I read in the Feb. 2 South Whidbey Record on Feb. 2 that the “Navy moves forward without Growler decision” and contracts are already signed to house the new Growler fleet as it grows to four times its present numbers.
For those who have worked in good faith, with due-diligent research, respect for the process, civil opposition and suggested viable alternatives, the headline confirms what we dreaded from the outset of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process: In spite of our efforts to work in good faith with the Navy, they never had any intention of listening to us.
The whole process was a sham.
It’s difficult not to be angry. No one wants to be bullied. In considering our plight further, I have thought more about the word “impact” in the EIS process.
The meaning of impact, of course, can be applied both positively and negatively: a good impact or a bad one.
The anticipated impact of the Navy expansion, however, only bodes negative for those of us who will now have to live with the increased unacceptable level of noise and its disruption of our entire way of life.
The dictionary defines “impact” as “the action or effect or influence of one object coming forcibly [my emphasis] into contact with another.”
The root of the word traces back further to the Latin impingere or “driven in” and the word impinge has a negative meaning of “advancing over an area belonging to someone else; to encroach.”
The Navy Pentagon officials, most who do not live here, are forcibly “encroaching” on Whidbey Island and the region and on our way of life.
In any other proprietary context, this would well be considered illegal, and, in any case, it is a violation of our region’s sense of place and well-being.
I am not a veteran, but I have great respect for the core values I generally associate with the military: the sense of duty, the mission to protect, the discipline and the sense of honor.
The Navy clearly does not intend to protect us from the impact of the Growler noise, nor is it honorable in the way the Navy brass refuses to measure the intolerable sound of the Growlers and justifies it on the basis of a bogus averaging of the sound to make it “technically” within a range of acceptance.
I give them a “dishonorable discharge” for their refusal to honestly and protectively deal with the impact of Growler noise.
Somehow our communities need to continue to resist the Navy “advancing over an area belonging to someone else: to encroach” —- namely on our precious northwest corner of the United States.
The struggle must go on.