Saturday, May 10, 2008

story 1 from airport meeting

Another bran deal: Bad or little communication
By Sam Bhagwat
of The Valley Mirror

Bad communications.

That's the reason only one person complained about rice bran coating the Orland airport runway, said maintenance man Ken Dunn – not lack of danger.

Airport board member Jerry Kraemer exchanged a series of angry e-mails with Glenn County Planning and Public Works Agency Deputy Director Randy Murphy for not doing anything about it.

You're the only one who complained, replied Mr. Murphy.

Mr. Dunn said at a Wednesday airport board meeting that he wasn't even aware of the problem's scope.

"Nobody told me it was a safety issue," Mr. Dunn said. "That's why I didn't say something. I would have been in Randy's ear."

He only heard about it when he ran into Mr. Kraemer a week later.

The particular problem is unlikely to recur. It started when Wilbur-Ellis left their rice bypoduct uncovered and the wind kicked up; now they're bagging it.

"Once (the wind) started blowing their money away, they started covering it," Mr. Murphy said.

Pilot Dennis Hailey tied it to a larger problem.

"The attitude is that no one's going to help them," said Mr. Hailey. "To call someone because rice bran blew in, forget about it."

That's something that the airport is trying to change, though not without friction.

Better future service had been promised after the April passage of a $20 per month per hangar fee increase intended to make up for past inflation. A resolution came forward to incorporate inflation for this year into another fee raise, around $3 or $4.

And some present were not happy.

"I feel like I'm being jacked around here," said hangar renter Tony Miller. "Make it 20, make it 25, just do it."

Mr. Kraemer was uncomfortable with the resolution, and supervisor Tom McGowan didn't want to second it, so it died.

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