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This Weeks Citizens Tip – Picking a Home Contractor For the Stubborn DIYer

Frustrated Home Improvement Contractor

Parkersburg is filled with handymen.  The number of pickup trucks and toolboxes might outnumber the people.  Sometimes we can get a little too stubborn on doing something ourselves, and forget to that it might be best to go with a professional.  here are some tips on when to go it alone, versus getting a specialist for that home improvement project.

DIY Versus Contractors

Whenever you want to do, or are planning a home improvement project, you are going to have two options – either do it your self, or hire a contractor. Generally, there are some jobs that DIY enthusiasts can do on their own, and some that are just too complex or difficult to do yourself. In those cases, you should hire the job out to a contractor. However, for the stubborn DIYer, who thinks that they can do everything themselves, this can be hard. But if they hire the right contractor, DIYers can hire the job out, while still participating in the renovation.


The most important thing to consider is how well the contractor communicates. If you want to be fully involved, then you are going to need to hire a contractor who is willing to share with you very regular updates, and let you know everything that is going on. Without the regular updates, you will not feel as if you are a part of the process, and this can be difficult for many people. Communication should be discussed with the contractor before hiring them, to ensure both parties are on the same page.


Of course, you are going to want to hire a contractor who has the right skills for your job. While this may sound like common sense, some contractors have specialized skills, which cannot be hired out to do any job. However, due to pricing or other factors, they will be hired. Before you go through with paying and hiring a contractor, it is important that you see that they have the skills necessary for your exact job. Because if they don’t have the skills that are needed, why are you paying someone to do a job when they have the same skill levels as you?


Not all contractors are going to force you to be detached from the project. Many contractors will guide you step by step through each process that they are going to complete, and some will even teach you how they do their job. For those who want to be able to have the skills necessary to complete more jobs on their own in the future, the expert knowledge of home contractors can be invaluable, especially if they are willing to take the time to teach you how to complete various tasks.

Share Responsibilities

While some home contractors are willing to teach you skills, some will even let you share the responsibilities of completing the job. This of course will depend on whether or not you as the client want to participate in the renovations. But some contractors can give you small tasks that you can complete on your own. This allows you to be a large part of the renovations, as well as learn new skills from an expert. If this is something that you are interested in, you must always ask the contractor before you hire them for their services.



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How are West Virginians Sleeping? A look at sleep quality in Apalachia

Sleep Problems


Sleeping is a very essential part of our health. when our sleep is disturbed, it can lead a various physiological and psychological disorders.  According to the Centre of Disease Control (CDC), West Virginia is the most sleep-deprived state in the US.  In a 2008 poll conducted on residents of all the US states, west Virginia scored 38.6% of the percentage of residents that had insufficient sleep in a month.

Analysis on how west Virginians are sleeping and a look at the sleep quality in Appalachia:

  • A study showed that west virginians lack of sleep doubled due to health problems like obesity
  • It was also found that the number of health problems and poor medical facilities were high in west Virginia than any other state.
  • It was suggested that 1 in 5 people in west Virginia does not get enough sleep.
  • Experts also suggest that the financial stress and odd-hour work shifts could also play roles in sleep deprivation among Virginia residents.

A recent study was conducted in the heart of Appalachia to answer the as to why this place has more than double the rate of bad sleep than places like Wisconsin.  The researchers did look at a lot of factors ranging from education to income rates to alcohol drinking to physical and mental health.  The study revealed that younger people with low incomes and poor health conditions were more likely to live in place with high rates of bad sleep.

The counties in Appalachia are the most economically distressed in the US which could be the major factor as to why there are high rates of sleep deprived residents unable to get a wonderful night’s sleep.

A combination of health and money worries is keeping the residents of Appalachia awake all night is the current hypothesis.

It is still unclear about the exact cause but there have been a number of sleep centre that have set up to help tackle the problem of sleeplessness.

How to Improve sleep quality in places like Parkersburg:

A lots of factors need to be taken into consideration but the major factors from the study and health and only issues.

1: Government should invest in youth related programs in order to get the youth engaged in work to earn a living.

2: Health care and Medicare costs should be subsidized to improve the scope of the heath care coverage in Appalachia.

3: Food Stamp programs should be pushed forward more to cater for a wide range of individuals from various economic backgrounds.

4: Education should be made more affordable with a increase in scholarships and grants for economically challenged families or communities.

5: Night curfews should be initiated including alcohol curfews in order to keep residents in doors at night.


On an individual basis, sleep improvement depends on one simple factor and this is maintaining the Circadian sleep rhythms. The maintenance of these rhythms involves:; Early bed time, Regular body detox, proper diet and exercise and low stress levels. West Virginians should encourage friends and family with sleep disorders to attend sleep improvement centers if the disorder is detrimental to they health and very uncomfortable.


Water Crisis in America, Will West Virginia be Affected?

The Water Crisis in America is major issue which is not being brought into the light by the media or the government of the USA; it is hardly spoken of. The crisis is not something that has just originated out of nowhere but rather something that has been there for decades.

The majority of water pipes in the United States are made from lead which is a time bomb in itself. With the passage of time, lead will keep breaking and keep contaminating the water system. The length of the lead pipes is approximately 1.2 million miles, with a lifespan of 75 years only and with many pipes reaching this age, it will cost around $1 trillion to fix those pipes.

According to a report released by the Reuters on December 19, 2016 about America’s drinking water, there are 3000 locations with very high lead contamination rate of the drinking water.

According to another report from the Michigan State University, there will be various additive factors that will result in a large population of the USA not being able to afford water at all in the near future. The State clearly has no funds to take care of a crisis of such a scale. The water crisis has already resulted in a rise of about 41% in the water rates since 2010.

Take a look at this map put together by WaterNews, showing water condition by state.  You’ll notice West Virginia is in deep red:

Water Crises Infographic

Now the question is will West Virginia (and Parkersburg) be affected? Again? The answer is a bitter yes!

The West Virginia Water Crises

On 9th January 2017 was the 5th anniversary of the West Virginia Water Crisis. This happened when a small two – week old company that stored and processed coal-processing chemicals from 11 huge, 48,000-gallon containment units on the shores of Elk River accidentally allowed 7,500 gallons of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHP) to seep through the region’s main source of drinking water. An estimated 300,000 people got their drinking water from this source.

Obviously, in this type of situation you should never drink unfiltered tapwater, but some people didn’t not have many options.  Where some people had the ability to forego drinking, bathing or cooking with the contaminated tap water, others just did not have another option. After two years, although the government has lifted the warning and declared the water safe, people are still scared of drinking tap water. The water crisis is not resolved yet, it has just begun.

Lawsuits have been filed against several authorities responsible for the incident and the negligence of the safety standards. Numerous civil suits were also filed which included 50 against West Virginia American Water. There were several personal injury lawsuits filed against major responsible authorities within nine months after the incident but nothing has practically been done to eliminate the risk permanently.

Historic Problem

The West Virginia water crisis was one of the worst water crisis in the history of America. Each state shall be responsible for creating laws and legislations to fulfill the EPA’s federal clean water act, but just like West Virginia, many other states do not have any such federal acts.

For those of you who are still not aware of the health hazards caused as a result of lead contamination, there is definitely need to fidn out more about this hazard for the protection of your children. High lead levels in the blood may not affect one immediately but they do have prolonged side effects.

We need to raise our voices on this matter before things get out of hand.