CQS supporter tries to get city to delete the Longmont Airport FB “fan” page

(The following email exchange was obtained from an open records request with the City of Longmont)

From: Kelly Mahoney

Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 2:20 PM

To: Dennis Coombs; Brian Bagley; Bonnie Finley; Gabe Santos; Harold Dominguez; Jeff Moore; Polly Christensen; Sarah Levison; Shawn Lewis

Subject: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Hi Mayor, Council, and Temporary Airport Manager Lewis,

I would like to petition you to delete the Longmont Airport Facebook page –https://www.facebook.com/LongmontAirport

If this page belongs to the City of Longmont and reflects what the city believes, I am appalled. The most current post on this facebook page has a very negative reflection regarding the Times-Call article ‘Airport complaint log discussion dominates Longmont council meeting’.  When ‘they’, whoever ‘they’ is and I hope its not City of Longmont,’ say ‘The never ending saga of CFQS’ and goes on to agree that the airport and the AAB doesn’t have the public interest at hand, it makes me cringe to think that my tax dollars are going to support this public airport.

I sincerely hope that this page gets deleted if staff members are maintaining this site.

Thank you,

Kelly Mahoney

 

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On Feb 11, 2015, at 2:33 PM, Harold Dominguez wrote city staff:

Can you all get facts and answer.

Thanks

HD City Manager

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On Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 12:03 PM, Sandi Seader wrote:

Hello Ms. Mahoney,

Thank you for your e-mail.  We have a process for creating City owned facebook sites and training on how to manage the sites.  We never had an official government FB page for the airport or approved a page through our processes.

This page (https://www.facebook.com/LongmontAirport ) was considered a “Local business or place” page would be my guess, and if we had created it, we would classify it as a ‘Company’ page.

In order to delete it now, the original page owner would be the person that would need to delete it. We have no access to it.  A few months ago, I believe the Public Information Officer was asked if he would take over the page, but we politely declined.

Please let me know if you have any other questions,

–Sandi

Sandra Seader

Assistant City Manager

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(Then, Kelly Mahoney comes back and emails them again in May)

From: Kelly Mahoney

Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2015 10:22 AM

To: Sandi Seader

Cc: Shawn Lewis; Rigo Leal; City Council & Mayor; Susan Wolak; Harold Dominguez; David Slayter

Subject: Re: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Good Morning,

With all due respect, this Longmont Airport Facebook page reflects everyone and every business associated with our City.  This includes our Mayor, City Council Members, City Manager, and even the airport manager, Mr. David Slayter. The posts on here have gotten out of control regarding our dear airport, the same airport that is ‘such an economic driver for our community.’  I use quotes here not for sarcasm, far from it.  I utilize quotes because this is what I’ve heard many times at city council meetings.  If you want to advertise our Longmont Airport as an economic driver, good press should be front and center and readily available to the public and prospective new businesses. If a new business were to fly into the airport, and ‘check in’ to the airport, they would go to the Facebook page called ‘Longmont Airport’.  And on this page, front and center, is nothing but bad press, filthy words, and hatred. If you believe our airport is pulling businesses here and is being used as an economic driver for our community, then 1). something needs to be done to close down the ‘Longmont Airport’ Facebook that is currently representing you and us as a community and 2). a new webpage needs to be built highlighting our city’s first-class economic asset.

Thank you,

Kelly Mahoney

 

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On May 7, 2015, at 11:03 AM, Susan Wolak wrote city staff:

Hi,

I don’t know if we have any valid claim on this. My concern is that on this ‘page info’ the person running it states it is the unofficial page for the Airport, however it links to our website for visitors to get more information about the airport…

I would have to see if we could even try to report this page under some category of “image privacy rights’ or some other violoation with Facebook directly.

Facebook only allows you to claim pages or ask FB to take them down in certain situations.

https://www.facebook.com/help/reportlinks

Please advise if you’d like me to investigate this further.

Thanks so much

Susan

Susan Wolak

Web Administrator

Enterprise Technology Services

City of Longmont, CO

—————————————————–

From: Sandi Seader

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 12:12 AM

To: Susan Wolak

Cc: Sandi Seader; Shawn Lewis; Rigo Leal; City Council & Mayor; Harold Dominguez; David Slayter; Edward Yosses

Subject: Re: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Thank you, Susan – let’s chat with Shawn and David about their desires.

City Council members – we will let you know what the resolution is.

–Sandi

 

__________________________

Sandra Seader

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

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From: Shawn Lewis
Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:15 PM
To: Sandi Seader; David Slayter
Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

 

Sandi/David, here is the message I will send to Council before I leave today. Please review and comment:

 

Councilmembers, regarding the e-mail you received from Kelly Mahoney regarding the Longmont Airport Facebook page, I wanted to let you know that Airport Manager David Slayter reached out to one of the administrators of the Longmont Airport Facebook page yesterday and had a good conversation. They discussed the history of the page and the administrator’s policies regarding posts on the page. As you know, the Longmont Airport Facebook page is not associated in any way with the City of Longmont. Because of first amendment rights, we want to be cautious about the appearance of pressuring private citizens into modifying a privately-maintained social media outlet. That said, in his conversation with the administrator, David did suggest that the name of the page be changed to “Friends of Longmont Airport” instead of just “Longmont Airport.” Also, following their conversation, the administrator of the Facebook page voluntarily posted a message reiterating that the Longmont Airport Facebook page was not an official page of Vance Brand Airport (that point is also made in the first sentence describing the page under the “About” tab).

 

Lastly, we also reached out to Kelly Mahoney and discussed the history of the page, noting that the City is not associated with the page. I conveyed that we had suggested a name change for the page to the administrator of the page, but reiterated we had no way of requiring such a change. We also discussed what items she considers inappropriate on the page as most of the posts are general in nature except for links to articles about the CFQS lawsuit. Her biggest concern was that people’s home addresses had been posted in the comments of some posts including her own address. She was concerned about retaliation, but noted comments with addresses and inappropriate content were generally removed quickly by the administrators of the page. If home addresses are posted again, she will report that to Facebook as a violation of the company’s rules.

Shawn Lewis

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

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From: David Slayter

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:22 PM

To: Shawn Lewis; Sandi Seader

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

I think this email is great. If I were to suggest a comment, it may be that in reviewing the page, it was for the most part all positive posts regarding the airport. However, I also understand not wanting to overstate what you have already covered, so I am good with it either way.

Thanks,

David Slayter, C.M.

Airport Manager

Vance Brand Municipal Airport

 

——————————————

From: Shawn Lewis

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:32 PM

To: David Slayter; Sandi Seader

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Funny you say that! I had “mostly positive or general in nature…”, but decided some Council would think I was appearing to take sides/show partiality! Good suggestion (because I think it’s true), but I think I’ll keep it at “general in nature.” Thanks

Shawn Lewis

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

—————————————

From: Sandi Seader

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:40 PM

To: Shawn Lewis; David Slayter

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

I think it does sound great the way it is. Very inclusive, very thoughtful and clear.

Sandra Seader

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

—————————————-

From: Shawn Lewis

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:48 PM

To: City Council & Mayor

Cc: Rigo Leal; City Council & Mayor; Harold Dominguez; David Slayter; Edward Yosses; Sandi Seader; Susan Wolak

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Mayor and Council, regarding the e-mail you received from Kelly Mahoney regarding the Longmont Airport Facebook page, I wanted to let you know that Airport Manager David Slayter reached out to one of the administrators of the Longmont Airport Facebook page yesterday and had a good conversation. They discussed the history of the page and the administrator’s policies regarding posts on the page. As you know, the Longmont Airport Facebook page is not associated in any way with the City of Longmont. Because of first amendment rights, we want to be cautious about the appearance of pressuring private citizens into modifying a privately-maintained social media outlet. That said, in his conversation with the administrator, David did suggest that the name of the page be changed to “Friends of Longmont Airport” instead of just “Longmont Airport.” Also, following their conversation, the administrator of the Facebook page voluntarily posted a message reiterating that the Longmont Airport Facebook page was not an official page of Vance Brand Airport (that point is also made in the first sentence describing the page under the “About” tab).

Lastly, we also reached out to Kelly Mahoney and discussed the history of the page, noting that the City is not associated with the page. I conveyed that we had suggested a name change for the page to the administrator of the page, but reiterated we have no way of requiring such a change. We also discussed what items she considers inappropriate on the page, as most of the posts are general in nature except for links to articles about the CFQS lawsuit. Her biggest concern was that people’s home addresses had been posted in the comments of some posts including her own address. She was concerned about retaliation, but noted comments with addresses and inappropriate content were generally removed quickly by the administrators of the page. If home addresses are posted again, she will report that to Facebook as a violation of the company’s rules.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.

Shawn Lewis

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

—————————————

From: Susan Wolak

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 6:15 PM

To: Shawn Lewis; David Slayter

Cc: Sandi Seader; Rigo Leal; Edward Yosses; Harold Dominguez

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Thank you!

Susan

_____________________________________________

Susan Wolak

Web Administrator

Enterprise Technology Services

Closing Arguments: Citizens for Quiet Skies vs Mile-Hi Skydiving

(The below are my handwritten notes while observing closing arguments in the Citizens for Quiet Skies vs Mile-Hi Skydiving “noise” case on May 6th, 2015. I am not a court-reporter and I may have missed some things said. I also have a strong opinion about the case, which is why this was posted not to my Longmont Examiner media column as I did with another article (link), but here where I could also add a bit of my own opinion about what was said, especially after having observed all of the courtroom testimony.)

*An added note, I wasn’t the only courtroom observer there for the entire case. Read the post from another courtroom observer Guest contributor Robert Yoder: Courtroom Notes – CQS vs MHS

5/18 Update: Once the judge’s ruling is issued, according to her court assistant, it will be posted online at this link: “Cases of Interest

____________________________

The courtroom is overflowing for the closing arguments in the case of Citizens for Quiet Skies vs. Mile-Hi Skydiving and Judge Judith LaBuda tells courtroom observers that they can go sit in the jury box, which is not being used for this case. A majority of those who file into it are supporters of Mile-Hi Skydiving.

Continue reading

Courtroom Notes: Citizens for Quiet Skies vs Mile-Hi Skydiving

(Editor note: Below is guest contributor Robert Yoder’s transcribed notes, handwritten while observing five days of courtroom testimony in the case of Citizens for Quiet Skies vs Mile-Hi Skydiving, Inc.
Robert also has an aviation background that includes:
~1100 skydiving jumps, Parachute rigger, Private SEL & glider-aero-tow.)
____________

Notes from attending:

District Court, County of Boulder CO
Case 2013CV31563
Plaintiff:
Citizens for Quiet Skies
Kimberly Gibbs
Timothy Lim
Robert Yates
Suzanne Webel
John Behrens
Carla Behrens
Richard Dauer
Defendant:
Mile-Hi Skydiving, Inc.

Introduction:

This is pretty much verbatim from my hand-written notes.
There may be errors due to misunderstanding what was said, omissions,
and difficulty reading my own handwriting from two weeks ago.
The detail will likely lessen as the week dragged on and I got burned out
with taking notes.

Each section will begin with a 24-hour timestamp.

I will use parentheses to insert my own comments in the text, and will
sometimes add explanations and/or links.

I am not going to elaborate on each plaintiff witness noise complaints,
but here is a summary of the most common ones:
– Destroys enjoyment of being outdoors.
– Makes it impossible to hold conversation outdoors.
– Can be heard indoors.
– Can be heard in basement.
– Cannot concentrate on mental tasks.

Note this is a bench trial, i.e. there is no jury, just a judge.

Typical witness testimony is in 3 parts:
1. Direct – Questioned by the attorney who called them to be a witness.
2. Cross – Questioned by the opposing attorney.
3. Redirect – Questioned again by “friendly” attorney to
smooth over damage from the cross.
In rare cases, the judge asked a few questions directly of the witness,
then allowed both sides to ask followup questions.

Plaintiff witnesses were called the first 2.5 days.
Defense witnesses were called the last 2.5 days.

In the case of an *expert* witness, there would be an initial set of
questioning from both sides to establish the qualifications of the witness.
Then if the judge approved, the expert testimony would proceed.

Witness home addresses were stated in court, but have been removed here.


CQS Plaintiff & Witness locations / LMO Parachute Operations Area
Continue reading

Longmont Airport Examiner: Quiet Skies group takes Longmont airport skydive company to court, seeks closure

MHS Purple Otter ribbon

Mile-Hi Skydiving Purple Otter Ribbons

(Cross-posted from Examiner.com)

In October of 2013, Gunbarrel, Colorado resident Kimberly Gibbs, who after claiming for several years that Longmont airport and city officials were doing nothing about noise from the airport, filed suit in Boulder County District Court against Mile-Hi Skydiving, which is based at Vance Brand Airport in Longmont. At the time of the court filing, Ms. Gibbs was the only named plaintiff in addition to that of an LLC filing she set up in the name of Citizens for Quiet Skies, of which she was also the registered agent. She later would add those living at four other Boulder County addresses to her own name on the list of seven total (five individuals and two married couples) as named plaintiffs (Gibbs/Timothy Lim, Robert Yates, Suzanne Webel, John Behrens/Carla Behrens, and Richard Dauer), in addition to an unknown number of people she named publicly only as “Citizens For Quiet Skies, LLC.”

On January 20, 2015, Ms. Gibbs appeared before Longmont City Council on behalf of Citizens for Quiet Skies, stating that the city needed to either adopt a comprehensive noise abatement plan that includes mandatory limits on skydiving operations and addresses other local concerns, like (airplane) touch-and-go’s, and helicopters. It was at this meeting (video of which can be found at THIS link) that she presented her other choice:

“Close the airport.” According to Ms. Gibbs, “It is an option.”

Continue reading

Perjury by Kim Gibbs and plaintiffs?

In Judge Judith LaBuda‘s chambers in Boulder County Court, there was a parade of plaintiffs and witnesses for Citizens for Quiet Skies who maintained that they weren’t anti-airport and didn’t want to shut down Longmont’s Vance Brand Airport.  It was obvious this was drilled into them by their attorneys as the question kept coming up and their responses were all the same.  In other words it was staged, and as I’ve written plenty of times I believe they are full of crap. Continue reading

Harassment from Kim Gibbs and Citizens For Quiet Skies

Here’s a subject I thought I’d never write about again, and notice I haven’t blogged for over a year.  But I’ve attended 2 of the 5 days in the court case of CFQS et al VS Mile-Hi Skydiving (and my wife’s attended all 5 with books of notes), and I’ve heard just about enough bullflop.  One thing in particular really got a chuckle out of me when my name kept coming up in court, and a particular blog entry was entered into evidence.  If you read that entry, and I assume the judge will now that it’s part of the case, you’ll see it’s the opposite of what Ms. Gibbs and her attorneys claims it is. Continue reading

It was 20 years ago today…I nearly died

Recently on the internet there was reminiscing of the Northridge (California) Earthquake of 1994, including a faux play-by-play of it on Twitter.  We didn’t live too far from the epicenter, but far enough to not suffer any consequences of the quake.  I’d grown up in SoCal, earthquakes were nothing new, although now we were living with the San Andreas Fault within sight just a couple of miles away – so any quake made you wonder if it was the big one.  But what nearly killed me wasn’t this quake, it was something that happened exactly a month later. Continue reading

The Longmont Years: 2012-2013 Airport Master Plan success, and plans to move

This is the final installation of the long and winding road of our activities while residing in Longmont, Colorado.  We pick up in early 2012 where we’d already talked about and even came close to moving 6 years prior, but I had one last piece of unfinished business before we left:  coming full circle back to the Vance Brand Airport, where it all began. Continue reading

The Longmont Years: 2009-2011 Breaking the Bloc

In this installment, we pick up in early 2009 after apparent local political burnout – or so I thought.  The previous two years were hectic, to say the least.  Output increased in quantity and quality, both in the written and spoken word.  By the end of ’08 I had gone back to one of my first loves: aviation.  But staying away from local politics was apparently not in the cards. Continue reading

The Longmont Years: 2007-2008 YourHub, LifeBridge, The Bloc, Longmont Advocate, Vote!Longmont, and podcasting

In the previous post, I talked about how we came to end up in Longmont and the beginnings of my (and our, including my wife) various activities there, specifically in the political arena.  This next section only covers 2 years, but insanely busy and active years they were, read on… Continue reading