Honestly, so much nose cutting off to spite faces goes on around here, it’s amazing anyone actually has a nose left. It seems as though at every turn someone is doing something silly simply on the basis that it will annoy someone else. It would be entertaining if the consequences weren’t tragic.
For example, the constant and long running battle over installing a cell tower in Mendocino. I actually wrote a well reasoned, rational letter in defense of the tower, and it wasn’t published, presumably to make room for the lunacy laced diatribes of the warring sides. You see, I’m a big fan of access to emergency services, perhaps because I have friends who have needed it. Some of died waiting for help. Maybe it’s because I know that some day I might be in need, and I’d like to know that if I was in an accident on 128 a bystander could call for help from the scene. But maybe I’m just silly. Maybe when our youth crash into trees and stupid tourists drive off cliffs we should just leave them there. Because god forbid people have access to health care.
At any rate, the latest debate simmers over the Little River Airport. A number of stupid rich yuppies bought nice surprisingly cheap property in Little River, and now have come to understand what it means to live next to an airport, even a small one. There are, you know, like, planes. And stuff. Now, when one is purchasing a property, things like this are disclosed, in case you missed the signs saying “AIRPORT” and the planes taking off and the giant runways. The airport’s old neighbors are all familiar with the airport and do have representation on the board. Flight paths in and out of Little River are severely restricted because of the efforts of the neighbors. Which is sort of reasonable, especially if they were there before the airport was. But what happens is that new people move in and then devote their time to protesting the airport.
So Coast Flyers holds a contract with the county, and in it there’s a clause that they are allowed to offer jet fuel for sale at the airport. And the county gets a cut of the profits. So they are trying to invoke the clause and sell fuel at the airport. For a variety of reasons.
If they don’t, a private contractor might, and then the county won’t get their share. Which, in turn, won’t benefit the airport, which does need money.
While visiting aircraft don’t need to refuel, it would be a nice service to offer, and in an informal poll most transient pilots said they would fuel up at the airport, to support the airport and the local economy.
In addition, jet fuel is less flammable than AvGas, which is currently used. That’s nice. A limited number of small jets use the airport already, and they are quieter, less polluting, and arrive and depart more quickly than conventional aircraft. A fairly low impact presence, it would seem.
These are pretty good reasons to offer fuel at the airport. It seems reasonable for the airport to want to stay alive, and if fueling aircraft helps with that, than so be it.
However, the most compelling reason in my opinion is this. Jet fuel is currently unavailable on the coast, according to the Eric Miller, who wears a number of hats in the community. This means that when search and rescue craft and CalStar fly to the coast, they have limited operating range…and they often sit on the ground waiting for fuel to be shipped over from Ukiah. That’s absurd. As anyone in emergency services knows, time is of the essence. If someone is lost at sea, it’s not an encouraging thought to think that they might die of hypothermia because the search and rescue plane didn’t have enough fuel to find them on the first pass.
We live in a remote area. Many of us choose to live here because of the remoteness, but we do pay a price for it. We are almost two hours away from anywhere by car. Any major illness or injury would result in airlifting because our hospital is going bellyup. It takes a long time to get here. We often get stuck here in inclement weather. Now, granted, we do live here by choice. But it does not seem unreasonable to have an approximation of the things they have in big urban areas, like ambulances. Like search and rescue planes. Like planning boards that aren’t totally insane.
But unfortunately, the rich yuppies that move here want this area to stay in a position of stagnation. We shall not develop. We shall not change. We shall not improve community services. We shall not have a school that isn’t condemned. Our citizens shall continue to work shitty minimum wage jobs while the cost of living skyrockets. Frozen in time we shall be, except for the growing number of trophy houses filling fields that used to pasture cows.
And so the neighbors of the airport are fighting the sale of jet fuel because they think it will increase traffic.
Let me ask you something, homechickens. You are driving cross country from San Francisco to New York. Are you going to take a detour to Mexico City to buy gas?
That’s what I thought. The very idea that jet fuel sales would increase traffic at the airport is ludicrous. Little River is in the middle of bumfuck nowhere. No one in their right mind would divert their flightpath to land in one of the fussiest airports on earth to purchase fuel, especially since that fuel will probably not come cheap, given that it has to be trucked miles over curvy dangerous roads.
This seems like a classic instance of everything that is wrong with the yuppie colonization of my home. These people don’t live here. They “visit” every now and then. Some of them might even take their jets up. They have no conception of what life is actually like in the real world, and spread their interfering selves over things that have a serious impact on my community. They fail to contribute in any real way to community life here. I fail to understand why they should be permitted to have such an impact on our lives, truth be told.
I’m of the opinion that we should have a residency law. Someone must be in continuous residence on your property for at least ten months of the year, or you face forfeiture of your land, which will then be redistributed to the poor and homeless by lottery which they may sign up for. Sort of like section eight except that instead of getting assigned to a crappy project you end up with a four million dollar ocean view home. They in turn will have to pay property taxes on the land, maintain it, and live on it in turn. Should a property be vacant and then squatted, if the squatter can maintain residence for at least ten months, he or she will in turn be given the title to the property. It’s time to fight back, kids. Let’s get old school communist on their asses.