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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Find a solution with cooperation, respect
I’ve been reading the articles and letters about the OLF controversy, and will add my two cents.
It is astounding to me that there are people in the community, including our commissioners, who think that some of us — I don’t live near the OLF and am not affected by the noise personally — should just put up with the noise level at the OLF. It is astounding to me that former military personnel could imply that one is unpatriotic, or else, because of having never actively served, is uninformed when complaining about the reality of the Growler noise.
The business community is afraid that moving the location of the touch-and-go flights would lead to the movement of the Navy base itself, but let’s be real. If the Navy feels it is costly to come up with the fuel for the flights to take place, say in Eastern Washington or central Oregon, where there are available airstrips, where would the money come from to move a whole physical base of operations? The planes move but neither the Navy facilities nor the residents’ houses do. I would think flying the planes to a relatively remote strip in the Northwest area, and making modifications at such a spot, would be a small and relatively cheap job for the Navy.
As for the cost of the fuel and any modifications, all Americans, whether living on the island or any other place in the country, should share equally in the cost of the “sound of freedom,” and not burden a very few. Yes, that may mean increased taxes, but if we’re already paying for the Growlers we realistically must add in the operations costs to fly them effectively, including appropriately located touch-and-go practice.
People pointing fingers at either the Navy’s old statements, or the county’s past performance will do nothing to alleviate the problem for our fellow citizens who must now endure the situation. Let’s respect each other, see each other as ourselves, and require our representatives — state and federal — to sit down with the Navy and figure out how to do these flights safely, and in a nearby geographic area that works. And, in the process, be sure to acquire enough property around the site to keep this kind of misery from happening to some other poor, unsuspecting souls down the line.