The Gap Gazer: November 2018

Hello Faithful Readers!

Still having computer issues but am learning a lot through my husband's knowledge. Unfortunately moving 50000+ pictures to a new file one at a time takes a lot of time but I am proceeding forward. My November Gazer is a bit later than usual but I still was able to finish it in October. Walt and I had a wonderful day at Portal 31 in Lynch KY and I wanted to share it with those who live here and my readers who may visit someday. I have lived here close to 9 years now and still am uncovering new adventures. As my readers know, I do love my new hometown and through my little missive I love to share what I discover and feel it is my responsibility as a journalist to keep those who run the town transparent to the constituents. All this in a one page paper! What a challenge and joy...and I so appreciate it when my readers appreciate the time I put into this...truly free press!

Thanks for reading and requesting The Gap Gazer!

Kathy Matthews

Editor: The Gap Gazer


616–540-7532 or 281-754-3457

Upcoming events, news and any other ideas welcome.

Volume 10, Issue 11

L: Walking the dogs, on a fall trail!

R: Heralds of Fall!

Aldermen Vacancies Assured

There are three seats on the Gap Aldermen Board to be filled by voters on the November 6th ballot. Only one incumbent candidate, John Ravnum, filed a petition and is running for the office. Jerry Hopson and Chuck Coffey have chosen not to run again. There were no write-in candidates who filed by the September deadline so there will be two empty seats after the election. How these offices are to be filled will actually revert to Tennessee election law as the town charter only covers what happens if an alderman quits or dies in office. According to Carolyn O’Dell, Administrator of Elections in Claiborne County, state law dictates that the newly seated board and mayor will be given the task of appointing individuals to fill the vacant positions until the next election. There will be a quorum even with the two vacant positions and the mayor must follow Roberts Rules of Procedure and only vote in case of a board tie over the appointments. No temporary appointee will serve more than two years.

Gap Improvements in Progress

  • The Rails to Trails walking trail above the Gap from the tunnel past the Dog Park through two covered bridges to downtown Gap is scheduled to get trail lights. Currently the Aldermen are accepting bids for these lights.

  • The ends of the covered bridges on this trail are dangerous to wandering walkers and dogs. The aldermen board is considering the best way to fence off the open ends. Wrought Iron and chain link fences have been considered.

  • The town has paid Vaughn and Melton to complete a feasibility study of the Waste Water Treatment Facility and have determined that the plant could be expanded but that the town must correct some issues first. The town must repair leaks and correct the organic materials overload. The plant is being overloaded with food, oil, and grease. Residents will be asked to not flush or put those items down garbage disposals. Expansion of the plant may be a way to make money for the town.

Coal Keeps the Lights On

There are so many historical experiences within an hour radius of Cumberland Gap. What better way to enjoy the fall color than to pick a day tour destination such as a Lynch Kentucky coal mine tour, a Coal Mine Museum and the Schoolhouse Restaurant!

Portal No. 31 Underground Mine Tour offers visitors the unique experience of touring an actual coal mine by rail car. The coal mining experience is enhanced by touring the Coal Mine museum just up the street from the mine. The old School House Restaurant across from the museum and a Coal Miners’ Diner just across from the coal mine tour building will make the visit to Lynch a day long adventure just over an hour from Cumberland Gap. Tours of the mine are conducted Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am -5 pm. Reservations are recommended as the tours are often full this time of year. The cost for the tour by railcar through many coal mine venues is $16.95 for adults, $2 less for seniors and $6.95 for children up to 12. The mine tour will operate through December 15 and reopen in mid-April. For reservations call 606.848.3131. The four-story museum experience has actual tunnels for children to explore and visits the history of the area in exhibits and displays. Prices are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for high school students and $4 through 8th grade. Hours are 10-5 Tues. through Saturday and Noon to 4 on Sundays. The museum is located at 231 Main Street in Benham KY.

Be Alerted!

Cumberland Gap is now participating in Reach Alert , a system that gives the town an easy and efficient way to communicate alerts or reminders to the residents via text messages, email, and or voice calls. Messages can be sent to the whole town or select streets or people. Door to door sign up has already happened so if you did not give your contact information to the city, please contact city hall so you can be included.

Matthews’ Musing!

I have always viewed life through my camera lens and this has served to keep me alert to what surrounds me. Many have lived here in my recently discovered paradise for their entire lives and now seem blind to the transient beauty of the mountains and seasons. Towering over us like pinnacles to the heavens, our mountains don their seasonal garb. I loved the constant changes to my big lakes, sand dunes and forests of West Michigan and have appreciated variations anew in my mountain valley. Even on a dreary day, the mountains assume new attitudes; often showing me that rain which could depress me, instead adds mystery and drama to my world. The crevices and peaks awaken joyously as the sun arises and disappear as the same sun falls behind them. I thought I would miss sunsets in my valley but instead the fine variations of light play in diverse ways and when I actually see a real sunset, I appreciate it even more. It is not a matter of praising the creation but of gratitude to the Creator who sculpted and painted the entire scene. I am such a jack of all trades yet a master of none. My God created all things and is master of all. I feel so humbled when I look about me, with or without my camera lens.

Upcoming Events Cumberland Mountain Music Show featuring the music of mountain life with Steve and Debbie Gulley. Nov.10th and Dec, 15 @ 7:30 pm - LMU Convention Center. $12 at the door.

Halloween Season in the GapPumpkin Lights (Oct. 29-30 Festival Park) Movies and Carving (Oct. 26th 5-10 pm. Berkau Park) and Zombies (LMU Health Initiative Zombie Run on Oct. 30th 4:30 pm—7 pm). See “Family Fun For Halloween” article for details.

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.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Santa Claus will be in various locations in the downtown Gap December 14 & 15th and December 21st & 22nd. Come get your picture taken with Santa.

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

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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