Ricardo Costa

Ricardo Costa

Photos by Bettina Monique Chavez 


Trouble above

Ricardo Costa and Northwest Pasadena residents push to ground noisy and invasive police helicopters

By Justin Chapman 12/17/2009

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Every day Northwest Pasadena residents Roli Gostelow and Keith Dsouza watch, hear and feel military helicopters manned by Pasadena police officers circle their neighborhood. These loud, ominous metal birds have been flying low over homes and businesses for years, leaving people with the uneasy feeling that they are being as much watched as protected. Many residents compare their neighborhood to a police state, and constant surveillance from the air is a big reason for that widely held perception. 
After months of trying to get city officials to listen to their concerns, Gostelow, a 26-year-old software systems engineer, and Dsouza, a 27-year-old grad student at Cal State LA, feel ignored and violated.
Tired of the daily nuisance that Pasadena police helicopters cause — particularly in economically challenged Northwest Pasadena, where crime rates are notably higher than other, more affluent neighborhoods of the city — some residents, including former Green Party congressional candidate Ricardo Costa, are calling for the grounding of the loud, Vietnam-era copters that the Police Department received for free through a military surplus program. 
Costa is also forming a citizens group to call for the demilitarization of Pasadena, including eliminating the military helicopters, which have been stripped of their armor plates and gun turrets, from the department’s Air Operations Division fleet.
“It feels more like surveillance than crime prevention,” Costa told the Weekly. “I wouldn’t mind as much if they flew over Caltech just as much as they fly over my neighborhood.”
Police spokeswoman Janet Pope-Givens told the newspaper that the majority of calls for service come from Northwest Pasadena, adding that more noise complaints come from Northwest because of the high volume of calls for help, and because the heliport is located in that area, near the Rose Bowl.
“We put our resources where we have the most calls,” she said. “[Northwest Pasadena] is the most densely populated area of the city. With that comes additional calls for service.”

Never quieter
Since 2007, the department has been using its helicopters to help fight street crime and respond to low-priority calls. Last year, according to the Air Operations Division Web site, police helicopters responded to more than 10,000 calls that led directly to more than 600 arrests. When not responding directly to calls, helicopter crews partner with 10 other cities in San Gabriel Valley in a program called the Foothill Air Support Team, or FAST, to heavily monitor problem locations. 
“The number of [squad] cars deployed in any of [Pasadena’s] five service areas is fluid and based on calls for service generated or other activities in any given area,” Pope-Givens explained. She said statistics for numbers of hours spent by police helicopters patrolling and responding to calls are difficult to calculate because they cover the entire city and are not computed for the five service areas. This uncertainty has led Dsouza and Gostelow to question how effective the helicopters really are.
Capt. Robert Mulhall, head of the department’s Air Operations Division, told the Weekly that the helicopters are a proven crime-fighting tool.
“If a helicopter is circling a neighborhood, something bad is going on there,” Mulhall said. “If anyone has a question, just call the heliport and ask. We’ll let them know why the helicopter is there.”
Dsouza and Gostelow feel that the money used to keep helicopters in the air every day would be better spent putting more officers on the streets of Northwest Pasadena. According to the Police Department’s Summary of Appropriations and Revenues, the Air Operations Division has a budget of more than $3.3 million in fiscal year 2009-10. To put that in some context, at the same time the city of Pasadena is facing an $11 million budget deficit.
“We agree that police presence in Northwest Pasadena is a good idea, but these helicopters infringe on everyone’s quality of life,” Dsouza said. 
Costa noted that his family had to acquire several white noise machines in order for his children to fall asleep.
The Air Operations Division is in the process of replacing the nearly 40-year-old helicopters and equipment with newer, somewhat quieter models. In October, the City Council approved $500,000 for new helicopter equipment, including a thermal-imaging camera and a computer mapping system. In June, the council approved a $2.4 million purchase of a new MD500E helicopter, which has five overhead blades instead of two and four tail rotor blades, not two. According to Mulhall, most of the noise, such as the loud whooping sound, comes from the two-bladed tail rotor.
Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard told the Weekly that the Police Department is “committed to be as sensitive as possible to the impact of helicopter noise, both through routes that are taken and the equipment that [they] use. We’ve recently ordered a very modern helicopter, a new piece of machinery that is quieter than ever before.”

Watching from above
Mulhall said he is sympathetic to residents’ concerns about noise, but added that “we have a job to do.” According to Mulhall, the helicopters are effective for three reasons: speed advantage, observation capabilities and the omnipresence of an aircraft to deter crime.
“If a bad guy is jumping fences, an officer in a helicopter is in a better position [than officers on the ground] to respond because they have a three-dimensional view and can see into multiple backyards, as opposed to just the front of a house,” he said.
Dsouza countered Mulhall’s argument, saying, “Why can’t officers on the ground hop over the same fences the bad guy does? That’s not an appropriate justification for the use of helicopters.”
Gostelow added, “I find the captain’s justification, the fact that he said a helicopter crew can see into backyards, quite disturbing.”
Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden, who represents a portion of Northwest Pasadena, echoed Mulhall’s argument and added that helicopters are an effective tool in fighting crime. “The department and the officials have indicated that it’s a very important resource to overall crime-fighting,” Holden said. “You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. If police are saying that this helps them be more effective, I don’t want to take an action that will tie their hands.”
The biggest issue for Costa is privacy. He feels that helicopters should only be used for emergency response, not patrolling and constant surveillance, and that the public should have a voice in what equipment the police use.
“Why are they allowed to use military helicopters from Vietnam on a civilian population?” he said. “They’re targeting entire neighborhoods, letting us know we’re being watched. They’re flexing muscle and spending money. I’m concerned with the class issues involved, because this doesn’t happen in wealthier neighborhoods.”
The United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of police helicopter surveillance in the 1989 case Florida v. Riley. The court, in a 5-4 decision, concluded that airborne inspections do not violate the Fourth and 14th amendments and that the expectation of privacy is not reasonable because “private and commercial flight in the public airways is routine.”
Marvin Rudnick, a Pasadena lawyer, explained that police need helicopters as backup for lawful activities, “but they also use them to peer into people’s houses and backyards” to find illegal activity, such as growing marijuana. “The Supreme Court upheld the right of police to search from helicopters without a warrant,” he said, adding, “To solve the problem, the city should order its helicopter pilots to limit police activities where it invades people’s homes and their privacy.”
Mulhall said the helicopter crews are trying to fly higher and that they stay out of residential neighborhoods at night. Dsouza and Gostelow say that claim is “absolutely false.” 

The exemption question
In July and August, the couple kept a log of how often helicopters flew over their house on Fay Place near Washington Boulevard and Los Robles Avenue, which occurred almost every day several times a day at all hours up to 2 a.m., and recorded decibel readings of each incident. According to Pasadena’s noise ordinance, it is unlawful for any noise to be made that exceeds the ambient noise level at the property line by more than five decibels. The ambient noise level at Dsouza’s and Gostelow’s property line was 50 dbA, while the overhead helicopters came in at an average of 65 to 75 dbA.
Bogaard said he believes police operations are not in violation of any ordinance.
“I haven’t heard that allegation myself,” he said. “I certainly have heard from people over the years that the noise is excessive and burdensome to them. And while the program is important, I think we’ll continue to respond to concerns and learn from the impact that the noise has on families and others in the area, which is important to this effort.”
Pasadena’s noise ordinance, however, does not mention helicopters as an exemption, or at all, for that matter.
“We don’t believe police have carte blanche when it comes to employing law enforcement techniques,” Dsouza said. “If you exempt police from the noise ordinance, you throw out the whole law.”
According to Mulhall, the helicopters respond faster if they are already in the air. The average response time is 45 to 50 seconds. In between calls, Mulhall said, “the crews look for crimes in progress, stolen cars, wanted suspects, that sort of thing. They have much better visibility and can therefore paint a picture for officers on the ground.”
Costa questioned the advantage of speed when helicopters are just patrolling. He thinks they’re not used for crime intervention but rather police surveillance.
“What good is speed,” he said, “if the officer can’t hop out of the helicopter and intervene in an ongoing crime? There are multiple reasons why this is not a good idea. It’s a constant reminder of the worst of us, not the best of us.”
After speaking with several employees from the city’s Environmental Health Services Division, Councilman Holden’s office and the Police Department’s Air Operations Division, Gostelow was told that the noise ordinance exempts police helicopters — which is not mentioned anywhere in the law. 
Ultimately, she and Dsouza were left with the notion that the helicopters are not going anywhere. They feel that the newer, quieter model will not be quiet enough for them.
“Those who are concerned need to give it a chance before they jump to a place of wanting to pull it out of operation,” Holden said. “I’m not sure that opinion will be shared by the whole city. They’re moving to a quieter helicopter. Let’s evaluate it at that point and let’s give it a chance to see how it’s going to work.”
Costa has created an email address for his demilitarization citizens group. Send your 
questions and concerns to PasadenaDMZ@gmail.com. 

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You live on Fay Place which is in an area known for it's high crime rate and gang activity. Is that your concern Mr. Costa? No. You are consumed in a blanket of paranoia and truly believe that the police are actually spying on you and others when not actually on their way to, or working an active call. What is it that you have base this on Costa? Have photos of your house, it's interior, your marijuana gardern in the backyard suddenly surfaced?

Tell ya what! Why doesn't the City designate you home and yard as a free zone for criminals. Yeah, they will be told that under no circumstance can a police helicopter search for them on your property and therefore, no police officer can legally enter you abode or front or back yards due to lack of probable cause. They are home free and happy and you are noise free and happy. Understand though, that should these individuals take advantage of you or your family while hiding on you property, you cannot summon police. They can't come on to your property, even if they got your permission, because it would be a violation of a City Ordinance. How about that you whining, little, simp?

posted by Insider on 12/17/09 @ 01:25 p.m.

Oh stop your whining! Northwest Pasadena and Altadena is a hotbed of criminal activity. Law enforcement needs to patrol and respond to calls. Would you rather they not respond? I guess not since you are probably growing marijuana in your backyard! LOL

posted by Robert Hurley on 12/17/09 @ 09:55 p.m.

I'm never certain if responding to trolls is proper netiquette or not, but I suppose I'm willing to take you at your word that you actually care about this issue. To your credit, you did actually comment on this article, thereby helping us to attract the attention of others to this problem, so thank you.

There are adult literacy courses available at PCC and elsewhere, and after you have completed one of them, please re-read the article, taking care to notice that one of the alternatives offered up is the hiring of more police officers. How that would jibe with my desire to conceal my sprawling criminal empire is uncertain, but I have faith that you will both help this discussion by elaborating further.

If I'm correct, you both imagined that your comments would earn you some bizarre form of lickspittle points with the police. I would like to suggest that you'll win them over with greater ease by supporting the idea of putting the Air Operations funds to better use: on personnel. That, and the occasional contribution to the F.O.P. wouldn't hurt.

posted by ricardo on 12/18/09 @ 03:42 a.m.

What, another Pasadena Weekly article based on opinion and speculation only? Let’s get down to the real issues here; Roli and Kevin have a problem with authority. Now the two want to ban the same services that protect them from the real issues that they fear, their neighbors. This is a classic example of someone who bought a run down Craftsman home in the northwest area of Pasadena in a rapidly inflating real estate market. Now, after a few trips to Restoration Hardware and Home Depot, they can’t understand why the rest of their neighborhood have failed to catch up to their over financed properties. Unable to sell or rent, and after being shunned by their latte drinking friends, they need someone to blame. These two can’t cope with the fact that there are people in front of their homes selling corn on the cob out of a Target shopping cart, they fear their “questionable” neighbors, and the cars that go thump-thump are a nuisance. Maybe they should move to Inglewood and start a ban against planes landing at LAX. What is also sad is the lack of factual and truthful reporting done by Justin Chapman. It is obvious that Mr. Chapman did little or no research while writing this piece. “Respond to low priority crime?” What about the high priority crimes? I’m sure there are quite a few in the Northwest. Do the police respond to those? Armor plating and gun turrets? Not to mention the poor Photoshop job of the low flying helicopters. The Pasadena Weekly needs to stick to what they do best, provide a bogus list of top places to eat and drink, (as long as they advertise in the Weekly) and a place for massage parlors and escort services to list their respective ads.

posted by Stew on 12/19/09 @ 04:04 p.m.

(Part 1 of 2)

I have lived in Pasadena for over 40 years and yes, I also find the nightly noise from the Police helicopters annoying. (My son calls them Ghetto Birds)

I remember many years ago when the Pasadena PD flew Enstroms (many old timers will remember they were bright red – I think the city still has one or two.).
While those were also loud, they didn’t fly nearly the number of hours that the current OH-58 ships do.

The above article mentions that PPD will be purchasing an MD-500E in the near future. It also mentions that it will be quieter due to it’s 4 blade tail rotor design (this is called the “Quiet Knight” option in aviation circles). It will still be comparitively loud.

How do I know ? Well, if you live in the northwest Pasadena area, you’ve already heard something even quieter. Let me explain some things the article fails to mention:

Pasadena PD, Glendale PD, and Burbank PD have been sharing air support duties for at least the last year now. Glendale and Burbank combined their air operations a couple of years ago. To save costs, Pasadena PD’s main ship has been down for a couple of evenings a week while Glendale/Burbank provides our air support. Pasadena PD provides air support to those cities a few nights a week in return.
More info in this article:

The Glendale/Burbank ships are the MD-520N with NO TAIL ROTOR. Yup, it’s a NOTAR design and that particular model is considered the quietest certified helicopter in the world. The military version is the OH-06A.

More info on the MD-520N here:

So airships that are even QUIETER than the one Pasadena PD will be purchasing have already been flying over the city a few nights a week. Keep an ear out for them – they do have a different sound.

One of the more annoying things the Pasadena airship will do is if they are at point A and leave for another call several miles away at point B, they will fly with the Night Sun light turned on and pointed down for the entire time, basically “sweeping” the neighborhood with light.

It reminds of the “in the future” scenes in the Terminator movies where the airships are sweeping the landscape with light looking for the rebellion. Why does this light need to be left on when traveling ? If it can’t be switched off, what about tilting it up so it doesn’t shine through hundreds of residential windows when travelling ?

posted by xilix on 12/19/09 @ 04:19 p.m.

(Part 2 of )

What’s the solution to all of this ? I honestly don’t know. Admittedly, it’s easy to complain here on the forum, but more difficult to come up with solutions.

I think a good start would be develop a policy where the airship isn’t over the Northwest between certain hours unless it RESPONDING to an urgent call for service. (ie. Not proactive patrolling)
The air support units DO provide a valuable service, but reducing the number of flight hours would go along way to abating the noise (and closing the city's budget gap).

Do the math: Above article states the Air Operations budget is 3.3 Million per year. That's over $9,000 PER DAY is costs the city. If you cut that in half and save $4,500 per day, that's 1.6 million a year saved. How many officers could be put on the street (a majority of them deployed to the NW) with that money ?
Probably about 20-25. Better yet, divert the money into long term solutions that creates jobs and educates youth.

Does this affect property values in the Northwest ? That’s hard to quantify, but I can tell you that there was a house for sale 2 doors south of me (Yes, I live in the NW). A couple that were looking to purchase the home did a couple of things I found surprising.

They knocked on several doors in the neighborhood to introduce themselves and meet their potential new neighbors. I only spoke with them for 5 minutes or so, but they explained that they wanted to know a little more about the people they would be living next to for the next 20 years.
We talked about the area and how this particular “pocket” of the NW was not a bad area at all. In the end, they decided not to move here. I ran into the realtor a couple of weeks later and he remembered the couple. He explained that they requested to spend one night (on sleeping bags!) in the home before purchase. The current owner agreed to their request. The couple said it “sounded like a war zone” overnight and that’s why they didn’t purchase the house. It’s been 3 months, and that home is still for sale.

Thoughts ?


posted by xilix on 12/19/09 @ 04:20 p.m.

I guess if you are a marjijuana farmer you wouldn't like the ghetto birds.

posted by Ramon Hernandez on 12/19/09 @ 06:16 p.m.

Growing Marijuana outdoors, in this area, during the winter wouldn't provide a very good yield. The nightime temps drop too low and will get colder over the next few weeks.

You're better off setting up a grow room in a closet
using the LED grow lights that draw very little power.

The above in compliance with Assembly Bill 420/Prop 215 of course.

- Xilix

posted by xilix on 12/19/09 @ 06:50 p.m.

Which actually brings up another good point though...

Let's say it's summer and someone really is growing marijuana outdoors (limited number of plants and
in compliance with Prop 215 for medical reasons).

That LEGAL grow is spotted by the airship. What do you think happens next ? Well, it comes down to one of two things actually:

1. Pasadena PD's SES (Spec Enforcement Section) knocks on the door and requests to see the person's doctor's note for the grow.

2. Pasadena PD's SES (Spec Enforcement Section) knocks on the door, waits the required 10 seconds, then busts the door down, tearing up the homeowner's property, causing several hundreds of dollars in damage, and then later asks the homeowner if they have a doctor's recommendation.

I know what's happened here in the past....

- XiliX

posted by xilix on 12/19/09 @ 06:59 p.m.

We can further suppose that the helicopters will be circling overhead for a half-hour before the knock on the door, and another 45 minutes afterwards. What we are talking about in the article is only a small part of the problem, admittedly, but what it comes down to is that the helicopters are not a precision instrument; they target entire neighborhoods for the misdeeds (or in the above case, legal deeds) of one individual. That is, simply put, unacceptable.

There is indeed a "paranoid" explanation for all of this, and it's probably right on the money: Making law enforcement as loud as possible increases the fear of and stress about crime, and so boosts support for those same law enforcement procedures and officials. We would be astounded if this equation has not already been noticed and reported elsewhere.

P.S. - So now we have marijuana "farmers" in Pasadena? You would think one would need to grow a full acre of something before earning the title of "farmer"... and you don't need a helicopter to spot an acre.

posted by PasadenaDMZ on 12/19/09 @ 10:09 p.m.

I think we all want our community to be effectively served by our police force. And it is worth recognizing our Pasadena Police Department brings considerable expertise to the law enforcement issues in our community. Nevertheless, I think the concerns discussed in this article by Mr. Costa and others underscore the point that citizens should have a voice in the way our community is policed. To my knowledge, our community lacks a formal way to express valid concerns and engage in this dialogue. Our police force gains allies when it listens to the genuine concerns of our community members.

posted by GregH on 12/20/09 @ 04:18 p.m.

I did not realize there were so many people growing marijuana in their yards. Why is this guy Ricardo Costa complaining? Instead, he should be doing something to help clean up his neighborhood!

posted by Betty Harris on 12/22/09 @ 09:15 a.m.

Attempting to clean up our neighborhood is precisely what we are doing. Please do join us.

posted by PasadenaDMZ on 12/22/09 @ 07:13 p.m.

I'm sure Mr. Ricardo and his bud DMZ must be tokin' because they sure sound paranoid.

posted by Ramon Hernandez on 12/23/09 @ 07:23 p.m.

I live in Hollywood, and I agree with the Pasadena residents that it would be nice if the police departments used the funds on more officers or patrolling neighborhoods with cars.

Every time there is a show at a local theater (especially if it's a hip hop show), the LAPD sends out helicopters to circle over our apartments. Most of the time there's no crime reported (i've called to ask why the hell there is a helicopter shining lights into my bedroom at 3am) . Wouldn't it be more cost effective to get a few cars out and just escort the drunk ***holes to jail instead of flying like they're afraid of their own neighborhood?

posted by bettyklang on 12/27/09 @ 06:11 p.m.

To "Insider" and "Robert Hurley": Where do you get your statistics? Fay Place is a cozy cul-de-sac and everybody is really quite cordial and neighborly. You think you can surreptitiously insert "high crime rate" and "gang activity" and hope readers subconsciously associate Fay place with crime and marijuana. The issue is unfair policing activity, and not consumption of controlled substances as anybody with but a cursory inspection of the article will find. Drive down Fay Place and see for yourself. It's really quite cute.

Oh "Stew", the name is Keith, not Kevin. So apparently you didn't read the article carefully. Now how was buying a house in a "rapidly inflating real estate market" germane to the issue of oppressive police helicopter presence?
You said: "Respond to low priority crime?” What about the high priority crimes?" -What about them? You miss the point that helicopters are used for low priority crimes instead of just for high priority crimes. That doesn't strike you as unnecessary and excessive?! You must like living in a police state. To adopt your tone, why don't you go live in China? You like police so much. You like not having privacy. You like incessant military and police presence.

You also seem to insinuate that Roli and Keith belong to some lower social strata. Do you really want to test that hypothesis? I don't think you'd win in a contest of education or intelligence. You'd lose!

Furthermore, do you believe poor people are worthless Stew? Should people from low-income neighborhoods suffer from discriminatory policing tactics that would never be tolerated in wealthier neighborhoods like San Marino, or the Arroyo area? I get it- you think they should just put up with it, right? You probably live in an insulated gated community yourself and have gone deaf from blasting your ipod.

To Betty Harris:
I think you've been led astray by wild conjectures of marijuana-growing made by hostile commentators. The issues the article stresses are the excessively loud noisees police helicopters generate till 2am and their oppressive and willfully intimidating presence on the whole of the community to ostensibly deter crime. I say ostensibly because the police have not, and are not able to, justify their "need" for police helicopters other than for mere convenience. They quote things like "surveying traffic"- hardly critical for fighting crime. They have balked at a Public Records Act request for all data pertaining to the effectiveness of the Air Operations program and have failed to produce evidence for its necessity for several months!
This is the issue. Not marijuana.

posted by Citizen on 12/28/09 @ 12:59 a.m.

Citizen San Marino and South Pas don't have ghetto birds because there is no ghetto full of gang bangers there! Duh!

posted by Ramon Hernandez on 12/28/09 @ 03:38 p.m.

What a bunch of cry babies. These spoiled brats live in a neighborhood riddled with crime yet they have the nerve to complain about law enforcement.

posted by Betty Harris on 1/08/10 @ 08:44 p.m.

He cant be that smart "citizen," look at that dumb smile on his face. Since when does a "news orginization" if thats what you want to call the Weekly need to photoshop a helicopter to get a point across?

posted by Stew on 2/05/10 @ 08:14 p.m.

I have been trying to get something done about the rediculous amount of helicopter surveilance and noise pollution for at least the last 2 years. I've written the mayor, spoken to the heliport captain and spoke in front of the safety committee at the heliport when the "investigated" the situation. The Pasadena Police Department apparently believes it is above the law and have no problem annoying the citizens of the city. As a real estate broker, I KNOW the noise problem and invasion of privacy are affecting real estate values. Try relaxing in your hot tub with the war of the worlds buzzing over your back yard. It's pathetic!

posted by sickofnoise on 2/18/10 @ 03:15 p.m.

This quote from Capt.Mulhall is total crap. “If a helicopter is circling a neighborhood, something bad is going on there,”. HA! WRONG. They employ these noisy helicopters for such mundane chores as searching for standing water for mosquito abatement!! Helicopters are the city's first response whenever they are in the air no matter how routine the call, so their statistics about calls responded to and arrests made are total crap too!! Don't believe it!!! There is no citizen oversight of the Pasadena Police Department, and they like it that way. Don't kid yourself, the cops use these choppers for force protection.... that is, to make themselves feel safe whan they go on a call or make a traffic stop. Its nice when a noisy chopper with a big light is there when your feeling afraid.

posted by jeffdur on 2/20/10 @ 07:36 a.m.

I am a homeowner in a very respectable neighborhood in $600k-$1,000,000 price range and yes, live above the 210.
Police helicopter traffic begins around 4pm and ends around 11pm EVERY NIGHT.
The threshold of noise is low, at night you can hear someone talking across the street from inside the house, thus helicopter traffic is very annoying and does get on your nerves night after night. We pay for a reasonably decent place to live and feel compromised. I do have to say, though, my neighbor is very trigger happy and will call police at any suspicion, mostly after midnight. No helicopter response but a quick reply from a squad car. Made me feel quite safe, congrats, fellas.
But poses a question, why 4pm-11pm when most people are trying to enjoy family life at home? Can't the police fly operations during the daytime or very late at night?
Does crime really begin at 4pm and cease at 11pm?
Say what ever you want in a derogatory way, but Mr. Chapman is intelligent and not reactionary or shall I say buzzed off of 'legal' vices when he types like perhaps some of these replyees.

posted by miller on 3/30/10 @ 05:47 p.m.

I'm not concerned with the 'invasion of privacy'. I have nothing to hide. But this noise has GOT TO stop. The vibration and noise from the helicopters are not only affecting my sleep, it literally has caused a worsening of my migraines. It's a health hazard. I'm sure some people will say 'if you don't like it, then move.'. There has to be a better solution to this. Having to chose between my health and my home just doesn't seem right to me.

posted by Moo on 4/26/10 @ 10:28 p.m.


These helicopter crybabies are marijuana farmers - Look here--busted by the ghetto birds! HaHa

posted by Betty Harris on 6/18/10 @ 02:26 p.m.

The people saying "quit your whining" blah blah. get a clue. it's not whining. they are taking away our rights. I am all for safety but there is a line, and it is being crossed. Here's my story with the Pasadena helicopters;

I was driving home on late night from arizona where I was visiting my family. I was driving on the 134 freeway and saw a helicopter shining their lights on houses right off the freeway. I thought.. "wow, that's pretty cool. I wonder who they are looking for?" then i look back to the road and kept glancing back to the helicopter, until i looked back and to my dismay, the spotlight is RIGHT on me through my car window, mind you, while i am driving about 65 mph... um... is this safe? NO. Legal?? It can't be. but it definitely startled me. I am a blonde young female and drive a beetle. How the heck am I a suspect? Anyways it really shook me up and I came home and went to sleep and tried to forget about the whole thing..

Then, about a few months later, i was hanging with a friend who told me a story.. he was running at night getting exercise in, he was only about 19 years old at the time... until the spotlight went on him and he stopped and looked up at it, then he kept running just to be cornered by police, handcuffed and brought into the station. I guess he fit the description of a bugler... until the victim came in and said "no, that looks nothing like the guy"... my friend was beyond shooken up to say the least. And it has been a long time, and he still is...

Pasadena is a police state, and they are taking advantage of their position. They are out of control. I hope someone can read my comment and share a story... thank God for the internet. Clearly this is what happens when you give helicopters to a bunch of idiots.

needless to say, we all moved away from pasadena.

posted by kelli9999 on 4/28/14 @ 04:42 p.m.

I have been trying to get something done about the rediculous amount of helicopter surveilance and noise pollution for at least the last 2 years. I've written the mayor, spoken to the heliport captain and spoke in front of the safety committee at the heliport when the "investigated" the situation. The Pasadena Police Department apparently believes it is above the law and have no problem annoying the citizens of the city. As a real estate broker, I KNOW the noise problem and invasion of privacy are affecting real estate values. Try relaxing in your hot tub with the war of the worlds buzzing over your back yard. It's pathetic!

posted by sickofnoise on 4/28/16 @ 08:39 p.m.
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