The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 15, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Saturday,March 15, 2014

Change in school calendar would help

If the past six weeks of cold and snowy weather were typical, we should not schedule classes this time of year. We can take a look at weather patterns and attendance records over the years and use this information as indicators for establishing a school calendar.

For about 12 years, my family lived in a school district where the calendar was referred to as 45/15, which meant students went to school for nine weeks and then took a three-week break. This alternate school calendar was because of overcrowding. The school body was divided into four groups and as one group ended their break and returned to school, another group went on break.

My family had breaks in June, September, December and March. We usually took our vacation in September when the ocean was still warm and lodging rates were lower. It is also a time when both national parks and theme parks are less crowded.

We no longer hoe corn or cradle wheat and oats in the summer but do have a passion for Myrtle Beach and hunting. Perhaps we should establish what many will consider revolutionary but what should be a more practical school calendar.

Remember, no one is going to school for 365 days; the objective is to get 180 days of instructions.

H. Walter Crone

Sinks Grove

Whom can we believe about water quality?

This letter is concerning the chemical spill in Charleston. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information coming from Freedom Industries, West Virginia American Water and state officials.

First, Freedom Industries claimed 5,000 gallons of MCHM were spilled. Then it was 7,500 then 10,000 gallons. What are affected water consumers going to believe?

Second, it was reported that MCHM was spilled. Then it was discovered that PPH was in the water. What else is in that water that people should know about?

Finally, a scientist who tested the water says that formaldehyde was found in samples while the state’s health officer and West Virginia American Water called that statement “totally unfounded.” Whom are people going to believe?

I’ve always thought it good judgment to err on the side of caution. Everyone affected by this chemical spill should be very cautious about reports of safe drinking water. If it’s so safe, then why were pregnant women still being told not to drink it?

Vickie Donell-Williams


Did railroad spray hurt anyone else in 2013?

An open letter to the residents of the Rupert and Rainelle area:

Were you (or anyone you know) affected by the spray that was applied along the railroad tracks on July 15, 2013? Did you have trouble breathing, eyes burning, irritated nose/throat or have to see a doctor?

Did you lose your garden, shrubs, trees or bushes? Do you have proof of those losses or injuries (i.e., did you see a doctor or take photos of the damage)?

If so, we would like to hear from you. Perhaps together, we can find an attorney who would be willing to take this case to court for damages suffered. Because we were also affected by this spray that was used.

Please contact us with a brief description of your injuries and/or losses at or write to us at P.O. Box 1147, Rupert, WV 25984. Please include contact information such as your phone number and the best time to contact you.

Frank and Margaret Zibura