Noise complaints not being handled well

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2000

Like so many here in this community, I am a local resident and homeowner who now suffers terribly from noise of both fixed wing aircraft and the helicopters during the tourist season. Indeed, it keeps me from spending any appreciable amount of time outside now. It is not so much the sheer decibel level as it is the fact that it is so incessant. It lasts all day long, from early in the morning to at least eight at night.

And like many others, I participated in the public events of last fall, and I have attended meetings of the Tourism Advisory Council and the recently formed planning and policy committee of the Juneau Assembly. But if any of us were so naive as to think that the assembly would actually do something to abate this nuisance, it has now become clear that we were very mistaken. Not only is the assembly not going to do anything, it is rapidly moving in the opposite direction to foster the establishment of even more heliports. Meanwhile the Tourism Advisory Committee holds hands with the operators and receives their assurances that they are truly doing everything they can to lessen the effects. This seems to be exactly what the committee wants to hear. The committee believes in ``voluntary compliance.'' Meanwhile the problem only grows worse.

My own participation has caused me to conclude that there is indeed a ``company town'' mentality at city hall. This is too bad. I would have thought that last fall's 2-1 vote would have been a wake-up call. It may be time for a new initiative.

Ray C. Preston

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