Culver City Locals Want Quieter Skies
October 29, 2015
By Lynne Bronstein
October 24 was “No Fly Day” in several American cities, including Culver City, as citizens protested airplane routes that cause noise and air pollution in their neighborhoods.
Feedback from No Fly Day was offered to the City Council at October 26’s meeting, during public comment, by members of the grassroots group Culver City for Quiet Skies. The speakers had attended the October 24 rally and wanted to remind the city to support them in petitioning the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to come up with solutions for airplane noise resulting from air routes over the city.
Group member Mark Herscovitz presented a slide show of photos from the rally and noted that more than 200 people attended, while a petition to the FAA had garnered 1600 signatures. He thanked City Council members Jeff Cooper and Meghan Sahli-Wells for attending the rally and giving support.
Herscovitz emphasized that one of the goals of Culver City for Quiet Skies is to “raise the planes.” This slogan, advocating that planes fly at higher altitudes to avoid noise impacting residential areas, was featured on many of the protest signs displayed at the rally.
According to a summary provided to the city, in the central part of the city the number of airplanes flying at 6,000 feet or lower doubled between 2010 and 2012. In the northern part of the city, the number of low-flying aircraft increased from 284 in 2010 to 702 in 2013.
Herscovitz also told the Council how his young daughter spoke at the rally, saying:“ I wake up in the middle of the night. I can’t sleep. I can’t study,” as a result of airplane noise.
Another member of the group, Sheila Iverson, spoke of how she came to live in Culver City for the “culture” but is now struggling to reconcile her love for the city with the continuous bombardment of airplane noise. She urged the council to raise its collective voice because she believed the council’s voice would help the community’s voice be heard.
“Your voices are being heard,” said Mayor Mehaul O’ Leary. “This council is working as hard as we can for this issue.”
“It’s true that we don’t have the power over the sky,” said Sahli-Wells. “But we have the power of our own voices. It helps that the council amplifies the voices for the residents.”
Sahli-Wells added that council members have been attending and supporting community meetings on the subject of flyover noise and have been working with Congresswoman Karen Bass on the issue.
O’ Leary had another inspiration, triggered by the story of Herscovitz’s daughter. “We can get more messages from the school kids. That should touch people.” Jim Clarke agreed, noting that the school district should work with the city on reducing airplane noise, as it obviously impacts students’ ability to learn.
More information about air flight problems and actions taken by citizens is available at http://www.culvercityforquietskies.org/ and the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1665620647028686/