The Gap Gazer: September 2018

Dear Faithful Reader,

I have never missed an issue since I started this paper 9 years ago. This time I came close. Just finished carefully constructing my September Edition. Then I closed the computer down and when I tried to restart it, my whole system crashed. Fortunately I have Walt, my personal computer dude and Carbonite. Computer going back to HP and they are saving data. I have paid for Carbonite for a long time and there was my paper in my recently backed up files! Highly recommend the program for security of files; I even pulled off my pictures which were on my computer for the issue. Add this to the complete allergic reaction I had in early August to the antibiotics I was on (stuck me in hospital again) and the fact I am flying to AZ to be with a friend whose husband recently died tomorrow, and life on the Matthews front has been a bit rocky lately. God is in charge of my health, the computer wasn't that important in the whole scheme of things but I am so grateful to get this edition out!


Kathy Matthews

Editor: The Gap Gazer


616–540-7532 or 281-754-3457

News tips are appreciated!

Volume 9, Issue 9

Left: Peace at the top of the Mountain; Right: Dogs have Guardian Angels too!

Past organizers of the Jamboree– Johnny Adams and Mark Treadway.

Genealogy Jamboree on the Move

The Genealogy Jamboree, once firmly entrenched in its June spot on the Gap calendar, is moving to Family History Month in October. The dates desired by Jamboree organizer David Nelson were already reserved in 2018 by the Art Co-op’s Harvest Moon Festival. So for this year, the Jamboree will be held on October 19 and 20th. The organizers are hoping for the presence of Ancestory.com but that is still uncertain on the available dates for this year.

The Genealogy Jamboree has had a three-state presence for many years and has garnered national attention. Unfortunately, two of the originators of the festival have passed away and current organizer Nelson is operating out of Atlanta Georgia with some of his main support coming from Canada. Other venues have tried to entice the Jamboree away from the Gap but those presenting it have felt it a perfect historical fit and chosen to keep it where it began. More will be forthcoming as the event nears.

The large lot for sale in downtown Cumberland Gap.

Who is Buying Downtown?

There is a large private lot for sale in the center of Cumberland Gap. Recently, during the Aldermen Board Planning meetings, this lot has been discussed and possible action on the property involving the city has been presented. It is the position of the Gazer that any information discussed in a public meeting under Tennessee Act 8-44-102 “All meetings of any governing body are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times” is public knowledge and in respect to the public’s right to know, all public information presented in board Planning meetings may be made available to the public. In response to direct questions presented by the Gazer Editor, both the Mayor and the property owner answered concerning the property and then both emphatically stated that neither wanted any information on the property published in the Gazer until the information became more definitive. The Gazer will publish no information not discussed in a public meeting or given in direct response to a question unless said information has been declared ‘off the record’ before the response.

During the February 26th Aldermen Planning meeting the Mayor broached the subject of pursuing research on the town obtaining the Estep property located on Colwyn Ave. At that meeting, the aldermen decided to pursue research on what it would take for the town to obtain this property. Again, during the May 28th planning meeting, the Mayor presented another monetary offer from a ‘credible’ party desiring to build three story buildings on this lot. The bottom stories would be in compliance with C-1 zoning regulation and the top two would house rental property of some sort. The July 30th planning meeting ended with a resident board member expressing concerns with any construction of three story buildings on that lot. The actual regulation for the zoning states that “No building shall exceed three (3) stories or forty (40) feet in height”. This was construed to mean that buildings only had to be in accordance with adjoining structures such as the Frame shop or Ravnum home.

This information is presented in the realm of the public right to know any information presented in a public forum. The matter of the sale and use of the private lot in the middle of town has not been decided but there are parties interested and any credible interest presented in a public forum needs to be made public. All citizens are invited to attend both Aldermen Planning and Board meetings to hear what is presented to the public on the future of this property.

Matthews Musings:

I have had to do some soul searching after two direct confrontations by town leaders trying to suppress the right of the press to publish information presented in a direct public forum. As a responsible journalist, I do not want to wait until an issue is settled before presenting it to the public. I believe in the public’s right to know what is presented in early planning stages so that those concerned may have an influence. I am deeply troubled however because of the lack of a public presence at board meetings and the lack of interested parties running to fill vacant board seats. I feel the weight of presenting information available to the public that the public doesn’t seem to be concerned enough to hear or influence. As a responsible journalist, I will exercise my constitutional right to stay within the law and not allow public information to be suppressed. As a concerned citizen, I still encourage residents to take an interest, to attend board meetings and to run for open seats to formulate public policies.

August Gazer Correction: November General Election on November 6th, 2018

Upcoming Events Cumberland Mountain Music Show featuring the music of mountain life. Sept 22 @7:30 pm - LMU Convention Center. $12 at the door.

2nd Annual Duck Derby Race to benefit Servolution Health Services (SHS) will be held on September 9, 2018.

Harvest Moon Gala Oct. 13, 2018. Art, food, music, children’s activities Seasonal art for sale & wine tasting. 2 pm-8 pm. Sponsored by Cumberland Gap Artists’ Co-op.

Genealogy Jamboree October 19 and 20, 2018 Downtown Gap and Tristate Area.

Pumpkin Lites Halloween. More info later.

Victorian Christmas Mother and Father Christmas, 10 am at the Victorian home on Colwyn; as well as tree lighting and town merchant Christmas for all. Whole day celebration on Dec. 1, 2018. Festival of lights in the Gap.

Polar Bear Dip! Jan. 1, 2019 Noon In front of Little Congress Bicycle Museum.

Enjoy the National Park

For reservations (always recommended!) Call Nat. Park @ 606-248-2817or buy in person at the Visitors Center (1st exit past Tunnel in Kentucky)

Gap Cave Tours & Hensley Settlement Tours: Both tours held all days except Thursdays.

Gap Cave: $8 adults $4 Senior Pass and Children 5-12. Depart from Daniel Boone Parking area in the Gap at 1 pm. Return at 3 pm.

Hensley Settlement: $10 adults $5 children under 12 and Senior Passes. Reservation holders meet at Visitors’ center at noon, returning at 4 pm.

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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