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Letters: Orient helicopter route an issue

Sen. Charles Schumer's proposal to extend the North Shore over-water helicopter route around Orient Point will jeopardize eastern Queens' and Nassau County's quality of life ["North Shore copter route fazes some," Letters, July 2]. Under the rule that Schumer lobbied for in recent years, pilots fly over Long Island Sound and then turn south near Mattituck on their way to Hamptons airports, concentrating noise and angering residents.

Schumer now seeks to have choppers fly farther east and turn south at Orient Point. However, clients who can afford helicopters use them to save time. Extending the North Shore route would add 45 minutes, forcing pilots instead to use the track route.

The track route follows the Long Island Rail Road's Main Line over land from as far west as Queens Village, placing helicopters at 500 feet, well within earshot of thousands of people. JFK Airport uses the airspace at higher altitudes.

The solution is not to extend the North Shore route to Orient, but to eliminate the rule that requires the transition at Mattituck. It would be better to allow pilots to return to their voluntary North Shore over-water route and let them fan out their approaches to eliminate the concentration of noise over a few homes on the North Fork. An equitable distribution of helicopter traffic is possible if all routes are equally accessible and practical.

Mary-Grace Tomecki, Floral Park

Editor's note: The writer is a Floral Park Village trustee and a liaison to the Town-Village Aircraft Safety & Noise Abatement Committee.

I was sorry to see that the North Shore route for helicopters flying to the Hamptons was extended for another two years ["Helicopter flight path restrictions extended," News, June 21]. The North Shore route, established by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2012, sends helicopters along Long Island's North Shore, but when they reach my area of the North Fork, they turn south over land toward airports on the South Fork.

Residents of the North Fork are inundated with the noise and vibration of not just helicopters, but also private jets and propeller planes, particularly seaplanes. I live in Mattituck, 13 miles from East Hampton Airport and 20 miles from Gabreski Airport in Westhampton. For six years, I have been documenting and calling in complaints about individual aircraft. On Sunday, a noisy aircraft flew over us at 11:13 p.m.!

What additional information about the problems caused for North Fork residents does the FAA need? Why can't it extend the North Shore route around Orient Point? Why can't more helicopters fly a South Shore route over the ocean? The FAA needs to listen to residents and amend the North Shore route ASAP. Give us all a break already!

Teresa McCaskie, Mattituck

Nassau part-timers earning too much

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos reportedly has started an inquiry of the salaries paid to part-time and seasonal workers ["Probe of part-timers," News, July 23].

How can he open an independent probe into what appears to be his own department's shortcomings? One of his roles is to administer the county payroll and employee health benefits. Where was he when the problems took place?

What is needed is a totally independent investigation by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, because the implications of this fiasco are enormous and need to be exposed.

David Beldner, East Rockaway

Where do I get in line for one of these part-time jobs with Nassau County ["Amid Nassau wage freeze: County paid $26M to part-timers," News, July 22]?

If we're paying part-timers these rates, no wonder average folks are moving out of the area.

I've been slaving at work my whole life and never made $46,000 for a full-time job. I have a college degree and am a certified paralegal and notary. Something is very wrong with this system in Nassau County!

No wonder the county is broke!

Iris Davidson, Massapequa

Well done, Newsday! Your July 22 article on overpaid part-time workers in Nassau again highlights our pervasive problem of political patronage in Long Island government.

I hope you keep the spotlight on those who funnel our money into the pockets of their friends and relatives. Patronage is a prime reason for the high cost of government on Long Island. It's time we stamp it out.

Stu Chamberlain, West Sayville

Why were Americans fighting for Israel?

I was surprised to read that two Americans were killed while fighting for the Israeli army ["High toll in Gaza fighting," News, July 21].

Why were they in the Israeli army and not the U.S. Army? Are they saying that they live in the United States, but their hearts are really with Israel? Regardless of the perceived relationship between the two countries, a question I would ask is: Why do we put up with this?

Hugh Norton, Huntington