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Alternative to OLF must be found | Letter

April 7, 2013 · Updated 3:52 PM
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Editor,

A recent letter dismissed concerns over Coupeville OLF with the same old arguments, such as there are no alternative locations or, if OLF Coupeville closes down, then NAS Whidbey will be closed — so be careful what you wish for.

These OLF clichés are not givens, nor are they inescapable realities that cannot be overcome by wise and determined leadership, which we must have to adjust to today’s need to care, not just for the Navy, but also for the health and well-being of our growing citizenry and increasingly diverse economy.

So, yes, we need a new location for the OLF, just as in Virginia Beach a Growler crash into a housing complex prompted efforts to move the Navy OLF to low-density swamplands in North Carolina and buy-out the affected property owners within the 65-plus decibel noise contour and accident protection zones — meaning “crash zones.”

Instead of recognizing a similar need here, our county and congressional leaders have been a bit too cozy with the Navy.

They knew that establishing crash zones would thwart development, and hence strengthen and expand resolve to move the OLF.

So, the county has instead ignored Navy guidelines for establishing OLF crash zones, putting the Navy first while sweeping the safety and health of the island’s residents under the political carpet.

Development should have been throttled down long ago within the less than 65 decibel noise contours and crash zones.

Failures of our parents and grandparents to foresee and avoid the problems created by the OLF of today is forgivable; that our leadership of today is unwilling to confront this problem is not, and it certainly is not reason to perpetuate past ignorance.

It is time for us to reboot to today for our children and grandchildren.

The threats of a crash into a Coupeville neighborhood and the palatable constancy of touch-and-go noise demand that an alternative for OLF be found.

Ken Pickard
Citizens Of The Ebey’s Reserve For a Safe, Healthy and Peaceful Environment

 


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