Northwest News

State workers’ glamorous trips include Paris, Salem

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All out-of-state travel by state workers now has to be approved not only by each agency director, but also by Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget director, Victor Moore.

Moore recently gave the OK for the state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development to spend $7,100 to send Bill King to the 2009 International Paris Air Show, which will be June 11-22.

King is CTED’s business development manager for aerospace.

Paris is where The Boeing Co. often announces which airline companies have ordered Boeing jetliners, and how many, for their fleets.

But mainly the airshow gives the little guys in the aerospace industry a chance to mingle with the big boys on an international stage.

King said the state’s presence is twice its usual size – 11 companies instead of five. He said Washington has had a presence at the Paris Air Show since the 1990s.

Not everyone’s travel is so glamorous.

Bill Ford over at the state Department of Transportation got permission to spend $200 to send one of his workers last week to Chemeketa Community College’s Eola Northwest Viticulture Center in Salem, Ore., to attend the Oregon DOT’s 2009 Bridge Design Conference. Something about building new bridges across the Columbia River.

I’ll bet that was a real hoot.

Joseph Turner, The News Tribune