The aviation businesses at Renton Municipal Airport generate about $17.4 million in economic activity in the local economy, mostly Renton.
That estimate of the airport’s economic impact on Renton’s economy comes from a draft report of a Washington state Department of Transportation study of public airports in the state.
Airport businesses either directly or indirectly support about 270 jobs, according to the report, with a payroll of about $4.8 million in Renton, according to the study.
But there’s another figure – in the billions – in that draft report that really explains the impact the Renton airport and its businesses, mainly Boeing and its 737 production, has on the regional economy.
Last Saturday night I went to a Chris Ballew concert. The next morning I experienced déjà vu as the previous night’s tunes were on continuous play in my head. But instead of the intimate 1995 show I attended at Seattle’s Crocodile Café with Chris performing from The Presidents of the United States of America. I awoke humming the Chris Ballew a.k.a Caspar Babypants version of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
Instead of the song featuring millions of peaches, one of my four children, eleven-year-old Sophie was singing, “Where is my dog when he’s gone? He’s dog gone gone dog gone.” With a twang in her voice.
Searching the house for my frisky four-year-old, Patrick, I find him in front of the computer screen huddled alongside his baby brother, Ty. Their eyes glued to the YouTube “Mister Rabbit” video and Patrick closing his eyes as he raises his arms to the universe with open palms, just like Mister Rabbit in the clip.
“Yes, my friends I’m a tough little bunny!” I happily join in the harmony with Patrick as I slip on his Dino tennis shoes. “Every little soul must shiiine!”
On Nov. 8 the kids and I will be filming a cooking show demo with celebrity chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and community activist Tom Douglas … umm no pressure.
There’s an old Loretta Lynn song I sing when I need a little courage infusion.
“I was born a coal-miners daughter . . . We were poor but we had love…and that was something that Daddy made sure of.”
Now I wasn’t born a coal-miners daughter and we didn’t live in a house in Butcher Holler. But our mamma, (we’re not Southern either, but whenever you sing a Loretta Lynn song, you have to use a deep southern voice). Anyway, Momma always encouraged my sister and I to never take no for an answer and to always follow our dreams sans Loretta Lynn.
The dream I’m following right now is a kids cooking television show. And somehow singing that song from the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter” gives me courage when I’m doing laundry or washing dishes as the shoot date approaches and self doubt creeps as I’m scheduling the film crew with the Seattle Art Institute and devising intricate childcare options—I wonder do I have the chutzpa to do this dream?
“HEY, YOU GUYS!” I shout Rita Moreno style above the clanking bottles at the bottom of my sagging grocery bag. “Chocolate milk from Twin Brook Creamery!”
The quaint glass pints with the image of Bessy reminded me of a simpler time when friendly milk men delivered wholesome milk that kids gulped straight from the quart.
A time before a host of funky chemicals necessitated scouring labels for words like GMO’s, Rbst, high fructose corn syrup, saccharin and search for assurances from purveyors like Twin Brook Creamery that their cows were happy, healthy and roaming free.
Twin Brook Creamery is a local, dairy farm that offers chocolate, regular white milk and cream — it’s available at limited locations that aren’t convenient for me to visit with my four kids on a regular basis. So when I do I stock up.
The kids herd into the kitchen and it isn’t long before rich chocolate milk clings to their upper lips like outlaw moo-staches from a spaghetti western.
“Mom, how come you never buy the white milk?” My eldest daughter Sophie asked.
“We’re here to meet Paul Faulds for a tour of the new salmon hatchery,” I yelled into the faceless intercom. Rain drizzled onto my sleeve.
Somehow we had followed a winding gravel road that led us into a cell phone dead zone, without people, nothing but trees and wilderness. It felt like we were marooned in an episode of “Lost.”
“Hold a minute.” A voice said through the intercom decorated with only one red button.
“Kids, this is the last of our food supply,” I said, passing five equal shares of a Nature Valley granola bar. I noted the irony that the idea of being stranded had instantly made us all hungry despite a big breakfast.
“Don’t worry, Mom.” Sophie said, popping the last bits of granola into her mouth. “I read about a lady who wandered off a trail, broke her leg and survived for four days eating banana slugs.”
I was relieved when Paul, the Landsburg mitigation manager, pulled up in his white truck, sliding his key card through the checkpoint.