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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
December 31, 2009     Clinch Valley Times
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December 31, 2009

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, December 31. 2009 :It's doubtful that anyone, at least around here; would argue if I said that Christmas week 2009 was surely the most unusual that we've ever experienced! For one thing, the week marked the first time in nearly 36 years that a scheduled issue of the Clinch Valley Times--it was to have been dated Thursday, December 24--did not appear. For those of you who aren't local and who haven't heard, let me tell you that for once, the weather prognosticators got it right. oes..and ships-and sealing Young Gregory B ah, h u mb ug !/Ho ! Ho,t Ho ! service, so we weren't totally out of touch. Realizing that we would all probably get sick--at be t, we'd be bored to death-- I called the Holiday Inn at:Exit 7=-and was assured that they had lots of vacancies! We made a reservation, and at about 4 p.m. Saturday, off we went. We stayed over there for two days--keeping warm and probably better fed than we needed to be (remember all the good restaurants at Exit 7!) We had decided to stay Monday night, too, They had told us all last week that a massive storm having learned earlier in the day that power was still was moving across the country and would be with us off in St. Paul, but we got a call around 4 p.m. that it on Friday. Rain began late that morning, and at was back on in our neighborhood, so home we went. around 3 p.m., the raindrops were mingled with big Unfortunately, the power at our office wasn't on-- wet snowflakes. That was the main problem. If it had power to much of the downtown .business area had been a nice dry snow, we probably wouldn't have had beem restored, but not at the office. We were to have so many problems. But it was a very wet snow, which our office's traditional little Christmas breakfast on made it heavy. Furthermore, it came without any wind Tuesday morning, but the Riverside Diner was to blow it around, so it stayed wherever it landed, And closed--it had no power, either. After a lot of time on quite a lot of it landed on tree branches and wires-- the phone, we learned that we could get the paper electrical, telephone, TV cable--you name it. We'd printed on Wednesday if we had itihere in Wednes- had strong winds earlier in the week, and quite a bit of day morning. No such luck, since our power at the rain, ,and the snow served as the straw that broke the office didn t come back until C l i'stmas Day. camel s back. Trees came down everywhere--across In the meantime, our church s annual Christmas back roads and residential streets and major highways Day Dinner for the Community had to be canceled-- and Interstates. Trees across roads, coupled with no power. Church the Sunday before was canceled, massive amounts of snow, made motor travel late too. of course--I assume most if not all of the them Friday somewhere between difficult to impossible, were. And at Christmas! My daughter has a friend whose husband left his place We worried about all the people who were alone, of work at midnight, and managed to get home at or who were ill or needed oxygen or some other noon the next day, having spent part of the night in electrically-run device necessary for their health. his truck in a grocery store parking lot. Oh yes--he And that brought something to mind that I'd had towalk the last two miles to his house! forgotten, since there hadn't been a crisis in St. Paul Another victim of the storm was the power, etc., for a long time. It's just this: lines. The snow itself was heavy enough to make Years ago, when we were still having terrible some of them fall, and many others fell because of the periodic flooding, the Town Council occasionally trees that hit them on the way down. At our house we mentioned formulating an Emergency Plan for the lost power at about 6:15 Friday night, but it came town so that people could be taken care of--be given back on at around 8:15. Not too bad, we thought, comfortable places to sleep and provided with food However, I woke up during the night only to see-- and perhaps even medical care. Unfortunately, that nothing. All the lights were out, and it was c-o-l-d! never happened, and when the Clinch River was We learned later that the power had gone off again rechanneled as part of the St. Paul Redevelopment around 11 or 11:30. Being dependent as we are on our Project, the floods were gone--and we probably won't heat pump for warmth, we were cold and then colder have any more major ones. However, as last •week still, but had enough blankets to ward off freezing to proved, floods aren't the only phenomena that cau death. When daylight•finally showed itself on Satur- cause crises. Wouldn't it be great if the Mayor and day morning, we saw maybe ten or twelve inches of Town Council appointed a committee to formulate a snow piled up on everything, and the flakes were still plan so that an emergency shelter would be available, coming down..I don t think any of us had breakfast, and emergency communication and transportatoin-- so intent were we on trying to figure out what we and water and food and cooking facilities. An were to do. For lunch, we had PB&J--thank goodness immediate benefit from such a plan would be the we had a fresh loaf of bread, and we ALWAYS keep distribution to every citizen of the area a list of items peanut butter. And thanks to the Farmers' Market, I to keep on hand in case of a crisis. Things like had a good stock of jelly! flashlights and batteries and candles and bottled water We called the Old Dominion Power Company's and extra blankets and non-perishable food and a customer service line early and were horrified to learn first-aid kit--and whatever else would be helpful. that, at least at that point, 37,279 customers were out Such a step would be a positive one for the Town of power, and that the company estimate at the time, Who knows when--or even if--an_other catastrophe was t ,'gigwer wouldbe r days. Since should hit ,But if jr did, wouldn t it be lovely if n ?gljy lo.oked on peanut butter ....... each ofus and ithe T )n were aliprepared!' 2 affd. and for thr¢ :daySi )7: ,. :;' in pite 0fthe problems, Christmas came -the lack ei dfi*i gh 15i dd to manage even that meager diet. of mere electrical power coulcn't erase the awe and Allen began getting really worried about-, 'us all. wonder of the Christ Child's birth in Bethlehem! Peyton s BlackBerry provided an occasional bit of To you and yours, may we wish the happiest and CONGRESSMAN BOUCHER... (Continued from oage 1) mandate to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, given the way the Court has interpreted the Clean Air Act. The EPA sill do what the Court says unless Congress intervenes. The EPA cannot help the coal industry and elec- tric utilities that Congress set out to protect with legislation in June 2009• And only Congress can remove the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from the Court's order, and it must do it by legislation supporting the development of carbon capture and sequestration. Congress's July legislation provided $150 billion to develop these techno- gion not be harmed. 2) We have to ensure fair treatment for the 35 million uninsured as well as the 80 percent of the population ~ith health insurance. 3) I am concerned about "deal making" in the Senate-- those "sweetheart deals" that were traded for votes. Tfiese should all be removed from the final bill. (One of these, he said, provides that Nebraska will inot have to pay any Medicaid costs, as do all other states--but those costs in Nebraska will be paid with federal funds.) The Congressman also n en- tioned his Showcasing Sofith- logies. These measures will west Virginia program, which to protect both the coal industry date has brou~,ht 5 N00 iob~ m and that portion of the electric the District. He "laas 'several n re utilities that burn coal. comoanies who are currefitlv Boucher said, "If EPA regu- considering,!ocating branche in lates greenhouse gases, unless the area.. The program r ow we .,inte ene:. it wou!d .be a focuses on attracting data C n- terrlo e s manon tor me coalters he said : industry because EPA lacks thel le also "wants to attract h " " " " ' tools to dip coal. substantially more funding m Boucher's third priority is 2010 for waste and .......... Health Care. He said that he d facilities and broadband deploy- voted against the House Bill, ment. He said he will seek because Wellmont and Moun- funds from the Economic tain States Health Alliance, coverT Act ] " which, between them, operate Conm'essman Boucher S id , most of the hospitals in the area, he obta' ined a $280,000 fedd al all of which are non-profit, have grant for the High Knob project told him that they can't continue The task force he atmointed, he tO operate under the terms of the said has been effect'lye and lhe House bill. project is now two-thirds fund- The Senate has passed its ed. He hopes to see construct!on version, Boucher. said, .and a begin in 2010. conference committee will iron In the fall of 2010, he said he out the differences between the looks forward to the opening]of two versions in order to present Southwest Vir inia' s first Vdte- a bill to be considered by both tans Cemeteries Located in the House and the Senate. He Pulaski County, "the land said he'll evaluate the product transferred from federal owner- of the conference committee, ship to the state He secuiied especially in several areas: $7.2 million for construction]of 1)It is essential, he said, that the project, which has beer] a non-profit hospitals in our re- long-sought goal. t SNOW STORM... 11 (Continued from pa~e 1) t close to midnight, and stayed off from Wise to Kingsport for sulch until it was restored in some items as gasoline generators @d areas of town late Monday kerosene and propane heat s. afternoon, December 21. Most Those whose homes w re of St. Paul's customers hadequipped with gas logs, and who power by Christmas Day, al-had gas grills outdoors wdre though there were still over more able to cope, while others 14,000 customers in Wise- who had no alternative ways.'to Dickenson-Buchanan countiesheat their homes in 20+-30+ who still had no power by degree temperatures, or to cook Monday, December 28. fled to relatives' homes or to Rather than traditional last hotels in the Tri-Cities area minute Christmas shopping, where there were no power area residents searched stores outages. REGIONALPLAlqT... ~ ~ ~ ~- ~ " (Cqhtin~ted from page 1) mont, tor a total ot at least 275 require-s-ihat prospective custo- additional connections~ mers who choose not to connect Breeding also said that avail- to the sewer system be billed a ability ordinances which locali- monthly alternative fee. Such~ an ties have had in place for two ordinance ~s ~n place in Russell years and which are enforced, County. weather information, and we did have telephone healthiest New Year possible! mean that securing user agree- The Castlewood sewer sys- R ._ ments from prospective custo- tem, which will include West • mers of, a proposed sewer pro- Hills with St. Paul's participa- ject isn t necessary. This would tion, is separate from the Regio- Letters to the editor... . remove oneofthemajorstum- nal Wastewater Treatment t eware oi bling blocks for the Castlewood Plant, but is an essential part of l inducing in-there spring water, that we have had the worst project, since so many indivi- the overall project. [ Readers are invited to write [ A statue of a Coal Miner, a winter disaster storm since 1993 • , dual contacts would have to be The draft agreement which I letters on matters of general ] Military War Hero or a City and most people was not opportunists made. An agreement ordinance all prospective partners in the interest to the public. Letters [ Official.would be ok, but not a prepared for it. We just took for project must approve is almost [ donot necessarily reflect, the [ t ,am, l, S2 b g eang,ng,granted that it would just be The Clinch Valley Times has New Book ready to be reviewed by the hllosophy or ed torla" " 1 another mild winter like the ones involved entities. P [ Orlando, Florida we had in the past. I think all been asked by the Town to The Preliminary Engineering ] policy of this newspaper, [ (*Editor's note: The ."arti- families lost some - some provide the following informa- HI" " | which reserves the fight to cle" to' which Mr. Amburgey families lost all. Guess this tion to area residents. Several Jltt- lAtlJ Report (PER) for the project has ] edit letters The Clinch | refers was a letter to the editor, should be a lesson that we just small groups have gone, unso- . , been submitted, and the en- • " . . Relative to the above letter progress. [ Valley Tunes will not print [ ...... don t know the mind of God. licited, door to door in the area, ] olrlrllr o- vironmental report is in I ..... i anct tl~e cartier tetter from aqs. However, I'd like to say a special offering to cut and clear bran- ~'--~ ........ l~ unslgneo etters ._..]Tate, the idea of a statue thanks to all the electricians that ches and fallen trees. The prices ' -- ----=-: " To the Editor~ " "-- honoring the Clinch Ri, ver's have traveled local and from they quote are astronomi-cal A new book group is forming I receive : m co of the endangered mussel is, at least other states to help with our and the men are apparently at the Lebanon Library. An Clinch Valley Timepy at this point, nothing more than disaster. Many of them didn t requiring cash up front, organizational meeting will be Of course there are legitimate held Tuesday, January 5, at 9:30 Clinch today, an idea. It has never been even get to spend Christmas with December 13, 2009. As always I proposed to the Town Counci as their families so on behalf of our persons who are offering these a.m. Join the group for coffee Valley read it front to back. While sit- a projectl, so of, course no vote church and thousands of others same kinds of services and this and conversation as they choose ting on my front porch sipping a glass of KooI-Aid enjoying the has ever been taken.) again let me say thanks and God report is not intended to reflect a book to read and a time to Times 85 degree weather I came across bless you and yours for anything on them and it does not refer to meet. MEMBER the article* concerning the offi- To the Editor: you've done to help large or them.. Call 276-889-8063 for more VIRGINIA PRESSASSOCIATION~' cial statue of a fresh water clam I'm sure by now the people in small. Residents who are interested information and to vote for an ' welcoming everyone to St. Paul. our surrounding counties realize Pastor Jessie Jones inhowever,COntractingare fOrurgedthesetoServiceS,know evening/weekendwinter is a greatb°°k grouP.time to PublishedvA 24283,weeklYby thein CLINcOSt" Paul, I looked at the article the second who they're dealing with, and to snuggle up with a good book.VALLEY PUBLISHING time. written by Diana Tate. I Sureenough a statue of a Clam. I Subscribe today to the Clinch Valley Times The folks who got this passed through the City Council Plan- [ 762-767 ning Board must have spent Saturday Night on Sandy get a firm estimate of the cost. Visit your Russell County Pub- Don't pay anything until the ic Library, celebrating 50 years work has been completed, of serving Russell County. (OLLECTOR'S. MINOR DAMAGE...This tree didn't present such a serious problem as many others throughout: the area on Saturday morning, December 19, after the snow storm which began Friday and lasted through part of Saturday.- CORNER In 1999 1 wrote that right now might be a good time to invest a little money in gold coins. At that time the gold and silver bullion market was low. and could very well be on the bottom. I wrote that the bullion gold market would escalate in the near future, and that common date gold coins could be the best investment• Well. for one time. 1 was right• The Liberty twenty, known as the double eagle, minted from 1850-1907, was designed by John B. Longacre. The Liberty double eagle has three varieties. At that time they were selling for $450-$500. uncircu- lated. The price held up to about five years ago. Todav dealers are asking $1.500-$1.600 for double eag- les. The Saint Gaudens twenty dollar gold coins are selling for the same as the Double Eagle. The ten dollar Eagle dealers' asking price today is from $800- $900, about three times the asking price of five years ago. The five dollar gold asking price today is $400-$450, and the two-and-a-half gold coins, $350-$375. It's hard to say if now is a good time to invest in gold. If the dollar gets stronger, the gold market might come down some. It is doubtful if the gold bullion will go back where it was a few years ago. Who twenty dollar gold Double Eagles have increased in value $400-$500. CO., INC. The Clinch Valley Timd serves the four-county area Of Wise, Russell, Dickenson and. Scott, with offices and plafit located in the CLINCI~ VALLEY TIMES building~ 16541 Russell Street. Perid~ dicais postage is paid at the Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283. nmn 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