Letter: Yes, many people knew flight path, but Growlers came later

Editor,

I love jet noise that I am able to quickly get away from if it becomes too intense.

As a child, my dad would occasionally drive us 30 minutes over to Willow Run airport to see the jets take off. Other people were there, too, standing near the landing strip outside of their cars.

That was fun, exciting and self-limited.

Most, if not all, people do not want to live under the flight path of Growlers, work under the flight path, hike in or be exposed to the jet noise produced by Growlers.

The current Growler noise has already forced people to sell their homes and leave their communities. They believed there was no alternative.

Yes, some of these people bought homes with knowledge of the flight path, except that was before the Growlers. The Growlers are loud — and I mean loud.

The noise is so loud that it causes your whole body to vibrate, inside and out. Now, the Navy plans to increase Growler training flights four-fold.

I wonder how many people on Whidbey know about this plan. This is not a small issue.

If the new Growlers come and the flight paths change, will your house be in the Growler path? Are you able to move, to relocate yourself with your family?

Yes, there is a proposed change in the flight paths. Another aspect of this plan that affects everyone, in the flight path or not, is the loss of monetary value you will see in your house.

If your house has a lower value, everyone’s property taxes will increase. Property taxes must be at a certain level in order to sustain local services.

Everyone who’s left will get to make up the difference.

Higher property taxes equal a tax increase.

With more jets and flights, there will be fewer tourists to sustain our economy.

There are already instances of people who come to camp for the weekend and pick up camp in the middle of the night because the Growler noise is intolerable.

Think about how many tourists will not even come when they hear about the four-fold increase in Growler flights.

And here is one more aspect of this Growler expansion for you to consider — part of the reason for this expansion is to bring over Australian pilots to train on the Growlers.

“Our pilots need the best training” doesn’t quite fit that scenario.

There are many fact-based fears associated with the planned expansion of Growlers and Growler flights. The Navy is aware of these fears.

I urge you to become a part of the solution to protect our communities from dispersion. We have a voice and we must use it.

Please go to sounddefen sealliance.org to learn more and learn how you can get involved.

Yes, I love jet noise in very limited, self-imposed exposures.

When there is no choice, it is completely different.

When it is Growler noise, we need to speak up, tell our elected leaders this is unacceptable.

If the Navy is unresponsive, perhaps our elected officials will speak with us in a loud voice: No New Jets. No New Flights.

Jane Jaehning

Oak Harbor

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