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East County News Service

March 4 meeting planned for Fletcher Hills residents with attorneys

February 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – Fletcher Hills residents are planning a lawsuit over loss of property values, quality of life and lead pollution associated with increased air traffic at Gillespie Field Airport.

“The skies above our neighborhood have become a training ground for international flight school students, practicing an average of 140 to 190 touch & go operations everyday.  They are burning leaded Avgas that coats our roofs, our patios, our plants and solar panels,” writes Sue Strohm with Advocates of Safe Airport Policies (ASAP) in a letter to Fletcher Hills neighbors.  “We have spoken to supervisors, congress members, city councils, development councils, flight schools, and the FAA.  All we have gotten in return is lip service, while the flight schools continue to expand.”

Over two dozen households have consulted with two San Diego law firms on legal alternatives. Both firms, Blood Hurst & O’Reardon, LLP and Hurst & Hurts, have had attorneys conduct initial investigations on viability of the case and have agreed to take it on a contingency fee basis with a small retainer, Strohm says. 

Residents will request compensation for reduced property values and noise abatement techniques, like dual pane windows and ceiling insulation.  In addition, the group seeks compensation for loss of the “use and enjoyment” of  homes and yards.  Those who have additional losses, such as an impact on a home based business or clean up from fuel deposits, may seek compensation for those amounts.  The lawsuits may also be able to achieve reasonable restrictions on flight training hours,  Strohm says.

The attorneys will be available to speak with area residents starting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4th at the Hillside Recreation Center at 840 Buena Terrace off Fletcher Parkway.  

“Every property owner should understand the options available to resolve this problem,” Strohm says.

Seating is limited; residents who plan to attend are asked to email info@gillespiefield.com with your name and number of attendees.

“Join your neighbors who are sick and tired of being bombarded everyday,” the letter sent to residents concludes. “It’s time to stop serving as collateral damage.”



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Nothing "silly" about lead poisoning near airports.

It's just now being recognized as a problem especially for kids living nearby. There is a movement to get lead out of aviation fuels like has been done with auto fuels. Here is one story on the issue: http://www.salon.com/2013/09/08/living_near_an_airport_could_be_a_toxic_decision_partner/ Here is an excerpt, regarding an airport in Oregon where neighboring children have signs of lead toxicity: When the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality surveyed the airport in 2005, it found a lead cloud hovering above Hillsboro, a circular plume spanning 25 square miles. At its center—right about where the Kittlesons live—lead levels were twice as high as the National Ambient Air Quality Standard threshold set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In children, lead can damage the central nervous system, resulting in learning disabilities, stunted growth, and hearing loss, as well as cause anemia. Recent findings indicate that children who are repeatedly exposed exhibit violent behavior in later life. Adults may be at risk of kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, miscarriages, and premature births. Even at infinitesimal levels in the blood, lead has been linked to ADHD. Kittleson’s 8-year-old son has been diagnosed with the disorder; she now suspects her 4-year-old daughter might be showing symptoms too. Valorie Snider, who lives nearby, also has a son with ADHD. “Airplanes circle over the top of our house,” she told me over coffee at a Starbucks across the road from the airport. “The windows rattle. Sometimes it feels like an earthquake.”

So You Live Next To An Airport

What to you expect to accomplish? It's been there since the 1940's. Lead pollution? That's just silly.


... now they know how those of us in the Real East County feel with power links, windmills, and massive solar farms and power sub stations. I wonder if those "households" were part of the hundreds built AFTER the air field was already there and in use?