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December 22, 2011     Clinch Valley Times
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December 22, 2011
 

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, December 22, 2011 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax..by Ann Young Gregory Depends on where you are Between about a week ago and this coming Sunday, the most used two words in the language are "Merry Christmas." There's no scientific basis for my statement, but I'd be surprised if I'm very far wrong. We have a congenial society, at least most of the time, and at no tim6 during the year that I can think of do we greet everyone, at times even strangers on the street, but we do that at this time of the year by wishing them a Merry Christmas! But what if someone came up to you and said to you: "Joyeux Noel" (French); or "Mele Kalikimaka" (Hawaiian); or "Sretan Bozic" (Croatian); or "Kurisumasu omedeto" (Japanese); "Feliz Navidad" (Spanish); or "Saint Dan Fai Lok" (Cantonese); or "Mo'adim Lusaka 'chena ova" (Hebrew); or "Shub Naya Baras" (Hindi)? The point, Of course, is that each country on earth, no matter what is considered to be its primary religion, has a way to say Merry Christmas in its own language. The ways that the holiday is observed has as many different facets in as many different languages as there are groups of people who observe it. In the United States, of course, children write to Santa Claus to ask for their heart's desire, and the fortunate ones--those who have people who love them and who have adequate resources--are visited by Santa Claus, who leaves those longed-for treasures. Families exchang e girls with each other and with neighbors and friends. Homes are decorated and almost every home:which observes the holiday has a brightly lighted and gaily--or elegantly--or fashion- ably--decorated Christmas tree, with brightly wrapped packages piled tmderneath its branches. (I have to admit that I'm to the point in my life where a smaller tree, decorated and filled with lights, but standing on a table rather than on the floor, would suit me just fine, but my children, although no longer children, won't hear of such a thing!) If there are little children in the house--and this part of Christmas is made much more enjoyable if they are there--the joy of watching them be thrilled and excited is as much fun as the little guys themselves have! Another element of Christmas which almost all U.S. homes observe is the preparation and sharing of festive food. In some homes, the Thanksgiving menu is repeated, with turkey and the trimmings reigning, supplemented perhaps by a few more Christmasy dishes. In others, ham takes Center stage, or an elegant beef roast, or pork loin, and I even heard (probably on the F Network) that the goose, long ago a Christmas staple, is coming back to the holiday table. Christmas cards are among my favorite elements of the holiday traditions. I know that some people choose not to send cards because of the cost of the cards themselves or of postage stamps, but I still love the practice of sending cards--and I love receiving them! I'm particully fond, of course, of the ones from dear friendswho have moved away--many of to the editor.. '11" :Letters them we haven't seen for years and years, and so we especially look forward to reading about their families and adventures when we receive their Christmas cards. Years ago, I made our cards evory Christmas, and I think that was the rrost fun of all. And although I fuss about it, and lie awake nights wondering what to give this one or that, I still love shopping for Christmas presents (and since I'm not much of a "store shoppers," I'm especially fond of shopping online). Sometimes it's maddening, though, to try to think of what to buy Every country has its own ways to observe Christmas. While children in the United States wait for Santa Claus, children in other parts of the world lo0k for their version. Father Christmas, Pere Noel, Papal Noel, San Niklaw.-those are just a few of the names given to the one ftr whom children all over the world wait--mostly on Christmas Eve, but in some countries, he comes on arother day. But however the outward and secular areas of the holiday have been developed and are observed throughout the world, each country--and I'm sure that each one on the face of the earth contains a Christian community, whether large or small--each one of the population of those countries who professes Christianity acknowledges the holiday as being an observance of the birth of a baby over two thousand years ago. No one in the history of the world has had such an impact on the people who live on the planet-- who have lived here, who live here now and who will be here in the--future--as that baby who was born in Bethlehem. Not only does the world's largest religion exist because of that tiny baby, but also the world's art, music and literature have been hugely influenced by the baby's life, death and resurrection. Churches throughout the land offer many kinds of observances of the Christ Child's birthday--and each gets down to the point of the holiday. Musical programs--cantatas, instrumental performances, con- gregational concerts--all featuring the favorite music of Christmas are wonderful ways to rejoiee. The traditional Christmas pageants featuring tiny children taking the part of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the angels are wonderful to see, and bring back memories of other little children who long ago .carried shepherd's crooks or who, as Wise Men, sported gold paper crowns, or who wore angels' wings and sparkly (but often crooked) halos. I hope that all little children have the opportunity to be angels or shepherds or Wise Men or even Mary or Joseph in a Christmas play And that all mothers and fathers have the opportunity to be in the audience. Our children participated in these church pageants before the days that people routinely brought video or traditional cameras into the church, so the only pageant pictures we have of them is in our memories. I hope Santa brings you your heart's desire. Peace and plenty for the world would be perfect! .. 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: On December 23 Beatrice Hale of Castlewood will reach her 94 th birthday. Friends and family will gather to celebrate " and honor her life with a buffet,  music, lots of old photos and a sharing of favorite memories. This spring, Beatrice, with her i daughter and son-in-law, Chuck ,and Brenda Martin, moved to their new home, the historic pre- civil war house, known as the Dr. R.C. Meade house, later renamed ', "Valley Meade" by former owner ;: and grandson of Dr. Meade, the late Robert Hancock. When Beatrice was a very young woman, her husband William Hale, purchased at auction two glass fronted medicine cabinets, from the former office of Dr. Meade. One was later sold, but one remained in the Hale household for three generations and was used as- a bookcase. Beatrice remembers dusting and polishing the old bookcase through the childhoods of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. After a 100 plus years, this spring, the Martins and Beatrice returned Dr. Meade's medicine cabinet to its appropriate and rightful setting, the front parlour of "Valley Meade." Brenda Martin Castlewood Preventing fraud The Farm Service Agency supports the Risk Management Agency in the prevention of fraud, waste and abuse of the Federal Crop Insurance Program. FSA has been, and will continue to, assist RMA and insurance man-hours of Court Room providers by monitoring crop Security for the three courts and the courthouse. conditions throughout the grow- ing season. FSA will continue to The Sheriff's Office tran- refer all suspected cases of fraud, sported 0 adult in state, 1 adult waste and abuse directly to out of state, 2 mental patient, and RMA. I juveniles for a total of 4 Producers can report suspect- transports, involving 18.5 hours. The Sheriff's Office unlocked ed cases to the FSA office, RMA, 5 vehicles and escorted 16 or the Office of the Inspector funerals during this seven-day General. period. Wise County Sheriff's Report The Wise County Sheriff's Office reports the following activities for the period of 12/05/2011 through 12/11/2011. Wise Central Dispatch received a total of l, 153 calls for this seven- day period. Of the total calls received 316 were dispatched to the Sheriff's Office. Total number of Domestic calls for this period was 8. Criminal Process for the same period served 7 Felony Warrants, 23 Misde- meanor Warrants, 3 DUI Arrest and worked 9 Traffic Accident. Civil process for this period served 527 Civil Papers. During this seven-day period 11 additional Criminal Investi- gations were initiated and 21 were cleared by arrest. The Sheriff's Office provided 174 DR. MARK COPAg Denfisf 762-2323 Castlewood CASTLEWOOD P.O. Box 640, Hwy. 58 .Castlewood, VA 24224 276/762-0764 Among our many blessings, is the privilege of having good friends and neighbors like you. FUNERAL HOME Jess Johnson Eddie Gullott Funeral Director Manager and Owner and Owner Radon (The following is the first in a series of five articles which wilt provide education concern- ing radon gas. The information is being provided by the Cas- tlewood High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). This information is the result of students partnering with Tim Rose of Virginia Home In- spections located in Lebanon and other local business part- Hers. What is radon? Radon is a radioactive gas created by the decay of Uranium found in most soil of the earth. Exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. The threat of radon is higher in Southwest Virginia, due to the high number of farms and coal mines. Most people breathe radon constantly with outdoor levels averaging .4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). But, in our Southwest Virginia, the average outdoor level is 1.4 pCi/L. The danger comes into play when radon becomes trapped inside a home, as a result of homes becoming more air tight. In the United States, the average indoor radon level is 1.3 pCi/L. The average level in Russell County alone is more than six times the average amount, a staggering 9 pCi/L! Wise County's radon level is 5.4 pCi/L. How does radon get into your home? Radon is an odorless gas that seeps through cracks in the foundation of a home, con- struction joints, cracks in walls, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around service pipes, cavities inside walls, and even the water supply of a home. A house acts like a chimney, sucking all the radon gas out of the soil from underneath a home into the living area of the structure. What are your risks? If you have a high level of radon in your home you are at risk! As mentioned earlier, radon gas is the second leading cause'of lung cancer falling behind cigarette smoke. For individuals who've in a home with a high level of radon over an extended period of time, the risk of contracting lung cancer is much greater. For those whose homes have the average radon level for Southwest Vir- ginia, you have about 20 times the risk of dying from radon than from a home fire. If you smoke you have about a 200 times risk of getting lung cancer than dying in a home fire. The only way to know if you have high levels of radon gas in your home is to test. Act now before it is too late. The Castlewood High School Partnership with Business Team would greatly appreciate hearing about your experiences with rad- on gas or lung cancer not assoc- iated with smoking. Contact team members at fblapartnershipwithb@gmail.co m. If you are interested in conducting a radon test contact Mr. Tim Rose at (276) 971-4453. SWCC participates in Virginia Council for International EducationProgram NR Southwest Virginia Com- -Brenner, Southwest's Director of munity College (SWCC) is International Education, provid- always looking for opportunities to internationalize the campus by bringing foreign guests to campus. One method is through participation in the Virginia Community College System's (VCCS) international exchange program called the Virginia Cou- ncil for International Education Program (VaCIE-CEMP) Recently, History Professor Brian Wright hosted Wilma van Berkel for two weeks at the col- lege. Van Berkel is an instructor of nursing and human services at ROC Zadkine in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Van Berkel spent her two weeks staying with Wright's family, attending class- es at Southwest, and site seeing in the four-county area. The program is lauded as a wonderful introduction to every- day life in another country and provides numerous opportunities to discuss educational techni- ques, aspects of culture, or na- tional trends in higher education. The home visit approach also keeps the exchang.e inexpensive for the sponsoring colleges. However, it does require delegates to be flexible, tolerant, and adaptable. According to Wright, van Berkel was pretty busy for the entire two weeks. "Her days were full attending classes on our campus," he said. "The students absolutely loved meet- ing her, and they were full of questions. I am very proud to be able to participate in a program that introduces our students to the broader world. No education is really complete without such a component, in my opinion." During her visit on campus, it was estimated that she spoke to over 300 students Wright also reported that van Berkel at- tended a meeting of the local Kiwanis Club as a guest of for- mer president Elaine Ward. She was also able to visit nursing homes in Lebanon, Claypool Hill find Tazewell as she teaches in this area at her college in the Netherlands. She also had the opportunity to speak with visit- ing high school seniors as they toured SWCC. While the exchange has ac- -ademic purposes, during even-:'- ings and weekends delegates have a chance to explore the cultural offerings of the country they're visiting. Van Berkel, who loves the outdoors, was amazed by the beauty of the College's service region. She especially enjoyed visiting Breaks Inter- state Park. She remarked that nowhere in her country did the trees just go "on and on" like they do in Southwest Virginia. Van Berkel was also able to visit Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia on her visit. Dr. John A VDOT Tip for Driving in Snowy Weather Remain two car lengths behind snow plow trucks for every 10 mph of speed your vehicle is traveling. Chemicals or abrasives being spread by the trucks can damage your vehicle. ed van Berkel the opportunity to experience nature m Russell County by taking her hiking at the Pinnacle Park in Lebanon. She visited Vincent's Vineyard so she could take some of Russell Counties' finest wine back to her home country. "Wilma was shown true hos- pitality everywhere she went," Wright said. "She had dinner and lunch with college admini- strators, she had dinner at my church, my mom even cooked for her. She could not have been treated more nicely by all those with whom she came into contact." The exchange will not stop with the visit of Wilma van Berkel to the SWCC campus. As a part of the exchange, Professor " Wright will travel to the Netherlands at the end of the spring semester. There he will speak with her classes, be introduced to their educational system, stay in her home and learn about her family and community in Rotterdam. The students of SWCC will then learn more about the Nether- lands next year because their prqfessor will have had the opportunity to understand and speak with Dutch students learning about their culture and world view. Southwest Virginia Community College hopes to have other faculty participate in future exchanges with this country and other countries that the VCCS partners with for international exchanges. 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 and Russell counties; $30.00 in other 24- zip codes; elsewhere, $32.50. 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