The Torture – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, June 3, 2013

Dear David,

NOMBYs (Not Over My Back Yard) have been working overtime attempting to influence routes dirty, noisy helicopters use to transition from the northern route of Long Island into East Hampton Airport. NOMBYs are wasting time and energy instead of working on the obvious solution to eliminate helicopters. They selfishly push the torturous, life-altering, hellish barrage of noise to their neighbors. Quiet Skies Coalition applauded these antics in their newsletter — ooops, so much for their members and supporters in Wainscott and Sag Harbor.

It appears the clandestine secret meetings by Southampton Town, East Hampton Town officials, special-interest groups, and people that are specifically approved to participate in these meetings have had an impact. The noise pattern has changed. The important question is, who is making these decisions and approving these changes? Conversations on two separate occasions with town board members have had fingers pointed in opposite directions, shoulders shrugged, as they denied the town board approved any routes. So, who is making the decisions?

Fingers then point to the airport manager, Jim Brundige. Really, an employee of the town is making decisions on who will live in hell this summer? The next question was, what about the people? Any private business in East Hampton having as astronomical expansion of use as the airport would be subject to public review. This has not happened with the airport, yet the public continues to have its lives turned upside down.

Come this November the people will again have their say; it is an election year. The airport is a political problem, and there is a political solution. I’m afraid Councilman Dominick Stan­zione’s political career is over, done. So much of the airport is stuck on him, he won’t be able to come clean by November. As the airport liaison, he is attempting to wash his hands, yet he is the instigator of the clandestine secret meetings that encouraged the Noyac NOMBY group to shove the torture back to the Sag Harbor folks. He personally controlled who could attend and participate in these secret meetings. It’s not so secret any more, is it? This is exactly why noise abatement is a failed policy. It is a waste of energy on counterproductive temporary fixes meant only to infuriate a new group of people. It is unfortunate, since the councilman is a good man who will give the shirt off his back to anyone in need.

For new candidates vying for a position of supervisor or town board, it will be silly not to clearly and passionately express viable solutions for the airport problems. It will be silly to take a position of more of the same, failed noise abatement as a solution. It will be silly to be silent on the issue, since it is now the number one problem facing this town and many other neighboring towns. If it wasn’t so silly, it would be crazy.