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September 03, 2009
September 09, 2009
NASA's decision to award the four retired space shuttles to museums in Washington, Florida, New York, and California was a blow to Dayton and to the entire Buckeye State. (Dayton was the fifth preferred site and barely lost out.) Dayton, the hometown of Orville and Wilbur Wright and the Wright Patterson Air Force base and air museum, thought it had made a winning case for one of the shuttles. Not only does Dayton have one of the country's great air and space museums, Ohio is also the home of the country's two most famous astronauts ??? John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.?? In the end, none of this mattered.
Ohio's senator Sherrod Brown captured the frustration of many of his fellow Ohioans when he said, ???NASA ignored the intent of Congress and the interests of taxpayers. NASA was directed to consider regional diversity when determining shuttle locations. Unfortunately, it looks like regional diversity amounts to which coast you are on, or which exit you use on I-95. Even more insulting to taxpayers is that having paid to build the shuttles, they will now be charged to see them at some sites.???
Ohio has been dealt a series of blows in recent years from seeing long-time employers like NCR bolt to Atlanta, to losing two Congressional seats to faster growing states like Texas, to seeing Akron's native son Lebron James bolt Cleveland for the Miami Heat. It seems that the Buckeye State can't compete with the money, energy, and population of the coastal states. This hurts the vitality of our communities and makes it harder to fight the ???brain drain.??? To put this in perspective, on our current trajectory the Census projects that we'll have more senior citizens than young people in just 25 years (for the first time in history). So every single blow adds up, and will make it that much harder for Fordham's hometown state and city (Dayton) to remain competitive.