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"Redlands air show canceled over fee dispute"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

REDLANDS: Air show canceled over fee dispute
The Redlands (CA) Press Enterprise

Redlands' annual air show, planned for next Saturday at Redlands Municipal
Airport, has been canceled, organizers said Friday.

 "We're canceling the air show purely for economic reasons," air show boss
Dennis Brown said.

 He said the fees required by the city -- about $4,600 -- were more than
show organizers could afford. Air show committee members offered to pay them
from proceeds within 10 days of the event, but city staff told him Thursday
that they would have to be paid up front, Brown said.

Because the event was coming up so soon, he had to cancel immediately to
avoid incurring additional expenses, he said Friday.

While the show organizers had not asked for a fee waiver from the city --
unlike many other organizations that hold events in town -- the staff added
an item to the City Council agenda late Thursday afternoon asking the
council to approve a waiver.

 "That was four hours after we canceled the air show," Brown said. "I can't
uncancel it now."

City spokesman Carl Baker said staff had been discussing fees with the air
show committee since late August and advised that they might be higher
because of increased safety concerns. The city required that four police
officers and a fire engine be present, at a cost of about $3,500.

"There have been two air shows recently where planes have crashed. We had a
plane crash at our airport last week," Baker said. "All we're doing is
taking the necessary precautions for public safety."

Brown said the air show committee plans to reimburse vendors who paid $250
each to have booths at the show, pay performers and refund sponsors'

"At that point the corporation will be broke," he said.

Brown couldn't say Friday whether the show will return next year.

"It takes one year to plan for an air show," he said. "The future of this
show is uncertain."

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