published Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Page A-1 choice questioned and other letters to the editors

Page A-1 choice questioned

The positioning and coverage the Times-Free Press gave the recent Baylor-McCallie game raises concerns about the paper's impartiality as a news source.

Newspapers of repute reserve the banner headline across page A-1 for the most significant story of the day. Had the malaise of the federal shutdown allowed a high school game to be the most newsworthy event the T-FP could find? Listing scores atop the page is reasonable, but headlines and game reports belong in the sports pages -- section D.

As newspapers struggle to compete with Internet and other news sources, a new, colorful format is making the T-FP more appealing, and the inclusion of the "police blotter" now attracts readers possessing more pruriently inquiring minds.

The story on page B-1 concerning the vandalism that defaced Baylor's scoreboard was a sign of the changing times -- or rather the changing Times-FP. In the 1980s McCallie's stadium was similarly defaced. In that situation, rather than have the publicity the T-FP has given this 2013 situation the headmasters agreed to let Baylor fix the damage before it became a public embarrassment. The T-FP should not infer such "idiocy" is a one-way street.


Airport investment makes one wonder

Would you invest $7.3 million into a product that has an effective life span of 25 years and a payback period of over 35 years?

The Chattanooga Airport received $7 million dollars in EPA grants to install solar panels. The projected annual savings at $205,000 based on current efficiency.

You can expect an efficiency drop of .5 percent -- 1 percent per year. When solar panels drop below 80 percent efficiency it becomes more economical to replace then. Most experts agree by years 25 through 30 it makes economic sense to replace the panels with more efficient panels.

I requested the projection report from the Chattanooga Airport but was informed no report exist. I was curious whether the decline in efficiency was taken into account with this projection. Since the savings is based on current savings it is safe to assume future savings will be lower due to the decline in efficiency.

The article also out the Airport had saved 2,719 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the environment. Neglected in most reports is the fact that the panels themselves had to be manufactured which is an energy intensified process. This process produces pollution, heavy metal emissions and greenhouse gases.

THOMAS LYNN, Cleveland, Tenn.

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