Around Town: Flying Higher ... but could Aviation Wing dodge Warner Robins’ woes?
by Joe Kirby
Around Town Columnist
March 25, 2013 11:54 PM | 17189 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NEWS IN MONDAY’S MDJ that the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins plans to divest itself of a third of its huge collection brought backers of the Aviation Wing of the Marietta Museum of History to full attention on Monday.

The Warner Robins museum, which has one of the largest aircraft collections in the country, plans to get rid of 29 planes or helicopters and three missiles, according to The Associated Press. The cuts are coming because the Air Force eliminated funding in 2011 for eight civilian positions at the museum and because the planes displayed out of doors are expensive to maintain. The planes on display at the Marietta Aviation Wing also are displayed outdoors.

Among the Warner Robins planes on the chopping block the Marietta museum reportedly is most interested in are its 1950s-vintage RB-69A Neptune maritime surveillance plane; its World War II-era C-60 Lodestar VIP transport plane (which is actually inside the museum); and its EC-121K Constellation, the 1950s-era electronic warfare version of the famed Constellation passenger liner. All three planes were built by Lockheed at its plant in California.

“Wonder if one of the larger trucking companies in Marietta would donate a flat-bed tractor trailer and driver to go down and transport an aircraft or two up to Marietta and if a crane operator in Warner Robins would donate a lift onto the trailer?” one Marietta Aviation Wing backer emailed Around Town.

The bigger question, though, might be: If the museum in Warner Robins is having trouble maintaining what it has, might not the much smaller museum in Marietta, which is operating on a shoestring compared to WR, be apt to run into the same problem as its collection grows?

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AROUND TOWN noted Saturday that last week’s $773.3 million Ed-SPLOST passed in unincorporated Cobb by big margins in two posts (those of Scott Sweeney and David Banks) but got a much more modest reception in other parts of the county.

That was true in Marietta as well, where it failed in five of the city’s 12 precincts (Marietta 1A, Marietta 4C, Marietta 5A, Marietta 5B and Marietta 7A) and passed overall by a scant 86 votes.

Heaviest turnout was in Marietta 4A (21.94 percent), where 227 people voted for the tax — but where it passed by only 37 votes.

The lightest turnout in the city was in Marietta 6A on the east side, where only 38 (or 1.8 percent) of the precinct’s 2,106 registered voters went to the polls. Perhaps indicative of the SPLOST’s reception by city voters as a whole, the tax tied in the precinct, with 19 voting for it and 19 against. And so it went across the city. It failed in Marietta 5A by one vote (25 to 26); and passed in Marietta 2A by just two votes (206 to 204).

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A SECOND “THREESOME” will share this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award from the Marietta Schools Foundation at the group’s April 3 gala at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre.

This year’s honorees are Brumby Chair Co. General Manager Spain Brumby Gregory (’89), Marietta Daily Journal GM Lee Brumby Garrett (’91) and MDJ publisher Otis A. Brumby III (Class of ’99).

The first such family “threesome” to earn the award consisted of Dr. Murl Hagood (Class of ’27) and sons Drs. Richard (’57) and Felton Hagood (’59).

The first Distinguished Alumni Award went in 1984 to then-UGA President Dr. Fred Davison (’46). Recipients since then have been Jasper Dorsey (’30), Lucille Suhr (’17), Mayor Joe Mack Wilson (’36), the MDJ’s Bill Kinney (’41), James T. Anderson (’21), Iris Antley Hensley (’52), journalist Bill Shipp (’51), Sidney Clotfelter (’32), Neil Barfield (’58), Jack Vaughan (’79), Judson Ward (’29), Mayor Ansley Meaders (’63), Leodelle Jolley (’22), Annette Risse (’34), Hansell Smith (’68), Fred Bentley Sr. (’43), Mayor Victoria Chastain (’62), Kemp Mabry (’42), A.D. Little Jr. (’49), Ruth Northcutt (’22), Merrilyn Welch Eastham (’49), Mayor Steve Tumlin Jr. (’65), Marietta High School principal Leigh Beggs Colburn (’83), Beverly Lewis McAfee (’57), Mayor Bill Dunaway (’57), Kim Gresh (’74) and Admiral James O. Ellis Jr. (’65). 

The award is based on leadership qualities, acting as a role model, community involvement and active support of the school system.

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PEOPLE: State Rep. Alisha Morgan (D-Austell) will host a reception at the state Capitol at 10 this morning for retiring Six Flags Over Georgia President/GM Melinda Ashcraft. … 

Matthew Wilkins has been named a 2013 Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star in the areas of business disputes and litigation. “Rising Stars” identifies the best attorneys who are under 40, and each year the honor is limited to no more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state. Wilkins is a partner at King & Yaklin LLP in downtown Marietta. 

THE COBB CHAMBER’S South Cobb Business After Hours/Taste of South Cobb Promo will be at The Threadmill in Austell from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and will feature former Gov. Roy Barnes, a native of Mableton, talking about the history and future of south Cobb. 

The Chamber’s Northwest Cobb Area Council meeting April 3 will feature Col. Timothy Tarchick, commander of the 94th Airlift Wing at Dobbins ARB, and Georgia Adjutant Gen. Jim Butterworth. The topic will be upcoming congressional Base realignment and closure commission news.

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DO COLLEGES DISCRIMINATE against conservatives? That will be the topic of a 7 p.m. forum April 1 at Kennesaw State University organized by Sociology prof/MDJ columnist Dr. Melvyn Fein. 

Sharing the dais will be Dr. Timothy Furnish, a consultant to U.S. Special Operations Command and the intelligence community on Islamic issues and former professor of Middle Eastern History at Georgia Perimeter College; and Dr. Mary Grabar, who has taught at a number of Georgia colleges, written for The Weekly Standard and the MDJ, and is founder of Dissident Prof, a nonprofit education reform organization dedicated to “resisting the re-education of America.”

The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the Social Science Building.

BTW, Fein will be guest speaker at Saturday’s 9 a.m. breakfast meeting of the Madison Forum at the Rib Ranch on Canton Road. His topic: “Politics and Morality: Where We Are and Where We Should Be Going.”

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EASTER WILL BEGIN as usual in Cobb with the annual Sunrise Service at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park on Sunday. The 7-8 a.m. event will take place on the Visitor’s Center lawn and will feature Marietta First Baptist pastor the Rev. Dr. Bill Ross and music by MFBC Minister of Music Dr. Paul Hall and the church’s brass band. The Salvation Army will be there with coffee and hot chocolate. ... And put it on your calendar: This year’s 29th annual Cobb County Prayer Breakfast will be at 7 a.m. May 2 at the Cobb Galleria Centre and will feature as keynote speaker Chuck Bengochea, president and CEO of The Original HoneyBaked Ham Company of Georgia.

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RETIRED MARIETTAN the Rev. Dr. Nelson Price, pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church, may well have been the first Cobb resident to see the new pope in the flesh. Price, who was already in Rome on a long-scheduled trip, was in the crowd in St. Peters’ Square as new Pope Francis I rode past six feet away in his “Pope Mobile.”

“I am not Catholic but I rejoice with those who rejoice,” he emailed Around Town.

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FOLLOWING the Cobb Board of Commissioners’ zoning meeting last week, county chairman Tim Lee told MDJ reporter Jon Gillooly that he had heard MDJ reporter Geoff Folsom had accepted a job on the West Coast. 

“Anything I can do to ensure you join him?” a joking Lee asked Gillooly. “Or better yet, how about you go and Geoff stay?”

Sorry Tim. Jon says you’re stuck with him!

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Phillip Hunt
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March 27, 2013
Regarding your today's article titled Around Town: Flying Higher ... but could Aviation Wing dodge Warner Robins’ woes?

As a former pilot and a volunteer at the Marietta Museum of History's Aviation wing I believe that YES WE CAN. There is a big difference between the Warner Robbins operation and ours. Mainly that our museum's aviation section is staffed exclusively by unpaid volunteers comprised of a bunch of very dedicated fellows made up of former pilots and military veterans like myself and retired Lockheed employees. We are all dedicated not to making money but to preserving a bit of aviation history. Nobody has to pay us and we are not subject to layoffs by the government. Our aircraft on display are in a constant state of maintenance and are looking better all the time.I hope that we will be able to get these wonderful old airplanes and if we do rest assured that our little group of dedicated guys will work very hard and for free to maintain them and proudly display them to the museum visitors.
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