MONDAY 09-10-2012 More talk on the Casino, we talk a lot of energy issues today, everything from the President taking credit for big oil and gas production, but it's on PRIVATE, not public land. Dr. Dennis Power's history segment explores what you never k

Sep 10, 2012 -- 2:43pm

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I wish to issue an apology to all involved in the Eagle Point School District strike issue earlier this year. I called both sides "delusional", as all they argued about was how MUCH reserve money they'd burn through. Then I read how Chicago teachers turn down a 16% pay increase. (They wanted 19%)

All's forgiven, EPSD. On the "Delusionometer", you're okay. (at least by comparison)

Not that I'm a fan of the White House boss, but this behind the scenes look at the WH brewing is interesting...


6:35 Dan Kish, Institute for Energy Research, (website) we talk about how the President's taking credit for big oil and gas work, but it's not on public land, but private land, where the real action is.

7:35 Dr. Jerome Corsi, WND Columnist, and author of "The Great Oil Conspiracy". Oil is abiotic, renewable, and a natural creation of mother earth. Really interesting book, and evidence that he brings to the table.

8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers (website) retired S.O.U. professor of business law. Today it's the history of the Rogue Valley International Airport.

Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport

By Dennis Powers

Located at the former fairgrounds on Medford’s south end and bought for use by the U.S. Forest Service, the City of Medford and Jackson County in 1922 purchased the Medford field known as Newell Barber field. This was the first field in Oregon bought to be used as a municipal airport, and its gravel runway was 1500-ft. long and 25-ft. wide. Pacific Air Transport Company was granted an initial 4-year lease for one-dollar and built its hangars and administration building; Standard Oil Company received the exclusive contract to sell gasoline and oil.

Granted a U.S. Post Office air-mail contract in 1926 to carry mail from Los Angeles to Seattle, Medford was the only stop between San Francisco and Portland on the first airmail route over the Pacific Coast. This contract meant financial stability for a new venture such as Pacific Air, but it also meant regular deliveries through all weather, good or bad.

A passenger waiting list was in use since the open-cockpit airplanes only had room for the pilot and one passenger, who sat on the mailbag in the front seat while wearing goggles and a helmet. As these planes didn’t have radios, all flying was done visually. The airport radio operator kept track as the planes landed or took off and relayed these times along with the weather conditions.

But Barber Field was so small that aviation officials threatened to close it if the adjoining fairgrounds continued running its auto racetrack. Passenger service was in the planning stage, and a larger field at least one mile long with a rotating beacon for night-time flying was needed. In the largest bond issue at the time, residents passed a $120,000 measure to buy 288 acres of land three miles north of the town’s center on Biddle Road and construct runways, a terminal, and hanger building. Located on the present site and opened in late 1929, it featured a 2.5-million candlepower beacon, new radio station, weather bureau, pilot quarters, a restaurant, and the headquarters of the Rogue Valley Gun Club.  

Charles Lindbergh visited Medford as part of his cross-country tour the year after his famous solo flight to Paris; photos show him examining his plane and then leaving Medford Airport on August 29, 1928. In 1931, Pacific Air Transport merged with three other pioneer airlines to form United Airlines. And over time, nearly every major or smaller airline served Medford.

The City of Medford approved bond issues and accepted grants that increased the acreage, landing field, and improvements so that by 1940 the runway was 6,700 feet long and 75 feet wide. During World War II, the War Department took control of the airport and its acreage increased to 550-plus acres. In August 1944, Medford fruit, flowers, and fish flew on a United Air Lines cargo-liner to New York City, the first full cargo of perishables flown coast to coast.

In January 1971, the voters approved transferring ownership of the airport from the City of Medford to Jackson County, which accepted all bond issues and liabilities, relieving the city from these liabilities. As the years passed, the airport added more acreage and facilities to reach its present 925 acre size. In January 1995, the U.S. Department of Commerce designated Jackson County as the newest foreign-trade zone in the country. This allowed it to be a legally secured area outside the United States for customs entry procedures, duties, and quotas--thus becoming an international airport.

During 2009 a new passenger terminal and air traffic control tower were constructed and the runway extended to allow larger jets. Serving the Rogue Valley and seven counties, it is now the third largest commercial airport in Oregon. The grooved asphalt runway is now 8800 ft. long and 150 ft wide with nearly 60 flights which arrive and depart daily--a far cry from Barber Field those years ago.  

See: Becker, Hattie B., The History of Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, Gandee Printing Company: Medford, Oregon, 1995 at Also, Webber, Bert and Margie, The Lure of Medford: An Oregon Documentary, Oregon: Webb Research Group Publishers, 1996; Truwe, Ben. “Jackson County Looking Back: The Early Years--1800s through 1939.” Canada: Pediment Publishing, 2011, pg. 26-27.

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