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VALUE FREEDOM?

Re: Neighbors like MacDill's new plan (story, Jan. 25)

People know about the Air Force base before they buy in that area. They're aware of the noise potential, yet they buy anyway. Then, surprisingly, they get upset when things get a little loud? There are times when the air space around MacDill is quiet, and there's a reason for that, too. It's because brave men and women have taken "107" decibels of "chain saw" noise overseas where they fight, and sometimes die, defending the rights and lives of Americans back home. Even those who feel a need to install decibel meters around their property should understand that.

J. Shughart, SMSergeant,U.S. Air Force (Retired)

Here's an idea

The proposed plan amendments by the city of Tampa adjacent to MacDill Air Force Base are more regulatory taking of property. They do little to protect existing residential property owners' health and safety from the incompatible and excessive noise produced by MacDill Air Force Base's aircraft. In fact, what these proposed plan amendments do is shift the burden of noise mitigation from MAFB, the polluter of noise, onto the victims and homeowners, causing an unfair financial burden. If MAFB would just eliminate, as it should, all incompatible noise over residential property, there may be no need to regulate any property at all.

Michael Waite, Ballast Point

Re: Peter O. Knight Airport

It's time to act

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority's desire to move the Peter O. Knight runway closer to homes and add 12 large hangars, turning what was once a smaller private airport for flight training into a major reliever airport for Tampa International Airport, may be one step closer, and we need to stop them.

Unfortunately, Davis Islands is the target for the HCAA to relieve some of the airport traffic from TIA. The HCAA has used the buzz word "safety" to get the public to buy into it. They also said that there would be no noise increase, if any, in their first presentation to the Davis Islands Civic Association. Then, in their second presentation, they said a 5 decibel increase. Similar in sound to leaves rattling on trees in the wind, they said. But, in reality, their own sound engineer tested the noise after we challenged them, and found out that the sound increase as a result of moving the runway was actually an increase of more than 22 decibels, nearly four times as loud as it is now. That's a far cry from leaves blowing in the wind.

Worst still, they showed that there would be a very minimal increase in the number of planes. It was less than a year ago, June 12, 2006, when the Tate family's home was crushed by an airplane that ran off the runway, killing the pilot, the Tate family's dog, and very nearly Mrs. Tate, destroying their home and a lifetime of memories. In 1999, the city of Tampa sold the airport to the HCAA. ... It's about expanding and developing the airport into something it was never intended to be - an industrial commercial reliever airport for TIA.

John Scioscia, Davis Islands

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