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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Yankees try squeeze play on $42,000 Tampa water fee

“Filthy water cannot be washed.”

Baseball’s most storied franchise – winner of 26 world championships – has a new foe. The city of Tampa.

Owners of the New York Yankees, who are upgrading the drinking water system at George M. Steinbrenner Field, are trying to get out of paying a $42,000 impact fee for installing a new water meter at the spring training stadium.

They have asked the city to waive the required fee, claiming through a consulting firm they hired that the impact on the city’s water and sewer systems would not be increased.

The impact fee is being charged for switching from a 2-inch to a 3-inch water meter.

“An increase in meter size will result in no additional demand on the city’s water supply system or wastewater collection system,” Daniel Vickstrom, vice president of Charlotte Engineering & Surveying, wrote in a recent letter to the city’s water department.

Water department officials said the fees are flat rates charged to other large commercial users with systems that consume more than 450 gallons per minute.

“We’re already giving them a discount for being an existing customer,” department spokesman Elias Franco said. “Otherwise, the fee would be more than $70,000.”

Repoz Posted: August 04, 2009 at 11:04 PM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays, yankees

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   1. BDC Posted: August 04, 2009 at 11:13 PM (#3280242)
   2. mos def panel Posted: August 04, 2009 at 11:18 PM (#3280247)
I'm sure the city doesn't need the money...
   3. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: August 04, 2009 at 11:40 PM (#3280295)
Near-random association: Tom Hicks's private home water bill is $40,000 a year.

Yeesh. I guess that's why he can't pay the banks, or his players.
   4. Maury Brown Posted: August 04, 2009 at 11:45 PM (#3280307)
I'm sure the <strike>city</strike> Yankees don't need the money...
Fixed
   5. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: August 04, 2009 at 11:55 PM (#3280320)
Tom Hicks's private home water bill is $40,000 a year.


dunno about ESPN's attempt to market itself locally, but NBC's doin' a fabulous job...
   6. Jeff K. Posted: August 04, 2009 at 11:57 PM (#3280326)
“An increase in meter size will result in no additional demand on the city’s water supply system or wastewater collection system,” Daniel Vickstrom, vice president of Charlotte Engineering & Surveying, wrote in a recent letter to the city’s water department.

What? My immediate reaction to this was that Mr. Vickstrom, if he holds any sort of certifications (which he assuredly does) should be stripped of them for either being willing to outright lie for money or for being grossly incompetent. But then I decided to look this up; while I used to work in commercial real estate development and liaise with GCs, I'm terrible with anything mechanical or putting things together. So perhaps I was misremembering the form and function of the water meter in context.

In short, I was not. So the first reason this is ridiculously ####### stupid is that there would be no reason to change to a 3 inch if it didn't do exactly what Mr. Vickstrom says it will not do. Sure, it's part of an overhaul, but there are two reasons to overhaul: capacity and wear. If it was purely for wear and someone stupid said "Screw it, get the bigger one while we're at it", someone else would explain to them the costs associated with upgrading the connecting pieces and so on. So even just on a logical basis, there's no way this is true. Additionally, smaller meters cost less to maintain and lower failure rates.

As for the technical, it's completely bonkers; so much so that I really am not kidding about reviewing Vickstrom's certifications. I don't have info on Tampa's pressure, but take Seattle. Domestic meter max capacity for a 2" meter at their system's pressure is 160 gpm. The wonders of r squared mean that a 3" meter max is 460 gpm. This doesn't account for the fact that newer meters have a 50%-100% flow capacity bonus over similarly sized older meters. So we can say that the Yankees want to go from being able to pull 100 gpm to 460 gpm. So:

1) There's no reason for the Yankees to install a bigger meter without the need for it
2) There are tons of reasons (maintenance, fitting costs to match with system, etc.) to *not* install one bigger than needed
3) Flow capacity for the new will be on the order of 4-5x as much as the old
4) Ballparks will use the vast, vast majority of their water in much, much tighter timeframes than the average business, exponentializing the impact of increases in their usage

This isn't just a crock of ####, it's astounding they imagined it would conceivably work.
   7. Jason Cleghorn Posted: August 05, 2009 at 12:24 AM (#3280370)
f'ing losers, the Yankees.
   8. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 12:43 AM (#3280401)
If you took that amount water and poured it into Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, it would turn the playing field into a swimming pool.

“The water would be roughly 8 feet deep," according to Jianping Zhu, chairman of the math department at the University of Texas at Arlington, who performed an analysis at our request.


I love the fact that even for something that nobody would care about nitpicking the numbers on, they had to call someone, much less bother the chairman of the math department at a major University, to figure this out. On my own without cheating for the accuracy on the final answer:

LF foul pole - 334 ft
RF - 325
Eyeballing IF foul territoy, 90Lx45W on each side, plus another that big to catch behind home and rounding, 12150.

334sq+325sq=csq, c=466
Close enough to equilateral to round, so a = .5*466*404 = 94132 sq ft
Missed area = 70 ft h (400-330) * 466 * .5 = 16310

Googling "gallons to sq ft" says 1 cubic foot = 7.48051945 US gallons

So 8.7m gallons = 1163102 cubic feet. Total surface area of 138902 sq ft says 8.37 feet high. If I hadn't shown the math, that took me 60 seconds.
   9. villageidiom Posted: August 05, 2009 at 12:50 AM (#3280413)
George Steinbrenner is willing to screw Tampa on an unpaid bill because he cares so much about winning. He's sooooo classy.
   10. BDC Posted: August 05, 2009 at 12:53 AM (#3280417)
a major University

God bless you, Jeff K. :)
   11. csi: bedford falls Posted: August 05, 2009 at 12:59 AM (#3280430)
What's the local water's VOR water?
   12. Halofan Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:07 AM (#3280453)
Jeff K.: You are the math equivalent of Ron Jeremy pulling off his pants and saying "What is the fuss?"
   13. porkchop Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:07 AM (#3280455)
Who out there among you would not try to get the same type of break on your own water bill if you had a shot?
   14. porkchop Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:16 AM (#3280476)
also to poster #9 village idiot George has had nothing to do with the busines side of the team for quite awhile now. So get your facts straight before you insult someone. In other words get some class.
   15. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:25 AM (#3280498)
God bless you, Jeff K. :)

Hey, I work for the same System you do. Hell, I was just this morning ######## to someone at System about something you guys are doing.

You are the math equivalent of Ron Jeremy pulling off his pants and saying "What is the fuss?"

I really disagree, even if I see the point and congratulate you on your fine choice of analogy. Conceptually, it takes seeing that two triangles and three rectangles will do a fine job of estimating the area. The knowledge required is 90-foot basepaths, the area of a triangle, the area of a rectangle, and the concept of volume being area x height. My mother is highly intelligent and incapable of remembering how to do basic percentages, so I understand that notion. But I refuse to accept that someone with a college degree, journalism or not, not only doesn't know those last 3 things but is so unashamed of that that they call Dr. (assumedly) Zhu. My mom apologizes to *me* when she calls to ask once again about "if I know what % of a store's total sales this market space is, and I know what % of the marketspace brands ABC are, how do I find what % of total sales ABC are?"
   16. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:28 AM (#3280502)
Who out there among you would not try to get the same type of break on your own water bill if you had a shot?

They didn't just ask, they paid a guy to blatantly lie about it under cover of professional authority.

also to poster #9 village idiot George has had nothing to do with the busines side of the team for quite awhile now. So get your facts straight before you insult someone. In other words get some class.

I don't see much of any reason to believe that George wouldn't have done the exact same thing as whichever Stein fils did here.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:32 AM (#3280510)
Who out there among you would not try to get the same type of break on your own water bill if you had a shot?


A $42000 break in my water bill would mean that I don't owe a penny for roughly the next 140 years.
   18. haven Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:37 AM (#3280524)
[Edit]I misread this whole post......

So I am retracting my comments
[/Edit]
   19. porkchop Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:37 AM (#3280526)
Jeff K. again if you could pay some "authority" to give a report to save you a substansial amount of money on your utility bill, wouldn't you do it? And he didn't name one of the stien "fils" he named George.
   20. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:37 AM (#3280527)
A $42000 break in my water bill would mean that I don't owe a penny for roughly the next 140 years.

Well yeah, because you guys don't use pennies, you use buttons or leaves or whatever. Besides, if you need water you can always just melt one of the walls in your house.
   21. porkchop Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:43 AM (#3280542)
#17 Ryan Jones, same with me, but would you refuse it?
   22. RJ in TO Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:45 AM (#3280547)
#17 Ryan Jones, same with me, but would you refuse it?


There's a difference between having someone offer something legal to me for free, and me commissioning an extremely questionable report to demand something for free from someone else.
   23. porkchop Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:47 AM (#3280555)
Jeff K. If I could use leaves as currency I could buy the Yankees in the fall of any year.
   24. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:47 AM (#3280556)
Or else he is telling the truth and you are talking out your ass on a baseball message board.

I almost put "unless you disagree with #6", but decided it was easily inferred. I most certainly could be wrong, but I'm pretty positive I'm not, and as I mentioned I'm not "talking out [my] ass" in either case. I have professional experience in the subject matter. I'm not claiming I was a plumber for 40 years or anything, of course.

I was going to say "no offense", but you know I do mean to be offensive

All's fine with me, assuming of course that you care to even mention a notion of why I'm wrong. I showed why it's ridiculously silly on a purely logical/layman level, and showed some quick estimates of why it's stupid from a technical view of how the ####### product/system works. You can call me an ####### or a know-nothing-#### any time you'd like, but while doing so you have to have *some* basis for it. (EDIT) change "have to have" to "should"

Because I am sort of offended by what you are implying......

If you're not a Yankee employee, Vickstrom, or someone in his business, I don't see why, really. And I'm not outright accusing him of lying with intent to do so, but I am saying that Occam would think so, and that were I in the position to do so I would be investigating the matter from a purely professional standpoint.
   25. RJ in TO Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:47 AM (#3280557)
Well yeah, because you guys don't use pennies, you use buttons or leaves or whatever.


Don't knock it. Our buttons and leaves are now worth roughly 92% of American buttons and leaves.
   26. porkchop Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:49 AM (#3280563)
Ryan, That didn't answer the question.
   27. haven Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:52 AM (#3280572)
If you're not a Yankee employee, Vickstrom, or someone in his business, I don't see why, really. And I'm not outright accusing him of lying with intent to do so, but I am saying that Occam would think so, and that were I in the position to do so I would be investigating the matter from a purely professional standpoint.

I was sadly confused and actually agree with you....

Sorry about my original post......
   28. RJ in TO Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:53 AM (#3280574)
Yeah, it did. If the city offered me a break, I'd take it. If I had to commission an extremely questionable report to get it, no.
   29. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 05, 2009 at 01:59 AM (#3280593)
So will this issue over a paltry 40 large esculate to the point where lawyers need to get involved? If so, then 40K on lawyers will take about a week to rack up and then everyone loses.
I know the media has a habit of picking on the Yankees, but geez for a franchise valued at over a billion dollars, how hard is it to just comply and pay what is perceived to be the same charge any other similar user has to pay?
   30. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 02:00 AM (#3280598)
Jeff K. again if you could pay some "authority" to give a report to save you a substansial amount of money on your utility bill, wouldn't you do it?

No, not if I was pretty damned sure it was a blatant and stupid lie. The finance background would be offended by the complete ignoring of the Tragedy of the Commons. My analytic side would be offended at spending money on inefficiencies like bribery. And even my amoral ####### business side would be offended at participating in something so preposterous without a semblance of good lie to cover for it.

They say you can't fault a guy for trying, and I'm as generally on board with that as a non-psychopathic individual can be, but I can't excuse bribing someone to lie to the government to save myself money, not without a better story than this.

And he didn't name one of the stien "fils" he named George.

He did, and given that it's reasonable to assume Hank and/or Hal at least knew about this and almost certainly signed off on it, their being his sons, and very most importantly George's own history, I repeat that I don't see much reason to believe he wouldn't have done the same thing. So I don't quite see where the offense you seem to take at his saying George is coming from, that's all.
   31. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 05, 2009 at 02:07 AM (#3280619)
Jeff K gets it right. Not being a sociopath, I wouldn't do it either if I didn't need the money.

But of course things might be different if I was acting on behalf of a corporation. Because of course I would have to act like a sociopath in order to maximize profits for the shareholders, that is, myself.
   32. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 02:16 AM (#3280640)
I was sadly confused and actually agree with you....

Some would say agreeing with me is more a sign of sad confusion.

Sorry about my original post......

Ain't no thang but a chicken wang. I meant it that I took no real offense, I'm as guilty as anyone (non-Base division) and much more than most of vitriol and spittle.

Random result of a wandering brain after writing that last sentence is wondering how close thinking that "hypocrites are bad and should be ignored" is to being dangerously subject to infinite recursion.
   33. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 02:24 AM (#3280655)
I would have to act like a sociopath in order to maximize profits for the shareholders, that is, myself.

I'll do a professor or two of mine proud and note that pretty much any responsible teaching of business theory would and does note that you've got an incomplete term in there that affects the whole proposition and analysis. Shifting climate, economic and social, has long since redone that ultimate accountability to be to maximize value for stakeholders. Stakeholders include more than just shareholders. There's the community surrounding, the employees regardless of stock ownership, etc. Nobody teaches a slash-and-burn framework any more. It's not cast in an ethical light, it's simply pragmatic.
   34. villageidiom Posted: August 05, 2009 at 02:41 AM (#3280714)
also to poster #9 village idiot George has had nothing to do with the busines side of the team for quite awhile now. So get your facts straight before you insult someone. In other words get some class.
I was killing two memes with one stone. Sorry you didn't pick up on it.

Oh, wait... that means you didn't have your facts straight.

EDIT: Rather than leave you hanging like that, which would be rude... In another thread today was presented this meme:
But there are several owners (Steinbrenners being the biggest example) who are willing to lose money (if they have to) on their baseball team in order to put forth their best shot at winning. ... George Steinbrenner wants the best team in baseball enough to spend loads of money on it.
...which is suggesting the team's owner (George) is the one making financial decisions. I'm just parroting that; if he's active enough to get credit, he's active enough to get blame. The thing about "classy" comes from another thread a day or two ago in which we saw yet again the NYC obsession with branding the Yankees as being "classy". Like I said, two memes with one stone.

Had I said "The Steinbrenners" instead of "George Steinbrenner", would you have found that acceptable? Or must I trace through the Yankees' executive suite to find the actual person who is responsible (either for this decision or for the person who made it)?
   35. villageidiom Posted: August 05, 2009 at 03:07 AM (#3280772)
Jeff K. again if you could pay some "authority" to give a report to save you a substansial amount of money on your utility bill, wouldn't you do it?
Just to weigh in here... I don't see "paying someone to issue a report that works in my favor but is clearly false" as being any different from "accepting payment from someone to issue a report that is clearly false". In both cases it's a lack of integrity, which means I wouldn't. I'm the type of guy who sits at a red light at 2 AM waiting for it to turn green rather than just running it, so I might not be typical in that regard.
   36. 1k5v3L Posted: August 05, 2009 at 03:09 AM (#3280781)
Florida should put a squeeze play on the Yankees owners and start collecting income tax from them.
   37. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: August 05, 2009 at 03:45 AM (#3280832)
So we can say that the Yankees want to go from being able to pull 100 gpm to 460 gpm.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but absent some indication that the input line is also being converted from 2" to 3", the larger meter will only alter water flow if the meter is being used as flow abatement device that impedes up to 350 gpm. That would be an extraordinarily unusual system. My guess is that the meter is designed to accommodate future development on the property- by installing a 3" meter and going 3" from meter to output, the owner need only replace from source to meter in the event of expansion. That's a pretty standard design philosophy.

More importantly, the Yankees argument is that the increased fee for a large meter is premised on the notion that someone with such a meter is using water in excess of 450 gpm. If we had a bit more information I suspect the follow is that the current input doesn't allow for such consumption and that simply taxing someone because they have a 450 gpm meter, and not a 450 gpm system, is unreasonable.

Finally, the statement that "[a]n increase in meter size will result in no additional demand on the city's water supply system or wastewater collection system" is true. An increase of meter size, in and of itself, has absolutely no impact on demand. Demand is dictated by the actions of the user. The Yankees could get a 423" meter and it still wouldn't impact demand- only a change in conduct by the user does that. Of course that statement is hiding a bunch- the design clearly contemplates the possibility of increased demand and is, in fact, meant for that purpose- but it remains accurate in its current form.

In short, if Austin had better herbs and a decent university, it really would be one of the greatest cities in the world. ;) Also, I'm perfectly willing to imagine that the Yanks are just trying to hose the city, I just want some more info before I saddle the horses and salt their fields.
   38. Gaelan Posted: August 05, 2009 at 04:02 AM (#3280867)
Speaking of sociopaths 75% of porkchop's lifetime contributions to BTF are from this thread. That is bizarre to me.
   39. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 04:22 AM (#3280889)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but absent some indication that the input line is also being converted from 2" to 3", the larger meter will only alter water flow if the meter is being used as flow abatement device that impedes up to 350 gpm.

That's precisely one of the functions of the meter, in the general sense of "only this much can be going into the system". At the precise moment it becomes relevant, whether it's beneficial to the city system in terms of not overtaxing supply (on a grand scale) or the user as some manner of flow control doesn't really matter, of course.

My guess is that the meter is designed to accommodate future development on the property- by installing a 3" meter and going 3" from meter to output, the owner need only replace from source to meter in the event of expansion.

Unless I'm gravely mistaken, and a cursory Google of various city water service regulations, doesn't indicate I am, you cannot have a meter bigger than your service line. At the sizes we're talking here, it even gets into fire code in some places, such that water service is deemed uninterruptible and for that or other reasons, the service line has to be *bigger*, and noticeably. In Redwood City CA, it seems a 3" meter is required to have a 4" service line. Also, given that one service line can serve multiple meters on the same property, I do believe that is the future expansion route, though since I was involved in development I didn't have to deal with that much.

More importantly, the Yankees argument is that the increased fee for a large meter is premised on the notion that someone with such a meter is using water in excess of 450 gpm. If we had a bit more information I suspect the follow is that the current input doesn't allow for such consumption and that simply taxing someone because they have a 450 gpm meter, and not a 450 gpm system, is unreasonable.

See above.

Finally, the statement that "[a]n increase in meter size will result in no additional demand on the city's water supply system or wastewater collection system" is true. An increase of meter size, in and of itself, has absolutely no impact on demand.

First of all, very nice pedantry. :) Second, wrong. "Will result" does not mean "will be the sole cause of". I know what you're saying of course, but he's got to weasel on language differently than that if the need arises, because that's incorrect.

Demand is dictated by the actions of the user. The Yankees could get a 423" meter and it still wouldn't impact demand- only a change in conduct by the user does that.

You're acting under the assumption that supply outstrips demand at every level. Demand is not the sole determiner of impact to the system. To equally overexaggerate, if two parks each had a 2" line and one had demand that kept it exactly at peak for 3 hours and zero for the rest of the day while the other had a demand for what would take 4" to satisfy (yeah, I know...) for 3 hours, the different demand levels mean jackshit. The meter is there and outside of measuring the flow, preventing backflow, etc., another purpose is at peak demand.
   40. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 04:30 AM (#3280894)
By the way, were I to just stumble into this thread, this is why Primer is unique. On most comment-driven sites, the thread would be 90% "YANKS SUCK SOX ROOL" nonsense. Most of the places better than that wouldn't post the article because of an overly hyper-focus that ignores the things that surround sports, and of the faint few left the rest get few comments or something else. Here someone clicks on the thread and is met with 40 posts about the ethics of bribery and the operation of water systems.
   41. Dr Stankus and the Semicolons Posted: August 05, 2009 at 06:42 AM (#3280922)
Ron Jeremy pulling off his pants and saying "What is the fuss?" is the new "YANKS SUCK SOX ROOL"
   42. OCF Posted: August 05, 2009 at 07:05 AM (#3280928)
I love the fact that even for something that nobody would care about nitpicking the numbers on, they had to call someone, much less bother the chairman of the math department at a major University, to figure this out. On my own without cheating for the accuracy on the final answer:

Math departments do field questions from the general public, and there's usually someone in the department that they get passed along to. I've been that someone, so I know. Some of them are just dumb stuff, like "what's the quadratic formula?" Some of them are the work of cranks - and those should be ignored. But some of them are questions like this one: questions that seldom involve anything more than high school algebra and geometry, and that many quantitatively literate people could answer. But the party involved asked the math department, and just for the sake of public relations, we'll try to be polite and just answer the question - even more so if it happens to come from a reporter.

I remember dealing with a question about how much sheet metal was left on a spool as a function of the thickness - so that's high school algebra and geometry. I remember dealing with a question (from someone who may have thought a real estate agent was cheating him) about the area of an irregularly shaped room - that one took a little bit of trigonometry. I remember a question about gauging a cylindrical tank with spherical end caps, on its side, by depth of fluid - that one took a little calculus, but that's the exception, not the rule. As I said, we're dealing largely with high school level knowledge.

Why do we get questions like this? Because so many people are intimidated by quantitation and totally lack confidence in what they know. This site is different - the posters here come from many occupations and many educational backgrounds, but are generally linked by a shared sense of not being intimidated by quantitation - at least not too much. And I think a very large number of Primates could have independently reproduced Jeff K.'s work in post #8, if they felt like it. But BTF is not all that reflective of the public at large. (I'll also note that the math department chair had the good sense to report his answer to one significant figure, a fair reflection on the level of crude approximation that went into it. Most of us mathematicians do have that kind of sense, if you give us a chance.)
   43. Jeff K. Posted: August 05, 2009 at 07:55 AM (#3280931)
Some of them are the work of cranks - and those should be ignored.

You know, I knew that departments do this sort of thing. And as staff, I will say that I have, oh let's call it "a disenchanted view towards a few personality types and modes of expression that are not uncommon amongst faculty", while noting I like a lot of them. Never had I considered the possibilities of using the former to passive-aggressively address the latter. I'm off to the library to find deviously hard yet seemingly simple questions in a variety of disciplines. Then to figure out how to appear as a member of the public...
   44. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 05, 2009 at 12:30 PM (#3280961)
Why do we get questions like this? Because so many people are intimidated by quantitation and totally lack confidence in what they know.
To personalize it, my wife is completely intimidated like you say. My sons and I will always try to 'splain the route to the answer as well as the answer to any such question. She's plenty smart enough to do it -- for instance, she can usually figure out the meaning of words by their roots, prefixes and suffixes as well as context, for instance. To my mind, that's the same kind of process, breaking down the puzzle to its components and assembling the pieces to arrive at an answer. But ask her to something like the aforementioned area of an irregular room, her brain just shuts down. For as many times as we've painted rooms over the years, she can not figure out how much paint we need to buy.
   45. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: August 05, 2009 at 11:26 PM (#3281801)
deviously hard yet seemingly simple questions in a variety of disciplines. Then to figure out how to appear as a member of the public...

PLEASE report back on this if you end up actually doing it.
   46. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 05, 2009 at 11:37 PM (#3281822)
Only the classy teams try to welsh out on their bills.
Sorry. Couldn't resist.

But, on a more serious note, cities and towns in Massachusetts charge outrageous fees totally unrelated to the work involved for water connections and other utility connections (I don't doubt that this goes on elsewhere). Unless you want to go to court over it you simply have to pay it. If a billion dollar corporation like the yankees doesn't think it should pay what everyone else has to pay . . . well, I'm not sure how to defend that. If they wanted to say that the fee constitutes a hidden tax by being unrelated to the service provided, I might agree with them.
   47. Tuque Posted: August 06, 2009 at 12:13 AM (#3281871)
Here someone clicks on the thread and is met with 40 posts about the ethics of bribery and the operation of water systems.

seriously. I don't know what was stranger, the fact that post 6 was entirely devoted to the economical, ethical, and logistical workings of water meters, or the fact that everyone else just took it in stride.
   48. RJ in TO Posted: August 06, 2009 at 12:18 AM (#3281886)
Then to figure out how to appear as a member of the public...


You know, you've got an entire website filled with odd people at your disposal. I'm sure that one of us would be willing to contact the university to ask questions, if you provided that person with both a list of questions and a list of contact numbers.
   49. OCF Posted: August 06, 2009 at 01:06 AM (#3281965)
I don't think that all that many of you really have the heart to write like a crank. For true crankdom, your submission should be at least five pages long (extra credit if it's handwritten). You've got to invent your own nonstandard notation and terminology, and then go into great length about how your new theory will solve some famous old problem (including things now well known to be impossible), or completely overturn standard logic, or prove that most of mathematics is fallacious. Appeal to vague mysticism, and claim that your theory will bring the entire universe into harmony. You're seeking help and recognition because the leaders of the field (or the Chinese Academy of Sciences, or whoever) are conspiring to repress your ideas. And if you should somehow receive a reply with a quick counterexample to your first claim on page 1, a counterexample that renders everything that follows meaningless - pay no attention. Just repeat yourself, only louder.

Physics departments get this sort of stuff too, often from people who can show that special relativity or quantum mechanics are completely wrong. I don't know about Chemistry departments - that may be less crankish and more of the ilk of a mother wanting to know how to surreptitiously test her child (or his belongings) for illegal drugs.

Now if you just want to ask a "deviously hard yet seemingly simple" question, there's always www.artofproblemsolving.com, also known as www.mathlinks.ro, where you might get an answer from a ridiculously smart 14 year old. (The anti-spam police on that site are pretty active.)
   50. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: August 06, 2009 at 03:41 AM (#3282042)
The 8 foot deep calc assumes a straight-sided conmtainer. The walls around the field are much less thatn that in many places, so the water would go several rows into the stands ...

Nevermind.
   51. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: August 06, 2009 at 05:51 AM (#3282085)
Vickstrom clearly made a mistake, but his error was in implying no "significant" additional impact to Tampa's water supply, rather than saying it.

According to the city's web page, Tampa Bay uses 182 million gallons of water a day. If that meter operated at full capacity, 24/7, assuming jeff's "300 gpm increase" number is correct, it would use 432000 more gallons a day than the old one - about 0.2% increase in load, MAX. Assuming it operates at full capacity 3 hours a day, that number becomes more like .03%.

And don't forget, they'd pay the corporate rate for that extra water, so the city makes money off of the use. They don't provide water at a loss, typically. For a user of that magnitude, I'd guess it's perfectly typical to ask them to waive an installation fee. Worst case, they say no, and some intern writes a stupid article about it.
   52. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: August 06, 2009 at 06:24 AM (#3282093)
BTW, Vickstrom has a pretty impressive resume, and no apparent connection to the yankees. Nor does the company he works for, although they apparently did something in connection with the spring training facilities for the cardinals, reds, royals/rangers, and twins, and a bunch of NFL teams.

So he might, just maybe, be qualified to comment on this. And implying he was "bought" might, just maybe, be out of line, given that the dude is a certified professional engineer in 3 different states for whom losing his reputation would probably be a pretty big deal.
   53. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: August 06, 2009 at 07:40 AM (#3282113)
Actually, i think #46 is the best comment in this thread. This entire article is completely off base.

Just from reading the article, "The Yankees average annual water bill is about $8,700." Why is the article not raging against the city's "impact fee" that is approx FIVE TIMES the annual cost of the water used in the stadium? It's clear there is a problem with the way the city of Tampa abuses it's monopoly water supply position.

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