Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 31 August 2012 00:00
After having a last-minute cancellation on her schedule, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY04) made an appearance. She came to update the attendees on the latest efforts to have the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port Authority (PA) address the long-standing aircraft noise issues that have been plaguing Nassau County and Queens. McCarthy’s latest missive was a letter sent on Aug. 2 to FAA acting administrator Michael Huerta and PA Executive Director Patrick Foye, attempting to get both agencies to sit down and work together. In addition, the next item on her agenda is arranging a meeting between TVASNAC and United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
“First I made an appointment with Ray LaHood to have a conversation with him, which we did,” McCarthy explained. “[The FAA] has agreed to have some of the members of the board down to Washington to have a face-to-face meeting with Ray LaHood to work these things out. So at least we can get everyone on the same page. Different organizations in Washington don’t talk to each other and it’s been a problem on every level through every administration going back to when I started serving under President Clinton.”
A common refrain among many residents and TVASNAC members was the perception of being ignored by state and federal officials regarding their complaints. There was also widespread agreement that the volume and frequency had increased exponentially over the past few years. Garden City TVVASNAC representative Laurence Quinn reinforced these complaints while addressing McCarthy.
“I have a very simple frustration with the FAA that we’ve been using for quite some time. Planes flying in the past couple of years have been significantly lower. They used to follow certain altitude restrictions—2,000 or 2,500 feet over the areas in this community. They are now beginning to do what is called low-altitude visual approaches and we’ve been told that as long as they’re above 600 feet, we don’t care,” he said with exasperation. “We’re [now] getting altitude levels that are significantly lower. In the interim, if we could go back to a published approach with the published altitudes, I’d be so much happier.”
Featured speaker Henry A.F. Young, an aviation consultant, used his 38 years of specializing in compatible land use planning as a guide toward explaining ways of grappling with the complexities of these noise issues. His solutions included lowering the onset point of serious discomfort and incompatibility from its current level of 65 DNL (Daily Noise Level), addressing night period noise as a separate matter and “training a cadre of capable, experienced, disciplined contractors under the supervision of acoustical experts to address this problem in the cheapest and most cost-effective manner that can be done.”
Young also acknowledged the expense behind doing all these things, but said funding could be drummed up via trust fund monies available through a Part150 Study that go toward addressing the concerns of the most seriously impacted residents. He also said that passenger facility charges, which are roughly $4.50 per person departing from a New York airport, could raise another estimated five to ten million dollars a year. One of the most crucial points he raised was the fact that the City of New York had revised its noise code in 2007, with one line calling for the city to address rail and aircraft transportation noise. Young went on to say that in 2010, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) formally requested that the Port Authority have a Part150 study done, a fact that was not revealed until the DEP posted the document on its website a few weeks ago. The aviation consultant’s conclusion was the need to make necessary alliances that might also make for strange bedfellows.
“I know anytime I mention the City of New York in the context of Nassau County and the experiences have not been universally positive, but there’s no choice,” Young acknowledged. “We have to join forces with the city administration, the public interest groups that exist around the airport until it behooves all the participants to realize that nothing is going to go away. And the very worthwhile safety valve that this committee represents, mobilizes into an effective force for change.”
The evening’s final speaker was Frank Scaturro, the Conservative Party nominee for Congress in New York’s 4th Congressional District who is running against Rep. McCarthy in this year’s election. While criticizing what he said are his opponent’s lack of specific proposals in her comments along with planes not sticking to higher altitudes and descent angles outlined in their charts and the condition of the concrete at JFK Airport’s Bay Runway, Scaturro also pointed out the absence of some key figures.
“I’d also like to ask…why is it that the FAA and Port Authority are not here?” he queried. “If those agencies won’t show up at public meetings like this, it doesn’t say much for their cooperation with oversight, and we need congressional oversight very badly. I do not believe we are getting it.”
The next regular meeting of the TVASNAC committee members will be held on Monday, September 24 with the location yet to be determined.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
Girl Scouts of Nassau County recently recognized Krista Longobardi and Meaghan Smith, both students at Floral Park Memorial High School, for individually earning their Gold Award, the highest and most prestigious award within the Girl Scouts Organization. In order to be eligible for a Gold Award, a Girl Scout must have completed two Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador Journeys or have already received the Silver Award and completed one additional Journey. The Gold Award also requires the completion of 80-hours or more of an individual leadership Take Action project that makes a sustainable and measurable impact on an important issue, or need in the community, and that serves to educate and inspire others in the community.
Longobardi’s Girl Scout Gold Award Take Action Project, Pick Your Pet, teaches children ages 5-12 the benefits of owning a pet. She was able to educate her community on the adoption process, the best pet for your household, and how adoption can save an animal’s life. Longobardi’s love of animals made it easy to spread knowledge on this topic. She improved her communication and public speaking skills as a result of her project since she spoke in front of her community leaders and peers.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
Saint Mary’s High School will host the 22nd Annual Don Monti Memorial Golf Classic and Fall Alumni Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 25, at Plandome Country Club. Following the golf outing, a dinner reception will take place where Tom Raleigh, of Floral Park, will be honored with the Timothy J. Coughlin ’76 Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to St. Mary’s High School.
Raleigh has deep connections to St. Mary’s High School and the Manhasset community. Four of Raleigh’s five children went to St. Mary’s: Tom, Jr. ’88, Brian, ’91, Katie ’93, Kevin ’95. Raleigh has been a loyal St. Mary’s advocate both as a past parent and former coach.