Letter: Why not be practicing for peace instead of war?

Editor,

In Wednesday’s edition, letter writer Roger Dietrich makes a great case for keeping pilots like himself safe. However, he fails to consider the safety of the Coupeville population.

For the past 25 years, I have owned a business and commercial property on Front Street. Currently, my husband and I live on waterfront property on Long Point, which will become “the Crash Zone.”

Property in the “crash zones” will be downzoned causing the property to be undervalued and difficult, if not impossible, to sell at a fair market value.

Because of the unpredictable flight times, loss of our beautiful hospitality industry, which hosts many outdoor weddings, will not be available because of the sound factor.

The growing natural/organic food growers will not be able to have farm stands and market gatherings. Other comparable businesses throughout the community will be forced out of business.

Outdoor workers will refuse to put themselves in jeopardy by the noise.

Need I say, the only hospital on the island and three schools are within this noise range.

Use your imagination to understand how that will affect learning and healing.

As a retired colonel, my husband spent 30 years in the military, fighting in Korea and Vietnam, resulting in the loss of much of his hearing.

When jets fly over our house, the decimal level is over 100 which is known to cause hearing loss and lack of sleep during night flights, and emotional distress for most of the residents of Coupeville.

The Town of Coupeville has been negotiating with the Navy to put an expensive water filter on its water system because the toxic chemical PFOA has been discovered to be present in our aquifers.

People in Admirals Cove are already being supplied bottled water by the Navy as their wells are fouled. Those of us who are on private PUDs are just on our own.

This build-up will be far more reaching than my little world.

OLF Coupeville may be adequate for “touch and goes” but the area around the field has continued to be populated after WWII — the only reason for this field to be built — serving families with children and seniors in retirement, living out their dream in this beautiful piece of the world.

I assure you, I wish no ill will to any pilot since they are equally at risk, and sadly, if an incident occurs, we may all be collateral damage.

From the many who have lived here for years and have invested in and sacrificed for the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve and I say national for it is for all to enjoy its pristine beauty, and lack of development including, Roger Dietrich and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Thousands of tourists enjoy our island because of its beauty and tranquility, tranquility which businessmen and women have invested their lives in and which is now threatened by a build up of a prediction of 22,500 flight per year at OLF starting in 2019.

Mr. Dietrich might feel safer with the military putting all their most sophisticated air power in one place, but we remember what happened at Pearl Harbor.

He may also feel safer as his water in Oak Harbor comes from the Skagit River. He may also feel safer because his concern is all about pilot safety while ignoring the greater good.

Those that start wars, often have never been in one.

Why are we not practicing for peace instead of war?

Millie Fonda

Coupeville

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