Letters to the editor: Oct. 4 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: Oct. 4

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Posted: Sunday, October 4, 2009 8:47 pm | Updated: 3:13 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

FALCON FIELD

Safe Sabena flights

It continually amazes me that a small group of activists at the southwest end of the Falcon Field Airport can spread so many distortions and untruths about one operator at Falcon Field Airport.

I don’t understand why they would pick on a successful, quality business as CAE/Sabena. In Wednesday’s paper, you printed an Opinion 2 piece from one of the protesters that contains erroneous and misleading information.

The fact that Sabena is a large company is irrelevant. The important issue is whether it is a well-run, safety-conscious and qualified operator. Sabena is all of that and more. One fact the Falcon Field Ad Hoc Committee discussed was other Valley flight school operators use Falcon Field to perform many types of operations from “touch-and-go” landings to instrument approaches, often throughout the night.

Without identifying those operators, you cannot charge one with all flights that may disturb the neighborhoods.

Completely untrue is the claim that “Sabena students fly more than 500 'touch and go’ operations on a daily and continuous basis over the neighborhoods, schools and businesses surrounding Falcon Field.”

Total daily operations at Falcon Field average about 800. Also untrue is the charge that the crash last year killing three people was a training flight when in fact it was with an experienced pilot. Sabena students are given extensive dual training (with highly maintained aircraft) and not allowed to fly solo until they have completed a minimum number of hours in flight and satisfied a certificated flight instructor’s review before they are released for flight. They fly regularly to maintain their skill level, making them much safer pilots.

While discussing opinions, the Tribune’s editorial on Wednesday was also misleading by saying “pilot school’s operations do not currently conform to crash-safety maps, noise contour maps and other government documents that are supposed to alert homeowners to the most likely dangers.”

I would challenge the Tribune or the activists to show how Sabena does not conform to Federal Aviation Administration rules and flight criteria that all aircraft must operate under. If there are inaccurate documents, they have been produced by non-FAA sources, which do not change the requirements that aircraft must operate under safety rules established by the FAA.

BOB HAYES

MEMBER, FALCON FIELD AD HOC COMMITTEE, FORMER CAE/SABENA EMPLOYEE, MESA

CREDIT CARDS

Law making it worse

In the last two weeks, my three credit card providers have notified me they are changing their rates, fees and other terms.

All are changing due to, as one credit card company stated, “... new federal law and regulations that impact all credit card companies.” Typical of the changes are these from Discover:

• Annual percentage rate for paying late or exceeding my credit limit, increasing.

• Interest rate on cash advances, increasing.

• Balance transfer and cash advance transaction fees, increasing to 5 percent from 3 percent.

• Minimum monthly payment calculation, will result in a higher monthly payment.

• Cash-back bonus program, reduced from 5 percent to 2 percent.

Of course, the Discover letter states: “You have the right to reject some of the above changes. If you reject these changes, we will close your account ...”

OK, the federal government has fixed the credit card industry, now let’s get on to fixing health care!

BOB HICKS

GILBERT

HEALTH CARE

Cost details emerge

Finally, concrete information is becoming available on the cost of the Senate and House health care proposals.

The Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., would provide for new spending of $774 billion; $463 billion would go to insurance exchange subsidies, $287 billion would go to Medicaid CHP expansions and $24 billion would go to small-business subsidies.

This new spending would be paid for by Medicare and Medicaid savings of $409 billion, by taxes on high premium insurance policies of $215 billion, by fees on health care-related industries of $88 billion, by penalties on noninsuring employers and uninsured individuals of $47 billion and by $63 billion of other taxes.

When one goes to the House bill, HR 3200, I found it difficult to access its impact on Medicare.

But what is certain is that the Medicare Advantage Program will be cut by $162 billion to $172 billion based on the current proposal.

This data should be a wake-up call for all retirees.

Do you really believe cuts like these can be made without drastically reducing senior medical care?

Current law provides for a 21 percent cut in Medicare fees to doctors next year and a 6 percent cut the year after.

The cuts proposed in the current legislation are on top of these reductions. Medicare is being gutted.

JOHN STAFFORD

PHOENIX

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