This week's LOW comes from Dave Hatfield, owner and head chef at Café 3456 at the Bend municipal airport. We've gotten an earful already on this topic, and while we stand by our Glass Slipper for the county commissioner's opposition to the plan, we welcome contrasting views. Thanks, Dave. And we wish you and all your staff well at the airport. Food mastery notwithstanding, you qualify for a $25 gift certificate from Letter of the Week sponsor Dinner's Ready.
It's time all the nay-sayers (Mr. Luke, the Source and airport neighbors, especially) woke up and smelled the jet fuel emanating from the Bend airport. Have any of you noticed how empty the 'help wanted ads' are in both the Bulletin and Craigslist. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the economy is stagnant here and we need revenue generating industries other than real estate, construction and tourism. Perhaps the Source should do what all credible newspapers do and investigate the fact that every business (not even counting Cessna) at the Bend airport are posting record profits, mostly off of out-of-towners and foreigners, and lining the wallets of the 1200 plus central Oregonians employed there. Cessna is the world's leader in aviation and to have them here is an enormous asset to the central Oregon economy. Yes, it would cost millions for the improvements and another $400k a year to staff a control tower but it would definitely generate that alone in local wages and employ many more central Oregonians. The Bend airport already boasts more take-offs/landings than Redmond and to have a tower would only increase the safety for all involved. The county commissioners' and Bend city council's concerns over lost tax revenue for essential services are wholly justified, but, the simple equation remains the same whether or not the airport is funded: JOBS= TAX REVENUE. When is the last time the BAT or pricey art ridden round-a-bouts generated income for any of us. Kudo's should be given to Commissioner Daly for seeing the writing on the wall.
Chef Dave Hatfield, Café 3456