Take the Time
To the Editor:
As a senior citizen and Sag Harbor taxpayer, I find it very appalling that voted-in officials cannot take five to 10 minutes to answer a call relating to a Sag Harbor question.
My deepest sympathies.
Florence M. O’Connell
Chance to Solve Problem
To the Editor:
East Hampton voters will face a once in a lifetime opportunity on November 5, 2013 to solve the problem of aircraft noise. This year’s Town Board election will determine Town policy for managing East Hampton airport for the next twenty years.
But, the aircraft noise problem our airport creates, not only for residents of our Town, but for the entire East End, will only be solved if candidates embracing Quiet Skies Coalition principles are elected.
Airport noise has been a problem for decades, and is now much worse. Increasing use of our airport by helicopters, jets and seaplanes by the ultra-rich has ruined the peaceful enjoyment of our homes, properties, and natural habitats. East Hampton Town Board can legally control noise by setting reasonable business hours and curfews, closing the airport on weekends, limiting numbers of flights in a given time period, and completely excluding some of the noisiest aircraft – but, only if the Town Board stops taking Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant money.
The Town currently has contractual obligations to the FAA, which expire on December 31, 2014. Then, the Town of East Hampton, as owner and operator of this airport will be able to act! The Town will be able to operate a safe and QUIET airport paid for by airport users, which is respectful of the rights of residents to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes and properties, without abandoning the rights of our community to another twenty-year contract with the FAA.
The Quiet Skies Coalition maintains: these are our skies; this is our airport! The airport can be financially self-supporting and the Town of East Hampton must not take any more FAA money until the noise problem is solved and the FAA accepts East Hampton’s reasonable aircraft access limits for noise control.
QSC surveyed all four candidates for East Hampton Town Board to see if they agree with our position.
Job Potter and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez agree and therefore achieve an endorsement by the Quiet Skies Coalition.
Councilman Dominick Stanzione and Fred Overton did not respond to the survey. However, recent reports show Mr. Stanzione seems determined to surrender the Town’s proprietary rights again, if reelected.
This is our community’s last chance to effectively solve the problem of airport noise.
Quiet Skies Coalition
Reject FAA Funding
We are residents of Sag Harbor and strongly urge our elected representatives to reject all FAA funding for the East Hampton airport, including the proposed security fence. If such FAA funding is accepted, this act would greatly increase the suffering incurred by many in our community from helicopter and aircraft noise.
It has also been widely reported that aircraft should maintain an altitude of at least 2,000 feet, with a flight path over Jessup’s Neck. Recently, residents in Sag Harbor find continuing lack of conformity with these rules, with serious consequences to the quiet enjoyment of their property. The failure to comply with these common sense rules is a clear demonstration of lack of good-faith by aircraft operators.
Those elected to represent us must realize these issues literally affect us where we live. We implore them to act accordingly.
John & Ledia Dworkin
Moving Forward, Not Faster
The $9 million school bond coming before voters on Nov. 13 includes many needed repairs and improvements. But as noted in the article last week, “Residents Question Bond,” many of us were unhappy to see that the parking plans that were loudly opposed in 2009 were back in the proposition.
In the past few days, much has occurred. The superintendent, Carl Bonuso, has assured us that these drawings are merely conceptual; the architect, Larry Salvesen, has agreed to draft new plans; and we have been told that the school board and the planning committee will meet prior to the bond vote to give some sort of preliminary approval to revamping the plans for the lots.
But what’s exciting is how this conversation has changed. In 2009, a “pro-driving” side butted heads with a “pro-walk/bike” side and the discussion was limited to parking. But the meetings we’ve had this week, as well as conversations on the street, reflect a broader view and wider consensus. Even enthusiasm. People are coming up with innovative proposals to not only revise parking and improve safety, but to make the schools more attractive and create spaces for people to walk, bike and congregate.
As we noted in the last go round, decades of studies confirm a simple premise: Making things easier for cars only attracts more cars. It also usually gets cars moving faster and less cautiously, uses up precious space, devours trees, and is just plain ugly.
But when you make a place safe for pedestrians and cyclists, you preserve the space, leave the trees, and, with time, people begin to walk and bike. Given that the majority of students here live within a mile or two of school (many far closer), and given that such behavior improves both health and academic performance, this seems like a win, win, win.
But there’s another “win.” When schools and towns incorporate this sort of thinking into their designs it affects not only the way people travel, but how they mingle. When a school is surrounded by parking lots, people drive and enter. When there are sidewalks and bike paths and benches and gathering places, people mingle. Ideas are shared. Relationships are formed.
Yes, we would like to see more people bike and walk to school. But it’s more complex than that. It’s about recognizing that space is limited, that simply pouring more asphalt does not make the world safer, and that with a little imagination, we can create wonderful spaces that meet a variety of needs and really improve our schools.
A Synthetic School Field? Yes.
To the Editor:
The Pierson Schools have one athletic field. It’s small, consistently overused, impossible to maintain, and costly to try and restore every year. The field is typically over compacted, uneven, and in a generally unsafe condition. This is how it has always been, but it’s not how it always needs to be. We’ve been dealing with unnecessary injuries to student athletes, and a maintenance program that throws money into a field that cannot be effectively maintained.
Pierson needs a field that can sustain being used every day, and maintain a safe playing surface. We only have one field. It should be a field that can be kept in optimal condition with a minimum of maintenance. The artificial turf proposed is not astroturf from the 70’s and 80’s. This is a superior and far safer playing surface. Similar fields have been in use for more than a decade at public schools and have been so successful that they have now become commonplace. They are unquestionably safer and easier to maintain than natural turf, especially at the high school and younger levels.
I don’t consider them to be maintenance free, or injury free. But the maintenance required is typically seasonal grooming, to keep the rubber infill evenly distributed. Our field will be heavily used, so it will likely require more frequent grooming. However, this is a very simple program compared to the aeration, fertilizations, watering, pest control, and mowing required today. And while athletes will still sustain injuries, they will be less frequent, and of a less severe nature.
The proposed field can be used by every outdoor sport with the exception of varsity baseball. These children need a safe, maintainable athletic field.
And one last note, being able to use the field all year, and the addition of a two lane track, will be a boon to the community as well as the school athletic department.
I’m voting yes for the new athletic field.