To the Editor:
The theme of this letter is a series of inconvenient truths:
Despite allusions in the June 11, 2014 WNT, COER has had absolutely nothing to do with the defacing of US currency. It seems these stamped bills are being circulated in Oak Harbor by someone who lives or works in Oak Harbor. COER has also had no role in any lawsuits being prepared against Whidbey Realtors concerning noise disclosures. And COER is neither seeking nor advocating the closing of NAS Whidbey. COER has but two missions: (i) closing the Coupeville OLF; and (ii) relocating all Growler training out of the North Puget Sound area. The inconvenient truth is that more and more people in our area—including in Oak Harbor–are frustrated with Navy noise and environmental pollution. Not every protest is by COER, but COER is sympathetic with all Growler noise victims and supports their legal efforts to protect themselves.
COER members did not attend Rick Larsen’s campaign event in Coupeville to protest. Almost all of us in attendance have repeatedly voted for Mr. Larsen. We went there to hear what he had to say about our concerns. Mr. Larsen refused to publicly address the noise issue and even stated to one attendee it wasn’t his problem. When he refused to address our concerns almost everyone in the room left. This walkout was a spontaneous response to Mr. Larsen’s refusal to talk to us as a group about our concerns. If he was embarrassed at his event it was due to his own cowardice, apathy and arrogance, not because of any action on COERs part.
Michael Monson, COER’s President, is not a bully. He was angry with Mr. Mosolino because Mr. Mosolino had publicly disclosed Mr. Monson’s personal information in order to discredit Mr. Monson. At the Larsen event it was Mr. Mosolino who threatened to punch Mr. Monson, not the other way around. Neither Mr. Monson nor COER have ever threatened anyone with violence. We are not the ones advocating rape and arson as political tools. We have never even called for a reciprocal boycott of Oak Harbor businesses. We are not the bullies.
Lastly, you can hide from the science but that doesn’t make it go away. The medical and scientific evidence is unquestionable: noise kills. Even the federal government’s (including the Navy’s) own scientists and doctors agree. Public exposure to the noise generated by the Growlers is a very real and serious health crisis.
Reading the letters recently posted in the WNT by noise supporters would be discouraging if not for the volumes of emails and comments COER receives in support of its mission. The pro-OLF folks seem to believe that certain Americans and select communities are more valuable and more deserving than others and that the lives, health and welfare of some Americans count for nothing. When did we forget that under our constitution we are all equal in the eyes of government and the law?
Paula Spina, Director
Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve