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Court Battle Over FAA Money Rages On

Another temporary restraining order declined, but attorney says appeal is still pending.

The East Hampton Aviation Association are calling victory, but opponents of the town accepting federal funding for the aren't done fighting it.

David Gruber and the Committee to Stop Airport Expansion have been trying to stop the town from accepting Federal Aviation Administration funds, for a deer fence, due to .

The town board for the deer fence on Dec. 6, 2011.

For the third time in as many months, the committee was denied a court order.

Following a hearing before Justice Peter B. Skelos of the New York State Appellate Division, 2nd Department, the committee was turned down, again last week.

, an East Hampton attorney representing the committee, said he had submitted an order to show cause.

Bragman first headed to court on the issue in December from Supreme Court Justice John J.J. Jones Jr. in Riverhead.

A second request to Jones was made and denied. Bragman said the second application for the temporary restraining order, was based in the fact that town made misrepresentations during the first application for injunctive relief. "The third application was really a request for permission to appeal," he said.

"That's why we have appellate courts," Bragman said.

The case will now be heard by a full panel of the Appellate Division.

"The petitioners will continue to make every effort to stay the town from irrevocably surrendering local airport control, because local control is the only way to reduce air traffic and noise," Bragman said.

However, Anthony Pasca of the firm Esseks & Angel, which represents the Aviation Association, which is party to the suit, said, "The underlying request by Mr. Gruber to set aside the Master plan has no merit," Pasca said.

He said, "Mr. Gruber is actually recycling arguments that he and his group made unsuccessfully a decade ago, when both the Supreme Court and Appellate Division denied his request back then to interfere with the Town’s decision-making process on how best to run the airport.”

“Courts are reluctant to substitute their judgment in matters where an elected Town Board has had many public hearings and reached a decision on what is best for the town residents,” Pasca said.

Bragman said he is confident the truth will come out. "Eventually, this litigation will reveal the simple truth: that East Hampton has always has the power to limit air traffic and noise, but concealed that fact, and chose to do nothing for thousands of residents tormented by noise, for the convenience of a privileged few."

Bruno Schreck March 12, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Quoting Mr. Bragman from above: "East Hampton has always had the power to limit air traffic and noise . . ." Huh!? So now he admits that holding off on Federal funding, as he and the noise complainers have asked, is not necessary, even though they have cost the Town hundreds of thousands in litigation. What nerve.
Walter Kaprielian March 13, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Real estate over the years was less expensive in the airport flight path area because of the potential for aircraft noise. Everyone knew that. Did the buyers believe it would ever lessen or that they would get rid of the airport? This has cost the taxpayers of East Hampton a lot of needed dollars and has to stop.
Edmund Klebe March 13, 2012 at 03:05 AM
But the town is alleged to have concealed that power. Whatever, the fact is that if you accept the so-called FAA money, you WILL lose control over the airport.
Edmund Klebe March 13, 2012 at 03:06 AM
How much as air traffic increased over those same years?
Solusipse March 13, 2012 at 05:37 AM
The fact is, the "privileged few" are the financial supporters of the interlocking anti airport committees who have misrepresented the issues, the law and federal and local policies to enlist support of hapless taxpayers in pursuit of their personal agenda without regard to the $millions and delays in noise mitigation they've cost them
Preliator March 13, 2012 at 11:09 AM
I think when this all comes to pass Mr. Gruber and his rich friends should cover the costs of the legal fees the Town has had to bear due to their actions. You lose, you pay; if we did more of that it would put an end to frivolous and idiotic law suits by people like Gruber.
Eugene March 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Over the past 5 years a new developement has gone up just west of the main runway. They are putting in multimillion dollar homes there. Its not 2 miles away but right up to the airport boundry. Now these same people are calling to ask when will the airport be shut down since that is what they were told when they purchased the property. It is dangerous to have any structure that close to a landing or taking off flight path because it leaves little choice for an aircraft that looses an engine but to put it in streight ahead. I think trees would be more survivable to aircraft occupants than a building structure (someones living room) not to mention the the structures occupants. It is criminal for Southampton town to have allowed that developement to be built there and for the Realtores and developers to sell it to unsuspecting people. It is becoming very clear that all this hupla over airport control is really only a mask to close the airport in order that they the realty people and the developers (the gang) may profit from turning even more of East Hampton into another Levitte Town.
Walter Kaprielian March 13, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Bingo! You nailed it!
Bruno Schreck March 13, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Edmund, You may not be aware that we have used Federal funding for many years now and have had grant assurances in place. So to ask for Federal funds will not cause us to "lose control". In fact the Town should use that 90 to 95% funding to increase control, through a seasonal control tower, with little local cost. It would also be helpful to offset the considerable cost to the Town of Gruber's obsessive lawsuits.

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