I am aghast at the lunacy of a pleasure copter landing in a residential neighborhood strictly for the inconvenience of a 20-minute commute from the Napa airport. This large, noisy, invasive machine should never have been an item on the county agenda, but it seems that Mr. Palmaz deemed it necessary to waste weeks and days of tax dollars bringing this issue into contention.

Senator Dodd has made the argument that there is currently no problem with helicopters in Napa, and that crisis situations would prevent PG&E and hospitals from using helicopters to do their existing jobs. This could not be further from the truth.

The operative words here, 'private use', have no bearing on the rights of public utilities and emergency helicopters that are already in place.

This is a crucial moment for the Napa Valley, where we already have seen uncontrolled growth, excessive winery development, and traffic congestion from the influx of visitors and workers who spend hours getting in and out of this town only to find traffic snarls an indicator of things to come. There are many communities in California who have felt the result of misguided judgement and live with the noise and disruption of private helicopters daily and in the middle of the night.

We can take a stand and see that this will not become our problem. this is our town, our neighborhood. We should protect as we would protect our air, our water, our rights to a quiet and green place to live.

Sen. Dodd will never get my vote again, because he has fallen prey to the idea that because we do not appear to be in jeopardy at this moment, there can be no future threat. Check history for confirmation that when we do not pay attention, the rug gets pulled out leaving a shaky foundation.

Gail Chase Bien


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