Diane Wood

About Mitt’s Promises

Mitt Romney – is he to be believed?

Romney promised to reduce all income tax rates by 20%, very impressive. He added that your deductions would be reduced so that the government’s operating deficit would not increase. Romney is saying your tax payments will not decrease and might actually increase. As a result, some will pay higher taxes when they lose more in deductions than they save due to the rate change. Think about losing your home mortgage interest deduction and your charitable gift deduction. When the public rebels against losing popular deductions, a president Romney and Congress will be forced to drop that plan but the 20% rate reduction will remain, reducing revenues significantly. Our budget deficit and our national debt will rise as a result of reduced tax revenues.

Mr. Romney will repeal the Affordable Care Act, doing away with the law that is already helping tens of millions of American who have pre-existing conditions or simply can’t afford health insurance. His proposal makes drastic cuts in Medicaid. This would deny essential health care to millions more Americans including the elderly who need long term care. Romney’s view that these people can get medical care in the emergency room is not the solution. What was your last ER visit like? And an ER visit by an uninsured person is paid for by higher rates for those who do buy insurance. This type of health care puts an additional burden on every person who has health care coverage.

And Romney says PBS will not be federally funded when he is president. He will get rid of Big Bird! Ninety percent of U.S. homes view PBS. Each day 80 percent of all children between ages of 2 – 8 tune into PBS according to the New York Times. PBS is a national treasure. PBS news gives viewers a chance to hear both sides of issues, unlike the partisan programs too often masquerading as news. And PBS includes high quality nature, music, and educational programs. And finally, eliminating funding for PBS provides an insignificant savings in the national budget. Romney will have to do better, a lot better.

Some believe that a president who is an experienced businessman will promote recovery of our economy. But businessman Romney insisted the government should let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt when they struggled during the 2007-8 Great Recession. That reflects the ruthless attitude of a successful business leader. President Obama leads our nation, not just our businesses. His extraordinary effort to pump federal funds into the auto industry and save up to one million jobs worked beautifully and today our auto manufacturers are alive and well and have paid back the Federal loan. We need a president with that kind of vision.

Accountability up the air

Plane vs house = homeowner loses.

What? No pilot insurance?

I have long been concerned about the risks of increased air traffic that will accompany major improvements planned for the Longmont Airport.

On December 18, 2011 a pilot had an emergency landing on usually busy Hover Rd., near Rogers Grove. No investigation was made as to why this extreme stunt was necessary. Did the pilot fail to fill the fuel tank? Was required maintenance properly performed? It was most fortunate no one was injured or killed.

Then on March 23, 2012 we had a mid-air collision over Longmont resulting in two deaths. What if the tumbling aircraft had crashed into a home, school or busy retail center in this densely populated town?

The Master Plan to extend the runway at Vance Brand in Longmont projects a doubling of aircraft operations over the next few years. That plan does nothing to implement flight controls or even simple record keeping at our airport. With takeoffs and landings occurring once a minute and helicopters and skydivers filling the air, mid-air collisions will occur more frequently.

There is no flight control at Vance Brand. Even instructors based at other airports bring students to Longmont’s airport to practice touch and go maneuvers. Why? No one at Longmont’s airport watches his or her operating skill or behavior. The FAA identifies an airport’s Air Influence Zone. Longmont has seen fit to build six schools within that zone – risky. You must agree that having novices learn to fly over your home and school is unnecessarily risky.

FAA does not require private aircraft owners to carry liability insurance and many do not. Few buy insurance adequate to compensate the victims of a crash. You cannot drive your car without adequate insurance but your small aircraft need not be insured so why bother.

The Longmont Airport is not a significant moneymaker for the City. Longmont Council can boost out local economy by bringing in light industry and high tech companies. But anyone who tries to argue that this airport is key to companies considering a move to Longmont is out of touch with the real world of business.

Please recognize the risks to each of us presented by increased air traffic over Longmont.


4/24/12 Update by Diane Wood

Being in an aerospace industry, it is prudent to carry aircraft insurance. If there were a serious accident, your company could be sued and possibly put out of business.

In surfing the internet regarding insurance on private aircraft, I did not find any mention that most private aircraft owners carry insurance.

Listed below are some of my concerns.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AT LONGMONT MUNICIPAL AIRPORT

  • AIRNAV.COM reports 274 operations per day average during 2010 at LMO. With increased runway capacity and general improvement of the facility, more traffic can be expected in the future.
  • Daily observation shows those weekends with favorable weather experience at least double the daily average traffic. Those 548 operations are spread over about 10 hours. That is 55 operations per hour or about one a minute – all day. All this will happen without any traffic control.
  • At the same time there are hundreds of skydivers landing near the runway, gliders, ultralights, biplanes, prop planes, jets, the jump plane, helicopters.
  • Ultralights buzzing slowly along at low altitude and in the morning, drifting hot air balloons. All this happening over nearby homes and schools
  • With the expansion of the runway allowing more jet aircraft, the jet aircraft will require a larger Air Influence Zone. This means that more residential and school areas will be subjected to safety.
  • With a jet laden with fuel, it creates more of a hazard. It is heavier, contains more fuel, should an accident occur, it has more potential to do more damage to property and worst, injure, maim and kill people.
  • Migratory birds and aircraft can collide creating a tragedy.
  • Open space and wildlife will be affected.
  • Flights take off wee hours of the morning and late into the evening.
  • There is no monitoring of the airport.
  • Safety should never be considered way out of proportion.

By the way, I have not heard or read about any toaster deaths.

Emergency landing on Hover

For years I have opposed extending the runway at Vance Brand Airport. My concern is safety. Planes fly as low as 400 feet over our home. The 80-decibel aircraft noise that routinely stops conversation in our backyard is troubling, but at least it is not terrifying.

A few years ago a plane crashed in our driveway and I returned home to find the driveway blocked by firetrucks, ambulances and sheriff’s cars. Yesterday it happened again, this time on busy Hover Street; just another harmless crash done with a dead engine in full emergency conditions. How many times will we turn a blind eye to these crashes and the tragedy that will happen someday? How will you feel when you lose a family member in such an avoidable tragedy?

What will it take to deliver this message to the City Council?

Remember the airliner crash in the Hudson River in New York and the fortunate survival of all? A flock of geese brought that aircraft down. We have thousands of geese circling inside the flight pattern each afternoon. No aircraft crash has yet been reported but just think about the possibility of it happening over downtown.

Why doesn’t the City Council take into consideration these safety issues? They keep touting that increasing air traffic over Longmont will bring in business and jobs. That is just pie in the sky thinking. They should consider the safety and well-being of residents.