published Saturday, October 8th, 2011

HCDE probes never find anything

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

HCDE probes never find anything

An article about a gentleman who filed an EEO claim for sexual harassment stated the school system's investigation found nothing to substantiate his claims.

I don't know anyone involved in his situation and wonder why claims continue coming against Hamilton County's Department of Education. Internal investigations are made by HCDE, but ironically nothing's ever found in case after case. Yet, while this and other dramatic brouhahas continue to turn lives upside down, I can't understand where to begin fixing this system.

When I read HCDE did their own investigation and found nothing, I knew another good teacher had been thrown away without a second thought. It doesn't matter if he's a man of good character. He will get another job. The problem and claim will just go away and a system will continue to do what they've always done.

HCDE amended policies and procedures this year that could produce unintended consequences. Consequences may not be obvious to members of Hamilton County now, but when we look back on the evolution of this system's character and consider what's best for students, will the new policies and procedures affect or "haunt" Hamilton County long after the reason for the policies and procedures are forgotten?

ESTHER TAJ CLARK

Ocoee bypass not good use of funds

A 2004 report evaluates "Cost-Effectiveness of North Carolina's Major Road Projects" by dividing project construction cost with number of vehicle miles traveled in the first 20 years of service. Average cost was 2.7 cents per vehicle mile traveled. The report concludes that projects requiring 8.0 cents per vmt (FY2002 dollars) should have been deferred. One cost-effective project was North Carolina Corridor K's widening in 1992 of 2.12 miles existing two-land to four-lane from North Carolina to the Little Tennessee River at 30 cents per vmt.

Tennessee proposes building a 6.8 mile Ocoee River Gorge bypass which, even if two lane, will be $300 million. The TDOT 2003 EIS, page 1-15 shows 3,100 vehicles on the bypass if it had been completed in 2005 and 4,910 in 2025. TDOT's gorge traffic count station No. 35 shows recent use about 4,600 vehicles per day like expected for 2005 so the EIS projections would be approximately accurate for the next 20 years. Using 4,005 vehicles per day for the 20 years (since part would use the river road), Corridor K's gorge bypass cost-ineffectiveness becomes $1.50 per vehicle mile to be traveled.

If Corridor K is funded, more deserving projects will go wanting.

KIRK JOHNSON

1
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Newton said...

Mr. Johnson understates the disastrous economic decision to build Corridor K, even as a two lane. No state should be building anything to serve less that 10,000 cars per day right now. The state average income per vehicle mile before this recession was a little over two cents. What projects are going to be cancelled or delayed to pay the difference between the $1.50 required and the two plus cents per vehicle mile that we are taking in? TDOT is operating an asphalt welfare program and this is the cost before the over runs. The corrupt Metropolitan and Rural Planning project selection system is very good at picking projects based on political need but is totally worthless when it comes to picking projects based on real transportation need.

Danny L. Newton Cookeville, Tennessee

October 15, 2011 at 2:16 a.m.
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