When bureaucrats don’t make eye contact, I become anxious


by Jackie Alfonso | August 4, 2009 • On Monday evening, August 3, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) graciously provided information to the community about the shifts underway at the airport no one can find because no one knows what it is called.

Lemonade Chronicles is a blog written by Jackie Alfonso, a local writer who is deeply concerned about food … and other issues.

My neighborhood was assigned to an “Open House” at the Nokomis Community Center at 7:00 p.m.

There was not adequate parking, the MAC representatives spent the better part of an hour unloading their easels and unreadable maps, and avoiding eye contact with any neighbors.

The “Open House” itself involved walking around a very hot and stuffy chairless gymnasium to look at illegible (but expensive) photos. It was very clear that the MAC reps were not there to provide information, but rather to play “Gotcha”, waiting for neighbors to ask precisely the questions the MAC folks were willing to answer.

Several people had come who have already had soundproofing provided by MAC, who are now finding stress fractures in their walls and ceilings. There was a significant, helpful and neighborly representation by the South Metro Airport Action Council (SMAAC), directly answering questions with actual data, providing a historical context, and generally willing to provide information if asked. They had to stay out on the lawn.

When I bought my house, I gathered information about airplane traffic, but within a month all the information was moot. Then my neighborhood was removed from the soundproofing program – not really a big loss, because I refuse to live in a house with no possibility of fresh air.

At my house, noise from take-offs begins at 5:30 a.m. on weekends, and finally slows down about 11:00 p.m. On weekdays the onset is later, about 6:30, and then a mad rush from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. Luckily, that may all change quite soon. I have heard that there are people who “sleep in” out in the world – I may be able to join that group in another 6-8 weeks, as a new runway is put to use. However, I doubt very much that there will ever be actual quiet or the possibility of a “good night’s sleep.” Whenever Bureaucrats don’t make eye contact, I become anxious about the veracity of their language.

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