Quiet Skies demands Burien let them help city appeal with FAA over plane noise 1 [caption id="attachment_113494" align="aligncenter" width="490"]Quiet Skies demands Burien let them help city appeal with FAA over plane noise 2 Quiet Skies President Larry Cripe[/caption] [caption id="attachment_113493" align="aligncenter" width="490"]Quiet Skies demands Burien let them help city appeal with FAA over plane noise 3 Walt Bala, former airline pilot and FAA inspector[/caption] [caption id="attachment_113497" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Quiet Skies demands Burien let them help city appeal with FAA over plane noise 4 John Rizzardi, lawyer[/caption]

To listen to raw audio of Tuesday night’s meeting, click the ‘Play’ button below:
[embed]http://jonlehman.synology.me:8666/BtownBlog/wp-content/images/QuietSkiesBurien060617.mp3[/embed]
By Jack Mayne Photos & Audio by Scott Schaefer The Quiet Skies Coalition says it has been frozen out of participating in a city federal appeal and a possible negotiated settlement with the Federal Aviation Administration about turning some propjet flights over the city – particularly the Seahurst neighborhood. Quiet Skies leader Larry Cripe told a well attended public meeting Tuesday night (June 6) at Gregory Heights Elementary School that – combined with a new Flying Skies Puget Sound group in Des Moines – much has happened since he first brought loud plane noise issues to the Burien City Council last October. Quiet Skies and Cripe, in particular, was very mad at Burien City Attorney Lisa Marshall because she was not allowing Quiet Skies to participate or help develop the city’s legal case. The matter is before the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco where the city is appealing in the FAA’s possible return of the plane noise. Interim City Manager Tony Piasecki has supported Marshall’s actions. Fighting city is difficult Cripe said Quiet Skies has spent hundreds of hours dedicated to the noise problem, but the city is the real problem. “Fighting the FAA is easy, fighting our city government has been difficult,” Cripe said. “When we turned the legal process over to the city and brought the (San Francisco law firm to the table) the city took over the case and mistakes were made.” While the city and residents of Burien won the initial battle of getting the automatic flight turns over Burien stopped, “we may lose the war” because of fears it will renew the left turn of smaller jet passenger planes over Burien. “I told you then that I will tell you the truth, nothing but the truth as we know it.” He said two Burien City Councilmembers – Debi Wagner and Nancy Tosta – are working with Quiet Skies, adding that after a private discussion with Tosta, “she has assured me that she is going to get the City Council together” to allow legal case sharing. “We are prepared to work with the city but we have not been allowed” to be fully informed on the case. The city staff, particularly Marshall, has not shared its legal approach and facts with Quiet Skies, he said. For citizens who do not understand, Marshall is the city council’s attorney. The Burien City Council hired her – she effectively is the Council’s staff lawyer. Marshall answers to the city manager, but ultimately to the Council. Interim City Manager Piasecki defended Marshal during a phone call with the B-Town Blog on Wednesday afternoon, noting she is doing her job appropriately as an employee of the City Council. “Lisa Marshall has been handling this litigation in a very professional manner and she has been working closely with her clients to make sure that the litigation is being pursued aggressively,” Piasecki said. “We have been as open with Quiet Skies as we can and we plan to be as open and will continue to do so in the future,” he said. Hope for a change “I hold out great hope that there is going to be a change” in her sharing with Quiet Skies to “ultimately win the war,” Cripe said Tuesday night. But, if the Council does not pay heed to Quiet Skies, he might feel the need to “call 400 or 500 people back to city hall to make it clear that we want their attention – I will do that.” John Parness, a local resident and a lawyer, said Tuesday that Quiet Skies asked the Burien City Council to finance an appeal lawsuit with the federal appeals court in San Francisco over the failure of the FAA to conform with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The Council approved the suit by a six to one vote – the lone vote against the move was by Councilmember Bob Edgar. He said he was worried about the cost to taxpayers of such a legal action. Parness noted that Quiet Skies had originally located Dentons, the San Francisco firm, and had spent $10,000 of its locally raised funds to get the basic facts for the appeal to the FAA decision to make changes in the takeoff patterns over Burien. But Quiet Skies needed the added financial support of Burien. Lawyer Matthew Adams of Dentons’ at the time said it appeared Quiet Skies and the City of Burien could get the flight paths moderated or changed by challenging the federal agency over failure to conduct environmental studies before such a major change in operations. Without waiting for the action to be decided in court, the FAA withdrew the mandatory requirement that all smaller jet airliners make a turn over Burien whenever the takeoff and landing pattern was from the south to north, a pattern normal in winter months. Parness said the belief is that the FAA will reintroduce the deflections of flights over Burien, perhaps in a different form but to the detriment of the city. The agency, he said, withdrew the previous order only because the appeal forced them to realize the failure to study environmental impacts was legally wrong. “They will go back and redo the process and bring back problems,” Parness said. “We understand we are up against a long-term challenge here.” [caption id="attachment_113492" align="alignright" width="225"]Quiet Skies demands Burien let them help city appeal with FAA over plane noise 5 Lisa Marshall[/caption] ‘Shut out’ by Marshall “If I had it to do over again, I would never have asked the city or the city attorney (Marshall) to fund this thing. “We lost control of the lawsuit at that point. That was a bad thing. We were shut out; we did not know what was going on.” “Settlement may or may not be in our best interests,” said Parness. A woman in the audience wanted to know who could fire the attorney responsible for not informing Quiet Skies. Parness said that was up to the City Council, but he reiterated the problems was with the Burien City Attorney Lisa Marshall, not with the San Francisco lawyer. “We need to be outraged about this,” the woman said. “I think there is an attorney hired by our City Council who is stonewalling. That should not be acceptable.” Parness said the best message to the Council was to let Quiet Skies to again become involved. Meanwhile, the lawsuit remains active but on hold before the federal appeals court, but settlement talks have been held between Burien and the FAA, but Marshall does not share those talks with Quiet Skies, says Parness and Cripe. “It is extremely frustrating, after spending countless hours to educate the City Council about this issue to be stonewalled by the city attorney (Marshall) particularly, in our opinion, not having the best interests of the city at heart. “I hate to say that, but based on my experience … it has been very frustrating to deal with city staff,” Parness said, adding the FAA is a complex federal agency that “needs to be held accountable.” A person in the Tuesday night audience suggested past problems with the airport over the third runway and Cripe said that was an entirely different situation. FAA pushed Burien overflights “What we have is a total violation of an arbitrary and capricious decision….” Cripe said. On July 26, 2016, KC Yanamura said in her office at the Renton FAA regional headquarters in a closed meeting at the end of the day with several proposals on the table, she made a statement. “Look, I am going to make this easy on all of us, I want this traffic over Burien and Seahurst – they don’t have the money or the stamina to fight it,” Cripe quoted a source as to what Yanamura told her staff in that closed-door meeting. “Now you know why Larry Cripe is pissed off and why I got involved,” he said to audience applause, adding that if she wants to come after me, come after me.” He said he has tried to get the names of the people in that room that day, but the FAA won’t tell the names. Such a statement should make everybody in the entire region irate, Cripe said. The agency is not serving the public it is paid by to serve, it is serving the Port of Seattle, he told the Burien audience. He also suggested that most of the flights affecting Burien are by planes of the Alaska Air Group, including the prop-jets deflected over Burien, and that people should cut up their Alaska Airline credits cards and stop using them until the company stops abusing the city. Bradley D. Tilden is president and chief executive officer of Alaska Airlines and Alaska Air Group and graduated in 1979 from Highline High School. Cripe said the Burien Council needs to tell the city staff to support the suit and noted that Tosta and Wagner, who were at the meeting, you vote to see that Quiet Skies was included in the decision making process. Send FAA, Port a letter John Rizzardi, a Seahurst resident and an attorney with the Seattle law firm of Cairncross and Hempelmann drafted a proposed letter that the public can send to the Port of Seattle, the FAA and Alaska Airlines. The letter is available on the Quiet Skies website (download Word .doc of letter here). ”As I said in the meeting, this letter draws a line in the sand, informing the Port, the FAA and Alaska Airlines that there is no permission to increase the frequency of flights over our property. The coalition wants its members and local property owners to make their voices heard by those who are impacting our quality of life.” The letter he proposes people copy and send says he objects to planes flying over his property. “Folks, I want you to know that I am drawing a line in the sand about your trespass and I am going to do something about it and the letter explains it in great detail, Rizzardi said. Quiet Skies Puget Sound Quiet Skies Puget Sound leader Steve Edmiston told the Burien Quite Skies meeting Tuesday night that his group is about “protecting out quality of life in response to two threats.” The threats are aircraft noise from new flight paths and procedures and “harm to human health and the environment from aircraft emissions.” He noted there are more planes, lower flights, louder planes, and flights in different from usual flight paths and later at night and earlier in the morning. The Port has told its commissioners that “260 more planes (will fly) over your house every day,” and that “the difference between 2013 and 2016 was 94,984 operations. That’s 260 more aircraft going over homes per day. Edmiston said a Port of Seattle report says it will “triple air cargo volume to 750,000 metric tons in the next five years. The number of international flights will double during the five-year period and the Port says it “will meet the region’s air transportation needs at Sea-Tac Airport for the next 25 years and encourage the cost effective expansion of domestic and international passengers and cargo service.” He said there is nothing in the Port’s “Century Agenda” about noise or human health, nor is there any “strategy, objective, metric, or priority action for ‘partnering with surrounding communities’” and “nothing about sustaining the human species.”]]>