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Everyday Business | Plane truth: Commuter flights to Stehekin canceled

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A Chelan Seaplanes' pilot maneuvers toward a dock in summer 2016.

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Looks like Chelan Seaplanes will be grounded for the 2017 summer season. Owner Shane Carlson hasn’t been able to find a new location to base his flight operations. 

Chelan Seaplanes — a 71-year-old flying taxi and tour service on Lake Chelan — glided to a halt last year when the lease expired on the lakeside property where customers parked and seaplane docks had been anchored. The property is now part of the soon-to-be-built Sunset Marina, a development of boat slips and condos.

We have tried our best and exhausted all our options,” Carlson said last week. There just wasn’t enough time, he said, to meet requirements of the city’s master plan, not to mention state and federal permitting regulations.

Scott McKellar, a spokesman for the partnership building the marina, responded last week that Chelan Seaplanes’ landlord notified Carlson last spring that 2016 would be the flight company’s last season to use the property. McKellar charges Carlson with taking no action to find a new location until the end of the flight company’s 2016 season. 

This year’s “lapse in service will be a real reminder of the value that seaplane service brings to the valley,” Carlson said in a press release. It’s a “vital lifeline to Stehekin,” he wrote, noting the flight company provides the only commuter air service to the uplake community, along with some emergency services. (Medical helicopters are also available for Stehekin emergencies.)

Our hearts are sad that we won’t be of service to you this summer,” wrote Carlson. “We hope to fly you in the future.”

Stick a sticker on that darned apple

Where the heck did that apple come from?

The Washington Apple Commission wants to erase any doubts about where many of the world’s apples originate. So they’re encouraging liberal use of the multicolored apple industry logo — particularly on fresh-market apples headed to consumers, particularly consumers in other countries.

You know that logo, right? You’ve seen the stylized design — red-yellow-green apple topped by a “Washington” banner — on many store-bought apples, the boxes they come in and the trucks that deliver them.

Diligent use of the logo “will help increase the effectiveness of generic promotions in foreign markets and counter increased competition from other country suppliers,” said a Commission press release on Thursday.

No wonder they’re concerned. The Commission has invested over $120 million to increase consumer awareness through promotions in 25 countries. Recent trips by Commission staff to Southeast Asia found oodles of apples grown and shipped from places that were not Washington — a situation that can muddy consumer preferences.

As crop sizes grow over the next few years, we need to maintain Washington’s identity in export markets,” said Commission board member Frank Davis.

By the way, the Commission’s mission is to promote Washington-brand apples in international markets. Every year, about one-third of the state’s apple crop is exported to over 60 different countries.

This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or irwin@wenatcheeworld.com.

 

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business. follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.