Letter: Not anti-defense; against being ‘collateral damage’

Editor,

I read the South Whidbey Record Dec. 5 article, “Navy ends talks on impacts on historic district” and got the distinct impression that this was the move of a “military proconsul” administrator assigned to make sure the population of the region surrounding the military base was “compliant” to any operations of the Navy no matter the damages to the environment and the human beings that live here.

According to the article, the Navy would “provide a total of $450,000 for preservation work, a cultural landscape inventory and a gateway sign.” I assume the sign would be a warning that reads, “the Navy will not be responsible for irreparable damages to any and all humans in this region.”

The Navy terminated these talks, leaving state historical preservation officer Allyson Brooks to comment, “We felt we were still negotiating.”

The sticking point, according to reserve manager Kristen Griffin, “was defining the scale of the impact the change will have on historic properties.

And that comes down to money.”

The preservation interests suggested “$2 million to stabilize concrete structures in Fort Casey and Fort Ebey state parks, $2 million to rehabilitate the Coupeville Wharf and $1.8 million for work preserving the Ferry House.”

Congressman Larsen was disappointed an agreement couldn’t be reached. Yet he suggested something might be worked out.

Gov. Inslee suggested “to mitigate this effect, the U.S. Navy should provide funding to stabilize historic barns and structures as well as soundproof historic homes, helping to preserve the sense of community in this unique setting.”

Are these newly “soundproofed” homes to be opened to humans that still live in this region to work and sleep in when the Growlers “bounce?” That would be absurd, wouldn’t it? Kind of like the Navy offering $450,000 for preservation work. Absurd.

The Navy burns through $16,000 per hour to fly a plane that costs $67 million to buy, yet doesn’t have the funds to build an air station in a remote, uninhabited part of the country to “bounce” these monstrosities?

I am not anti-defense. I am against being collateral damage to military arrogance.

Dan Freeman

Clinton

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