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



Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)

The Tragedy In America's Jails - And Response (2)

I've been attacked trying to sound the alarm about mass incarceration for just about any and every offense, no matter how small, made up or non-existing. I've been told such things as "if you can't do the time, then don't do the crime".  "Stop whining!" "You must be guilty of something!" And quite a number of  more choice words and name calling I won't go into here. But, ... (click for more)

Red Bank Commercial Centers Sell For $9.4 Million

Two nearby Red Bank retail centers have sold for a combined $9.4 million. Red Bank Mayor John Roberts called it "the largest transactions in the history of Red Bank." The Red Bank Town Center at 3901 Dayton Blvd., that includes a Food City, sold for $7,750,000. The sale was  to White Realty & Service Corp from Red Bank Ii Llc. A commercial center that includes ... (click for more)

Jury Awards 25 City Police Personnel Total Of $562,000 On Claims That Pay Plan Was Not Followed

A Chancery Court jury on Wednesday gave a verdict totaling $562,000 for 25 city police personnel who filed suit almost five years ago alleging that the city never lived up to terms of a 2010 pay plan. Attorney Stevie Phillips, who tried the case along with Janie Parks Varnell, said, "The jury awarded each officer what we had asked for to the penny." She stated, "These 25 members ... (click for more)

Sale Creek Storms Past Central, 3-0, In Volleyball Action

Despite playing short-handed, Sale Creek’s once-beaten Lady Panthers made short work of Central, 3-0, Thursday night in high school volleyball action at Central High School. The Lady Panthers sprinted to their 11 th win in 12 matches this season by whipping Central 25-21, 25-13, 25-8 in the non-district matchup. “We played well today,” Sale Creek coach Debbie Hill said. ... (click for more)

Grace Wins In Celebration Of Coach Waters' Birthday

The Grace Academy volleyball team had several reasons to play well at Silverdale on Thursday night, not to mention that it was head coach Hillary Waters’ birthday. Facing the Lady Seahawks in a key District 5-A match, the Lady Golden Eagles did what they had to do as they won the match in four sets as they improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in 5-A. Set scores were 25-15, ... (click for more)