We use creek water to power our house
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).
Poor parenting is the cause of gun violence
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.