Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - March 29, 2008

Many affected by new airport plans

Regarding the expansion of the York County/Rock Hill Airport, I would like for Ms. Dickens from Fort Mill to know I was aware there was an airport there when I built my house a mile from the strip, but that was 36 years ago. At that time, the airport was small with very little air traffic, mostly afternoon flights by a small group who owned their own planes. Since then, it has grown to accept not only the Sunday afternoon Pipers, but also corporate jets and small planes carrying cargo for the industrial park on Bryant Boulevard.

The new proposal is to allow even more traffic, as this airport will be designated a "hub" for overflow small plane/corporate jet traffic from the Charlotte airport. Looking at the overlay, there are over 500 homes, over 8,000 acres, that will be affected. Restrictions will not allow the building of establishments where "large number of people gather," meaning churches, day care centers, etc. Also, some restrictions will be placed on present homeowners and not allow additions, and even resticting the planting of some types of vegetation.

Air traffic will almost double in the coming years. Taking off from the north end of the runway, FAA regulations require planes to bank left. Banking left on the longer runway will put Mt. Gallant Elementary School, the under-construction middle school, Dutchman Creek, and the York County Museum right in the takeoff/landing pattern.

A few years ago, a plane crashed in a residential area on Rawlinson Road while attempting to land. Thankfully, it did not crash into homes, but it was almost in the backyard of Old Pointe Elementary School. Looking at the whole overlay plan and trying to understand all of the restrictions, noise is the least of my worries. I worry about the children in these schools and the noise and fumes to which they will be exposed. I worry about a plane crashing into one of these buildings and taking hundreds of lives. I worry about property values declining due to restrictions on what can be built in the acres presently undeveloped.

Maybe Fort Mill residents should do some homework and read the 40-plus pages of the proposed restrictions before criticizing those of us affected.

Barbara Bynum

Rock Hill

Help find cure to Parkinson's Disease

I have Parkinson's Disease. It's a progressive debilitating disease. Millions of Americans suffer with the disease. Although the majority of patients show symptoms of tremors, muscle stiffness, rigidity and loss of balance, no two patients are the same. It's a disease that steals one's quality of life.

I was diagnosed in July of 2001 at age 53. My grandfather had the same disease at approximately the same age back in the late 1950s. Not much has changed since then.

The scientists and doctors still don't know what causes it, nor do they have a cure for it. It is treated with the same medication that was used back in the 1960s. Sometimes this medicine works, and sometimes it doesn't.

April is Parkinson's Awareness month. I, along with millions of others need your help in finding a cure.

Kristin Kessling

Rock Hill