This section is to provide airport supporters, and others, the opportunity to respond to "Close Reid-Hillview ". Selected comments will be answered, or just displayed, in this section. Comments will be displayed in a descending order with the latest comment at the top. Other than interspersed editorial responses, comments will not be edited in any manner. I will publish responses to my comments if the responses are relevant. Simply saying I do not know what I am talking about is not relevant. Provide evidence. I will keep comments anonymous. This section is provided as a courtesy and is not intended to be a forum for an on-going debate.
If any letter writer wonders why their comments have not been published it is likely because the comments are irrelevant (personal attacks, name calling, etc.), or address issues already covered (airport was there first, etc.) without saying anything new. Also, if the subject line of the email does not indicate the email is about RHV then it is possible the email will be treated as spam and be deleted without being read.
Finally, the definition of General Aviation (GA) as used in this paper is a tiny sub-set of the usual definition of GA. Next is the usual definition of GA.
General Aviation: "It includes everything from a privately-owned light single-engine aircraft to business jets, news gathering, pipeline patrol, emergency medical flights, crop-dusting, rotocraft, sport ballooning and many other aerial activities."
For this paper I am using the term GA to refer to the privately owned and operated single/twin engine aircraft found at RHV. The use of these aircraft at RHV primarily consists of personal/recreational flights, or student flight training, and comprise the vast majority of RHV operations. Business (not flight schools) use, medical use, and the other activities in the all encompassing GA definition probably consists of less than 2% (based on 200,000 operations a year) of all aircraft operations at RHV.
I would suggest reading the main document before reading the comments. Please send comments to "admin @ reidhillview . com"
Thank you for your time.
From: Cxxxx E. Cxxxxxx To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2004 4:08 PM Subj: >>From your website: >>"this is a recreational airport, which was built by Santa Clara County, >>during the 1960s, in the middle of an existing, and growing, residential neighborhood." As a man, I would think you would have a sense of honor as far as telling the truth. I have old pictures on my wall in my den which clearly show Reid-hillview airport surrounded as far as you can see by orchards.. No houses. Your statement either reveals ignorance or mental incapacity or you are simply a dishonorable man who will tell any lie to fabricate 'proof' for your claims. Please be a man and be truthful. Cxxxx
[Editor] I am sure you do have pictures of the old Hillview airport which show it located in a predominately rural area. However, I am talking about the Reid-Hillview airport. If you had taken the time to read the entire paper, along with the associated referance links, instead of just quoting a single line out of context then you would not have written this letter.
To summarize this subject, most neighborhoods in this area, including mine, were built during the housing boom of the 1950s. In 1961 Santa Clara County acquired the 60 acre Hillview airport. In the late 1960s the county built the current airport on 180 acres and named it Reid-Hillview after the Reid brothers, who were the owners of the Hillview airport. Santa Clara County deliberately and negligently built this airport in the middle of an existing and growing neighborhood.
I have spent considerable time and effort researching Reid-Hillview and it certainly is possible I might have an error in this paper. If you, or anyone else, find an error please feel free to contact me and provide the correct information. Incorrect information does not help anybody. However, I do expect detailed referances to back up any corrections.
Lies are what have kept this airport open. The truth will close it.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Dan Dxxxxx" To: email@example.com Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2004 2:43 PM Subject: Reid Hillview Website... I've viewed your website several times and the amount of work you have put in to it is quite obvious. I am a private pilot and aerial photographer. You've freely given opportunity to comment, and I appreciate that. The reason pilots must fight to preserve every current general aviation airport is that every single day the remaining airports are being threatened just like Reid Hillview. How often are new airports proposed and constructed to fill the needs of general aviation in this country? I couldn't think of any either.
[Editor] If airports are being closed and new airports are not being built then that appears to imply society considers general aviation (GA) to be primarily a luxury and/or a hobby. While luxuries and hobbies are nice, they are not necessary. So if there is a contention for the airport land, or a conflict between the airport and its neighbors, then society will determine which side is necessary, and which is not necessary, and then act accordingly. As the business community likes to say, "Let the market decide."
So, if we close Reid Hillview, let's see, Moffett is not availalbe, and most likely won't be. Tiny Palo Alto... shall we add more traffic to East Palo Alto? South County... nice quiet little place, limited operations, they would like to double or triple those with San Jose traffic right? San Jose International? General Aviation is not much welcome there... it costs $60 just to use their restroom. San Carlos... that tiny airport has been crowded in upon by the city. San Francisco... what, $120 to land at now? My point, though doesn't offer much help in any of our arguments... is that if I had a piece of land out in the middle of nowhere and built an airport... you know what? Eventually people would want to put houses next to it. Then a gas station, grocery store, a school, more houses, a mall, then they would demand the airport close. What happened to Scotts Valley's Skypark airport? Carmel Valley Vintage? Look at Watsonville, various developers are constantly trying to build neighborhoods and schools right within the saftey zone. Livermore... their county planners think they can close it just because they want to.
[Editor] When you say "if I had a piece of land out in the middle of nowhere and built an airport" you put the entire issue of Reid-Hillview into perspective. The point is this, RHV is not a privately owned, and operated for profit, airport. It is a county taxpayer owned airport in the middle of a residential neighborhood. As such it should benefit all taxpayers, and certainly not lower the standard of living and make life worse for taxpayers. However, RHV primarily benefits a few hundred aircraft owners, and perhaps another 1000 or so county residents who occasionally rent a plane to enjoy their hobby. Yet this same airport ruins the standard of living for everyone living within 1 mile of RHV. This is easily 50,000 people. In addition to a lower quality of life, RHV subjects these people to environmental pollution. The lead pollution from RHV poisons everyone, and results in permanent cognitive impairment in their children. The noise pollution subjects these residents to physical and mental stress while lowering the academic performance of children exposed to it.
In essence, RHV is a county owned and operated private club for a few hundred county residents. It is not the responsibility of Santa Clara county taxpayers to provide airport facilities for private aircraft owners. It certainly is not the responsibility of Santa Clara county taxpayers to provide airport facilities for non-county residents. If RHV users want to have RHV continue operation as an airport then they need to buy the land from Santa Clara county for approximately $400 million to $500 million dollars and then run the airport as a business.
The reason there are so many airport operations at Reid Hillview, the reason there are so many planes, and so much debate is that it is a needed resource. If people weren't using it it would simply vanish. Yes, the ideal would have been for the airport to have aquired more land before homes were built on them to protect itself, but even if it had that would have fueled more arguments for the "wasted space" surrounding it as you've mentioned with the mall and building restrictions due to the buffer zone.
[Editor] If there is anything RHV is not it is that it is not a "needed resource". The demand for GA facilities is primarily an artifical demand. In economic terms it is a highly elastic demand. The primary reason for most GA demand is due to the existence of an airport. It there was not a GA airport then there would be little demand for it.
The way that the demand for most GA arises is that an individual with disposable income will make a decision how to spend that money. If there is a nearby airport they might decide that flying lessons, or even purchasing a plane, would be a reasonable use of their disposable income. If there was no airport then this individual would do something else with their money, such as buy property, buy a boat, or maybe even invest their money. So the "demand" for GA is clearly an artificial demand that exists because the airport exists. Remove the airport and the vast majority of the demand goes away.
Contrast the artificial demand for GA with the real demand for housing, parks, local jobs, and a higher standard of living and it is easy to see that RHV is a disaster for Santa Clara county.
Flight training is an education providing people marketable skills. I know a single mom who lives right under the pattern at RHV who have been introduced to aviation and are now pursuing aviation careers for commercial airlines. Another single mom is now flying corporate jets to Hawaii. I have friends based at Palo Alto who are now charter pilots for our "dot com" companies. I know a 20 year old female student who is now an aviation mechanice and flight instructor. The skill of flying commercial jets for our transportation system or working in aviation is just as important as being able to program a computer or build microprocessors, and it's our local airports that allow people to gain those skills.
[Editor] While I am glad that single mothers have jobs, the existence of RHV is not necessary for any of the activities you describe.
Additionally, it is not the responsibility of Santa Clara county taxpayers to provide flight training facilities for the airlines. If the airlines need new pilots then they need to build their own airports and start their own flight schools. Then they can take new college graduates with no flight experience and turn them into competent airline pilots. This is the model that the military uses and the military certainly does not have any problem training new pilots.
I respect the work you've put in to it, and the airport may eventually close, but as a pilot who has to drive longer and longer distances to reach an airport... I will be one of the many looking for additional solutions to the seemingly simple option of "close the airport." Will the neighbors of SJC, SFO and OAK succeed next? I look forward to the days of quieter aircraft, diesel and fuel-cell electric engines, building addional smaller airports as demand for transportation increases, providing aerial transportation instead of just adding to the ever impacted freeways and road systems. Thanks for letting me share, --Dan Dxxxxx
[Editor] Thank you for your letter. If this discussion were about an airport in the boondocks I could be in agreement with your point of view. But since RHV is in the middle of a residential neighborhood your points become minor when compared to the tremendous negative effects on society from Reid-Hillview. Due to its location, Reid-Hillview is an economic, social, and environmental disaster for society.
Also, I have to comment that there is a world of difference between SJC, SFO, and OAK airports when compared to RHV. These airports serve millions of people of year. Contrast that with RHV which is only used by a few thousand people, and primarily the same people, each year.
----- Original Message ----- From: Dave B To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 8:23 PM Subject: Read Hillview I think you missed one very major point. I don't live in San Jose, I don't even live in California, but I do run a multi-million dollar a year corporation in San Jose that employs over 200 highly paid engineers. If I don't have access to Reid Hillview so that I can efficiently do business in the area I will move to the company to a more friendly environment. Both Arizona and Colorado, other locations of my company, offer much better access for business than San Jose. I doubt I'm alone, if you want to see business leave the area and continue the decline of jobs as other areas grow just continue to push for the closure of Read Hillview.
[Editor] I didn't miss the jobs point. Although I have spent time thinking about this issue, I have not written about it. It is true that when RHV closes some jobs will be lost. However, I would suspect that the number of jobs lost will range from a few (some local airport jobs that are not relocated to other airports), to, at most, a few hundred if you, and others, act as you describe. Working in the high-tech industry I am familiar with lay-offs, and do not wish that upon anyone. Although these lost jobs will not even register on the economy, or the local unemployment numbers, to the individuals who lose their jobs it will be a significant event in their lives. Since the county will experience a huge increase in tax revenue from closing RHV and developing the land in a productive manner, or a windfall from selling the property, I would suggest that any RHV employee (county or private) who loses their job be given one year's salary as part of the layoff package.
However, keeping a few people employed is certainly not a sufficient reason to keep RHV open. The benefits to society from closing RHV greatly outweigh any temporary negative effects from the few lost jobs. In fact, if only half of this site (90 acres) is developed as a high-tech campus we will easily create 3000, or more, jobs. Remember, used as an airport, RHV is an economic disaster, in addition to being a social and environmental disaster.
One thing that I have tried to do with this web-site is to provide documented, detailed references to back up what I say. As such, I expect the same level of research and detail from letter writers before I will believe what they say. If I, or anyone else, am to believe your statement that you need RHV to "efficiently do business in the area", we will need some proof.
In order for us to make an intelligent, informed decision as to the validity of your statement I would ask that you please provide:
Once we have verifiable answers to these questions then it can be determined if your statement is valid.
From: "Jxxx Txxxxx"
To: email@example.com Sent: Friday, July 05, 2002 10:22 AM Subject: Some alternative issues which haven't been looked at First of all, I'm a pilot and I do fly out of RHV. I do consider myself open minded and I will not stoop to name calling and pointless accusations. They do nothing but shed light on the writers intelligence. Your essay demonstrates that you are a highly intelligent individual with at least a modicum of research and writing skills. Although I would hope you have other outlets for this ability you have chosen to 'attack' my recreational activity so I feel that a few comments from myself are in order. 1. You mention the pollution effect of the airport. As a recreational pilot, I find that my activities seldom include just 'flying in circles'. I am usually using the aircraft for transportation to a location that would take me 2-3 times as much time to travel to in an automobile. In this fashion, I feel that actually this lessens the pollution effects I have on the environment. Also I spend little time flying low over populated areas, again limiting the pollution effects. I think you would find that the majority of recreational pilots do use their aircraft as transportation devices much the same as you use your car. If you looked at all the un-necessary trips that are made in automobiles and compared the resultant pollutants with the effect of aircraft you would see that autos have a much larger effect on our environment.
[Editor] I am sorry you feel that I am attacking your "recreational activity". Let me again state that my feelings are not anti-aviation, anti-airplane, or anti-pilot. Airplanes and airports, along with their associated life-style, are good things and have their place in society. However, that place is not in the middle of a residential neighborhood. That is what I am attacking. A recreational airport that is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. You will still be able to engage in your recreational activity at other airports. Perhaps they might not be as conveniently located, but they will be available.
The pollution aspect is in regard to lead pollution from airplanes, not the other pollution aspects that planes have in common with automobiles. I'm not sure if polluting high up is better than polluting closer to the ground. It would seem that you just end up polluting somebody else further away.
And, even if you are not "flying low over populated areas" there are plenty of (student) pilots at RHV who are.
2. The fact that east San Jose is a hot-spot of crime and inner-city violence can in no way be linked to the airport. Otherwise you would have to say that the area around San Jose International should have the same social makeup. East San Jose is what it is because of the people that live there. There are millions of factors that make up an inner-city and the social factors far outweigh the environmental ones.
[Editor] I'm not sure if I would characterize East San Jose as a "hot-spot of crime and inner-city violence". Yes, crime is slightly higher than in other parts of San Jose, but not all areas in East San Jose have equal crime rates. However, I sometimes think we have the highest use of firecrackers (a crime). On the 4th of July and Chinese New Year, my dogs go crazy. Yet, they are impervious to airplanes. Also, its not inner-city. Its suburbia.
I agree there are many factors that make up any neighborhood and, in most cases, the social factors do outweigh the environmental factors. However, that does not mean we can ignore the environmental. My premise for this web-site is that RHV is an economic, social, and environmental disaster for East San Jose. Each of three items are unique and have their own negative effects on people and society. When combined together they place East San Jose at a tremendous disadvantage compared to other local neighborhoods. I realize that, basically, a neighborhood represents its residents, but I also realize that RHV is the 800 lb. gorilla neighbor who, compared to any other East San Jose resident, can basically do whatever it wants. In fact, if any other East San Jose resident acted in the manner of RHV they probably would be in jail. Sometimes there are negative influences in a neighborhood that residents can do little or nothing about.
I have thought about this subject for a long time and researched it whenever possible, and I have found that a 180 acre recreational airport in the middle of a residential neighborhood has both subtle and strong negative effects on that neighborhood. There just is not any credible evidence otherwise.
RHV overwhelmingly benefits its users, who are an extremely low percentage (0.2% max) of the county's population. Maybe it is okay if a county service only benefits a very small portion of the county's population, but if so then that service should not make life worse for a substantial portion of the county's population.
2a. It has often been mentioned that RHV is there because nobody else wants it in their back yard. I feel that sadly this is the truth. I am not proud about this and I don't think this is fair to the neighborhood but it is the reason that RHV will not be closed. There are people with political 'clout' that use the airport and there is nowhere else to put the traffic that this airport supports. As much as I would love to see Moffet field opened up as the replacement for RHV, this will not happen. Yes, I think this would solve many of the problems associated with RHV but it would not change the social makeup of East San Jose. Look at the neighborhoods around Livermore airport, Concord airport, San Carlos airport, Palo Alto airport. None of these have the social makeup of East San Jose. There is a lot that can be done to clean up East San Jose. When this happens, and the social makeup has more political power the airport may indeed be closed. I cannot argue with you that an airport does not belong in the middle of a neighborhood, no matter what that neighborhood is, and I don't think that East San Jose 'deserves' this. I do know that I try to fly safely and efficiently in a manner that limits my impact on this equation. RHV has an excellent safety record considering the number of operations at this airport.
[Editor] I disagree about opening up Moffett field. It can be done. We just need to work together. Rather than wasting time and effort trying to keep RHV open, people need to accept that this is a lost cause. RHV will close. Moffett can be opened to general aviation. It is the perfect location for this activity. There are no neighbors for general aviation to negatively affect at Moffett as there are at RHV. Plus it makes it much easier to provide security for general aviation aircraft if they are based at Moffett. However, even if Moffett is not made available to general aviation, RHV will close. It is to your advantage to work on opening Moffett.
East San Jose residents are developing political power. Each day they become a bit more knowledgeable about the political process. Politicians are listening to what East San Jose residents are saying, and starting to respond. In the not to distant future East San Jose will be a political equal with other neighborhoods and at that time you will see many changes take place. In fact, I feel it has already started and will only accelerate.
3. Regarding the 'flying in circles', RHV is used as a primary training airport and this requires pattern work to improve landing skills. This is most often done with an instructor onboard making these flights safer than non-training flights. Pattern work is not allowed after dark.
[Editor] Nobody should be learning how to fly an airplane in the middle of a residential neighborhood. That is definitely an incompatible activity with a residential neighborhood. If there was a big-rig truck driving school located at RHV, and the student truck drivers just drove their trucks around in circles through the surrounding neighborhoods day after day, and night after night, the county would close it. Yet just because these students are in the air, it is okay to abuse the surrounding neighborhoods and residents.
I do not know where you got the idea that pattern work is not allowed after dark, but it is. There is a "voluntary" 10 PM curfew but it is not widely, if at all, followed.
You have brought up many other issues which have been argued ad-nasum in your forum so I will not address these items. I just wanted to comment on a couple things as I saw them. I would hope you can channel some of your energies towards changing other aspects of the area. Best Regards, Jxxx Txxx
[Editor] Thank you for your letter. It is refreshing to receive a non-hostile letter from an airport supporter.
From: "Jxxxxx,Fxxxx" To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" Subject: Close RHV, better sooner than later Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 16:35:57 -0500 Thank you very much for gathering and publishing the data on RHV. I moved to San Jose (about 5 mi from RHV) two years ago and continue to be annoyed and amazed that this is tolerated in this society today. My vote for those with political aspirations will only go to those who have the guts to take a clear stand against this nuisance.
[Editor] As an individual, I have found that getting a politician to take a public stand advocating the closure of RHV is like pulling teeth. Off-the-record some are for closing the airport. They realize that it is a terrible use of public land, does not provide any substantial benefit to society, and only benefits a very small minority. However, that minority is vocal and has money. Until there is a crash killing innocent people, or something similar, do not expect much public political support.
Reading through some of the comments, one has to question the motives and the intelligence of some of your correspondents, a very sad testament to the human condition.
[Editor] The writer's statement refers to letters received and published prior to the next (3) letter(s).
[Editor's Note] The following three letters are, essentially, one long letter.
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 21:56:56 -0800 (PST) From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: What? Listen to me buddy.... I read your whole site, so you should now listen to me. Do you have a hobby? If you do, how would you like it if someone shut it down? You are a selfish asshole! Are you poor? Did you lose your job? Don't take it out on the rest of us people that are happy to have a place to land our planes. So let's shut down all the youth programs out there, they don't make any money, in fact they are a drain on the economy. What about welfare, now that's a huge drain on the economy. The people of Santa Clara had their chance at making millions of dollars on all the "vaporware" companies that were ripping off the rest of the world. Are you bitter because you didn't get in on any of this stuff.... to damn bad for you buddy! I didn't get rich off of it either, but guess what! Money isn't everything..... Did you know that General Aviation has been squeezed out of San Jose International, there's noplace left for us to go, so get off your high horse about closing Reid Hillview, it's all we have left. ASSHOLE! What is your problem? Get a life, one that you can enjoy! Don't waste your time on trying to close an airport that will remain open for at least another 25 years. ASSHOLE! Talk about the inevitable plane crashes, what about the numerous teens that will get adicted to crack or herion. You want to do something for your community, then start walking the streets and start picketing against the drug dealers, the corrupt polititions etc. Why pick on us poor private pilots. There are so many other places you can exert your energy. I suppose if you had a good job, first of all, you wouldn't be worried about east side san jose, because you'd have a better place to live, secondly you'd be out playing with your money, like the rest of us are while we are flying the planes that we bought with IPO money. You are one of the useless many of people that spend your time and energy trying to ruin everyone elses happiness..... you are the classic LOSER! I welcome any comments you have for me, I welcome defending something I love more than sex..... FLYING! What a damn idiot you are.... what's it like to be lonely and useless...... get a stronger dose of prozac and leave us general aviation pilots alone.... you asshole! Warmest regards, Txxxx Bxxx Happy Pilot Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 22:24:25 -0800 (PST) From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: More opinions from me These planes are not flying in circles over East San Jose, that is illegal. If they are practicing their flying, they are going south over Morgan Hill and San Martin, Gilroy etc...... if they are doing touch and goes at the airport, they are only allowed so many before the tower send them on their way, or tells them to land to a full stop. You are a big whiner, and this website is not seen by anyone except pilots that are trying to find RHV on the web. And we don't care about you! and your opinions! I am a white male and a U.S. Citizen..... however unlike you, I am smart and decided to live in Los Gatos, where I can raise my kids away from the rapists and drug dealers of East San Jose. If you want a better life and a better community, use this extra energy to work harder and make more money and move away from that shit hole. Even if I worked in East San Jose, I still would not live there, it's a piss hole full of corruption. Talking about pollution. Most of the people that live in East San Jose drive a car that is so old that it's exempt from all the pollution laws just as General Aviation aircraft are. YOU IDIOT.... do you want to debate this with me.... I'm ready to defend my hobby, against any self righteous bastard that is persuing a lost cause, what are they a total of 10 of you that feel this way..... think about it asshole, the AOPA would be all over any group that tried to actively shut down RHV, look back in history, the last time someone tried to shut down RHV, they ended up getting the lease on the land extended for the airport. Just leave well enough alone you loser. Look at Meigs Airport in Chicago, you dumbass..... people tried to close it down for years, even Mayor Daly wanted to shut it down, but because of the corruption in government, the Governor cut a deal to expand O'Hare international in exchange to keep Meigs open for another 25 years. You don't have a chance of closing this airport, what an idiot you must be putting all this effort into such a lost cause.
[Editor's Note] Meigs Field was closed on March 31, 2003
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 23:02:02 -0800 (PST) From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Sorry... one more thing You state that the users displaced by the closure of RHV can go to SJC, Palo Alto and San Carlos..... what about the neihborhoods that surround those airports? Don't you care about those Americans? Or do you only care about the Americans that live in your city? People like you just add fuel to the fire, the fire that burns in every real American to stand up for his rights, his rights to fly, his rights to free enterprise, and most of all his rights to capitalism. Socialism won't work in this society my friend. Think about it! Those that use RHV, either have a plane, or have the money to rent and operate a plane. Most people know that you can't fight against money in a capitolist society, of which you happen to live, so while you think you are doing a good thing, what you are doing is promoting socialism..... if you want to be a socialist, then move to Canada......... or better yet, go to China where the people are very free.... free to do exactly what the government wants them to do. I think you should buy an island somewhere and start your own country, and when you get there, send for all the other socialist idiots that think like you I think there might be about 12 of them in your city. You cause is a wasted cause, General Aviation symbolized the freedoms that Americans have, and like our freedoms, you can't take it away. So give it up. Just because it seems right to you, doesn't mean it make a bit of sense to the rest of us Americans that enjoy our freedoms. I guess as long as you are free to do whatever it is you like to do, then life is good, but the minute someone elses rights violate your way of thinking you have to get on your soap box and try to close something that you really have no control over. Don't you think that if this airport really had that much of a negative impact on your "small" society, the government would have closed a long time ago? and I say small, because throughout the country there are hundreds of these small airports that nobody else complains about, and then you come along and try to convince us, and the goverment that it is a bad idea..... wake up and see the big pictures your tunnel visioned idiot. I can't wait to see this posted on your website. I have a personal website too, it promotes flying..... and I get about 900 visitors a day, and I know that if I were to place a link to your website you would get unindated with emails that totally blow your cause away. So why don't you just bow out gracefully before you look even more like and idiot. I'm only thinking about your mental stability, you seem to be getting worse..... Hmmmmmmmmm could it be that lead in the air..... hahahahaha I don't think so!
[Editor] My first thought was to not publish your letter(s) since you did not say anything original in regard to justifying keeping RHV open. Your argument that tens-of-thousands of individuals should have a substantially lower standard of living simply so that you and your fellow hobbyists can play has already been (easily) refuted in both the main document and in earlier comments.
However, you did do an excellent job of expressing the opinion that some in the aviation community, and society in general, have towards East San Jose and its residents. East San Jose residents need to be aware of this opinion and know that your opinion is shared by many RHV supporters. I forwarded your email to some friends and this is one's response:
"SI LOS PERROS LADRAN ES QUE
This is what "Don Quijote" told to his friend "Sancho Panza"
"IF THE DOGS ARE BARKING THAT MEANS THAT WE ARE WALKING"
RHV will close. A recreational airport does not belong in the middle of a residential neighborhood. If you care about your "hobby" then you should be putting your efforts into opening Moffett Field to general aviation.
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 00:09:13 -0800 Subject: A couple of questions From: "Kxxxx Txxxxx
To: email@example.com Although I am somewhat sympathetic to your comments on your "Close RHV" web site, I have to ask what other things would you have us close in the area.
[Editor] Off-hand, I cannot immediately think of anything other than possibly some houses that have turned into public nuisances by either the owners or occupants. However, I am sure that others have different ideas as to what should be closed. If I think of something in the future I will add it here.
When I lived in Sunnyvale I was occasionally disturbed by noise from the large military transport planes landing at Moffett. Now I live in Santa Clara where the airport noise is from SJC instead and far more tolerable. Would you propose that Moffet field is closed?
[Editor] No. The planes based at Reid-Hillview should be allowed the option to move to Moffett. I have mentioned that a couple of times in other comments. Moffett is the perfect location for general aviation. If you take an outline, from any accurate road map, of RHV and place it over Moffett you will see RHV only covers a very small portion near the end of the runway. Since the majority of aircraft operations at RHV are from pilots flying in circles practicing takeoffs and landings (67% in year 2000) Moffett is the ideal location for this activity. These flights would be over the bay and the surrounding golf course. Few, if any, local residents would be aware of this activity. Even the flights that actually went somewhere would affect few, if any, local residents.
Additionally, after September 11 we now know that security at the three Santa Clara county airports is, essentially, non-existent. Moffett would provide a superior location to allow cost effective security for GA aircraft.
If the answer is "No - I don't live near Moffett", I would strongly recommend you read the Tom Sharpe novel "Blott on the Landscape".
[Editor] Wrong answer.
Would you propose that we close the I-680? After all it's route largely follows that of the I-880. I'm sure with sufficient statistics we could demonstrate that only a small proportion of the population of East San Jose benefit from having two neighbouring freeways. There is no doubt that I-680 is noisy and polluting.
[Editor] Why would I propose closing 680 simply because it parallels 880? 680 and 880 are extensively used and the closure of either road would bring Silicon Valley traffic, and the economy, to a sudden stop. Contrast that to RHV, which if closed would go unnoticed by virtually all bay area residents. Nor would RHV's closure register on the economy. Of course, the economic and social benefits from closing RHV would soon become apparent from alternative uses of the land.
Would you concede that the Eastridge mall takes the brunt of at least half of the aircraft noise around RHV. Are the workers and customers at the small bothered by aircraft?
[Editor] No. Data gathered during the FAR 150 study, and presented at Overfelt High School on 5/5/2001, show that the areas to the north, north-east, and north-west of RHV take the brunt of the noise. Except for a few days a year, planes land at RHV from the south (over Eastridge mall). During this time in the landing the power is reduced and they are, essentially, coasting. However, even at this level some residents of the surrounding area are upset at the noise. On the other hand, when they takeoff (usually to the north, and mostly on 31R), the power is at maximum and the noise is the greatest.
Perhaps the real solution would be to demolish the houses at the north end of the field and replace them with a more profitable use of the land than housing - a development which like the mall can include noise-reduction and air-conditioning in it's architectural design.
[Editor] Solution to what? Noise? Noise is only one of the many negative attributes of RHV. Although its significance is not as great as the economic, social, and environmental (lead pollution) factors of RHV, it is a sufficient stand-alone reason to close, or at least severely restrict, RHV. Removing the houses at the north end of the runway would only have a very minor affect on the noise issue. You would need to remove all the homes within the area of King Road, Story Road, White Road, and Quimby/Tully Road to make a noise reduction impact.
Or, you could ban pilots from flying in circles practicing takeoffs and landings. This would also result in a major reduction of noise and lead pollution. Of course, the negative economic affect of RHV being open still exists in these scenarios, and it would be made much worse by the loss of thousands, possibly tens-of-thousands, of residences (apartments, duplexes, single family homes).
Are you opposed to any development in East San Jose?
[Editor] No. I never said, or implied, that I was. Of course, any future development would have to be compatible and beneficial to East San Jose.
What --about the Light Rail extension?
[Editor] Light rail is great improvement for East San Jose. In fact, since the light rail will be extended down Capitol Expressway it makes much more sense to use the land at RHV for jobs, housing, and recreational activities that benefit all county residents.
BART to San Jose?
[Editor] When BART was approved it should have been built around the bay. And, RHV should never been built in the 1960s (see next letter) by Santa Clara county. Now we are forced to correct both past mistakes. I do wish the transportation measure passed to pay for BART to San Jose included money for some highway improvements.
The high-speed rail link from LA to SF?
[Editor] I think California should build high-speed rail linking all areas of the state. And they should use magnetic-levitation technology.
Finally, allow me to paraphrase a character depicted by the actor Avery Brooks in a television commercial for IBM. "It's the year 2000. Where are all the flying cars. They promised me flying cars." Okay, so flying cars didn't happen yet, but new planes are cleaner, quieter and cheaper than some of the older planes based at RHV. Wouldn't it be more productive to campaign for tighter pollution and noise controls?
[Editor] The old planes are not going to go away. Nor are they going to be modified to reduce noise and pollution. Of course, new planes should meet the same noise and emission standards as cars.
If the planes were all clean and quiet, would you accept RHV? Aircraft technology is almost a hundred years old and improving all the time.
[Editor] No. RHV would still be an economic and social disaster for society. A recreational airport does not belong in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
Oh, and don't get me started on the environmental effects of Silicon Valley's most famous industry. The effects of those small planes on the air is far less permanent than the effects of electronics manufacturers and labs on the local ground water.
[Editor] I suppose you are referring to past incidents where manufacturers of semi-conductors had solvents leak into the ground-water. Such as what happened at the Fairchild plant on Bernal road in south San Jose during the 1970s.
Try telling the parents whose children have suffered some degree of permanent cognitive impairment from the mother, and child, breathing the lead pollution in the local air that the environmental effects from RHV are “less permanent”.
To me, how long it takes to clean up an environmental disaster is not what makes that disaster justifiable to society.
Please don't publish my e-mail address on your web site, although I don't object to you using my name and forwarding any specific queries to me. -- Kxxxx Txxxxx, Systems Programmer, Hiker, SCUBA Diver and student pilot
-----Original Message----- From: Lxxxxxx@aol.com [mailto:Lxxxxxx@aol.com] Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 10:55 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Reid Hillview Airport Sir, You have put a great deal of time into your arguments for the closure of Reid Hillview Airport I just wish you had an open mind on the subject.
[Editor] I do have an open mind on this subject. I have extensively researched this airport and feel that I have more than justified my opinions with honest data. If you are aware of any mistakes please provide documented evidence and I will correct my errors.
One of your basic tenants is that the county put an airport into an existing neighborhood. That IS NOT TRUE. The Air Force taught me to fly at Reid Hillview in 1959 when the airport was owned by the Reid family. In those days, the airport had a dirt parking lot, an almost dirt runway, was surrounded on all sides except the Southwest side by open fields and had a small, country restaurant that offered the best pie in San Jose. Eastridge shopping center was a golf course and there was not one single "neighborhood" within two miles of the airport. The only real housing in the area at that time was a portion of Tropicana Village to the west of the airport. You seem to forget that the nearest neighbor to the airport when the county took it over was a dirt race track for various auto racing uses. The vast majority of the housing and the shopping in the area was built AFTER Reid Hillview was developed to its current size. That housing was, for the most part, build with the approval of the City of San Jose without coordination with the Country of Santa Clara.
[Editor] I have only one basic tenent. A recreational airport does not belong in the middle of a residential neighborhood. So the county's ill-advised purchase of the Hillview airport and huge expansion of it is not one of my "basic tenants". It simply is one more piece of evidence justifying RHV's closure. I added that part a year after I started this site.
The county purchased the 60 acre Hillview airport in 1961 and built the current airport during the mid-to-late 60s. When the county closed Cunningham Avenue, built a second runway, added runway lights for night operation, and extended the runways to Ocala Avenue they shifted the flight pattern to the north, putting it directly over existing neighborhoods to the east and west of the airport.
According to records from the Santa Clara County Recorder's office that I received when I purchased my home, my house was built in 1958. Since my house is part of a cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood I seriously doubt that my home existed by itself for 10 years. I have checked with the Thomas Ryan Elementary school behind my house for neighborhood history and they said the school opened in 1953 and the surrounding neighborhood was built in the 1950s.
One more point. According to a "King of the Road" road-map, my house is three-quarters of a mile from the north-east edge of the airport.
Also, one day I was talking to a member of the Santa Clara County Airports Commission and he mentioned that when he moved into his house in 1961 the airport was as you described it, a single dirt runway between Tully and Cunningham. At that instant a light-bulb lit up and I realized that if my neighborhood was built in the 1950s and his neighborhood was built around the same time then the statement, "The airport was there first." is false.
One more point. He lives one-third of a mile from the north-west edge of the airport.
I did not forget that the "that the nearest neighbor to the airport when the county took it over was a dirt race track". That is part of the land the county used to triple the size of the airport from 60 to 180 acres.
In so far as your statement "there was not one single "neighborhood" within two miles of the airport", I think you mean 2 yards, not 2 miles. Two miles to the east of RHV puts you up into the East Foothills. The neighborhoods before the foothills were built in the 1950s and early 60s. Mt Pleasant High School (three-quarters of a mile east of RHV) opened in 1965 while the airport was under construction. Since high schools are not built until there are students this indicates that the surrounding neighborhoods were at least 5 to 10 years old when the school opened. Additionally, the planning, approval, and construction process for the school would have started in the late 50s. Two miles to the north of RHV is past the north side of Alum Rock Av. The neighborhoods in this area are so old urban archeologists are still trying to date them. James Lick High School was built in 1951 to serve those residents. Of course, that also implies many homes were here in the 1940s, or earlier. Two miles to the west of RHV is between McLaughlin and Senter Road. Again, those neighborhoods were there before this airport. Two miles to the south of RHV is uncharted territory, and you are correct. Those homes, along with Eastridge Mall, were built throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. Of course, those homes are no where near as affected by RHV as were the existing neighborhoods when the county built this airport in the middle of them.
The evidence is overwhelming that the county deliberately and negligently built a recreational airport in the middle of an existing and growing neighborhood.
As for uses, I use an aircraft based at Reid Hillview at least twice a month for business development purposes. In so doing I help establish employment for more that a few people. I think your argument that the airport is nothing more than a playground for wealthily hobbyist is misleading, dishonest and sophomoric.
[Editor] This is typical of the self-centered attitude of airport supporters. An entire neighborhood of tens-of-thousands of individuals is ruined every minute of every hour of every day so that you, and a few other county residents, can use the airport twice a month. Children are being exposed to lead poisoning so that a few people are not occasionally inconvenienced.
I did not realize that I am arguing that "the airport is nothing more than a playground for wealthily hobbyist ". I am confident I have successfully shown that the airport is only used by approximately one-tenth of one percent of county residents and that at least 80% of all operations are the result of student pilots.
I for one will continue to support Reid Hillview as the extremely useful and valuable public asset that it is. I will also continue to try and be a good neighbor - you might try doing the same thing.
[Editor] This is a great example of the hyperbole from airport supporters. The land is a "valuable public asset ". The airport itself is an economic, social, and environmental disaster. Just because the airport is "extremely useful" for you and a few others does not make it a "valuable public asset ".
Telling the truth while trying to improve my neighborhood and society makes me a bad neighbor? I shudder thinking about what your definition of a good neighbor is.
By the way, which of the various property development corporations do you work for? Lxx / Archerxxx
[Editor] None. I am a software engineer.
I apologize if I sound a little harsh in my response, but it this type of misinformation that has kept the airport open. Politicians have accepted this type of incorrect information from airport supporters as gospel and never bothered to check whether it is true or not. Thanks to the Internet, those days are now over.
-----Original Message----- From: Txxxxxxx,Mxx (xx-xxx,exx) [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 4:52 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Common ground Thanks for posting letters both pro and con. As I pilot, I disagree with much that you have posted on your site, but I don't want to debate it. I'd like to suggest that you consider some common ground that both residents near Reid-Hillview and area pilots may agree upon. The San Jose International Airport is home base to many small airplanes (I don't know the number, but I'm sure it exceeds 150). The Airport has actively worked to reduce the number of GA planes based there. Currently, they are trying to eliminate another 15 more planes, to make room for planes that will be displaced when they tear down hangers in the coming year as part of their expansion plans. There are a total of 36 planes in those hangers, and they've already displaced about 21 planes from the airport in the last year or so as part of this process. Ultimately, it appears that San Jose will want to eliminate all small airplanes from the airport to make way for their air cargo, customs, and other expansion plans. Where do you think these airplanes continue to go? Palo Alto currently has a waiting list for tiedowns, so more planes can't be based there. South County is rather far South for some people. Moffett would be a great alternative, but it is not available to GA aircraft. Reid-Hillview still has tiedown space for additional airplanes. I would think that residents near Reid-Hillview airport would have a vested interested in seeing that the city council promotes policies that are friendly to small planes continuing to be based at San Jose International. Most of those plane owners prefer to stay at San Jose International, and currently pay higher prices to be there. They don't want to move to Reid-Hillview, but they will have few options if the SJC airport continues with its policies that seek to drive GA airplanes off the field. You might want to consider looking at the direct impact that policies at San Jose International have in continuing to ever increase the noise over Reid-Hillview. While may of the issues you raise are regional in nature, this one is not! Your city councilperson could influence policies at San Jose International to your direct benefit--and surprisingly, to the benefit of pilots. ------------- Please withhold my name and email. Thanks.
[Editor] I agree that we do have areas of common ground. SJC should continue to allow GA to operate from the 3rd runway and they should provide hanger space for additional aircraft to the side of the runway, or some other location at SJC. Additionally, we all need to work together to open Moffett field to GA. If you take a piece of paper and, using a road map, trace the outline of RHV and place it on Moffett Field you can see that RHV occupies a very small space at the end of Moffett's runways. If GA were based at Moffett the local residents would not even be aware that these aircraft were there. Virtually all the GA operations would take off over the bay and circle back over the golf course and never fly near a local resident.
However, even if SJC eliminates all GA aircraft and Moffett remains closed to GA, RHV will close. Society has no obligation to provide airport facilities to aircraft owners.
From: Bxxxx Kx [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Monday, July 09, 2001 12:10 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: How can I help Hi, Just want to let you know that I am glad someone is trying to do something about the problems with RHV. Please let me know how I can help with this effort. I have just moved to Evergreen for two weeks, and am annoyed by the noise already. It was supposed to be a quiet and relaxing Sunday for me yesterday, instead I was constantly bombarded by the noise from the planes flying over our neighborhood. The new neighborhood is great, but the noise from RHV planes is really terrible. Bxxxx
[Editor] Welcome to East San Jose, where the lives of tens-of-thousands of residents are ruined simply so that a few people can play. Only 2 weeks huh? It took me 7 years before I became upset at the airport, but I've always been a slow learner.
The noise is an obvious side effect of an incompatible land-use with a residential neighborhood. By itself, the noise is a sufficient reason to close RHV. However, the noise coupled with the tremendous negative social, economic, and environmental effects from RHV is more than sufficient to close RHV. Once you realize that most of the surrounding neighborhoods were built before the airport then you understand that there is no justification for the airport.
Work with your neighbors and get them organized and focused on closing the airport. Give them the URL of this web site so that they can learn the truth about RHV. As more East San Jose residents learn their children are being exposed to unnecessary lead pollution, which could contribute to mental retardation in their children, they will realize the airport needs to be closed. As more East San Jose residents realize their standard of living is being severely reduced simply so that a few people can play they will realize the airport needs to be closed.
Even though the airport will not do anything in response to the noise complaints, call the airport noise complaint line (272 0290) every time you hear a plane. Theoretically, the county supervisors are supposed to receive these noise complaints, but I doubt if that occurs. Remember, most of these flights are simply pilots flying in circles practicing takeoffs and landings (67% of all operations in 2000).
Contact the Santa Clara County supervisors and let them know that you live in East San Jose and you want the airport closed. The only reason the airport is open is because pilots from all over California and the U.S. do this same thing. However, these pilots do not tell them where they live because then the supervisors would know that there is not as much actual support in Santa Clara county for this airport as airport supporters like to pretend there is.
----- Original Message ----- From: Rxxxxx Rxxx
To: email@example.com Sent: Friday, May 18, 2001 9:42 PM Subject: Grow Up! Your site reads like the whinings of a spoiled little child who can't have its own way. You are opposed to the existence of something that pre-dated you and you can't stand that it has a purpose with which you do not agree. The value of the airport is obviously beyond your small minded grasp.. Its too bad that its purpose and function doesn't fit into your agenda. Its also too bad that you need to destroy what you either don't understand, or are unable to appreciate, or simply can't control. Why do you discount the fact that it was here before you were? Its not like it snuck up one night while you were sleeping. Its been there for all to see. What gives you the right to change what you don't like, just because you find its existence an annoyance. Did you not know the airport existed when you purchased your property? Where you unaware? If so, you have no one to blame but yourself. If you were aware, then you made a voluntary election and you ought to either accept the consequence of your decision or sell. You most probably won't suffer a loss... Or maybe, just maybe, if you went to the airport, talked to some of the people who work there and fly there you might just find some really good people. And maybe, just maybe, if you took the time to learn just what flying is about, you might like it. Then you'd begin to appreciate that you have a place, unencumbered by the stress of commercial traffic, from which, and to which you can fly... The reality is that you'll probably never go to the airport to learn to fly. Learning to fly takes a certain degree of intelligence. There are just some people who'd never make the grade... I can't help but believe that you're one of them. And I sense that you're actually jealous of those of us who have spent the time, effort and money to learn. I get the distinct impression that you just don't get it, couldn't get it and are subconsciously envious of those of us who truly understand the value of what Reid-Hillview represents. I wish you enlightenment and I recommend a poem to you. It was written by a British pilot who was later to die flying for his country during the Battle of Britain. Its called High Flight.... why don't you look it up ...
[Editor] Aside from the fact that your letter is completely subjective, and, other than the 4th paragraph, I do not agree with your assumptions or conclusions, it isn't that bad of a letter. Your questions are already answered either on the main page or in other comments.
I guess "High Flight" is a good poem. I do not know. Although literature classes were always my favorite in school, and I still love to read, I have never been able to appreciate poetry. So, I know nothing about judging poetry. However, I was able to understand that this poem has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not a recreational airport belongs in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
High Flight, .
----- Original Message ----- From: Sxxxxxxxx
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2001 1:17 PM Subject: comments I read the information on the web site. I agree that issues such as noise and lead from small planes should be addressed. The majority of planes in the sky today rely on technology from the 40's and are desperately ready for change. We hope the computer age will lend a hand to general aviation in a big way. I believe you make some exaggerations in your assessments of the impact of the airport on that area. When you look at the photo of the area (probably taken from the sky from a plane launched from RHV) you can see that it takes up a very small piece of ground with respect to the area you are describing. It isn't logical that all these problems with East San Jose will magically go away when you add another shopping center or shopping center/housing/park in any combination.
[Editor] I said the airport is "a significant contributing factor" to the problems in East San Jose. I never said they will "magically go away" if the airport is closed. However, until the airport is closed significant progress on resolving the problems in East San Jose will not occur. It will take decades after RHV is closed to undo the damage to East San Jose that RHV has caused. Nor did I ever say anything about building a shopping center on the site.
Also local land use issues shouldn't run over the nation's transportation infrastructure. General aviation is representative of the freedom of movement that we enjoy in this country. You might be surprised to learn how many businesses in the E San Jose area benefit from having the airport close-by. Many of the businesses have branch offices in other parts of the state that they frequent and some businessmen will fly into RHV to conduct business in that part of the county, especially when the weather is poor and mid county airport is not accessible.
[Editor] Nobody's freedom of movement is restricted by closing Reid-Hillview.
Aside from McDonalds on Story Road possibly selling a couple extra Big Macs on the weekend there really are not very many businesses in East San Jose benefiting from this airport. However, virtually all East San Jose businesses would benefit from closing the airport and developing it for alternative uses.
We really shouldn't be working so hard to make Santa Clara County homogenous. We used to have apricot and cherry trees and due to severe economic pressure those became houses, shopping centers and chip manufacturing plants. Development like this is usually a one-way street. Once that orchard has been paved over, it will probably never get a chance to produce fruit again, at least in our lifetimes. Turning RHV into anything other than an airport will be permanent. It shouldn't be up to just one generation to decide that. These decisions should be entered into with careful consideration over decades. It is probable that this airport will prove to be an extremely valuable asset to future generations in ways that we can't imagine right now. Dxxxxx Sxxxxxxxx
[Editor] There has already been "careful consideration over decades" about this airport. The current airport has been here 30 years and its predecessor was here 30 years. So we have had 60 years to assess the impact of Reid-Hillview on the community and society. In that time it has created one of the poorest communities in the county with some of the worst ranked schools in the state. It has been poisoning local residents for 60 years with lead pollution. It is an economic, social, and environmental disaster for East San Jose, and it is more than apparent today that a recreational airport does not belong in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It should be closed immediately.
----- Original Message ----- From: Wxxxxx Bxxxxx
To: email@example.com Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2001 12:21 AM Subject: Thanks for the website Thanks for putting up your website. Now that we know you are out there, we will prepare to do what needs to be done. You have done more to ensure the continued existence of Reid-Hillview than you will ever know.... Wxxxxx Bxxxxx firstname.lastname@example.org "No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as Patriots. This is one nation under God." Republican Presidential Nominee George Bush (Dubya's daddy), Campaign stop in Chicago, Illinois on August 27, 1987
[Editor] You're welcome.
----- Original Message ----- From: Sxxxxx Mxxxxxx
To: email@example.com Sent: Monday, May 14, 2001 12:51 AM Subject: Your essay on benefits of closing Reid-Hillview Airport Its obvious you took a great deal of time to prepare a detailed essay on the subject. It appears that you tried to present your information factually, and generally did a good job of this though I disagree with some of your "facts". And while I don't necessarily agree with your objective, I have a little more respect for your site since it appears that you're attempting to allow a presentation of both viewpoints. I say attempting because you've stated that you are eliminating or editing some responses (ones I might want to read?) and judged some "facts" as irrelevant. Specifically, you stated that you would not post "irrelevant" comments. In your article you also claimed "the fact that the airport was there first is irrelevant". Unfortunately, these 2 combined statements put a negative tone on an otherwise fine article. It reminded me of a heavy-handed censor. While it is your site, and your right to dismiss "irrelevant comments, you diminish your fine article when you claim that "the fact that the airport was there first is irrelevant". All facts about an issue are relevant even if they will not sway most readers to change their mind. But I do believe that many people respect the claim of others who were there first.
[Editor] As I said above "Also, if any letter writers wonder why their comments have not been published it is likely because they are either irrelevant (personal attacks, name calling, etc.) or address issues already covered (airport was there first, etc.) without saying anything new." If somebody has something new, or a new slant on something already published, then I will display it. Believe me, or don't believe me, if a letter is not published you are not missing anything relevant. Nor am I "editing some responses". What you read is what was written.
Also, I think you are making a mistake by trying to connect two disparate thoughts through the use of a common word (irrelevant). This is not algebra where if A = Irrelevant and B = Irrelevant then A=B.
In so far as the airport being there first it is irrelevant from the perspective of whether the airport will remain open. Although it is a historical semi-true fact it does not provide any type of squatters rights to the airport or justification for the airport.
In the Alternative Land Use section, I find interesting, thought contradictory to your economic arguments, that all 4 of your proposals contain a "park". It doesn't make any economic sense to remove an income producing/job/tax generating asset and put in a tax draining asset. No matter how minor the income from an airport is, it does produce jobs and tax revenue; a park only drains tax revenue. The suggestion is even less warranted when one recognizes that there are plenty of fine parks in the area (I know; I used to live 1/4mile away).
[Editor] A park does not have to be in all the possible land use scenarios. Since there is so much available land it makes sense to me to include at least a small park in any new land use. Also, the dramatic increase in property tax from closing the airport, along with other tax receipts from an alternative use of the land, will pay for any maintenance cost of the park. In regard to the "income producing/job/tax generating asset" statement virtually any other use of the land will be more of an "income producing/job/tax generating asset" than RHV.
What most unsettles me about your article is that some of the arguments for alternative use base reasoning on a socialistic viewpoint. Specifically, you write, "First, we need to define how county land should be used. County land should be used in a manner that will benefit nearly all city and county residents, not just a very, very small percentage of residents." Sounds good. Sounds utopian. Sounds socialistic. America is based on individual rights and holding them supreme, in almost all cases, over the benefit of society in general. Isn't the greater good served by eliminating the Bill of Rights? Don't say anything offensive (amendment 1 to the constitution; let us search your house (without warrant or cause); we just trying to protect society in general. Sorry, but the greater good is best served by allowing individuals as much freedom as possible.
[Editor] That is an interesting thought. It never occurred to me.
To use public land in a manner that is discriminatory by nature, ruins life for an entire neighborhood of thousands of people, contributes to lead poisoning of the residents, places their children at an educational disadvantage, lowers their standard of living, prevents people from moving into the neighborhood, and drives residents out of the neighborhood simply so that a few people can play or work is American. While using public land in a manner that benefits society, versus ruining society, is socialistic.
Interesting thought, but I do not agree with it. "Socialistic" is one of those words that means something different to every person who uses it. I agree with you that "the greater good is best served by allowing individuals as much freedom as possible". However, that freedom comes with a price. It cannot negatively affect others. For example, that is why you can smoke at home but not in public facilities.
The fact is that many things done by government benefit just a few. Tell me, how do you benefit from a small, public residential street in Los Gatos that you've never been to; how many thousands of those are there? I pay many dollars in taxes but never use a public park, boat ramp, observatory, or any other "government" things. If everything were only done for the "greater" good, we'd probably be more like Russia and have fewer of everything. Actually, I'm really a proponent of free market; ideally the government wouldn't do anything except run a court system for disputes and an army for the national defense. But the airport is already there so it's too late for that issue. But let's not change it to a government park, technical school or anything else; just sell the land to the highest bidder.
[Editor] I benefit from those uses you just described because those uses make society a better place for everyone. Having a recreational airport in the middle of a residential neighborhood only benefits an extremely small percentage of county residents while ruining life for a large percentage of county residents.
You are making the same mistake now as you made earlier by trying to compare disparate areas such as a "small, public residential street", or a "public park, boat ramp, observatory" to a recreational airport in the middle of a residential neighborhood. They are not even close. A toxic waste site is a more accurate comparison to an airport.
Anyway, it was there when you moved in; if you don't like it I say you should leave. But trying to usurp the "rights" of others (in this case business owners on the airfield and their customers) to serve your needs isn't American. They pay taxes to the county to lease the land; let them operate their businesses. They WERE there first!
[Editor] They were not there first. This airport was not built until the late 1960s and the FBOs and other businesses came later. The neighborhood was here first. Old-timers in the neighborhood state how nice and peaceful it was when the airport was a small, private, airport with a single dirt runway and only a few planes. Then the county built this monstrosity in the middle of a residential neighborhood and ruined East San Jose.
Granted, it was here when I moved to East San Jose in 1990, but that does not justify the airport, or in any way prevent me from advocating its closure. Do you tell your children, "Kids, the way things are in society was determined before you were born so you have no right to try and change anything."?
-----Original Message----- From: axxxxxxxx@Aerojet.com [mailto:axxxxxxxx@Aerojet.com] Sent: Monday, January 29, 2001 1:12 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: (no subject) I have to object to your phrase "recreational airport". There is no such thing. There are big airports, and small airports, and some that do more training than others, but they're all part of the transportation infrastructure.
[Editor] Semantics, semantics, semantics. Okay, Reid-Hillview is a "small" airport that is overwhelmingly and predominately used for recreation. According to the 1996 Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on closing Reid-Hillview (RHV), at least 83% of the flights are recreational in nature and 17% are "business" related (see note below). In so far as RHV being a "part of the transportation infrastructure" that is slightly true, but only to a very minor degree. According to FAA statistics, less than 1% of RHV traffic is related to air taxi service. Over 80% of all operations (a takeoff or landing is an operation) are from student pilots and the remainder of operations are distributed between recreational and business flights.
The so-called transportation aspect of general aviation is one of the myths perpetuated by airport supporters in their attempt to justify their hobby. In reality Reid-Hillview only serves the transportation needs of, at most, a few hundred people, and even then it is predominately on an infrequent basis and mainly for recreational purposes. Of course these transportation needs can be easily met by other forms of transportation, or from other general aviation airports. On the other hand, San Jose International is part of the transportation infrastructure. To imply that SJI and RHV are synonymous in this aspect is disingenuous at best.
I have used my aircraft for both business and personal transportation, and in my experience there are already too few airports. You close Reid Hillview, and it will add just that much more traffic congestion to San Jose. Ask any airline passenger if they think that is a good idea.
[Editor] Traffic will not increase at San Jose if RHV is closed. The airport and airlines can easily absorb any new passengers resulting from closing RHV. Recreational airplanes can use South County, Palo Alto, San Carlos, etc. etc.
You talk about quality of life: freedom of movement in this country is a big part of what most people consider to be part of that quality.
[Editor] Nobody's freedom of movement is restricted by closing Reid-Hillview. Granted, it could be a bit more inconvenient for the few people who might visit the Bay Area via private plane, but that is not a valid reason to keep RHV open. Everyone can still walk, bicycle, drive, motorcycle, take a bus, take a train, or fly American Airlines.
It's too bad that a few over-sensitive whiners screw it up for everyone else.
[Editor] Actually, it is Reid-Hillview screwing it up for tens of thousands of East San Jose residents. The only whining I am aware of is from airport supporters grasping at every straw of an excuse they can think of in their attempt to justify the existence of Reid-Hillview.
[Note] Personally, I am leery of the EIR numbers that 83% of flights are recreational and 17% are business related. Why? Because the authors of the EIR surveyed aircraft owners to obtain these numbers. Since the aircraft owners were aware that this survey was in response to the county's desire to close RHV it is very likely that they fudged the numbers toward the business side. However, until an accurate unbiased survey is undertaken these are the numbers we have to use.
-----Original Message----- From: Txx Sxxxx [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 2:24 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Hittin the nail on the head Just took another look at your site, and I was not at all suprised to see that you had not posted my rebuttal. What are you afraid of. Txx
[Editor] I am afraid of many things, but responding to a critic is not one of those things. I did not respond to your earlier email because it added no real value to the discussion. All points have already been addressed in either the main document or in responses to other letters. However, since you asked I will respond to your earlier email.
-----Original Message----- From: Txx Sxxxx [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 2:08 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Close RHV Bud, I just spent my lunch hour reading over your page, you make some interesting points. I would have to agree that a GA airport has little benefit to the community at large. I do however, disagree with most of your rationale.
[Editor] If Reid-Hillview has little benefit to the community then it must mainly benefit the users who only comprise approximately one-tenth of one percent of county residents.
I was unable to determine (at first) why you chose to move near the airport, and why you choose to stay. I will expand upon my findings shortly, but I wanted to relate a similarity in our lives. I used to live on Snell Ave. right smack under the SJC approach path. Every five minutes from sunup, until 11:00p.m. I would be subjected to the sound of Jet Aircraft, drove me crazy. I promised myself, and my family that as soon as we could, we would move from the area, and we have. Incidentally, we didn't move to ESJ because there is an airport in the area. This was my choice, as is the choice of all who live in the vicinity of the airport. Irregardless of who was there first, the local residents made the choice, as did you. Now as I read through the responses from other readers, I discovered what I feel, and this is just my opinion, what is your true motivation. You state that you purchased your home from someone who was "driven" from the neighborhood by the airport. I certainly don't doubt that, I was driven from my neighborhood by SJC. So you thought to yourself, "I can get this property for a song, and then lead the fight to close RHV, and my property value will soar". I'd like to meet you face to face so you can look me in the eye and deny it.
[Editor] Sorry. You are wrong. If you had carefully read the responses you would have seen that I said it took 7 years before I became agitated about the airport. If anybody thinks that I moved here 10 years ago with some clever plan to close the airport in 10 to 12 years just to increase my property value then they are delusional. If anybody thinks that I am currently trying to close Reid-Hillview simply to increase my property value then they are delusional. Closing Reid-Hillview is the right thing to do. A recreational airport does not belong in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
Let's face it Bud, if the airport were closed, people that can afford to live away from airports would start coming to the area, and drive up the property values. At which time, could sell your home for a handsome profit. Although I'm sure you have achieved equity in spite of the airport, it is nothing compared to what it could be.
[Editor] Why would I want to sell my home after the airport closes? The airport is the only major thing wrong with East San Jose. Even if this airport were to close tomorrow it will be some time before this neighborhood is at parity with its neighbors. It will take a decade or two to undo the social and economic damage to society this airport has caused. Why should East San Jose be a third class neighborhood with all the attendant problems simply so that a few people can play?
I no longer fly out of RHV, but I can tell you, that the large majority of the students there, are making there way to a commercial license, and not hobbyists, it is the owners of the aircraft parked there
that are the hobbyists. And by the way, students cannot conduct tower practice at South County, there is no tower. In conclusion, I am sorry Bud, while I agree that the airport depresses property value, the residents chose the area, and choose to stay. For whatever the reason, you, and your neighbors had a choice. It is not our fault that you made it. T. S.
[Editor] Once again, it is not the responsibility of Santa Clara county to provide training facilities for the airlines. If the airlines need pilots then they can start their own flight schools at their own airports and train pilots in their procedures right from the start of their career. Just like the military does. Nobody should be learning how to fly in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
In so far as choosing to live here you are correct in that we made that choice. Just as we are making the choice to improve the neighborhood by closing Reid-Hillview. Irrespective of where I live I would still feel the same about this airport. A recreational airport does not belong in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
-----Original Message----- From: Exxx Mxxxxxxx [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Monday, January 01, 2001 2:50 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Hello... Hi there, I just stumbled upon your site. I was looking for info about Reid-Hillview. Boy did I find some! So first, I would like to express my concern. I just began flight lessons at RHV. I didn't think about the residents. I apologize to everyone over there. I live on the approach to Moffett, and know about the particulates in the air. You can see them falling as the P3s fly over. You see it on your car, your plants, on the house... The only questions I have about your information are about the depression of local land values. I didn't notice how you arrived at the estimate for the decrease in land values. Anyway, I will try to see if I can limit or stop my lessons from the airport. I have only been up twice, and both times we left the area for an hour before returning. We went down by the south county airport to practice. Sincerely, Exxx...
[Editor] What a great letter to start the new year and century. It shows me that not all airport users are as seemingly selfish and inconsiderate as many letter writers appear to be. I would like to thank you for taking the time to think about others and about how this hobby is ruining life for tens of thousands of East San Jose residents.
It would be great if you stopped flying at RHV, but I can understand why if you continue. Please try to keep all pattern practice (day and night) at South County. Also, please support the move of Reid-Hillview to Moffett Field. Moffett is so large that local residents near Moffett would not even be aware these planes were there.
Please see this section in the main document for information on property values.
-----Original Message----- From: Jxxxx Bxxx [mailto:email@example.com ] Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 11:45 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: To Editor Reidhillview.com from editor www.reidhillview.com: "The second part of your comment regarding people who live near airports "should not have any right to complain" is ridiculous. That's like saying women had no right to complain about not being able to vote, or slaves had no right to complain that they should be free and their life should be improved. If there was even the slightest validity to your statement then society would never improve. Its only by people complaining that others are made aware of injustices and inequities in society. To say, or imply, that people who live near recreational, or even major, airports have no right to try and improve their neighborhood is absurd." ----------------------------------------------------------------- Bud, I see only one thing wrong with your analogy. The Africans did not CHOOSE to become slaves. That decision was made for them. Women had no choice that they were born into a world where they couldn't vote. Fortunately, these types of atrocities are gone. WE ALL have a choice of where we live. I live underneath finals for San Jose International. Yes I do have jet noise. Yes, I do run the one and a billion risk of being hit by an airplane crash. But it was my choice to live here. I don't know of a single person in this country who have been forced to live in a certain house or neighborhood. Fortunately we can choose to live on or near any airport, train yard, race track, casino, frat house, dairy, pig farm, sewage plant, park, mall, police station, fire station, in-laws, parents, school, 7-11, ghetto, island, lake, mountain, plateau, valley, green land, dry land, snow land, rainy land, sunny land that we so choose. I just don't think that your analogy fits in this situation. America is about the pursuit of happiness. If you really want to live in a place void of airports you can easily achieve that. So can ANY resident of the Reid-Hillview neighborhood, plus they are practically guaranteed a good profit form the sale of their home. If I could afford to buy, I would buy right next to Reid myself, I love airplanes! You won't catch me moving next to a pig farm though. Jxxxx Bxxx San Jose Resident _______________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at ttp://www.hotmail.com
[editor] Good point. You are correct. That is an imperfect analogy. However, that does not make it an incorrect analogy. Nor does it invalidate the conclusion. Which is that people who live near recreational airports have just as much of a right as anybody else to call for its closure.
If anything, people who live near Reid-Hillview have MORE of a right to call for airport closure than pilots, or people who live elsewhere, do to argue that the airport should remain open. This is because their neighborhood and their lives are negatively affected every minute of every hour of every day by this hobby. This is not a matter of whether somebody chooses to live near a recreational airport located in the boondocks, but a matter of county land in the middle of a city being used in a non-productive, destructive, and discriminatory manner to the detriment of society.
Also, I too love airplanes. However, there is a big difference between an individual loving airplanes and having a recreational airport (which benefits less than two-tenths of one percent of the county population) located in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The difference is that loving airplanes is an individual action which affects nobody else, whereas a recreational airport in the middle of a residential neighborhood has tremendous negative social, economic, and environmental costs for hundreds of thousands of people. Just as a "pig farm" is not allowed to exist in the middle of a residential neighborhood, neither should a recreational airport be allowed to exist in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
Thanks for your comment.
-----Original Message----- From: MVxxxx@aol.com [mailto:MVxxxx@aol.com] Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2000 11:38 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Mini-Downtown Hi Bud, Your Reid-Hillview page continues to make me think about what development would be best for that site. It seems to me that East San Jose lacks a focal point other then Eastridge. Reid-Hillview, could become East San Jose's focal point, almost a mini-downtown district. It would give East San Jose a "there" there. Instead of limiting the types of the development to one or two uses, how about considering a large mix-used development. If Reid-Hillview is closed, it shouldn't be sold to one company, or pieced off to different housing developers. San Jose should form a master plan for the area that would make the site one large project with a coherent yet diverse design. Imagine this. A "Main Street" could run through the middle of the site, from Ocala to Tully Road. It would be lined with a variety of buildings that are 3 to 5 stories tall. On the ground floor, retail and restaurants would create a vibrant pedestrian atmosphere on the Main Street, small parks and plazas just off the Main Street would offer places for people to relax. Think of it as an expanded version of the Santana Row project for the Town and Country Village. This Main Street would be very close to Capitol Expressway, and a Light Rail line there would have a major station in this new neighborhood. A continuation of the office development on the Main Street would extend to Capitol Expressway, along with some high density residential. On the other side of the Main Street, a variety of Residentail uses could be incorporated, along with a new neighborhood park (with little league fields) and Community Center. This new neighborhood would decrease in density as it gets farther from the Main Street. The development closest to existing neighborhoods would be single family, while those just off the Main Street would be 5 story condos or apartments. An extension of the Main Street across Tully into the East Ridge parking lot could intergrate the Mall with the new development. The possibilities are endless, and their are a variety of wonderful infill projects that a Reid Hillview development could learn from. It could be a shining example of how to do a complete in-fill development that offers the people that would work, and live there everything they need and at the same time enhancing the existing area by giving it a true focal point and public meeting place like Castro Street in Mountain View, and other downtowns in the Bay Area.
[editor] This is an excellent idea. I like this idea better than my suggestions. Your idea clearly demonstrates that there are an infinite number of better uses for this land than using it as a recreational airport. A land use that only benefits an extremely small percentage (less than two-tenths of one percent) of county residents while simultaneously ruining life for a large percentage of county residents. If this land is used in a manner similar to your idea it will benefit all county residents.
-----Original Message----- From: PxxxxSxxxx@aol.com [mailto:PxxxxSxxxx@aol.com] Sent: Friday, July 21, 2000 10:34 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Housing Thank you for your response to my posting in the Joe Rodriguez housing forum, and thank you for your thoughtful Reid Hillview web page. I agree with you. Sxxxx Pxxxx, CHAM.
[editor] Thank you. If we all work together we can close this airport and help make society, and life, better for all county residents.
-----Original Message----- From: Txxxx Bxxxxxxxx [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Friday, June 23, 2000 1:02 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: What About Traffic You've entirely missed one very big issue. Traffic. Let's face it, 101/280 intersection is backed up enough already. Ask anyone who lives in Morgan Hill if you're not convinced. Now, you want to add 8000 more people to the mix? Plus, with Cisco buildings going up down the road at Coyote Creek you might as well double that number.
[editor] I did mention traffic in the main document. Overall, traffic will most likely increase. Of course, this will also happen, to a lesser degree, whether RHV is developed or not. However, it appears that developing RHV could have a beneficial effect on traffic. Currently, commuters from the south have to continue north before they reach the jobs. By developing RHV many of these people could get off 101 sooner, which would reduce the northern traffic on 101. The same applies to traffic on 280/680. Additionally, other traffic will be coming from the north on 101, or from the east on 680. This is in the reverse commute direction so it is easy sailing.
Capitol Expressway has been recently widened with a carpool lane added in each direction between 101 and 680. Light rail will be extended down Capitol Expressway so that will help reduce traffic. Local residents will be able to walk or bicycle to work. Additionally, by developing RHV we can avoid, or minimize, development in Coyote Valley.
Of course, we can always develop RHV as a park. Traffic will be nil but we still will have a tremendous growth in the economy simply from home appreciation, and the standard of living will dramatically increase in East San Jose.
As for the people who live around the airport and complain about the noise, they didn't complain when they could afford to buy the house did they? They purchased it after all. I myself would not want to live around the airport, and I don't. I made that decision and can fortunately afford to pay for that premium. If living close to an airport makes some of the most valuable real estate in the area affordable to lower income families, then so be it. If you choose to live by an airport, you cannot later turn around and start complaining about its presence.
[editor] Why do RHV supporters always talk about noise? Do you have a guilty conscience? RHV is an economic, social and environmental disaster for East San Jose, San Jose, and Santa Clara county. It only benefits two-tenths of one percent of county residents while ruining life for a sizable percentage of county residents. That is why RHV is being closed. Noise is just an obvious side-effect of an incompatible land use with a residential neighborhood.
Why can't someone who lives near an airport complain about it? Why can't East San Jose residents improve their neighborhood? To say, or imply, that we have no right is absurd. For some reason, its okay for people who live in other areas to try and improve their neighborhood, but if you live in East San Jose forget it.
Society does need to provide a mechanism to help lower income people afford homes. However, ruining a neighborhood to make homes affordable is not the right approach. Especially ruining a neighborhood simply so that a few people can play. Lets put a toxic waste site in Palo Alto to make those homes more affordable.
-----Original Message----- From: Dxxx [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Friday, June 23, 2000 10:57 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: RHV and You No one has sent in any rebuttals because the ravings of a lunatic are a waste of our time. You aren't objective. You are a mean spirited non-pilot who thinks you know better than the rest of the world. The truth? Your truth or the real truth? You said that Parks are an asset to communities. I believe that Airports are an asset to communities. While your opinions are valid - so are mine.
[editor] You are almost correct when you say "Airports are an asset to communities". San Jose International is an asset. It is used by millions of people a year and benefits nearly all Santa Clara county residents. Contrast that to RHV. I still cannot understand why airport supporters try to compare parks (or golf courses, or whatever) to RHV. Parks are an asset to a community. Anybody can use them. They raise the standard of living in a neighborhood, increase property values, and help attract people to the neighborhood. RHV, on the other hand, lowers the standard of living, ruins the neighborhood, inhibits people from moving to East San Jose, and lowers property values. It would take quite a park to have those effects. And, if a park did have those negative effects the city, or county, would close it.
"It is time to stop thinking in terms of what is convenient for a recreational pilot and start thinking in terms as to what is best for East San Jose, San Jose, and Santa Clara County." is your statement. Well, this is your opinion, isn't it. I think aviation is what is best for Santa Clara County.
[editor] Santa Clara county will still have aviation at Palo Alto, South County, and SJI.
Actually, you and other airport supporters should be putting your efforts into getting GA onto Moffett field. This is the perfect location for this activity and all the NIMBY arguments are easily countered with common sense, reason, and facts. Help me close RHV and I will help you get Moffett field. However, no matter what happens, RHV will close.
"Society has no obligation to provide airport facilities to aircraft owners. If somebody buys a plane they should also buy a house with a driveway long enough to accommodate their plane. Where recreational pilots ever came up with the idea that it is the obligation of society to provide them with airport facilities is unknown. Although this is only a guess, I would be willing to bet that the majority of these people are in favor of Proposition 13, eliminating welfare, and lowering taxes. However, society had better provide them with airports. " Now you sould like an idiot. Maybe I'll buy your house and bulldoze it and make it my private landing strip. Then, you can go live somewhere else and annoy those people instead of us. Don't even assume you know anything about a private pilot's political views. Maybe I'm in favor of the death penalty for idiots that put up self serving web sites that are full of crap.
[editor] I sound like an idiot?
"There are 600 aircraft based at RHV. There is more than adequate room to handle these aircraft at other airports." INCORRECT AGAIN! There is absolutely ZERO space currently at Palo Alto, and San Carlos. Hayward is at their limit as well as Livermore. If you continue to use 4+ year old data, you will continue to be WRONG!
[editor] You raise a good point about the validity of 4 year old data. In fact, it is the main reason why I decided to add your comment. I am sure there have been a number of minor changes to the data in the EIR over the last few years. However, I seriously doubt if anything has drastically changed that would invalidate any conclusions from the data. In fact, now that the studies on closing RHV are done, the county has met its legal obligation. They could vote tomorrow to close the airport.
According to the 4 year old data in the EIR, Hayward had an excess capacity of 431 aircraft and Livermore had an excess capacity of 142. Obviously, the county made a major mistake by not closing RHV in 1996. It would have been a lot less painful for everyone. Anyway, after subtracting the Hayward and Livermore capacity there still is an excess capacity of 1703 aircraft at the other airports listed in Table 24.
Even if there is no available space at any airport, this is no excuse for RHV to remain open. After all, "Society has no obligation to provide airport facilities to aircraft owners. If somebody buys a plane they should also buy a house with a driveway long enough to accommodate their plane."
However, society does have an obligation to be fair. Since the county will experience a cash windfall from closing RHV and selling the land, the county should buy any plane that an owner cannot relocate. To be fair, the county should pay the owner 50% higher than the national average for that model used aircraft. Then the county can sell the plane on the national market and recoup nearly all the money. All business based aircraft should be given first choice for space at the other airports.
"The airport, simply by its existence, is a significant contributing factor to the blight and crime in the area. What is the single biggest negative influence in East San Jose? Reid-Hillview." ARE YOU KIDDING? Now you are getting stupid. I'm not sure if you are funny or sad. Please, I beg of you - MOVE TO IDAHO, MONTANA, NEVADA - just get the hell out of Silicon Valley, the Bay Area and anywhere else you can damage things you disagree with by innuendo and BS alone. Go AWAY!!!
[editor] What do you have against those states? How can one person, expressing their opinion, which is simply "innuendo and BS", and the "ravings of a lunatic", "damage things"?
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-----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2000 7:45 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Keep up the good work. I want to thank you for putting up your Web Site. As a long time resident of East San Jose (over 40 years) and someone who agrees with you 100%, I would like to thank you for your fine effort. I remember RHV when there were only a few aircraft and they were mostly low power small fabric covered aircraft. Overfelt High School was a dairy farm and Most Holy Trinity church was not even on the drawing board. There was another Dairy Farm at Story and King Road, Eastridge Shopping center was not constructed, most all of Tully Road and the east hills was nothing but orchards and there was an Auto Race Track located right next to RHV. At that time RHV was a good location for an airport since there was plenty of open space and not many residents around. Now the dairies are gone, the orchards are gone, the race track is gone, and RHV now needs to go. RHV has never really been of any value to the people of the Eastside. As one of our neighbors RHV has always been noisey, pushy, and not considerate in any way. It pollutes our environment with lead and noise. Over the years it has enlarged its runways by closing Cunninham Ave. It closed part of Swift Avenue making some of our residents walk along Capital Express Way in the mud/dust to get to and from EastRidge Shopping Center. It lets its weeds grow around its parameters and puts up nice fences for our grafitti artists to beautify our area. All of this with a callous attitude to the residents who live here. As a long time resident none of the expansions were ever talked about with the neighborhoods. The were done deals and under construction before anyone got wind of it. RHV was offered three alternate areas to relocate too many years ago and they chose to stay, but time is running out for them just like it did for the Dairy farmers and the Orchards and the Speed Way. Small airports need to be in areas that do not compete with residential space. That was why RHV was originally located where it is. But to say it belongs in this area now just because it was here first makes no sense. I am a proud resident of East San Jose. I am not looking to see my home value go up when the airport closes. I am looking forward again to be able to talk to my neighbors without the roar of small planes stopping the conversation, and feel the cool breeze come though my window in the evening without the noise of some pilot practicing takeoffs and landings. To be able to entertain in my back yard with out being interrupted by helicopters going overhead, sometimes every two minutes, for extended periods and being inter-mixed with the fixed wing aircraft practicing takeoff's and landings. The airport that is there now is not the same airport I moved next to. And like the irritating neighbor they are, it has grown without any consideration or input from the neighborhoods. We do need some High Tech Campus located our area and RHV would be a good site. This would bring in some much need tax money into our school district. That's something RHV will never do. They can't even respect the neighborhoods or keep their pilots under control. Keep up the good work. Your Web Site is really needed. You are developing a lot of community support from those of us with computers and we are printing out your Web Site and passing it around. Take care and keep fighting the good fight. Txx Jxxxxxx
[editor] Thanks. This airport will close. Only somebody with their head in the sand would think otherwise. The only question is how the land will be used once it closes. If pilots would stop fighting the inevitable, we could all work together to insure that South County and Palo Alto set the nationwide standard for GA airports.
One point, I wouldn't blame RHV for graffitti on the fences.
PS: Check your computer clock. I received this on 6/23/00 at 9:33 AM, or maybe it just took the long route on the Internet.
-----Original Message----- From: Oxxxx Fxxxxxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 8:10 PM To: email@example.com Cc: SiliconValleyGA@peck.com Subject: Lies and Distortions on your Website Mr. Bxxxxxx: I have read your hit-site on Reid-Hillview and find many distortions. Example: >"The health problems resulting from chronic airport noise, >including higher blood pressure and boosted levels of stress >hormones, the researchers say, may have lifelong effects. "This >study is probably the most definitive proof that noise causes >stress and is harmful to humans," says Gary Evans, a professor of >design and environmental analysis in Cornell's College of Human >Ecology." >http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/March98/noise.stress.ssl.html >Although the Cornell study was directed at a German airport with jet >aircraft, its findings are certainly relevant in regard to RHV. >Based on FAA tower records at RHV (data gathered daily from 7 AM to 10 >PM, although the airport is open 24 hours) there are over 210,000 >annual operations at RHV. This averages to an operation every 95 >seconds between the hours of 7 AM and 10 PM, 365 days a year. Of >course, in reality, there are stretches where there are few, or no, >operations during this period. However, this means that there are other >periods when air traffic is continuous for hours at a time. When you >consider that most of these flights are simply pilots flying in circles, >over and over and over and over practicing takeoffs and landings, its >impossible not to accept the fact that East San Jose residents >are continually being exposed to unnecessary and harmful noise >(and lead poisoning). Additionally, there are at least 4 schools, and >thousands of homes, located within this flight pattern. >Another noise study finds that aircraft noise adversely affects reading >development in children; "children who live in noisy areas have poorer >reading skills than those in quieter areas." If you had taken the time to READ this studies, you would have seen that it refers to MAJOR INTERNATIONAL airports, NOT to small, general aviation airports like Reid-Hillview. The second reference merely points back to the first; therefore your references number one, not two.
[editor] I apologize for not making the above clearer, but it appears that you are the one who has not "taken the time to READ" the above text. Otherwise you would have seen that I said "Although the Cornell study was directed at a German airport with jet aircraft, its findings are certainly relevant in regard to RHV." Noise is noise. It doesn't matter what the source is. The health effects are the same. In so far as the references, the second reference relates to a study done a year before the study in the first reference. The only thing in common is that they were done by Cornell and they both concluded noise is harmful to an individual's health. However, if you want to think of them as one reference, go ahead. If you want more references do a Google Search on "noise and health". The reading should keep you busy for a few days. Let me know which studies state that noise is beneficial to one's health.
Secondly, I detect an attitude of contempt for anyone who flies his own plane (or rents them). Is it because you are a washout from aviation and wish to deny everyone else a privilege for which YOU are not qualified?
[editor] Your psychic abilities are amazing. Of course, they are also wrong. I could care less about whether someone flies or not. In fact, I did say "Airplanes are neat. Flying is fun. There is no denying that fact." The point is this type of activity should not be occurring in the middle of a residential neighborhood. There are plenty of other airports where people can fly. I decided to stop flying because I want to spend my money on other things.
Reid-Hillview represents a beacon of opportunity to the youth of San Jose to look beyond the petty politics of area and to see another, better world which they can achieve. The EAA, through the Young Eagles program, has given introductory rides to thousands of youth, which has opened their eyes and shown opportunities -- something to which you, sir are apparently blind.
[editor] Let's help the youth of (East) San Jose by providing them with a better standard of living and a first-class school system. The Young Eagle program, while commendable, can only affect a very small percentage of children. Plus, it is hard, if not impossible, to quantify any actual benefit that a child might receive from this program. Additionally, this program can occur at the South County airport. Actually, this is a win-win situation for San Jose children. Their standard of living and school system improves by closing RHV, and they still have the Young Eagle program at South County. I am sure you and all other RHV pilots will want to do what is right for the youth of San Jose. Thanks for the idea.
I only pity you and your hate and blindness.
[editor] Don't waste your pity on me. Save it for the children whose lives have been, and are being, ruined by this airport. Save it for the children who suffer every day because they do not have the same educational opportunity as other San Jose and Santa Clara county children. Save it for all the working class parents who have to get up at 3 AM or 4 AM but cannot get a good nights sleep because of RHV pilots. Save it for yourself and other RHV supporters who only think of themselves, could care less about anyone else, and are blind to the real world.
-----Original Message----- From: Wxxxxx Nxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 1:16 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Rebuttals Where are all the rebuttals to your comments? Surely there must be at least one! But then, your site would take on some objectivity, and that would defeat your purpose, wouldn't it? Wxxxxx
[editor] Honestly, no one has sent in any rebuttals, but I have a feeling they will start arriving. However, they will have to present new information before I will publish them. I am providing the comments area as a courtesy, not as a forum for debate. I could not afford the giga bytes of storage that would incur.
In so far as your objectivity observation, I am striving to be objective and provide accurate information. This airport is still open because airport supporters have been misrepresenting the facts to politicians. Only by making the truth available will this airport be closed.
-----Original Message----- From: Jxxx Mxxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 11:15 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Close Reid Hillview??? Sir; (name unknown); I've taken the time to review your site. You have done a splendid job of reviewing resource data, but I've found a bias in the data's reporting.
[editor] First, thank you. This really did take some work, and as I learn more I will add to it. And yes, just as airport supporters have a bias towards their point of view, I have a bias towards my point of view. However, I also feel that I have tried to present the facts and base my opinions and conclusions on those facts.
Your title "Closing Reid-Hillview" and your closing summary "At this point, my main goal is to make the truth about RHV available to the world" seem to be in conflict. A quote from Herbert Spencer; "There is a principle that will bar all facts... that will keep man in everlasting ignorance, that principle is contempt prior to investigation". How can you report the truth when you've already made up your mind about what the outcome shoud be??
[editor] I started working on this document with the premise that RHV did not provide any benefit to me, nor to very few other people. Yet, even though it provided no benefit to the vast majority of Santa Clara county residents, it has a tremendous negative effect on society. As I researched the airport I discovered the data supported my premise. I feel I have done an adequate job on the main document explaining why the airport should be closed. However, there is a lot of detail in the main document so please read it two or three times, at least, for a full understanding. To be honest, I feel your quote applies more to airport supporters than to me.
-----Original Message----- From: Lxxxxx,Pxx (HP-Cupertino,ex1) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 9:38 AM To: 'email@example.com' Subject: Check Your Facts I suggest you read all of the environmental impact reports that were commissioned by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors (at great expense)and all of which clearly state that Reid-Hillview Airport is the most economically advantageous, safest, and best use of that land. I think the experts know what they're talking about - according to them, the aiport offers LESS traffic, LESS pollution, LESS congestion, LESS noise, and MORE economic benefit to the community than ANY OTHER USE of that property. Pxx Lxxxxx
[editor] The only environmental report I have is the 1996 report (volume 1 and 2). It is certainly possible that earlier reports might state what you say. The 1996 report does state that there will be more traffic if the site is developed as a residential or industrial site. It also says the traffic congestion can be mitigated by widening key intersections. Additionally, it states that replacing the airport will have a beneficial impact in regard to noise. Of course, there will be more car exhaust, but car exhaust does not contain lead particles. I cannot find where it states that the airport has "MORE economic benefit to the community than ANY OTHER USE of that property". If it does say that then it is wrong. Neither does it say that the airport is the safest use of the land. It says that the difference is statistically insignificant.
You are essentially repeating the airport supporter party line. However, no one has never bothered to verify if the party line is based on reality or fantasy. I have, and it is fantasy.
I see you work at HP. I used to work at HP in Cupertino on Homestead Road, and have lived in Cupertino. Cupertino is my vision of how East San Jose would be if RHV were closed. So, I love it when people try to tell me how much better East San Jose is because we have RHV. Think about it. Cupertino is a residential neighborhood with tree lined streets near the western foothills. East San Jose is a residential neighborhood with tree lined streets near the eastern foothills. Cupertino has Vallco and East San Jose has Eastridge. Cupertino has some of the best schools in the state and East San Jose has some of the worst. Why is that? A major reason is because Cupertino has HP, Apple, Tandem/Compaq, and other high-tech companies while East San Jose has RHV.
I envision being able to drive down Ocala Avenue and see the same sights as when I drive down Homestead Avenue. I envision the children of East San Jose having the same opportunity as the children of Cupertino. Only by closing RHV can this vision be accomplished.
-----Original Message----- From: Hxx Sxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 6:08 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Web Site GET A LIFE and leave everyone else alone. That airport was there before any of the houses were.
[editor] Actually, the truth is the original Hillview airport was here before the majority of the current houses were built. On the other hand, most of East San Jose was either built, or approved to be built, long before the current Reid-Hillview airport was built in the 1960s.
How about the fact that the U.S. Government is paying the city and county to support that airport. It was put in that location by the Government with the agreement that it STAY in that location, or no more subsidy.
[editor] The airport was a private airport until the county took it over in 1961 (a decision I am sure they regret more and more every day). See the main document for information on the FAA grant money.
Yes, I know, you are all too rich in "Silicon Valley" to care what other people want! GET A LIFE
-----Original Message----- From: Rxxxx Gxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 1:05 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Home Value It sure is amazing that you blame all East San Joses problems on RVH, Bad schools, Bad neighborhoods, crime, property. How does the city of South SF manage to thrive in the flight path of SFO.
[editor] I said that RHV is a significant contributing factor in those areas. Please read the main document, and other comment responses, for clarification. I do not live in South SF so I cannot comment on it.
The Gangs of your area, "annoy, terrorize, threaten lives and lower the standard of living of East San Jose residents", (as well as kill them), far more than any airport. Violence, cars and lead paint have killed and injured more children in ESJ, again than the airport. There is no criminal activity on the airport that spreads into the surrounding neighborhood.
[editor] I suppose there are gangs around here somewhere, but I have never seen any. This is an extremely quiet (omitting aircraft noise), family oriented neighborhood. However, if a gang, or an individual, was ruining society as bad as RHV does then society would put a stop to it.
"keeps ESJ in economic slavery by depressing home values." I think this cuts to the heart of your reason for this web site. I think you would love to have the home values go up so that only a " better class" (That make more money) of people could afford to buy homes. Oh buy the way your property value would rise also, would it not. How do you enslave people by having affordable housing for the low income.
[editor] There is nothing wrong with the "class" of people who live in East San Jose. What is wrong is the attitude of airport supporters and politicians who feel that East San Jose residents are second-class citizens and do not deserve a better life. In my opinion, if this airport were located in any other equally populated area of the county it would have been closed years ago, but because it is in East San Jose it remains open.
There is a big difference between "affordable housing" and the creation and enforcement of an artificial price control on an entire neighborhood of hundreds of thousands of people. Most of the homeowners in this area are lower income working class people. RHV, by depressing their home values, does not allow them the same opportunity to remodel their homes, send their children to college, or whatever by using their home equity. RHV prevents them from being able to easily step up to other neighborhoods by keeping their home appreciation rate below the average of similar nearby neighborhoods. One, of many, negative side-effects of this is that there is less tax money for the schools. This means that it is difficult for their children to get a quality education. This limits the opportunities for these children to acquire good jobs in the future. And this cycle repeats, generation after generation.
Will the brief one-time increase in home appreciation resulting from closing RHV be sufficient to break this cycle? Probably not, but it is a necessary first step and will benefit tens of thousands of home owners, not just me. In fact, it would appear that every home in East San Jose, from Berryessa to Evergreen, would benefit. It certainly will benefit more people than RHV benefits. However, what closing RHV will do to break the cycle is to open up the area to prospective home buyers who would otherwise have avoided the area because of the airport and all its negative effects. It would make East San Jose an equal peer member in this society. With this equality will come a better school system, a better standard of living, and greater opportunity for these children.
If this "economic slavery" were occurring because of something that truly benefited society, such as San Jose International, then you might have an argument to justify it. But, to justify these tremendous negative social costs simply so that a few people can play is unacceptable.
"Quite an expensive price to pay so that a few people can play." What of the few people that use power water craft on county lakes or the few that can golf on county courses and the few people that actually ride, expensive mountain bikes, on all thoses county bike paths. Why should the county proved for the few to "play" at anything. I find it interesting that you end your argument with this statement that evokes jealousy and envy. Rxx
[editor] To compare a recreational airport to those other activities is stretching it. The only thing in common is that they are recreational. None of these other activities have the tremendous negative effects on society that RHV does. If they did they would be stopped. I believe I have read that boating and/or jet skis have been stopped on some lakes because of fuel pollution and/or noise pollution. Many more people engage in boating as a hobby than engage in flying as a hobby.
There is nothing wrong with the county providing recreational facilities to residents. However, if those recreational facilities are inherently discriminatory so that they can only used by a few thousand people, and they ruin life for a sizable percentage of county residents, and they cost the economy at least 2 billion dollars a year, then the county should not be providing those recreational facilities. This isn't jealousy and envy. Its equality.
-----Original Message----- From: Jxxx Wxxxxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2000 11:48 PM To: email@example.com Subject: You are off base. Your web site is full of gross innaccuracies mis-conceptions and freshmen level propaganda. While I support your right to free speech, it is unfortunate that there is no control on accuracy. It is particularly annoying when it comes from an anonymous source with no disclosure of motives. Ie: you backed by a land developer?
[editor] No, I am not backed by a land developer, or anyone else. This site is my opinion, which is based on common sense, research, and living in East San Jose for 10 years. Perhaps my opinion does not coincide with your opinion on this issue, but people have been known to disagree on this, and other, subjects.
You claim to be an engineer, however, your hyperbole is far from the application of any engineering discipline or scientific analysis.
[editor] Hyperbole!? Maybe some statements are cautiously optimistic, but hyperbole? I think not. This is an opinion site, not my explanation of the Grand Unification Theory.
I would be willing to debate your assertions, one by one, but only if you are willing do publish our dialogue on you site, and correct innacuracies.
[editor] I am more than happy to correct any errors. It does not do me, or anyone else, any good to have inaccurate data. Additionally, I am happy to publish comments relating to this site. Only by people having access to both sides of an issue can they make an intelligent decision. If someone has a decent rebuttal to my response then I will post that and, if necessary, respond. However, I am not going to get into a long running debate with anyone. If this is not sufficient for anyone then they can start their own web site.
Garbage sites like this degrade the value of the internet by polluting the quality content.
[editor] Thank you. At least I know this site has accomplished something, even if its only "polluting the quality content" of the Internet. :)
One reason, if not the main reason, why this airport is still open is because East San Jose residents have not had any method to counteract the "hyperbole" of airport supporters. We certainly do not have any political power, ...yet. The Internet has helped level the playing field.
Jxxx Wxxxxxxx Wxxxxxxx Consulting
From: Dan Wxxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2000 11:30 AM To: email@example.com Subject: I think your idea is stupid Dear Editor, Why have you picked on the airport, why don't you go after the water park too, it only benefits a small group.
[editor] If you had read the main document you would know the answer. It is because RHV is an economic, social, and environmental disaster for East San Jose, San Jose, and Santa Clara county.
I do not understand how the water park only benefits a small group. Any county resident can come to the park, pay a few dollars, and enjoy the water park. The water park certainly does not detract from the neighborhood. At the worst, it has a neutral effect, and probably is a positive addition to the neighborhood. On the other hand, few county residents can use RHV, and RHV has a tremendous negative effect on the neighborhood, the city, and the county.
Why not go after SJC, imagine how many companies can be put into that space.
[editor] San Jose International (SJC) is used by millions of people a year. It benefits nearly everyone in the county. Contrast that with RHV which is used by approximately two-tenths of one percent of county residents.
What about all the parks, lets bulldoze them and put in high density office parks so that we can have more jobs.
[editor] Why do that? Parks are an asset to any community. They can be used by everyone.
Recreation is defined by different things for different folks, some like parks, some like airports. If this airport was such a bother to you, why did you move into the neighborhood? There is no airport in Almaden Valley.
[editor] Everybody is entitled to engage in the recreational activity of their choice. I am a Libertarian when it comes to personal activities. I could care less what someone does with their time and money as long as it does not affect me. That is the key. One recreational pilot negatively affects tens of thousands of people when they play at RHV. Although it is nice to have a hobby, no one has the right to engage in a hobby that annoys, terrorizes, threatens lives, spews leaded exhaust fumes (general aviation continues to use leaded fuel), lowers the standard of living, reduces property values, inhibits people from moving into the neighborhood, and drives current residents out of the neighborhood. Yet this is what happens every time a pilot flies at Reid-Hillview.
I did not move into the neighborhood to close the airport. I purchased my home from someone who was driven out of the neighborhood by the airport, so I was aware of it when I moved here. It took 7 years before I got fed up with the pilots constantly circling overhead practicing takeoffs and landings. Close to 100% of the evening and nighttime air traffic is simply pilots flying in circles, over and over and over and over. As I sit here typing this there are 3 pilots currently flying in circles. These 3 pilots will produce 20 to 30 overhead flights compared to 3 flights if they were actually going somewhere. After speaking with the airport I was, essentially, told that the only way this practice could be stopped is to close the airport. Once I started thinking about that, and after acquiring a copy of the 1996 Environmental Impact Report on closing RHV, I realized that closing the airport is one of the best things that could happen to East San Jose and Santa Clara county. In my opinion, this airport should have been closed over 20 years ago. That it is still open shows the power the aviation community has over politicians.
East San Jose has tremendous potential. The residents are diverse and friendly and deserve to be treated the same and have the same opportunities as residents of any other neighborhood. Once this airport is closed people will look at this neighborhood the same way they look at Almaden Valley and Cupertino. The neighborhoods are tree-lined and the houses are on large lots. The location is ideal in that downtown is 6 miles away, the high tech companies in North San Jose are 7 to 10 miles away, and, since we are at the intersection of 101 and 280/680, the entire Bay area is easily accessible. In fact, the only thing that is really bad about this neighborhood is RHV, and that is correctable.
Its time you spent your excess energies on something productive, go volunteer at the neighborhood school, help a kid learn a sport, get a life for petes sake.
[editor] These are all good suggestions. However, I think that closing RHV is a very productive activity that will have an extremely positive effect on society. It certainly will have a much more positive effect on the school system than my volunteering. Perhaps, after closing the airport, I will take your advice.
From: Neal xxxxxx [firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2000 2:43 AM To: email@example.com Subject: SJS To whom it may concern: On behalf of the 400 students in the Aviation Department at San Jose State University, I would like to point out that the airport is used for flight training by most aviation majors here. These 400 students are circling what was once empty farm land in pursuit of extremely lucrative careers in aviation, not for hobby.
[editor] Unfortunately, the "once empty farm land" no longer exists. This airport is now surrounded by housing. Incidentally, there are people who live in this housing. Very few careers in aviation require a pilot's license. I seriously doubt that very many of these 400 students will become airline pilots but let's assume that 100% become airline pilots. So, you are saying that all East San Jose residents should suffer from a severely depressed standard of living simply so that a few students might become airline pilots. Although I can sympathize with these students, there are certain educational pursuits that are incompatible with a residential neighborhood. Do we allow slaughter houses in the middle of a residential neighborhood for students who desire a "lucrative career" in the meat-packing industry? Of course not. Recreational airports, like slaughter houses, are incompatible with residential neighborhoods.
On a side note, the pollution caused by a few hundred planes at Reid-Hillview is peanuts compared to the hundreds of thousands of motorists circling the south bay.
[editor] Yes, it is true that the total amount of car exhaust is greater than the total amount of plane exhaust. However, the discussion is about lead particles in the exhaust of planes. One plane, with no pollution controls and using leaded fuel, produces more leaded exhaust than all cars combined running on unleaded fuel. Since many of these flights simply consist of flying in circles practicing takeoffs and landings, East San Jose residents are constantly being showered with lead particles. The lead that is not inhaled ends up on the ground where children play in it, pets wallow in it, and it is dragged into the house.
Coincidentally, the same day your email arrived the San Francisco Chronicle (page A4, 5/16/00) had a major story on the negative effects of lead exposure on children. "New research suggests that millions more children than previously thought might have lead-linked mental impairment, while another study supports a strong link between lead exposure and juvenile delinquency." Currently, "The government's acceptable blood level is 10 micrograms per deciliter." "Lamphear found cognitive impairment, especially affecting reading ability, in children with levels as low as 2.5 micrograms per deciliter."
It is more than evident that any amount of lead is unacceptable. To allow RHV to remain open and continue to poison East San residents simply so that a few people can play is no longer merely negligent and unacceptable. It is criminal.
South County is inadequate and involves traveling down the
bottleneck, hardly a simple drive down the road.
[editor] This really is the crux of the matter with closing Reid-Hillview. It is inconvenient for pilots to have to drive to some other airport. Of course these pilots would only be inconvenienced the few times a month, or year, they use the airport. East San Jose residents are inconvenienced every hour of every day by this airport. As I said: "It is time to stop thinking in terms of what is convenient for a recreational pilot and start thinking in terms as to what is best for East San Jose, San Jose, and Santa Clara County."
South County is not a towered airport, and is not large enough to accommodate the displaced general aviation facilities from RHV. SJC could never absorb the GA traffic displaced by RHV either, and with a runway expansion in the works for airline operations, only one GA runway remains at SJC.
[editor] Society has no obligation to provide airport facilities to aircraft owners. If somebody buys a plane they should also buy a house with a driveway long enough to accommodate their plane. Where recreational pilots ever came up with the idea that it is the obligation of society to provide them with airport facilities is unknown. Although this is only a guess, I would be willing to bet that the majority of these people are in favor of Proposition 13, eliminating welfare, and lowering taxes. However, society had better provide them with airports.
There are 600 aircraft based at RHV. There is more than adequate room to handle these aircraft at other airports. According to the 1996 Environmental Impact Report Volume 2 - Technical Appendices, page B-39 - Table 24, in the worst case scenario (close RHV and downsize general aviation at SJC to 200 aircraft) there is an excess demand of 459 aircraft at four local airports, but there is an excess capacity of 2,276 aircraft at the remaining local airports. However, the problem in the eye of aircraft owners is that these airports are not as conveniently located as RHV.
The risk of crashes in the neighborhood could be reduced somewhat by closing RHV, but your neighborhood also lies on the inner boundary of the San Jose Class C airspace, this means that the airspace above your community is busy regardless of the existence of RHV.
[editor] It would be reduced more than "somewhat". However, the risk now is extremely small. The point is planes generally do not fall out of the sky into neighborhoods. They crash on takeoff or landing when there is little, or no, margin of error. Since the airport is surrounded by schools, homes and businesses there is no option but to crash into a school, home or business. Removing the airport eliminates this risk.
SOMEONE IN EAST SAN JOSE WILL DIE IN A CAR ACCIDENT ON CAPITOL...so lets get rid of Capitol expressway (ridiculous, right?)
[editor] Actually, that is ridiculous. Everything in society has a cost/benefit ratio. The cost of an occasional life lost in a car accident, while high to the person and family, is low to society. This is because nearly everyone (over age 16) in Santa Clara county drives a car and can benefit from the use of Capitol Expressway.
I know the "we were here first" argument is falling on deaf ears, but i believe that it is reasonable that the airport stay...if you're looking for someone to blame, blame developers and the county for not insulating buildings for noise, and building schools under the traffic pattern. You bought a house near the airport. If you don't like airplane noise, insulate your house.
[editor] The "we were here first" argument is falling on deaf ears because it is not an argument. It is a fact. What are we supposed to do? Invent a time machine, go back in time, and prevent the airport from being built?
Nobody, to my knowledge, is looking for "someone to blame". Blame for what? The population explosion, people wanting to live in California? RHV has had a good 60 year history. It has contributed to the experience of living in Santa Clara county. However, times change. Society evolves. In the 21st century, a recreational airport that benefits two-tenths of one percent of the county's population does not belong in the middle of a residential neighborhood. You cannot blame anyone for the natural evolution of society.
In so far as insulating houses against airplane noise, that would only mask the problem. Not solve it. RHV is an economic, social, and environmental disaster for Santa Clara county. Making it quieter solves nothing.
A curfew would be within reason, closing the airport is not.
[editor] Over two years ago all I wanted was for pilots to stop flying in circles practicing takeoffs and landings after 8 PM. This was a perfectly reasonable request. Seven months of the year pilots could get nighttime practice at RHV. The other five months they would have to use another airport. But in the typical arrogant attitude of the aviation community the response was "Pilots can do whatever they want, whenever they want." After thinking about this and reviewing information related to the airport, it slowly became apparent to me that the airport had to be closed. There is no alternative.
As far as your land use solutions, i find them flawed: To control urban sprawl, you don't bring more jobs and raise the demand for housing... there are plenty of jobs in San Jose, that's why people from Modesto commute here...why can't Sun relocate to South County, or better yet, Modesto?
[editor] Urban sprawl is controlled by not developing Coyote Valley, Edenvale, or Alviso. It is controlled by filling in open urban spaces. RHV is an ideal candidate to develop to help prevent urban sprawl. Of course, as I said, that is only one possible solution to how best use the land. Other uses, such as parks and schools, would also benefit society and not contribute to your concept of urban sprawl.
The real question is not why can't Sun relocate to Modesto, but why can't RHV relocate to Modesto?
The Big One is gonna shake us up sometime within 20 years, maybe tomorrow, i'm more worried about that killing me than planes falling from the sky or miniscule pollution.
[editor] You are absolutely correct about this. However, why should the lives of East San residents be made miserable until the Big One hits simply so that a few people can play?
From: Michael Fxxxx [firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2000 6:06 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Reid Hillview Airport Dear editor, I would like to say that I have no opinion either way. I came across your website because I am flying to RHV this weekend from LA and read it with great interest. I too am an engineer and pilot and base decisions on the facts. However, when I read your comments some items will lead people to question your credibility. I have listed those below with comments. >9. The airport, simply by its existence, is a significant >contributing factor to the blight and crime in the area. How in the world can you blame crime on an airport? You have got to be crazy. Someone may suggest it and it may be true but to say it is a fact is going way overboard. You are reaching for something that can not be substantiated. I fly out of Torrance airport and the area is anything but crime-ridden.
[editor] First, I never said the area is "crime-ridden" and, second, I said the airport is a "contributing factor" to crime in the area. It is true that I do not have research that states "Reid-Hillview causes crime in East San Jose." However, there is research that demonstrates the level of neighborhood crime is directly correlated to the condition of that neighborhood. When a neighborhood improves, crime goes down. When a neighborhood deteriorates, crime goes up. What is the single biggest negative influence in East San Jose? Reid-Hillview. What single thing will result in the most dramatic improvement of East San Jose? Closing Reid-Hillview. So, close RHV and the neighborhood dramatically improves. The neighborhood improves and crime goes down. This isn't rocket science. Its common sense.
>14. At least 60% of all flights are student pilots and very >possibly 80% or more of all operations (takeoff and landing equal >2 operations) are the result of student pilots. That is most likely true but do you really want people to be practicing their tower work at San Jose?
[editor] No, they can practice at the South County airport. Nobody should be learning how to fly in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
>17. Every day, East San Jose residents (pregnant women, children, >and adults) are being slowly poisoned by lead particles from the >exhaust of private planes continually flying in circles, fuel spills at >the airport, and gas fumes escaping during re-fueling.  This is definitely a fact. These same residents also moved there knowing that the airport was nearby? Don't tell me it is only because they are poor. That is a copout. People can't move into an area knowing an airport is there and then expect it to shut down because they decided they don't like it.
[editor] So, in your view of the world it is okay to poison people so that a few people can play? As I said, "No rational person would argue that lead particles in the air, in any amount, which results from a hobby, is acceptable. Nobody that is except for RHV supporters. For some reason, they cannot see the harm from their hobby."
I will address the "airport was there first" aspect of your comment a little further down.
>19. One day a plane will crash into a school, apartment, Eastridge, or >a house and kill a number of innocent people. Again....where in the world did you pull this one from. To say this is absolutely ridiculous. It can happen anywhere at any time. Nobody knows...but to say it is a FACT? Where is your credibility going with comments like that?
[editor] Why is it ridiculous since it will happen? It might happen tomorrow. It might happen 10 years from now, but it will happen.
>There is not one person in this country who has to learn how to fly. >Learning how to fly is a luxury, it is a hobby, and it is completely >unnecessary. Why do pilots have to learn how to fly in the middle of >a residential neighborhood? Where do pilots get the idea that society >has an obligation to provide them with airport facilities? I will address this in two parts. The first part is ridiculous and should not warrant an answer because it is so obvious, but here goes....Where do airline pilots learn to fly? Are they flying people around the world because they are getting paid or because it is a hobby? I will bet that many have learned to fly at RHV and there are future airline pilots there training as students right now. The second part refers back to my earlier comment. People that move near an airport and know an airport is there when they move in should not have any right to complain later. They should have moved somewhere else in the first place if the airport bothered them.
[editor] The airlines will be fine without RHV. There are plenty of other airports where people can learn how to fly. It is not the responsibility of Santa Clara county taxpayers to provide training facilities for the airline industry. If the airlines need trained pilots so bad they should establish their own flight schools (like the military) and train pilots right from the beginning in their flight procedures.
The second part of your comment regarding people who live near airports "should not have any right to complain" is ridiculous. That's like saying women had no right to complain about not being able to vote, or slaves had no right to complain that they should be free and their life should be improved. If there was even the slightest validity to your statement then society would never improve. Its only by people complaining that others are made aware of injustices and inequities in society. To say, or imply, that people who live near recreational, or even major, airports have no right to try and improve their neighborhood is absurd.
>RHV has had 60 years to add character to the neighborhood. What has it >created in that time? Only one of the poorest communities in the Bay area. >Only one of the worst school systems in the state. I doubt very many, if >any, families have moved to East San Jose because they feel that having a >recreational airport in the neighborhood will make their children better >people, or make their life better. You can't blame RHV for a poor community or for the poor school system you have. You should stop trying to find a scapegoat and look closely at your fellow neighbors. They are what make up the community and the school system. There are many airports in cities with great school systems. Your community should take that blame head on. It is their own fault, NOT the airport's fault. For whatever reason people moved there, that was of their own doing and for their own reasons.
[editor] You are correct in stating that my "fellow neighbors" are who make up the community and any community issues are the result of actions by my neighbors. However, what you and other airport supporters forget, or refuse to accept, is that RHV is also a member of this community. It is the biggest neighbor of all. Yet, for some reason, you and others seem to think that it is an island unto itself, it can do whatever it wants, and is not to blame for anything. It is as if you think the airport exists and operates in a vacuum. Just like everyone else in the community, it is responsible for the state of the neighborhood. However, due to its size and use, it has a much bigger influence on the neighborhood than individual residents, and its influence is entirely negative. So, yes I can blame RHV for contributing to the state of this neighborhood.
>Since there are no valid arguments in favor of keeping Reid-Hillview open >this implies that a vote for RHV was based on ignorance of the facts, or >incompetence, or corruption. Before making statements like this I would first make sure my statements were actually facts.
[editor] Thank you for demonstrating that "there are no valid arguments in favor of keeping Reid-Hillview open." Your letter essentially boils down to two points. RHV is needed to train pilots for the airline industry, and the airport was there first. Sorry, but these are not valid points in favor of keeping the airport open.
Regards, Michael Fxxxx Flying Bxxxxxx Exxxxxxxxxx, Inc. www.flyxxxxxxxxxx.net firstname.lastname@example.org (3xx) 3xx-7xxx (3xx) 3xx-8xxx fax
© 2000 Bud Beacham. All rights reserved. Updated September 12, 2004