Noise News for Week of November 17, 1996

California County Considering Tougher Noise Law

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: November 23, 1996
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 2; Zones Desk
BYLINE: Carlos Lozano
DATELINE: Ventura County, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Frank Schillo, member of Ventura County Board of Supervisors

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Ventura County, California Board of Supervisors may allow police to issue noise citations.

The article notes that currently, noise citations can't be issued unless a complaint is made first. Now, police can make the judgment on their own and issue a ticket.

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California Planning Commission Endorses Airport at El Toro

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: November 23, 1996
SECTION: Part A; Page 23; Zones Desk
BYLINE: Rene Lynch
DATELINE: Orange County, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Tom Moody, Orange County Planning Commissioner, Laguna Niguel resident

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Orange County, California Planning Commission supported an environmental study of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station that suggests that the creation of a commercial airport would be acceptable.

The article notes that residents feel the report does not address potential problems with safety and noise. One commissioner, who was the only one who did not agree with the report's findings, was skeptical of explanations given by the report's consultants that downplayed air pollution and noise; he thought there may be need for substantial soundproofing of homes or even home buyouts.

The article concludes, noting that the commission did say it would attempt to better address flight paths, hours of operation, and effect on property values in the next draft of the report. A final version will not be produced until details of the airport's size and use are determined. The County Supervisors will now consider the airport issue, and should make a decision in December.

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California Residents Voice Opinions on Proposed Airport at El Toro

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: November 17, 1996
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 2; Metro Desk
DATELINE: Orange County, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jeff Andrews, Mary Ellin Watson, Nancy Brown, Pamela Shaw, Miriam Gitin, Don Karn, Debbie Anderson, June Snyder, Sylvia Evans, Gaye Wolson, Sue Kauffman, David Melilli, Donna Meehan, Gary Itano, Holly Hirneise, Alan Richardson, Sally Gilmore, William Strang, Geri Vasilia

The Los Angeles Times reported that there seems to be little consensus concerning the proposed conversion of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station to an international airport in Orange County, California, based on the following non-scientific sampling of quotes from area residents:

"There should be some type of international airport there, but there should be some restrictions so there's not 24-hour flights to disturb the people down there. But I do think the county definitely does need more airport capacity than it currently has." --David Johnson, 40, Yorba Linda

"These people that don't want an airport out there, they've been living with this noise from the planes for years, and 15 years ago there weren't very many houses out in that area. The people that live out there are the ones that will use these facilities the most." --Jim Koch, 41, Anaheim

"We'll have this opportunity only once to use that land for the expanding aviation needs of Orange County." --Eleanor Tucker, 70, Newport Beach

"We need to enter the 21st century." --Gerry Lumian, 65, Newport Beach

"I've flew out of El Toro since 1946. I was in the Marine Corps for 32 years. All those other people are brain-dead if they think there shouldn't be an airport there." --Raymond Dewees, 75, Mission Viejo

"It's a great chance to use the last great space that we have. With this much space I think there's a way to build it so it won't interfere with the people in South Orange County." --Ciel Fitzpatrick, 45, Newport Beach

"We need a world class airport in Orange County." --Thomas Tersigni, 64, Costa Mesa

"There should be an international airport at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station once it closes in 1999 for the good of the businesses in the county, to keep industry here, to attract industry here, to keep the county thriving." --Ron Saienni, 50, Dana Point

"Orange County needs this kind of growth and expansion to compete in the world. I don't know why the people are concerned about noise and safety factors; it's already an airport." --Scott Smith, 39, Newport Beach

"In the interest of air commerce, we should have an airport at El Toro. I've studied the airport analysis and it looks like a viable operation. It meets all the FAA requirements." --Harry Terrell, 74, Santa Ana Heights

"There are a few selfish people in the communities of Irvine and Laguna Beach who have a "not in my backyard" attitude rather than looking at the economic scenario for Orange County as a whole, with regards to tourism and business." --Dale Kinney, 35, Costa Mesa

"We should have a major airport in Orange County, for ease of commuting, for business and the money it will bring into the county." --Pat Thomas, 64, Huntington Beach

"I'm not one of these people who come from about 50 miles away and say, 'No airport, no airport!' I live in El Toro about two miles away from the airport and I realize there's going to be noise problems, but that's part of the deal." --Frank Rose, 48, Lake Forest

"El Toro should be an international airport because the future of the Asian Pacific Rim business is coming to California, and it would be able to handle all the traffic and all the business that is coming to Orange County. An El Toro International Airport would be a good benefit to Orange County." --Manuel Figueroa, 67, Anaheim Hills

"It should be an international airport, it would be the highest and best use of the facility. It would be an economic benefit to Orange County." --Tom Davis, 54, Irvine

"When I lived in Irvine I was for the El Toro airport; when I lived in Costa Mesa I was for it; and now I live in Newport Beach and I'm still for it. The county taxpayers have voted twice overwhelmingly in two elections to have this facility made into an international airport. The people have spoken. If need be, we'll go to a third election." --Richard Taylor, 40, Newport Beach

"We need a regional airport for all the obvious reasons: the future of business, the future of travel and for the future of the state." --Dick Cameron, 55, Fullerton

"We definitely need another commercial airport. John Wayne is too small and dangerous an airport and El Toro should carry most of the commercial traffic. I'm sorry the people who live near El Toro find that difficult to accept." --James Tufo, 58, Fountain Valley "If you just go over and look at LAX and see what the area is like around there, I don't think that's something that we'd want in Orange County." -- Jeff Andrews, 37, Trabuco Canyon "It would cost millions of taxpayer dollars for toxic cleanup, as well as the cost of the airport itself." -- Mary Ellin Watson, 62, Laguna Hills "I am a teacher and the decibel level will definitely hurt the learning environment for our children." -- Nancy Brown, 44, Coto de Caza "International airports do not belong in residential areas, whether it's Newport Beach or South County." -- Pamela Shaw, 33, Foothill Ranch "I'm very much against an international airport at El Toro for traffic reasons, for noise reasons and because of the imminent danger to residents of Leisure World. One of the runways now is right above my house." -- Miriam Gitin, 78, Laguna Hills "I'm a retired airline captain. No commercial airline is interested in El Toro. No pilot with any brains would want to take off into mountains." -- Don Karn, 62, Mission Viejo "To the Orange County Board of Supervisors, I say to you: Any public official who promotes economic interests at the expense of the health, safety and general welfare of human beings should be recalled from office for violating the public trust." -- Debbie Anderson, 39, Aliso Viejo "This whole endeavor is unconscionable. It smacks of pure greed with no thought for the common man." -- June Snyder, 63, Laguna Hills "The skies are crowded as it is. It will be far too dangerous to add more commercial planes and business flights. So I'm against it for safety reasons, because of pollution and for peace of mind." -- Sylvia Evans, 80, Laguna Hills "I do not want that airport. No way. The noise is so bad now that I can't talk to my husband at dinner time when the planes are overhead. I can't talk on the phone. The noise is giving me a headache and it would only be worse." -- Gaye Wolson, 69, Laguna Hills, Leisure World "It will destroy the nice, small-community type atmosphere. It will pollute the air and the airstrip approach pattern is right over a bunch of schools. There is just no way that could help our community." -- Sue Kauffman, 40, Laguna Niguel "Both my place of work and my home lie directly under the flight path. One flight a minute is just not going to be acceptable." -- David H. Melilli, 22, Laguna Niguel "How on earth can the FAA blatantly ignore the pilots union's concerns over the safety of that airport? It's ridiculous." -- Donna Meehan, 50, Laguna Niguel "A regional airport should be located out at March Air Force base with a MetroLink high-speed rail-type connection that people could pick up." -- Gary Itano, 47, Newport Beach "The El Toro 'Y,' which is already a nightmare, will be just ridiculous. I don't think it's going to be a nice place to live down here if it goes in." -- Holly Hirneise, 42, Laguna Niguel "We have plenty of airports around here already. If you want more space, just make the existing ones larger. Think about the Long Beach airport, it's not utilized at all." -- Alan Richardson, 67, Fullerton "There should not be an airport there in the middle of so many communities, it will ruin our quality of life. It will be impossible to live next to it. I once lived in Playa del Rey next to Los Angeles International Airport--I know what I'm talking about." -- Sally Gilmore, 63, Lake Forest "I'm totally against an airport in south Orange County just to make some fat cats in Newport Beach rich. It's wrong as wrong can be." -- William Strang, 62, Aliso Viejo "I had the misfortune five years ago of buying a home that is now located less than two miles from the end of what's proposed to be the active runway. Basically, my home is worthless and we have nowhere to go if this airport is crammed down our throats. I see El Segundo happening all over again. It's very distressing." -- Geri Vasilia, 44, Irvine

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California Residents Worry About Noise Effects of New Tollway

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: November 18, 1996
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Metro Desk
BYLINE: David Haldane
DATELINE: Irvine, California

The Los Angeles Times printed the following letter from Jeffrey and Linda Kaufman, residents of Irvine, California:

Dear Street Smart:

We live at the top of Turtle Rock in Irvine, directly across from the main toll plaza and the segment of the new San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor crossing the upper portion of Bommer Canyon. We now are faced with three stories of lights shining all night long in the main toll plaza building and the noise from construction on the road during the day. This means that the road noise from 24-hour-a-day traffic will float across the valley into our home once the road opens this week.

We have called the toll road authority repeatedly to ask about their plans to landscape this segment to minimize the noise, light and unsightliness, but they refuse to take our calls or return messages. Yet they continue to spend like drunken sailors for advertising and their new headquarters building in Irvine.

Can you get them to commit to plans for landscaping the roadway and toll plaza, and building sound walls to block the traffic noise, which will most certainly ruin what's been a quiet, pastoral valley? --------

In response to this letter, the paper replied with information concerning the landscaping planned for the new toll plaza. Oak trees were to be planted, but due to a study by noise experts, noise levels at nearby neighborhoods will not exceed federal noise standards, and therefore no sound walls will be built.

Local officials state that they always try to return calls, the article reports, and assure the public that communication lines are open.

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National Parks Need Stronger Air Tour Restrictions

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: November 20, 1996
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 8; Editorial Writers Desk

An editorial in the Los Angeles Times claims currently proposed laws that would restrict tourist flights over national parks aren't an effective compromise between air-tour operators and the preservation of quiet in the parks.

The article notes that in 1986, Congress ordered the FAA and the National Park Service to find a way to reduce noise from air tours over national parks, returning substantial natural quiet to the area. Air-tour operators say that restrictions would be unfair to those who can't hike into parks, and can only see the national treasures by flying. Opponents say hikers should be able to experience the park in its quiet, natural state without intrusion from aircraft noise.

The editorial states that new rules have been introduced, after President Clinton ordered quick action on the long-delayed congressional order, won't be strict enough or enforceable.

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