Letter: COER tried to negotiate impacts but Navy refused


A recent letter (Jan 11) suggested that the Navy should do all FCLP training at the Coupeville OLF during school hours. Apparently the writer believes the excellence of Coupeville’s schools proves there are no impacts from Growler practice. In reality, Coupeville teachers struggle to overcome disruptions in their classrooms caused by Growler practice and they should be recognized for the award-winning job they do teaching our young.

The writer went on to incoherently complain that COER is responsible for governmental “waste, fraud, and abuse” because it has not attempted to fix the Growler noise problem through negotiation, while also claiming Growler noise is a “nonexistent problem.”

Because the writer was obviously struggling to make a coherent argument, there really is nothing requiring a response except to correct her about COER’s willingness to negotiate with the Navy. Since its formation 10 years ago, COER has repeatedly attempted to talk to and negotiate with the Navy. It is the Navy that has consistently refused to talk to COER; and that is why COER and the state of Washington were forced to sue the Navy. Even this past autumn attempts to negotiate possible remedies in court fell apart because of the Navy’s complete unwillingness to discuss adjusting any aspect of Growler training. It is either the Navy way or no way!

It is the Navy that has no real interest in addressing the concerns of its noise impacts upon our communities; in the same way it has refused to take responsibility for poisoning much of Whidbey Island’s water supply with its Forever Chemicals. To solve very real problems, when one party won’t talk, the other has to take action.

COER remains ready, willing and able to discuss any topic at any time with the U.S. Navy. Is the Navy?

Paula Spina


For the COER Board