Letters to the Editor for Oct. 7, 2011
Helicopter firm treated unfairly
To the editor:
There are some common reasons for injunctions, including stalking, domestic violence and harassment.
Which of these has Columbia Basin Helicopters committed? This is outrageous. Columbia has made the Baker Valley its home from its inception in 1994. We are not talking about a fully fledged operating business that flies in and out every day like a traditional airport, but a business that employs from five to 20 Baker County residents depending upon the time of year. This year, the times that a helicopter has actually landed on the property is under a dozen. In the offseason, which is typically October through spring startup, the aircraft are parked in a shop and overhauled, again providing employment for these individuals all year long.
The article stated that Columbia just installed an asphalt strip. The corrected version of this is Columbia actually used grindings from the freeway project to help with dust and weeds, as many other county residents did.
Another error in the article stated that they have two hangars on the property. The new building that just went up is actually considered an agricultural building. Just to set the record straight, Columbia conducts its chemical spray operation from its property in Umatilla County, not at all on the Baker property mentioned in the article.
It seems to me that a few individuals, especially the gentleman quoted in last week’s article, have personal gains through their work with Baker County. There are a very few people that have any problem at all with the “birds” as they fly through on the way to stop another devastating fire from consuming valuable natural resources, or to offer crop-saving services to area farmers. And what about all the business Columbia Basin supports around the community?
I’m asking the surrounding community: Do we really want to sit by and see another successful hard-working business ran out of Baker County? I think not! Believe it or not, every time another business leaves, we all suffer.
How fair is it that Columbia wasn’t informed of this injunction until they read it in the local newspaper?