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Sep 4, 2012 4:33 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Airport Noise Opponents Claim FBI Investigated Rally

Sep 4, 2012 6:57 PM

The dispute over helicopter noise at East Hampton Airport reached new heights when an anti-noise group claimed this week that members of the East Hampton Aviation Association had called the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate a protest they staged at the airport on Friday afternoon.

But Irving Paler, the group’s president, denounced that claim.

“The East Hampton Aviation Association certainly did not call the FBI or any other law enforcement agency,” he said in a prepared statement on Tuesday. “That is preposterous. We did not know anything about it. Peaceful protest is part of our American heritage.”

Quiet Skies Coalition Chairwoman Kathleen Cunningham issued a statement on Saturday, claiming that East Hampton Town Chief of Police Eddie Ecker Jr. had told her that the pilots association had asked the FBI to investigate the rally.

“The Aviation Association also told the chief that protestors planned to block the roads,” she said in the statement. “Apparently, this prompted a visit from an anti-terrorism unit.”

But Chief Ecker denied that he had told Ms. Cunningham that the pilots association had called the FBI. He did confirm that the bureau had reached out to the police, forwarding information it had received that a protest group was going to try to “get on the runway to stop the helicopters from coming in.”

He said to his knowledge, no FBI agents had checked in on the rally.

He also said the police have a “pretty good relationship” with the regular protestors. “They have been very peaceful,” he said.

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A member of the Quiet Skies Coalition called the town noise complaint phone line and said he was going to drive vehicles onto the runway to prevent helicopters from landing. Since the East Hampton Airport has been part of the National Transportation System since 1936, the Homeland Security Administration and the FBI automatically investigate such threats.
By FactChecker101 (2), East Hampton on Sep 4, 12 8:03 PM
The protesters have been at the airport for several weeks, and most are---well, to be polite about it--very mature, grey panthers, if anything. They have been peaceful, respectufl and even their signs are polite, several of the signs said PLEASE!!! The person who called the noise complaint line was more than likely a pilot or an airport supporter trying to cause trouble for the protesters. Standard operating procedure for the aviation association. The police will know who the protesters are, ...more
By Trish (91), Sag Harbor on Sep 4, 12 9:35 PM
2 members liked this comment
The person who called was an airport opponent.
By FactChecker101 (2), East Hampton on Sep 5, 12 7:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
That's just more nonsense from you; had that really happened, the FBI or Homeland Security would have been talking to that person.
THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN. Get you facts straight, pal.

Funny how no one get's detailed reports from Grotel's PlaneNoise, yet you seem to be on the inside. Explain that please.
By SagHarborBob (91), Life is Good on Sep 5, 12 9:06 AM
More hysteria from the nutty fringe.
By MickNY (43), East Hampton on Sep 5, 12 8:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
maybe they shouldnt of moved next to an "airport"
By joejoe93 (1), southampton on Sep 5, 12 4:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
You're absolutely right! They've been seeing the same thing in the yuppie sub-divisions in Quiogue for more than 20 years, and there were similar rumblings just west of me before Gruman pulled out of Calverton in 1995-- all by new-comers!

Quiet Skies Coalition Chairperson Kathleen Cunningham has been exposed here as a liar and a rabble-rouser, and brings discredit to her organization.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 5, 12 7:21 PM
The Chief of Police has proved accusations by Ms. Cunningham to be false. Ms. Cunningham owes the East Hampton Aviation Association an apology and a retraction in kind given her Press Release contained blatant lies. Her attempts at blaming the aviation association are not just bothersome, but reveal the kind of disingenuous ethics used by the coalition in general to attack those whose lives depend on safety measures and proper maintenance at the airport. Ms. Cunningham is a proven liar.
By ANTI.bs (13), Southampton on Sep 6, 12 12:30 PM
Ms. Cunningham wants only peace and quiet. Quiet Skies wants only the quiet enjoyment of their homes.

What do YOU want from the airport Fact Checker?

What do YOU want from the airport anti.bs?

What do YOU want from the airport Frank Wheeler?

And joe joe: get a new shtick. Most protesters live nowhere near the airport. Just ask Fact Checker. it's a fact.
By Amelia Airport (48), East Hampton on Sep 8, 12 10:06 AM
1 member liked this comment