When I wrote about the fast ferry and the environment (see below), I was unaware of Cory Ireland’s July 10 D&C piece on the same subject. The piece is well worth accessing at www.democratandchronicle.com. Ireland covers the air-pollution issue in depth. He also touches on the ferry’s fuel consumption, and he looks at the advent of cleaner marine diesel fuel and what that might mean. Officials gave Ireland a fuel mileage figure (3,500 gallons for the 100-mile lake crossing, i.e. 35 gallons per mile) a tiny bit better than the figure I used. The conclusion remains the same: the ferry is a world-class gas-hog.
Looking backward: Nearly four years ago, I drafted an article for City Newspaper on the ferry’s enviro-impacts. That was when public debate could have determined what type of ship would be ordered – or if a ship would sail at all. The editor spiked the story, with prejudice. To be fair, CityNews had run a decent piece that concentrated on wave-action and related concerns. But I felt the paper needed to look at the fuel and air-quality issues more closely. Well, that’s all water over the dam, I guess. But I recall that when I drafted my article, the paper was cozy with Rochester businessman Tom Riley, who simultaneously was a CityNews executive board member and a partner in the private, and soon-to-flop, CATS ferry company. Such triangulation may not stink as bad as diesel fuel, but it doesn’t smell like a rose, either. CityNews has papered over this appearance of a conflict of interest with the standard journalistic disclosures. But inquiring minds might want to ask the editors what it all meant, and if it's still meaningful.