Elementary School in Western NY That Heated With Coal

The history of coal is quite a long one, you'll find links and information for history among other things here.
samhill
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Post Mon. Jan. 09, 2012 8:47 am

They probably had to build extra big loading docks there. :cry: And not to forget all those one dollar coins that I believe they finally stopped stamping out. :mad:
"Any fool can criticize, condemn & complain & most fools do." Benjamin Franklin


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Vampiro
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Post Thu. Feb. 09, 2012 3:24 am

Duengeon master wrote:
envisage wrote:My very first memory of coal is as a child in elementary school growing up in the Bronx, NYC. I vividly remember coal (probably bit) being delivered to the school in the big truck, going down the chute, into someplace I never saw. Boy, that stuff was dirty ... however, I grew up and now I am burning coal! ;-)
NYC schools burned anthracite. I saw an article on the news there once where they were saying that there are several schools that are still burning coal. This was during the late 90's.
They burned coal up until the 2000's. I warned them that the boiler replacements would be a bad idea and actually was really involved in trying to change things and inform individuals with facts, and solutions. There was even misinformation posted about coal on a website. When I tried to engage in a civil discussion through e-mail, the responses were not so nice to say the least when I presented them with factual information and studies. It went against their coal is bad agenda, so let's waste money by replacing boilers fueled by coal in the schools. Hell, I was only about 16 at the time when I forewarned them and engaged in e-mailing and discussions about those issues. So fast forward and look at what happened.

-Billions were spent on boiler replacements.
-A one year increase in fuel costs alone could have heated 300 coal schools for 7 years.
- The savings in fuel could have went back to the taxpayers, and a portion could have even funded other well needed upgrades, more books, or increases in salaries.
- The heating plants could have had one or two boilers converted to burn oil/gas for a backup where desired eliminating the need for complete replacement, and also emission controls could have been installed for the heating plant to allay any further concerns about emissions.

Hey kid, you make too much sense and will ruin our agenda :nono: ...move along, nothing to see here. :annoyed:

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Post Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 5:47 am

Interesting...I live in Maine and so there is not a whole lot heated here with coal industrially..

We did build a new high school in 2010 and they were smart enough to build a new boiler that used biomass instead of oil. They said this new boiler uses half the heating budget that the old school used, but because of all the smart boards and computer-everything gizmos...the electrical consumption is also double of the old school. The boiler does have enough capacity however to not only heat the school, but also the radiant loops imbedded in the sidewalks. The groundskeepers do not have to shovel snow at all, it simply melts. The boiler consumes about 1 truck load of clean chips per week during the heating system and is a K-12 with about 1500 kids. I think that is roughly 20 cords of wood chips per week.

This school sits on top of a high hill and they were going to put in a 1 million dollar windmill but the cost was too high and they were already over budget.

The one thing this school gets high accolades for though, is in feeding the kids. They are the only school in the nation that uses locally raised food for the school lunch program. A lot of schools do raise veggies and stuff locally, but this school uses all their food, including the beef that comes from the beef farm across the road. It does not get any more local then that. It is all USDA inspected and professionally raised, but it is locally produced. Even the high school football scoreboard is different, it says "Got Milk?" instead of being a Pepsi or Coke sign, and was raised by locally dairy farmers who coughed up $2 per cow for ever one they milked on this one particular morning. They get national awards for their nutrition programs.

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Post Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 8:18 am

Many of the buildings in Cleveland's prestigious and expansive "University Circle" area were (as late as 2010 at least) still being heated by steam generation from burning coal. But that may have already changed. I'll have to see if I can find any updates to the below 2010 news clips. They may still be heating these buildings with coal.

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/ ... still.html

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/ ... sit_3.html
-Larry

Democracy rests upon the principle that collective wisdom arises from a pool of individual ignorance. A Republic rests squarely upon objective law, and fundamentally upon those laws which restrict the scope and actions of government.

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Post Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 9:03 am

I ran across this article & it made sense to me but besides strip mines & even being a member of the UCM union for awhile I have never been in a mine. I think many of us forget that they could be mining right beneath us in many areas. Those here with actual experience will probably know better, not looking for an argument here just some opinion just because stuff doesn't affect our way of life directly doesn't mean someone else isn't affected.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-com ... l-20110928
"Any fool can criticize, condemn & complain & most fools do." Benjamin Franklin

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Post Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 9:29 am

Similar arguments can be made for oil and natural gas. The easy to get (and thereby economical) stuff within the 48 consecutive States is well past peak. Oil production in the USA is currently only 50% of what it was in 1970, though there is a blip of a resurgence due to the technology of horizontal drilling opening up the Bakken oilfield to production (albeit expensive production). Natural gas is seeing a brief (perhaps a decade or two at best) resurgence due to fracking. Perhaps coal mining could see a similar resurgence if some new methods of extraction come along and the government stays out of the way. Or perhaps the government will step in and spoil the fracking party and take away our decade or two resurgence in NG output.

So why kiss coal goodbye just because it is past peak? It's almost like the author is reveling and gloating in its demise, with a smirky smile of pompousness and importance upon his face while he is typing. It's like hitting and kicking a man when he is down instead of helping him get back up on his feet again. It is the mob mentality of the collective (I.E., the gang). This is how I see our government functioning today. What becomes of democracy (mob rule) if collective wisdom does not arise from a pool of individual ignorance, but rather something more dark and ominous akin to the gleeful evil of a street gang on the prowl for some innocent and unaware victim to knock out arises instead? Are we benefiting from the collective, or are we merely trying to remain hidden among the rest of the masses who cower beneath its radar screens in the hope of not becoming victims of its gang like tentacle reach?
Last edited by lsayre on Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 10:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
-Larry

Democracy rests upon the principle that collective wisdom arises from a pool of individual ignorance. A Republic rests squarely upon objective law, and fundamentally upon those laws which restrict the scope and actions of government.

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I'm On Fire
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Post Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 9:40 am

steamup wrote:You can't judge a book by the cover. This is not the orginal boiler in the building you are looking at. I believe the breeching was abated and re-covered with a calcium silicate product in the 1990's. The covering is a painted cloth. In any case, a independent agency is hired to test all suspect materials for asbestos and the asbestos is abated prior to construction. There were over 3000 products that used asbestos. Not only insulation, but caulk, gaskets, adhesives, roof products, siding, floor tile and the list goes on. You can't tell by looking at it, it has to be tested.
I was just going to say that. You definitely can't tell asbestos from any other material. I've always been told if you aren't sure, don't touch it. Hell, I've also learned that if I'm not sure of an area don't enter it.

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Post Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 9:57 am

OTOH in England after WWII our house was destroyed and we lived on a 75' MTB with the engines ripped out. The exhausts etc.were covered in think asbestos and as a 7 year old I spent the summer in the bilges ripping out the rest of that stuff and yes definitely asbestos and knee deep for weeks. You see only the good die young. Yes, it is evil stuff.
Posted by an unreasonable adult.


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Duengeon master
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Post Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 10:11 am

My Oldest son goes to Bloomsburg University. He stays in the Montour house Dorm. His room overlooks the powerhouse. Everyday they receive a tri axle of coal. Lately they have received more than one a day on certain days of the week.
I am a free man. Free men and women are not part of a collective, we are individuals.

The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me... Ayn Rand

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KLook
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Post Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 10:20 am

The boiler consumes about 1 truck load of clean chips per week during the heating system and is a K-12 with about 1500 kids. I think that is roughly 20 cords of wood chips per week.
Now take a ride up to Washington County and see what this mentality has created. Don't be fooled by the expanses of forest in the distance. Get out in it and see what it looks like close up. Now ride through any region from Bangor, ME down to Chattanooga, Tenn. and see what a forest looks like. Renewable my ass and its better done if its out of sight and out of mind up in the parts of the state that don't matter. No one lives there you know.

Kevin

When the built the Ultrapower plant in Jonesboro, ME, it was going to burn only trash wood. Limbs, alders, pallets, whatever locals could bring in and grind up, etc. As soon as it opened it was subsidized and they only took premium hardwood. Contracts were awarded and reneged on, only big time operators could supply them with TT loads of premium wood. Junk species "plugged up" the Euro design boiler. Like they didn't know it beforehand. Bottom line, it only operates when your tax dollar subsidizes it. they can't make money with out a subsidy, just like wind.

To be at least a little on topic, that room and setup look like the one in the old Calais middle school where I got my first coal to use. Bit also.

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Post Mon. Oct. 29, 2012 7:36 am

I hear you.

What irks me is the pellet manufactures in Maine. Up until a few years ago there was none in the state, but then they claimed if they came in...with tax incentives of course...they industry would jump start hundreds of jobs. They made those claims based on wood coming from loggers harvesting trees. After they were funded however, what they did was take the easy road, instead of using wood that loggers supplied, and that entire chain of employment...from logger to pellet truck driver delivery man...they simply started buying sawdust from existing sawmills.

As dairy farmers, we saw our bedding costs quadruple overnight. No kidding there my friend...no kidding at all. Last year our bedding costs for 1200 cows was $100,000 dollars. It was not like that before because the sawdust was either sold to farmers, or burned in their own sawmill boilers to make steam and electricity. Now that the pellet makers cannot get enough of it, simply put, supply and demand has made sawdust a valuable commodity. As I said on another thread in here, the price of milk is already low and we are struggling to get by...high bedding costs do not help!

Bedding costs are so bad, that dairy farms have resorted to buying dehydrators for their manure. What they do is take the cow manure, dehydrate it and then mix it with sawdust to make it stretch farther. For those that do not have dehydrators, the low cost solution to high bedding costs is to buy a cheap product that is dehydrated human manure. Yep human poop...no joke there. These waste water treatment plants cannot process 1% of the human waste they take in, they call it sludge and so they haul it to a plant in Unity Plantation, Maine, compost it, then dehydrate it and sell it to dairy farmers cheap. On our farm we do not use it, it is messy (black ooze) and just plain wrong to have human poop in so close proximity to a product (milk) that people ingest for nutrition. But some dairy farmers in Maine are in no position to buy high priced pure sawdust bedding like we do. It is the same issue we have faced for years...make something we need, out of something someone cannot get rid of.

I am not making any of this up, and then my Dad wonders why I am so disappointed with his new pellet boiler. The pellet manufactures in Maine really have fleeced the Maine people on many different levels and it is downright sickening how dairy farms have had to compete against them. It is a sad chain of events that has led to some poor policy making regarding heat, jobs, human waste and milk.

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Post Mon. Oct. 29, 2012 7:39 am

I will add, that I really try to be upbeat on here and positive, and am sorry that the above post was so negative. If anyone is able to put a good spin on what is happening, I would like to hear something not so depressing. Unfortunately, at this time I just shake my head and swear...it really is a sad chain of events.

Again, I apologize for being negative... :-(

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Post Mon. Oct. 29, 2012 8:20 am

I don't think there is any need to apologize for the truth NoSmoke, sometimes we don't know what is going on in other parts of this big country of ours. There is plenty of sawdust around here, probably because logging isn't big enough to attract much of the pellet industry until father East of me. It's mostly Amish & on a smaller scale & the dairy farmers are for the most part downsizing or going out all together. The same employment lies happen here with the fracking, there are a couple drilling outfits (mostly from Texas) they had a Hispanic crew & move from drill site to drill site, stay on site in a trailer & only on occasion eat at a local restaurant. I guess they get maybe some machine work & supplies locally & bought some pick-ups off the Dodge dealer but other than that few people if any hired. Our Governor trumped all local zoning laws so local municipalities can do little more than road bonding & telling people to have their well water tested but many can't afford that, just like all politics big on promises but short on results. Sorry for getting so far off subject but it is all energy related somewhere along the line.
"Any fool can criticize, condemn & complain & most fools do." Benjamin Franklin

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KLook
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Post Mon. Oct. 29, 2012 8:24 am

I will add, that I really try to be upbeat on here and positive, and am sorry that the above post was so negative. If anyone is able to put a good spin on what is happening, I would like to hear something not so depressing. Unfortunately, at this time I just shake my head and swear...it really is a sad chain of events.

Again, I apologize for being negative... :-(
Not sure how you put a positive spin on that. It seems to be a never ending tale of such stories in Maine. From early forests and mills to barren landscapes of immature trees and mono cultures of non native species(or just a mess of slash and ruts), the herring fishery and its boom and collapse(not one cannery left), the chicken houses all fallen in or gone from the feed tripling over night, and the dairy industry has been gone from my area for many years. Due to increased cost and gov. restrictions on price. I think Shoppee's Dairy was the last in the Machias area and the Bell family is trying to get an organic milk business going in the Cobscook Bay region. The Tidemill farm I think. They even pulled up the train tracks between Ellsworth and Calais because there is no reason to believe there will be a need in the near future. Nice 4 wheeler trail however.
Not all change is bad, but I don't see anything progressing up there except taxes and more restrictions on land use, or more directly, quaint villages on the edge of a national park, tourist crap like the Trenton area going into Bar Harbor, and the eventual loss of the harbor lands now enjoyed by fisherman. Greenvile is already there and will never be the same once the money people buy up the house lots. The locals are great as servants, just don't want to see ya any other time. As a lawyer was overheard to say(owned a large shore front development called Yoho Head), "This would be a great place if it weren't for the locals". No easy answers here, just different opinion as to what "progress" is.

How was that for negative? :shock:

Kevin

gotta get something in on topic!! I can think of several buildings in Machias that still have the access doors on the sidewalk, etc. where the coal chutes used to go. A lot of them have been removed in upgrades on main st.

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Post Mon. Oct. 29, 2012 8:56 am

We have the Amish here as well, and please do not get me started on them. I know for the majority of people, they are the ideal neighbors to have, and while it is VERY true there are worse ones to have, in the end they are people from away with lots of money who think they can manipulate the local community.

Where I live in Maine, we also have the yuppies moving in. With MOFGA next door, and Unity College, our area is attracting a yuppie/hippie crowd that is really putting a squeeze on local agriculture. There are so many start up farms, so many veggie farms, that land prices are high and it is getting tough to find rental land for agriculture. With 1200 cows, you cannot own enough of your own land to get the feed you need, and pay taxes on it too. But with the Amish moving in, buying large tracts of tillable land, and the yuppies buying the smaller tracts, land rentals have shot way up and we cannot find enough land in which to farm. Every time we find a new field we are interested in, it turns out, organizations with a lot of money, like Maine Farmlink, MOFGA and the Nature Conservancy, have already retained the rights to it. We have resorted to clearing forest to make room for more tillable land...and I have a lot more acres in which to convert. It is sad to see good forest go back to farmland, but with sawmills and paper mills really getting hurt by regulation, and society going more and more paperless, I am lucky I can sell the wood I do cut, and 90% of it now is for firewood.

I was saddened to hear of the reality in PA. I knew natural gas fracking was going on, but I assumed PA was experiencing a boom time. It is sad to hear that the area is not gleaning all they can from the short term boom that it probably will be. As I said, just because our area is in dire straits, that does not mean I wish other areas of the country were no better off. Hardly...I had hoped to hear better economic news from PA. What a shame when reality rears its ugly head and tells you what is truly going on...

All I can say is...buy coal AND VOTE!


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