3/6/2019 1:18:00 PM Flying into the future From the editor
Letter: We Hear them – Do they Hear Us?
The recent letter sent by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to the Secretary of the Navy echoes the region’s concerns in a long list of mitigations and considerations for the Navy to address. Some of these include: adverse effects on historical structures, agriculture and tourism. Sound Defense Alliance members recognized that Growler jet noise would impact more than Central Whidbey. This review has brought to light the magnitude of the harms that will be caused by the Navy’s proposed increase in Growler Jet flights and operations and the Navy’s failed process to protect historic properties. They have acknowledged and validated the public’s concerns expressed on the insufficient mitigations offered by the Navy to reduce, minimize or mitigate Growler jet noise. Council members agreed that the Navy’s methods of measuring noise may have been too narrow – leaving out over 40 historic properties in Port Townsend. The ACHP suggests noise monitoring, adding its voice to requests for noise monitoring by the EPA, the Governor and the state Department of Health. The ACHP received more than 250 written comments on the Navy’s proposed undertaking from consulting partners, members of the public, the Governor’s office, and from members of Congress. As a part of developing comments, the ACHP staff hosted a public meeting in Coupeville in December, attended by over 400 people from throughout Northwestern Washington. The message from the public for noise reduction was clear and consistent. The Secretary of the Navy will soon make his record of decision on the Growler jet expansion. It remains to be seen if the Department of Defense and the Secretary of the Navy will respond to the thousands of people from throughout the region who have commented on a failed process that has produced a proposal too big and too harmful for our region. There is still time for the Navy to reduce its Growler jet expansion proposal and to demonstrate its responsiveness to the public they serve. Regardless of what the DoD and the Navy decide to do – Sound Defense Alliance will continue its efforts to reduce Growler jet noise and to work toward reducing the number of jets, flights, and locations of Growler jet training on Whidbey Island and across our region. For more about the Sound Defense Alliance and the No New Jets, No New Flights Campaign visit, sounddefensealliance.org. Thank you, The SDA Legislative Committee
One can be realistic and not realize his or her dream. Brett Smith, head of Propeller Airports, was praised to the skies for his leadership in bringing commercial air traffic to Everett’s Paine Field to fruition. What an accomplishment: major airlines flying 24 times daily to places people want to go. Jay Inslee is running for president. No other candidate is making climate change their primary issue. He has made it his campaign’s centerpiece. For years he has put cap and trade of carbon pollutants and green jobs before Washington’s citizens. His 2007 book, “ Apollo’s Fire” shows his consistency. The future has been on his mind for a long time. Whether or not his campaign propels him to the White House, he knows the direction in which sanity and sustainability lie. The Navy and Defense Department insist on bringing 36 Growler Jets to Whidbey Island. Will they knowingly destroy the village in order to save it? The record is clear: our military has puposely killed peasants they were sent in to save. Do our defense forces love the military more than us, the citizens they work for and are sworn to protect? If the Secretary of the Navy declines to follow the recommendations of the American Council on Historic Preservation, he will be privileging expanding jets and flights over concern of harm to people and historic buildings at the heart of the Washington pioneer story. The Navy trains to protect us but expanding this training tears at the fabric of their neighbors and the democratic process. It is a flight – as in an escape – into a false narrative of the past if the Navy’s claims the cost of defense is ignoring the people and their rules of civil society. The American Council on Historic Preservation is not a fringe, lunatic group and neither is the Sound Defense Alliance. Three hopes for the future. Which affirm life and which threaten our way of life?