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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
August 14, 2014     Clinch Valley Times
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August 14, 2014

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, August 14, 2014 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax.. roun00 Gregory But it's only August/ Reprinted from August 12, 2010 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 only 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 organization, 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 sum- mer vacatioia, which, in those days, 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 particularly 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 condi- tioned, 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 I 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 driven to school 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 driv- en to school, nor did I expect to be. Nor do I remember having a "snow day," although we certainly had our share of snowy weather in Central Kentucky. I don't think there was a rash of absences 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 Virginia--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 flat 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 f0rgetonce -- probably in the early 1980s--when a relatively new State Superintendent of Public Instruction came to Wise County for some special occa- sion. Wise County's Superintendent, eager for this man to understand some of the unique problems that we have, drove him from Tri-City Airport to Wise by way of Wadlow Gap. Anyway, when they got to Wise, our visitor said if that road was representative 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 alreadyback--and it's early August! What in the world do you suppose has happened to time? Pictured Left to Right: Nick Beamer, President, n4a, Heather Seller, CST, Mitch Elliott, MEOC Transit Director, Michael Wampler, MEOC Executive Director, Nicky Fleenor, Mobility Manager, Marguerite Linteau, CST, Heather Robertson, CST MEOC Transit receives prestigious national award Mountain Empire Older Citizens (MEOC) Transit recently received national recognition for its Saturday Service 4 All, a program it implemented to respond to a need for Saturday trans- portation, previously unavailable in MEOC's service area.. MEOC Executive Director Michael Wampler, MEOC Transit Director Mitch Elliot and MEOC Mobility Manager Nicky Fleenor accepted the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging's (n4a) Aging Innovations Award at n4a's Annual Conference & Tradeshow held July 12-16 in Dallas, TX. The innovations award is the highest honor presented by n4a to mem- ber agencies. MEOC began Saturday transportation in 2012 by responding to an unmet need within the planning district identified by the Transportation Development Plan. MEOC was able to imple- ment this service by utiliz- ing a variety of partners, including the local commu- nity services board, behav- ioral health providers, cen- ter for independent living and Department of Veterans Affairs. MEOC applied for and received funding through the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD) and the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (VDARS) to provide Saturday transportation to individuals with disabili- ties and to seniors. Additional support is being provided by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Fransportation. Coordination of services has provided increased rid- ership and includes trans- portation to area Farmers Markets, local events and shopping. The 2014 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards rec- ognize Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American aging programs that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers, A part of the criteria for the selection of the honorees was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in theft communities. "With the implementa- tion of the Affordable Care Act underway, our mem- bers are investigating new ways to position them- selves in the long-term and health care marketplaces, as well as to strengthen long-standing services to meet the needs of America's rapidly growing older adult population," said n4a's Chief Executive Officer Sandy Markwood. "Our members work tire- lessly, and with .little fan- fare in their communities," and this program enables us to shine a well-deserved spotlight on their ground- breaking work," Markwood added. "We feel honored indeed by this award," said MEOC Executive Director Michael Wampler. "n4a has done so much over the years to recognize innova- tive programs, honor the agencies designing and implementing them, and publicizing them so that other agencies can repli- cate them in the areas and among the individuals they serve. While the award was given to MEOC, I want to emphasize the part- nerships and collaboration which made possible this service which makes such a difference in the lives of older persons and people with disabilities." Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. was organ- ized in 1974 and is desig- nated as the area agency on aging and public transit provider for Wise, Lee and Scott Counties and City of Norton. In addition, MEOC directs Healthy Families for Southwest Virginia, the Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center, and the Southwest Virginia Children's Advocacy Center. MEOC also pro- vides management services to the Junction Center for Independent Living Services. For more infor- mation on MEOC services visit its website at To sched- ule a ride on Saturday or on a weekday, call MEOC Transit at 276-523-7433 or 1-800-877-6748. Please make your call at least 24 hours before you will need transportation. MEOC Transit serves people of all ages. I ' Letter to Editor... 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 fight to edit letters. The Clinch Valley Times will not print unsigned letters. To the Editor, On August 19th we will be electing an official to fill Phil Puckett's office. I would like to urge you to' get out to the polls and vote for Ben Charm. This is a very important election. It's not about politics. It's to take away a vote in the house for the Obama regime. We know that his goal is to detroy the United States of America. Swallow your pride and take a look how many jobs has been lost. And he has done nothing about border control. His next goal is to destroy the Second Amendment to say you have the right to bear arms. This is my personal belief. Jessie Jones Castlewood To the Editor, With the resignation of Phillip Puckett as state sen- ator, local voters are left with two choices: Mike Hymes and Ben Chafin. Both men are good choic- es. Each is familiar with the needs of the local area. How, then, can local voters make a choice? First, for me, as a Tazewell County teacher, Mike Hymes is the obvious choice. He knows the needs of the teachers in the area. As the husband of a retired teacher, he truly understands the needs of area teachers. He has been a vocal supporter of the teachers in Tazewell County. He has publicly lobbied for better pay for teachers, and he has sup- ported school-related activities every year he has been on the board. In fact, when compared to other board of supervisor mem- bers, he has been the strongest supporter of edu- cators in several decades in Tazewell County. Secondly, I am a resident of Tazewell County and that is another reason that I believe that Mike Hymes is the best candidate. Mike has represented the people of my area on the board. He has always been very approachable, and he has made every effort to help us when we need assis- tance. I feel sure that he 'will continue to have this "open door" policy and lis- ten to the needs of his vot- ers if he is elected to the state senate. A third reason that I believe that Mike Hymes is the best person for the position of state senate is that I am the daughter of a coal miner. I know that Mike Hymes will also sup- port the coal industry because he understands the impact that coal has on the local economy. For these reasons and- many more, I urge area voters to support Mike Hymes when you vote in the August 19 special elec- tion for state senate. We need a senator who will fight hard for our area and who will listen to the needs of the poeple of the area, and Mike Hymes has proven that he is the man to do just that. Tamyra K. Hilt Tannersville, VA To the Editor, Each day it becomes more apparent that we, as voters, cannot take the back seat and let just a few make all the decisions as to who will be in office repre: senting our interests. It is our responsibility as a citi- zen to go to the polls and vote to choose the candi- date who will do the best job. The choice needs to be for one who will serve with integrity, with pride and respect, and with a sense of responsibility to excel in the position for which they are elected. Our governing bodies on the local, state and national levels are important to each and every one of us and we need to be Sure that we have the most qualified people in place to assure that our government runs smoothly and works for the best interest of the consti- tutents at every level. People in the Virginia Senate 38th District have an important job to per- form on August 19, 2014, when they vote for the per- son to represent them in our state's government. I believe the best person for this job is Mike Hymes. Mike embodies all the characteristics previously mentioned. He is a person of honor, honesty, and integrity. He is a man of character who will give 100% to do his best as a steward of the interests of all the hardworking people in the 38th District. There are many issues facing our state, One important issue that is rele- vant to me is education. Having taught in the Tazewell County Public School System, I recognize the importance of having representatives in govern- ment who have ahistory of support for education. Mike Hymes has shown his Support of education through his service on the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors. He demon- strates a respect for the job that the diligent profes- sionals perform to provide the best education and opportuntiies for the chil- dren they teach. I believe Mike Hymes is the best choice for the office of Senator for the 38th District. I know that he will work tirelessly to be a champion for the peo- ple he will represent. He will work with diligence to uphold our Constitution and will approach each task as a lawmaker to sup-" port the interests of the people in Southwest Virginia. Even though I now live in a neighboring district, I want to encour- age everyone in the 38th District to show support for Mike Hymes on August 19. I have no doubt he is the best choice for this job. Having someone of Mike's caliber representing the 38th District can only be beneficial for all residents of Southwest Virginia. Judy Stamper Chilhowie, VA C00ch ...... : T00es 1  l  ["  f   2:42fl3. 1 :2.5. i V A 2211:3 i ..................................................... ....................