Heroes & Zeroes: Spotlighting winners and losers in the news

Heroes & Zeroes: Spotlighting winners and losers in the news

June 1st, 2013 in Opinion Free Press

Pamela Brown, rear, and Heather Basham fly down a water slide at Lake Winnepesaukah's newest attraction, Soakya water park.

Photo by Patrick Smith/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 letters@timesfreepress.com or by mail to Free Press Editorial Page, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 400 East Eleventh Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403.