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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, August 11, 2016 ships..and wax.. Ann Young Gregory Low tech meteorology Reprinted from August 30, 2007 Meteorology is one of those delicious "----ology" words which are occasionally used to stump quiz show contestants and others who are trying to show off just how clever they are. That particular word isn't too effective in the "see how clever I am" department any- more, since the young weather prognosticators on tele- vision always introduce themselves as "Meteorologist John Smith" or whoever. This particular word--meteorology--is one that I've heard since childhood, since my father, who taught geology at the University of Kentucky, was also certi- fied to teach meteorology and astronomy. And at times, he did teach both of those, too, even though geology was his primary subject. In fact, during 1942 when he was about to be commissioned an Army officer (to teach), he was suddenly "frozen" to his job at UK in order to teach--you guessed it--meteorology to Navy pilots. As almost everyone knows, the federal govern- ment is not always logical, and this is true even in wartime. True to form, federal government logic didn't come into play in my father's case, since he was told that before he could be certified by the government to teach meteorology to Navy pilots, he had to have a pilot's license himself. Understand, he wasn't going to teach them anything about flying, a subject about which he knew little, but his classes for the Navy guys would be about the atmosphere, its effect on weather process- es and what the pilots needed to know about all of that in order to fly safely. So he took flying lessons at Bluegrass Field in Lexington, and I remember that on the summer day when he was to solo, my mother paced the floor most of the morning. In spite of her anxiety, his solo flight went well, and he got home all in one piece. As far as I know, that was the last time in his life that he sat in the "dri- ver's seat" of an airplane. The overall experience turned out wonderfully well--several (I can't remember how many, but the assignment lasted through 1945) classes of Navy pilots learned their lessons well, and, in the process, many of them formed close friendships with my father. I remember that each class was invited to dinner at our house as they were concluding their class work. (One group presented a silver server to my par- ents-it was engraved "To the Skipper and the Mrs." and included the date.) Daddy was extremely fond of all those boys. But that was another time. What passed for high-tech ' meteorology in those days (although the term "high tech" hadn't yet been coined, far as I know), would be considered almost primitive among today.'s meteorolog- ical tools such as radar, satellites, and something I've never heard of called lidar, which is apparently related to radar. Since I've never had a class in meteorology, high tech or otherwise, and since weather is of at least pass- ing importance to almost everybody at one time or another, "I've begun looking around at what could be termed "low tech meteorology" and how it's been devised and used for the last 200 or so years. I've heard for years that we'll have as many snows during the winter as we have morning fogs in August. Because of the horrible heat we've had, the subject of snow is more attractive to me this summer than it nor- mally is. I've tried to keep track of how many mornings have been foggy this moth, and, give or take one or two I may have missed, as of Tuesday, August 28, the num- ber Was fourteen. That means fourteen snowfalls, quite a few more than we had last winter. On the other hand, we probably had fourteen or more foggy mornings in August, 2006. So I felt I should turn to some other tools--low tech, of course. Another tried, true and traditional cold weather/snow prognosticator is the woolly worm. This is not a crea- ture with whom I'm on speaking terms (so to speak), but for purposes of this "study," it's as valuable as any other indicator. According to several low-tech weather experts I consulted on the intemet, the winter will be severe if: the woolly worms have heavy coats; if there seems to be a larger-than-normal population of woolly worms (how does one tell?); if they move unusually slowly; if the black band at each end is wide--the wider the black and the less visible the brown center band, the worse the weather will be in the winter. Another sure fire clue to a bad winter is if woolly worms are around and about before the first frost. (Did you know that the woolly worm is sometimes called a fuzzy bear, black ended bear or banded woolly bear?) There are lots of other similar phenomena which , indicate that winter weather will be severe. If squirrels begin gathering nuts earlier than usual and if they build nests low in the trees, then we're due for a severe win- ter. Thicker than usual coats on dogs, horses, cows, rab- bits and other furry animals mean that we'll have a colder than normal winter. (Thicker fur on the bottom of rabbits' feet also indicates a severe winter, but the source doesn't say how to determine what's "normal" and what's "thicker.") Birds can be useful in weather forecasting, too. If birds huddle on the ground (a phenomenon I've admit- tedly never seen), or if birds eat berries early in the sea- son, then the winter weather will be serious. Lots of spiders in the fall indicate a bad winter, and if you observe ants building their nests high, you can count on extreme snow and cold. (Have you ever seen an ant's nest anywhere but on the ground?) One that's a bit more off the wall indicates that the first twelve days after Christmas indicate what each month in the coming year will be like. (I guess if December 26 is very cold and snowy, then January will be, also. Likewise, if January 1--the sixth day after Christmas--is cold--then June will be cold? Somehow, that one doesn't make much sense.) There are lots of animal insights into when the weather will be cold-----or rainy----or changing. It's amazing how many old wives' tales (translate that: "low tech meteorology" have developed about the weather. According to them even snow itself can foretell what's to come large snowflakes indicate that the snowfall will stop soon, while small ones indicate that there will be a heavy snowfall. Even though the Farmers' Almanac, published con- tinually for over 200 years, now uses radar in its weath- er forecasting, you might want to consult it----or the Weather Channel--to see what's going on, weather wise. Of, if all else fails, look out the window! What does Congress need? Your attention! by Lee H. Hamilton Now that the conven- tions are over, I know that all eyes are on the fall pres- idential campaign. But I'm going to ask you to shift your focus a bit, to Congress. Don't do it as a favor to me. Do it as a favor to the country. Congress is in the midst of a seven-week break. Its members left Washington in mid-July; they'll be back after Labor Day. They did manage to do a few things, like pass legislation pro- viding resources for com- bating the heroin and opi- oid crisis. But what they left undone is astonishing. They departed without dealing with a $1.1 billion measure to combat the Zika virus. They didn't take up immigration or tax reform or gun legislation. They left behind a pile of spending bills, which means they'll have about four weeks once they return to figure out how to keep the government oper- ating. Yet again. We're all tired of this. I don't think a day goes by when someone doesn't ask me, "What can we do about it?" So let me tell you. First, the system can work. What we've seen in recent years on Capitol Hill does not need to be the future. But it takes skill to forge consensus, make tradeoffs, assuage egos, and accommodate the vast- ly different points of view that are inevitable in a diverse nation. And it takes determination to overcome the inevitable setbacks and stumbling blocks in order to govern. The problem is, Congress has shown virtu- ally no interest in this. Its members are very good at attacking political oppo- nents, and not so adept at goveming. So what kind-of quali- ties would produce a more productive body? Simply put, members who have a sense of responsibility to the country and to the insti- tution envisioned by our Founders; who understand their special role in making Congress an effective insti- tution; who cooperate across the aisle -- not merely in rhetoric, or when they're standing in front of the cameras, but also when they're drafting legislation; who can construct a bill and get it passed; who know how to legislate in order to effect change, not merely score political points; who want to safe- guard Congress's role as a co-equal branch of govem- ment, not pass power to the President, the Fed, or the bureaucracy. Many current members of Congress have never seen these qualities in action, but the committee rooms and chambers they inhabit certainly have. Sam Raybum of Texas brought rural electrification into being and transformed the lives of millions. George Fallon of Maryland shaped the interstate highway sys- tem, which in one way or another has affected every American life. Democrat Emanuel Celler and Republican William McCullough brought civil rights legislation to the country. Edith Green of Oregon was the mother of Title IX. Talented legisla- tors -- Carl Albert, Mike Mansfield, Barber Conable, Louis Stokes, and Lindy Boggs -- were skilled at helping their col- leagues see their way to compromise; they took pleasure in making Congress work. And it wasn't just leaders. The success of Congress over the years has depended upon members who were not well known but who took their responsibilities. seriously and believed the institution simply had to work. My point is, we've had a functional Congress before. That means we can produce one again. But I choose those words --"we" and "pro- duce" -- carefully. Making it happen depends on you. As a voter, you have to go beyond asking about the candidates' positions on substantive issues. In addi- tion, you have to judge whether a candidate has the will and the capability to reassert the role of Congress, to get legislation passed, and to work with colleagues who don't nec- essarily agree with them. My fear is that, just as many contemporary mem- bers of Congress have never seen an effective Congress and show few signs of knowing how to make it work, perhaps vot- ers have simply stopped expecting it. Voters have legitimate reasons to be discouraged about Congress. But they should remember the recent past, which shows that with the right kind of legislators, Congress can get things done -- and they should begin to reject politicians who have proven again and again that they can't get anything done. Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana 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. OtO 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 edi- torial policy of this newspaper, which reserves the right to edit letters. The Clinch Valley Times Dear Editor: On behalf of The Lyric Project and Friends of the Library, I would like to thank all involved for the success of the 5th annual Cooks and Books, held on July 30, 2016. Thanks to the Cooks: Sugar Hill Brewing Co., Riverside Diner, Food City Deli, Gent Farms, C&S Catering, Lyttle Farm of Copper Ridge, Mountain Rose Vineyard, and the Farmer's Market Cookbook Recipes. All of the food for this event was donated by these business- es, so I urge you to support them whenever possible. Thanks to the Books: Joe Tennis, Linda Hoagland, Carol Ingram Moore, Lexie Heath Fullen, Willie Dalton, and Shannon Smith. These regional authors shared many great books that are available at the public library. Thanks to the ticket buyers, individuals and businesses who made mon- etary donations or dona- tions for the auction, and the great team of volun- teers. Proceeds from this fundraiser will support projects for Friends of the Library. We are very fortu- nate to have a public library in our community, so please visit often! J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library has resources for all ages. The Lyric Project will use its share of the pro- ceeds toward revitalization of the Lyric Theater, a future 'spotlight' in down- town St. Paul. Sincerely, Kathy Stewart Event Coordinator To the Editor: Castlewood/Copper Creek 21 st Century Community Learning Center T h e Castlewood/Copper Creek Elementary 21st CCLC had a wonderful summer school program. The suc- cess of the program was a collaboration of students and teachers coming toge er to enhance learn- ing. The program consisted of remediation in Math and Reading, Music, Physical Education, Technology, and Library. The students also extended their learning through field trips. They enjoyed visiting the Creation Kingdom Zoo, The Baxter Theater, going to the movies to see Saving Dory, and going to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Ripley's Aquarium. We would like to thank the following businesses for their generous dona- tions that helped to make the summer school field trips a success: Cook Construction Morgan McClure, St. Paul Morgan McClure, Castlewood CR Pate Insurance Appalachian Graphics L'mda Tiller Brenda and Scotty White Sincerely, Paula Banner, Principal Castlewood Elementary Copper Creek Elementary Smith completes UMSL training program Earns Chancellor's Certificate in Public Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis The University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) awarded the Chancellor's Certificate in Public Administration: Govemment Finance Officer to Delores W. Smith, Treasurer of Wise County, VA. To qualify for the certification Smith attended at least 21 hours of public administration training through UMSL's program in Public Policy Administration. The cer- tificate was awarded at the recent Annual Meeting of the National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers, and Finance Officers. "UMSL's Chancellor's Certificate Program allows county finance profession- als to broaden their knowl- edge and learn the latest trends in their field, which will help them administer the duties of their office Good Morning Wise County service offered by WCSO The Wise County Sheriff's Office offers a free service to all seniors of Wise County and of Norton The Good Morning Wise County program pro- vides a volunteer to call and check on the weffare of all participants, to deter- mine if they have food, heat in winter, and cooling in the summer. They also want to make sure partici- pants in the program are not being abused, mistreat- ed, or neglected. All eligible seniors are encouraged to sign up and use this free service. To sign up call Wilma at 276- 328-7114 and lea(,e your name and phone number. You may also call Sheriff Oakes, or a mem- ber of his staff, at 276-328- 3756. The only informa- tion required is your name, address, phone number, and a contact person in case of emergency. more effectively," said Dr. Deborah Balser, Associate Professor and Director of the Public Policy Administration Program at UMSL, which coordinates the program. "Delores Smith's completion of the program demonstrates her commitment to public service." Subscribe to the Times! 276-762-7671 cvtimes@verizon.net Clinch Valley Times MEMBER VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Patti, 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 is paid at the Post Office in St. PauL VA 24283 Allen Gregory Editor/Adv. Susan Trent Adv./Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and Russdl Counties; $30.00 in other 24-zip~odes; elsewhere $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times. P.O. Box 817, St. Patti, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY- 50c Classified Advertising: mini- mum charge $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance; 25c per word after 20 words. Dsplay Advert- ising rates on application Periodicals publication Post ISSN: 767600