Letters to the Editor

Derailing DeLay

Out with the "con": I disagree with the predictions that DeLay will win his district since he drew the lines himself ["Dragon Slayer," by Todd Spivak, December 29].

Prior to re-redistricting, he had a 65 percent voting base. He gave up 5 percent to others such as Ron Paul and Ted Poe's district. Yet he won by only 54 percent in 2004.

Regardless of the polling numbers, we here in Clear Lake will not just roll over. We will work hard to keep the "con" out of Congress.

John Cobarruvias
Bay Area New Democrats
Houston

Hack In

No sideshow: What a total hack piece ["Podnography," by Todd Spivak, December 29]. Spivak called me in preparation for his article and, despite a lot of facts to the contrary, proceeded to paint podcasting as a sideshow act of freaks with only a handful of listeners. Spivak had at his disposal professional podcasters in the Houston community who have large listener bases, advertisers and compelling content. To paint podcasting in general, and the Houston scene in particular, with this brush is disingenuous if not libelous.

Chris Doelle
Houston

Strike Zone

It's called progress: Just read your BS article about the Rice/ Katy airport ["It's a Bird! It's a Plane!" by Ford Gunter, December 22]. Big hint: Don't let people who know nothing about aviation write an article about aviation. If a private airport is so bad, why did Fort Bend County buy Hull Airport in Sugar Land? How is it doing? You failed to mention that. (By the way, Hull Airport's runway is longer than anything at Hobby; remember Midway last month?)

I'm a licensed pilot and have worked for an airline. I am well aware of the bird thing, but you are going into a Turkey Little routine. We need an airport presence on the west side; where do we put it? A good general aviation airport means progress and growth -- we cannot go into a "not in my backyard" attitude. Bottom line: Yes, the birds are a problem, but in my experience as a pilot, they usually hear you coming and will get out of your way. Keep your rudder straight.

Jerry D. Newman
Houston

Remington travails: I read with much interest the article about the Air Rice Airport. As a resident of Remington Trails, I can most certainly advise that Ron Henriksen is incorrect in his comments that "We know of very few people who oppose the project" and that "almost everybody has been supportive." Those of us who have been in contact with our local and state government representatives are not few in number, and the turnout at public meetings has been a testament to this fact. Groups such as the Texas Committee on Natural Resources also have received financial support from homeowners like me in hopes that it can be relayed to our political constituents, and to a wider base of concerned citizens, that we have gone unheard.

As a resident of Remington Trails, I daily see the hundreds, if not thousands, of squealers and snow geese flying over the areas of the Katy Prairie in large V formations. They fly in these groups at both low and high altitudes that you can barely see. The site contractors have noted the large number of geese in the area. I wonder if Ron Henriksen spends any mornings or evenings at his airport site, and if he understands the true potential impact that he has from bird strikes. Local residents and local pilots sure do.

Contractors have been hard at work the last few weeks moving dirt and constructing the runway. The location was a rice field, prone to flooding. We hear that drainage in the area is good, but why did the heavy rains prior to Christmas shut down construction for five days because of lack of drainage? Having heavy rains many times throughout the year is normal for this area. Homeowners in the subdivision right across the road from the construction area have drainage ditches built to handle runoff from our subdivision, and it all flows to one end of the subdivision. My concern is that having a large cement runway and appurtenant structures will make the already less-than-adequate drainage flow into our subdivision, bringing an increased amount of water into our system. And isn't having an oil well a potential hazard in the runway area? There is one that needs to be capped. Could or should that be a concern in regards to planes landing there? Not to mention the other oil facilities within a mile or less of the airport.

Remington Trails homes are high-end, and having a jetport next to our property undoubtedly will have an effect on the price of our real estate. What a great position to be in when you thought you built your dream home in an equestrian area with a couple acres of land.

If anyone thinks the taxpayers won't pay for this privately funded airport down the line, they are fooling themselves. Someone will need to buy the emergency equipment necessary for a jetport and pay for the personnel to man the equipment. Are the Katy and Brookshire fire and EMS personnel equipped and trained to handle jet fires or crashes that may happen? Just imagine a plane going off the runway into a train at the end of the tracks at U.S. 90 or veering into the Igloo factory across the road from the end of the runway. How about not gaining altitude and deciding to go straight into I-10? Worse yet, going off course 1,000 or so feet and landing in Remington Trails?

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