Letters to the Editor: 9/10/15


Keep the Calls Coming

Dear Editor,

It is a glorious early Sunday morning and despite the sporadic noisy aviation activity above our garden, peaceful inertia has gripped our household preventing us, for a brief time, from filing noise complaints about East Hampton airport. But in a few hours when the Sunday departures begin low, loud and polluting directly above our home, the task of actually filing noise complaints will again fall to me. Although guests and family members complain bitterly at the very approach of every helicopter, jet and thundering low flying seaplanes, if I don’t file the complaints, no one else does. And that is precisely what the aviation proponents are counting on — that residents will put off until later making noise complaints and then later forget to call or email.

The Eastern Region Helicopter Council, East Hampton Aviation Association and the so-called Friends of East Hampton Airport continually report via their public relations company that there is not an aviation noise problem here, that the latest aviation traffic figures provided by the town must be disputed, that very few households complain about noise and that, anyway, most complaints come from the same few households.

In a decision taken in June this year, a US judge in the Eastern District Court apparently believed the aviation proponents’ plea that the proposed restriction limiting all helicopters to a once per week round trip would cause their companies “undue harm” (i.e. economic); she apparently did not consider the daily undue harm from airport noise and pollution to the health and well-being of residents so she denied the Town of East Hampton the right to place that one restriction this year which would have most benefitted the noise impacted, and thousands have suffered the consequences.

Seaplane activity this past July 4th weekend increased 106 percent over last July 4th. Other fixed wing traffic (not including jets or seaplanes) increased by 86 per cent over 2014 on July 4th weekend, helicopters increased 18 percent.

Will this end soon? Not likely.

If you are not filing noise complaints next year with even greater increases in traffic, the noise will be far worse, more widespread and you will be spending much of your summer calling 1-800-376-4817 or emailing complaints to HTO@planenoise.com. Without sufficient noise complaint data, the Town of East Hampton can do little to support further attempts at placing additional restrictions. If you want to save not only Sag Harbor, but your neighbors in Northwest, Wainscot, Noyac, North Sea, Shelter Island and the North Fork — take action, make the calls — there is no time to wait.

Patricia Currie



Where’s The Enforcement?

To the Editor:

Where’s the enforcement, Larry and Kathy? You received the full support of your East End neighboring townships. You passed legislation governing the aircraft using your airport. But this August 31st morning at 1:30 a.m. I was violently awakened by the house shaking and the windows rattling from three low flying aircraft. One seaplane and two helicopters with spotlights. All three flying 150 feet off the ground.

Where is the enforcement of no nighttime landings or take offs?

Where is the enforcement? All hot air, I say.

James Ding



Reaching Out

Dear Editor:

I recently was at Sagg Main beach with my daughter when I suddenly found myself face down and paralyzed in the water. I had broken my neck from a boogie board accident. Extremely poor judgment on my part.

I just want to say thank you to all of you who came to my assistance. I was pulled from the water by people at the beach who quickly hailed the life guards. They were able to get me on the backboard and off to the ambulance, where I was taken to Southampton Hospital and later to Stony Brook.

You couldn’t find a more professional group of people.

Also thank you to all who helped my daughter who was extremely upset. We are so very fortunate to have all these individuals who work so hard to protect us. We always think that it won’t happen to us.

And also thank you everyone in our wonderful little community who reached out to me and my family. Thank you all so much!

Mike Reifsteck

Sag Harbor