Ear: Kitty Hawk

Bill Nix of Underwood, Washington, wrote in about the fate of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), which has been docked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, since 2009.

The ship, which is 1,069 feet long, 282 feet wide, and draws 38 feet, is now dry docked. She will be dismantled if she doesn't find a new home. Nix has a proposition, after reading a story in The Astorian: He's thinking about the urban renewal money that might have to be returned if not used. One use the Astoria City Council discussed was for the area around the Port of Astoria's West Mooring Basin, to complete the Uniontown Reborn project.

"Use the monies to initiate a prime tourist attraction to the city of Astoria," Nix suggested, urging Astoria to bring the Kitty Hawk here. "I have been advised by a staff member of Washington Sen. Patty Murray any funding from the federal government will need to be matched by funds from local sources," Nix said. "Use the urban renewal monies on this project, and a match from the federal government can take place.

"The ship can be a highly attractive and popular tourist attraction, an economic building block … We must consider the economic impact by the prospective 325,000 visitors annually, or 890 daily to Astoria."

He used as an example what an enormous, and lucrative, attraction the USS Midway is in San Diego.

"I believe creation of the USS Kitty Hawk museum and cultural event center in the city of Astoria will be a successful tourist attraction that will employ many Astorians," he explained, "and provide considerable revenue to Astoria, the county of Clatsop and state of Oregon."

Not to mention, there's no wooden hull to worry about.

"This project," Nix added, "will have tremendous benefits to thousands of people." (bit.ly/kittydry, bit.ly/kittystats)

Note: Nix's full letter is here: bit.ly/kittyltr

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.