False Reports Could Hurt Storm Recovery

Monday, November 12, 2012

In an Nov. 5, opinion piece on the chattanoogan.com, Roy Exum wrote:

"… I would be livid over the reports that some emergency utility trucks – eager to help – were turned away at a staging area in Virginia because the crews were non-union workers. …"

I would also be livid, if the reports were true, but they are not.

I grew up in Jersey City, NJ, and all the places effected by the recent storm are well known to me. As a young boy I often visited my grandmother's house in Seaside Heights, where the trucks in question were bound, according to a Decatur Utilities press release.

It troubles me to see false reports circulated that only serve to detract from the recovery effort and score bogus political points.


"[A] spokesman for Jersey Central power and Light, which serves Seaside Heights, said non-union crews are helping restore power, …"

"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the Alabama crew got 'bad information' and non-union crews are welcomed in the recovery effort."

"The documents that supposedly required Decatur Utilities workers to agree to union affiliation actually came from Electric Cities of Alabama [a coalition of Alabama's municipally owned electric utilities], not the IBEW."

"Representatives from two other Alabama utility companies that were reportedly turned way from New Jersey said such reports were not true."

"New Jersey utility companies said they were accepting all offers of help, regardless of union status."

Information is provided on snopes.com to fully support each of the statements quoted above. I wish Roy Exum had been a little skeptical of these reports, as I was. It would have only taken a few minutes to do a simple search on snopes.com and learn the truth.

I have no connections with the IBEW or any other labor union.

Joseph J. Blass



A Haven For Small Business Owners

With the latest incentive recently announced by the City of Chattanooga, the community is becoming a haven for small business owners and entrepreneurs.     The small business incentive program is a win-win for both business owners, while at the same time promoting an incentive for hiring full time employees. We all know that small businesses represent the primary ... (click for more)

Is A Hotel In The Arts District A Good Idea? - And Response

This design certainly looks somewhat better than what was presented before on the new hotel by the Walnut Street Bridge, and I can understand why the developer would want that site. But I just question whether a commercial entity such as a hotel in a residential and arts district is the best option. John Fricke * * * Bluff View Inn anyone?  I am really not a fan ... (click for more)

City Receives $400,000 Federal Grant To Study Passenger Train Service

The United States Department of Transportation has announced Chattanooga has received a $400,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to study the potential use of existing railways for a passenger rail system in Chattanooga. There were 72 awards announced in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Out of numerous grant applications across Tennessee, ... (click for more)

Former Assistant Police Chief Eidson Not Charged In Shooting Of Stepson On Englewood Avenue

Former Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson was not charged in the shooting of stepson Robert Ingle, 18, on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. However, Ingle was charged with domestic assault and vandalism. In the incident shortly after 9 a.m. at 1049 Englewood Ave., Mr. Eidson said Ingle came to the house asking him to take him to their other house ... (click for more)

Baylor Ends Big Week With Win Over GPS

The Baylor volleyball team probably doesn't get many days off during the week in midseason, but they earned a day off on Tuesday following a long and successful stretch in the last eight days. The Lady Red Raiders, won 10 of 11 matches in the last eight days, including a big win over arch-rival GPS on the road Monday night.  As a result, coach Sarah Lail urged her girls ... (click for more)

UTC's Hudson Named Special Teams Player Of The Week

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Tommy Hudson is the Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, the league office announced today.  Hudson scored twice in the Mocs 42-6 win at Austin Peay on Saturday .  Hudson returned three punts for 65 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown in the third quarter.  That added to his 33-yard receiving ... (click for more)