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Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Expressway will cause mountaintop removal
The plan of the Virginia Department of Transportation and coal companies to fast-track approval of the Coalfields Expressway is a way to give the green light to increasing mountaintop removal mining in Virginia.
The route was chosen by coal companies to maximize their ability to extract coal. Partnering with VDOT allows them to use the state’s power of eminent domain to acquire land.
They can blast away mountains along the route, clearing the way for VDOT to complete the four-lane highway. While VDOT issued a statement on the environmental impact, it failed to acknowledge the devastating impact of mountaintop removal mining on public health and the environment. The proposed route needs a full environmental review, as suggested by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Another concern is that the proposed route bypasses local communities and threatens to remove traffic that businesses depend on.
The expressway will lead to more destruction, water pollution and health issues for the people of Appalachia.
Is this the legacy we want to leave future generations?
I would like to ask Gov. Bob McDonnell if he would like mountaintop removal mining in his own back yard.
Giving new meaning to a Post subscription
Since it was announced that Jeff Bezos was buying The Washington Post, most of the discussion has centered on how he can better take it into the digital age.
There was a time not so long ago when independent booksellers were proliferating and profitable. They succumbed to the big box retailers, whose business was, in turn, disrupted by Amazon.com. Which brings me back to Bezos, a smart businessman who is at a point in his life when most realize that doing good — in his case, giving back to local communities that may have suffered economically because of the ascendance of his company — can also be a way to sustain commercial success and growth.
To purchase from his ever-expanding product line, consumers need funds, i.e. jobs. By employing the local “paperboy” to bring more than the traditional newspaper to the doorstep in the morning, rather than downsizing or eliminating the function, he can improve upon Amazon’s already outstanding customer service and keep the print circulation, if subscribing to it is a condition of the delivery of other merchandise — which would, in turn, attract advertising ink.
Just a thought, and something to consider if this media-merchant meld model is to have life, longevity and legs.
KAREN ANN DeLUCA
Some suggestions for Elm Avenue
If the construction on Elm Avenue in Roanoke is going to take months to complete, why not make the Interstate 581 exits to Elm Avenue “exit only” lanes instead of forcing a two-lane merge and a hard right at highway speeds to make the exit?
Why did the learned people managing this “improvement” plant trees down Williamson Road, so it’s now harder to spot pedestrians crossing the street from events in the park?
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us