EDITOR: Aaron Rosen's thoughtful letter (“Airport expansion,” Thursday) regarding the possible noise impact of expanding Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport missed a couple of points.
As a commercial pilot for more than 40 years, I've watched air transportation trends at smaller-market airports, and I am very interested in this one since I've been a resident here for 23 years. If Sonoma County is able to get service directly to larger hubs such as Denver or Salt Lake City, it will be on regional jets, the 50-80-seat planes used by the major airlines' commuter partners, such as American Eagle and United Express. These aircraft have no greater a noise footprint than the business jets that already use Sonoma County's airport several times each day. We won't be seeing “large jets,” such as Boeing 737s or Airbus 320s, coming into our airport, even with the runway expansion. The market just doesn't call for that.
Lastly, we had service to two of our local major airports (United Express to San Francisco and American Eagle to San Jose) before post-9/11 cutbacks by the airlines. New lower-cost service from Oakland after that trumped the market for bringing those flights back.
A library's value
EDITOR: I agree with Jonathan Greenberg regarding library hours (“Shame on supes for not restoring library hours,” Close to Home, Thursday). However, I believe that the Board of Supervisors is not lacking in political will or leadership. What they lack is a self-awareness regarding their own values.
Clearly, they do not seem to value the needs of families, seniors and children. If the supervisors were more aware and perhaps capable of more self-examination, they would have a greater respect for the values and needs of the wider community.
EDITOR: Friday's feature on hot-air balloons (“Fun is in the air”) didn't cover the annoyance level of those who live in the path of these balloons. They are as loud as the commercial airliners that pass overhead, but the balloons take much longer, waking us up, causing our dogs to bark and other animals to be agitated, increasing our blood pressure, heart rate and breathing, etc.