Commentary Noise from Navy Growlers will hurt Whidbey economy

This opinion is in response to state Sen. Barbara Bailey’s recent commentary (“Bob Ferguson’s war a threat to Whidbey Navy base,” The Herald, July 21. The Navy’s proposed fourfold increase in low-altitude flights on Whidbey Island will result in noise levels high enough to cause pain, deafness and ill health. Prolonged exposure to jet noise has been associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

(See “The Adverse Effects of Environmental Noise Exposure on Oxidative Stress and Cardiovascular Risk”: tinyurl.com/NCBInoisestudy )

As a resident whose home is under one of the flight paths, I, my neighbors and anyone visiting, can inform Bailey that the noise generated by the Growler jets permeates the indoor environment of a home or building as well as the area outside with an earth-shaking rumble and deafening roar. We have measured over 90 decibels indoors, and over 120 decibels outside. During flight operations, the effects are continuous for hours as one jet is followed by another. The Navy’s use of the field near Coupeville and Ault Field has gotten out of hand and it is time for citizens to say “enough!”

The Department of the Navy decision-makers in Washington D.C. can find and act on a better plan that is more balanced. Having increased Growler operations in one area is not safe and it is not healthy for all living things in that area. We and our children need to be protected. The children rely on us for their safety and health and we are happy that the state attorney general has filed suit to protect us.

We are not anti-Navy. We are anti-Growler jet noise and its harmful effects!

We value our environment, our rural economy and our historic character. This is the home of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. The exponential increase in jet missions will drive people and visitors away from Whidbey. This place will have no value and no purpose if there’s no one who can enjoy it.

This month, friends of ours from Montana camped at Deception Pass and were horrified by the ear-shattering Growler noise during the afternoon and evening. The jets flew directly overhead, and so low, the campers could see the jet’s lights through the ceiling of their tent. The noise was so unbearable they departed the campsite as soon as they could. Driving people away is a cost to our economy.

I remain confident that the Navy will see that the recent decision to place increased number of Growlers here is unsustainable and that the Navy will make a new plan with balance for our citizens and the region.

Karen Ramey

Coupeville

Talk to us

More in Opinion

toon
Editorial cartoons for Thursday, Aug. 5

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Abel Villafan, center, looks on as his wife Maria, right, gets the second shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from Cecilia Valdovinos, left, Thursday, March 25, 2021, at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic in Toppenish, Wash. Villafan, who drives tractors and other machinery at Roy Farms, a hops and fruit producer in Moxee, Wash., also got his second shot Thursday. In Washington state, seasonal workers who are beginning to arrive to join year-round employees to work on hops farms and in cherry and apple orchards became eligible for the vaccine earlier in the month. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Editorial: What’s it going to take to get more vaccinated?

The vaccines are safe, effective and our best hope to keep kids in schools, learning and healthy.

Comment: Fed up, businesses, employers are mandating vaccines

Frustrated by a lack of government mandates, businesses and employers are setting their own rules.

Comment: Trump, tax lawyers wrong about Congress’ oversight

A judge could rule soon on the release of Trump’s tax returns to Congress; and the American people.

Comment: Gender, race, politics gets an independent news site

The 19th started during a year of monumental change and used that change to focus its coverage.

Vaccine hesitancy came before Trump

Regarding Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker July 26 column on Capitol rioters… Continue reading

Olympics focused too much on nationalism

I’m sick of the Olympics. They’ve become a war between nations who… Continue reading

toon
Editorial cartoons for Wednesday, Aug. 4

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

FILE - In this May 21, 2021 file photo, a person holds a mask while walking outside in Philadelphia.  New evidence showing the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox has prompted U.S. health officials to consider changing advice on how the nation fights the coronavirus. Recommending masks for everyone and requiring vaccines for doctors and other health care providers are among measures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering, Friday, July 30. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Editorial: Our covid battle isn’t over; we must again mask up

The delta variant spreads even among whose who are vaccinated, meaning a return to masking indoors.

Most Read