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Jul-11-2008 17:55printcomments

Delta Will Suspend Salem Flights in October

The city of Salem, Oregon and the city's Chamber of Commerce have invested big in this short-lived venture.

These Delta planes won't be a sight around Salem much longer. Photo by Kevin Hays
These Delta planes won't be a sight around Salem much longer.
Photo by Kevin Hays

(SALEM, Ore.) - It has been a bone of contention for many. Now, Delta Airlines says they will terminate their flights to the city of Salem as of July 26th 2008, just a few days from now. This means Delta will not be accepting reservations for flights into and from Salem. The last reservations that will be booked range through October 10th 2008. Delta says they will work directly with persons who already have reservations after October 10th 2008 to best accommodate their travel plans.

High fuel costs are the reason Delta cites for their decision to suspend these flights.

Mike Gotterba with the city of Salem, says flights in and out of Oregon's capitol city have been 70-80% full in the last few months, indicating what they view as strong community support for the service, but fuel prices are continuing to rise, thus bringing about an end to this ambitions project to better utilize Salem's otherwise off-the-map air facility.

"We are extremely disappointed but understand why this decision was made." says Salem Mayor Janet Taylor.

"The Salem community has worked very hard and we strongly believe that commercial air service is viable in Salem. We will continue to aggressively pursue all possible avenues to see if this decision can be changed."

Kevin Hays of felt the wrath of city officials in relation to the Delta flights a few months ago when he published a tongue-in-cheek article comparing the costs between flying out of Salem, with costs for similar flights out of Portland. PDX prices were much cheaper than Salem Airport prices. At any rate, Delta's Salem prices were lowered after Kevin's article was published and soon after that the airline expanded its single flight from Salem to Salt Lake City, Utah to include other locations.

Airlines have been going out of business left and right under the Presidency of George W. Bush. Salem's latest loss of service does not speak well for a city that seems more intent on landing Wal Mart super stores, than attracting business and creating jobs that actually help people.

The city of Salem has also clogged up the only parking lot that people here had for watching air traffic, with new airport hangars designed almost specifically to eliminate the view. In the end it may be that the only people interested in the airport are a few wealthy citizens who own their own planes, and a few others who feel their complaints about airport-related noise fall on deaf ears.

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Henry Ruark July 20, 2008 11:16 am (Pacific time)

To all: Writers keep working files to prove up any statement made, only serious way to preserve, protect and pay off on allathat research required. You CAN get sued, as I have reason to know; always welcome, and on only-two/ever (so far !) I collected rather than lost... SO checked mine re last comment here, to find that I have on file TWO "insider" statements, from-then-employed staff, attesting to fact of actual destruction of one of my major dissent Letters to Editor, rather than any use of it or response to it. In fact, at time I wrote the original note (June '03) re the situation on the record to the Forum group, the two essential proof-papers were posted right over my computer. SO if "intensity" rings true here from both me and Tim, there is good, solid, provable reason, in depth, further documented by the detailed reference to CHAIN GANG --and all completely relevant to the original story and its most revealing consequences in how the reporter was treated --all these years later !!

Henry Ruark July 19, 2008 8:21 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here’s four selected review reports re CHAIN GANG, shared here to furnish “see with own eyes” information for all: Ben Bagdikian, media critic and Pulitzer Prize winner: “...It goes behind the facade of public relations and financial killings to show what happens when a ruthless and ambitious wheelr-dealer gets control of our news.” Newsday: “A devastating pattern of corporate sleaze...There is no question that McCord has the goods on Gannett, and he is one of the few journalists in America bold enough to reveal them.” New York Times: “McCord has the jackhammer convictions of a born editorial writer....The raw emotion he brings to his battle against Gannett makes The Chain Gang affecting as well as informative.” Los Angeles Times: “A masterful job of making history exciting as well as informative....A great page-turner...An authoritative and entertaining read, and also historically important. ------- SO, in your own citizen-responsibility interest, check out this now-classic history of what happened in your own home-town.

Henry Ruark July 19, 2008 8:00 am (Pacific time)

To all: For solid documented fact re the Gannett Salem STATESMAN takeover and demise of a major weekly competitor, see: THE CHAIN GANG; 1996;Richard McCord; U.Missouri Press; ISBN 0-8262-1375-8. For any reader seriously interested, I can share some further correspondence with the author, and details from my own 30-year file as reader of every S-J issue before and after Gannett seizure.

Henry Ruark July 19, 2008 7:47 am (Pacific time)

Frank et al: Watch out, sir, your tattered borogaves are showing. I.e., you talking S-N work and coverage, as well as re Salem city official attitudes and small minority of fat cats still strangling potential capital-city role in Oregon after more than 30 years --at huge costs to both citizens and businesses. Re Tim's appraisal, I can endorse every word, on basis of resident observation and hundreds of incidents, via Citizen Forum and contacts with S-J, both before and after that once-strong city daily was Gannett-ized. My b/button story cometh from casual contact with Gov,. Sprague, editor/publisher and owner of shining-light daily before Gannett arrived. Still have files, copies, clips, and other documentation and will share with you in depth if you will simply ID self to Tim for direct contact. Disclosure: Wife BCR worked at S-J in several capacities, at time of the underhanded demise of strong weekly competitor. See famed book CHAIN GANG for full detail, ISBN when I find my copy here, marked in detail at certain points to tie with my files.

Frank July 17, 2008 4:51 pm (Pacific time)

The credibility of this publication is zero. It is evident from false and one sided facts stated by Kevin Hays. And to hide behind a disability is no excuse for the poor judgement and lack of professionalism by the reporter to city staff

Editor: Good try Frank, and thanks for showing the world how much Salem city officials care about veterans in the process.  And we sure have a lot of daily traffic for a site that has no credibility, you should think about things like that more before you write them, but Salem city officials are more of a "shoot now and ask questions later" group, at least in this case.  

Kevin gave me the full rundown on how that conversation went and as far as I am concerned, you are blowing pure smoke here.  Kevin is a nice guy and he was not dealing with professionals, so I don't see how your point would even stand.  I would like to take the time to point out something else since we are on the subject, and that is how shocked I was to learn from Mayor Taylor that she "thought she saw one" of my reports from the war in Afghanistan over the winter of'06'/07.   There I was; a Salem person covering Salem, Oregon residents, members of our Oregon Guard at war, doing amazing things no less, and she just didn't pay any attention.  In addition to the reports here on over a two month period, 30 of these reports aired on Oregon FOX-12 and two documentaries after I returned.  I mean, after all the city's ballyhoo about "showing respect for veterans" and "supporting the troops" the only video coverage of our soldiers that was on TV drew no attention from Mayor Taylor.  

 Then after I returned, the Statesman Journal sent a news photographer over who essentially repeated what I had done, only over a shorter time period and in fewer places, and I think the Mayor knew all about that coverage (Lori Cain from the paper did an awesome job covering Afghanistan- by the way)  from a paper with corporate headquarters far away from Oregon.

I think the city of Salem has a total corporate type of attitude and I know there are good people and good intentions, but they need to rise to the surface.   This place is suffering from a horrible case of political apathy.  That is a reflection of what people see in Salem politics.  People with too much have no idea what people with too little really need.  Salem could be a much better place, red light traffic cameras, Wal Mart's and call centers are the city's expression of what it thinks of its residents.  I just don't think the Delta thing ever really affected many people, perhaps it could have over time.  I also find it amazing that our Chamber of Commerce was able to allot what appeared to be a whole bunch of man hours for managing Delta's advertising program.  Of course most of that was spent on out of area media conglomerates, I know we didn't see any of it.  Of course that would have equated to "buying in Salem" and that sure as hell didn't happen.  Feel free to throw some more insults out if you like, I have a whole bunch of negative things to say about the state of this city if you want to hear them.

Tim King 

Tim King July 14, 2008 4:52 pm (Pacific time)

Well, if the people associated with this had behaved professionally when a reporter called, they would probably see different results. Kevin Hays is a disabled Desert Storm vet and the little name calling tirade from first the airport and then city hall, was all a matter of choice. That lack of professionalism just seems like a precursor for what happened.  So you can slam my way of presenting it, people are sore over this, but a far larger group of people are sore over the politics of Salem and there is no getting around that.  Only a few select and wealthy members of this community benefited from the Delta flights.

Patrick July 14, 2008 4:17 pm (Pacific time)

It's time for Tim King to do his homework to find out how little airlines pay their support personnel and how few Delta employed here. Then, go for it, take your shot at the major corporation that is not leaving Salem. Shoddy writing.

Kathy July 14, 2008 7:20 am (Pacific time)

How many people are/were employed by Delta in Salem, that will now lose their jobs? Any idea?

July 13, 2008 1:19 pm (Pacific time)

Well now its wal*greens stores going up all over the places .....just a new one by 2020 capital st NE in salem

steve July 13, 2008 1:16 pm (Pacific time)

Bet the Hut is glad of that!more trips to portland.prob better on gas$$$$$$$$$$$too!

Janice July 13, 2008 12:13 am (Pacific time)

Salem's fault... for subjecting the community to a poor plan. For executing a plan that cost us all money and energy better spent on locally owned companies. Flights to Utah? Are you kidding? How was that supposed to help Salem's populous? I, for one, am tired of hearing how great Salem is for trying. They tried and failed as expected. The economic development should have gone to businesses HERE. Bush, or no bush, Conan. WalMart is a subject all it's own, but there are better ways to help the poor and underprivileged than giving them one shopping experience.

Conan July 12, 2008 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

So it's Bush's fault. And Salem's fault for attracting Walmart. I question the integrity of the journalist.

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