I have recently discovered your excellent magazine and will subscribe as soon as finances allow. I have two comments about your March/April 2011 Issue.
First as a long time handyman I couldn’t help but notice an error in the article by Len McDougall [Drive your own freshwater well]. The author refers to joining two pipes with a nipple when in fact you would join them with a coupler. The nipple is any length of pipe shorter than one foot with external or male threads on both ends. The coupler is a length of larger pipe with internal or female threads. I know this is nit-picking but if a novice would go to his local hardware store and ask for a 4-inch nipple he would not get home with the required parts.
My second comment is on the editorial concerning local government to which I say “hooray” You were right on the mark. I have visited your community and thankfully had a wonderful experience, but I am very familiar with similar situations.
The answer you seek is to get involved in politics at some level. You believe that the Chief of Police works for you as a citizen but in truth he answers to the local elected body of government, they are after all the people that can and will fire him. They in turn answer to the voters. But only every two or four years or whatever your election cycle is. This has the effect of the Chief acting in the manner that he believes will keep him employed as long as possible.
An unfortunate scenario that often occurs is that a well-meaning new comer runs for office, is elected and promptly begins to try to change things to the way it worked where he came from. Or someone with a particular axe to grind attains office to get his way on an issue. The only way to affect the actions of your Chief is to become active in politics at some level. You may run for office or actively support someone running that has a like mind as you. Write letters to the editor of your local paper and attend meetings of public interest. Never let someone run unopposed, even for positions such as school board or water commission, it gives them the attitude that they are untouchable. In Short political apathy is the tool that politicians use to run over the common citizen.
Neal J. Ward (ex-Chief of Police)
Mr. ward is correct about the misnamed pipe connector. It is generally called a coupler or coupling.
I’ve updated the online version with the correct part name.