Monday, March 27, 2017

Episode 361 (3-27-17): Water from Wells, Springs, and Cisterns Gets a Check-up through the Virginia Household Water Quality Program


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:22)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-24-17.
 

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 27, 2017.

SOUND – ~4 sec – running water faucet

This week, we drop in on an event where people line up to talk about their household water faucets.  Sound plumb unbelievable?  Well, just have a listen for about 70 seconds.

VOICES - ~74 sec

You’ve been listening to citizen participants and Virginia Tech faculty at the Virginia Household Water Quality Program clinic kick-off in Montgomery County on March 20, 2017. T he program offers drinking-water clinics in which people who rely on private wells, springs, or cisterns can get their water tested inexpensively and receive a report interpreting the results.  Citizens pick up a sampling kit and instructions, collect water from a household faucet (or in some cases, directly from a spring or other water source), and return the samples two days later.  Tech laboratories analyze the samples for bacteria, lead, arsenic, nitrate, iron, sulfate, and several other constituents.  After about four weeks, program faculty hold a meeting to give participants their confidential results, offer interpretation of the analyses, and provide other information on managing water systems.  The clinics in 2017 run from March 15 to November 1 and will cover over 50 Virginia localities.  In operation since 1989, the program has covered the Commonwealth several times, with the results providing valuable information to specific homeowners and offering broader snapshots of groundwater conditions within localities.

A companion Tech program, the Virginia Well Owner Network, consists of trained Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and volunteers who assist Virginians with water-well questions and problems.  Both programs are administered by Tech’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering, through Virginia Cooperative Extension.  For more information about these programs, search online for the Virginia Household Water Quality Program; phone (540) 231-9058; or contact your local Cooperative Extension office.

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to Kelli Scott of Virginia Cooperative Extension, and to Brian Benham and Erin James Ling of the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering, for their help with this episode.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

PHOTOS
Sample bottles and instruction sheets included in participant kits in the Virginia Household Water Quality Program, March 20, 2017.
Kits containing sampling bottles and instructions await pickup by participants at the Virginia Household Water Quality Program kickoff for Montgomery County on March 20, 2017, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
Part of the training video for participants in the Virginia Household Water Quality Program, being shown on March 20, 2017, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

SOURCES 

Used for Audio


Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering/Virginia Household Water Quality Program, “Clinic Description,” online at http://www.wellwater.bse.vt.edu; “Upcoming Events,” online at http://www.wellwater.bse.vt.edu/events.php; and “Water Sample 2016 (3 min./16 sec. training video), online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuaJa0yxYIE.

Virginia Cooperative Extension, “Home Water Quality” publications page, online at http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/tags.resource.html/pubs_ext_vt_edu:home-water-quality (includes county reports from the Household Water Quality Program, along with other information on managing household water systems),

For More Information about Groundwater or Water Wells

Robby Korth, Virginia Tech researchers: Flint-like problems also present in Virginia wells, Roanoke Times, 4/10/16.

Jim Metzner, “Pulse of the Planet,” online at http://www.pulseplanet.com/. Following are links to segments (each two minutes long) on groundwater and water wells in Virginia, the first two with Virginia well-driller Eric Rorrer and the third with Erin Ling of the Virginia Household Water Quality Program:
March 10, 2014: Water-Drilling
;
March 11, 2014: Water - Surface and Ground
;
March 12, 2014: Water-Well Maintenance
.

National Ground Water Association, online at http://www.ngwa.org/Pages/default.aspx.

J. A. Poff, A Homeowner’s Guide to the Development, Maintenance, and Protection of Springs as a Drinking Water Source, Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Blacksburg, 1999; available online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/55268.

U.S. Geological Survey, “Karst Topography - Teacher's Guide and Paper Model,” online at http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/cave/karst.html.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “USGS Water Science School,” online at http://water.usgs.gov/edu/.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/Virginia Natural Heritage Karst Program, online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/karsthome.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Groundwater Basics,” at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/GroundwaterProtectionSteeringCommittee/FrequentlyAskedQuestions.aspx.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the Groundwater subject category.

The following previous episodes relate to Virginia groundwater:
Episode 75, 8/15/11 – on springs;
Episode 158, 4/22/13 – on caves, for Virginia Cave Week (featuring music from the Luray Caverns “Stalacpipe Organ”);
Episode 219 – 6/23/14 – on well drilling in ancient and modern times;
Episode 258 – 3/23/15 – on groundwater recharge during winter;
Episode 306, 3/7/16 – on groundwater’s connections and importance, for National Groundwater Awareness Week.

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

This episode may help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
3.9 – Water cycle, including sources of water, energy driving water cycle, water essential for living things, and water limitations and conservation.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Grades K-6 Matter Theme
6.5 – properties and characteristics of water.

Life Science Course
LS.6 - ecosystem interactions, including the water cycle, other cycles, and energy flow.

Earth Science Course
ES.6 – renewable vs. non-renewable resources (including energy resources).
ES.8 - influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.

Biology Course
BIO.2 – water chemistry and its impact on life processes.

Chemistry Course
CH.6 – chemical properties in organic chemistry and biochemistry.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Civics and Economics Course
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOLs, which become effective in the 2017-18 school year:

Civics and Economics Course
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Episode 360 (3-20-17): Who Were Smith and Philpott and What Do They Have to Do with Virginia Water?


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:29)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-17-17.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 20, 2017.

SOUND – ~ 4 sec


This week, we feature a series of downstream-moving mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess a southern Virginia river and reservoir that have shaped the history of three counties named for Revolutionary legends Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin.

SOUNDS - 22 sec

If you guessed the Smith River and Philpott Reservoir, you’re right!  You heard the Smith River at the Jacks Creek Covered Bridge in Patrick County; at the outflow of the Philpott Reservoir dam, located between Henry County and Franklin County; and finally, at a bridge in the Henry County town of Bassett.  Below Bassett, the river continues through Henry County, past the city of Martinsville where it is again dammed, and eventually to Eden, North Carolina, where it joins the Dan River.

Europeans first named the river the Irwin or Irvin River after a surveyor in William Byrd’s expedition in 1728.  The relevant “Smiths” are believed to have been Gideon and Daniel, settlers in the 1740s in Pittsylvania County, from which Henry County was formed in 1777.  According to Nancy Bell in her book Philpott Stories, in the early to mid-1900s the people of the “mountains and...hollows around Franklin, Henry, and Patrick counties...both relied upon and feared the mighty Smith River.”  A devastating flood in 1937 helped lead to the plans and funds that eventually resulted in the Philpott Dam and Reservoir, completed in 1952 and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide flood control, hydroelectric power, and recreation.  Below Philpott, the Smith River offers what the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries calls one of Virginia’s “most unique fisheries,” where the dam’s coldwater releases into a relatively large stream create excellent habitat for trout.

The Philpott project was named for a Henry County family that gave up several hundred acres to the reservoir.  That family also produced one of Virginia’s most prominent politicians of the 20th Century, A.L. Philpott, who served as House of Delegates speaker from 1980-1991.   He was a powerful legislative presence during a time when the General Assembly faced many significant water-resources issues, such as a statewide moratorium on uranium mining put in place in 1982, and Virginia’s 1988 Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.

In 2017, the Smith River continues as a popular fishery, scenic attraction, and resource for communities. Philpott Dam and Reservoir continue as defining regional features.  And those two surnames—one as common as any English name, and the other distinctive in southern Virginia—continue to be part of our Commonwealth’s water story.

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.   Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.   Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Smith River and Philpott Dam sounds were recorded by Virginia Water Radio on January 15-16, 2017.

Thanks to the following people for their help providing information or sources for this episode:
Paul Angermeier, Virginia Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation;
John Copeland, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fishiers (VDGIF);
Nima Guerin, Virginia Tech Library research desk;
Shannon Ritter, Virginia Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation;
Scott Smith, VDGIF.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.   More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.

PHOTOS
 Smith River at Jacks Creek Covered Bridge in Patrick County, Va., January 15, 2017.
Philpott Dam, on the border between the Virginia counties of Franklin and Henry, January 16, 2017.
Smith River just below Philpott Dam, January 16, 2017.
Smith River in Bassett, Va. (Henry County), January 15, 2017.

EXTRA FACTS ABOUT THE SMITH RIVER, PHILPOTT DAM/RESERVOIR, AND A. L. PHILPOTT


*As stated in the audio, the Smith River is a tributary of the Dan River.  The Dan, in turn, is a tributary to the Staunton River portion of the Roanoke River, which it meets at the Charlotte/Halifax/Mecklenburg county line, about 10 miles east of South Boston, Va.

*From the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Smith River,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/waterbody/smith-river/:
“The Smith River in Franklin and Henry Counties is one of the state’s most unique trout fisheries. The cold water released from Philpott Dam provides miles of quality trout water and offers excellent fishing opportunities throughout the year.  Approximately 31 miles from Philpott Dam downstream to State Route 636 (Mitchell Bridge) are special regulation brown trout waters.  Two sections of the Smith are designated as put-and-take stocked waters and provide opportunities to catch rainbow trout.  Downstream of the special regulation section, anglers can expect to catch smallmouth bass, rock bass, and sunfish as the Smith makes its way into North Carolina.”

*From Tom McLaughlin and Susan Kyte, “The Project That Changed Everything,” Mecklenburg Sun, 10/24/12, online at http://www.sovanow.com/index.php?/news/article/mecklenburg_county_meets_the_government_men/:
“...[The Flood Control Act of 1944, also known as the Pick-Sloan Act...led to the construction of more than 50 dams and lakes across America, including the Buggs Island dam [on the Staunton/Roanoke River in Mecklenburg County, Va.] and a sister project, the Philpott Reservoir upstream on the Smith River.  Pick-Sloan was the heir to the landmark Flood Control Act of 1936, which authorized some 100 dams in flood-prone regions.   (Updated versions of the act were approved by Congress in 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1941.)”

*From Bruce F. Jamerson, Speakers and Clerks of the Virginia House of Delegates 1776-1996, Commonwealth of Virginia, Richmond, 1996:
Albert Lee Philpott (A.L.) Philpott), was born in Philpott, Va. (Henry County) in 1919 and died there in 1991.  “He was described as ‘a man of absolute integrity’ and ‘a lawyer’s lawyers’ and was probably best known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the Code of Virginia and case law.” Elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1957, he became Majority Leader in 1978 and Speaker in 1980.  According to quotes (unattributed) in the article by Bruce Jamerson, Mr. Philpott had “one of the most distinguished legislative careers in the history of the Commonwealth”; and “although a tough-minded partisan, he ‘brooked no nonsense from either side of the political aisle.’”

SOURCES

Used for Audio

Forrest Altman, “Adventures in the Dan River Basin” (undated, but at least as recent as 2005 according to references cited), available via the Dan River Basin Association, online at http://www.danriver.org/our-watershed/trails-and-river-info/river-info.

Nancy Bell, Philpott Stories, Laurel Hill Publishing, Ararat, Va., 2015.

Bridgehunter.com, “Jacks Creek Covered Bridge 46-48-02,” online at https://bridgehunter.com/va/patrick/bh40570/.

Chesapeake Bay Program, “Chesapeake Bay Program History,” online at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/about/how/history.

Maud Carter Clement, The History of Pittsylvania County, J.P. Bell Company, Lynchburg, Va., 1929.

Lee A. Daniels, “A. L. Philpott, Virginia Speaker and Ally of Governor, Dies at 72,” New York Times, 9/30/91.

W. B. Fiske, “Virginia's Moratorium: Is Uranium Mining on the Horizon in the Commonwealth?” William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review (Vol. 37, No. 1), online (as PDF) at http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1564&context=wmelpr.

John F. Harris, “A.L. Philpott, Va. House Speaker, Dies,” Washington Post, 9/29/91.

Bruce F. Jamerson, Speakers and Clerks of the Virginia House of Delegates 1776-1996, Commonwealth of Virginia, Richmond, 1996.

Tom McLaughlin and Susan Kyte, “The Project That Changed Everything,” Mecklenburg Sun, 10/24/12, online at http://www.sovanow.com/index.php?/news/article/mecklenburg_county_meets_the_government_men/.

Martinsville/Henry County, Va., “Smith River Trout Fishing,” online at http://www.visitmartinsville.com/smith-river-trout-fishing.

Mickey Powell, “Philpott Dam lecture draws crowd,Martinsville Bulletin, 10/1/15.

Emily Jones Salmon, Encyclopedia Virginia, “County Formation During the Colonial Period,” 8/30/12, online at http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/County_Formation_during_the_Colonial_Period.

Smith River Chapter of Trout Unlimited, online at http://www.smithrivertu.com/.

Freddie L. Spradlin, VaGenWeb.org, “Counties and Cities,” online at http://vagenweb.org/county2.htm.

TroutPro, “Smith River Virginia,” online at https://www.troutprostore.com/streams/smith_river_virginia.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Wilmington District/Water Management Unit, “Philpott Lake Project,” online at http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/roanphil.htm.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “Geographic Names Information System,” online at https://geonames.usgs.gov/; and “Smith River,” online at https://geonames.usgs.gov/apex/f?p=gnispq:3:0::NO::P3_FID:1023457.

University of Virginia Institute for Environmental Negotiation, “Time Period 1980s,” online at http://ien.arch.virginia.edu/time-period/1980s.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/ChesapeakeBay/ChesapeakeBayPreservationAct.aspx.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Smith River,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/waterbody/smith-river/.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “2016 Smith River Trout Fishery,” online (as PDF) at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016-Smith-River-Popular-Report.pdf.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Trout Fishing Guide,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/trout/.

Virginia Tourism Corporation, “Virginia is for Lovers/Martinsville Dam on Smith River,” online at https://www.virginia.org/Listings/HistoricSites/MartinsvilleDamonSmithRiver/.

Virginia Tech Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation, “The Smith River,” online at http://www.fishwild.vt.edu/Smith_River/.

Virginia Water Resources Research Center, “A Look Back over 35 Years of Water News in Virginia,” Educational Report ER02-2005, online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/55245.

For More Information about the Smith River, the Dan River Basin, and the Roanoke River Basin

Forrest Altman, The Dan River Book: Odyssey, Epic, Guide (5th Edition), Star Square Press, Semora N.C., 2003.  Available from the Dan River Basin Association, http://www.danriver.org/.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, "A Virginia Jewel: The Smith River," 2 min./33 sec. video, online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZb9Ky8_wSU; and "Smith River Trout Fishing, 2 min./19 sec. video, online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE66P3SMZ2A.

William Byrd, The Westover Manuscripts: Containing The History of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina; A Journey to the Land of Eden, A. D. 1733; and A Progress to the Mines”; (written from 1728-1736), printed by Edmund and Julian C. Ruffin, Petersburg, Va., 1841.  Electronic edition 2001, available from the University of North Carolina Library online at http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/byrd/byrd.html.

W.E. Trout, III, The Dan River Atlas (1st Edition), prepared for the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society, Richmond and Lexington, Virginia; and the Dan River Basin Association, Wentworth, North Carolina, 2003.  Available from the Dan River Basin Association, http://www.danriver.org/.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).

For episodes on water-related geographic features in Virginia, please see the “Rivers, Streams, and Other Surface Water” subject category.

For episodes on floods and flooding, please see the “Weather/Natural Disasters” subject category http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html.

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS
This episode may help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 - living things as part of a system, including habitats.
3.6 - ecosystems, communities, populations, shared resources.
4.5 - ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystem.
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.8 - community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.
LS.9 - adaptations for particular ecosystems’ biotic and abiotic factors, including characteristics of land, marine, and freshwater environments.
LS.10 - changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes, including climate changes and catastrophic disturbances.
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.8 - influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.
ES.10 – ocean processes, interactions, and policies affecting coastal zones, including Chesapeake Bay.

Biology Course
BIO.8 - dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.2 – physical geography and native peoples of Virginia past and present.
VS.9 – knowledge of 20th and 21st Century Virginia, including transition from agricultural to industrial society, social and political events, historical figures.
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

United States History to 1865 Course
USI.2 – water features important to the early history of the United States.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.3 - how regional landscapes reflect the physical environment and the cultural characteristics of their inhabitants.
WG.6 - past and present trends in human migration and cultural interaction as influenced by social, economic, political, and environmental factors.
WG.7 - types and significance of natural, human, and capital resources.
WG.10 - cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.16 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOLs, which become effective in the 2017-18 school year:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.1 – impact of geographic features on people, places, and events in Virginia history.
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

United States History to 1865 Course
USI.2 – major land and water features of North America.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.3 - how regional landscapes reflect the physical environment and the cultural characteristics of their inhabitants.
WG.4 - types and significance of natural, human, and capital resources.
WG.18 - cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.7 – national government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Episode 359 (3-13-17): Subcommittees are Where Many Proposed Virginia Laws Start to Float or Sink


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:18)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-10-17.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 13, 2017.

SOUNDS – ~ 6 sec – Crowd gathered for January 18, 2017, meeting of the Virginia House of Delegates’ Natural Resources Subcommittee.

This week, we drop in on a tightly packed room spilling into a hallway of a historic building in the heart of Richmond, Virginia.  In this room and others like it, people from various backgrounds gather to express concerns, clarify uncertainty, and work towards compromise.  Have a listen for about 90 seconds to an abbreviated version of what was in fact a 30-minute conversation, and try to figure out what’s going on!

VOICES – ~84 sec

You’ve been listening to a discussion in the January 18, 2017, meeting of the Natural Resources Subcommittee, part of the Virginia House of Delegates’ Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee.   In the audio you heard, this subcommittee was discussing House Bill 1679, related to chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

In a subcommittee, members meet with stakeholders from across the Commonwealth to discuss legislation.  Subcommittees are usually the first place where proposed bills get thoroughly debated at the General Assembly, so their meetings can draw a passionate and heated crowd.  Subcommittees are the place to discover the issues of a bill, and clarification is the name of the game at this level.  What happens here is crucial to whether or not proposals move forward from committees to House and Senate floors and ultimately to the governor’s desk.

So if someday in January or February you find yourself at the Virginia General Assembly, try to drop into a subcommittee meeting.  You may not have enough room to move, and you may find yourself standing in the hallway or sitting on a table rather than a chair.   But even if you’re crowded, you’ll be sure to witness the interpersonal, relatively informal, and occasionally humorous side of Virginia law-making.

Thanks to this week’s guest host, Eryn Turney, the spring 2017 intern at the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.

We close with the words of James Edmunds, the chair of the Virginia House of Delegates’ Natural Resources Subcommittee.

VOICE – ~6 sec – Adjournment of January 18, 2017, subcommittee meeting.
SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This week’s audio was recorded by Virginia Water Radio at the January 18, 2017, meeting of the Natural Resources Subcommittee of the Virginia House of Delegates’ Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources.  The excerpt you heard was a montage of comments in the original sequence but not the original timing. An audio recording (30 min./31 sec.) of the subcommittee’s full discussion of House Bill 1679 on January 18, 2017, is available at this link.

For more on 2017 General Assembly bills on hydraulic fracturing chemicals, please see the Virginia Water Central News Grouper post, Water in the 2017 VA General Assembly: Fracking Chemical Disclosure Bills – Updated February 21, 2017.

An excerpt of the January 18 subcommittee meeting was also featured in Episode 353, 1/30/17.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.   More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

PHOTO

Meeting of the Virginia House of Delegates’ Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee/Natural Resources Subcommittee, in Richmond on January 18, 2017.

EXTRA FACTS ABOUT VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMMITTEES AND SUBCOMMITTEES


The Virginia General Assembly convenes every year in January.   In all even-numbered years, the Assembly holds a so-called “long session” of 60 days; “short sessions,” initially set for 30 days but typically extended to about 45 days, are held in odd-numbered years.  A reconvened (“veto”) session is held in April.  During long sessions, the Commonwealth’s budget for the upcoming two years is set; amendments to the current biennial budget may be considered both in long and short sessions.  The General Assembly’s main Web page is http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php.

Standing committees are key parts of the General Assembly process. Proposed legislation is assigned to a committee, then possibly to a subcommittee.  The House of Delegates has 14 standing committees, while the Senate has 11.  Most of these groups meet weekly during the General Assembly session. Information about all standing committees—including membership, meeting times, and legislation being considered—is available from the Virginia Legislative information System, online at http://lis.virginia.gov/lis.htm.

Two committees that receive many water-related bills are the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee (House ACNR) and the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee (Senate ACNR).  The House ACNR Committee includes three subcommittees: Agriculture; Chesapeake; and Natural Resources.  The Senate ACNR does not include any subcommittees.  Energy-related bills may be assigned initially to the House or Senate Commerce and Labor Committees, both of which (as of 2017) have energy-related subcommittees.

SOURCES

Used in Audio

Virginia Legislative Information System, “2017 Session: House Bill 1679,” online at http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=171&typ=bil&val=hb1679.

Virginia Legislative Information System, “2017 Session: Members of the General Assembly,” online at http://lis.virginia.gov/171/mbr/MBR.HTM.

Virginia Water Resources Research Center/Water Central News Grouper, “Water in the 2017 VA General Assembly: Fracking Chemical Disclosure Bills,” online at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/water-in-the-2017-va-general-assembly-fracking-chemical-disclosure-bills/.

For More Information about the Virginia General Assembly

Virginia Water Central News Grouper posts on the Virginia General Assembly (from 2012 to 2017) are available online at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=General+Assembly.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html). See particularly the Community/Organizations subject category.

Previous episodes on the Virginia General Assembly are the following.
Episode143, 1/7/13 – Music for the Past and Present of the Virginia General Assembly.
Episode 147, 2/4/13 – Committees Guide the Flow of Bills in the Virginia General Assembly.
Episode 196, 1/13/14 – The Virginia Legislature on its 396th Opening Day, January 8, 2014.
Episode 247, 1/5/15
– January Means State Budget Time in the Virginia General Assembly.
Episode 252, 2/9/15
– Voting on Water in the 2015 Virginia General Assembly.
Episode 297, 1/4/16 – Water’s on the Agenda—along with a Whole Lot Else—When the Virginia General Assembly Convenes.
Episode 302, 2/8/16 – Voting on Water in the 2016 Virginia General Assembly.
Episode 350, 1/9/17 – Old English Music Helps Preview the Old Dominion’s 2017 General Assembly.
Episode 353, 1/30/17 – Voting on Water in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly.

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

This episode may help with the following 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
6.9 – public policy decisions regarding the environment.

Life Science Course
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.6 – renewable vs. non-renewable resources (including energy resources).

Biology Course
BIO.8 – dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including effects of natural events and human activities.

The episode may also help with the following 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.1 – social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

Government Course

GOVT.1 – social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.16 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

The episode may also help with the following 2015 Social Studies SOLs, which become effective in the 2017-18 school year:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.1 – social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

Government Course
GOVT.1 – social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.15 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Episode 358 (3-6-17): Tornado Preparedness and Virginia’s Statewide Tornado Drill


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:13)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-3-17.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 6, 2017.

SOUNDS – ~ 5 sec – Thunderstorm

This week we feature a severe-weather mystery sound. Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess what this sound might mean on a warm, stormy day or night, any time of year.

SOUNDS - ~ 20 sec

If you guessed a tornado warning, you’re right!  You heard Virginia Tech’s warning siren, first during Virginia’s 2011 statewide tornado drill, and then—along with rain and thunder—during a real tornado-warning for the Blacksburg area in the early morning of April 28, 2011.

In 2017, March 21 at 9:45 a.m. is the date and time for Virginia’s tornado drill.  During the drill, the National Weather Service will send a test warning over NOAA Weather Radios, simulating what people would receive during an actual tornado warning.  Local media will also broadcast the test message over the Emergency Alert System.  The drill is a chance for schools, agencies, businesses, and families to learn about tornadoes and to practice tornado-emergency plans. Information about the drill, including how to register a local event, is available from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, online at vaemergency.gov.

Whether by siren, broadcast, cell phone, or some other way, if you receive an actual tornado warning for your location, here’s what Virginia emergency managers recommend you do:
*Take shelter in the nearest substantial building, specifically in the basement or on the lowest floor in a windowless, interior room.
*Be ready to protect your body from flying debris with a mattress, pillows, or other material.
*DON’T stay in a car or a mobile home; instead, quickly seek a substantial building.
*If you can’t get to a building as a tornado approaches, DON’T stay under a bridge or overpass; instead, lie flat in a ditch or some other low spot and cover your head with your hands. In such a place, be alert for rising water.
*DO monitor conditions on a mobile device, weather radio, or other information source, and stay in your safe location until the danger has passed.

Between 1951 and 2015, Virginia experienced 680 reported tornadoes, occurring in all regions of the state and in every month of the year; and at least eight twisters touched down in Virginia on February 24, 2016, killing four people.  So please, make a plan, stay informed, and be tornado ready!

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.   In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This episode is an update of previous episodes on tornado preparedness (Episodes 102, 3-13-12; 204, 3-10-14; and 256, 3-9-15).  The audio files for those episodes have been archived.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the Ben Cosgrove's “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.

PHOTOS
Heavily damaged house in Pulaski, Virginia, on April 14, 2011, following an April 8 tornado in the area.
Sign marking an area in the Virginia Tech Squires Student Center designated as an emergency shelter for hazardous weather, March 19, 2015.

EXTRA INFORMATION ON TORNADO PREPAREDNESS

Following is the tornado preparedness information available from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management online at http://www.vaemergency.gov/prepare-recover/threat/tornadoes/, as of 3/3/17.

Know the terms
Tornado Watch: A tornado is possible in your area.  You should monitor weather-alert radios and local radio and TV stations for information.

Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted in the area or has been indicated by National Weather Service Doppler radar.  When a warning is issued, take cover immediately.

Decide now where you will go in case of a tornado warning
*Keep this safe location uncluttered.
*Storm cellars or basements give the best protection.
*If an underground shelter is not available, go into a windowless interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
*Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
*If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
*A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Go to a nearby sturdy building, or lie down in a ditch away from your home, covering your head with your hands. Mobile homes are extremely unsafe during tornadoes.

Keep your emergency supply kit in your shelter location
See http://www.vaemergency.gov/prepare-recover/emergency-supply-kit/ for details on preparing a kit.

Practice a tornado drill at least once a year.
See “How to Conduct a Tornado Drill,” online at http://www.vaemergency.gov/emergency-management-community/emergency-management-resources/tornado-drill/.

If You Are Away From Home, Take These Steps
If in open buildings (shopping mall, gym or civic center):
*Try to get into a restroom or interior hallway.
*If there is no time, get up against something that will support or deflect falling debris.
*Protect your head by covering it with your arms.

If in cars of trucks:
*Get out of your vehicle and try to find shelter inside a sturdy building.
*A culvert or ditch can provide shelter if a substantial building is not nearby.   Lie down flat and cover your head with your hands.
*Do not get under an overpass or bridge.  You are safer in a low, flat location.

SOURCES

Used in Audio

National Weather Service, “Weather and Water Preparedness Events Calendar,” online at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/severeweather/severewxcal.shtml; and “Weather Safety,” online at http://www.weather.gov/safety.

Tornado History Project, online at http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/tornado/Virginia/map.  The site has information on the location and timing of tornadoes in Virginia since 1951.  The site states that their maps are based on data from the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center; that center’s home page is http://www.spc.noaa.gov/.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s (VDEM):
“History: Virginia Tornadoes,” online at http://www.vaemergency.gov/news-local/tornado-history/;
“Statewide Drills,” online at http://www.vaemergency.gov/news-local/statewide-drills/;
“Tornadoes”, online at http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stayinformed/tornadoes, and
“Prepare & Recover,” online at http://www.vaemergency.gov/prepare-recover/;
VDEM contact information: phone (804) 897-6500; e-mail: pio@vdem.virginia.gov.

Washington Post, Eight tornadoes touched down in Virginia in Wednesday’s deadly outbreak, 2/26/16.

Weather Underground, “Tornadoes: Fact vs. Myth,” online at https://www.wunderground.com/resources/severe/tornado_myths.asp.

For More Information about Severe Weather and Weather Preparedness

American Red Cross, “Prepare for Emergencies,” online at http://www.redcross.org/prepare; or contact your local chapter.

Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Prepare for Emergencies,” online at https://www.ready.gov/prepare-for-emergencies.

Kevin Myatt,
Weather Journal: Tornadoes off to big start after slow year,Roanoke Times, 4/4/17.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Ready Virginia Mobile App, available online at http://www.vaemergency.gov/prepare-recover/ready-virginia-mobile-app/.

Virginia Tech News Release, Virginia Tech to participate in statewide tornado drill March 17, 3/6/15.

Virginia Water Central News Grouper posts on news, events, and information resources relevant to severe weather, online at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=severe+weather.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Weather/Natural Disasters” subject category.

For another episode on tornadoes, please see Episode 342 (11-14-16), Tornado Research through Virtual Reality at Virginia Tech’s “Cube.”

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

The episode may help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems Theme
2.6 – identification of common storms and other weather phenomena.
4.6 – weather conditions, phenomena, and measurements.
6.6 – properties of air and structure of Earth’s atmosphere; including weather topics.

Earth Science Course
ES.12 – weather and climate.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOLs, which become effective in the 2017-18 school year:

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.