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An open letter from Maryon Attwood and Robbie Lobell to the Coupeville Mayor and Town Council

Dear Mayor Conard and Coupeville Town Council,

I learned from others that the Coupeville Town Council is not planning to
provide input on the Navy’s scoping process for the Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) focusing on the EA-18G Growler airfield operations. As the
closing date is January the 3rd, there is still time. But I see that no
Council meetings are scheduled during this time period.

Providing the Navy with recommendations for analysis is not controversial or
taking sides.

As a member of the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce and a small business
owner, I am concerned that there has been no discussion regarding
Coupeville’s participation in this process. Our small business spends
thousands of marketing dollars, time, and energy bringing people/customers
to Central Whidbey. As property owners and business owners, who live and
work here, we have invested over a million dollars into the local economy.
I think we are all aware that there are negative impacts on commerce created
by the Growlers. The EIS process is the opportunity and the right place to
ask for the studies to find out just what those impacts actually are.

The scoping material provided by NAS Whidbey Island clearly states that
scoping is your opportunity to provide comments to help the Navy focus
analysis. Scoping is one of the first steps in the EIS process, and your
input during the scoping period is important. No decisions about the
proposal have been made, and the impact analysis has not yet started.

Being on record as having contributed to this study is, in
my opinion, critically important to the process. Not participating — seems
remiss. The EIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of the Navy’s
proposal to increase both flights and the addition of two new Growler
squadrons.

Coupeville, the second oldest town in Washington and a partner in the Ebey’s
National Historical Reserve has a lot to loose. Over 200 local citizens in
June overwhelmingly voted to close the OLF when alternatives were offered to
them.

Wouldn’t it be helpful to know the impact on increased flights on our local
economy? on our Front Street economy? on tourism? on our County Hospital and
County Mental Health Services? on our public health? on our local schools
and playgrounds? and our quality of life? What will the long term impacts be
for the sustainability of Coupeville as a viable town? On property values?
What happens to a town when the teacher can’t teach, the coach can’t
instruct, the doctor declines the hospital job, B&B’s can’t fill their beds,
small businesses can’t talk to their customers, farmers can’t farm their
fields, and etc? As the elected leaders, isn’t up to you to ask the hard
questions, so the Navy can provide the answers?

I cannot emphasize enough how relevant it is that you identify areas of
concern for the town of Coupeville and respond to the request to
participate. The closing date is January the 3rd.

Respectfully,
Maryon Attwood and Robbie Lobell
Owners of Cook on Clay Cookware

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