published Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Heroes & Zeroes: Spotlighting winners and losers in the news

  • photo
    Pamela Brown, rear, and Heather Basham fly down a water slide at Lake Winnepesaukah's newest attraction, Soakya water park.
    Photo by Patrick Smith /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

HERO: McKamey Animal Center and HomeAgain.

The Free Press editorial page joined with McKamey and HomeAgain, the maker of pet microchips, to offer free microchipping to 25 dogs and cats in the Chattanooga area last week. As a result, these beloved pets are much more likely to return home if they're ever lost or missing. McKamey implants HomeAgain microchips for only $25 Wednesdays through Saturdays. Visit McKamey's Facebook page to see some of dogs and cats that received the microchips.

ZERO: EPB television customers.

Despite having the $552 million infrastructure cost of the EPB Fiber Optics business built at the expense of taxpayers and electric customers, EPB's TV, Internet and telephone business is apparently struggling to remain economically viable. As a result, the government-owned electric company has announced a rate hike of up to $6 per month on its cable TV customers, providing yet more proof that socialism does not work.

HERO: Common Cause Georgia.

The Peach State watchdog group announced an effort to get a measure on the Atlanta ballot to prevent $200 million in tax dollars from subsidizing a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons and their billionaire owner, Arthur Blank. The venue would replace the team's current home, the Georgia Dome, which is barely 20 years old and, Blank admits, is in fine shape.

ZERO: Georgia lawmakers.

A new $24.4 million taxpayer-funded parking deck at the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta includes special, extra-wide parking spots for state legislators. By including the "legislative" spots, which are 18 inches wider than standards spots, the parking structure will have 42 fewer spots than if lawmakers didn't get special treatment.

HERO: Lake Winnepesaukah.

The 88-year-old Rossville amusement park opened SoakYa, its multimillion-dollar water park, on Memorial Day. The five-acre water park complex is the first major expansion of the park since the 1960s. SoakYa will bring more visitors and more dollars to the region and, unlike so many things in our area, it was built without tax dollars.

HERO: SoakYa designers.

The folks that designed SoakYa for Lake Winnie wisely installed a number of yellow water slides, yellow rafts and other yellow-hued features at SoakYa. That will certainly go far in helping to camouflage one of the more unpleasant aspects of visiting a water park teeming with hundreds of kids.

ZERO: Patten Tower's managers.

The 241 inhabitants of the hotel-turned-Section-8-apartment-complex are being forced from their homes for six to eight weeks because of an electrical fire. The fire damage has brought to light greater concerns about Patten Tower's poor living conditions, which were allowed to fester by the building's managers. Sadly, addressing those concerns may force many of the low-income residents into long-term limbo or even homelessness.

HERO: The Southern Conference.

The athletics conference added three teams to its roster on Thursday, including East Tennessee State University. The return of ETSU to the SoCon will revive a heated rivalry with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and should mean a greater interest in UTC athletics. The celebrated UTC-ETSU rivalry was halted when the Bucs left the SoCon for the Atlantic Sun after the school dropped its football program.

Send your suggestions for future Heroes & Zeros by email to or by mail to Free Press Editorial Page, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 400 East Eleventh Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
charivara said...

Zero: Whoever wrote the EPB television customers piece. A rate hike on cable TV customers proves socialism doesn't work? Does that mean that a rate hike by Comcast proves capitalism doesn't work? The only thing this piece shows that doesn't work is the writer's brain.

June 1, 2013 at 9:21 a.m.
Dumbledore403 said...

Exactly charivara...And at least EPB has a reputation of providing much better service than Comcast/ Xfinity or whatever they call themselves these days. The Queen(My wife) and I will not go to Comcast this next time because of their poor service unless things drastically change.

June 1, 2013 at 9:33 a.m.
Dumbledore403 said...

And Drew Common Cause is one of Ralph Nader's groups...Are you sure you want to be agreeing with them?(Insert tongue firmly in cheek here) :)

June 1, 2013 at 9:35 a.m.
Cbradberry said...

This article reminds me why I've never subscribed to the paper. The socialism angle in the EPB piece is ludicrous.

What about this: Zero, whoever continues to deliver the free paper to my address despite my requests to stop it.

June 1, 2013 at 10:40 a.m.
acerigger said...

ZERO: Patten Tower's managers.

Is this an example of the free market?

June 1, 2013 at 12:58 p.m.
gjuster said...

Zero - Government should not compete with the private sector. That's called economic fascism

June 2, 2013 at 8:18 a.m.
Leaf said...

Well, to continue the trend. . . Zero - simplistic thinking and labeling every thing "socialism".

I suppose driving cars on roads you didn't actually construct yourself is socialism, too. Right?

June 3, 2013 at 9:38 a.m.
MyGen said...

Zero definitely for EPB. After getting millions from us to run their business, they still don't have enough? Sounds like Chattanooga's General Motors on its way to a bailout.

June 3, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.
gjuster said...

Leaf - The roads were built with taxpayer dollars - that comes from private industry and the people they hire - as well as gas tax. People working pay that.

June 3, 2013 at 6:40 p.m.
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