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Get Prenatal Care Fmrly Call 1-800-311-2229 Confidential Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, September 10. 2009 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax..by Ann gounx Crexo y What's the idea, anyway ? Apparently this isn't as huge a no-brainer as it graduation! Children who have had exposure to the appears to be. Most of us--at least I hope that's the arts have proven to do better in mathematics and case--most of us would answer that the idea of science than those who have not had that benefit! education is to provide our children with the best tools we are able to give them in order for them to have happy, successful and productive lives. There are some folks, however, who apparently grumble a bit about that "best...we are able to give them" part, and want to take a hard look at the price tag before they commit to the quality of education that's offered. No less an important personage than Thomas Jefferson, however, had an even broader interpre- tation of the idea of education. From his writings about the subject, we can surmise that he found neither the kids themselves nor the price tag to be the most important reason for providing a free public education. Education, as Thomas Jefferson perceived it, was about maintaining the freedoms promised by democracy. He wrote: "If a nation expects to be igno- rant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." Beyond that, Jefferson observed: "...whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right." Of course, the maintenance of our democracy immediately involves the people, since that's what democracy is all about, and education of the children with our very best effort falls right into place! And teachers. I think teachers are SO important, and so often we virtually ignore them. Several critical points about teachers--they must be well-prepared. That's up to them. The second is that they must be well-compensated for what they do. And that's up to us. The better the compensation, the more likely a school division is able to attract and keep keep outstanding faculty members and administrators.. A rather alarming bit of information surfaced last week (at least that's the first I'd heard of it). The Superintendent in Wise County has suggested (I don't think it's an actual recommendation at this point)-- anyway, as I understand it, he has suggested that the School Board set a limit on service credit that's recognized by Wise County when an experienced teacher from another locality is hired to teach in Wise County. Teacher scales are designed around years of experience, with each year typically being given a salary increase in recognition of the additional year of experience. The proposal, if it is that, means the the experience a teacher has would be "limited" insofar as earning Wise County credit on the teacher scale is concerned. So if a teachei" with twenty years experience is hired to teach in Wise County, he or she would be given credit only for the "service credit limit" set by the Board. That could be five years or ten So after that rather wordy discussion of the idea of years or whatever arbitrary number the Board education, the next question is just how does society chooses. The teacher would then, I suppose, move up go about providing the best one possible to each child, the next year to the sixth, or eleventh, or whatever, (I immediately go for the "best possible" since perso- step on the scale (when he/she would have gone to nally, I've always considered education to be the most important function of society, and therefore shouldn't be subjected to the bargain basement mentality.) One of the elements to be addressed is the en- vironment in which the educational process takes place. While the one-room schools of the past ap- peared to be quite adequate for their time, they ceased to be so as we became more technologically capable of providing something more sophisticated. I'm not talking about computers here, but of central heating, and air conditioning, and pleasant light and airy rooms. And technology continues to widen our boundaries. step twenty-one in the district of his/her previous employment). BAD idea! We compensate our teachers poorly enough, as it is. We indicate to them the value we assign to them by what we pay them. Do you know that at one point not too many years ago, Wise County teacher compensation ranked tenth in the Common- wealth as far as total compensation (salary and bene- fits) was concerned? That's tenth of the total of one "poor, depressed Appalachia!" That rank has changed as the economy has changed, but this new idea is really a bad one, because it will take teacher compen- sation in the wrong direction. Wise County would Of course, the equipment is important too, then be fortunate if it ever had an application from an especially in these high tech days, since one can't experienced teacher from another division. If a family learn how to use the computer and software and the containing a teacher moved to Wise County, the tea- Intemet without having access to those things. (Theo- ries of these thin s can be learned bv a studenl without him/her actually having a computer in front- of him/her; but there's nothing like the real thing. Certainly adequate textbooks, based on sound curriculum de-sign, and well-stocked libraries of cher would more than likely go to a neighboring county to look for a teaching job so that he/she could be paid according to the experience he/she had earned. It would make no sense to sign into a division which pays for fewer years than the teacher had actually been at work! reference books, great literature, some popular fiction, Japanese teachers are paid, on the average, three poetry, biogra-phy, history--all the elements that a times what American teachers are paid. Japanese good school libra-ry should contain. To be complete, teachers are held in high esteem by the general public ! and are, in fact, respected among the top one-third of professionals in the country. They,re appreciated. Does it seem too much to ask for the good of our children and the very preservation of our democracy to perform and compose, should be a part of public to compensate our teachers so that their preparation education at every level, from Pre-K through and experienceareacknowledged? Letters to the editor.. Sunset Digital increases Capitol 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: 1 would like to clear up any misunderstanding concerning my vote at the Russell County Board of Supervisors' meeting about the Russell County Can- neries. I fully support the canne- ries and want to do everything possible to keep the canneries open for all the citizens The citizens need to know that the canneries do not pay for themselves. By this I mean that the fees paid by all those who use the canneries do not cover the cost of salaries, utilities or tin cans. I realize that providing the canneries is a service offered by the county just as the Russell County Public Library provides a service to our citizens. How- ever, the citizens of the county need to know that the fees pre- sently paid to use the canneries in no way reflect the cost incurred by the county. As an example, the present cost of a quart tin can and lid is $.91, and county residents who use the cans pay $.35 for each quart can--a loss of $.56 per can. The county also has a loss of $.41 per can for non-county resi- dents. The county just pur-chased 42,000 cans. I feel that it is not the job of Russell County resi- dents to subsidize those who live in the surrounding counties. Let me assure all the citizens that my vote was not a vote to close any cannery, but I do think that there must be a discussion about how to better finance the canneries. Please feel free to call me if you have any ques- tions. Sincerely, Ernest "Shy" Kennedy Russell County Board of Supervisors District 2/North Castlewood, Dante and Cleveland A safe step to comfort and independence A walk-in tub is independence for those who value self-sufficiency at a much lower price. Lifetime warranty on double-sealed door as well as tub , All these features and more standard at 30-40% less than the competition 100% Financing available CALL TODAY!.. newtubs 1-800-639-8827 For Free Consultation Ask about our Senior Citizen Discount! WALK--I N TU B CO. www.safesteptub.com. Commentary by Congressman Rick Boucher HELP CONTROL OUR PET POPULATION In the United States there are States Humane Society, spaying 65 million owned dogs and and neutering helps dogs and !1 approximately 77.6 million cats live longer, healthier lives, :I owned cats. Pets, both large and and can eliminate or reduce the small, are wonderful additions to incidence of a number of health t most any household. They offer problems that can be very dif- us friendship, companionship, ficult or expensive to treat. and ask little in return. Pets also provide us with invaluable ser- vices such as eyes for the blind, search and rescue assistance, and law enforcement support. They ask little in return from their owners, other than food, regular walks, and some play time mix- Spaying eliminates the pos: sibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle. Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases ed in; however, our respons-the incidence of prostate disease. bility to our pets extends beyond Spaying and neutering is ~lso their day-to-day needs, and attributed to better,behaved and includes humanely controlling more affectionate pets, and these their populations as well. procedures help to reduce in- Unregulated pet populations cidents of biting, running away, i can quickly exceed a locality's or fights with other animals. ability to adequately care for and support them. Shelters across America take in and care for as many stray pets as possible, but are often unable to find perman- ent homes for these cats and dogs. That is why the United States Humane Society encour- Spaying a dog or cat eliminates her heat cycle. Estrus lasts an average of six to 12 days, often twice a year, in dogs and'an average of six to seven days, three or more times a year, in cats. Females in heat can cry incessantly, show nervous be- ages all pet owners to have their havior, and attract unwanted pets spayed or neutered, male animals. Unsterilized ani- i Dogs and cats are spayed or mals often exhibit more behavior !] neutered during an operation and temperament problems than performed while the pet is under do those who have been spayed anesthesia, which prevents them or neutered from reproducing. The pro- Each year communities ac- !! cedure is safe and is the most ross the country spend millions important step to take in helping of dollars to control unwanted, to control the pet population, animals and many animal Factors such as your pet's age, shelters find themselves over : size and health will determine burdened. Having your pet spay- their length of stay at your ed or neutered greatly reduces i veterinarian's office while they this burden, while helping :to undergo the procedure, ensure that your pet stays According to the United healthy and happy Wise County Sheriff's Report The Wise County-Sheriff's Office reports the following activities for the period of 8/24/2009 through 8/30/2009. Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,340 calls for this seven- day period. Of the total calls received 278 were dispatched to the Sheriff's Office. Total number of Domestic calls for this period was 14. Criminal Process for the same period served 63 Felony Warrants, 65 Misde- meanor Warrants, 1 DUI Arrest and worked 0 Traffic Accident. Civil process for this period served 447 Civil Papers. During :: this seven-day period 16 additional Criminal Investi- .,.. gations were initiated and 59 ......... %_ were Cleared by arrest. The Sheriff's Office provided 246 man-hours of Court Room capacity of broadband services through WBS Connect Additional path adds redundancy for uninterrupted service to customers want to provide." (About Sunset Digital Com- munications: Started in 2003, Sunset envisioned and construc- ted a state-of-the-art fiber optic network dedicated to providing broadband services to improve economic development and quality of life in Southwest Vir- ginia and beyond. The Leno- wisco Rural Area Network (RAN) is a Gig-Ethernet, active fiber-optic network with fast, reliable and affordable broad- band access to multiple physical infrastructures. This vision was possible, in part, thanks to grant funding from the Virginia To- bacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Com- mission to Lenowisco, Incorpo- rated. For more information, visit www.sunsetcom.net. About WBS Connect: Found- ed in 2002, WBS Connect is a provider of global technology solutions. They leverage multi- gigabit commitments with IP transit carders to offer high bandwidth Internet connections and data transport services worldwide. They have a pre- sence in over 300 carrier-neutral data centers across the world, and have access to over 70,000 network nodes. Ranked 108th on the 2009 Inc 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies list, WBS Connect has hundreds of customers across a broad spectrum of industries. For more information, visit www.wbsconnect.com.) REFORM...PACE... (Continued from page 1) In an effort to keep costs low and ensure continuous connecti- vity to their exceptional high- speed fiber optic service, Sunset Digital Communications, locally based in Duffield, has entered an agreement with WBS Con- nect, a provider of global technology solutions. Because of its size, WBS Connect can purchase Internet service in large quantities and resell to service providers such as Sunset at lower rates than Sunset could acquire the ser- vice. Those savings are in turn passed on to Sunset's custom- ers. Sunset's purchase of what is an additional data path from Southwest Virginia to Atlanta from WBS, will complement their current connection to Ashburn, Virginia. It also means less chance for an outage of service for its customers. "Large communications com- panies scouting for data center locations look for capacity and redundancy. We now have both," said Paul Elswick, Presi- dent of Sunset Digital Commu- nications. "The ability to obtain this kind of high-capacity con- nectivity is a huge leap forward for the area." "WBS Connect is very ex- cited to be working with Sunset Digital as they build out their network," said Jake Cummins, National Sales Manager for WBS Connect. "Our product and capabilities are a perfect complement to companies like Sunset Digital who are looking to cost-effectively connect to multiple network providers at major lnternet peering points." Elswick said that this service goes beyond future business prospects. Local businesses that rely on the Internet will find it more reliable as well. "We actually had a vehicle accident the other day that took down our Ashburn connection temporari- ly, and none of our customers noticed. When problems are transparent to our customers and their businesses, everyone wins That's the level of service we have some effect on the pro- jected growth of Medicare costs However, in order to fully control costs, a more efficient system of caring for our grow- ing senior population, particu' lady the oldest, sickest and poorest among us--most notably contained in the dual eligible population--will need to be implemented. Only by keeping seniors healthy and avoiding costly acute interventions and long care services will we be able to tame the anticipated growth of Medicare and Medi- caid. PACE programs have demonstrated success in keep- ing dual eligibles healthy and out of long term care facilities. With more than 20 years of results, the PACE approach is proven to reduce costs and improve seniors' quality of life. It is a model for entitlement reform that cannot be ignored. Individuals whoa re interes- ted in PACE locally should contact Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., in Big Stone Gap. MEOC/s Mountain Empire PACE program serves the counties of Lee, Scott and Wise and the City of Norton. For more information, contact Leigh Ann Bolinsky, 276-523-0599 or call toll free 1-800-793-7223, or visit www.meoc.org or e-mail lkennedy@mec'rg" For residents of Planning District II counties, contact the Appalachian Agency for Older Citizens, 276-964-4915. MOTORISTS: Stop for Pedestrians in the Library Crosswalk-- It's the law! Security for the three courts. The Sheriff's Office tran- sported 0 adult in state, 0 adult out of state, 5 mental patient, and 1 juveniles for a total of 6 transports, involving 20.25 hours. The Sheriff's Office unlocked 4 vehicles and escorted 4 funerals during this seven-day period. Don't Put Your Baby's Health On The Line. i nl 'i i i; Take Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Your Baby. u Clinch Valley Times , MEMBER VIRGINIA 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. Perio- dicals postage is paid at the Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283. Ann Young Gregory Editor Allen Gregory Advertising Susan Trent Adv./Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise anff 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 24283 SINGLE COPY ' 50c Classified Advertising: Minimum charge, $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance; 25c per word after 20 words. Display Advertising rates on application Periodicals publication Postal ISSN: 767600 J IJ