A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.
Nearby residents’ quality of life is at stake
Editor, The Times:
Editorial columnist Lance Dickie’s “Paine Field’s runway welcome mat” [Times editorial column, Aug. 24], on the Paine Field controversy, portrays the businessmen’s/developers’ side of the story. It sums up the surrounding communities’ opposition to commercial flights but does not really describe the complete outrage the affected citizens feel.
Their entire quality of life is at stake, and the vast majority are adamantly opposed to the proposals of the Fly From Everett group.
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These cities were developed and populated with the understanding, set forth in the Mediated Role Determination (MRD), that no commercial flights would fly to or from Paine Field. They are not willing to trade their cleaner air, small-town feel and local businesses for noise and air pollution, motels, low-end chain restaurants and the unsavory elements that follow such development, just to shave a few minutes’ driving time to the airport.
And, as we saw when similar development was proposed for King County Airport last year, it was quickly evident that not one, but multiple airlines would plan routes via that airport, increasing the stated air traffic many times over.
The people in those communities wisely joined forces to beat back the developers’ efforts, as our Save Our Community organizers are doing here. The communities would be better served by development of bus service to Sea-Tac Airport.
Maybe Fly From Everett should look farther north for an airport location, to areas that have not yet been developed, and where it would not be destroying the quality of life for established communities. It might have to change its name, but what’s a little inconvenience when there are millions to be made by succeeding in its efforts, right?
This is truly a war of the almighty dollar versus our communities.
— Chris Salditt, Mukilteo
Three cheers for the “Fly From Everett” group. The NIMBYs who oppose commercial flights from Paine Field are, ultimately, doomed to failure. Anyone with enough vision to look 25 to 50 years into the future can see the need for a Sea-Tac Airport satellite field located north of Seattle, to accommodate the millions of new residents who will ultimately settle there, and Paine Field is the only reasonable solution.
When Snohomish County accepted millions of dollars in federal money for Paine, it gave up the right to refuse the accompanying obligation to serve the public; and all the noble, political heads-in-sands, over-my-dead-body statements will not make that obligation go away.
— Merle Hanley, Seattle
Noise can go
Thanks for Lance Dickie’s honest and candid assessment of the future of commercial flights to/from Paine Field. High time, I say.
Another major consideration is the noise pollution we in Northeast and Central Seattle get from Sea-Tac Airport.
Whenever the winds are from the southwest, which is the majority of fall and winter, we get blasted by the planes coming in to land. We are 15 miles away from Sea-Tac, but right under the bloody Instrument Landing System flight path.
At Paine, the planes could approach over water and disturb far fewer people.
I feel like I am living in an exhaust pipe sometimes when I walk the dogs in Ravenna Park.
— Jeff Douthwaite, Seattle
A staggering waste
Regarding the $100,000-per-day bonus to the contractor working on Interstate 5 [“I-5 reconstruction on pace to be finished five days early,” Local News, Aug. 18]: Am I the only citizen outraged about this insult in the face of so much tragic financial need in our community? Is the basic contract this company could negotiate not enough?
If I promise to stay off I-5, can I get a bonus to afford some health care?
With revelations of staggering waste reported daily, is there ever going to be accountability in America? As breathtaking sums are squandered by the military and cozy, no-bid contractors, by candidates, by Congress, and by just about every other sector that spends our common wealth, what will be left of this great dream gone so wrong?
Will we ever see health care for our citizens? Will the real needs of our disabled, our children, our elderly ever be met? When all the lost, confused children have all gone to another prison, what will be left to correct?
When we can no longer breathe, drink clean water, have food to eat, or find anywhere to live, what will it matter that X millions suffered and died while others hoarded billions for private gain?
Will we be liberals or conservatives as we think our last thought, taking our last breath? Will we realize too late that we always had other choices?
— Jane Christenson, Seattle
So far off
I wish someone would explain the economic justification for a contract provision that requires the taxpayer to pay the Interstate 5 contractor a half-million dollars for finishing early. And that’s not counting the $200,000 the contractor gets for two rainy days.
I can understand such an incentive in connection with building a revenue-producing project such as an apartment or office building where the owner wants to begin leasing as early as possible. But such a clause involving a few miles of roadwork does not make sense.
And how was the estimated completion time calculated? How could they be so far off (five days) on such a short time period?
— Jim Mazure, Mercer Island
Traffic even worse thanks to politics
I’m wondering if there is some type of legislation that can be proposed to keep George W. Bush out of Washington state during rush hours [“President Bush in Bellevue today,” page one, Aug. 27].
Considering the fact that our traffic is ranked third-worst in the nation during a normal day, it would seem prudent to suggest this idea.
Mr. Bush’s latest visit coincides not only with rush hour, it also impedes those attempting to get to Safeco Field for the Mariners game as well.
In the meantime, when those living in the Seattle area step into the voting booth this November, remember that Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn [“Bush visiting to support Reichert,” Local News, Aug. 1], is more concerned with his campaign coffers than the fact that it took you much longer than usual to get wherever you needed to go Monday.
— Julie Revell Benjamin, Duvall