Letter to the editor: Reid-Hillview article lacked balance
Reid-Hillview Airport in East San Jose is pictured in this file photo.

    We write in response to your most recent article regarding Reid-Hillview Airport. The article, while informative, took an unbalanced look at a very serious issue that is impacting our

    Those of us who reside in this community face possible consequences that no other community in the Bay Area has to face. We write to ensure that the deep pockets of special interests do not silence the voice of the overwhelming majority of those of us who call home, the area around what is currently Reid-Hillview Airport.

    Those special interests, unfortunately, seek to perpetuate inequities that would never be accepted in any other part of the city or county.

    At present, the general aviation enthusiasts who come to fly or learn to fly their airplanes place our lives and those of our loved ones at risk. In the past few years, we have too often observed officials from the National Transportation Safety Board investigating planes that have crashed into homes in our community.

    Our greatest fear is to learn that one of the aircraft from Reid-Hillview lands into Meyer Elementary, a school that already was in place when the county chose to expand the airport in the 1960s.

    The landlocked nature of the airport makes it unique in the Bay Area and poses severe threats that no other Bay Area community has to face. Palo Alto, San Martin, San Carlos and Hayward all have easy access to the bay or ample open space.

    Reid-Hillview pilots in the past have landed onto homes in the Cassell neighborhood, Capitol Expressway and crashed into Eastridge Center. This places the lives of our East San Jose residents at risk and is unacceptable.

    Lastly and most important are the high levels of pollution that led the county to shut down the southeastern quadrant of Reid-Hillview Airport. The pollution from the airport is airborne. While we appreciate the chain-link fence that was placed to keep people from accessing those areas, we know that it is not enough to keep those pollutants from adversely affecting the health of our community.

    Moreover, in your article you cite an individual who claims “…there is no evidence that the toxins produced by planes were dangerous to the surrounding community.” Fortunately, for the individual in question, as a resident of Los Altos Hills he does not have to live with consequences of the toxins that are produced by planes at Reid-Hillview. We do.

    Andres Quintero is a board member for the Alum Rock School District. Laura Arechiga is a Welch Park neighborhood leader. Ernesto Barajas is a Cassell neighborhood leader.

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