Sound Off: Publisher relies on ‘hackneyed,’ ‘divisive’ arguments

  • Wednesday, September 25, 2019 9:25am
  • Opinion

By Michael Monson

Mr. Graves’ Publisher’s Column from Sept. 21 was stifled by personal perspective and did nothing to advance a better understanding of the real damages attendant to Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP). Instead, he relied on an old hackneyed and divisive argument that falls well short on factual reality. Whidbey Islanders should expect more depth and insight from a “Publisher’s Column.”

Let’s correct the record.

His argument is threefold: 1. That folks knew what they were getting, so they should have no standing, 2. That history informed them about how many FCLPs to expect, and 3. Given the above, the lawsuit pursuing military taking is “misguided.” Let’s look at those three rather sanctimonious assertions.

• They knew: No, not really. Some folks had no idea. Many were misled by the extraordinarily weak and uninformative disclosure statement, and about a third of the buyers did not receive or sign one. But most importantly, the Navy via its 2005 AICUZ (Air Installation and Compatible Use Zone) planning guide was the worst offender. That AICUZ informed buyers and land-use planners to plan on 6,120 Growler operations annually at the OLF. Buyers believed the Navy’s word was good as gold, and planners facilitated local development compatible with that 6,120 operations commitment.

• History: In the face of that 2005 AICUZ, the history of the last quarter of the last century became just that — history. The AICUZ displaced that old history with a new course, and the new quarter century of actual FCLP practice at the OLF reflected and branded-in trust in 6,120 operations. Then the Navy doltishly decided, “Let’s do 24,000 operations instead.”

• Conclusion: So, are the lawsuits and those in the wings “misguided,” as Mr. Graves concludes? Or, was it the community that was misguided and misled?

Before writing more fluff based on limited experience and personal tilt, Mr. Graves might consider judicious examination of the complex takings laws that afford citizen protections under the Constitution. He might start with the takings case in Virginia Beach (Oceana).

Monson is a past president and current Board of Directors member of Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve.

More in Opinion

Sound Off: Built to last and well worth a million bucks

Living in Central Whidbey, I have always thought that having all those… Continue reading

In our opinion: On Whidbey, best to stay home when it snows

There are a lot of people on Whidbey Island from the Midwest… Continue reading

Letter: Paper should provide list of votes

Editor, In Patrick Grubb’s Jan. 4 Sound Off opinion piece, Mr. Grubb,… Continue reading

It was a year of tragic events, celebrity sightings and animal hijinks

It was an interesting year on Whidbey Island, as it it every… Continue reading

In our opinion: Justices’ rebuke of lawmakers is democracy in action

The framers of the Constitution would be proud to see that the… Continue reading

In our opinion: Shop locally for better gifts, stronger communities

Christmas is a week away, but there’s still plenty of time for… Continue reading

In our opinion: Dealing with domestic violence is often complex

The most dangerous place for a woman is her home. Statistics on… Continue reading

In our opinion: Slow driving on island raises concerns, blood pressure

A peculiar quirk of some Whidbey Island drivers is to travel slightly… Continue reading

In our opinion: We should all make a big deal out of affordable housing

During a recent discussion about utility rate increases, Langley City Council member… Continue reading

In our opinion: Affordable housing should top legislative priorities

Elected officials across Whidbey Island are completing their wish lists for Olympia.… Continue reading

Irregularities in posted election results can’t be ignored

Based on precinct results posted on the official elections website for Island… Continue reading