It was with complete disappointment that I read the Feb. 5 Columbian story “Park Service ends deal with city.” I cannot see how disagreement concerning event rentals leads to this takeover. I served as executive director during the buildup years for the museum and sat through hundreds of hours of meetings between the city, National Park Service, state and local community leaders. We built a partnership that would serve as a future model for the nation. Private and city funds would support the air museum, which would be hosted on Park Service federal property.
The fight over preserving the historic runway was never completely resolved, but we were always assured that the air museum itself was preserved and safe in perpetuity. The air museum preserves the aviation history of Southwest Washington and is the education program for our children. The recent advances to the aviation program with the Clark County Skills Center and Embry Riddle Aviation School were welcome additions. Now the air museum is dismantled and the programs are in jeopardy. Why? What are these “disconnects regarding use permits” and what are the “activities that do not fit into a national park setting”?
Contact your congressional representatives and voice your outrage. There has to be a better solution.
John J. Donnelly