Letters to the Editor

Outlying Field safe, 'state of the art' | Letters


In a paid advertisement appearing in the Oct. 2 Whidbey News-Times, Ken Pickard tries to get public support to kick the Navy out of Outlying Field  Coupeville.

He either spoke ignorantly when he said OLF Coupeville is “old” and “unsafe” as it is as materially safe, modern and as technologically up to date and state-of-the-art as any field anywhere, used for its purpose, or he knew this already but said it to confuse and confound readers into believing him.

Unlike what he said, Ebey’s Reserve is not a “national park.”

It is not understood why Victorian-era homes were mentioned, but neither jets flying, or not flying, affects Victorian-era homes.

The comment was made that “military flight operations over this sensitive area are destroying this national treasure,” but no support for this statement is made with any scientific studies — just COER’s blind thoughts and selfish feelings.

Pickard’s statement said that “Navy operations are severely damaging the lives of thousands of people who live in and around Ebey’s Reserve,” yet, while only a few of these people complain, all of these people moved to that location decades after the Navy had begun operations at OLF Coupeville.

Yes, the jets fly over Whidbey General Hospital ... so? So do the Medivac helicopters. Stop them too? Both do so without any problems.

A claim that “scientific testing” was done to show “human beings perceive the Growler as much louder than the Prowler,” but no empirical research was cited to show this.

Aircraft using the OLF facilities only fly over Whidbey Island and water adjacent to it.

It would be interesting to see Pickard name the four counties being damaged by flight operations at OLF?

The advertisement  claims OLF’s operation causes physical or mental health injuries.

Any physical or mental health that is claimed to be compromised by way of operations at OLF has been caused by moving to a place where that alleged cause was pre-existant.

If living in the vicinity of flight operations causes physical or mental health, why would someone move to that area?

Further, the claim is made of dropping property values.

No property values in the area have dropped. To “drop” would mean they were higher earlier, then dropped because of Navy flight operations.

Flights have existed since the 1940s and property values today in that area are 10,000 percent higher than they were then.

This advertisement said: “This should not be a test of wills.”

No. This must be a test as to whether an established arm of our national security should back down when a small group of self-centered people shout out their blind and selfish tantrums.

Rick Widdison



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