Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bait ‘n Switch

StopCTA presented these comments to the Bastrop County Commissioners Court on November 8, 2010 during the Citizens’ Comments period.

Today we’re going to get technical. Really, really technical. Let’s see just how Carpenter & Associates managed to outwit, outplay and outlast everyone else at the 381 Agreement negotiating table.

For many months we’ve been trying to get answers to what should be very easy questions relating to aircraft size and cargo service in the 381 Agreement. Members of the Court have insisted that neither large planes nor cargo would be allowed. Yet, not one member of the Court or its agents would (or could) point to anything in the 381 to support that claim.

Thanks to Carpenter & Associates spokesperson T.R. Reid, we now know that aircraft as large as 737s will indeed “not be barred from landing at the proposed airport”. You can bet that’s what they’ve been planning all along. Here’s exactly how we think they accomplished their goal of creating a cargo hub without arousing any suspicions.

For this to work, Carpenter & Associates had to overcome several formidable obstacles:

[Read More…]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

StopCTA comments 25/10/10

StopCTA presented these comments to the Bastrop County Commissioners Court on October 25, 2010 during the Citizens’ Comments period.

I’d like to begin by wishing good morning to Carpenter & Associates indispensable ‘financial partners’.

Today’s lesson is ‘Reading 101′.

You’re probably all familiar with the famous line:

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate . . .”

Well, I think what we’ve got here in Bastrop County is a failure to read and understand the 381 Agreement. Want to raise your hand if you actually did read it? [Surprisingly, all Commissioners raised their hands.]

1. Members of the Court insist that there will be no cargo flights at the airport yet CARGO is not mentioned ONCE in the 381.

2. Members of the Court insist that there won’t be any 737s landing there. Yet the plans show a 7200′ runway which is long enough to land a plane of that size. And the only limitation on aircraft size in the 381 is for PASSENGER planes.

In the law, what is not specifically prohibited is permitted. The 381 is leakier than a dike in Amsterdam and you just can’t see it.

But, whether you did or didn’t read the 381 is really beside the point because the Court’s legal team was paid to vet this ‘IED’. In Bastrop County that means ‘INTENTIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER‘.

3. Carpenter & Associates claimed at their dog and pony show last week that they will follow all FAA rules and regulations. If that’s true, why did their attorneys make sure the 381 exempts the proposed Central Texas Airport from the 14CFR, Part 139 rules which relate to safe operation of aircraft?

And can you please explain how if your legal team vetted the 381, they do not have any records relating to these rules on file? Your legal team needs to be held accountable for failing the Court and the people of Bastrop County.

One of the 14 detailed sections of these rules covers Wildlife Hazard management. An Advisory Circular in this section recommends that jet engine aircraft should not operate within 10,000′ of a natural or created bird-rich habitat. Well guess what! The entire proposed Central Texas Airport site falls within a Wildlife Hazard Zone endangering those in the air and on the ground. Think Hudson river Bastrop style.

The 381 traded the peace and safety of Bastrop County citizens for the financial interests of a corporate speculator. What were you thinking? At a minimum, it needs extensive triage. An even better idea would be to shred it and forget it.

As our elected representatives you should be on OUR side. But with this closed door deal, you have betrayed the promise of Democracy and you have betrayed the good people of this county as well. SHAME ON YOU!!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Press release 12/10/10

These comments were presented by Tom Thompson to the Bastrop County Commissioners Court on October 12, 2010 during the Citizens’ Comments period. In addition, a Facts about the Central Texas Airport flyer was distributed to everyone present.

I’d like to speak to the Court today about legal loopholes within the 381 Agreement for the Central Texas Airport, and the many other problems facing Bastrop County residents associated with this proposed facility.

1) *One loophole would allow up to 250 daily flights of 737-class cargo aircraft of 100 tons or less to use the runway which is only 69’ shorter than the longest runway at old Robert Mueller airport.

2) *Another loophole would circumvent FAA rules and regulations that protect the health, safety, and welfare of property owners near the facility, and, in fact, all of Bastrop County.

3) *Apart from the 381, there is the continuing LACK of public notification of the REAL environmental and property abuses of the CTA/GCC, including airport zoning and condemnation procedures and traffic gridlock on FM 969 & 1704,

4) AND, the continuing absence of an Environmental Impact Study,

5) AND, the complete LACK of a required ON-SITE Part 150 noise study that would reveal the impact of large aircraft flying at 100’ or less over populated areas. A 737 with Stage III engines flying at 500’ altitude will produce 115 dB of noise.

Many of these concerns were raised in a letter sent to the Court in August, followed by a response from the Court’s attorneys on September 1, 2010, which was evasive, and COMPLETELY non-responsive. These questions REMAIN unanswered.

We are respectively requesting an answer to the legal questions; AND whether the same legal team that “vetted” the 381 Agreement has, or has not, closed these loopholes.

We are also requesting that the Commissioners Court create an AIRPORT ZONING COMMISSION to address the public’s concerns in a series of public meetings. We WERE promised a meeting by the Court in 2009, but it has NOT been scheduled.

I might remind you that the primary goal of governance is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the governed, NOT to facilitate the profits of corporate speculators.

Would the Judge or any member of the court like to address these questions today?

*1 & 2) See Letter of 8/25/2010, Airport Operating Certificate, 14 C.F.R., Part 139.

*3) Texas Airport Zoning Act, Chapter 241 of the Texas Local Government Code, enables a city, a county, or a combination of cities and/or counties to adopt, administer, and enforce zoning regulations.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Playing catch up

If you’re unfamiliar with this issue, please take a look at the series of media articles that have been posted the last few days. They will introduce you to the players and history of the proposed CTA project. Additional articles will be posted as they break or if we find one we missed.

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