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« Convergolicious | Main | Rover over »

Aug 13, 2007

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Fred Gregory

Geez Ed.. Atleast you got free meals. You cudda wound up on a hit liost like Hammer and Bledsoe.

Roaaaaaarrrrrrr! Buzzzzzzz !

John Burns

I asked these same questions in 1999-2000, but we were treated like pariahs who wanted the triad to fail economically. North High Point tried to get these answers. We really did. You can search the archives of the N&R to look for what we tried to do. My wife and I even wrote a 30-some page critique of the initial FAA review of the project.

Nothing. Nothing except the PTIA Authority accusing us of being morons who lived to close to an airport. No response when we pointed out that we did not move 5 miles away from a freight airport that operated all night. THey just didn't care, and "noise" was laughed at as a concern.

I guess you'll see soon enough if it was a laughing matter. Glad I sold and moved.

John Burns

Jim Hunt actually responded to something I said in an article, he said something to the effect that the opponents should be quiet before they blow a good thing, because "any state, any city, would give its right arm to have something like this project."

Roch101

Is the N&R still interested in story ideas from members of the community or did that fall by the wayside with Lex's unceremonious re-assignment from their short-lived citizen journalism initiative?

I think it would be extremely interesting for a news org with the resources to do a benchmark report on how well the FedEx project is living up to the promises used to sell it. For example:

- The state legislature exempted FedEx from the usual state minority hiring requirements. FedEx responded by saying that they have a tradition of giving contracts to minorities at a percentage that would exceede the state requirements anyway. What percentage of contruction is going to minority firms?

- How's Brush Creek doing? It is the main tributary to our city's water supply and is now surrounded at its headwaters by airport construction. Brush Creek was on the state's list of impaired waters before the hub construction began. Has it gotten any worse or have conditions improved as city water guru Allan Williams predicted?

- How are incentives matching up to what was promised? Are the costs for sales tax exemptions and gifted facilities such as water and sewer expansion in line with what we were told they would be?

Ed Cone

The N&R was never particularly interested in exploring the details of this story.

Roch101

Except that the promises and expectations cited above were reported by the N&R.

For example:

From a 7-5-01 article by Taft Wireback that began with "Having attacked the proposed FedEx hub on environmental and business issues, project foes now are focusing on a subject dear to the company: minority recruitment." The N&R reported:

"FedEx officials cite their Alliance hub near Fort Worth, Texas, as an example of the company's commitment to using minority businesses wherever possible. At that hub, built five years ago, the company spent nearly 16 percent of its construction dollars with minority contractors, excluding the sorting equipment, FedEx officials say."

In the same article, the airport said it had a goal of 10.3% minority contracting.

Another example:

The N&R reported the costs of incentives in "What FedEx Gets -- And What It Pays" (6-25-02) including:

"Changes in Bryan Boulevard, Old Oak Ridge Road and interchanges to accommodate hub - roughly $36 million, paid for by state Department of Transportation"

and

"Free extension of Greensboro sewer line - $218,000"

I don't disagree with you Ed about the N&R avoiding important details. They did it in two ways, by pretending that anything negative towards the hub could not be a fact, prefacing such with "project foes claim..." while prefacing the positives with more certain language such as "The hub is expected...(to create 1,500 jobs)."

[And, another shameful ploy, publishing over and over again the "noise cone map" that showed a sliver of land to be affected by loud noise, even though that map used a noise average of 24 hours, seven day a week (including Sundays when the additional FedEx jets won't be flying). That map, as you noted then, doesn't tell you a thing about how loud the noise will be and who will be affected when the jets are actually landing and taking off and yet, it became the N&R's defacto illustration of the areas affected by noise.]

Nonetheless, the N&R did report some specific promises. I'd be astonished if they actually took an interest in the water quality of Brush Creek, but they previously reported on promises for minority contracting and incentives. A report that tells us if those promises are being fulfilled wouldn't be outside the N&R's established scope of reporting on this project.

M

One question that pops up in my mind about FedEx is its long-term viability against rising oil prices. FedEx needs cheap oil to attract customers and when demand starts to outstrip supply will FedEx be able to survive that?

Sue

Logistics hub?

Isn't that the fundamental reason (after "more jobs") for starting with a FedEx monster of a facility? We have no manufacturing to speak of, fewer textiles, furniture is going buh-bye. If we're going to turn this burg around, perhaps logistics is our answer.

Has no one discussed that? It's one of the main talking points and reality points. If not logistics, what are we going to replace lost business identity with? We have precious few HQs here; we need a plan. Logistics is booming in GSO.

Ed Cone

Of course people have discussed the value of becoming a logistics hub -- this is from the first column I posted (9-16-1999): "The positives of the plan are clear: As our traditional industries gasp toward an uncertain future, Federal Express is as sure a bet to generate economic activity as any we could make."

What hasn't been discussed adequately are the costs associated with the hub, and the planning to mitigate those costs.

(And I realize you are trying to make a point, Sue, but "We have no manufacturing to speak of" is a gross overstatement)

Shayna

We are new to the area and considering buying a home that is off Fleming Rd. close to Bryan Blvd. According to the "noise cone map" the neighborhood will be outside the new flight patterns and will not affect this area much. however, when we were there looking at the house, we heard several planes in an hours time and this was on a Sunday afternoon! Any thoughts on how bad it might be when the runway actually opens? I am thinking if you can already hear noise that it will only get worse...much worse. I would hate to buy this house, even though I love it, and then end up half the night. thanks for any information/insight anyone can give.

Thanks

Roch101

The "noise cone" averages noise ove 24 hours, seven days a week. It includes parts of the day and days of the week when FedEx jets will not be flying. The FedEx filights will primarily be for a couple of hours late at night and a couple of ours early in the morning on week days. At expected operations (62 landings and takeoffs), landings (primarily at night) and take-offs (primarliy in the morning) will be about one every two minutes for about two hours at night and two hours in the morning. It would be foolhardy to even consider a buying a house anywhere near the airport right now.

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