Fix the problem

I was amazed when I read that five SCE&G power stations shut down or were otherwise affected by the recent cold weather. The SCE&G spokesperson was quoted saying that what happened was not predictable and could not have been anticipated. Not so.

About 20 years ago, U.S. nuclear plants experienced similar preventable station shutdowns from freezing safety instruments. These events were caused, in part, by exposed sensing lines, poor cold weather preparations and failures of heating systems that keep sensing lines warm.

The nuclear utility industry (SCE&G included) decided this was unacceptable and took the design, maintenance and procedural steps to prevent these failures.

During the recent bitter cold across South Carolina and the United States, here is how our nuclear plants performed: Of the 100 U.S. reactors, 97 were operational, and nearly all were at or above 90 percent of their rated power output. No nuclear power station reported unusual issues during the bitter cold.

Non-nuclear power stations have some similar instrumentation and equipment that can freeze and cause the plant to stop operating. Utilities that operate both fossil and nuclear plants (like SCE&G) should be expected to transfer their cold weather knowledge from the nuclear to the conventional stations. Yes, power plants are complicated, but based on the news article, these were not new failure modes.

SCE&G has many smart employees and managers. I know this because we are blessed with a very reliable electric power supply. That comes from attention to detail. To have five plants impacted by cold weather is the result of faulty management — not unpredictable bad luck.

I hope SCE&G will focus on the lessons from the affected stations and take action to prevent future cold weather impacts. Smart is as smart does.

Steve Weise

Woodland Walk

North Charleston

Revoke passport

Can someone please do us all a favor and revoke Dennis Rodman’s passport while he is still in North Korea? Please?

Scott A. Cracraft

Pignatelli Crescent

Mount Pleasant

Be prepared

Another school shooting recently occurred in the United States. As a concerned parent with kids in school, I ask, “Are our schools in the tri-county prepared for an active shooter incident? Are students prepared? Are local police departments prepared to react quickly and appropriately?”

The schools that my children attend have multiple entry points that allow easy access from the street.

Is every teacher in every school CPR/first responder certified? If so, our children will be better taken care of in any situation, from a student choking at lunch to a school shooting.

Is the district taking extra precautions to train teachers in the event of a fire, tornado or earthquake? Schools have drills during class times, but what about when it is not class time?

Our school districts train teachers and staff to lock down a school. I’m sure school administrators and police officers know how to confront a shooter, but do teachers?

What can we do to prepare, train and instill a sense of situational awareness?

Rick Turner

Killarney Trail

Moncks Corner

Event support

A year ago my life changed forever with the loss of my only son, Jeff Malmgren. This has left a huge void in our family, yet I am proud of Jeff’s accomplishments.

I think about his love for his family, his co-workers at Blackbaud and his commitment as a member of the board of Communities in Schools. I wonder what this dedicated young man could have given his community had his life been more than 40 years.

We will celebrate Jeff’s life on Feb. 1 with a tribute at Blackbaud Stadium, with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to Communities in Schools. Our goal is to raise awareness of the wonderful opportunity for successes that Communities in Schools provides for our area youth.

On Feb. 8 Communities in Schools will host its annual event, “The Chocolate Affair.”

For more information go to www.cischarleston.org. Please join us in supporting the great works of our friends at Communities in Schools.

Sharon Rains

West Palmer Drive

Charleston

Loyal fans

Another year of high school football has come and gone. As a parent of three kids in the Stratford High School Marching Band, my wife and I have had the pleasure to work the concession stand for the past six years at home games.

We were surprised that Goose Creek lost during the second round of the playoffs. This meant South Florence, the team that beat the Gators, was coming to our stadium.

On Friday as we were preparing for the game, several of us noticed a fairly large number of parents and students, all dressed in Goose Creek gear, coming into the stadium.

Knowing the fierce rivalry between us, I asked a parent if they were here “for or against” us. She quickly responded that they were here to support the Stratford Knights.

She said they, along with the football team, agreed that if Goose Creek couldn’t win the championship, they wanted Stratford to have the honor.

Several Goose Creek football players echoed the sentiment. There was never a cross word, jealousy or anything that could be construed as other than total support.

I was so impressed with the attitude and sportsmanship of the players that I went to Goose Creek High School the following week and spoke with the principal. He was also at the game, and he and several players and coaches attended the state championship game the following week.

Although we lost, it was comforting to know the team had support from our biggest rival. With all that’s bad with young people these days, I believe acts such as this should be acknowledged and appreciated. I am and forever will be a Knight. However, unless they are playing Stratford, I will also be a Gator.

Jody Thomas

N. Pembroke Drive

Goose Creek

Keep the trees

There has been a lot written about the pros and cons of taking down trees along I-26. We recently drove to New Jersey, and on the way home we were on the one-hour stretch of I-95 South between the Delaware Bridge and the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.

It was about 5 p.m., dark, raining lightly with about four or five lanes of traffic going in each direction. The lights coming at me from the oncoming, northbound traffic were blinding.

I drive a lot and don’t mind driving 12 hours straight to New Jersey and back, but that one hour with the lights blinding me was about the worst I have ever experienced.

I can’t imagine all those trees down along I-26, rain, heavy traffic and lights coming at me. While we don’t have the amount of traffic that area of I-95 has, we do have heavy traffic and speeding cars.

There are stretches of I-26 that do not have trees, but the two directions of traffic are separated more than the current area that is in debate.

More police on the road ticketing the speeding traffic might help. At least it is an income for the state and not a drain on the state for the cost of taking down trees and ruining the beauty of the area. Not to mention a reminder to drivers to at least keep it under 80 mph.

CRIS BERNSTEIN

Prestwick Court

Summerville

Why the delay?

After being witness to a horrific accident with injuries at the intersection of Camp and Dills Bluff roads on James Island, we were happy to see a four-way traffic light being installed at this dangerous crossing.

Several months have passed, and it still has not been activated, so the corner remains the same accident-prone intersection. Why the delay? And there’s another intersection close by that is almost as deadly, at the crossroads of Fort Johnson and Secessionville roads.

As James Island becomes more densely populated, we must protect people who use its roads now.

Cynthia Greene

Tidal Creek Cove

James Island