Newspaper Archive of
Lassen County Times
Susanville, California
November 6, 2007     Lassen County Times
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November 6, 2007

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6B Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007 ir Shayla Ashmore Staff Writer The Susanville Airport gen- erates more than $12 million in economic activity in Lassen County, according to conservative figures generat- ed by Airport Manager Steve Datema. "I will guarantee you that the impact to the community- is more than $12 million," said Airport Commissioner Dave Reger, who owns the Mountain Lifeflight air ambulance service. "The amount of money I bring in and spend in this community We're doing $2- $3 million a year gross." Reger said the airport's impact is probably double the $12,209,325 Datema calculated for the PowerPoint presenta- tion he gave to the Susanville Airport Commission last week. Datema agree(t, adding the template he used to generate the amount has been used all over the country. However, he used the lowest multiplier, a factor of three, in a range of three to seven, Multipliers measure the amount of new spending gen- erated by each dollar when employees pay rent, buy gro- ceries and other products and visiting pilots buy gas, pay for hotel rooms and buy meals in Lassen County. The county Chamber of Commerce uses a multiplier of seven, Datema said. in addition, the figures were based on 12,500 airport operations, such ag landings and takeoffs. "That (operations) number was derived in 1998," Datema told the airport commission at its Monday, Oct. 29 meet- ing. "It's now 2907; I'm sure it's a much higher number." Caltrans lists SusanviUe as a regional airport, among 250 classified for public use in the. state. "We are the largest and most active airport in Northeastern California as far as I'm c.oncerned," he said. "Alturas, Chester, any of the rest of them, aren't neaHy as complete as the Susanvilie Airport." The local airport offers maintenance, training and fuel, Datema said. "Most of the other airports m the region are lacking one or more of the above," he said. Airport business The Susanville Municipal Airport is also home to Reger's emergency air ambu- lance service, which Datema said averages 60 flights a month and cuts in half the time it takes to get patients to a trauma center. "If one life gets saved, it's well worth having the airport here and business like that based here," he said. The Susanville Airport also is important to firefighting efforts. It has been used as a heli- copter base many times in the last two years. "Anytime there's a fire within probably 40 miles of Susanville, we become a place to base aircraft, base opera- tions for firefighting exercis- es," Datema said. "(The Bureau of Land Management) has talked about locating a single-engine air tanker here at Susanvitle. They don't need a lot of infrastructure, but with a lit- fie bit, it could possibly hap- pen at some time in the future." A fire reconnaissance air- craft is now based at the Susanville Airport. Six, type-one helicopters were based at the airport for about 10 days this summer during the Moonlight Fire. Medical specialists from Redding and Reno also fly in every week, seeing 50-100 patients in Susanville. "Keep in mind all those patients would have to either drive to Redding, or Reno, I would imagine, to complete these doctor visits if we did- n't have an airport here," he said, adding the patients would shop out of town before or after seeing the doc- tors. ' klso people from sur- rounding areas come in to see these specialists, people from as far away as Alturas, Fall River, come in to see these guys that fly into Susanville." Law enforcement agencies also use the airport for train- ing. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation uses it for inmate transfers and district Lassen County Times, Westwooc~ PinePress aRorneys, lawyers and offi- cers from as far away. as Los Angeles use the airport on prison business. In additiOn, United-Parcel Services delivers and ships packages to Susanville daily by air. Local pilots also volunteer for angel flights to transport cancer patients for treatment. Datema said there was an angel flight from the airport the week before the meeting and virtually every year since Datemahas been at the air- port. It also offers educational opportunities, with nine stu- dents currently in flight school. "We turn out five or six pilots every year," Datema said. Of the nine open hangar spaces, one new hangar is complete, two more are near hag completion and a fourth is started. When all the new hangars are operational, airport rev- enue will increase by a little over $6,000, Datema said. When improvements are made to runways or other air- port facilities, Datema said grants . from the Federal Aviation Administration cover 95 percent of the project costs. Caltrans pays 2.5 percent and the city pays 2.5 percent. So, for every $100,000 spent, the city pays $2,500, most of which Datema said he'd been able to cover with in-house work. On the last project the city engineers design work quali- fied as the entire local contri- bution. Money for projects is not a problem, according to Datema. The federal government seems to have a lot of money to give airports," he said. "When they know you'll spend their money, they're more apt to give it to you If we have a good project, ff we have a need for something, they will fund it." . Datema said the most press- ing current needs are new asphalt on runway 11/29 and crack sealing on the main ramp and adjoining taxiways. in ville Sam Williams News Editor sw~ liams@iassennews,com A United States Air Force veteran with extensive com- bat experience and ties to Susanville has retired here after a distinguished 20-year career. Master Sergeant Steven "Ziggy" Pernot retired recently after serving as a flight engineer instructor and the flight engineer superin- tendent of his squadron. During his career, he earned more than 5,000 flight hours, including 1,500 combat hours, on both the C-141 and C-130 aircraft. In the wake of 9/11 terror- lord in the Herat province. Landing and taking off under fire multipletimes, he and his crew were awarded the Air Medal with Valor for hero- ism. Pernot eventually complet- ed seven tours in Iraq and Afghanistan ranging between three to eight months each before retiring to Susanville. "I'm more than happy to retire here," Pernot said. "This is gorgeous country." Pernot said he wishes the media would report the posi- tive accomplishments made by the military in the Middle East. "The military does many things that ~re actually very ist attacks in New York and good, but theV~dori't get V asbihgton, he" began his reported," Pernot said, many deployments to Many human itatZihn mis- Afghanistan and Iraq. sions go unreported or are On his fourth deployment misunderstood, according to to the Middle East, his crew Pernot. flew in Operation Arrow He said a mission to Kenya the retaking of the Shindand where his unit transferred a Airport from an Afghani war- refrigerator and supplies to an orphanage was character- ized as the UnRed States. sticking its nose in another country's business. S~even Pernot Flight engineer instructor and su perintendent Integrative Counseling Services, Inc. Couples Optimum Adolescents Performance Adults Consulting Individuals EAP and Bio Feedback Assessments Rick Riddle, Ph.D. PSY20464 Robin Riddle, Ph.D. PSY18488 Photo featured are not actual clients orarea residents. Private offices in Susanville tooth? Susanville Dental Care Personal & Comfortable 720 Ash St. Susanville Ray White D.D.S. James Hodge D.D.S. 257-7256 The veteran said he's sad- dened by some of the bad news he hears such as the recent Blackwater shootings and the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. "It's pretty sad," Pernot said. "Most of the people I worked with wouldn't do that. There are a handful of bad apples, but they're such a small part of the military.'Not' even 1 percent of the military are like that. It puts the mili- tary m such a bad light, but I know the military is not that way. Pernot', major decorations include two meritorious ser- vine medals, nine aw medals (one with valor), three aerial achi cdment medals, three commendation medals, three achre /ement medals (one with valor), and the newly created combat action medal signifying his direct engage- ment with the enemy under fire. tie grew up as a farm boy in dairy land Wisconsin. Demonstrating his desire to achieve, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 12, a tie for the youngest ever. He graduated third in his class with honors from Belleville High School and immediately began his Air Force career on June 12, 1987. Upon completing basic training, he attended aircraft maintenance school at Sheppard AFB, Texas and was stationed at Travis Air Force Base to begin his assignment as a C-141 aircraft mechanic. In late 1990 he answered the call and volunteered for Operation Desert Shield/Storm and was deployed to Ramstein, Germany until June 1991. In November 1992 he met Debbie Hill the grand- daughter of Lawrence "Hoolie" and Thelma Hill of Susanville. They were married on March 25,1995. Currently the couple is remodeling an old family home in Susanville built by Thomas Hill in 1914. Through the 1990s he deployed for multiple opera- tions: Restore Hope '92 (Somalia), Support Hope '94 (Rwanda), Vigilant Warrior '94 (Saudi Arabia) and Southern Watch '96 (Saudi Arabia). During his 1996 tour in Dhahran, terrorists bombed the Kobar Towers. For heroism during and his actions following the attack, Pernot was awarded the Achievement Medal with Valor. Additionally t!uring this pelqod; he was selected to upgrade as a flight mechanic on the C-141 and so began his love of flying. Being one of only 12 such mechanics, he completed an unprecedented number of missions and in only three years flew more than %900 hours. He visited every continent on the globe except Antarctica. Upon the deactivation of the C-141s at Travis Air Force Base in 1997, he and Debbie were stationed,for four years at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Working at lhe enroute squadron, Pernot added to his C-141 experience with the C-5 and the new C-17 aircraft. He led his-flight as their flightline exped te for three years and was given the posi- tion of maintenance senior during his final year. During his time at Ramstein, he forward deployed for Operations Joint Endeavor '98 (Hungary) and Allied Force '99 (Bosnia). Missing the joys of flying from his flight mechanic days, Pernot retrained into the prestigious flight engi- neer career field. Following his yearlong training, he was assigned to Dyess Air Force Base in Texas in early 2001 and began flying on the mighty C-130. PII N'C3 DE:N" PREVENT A LITTER In six years one female dog and her offspring can be the source of 67,000 puppies In just seven years, one female cat and her young can produce 420,000 kittens There is theoretically no limit to the number of offspring male dogs ~ and cats can produce " - The Lassen Humane Society's .Spay/NeuterReimbursement Program can help Lassen County residents have their pets altered with partial reimbursement at the following rates: Dog Spay $40 Neuter $35 Cat Spay $30 Neuter $25 To receive reimbursement, send a copy of the ~, S/N certificate with a description of the animal, proof of payment to the veterinarian ~ and a self addressed stamped envelope $ (MANDATORY) to: Lassen Humane Society P.O. Box 1575 Susanviile, California 96130 ~:~! Low income pet owners may qualify for a special program being administered :f .~ by the LHS. Call 257-4555 if you need further financial assistance. .~: