Monday, January 2, 2012

Kestrel: Breaks, bulls, and suckers

Time for a 2012 update from Lake Basebegone:

W. C. Fields is credited with some pithy bromides:

“There comes a time in the affairs of man when he has to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.”

“Never give a sucker an even break.”

For some reason, these seem to fit the moment.

Because one of the bitter disappointments of the golden years is finding out just how gullible one has been, and almost always learning that lesson via government, politicians, and the myriad parasites and cronies that love to rub shoulders with them while picking the publics’ pockets.

We suppose it is the penalty of leading a sheltered life in a family with ‘old fashioned’ values, and having spent a career with professionals who acted with integrity and respect for customers.  So retirement came, and we had not learned the lessons that others may have along the way.

It’s especially painful when you find out that the word gullible is not even in the dictionary!

Our subject here is the recent news breaking on Kestrel Aviation.  We had been making notes on the subject for some time, and were planning on an ‘in-depth’ essay when time and priorities allowed.  We got waylaid by affairs at MSHA and other things we considered more timely.  And our personal life, if you must know.

We’re going to address the subject briefly tonight, with plans to come back to it somewhere down the 400 foot platform that is a metaphor for “the road,” with appropriate governmental symbolism.

We think tonight of the estimates of 17,000 jobs; Jim Horowitz and Oxford Aviation; FLee Bailey; and Johnny “Protocols” Richardson and his private discussions with ‘a half dozen or more Fortune 500 companies’ interested in locating on the former Naval Air Station.

By comparison, 100 train passengers a day coming to dine and shop in Brunswick is barely worthy of note.

The Chase:

Recent news reports indicate that the Kestrel Aviation ‘promise’ of a glorious aviation future for Brunswick is turning out to be so much hype and propaganda associated with milking whatever public (IE: taxpayer) funding cows are grazing in the fields.

This report appeared in the BDN last week:

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Kestrel Aircraft Co. is negotiating with development officials in Superior, Wis., to create 300 to 600 jobs initially envisioned for Maine, a local redevelopment official confirmed Friday.

Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, said Friday that Kestrel founder Alan Klapmeier confirmed a story in the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune reporting on a Jan. 16 public hearing at which the city of Superior would consider a development agreement with Kestrel for the company to build parts for its new single-engine turboprop plane there.

A friend sent along further reports from other outlets:

The city of Superior is in the running for an airplane manufacturing facility that could create 300 permanent jobs initially and up to 600 jobs by 2016.

Kestrel Aircraft Co. — led by founder and former head of Duluth-based Cirrus Aviation, Alan Klapmeier — has been in negotiations with the city and state of Wisconsin since mid-July to discuss the possibility of siting a manufacturing plant in Superior.

Under the terms of the development agreement, the city would provide assistance with the project with the sale of land, grants, and tax increment financing to encourage the development.

In addition, the state could provide tax credits to make the project a reality, said Port and Planning Director Jason Serck.

And this from AVWEB.COM:

Kestrel Moving To Wisconsin?

Media in Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis., are reporting that a deal is close to site the new factory for Kestrel Aircraft in Superior, which is a few miles from Kestrel President Alan Klapmeier's home town of Duluth and just across the Wisconsin border. Klapmeier, who co-founded Cirrus in Duluth, took over Kestrel 18 months ago with plans to manufacture the turboprop single in Brunswick, Maine. It's not clear what happened with the widely publicized plans to build the aircraft at a decommissioned naval air station in Brunswick.

Kestrel was in line to receive an incentive package in exchange for the 300 jobs the facility would create. Wisconsin seems to be stepping up to the plate financially, too, and is hoping the plant eventually creates 600 jobs. "This is a significant number of jobs, right now, but it will continue to be a significant number of jobs in the years to come," said Jim Caesar, an economic development consultant contracted by the city told the Superior Telegram. "They have plans beyond this prototype that will require additional workers well into the future … this is an ongoing thing." A spokesman for Kestrel was not immediately available for comment.

In related news, MRRA directors are said to be looking for a new face to head the organization.  Rumors are that Ben Dover has applied for the job, but calls to his representatives met with a turned cheek.

The Ostrich is reported to be hard at work not pulling it’s head out of the sand, fully committed to keeping it’s ‘government watchdog’ record tarnished.

We hope you’re feeling suitably loved and respected as another year of continued growth in the town of Perfect begins.

And that’s today’s report from Lake Basebegone.

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1 comment:

  1. Well, it didn't take long for an MRRA official/beneficiary to find this post!

    One 'idiotic' rating right out of the box!