Wednesday, June 27, 2007

NO-Fly Zone Press Enterprise 06207

BS Ranch Perspective

I thought that the object was for SBX to get underway to becoming a International Airport, and get some flights to start to fly into this airport other then a shipping company, something other then DHL!
BS Ranch

No-Fly Zone

07:07 AM PDT on Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The March Joint Powers Authority's plan to experiment with having noisy DHL cargo planes take off over San Bernardino County has mobilized elected officials here, from city councils to Congress, to fight the proposal.

On Thursday, Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, fired off a letter to Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, chairman of the March Authority board, to express his concern about DHL taking off over Colton, Rialto and other parts of his district.

"As the congressman who represents these cities, I strongly oppose changes to the existing DHL flight plan," Baca wrote. He'd rather the March Authority adjust DHL's takeoff times or require aircraft to be upgraded to quieter models.

"Please keep me abreast of all further meetings related to this issue as I am vehemently opposed to advancement of this plan," Baca concluded.

A day earlier, San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales urged mayors and council members who sit on the San Bernardino International Airport Authority board to ask Ashley for a meeting on the planned test-flights.

Ashley has said his board has no intention of shifting its problem (residents being awakened by 3 a.m. takeoffs) onto its neighbors in this county.

Folks here may be skeptical.

The March Authority's credibility isn't so hot. It misrepresented where the flight path would be during public hearings before the DHL contract was approved in 2004. And it was less than forthcoming when it discovered estimates of how much money DHL would bring in were off by $12 million.

I hope the authority handles the flight-path issue better.

Fairway Drive between San Bernardino and Colton is looking a lot better. Caltrans crews are staying on top of illegal dumping, and San Bernardino city's graffiti crew is keeping taggers' handiwork covered.

The crackdown on dumping and graffiti came after a Colton resident who wanted to ride her bicycle to work in San Bernardino sought help from officials to make Fairway passable.

The cleanup got completed before Memorial Day, and constant vigilance from both agencies has kept the underpass from deteriorating again.

Unfortunately, it's still too dangerous to ride a bicycle through there. The curving, two-lane road has sandy shoulders unsuitable for bicycle tires, and the asphalt is so narrow, bicyclists would be taking their lives in their hands if they tried to share the road with cars.

There's an asphalt Flood Control maintenance road under the bridge, but Caltrans won't remove concrete barriers that block it because the bridge supports weren't designed for bicycle or pedestrian use. And Flood Control won't permit others to use its maintenance road anyway.

Both agencies should rethink their stances. Government at all levels is trying to encourage people to use alternatives to solo-vehicle commuting.

And it would be simple to make the maintenance road suitable: Just add lights for safety and fences to prevent dumping but allow walkers and cyclists to pass.

It wouldn't take that much money, said Lorna Martinez-Garcia, the county worker who wants to leave her car behind.

I'll keep asking until someone gives me a good reason why it can't be done.

Cassie MacDuff can be reached at 909-806-3068 or

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