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St. Paul , Virginia
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December 10, 2009     Clinch Valley Times
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page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursdav, December 10. 2009 Of shoes.. and ships..and sealing wax..by Ann Young Gregory Thanks, Monty! It doesn't seem like four years ago, but it's been that long since St. Paul's Monty Salyer took the oath of office after being elected to the Wise County School Board from the Fourth District. Because of responsibilities and time requirements of his position as Executive Director of the Wise County Rede- velopment and Housing Authority, a position he as- sumed during his four-year term on the School Board, he found that he would be unable to run for re- election this past November. Therefore, he will con- elude his service on the Board on December 31, 2009. It's been a long four years, but I imagine that it's seemed longer to Monty than to most of the rest of us. He has continually and constantly fought a valiant battle to retain St. Paul High School and, indeed, all of the community schools in Wise County against the proponents of school consolidation. In spite of his determination and dedication, Monty was unfortu- nately on the wrong side of an evidently carved-in- stone majority, which consistently has delivered five votes in favor of consolidation, against Monty's, Mark Hutchinson's and Barry Nelson's cumulative three votes which have been equally as consistent in favor of renovating and maintaining existing schools. For some reason, .the majority of those on the school board evidently feel that economy should be the driving force which governs education. I certainly believe--and practiced for the years that I served on that same school board--that taxpayers' money should be spent wisely. On the other hand, I have felt, literally for decades, that education should' not be relegated to bargain basement status in the county's budget--or the state's, for that matter. Monty has agreed with that philosophy. I've also long believed that educating its children is the most important work with which society is charged. After all, if our children are not well prepared to assume productive roles in business, industry, medicine, science, the arts, education and all of the other professions of civili- zation, then civilization itself is doomed to distress. Again, I believe Monty has felt the same way as I about the importance of education. A number of studies which have been conducted by the school board itself have indicated that reno- vation of existing buildings would be far less expen- sive than acquiring new sites, building infrastructures on them and constructing three new high schools. For some reason, however, although the present system of maintaining six schools has been effective for de- cades, and has, with outstanding leadership, created one of the premier school districts in the area, the board majority is ready to discard it for an unknown.. Monty's work on the School Board has been constant. He has supported Voice for Community Schools in its efforts to show through research that consolidation is an idea whose time not only has come--but also has gone, since it hasn't delivered all of the benefits that its proponents expected--costs, fewer administrators, higher academic achievement, and so on. The state-wide consolidation drive in West Virginia has proved to be such a disappointment that an effort is now being made to reverse the system and go back to community schools. It'll take years for that to happen, of course, but it's being done. Materials at the l_ibrary The following materials are Quindlen. Life lessons from a in the Lonesome Pine Regional beloved Labrador retriever nam- Librar)'s circulation. Please ed Beau. check with your local library;or "How Starbueks Saved My An earlier Board of Supervisors, in a census year,. decided to re-district Wise County's political districts, and change from three to four districts designated District 1, District 2, etc. St. Paul is in District 4. Few people realize that the ONLY schools in District 4 are the two St. Paul schools. The four districts which were drawn have little logic to them, so District 4 includes St. Paul, south Coebum (south of the railroad tracks), Tacoma and some of the area up the mountain toward Wise. The original three voting districts each contained two towns: Big Stone Gap and Appalachia, Pound and Wise, and Coeburn and St. Paul. The new districts have no such reason to them, and it's conceivable that we could have eight school board members from the center of the county. Which brings up another problem: two distinct candidates were on the ballot for the District 4 seat Monty will vacate December 31. One was pro- consolidation; the other was anti. The "pro" candidate won by 124 votes, on the basis of a heavy vote in the direction of Wise, whose citizens favor consolidation. That decision by the voters, however, leaves St. Paul in a strange position. Although the vast majority of taxpayers in St. Paul would like to maintain St. Paul High School as it is (the pro-consolidation school board candidate received only 30 St. Paul votes; his opponent received all the rest that were cast in November), those people have no representative on the Wise County School Board to voice their position- -or to plead their case. Mrs. Perry has been an obvious consolidation supporter, showing little apparent interest in St. Paul, and the newly-elected member, Nolan Kilgore, as far as I know, didn't even make a campaign visit to St. Paul. So at least the next two years will be difficult for those of us in St. Paul who revere education and its importance to our children. We'll continue to watch the Wise County Board of Supervisors, who've voted to allow the school board to borrow $42 million, but that won't begin to fund the three schools in the school board's plan. The school board is considering. a list of options, evidently devised by the division superintendent and the central office staff, but unless the supervisors come up with approval for a lot of additional funding, new plans will have to be made. They'll involve going through the whole process again, including public hearings. Those of us who want to maintain St. Paul High School for our children will miss you, Monty, because you, although unheard b five of your colleagues most of the time, you have continued to be the voice of reason which allowed the people of St. Paul to have an official voice on the school board. That situation will cease to exist on January 1, 2010. Voice for Community Schools will continue to do the work which it began over two years ago, and its members will continue foappear before the school board to present our case--and again to point out the fallacies which exist in the whole idea of school consolidation, not only the obvious failures, but also the fact that many students can be lost, and certainly omitted from a lot of extracurricular activities. Monty, thank you for all that you've done to be our spokesman these four years! We'll miss you! "Beach to Bluegrass: Places to Brake on Virginia's Longest Road" - Joe Tennis. Following U.S. Route 58 for 500 miles registered users may place their Life: A Son of Privilege Learns across Virginia, this motoring own holds on the web @ to Live Like Everyone Else",- guide promises a journey with www.lprlibrary.org. Michael Gates Gill. stops at haunted hotels, covered ADULT NON-FICTION: "YOU: Staying Young- The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty" - Michael F. Roizen and Meh- met C. Oz. "Living Well: 21 Days to Transform Your Life, Super- charge Your Health, and Feel Spectacular" - Montel Will- iams with William Doyle. "Boom! Voices of the Sixties: Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today" - Tom Brokow. "Clayton: The Autobio- graphy" - Eric Clapton. "Trace Adkins - A Personal Stand: Observations and Op- inions from a Freethinking Redneck" - Trace Adkins. "Born Standing Up" - Steve Martin. Recalls his years as a standup comedian, from the early 1960s to 1981. "Don't Bet Against Me: -Beating the Odds Against Breast Cancer and in Life" - Deanna Favre. "Shakespeare Unbound: Decoding A Hidden Life"- Rene Weis. "American Creation: Tri- umphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic" - Joseph J. Ellis. "Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson" - Alan Pell Craw- ford. "This Republic of Suffer- ing: Death and the American Civil War" -Drew Gilpin Faust. "Be the Pack Leader" - Cesar Millan with Melissa Jo Peltier. Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan shows readers how to develop calm-assertive energy to improve their dog's life as well as their own. "Good Dog. Stay" -Anna [ EMERGENCY? [ Dial 911 MANUFACTURER'S COUPON 1 V._H y ././. / Ii I I I CUT YOUR HEATING BILLS UP TO 50% m , , , Ill , , '. . , ,, ! Was * Cannot start fires * Full factory warranty I Safe around kids Money Back I & pets Guarantee I 1-877-497'-4427 1 Must Mention Coupon Code 6566 Call Now, Supplies Limited I .... .. "' " 91S W. CaLmedbnc:k Rcl[. 1,.000- Z.hoo,a, ,.,z ssoxa (1 www.l.eom Finance Your Garage! 90 Days No Monthly PaYments & No Interest If Paid Within 90 Days! IBIIII IIi III III III nu a,, ...................................... =, Buildings, :,: ',",:,':,::,:;", AFFORDABLE ECONOMICAL ............................. ' .... OALITY a bridges, lighthouses, waterfalls, mile-high mountains, Civil War sites and seven state parks. "Southwest Virginia Cross- roads: An Almanac of Place Names and Places to See" - Joe Tennis. Illustrated history and guide explains how more than 750 places took their names, including Haysi, Frog Level, Whitetop, Goose Pimple Junction, Butcher Knife, Lebanon and Fancy Gap. Features 39 maps and 138 original photographs. 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 iserves 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 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 !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 L,'tters 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 editorial policy of this newspaper, which reserves the right to edit letters. The Clinch Valley Times will not print unsigned letters. To the Editor: St. Paul to" have a mussell statue, not one but two! Visitors to the town as they pass thin may wonder where is the beach? It is our meandering Clinch River which holds the endan- gered, environmentalist adored mussell. We couldn't have a statue depicting coal or its miners, of course that would be politically incorrect. Nevermind that the economic impact of coal is what built St. Paul. The hard work of miners and their families in this town and surrounding commu- nities is perhaps the reason we can even have a town council or an IDA board. Entities which now find it appropriate to grant "a clam the lofty position of identifying St. Paul. Since one area of the Gate- way Enhancement Project is called Freedom Veterans Me- morial why in all good logic could there not be a statue of a Veteran instead of a giant clam shell? Veterans who defend our country so that we can enjoy our town, and often come back home or not at all. They have been swept aside like the mi- ners. To be fair to the Gateway Enhancement Project people, the paper did state there would be flags. We all know what ripping wind does to flags after a short arnount of time. Of course the position of honor stolen by a mussell will still be standing. Perhaps when visitors ask where's the beach, we will be able to point them to shores of the Clinch or even point them to a newly built mussell museum. Those who know how to pro- pose ludicrous musseli statues surely know how to obtain your tax money to support the grand clam. Diana Tate St. Paul To the Editor: This year's Christmas festi- vities have been Successful thanks to the efforts Of many people working together. I would like to express my thanks for their hard work and dedication. The town crew consisting of Carter Hicks, Mike Jessee, Earl Carter, Mike Hale, Mike Sabo, Scott Long, Johnny Hicks, Hooter Kiser, Doug Jessee and Bobby Turner made all the snowflakes and decorations and also decorated the Christmas tree. The town police, under the direction of Acting Chief George Robinson, along with Tim Boardwine, Matt Puckett, Matt Phillips, Josh Homer, Jonathan Johnson, and Bill Strong took care of safety and traffic control during the Christmas Bazaar, the Santa Train, Tree Lighting and the Christmas Parade. "George's Toy Drive," with boxes outside Rose's and Dollar General, has been very successful in collect- ing and providing toys for many children this year. Thanks to the Christmas Event Committee which organ- ized the Christmas Bazaar, Christmas tree lighting and "Christmas parade. This com- mittee consisted of Sharon Steele, Connie Molinary, Tammy Wright, Tina Austin, Connie Kessinger, Doris Fletcher, and Glenda Lane. Many thanks to the town hall staff, Debbie Baca, Wendee Jones and Glenda Lane for coordinating with the town crew and event committee. Thanks also to Terri Chaf'm, Terri Jessee, Mary Ingle and Peggy Hamilton for their help. Thanks to Janice Hale for decorating the town hall and the town entrance on Fourth Avenue. Thanks to .Connie Molinary for making numerous phone calls St. Paul Fire Dept. report The St. Paul Volunteer Fire Departmentanswered eight calls during November. The responses include one mobile home f'we, one vehicle fire, three car crashes, one Med- Flight landing zinc, one carbon dioxide call and one debris in road call. Your ad could be here! and help coordinating the parade. Thanks to Tammy Wright for volunteering hours of work pre- paring decorations, and for decorating the Shriner's train, the Christmas Bazaar, and Christmas Parade event stages, and for an- nouncing entries for the parade. Thanks to Janie Home, Garland Comett and J.D. Cassell for judging the parade entries. Many thanks to organizations such as the Clinch River Cru- isers, who have faithfully sup- ported all Town of St. Paul events. Thanks also to the vend- ors and entertainers, especially Jan Jennings, Kathy Stewart and Sharon Moore for helping to bring in the season with carols during the Christmas tree light- ing, and to Jackie Marshall and his White Christmas Express for providing countless hours of Christmas music throughout the town. I Thanks for all the support of St. Paul merchants for their gen- erous donations and for joining in the Christmas spirit by d6cor- ating their windows an d busi- nesses. On behalf of the Christmas Event Committee, I thanking all these dep organizations, and volun their hard work and de These events could n been successful V/ithol who participated in th. parade and those who atterded the parade. Thanks to ;t. Paul residents and visitors for their support in all the hristmas events. ,' . Grant L. Marshall St. Paul Councilman loin in rtments, eers for Jication. t have tt those To the Editor: Many festive activ taken place in St. Pan two weeks. First, wa: annual Christmas Biz November 21, 2009, t the Santa Train. Entq was provided by t[ Family, Jimmy Webb Center Stage Clogg Clinch River Cruisers Avenue with classic au ties have the past the 2 ' rre held' e day of rtainment e Mabry and the ers. The filled 4 th omobiles. There were numerou vendors with creative crafts and delicious food. Business windpws were decorated and the Willi Building again was festive withlChristmas scenes painted by Ical artist Anthony Jones. ! On December 4, i2009, the town held their annual[Christmas Tree Lighting with th arrival of Santa. Sisters of Kove, Jan Jennigs, Kathy Stevart and Sharon Moore sang Christmas carols. The employees did an excellent job serving their usual hot chocolate, cookies and pop- com. Another addition this year was the generous donation of hot dogs by Payless Super Market. December 5, 2009 was the Christmas Parade. WOW, how wonderful. This was the first parade that has been announced in St. Paul. Grant Marshall and Tammy Hamilton Wright were the commentators. I commend them on an excellent job. The Christmas decorations, which were made by the town employ- ees last year, the snow and all the participants, as well as all the spectators, made this the largest parade ever. It was a beautiful site seeing so many supporting our town. What a wonderful way to end our festivities. I would like to thank all individuals who took part in our 2 nd annual Christmas Bizarre, Christmas tree lighting, and Christmas parade. Also, a lot of hard work took place behind the scene. First, I would like to express my sincere thanks to our town employees, for without them and all their hard work setting up and taking down, none of these events could have taken place. I would like to offer a special thank you to my fellow council members and Mayor Fletcher for their support. Tam- my Hamilton Wright provided our beautiful decorations for the Christmas Bizarre and Christmas Parade. The dedication of Connie Molinary, Tina Austin, Tammy Hamilton Wright, Olenda Lane, Suzy Harrison, Bob Harrison Connie Kessinger, Debra Baca, Doris Fletcher, Juanita Kelly,, Terri Chaffin and Anthony Jones , . .L by attend|ng meetings, planning, and missing out on home acti-. vities, all your hard work has not gone unnoticed. Thank you to each and everyone. Also, I would like to thank Dominion for their participation in our Christmas festivities at the parade. Mr. Jackie Marshall has donated his time for the month of December by rotating locations at different businesses and playing Christ- mas music for the citizens of St. Paul. This is a generous gesture and truly shows the character of the people in St. Paul. Thank you Jackie. We can look forward to many more new and exciting events for St. Paul. Our new town motto "A Small Town with A Big Heart" certainly fits the town of St. Paul. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Sharon Steele Councilwoman Town of St. Paul I -877--13:1-3 1 33 www.cbst ructuresin.om