Bristol Virginia Energy Research Center

Bristol, Southwest Virginia Revealed

by Lewis Loflin
  
  

See Climate Science & Electronics Technology Links

See 2017 update removing out of date or obsolete material.

In 2011 Bristol-Tri-Cities was ranked number 5 in the 10 poorest cities in America by www.DailyFinance.com.

Taxpayer waste $8 million Bristol Virginia Energy Research Center another empty building producing nothing. See Green Energy Boondoggle in Bristol Virginia.

Welcome to my website as 2017 makes this my 19th year on the web and have lived in Tri-Cities Bristol since 1984. Oddly this website was started to protest political corruption and poverty in the community, but most of the visitors prefer the religious-historical material over politics.

Starting July 2017 I'll no longer do news reports or politics unless something really big happens - how many times can I write up corporate welfare fiascos? I'll be showing a lot of photos and explain how to live here and what the region has to offer. I prefer to stick with nature, science, rural living, technology, religious and ancient history. See my homepage and electronics background webpage.

The many articles written on this region are list in an archive below starting with more recent.

Update: It has been just announced a company will create 40 jobs in Lebanon, Virginia (Russell County) to manufacture belts, etc. for the mining industry. They will locate in the empty Teleflex building. Due to Donald Trump reigning in the destructive EPA-Obama war on affordable energy and blue collar jobs coal production has surged 25% from January-July 2017. These are the kinds of jobs we really need not green energy nonsense. July 27, 2017.



Updated Sep. 2017

Bristol Virginia Mall

Shocking: Can't Afford the Basics While Working

Ref. News Center 5 July 25, 2017:

Another not so shocking report confirms what I already know: half the population of Southwest Virginia can't afford even basic expenses even when members of the household work. This is according to the United Way of Bristol. This confirms my claim of the real poverty rate is 35% to 50% plus.

News Center 5 claims the following rates across the region for the real poverty rate which figures in living costs, etc. I'll assume:

Bristol Virginia 45%
Buchanan County 56%
Dickenson County 50%
Lee County 59%
City of Norton 54%
Russell County 53%
Scott County 45%
Smyth County 44%
Wise County 49%
Washington County 43%

This can't be blamed on the downturn of the coal industry engineered by the Obama EPA because half of the counties have no coal industry. The report went on about the trap so many working poor face: many earn too much for government benefits yet not enough to get ahead and are often one layoff, blown transmission, or doctor bill from the street.

Those on government money simply give up and live on it totally because the minute they even try to get a job government comes crashing down on them. Nearly all the job growth in Bristol has been in retail or call centers averaging about $9 an hour often part time. Yet near the Panicle Retail development that simply emptied the Bristol Virginia Mall is new housing. They claim the rents run $800-$1000 per month plus utilities.

The report noted the good news is more affordable housing and childcare. Not at $9-$10 an hour. Yet the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Virginia Tobacco Commission, etc. have dumped perhaps a billion dollars into Southwest Virginia alone and this is what we get. Yet nothing ever changes.

Quick navigation to archive list below.

Nulife Glass Bristol VirginiaNulife Glass closed facility Bristol Virginia

Update July 2017: I warned about Nulife Glass and predicted it was a scam. In June they fired the few people they hired and left Bristol with between 20-30 million pounds of CRT glass - glass loaded with lead. Press reports claim Bristol is trying to sue the company but likely will get stuck with disposal. They sold a $1.3 million building for less than $200,000 and half of that was payed for by grants.

This is directly across the street from the Bristol Virginia Mall and on three sides are residential neighborhoods that objected to this nonsense.

Will Bristol Virginia become a toxic waste dump with Nulife Glass?

Being fairly low income I've come to know how to survive in a mostly rural area with few resources - I'll discuss how to make resources not depend on others for them. With a disabled spouse it's been a struggle to maintain any dignity much rather be largely self-sufficient. We know the good and bad of dealing with Medicaid.

For years I've exposed dysfunctional government and high levels of poverty. Now I'll balance that with positive aspects of a community I've lived in over 30 years. I won't pull any punches or engage in political correctness. The positives I'll be expanding on:

Low levels of crime despite a drug addiction problem among the lower class. Low cost of living, good infrastructure, good roads, high speed fiber optic.

Mostly good healthcare, but doctor shortages due to high use of Medicaid, Medicare, and uninsured according to health officials I talked to - 75-80% of the population. We have one of the best Veterans Hospitals in the nation in Johnson City.

Low income levels are offset by a high home ownership rates (over 50%) and most other homes not under water. Housing prices are low relative to national averages. On the bad side too much public housing and its crime and social problems concentrated in Bristol Virginia.

For this subject I'll concentrate on Bristol, Virginia, Washington County, Wise County, and Scott County. I grew up in Norton, my wife in Scott County, we live in Washington County 7 miles from Bristol and 2 miles from Scott county. Most of Tri-Cities is south of Bristol, Virginia.

In general "Red" states, and Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee are very "Red", we have a high standard of living for the most even with lower earned income levels. The question is where does that income derive? To quote a study from the King Institute for Regional Economic Studies:

"The most troubling aspect of the Southwest Virginia economy is the decline in earned income in recent years. Real earned income fell 17 percent from 2011 to 2014. This is a direct result of declining production and employment in the coal mining sector. Due to the sharp drop in earned income, residents in Southwest Virginia received 72 cents in government transfer payments for every dollar of earned income in 2014. Comparable values for the Tri­Cities and the U.S. are 49 cents and 27 cents, respectively."

See the full King Institute for Regional Economic Studies Report.

With all of this why did Trump get as much as 75% of the votes in this and other similar regions? See Red States Higher Standard of Living

Note: since the election of President Trump coal production has risen 25% in five months, two coal-fired plants in Virginia are back on line, etc. A recent drive to Buchanan County we observed a number of new trucks hauling coal.

Quick navigation to archive list below.




Bristol Southwest Virginia Article Archive

Quoting futurist Ed Barlow before the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce:

"Seniors create low-wage service jobs. They tend to withdraw from working, and they generally don't create new wealth. A retirement community strategy has long-term negative economic consequences unless there is a diverse economic base of other employees around it...A significant component of your economic future in Sullivan County is recruiting Hispanics, making sure they get highly educated and integrated into the community."




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