BHA’s Stanton: Haven’t Heard of EDC’s Plan to Chop the Choppers

While Brooklyn Heights Blog, WPIX-TV and other news outlets reported on Monday that the EDC is working on a plan to curb helicopter traffic over Brooklyn Heights, it’s a news flash to Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Judy Stanton. The Brooklyn Eagle reports that the group’s spokesperson, who was on the bleeding edge of this issue almost a year ago and is seeking a total ban on tourist choppers, is somehow in the dark about the EDC’s reported plans.

Brooklyn Eagle: Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, was unaware of any such plan, but she “would love to hear what kind of plan it is” before anything is officially decided. Because this issue is being contested not only by local activists but also by elected officials, Stanton hopes that the EDC will consult with those officials and some of the community groups beforehand so that those most directly impacted by the helicopter traffic can make sure the agreement is adequate.

Stanton added that there was also a lack of transparency regarding flights out of the Downtown Manhattan Heliport after “repeatedly asking” for data. BHB asked and received 2009 data from a DMH representative who provided us with 2009 stats claiming 68 landings per day at the heliport last year. We’ve asked for data from 2010, specifically since April 1 and are awaiting a response from DMH.

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  • epc

    Even though DMH is not an FAA controlled airport, I wonder if there’s any FAA data (the IATA? code is JRB).

  • Cranberry Beret

    Homer, I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish by attempting to embarrass the BHA and Judy Stanton in particular. Why the vendetta? Focus on your achievements, spend less energy on the negative. It reflects badly on this blog.

  • Homer Fink

    CB – why such a h8tr? Maybe the EDC isn’t really working on anything and they’re telling the press a fib. Why wouldn’t they pick up the phone and call the BHA… they’re the ones who started the issue! They called it a year ago. Would be nice if EDC saw fit to loop them in, eh?

  • ABC

    I’m with Cranberry Beret here. Had the same reaction.

    Judy Stanton is not everyone’s favorite person. This is what happens when you take a stand on polarizing issues. But she’s devoted a large part of her life to this neighborhood.

    Moreover, don’t misjudge her by that unassuming bob. She knows how to work bureaucrats. When she says she’s unaware of the plan (assume she means a final plan) and would “love to hear what kind of plan it is” before anything is decided, I hear a godfather-y voice saying , “maybe you want to run it by the neighborhood association and local officials before you decide on your own … if you know what’s good for you”

  • ABC

    Homer, the post as you’ve written here is about how Judy is out of the loop or “somehow in the dark” even tho this story has been in the local press and your blog blog. That’s she’s “in the dark”. Also, that she can’t get info that you did.

    If you wanted to write a “why isn’t the EDC reaching out to the community”, you should have done that.

    We’re just responding to your post.

  • zburch

    I emailed the BHA on April 5th asking about the helicopter traffic and if they had had any progress. I did not hear back from them until April 13th. The reasoning… they have been too busy with the home tour. Now I don’t want to bash Judy because frankly, I don’t know her, but is she the only point of contact with the BHA? Surely there are other board members that could dedicate some time to this issue during such pressing events as the Home Tour (a bit of sarcasm here). But this has been my gripe with the BHA for years. They seem to care more about beautification than real quality of life in the neighborhood. Take for example the park. All that talk about having ‘passive’ activity and worrying about noise in the park causing issues in the neighborhood and now this. Non-stop helicopter traffic is certainly a bigger noise issue than soccer players or occasional music concerts in the park. Oh the irony! I think the BHB is a great community and a nice alternative for residents to the BHA, which frankly is a bit stodgy…or at least has the reputation of being so. Maybe they just have communication issues.

  • marianne

    Just asking.

    We all know Homer was at the forefront of the helicopter issue judging from the video we saw on this site. My simple question is, was anyone from the BHA at the protest at the heliport where Marty Markowitz and the other politicians spoke to this important issue?

    Just asking?

    There is obviously room for many to speak on our behalf.

  • tpot

    The BHA has been on this issue for years. That the EDC does not report directly to the BHA at every turn should raise eye brows. There is an ad-hoc committee within the BHA that has devote MUCH time to this. Time has been spent with all our elected officials and the issue now, finally being addressed. They might have done a better job communicating two years of meetings, but that does NOT mean that they haven’t been extremely active on the issue.

  • ABC

    The BHA has been on this for years. Literally. And the house tour, while it may seem like a little thing, is a giant undertaking and the chief fundraiser for the BHA.

    But. That said. They are always looking for volunteers and if you have time, you should reach out. I’m sure they’d love to have your help.

  • ABC

    hey tpot! jinx! sorry .. didn’t mean to take the words out of your mouth!

  • marianne

    It is sure a vote of confidence that the BHA has devoted “MUCH” time to this issue and it has progressively gotten much worse.

  • zburch

    What types of volunteer work is the BHA looking for? I think we have made great progress on this issue by posting the video’s on this blog, don’t you? It was a quick and effective way to get the story out. A picture says a thousands words. Now that the press is interested, it really puts the pressure on the politicians to do something about it. This is completely off topic, but I am wondering if anyone has really considered the safety issues that are at stake. Why all the security at LaGuardia, when any tourist can pay $125 and walk onto a helicopter that flies so close to downtown Manhattan? Are they going through security checks? Just curious…from what I understand there is little to no regulation of this kind of air traffic. Sure, they are smaller, but damage could be done. Seems dangerous.

  • ABC

    marianne, while it’s easy to slam a volunteer organization online (I guess), you can go online and look into it their efforts. the BHA isn’t always successful, but they tend to get working on things before the public is generally aware.

  • zburch

    “love to hear what kind of plan it is” before anything is decided, I hear a godfather-y voice saying , “maybe you want to run it by the neighborhood association and local officials before you decide on your own … if you know what’s good for you”
    ABC, your description of Judy makes her sound a little scary.

  • Homer Fink

    First of all this is not about Judy. My first thought was that the EDC was totally dissing the BHA which is strange because they saw this coming LAST YEAR. That’s about as deep as my post gets.

  • nabeguy

    This whole Homer vs. Judy argument is a tempest in a teapot. They both acknowledge their debt to the other in getting this issue addressed. And now that it is in the spotlight, we, the residents, should be thanking the both of them, irregardless of their methods of attack. Stop the Copters!!

  • marianne

    My comments were hardly slamming the BHA. I just thought a little perspective was needed. I’m appreciative of the BHA efforts on behalf of the Heights residents. My point was that the issue became much more visible and action taken once Homer and the BHB became involved. This blog along with Channel 11 deserve a tremendous amount of credit.

    I was serious about my earlier question, did anyone from the BHA show up at the political rally at the Heliport? I know Homer was there.

  • Homer Fink

    No one from BHA was there however they were invited. In their defense there was very, very short notice about the event. Given the BHA’s devotion to the issue I wouldn’t discount them because a rep couldn’t get there on a half day’s notice.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Without taking away any credit from Homer, BHB and crew (you’ll notice I started off this thread by suggesting a focus on BHB’s achievements, which I readily acknowledge), I must also point out that marianne’s statement (“My point was that the issue became much more visible and action taken once Homer and the BHB became involved”) is not the only explanation, and probably not the most logical.

    The simplest explanation is that the issue became much more visible and action taken because the problem so dramatically escalated after April 1. It’s not as if the widespread political opposition suddenly came into being after April 1 because of publicity or pressure; it’s because the issue became so easy to identify with because the noise is so egregious.

    Again, credit where credit’s due; I just don’t see why we should use this issue as an excuse for some BHA-bashing.

  • jim

    @ zburch – fyi the TSA does the passenger screening at the DMH – the same federal screeners that are at the main airports