Letters to the Editor: 5/23/19


Air Traffic Should Follow South Shore Route

Dear Editor,

Do helicopter pilots and helicopter companies really know how LOUD they sound over residential areas?

My weekends on the North Fork are never quiet because of the variety of helicopters and seaplanes travelling from New York City to East Hampton Airport over my house and community. As expected, the air traffic increases during the summer with holiday weekends unbearable if your home is located along the incoming North Shore route. The issue is the negligent practice of pilots ignoring Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) altitude regulations and flying too low. I used a helpful website Planefinder (www.planefinder.net) last Memorial Day, 2018, and was able to see from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. the altitudes flown by helicopters over my community were from 450 ft., when there were clouds, to below 1,800 ft. during clear skies. These numbers are extremely low when compared to the 3,500 ft. altitude these helicopters should routinely fly on a clear day. I’m not sure if anyone has ever had a double engine helicopter fly less than 600 ft. over their home, but it is louder than a train, and they travel at 160 knots with a sound you wish to never hear again. Do the pilots know this? Do the owners of these helicopters understand this? I would seem to think they do but no matter how many meetings and complaints filed over the years it appears money over safety prevails and those on the ground suffer.

The kicker is I live in Northville over 20 miles away ‘as the crow flies’ from the East Hampton Airport. We take over 80 percent of all incoming taxi helicopter and seaplane traffic heading to East Hampton Airport along with other North Fork communities of Jamesport, Mattituck, Laurel, Southold and Cutchogue who endure the noise though the airport is nowhere near our homes. Noyac, North Sea, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor and all communities located below the route to the airport have to also deal with all the issues described above. If the FAA enforced a southern route from New York City to East Hampton, following the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, over 95 percent fewer homes would have helicopters and seaplanes overhead. If each and every helicopter and seaplane lands on the South Shore they should all fly the South Shore route.

John Cullen



Wealth of Culture

Dear Sag Harbor Community,

When Bobbie and I picked Sag Harbor as the place where we wanted to live and bring up our family 40 years ago, we knew it was a special place. We were not wrong. And, although it has changed dramatically over that time, it still has the power to enchant, enlighten, and enthrall.

The weekend of May 4 I had the privilege of working with t12 of Sag Harbor’s amazing cultural institutions, one charity, six restaurants and a few businesses in putting together the Sag Harbor Cultural District’s fourth annual Cultural Heritage Festival. It would be hard to find a finer group of people, or a more worthy group of institutions anywhere. Thank you to everyone who participated.

But more importantly—and this is the real reason I’m writing—I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend many of the festival events. To say I was deeply moved by both the sheer number of events as well as by the quality of the experiences offered, would be a serious understatement. Sag Harbor is a wonderland of culture and history, and not just during the festival. We Sag Harborites have a wealth of cultural experiences available to us all without ever leaving town. Music, art, theater, film, literature, talks by authors, scholars, historians and other people of varied interests and backgrounds, museum exhibits, preserved homes, famous neighbors both living and dead, great food—it’s all here. What other village of this size can boast all that?

It was an amazing eye- and ear-opening weekend. I hope some of you reading this got to enjoy at least some of the cultural feast in spite of the bad weather. But, if you missed it, don’t’ worry, the opportunities to enjoy culture and history in Sag Harbor abound and continue throughout the year. I hope you will take advantage of the bounty that is available to you by patronizing and supporting our many home-grown cultural institutions.

Your neighbor,

Eric C. Cohen

P.S. If you want to ask me about any of this, you can find me at the John Jermain Library most weekdays.


Stand Up to Prioritize Climate Action

Dear Editor:

Millions of people around the globe in over 122 countries will be striking for the climate on May 24, 2019. The grassroots group, Drawdown East End, a member of Adult Allies Coalition of the youth-led movement Earth Uprising, invites you to join the rally on the lawn of the Southampton Town Hall from noon until 1 p.m. this Friday.

Southampton Town has been a great partner in this work in taking many significant positive steps. The town participates in New York State’s Climate Smart Communities project. In 2013, the town passed an important sustainability plan to guide town planning. Most critically, the town has pledged that its electric infrastructure will be 100 percent carbon free by 2025.

On Friday we will call on all East End communities to commit to taking positive action toward ecological healing through climate education, mass community direct actions, and other infrastructure initiatives.

Whether you are a kid or a grandparent or anyone in between, your presence will be powerful. And if you are a business person with employees, consider giving them extra time off to participate in the cause of a lifetime.

Posters are encouraged.

Drawdown East End’s mission is to jumpstart local Drawdown carbon solutions for cascading social, ecological, economic, health and security benefits through education, events, and partnerships.

Game on!

Dorothy Reilly, Water Mill,

Mary Morgan, Orient

Krae Van Sickle, East Hampton

Drawdown East End