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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Sept. 11

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Some information about mold and mildew

To the editor:

Mold and mildew basically have the same goal, to thrive on and devour or break down an organic object. Mold and mildew are important in our environment, as they eat away old trees and decompose things that are dead.

Mildew usually grows on things such as in bathrooms, showers, tubs and around faucet bases. Mildew doesn’t let off toxins in the air and is easily treated with Clorox and water. If mildew is allowed to grow for a long period of time, it may turn into mold.

Mold will grow on anything indoors and outdoors, like wood, plaster fabric and even cement. You will find mold wherever you have the type of bacteria or microorganism that thrives on moisture. Mold releases toxins, especially black mold. It can be toxic if you breathe spores in. If you see a dark stain on walls or smell a deep musty smell, you have a mold problem.

When mold spores get into air conditioning systems they can be a perfect home for mold and bacteria. Alternating high and low humidity conditions can grow, spread and distribute the spores throughout the ventilation. Cleaning ducts is not a good option due to contaminants spreading about. The only proper solution is to replace the contaminated area.

Exposure to molds during cleanup can be minimized by wearing a dust mask or respirator, wearing protective clothing such as Ty-vek suits. Carefully remove mold and mold-contaminated materials and place them in heavy plastic bags.

Some molds can cause severe health problems such as allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness, learning disabilities, flu-like symptoms and severe breathing problems, and can be fatal to any person with a weak immune system, asthma or COPD as a result of breathing mold toxins.

The odors let off in the air by mold are called microbial volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Mycotoxins is the term used when the VOCs are toxic.

To prevent the growth of mold, you must keep the area dry. If a surface is moist, and a mold spore (dead or alive) attaches to it, it can take only a few days to germinate. The humidity level should be kept to below 50 percent for it not to germinate. 

Wilma Vaughan

South Boston

 

Happy, happy, happy

To the editor:

On Sunday night, Aug. 25, 2013, my Danville neighbor, Bea, and I, attended First Baptist Church of North Main Street as privileged congregants to a rousing spiritual concert via a combined church choir consisting of 10 town and rural Halifax County churches. This diverse group of all-volunteer singers and musicians came together under the direction of FBC’s own minister of music, Susan Taylor Davis, herself a gifted pianist, and musicians Bob Davis, Susan’s husband and FBC’s organist, along with the talented Ben Woosley, church pianist for Main Street Methodist Church. 

All these, along with the gracious guest addition of Rebecca Whitlow, South Boston’s own homegrown professional concert mezzo soprano from near Philadelphia, Pa., aided hugely in sending all our souls into the stratosphere by way of this concert entitled “Then Sings My Soul.”

From moving spirituals to favorite hymns throughout Christendom, down to a congregational sing-along of Sunday school classics of our youth, there was indeed something in this program for everyone. 

The guest soloist, Rebecca Whitlow, sang several hymns herself among the 13 arrangements comprising the entire program, and a few times, her voice hit notes so high and clear, I shyly checked just to see if the stained-glass windows in the sanctuary were still intact. I’m not sure if her voice falls in a note’s range, or one might possibly use Charles Richter’s scale rating to measure seismic waves in earth quake magnitudes. Either way, Rebecca sings as high as charts register. While I have many adjectives for what Rebecca does, only one is necessary to describe the total package of the lady she is. Awesome!

It’s a known fact as hundreds departed, we collectively left with big smiles and a certain buoyancy in our steps, so inspired and uplifted were we. For those who attended this concert, I know you are still happy, happy, happy. 

For those who missed it, then I hope these same folk next year might try for such a repeated performance. Concerts take huge commitments and real dedication of the sacrificial kind.

Some 45 singers did this along with musicians and a dozen or so more, who worked behind the scenes in lighting, sound, video screening, etc. Nearly half a summer’s efforts put together this incredible concert. Imagine that, and not one penny was charged to come see the results that were splendid. 

Thank you, all of you incredible people.

On behalf of hundreds who heard you, sang with you, applauded and stood tall for ovations, thank you so much for showing what a diverse community of the faithful in God can do together in one accord. For a long time to come “Then Sings My Soul.”

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” (Philippians 1:3 KJV)

In His love, 

Martha Lester

(South Boston native)

Danville

 

Nuclear power plants not safe

To the editor:

For five years in the 50s I worked in nuclear enrichment plants in Oak Ridge, Tenn. 

I moved to Florida in 1959 and have been involved in electrical design for many aerospace and commercial programs over a 35-year span. In 1981 I set up a small company for part-time consulting work to help a service company in Florida that repairs, calibrates, tests, modifies and design replacement components for the control systems in older power plants; mostly built between the late 50s and 1990.

This includes control systems for hydro, fossil and nuclear power plants. In my experience at this work I have been involved with many personnel that operate and manage these power plants. Also I have had many conversations with some of the personnel employed by the original control systems manufacturer. 

For most of my life I believed nuclear power was the best way to provide the power that the world needs. I now believe we have lost control and fear the safety and the ability to produce safe nuclear power is seriously threatened.  

The only country known to be trying to produce safe nuclear power is China.

China is using a process developed in the U.S. about the same time as the present nuclear concept that is being used. The “Pebble Bed Reactor” system was considered too costly and dismissed. National Geographic was invited to China to do a story on a pilot plant that was built in China. This information may still be available on their website.

I as well as others in the last 10 to 20 years have expressed concerns in the safety and reliability of the nuclear plants and the personnel who operate them. 

Operation in the nuclear plants is not only vulnerable to reliability but more importantly, they are vulnerable to unsafe use of spare parts that have been on the shelf for as much as 25 years or more. Also some of the nuclear plants are located in areas very similar to places as those in Japan that failed. 

I have informed two U.S. senators of some safety problems in the last 10 years. One senator thanked me for the letter; the other said that the NRC had assured him that everything was OK and safe.

The nuclear plants are not allowed to update without going through a verification program that may last for years no matter how much it may increase the safety factor.

It is time that we face the truth; existing nuclear power plants that are in operation today are not safe. Just take a look at what the rest of the world is doing about nuclear power.

Apparently under the present rules by NRC not even unsafe conditions can be changed very easily.

Sincerely, 

Jim Ford 

West Melbourne, Fla.