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St. Paul , Virginia
September 7, 2017     Clinch Valley Times
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September 7, 2017

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, September 7, 2017 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax.. An. Youn Gregory The political process Reprinted from September 18, 2008 Perhaps the best and brightest news of the week is that the current presidential campaign will come to a close in fewer than fifty days! It seems to have been going on almost since the beginning of time, yet these months and months of speeches, debates, political vis- its, handshakings, television coverage, newspaper and magazine articles, conventions and, most recently, tele- vision commercials ad nauseam, are just part of the political process and it's evolved since the first presi- dential election in the late 18th century. More and more, unfortunately, the process has come to be determined by money----how much each party and, ultimately, each candidate, has---or is able to raise. Mailings go out to thousands---hundreds of thousands, probably-----of people with "surveys" for each voter to complete, with the suggestion that the candidate(s) wish to be guided by the wishes and opinions of the voter. That sounds wonderful and very American until you come to the final part of the questionnaire, which includes the most important of the questions--just how much money you're going to send along with the answers to the "survey." Personally, I prefer an honest request for a contribution rather than all the pleas for my opinion, for which I know that nobody, particularly a candidate for national office, cares a whit. (I have a suspicion that I'm turning into the same cynic that I so often these days accuse Allen of becoming.) As nearly everybody who lives in this part of the state is aware, we had a chance to get close and person- al to the political process last week when Senator Barack Obama, Democratic candidate for president, visited Southwest Virginia for the second time during the campaign--he was in Bristol several weeks earlier. This visit, however, was to our next door neighbor, Lebanon. That choice was most than likely (this is my guess) based on the keynote speech made by Governor Mark Wamer at the Democratic National Convention during which Governor Warner referred to Lebanon and what the town has done to bring economic growth. Anyway, the announcement of Senator Obama's Tuesday visit was made Sunday morning--at least the first inkling that most of us had was when we saw an announcement of the pending visit on the front page of the Bristol newspaper. Admission to the event, original- ly scheduled for 4:30, but later changed to 5:15, was, of course free; however tickets are required. They were available at Congressman Boucher's office in Abingdon, at a site in Big Stone Gap, and at an office in the UMWA building in Castlewood. Sunday hours for ticket distribution began at 12 noon. I waited in line for about 45 minutes (Allen and Peyton were on their way back from Lexington, where they'd seen UK win its first home football game of the season). I told the man the tickets were for the Clinch Valley Times, but I was given no information about obtaining press credentials, and I was too inexperienced in matters of national polit- ical campaigns (my fault) to realize that I should have asked. I got my two tickets, and went home. We were told Tuesday that the t'Lrne for the visit was changed, and that the gates to the Lebanon High School complex wouldn't be opened until 3:15. We did what work we could at the office Tuesday--a really busy day for us, since it's the day the paper has to go to the print- er. Because the new Town Treasurer and Police Chief were being honored at a reception at the Town Hall, we had to make our apologies there and make arrange- ments for Peyton to take those pictures. We naively set out for Lebanon at about 3 p.m, arriving before 3:30. On learning that we were to park our car in a field some distance from the school--and the school parking lots--indicated to us that the gates had opened long before the announced 3:15, because otherwise, it would have been impossible to get all those cars parked. We walked a good distance to the street which pro- vides access to the school, only to learn that security officers required that we (and all the others with whom we were walking in the blistering heat) had to enter at the second entrance, which seemed to be at least a quar- ter of a mile uphill away from where we were. So we walked--and walked--and finally got there--at least to the street that led to the building. However, we were then directed to a sidewalk on which a serpentine line of people stretched as far as the eye could see-away from the school building. We realized that Secret Service people were screening all who were entering the build- ing, and that it was just taking a lot of time. I was begin- ning to get a little annoyed (hot and tired are what I was), when we spotted a friend from the Coalfield Progress who, we learned, had press credentials. She and her crowd, with previously obtained passes, had driven up to the press entrance and were admitted with- out all the boo-ha that we were having to go through. We stood--and stood--and stood, and finally worked our way up another hill to get to the actual entrance to the school. All the advance publicity had been clear about bringing the absolute minimum of per- sonal stuff--no purses, etc. So I had a wallet, a pack of tissues and a tiny fold up umbrella, which was in a pocket of my skirt. Allen was carrying his big umbrel- la, which he was told he had to leave outside. Just inside the building were lines of people in front of three metal detectors. The drill was to put your stuff down on a table, then when told, to step through the metal detec- tor. The rudest young man I ever remember encounter- ing anywhere--ever--in my entire life--was in charge of the line in which we stood, and when I went through the arch of the metal detector, he, without asking me if I would empty my pocket, grabbed the umbrella from my pocket, tossed it over his shoulder onto a table behind him, and when I began to protest, he yelled at me--yelled--to turn around and hold out my arms (for the wand search.) I felt as though he thought I'd just committed a robbery. I was furious, and my mood did- n't improve as I sat for another hour in the HOT gym- nasium! Allen eventually got a press pass to get on the floor, where he finally got a very far-away picture of the Senator, and then we left so we could get back, process the picture, and get the paper to the printer. We didn't even get to stay and hear the speech, which I really wanted to do, since I like Senator Obama. That, I assure you, is my only "up close and person- al" contact with the 2008 political campaign. I wouldn't go through that again if they promised me I could WRITE the speech! s to By Lee H. Hamilton An interesting thing keeps happening to me. Every few days, someone -- an acquaintance, a col- league, even a stranger on the street -- approaches me. They ask some version of the same question: What can we do to pull ourselves out of this dark period? For the many Americans who respect representative democracy, the Constitution, and the rule of law, there's reason to be concerned. The President is off to a rocky start: he's unproductive and undigni- fied at home and derided on the world stage. Congress struggles to get its bearings. In the country at large, forces of intoler- ance and division are at loose on the streets and on the nightly news. So are we in a down- ward spiral as a nation? Not by a long shot. Because here's the thing to keep in mind: our institu- tions are far more durable than any single president or any single historical peri- od. History is certainly on our side. We've survived a civil war, two world wars, Watergate, four presiden- tial assassinations, the packing of the Supreme Court by Franklin Roosevelt, economic depressions and recessions, more nasty power struggles than you can count.., and still the country has moved forward. You can look back and gain confidence from our history. Or you can look around you. Congress as an institu- tion is being tested as it rarely has in its modem history, and it's shown a few hopeful glimmers. It did so when it passed by a huge margin its sanctions bill against Russia, rebuk- ing President Trump for his mysterious fascination with Vladimir Putin and his unwillingness to single out Russia for criticism. It did so even more forcefully when Republican leaders in the Senate took the extraordi- nary step of holding pro forma sessions during recesses so that a Republican president could not make recess appoint- ments and circumvent the normal Senate confirma- tion process -- or, to be more precise, so that he could not fire the attorney general and then appoint someone who would fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The federal bureaucracy has drawn lines in the sand, too. When the President suggested that law enforce- ment officers should, in essence, rough up suspects, the acting chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration sent an are demanding action on email to his employees infrastructure problems. rebuking the idea. When Then, of course, there the President announced are the business and other plans to discriminate leaders who resigned from against transgender troops, various presidential advi- the Pentagon declined to sory boards in the wake of begin the process, the President's response to When two billionaire the Charlottesville clashes friends of the President in early August. And the tried to force federal regu- scientists, including some lators to bend rules in their within the government, favor, they were rebuffed who are trying to draw by the agencies in question, attention to administration There's been real pushback efforts to weaken the role by Foreign Service officers of scientists in environ- against a move to hollow mental regulation and cli- out the State Department. mate policy. And, the courts have And an aroused, watch- blocked various Trump ful national media that has immigration policies, worked hard to shine a At the state and local level, there's been similar light on the administra- tion's actions and the resistance. Though some President's activity. And states appear ready to go along with the Presidential the many Americans who Advisory Commission on besieged Congress as the Senate considered repeal- Voter Integrity's maneu- ing the Affordable Care vering to shrink the vote, Act. many are not. California In other words, our Gov. Jerry Brown and institutions -- Congress, other governors and may- the executive branch, the ors took a major step when courts, civil society -- are they indicated that they being put to the test. And will still be working to address climate change they're beginning to step even after President Trump up. So must we all. Lee Hamilton is a declared the U.S. would Senior Advisor for the withdraw from the Paris Indiana University Center climate accord. on Representative And it's not just push- Government, a back: The failure by Distinguished Scholar, IU Congress and the President School of Global and to make progress on fund- International Studies; and ing the rebuilding or a Professor of Practice, IU expansion of basic infra- structure has alarmed gox;- School of Public and ernors, mayors, and policy Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. makers throughout state House of Representatives and local government, who for 34 years. Debbie Laney was the winner of the fair tick- ets raffled off by the Clinch River Little League. Presenting the prize is Bob Salyers. The Wise County DUI Arrests. Sheriff's Office reports the Civil Process Served: following activities for the 420 Civil Papers period of 08/21/2017 Traffic Accidents: 4 through 08/27/2017. 14 Additional Criminal Wise Central Dispatch Investigations were initiat- received a total of 1,880 ed and 13 Cleared by calls for this seven-day Arrest. period. Sheriff's Office provid- Of the total calls ed 256 man-hours of Court received 305 were dis- Room Security. patched to the Sheriff's Unlocked Vehicles: 16 Office Escorted Funerals: 3 Total number of The Sheriff's Office Domestic calls for this Total Transport for ~this period was ll. period: 10 Criminal Process for Total Transport Hours: this period: Served 44 30.25 Felony Warrants, 49 2,161 Visitors to Misdemeanor Warrants, 0Courthouse. Court dismisses violent felon's request for right to possess gun Chuck Slemp, Commonwealth's Attorney for Wise County & the City of Norton, announced today that the Wise County Circuit Court granted the Commonwealth's motion to dismiss a petition filed by a convicted violent felon seeking the restora- tion of his right to possess a firearm. Floyd Mack Monroe Smith, age 29, of Coebum, was originally convicted on April 24, 2009 for eight felonies, including Breaking and Entering, Grand Larceny, Conspiracy, and Delivery of a Firearm to a Prisoner. On December 6, 2016, Governor Terry McAuliffe purportedly restored his civil rights. Thereafter, Smith requested that the Wise County Circuit Court grant him permission to possess a firearm. Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp filed a for- mal written objection opposing the petition, cit- ing public safety risks and concerns that Governor Terry McAuliffe's restora- tion of Smith's civil rights was invalid. Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said, "My office will con- tinue to strenuously oppose petitions like the one filed in this case by violent felons seeking a right to possess a firearm." Evidence showed that in 2008, Floyd Mack Monroe Smith broke into a Wise County business and stole several items, including several firearms. Smith then gave three stolen guns to a convicted felon who was serving a sentence on Home Electronic Monitoring at the time. He was convicted for these crimes and served his sen- tence. At the time that Smith's civil rights had been restored by Governor McAuliffe, he was still on probation for his crimes. Slemp stressed, "Cases like this should concern us all. Governor McAuliffe rushed to restore the civil rights of a violent felon who was still on probation at the time. The Governor's rush to judg- ment puts the safety of our Commonwealth in jeop- ardy because it clears the way for requests like this to be made for a violent felon to possess a firearm. To be clear, I strongly support the right of law-abiding citi- zens to keep and bear arms. I also support the idea of redemption, rehabilitation, and forgiveness for those who have paid their debt to society. I am pleased that the Court dismissed Smith's case today." Clinch Valley Times MEMBER VIRGI2~IA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 24283. by the CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC, The Clinch Valley Times serves the four-cotmty area of Wise. Russell, Dickanson and Scott, with offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES building, 16541 Russell Street, Pexiodicals postage is paid at the ?ost Office in St, Paul, VA 24283 David Gregory Editor/Adv. Susan Trent Adv./Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and Russell Counties; $30.00 in other 24-zip-codes; elsewhere $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, EO. Box 817, St. Paul, 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. Display Advert- ising rates on application Periodicals publication Post ISSN: 767600