It seems like the easiest way for the Navy to eliminate the impact of the Growler Training on education is to schedule 100% of the training conducted during school hours at the Outlying Landing Field in Coupeville. According to the Growler Environmental Impact Statement, neither the noise contours nor the training patterns impact any of the schools or the public library in Coupeville. In addition, the hospital, medical offices, Island County Administrative Complex, jail, restaurants, Coupeville Town Hall and the Coupeville History Museum are also beyond the impact area of the OLF.
The real challenge is knowing when you have “solved the problem.” Both school districts have been consistently high achievers throughout the introduction of the Growlers into the equation. In fact, an entire generation of students have matriculated from kindergarten through community college with Growlers flying over Oak Harbor, while consistently maintaining above average performance.
Maybe the purpose of Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve’s (COER) relentless litigation has more to do with NIMBY whining than attempting to negotiate a solution to a real problem. When people knowingly move to a nuisance, sign a disclosure regarding that nuisance, and then file endless litigation against the public entity that operates that nuisance, it costs us all. The OLF in Coupeville is one of the best training facilities of its kind in the country. The exercise of even considering flying a squadron of growlers as well as all the necessary support personnel and equipment 1500 miles to train at an inferior facility, over a more densely populated area is an expensive, wasteful exercise. Actually attempting to do it defies logic. Moving the nuisance to someone else’s backyard does not reduce any environmental impacts or solve any problems.
When people complain about waste, fraud and abuse in government operations, it’s groups like COER that drive some of the most egregious examples. It’s no surprise that tax dollars disappear when attempting to solve nonexistent problems.
Jennifer S Meyer