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No Improvement – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, July 19, 2012

Dear David,

The propaganda that Jim Brundige, the East Hampton Airport manager, put out this week in the form of a press release was so silly, it was childish. If the reason the town spent over $200,000 on new equipment and over $600,000 on a control tower, so Mr. Brundige can misuse and manipulate statistics, then it was a waste of money because we all see through the smoke. The emperor has no clothes. If this wasn’t so silly, it would be crazy.

Helicopter noise, “tortures and torments”  folks on the ground. Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Tim Bishop coined that term. If Mr. Brundige was beating me with a baseball bat and he reduced the number of hits by 34 percent, am I supposed to appreciate him for reducing the hits? Or, will I appreciate it when he stops?

Statistical analysis has no bearing on the actual impact of those on the ground affected by noise. I can report to you after almost $1 million has been spent; there is no improvement in noise or safety at my house. I see it as a waste of money.

Yesterday a seaplane came scooting in under the clouds at treetop level. There is a minimum altitude for fixed-wing of 1,000 feet. Were the controllers sleeping? Helicopters are still flying at treetop level. That is not safe. Aircraft are still operating at all hours of the night. The constant barrage of noise and attacks on the peaceful enjoyment of our property still exists.

T.J. Matthews, the self-proclaimed environmentalist convinced Mr. Brun­dige to move the northern route west of Barcelona Neck because he wanted to get helicopters away from his house, not piping plovers, as he claimed. As a result, the helicopter noise has increased at my house, also for folks in Sag Harbor and Wainscott since 2010. That is the fact Mr. Brundige refuses to acknowledge. The fact that one individual influenced the airport manager to move a helicopter route based on a perceived environmental threat calls for an environmental impact study and full state environmental quality review. Mr. Brundige is not an environmentalist. He is not qualified to make such decisions. We now know the definition of an environmentalist is someone who already has a house on North West Creek.

Mr. Brundige states the controllers are “working hard to mitigate noise in neighboring communities.” What about our own community? We are the voters!

As long as we have an airport manager that believes helicopters must land on a glide slope, as fixed-wing aircraft do, we will not see noise reduction in our community. Helicopters are designed to fly straight up and straight down. Helicopters should maintain a 3,000-foot altitude over the residential neighborhoods and then circle down within airport property boundaries. That will not stop the torture, because I still get 75-decibel noise with helicopters at 3,000 feet, but it will be mitigation in our own community.

In the last paragraph of Mr. Brundige’s propaganda release he uses statistics to marginalize the folks who call in to­ PlaneNoise, the noise hotline. When he says 5 households file half of the complaints and 20 households file 80 percent of the complaints he is insinuating that they are just crazy, continuous complainers. They also know your name, address, and phone number. The 20 households have been identified by them and labeled as crazy lunatics who consistently complain — nothing else. So if you want to have a reputation in this community as a lunatic, chronic complainer, simply continue to make calls to the noise hotline. Maybe a psychiatrist will show up at your doorstep one day.

If this wasn’t so silly, it would be crazy. Mr. Brundige and this current administration are not very smart, sorry.

FRANK DALENE

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