Noise News for Week of December 8, 1996

California Senators Criticize Makeup of Airport Committee

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: December 14, 1996
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 2; No Desk
BYLINE: Dade Hayes
DATELINE: Van Nuys, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.); California State Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles); Sandy Brown (Sen. Hayden's deputy chief of staff)

The Los Angeles Times reports that state and federal officials are concerned that noise issues surrounding expansion plans for Van Nuys Airport are not being properly addressed due to the glaring exclusion of state lawmakers from a noise committee.

The article reports that U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) shared her concerns with the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington this week about the absence of state lawmakers from the airport's FAA-funded Part 150 Steering Committee that deals with noise. State law requires that at least one state official be on the committee; currently, there are only 11 airport commissioners, pilots, resident activists, and aviation-business representatives

State Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles) and Sen. Herschel Rosenthal (D-Los Angeles) were not included on the committee, and are worried that potential noise problems will not receive proper consideration. They claim that they were not included because they are strong proponents for noise mitigation. They point out hypocrisy in one state official who flies in every month to committee meetings, and pays for the flights with tax dollars. The whole nature of this committee is not to be exclusionary," said Sandy Brown, Hayden's deputy chief of staff. "Our whole concern is residents affected by the noise. We should have a voice."

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Proposed El Toro Airport Splits Orange County, California

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: December 11, 1996
SECTION: Part A; Page 1; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Rene Lynch and Shelby Grad
DATELINE: Santa Ana, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Thomas Wilson, Orange County Supervisor; Melody Carruth, Laguna Hills Council member; Don Saltarelli, Orange County Supervisor; Peter Craig, Orange County Business Coalition member; Bert Hack, co-chairman, Taxpayers for Responsible Planning; Christina Shea, Irvine Mayor

The Los Angeles Times reports that at a recent Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting, the two main sides of the argument over whether to build an airport at El Toro Marines Base argued bitterly. The two sides are businesses who want the new airport to increase economic opportunities, and residents who oppose the noise.

The article notes that the Board is itself divided on the question of the airport. One supervisor underscored the fact that decisions made at the meeting did not guarantee an airport would be built.

The article goes on to say that a previously passed "Measure A" requires the airport to be found feassible in current studies before approval is given. MOst residents North of the site are for the airport, while those in the South oppose it.

The article notes that representative for the southern part of the county claim that environmental reviews whitewash noise, traffic, and pollution issues. They say that the reviews are merely public relations efforts by airport proponents.

The article concludes, noting that a council member said that those who want the airport are like the farmer -- in the fairy tale -- who killed a golden goose while ending its consistent laying of golden eggs: destroying long-term prosperity for short-term gain.

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Potential Noise of a Proposed California Airport Already Affecting Local Residents

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: December 14, 1996
SECTION: Part A; Page 1; Zones Desk
BYLINE: David Reyes and Bonnie Hayes
DATELINE: Irvine, California area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Sam Margolin, Liesure World resident (a nearby retirement home); Kevin West, Aliso Viejo resident; Kip and Janie Canton, Aliso Viejo residents; Pat Brooks, Lake Forest resident

The Los Angeles Times reports that residents near the proposed international airport at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station -- which could be built beginning in two years -- are upset and frustrated with the potential project, they don't think there's much that can be done.

The article notes that nearby communities will be in the flight path of the proposed airport: the Orange County Board of Supervisors' pet project. The airport would be at the former El Toro Marine Base, which will shut down in three years. Communities affected will include Irvine, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, and Mission Viejo.

The article goes on to say that the Marines base only flew planes before 10 p.m., while the proposed airport would operate around the clock. A resident was quoted: "I just don't know what a steady stream of planes coming in overhead is going to do. We have a lot of jet noise here now. I can only hope it won't be unbearable."

The article reports that the proposal has already caused some, who are selling their homes, to receive lower-than-market offers because of potential jet noise. Homeowners think property values will drop even more.

The article concludes, noting that at a retirement community that faces more noise, residents say they will have to stop conversations "every five minutes," and say that "Our elected officials must think everybody here is deaf and dying. It's absolutely not true. We're just trying to enjoy life until we pass on."

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Next week: December 22, 1996



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