About Chris Rodriguez

Chris is the editor/publisher of LightningRod Blog - as well as founder/editor of Wrongmont, Longmont Advocate, Vote!Longmont, Longmont Politics, the LightningRod Radio Network, as well as being the original Longmont Examiner. Chris is a writer and talker - whether it be blogs, podcasts, music, or public speaking. When he's not heard on Air Traffic radio, he can be heard on his podcasts or seen in the local paper causing trouble.

Council should avoid telling voters how to vote

Speech made to the Longmont City Council August 17, 2004 by Chris Rodriguez

There’s an item on the agenda tonight that apparently doesn’t warrant a public debate or discussion of. A resolution of the Council urging Longmont citizens to vote “No” on the ballot question regarding collective bargaining for police and fire employees. Seems either staff, council, or both, don’t want or need to hear what the voting and taxpaying public think. Since this is still a democracy and you are our representatives, I’m asking you NOT to vote in favor of this resolution. Continue reading…

Vance Brand Airport doesn’t need an air traffic control tower

Speech made to the Longmont City Council January 20, 2004 by Chris Rodriguez

Mayor Pirnack & members of Council
At a recent Airport Advisory Board meeting and in today’s Times-Call there’s talk of an airport control tower study at Vance Brand Airport. I am an air traffic controller with the FAA, but I am speaking on behalf of myself only. Continue reading…

City is wasting money and resources on anti-airport screwball

Speech made to City Council October 14, 2003 by Chris Rodriguez

Mayor Pirnack & Members of Council,

Now that October is here and fall is upon us, I hear that the weekend monitoring of airplanes out near the Zweck Farm will end. Not that airplanes actually flying over that area will end, as mandated by the procedure you the council approved, but just the monitoring of them for the satisfaction of Mr. Zweck. Hopefully before next summer we can nip this problem in the bud and stop that nonsense from being repeated. The questions are:
Who does the Airport Manager work for?
Who does his boss, and his bosses boss, the Community Development Director, work for?
Who do you, the council work for? Continue reading…

Petition against Noise Abatement Procedure

Speech made to the Airport Advisory Board October 10, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez

Tonight I’d like to present to the Board the signatures of 214 people who signed a petition that was at Airwest, Twin Peaks, and Mile Hi Skydiving. The petition reads, “I, the undersigned, am against the current Vance Brand Noise Abatement Procedures, specifically flying a wide pattern with a large noise footprint, and an unsafe distance (the railroad tracks) from the airport. I ask that the Airport Advisory Board remove this current procedure from the Airport Master Plan and come back with a procedure similar to the 1992 NA plan. I am in favor of SAFE Noise Abatement Procedures that are considerate to our neighbors, with a tight close-in pattern to reduce the noise footprint to the greater community.” Continue reading…

Table Mountain Association doesn’t speak for pilots, airport, or safety

Speech made to City Council September 24, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez

In an letter to the editor today in the Daily Times-Call about the proposed runway extension, it said the “reasons are merely to ensure the safety of the aircraft that currently use the facility.” Merely? Does this association (Table Mountain Association) and the supposed 1,000 people it speaks for, of which how many I wonder know they’re being represented this way, pretend to put my safety, my wife and children’s safety, and my aircraft’s safety lower than someone else’s? Or any of the users of the airport? Continue reading…

Noise Abatement Plan is unsafe

Speech made to the Airport Advisory Board September 12, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez

Tonight I bring to the board a petition signed by 135 pilots, users, and neighbors of the airport. It reads “I, the undersigned am against the current Vance Brand Airport Noise Abatement Procedures, specifically flying a wide pattern with a large noise footprint, at an unsafe distance (the railroad tracks) from the airport. I ask that the Airport Advisory Board remove this current procedure from the Airport Master Plan and come back with a procedure similar to the 1992 Noise Abatement plan. I am in favor of SAFE Noise Abatement Procedures that are considerate to our neighbors, with a tight close-in pattern to reduce the noise footprint to the greater community.” Continue reading…

9/11 and Wrongmont

9/11 and this website, what could they possibly have to do with each other? Plenty. That day was an attack on this country, personal freedoms, and aviation. It put many in the aviation community in a defensive mode. Defending their personal freedom to take to the sky in what has to be one of the best literal examples of freedom. For some flight is just a dream, for some it’s a hobby, for some it’s a livelihood, for many it’s a state of mind and a way of life. Now when people look overhead and see an airplane, any kind of airplane, they look at it differently than they did before that day. Continue reading…

Vance Brand Airport no place for threatening behavior

Speech made to the Longmont City Council August 13, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez

First off I’d like to thank the Mayor, the City Council, and the City staff who have returned my calls about the situation out at the airport. I also want to commend them on doing the right thing and stopping the movement of the airport beacon. It is a step, hopefully the first of many, in the right direction. Continue reading…

In defense of pilots

Speech made to the Airport Advisory Board August 1, 2002 by Chris Rodriguez

To have a meaningful dialogue between parties on opposite sides of an issue, your goal should be constructive discussion with reasonable people.  To begin such a dialog you must first try to understand your opposition’s opinions, concerns, and desired outcome.  Here is a sample of those opinions and desires that have been made public record. Continue reading…