The Gap Gazer: September 2017

Volume 8, Issue 9

Here Come the Ducks!

Servolution Health Services, a faith-based, non-profit free clinic located in Speedwell, Tennessee is teaming up with the Cumberland Gap Volunteer Fire Department on September 30 to present a fund raising Duck Race down Gap Creek. The breakfast will be held between 9 and 11AM in historic downtown Cumberland Gap. The race will splash off at noon. The organizations have obtained all necessary permits and ducks will go on sale soon. Watch for posters and information in area businesses on where to purchase your personal entrants.

Why is the Zig Zag Path closed?

The Zig Zag trail into the Gap was built jointly by the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park on its own property and by the town on land loaned to city by local resident Betty Howard’s family. The National Park closed their end of this unique wooden trail last fall with minimal

explanation. At the February 6, 2017 Aldermen meeting, Mayor Pucciarelli reported that “The park felt that the walkway was a safety concern during the winter months, so therefore, they want to keep the walkway closed from October to March each year”. The closed sign, placed by the Park, at the town’s undamaged end, was moved up to the Park’s boundary to allow walkers to use the Gap’s part of the trail. At the Aldermen’s August meeting on Aug. 7th, more information was forthcoming. It was reported that the Park now plans on transforming their part of the wooden walkway into an actual trail, connecting to the Gap’s part with wooden stairs. At press time, the park had already built a steep set of stairs and destruction of their wooden pathway is promised.

Energy Bill Relief Proposed

Appalachian Voices, a non profit organization awarded a five star rating by the Charity Navigator for their transparency and financial management has come to the Cumberland Gap area. The representatives attending the Aldermen Planning Meeting on July 31st at Mayor Neal Pucciarelli’s invitation, presented the needs of and benefits to this area. They propose to help residents lower electric bills, with no income level requirement by ‘Tariffed On-Bill Financing’. A team will help home owners and renters assess and finance energy efficiency improvements. The money needed will be paid back through an 80% energy savings cap on individual electric bills. The program is financed by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP) and the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP), that are available to the co-op through the Rural Utilities Service. The representatives stated that bills will go down and when the investment is paid off, the resident will get the benefit of the entire savings. The Gap Alderman sent a joint resolution to Powell Valley Electric Cooperative at their August 7th meeting, voicing support of the program.

Before this program can be fully implemented in the area, Powell Valley Electric Cooperative needs to know residents are interested. The motivation for the Electric Co-op to accept this seeming reduction in profits is seen during peak periods when the company exceeds pre-determined caps and is required to pay high penalty charges. Appalachian Voices representative Brianna Knisley stated that this fact motivates the electric companies to both benefit consumers and to minimize their own costs. The Aldermen of Cumberland Gap had the first presentation by Appalachian Voices Energy Savings Program in the tri-state area. One utility company in North Carolina has accepted the program. The fact that 76% of homes in the Gap were built more than 25 years ago, makes this town a viable candidate for this program. The Gap City Offices has preprinted letters which residents can sign and send to Powell Valley Electric Co-op to express interest. Customers can also call the Powell Valley Electric Offices at (423) 626-5204 to express desire for the program. For further information, call the Appalachian Voices team at (865) 291-0083 ext. 701.

Matthews’ Musings

Why do I do this? When we moved in, my husband asked me to use my skills to produce the paper so we would know what was going on in the very busy area. I do enjoy researching and writing and the one-page format is of a manageable length and allows me to cover important issues and events without too much verbiage. (For five years, the Gazer was on the back of the water bill but this proved too much connection to the town when the mayor, at that time, censored and pulled out an editorial he did not like) I have received both positive and negative feedback on the Gazer and try to improve if the negative feed-back points out a real issue. I appreciate positive feedback as it tells me that the paper is serving a useful purpose to my readers and I am not wasting the time I invest. Thank you for reading!


Upcoming Events Cumberland Mountain Music Show featuring the “music and heritage of the mountain people, Sept. 9 & Oct. 14 @ 7;30 pm-9:30 pm, LMU Convention Center $12 at the door

Harvest Moon Art Festival Oct. 14th. Hours 3 - 8 pm Cumberland Gap Artists’ Co-op. A fall celebration of Art with food, music, a silent auction and winetasting. Free admission.

Servolution Duck Race - Sept. 30. Fire dept. breakfast. further info in article. Family event.

Pumpkin Lights (Halloween) and Victorian Christmas Dec 2nd: Mother and Father Christmas and much more! Further details upcoming!!

Kathy Matthews, Editor


616–540-7532 or 281-754-3457

News tips are appreciated!

Gap Gazer Statement of Ownership and Responsibility

The Gap Gazer is the creation of Kathy Jo Matthews, a Gap resident, and she alone is responsible for the content. The town government and other agencies have no responsibility for publication and distribution of the Gazer. All articles are based on research and are as factually accurate as the editor can present them. Contact the editor at the phone numbers and email address listed in this issue if any questions arise in the veracity of the news presented. The news in each issue is as journalistically correct and as impartially presented as possible. Events posted are all in the immediate tri-state area and if an event is missed, that usually means no one contacted the editor with the information. The ”Matthews’ Musings” is an editorial and, while still based on fact, may contain editorial comment and opinion. Distribution is via email and through stacks of newspapers distributed to the Gap Post Office, the Gap Creek Coffee House, The Pineapple Tearoom, The National Park and the Cumberland Gap Artists’ Co-op. The Gazer contains no advertising and is responsible to no one for funding. All printing is at the editor’s expense, eliminating any connections with another entity. The Gap Gazer is produced monthly and is in its 8th year of continuous publication.

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