South Boston News & Record
and Mecklenburg Sun
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Checking the list
SoVaNow.com / December 18, 2013Dear Santa,
I have been a good boy this year. Well, most of the time. But this letter isn’t about me. I am writing to ask you to look kindly upon all the poor souls who struggle in their daily lives, who must deal constantly with hardship and strife, who deserve a little happiness this Christmas season. You probably already know the folks I’m talking about: they made the majority of our headlines in 2013.
Yes, sometimes our newsmakers have been naughty, and sometimes they’ve been nice, but everyone deserves a moment of happiness and a ray of hope and a pony under the tree this Yuletide. So here’s a list just for them, Santa. You might want to schedule some overtime for the elves:
For Clarksville town crews: A GPS system for finding their way around the 670 acres being newly annexed into town.
For the Town of Chase City: A downtown arboretum to fill the empty space at the corner of Main and Second Street.
For Preservation Virginia: A lovingly crafted photo album featuring the old Leggett Department Store building in Chase City, prior to it being torn down at the corner of Main and Second Street.
For Clarksville’s Virginia Avenue tobacco warehouse, with the gaping hole in the roof: A happier fate.
For the Town of South Hill: More shops to go with the performing arts center, the market square, the advanced education center, the library and all the other cool stuff gathered in the heart of downtown.
For all of Mecklenburg County: An influx of new industries to compensate for the 2013 exodus of companies from South Hill.
For Brunswick County: Lifetime membership in the Natural Gas Council.
For the children of Mecklenburg County: State-of-the-art school facilities.
For the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors: A sense of urgency.
For Park View Middle School Principal James Spence: A building in his own sharp image.
For Park View High School Principal Paige Kindley: A shot at becoming principal of the consolidated Mecklenburg County High School before she retires.
For the county’s teachers: More time to absorb this entire Project-Based Learning business.
For Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Thornton: The serenity to accept the things he cannot change, the courage to change the things he can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
For school trustees Dora Garner, Dale Sturdifen and Glenn Edwards: The power to filibuster.
For the rest of the School Board: Whatever the opposite of carte blanche is.
For Baskerville supervisor Bill Blalock: A feed lot at the vacated campus of Buckhorn Elementary School.
For Bluestone football coach Waverly Jackson: Some extra beef for the O-line.
For Satterwhite Point Marina operators Scott and Catherine Hughes: Nothing but smooth sailing at Rochichi Point.
For visitors to Lake Gaston: A public-access waterfront park.
For the Town of Boydton: A right-sized budget.
For Microsoft: A data cloud that just keeps getting bigger.
For Erwin Raughley, the Alabama developer who has taken over the abandoned Burlington site in Clarksville: A perfect score on the high-dive flip.
For Starion, LLC, the newly-formed Virginia company that will make tobacco lozenge products under license from Star Scientific: The demand for workers that Star once predicted in Chase City.
For Star Scientific founder Jonnie Williams: No more bromances.
For Governor Bob McDonnell: No late-breaking indictments.
For Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe: Better taste in friends.
For State Senator Frank Ruff: Something useful to do at the General Assembly now that Virginia Uranium Inc. has thrown in the towel on overturning Virginia’s uranium mining ban.
For VUI’s investors: free glow-in-the-dark rocks to give to the kids this Christmas.
For Delegate Tommy Wright: A reminder that Southside Virginia has many hard-working people who make so little as to qualify for the proposed expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
For Community Memorial Healthcenter: Takeover suitors with a heart — and pockets — of gold.
For Chase City fire chief Winthy Hatcher: Gold-lined turnout gear as a going-away present upon his retirement from the CCVFD.
For county supervisor Jim Jennings: A reminder to cross those T’s and dot those I’s the next time he submits petition signatures with his campaign filings.
For the Election District #3 constituents who sought to remove School Board trustee Joan Wagstaff: Pro bono legal assistance in interpreting Virginia election laws.
For Mark Obenshain, Republican candidate for Virginia Attorney General: A nuclear fallout shelter from the 1960s, should he attempt to overturn the result of the November election by contesting the vote in the General Assembly.
For Mark Herring, Democratic candidate for Virginia Attorney General, who started out the week with a 165-vote lead out of 2.2 million votes cast in the AG’s race: The hair on his chinny-chin-chin.
For President Obama: His own Instagram account.
For Fifth District Rep. Robert Hurt: A better caliber of ghostwriter for his weekly column.
For the Mecklenburg County Farm Bureau: A Congressman who can actually help to pass a Farm Bill.
For U.S. Senator Mark Warner: Stretching exercises at the local YMCA in preparation for his 2014 re-election campaign.
For Southside Virginia: Single-digit unemployment. Make that low single digits.
For The Sun’s readers, advertisers, and friends: Our sincerest thanks for your support and fondest wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
For everyone else: The same.
For yours truly: A short respite from column-writing until the new year.
Happy holidays and see everyone again in 2014!