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Jan. 4, 2013: Alternative power; gun violence; BOE; Huggins

We use creek water to power our houseEditor:I live up a holler that has a nice little creek in Webster County. I'm not connected to the electric grid and for years have used photovoltaic panels for our electricity. During prolonged times of rain, snow and diminished sunlight, I used to have to fire up the nasty, noisy, stinky, fossil fuel generator to recharge the house's deep-cycle batteries.Not lately. On Oct. 29, the day that Hurricane Sandy's related snowstorm hit (We got just over three feet), my mini hydro-electric generator, the "Stream Engine," began tapping energy of the water flowing down the mountain. Almost three weeks of snowmelt has provided more electricity than we can use. The excess powers a space heater.I'd like to thank Matt Sherald of PIMBY Energy in Thomas for the electrical work, Marvin Woodie and Larry Agnew from Conn-Weld Industries in Princeton for the design and fabrication of the intake screen, and Paul Cunningham of Energy Systems and Design LTD, builder of the Stream Engine.It added another aspect as to how I look at the water in my creek. It's power to be converted to electricity, with virtually zero impact on the environment. A little diversion and it's back in the creek. Let it rain (or snow).Mickey JanowskiWebster Springs Poor parenting is the cause of gun violenceEditor: You will get plenty of response concerning your editorial on guns. But the problem is the violence our young are subjected to everyday on computers, TVs and the "big screen." The disaster in Connecticut is terrible, disgusting and many other adjectives I cannot remember at this time. But parents who allow their children to be raised on Hollywood violence are the cause, not a gun.Hundreds of thousand of hunters hunt in our forests and they do it with much lower death statistics than do folks who drive cars. Ranting against guns and transferring the blame to a stupid inanimate object is a sad statement for a person claiming to be intelligent or informed.How about a reality check. The National Center for Health Statistics says the leading causes of U.S. death in 2009 were: Heart disease 599,413, cancer 567,628, respiratory diseases 137,353, stroke 128,842, accidents 118,021, Alzheimer's 79,003, diabetes 68,705, influenza and Pneumonia, 53,692, suicide 36,909 - and 11,493 from firearm homicides.If people are seriously concerned about the gun violence, take on the adult responsibility of telling your kids no when it comes to the Hollywood style of justice. Establish a relationship with them! It might even help to say no to many other things.
Jim HinebaughMaysville
 Tomblin needs to clean house at BOEEditor:I have been reading with interest the saga of the Board of Education and former Superintendent Jorea Marple. It looks like dirty West Virginia corrupt politics at its finest. It seems Dr. Marple's only flaw was to insist on competitive bidding instead of awarding contracts to one's buddies.
It is time to clean house and get rid of five of the board members, starting with Wade Linger.I saw that Gov. Tomblin appointed a new member to the Board of Education. That is a step forward. I think he needs to clean the board and send a message that West Virginia is going to fight corruption instead of it being the status quo.The Board of Education is appointed by the governor, and he has the authority to rid our state of these unscrupulous members. Let's clean up West Virginia, improve education, our well-being and make it a place we can be proud of instead of being a state of back-room politics.  Doug Given, M.D.Gassaway Huggins' team at WVU an embarrassmentEditor:You have got to be kidding! I watched the 2012-13 edition of Huggie's Hoopies embarrass themselves against Michigan on national TV. Stumblers, bumblers, fumblers -- and I'm being kind! Huggie's Hoopies played like a girls' middle school kickball team. This bunch couldn't even beat Davidson College. I doubt they could beat the Davidson College women's team.Huggie-boy, after five long seasons in Morgantown, should by now be fielding respectable and competitive teams every year instead of making his annual excuses for their "youth." It certainly didn't take John Beilein five years in Morgantown to be competitive against every team he faced (remember his NIT victory?). Huggie has fielded only one good team in his WVU tenure. Please explain to me how it is possible that he gets rewarded a contract extension with option to do whatever he wants after the 2017 season.Am I the only WVU alum who feels this way? Personally, I have no intention of watching any more Mountaineer basketball, so long as Huggie is "leading" the program. Shame on him, and shame on Oliver Luck, for rewarding sloth and substandard performance. Maury FranklinSalisbury, N.C.
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