Radio stations need to better weather storms
Recently the state Public Service Commission held hearings with the utility companies to discuss their reaction time to the June 29 storms. Part of those hearings were on how the utilities could better serve the people should the state experience another such crisis. A similar meeting was held by the Randolph County Commission and the Office of Emergency Management in Elkins on Aug. 1.
One of the problems brought up was communications. In that meeting, the General Manager of the Elkins/Buckhannon radio stations of W.V. Radio Corporation stated: "We don't have back-up generators. We're a small company, we can't afford that." He later stated that "the stations will soon have generators in Elkins and on Kelly Mountain." While it is good that he alerts us of the emergency, it is while the crisis is taking place that the information becomes so important. Are those generators in place? Are other stations around the state equipped should such a storm hit again? And are radio stations that carry the EAS alert system obligated to have generators?
The owner of West Virginia Radio owns a home in Florida and probably knows how important something like this is with hurricanes hitting the coast. With the Mountain State, it's the winters and recently the bad storms during the spring and summer that are a concern.
And with what happened on 9/11 and the world the way it is today, a generator is important now more than ever. When you cut off communications, you have problems. I hope that West Virginia Radio Corporation will make the necessary changes to the station(s) so that should such a crisis come up again, the station(s) can continue to inform us of events that are taking place in the area at that time. It can mean the difference in the safety of our neighbors and for us.
DEP not doing the job it was created for
I found your article on the creation of a new state environmental watchdog perplexing. U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld obviously felt the need for someone to be watching out for our land, air, and water, and unfortunately, he is correct, but should we really need another such organization?
How about if someone actually made the DEP do the job for which they were created? You know the crew, the ones who sit in that huge new building at 57th Street in Kanawha City and approve every application that comes their way. When I was a child , the only buildings occupied by state government were actually in the Capitol complex. Now, as more and more are employed by the state, even though each governor promises to cut back, they are spread over not only the city, but also the county and state.
If we are to have a new organization that actually performs this very important role, why not rename the DEP to more accurately reflect the job they actually do. If we made it the Department of Economic Protection, we would save money by not having to change their business cards.
This would be more appropriate as, when there are town meetings and 99 percent of the people oppose a mountaintop removal mine, the DEP rep is always the guy there supporting it due to "economic reasons".
Or we could make it the Department of Environmental Perversion, which would more accurately reflect their defense of fracking without even knowing what is being injected into the ground beneath our precious water supply, or of the use of regurgitated fluids on our roads to melt ice, which would surely allow it into our water table. These guys never met a well they didn't like.
Did you know it is state law that one's well water can be tested, upon request, prior to drilling a well but not afterward? This protects no one but the drillers.
I say disband the DEP, and let this new group do the job they were meant to do.