From the Camano Island paper, worth re posting

Jet noise Not the sound of freedom

Dear Editor:

The San Juan Islands are beautiful. Our wonderful island archipelago offers us the solace and serene living unique to the Pacific Northwest. The islands are nature’s gift to all of us: residents and visitors alike. The islands are a national treasure.

So, who has the right to steal away this incredible treasure? Who has the right to take the islands’ peace and quiet? Who has the right to pollute its air? Who has the right to rob the tranquil ambiance of this natural place? Who has the right to deny the citizens who live and visit here the right to enjoy these wonderful islands?

The Navy says it has the right. The Navy says it can bring jets to this peaceful place and make noise – lots of noise. And it can pollute the air. And it can steal away the tranquil nature of the islands. Indeed, the Navy says it doesn’t even have to ask. It doesn’t have to consider its affect on the lives of the people who live and visit here.

Navy jets inundate the islands with noise. People have to cover their ears when the jets fly. Folks cannot dine outdoors or camp in the parks without having their conversations – and sleep – disrupted. Even inside homes, people must interrupt conversations and phone calls because they cannot hear one another. I’m a vet and understand the importance of maintaining combat-readiness.

To that end, the Navy could choose to move its jets to another base where noise wouldn’t be such a problem, such as China Lake in California.

Perhaps the Whidbey base could be used for productive, and quieter, activities such as flying electronic/radar planes, or search and rescue, or Coast Guard work. Propeller planes and helicopters could be used.

Why destroy the pristine peace and tranquility that the islands offer? Why destroy one of the most beautiful places in America? Why destroy the freedom of people to enjoy the island’s ambiance?

Some say that jet noise is the “sound of freedom.” I disagree.

The sound of freedom is the sound of people free to live their lives, free to seek their “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness,” free from the oppression of Navy jet noise and pollution.

Len Hoover

Camano Island

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