blackwater community in Lee County to launch new federally funded broadband services. The new services are available to 90 homes and businesses in the community. Additionally, I was pleased to visit Paint Bank in Craig County to announce that, at my urging, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Ser- vice has awarded a grant of $1,066,321 to establish high- speed Internet access services in the communities of Paint Bank, Abbott and Webb's Mill in Craig County. With the benefit of the federal funds, a broadband net- work will be constructed to serve 295 homes and four businesses tess to high-speed Interne2 services. And last month, we also took great strides to meeting our economic development goals By expanding the region's broad, band infrastructure. At my r~.- quest," on July 2, the U.S. Department of Commeroe granted $22.7 million from its Recovery Act broadband gra~ program for a major expansiop of the broadband network in an eight county area of our region, The federal funds will enable the construction of a middle-mile fiber optic network 388 miles 1!! len .gth that will bring broadbat[d service near 120 educational institutions, health clinics and other community facilities an{] within 2 miles of more than 18,000 homes and more than 500 businesses. , With the middle-mile fiber optic network in place, it will 5e possible to provide last-mile connections to bring high-speed Internet access services to thoff- sands of homes and businesse~ that do not have broadband today. It is also projected th~ 295 direct jobs will be created hi . the construction of the netwoik,' A far larger number of jobs be .created in future years as technology-based companie~ that will utilize the broadband facilities locate in our region. '=~' Just as fu'st canals, tht~ railroads and then highway# were the major arteries of corn merce in earlier eras, in the 21~ Century, access to broadbaffd will be a defining feature of ecod:' nomic success for rural comer munities. Step by positive stei~ our expanding broadband infr~? structure is assuring that Soutff* west Virginia's communitieff will be at the center of economiC' opportunity. :' I encourage business owners; to participate in the Com~; monwealth's survey to hell~: promote further expansion of ou~. broadband infrastructure. To, participate in the online surve)J,7 please visit: www.wired.virginia.gov. Should' you prefer to complete a phone, or paper s~'vey, please contact. Caroline Stolle at the Center for. Innovative Technology at caroline.stolle@cit.org or 804-. which currently do not have ac- 692-2558. ~" Mountain Peeks 2'iJ issue avaiiable - ar i i Mountain Peeks, a regional, poignant look at "Two Moun'- magazine published by Frank Kilgore and edited by Karl Kilgore, is available throughout the area. The magazine, illustra- ted with full color photographs, contains a variety of articles including the possible return of elk to Southwest Virginia to a tain Boys Go to War". " The magazine is free, and is available at all branches of New';- Peoptes Bank, at Frank Kil-L gore's office on Russell Street. in St. Paul, and also at Food,., City, Big M and the Clinch2 Valley Times office. " Innovation: Improving medicine, the economv '- ByDouglas E. Sehoen aren't coming back. But jobs in In the short term, policymak-'.'~.. The federal government has announced that the nation's un- employment rate is still hover- ing around 10 percent. Voters have seized on this news by de- manding that their leaders find a way to drive that number down. Indeed, a recent Gallup poll found that 51 percent of Ameri- cans view the economy as the most important problem facing the country today; 22 percent saw jobs as the nation's main concern. A recent Fox News/ Opinion Dynamics poll revealed that one in three registered vo- ters viewed jobs and the economy as the top priority for the federal government. As President Obama has pointed out, the economY has actually started creating jobs-- 83,000 in June alone. But signs of life in the economy have also caused more people to re-enter the workforce and actively search for work. That's why the unemployment rate has edged higher. Lawmakers can do more to create employment opportuni- ties, enable entrepreneurship, and aid business creation. Stim- ulus funds and emergency federal aid certainly helped stop the bleeding during the height of the economic downturn. But to foster job creation over the long haul, our leaders must encou- rage private-sector growth and investment--particularly in the next generation of innovative in- dustries. The American economy has fundamentally changed over the last few decades regrettably many manufacturing jobs that have disappeared in recent years emerging industries can take their place-if we support them.-7" Take green jobs. In the near future, alternative energy tech- nologies-like wind turbines and ers should encourage privato-.', sector employers to make new~: hires--and retain current emplo- nuclear power--could emerge as viable competitors to coal, oil "i~:i ..... " i.'! and natural gas. These industries~,an!!W~'ey i :Tx' will need plenty of workers.~ ili . Another sector that's poised,~ili'rlmes to take off is biotechnology. Be- '~mMBER tween 2008 and 2009, the iVIROt/q~PRESSAS~T[ON industry's income jumped nine fold--from $400 million to $3.7 billion. The venture capital raised by American biotech companies hit $4.6y billion last year. And biotech firms them- selves invested nearly $45 bil- lion in U.S.,based research projects last year. Nationally, biotech compa- nies are directly responsible for 676,000 jobs--and that number is growing. What's more, the products of biotech researeh- cutting0edge medicines--often save taxpayers money by reduc- ing overall healthcare expenses. Green jobs and biotech jobs aren't just for people with PhDs. In both industries, construction workers, food-service providers, accountants, facilities managers, lab assistants, and countless i others are needed.' Thus, investments in these industries have a multiple effect on employment-dollars spent on hiring new research scientists lead to the r=creation of jobs in other industries. The government dean take some simple steps to cultivate innovative sectors like biotech and alternative energy and set this country up for sustainable job growth. :Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 24283, by the CLINCH NALLEY PUBLISHING CO.. INC. The Clinch Valley Times 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, V A 24283. Ann Young Gregory Editor i Allen Gregory Advertising Susan Trent Adv./Graphics s scmznoNs: In advance: $25.50 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 242~3 SINGLE COPY - 50 icharge, $6.00 for up to 20 words, ]in advance; 25c per word after 20 Advertising rates Periodicals publication Postal ISSN: 767600