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Remembering Where It Began

Editorial for Aug. 27, 2009

From a purely business point of view, one cannot fault Insitu for getting the "most bang for the buck" when it decided to seek requests for ideas for locating a new business campus.

Boeing, of which Insitu is an independent subsidiary, is well known for getting all it can when negotiating with Washington State. It really is good business sense.

But, from a more sentimental point of view, one would hope that Insitu remembers its beginnings or at least gives a nod in the event of indecision to its roots. Roots that started in Underwood and Klickitat County.

Tad McGeer founded Insitu in the mid 90s. When not working out of Tad's home in Underwood, doing design work, Tad and his "boys" could be found at Bernie and Bev Elsner's property on Oak Ridge Road. The group was using the Elsner's runway to test their airplane.

"It seemed like they were here almost daily, launching the plane from the top of a car going down the runway," Bev Elsner remembers.

Tad has since sold his share in Insitu. And, while he could have left the area, he stayed. Even after his home burned down in the Underwood fires, he and his wife Ginger still stayed.

Today, Tad has started another company, Aerovel, and is once again using Elsner's property.

Insitu really started growing at Bingen Point. What better location to continue its expansion than near its roots.

Klickitat County has offered Insitu nine different proposals where it might build a new campus. The best proposal by far is "Bingen Cove." The site is situated near Insitu's principal base of operation, practically on adjacent land.

The proposal itself should offer the manufacturer of unmanned aircraft exactly what it wants. Jason Spadaro and SDS Lumber Co., Dickey Farms and the Port of Klickitat should be commended for joining forces to create such a community-based proposal.

A proposal that gets to the "roots" of the predicament.

EMB

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