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Why Is It Allowed? – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, May 20, 2013

Dear David:

Here is a question for the East End: If there was no such thing as East Hampton Airport, and a corporation came forward with a proposal to create East Hampton Airport as it is presently constituted — 24-hour flights, minimal landing fees, huge jets swooping in and out over East Hampton Village and Georgica Pond and our beaches, and a year-round helicopter assault with as many as 80 flights per day on summer weekends — would it be embraced as a welcome addition to our once-rural resort community? Duh. . . .

So, of course, it would not be allowed. Then why is it allowed now? Ask your elected officials what in hell they are doing to protect what is best in our community: natural life, peacefulness, aesthetic sensibility, pristine environment, preservation of what remains of this magnificent place.

East Hampton Airport is an environmental disaster. It is by far the single most negative factor in the degradation of the regional environment: outrageous pollution in the form of noise, air, scenic vistas, overall quality of life, and decrease of property values and tax base in a time of fiscal need.

When just in the past week the U.S. Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in Hawaii is noting the largest carbon dioxide accumulations in history, and The New York Times’s front page states how insurance companies are now planning for huge annual environmental disasters as a result of global warming — this past year being the worst on record — why does East Hampton Town allow people to travel to cocktail parties by helicopter and jet airplane? That is as environmentally degrading as anything imaginable. What pathetic irresponsibility.

Forget the horrific noise for a moment, if you can (a hell-copter is a military metaphor for fear and violence). We need to ban the hell-copters and jets for the sake of our planet. Those who deny global warming, and man’s responsibility for it, are the same ones who believe that their personal interests and greed make their infantile whims superior to our collective future. They are ignorant, they are selfish, and history will prove that they are wrong. What is best for them is not best for the habitat of the East End and the vast majority of its inhabitants, nor is it at all good for the planet beyond us. Why do deer and wild turkeys on the East End have more rights than people?

So, as for the airport, control it or steamroll it.

Sincerely,
BARRY RAEBECK

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