Category Archives: Needs photo

#wvchemleak: A chemical spill near Charleston, WV has contaminated the tap water for 300,000 people


A chemical spill of crude MCHM into the Elk River near Charleston, WV on January 9, 2014 has contaminated the tap water for 300,000 customers of West Virginia American Water. The chemical was stored in tanks owned by Freedom Industries. Crude MCHM (MSDS, Eastman Chemical) is a mixture of several chemicals, including 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, 4-
(methoxymethyl)cyclohexanemethanol, methyl 4-methylcyclohexanecarboxylate, dimethyl 1,4-
cyclohexanedicarboxylate, methanol, and 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol; it is used in the coal processing industry to produce “clean coal” that has impurities removed.


Photo: Foo Conner (@iwasaround), CC BY 2.0. Some rights reserved.

This is a developing story; if you are in the affected area, please seek accurate and timely information from local sources. If you are looking for water, has a map with details of water distribution sites.


Some of those sources might include stories from local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations. One of the best sources is Ken Ward, Jr., who writes the “Coal Tattoo” weblog for the Charleston (WV) Gazette.

Saturday Gazette-Mail – Freedom Industries cited for Elk chemical spill – Ken Ward, Jr.

Dorsey has said DEP officials began an investigation after receiving odor complaints from nearby residents starting at about 8:15 a.m. The DEP and Kanawha County emergency officials traced the odors to Freedom Industries, which had not self-reported any sort of leak or accident, officials said.

In an air-quality enforcement order, the DEP said air-quality officials who arrived at the site at 11:10 a.m. “discovered that no spill containment measures had been initiated and that an accumulating MCHM leak pool was seeping thru a dike wall adjacent to the Elk River and a downstream oil sheen was observed.”

Charleston Gazette – What is ‘Crude MCHM’? Few know – Ken Ward, Jr.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As hundreds of thousands of residents in and around the Kanawha Valley struggle with the “do not use” order from West Virginia American Water Co., one stubborn fact continues to frustrate residents and some local health officials alike: No one seems to be able to say for sure what the coal-cleaning chemical that’s been dumped into our water supply might do to us.

Water company officials have identified the chemical — which leaked from a Freedom Industries tank just upstream from the regional drinking-water intake on the Elk River — as something called “Crude MCHM.” That material is made up almost entirely of another chemical, 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol.

Material-safety sheets from several manufacturers list little in the way of health information. Toxicological databases provide few answers.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting – State of Emergency, Water Advisory Issued for 9 West Virginia Counties

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has issued a state of emergency and West Virginia American Water is telling over 100,000 customers in Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam, and Roane counties NOT to ingest, cook, bathe, wash or boil water. Water in this coverage area is okayed ONLY for flushing and fire protection. The advisory comes as a result of a chemical spill of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol from Freedom Industries, Inc.

The hashtag #wvchemleak is being used for news and discussion of the event.


Oven fried potato recipe

Writing this down so I remember this one detail: to get fries the right size, cut a medium potato into 16 pieces. (Cut in 4 equal width slices, then cut each slice into 4 parts). It works pretty quickly once you get going, and the resulting fries get crispy much more so than potatoes cut into quarters. A sweet potato yields 32 fries, cut in half and then in fours and then in fours).

I put the raw potato strips into a big bowl, pour some olive oil on them, and mix until everything is nicely coated, then put them onto cookie sheets and cook for what seems like a long time in a 425 degree F oven. If you want equally crispy on both sides, turn them over part way through. They would be good with a sprinking of sea salt.

Some more recipes, not that you need much of a recipe.

All Recipes uses a little sugar and a little cayenne.

Eating Well cuts into wedges (too big!) and adds dried thyme.

Instructables secret ingredient is cornstarch.

Hm, maybe you do need a recipe.

[[Category: Needs Photo]]

Still answering yesterday’s email; also doing yesterday’s todos

I’m a big fan of finite lists of things to do. It’s hard to keep up with things that require an answer, and sometimes you need to let things slide until the next day. When you combine those two, you get yesterbox. The basic idea is that you answer today’s email tomorrow, so that you know when you get to the bottom of yesterday’s mail you are really done.

The slight complication for this system for me is that I’m also using a todo list which is supposed to capture everything I need to do. Alas, things go onto this list and stay there forever. How to reconcile the two?

What I’m going to try, as best I can, is to deal with today’s bright ideas about what I need to do but don’t have time to do right now tomorrow. There will be a finite number of things to look at, and I can probably deal with some of them right away. I don’t mean to kick the can down the road, but I also don’t want to try to tackle everything I’ve ever thought of doing all at once.

Inspired in part by the Wall of Voodoo song “Tomorrow”.

I’ll do it tomorrow / that seems like a pretty good idea to me

Will Lucky’s Farmers Market replace the South Industrial Kroger?

UPDATE: MLive says yes and has an interview with the CEO.

It’s a distinct possibility, if this corporate registration from the Michigan LARA is any guide.

  • ID Num: D9250J
  • Assumed Names
  • Type: Foreign Limited Liability Company
  • Registered Office Address: 42180 FORD ROAD STE 101 CANTON MI 48187
  • Mailing/Office Address:
  • Formation/Qualification Date:7-15-2013
  • Jurisdiction of Origin:COLORADO
  • Managed by:
  • Status: ACTIVE Date: Present

More from the Ann Arbor News which is following the story of the store closing, and the Boulder Daily Camera which has news of Lucky’s expansion.

Paracorp is a professional registered agency company, so this registration doesn’t give a direct clue to the owners of this entity.

From the Ann Arbor News:

Ufer said he has another grocery store chain that will begin renovating the 30,000-square-foot building after Kroger vacates the property. A closing date for Kroger has not yet been determined, but Ufer said it will be sometime in 2014. The store’s lease expires Aug. 31.

From the Boulder Daily Camera:

Lucky’s Farmers Market officials quietly launched a website touting their intentions to open stores in the “Heartland of America,” including in Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

Lucky’s Farmers Market filed business registration documents in Montana last month and in Ohio this past Monday, according to state business records. The entities, which include a Lucky’s Farmers Market of Columbus LLC and Lucky’s Farmers Market of Bozeman LLC, are registered to a Boulder address.

From MLive:

Lucky’s Market CEO Bo Sharon confirmed Monday evening that he has a deal to open a store at 1919 S. Industrial Hwy, just south of East Stadium Boulevard. The goal is to open Lucky’s Market in October, he said.