Kalitta Air expansion could jump-start Oscoda

The Bay City Times reports on the expansion of Kalitta Air and the potential for future job growth in the Oscoda area:

An $8.75 million airplane hangar scheduled to open in January and bring 200 new jobs may be only the first such facility to land in Oscoda, economic developers said this week. Kalitta Air, a jet cargo carrier, said Thursday it has hired 100 people since September and will hire 100 more by January. The added crew will service 747 jumbo jets in Kalitta’s new hangar.

But even though the jobs put Kalitta’s work force at more than 800, the additions only begin to meet global demand for aviation maintenance services, market observers say. Kalitta is the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base’s largest operation.

“We’re already starting efforts to secure new hangar space because there’s growing need, nationally and internationally, for this aviation work,” said Gary Kellan, Oscoda Township economic development coordinator. “We envision this former military base possibly becoming a hub for large aircraft maintenance.”

Market studies done before launching the current, super-size hangar showed steep growth in 747 cargo fleets, Kellan said. A global economy is demanding more trans-continental trade, hence more jumbo jet cargo transport, he explained. “We have a very valuable infrastructure on the ground with that runway,” Kellan said. “Now we need to put more hangars on the ground.”

Kalitta’s new 85,000-square-foot hangar gives the company its second enclosed structure capable of housing a 747. [From Kalitta Air expansion could jump-start Oscoda- mlive.com]


Michigan’s Kirtland’s Warbler Population Continues to Grow

MI News Wire:

Department of Natural Resources officials today released annual survey information indicating the state’s population of the endangered Kirtland’s warbler continues to increase.

Biologists, researchers and volunteers in Michigan observed 1,697 singing males during the official 2007 survey period, up from 1,478 males observed in 2006. The 2007 population represents the largest number of singing males recorded since monitoring began in 1951. The lowest numbers were recorded in 1974 and 1987, when only 167 singing males were found.

This year, singing males (numbers in parentheses) were found in 12 northern Lower Peninsula counties: Alcona (175), Clare (147), Crawford (290), Grand Traverse (1), Iosco (238), Kalkaska (4), Montmorency (14), Ogemaw (529), Oscoda (198), Otsego (43), Presque Isle (6), and Roscommon (20). Surveyors identified 32 singing males in five Upper Peninsula counties: Baraga (1), Chippewa (8), Delta (7), Marquette (8), and Schoolcraft (8).

Although Kirtland’s warblers have begun to expand into new areas, the core of the Kirtland’s warbler population remains dependent on northern Michigan’s jack pine barrens ecosystem for nesting habitat. The warblers nest on the ground and typically select nesting sites in stands of jack pine between four and 20 years old. Historically, these stands of young jack pine were created by natural wildfires that frequently swept through northern Michigan. Modern fire suppression programs altered this natural process, reducing Kirtland’s warbler habitat. The result was that the population of Kirtland’s warblers declined to the point that they were listed as endangered.

To mimic the effects of wildfire and ensure the future of this species, the DNR and its partners at the state and federal level manage the forests through a combination of clearcutting, burning, seeding and replanting to promote warbler habitat. Approximately 3,000 acres of jack pine trees are planted or seeded annually on state and federal lands, primarily for the purpose of providing habitat for Kirtland’s warblers.

THIS WEEK IN MICHIGAN HISTORY: Oscoda gets a grip on Paul Bunyan

THIS WEEK IN MICHIGAN HISTORY: Oscoda gets a grip on Paul Bunyan

On Aug. 20, 1971, the city of Oscoda held a Paul Bunyan Festival to establish ownership of the legendary logger who could straighten rivers, strip trees by sliding down them with axes tied to his boots and eat heroic quantities of pancakes.

Oscodans made their claim on the basis that the first published story about Bunyan was printed in Oscoda in 1906. That writer, James MacGillivray, later quoted Bunyan on a contest to cut down the biggest tree in the forest: “They’d hacked her to fall to the north, and we’d hacked her to fall to the south, and there that blamed tree stood for a month or more, clean sawed through, but not knowin’ which way to drop ’til a windstorm came along and throwed her over.”

Some of the cities that have claimed to be the official birthplace of Paul Bunyan are Bemidji, Minn., Bangor, Maine, and Eau Claire, Wis.

But Michiganders know better.

The calm just after sunrise

CALM SEA JUST AFTER SUNRISE, LAKE HURON, originally uploaded by Lawrence O. Drouillard.


World record e85 viper run

world record e85 viper run 187, originally uploaded by karljacob.

Tech entrepreneur Karl Jacob’s modified Dodge Viper, fueled by an E85 ethanol / gasoline blend, clocked 220.7 mph in the standing mile, breaking the previous mark of 217.85 held by a gas-powered street car.

The E85 Viper set the record at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport.

East Tawas Fire Department, MI

East Tawas Fire Department, MI, originally uploaded by paulfirepics.


Sunrise Over Harrisville Harbor

Sunrise Over Harrisville Harbor, originally uploaded by jacalynsnana.