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 Saturday, Nov. 28

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

A latte is made at Narrative Coffee on Oct. 4, 2018 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Covid only upped need for Small Business Saturday

Locally owned businesses need your support to survive the pandemic. Here’s how to do so safely.

Comment: If we can’t agree on facts, what’s democracy’s fate?

We can wear down belief in Trump’s fictions by starting with the facts on which we all agree.

Comment: Ballot measures can mislead in judging voters’ minds

Because measures rely heavily on advertising, the side that raises the most money is often the winner.

Only votes for Trump are legitimate?

Trump has demonstrated time and again that he lacks any sense of… Continue reading

From which majority’s tyranny are we being protected

After reading the Nov. 13 letter to the editor from a Trump… Continue reading

toon
Editorial cartoons for Friday, Nov. 27

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

Tonya Drake is chancellor of WGU Washington. (Courtesy of WGU)
Editorial: Education can build on Native Americans’ heritage

There are obstacles to higher education, but also new opportunities to increase students’ access.

Customers place their orders at Sisters on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Our best hope is to cope with covid limits

Restrictions on eateries and shops are painful but can suppress the virus until a vaccine is ready.

Most Read