The last issue of the year of the Alpena News on December 31, 2013, headline read "Alpena doesn't receive designation." There were high hopes that the FAA "Center of Excellence" for unmanned aircraft would have chosen Alpena as one of the sites for testing and development. Let's applause the many people in our area who were involved in the effort to pursue this project.
Commissioners Cam Habermehl and Tom Mullaney spent hours traveling from Alpena to Lansing hoping that our legislators would support our efforts. Rep. Dan Benishek, Sens. Carl Levin, Debbie Stabenow, and John Moolenaar. Our Rep.e Peter Pettalia was not heard from either. Where were they? When Commissioners Habermehl and Mullaney and the rest of the Alpena County Board of Commissioners, city of Alpena governmental officials, Alpena Chamber of Commerce, were looking for support. The "Pure Michigan" Ad campaign advocates economic development. Isn't Alpena in the state of Michigan? Why do our elected officials keep turning their backs on us to develop and promote growth in this part of the state? Commissioner Mullaney indicated in the article that some states had a department set up just to promote their state for the "Center of Excellent" What was our state doing? Nothing, thanks Gov. Synder. I am optimistic I hope our local officials keep trying with the help of Rick Carlson member of MIAASA (Michigan Advance Aerial System Consortium), the Alpena County Board of Commissioners, the Alpena Chamber of Commerce member of MIAASA. CRTC base commander Col. Bryan Teff who supports the project initiative stated it's disappointing but Alpena will have other opportunities, let's applaud the efforts of our local political, business and military leaders for their efforts. Let's shake their hand tell them "Job Well Done" and keep up the good work.