This letter is with reference to Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severn’s recent letter to state Attorney General Robert Ferguson, as reported in the July 31 Whidbey News-Times.
My name is Patrick F. Hussey. I am a fifth-generation Washingtonian, born in Anacortes. My father served in the U.S. Navy for 34 years and retired as a full Navy captain. He began his career as a Navy pilot and was member of VP-1, the “Screaming Eagles.” He was stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in the late 1940s and early 1950s. His record includes service in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam War.
I love the U.S. Navy. I am a Navy brat. I thoroughly enjoy the NAS Whidbey open houses and the young Navy pilots really get a kick out of seeing my father’s flight books. My mother, as a loyal and supportive wife, also loved the U.S. Navy. My maternal grandparents, Frank and Margaret Keck, lived in Oak Harbor from 1946 to 1964; Papaw was a special assistant to the NAS Whidbey director of public works. Their home on Scenic Heights is still there, surrounded now by many homes. I attended Clover Valley Elementary School through 1958. My parents and my grandparents are all buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery.
In the mayor’s subject letter he stated: “…please remember that most island inhabitants do not consider the Navy noise to be bad noise.”
I totally disagree with this unsupported contention. The mayor does not, and has no right to, speak for me and our many friends on this island, where we have lived now for close to 22 years.
As my father used to remind me, “You have the right to your opinion, but not to your own facts.” The honorable thing for the mayor to do is re-publish a statement in the paper saying that such statement was just his opinion and not based on any objective facts.
I completely agree with Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson’s letter to the editor in the same issue, “Claims about AG lawsuit against Navy misleading.” I fully support the state’s lawsuit against the U.S. Navy and the effort to find a balanced and reasonable approach to Growler jet training.
Patrick F. Hussey