There's been quite a bit of public discussion regarding a neighbor to about everyone on the south side of Fort Wayne—Kitty Hawk Airlines. As you probably know, Kitty Hawk is an air cargo carrier that hauls materials in and out of FW International Airport (FWIA) on a daily basis and employs several hundred local residents. They appreciate the fact that they have been treated well by Fort Wayne and by the airport and they also make good use of the 12,000 ft. runway at FWIA that rivals the longest runway at O'Hare Airport in Chicago. Recently Kitty Hawk management held a public meeting in conjunction with airport management and the local FAA office. They would like to change their takeoff and landing patterns so they can save 100's of thousands of dollars every year by not having to repeatedly taxi their large jets the entire length of the runway after they land. After they take off heading northeast they plan to bank their aircraft quickly to the east or west so they can avoid flying over heavily populated areas. I appreciate Kitty Hawk's sponsoring the recent public informational meeting. They're planning a follow-up meeting to receive feedback and will announce the time of that meeting. They have also invited anyone interested to visit their facility on the south end of the airport at 2 am on Friday, June 6th, to see their operation in action. Kitty Hawk is an important local employer—hopefully their new plan will save them lots of fuel costs, protect jobs, and cause minimal problems for south side residents. I'd appreciate feedback regarding this issue—let me know what you think!
As you can tell by driving downtown, work is progressing steadily on the expanded Grand Wayne Center and the new Ft. Wayne Public Library facility to the northwest of the GWC. As you are probably aware, most library branches will also be upgraded as part of the library project. The new Grand Wayne Center will enhance our city's chances of attracting larger conventions to Fort Wayne (several have wanted to come but the current facility is too small) and that is likely to give a several million $ annual boost to the local economy. The expanded library will offer more educational tools to all of our citizens regardless of their means and will also draw more visitors to Fort Wayne—especially those doing genealogy research. In the meantime, hundreds of construction jobs will be created. It makes sense to me to use needed public works construction as a temporary tool to help pull us out of this recession the same way the WPA and other projects created jobs 70 years ago to help us cope with the depression of the 1930's. These projects were envisioned when our national economy was doing very well—they've become all the more important in our current economic recession. Kudos to all of those who were in the forefront of early planning for the Grand Wayne and Library projects!
There's evidence that gangs are more active in Fort Wayne in recent months. This type of activity seems to occur on a cycle every few years. Police Chief Rusty York and the entire FWPD are well aware of this problem and specific actions are being taken to curtail gang activity. As usual it makes sense to lock your car, not leave items that might interest a thief in plain view, keep your house locked, etc. Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood to 911—then the police can check it out.
For those residents of Hiltonia in the Lake Shores Neighborhood: your long-awaited streetlights are on the schedule to be installed within the coming weeks according to Jim Riemke in the Street Light Engineering Department. That should enhance both the quality of life in general as well as security in your area.
Don't forget the Memorial Day Parade in Waynedale on Monday, May 26th. Many local vets are honored in that parade and we need to thank them for what they've done for the USA. See you there!