Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

March 27 letters to the editor

Other towns regret allowing ‘data centers’

Thanks to The Dominion Post for recent editorials and articles regarding the proposed bitcoin mining facility in the Morgantown Industrial Park.

Northeast Natural Energy has so far refused to confirm the purpose of its “science facility,” but even the gas industry website, Marcellus Shale News, believes that its purpose is for generating (mining) bitcoin.

Bitcoin mining uses banks of purpose-made computers to guess 64-digit target numbers, called hashes. Right now, the chances of doing so are one in 27.55 trillion. The engines that power these computers consume vast amounts of electricity and run 24/7/365. The bitcoin mining industry alone uses four times the electricity per year as the entire city of New York while generating a lot of pollution and heat.

Cooling such engines with water poses a threat to the source when it is returned, a concern for residents near Seneca Lake in upstate New York, where the Greenidge facility mines bitcoin and is allowed to return water to the lake at up to 108 degrees F.

Cooling the engines with huge fans generates so much non-stop noise that residents of Limestone, Tenn., haven’t been able to get a good night’s sleep since Red Dog Technologies opened a facility there.

Everyone who lives across the river from the Morgantown Industrial Park should be very concerned. And what effect will this have on pollution levels in a town that already has two coal-fired power plants? Since China banned cryptocurrency mining, Appalachia is becoming increasingly attractive for these dubious facilities.

Bitcoin and all the other cryptocurrencies are unregulated and anonymously owned and thus useful for criminal activity. What good will it bring to the area? It will certainly lower the quality of life here. Our city council and county commission should stop this intrusion.

Betsy Lawson

Bartlett House claims must be investigated

Many years ago, I had a part-time job as a shelter worker at Bartlett House. I met some lovely people.

Our clients were men, women and families with little children. These were people with problems — unemployment, family issues, physical or mental illness and more. They had not committed any crime; they just needed a place to stay. I cooked, cleaned, got people their sheets and enjoyed hearing people’s stories.

Treat people well, and they will return the favor. People without housing are not criminals; they just need a little help. I was horrified to learn in Wednesday’s The Dominion Post that Bartlett House no longer operates under these principles, that clients are mistreated in many ways.

How can you blame people for staying under bridges if the homeless shelter treats them like criminals?

And, to the leaders and people of Morgantown — how can a city whose citizens speak out loudly against the mistreatment of refugees at our border, or send money to help Ukrainian refugees, turn a blind eye to people being mistreated in our own city?

Our leaders need to launch an independent investigation into this situation and stop supporting an organization that has lost its way.

Susan Case

Throw bagged dog poo in trash, not into grass

Coopers Rock will fully open soon. All trails will be open, and people and pets will be enjoying all the sights and sounds the park has to share. All will be welcome, but a problem needs to be dealt with: dog poop bags.

My wife, dog and I walk in Coopers Rock almost every day. We appreciate people who pick up their dog’s poop and put it in a poop bag; but many then leave the bag by the side of the trail or even throw it a few feet into the greenbriers rather than carry it to the nearest trash can. In the last two weeks, we have picked up and transported 12 bags that had been left.

Thank you for exercising your pet; thank you for bagging your poop, but please, please, please deposit it in a trash can, which can be found at convenient picnic table sites. The poop is biodegradable, but the bag is not. If it is not disposed of properly, it will be there for 1,000 years.

Please, love our park but don’t litter it with any type of trash. Thanks again for helping to make Coopers Rock a prime spot to enjoy the outdoors.

Ray Wilson
Bruceton Mills