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




Managed Hunting Is Necessary In Maintaining A Stable Deer Population - And Response

I enjoy seeing the whitetail deer that we have in so many areas here in East Tennessee, but here in Hamilton County we have been approaching the maximum habitat sustainability in some places including the Enterprise South area. I make this statement due to the fact that I have seen up to 20 deer driving around in Hixson in one evening during the summer. I believe that TWRA is doing ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain To Hold Public Meetings On Idea Of Setting Up Own School System

Discussion about follow-up public meetings regarding the Signal Mountain School System Viability Committee (SMSSVC) report dominated the council’s work session on Friday afternoon. Council member Dan Landrum’s opinion about how to proceed differed from the other four council members. Mr. Landrum argued to end the study and to hold no public meetings. His reason was that of the 738 ... (click for more)

Man Shot Multiple Times In Cleveland; Jesus Teague, 14, Is Wanted

On Saturday, at 6:12 a.m., Cleveland Police Department responded to 1210 Elrod Place SE in reference to a domestic disturbance.   A man sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Erlanger by Life Force. His condition is stable, at this time.   The suspect, Jesus Tyler Teague, 14, is still at large and considered armed and dangerous. ... (click for more)

John Gilpin Dominates Signal Mountain Pie Run

You can almost be guaranteed of one thing when John Gilpin approaches the starting line of a road race. Chances are better than average that the former Chattanooga Moc track and cross country standout is going to win. Such was the case at the annual Signal Mountain Pie Run Saturday morning as the 25-year-old Nashville resident covered a hilly and challenging 10K course in ... (click for more)

Bears Rout William Blount To Set Up Title Showdown With Maryville

Bradley Central didn’t succumb to a look-ahead scenario Friday night. The Bears exploded for 41 first-half points behind strong efforts by wide receiver Nick Howell and quarterback Dylan Standifer and routed visiting William Blount, 51-27, at Bear Stadium in a Region 2-6A football game. Howell scored five touchdowns, three on runs of 1, 31 and 13 yards and snagged two ... (click for more)