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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.



Last week I had a heck of a time getting a copy of the 3-page letter and supporting documents written by the FAA in regards to the Houston Southwest Airport. It wasn’t the fault of officials—nope it was technology (or a lack of it) on my side. At any rate, I seriously got frazzled and did a blooper while writing the story. I renamed the owner, Jamie Griffith—seems now he is unofficially, according to my story, Steve. But he’s not, so to clear the record—I messed up. I’d like to give readers a great excuse but the only one I have is the fact that in the midst of trying to get my new fax machine to work, I placed a call to the FAA and talked to someone named “Steve”; got a phone call from my son, named “Steve” and dealt with my husband named “Steve.” I guess by that time, everyone in the world was named Steve as far as I was concerned. At any rate, I am sorry for any confusion this may have caused. I figured I’d better straighten it out because someone might just think the airport had changed hands. It hasn’t and hopefully my brain is in better form this week.

Hey, I’m human!

Speaking of airport

Tom Hilton, city council member in Arcola and long time foe of the concept of an airport in his back yard (literally) was none too happy about my stories last week that revealed the FAA was in favor of the Houston Southwest Airport and claimed the airport’s owner JAMIE Griffith was in total compliance with all their rules, regulations and stipulations. I really didn’t figure he would be happy about the FAA’s determination because it flies in the face of all of his hypothesis about the illegalities of the operation. I am not a pilot, I have no clue as to what is good and what is bad when it comes to aircraft landing or taking off. I know it is bad when a plane crashes but beyond that I’ve never really studied aeronautics. Hilton apparently has become a self-styled specialist in that area and chastised me for writing the article. The FAA, like any other government agency, is subject to dirty dealings, good-old-boyisms and assorted shenanigans, but they publicly stated the airport is good, does a commendable job, is needed and most importantly has done nothing illegal to keep the federal government from handing out grants for various projects. I looked back at dozens and dozens of my stories on the airport over the past six or so years and Hilton has been fighting the battle against his neighbor for that long. I said last week he needed to give it a rest and that opinion hasn’t changed. He may be right and everyone may eventually have to eat some form of crow, but as it stands now there is nothing on the books that substantiates the various opposition claims on the facility.


Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  May 28, 2008