Military is owed citizens speak in support

Editor,

I just want to advise folks of a major Team Whidbey victory before the state Board of Health on Aug. 9. On YouTube under “2017-08-09 Washington State Board of Health​ Debate on EA-18G Growler Jet Sounds,” one can hear the only testimony in defense of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island by me; followed by the state Board of Health deliberations of making a motion to the Island County Board of Health.

The motion states, “If and when the Navy conducts a Health Impact Assessment on military jet noise exposure, the Board recommends the Island County Board of Health and Island County health officials monitor the project and coordinate with the Navy as resources allow.

“The board directs staff to follow up with the Island County Board of Health on the state Board of Health’s actions on this matter and to continue monitoring the issues.”

It’s worth noting that it’s highly unlikely the Navy will do a Health Impact Assessment, raising the question of what will be Plan B. As such, during public comment and following deliberations, state Board of Health Members voiced concerns about current land use policy around Central Whidbey.

With an Airfield Install-ation Compatible Use Zone Study coming next year with development restrictions around Outlying Field Coupeville as the “growth management” state Board Health Vice Chairman Dr. Thomas Pendergrass spoke of, clearly the pressure will be on to restrict further encroachment of a clearly irreplaceable, vital military training area.

It’s worth noting Dr. Pendergrass suggested buying properties close to OLF, a cause I endorse and the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve currently oppose.

Finally, I just hope we can enable and have civil regional conversations about winning a lasting peace once Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve is decisively defeated.

If for no other reason than I feel we Citizens of America owe our military and our military families a grateful America truly worthy of their sacrifices.

Joe Kunzler

Sedro-Woolley

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